Comic Review: Dark Souls, Vol. 1: The Breath of Andolus

Published: November 9th, 2016
Written by: George Mann
Art by: Alan Quah
Based on: Dark Souls by FromSoftware, Hidetaka Miyazaki

Titan Comics, 103 Pages

Review:

Fuck, this was a disappointment.

I was expecting some solid expansion on the Dark Souls mythos from the games but all this was, was another story like each game is its own story. However, this just used some concepts and ideas and didn’t even really feel like it fit that well within the already established canons of the three existing games. It also felt like it was in conflict with it.

Frankly, this felt like half-assed fan fiction from someone who played a third of one of the games, gave up because it was too hard and then had to guess the rest of the story.

With the three video games that exist, you have three unique stories. Because of that, I don’t think anyone wants a comic that is its own version of a new story. I think that fans would rather have comics (and books) that expand any of the three canons we are already familiar with.

We want stories about Solaire, Siegmeyer, Oscar, Artorias, Anri and Horace, etc. Also, more understanding of the primary bosses and their personal mythos. We want to see the universes we’re already familiar with to become more fleshed out.

I didn’t like this, at all, and it’s made it so that I don’t want to read the other Dark Souls comic book stories unless someone, whose opinion I trust, informs me that they started to make the stories I’d want to read.

Rating: 5/10

Ranking the Bosses of ‘Dark Souls III – The Fire Fades’

Since I ranked the bosses of the first and second Dark Souls games, I figured that I should also rank the bosses of the third one.

As I stated in my previous lists, I wanted to take the experience of playing through this multiple times to rank the bosses by how difficult I’ve found them to be overall.

My list certainly is my own and the more I talk to others that have an affinity for this series, we all seem to have a very different take on which bosses gave us the most trouble. I guess, this also has to do with play style and character type.

In the end, though, these are how I’d rank the bosses I’ve faced from hardest to easiest.

1. Nameless King
2. Slave Knight Gael
3. Darkeater Midir
4. Lothric & Lorian
5. Sister Friede
6. Dragonslayer Amour
7. Aldrich, Devourer of Gods
8. Champion Gundyr
9. Soul of Cinder
10. Demon In Pain & Demon From Below
11. Dancer of the Boreal Valley
12. Pontiff Sulyvahn
13. Abyss Watchers
14. High Lord Wolnir
15. Stray Demon
16. Champion’s Gravetender & Gravetender Wolf
17. Halflight, Spear of the Church
18. Old Demon King
19. Fire Demon
20. Vordt of the Boreal Valley
21. Iudex Gundyr
22. Curse-Rotted Greatwood
23. Yhorm the Giant
24. Ancient Wyvern
25. Carthus Sandworm
26. Crystal Sage
27. Oceiros, the Consumed King
28. Deacons of the Deep

Video Game Review: Dark Souls III – The Fire Fades Edition (PlayStation 4)

Well, I have reached the third and final installment of the Dark Souls series. The game’s director and creator Hidetaka Miyazaki claims that it is the last and he’s already moved on to other things like 2019’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and the upcoming Elden Ring. There are also rumors of a Bloodborne sequel in the works.

Needless to say, I don’t know how Miyazaki can top the Dark Souls series, as a whole. These games are near masterpieces! Well, the first game is a masterpiece and this one is close. The second game, which Miyazaki was a lot less involved in, had its problems but I covered those in my review of it. However, it was still a pretty great gaming experience and much better than most games out there.

So speaking specifically on Dark Souls III, this game was really fucking solid. It’s not as good as the original but I like it at almost the same level.

I was worried that it was going to be ungodly hard but I actually found it to be the easiest of the three. In fact, I didn’t need to grind for souls (XP) until I got to the last three bosses out of a few dozen. In the previous games, I spent quite a lot of time grinding away for souls really early on.

Everyone seems to have a different opinion on which game they consider the hardest. A lot of people think this one is it, so I’m not sure why it was the easiest for me. I think a lot of that has to do with playing style. Also, by this point, I had two previous games worth of experience under my belt and I’m sure that helped me out immensely.

I thought the boss battles in this chapter were better and more varied in style than the previous game. However, the first Dark Souls still takes the cake in that department. Granted, it was also the first game and set such a high precedent that anything after it has its work, unfairly, cut out for it.

I also liked that this game felt a lot less linear than Dark Souls II. While this didn’t have the sandbox style, interlocked world of the superbly designed first game, the shortcuts and secret paths that created loops through multiple areas were a welcomed addition.

This also felt like it had a lot more optional areas than the previous installments. I played through all of them, though, as I always want the full experience in these games.

I also found the combat to be smoother in this game than the previous ones, as well as the graphics and design being a step up.

Overall, this is nearly a masterpiece. I think the only thing working against it is that it felt shorter than the other games and some of the bosses just had ridiculous levels of health regardless of how suped up my character and his weapons were.

Rating: 9.5/10

Documentary Review: Console Wars (2020)

Release Date: September 23rd, 2020
Directed by: Jonah Tulis, Blake J. Harris
Based on: Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation by Blake J. Harris
Music by: Jeff Beal
Cast: various

Circle of Confusion, CBS Television Studios, Legendary Television, Paramount+, 92 Minutes

Review:

“Whenever you’re at war, you always hit the guy in the mouth as hard as you can. If you can’t hit him hard, you might as well not even fight. That’s the attitude in real war and it’s the attitude in business. You’ve gotta be prepared to take on the competition and win.” – Paul Rioux

When I was a kid in the early ’90s, I was all about Sega Genesis. Sure, I liked some of the games on Super Nintendo when it came out but Genesis was just my cup of tea from the speed, the graphics, the sound and the game selection.

However, I was also growing up and by middle school age, I wasn’t into the kiddie games.

This documentary tells the story of how Sega emerged as a video game powerhouse in the United States in a time when Nintendo owned the vast majority of the market share. Sega didn’t care, though, and they went all in, creating a system that was much more impressive than the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System and honestly, better than Nintendo’s rebuttal, which was the Super Nintendo.

There’s no hate here, though. I truly loved both systems but Genesis had the edge for me.

Anyway, this was well put together, well researched and it features interviews with the majority of the key players in this story.

Rivalries in business are great and for preteen me, this was the greatest business rivalry I could ever care about. Video games were a huge part of my life.

So seeing all these key people talk about this rivalry now is pretty f’n cool. There’s so much I didn’t know about the behind the scenes stuff because I was a kid and all I cared about was being entertained by the games I loved.

Well, I was also pretty thoroughly entertained by this documentary.

Rating: 7/10