Dark Souls Remastered: Get In On That Server Test, Folks


FACT: I’m absolutely awful at the Dark Souls games, but I forge on nevertheless. Bandai Namco is indulging fans with a tease of a network test coming up for PSN and Xbox Live users that’s going to give those servers quite the workout. Details below. I’ve downloaded the client, but know what to expect already: me dying a lot and getting my game invaded by players looking to add a few notches to their belts. Some of us are pincushions for other’s win-cushions, I guess. Ow. Ow. Ow.



BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. has confirmed today that the DARK SOULS™: REMASTERED Network Test will be running May 11-12, 2018, at specific times listed below, for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One. The network test will take place within the Undead Parish location and have players summoning co-op partners or invade others’ games.

More details regarding the DARK SOULS: REMASTERED Network Test can be found below:

What: DARK SOULS: REMASTERED Network Test for PlayStation 4 system and Xbox One
When: May 11th and May 12th from 6:00pm PDT to 11:59pm PDT each day for the Americas
How: Download the DARK SOULS: REMASTERED Network Test client from May 1st through 11:59pm PDT on May 8th on PlayStation 4 system and Xbox One (Xbox Gold subscription required to participate) to be part of the test. At 11:59pm PDT on May 8th the network test client will be removed, and no new participants will be accepted.

DARK SOULS: REMASTERED will launch for the PlayStation 4 system, Xbox One, and PC via STEAM® on May 25, 2018. The Nintendo Switch™ version of DARK SOULS: REMASTERED, network test, and Solaire amiibo™ will be available later this summer.


So, yeah, sure. I’ll see you online in a bit. Or not see you because you’ll be sneaking up on me while I’m trying not to get slaughtered by some bossy boss. Be gentle or at least tap me on the shoulder before you conk me on the head with that weapon or whatever.



Dark Souls III: The Eyes Have It And You’ll Get It, Alright


As in expect to PREPARE TO DIE a lot more than before thanks to FromSoftware’s latest entry in its not at all casual RPG franchise. Not at all for the weak-kneed player who wants some hand-holds and footholds through its gloomy and deadly dungeons, the Souls series packs in death by everything from environmental hazards to many enemy types looking to kick your frightened ass all over those environments. I tend to play these games just to survive the experience and not be a speed-running expert at them. But I know of some extremely talented players who relish the challenge of making double time through the maps as they face danger head on and die a lot as a learning process.

Of course, speed, accuracy and learning each enemy’s strengths and weaknesses is a huge key to enjoying the ride. That said, the geniuses at FromSoft have packed the series with everything from AI that follows you relentlessly to enemies and bosses that are bigger than the areas they try to kill you in and seemingly indestructible to novice players. Nope, nothing casual at all here, kids. In fact, there’s a terrifying element to all the games that borders on horror in some areas, but I’m not calling this a “horror” game series by any means. Just a note that if you’re not playing with a tiny bit of fright creeping into your bones, you’re a better man or woman than I. Anyway, DSIII is coming in 2016. Prepare to… yeah, you know.

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin Trailer: Die Learning to Die




Coming to PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 on April 7, 2015, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin will bring FromSoftware’s hard as hell-made nails game to those new consoles with a number of changes and improvements over the original release. For those rolling their eyes about the prospect of repurchasing the game just for spiffier visuals and every bit of DLC content included for free, fear not. Enemy placement throughout the game is vastly different and their AI has been dialed up even further.


Additionally, the number of enemy mobs has been increased, making the already challenging game much more so. All that and it seems that both offline and online players will have to now worry about a super-tough new foe that can invade their games with intent to do them in. Online fans looking for a fight will love the now 6-player PvP, although “love” is kind of a subjective term here. There’s nothing quite like being invaded mid-game by a bunch of people who you don’t know who may or may not be wanting to help you adventure.


Finally, that subtitle refers to an all-new NPC who’s chock full of information and meeting up with him will no doubt lead to new areas and content in the game. As you can see here, the official Dark Souls II website has announced a new patch for current owners of the original game that adds a ton of new features and content that will prepare players for the April release of Scholar of the First Sin. The great thing about all this is this reworked version of Dark Souls II is not only geared for veteran players who’ve mastered the game, but new players who want to see what all the fuss is about.

01-Forest_of_Fallen_Giants 02-The_Gutter 03-Forlorn_01 04-Forlorn_02 06-6playes_multiplayer_02 07-ThePursuer_and_Ogre 08-No-man's_Wharf 09-Brightstone_Cove_Tseldora 10-Huntsman's Copse

Yes, From has also added new NPC’s who can assist new players with the ins and outs of survival in such an unforgiving world. But don’t expect casual hand-holding or an assist if you bite off more that you can chew. The latter is what the assorted not so wee beasties are supposed to to and I’m betting plenty of players old and new will become meals off wheels when Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin arrives in about two months.

Dark Souls II VGA Announcement Trailer: Prepare to Die (Even More)…


Here’s that lovely VGA trailer for Dark Souls II – I love that like with the Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls openings, you really don’t find out anything about the story at all, but you DO get an eyeful of some of the horrific creatures that will kill you a few too many times during your adventures. It’s funny that some gamers still haven’t realized that FromSoftware didn’t just pop out of nowhere with Demon’s Souls and then Dark Souls. In fact, the Japanese developer has been making some of the most interesting games on consoles since 1994 starting with the deep, gloomy (and often frightening) King’s Field series. Their mech-focused Armored Core franchise allowed players to create and share some amazing custom mechs for years after PC mech games died off and other titles in the Shadow Tower, Echo Night and Tenchu series. A ton of other games ranging from the family-friendly puzzler The Adventures of Cookie and Cream to the intensely frightening (yet languidly paced) Kuon plus assorted licensed games done for the Japanese market and you’ve got a developer with a pretty solid pedigree.

Hmmm… I say These guys and gals need a retrospective or a documentary made or something in print just so people can see bits of everything they’ve done and respect their work even more. DSII is another day one buy for me and it should be for you as well.

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition: PC Gamers Finally Get To Feel The Pain (And How)…


August 24, PC owners. Prepare to Buy… then Prepare to DIE. And love every moment of it. The core word here is NEW, as in new areas, NPCs, weapon, monsters, bosses, PvP areas and MORE. Yes, as a console owner I’m temporarily annoyed (we’re getting this content later, so it’s all good), but I’m also hoping that PC gamers who’ve been whining about wanting this so badly buy it in numbers that stagger the imagination. Hopefully, the online play will be cheat and hack-free, but we’ll see what happens in the first week or two of release and then a bit afterward as those that can start mucking about with the game code. I still would LOVE a Vita version of a Souls game or a new RPG franchise from From Software at some point geared to portable players. I guess we’ll see what happens with that down the road…

Dark Souls “Prepare To Die Edition” Hits PCs In August: Some Console Owners Prepared To Kill…


While this is fantastic news for those PC gamers out there who either own Dark Souls on the PS3 or Xbox 360 and want to play it again with the new content or those PC gamers who’ve always wanted to experience From Software’s brutally difficult masterpiece, I have plenty of reservations about this. I’d be into playing that new content if it gets made available over PSN or Xbox Live, but I don’t even want to know what sort of security measures are going to be used to stop any sort of cheating in online games, hacked characters and other issues that affect otherwise enjoyable online experiences…

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Review: Dark Souls

Platform: PlayStation 3 (also on Xbox 360)

Developer: From Software

Publisher: Namco Bandai

# of Players: 1 (Online: 1 – 4)

ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Official Site

Score: A (90%)

If Dark Souls doesn’t scare you silly at some point, you’re either fearless, slightly to moderately insane or so jaded that nothing can faze you. Like 2009’s PS3 smash sleeper, Demon Souls, what’s here is a purely terrifying blend of old school difficulty and current gen tech that’s beautiful yet brutal and definitely not for those looking for an easy ride. From Software has created one of the most compelling game experiences to date (and if you’ve been a fan of the developer as long as I have, you could see this coming) that’s an absolute essential for any gamer willing to take the plunge. While the lengthy solo campaign is superb, it’s in the innovative online mode where many will see the game’s full range. That said, the dev team has wisely made sure that folks who can’t play online can still complete the game. It’ll just be a bit harder at times thanks to the punishing difficulty and intentionally vague storytelling that requires a bit of thought (and a lot more exploration and combat) to fully comprehend. Continue reading

Dark Souls “All Saints’ Day” Trailer + Serious Statues To Do Battle For

With its October 4 US release date right around the corner, here’s a last at the latest Dark Souls trailer plus some awesome one of a kind statues created by one of the game’s biggest fans, sculptor Peter Nordstrom. These five absolutely beautiful artworks are actually being given away over on the Dark Souls community page, so there will be a few lucky gamers who are going to walk away with some incredible showpieces you won’t find anywhere else. If you want to give it a shot, it;’s actually not too late. Just head on over to the PREPARE TO DIE Forums and have at their interesting puzzle contest. Good Luck! Continue reading

Studio Profile: From Software (Or: It’s About Time These Guys Got More Love!)

Here’s a brief look at one of my very favorite game developers since 1994 when I first saw Japanese screenshots of King’s Field and later, Armored Core. The company has done a wide assortment of games since then, but it wasn’t really until Demon’s Souls and now, Dark Souls that they’re a household name among more gamers. Of course, the terrifyingly difficult Dark Souls will probably garner them more than a few curses from those that hop in unprepared or expecting the game to have a super-easy mode… but I think From wants those players to learn something about they way games used to be made.

Gamescom 2011: Dark Souls "Mighty Fiends" Trailer Is Indeed, Mighty

I saw this particular boss battle played out live at the Namco Bandai event a few weeks back – the rep playing put up a stellar fight, but lost despite his valiant efforts. When the guy doing the awesome speed run through the demo (one of the best and funniest examples of “I’ve been playing this build for a few months, so I know what to do here” I’ve ever seen) gets his armored clock cleaned by a pair of gargoyles, you KNOW the final game will be a total nightmare. I can’t wait…