Editorial Miscellany: Myraborne

Shut up, Myra.
Play time?

I have finally done it, dear LusiCanes. After years of ignorantly or fearfully side-stepping the Souls series, I preloaded Bloodborne onto my PlayStation 4 on Monday night (or Tuesday morning, whatever) and proceeded to have my ass handed to me for hours on end. This is my story. But first…

Evenings With Myra

I tend to stay up much later than Caileigh – especially these days when I am creating my own schedule – and it seems as though our cat has taken note of this pattern. The moment I am on my own in my living room and intend to sit down to work, Myra makes it known that she would like attention or else she will wake up Caileigh. This is something I would ignore if she did not have work early in the morning. Caileigh, not the cat. Or maybe Myra does have work, I do not know know for sure; our communication is limited.

But she is reasonable in her own way and I have noted that if I spend a little time with her right away, she tends to calm down. In fact, I now get down on all fours in an effort to indicate that I have transformed into “hangout mode”. This has begun to work so well that as soon as I transform, she comes trotting to greet me. I am not sure if she is aware that this is my indication that it is time to play or if she thinks that I am some other animal who appears from time to time, but I will take the affection. I mention this because before I could sit down to write this article, Myra and I were batting at the shower curtain for about ten minutes.

Evenings With Bloodborne

Granted, I have only had one evening with Bloodborne, but it was a memorable one. I am not sure how much time I will have for the game the rest of the week, so I played it until I practically fell asleep on the couch. I would like to pin the blame for all my deaths on my tired state, but I know that that is not true. I knew that I would be thrown to the dogs when I started playing Bloodborne, but I have barely made it anywhere in that game and it feels so good. It is unraveling all my bad habits from button mashing action games and stuffing them down my throat. It is already clear that every death I have suffered has been my own fault. Death after death, failed attack plan after failed attack plan.

As cool as it was, I was not ready.
I switched away from the cane.

A real sign of how strong this game is is how I restarted my playthrough briefly today (I wanted to change my weapon and not waste all my items) and already I had a better handle of the controls and my surroundings despite the fact that I died yet again to the same collection of villagers. I have not made progress in the level, but I have still made noticeable progress. I know I will look back on this playthrough and laugh at my ineptitude, but it does not matter. I am loving the failure this game relentlessly rewards me with for my hasty, sloppy, or untrained play.

The game kinda looks like a PlayStation 3 game, but it runs like a PS4 game and – most importantly – it plays like a good game. I love how it starts the action with barely any preamble, allowing the player to discover the game world and lore on his own and through various gameplay devices, not just cutscenes.

These are extremely early impressions, but I am enormously excited to slowly and arduously make my way through the game. I might want to clean up a bit of my backlog first, to be honest. In that spirit, here are a few quick notes about games I played during the past week before Bloodborne came out.

Quickie: Fez

I had never played this game before and – having never watched Indie Game: The Movie and having not really participated in or paid attention to any Phil Fish controversy – I went in with a pretty blank slate. I have only played a few hours, but since this is a quickie, I will make my thoughts short: It is good in spite of its self-satisfaction.

Quickie: Tomb Raider

It is impressive that although almost all its gameplay is superior to the Uncharted series, the Tomb Raider reboot is just less appealing to return to. Pacing and writing make a world of difference. Still, if Uncharted has not taken note, it will fall behind.

Quickie: Whatever

Whatever.

Final Thoughts

Well dear LusiCats, it is the end of March and I am still here, but I do not think for too much longer. It has been a delight and an honour to write for you all, but this curtain call is starting to overstay its welcome. Let us reminisce in the comments. Or, rather, let us talk about how awesome Bloodborne.

5 comments

  1. I spent over an hour in the extensive character creator in Bloodborne, just so I could have my character be torn apart in combat. Then I would crawl back and let the pain come again like some kind of masochist. So far, I love Bloodborne.

  2. Bloodborne is the game I wanted since the first Dark Souls. 8 hours in and it’s just as engaging as it’s predecessor. The Souls series (whatever they’ve called it) has consistently reminded me why I bother playing games in the first place.

  3. Between you and Mel’s thoughts on it so far, I find my interest in Bloodborne intensified. It really is starting to sound like a game that one must actually play, as opposed to be played by or simply be present to witness. While I do enjoy those pointy clicky adventures, I also value a game that challenges my notions of what a player is, should be, and can be. With PS4 as my best option (by far) when it comes to the next system I invest in, I have a feeling this will be a treat for me, albeit a delayed one.

  4. The learning curb is frustrating, even for a Souls veteran like myself. But once the mechanics ‘click’ for you, and your confidence grows with your level, you’re in. Unlike so many other games-trying-to-be-Hollywood today, BB demands your full attention and will not go easy on you. Just be prepared for some frustration initially, and serious rage moments when you get struck down after all your progress in an area is ended by accidentally walking into a boss fight.

  5. Bloodborne looks phenomenal. I am looking forward to having more time so I can actually spend a few hours with it.

    Fez is really very good. Phil Fish is an ignoramus of the first water; but that doesn’t mean that he is incapable of making a good game. The skills needed to critically examine the world and one’s own views differ from those needed to make a fun and aesthetically-pleasing piece of software. That said, it is alleged by a number of Fish’s former colleagues that many of Fez’s key developments are the work of others, and substantial proof has been offered in this direction. So, perhaps, Fish is just a thief, in addition to being a cockbag. Whatever the case, Fez is a good game.

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