Talk Amongst Yourselves

This is where Kotaku readers go to talk about the stuff we're not already posting about. Think of it as the official unofficial Kotaku community forum.


    So Senran Kagura, the terrible game series involving ninjas with distractingly massive boobies, is getting a new Vita spinoff game. Which is described as a "Huge Boobs Hyper Cooking Battle" game. Where the duel is at the dinner table. Think Iron Chef with tits.

    Here's an animu trailer. Depending on where you work you may not want to watch it at work.

    I'm... not quite sure how this thing even exists. Between this and the bizarre Persona 4 dancing game, the Vita sure is getting some strange stuff in Japan.

    Last edited 08/01/14 6:34 pm

      Senran Kagura is my favouritest thing to exist.

      I need this game, for the cooking battles of course.



      This is why I stopped watching anime.

      Who am I kidding...? It's why I started.

    Dear Tay

    That page six was fun, but too brief.


    Novelty loving Red

    Dear Tay,

    Even the most well-practiced people can have an off-day.

    I was heading home just now to grab an energy-filled snack before heading out to the gym (which I am totally delaying right now), when I was stopped by a very persistent front-of-train-station clipboard girl. Swedish or something. Normally these folks know when I smile, shake my head and say, "Running late, sorry," they're out of luck, but she was ultra-persistent, walking along-side and reaching out to shake my hand and everything, "Just one second, real quick..."

    So I stop, shake the hand, say, "No really, actually running late, what's up?" and she's holding it while launching into her spiel - "You're probably aware who [charity name] is?" I'm thinking in my head, 'Alright, give it a shot, but I'm going in one minute.' I nod along, saying, "Yep." (Nope.) And I'm looking her square in the eyes, not really paying attention, just thinking, "Alright blondie, you got some blue eyes alright, but mine are bluer - that's not going to work on me."
    And I don't know, maybe she's a mind-reader, but at this point she's pretty much just trailed off and run out of things to say, mouth hanging open.

    She lets go of my hand to throw hers up in defeat and half-laughs, half-groans, "Ugh, you got me off my game, man," shaking her head. (Guys, if this ever happens to you, this is the exact moment you say, "Better luck next time. What's your mobile number?" I know, I'm committed to my girl, but any retired fighter can spot when another fighter has left themselves open.) I wish her luck and move on because yes, I am actually running late, I was going within that minute no matter how good her pitch was. Pretty sure that pitch can't be done in under a minute - so pro-tip to folks who are shy, put 'em on the spot for a time limit!

    Boom. Take THAT, charity whose name I can't remember.

    Yours in victory,

    OK now seriously, food's eaten, time for gym.

      Sometimes I don't believe you're real, your stories are always so great.

      I know TAYbies have met you though.


        But are those TAYbies real?

          Oh no, I must have been talking to myself at PAX last year.

          Was I even in Melbourne?

            I once had a highly intimidating lunch with the guy. I was so intimidated I didn't eat or speak properly. Then I didn't post on TAY for a week after. True story!

              Blah. I thought things went pretty well, man! You should totally be able to be chill and relax when we hang.

      Dear Transientmind,

      Masha is right: your stories are always entertaining, usually funny, occasionally inspiring. Never stop.


      Last edited 08/01/14 7:48 pm

      So in short you successfully creeped out a stranger to the point of speechlessness? :P

        Probably! I reckon she was probably inexperienced, now that I think about it. A more seasoned veteran of that activity would know when a mark is a lost cause and to let them move on, whereas the inexperienced and keen might still think they could make a sale. Add time-pressure and complete lack of caring, and yeah, that'd probably be enough to throw a newbie.

      You hypnotized her with your eyes, eh! Classic Transientmind!


    The Risk And It's Probability of human extinction before 2100
    Molecular nanotechnology weapons 5%
    Superintelligent AI 5%
    Wars 4%
    Engineered pandemic 2%
    Nuclear war 1%
    Nanotechnology accident 0.5%
    Natural pandemic 0.05%
    Nuclear terrorism 0.03%

      More interesting.

      The idea that no colonization has ever taken place in space due to civilizations having a tendency to destroy themselves before they can take that step.

      Deus Ex: Invisible War opens with a terrorist letting loose a nanotech virus which does the simplest of all things - break apart molecules into their base components, and use as much of them as possible to fuel replication of nanobots which do exactly the same thing, expanding and turning everything into grey mush. At some point the grey-mush-splosion exhausts itself, but it's never explained exactly how or why.

      I strongly suspect were that to happen for real, there might not actually be anything to stop the chain reaction.

        Grey Goo doomsday scenario originates in Omni magazine in 1986:

      As someone with a degree in nanotechnology: Bullshit. "Molecular Nanotechnology Weapons" is science fiction.

        So was the idea of a submersible vehicle in 20,000 Leagues.

          It's three words strung together with no further elaboration.

          And submersible vehicles were certainly not science fiction in Verne's time.

            Very poor example (just dug around everything that proclaimed he invented it to the actual Nautilus rfom 1800, way to look like an idiot Freeze) but the idea is still the same. Plenty of technologies around that were deemed impossible in the past.

            Also I think this is what it's referring to (although having a degree in nanotechnology you'd know that and way more about the validity of it than some dick who read it off the internet)

            Last edited 08/01/14 10:44 pm

              Sorry, I got a little snippy, it's just a discussion that I've had to roll my eyes at before from the odd hippy.

              FWIW, Drexler has largely withdrawn the Grey Goo idea as unrealistic. One of the main limiters on it is that any self replicating system at the nanoscale has a high probability of error, as even a little extra heat or a stray photon can disrupt such a process. It's more likely that a self replicating system would fizzle out due to errors in replication.

                Eh, I'm happy to be told I'm wrong and corrected when I need to be. I just find all these theories and possibilities of science fiction becoming science fascinating. ie:

                  What the hell kind of fight was that? How dare the two of you be so reasonable and up front with your perspectives. This place is nothing at all like the internet I'm so used to.

                That's quite reassuring. :) It'd certainly explain how it'd probably only wipe out a city block or so. ^.^

            True, but flying to the moon on a rocket was science fiction and he thought of that too.

      Ahh excellent, they've not heard about my plan then...

    Okay, are people happy with Saturday the 18th of Janurary?
    I think we may as well eat at optic bar, unless it's too expensive.
    apparently $20 and under

    Last edited 08/01/14 9:10 pm

      Sounds good scree. That's Saturday week? Or the one after?

        not this Saturday, the one after. The reason for that particular day is that Pixel can make it \o/

      I'm jealous of all you people living in civilisations with plenty of cool options for food and party. Meanwhile, I'm undertaking my shift with extended camping.

        I could send you a cake but it'll be stale. And squished.
        I could make you a cushion that looks like cake.

          Not sure if joking, but I'd totally hit you up for a cake cushion. :D

          I have floppy disk ones in lounge, so they'd fit!

            Slice or whole? And what type of cake?

              Oh man! This is too much! :P I wouldn't know, I believe the best option will be surprise.

                Okay. It may take some time to do it, because I do have 4 cosplays to make, 7 cushions and various other things
                (I like to keep busy)

                  Ha, you're actually gonna do it. :D Awesomesauce!

                  Since I have no cake cushion now, I can wait any length of time!

    Question. Those of you who own PS4s - how are the graphics? After enjoying Steam and desktop gaming as of lately I recently went back to PS3 and the graphics are appalling. I will only be using the console for exclusives (Ni no Kuni, FFXIII-2) in my pile of shame from now on.

    Contemplating maybe purchasing a PS4 at a later stage, however I want it to be more on par with my desktop gaming experience, visually. A more in-depth inspection than the experience you get in Dick Smith stores will definitely be required though.

      I have little problem with them. KZ:Shadowfall looks the tits and it's a launch title. Compare Resistance Fall Of Man to Last Of Us and apply that logic to the PS4.

        I don't know if you'll see the same sort of massive change in quality that you saw at the end of last generation. The new systems are basically PCs. They're x86 CPUs and standard AMD GPUs. That means developers already know how to get pretty good performance out of them. The learning curve is much lower and the result is that the current games coming out already use the hardware much better than early games on ridiculously complicated custom hardware like PS3.

          I agree. This generation is nowhere near as big a leap forward as previous generations, but that's just where the hardware is at nowadays.

      On par with PC games I'd say, unless you have a crazy rig that draws the power of an entire suburb and cost more than most people's houses like @ynefel.

      PS4 is fine. It's roughly on par with a $1000 odd (give or take) PC. Although once you hit a $1500 odd PC, and start cranking your graphics, the differences become quite obvious. I've got a monster PC, but the PS4 fits a different slot in my life. I can happily play BF4 on PS4, knowing it's nowhere near as pretty as the PC version - but it still looks damn good for a console title.

      PS4 graphical highlight would have to be KZ Shadow Fall though. It looks amazing.

      I have PS4 with AC4 and NFS Rivals. I also own a gaming rig, work in I.T., and follow tech blogs.

      NFS looks pretty shit, even though game reviewers say otherwise. AC4 looks pretty damn delicious and I'm actually very happy with the picture. This is compared to a $3K rig running 2560x1600.

      Performance is probably worth about $600 in PC parts. Just under $1000 if you pay postage, building fee, buy a monitor etc.

      Going off AC4 (launch title, on last-gen, take it with a grain of salt) - the graphics as a whole are pretty delicious, and nice step up from last-gen. You'll see immediately that the whole screen isn't a blurry and jaggy mess. Shadows are a lot more realistic now. Textures are on-par with high-end PC. Things like foilage and water look pretty good.

      All in all, I think I won't be disappointed with having to play sub-par visual quality as compared to PC, like I do with PS3/Xbox360.


    Will Scrappa's feet no longer smell in his new boots? How good a haggler was Foss from Foss and sons? Sherasta: Drunk or crazy? Varjellen bartenders: Surly or jerks? What's with the cult of Cantharx and their ceramic masks? And how can the group make a gift of "the memory of light?"

    tune in next time for another tale from the ninth world!

    @tigerion @tech_knight @popdart5 @novacascade @mythamphetamine @blaghman @mawt

    As I promised, @dc and @aliasalpha (and anyone else who wants to listen in):

    So. I might've been talking myself up as a smooth playa, huh? Well that won't do. Let's go over the highlight reel and play back some classic fuckups. No matter how well I might have done in recent years, the fact is I've blown a lot of opportunities just out of being too damn nervous or awkward. Here's some of my humble pie. Spoiler tagged for those who don't feel like some cringe-worthy soap/drama dear-diary BS.

    Unless anyone has objections (and do let me know), I'll post a few over time. No real order of significance or chronology, just 'as they come to me'.

    Train Station girl:

    So I'm sitting down at a train station and it's pretty quiet and peaceful. I was living way out of the city at the time, so I was in for a long journey and just chilling out to my MP3 player.

    A young Chinese girl comes and sits down on the bench next to me. She knows she's well-early for her train, and she's prepared - has a newspaper, which she starts opening up and getting ready to read.

    I look over and she's pretty damn fine, and dressed sharp too. The boots are a nice touch, especially - kind of a more subdued, respectable cousin of CFM boots. (Google image search if you don't know 'em.)

    It's such a good look that I'm moved to smile and say, "I like your boots." She looks a little confused at first, which I later realize is because she doesn't know English real well. She replies back with an incredibly strong accent in broken English asking if I'm asking to read her newspaper. And bless her heart, she actually closes what she's reading and offers it to me.

    So I'm a little smitten by her unthinking, unquestioning generosity. I laugh and shake my head and point at her boots and repeat the statement, and we both eventually get the understanding that I'm complimenting her. And she likes that.

    We get to talking. It's a little tricky and there are plenty of misunderstandings as we laugh, but she's getting the hang of conversational English and I try my best to put her at ease so she doesn't sweat any mistakes.

    She's a nice girl. A REALLY nice girl. Earnest, and sincere. Studying medicine here, looking to hang about for the long haul, come over from China. Admits she's a little out of her depth in a foreign country and strange city, but getting help from kind strangers (phew. Thanks Aussies - sometimes I worry tourists think we're racist) and her landlord who I think was a long-time family friend.

    We talk for ages because we were both too early for the train, but eventually it rocks up. It's really packed. We're jammed close together and we're pretty keenly aware of the physical presence. I get the vague hint that she kinda likes me, but I don't know what to do about it.

    Anyway, we keep talking lowly, really enjoying each others' company, even though there's loads of strangers around, packed in at standing room only, and the train reaches her stop. It's a long way before my stop.

    There's a pause, and we say our goodbyes and she repeats a few times that it was really nice meeting me... really nice. Yeah. Really... nice meeting me. And she seems hesitant, and doesn't get off just yet... The train guy blows the whistle... and she hops off and is still just standing on the platform looking at me. And I'm looking back at her, thinking I should go for it, like a dog about to jump for a treat...
    And the doors close.

    The train pulls away, and I can feel at least two dozen pairs of spectator eyes on me and my cheeks and ears are burning. Dead silence.

    Slowly, and very deliberately, I raise my hand and drop my face into it with a loud facepalm slap. Some people actually laugh, and others shake their head, smiling wryly. It's probably my imagination but I could've sworn I heard an old lady murmur, "Putz." Ohyeah. Everyone in the train knew what was up but me.

    Idiot. Idiot. Idiot.

    I hung out at that train station at the same time every day for the next two weeks hoping I'd bump into her again, even letting my train pass and catching the next one... but I never saw her again.

    I didn't make a move. I was so concerned that she might think it was creepy, that the passengers might think it was creepy and weird stalker behaviour, that I would have to wait for another train while burning with shame, or that... I wouldn't really know what to do next, or that I would be rejected, even though everything in my subconscious knew this was a lock.

    I was scared and I was worried what other people would think about me. And you know what that led to? Some sweet, kind, generous, earnest girl thinking that this nice guy wasn't into her.

    DO NOT BE THAT GUY. There is NOTHING to be ashamed of in making a move on someone if you think there's some kind of connection. NOTHING. Even if you're mistaken? It's an honest mistake, and if you don't ask, you don't know. And you'll never know. People who say, "ew creepy!" at the first move you make? They're assholes. FUCK them. Some really unkind people use that word to beat down anyone who is interested in them who they aren't interested in. One man's 'creepy' move is another guy's 'stud move' to those hypocrites. Internalize this: It's only 'creepy' if you don't take the hint when there's a rejection.

    Here endeth the embarrassment. Sort of. :)

      Hahaha, oh man, public shame. So public! :P

        Ayup. The looks on everyone's faces... That was a real, "Oh good, so it wasn't just my imagination, I AM actually an idiot," moment.

      I was at Schoolies with a friend and they had some people handing out free condoms to everyone. A group of four girls started grabbing a heap of them. We asked them in our slightly inebriated state why the hell they needed them if they didn't have penises. They looked at us and told us that it was in case two good looking guys happened to want to come up to their room and have a fun night with them. We stood there for a second, wished them luck and headed off. Must have got about 300m down the road before realization hit and we just stared at each other incredulously.

        Sounds like the end scene of Dumb and Dumber.

        ...Jesus. Oh god. That's the kind of thing we need to invent time travel to fix.

      *wipes tear* Oh man, I'm totally reminded of my favourite romance film ever - My Sassy Girl. The US remake. I love that film. Jesse Bradford, Elisha Cuthbert, unforgettable. Well, it was forgettable to most critics but pfft, what do they know?

      Wow man. Great advice at the end.

      You should make a guest appearance on Zeitgeist.

      Okay, I've decided that what I'm going to do is ruin your memories by turning them into something awful.

      She was offering you the newspaper to distract you, the two of you were unobserved and she was planning to steal your liver and use it to complete her Frankensteinian monstrosity! If you'd had better hearing, as the train pulled away you could have heard her scream "NO! NOW MY MONSTER WILL NEVER LIVE!"

      Had you gotten off that train you would have bled out in the train station waiting room while she ran off with your liver in a box of ice.

      Oh man. That moment. That is magical.

      Reminds me I had something kind of similar, relatively recently.

      It would have been around the end of 2011, actually. There was this cute girl who had shown up at climbing a few times. Blonde, short curlyish hair, somewhat muscular build, tanned, always wore purple. It's hard to remember now how it started exactly, but I think I was vaguely friendly with this other lady who was bouldering at the same times as me, and somehow she was involved with advice-giving which somehow led to me talking to this girl. Maybe the girl asked her for suggestions on tackling a problem, and then she turned to me because she wasn't sure. Either way, that worked as an ice-breaker and afterwards we ended up chatting. Quite a lot, actually - don't think I got very much climbing done at all. It was one of those times where everything just clicked, and I was able to continually think of questions to fuel the conversation and keep it running. Her name was Alex, she had been over from England for a couple of months now (had the good kind of English accent) working as an au pair. Very sporty, played tennis I think and did rowing back home. Among other things.
      She didn't show up the next couple of weeks though. I missed one of them in there because of a birthday dinner, but she did show up again. Apparently I was in hobo mode for whatever reason, not sure if there was something going on that required growing my beard out. But things still went well I think. The next time she showed up wasn't til just after new year. As it turned out the old job hadn't worked out for whatever reason, and she was now working on a tallship that does tours of the harbour and stuff. Very busy, not a whole lot of free time.
      Once again, the night was filled with much more talking than climbing. When she went to leave though... she said bye, and I responded - but she kind of paused there for a moment. It probably wasn't all that long, but it felt like it was an age between when she said bye and when she turned to leave, where she just stood there. And much like the whole slo-mo thing when a ball has just flown past you and is about to break something instead, so too did I just realise that that was my opening to ask her out and it had just flown by :P Immediately started kicking myself, and vowed to make good of it the next chance I got. Got some tickets for my birthday shortly after to see The Blanks, and was thinking of asking her if she'd want to see them. But she never turned up ever again, and I ended up going with my ex-girlfriend instead :P

      Last edited 09/01/14 2:45 am

        I'll tell another story which touches on it, but something I've learned is that women: when they're interested and give you a window? If you don't take that window, they can close it pretty damn fast.

        But at least you got to see The Blanks. Happy ending!

          I did, and it was amazing.

          Also captured like an hour and a half's worth of footage. IN THREE-DEE!

      Good story, nice writing style. You should start a blog. Srsly.

      But I'm disappointed! I expect stories of you failing some sort of dramatic pickup action sequence! This was just you failing to read the signs! :P

    So, in the last 24 hours, I've completed fifteen pages of artwork. I'm pretty happy with that number, and it puts me in good stead with regards to my goal to work on a thousand pages this year. #YearOfWritingRedux

    I have also wrapped up the first story in my tentatively planned anthology, entitled The Long Road Home. Sample art! I've submitted a business plan for this anthology to my publisher, and if/when a green light is forthcoming, I'll be ready to go ahead with the crowdfunding and submissions processes.

    Exciting times.

      Nice. My writing goal for the year is to finish my novel. I don't even care if it never gets published, I just want to finish it. Haven't been able to work on it the past few days though due to family stuff.



        No, no. You're meant to say yep as well, that's how it goes in King of the Hill, which I am currently watching...

      How went the big move? Did you have to pay someone to distract the local winos, ala Moe/Barney with the beer truck delivery?

        Was good, we were moved in by about 2am, all booze in place and ready to supply the towns alco's come 9am. We're still packing up the old store so stock can be sent to other Dan Murphy's on the coast, think we've done like 20 pallets of stock thus far.. Packed up 95% of the wines today oh glorious fun that was..

    @shane, have you ever touched your Tetris light while your eyes are adjusted to the dark, and seen it faintly flicker? It only seems to do it while plugged in though, but confuses me because the switch is off. It's weird.

      Tetris was invented by the Russians, it's clearly a spy device

      Can't say I have, man. I'll investigate tonight.

    Damnit, I just stumbled across a reference to dutch game devs Two Tribes and now I have the Frankie Goes To Hollywood song stuck in my head. Luckily its a top song but still...

      Are we living in a land where sex and horror are the new gods?

    Day 4 of porridge.

    I must say, my shits have been magnificent this week.

      I could do with better shits, maybe I should give this a go.

    Well, all the excitement of getting the Xbox One on launch night has worn off. There's pretty much nothing left to play on it (besides the multiplayer shooters - which are fun but too time consuming).

    And I can't think of any games coming out soon either. :(

      Almost 2 months. That's a good amount of time for the launch excitement to last though.

      Titanfall is out in a few months if that's your thing, otherwise I'm not sure what is coming out next. A limited roster is one of the things you go into a console launch knowing but hopefully it isn't too long before new stuff starts coming out.

      How is everything else about the console? Have you been using the TV stuff regularly? How's Kinect working, does it easily recognise your voice?

        Yeah it's had a good launch run that's for sure. Sunk a fair few hours into the games I played so far. I'll probably get Titanfall too.

        Kinect works fairly well. Besides when friends come around and they keep trying to screw it up. So now I reckon it doesn't recognise my voice as well. I'll need to do a reset so it learns it properly (I think that's how it works since it's gradually gotten worse the more they visit).

        Haven't used any TV as I don't have Foxtel.

    @dc, where are you?

    We've started Season 2 of the Newsroom!

    Only seen one ep so far, but I enjoyed it! Love all the hints at what's coming: some very interesting revelations to be made in the coming episodes.

    That kind of structuring works on me every time - hook, line, sinker. A story that starts at the end = <3

      Season two is much more focused and arc based. Really love the story arc. Glad you like it, my pal!

      Last edited 09/01/14 9:40 am

        How are you going? Haven't seen you round these parts all that much the last couple of days...

        I MISS YOU!

          I miss you too, Shane! Hope you're well!

            Life goes on! It's mostly good, and all is well. You?

              I'm pretty good too, my friend. Pretty real good. :D

              Working on some projects this year. Have been spending less time on TAY too. I think I spend dangerous amounts of time here and need to find a better balance. Haha!

                That's awesome to hear, man. Saw also on Twitter that the gym is doing you good. Really happy for you right now.

                PS: Consider this an open invitation to share info on your projects when you're ready - I'd like to hear more!

                  Thanks, my friend! Got a few ideas in various stages of development. Just trying to whittle down what I want to press on with first. So, yeah, pretty much just procrastinating. XD

                  @dc Hopefully it's not like Project Nova where we get a few hints at first and then nothing ever happens ever again

                  @novacascade :P

                  DAMMIT @powalen!! I was hoping everyone had forgotten about that!!
                  Yeah I hit a brick wall with Project Nova, and it has basically been sitting idle for the past 6 months. I was really happy with what I had done so far, but just couldn't finish it off to a standard I liked. I may get back to it eventually

    Last year for a couple of months I was working on an isometric exploration game. There was concept art. 3D models. Design documents. Then I realized I lacked the skill set to make a 3D game. XD

    Did really like the story and setting though.

    Last edited 09/01/14 10:44 am

      Last year for a couple of months I was working on an isometric development game. There was formulas and design documents and even relevant industry consultation. Then I realized I lack any skill for art and actual execution.

      Might be worth teaming up with someone, or teaching yourself some of the basics. Or some sort of formalised education. Or just steal assets from others' work, and LaBoeuf your way to success.

      If you ever want to churn out a graphic novel to build momentum in the universe, I'm open to the idea.

        You're awesome, man.

        Truth be told, I wanted to use the idea for a TV show spec pilot or something but liked the idea of being able to build something on my own. That I could build on my own terms and all that. Might adapt the idea to another form. As for graphic novel idea, I'm not sure it'd lend itself to that. Incredibly kind of you to offer, though. :)

    @popdart5: KanColle FYI:
    - It looks like everyone's favourite source of 11 steel (Naka) is getting a Kai-2 remodel in next week's maintenance. Probably won't be a torpedo cruiser upgrade as there's no historical reason for it, speculation is her upgrade will be a lot like Isuzu's, probably making her one of the better anti-sub cruisers.
    - Do some PVP the next few days. I ran a full set this morning and 2 out of my set of 6 had 3-5 ships instead of a full six because people had the Arpeggio ships in their fleets and thus have gaps. Makes it *way* easier to get an S-rank and get great XP.

      Oh man, I need to capitalise on this. Cheers for the heads up.

    OK, bravely default just had a sightly silly scene (spoiler ahead if you count what happens in the intro movie. ) Ringabell just asked Tiz if he was having trouble sleeping. MAYBE THAT'S BECAUSE EVERYONE HE EVER KNEW BEFORE A MONTH AGO IS DEAD YOU STUPID SHIT!

      I'm actually glad that some characters call Ringabel on his bullshit.

        Wait, Ringabel is a boy? I've only played a bit of the demo but thought he was female. :P

          What! But he's so manly!

          (When nobody is standing behind you, google for his special DLC costume :P)

          Last edited 09/01/14 11:29 am

          Haha, yeah, I had to ask scree if it was 2 boys and 2 girls or all girls.

    Last weekend I tried to play Dark Souls. I finished the starting dungeon thing first go and then spent a lot of time dying after that. Felt like I was completely stuck and not sure if I was even going the right direction in the following bit (game could really do with something to highlight which areas you might be interested in or something. I have to ring some bells?)

    The setting is fucking stupid. It's the most generic B-grade fantasy trash. The mention of a "Furtive Pygmy" in the opening bit made me actually laugh out loud.

    Anyway, I couldn't figure out whether I was going the right direction, felt like I was maybe missing a bonfire along the way somewhere and was having a lot of trouble consistently beating the dickheads with the spears. Decided I'd given the game a good shake and it just wasn't for me.

    But the last three or so days I've been thinking about it a lot and I'm kind of tempted to go back and have another shot at it. This is how it all starts, isn't it? :(

      Oh, yeah. You're hooked.

      All your attempts to insult this perfect game are clearly your brain scrabbling around in denial for reasons to stay away... but it's TOO LATE FOR YOU.

      Praise the sun!


        I still can't figure out if this name is terrible or absolutely brilliant.

          They really dialed back the Engrish and even patched out "YOU DEFEATED" which may have been one of the best things about the game.

          Just go with it. The lore is there if you want it and some people find it interesting. I just got immersed in this giant world of things trying to kill me.

      Yup, that's how it starts.

      They really do take the approach of just dropping you into the world and letting find your way. You're heading in the right direction but you don't need to bother with those spear dudes. There isn't a bonfire between them and the main bonfire hub area but you're fairly close to the next bonfire.

      I'd say the game really kicks in around the time you get past the dragon bridge. After you get past there, I think you'll definitely be committed.

        Just so I make sure I'm doing it right, from the starting bonfire where the crow drops you off, I went up a cliffy bit and killed one of those fire throwing dickheads (so much hate) then went through an aqueduct-ish thing into another spot where everything was all over the place. Accidentally fell off into a lower bit which seemed to join back up to the aqueduct thing. Went through the white light into a kind of bridge bit? Some dudes in the way and two spear fuckers off on a platform to the right which I avoided since they seemed irrelevant. Bonfire under a tower past that. Rested there.

        Subsequently I spent about 10 attempts and got through the next bit (ran past fire-chuckers, killed some dudes, up a long staircase, more dudes including a fire guy again who is an absolute pain in the ass because there's two other guys and you can't easily pull them separately without the fire guy also following and setting you on fire. Doubled back up onto the roof a few times to take out the dickholes that were throwing molotovs at me across the bridge earlier, but started leaving them as they tended to be a pain to beat without taking damage. Quick trip up a nearby tower to take out a motherfucker with a crossbow, then there's a small flight of stairs down following by a hard right turn and at the bottom of said turn there's a armored dude and two spearfuckers which I am finding really hard to beat (seriously have no idea what I'm meant to do, I beat them the first time by pulling them, running to the roof bit where the fire guys were then chucking molotovs on them, but now I'm out of those).

        I've gotten past them a few times and the path forks at that point. Either down a long flight of stairs where there's an enormous fucker at the bottom that killed me in like two hits so I assume that's the wrong way, and the other way into a big-ass tower with a spiral staircase. Went down a bit in there (I took the Master Key perk at the start which seems like it was a dumb move but whatever) but messages said that the mobs down there were hard, so I went back up.

        Up top there's a long bridgey bit one way, and a ladder up to the top of the tower where there's like 3 guys with crossbows. I've gotten this far maybe 3 times? All three times by this point I've got an empty estus flask and below 50% health (mainly because of fire and the spear guys) and I assume you need to clear the crossbow guys before going over the bridge because otherwise you're going to get shot to hell by them from behind. Each time I've tried to clear them, they've beaten me soundly and since I'm finding it 50/50 whether I get that far that usually means losing the souls I've gathered.

        I feel like I must be really close to or have missed a bonfire around there because it's quite a long stetch to go. Or is this normal and I'm just bad at video games (I am bad at video games).

          You're in the right area.

          When you get to this point (, just after the first crossbowman, turn around, and in the building is a bonfire. It's the only one in the area.

          It all takes practice. The undead burg is the REAL tutorial level in the game. I spent about ten-fifteen hours there my first playthrough, and that was even after having mastered Demon's Souls. Each time you attempt it, you'll get a bit further, a bit better off.

          That said, "two spear fuckers off on a platform to the right which I avoided since they seemed irrelevant" - in Dark Souls, almost nothing is irrelevant. There's a hidden path just past them that leads down to a merchant who will sell you a shield that blocks all damage, some armour, and a bunch of useful stuff, including a bottomless box and a few other trinkets.

            That's the one I'm talking about, I've already been there. I feel like I'm getting 15-20 minutes past that then dying and must be close to the *next* one.

            EDIT: I am going to have to locate that merchant. But I don't think I have anything I can use to buy stuff?

            EDIT EDIT: I did actually beat those guys a few times but they're hard. Didn't see anything around them.

            What's the secret to beating the guys with the spears. I've basically been running around like a dork, getting into position to bait them into taking a spear thrust, hoping I've run back out of range by the time they thrust, then doing a jump attack and roll back. I don't seem to be able to block them at all with my shield and if I roll out of the way half the time I still get hit and also by the time I roll away from an attack, move in, hit him, he's going to be ready for the next attack and I'll be out of stamina to roll again. Maybe just a stats issue?

            I'm playing as the... uh... wanderer? I think. Looked to be a bit of a Ranger (as in D&D Ranger) class.

            Last edited 09/01/14 12:02 pm

              Souls are both experience and currency. It's a pretty neat system.

              I don't want to tell you where the next bonfire is from your position but I will tell you that finding it will make the whole game "click". They will feel very spaced out while you're making slow progress through enemies. Later, you will learn how to rush through areas safely, largely because you're familiar with the area and know when it's safe to just push through.

              The game is all about learning through failure. Just keep pushing on.

              EDIT to reply to your edit: There are a few ways to deal with the spear dudes. Either lower your shield to bait an attack then quickly block and hit while they're blockstunned or try breaking their guard by kicking them (forward + attack). It's not a stats issue, almost all combat is a timing issue. Managing stamina is one of the most important skills in the game. It just takes practice though.

              That being said, Wanderer is probably the worst starting class. As the game goes on, that matters very little and it's not really worth restarting over. Everything is rather flexible and starting class matters pretty much only for the first few hours and if you're speed running.

              Last edited 09/01/14 12:11 pm

                This is possibly an odd comparison but I played a lot of MMOs and have done a *lot* of instance tanking. I always felt I was pretty good at it too. What I played so far has very much felt like the same sort of thing. Lots of body pulls, positioning, situational awareness, knowing exactly how many are in each pack, quick recognition and threat prioritization, *always* having them infront of you and never flanking or behind you. The downside is that this also means my approach is to take each area slowly and carefully and always clear every pack because I assume they will chase you forever if they aggro. Also that I'm feeling quite incomplete without a ranged pull and some crowd control.

                I think the big question I've got still is how spaced the bonfires are, because it really will make a difference to my understanding of how the game is actually paced. I can't plan ahead well without knowing that. Do I go back and invest my gathered souls into some levels or do I push on because I'm really close to the next one? I don't have a sense of how spaced they are and so I can't make that decision with any level of intelligence and as a result I've ended up losing a whole whack of souls because I died far enough forward that I can't consistently reach that point again. Actually the fact the first two fires were so close to each other possibly makes it even harder because it's set a false expectation on the pacing for me.

                  Your approach is a good one. That being said, all enemies do have a leash of varying length, so you can be slightly more casual about aggroing them.

                  As for bonfires, I'm afraid you're right on the cusp of something I don't want to spoil. Most of the time, you will be going in blind and will not know when the next bonfire is coming. Part of the challenge is determining if you should cash in your souls or push on. Some bonfires are fairly close together, some are fairly far apart. Some are incredibly close together but feel a long way away. The level design of the game is rather clever like that.

                  I suggest investing in levels if you aren't comfortable with the stuff that you've been fighting. You won't make it to the next bonfire without dying a few times, even if you are comfortable with everything leading to Havel's tower (the spiral stairs that you need to go up).

              There's a few ways to beat them. Listed in order of ease:

              1) The easiest is to draw them out one by one. Tap forward and light attack at the same time, and your guy will kick out with his foot. This will break their guard, and you can get in a quick blow.
              2) The second is to catch a blow on your shield and when they reel back, land a quick blow.
              3) Roll to the side when they strike instead of backwards.
              4) Parry/riposte.

              Once you get past them,
              break all the barrels and crates by rolling into them or whacking them with your weapon. There's a slope leading into the building. Deal with the hidden enemy and then head outside to the merchant who's sitting immediately outside. He looks like a docile enemy - don't hit him. If he becomes hostile, he'll never sell you anything.

              Last edited 09/01/14 12:14 pm

                Regarding option 3: Dodging has amazing invincibility frames. It's that good that you can roll forwards into their spear attacks and have a decent chance of coming out ahead. Mastering dodging is incredibly useful.

                Last edited 09/01/14 12:14 pm

                  By the time I found Dark Souls, rolling had already been pretty heavily nerfed in that regard, especially when compared with Demon's Souls, so I barely used it unless there was a legitimate dodge I could pull off.

                Actually that was something that was absolutely shitting me. The attack controls are fucking whacked. Why the hell are they on the bumpers?

                Every. Single. Time that I get rushed by something unexpectedly, my brain tells me to block, attack or roll away or do something. And so I press X (on X360 controller) because in basically every game ever, that would be a block button. But in this stupid game that makes you drink the fucking estus flask so you're locked into an animation where you're completely vulnerable :( Died so many times because of that.

                  It makes much more sense with a PS3 controller (Demon's Souls was a PS3 exclusive and the controls are the most obvious legacy of that). This is just one of those things you need to get used to. It does work fantastically once you're used to it but being so different from typical action game controls does work against new players.

                  I always thought the controls were quite good. Every shooter in the universe, and plenty of other games I can think of too (including Elder Scrolls-esque RPGs), use the bumpers as the 'attack' button, and transition you in and out of cover, so I transitioned quite easily to this.

                  Just takes practice.

                  @shane: every shooter uses the triggers. The bumpers - especially on 360 controllers - are weapon swapping buttons at best or relegated to secondary functions like turning on flashlights or the like. Putting the block on there kind of makes sense but having attack on the right bumper and trigger (and I can't tell the difference between what each of those do!) feels really weird.

                  @negativezero Ah yes, you're right. That's a factual error. My intention was just to distinguish shoulder buttons from face buttons.

              Probably the biggest question, when you're fighting the guys with spears, are you locked on? That makes roll dodging dramatically easier and ensures that as long as you're in range you pretty much can't miss with a kick (you do sacrifice some situational awareness with it so its not always the way to go). Parry is the best move to pull on them if you're good at timing it, its very high risk and high reward, if you manage to pull it off you basically one shot kill the bastards.

              The undead burg is a great place to do some soul grinding and get your stats up, there's at least 3 large and challenging enemies within relatively close range of that bonfire who are fantastic for correcting you when you start to think you're getting too good for this area.

              One tip I'll give you is to get a bow, not a crossbow but a real bow (you can't manually aim crossbows for some reason) and as much ammo as you can. Oddly enough it'll lead to you getting a really good sword if you've got the patience for a lot of rather dull shoot, wait, shoot. Bit of a spoiler for some of the stuff coming up so:
              When you get to the bridge, there's a red dragon who is perched over the doorway in a threatening manner. You can get below the bridge he's on and once you clear it of the undead you can see his tail swishing about. If you stand there with the bow and ping a hundred odd arrows into his tail, eventually you'll injure him enough that you end up getting the reward of a Drake Sword, I presume its supposed to be his tail dropping off, quite how you get it in your inventory from what must be 150-200m away I'm not sure but it's a dragon so I'm guessing magic. The Drake Sword is an amazing early weapon, does something like 210 damage per hit and takes relatively modest stats to use. I remember when I got it the stats seemed absurdly high because I needed another 15-20 strength for it and was really irritated but I spent a bit more time soul grinding (which sounds like a 70s dance craze) and I was there pretty quickly and the extra fighting made me better at the game in general so it was win-win.
              The bow is also useful after this, since it can zoom its handy for doing headshots on archers or firebombers and can give you the ranged aggro ability if you want to thin out the enemy before charging in.

    Oh man, it's only a couple of months until Dark Souls 2!


      I didn't know you liked Dark Souls, Shane.

        Oh, I don't, man. I really don't like it at all. I just have high hopes for the sequel! :P

        Pixel-Otaku will hopefully be putting up my GOTY article soon. Then you'll see just what I really think of Dark Souls. Now that I think about it, you might have already seen it!

        I think it won about ten of the categories, despite not being released in 2013.

        Last edited 09/01/14 11:32 am

      Are you planning on becoming increasingly unintelligible until it comes out? Because that could be rather fun to witness.

        I'm not sure I can get less intelligble than the above drooling. Might be fun to try.

        Last edited 09/01/14 11:16 am

      I put that garble into the cypher.

      It gave me more garble. :D

    They're making a Witcher board game:

      Could be intriguing. I like themantic games even if they are 'worse' games than some others

    In honour of @transientmind , I’ll tell you all a story about one of my missed opportunities!

    So, back in the day I used to work as a bank teller. The teller (this nice old Indian lady that I always got along with) next to me started serving this Asian girl that was amazing. She had blonde hair but managed not look like a trashbag. She was amazing, absolutely stunning. Most attractive female I had seen since I could remember. I was completely distracted and didn’t know what to do or say, but I’d basically become non-functional. So I get up before I completely embarrass myself and start walking to the backroom, going past this colleague and her gobsmacking customer.
    As I start walking past, I hear the teller (bless her heart) loudly say to the girl “Do you know phlaiman?”, I looked over, the girl shook her head and the teller then says, “Oh, you keep looking at him, so I just assumed”, I then pipe up and say “Well, who can blame her?”, give her a smile and swagger on by.
    “Oh you smooth bastard!” I hear all you TAYbies crying. Well that’s what I was telling myself as well, as I paced up and down the backroom, mind reeling at what I had just done and calling over one of the other guys to check out this bombshell. Eventually I gathered myself, and walked back out. She was gone. Disappeared. I walk back to my seat and sit down, trying to cover my disappointment. The old indian lady leans over to me and says “Where the hell did you go?? She was interested in you!”. I shook my head and didn’t say anything.

    Fast forward 2 weeks later and I had moved from my desk to having an office. I come out one day and that Asian girl is waiting next in line. I smile, she smiles back and ask her to come into my office. I was so damn excited I forgot to close the door. So I sort out her query and we do a little small talk. I was so overwhelmed I didn’t know how I was going to make a move and my mind was racing looking for what the right words should be, but her excuse for sitting there had fast run out. We start slowly standing up, to conclude this giant failure of mine, when she pointedly sits back down. She then says to me “So, I think you’re pretty cute for a bank worker..” I slowly smile and start trying to think of something to respond with that wouldn’t be completely cheesy. Then AT THAT VERY MOMENT, THE ENTIRE BANKS REGIONAL EXECUTIVE, STATE EXECUTIVE AND A BUNCH OF OTHER ASSHOLE BIG WIGS TURN UP OUTSIDE MY OFFICE DOOR, TALKING AND LOOKING IN ASK:SD(@#*!. My eyes widen, I am completely dumbstruck and mumble something like “uhhh thanks I’ll see you around”. She gives me a confused look and walks out. I stare at the spot she was sitting for a good 10 seconds, not know what to say and then the executives wander in and start introducing themselves. I smile and nod and get out of there as quickly as possible. Right after work I go to the pub with some colleagues and drink my sorrows away.

    Fast forward 2 years when Facebook is a common thing and I was curious, I look up her name (it’s pretty distinct). She’s moved back to Hong Kong to pursue a modelling career.

    So, I've paid $150 off my PS4 so far. I am not sure what game I want to get when I pick it up. I'm torn between LEGO Marvel Superheroes and NBA 2K14. Tomb Raider Definitive Edition is also a possibility as I haven't played the game. Any other recommendations?

      Actually, I think I might be in the same boat. I'm selling off some of my old games on eBay in the hopes I raise enough to put toward a PS4.

      Tomb Raider is an absolutely excellent game (probably my favourite of 2013 actually) and if you haven't played it I'd definitely get the Definitive Edition.

      LEGO should look magnificent, but the extra cost of controller is required.
      NBA - not my scene.
      Tomb Raider - should also look magnificent, the one to get if you havent played it yet.

      I personally got AC4 and it's worth it.

      Knack needs to halve the price before I consider it.

      NFS Rivals is cheaper on previous-gen and probably just as good, I have PS4 copy.

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