Daniel and Art Share Their Week 2 ‘Four in February’ Updates

Art Charest-Fulks

Two weeks gone, two games completed.

I have to be a little honest. When the month started and I began this challenge, I didn’t think I would be completing these games this quickly. The feeling one gets from reaching the end of a story and completing a video game is very difficult to replicate. This week, I checked another off my list of Four.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall

I forced myself to power through the problematic mission from last week, and while I am still disappointed in that mission my experience improved almost immediately after it ended. The remainder of the game played out very well. Missions were varied, conversations were intelligent, combat was stressful, it was all brilliant. Of everything within the game I probably most enjoyed the crew loyalty mechanic integrated into the storyline that was missing from Shadowrun Returns. Engaging in conversations between my squadmates and helping them out with their troubled past by going on 2-person missions was more enjoyable than the main plot arc. I’m a sucker for high quality character building, and I jump at any opportunity I get the opportunity to learn more about my NPC teammates.

Because at the end of the day isn’t making your own story the main draw of RPGs? The character you build begs to feel unique, and the skills you invest time into training must feel useful. These are the pillars on which a good RPG are made, and Shadowrun nails this far more often than it misses. Naturally, rolling a character skilled in weapons and combat will be the easiest and most straightforward approach because: video games. However it takes a special team to develop a game where some missions can be completed without firing a shot. Shadowrun is a violent universe, but I found a high level of satisfaction when I was able to complete an entire level by talking to guards and hacking (see also: decking) my way through their computer systems.

Despite its few inconsistencies and troublesome quests, Shadowrun: Dragonfall is the best RPG I have played to date. The turn-based system may turn some people off, and that’s reasonable. Just don’t knock it before you’ve tried it.

Guild Wars 2

My therapeutic release in Guild Wars 2 exploration continued this week, although I also decided to tackle the next chapter in my character’s story. Spoiler: It was awesome!

During character creation in Guild Wars 2, you are given a couple sets of questions to establish your character’s backstory. Based on which option you choose, the game will give you a narrative of what happened to account for that decision. The decision that came back to haunt me this week was a victory celebration I had that resulted in me blacking out and not being able to remember what happened. Well, this week I found out what happened.

During the party a fellow celebrating warrior and I were boasting about accomplishments and trying to decide which of us was better. This naturally escalated into the two of us stealing what was, for lack of a better term, a tank. We took this tank on a joyride across the countryside bragging to everyone we came across about how magnificent and awesome we were. Eventually we got bored with the tank and went home, waking up with no memory of what events had transpired.

The game picks up several days later when the owner came looking for me and was less than happy about losing her tank. Me being the honorable person I am informed her that I would not rest until my wrongdoing was corrected and the tank was returned. This led me to meet up with my partner in crime and set out to recover and reinstate our reputations. As it turns out the tank was recovered from where we left it by some bad guys who needed to be relieved of their lives and in the end the tank was returned having only sustained minor damage.

I have one more chapter to complete my character’s race storyline, and am just a couple levels away from its first quest. I don’t know what it entails, but somehow don’t think it will be quite as awesome as grand theft tank.

 

Daniel Castro

So, if you’ve been following my misadventures, you’d know that I was moving to a new home these last days, and that sort of slowed me down in every front—including my gaming habits. I’m finally sitting down in front of my desk at my new home and ready to resume my writing duties, and my Four in February is my first priority, actually…

Dark Souls

Dark Souls is—once again—the only game I managed to play this entire week (and some World of Tanks! I finally managed to convince a couple of friends to play the game, and they loved it! Now our three-man squad ranked up a lot of victories last week, and…! Oh, yes this is not the game I’m supposed to talk about), and even though there were a lot of distractions in my week, I made a lot of progress, or so I think.

Last week I got stuck trying to beat Dragonslayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough, but I managed to defeat them right after I wrote last week’s piece, it wasn’t easy, and took me a lot of tries, but in the end I finally got the chance of stay away from Smough for long enough to beat the crap out of Ornstein, after that I didn’t want to take any chances and stay pretty the heck away from the other one and defeated him at long distance with my crossbow.

After their defeat I took the elevator up and found messages from previous players saying that there was an “Amazing chest ahead”, I didn’t get it at first so I kept just walking, and I remark the fact that I was indeed walking—this game makes me walk and wonder at the scenery—and what I found beyond those gigantic gates truly amazed me.

There I had the chance of meeting princess Gwynevere, where the setting, the music, and her presence… just stole a gasp from me; I approached her and kneel down before her… something I haven’t done in a videogame since 1989’s NES classic The Battle of Olympus; she gave me the Lordvessel and the ability of warping through firelinks, also I didn’t hesitate to make a covenant with her and then I looked around wondering “so where’s that chest other players have been telling me about… Oh”, and then I got it.

Anyway, that was the highest part of my gameplay, after that I went to The Duke’s Archives and the Crystal Cave where I defeated Seath the Scaleless, then I went to Demon’s Ruins a defeated the Ceaseless Discharge after a few trials, and both the Demon Firesage and the Centipede Demon without that much of hassle (but much cursing!)

Now I’m stuck fighting Bed of Chaos down in Lost Izalith; I still haven’t figured out what I’m supposed to do after I broke its two roots which make it a lot more dangerous, so I had to check a guide and now I think I shouldn’t be here at this point, so I guess I should do some backtracking now.

Actually, if I keep going like this I don’t think I’ll be able to play the other three games I have in my list, so starting tomorrow I’ll start playing Assassin’s Creed Liberation; if this one’s length is similar to the others, I’ll be able to beat it in 3-5 days, so I can work on the other two remaining games!

See you back next week as I tell you all about my progress, are you advancing in any of those games in your backlog? This is as good time as any to do so!

Artimus Charest-Fulks

Artimus Charest-Fulks

I am a technophile and amateur space archaeologist who has been playing games for longer than I can remember. My fuel is an unwavering passion for the escape and immersion only video games offer. I avoid subscribing to any one specific genre and instead look for enjoyment in all that games have to offer. Whether it's nostalgia in Halo, competitive rivalry in Mario Kart, winning strategies in Civilization, living a fantasy in Mass Effect, or anywhere in-between; if there is fun to be had I will surely find it. Go Leafs!
Artimus Charest-Fulks

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