Friday, 29 March 2019

See Ya Satzuma


The day has come when I leave Satzuma and go off to explore new career adventures. I've had a great time working with these guys and thought I would share some of the delightful pics of my last day for the world.... Had a great laugh with team, sad to go excited to start the next venture.

Now into the great unknown! The company which gave me a lot of creative freedom and long grueling train journeys which inspired my personal artwork.

Take care...

Friday, 8 March 2019

Play Dark Souls 1 - My Tips for enemies and general opinions

Embrace The Sun – Play Dark Souls

It’s not often, or hardly ever that I will post anything about a game. I have enjoyed playing Dark Souls so much that I felt compelled share my excitable thoughts on this punishingly difficult yet awesome game. You will both weep tears joy and frustration... but to me, it was all worth it.

If tearing your hair out with old school gaming frustration is your thing, then Dark Souls is a must. To me these games embody an unconventional and unique style that bucks the trend with many of the modern triple AAA titles. Dark Souls melds both the old and new, it's a challenge for old school gamers who grew up playing PC games and the likes of Golden Axe on the Sega Megadrive. Dark Souls harks back to days where you need to be precious about your health and conserve all those extra lives. Fortunately, Dark Souls has adopted the ability to save your game (though you will have to live with your choices on that play-through). Upon the players feeble and often unremarkable death you will be transported back to your last checkpoint - which happens to be a bonfire (more on these later).

This post is about some play tips, opinions and my general knowledge of Dark Souls these are my own views and feelings on the game and I by no means claim to being a gaming guru! No, no, Just a commoner with strong like of the Dark Souls.

"I have played Dark Souls, and now I am a hollow…"

Introduction – DS1 First Impressions

When I first played this savage game I was taken back by how difficult and unforgiving it was. It will not hold your hand or tell you where to go aside from the initial message prompts that appear on the ground of the Undead Asylum – after this its down to you to find your way, the path of least resistance is possibly my best advice I can give.

Frailty of the main player
Your player’s stamina is that of an elderly, overweight chain smoker with barely enough gusto to swing a sword and lift a shield. Your the vitality is short, a few decent hits will send you straight back to the bonfire and the warm glow of that bonfire will be your only comfort. Prepare to die an unfair, brutal and gloomy death... over and over again.
Is Dark Souls for Me?
Do you like RPG’s, fantasy settings, pinch of horror and sword play? Then you will probably like Dark Souls! Be warned, as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, these games won't mollycoddle you. Dark Souls is fun, old school, and difficult, once your learn the rules of the game and how to best play with your character, you'll be very much into the challenge.

Prepare yourself - How to play
Dark souls isn’t a conventional hack and slash. Running into the enemy button bashing will get your player killed. Learn to evade, block and stay away from weapons – timing is key, especially for Melee characters. You will also need tenacity to play the game as you will probably die many times through trial and error
Warrior Technique
“Running in, sword at the ready” One thing I would advise if you have just started to play is to build stamina. Other attributes such as attack and defend rely on your stamina levels and without stamina you character will struggle with melee combat, let alone running away. You may come across bits of equipment that will boost stamina recovery, but it will be short in the beginning. You can be as strong as you like, but your strength will be useless without the heart, lung and legs to help wield your weapon, you'll tire or be too sluggish.

Know Thy Enemies – Playing Your Foes

1) Understand your enemies
I would advise learning how your opponents move. A well timed attack or counter is by far more productive than going in swinging your weapon, basic enemies can actually hurt the player in Dark Souls so remember to keep your guard up and proceed with caution. Dark Souls doesn’t reward you for sloppy sword play; defend, evade, attack cast a spell how ever you wish to play. An air of caution is advised at first when meeting new enemies, be prepared.

2 )
Enemies with basic or crude weapons.
Some of your early encounters will be with lightly armed enemies with broken sword hilts and light blades, treat these as your training enemies. Learn how they move and time your attacks. These guys are also good practice for parries and back stabs. It's also worth noting that some enemies will also broadcast their moves whilst running towards your or raising their weapons.

3 )
Enemies with shields and spears
I have to admit, I personally love how the Dark Souls team have captured the way the enemies hold their shield and spear, it can be tricky to out manoeuvre these guys, but as will all enemies in this game, there is often a way. Try to circle the spearmen and they will try to circle you also, attack with a weapon and they will deflect it. You might be lucky and be able to sneak in a crafty arrow at the start but guess what they will do after that initial attack!
Enemies with shields and spears are at their most vulnerable when they attack. Bait them into trying to attack you, let them swing and lower their guard and go in for the kill. If you are very quick you might sneak in back-stab.

4 )
Enemies with projectiles
These opponents can be a pain as they will try to pick you off from a distance using crossbows, longbows and bombs. Sometimes if you get caught out you might find a bomber raining explosives down on you from and elevated position whilst you try to tackle a Melee opponent on the ground. In other words you will be to pre-occupied with the melee attacker to do anything about the bombardiers or crossbowmen (remember to look before running in) . The best way to deal with ranged enemies is to keep your wits about you and use cover. Look at your surroundings before diving in, keep your shield up – cover! You can either try to pick them off from a distance or attempt the gain ground and get up close personal. Often, if you get up close and personal they are easier to take down... most of the time.
5 ) Enemies in heavy, fancy or stylish armour
If you come across an enemy early on with that is armoured from head to foot, be prepared for a nasty fight. Don't assume because they are clad in armour that they are clumsy or slow and if an enemy is clumsy or slow, they are generally very powerful. My first ever fight with one of the Dark Souls knights involved me throwing a small knife which basically bounced off their back, he chased me down and murdered me. As with some grounding of truth, hammer based weapons are effective against these enemies, blades less so. Learn how they move, wait and then sneak in some attacks. Make them commit and then unleash! Be warned, certain knighted opponents are devilishly hard.

6 )
Invaders / Phantoms
These enemies will move a lot like the player, they will guard, roll, and parry to get the better of you and ruin your gameplay! You will groan when you see the words 'You've been invaded' “No! You are not taking my precious souls, they are like money! AND I NEED IT!” and from that thought they will take you souls, and spend it on something nice like a nice new level up or a sword for example. The computer AI will just absorb souls and feel nothing for ruining your last 25 minutes of intense game play. There is no straight way of beating these, hit hard – hit'em fast, keep your guard up.

If you see a grey mist… prepare yourself for the horrors that lay beyond. The grey mists will block a passage or an arena and once you step in, it may not be easy for you to get out. You will come across items called ‘Homeward Bones’ don’t be afraid to use these. In one or two (many more probably) boss fights I have found the bosses to be too harsh and catch my player off guard. The Homeward bone will transport you back to your last bonfire, leaving your pride behind in the boss arena.

Oh, homeward bones can be tricky to use in some boss areas, as the enemy may not give you the chance. You might be too per-occupied with being smashed into a bloody stain – good bye soul collection. The bosses vary from colossal fanged monsters to disfigured knights. I wont ruin too much here fearless adventurer. For the dreaded grey mist is something for your beat – make sure you are prepared, levelled and well equipped. Now go forth and prove your worth!

Sneaky Enemies
I wont spoil too much here... watch your back.

Thank you for reading. I have attached some Amazon Links for you get your undead claws onto this game.