State of the Blog Address

So you may have noticed that the posting’s slowed down here a bit at Lost to the Aether.  While I would love nothing more than to provide you with my unique brand of content all day every day, sometimes life gets in the way.  You know, life, that thing that happens in between times in which video games are going on.  Anyways, I’ve been having to focused on keeping myself continually employed so I can keep buying the nice shampoos and conditioners that make my hair so unfathomably beautiful, and that’s cutting into my blog time.  I may have this job stuff over with in two weeks, and thus be able to start making posts at least once a week.  On the other hand, I may not have things settled at all by then, and we’ll be stuck with me posting just whenever I can manage.  We’ll have to see.

In the meantime, I’m focusing all my free blogging time on the next Saints Row Retrospective.  Judging by my stats, there’s about a 240% chance that you found this blog through one of the earlier posts, so hopefully that’ll be something that excites you.  That’s definitely going to be the next post up.  If it’s not, I’m fully expecting you guys to call me out on it.  I’ve also decided on the next game series I’ll be running a retrospective on, as it will be a good long while before I’m able to do Saints Row IV justice.  I’m really excited for the next series.  It’ll be another one of my favorites.

In minor news, I’m afraid I’m going to have to can the Recettear Let’s Play.  I had started the next post a long while ago, found that having a businessman talk about a business game nowhere near as interesting as I thought it would be, and I just can’t bear to go forward now.  If you want the short version, it’s just “I sold some stuff.  Then I sold some more stuff.  Then I went to the dungeon again and got some more stuff.  Then I sold it.”  Repeat that for 30 some days.  However, I am going to be doing some more Dark Souls.  That last post was pretty fun to write.  I’m putting it off until I’m done with then next Saints Row Retrospective, but it’s coming.  I’ve also got another game for the old Visual Novel Theatre ready, but that’s going to be a while yet.

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Breaking into Dark Souls

Dark-Souls-Art-Work

I started playing Dark Souls recently.  I know, I know, don’t worry, my family and friends have already been notified of this self-destructive behavior, and I’m sure the interventions are being planned as we speak.  In the meantime, however, I figured I’d do something productive and chronicle my experiences with this famously difficult game.  This will last until this game breaks me down and leaves me in a weeping wreck, or I just get bored with the project and stop doing it.  Let’s see how long that lasts, shall we?  In the meantime, here’s a short-form stream of consciousness play-by-play of the game.  It’s almost like you’re right there with me, right?

So I’m playing the game on PC.  Steam mentioned something along the lines of a controller being strongly but really, it’s a 3rd person action game, I usually prefer WASD-mouse controls for those.

Time to create a character!  Yeah!  I love having homemade PCs!  Except the facial generator sucks!  Boo!  Even so, I make the most of it, and create a character with as close to my beauty as the engine is able to muster.  I know, it’s going to be a good long while before computer hardware gets advanced enough to be able to truly replicate my good lucks, but I’ll keep trying in the meantime.  There’s a couple different classes to choose from, who each have their own loadout of equipment and stats.  I pick the Wanderer, not for any tactical reason, that just fits best with the characterization I have in my head for this guy and YES I AM THAT TYPE OF PLAYER SHUT UP!!!

And now I get treated to the intro cinematic.  These things usually set the stage for the game, and… Dark Souls does not really do a good job of that.  It’s mostly stuff I can’t really make sense of at first.  But let’s summarize.  In the beginning, the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the earth, and there was nothing except rocks, trees, and dragons.  And probably lots of metal music, with a setup like that.  Then something happens, and all of a sudden there’s fire, and a bunch of dudes who are probably going to be important later come to take it.  There’s the Dead Dude That’s Made of Dead Dudes, Hot Witch, Geezer Zeus, and the Pygmy that nobody cares about and even the narrator says so.  Then Dead Dude, Hot Witch, and Geezer Zeus kick some dragon ass with the help of a traitor Fairy Dragon and everyone’s all happy and it’s a new age of fire, except that the age of fire has passed and everything’s starting to die.  Also, people are getting the Darksign which turns everything undead.  Then the game starts.

So, I had spent a good amount of time constructing my character’s face into something that’s actually nice to look at.  Well, the jokes on me, because the game spawns my character without any skin.  There’s nothing I can do to prevent him from looking hideous.  You win this one, Dark Souls.

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Doing Difficulty Right: Ninja Gaiden

Ninja Gaiden 1

So, the posts have kind of slowed down a bit, haven’t they?  Yeah, about that… Life’s been kicking my ass pretty good lately, and I haven’t had much in the way of time.  What time I did have for the blog, I’ve been devoting to the next post in my Saints Row Retrospective series, which, as you may guess, take a little while to finish up.  With luck, that should be coming down the pipe sometime this month.  I know that’s not going to be good enough for you, though.  I know you’re just pleading “Please, Aether!  I love your wit and intelligence and beauty!  Please give me some or your glorious content!”  Well, don’t worry.  I haven’t forgotten you.  In fact, I wrote this entire post, all just for you.  Yes, you personally.  This one’s yours.

I beat the Xbox Ninja Gaiden recently.  It’s kind of a hard game, you may have heard.  And it expects you to be just as hard in return.  However, there’s a lot of hard games out there.  That’s not unique.  What is unique is that Ninja Gaiden actually makes its difficulty fun.  It’s easy to make something hard, making that difficulty engaging takes a lot more work.  In this world of video games, there’s good difficulty, and there’s bad difficulty.  But what makes that difficulty good or bad?  Well, there’s a lot of ways to do it.  Let’s dive into Ninja Gaiden, and figure out how they made it work.

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