Monthly Archives: October 2011

October 25th New Releases

October 18th New Releases

Dark Souls Guide to Avoiding The Sewer Curse

Dark Souls seems to test your resolve more than any other game since the Megaman era.  Pretty early in the game, just as soon as you get past the Capra Demon, you’ll have access to The Depths, and a subsection of that is the sewers.  In that area there are these cutesy little bug-eyed frogs that also happen to poison you with toxic gas, a side effect of which is a “curse”.  Getting cursed is pretty much the worst thing that can happen to you in this game, but I can give you a guide to avoid this.

The biggest reason people get cursed is they fall in one of the open drains and land in a cluster of frogs.  [b]IF[/b] this happens, dodge and roll, as fast as you can.  The frogs don’t hurt you; only their toxic cloud.  The animation is them filling their throat bag, then spraying.  Make sure you step back when they do this.  Then they’ll come toward you.  At that moment, strike them with a sword.  Even if they start to fill their throat bag again, you still have a few seconds to finish your swing.  Panic is your enemy.

JUST DON’T FALL IN THE DRAINS!  I have a route you can take that will allow you to kill the frogs without getting mobbed.  Make sure you have some kind of ranged attack, like bow or soul arrows.  In the Depths, you’re going to kill a guy who looks like a butcher.  He’s not that hard if you’re level 20+, just keep him out of range of his cleaver, and take your time.  Don’t get greedy.  One strike at a time.

SHORTCUT – After you kill him, loot the room then smash all the boxes so you reveal a hidden drop.  At first it looks like a lethal fall, but it isn’t.  Hop down, and you’ll be on a ledge overlooking a rat the size of a transit bus.  Time for your ranged attack.  Then loot the room, and his corpse for humanity.  At this point you’re going to be in frog territory, but if you move very slowly and check around corners before stepping out, you can usually spot them.  Make sure to lure them with arrows if you see two or three looking the other way.  In total there should be 8 or 9 of them.

TRAP TIP – Always watch the floor in narrow passages.  There are a couple of drains that will make you fall into nasty spots.  Just run, then use the jump button to get over them.

MINI BOSS – There’s a room with a demon mage and three large rats.  Do not charge in there.  Use your stealth skills and scout the tunnels until you find the entrance that allows you to see the rats at range, but the mage just out of view.  This is the sweet spot…lure all three out first with arrows (or if you are a dex build, you can probably take them all out just with arrows).  Once the rats are gone, the mage isn’t too bad.  Lock on and orbit around him, and if he shoots a soul arrow, duck.

NAVIGATION TIP –  The sewers can be a convoluted maze of interconnected tunnels.  If you bring 20 or 25 of those prism stones, you can drop them at junctures to follow your trail back out once you get in deep.  Don’t forget too, you can also write messages on the floor that give directional cues like “left” or “right”.  I used to do this in the Stonefang Tunnel in Demon’s Souls.

END GOAL – To be honest, you don’t even have to go into the sewers if you don’t want to.  You can kill the Gaping Dragon to get the key to blighttown, and then just move on.  But, one of the best pieces of early to mid-game loot is there.  Ring of the Evil Eye.  When you wear it, each time you get a kill you restore a small chunk of HP.  It doesn’t look like a lot, but it adds up as you start mowing through minions.  You won’t believe how much longer your estus lasts when you wear it.  It’s worth the risk, and I’m sure they put it there just to console people who got cursed.  Like the Drake Sword, this piece of loot can help you turn the tide a bit, at least as far as health goes.

Hope this helps.

October 11th New Releases

This Week’s New Releases

You’d think that, five movies in, the Fast franchise would lose steam.  Far from it.  This latest flick is the best one since the original.  Dependable, over the top popcorn flicks with fast cars and action sequences that defy physics, Fast Five will satisfy fans of the movies.  Throw in an epic, battle of the titans between Vin Diesel and The Rock and you’ve got the makings of a winner.

The other notable pick this week is “Submarine” a witty British coming of age film starring Sally Hawkins.  Clever writing and great performances by some lesser-known actors from the UK combine to make this great indie shine.  Don’t miss it.

Dark Souls – IGN Early Review

Dark Souls, the “spiritual successor” (not a direct sequel) to Demon’s Souls will be releasing on Tuesday, and IGN has posted an early review.  No real surprises in the review, considering how difficult this game is expected to be.  The franchise has always been known for pushing the limits of a gamer’s abilities with uncompromising gameplay that forces people to learn from mistakes.  There is no hand-holding in this universe…you are alone, and will fight for every inch of progress you make with very little guidance, except from the occasional person you summon to help you in coop.

Sounds like the difficulty in this game has been ramped up again, perhaps to challenge the Demon’s Souls veterans.  It was a PS3 exclusive originally, and with the new game making the jump to Xbox 360, I expect to hear all sorts of cries that “this game is broken!” from people trying it for the first time.  However, folks, please remember, hard does not equal broken.  Suck it up or go back to something easy, like COD 3 on Veteran.

Here’s a quote from the review that sums up just how hard you can expect to be kicked in the face.  I advise everyone to read this closely and take the warnings seriously.  As brilliant as the franchise is, their games are not for everyone:

There are frog-like sewer-dwelling creatures that can Curse you with their attacks, instantly reducing your health bar to half its former size; the only way to get cured is to visit a healer hidden deep within a dangerous ghost-populated area that’s a long, long journey away (or to buy an item from a vendor, if you’ve got enough souls).

Making your way through Dark Souls’ death-trap world with half a health bar is hard enough, but the Curse effect stacks – so if you get caught again, you’ll be down to a quarter of a health bar. A third time, you’ll be down to an eighth. I know one Dark Souls player who lost something like 10 hours trying to make it to a healer when everything in the world could kill him with one hit. There’s punishing, and then there’s unfair.

Still with me?  Good.  Then that means you’re probably up for at least attempting the challenge.  To quote Han Solo, “then I’ll see you in Hell!”