Review: Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

Developer: From Software | Year: 2011 | List Price: $19.99 | Buy from Amazon

Dark SoulsIf you’ve read some of my other videogame reviews, you’ll know I have a tendency to play games on hardware that really shouldn’t be allowed to play games. I reached a new level when a couple of weeks ago, I bought Dark Souls on the recommendation of a friend. My Sony VAIO running Windows XP didn’t even meet the minimum requirements this time! But after some lowering of resolutions and disabling of textures using DSFix I was able to run the game at a solid 15 FPS most of the time (except in Blighttown!). And last Friday, after 25 days and 62 gametime hours, I finally beat the game! Now beating Dark Souls is not like beating any other game. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’ve beaten a video game that did not want me to beat it. Dark Souls is known for its notoriously hard gameplay, and playing it offline solo, I can certainly validate that sentiment. Dark Souls is the kind of game you don’t feel bad looking up guidance for, because it’s so darn hard even when you know exactly what to do!
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Review: DualShock 4 Controller

Manufacturer: Sony | Year: 2013 | MSRP: $59.99 | Buy from Amazon

dualshock-4-blueThis review has been a long time coming. Even though I don’t yet have a PS4, I’ve had a blue DualShock 4 since Black Friday, when I saw it on sale. With it connected to my Mac, I’ve played through BioShock, Spec Ops: The Line, and BioShock Infinite. I’ve also just finished a 60+ hour playthrough of Dark Souls with it as well (expect a review soon!). I don’t actually own a DualShock 3, but I have used it extensively at friends’ places and will be comparing the DualShock 4 to it a lot. I can tell you right away, that from the 100 or so hours I’ve used the DualShock 4, it has met if not exceeded my expectations in every way.
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Tutorial: Use your DualShock 4 with a Mac

iw4vdsmdppnguodkok3eDuring a Black Friday sale, I bought a blue DualShock 4 for the rather low price of $40 even though I don’t (yet) have a PlayStation 4. This is because I’d played with it extensively at a friend’s house and really liked it. For the best compatibility with games, the better choice might’ve been the Xbox 360 controller, but that’s less compatible with the Macintosh architecture itself, and comes with it’s own set of problems. I knew it’d be a hassle now and then, but I was willing to give the DualShock 4 a shot because of how great it is as a controller (but more of that in a future article). With the right tools, you can even get the DualShock 4 to work with games that don’t natively support it. Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way first though:
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Tutorial: Play Valkyria Chronicles (or any other PC Steam game) on a Mac

1832934-box_valkchrnI’m playing Valkyria Chronicles. On a Mac. With a DualShock 4 controller. I betcha no one’s ever been able to say that before! Yep, Valkyria Chronicles is on sale right now on both Steam and Humble Bundle. I’m only three hours and a couple of missions in at the moment, but if you’re a fan of turn-based RPGs, and/or story-based campaigns, and/or third-person shooting, you really owe it to yourself to try it. It’s like 7 dollars or so, and though it’s only for PC at the moment, you can actually get it to work on a Mac with the help of Wineskin and some patience.
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Review: To the Moon

Developer: Freebird Games | Year: 2011 | List Price: $9.99 | Buy from Steam

To the MoonTo the Moon is another one of those indie games that I hear tell of and then ignore, only to try months later and realise what the hype was all about. Developed by Freebird Games, this story-rich 16-bit adventure puts you in the shoes of a couple of scientists as they modify the memory of a dying old man and grant him the memory of having been to the moon. Along the way they uncover the events of his life that spawned his desire to go to the moon as well as discover the tragedies that caused him to die unfulfilled.
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