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Watch Gameplay Of Dark Souls III: The Ringed City’s New PvP Arenas

Though Dark Souls III's The Ringed City DLC will feature a new single-player area to explore when it drops on March 28, it also has a heavy emphasis on the player-versus-player aspect of Dark Souls III. Today Bandai Namco showed off two new arenas for Ashen Ones to beat the snot out of each other in.

Both Dragon Ruins and Grand Roof (which you can watch videos of below) are taken from areas in Dark Souls III proper (Archdragon Peak and Lothric Castle, respectively), but offer confined spaces for fights. In addition to the new arenas, Bandai Namco has revealed that players will be able to matchmake with each other using passwords, similar to the way they can currently summon each other for co-op adventures in the single-player.

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Blog: A design discussion – Bloodborne vs Dark Souls 3

From Software has been refining their action RPG design to a tee, and it’s now time to break down two of their biggest hits. …

Gamasutra News

See Four Minutes Of Dark Souls III: The Ringed City DLC’s Gameplay

From Software has released a four-minute gameplay trailer showing off just a taste of what awaits in Dark Souls III's final DLC – The Ringed City.

Needless to say, if you want to go into the DLC totally fresh, you probably don't want to watch the video below due to spoilers.

The Ringed City is the game's final DLC, and naturally features new weapons, armor sets, enemies, bosses, items, and spells. It also contains new PvP maps (including the Hollow Arena from Ashes of Ariandel), and improved matchmaking.

The DLC comes out on March 28 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Search For The Ringed City In Dark Souls III’s Final DLC

Dark Souls III's second and final DLC – The Ringed City – has been announced (PS4, Xbox One, PC), and it takes players to the end of the world.

The Ringed City comes out on March 28, and is $ 14.99 by itself, but is cheaper if you've bought the season pass.

For more on the game's first DLC – Ashes of Ariandel – take a look at Suriel's impressions.

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Dark Souls III’s Ashes Of Ariandel DLC Is A Meaningless Addition

One of Dark Souls III’s defining traits was acting as a sort of abridged version of the series. When you aren’t literally revisiting areas from previous games (like the trek through a new part of Anor Londo), you wander around facsimiles of them. These familiar encounters are retooled enough to play with your expectations, such as when the Jailers in the Irithyll dungeon (that resemble Demon’s Souls Mind Flayers) slowly reduce your maximum health instead of trying to kill you instantly with a powerful magic combo. At its best, Dark Souls III makes you nostalgic in the present, eliciting memories of the series’ best moments while offering some closure for longtime fans. By comparison, the Ashes of Ariandel DLC leaves me feeling empty and wondering why I came to it in the first place.

Ashes of Ariandel features a rather large snow-capped area with parallels to the first Dark Souls’ Painted World of Ariamis, two boss encounters, a variety of new weapons, a few new armor sets, and a handful of spells. The DLC is meant to be a late or post-game excursion (a message left on the ground by the developer advises you not to venture into the area until you beat Lothric Castle). But on its own, it doesn’t offer a compelling reason to return to a game that already had a satisfying conclusion. 

As I wandered through the DLC’s initial forested mountaintop beset by a blizzard, I wondered what larger goal this area would have for me, since my character’s journey through Lothric is already over. Taking a sharp right near a cliff that eventually crumbled beneath my feet, I wandered into a dead end riddled with Norse-inspired warriors guarding a tower. I’d been trudging my way to that tower for a while and felt a bonfire was nearby, so rather than methodically work my way through each enemy warrior, I rushed into the tower to plunder all its items, ran out, and kept going until I eventually stumbled onto that bonfire. I didn’t immediately feel the need to go back through that area and after retreading it later to see if I’d missed anything, my gut feeling proved right: barreling through it had gotten me everything I needed.

Dead ends filled with items aren’t new for the Souls series, but in Ariandel’s small, self-contained area, they beg the question: why bother? Finding a new Titanite Slab was nice, but at this point, I’d already upgraded my Butcher Knife to +10 and built my character around it. I later found a Strength-based axe that tempted me to switch, but with the amount of times I’d have to upgrade it before it could compete, I figured I’d stick with my trusty cleaver. More experimental players might tinker around with some of the new weapons, but they’ll have to invest some of their leftover resources to see if they measure up.

The new bosses offer another reason to test your mettle again, but they don’t offer as tough a challenge as, say, The Nameless King. The new centerpiece boss, which you spend the majority of your time working up to, is a worthwhile challenge and pulls at least one trick I haven’t seen in a Dark Souls boss, but that tactic loses its impact after the first time you see it. A few of the area's more nimble enemies (and a couple of named non-boss characters) might end up adding to your death count, but you don't face them often enough to commit any of them to memory.

The other boss is only worth fighting if you’re interested in the Ariandel’s other selling point: competitive multiplayer (killing it opens up the multiplayer portion of the DLC). The fight is brief, doesn’t show off anything you haven’t already seen before, and doesn’t feel momentous the way other bosses do. All told, scouring the new area and defeating all of its bosses took me about five hours, though your mileage may vary depending on your character level and build; I played a strength-based melee character at around level 95.

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That brevity prevents you from getting the highest highs Dark Souls has to offer. Because the bosses (and the rest of the area) don’t meaningfully connect to the rest of the game, it doesn’t build any sort of momentum. When I beat the area’s final boss, not only did it feel anticlimactic to have slain it so easily, I didn’t feel any sense of closure, either. I didn’t feel as though I’d accomplished anything particularly noteworthy or gained any new insight into this painted world.

The DLC’s timing and position exacerbate that empty feeling. I’d already triumphed over the base game and felt satisfied by its conclusion. I didn’t get that here; not only does this not feel like a complete experience on its own, but since there’s another DLC on the way, I don’t get the feeling of having finished something, either. I just stood there, wondering if I’d missed anything. You can explore a new multiplayer arena that lets you fight in one-on-one duels or six-player brawls, but there’s not much else to do once you’ve worked through the bosses and found some of the key items.

Dark Souls is at its best when you enter into longer contracts where you’re rewarded for hours of effort with a sense of triumph. I’m not convinced Dark Souls works in smaller packages like this, and the Ashes of Ariandel DLC doesn’t dissuade me. It might be a good way to extend another playthrough of the base game, but as a solo excursion it doesn’t feel good enough for anyone who’s retired their sword (or meat cleaver) to pick it back up again. – The Feed

Dark Souls III Ashes Of Ariandel Launch Trailer Seeks The Fire

Dark Souls III's first of two expansions subtitled, Ashes of Ariandel, is out now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and with it comes a launch trailer that looks daunting even for the most hardened adventurer.

Naturally the expansion features new areas, bosses, enemies, and weapons, and Ashes of Ariandel also adds new PvP modes (take a look via this recent trailer).

Dark Souls III's second planned expansion is slated to come out early next year.

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Pre-Orders Are Open For This Statue Of Dark Souls’ Sif The Great Grey Wolf

If you're a fan of the Dark Souls series, you may be interested in this upcoming statue from First 4 Figures featuring Sif the Great Grey Wolf.

Sif is a boss you meet in the Darkroot Garden, who protects the grave of his departed master, Artorias the Abysswalker. This figure stands 25 inches tall, with Sif clutching the Greatsword of Artorias between his teeth as he prepares for battle while atop Artorias' grave.

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Sif will be available to purchase as both regular ($ 529.99) and exclusive ($ 549.99) versions. The exclusive version includes additional swords that can be attached to the base, including the Gold Tracer, Silver Knight Straight Sword, Sunlight Sword and the Black Knight Sword. This edition will also include a high quality art print inspired by the statue's design.

Sif is the second Dark Souls-themed statue from First 4 figures, with the first being Artorias the Abysswalker.

You can view the gallery below for more images, though keep in mind that these are prototypes and may not exactly reflect the final product. The statue will release in Q2 2017. Click here to pre-order and view the exclusive version, and here for the regular version. Earlier this year, we played through Dark Souls III, which you can watch here – The Feed

Dark Souls 3 Patch Notes Revealed, Drops Friday

Bandai Namco posted the notes for an upcoming patch for Dark Souls 3 on its Facebook account today. The patch will be released on Friday, October 21 and addresses the perplexing nature of the poise stat.

Here are the notes in full if you want to see them for yourself:

• Adjusted poise values across the board. Poise is now more effective for heavier weapons and armor.
• Improved regular attack animations of hammer category weapons.
• Improved regular attack animations of greatsword category weapons.
• Improved regular attack animations of axe category weapons.
• Improved regular attack animations of fist category weapons.
• Improved the "Neck Swipe" weapon skill animation of scythe category weapons.
• Fixed a bug where strong attacks performed using whips would not deal additional ・damage when fully charged.
• Fixed a bug where strong attacks performed using the Pickaxe would consume stamina multiple times per attack.
• Adjusted the "Onislayer" weapon skill hitbox timings for Onikiri and Ubadachi.
• Adjusted the hitbox timings of the claw category weapon skill "Leaping Slash".
• Fixed a bug where rolling attacks on Astora's Greatsword could not be parried.
• Improved the "Wrath of the Gods" weapon skill animation for Wornir's Holy Sword.
• Improved the "Blind Spot" weapon skill animation for Corvian Greatknife and Handmaiden's Dagger.
• Improved the "Shield Splitter" weapon skill animation for Mail Breaker and Irithyll Rapier.
• Improved the "Wolf Leap" weapon skill animation for Old Wolf Curved Sword.
• The weapon skill of Old King's Great Hammer "Molten Perseverence" will now release lava on both hits.
• Improved the "Darkdrift" weapon skill animation for Darkdrift.
• Reduced effectiveness of rolling attack animations on Gotthard Twinswords while dual wielding.
• Increased effectiveness of the sorcery "Pestilent Mercury".
• Improved the cast animation of miracle "Lifehunt Scythe".
• Increased poison and toxic buildup of the pyromancies "Poison Mist" and "Toxis Mist", respectively.
• Increased durability damage buildup of the pyromancy "Acid Surge".
• Increased duration of the "Warcry" weapon skill.
• Fixed a bug where the player's lock-on target would automatically change even if "Toggle auto lock-on" was set to "OFF".
• Fixed a bug where the leader board for Darkmoon Knights would display incorrect statistics.
• Fixed a bug where the fog wall near Holy Knight Hodrick would sometimes not disappear during multiplayer even after defeating him.
• Fixed a bug where Orbeck of Vinheim would sometimes die before the player purchased all his spells.
• Fixed a bug where Patches and Greirat would never return if sent to steal after defeating all bosses.
• Fixed a bug where female characters were subject to counter damage during certain movement animations.
• Fixed a bug where equipping Vordt's Great Hammer or Irithyll Straight Sword in the left hand would cause enchantments to disappear from weapons in the right hand.
• Fixed a bug where two-handing certain weapons would cause the stealth effect on Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring to not work correctly.
• Fixed a bug where Hornet Ring was not working for claw category weapons.
• Fixed a bug where dash attacks could not be performed using Farron Greatsword.
• Fixed a bug where strong attacks using Lothric Knight Sword were not dealing thrust type damage.
• Fixed a bug where dash attacks using Onikiri and Ubadachi were not dealing thrust type damage.
• Addressed other game balance issues and fixed other flaws

Be sure to check out our review for the game here and find out why Editor Daniel Tack loved it so much. You can also watch us suffer stumble play through the entire game in our epic game of pass the sticks here.

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Dark Souls III’s Latest Ashes Of Ariandel DLC Trailer Shows Off Undead Matches

Dark Souls III's first injection of DLC, arriving October 25, has a new trailer that shows off the new multiplayer content.

Ashes of Ariandel will be $ 14.99 and will include Undead Matches, which allows the game's assorted factions to do battle. You can see it in action below. For more on Ashes of Ariandel, head here.

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Another downloadable expansion is planned for 2017. It's unclear what the second piece will offer, but you can buy into it immediately with the $ 24.99 season pass. – The Feed

Yo-kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits & Fleshy Souls Review – Subpar Spiritual Successor

A year after Yo-kai’s North American debut, the franchise has not made a substantial impact on our culture.  The accompanying anime is now available to watch on Netflix, two free-to-play mobile Yo-kai puzzle games have released, and the core 3DS game has had a year to attract new fans. The response has been tepid, overall, but that hasn’t stopped Yo-kai Watch 2 (which released in Japan in 2014) from being localized for North America. The sequel has not invigorated my appreciation for this young franchise, but it continues to be a worthy and distinct Pokémon competitor.

The core game remains mostly unchanged from the original. You are a child gifted with the magical Yo-kai Watch, which allows you to see ghosts that others can’t. Often, these ghosts cause unseen emotional distress to those around them, and you have to convince them to leave by talking to them or telling the Yo-kai already on your team to fight them for you. You also run into Yo-kai while exploring the world, but the wild ones only respond to fighting. After you exchange punches, some of them decide to become your friend. The friendship mechanic is interesting, because you add Yo-kai to your team without having to expend inventory items.

You take a group of six Yo-kai into each battle, and they do their standard attacks without your input. Their arrangement factors into how well they fight, and you can direct them to attack specific enemies or to the weak spots of larger enemies. Over time, they charge up and you activate their special move with a minigame. I enjoyed the combat in the previous game, and it hasn’t changed much for the sequel. I wish the minigames had more variety, but I like how the Yo-kai handle themselves while you take care of other tasks. The boss fights are highlights, as they often force you to think outside of your standard combat tactics and seek out weak spots and attack in the right order.

Later, you unlock the new Model Zero watch that essentially lets you hit harder, but at a higher cost requiring a longer recharge. It doesn’t change combat dramatically, but being able to switch between watches mid-fight for a Hail Mary attack is a nice optional wrinkle.

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Yo-kai’s story is not its strong suit, though the world and its characters have a strange sense of humor. I wouldn’t say Yo-kai is funny, but it has a levity I appreciate, especially when compared to the often heavy-handed narratives of Pokémon. The story usually goes for the joke at the expense of meaningful character development or plot, and the result is a directionless narrative whose true antagonist makes a late appearance. I never had a sense I was building towards a finale so much as I was just wandering around the town doing endless fetch-quests for the humans and Yo-kai that I made the mistake of talking to.

The map system for the original Yo-kai was a disaster, with few markings and no way to divert your focus and direction marker away from the main story, despite an ever-growing list of sidequests. Now the map is well marked, and you can now choose what missions to focus on, making it much more fun to tackle multiple quests at once. Fast-travel is a much-needed option made available too late. Progress is mostly directed by fetch quests, so the resulting need to move back and forth between towns (often by riding a real-time train) is incredibly tedious. Even after unlocking a number of fast-travel markers, my follow-arrow still tried to make me take the longer route, which I was happy to finally bypass.

The map changes are great, but the other aspects feel like modified retreads of the first game. Even with the story’s interesting attempts to look at the origin of the Yo-kai Watch, it plods along without ever rising up to something worth seeing to the end. Yo-kai Watch 2 still stands as a worthwhile Pokémon competitor, but its forward progression is only happening by small steps.

Bony Spirits or Fleshy Souls?
Much like the Pokémon games that Yo-kai Watch draws much of its
inspiration from, the differences between the two versions of Yo-kai
Watch 2 are minor. Each version has a handful of exclusive Yo-kai (like
Venoct in Bony Spirits and Kyubi in Fleshy Souls), and the retail
versions include different exclusive Soultimate moves for Jibanyan. The
main game and its story, however, is basically the same between the two
games. – The Feed