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What We’re Playing – December 17th

The weekend is upon us and it’s time to play some videogames. Here are a few games we’ve been playing away from the office this week. What’s on your agenda? Share what you’re playing!

Fairytale Fights
James Dewitt
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There’s something about the combination of grotesque violence against cutesy cartoon characters that’s inherently entertaining, but somehow Fairytale Fights manages to be unfunny on top of being a terrible platformer and action game. It’s a game where you know you hate it after spending ten minutes with it, plus the game has literally shown you everything it has to offer (which isn’t much). The game should’ve been marketed as a dirt-cheap XBLA/PSN game, and even that might be too generous.

Watching blood spill by the gallon was never entertaining the first time, let alone by the hundredth, and that’s really all the game has to offer. Attacking is done solely with the right stick which is just as odd and counter-intuitive as it sounds, the camera is at an odd angle and it’s easy to misjudge the distance between platforms, and the gameplay is the very definition of repetitive. If anybody is pining for a poorly-made game that never evolves beyond flicking the right stick, then by all means give Fairytale Fights a try.

Dark Souls
Oliver Banham
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If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try again. And again. It’s an adage that defines Dark Souls, but it’s one I almost gave up on. I had made it to the final boss, feeling ready. I expected a challenge, but nothing I couldn’t handle.

I was wrong. This beast was the ultimate warrior. A man of ultimate endurance and power, of fire and steel. His name was Gwyn, Lord of Cinder and God of Sunlight. What he lacked in size – compared to previous bosses – he more than made up for in agility and technique. Cutting through your armour like a knife in hot butter, his constant swipes would never let up.

At first I didn’t mind him too much – I thought after each death I was getting closer to success, but then I’d suffer a setback, a reminder that I was still worthless. I could beat Smough & Ornstein on my own, or the terrifying Four Kings, but if I couldn’t jump the final hurdle, all that previous valor would count for naut.

So I swore to beat him… in time. After a month-long break playing Skyrim, I decided to return to the Kiln, and Gwyn’s arena of death. At first I was rusty, and felt hopeless, but that night, I got him down to a slither of health, only to rush and pay the price. I was livid, but the end was in sight. I had tried numerous tactics, but my winning technique came from exploiting the terrain to my advantage. Using a hilly mound with rocks, Gwyn’s swipes weren’t connecting with me as often, and I could keep my distance without worrying too much of him rushing me. After 5 minutes of stabbing with my spear, Gwyn was toast, and that was that, I was done. 90 Hours. Sensational game.

7 hours later and I’m well into new game+, at a place which had taken me around 50 hours to get to before. Once you master the art of Dark Souls, progress is no longer a learning experience.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Matt Wadleigh
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I’d like to deliver a public apology to Thunderbolt’s staff and fans. I’m sorry that I haven’t been writing as much. I’m sorry that I haven’t been reading as many of the press e-mails that are coming in. I’m sorry that I haven’t been editing your articles, or getting screenshots together for them. I’m sorry some of our articles have published late. You see, I’ve discovered the world of Skyrim, and my archer/two-handed swordswoman and I aren’t coming back any time soon. Please continue to hold down the fort in my absence, and I promise to return in, I don’t know. January?

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in August 2010. Get in touch on Twitter @S_Chyou.

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