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Bloodborne

Started by druss, March 31, 2022, 11:21:27 PM

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druss

There are older threads but they haven't been posted on for years and I was encouraged to start a new one by the forum.

Off the back of recommendations in the Elden Ring thread I finally decided to complete this. I've just finished it now and right at this moment I'm feeling a little bit disappointed. I think it had been built up so much that I was expecting it to be From's flawless masterpiece but it is far from it. This is going to seem like a bit of a rant but I am very into the game and would like to hear other viewpoints. I'll also add some positives towards the end as despite its many flaws I still loved it and plan to play it again, but firstly....(spoilers ahead):

The bad:

I really, really, really don't like the healing system. Estus is a great system and I don't know why they went backwards with this. Ideally you never want to lose your souls but if you ever get to the point where you've lost everything you can at least just keep hammering away until you've gotten past the obstacle. If this had been my first Soulsborne game I don't think I would have completed it, whilst for the most part I had an abundance of health vials there were a couple of occasions where I had to go and farm them. I don't mind difficulty but I don't like games that needlessly waste my time. Usually if I'm on a boss in any of the Souls games I will try not to look at wikis because it is very satisfying when you figure them out but I found myself looking at the wikis on my second attempts because I didn't want to run out of health vials and have to go and farm them.

I know that this might be related to my previous point (i.e. I looked up tactics) but the bosses seemed a bit easy. I think the Cleric Beast caused me the most problems mainly due to being level 1 and still learning the game. Other than that I died a few times to The One Unborn but that was it, most other bosses first or second time. Had a very close call with Micolash at the end of the fight and only had a couple of vials left so that was quite exhilarating but nothing like finally downing O&S, Pontiff Sulyvahn or The Twin Princes. Flipside of this is that apparently I missed 6 of them, so maybe I'll have the elation of downing a boss on the 7th or 8th attempt on subsequent play throughs but I worry that this will be tempered with annoyance if I end up having to farm healing materials between attempts. I also felt like I was basically just mashing dodge repeatedly, timing didn't seem to be as important as in other Souls games.

Whilst I didn't find the bosses challenging I found some of the later areas to be obnoxiously difficult. Frenzy for example, what the hell? Insight in general in fact. I didn't end up using any madman's knowledge because other than seeing some cool shit it seems like it just makes the game harder. Very strangely implemented mechanic and I can't see the logic in it. Am I missing something? I also found some of the latter areas to discourage exploring methodically and I ended up just running through them in order to get to the next boss. At first when mobs kept respawning I tried to find whoever was raising them but at some points I couldn't seem to find the resurrector and I was getting hammered by frenzy as well so I felt nudged into going "fuck it" and sprinting through. Caveat: After I got to the blood moon I was so fascinated by what the hell was happening and due to wanting to see how it ended and finding the area after the blood moon to be obnoxiously difficult, I did sprint to the finish line and didn't really take everything in. I completed the game in 16 and a bit hours which doesn't seem anywhere near long enough to explore everything so I am going to have another run and try to explore everything and do more than just one chalice dungeon.

However, one of the reasons why I felt okay with taking this rushed approach was the lack of rewards from exploring. I only picked up a handful of weapons through the whole run and the armour was all the same. I didn't ever really switch from the saw cleaver apart from using the tonitrus on a few bosses so I ended up finishing the game with my starting weapon and the first set of armour I found which feels a bit shit in an action-RPG.

Related to this, there doesn't seem to be much variety in build choices. All of the armour is essentially the same, there's no tanky builds and levelling up seemed a bit arbitrary as everything went in vitality, endurance, strength and then a few left over in skill once I'd soft capped strength. I don't think that having a game without these things is intrinsically bad, but if your game has multiple armour sets and weapons then I think they should be implemented a bit better than they were. I get that they were trying to streamline some aspects of the gameplay but I think it was done a bit half-heartedly. If it's an action-adventure game then just make it that rather than tacking on the RPG build elements.

The frame-rate was also jarring. I'm probably being a bit spoilt with this one but I am so used to playing at 60fps that 30fps really hurts my eyes. I can't play for longer than an hour at a time without having to have a break. I really wish they put a 60fps patch out for the PS5, I'd love to get really stuck in and not have to think about when I'm taking my next break in order to not destroy my eyes.



The good:

Fucking hell what an amazing world they built in Yharnam! Best atmosphere of any Soulsborne game in a series filled with atmospheric games. This is the main thing that will keep me coming back I think.

I can't really comment too much on the narrative, I was enjoying it immensely but I rushed the last bit so probably missed about 90% of it. What I saw seemed great though and I'm looking forward to getting really stuck into the lore on subsequent playthroughs.

The combat on the whole was very fun. I liked the use of guns as a parrying mechanic and visceral attacks felt cool as hell. The camera angles when locking on could sometimes cause death though so I tried not to use it when I could.

Many "oh fuck, that's great" moments. Getting caught and sent to the Hypogean Gaol was fantastic and the music and general vibe in that area had a great undercurrent of something very sinister going on, far more sinister than just a few wolf like mad men in Yharnam. The blood moon reveal was also magnificent.

The bosses were a bit of a mixed bag but some of them were great. Really enjoyed the mechanics of The Witch of Hemwick, Shadow of Yharnam and Micolash in particular. Even when the mechanics were a bit naff, the design of the bosses, in fact the design of everything was fantastic. I laughed out loud on a few occasions at the craziness of some of the monsters (maniacally laughing, gun-toting wheelchair guys in particular). I think my favourite was the hooded fucks in the Hypogean Gaol who could one shot you with the sack of whatever they were carrying. Wonderfully macabre.

I've not played many but I suspect it's the best Lovecraft game ever made. If they'd ironed out a few of the irritating gameplay mechanics it would easily be my favourite Souls game, annoyingly close to being being a perfect game and let down by some fairly basic problems that would have been quite easy to address, particularly as they seemed to add problems that weren't present in their previous games. They did the hard part in creating one of, if not, the best worlds in gaming but I can't help feeling like it's a slight missed opportunity, despite the many future hours I envisage spending in Yharnam.

The Crumb

Regarding the healing, I believe it's how it is because the game doesn't want you to rest at lamps, and instead only return to the hunters dream when you really need to. Having a larger stock of non replenishable healing tweaks the pacing, and lets you do longer runs. There's always the hope that an enemy will drop a few more. Whether the stockpiling element works well is up for debate, it adds tension to each boss attempt, but it's frustrating if you end up in a position of needing to grind. Once you get better at the game it's easy to max out pretty quickly.

The armour is largely cosmetic, which is good for fashion, but does restrict tank builds. The weapons you find can be really cool, it's worth trying them out just to see their concepts and animations. I'd also say starting weapons being a you need is a universal From thing, rather than a BB one. For Arcane and Bloodtinge builds some of the later weapons you find are central to the builds. Aside from weapons and armour, you can find gems, hunter's tools and runes which all make exploring worthwhile.

The build choices aren't as broad as a DS2, but there's a bit of variation between Strength, Skill, Arcane and Bloodtinge. The latter two broaden your means of dealing damage using hunters tools and firearms, as well as opening up some of the weirder main weapons. The moonlight greatsword is proper beautiful for an arcane build. Some of the other weapons also encourage you to fight in a completely different way, and you can use blood gems to further specialise them.

One thing you can't really recapture is playing BB when the last From game was DS2. I like DS2, but BB was light years ahead in graphics and feel. An effect blunted by DS3 and Elden ring picking up from the same engine.

Also, I'm sure you don't want to hear this, but play the dlc it's fantastic.


druss

Quote from: The Crumb on April 01, 2022, 11:30:13 AMThe armour is largely cosmetic, which is good for fashion, but does restrict tank builds. The weapons you find can be really cool, it's worth trying them out just to see their concepts and animations. I'd also say starting weapons being a you need is a universal From thing, rather than a BB one. For Arcane and Bloodtinge builds some of the later weapons you find are central to the builds. Aside from weapons and armour, you can find gems, hunter's tools and runes which all make exploring worthwhile.

The build choices aren't as broad as a DS2, but there's a bit of variation between Strength, Skill, Arcane and Bloodtinge. The latter two broaden your means of dealing damage using hunters tools and firearms, as well as opening up some of the weirder main weapons. The moonlight greatsword is proper beautiful for an arcane build. Some of the other weapons also encourage you to fight in a completely different way, and you can use blood gems to further specialise them.
I think that whilst you can finish the game with a starting weapon in previous From games, this is the first time I've actually done it as I didn't pick up a weapon that really grabbed me. I'm doing an arcane build on a second playthrough though so I will hopefully see a bit more variety and some fun weapons later on.

Quote from: The Crumb on April 01, 2022, 11:30:13 AMAlso, I'm sure you don't want to hear this, but play the dlc it's fantastic.
Oh I'll definitely give it a go. I know I moaned about a lot but they were mostly minor niggles that took the game from a 10/10 to an 8.5 or a 9.

Am I missing anything with insight? Is there any advantage of high insight other than being able to see things? Should I aim to keep it low all game?


Dickie_Anders

I think the exact moment I fell out of love with Bloodborne was the second half of the forest level, where the game spams a bunch of Resident Evil 4 tentacle head rip-offs at you. And those weird snake ball things ... everything from then onwards felt less designed and shoddy compared to all the brilliant areas and bosses leading up to it. The first area was From's crowning achievement in making levels I think, up until Elden Ring

I'm glad someone else found the combat a bit weird... just felt like I was hammering dodge and randomly going in-out-in-out on bosses, and that was good enough to beat them. After I beat Elden Ring I'll go back and play it though. With the amount of love it gets there must be something I'm missing

Thursday

Quote from: druss on April 01, 2022, 02:08:17 PMI think that whilst you can finish the game with a starting weapon in previous From games, this is the first time I've actually done it as I didn't pick up a weapon that really grabbed me. I'm doing an arcane build on a second playthrough though so I will hopefully see a bit more variety and some fun weapons later on.
Oh I'll definitely give it a go. I know I moaned about a lot but they were mostly minor niggles that took the game from a 10/10 to an 8.5 or a 9.

Am I missing anything with insight? Is there any advantage of high insight other than being able to see things? Should I aim to keep it low all game?



Well obviously the only other things it's tied to summons, but yeah I agree with you. Once you know everything it does... might as well keep it low.

It's a slightly better mechanic than dragon rot in Sekiro I guess.

druss

Right, second playthrough and liking this a lot more. The healing system hasn't mattered this time because I'm better at the game now and have had surplus for the whole game. I missed so many areas last time so I was probably a bit under-levelled too. Still had to run through some of unseen village but I managed to kill most of the bell-ringers so was able to explore a bit more.

I fucked up by killing Iosefka before Rom meaning I can't get the best ending apparently (have been trying to stay relatively spoiler free by finding out what I need to do for the endings without actually reading what they are) but I'm not too worried as I am planning a third playthrough.

Possibly having more fun because I haven't bothered at all with Chalice dungeons, what a grind they were, for very little reward. Apparently if I want to platinum the game I'll have to go there at some point but I'm going to wait a while.

Anyway, it's in a different league to Dark Souls 3. Gameplay is probably the most fun out of all of them, the controls feel very fair and it doesn't have the bullshit delayed tracking they've put into recent games to throw your rhythm off.

Probably went in with too high expectations the first time round so any little niggles were very apparent as I was expecting close to perfection but it's clicked for me now. Looking forward to the DLC as well, not sure whether to do it on this playthrough or not. Any particular builds that struggle in the DLC? I've gone skill this time and recently picked up Blades of Mercy (goddamn they are fun), probably going to go arcane for the 3rd run through so I can use all the tools, would that work okay for the DLC or would skill be better?

You still can get the best ending I think:
Spoiler alert
there are four of the item you need available and you only need to use three
[close]

Platinumed it a couple of weeks ago now. Struggled with a few of the bosses, especially the later chalice ones, but then you'd get ones that felt way too easy, I thought Micolash and the One Reborn were some of the easier ones and really struggled with Martyr Logarius and a few of the bigger beasts.

Agree about frenzy, wouldn't have been so bad if it didn't keep building after you were out of danger.

The Crumb

Arcane's a decent choice for the dlc, you get a pretty cool arcane weapon earlyish in it, and some additional tools. Downside is that the best arcane gems are in chalice dungeons.

Noodle Lizard

After finishing Elden Ring, I've finally gone back and started this again this afternoon! I played it years ago, my introduction to the Soulsborne series, but had a very bad time with it. Got as far as Blood-Starved Beast and gave up.

Elden Ring must have primed me right, because now I fully "get it" and it's wonderful. The style of combat here suits me better, the bosses feel fair and well-thought-out, and the more focused build and level design is refreshing after the sometimes overwhelming and uncertain nature of Elden Ring. I waltzed right in and got the Cleric Beast in one go. I'm at Father Gascgoine now, and I know I can beat him with the Music Box and Molotovs like I did last time, but I'm enjoying him too much to do that.

The only things I really miss from Elden Ring are the regenerative flasks and the boss checkpoints. I haven't had to farm for blood vials yet, but I know it's coming. That coupled with the long run-ups to try a boss are the main things that really put me off the first time, as it discouraged exploration and made things feel like more of a slog than a challenge. But it bothers me less now, because everything else is so brilliant. Complete 180.

Crenners

druss

Build variety here comes down to the choice of weapon. You can have a really different experience depending on what you stick with and the DLC virtually doubles your options with some really cool and unusual stuff.

That said, without spoiling, there are two builds, one more beastly and one more kinly, that you won't have much hope of discovering by yourself and which make a marked change from the norm. Both of which are immense fun in very different ways.

I've done probably a dozen full runs by picking a weapon and ploughing everything into that style. Aside from the builds I mentioned above, there's a couple of weapons available early in the DLC that were probably the most fun I had with the game, especially the ranged option and the pizza option. (You'll know when you get them)

Also, if you're going pure Arcane this time, I really recommend you do the DLC and look up the broccoli option.

The Guppy

I did a playthrough to wet my whistle before Elden Ring. A bloodtinge spec combined with Simon's Bowblade made the DLC quite easy. I think the final boss of The Old Hunters is the hardest boss From have ever made, but not when you're packing a bowblade!

bgmnts

I havent even finished DS 1 yet let alone DS 2, 3 or any others but I was to undertand Bloodborne was the peak of the series until Elden Ring, so this thread is interesting.

The Crumb

Bb is still my favourite post ER, but ER was a bit bum in the end.

oggyraiding

Bloodborne taught me how to play more aggressively. Previous games my strategy was based on turtling, but that's not viable at all in BB so I had to learn to dodge. Then when I returned to DS2, I replaced my blocking with dodging and did much better overall. I also really like the gun parry mechanic in BB, seems more generous with regards to timing than the parrying in other Soulslikes. My main criticism is just my own personal taste - I found the gothic horror werewolf stuff more compelling than the cosmic horror visit people's nightmares also there are aliens stuff.

druss

Quote from: This isnt witty sorry on May 27, 2022, 12:46:57 AMYou still can get the best ending I think:
Spoiler alert
there are four of the item you need available and you only need to use three
[close]

Platinumed it a couple of weeks ago now. Struggled with a few of the bosses, especially the later chalice ones, but then you'd get ones that felt way too easy, I thought Micolash and the One Reborn were some of the easier ones and really struggled with Martyr Logarius and a few of the bigger beasts.

Agree about frenzy, wouldn't have been so bad if it didn't keep building after you were out of danger.
Funny, I struggled with One Reborn the first time but aced Logarius.

Having said that, also aced Gascoigne the first time I played without the music box but he killed me about five times this play through when I did use the music box.

I looked up how I can still get the ending and whilst this is only a game, I can't bring my character to do what is necessary for it.

The Guppy

One Reborn is a funny old fight. First time, I killed it without even really understanding it. Absolute doddle.

Every time since has been a hassle. I have to run up and kill the sniper lasses before I kill the big guy. I didn't even notice the sniper lasses the first time.

druss

Quote from: The Guppy on May 27, 2022, 02:26:26 PMOne Reborn is a funny old fight. First time, I killed it without even really understanding it. Absolute doddle.

Every time since has been a hassle. I have to run up and kill the sniper lasses before I kill the big guy. I didn't even notice the sniper lasses the first time.
I didn't even know you could kill them!

Started third run through with arcane and yet again couldn't kill Gascoigne first time. It's never dodging his attacks that is the problem, it's dodging into the environment and getting trapped. Such an annoying boss arena.

Noodle Lizard

Quote from: druss on May 27, 2022, 04:37:39 PMI didn't even know you could kill them!

Started third run through with arcane and yet again couldn't kill Gascoigne first time. It's never dodging his attacks that is the problem, it's dodging into the environment and getting trapped. Such an annoying boss arena.

If you run up the staircase to the right, there's a much less-cluttered area to fight him on. You can also hop back down and run up again if you need to buy some time for a heal.

GoblinAhFuckScary

got to play this on my housemate's ps5 recently

honestly thought i was kinda done with videogames but i loooooooOOOooove the shit out of this

beat the cunt moon presence the other day. the kunt of kos was such. a. bitchhhhh

Thursday

Quote from: The Guppy on May 27, 2022, 02:26:26 PMOne Reborn is a funny old fight. First time, I killed it without even really understanding it. Absolute doddle.

Every time since has been a hassle. I have to run up and kill the sniper lasses before I kill the big guy. I didn't even notice the sniper lasses the first time.

Same for me... maybe something was adjusted in a patch at some point because he was useless first time.

Noodle Lizard

I've hit my first wall on Rom, The Dumb Spider. This is a very tedious fight. One of those where I got it down to its last few hits the first time, but have fucked up the subsequent 10. Might just go elsewhere for a bit.

GoblinAhFuckScary

Quote from: Noodle Lizard on May 31, 2022, 03:36:23 AMI've hit my first wall on Rom, The Dumb Spider. This is a very tedious fight. One of those where I got it down to its last few hits the first time, but have fucked up the subsequent 10. Might just go elsewhere for a bit.

kill all spiders, eat beast pellets and smack it in the face bare-fist

Fishfinger

#22
Quote from: GoblinAhFuckScary on May 31, 2022, 09:38:30 AMkill all spiders, eat beast pellets and smack it in the face bare-fist

Spoiler alert
...to fill the Beasthood bar, then smack Rom from the sides with a real (buffed) weapon. Do it right and you won't even get a 2nd phase. Otherwise, will be greatly weakened and maybe you can finish her from range.

In the 2nd phase, don't try to dodge or jump the arcane meteor things, otherwise you'll take counter-damage and die - just run and they won't catch and hurt you. The upwardly mobile ones that trigger when you're nearby you can just stay away from.
[close]

Fishfinger

Doing it the 'normal' or obvious way takes about 13-15 minutes, from what I remember. As you say, tedious.

Noodle Lizard

Thanks for the tips! I actually snuffed it yesterday the normal way, although it must've taken me at least 15-20 tries overall. It's not that any one particular aspect is hard - the spiders are easy enough to dodge/kill, I could reliably avoid the AoE attacks after the first couple of attempts - but throwing them all together over the course of such a long fight meant that at some point or another I'd be slammed by something happening off-camera.

I'm sure killing every wave of the little spiders each time would make it easier to tackle Rom itself, but that required a bit too much time and patience for a fight I wasn't particularly enjoying anyway. Having had a few runs of the next area, though, I can see that the game was trying to prepare you for dealing with mobs - bit of a sharp difficulty spike there, good grief!

GoblinAhFuckScary

fucking siiiiiick what happens after rom though innit

Noodle Lizard

Quote from: GoblinAhFuckScary on May 31, 2022, 10:29:27 PMfucking siiiiiick what happens after rom though innit

Oh yeah, it's wonderful. Especially going back to earlier areas and seeing how things have all gone a bit wrong(er), and figuring out some of the lore implications has been properly impressive and/or spooky. Had I gotten into this when I was a Lovecraft-obsessed teenager, I expect I would've spent the entire playtime with an erection, but it's still tremendously enjoyable whilst (mostly) flaccid.

I got the One Reborn and the electric dog one on my first try, which was surprising after how much of an arse-ache Rom had given me. However I've just discovered Nightmare Frontier and the Amygdala boss there has thumped me a few times, so business as usual.

Noodle Lizard

I've started the DLC now (stopped the main story after Micolash, per my friend's advice). I'd been told it was tough, but I wasn't expecting it to be that sharp a difficulty spike right from the off! I went in at level 60-something and had to farm upgrades to 75 just to comfortably get through the first area.

Ludwig was no fucking picnic, must've taken me at least 20 tries and I only saw his second phase twice. Great boss, but I really thought he might be unbeatable for a while at the beginning there. Of course, the confidence I gained from finally beating him was instantly decimated by the two hunters in the next area, who I had to cheesily separate by luring one back down into the dungeon.

I'm on the Living Failures now, tried them three times. They'll be doable, but it seems a bit of a tedious fight. Most of my least favourite boss battles tend to involve multiple enemies.

What a game. I still think Elden Ring's better overall, but BB's more consistent and the lore is far more interesting. Like it.

GoblinAhFuckScary

dlc was faaabulous. couldn't beat
Spoiler alert
orphan of kos
[close]
until i was level 100

Spoiler alert
lawrence was the single boss i couldn't beat, so i fucked him off and beat gehrman and moon presence. dreadfully irritating corpse run to him also. worse than logarius
[close]

Noodle Lizard

Yeah, I'm on Orphan now. I got him down to 50% relatively easily on my second try, so for a moment I thought it might be one of those "most difficult boss evers" that I somehow manage to beat fairly comfortably.

Anyway, I've put it down for the day after 15 more tries. Great boss, though.