Top 5 Best: Dark Souls Characters with Mod Loser!

Hey there Nasties! It’s Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me. And much to nobody’s surprise, I’m still ranting about the Dark Souls franchise! There are characters I absolutely adore from all three games, but today I’m going to try and narrow it down to my Top 5 Favorites. Shall we get started?

#5: Gwyndolin

I love Gwyndolin because she’s great trans representation in the culture that have commonly used gender neutral terms. What puts Gwyndolin low on this list for me personally is the way the community interacts around her. The constant sexualization of the “Trap” idea in regards to trans women or non-binary and/or androgynous people is absolutely disgusting. And hearing characters in the localized version of the game call Gwyndolin “he” is depressing. All in all, a character that should make me feel utter glee ends up instead making me feel dysphoric because of bad localization and an even worse community.

#4: Patches

Oh, Patches, you sick undead. I love Patches not because he’s a great character or because he is particularly kind, but he’s one of From Software’s memes. Patches shows up in almost every game they make, and every time he’s a complete scoundrel that tricks you into nearly dying on multiple occasions. But in Dark Souls 3, the storyline behind Patches, Greirat, and Lapp was tear jerking, truth be told. I adore Patches, and being able to summon him for a boss as well as giving him multiple, humanizing quest lines in Souls 3 cemented him as one of my favorites.

#3: Andre of Astora

The blacksmith that survived through the ages and will always keep coming back to help you save the world, or end it. I love Andre purely from a nostalgic point of view, which I’m willing to admit. The idea that Andre has survived so many linkings of the fire is amazing; not to mention him guarding the crest of Artorias in Dark Souls 1 always made me feel like he was innately sympathetic and caring. As a character he doesn’t have much depth, but seeing Andre always brings a smile to my face and makes me feel safe.

#2: Artorias the Abyss Walker

We’ve only interacted with Artorias once (and that was in a boss-fight where he had absolutely no dialogue). The stories of Artorias are told all through Dark Souls 1, and the Abyss Watchers in Souls 3 dedicated their undead lives to hunting down creatures of the abyss and keeping them at bay in honor of Arty’s sacrifice. The lore surrounding Gwyn’s most powerful knight was enough for him to make this list, but he also has an amazing boss-fight and some amazing gear to use. Artorias was a poetic, tragic character and finally giving him an honorable death in Souls 1’s DLC felt like closure for me as a player.

#1: Solaire

Pretend you didn’t see this coming, but I love Solaire for a wide variety of reasons. Primarily, the fact that Solaire is a constant force of positivity throughout the entire game, acting like a beacon of light through your dark journey. My metaphor is pretty literal given the sunbro covenant, but Solaire also is the only NPC that consistently shows up to help you through otherwise bullshit battles like Ornstein and Smough.

Further still, during Anor Londo, Solaire suggests that the two of you have feelings for each other, and if you play a male character this means that Solaire is interested in a gay relationship. This means that, by nature, Solaire is either Bisexual, Pansexual, or Demisexual as he says the same dialogue to female characters. It may have been a bit of a lazy oversight originally, but instead it came out as making the most loved, positive character in dark souls a canon member of the LGBTQA+ Community.

These are my favorite characters in the souls franchise, but I’d love to hear yours! Tell us in the comments below what characters you loved from Dark Souls!

This is Mod Loser, signing off.

Feminism in Gaming: Blizzard Games (with Mod Loser!)

Hey Nasties! This is Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me. And in this FIG, I’m going to discuss Blizzard’s history with feminism in their video games. It has been a bit of a wild ride, so without any more waiting, let’s get started.

Obviously, the farther back you go, the more problematic you find the situation.  The original Diablo games locked certain classes to a gender (which made no sense), and the various other games released with more boring, white, male protagonists. And let’s not forget WoW, hmm? These games exist, and while they were good at the time, it is important to recognize why they were problematic.

However, Blizzard’s more recent games have shown a drastic shift towards a more inclusive goal, which is significant for representation. The primary contender would be Overwatch. As much as I absolutely despise the loot system in Overwatch, it is incredibly positive towards POC’s and members of the LGBTQA+ community.

The obvious example would be Tracer being in a lesbian relationship (which was confirmed), but let’s dig deeper. For example, Symmetra is a successful person of color who also has been confirmed to have autism. Further yet, she is a support character. This means that in any given match, she is beneficial. They specifically empowered Symmetra while making her an icon to gamers of color as well as gamers who have autism to encourage them to play. But who else?

Sombra is Hispanic and incredibly proud of her heritage. At first, I thought Sombra was a stereotype, but the more I thought about it, the more I wondered why it was so bad for a Hispanic woman to be proud of her culture? If anything, I’m glad Sombra was added in for that reason. Further, still, we have Mei who was the star of the Chinese New Year event. There’s Hanzo, Genji, Lucio, Pharah, Ana, Reaper,  and this list goes on. Almost half of the entire roster includes people of color, which is so very important.

You may have watched Mod Knight’s video regarding representation in gaming and why it is important (if not you can watch it here), but I’d like to reiterate. The point of seeing someone you can identify with, someone who clearly shares the same culture or background or struggles that you share, makes the player feel so much more invested. It validates us as players, it makes us feel more comfortable and we deserve these feelings.

Thanks for reading my little rant, Nasties! I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you have a stellar day! Mod Loser, signing off.

Free 2 Play: The Old Republic with Mod Loser!

Welcome back to Free 2 Play with Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me! Today, we’re discussing Star Wars: The Old Republic. This game is free to play, but you can pay for a “Premium” service! We’re not going to discuss the premium service though, we’re discussing how the game plays for someone on a budget and wants a free game experience!

Unfortunately for you all, this game is absolutely terrible when played freely. There are many Free-To-Play MMO’s out there, and each of them have various amounts of Microtransactions and subscription begging, but The Old Republic takes this to an entirely new level. The hostility towards the player begins immediately, as in the starting zones, you are limited to how many quest rewards you can actually obtain. If you have too many in your inventory, you either have to throw away or sell your old rewards, or subscribe to the monthly cost.

If you have the credits to purchase an in game mount or speeder, you are disallowed from riding it unless you have a subscription, which makes exploring and moving from place to place astronomically more difficult and time consuming. The player hostility continues as you are disallowed from entering a party, adding friends, or communicating with other players unless you have paid for a subscription.

Now, World of Warcraft does this similarly, but they call this a “Demo.” You can get a character to Level 20 and experience the base game, and as such a Demo limits how much you can do. That makes sense. However, when the Old Republic markets itself as an entirely free to play game while being completely hostile to players, begging them to spend any modicum of money on mounts and cosmetics they can’t use, or demanding a subscription for the most basic functions in a multiplayer game, it comes across as desperate and poorly made. To be blunt, that is exactly what The Old Republic’s free to play model is. Hostile to players, money grubbing, and it can ruin the experience of the main game. Is anybody surprised that this is published by EA?

My concluding statement: Run Away. Don’t even try this game unless you want to burn money to make it actually playable. I’ve heard that with a subscription its a very competent MMO, although I personally can’t recommend it.

Thank you for reading, Nasties, I’ll see you next time!

Nasty Discussion: E3 Hype with Mod Loser!

 

Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me and I want to discuss what amounts to Gaming Christmas with all of you nasties! Yes, E3 has a reputation for showing fantastic cinematic trailers only for many games to turn out absolutely terrible, but there have also been fantastic games that had light shed upon them during E3! For example, in E3 2016, we were shown a ridiculous amount of content from Breath of the Wild, and it sufficiently got people hyped the world over!

I could talk about the bad games that came out of E3 like Watch_Dogs, but instead I’d rather focus on the positive things that we as gamers can look forward to. On the Nintendo Side, we have the first DLC pack for Breath of the Wild that needs to be discussed, and supposedly the entire presentation will focus on new content for the Switch and 3DS family. I’m not one for predictions, but if Nintendo really wanted to slam it out of the park, I’d put money on a new first person Metroid for the Switch!

I’m also hoping for details on the virtual console, as well as more information on the new online features that will be coming this fall, and of course, Super Mario Odyssey. Would I like info on Pokken Tournament Deluxe, or perhaps a Super Smash Bros. Deluxe? Yes, absolutely I would. I’d also love information on Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing! Nintendo is in a rare position where, with the launch of a new console, any of their primary IP’s could make a huge splash in a way that the Wii U never got.

Meanwhile, Sony is going to have to pull out all the stops, as there isn’t much right now going on. Yes, the Crash Bandicoot remakes look amazing, but with Kingdom Hearts 3 and the Final Fantasy 7 remake being delayed, there aren’t many IP’s for Sony to bank on to bring the hype.

Many are speculating that Bloodborne 2 will be coming to E3, and if so that could definitely bring in hype from the Dark Souls fan base. What Sony needs to do, in my opinion, is really blow the lid off of the new Spider-Man that Insomniac is developing. It’s been so long since a very quality super-hero game came out, and a new Spider-Man could really push some consoles.

Finally, we have the most unfortunate of the three situations. Microsoft and the Xbox. With a new console looming, the Scorpio, Xbox is in a rough position. There aren’t any major exclusives right now aside from Halo 5, Halo Wars 2, Forza, and Gears of War 4, which doesn’t spell well for Microsoft. This is especially true given the current heavy focus on single player RPG’s, the best examples of the past year being Dark Souls 3, Breath of the Wild, and Horizon Zero Dawn. Without Scalebound, Xbox is struggling to stay relevant.

The Scorpio is clearly Microsoft’s answer to the PS4 Pro, playing the same games as the Xbox One but with more power, but I think Microsoft has forgotten that without blockbuster game titles, the console won’t sell. The Wii U struggled similarly, either releasing its good first party games too late into the life span, or releasing games without a great amount of substance. Xbox is starting to fall into that same category while the Switch is attempting to innovate, while still being a friendly platform to third party.

The power of the console isn’t very important anymore, rather, the popularity and broad appeal of the console. The Switch has great broad appeal, being both a home console and portable console, and the PS4 is considered to be the definitive home console of the generation. Xbox needs something monumental this E3 to gather hype, or else I fear they may start falling to the wayside.

Thanks for reading my thoughts, Nasties! What do you think is going to be announced this E3? How do you feel about the current console war, and did I miss some games that you think can really turn this E3 into something great? Comment down below!