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LTTP LTTP - Bloodborne

Jan 9, 2018
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Confession: this is sort of a stealth brag that I'm getting to enjoy this game for the first time, whilst all of you can never erase your memory and have that experience of true surprise again.

The basics:
- middle-aged gamer, but somehow never played a Souls game until now
- got a PS5, signed up for plus, downloaded this and never looked back at anything else since
- truly going in blind and have looked at nothing; no spoilers please, because I don't like knowing anything about a game like this one when I start

My experience so far: I shut off the lights & put on headphones once the kids & wife were all asleep one night just after Christmas, and dove in. For the first 15 minutes, I wasn't sure if the genre was ultimately going to be traditional survival horror... the werewolf in the lab area was pretty frightening to creep up on without weapons, and I had no idea that I was supposed to die at that point. In fact, I tried to find a weapon or some way around it for a good little while before finally just getting killed. And even then, I was frustrated, thinking the dream was only a failure hub, and went immediately back in to try and fight or escape the werewolf a second, and then third time and fourth time still empty-handed, before finally talking to the skeletons to receive a weapon in the dream. To be fair, the skeletons had nothing but tutorial tips until that point, so I had no reason to expect that they'd give me a weapon, so I'd ignored the ones with the "gifts" for a while. I assumed I had simply failed to fight properly and was determined to beat this injured / weakened werewolf before going forward with anything else.

In general, the function of the dream world is the most confusing part of the game when you go in without having seen any prior games from the related series, and with zero knowledge of how things work. I wasted a few hours of play before I understood any of the consequences of moving between the real and dream worlds, or even understood just what kind of saving the game does. Since all the monsters reset themselves when I went to the dream and back, I assumed that entering the dream at the same lamp point as before was a kind of failure to progress, and that I needed to reach a second lamp in order to "save" any of my killing I'd done and keep them dead--so I just kept trying to reach a second lamp for hours without any care for points or leveling, thinking of each death as full reset. Everything about the dream's role, how saving works, and the risk / reward system was confusing at first. So I died a lot of times just trying to work out the combat and experiment, only to find that it seemed the enemies were perhaps getting stronger while I wasn't.

Anyhow, once I finally understood everything through trial and error (how to "level up" with the doll, the meaning of the blood points, what dying does, etc), I just decided to start over from the beginning and do things right. On second go at it, things went much smoother. I made it very far through the main area on a single life and obtained an insight point in the sewer area to get the doll, with a ton of points to spend and finally level up enough to take down the first boss on my very next run. Upon beating that boss, however, I was still a bit confused to gain a new lamp that doesn't lead anywhere new, and to find that nothing except the boss stayed dead. Now I see that it's just the way the game works, but none of that is intuitive.

The world / city looks fantastic once you get outside, and is the real highlight of the game for me. Combat is still a struggle and felt sluggish at first, but I'm getting it now. I think I mainly need to figure out how to balance dodging with attacks and do more "dodge into the enemy" moves aggressively for a follow-up shot instead of dodging away. I died at the second boss fight I encountered, the old hunter, and paused at that point to just explore further before taking him on again.

That's it so far. A very enjoyable game that reminds me at times of the moods from one of my favorite childhood games, Castlevania III, just for the world's feeling of despair. Don't spoil anything, because I don't like knowing things about games until I see them for myself. Generic tips about combat are fine if they don't spoil an item or area etc.
 

AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
May 31, 2018
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Pretty fascinating to read the experience of someone who's got no idea how Souls works going into one. I came to the franchise late, but it was impossible for me to avoid learning exactly what the Souls formula is, between the internet, friends, podcasts etc.

Enjoy the ride OP, it's a masterpiece. You really don't need any tips, honestly, you're the sort of gamer who actually has the patience to learn how a game works yourself, and that's the most rewarding way to play. As you say, continue to dodge "into" the enemy; the basic Souls combat loop is dodge through an attack to get behind them, and swing away. BB is way more aggressive than the other games and it rewards boldness.
 

PaddyOCanager

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Apr 26, 2010
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I finally beat it for the first time last month. I bought it at launch, set it aside after reaching a point where I just wasn't having any fun. Restarted it last month with the help of a guide, ended up blowing through it and the DLC. Immediately picked up DS1 Remastered, beat that and I'm now on DS3 (DS2 was like $50 and DS3 was like $20 on sale with all DLC when I checked so I skipped DS2).

Honestly, I can't imagine playing these blind now - when I was younger, maybe. I simply don't have the time or the patience for how obtuse these games are. I see how this can be rewarding for some, but when it comes to not wanting to miss out on secrets, lore or game mechanics it's one of the worst series to play. My stress with these games doesn't come from the bosses or enemies, but the presentation of the game itself. That being said, I hope they never change. Playing them years later, after millions of players have already done the hard work for me has been amazing.

My generic tip for Bloodborne: Read the full item description of everything you pick up. Even the most generic looking stuff can have significant implications in game.
 

ssringo

Member
Dec 8, 2020
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You should definitely try to mention where you where you are or what boss(es) you've fought/killed (by name if you remember though a brief description will easily indicate the area/boss to veterans) so folks have an idea of specifics they can talk about without spoiling you. Reading your OP when you said "first boss" I wasn't entirely sure what you boss you were talking about. I was thinking "oh, he mentioned finding insight in the sewers so he must've gone to Gascoigne first" only to realize you meant Cleric Beast was first since the hunter is the second boss you encountered. Plus it'll let folks keep track and maybe try to guide you towards stuff you may have missed if you're interested. Something like "hey, go back to those ____ and look around again" under a spoiler tag. There's actually a LOT of stuff you can miss or forget to go back to.

My only general advice is this: when leveling up, Vitality is a fantastic stat to lean on when you're learning the game. Obviously it gives you more HP but at the same time it makes your blood vials better since they heal 40% of your HP regardless.

Also, I've been thinking of doing another run myself. Been watching FightinCowboy's Bloodborne walkthrough (not needed, I just enjoy watching his stuff) and getting that Souls itch.
 
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sublimit

Member
Aug 28, 2009
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In general, the function of the dream world is the most confusing part of the game when you go in without having seen any prior games from the related series, and with zero knowledge of how things work. I wasted a few hours of play before I understood any of the consequences of moving between the real and dream worlds, or even understood just what kind of saving the game does. Since all the monsters reset themselves when I went to the dream and back, I assumed that entering the dream at the same lamp point as before was a kind of failure to progress, and that I needed to reach a second lamp in order to "save" any of my killing I'd done and keep them dead--so I just kept trying to reach a second lamp for hours without any care for points or leveling, thinking of each death as full reset. Everything about the dream's role, how saving works, and the risk / reward system was confusing at first. So I died a lot of times just trying to work out the combat and experiment, only to find that it seemed the enemies were perhaps getting stronger while I wasn't.

Anyhow, once I finally understood everything through trial and error (how to "level up" with the doll, the meaning of the blood points, what dying does, etc), I just decided to start over from the beginning and do things right. On second go at it, things went much smoother. I made it very far through the main area on a single life and obtained an insight point in the sewer area to get the doll, with a ton of points to spend and finally level up enough to take down the first boss on my very next run. Upon beating that boss, however, I was still a bit confused to gain a new lamp that doesn't lead anywhere new, and to find that nothing except the boss stayed dead. Now I see that it's just the way the game works, but none of that is intuitive.
You're sure to be in a fine haze about now, but don't think too hard about all of this. Just go out and kill a few beasts.
 

kyussman

Member
Dec 6, 2018
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Bloodborne was my first Souls type game too(I've played Dark Souls Remastered and Dark Souls III since)......I'm also getting on a bit(48 this year).My first time through Bloodborne was truly memorable so take your time and soak it all in....and yea,you will get stuck because these games don't spell stuff out for you like other games do.....if you do get truly stumped don't get frustrated,just look it up online....no shame in that with these games.....and play The Old Hunters dlc,it's great and essential.
 

crozier

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Apr 18, 2013
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I hate bosses and I am completely shameless in my intent to use a guide for each and every one of them. Trial and error is not fun to me.
 
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I hate bosses and I am completely shameless in my intent to use a guide for each and every one of them. Trial and error is not fun to me.
That's what the summon system is for. Invite a random or one of the NPCs they frequently provide you as an option. Makes bosses MUCH easier.

Edit: Not to say you can't die with help, but you're a lot more likely to beat a boss on your first or second attempt with someone helping you.
 
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Update

Fortunately I had a chance to dive in again last night (I don't always get to play games by myself... between having 2 kids, wife that likes to watch things together at bed time, etc).

Since I had encountered the first hunter boss (Father ... something?) and died once at him, I decided to wait for that battle and just explore all current areas instead. Which I did, and it was a blast. I managed on a single life (after one or two screw-ups) to eliminate I think every single enemy and obtain every item in the whole available areas in one run, which continued to get more intense as I worried about losing all those echoes. For instance, the giant boar-like creature in the tunnel; I felt it was going to be a massive challenge and almost decided to just go back to the lamp without killing him, but since I'd been that far I went for it. It turns out that he's easy, but the rush was great nonetheless. Or the large enemy with the giant axe hiding behind a barrier of boxes near the opening area.

All those echoes & items meant tons of upgrades, then having explored the whole first region I decided I had to take on the hunter boss again. I think it took me 4 attempts. I was very close once and then blew it by trying to use the oil & molotovs I'd been hoarding, against the final form of the hunter. That was my usual habit of "stockpile powerful things, use them all on next boss" but a terrible idea since the wolf-like form of the boss was too fast to hit and I just threw several while getting slashed to death. Anyhow, I beat him finally and felt like I'm fully into this game's systems now.

What I enjoy most so far: exploring, finding various pathways and hidden connections between areas, fighting small to mid enemies, and the great fear / motivation balance of risking your echoes to take on something difficult.

What I enjoy a little less: boss battles, although that may change. It was an impressive fight, but not as fun to do repeatedly, compared to exploration. I was also a bit confused by the penalty when dying on a boss. When I normally die, don't I lose all the blood vials I used? But after each boss fight death, I still had full 20 when I respawned. Or is this the storage thing that I haven't messed with?

Already aching to go back into the world, but have work to do this weekend. We'll see when my next real game time happens.
 

ssringo

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Dec 8, 2020
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What I enjoy a little less: boss battles, although that may change. It was an impressive fight, but not as fun to do repeatedly, compared to exploration. I was also a bit confused by the penalty when dying on a boss. When I normally die, don't I lose all the blood vials I used? But after each boss fight death, I still had full 20 when I respawned. Or is this the storage thing that I haven't messed with?

Gascoigne (the hunter boss) is a pretty tough skill check for new players. Most people took many attempts to get him down for the first time but it really prepares you for the rest of the game. My first time through the game I had the most trouble with everything up to Gascoigne. After overcoming him the rest of the game felt much less difficult/frustrating (not counting DLC).

As for items, you can only hold a certain amount. Everything past the carry limit automatically goes into your storage (unless that's full too). When dying your vials and bullets will automatically be replenished from your storage but other items won't. So if you ever die and see that you have less than max vials/bullets that's ALL you have left.
 

Con-Z-epT

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Dec 3, 2019
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It was my first From Software game and is still the best game i played from the last generation.

Bloodborne opened up all the other soulsborne titles for me.

I also think quite often about the game.

The first 6 hours i struggled alot but then things kept getting better and better.

Glad you enjoy it!
 

Orpheum

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Sep 7, 2015
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The best game of the last generation. Keep going, you're in for a treat. Especially the dlc content will blow your mind.

Once you're done i advise you to read "the paleblood hunt" by redgrave (reddit)
It's a fantastic written piece of all the lore and the current events. Summarized in an understandable way. It makes the game even better
 

LordOfChaos

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Mar 31, 2014
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I'm glad you went in without spoilers. Just let it happen to you. It was my first From Software game too and I went in knowing nothing and ended up loving it. Don't expect a very overtly explained plot, but pay attention to item descriptions and environmental storytelling.
 
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I'm jealous of you OP. I would love to be able to experience Bloodborne for the first time again.

As for combat, you've definitely got the right idea. It's very reactionary, aggressive gameplay that depends a lot on your ability to recognize patterns in enemy move-sets.

The step-dodge is pretty essential for maneuvering and is pretty much the only real means of defense in this game. You may notice certain "invincibility frames" where you won't take damage during the animation. Exploit that as much as you can.

I'd also pay attention to your health bar when trading blows with an enemy. There's something interesting happening there that'll definitely start to encourage a particular play style if/when you take advantage of it.

Hope, I didn't give too much away. Enjoy!
 
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Gunboat Diplomat

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Dec 12, 2020
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I guess I’m about a week or so ahead of your journey OP. Middle aged gamer, no prior From games experience and playing it blind so far (other than a YouTube guide on levelling which I’d recommend).

I shall not spoil anything for you land I’m still early in my journey I suspect (I’ve killed 4 bosses so far).

I started the game over a year ago and noped straight out after slugging through Yarnham only to be mauled by the two Scourge Beasts on the bridge. It sat untouched after that.

Fast forward to now and I picked it up again as I was finding gaming in general a bit stressful as they promise so much but deliver little of meaning. I took the view that learning to channel failure and frustration into reasoned and deliberate actions was a good way to train myself out of the cycle of instant-gratification that current gen games are a mainstay of.

Anyhow, it has mostly met my expectations in that regard. There have been points where I have questioned whether I will ever progress beyond a particular boss or area, but it is always answered by considered and deliberate play.

Some themes I have discovered during my time are...

In Bloodborne you are a Hunter. It’s the truest form of RPG in that you must adopt that role. A Hunter does not flail wildly with abandon or throw down his weapons in a sulk. He hunts with wit and skill.

The above sounds a bit prosaic, but the point I’ve discovered is that Bloodborne is a game that is talking to you the entire time. It just asks that you listen carefully and meet it halfway.

“Bloodborne, why have you placed all these horrible enemies here in my way? This isn’t fair?!”
“I want you to learn how to cope with their attack patterns as the next boss you face will need those skills.”

“Bloodborne, why are you so obtuse, I don’t know what to do next?”
“I want you to backtrack and try new things, there is a lot you may miss if you don’t explore and there is a rich story I want you to experience .”

“Bloodborne, why must I repeat the same areas when I die.”
“With practice comes skill and levels. These will help you overcome.”

You get the point. Bloodborne wants to help you. It wants to inform. It wants you to succeed. But it speaks in hushed tones rather than bombastic hyperbole.

It’s as good as they say it is.
 
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JimmyRustler

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Best gamer ever made. If you dig the story and want to make sense of it I recommend you to read the paleblood hunt (just search in Google) where this dude put together all the puzzle pieces.

I mean, I already loved the game but after reading this and the replaying it with all that knowledge I got completely sucked it. It‘s not just a great game, it‘s a piece of pure art.

I hope we get some kind of remaster or at least a PC port that can run the game at 60 fps. That would just be icing the cake.
 
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Plat or bust. Amygdala and Watchdogs of the Old Lords on Defiled Chalice for true bragging rights.

Good luck. :lollipop_horns:
------------------------------------------------

Something I noticed when I booted the game on PS5 to see if anything changed: Nothing has changed. Maybe the loading is a bit faster. HOWEVER, auto HDR on PS5 crushes blacks on this game - and I noticed it quickly compared to my experience on PS4. It will make the game way tooo dark. Disable it on PS5's system menu.

Enjoy the masterpiece.
 
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Something I noted when I booted the game on PS5 to see if anything changed: Nothing has changed. Maybe the loading is a bit faster. HOWEVER, auto HDR on PS5 crushes blacks on this game - and I noticed it quickly compared to my experience on PS4. It will make the game way tooo dark. Disable it on PS5's system menu.
Interesting. It did seem very dark, but I assumed it was my less-than-perfect TV. I'll try with that setting next time I boot it up.
 

Perrott

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Feb 23, 2019
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Bloodborne is good, but it's not on that level, it's still incredibly similar to previous From Software games.
Not on that level? Goldeneye sucks nowadays, unlike Bloodborne which played fantastic when it released 6 years ago, plays fantastic now and will play fantastic in 20 years, considering how Demon's Souls has aged like fine wine.

And don't get me started on World of Warcraft, which is the Counter Strike of MMOs - and that game has nothing to do against the best modern first-person shooters.

That finally brings us to Minecraft which, well, is a fun game and a great concept, sure, but most of the content updates from the last couple of years had messed up the original game design, something has made it a worse game overall (and I know what am I talking about, having played it for over 1500hs).
 
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Not on that level? Goldeneye sucks nowadays, unlike Bloodborne which played fantastic when it released 6 years ago, plays fantastic now and will play fantastic in 20 years, considering how Demon's Souls has aged like fine wine.

And don't get me started on World of Warcraft, which is the Counter Strike of MMOs - and that game has nothing to do against the best modern first-person shooters.

That finally brings us to Minecraft which, well, is a fun game and a great concept, sure, but most of the content updates from the last couple of years had messed up the original game design, something has made it a worse game overall (and I know what am I talking about, having played it for over 1500hs).

Bruh.... :messenger_grinning_sweat:
 
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Azelover

Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
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Fabulous game!

It can soak up a lot of your time, you have to know that going in.
 

Bragr

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Not on that level? Goldeneye sucks nowadays, unlike Bloodborne which played fantastic when it released 6 years ago, plays fantastic now and will play fantastic in 20 years, considering how Demon's Souls has aged like fine wine.

And don't get me started on World of Warcraft, which is the Counter Strike of MMOs - and that game has nothing to do against the best modern first-person shooters.

That finally brings us to Minecraft which, well, is a fun game and a great concept, sure, but most of the content updates from the last couple of years had messed up the original game design, something has made it a worse game overall (and I know what am I talking about, having played it for over 1500hs).
Goldeneye does play like shit now, but when it came out it was certainly one of the biggest games without a direct sequel, and it certainly was better than Bloodborne. Demon's Souls has aged well, but not perfect, the format has been used so many times now that it's not as unique as it once was. Bloodborne is the best iteration FromSoftware has done to date of their formula, but it's not exactly creative, and does walk in the same old shoes.

I don't really know what you are on about when it comes to WoW and Counter-Strike here. You don't have to like WoW to praise it, but it was a complete game-changer, as was Counter-Strike and obviously Minecraft. Nothing FromSoftware has done can reach that high.

Look, Bloodborne is excellent, I love it, but FromSoftware has so much shine right now that people are praising them to absurd heights.
 

Perrott

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Goldeneye does play like shit now, but when it came out it was certainly one of the biggest games without a direct sequel, and it certainly was better than Bloodborne. Demon's Souls has aged well, but not perfect, the format has been used so many times now that it's not as unique as it once was. Bloodborne is the best iteration FromSoftware has done to date of their formula, but it's not exactly creative, and does walk in the same old shoes.

I don't really know what you are on about when it comes to WoW and Counter-Strike here. You don't have to like WoW to praise it, but it was a complete game-changer, as was Counter-Strike and obviously Minecraft. Nothing FromSoftware has done can reach that high.

Look, Bloodborne is excellent, I love it, but FromSoftware has so much shine right now that people are praising them to absurd heights.
I'm not talking about the impact those games had in the industry at the time, which was massive, but about the quality of the games themselves. If GoldenEye failed to endure the passage of time, maybe it wasn't that good to begin with because games like Tetris, Pac-Man, Street Fighter 2 or several Super Mario titles don't have that problem.

That was my point, that just like a great movie from the 70s was as good back then as it is today, a truly great and memorable game should be a blast to play not only at launch but also 20 years after.
 
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I never made it past father Gascoigne :(
Give it a few more tries when times becomes available. He's the Bloodborne experience killer for many folks new to the Soul series. Dodge, learn attack patterns and use the environment (graves) to your advantage.
 

ChoosableOne

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They Pull Me Back In Al Pacino GIF by The Godfather
 

Bragr

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I'm not talking about the impact those games had in the industry at the time, which was massive, but about the quality of the games themselves. If GoldenEye failed to endure the passage of time, maybe it wasn't that good to begin with because games like Tetris, Pac-Man, Street Fighter 2 or several Super Mario titles don't have that problem.

That was my point, that just like a great movie from the 70s was as good back then as it is today, a truly great and memorable game should be a blast to play not only at launch but also 20 years after.
I'm also talking about the quality. Goldeneye didn't last long because of the N64 controller, it was smack in the middle of the console transition era, it was before the dual stick console shooters. It was a pioneer that was doomed to age bad because of the technological limitations and control scheme it had to follow. But the design behind it was great and used in many games. It might not be a top game today, but you can say that about almost any game from before the 2000's. I mean, Tetris and Pacman is awesome for 1 hour, but they do get repetitive, they have no progression going on apart from just passing high scores and levels because thats how they made games back then unless you play the new versions of them. Street Fighter 2 is only cool if you got nostalgia for it, it can't hang with modern fighting games at all.

WoW and Counter-Strike is still played by millions and still plays well, WoW has aged but MMO's have stood completely still for so long that it's older systems still works alright. Minecraft might become the longest lasting game in history as it basically doesn't age at all.

However, the original question was about stand alone games that never got a sequel, getting into the weeds about age and how they play now is a different discussion. Who knows, maybe after Elden Ring, Bloodborne is gonna feel ancient.
 
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I just learned yesterday that I can Remote Play this across the home network to my MacBook in bed and put on headphones... so this is perhaps bad for my self discipline, but I was able to grind a bit in the game last night once my wife fell asleep. Not as cool as on the big TV, so I’ll save bigger battles and new areas for when I can use the living room in peace, but this is perfect for letting me get a nightly fix.
 

GonSama

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Jun 21, 2020
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Best From Software game.
It's a masterpiece.

If you still haven't tried it again, just give it another chance.
 
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I should mention that I'm playing it entirely in offline mode. I cherish true single-player experiences, and hate even the idea of other players being involved in small ways.

Currently, I'm at the old area of town where someone is firing a machine-gun at me from a tower. Great location, can't wait to get back into it.
 
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