Dark Souls 2 Blog

Greg Meyer

This blog will be about Dark Souls 2, Scholar of the First Sin for PlayStation 4.  Dark Souls 2, Scholar of the First Sin is the Dark Souls game to play for anyone who is new to Dark Souls. The game is more simple than the other Dark Souls games in the trilogy, with a simple task to go to a king and break a curse instead of a complicated scheme to bring back light. The graphics were okay, but they seemed no different from the graphics for PS3. The game was really fun and it was a genius idea to be able to take any of the paths to a great one in any order.  I was confused on how to get past the central area of the castle,  so that prevented me from completing the game.  It was a convenience that it was easier to find souls in this game than in any of the other Dark Souls games. I wish in the game that each class had  more variety in stamina, because each character seemed to have had the same amount of stamina. I was hoping that there would be indictments in this game, especially considering the fact that there were dark invaders in the game. I thought that the bosses were too generic and small, they were not very creative.

 

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Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas

Empire of Storms is the fifth installment of the Throne of Glass series written by Sarah J. Maas. This novel follows the main character Aelin Galathynius and the viewpoint of many others imperative to the plot and looming war. The different points of view make Aelin fall into the shadows more and allow her to do things that the reader wouldn’t expect, which I quite liked. With writing many different points of view, you often find that the plot went dry, a certain point of view was boring, or it just wasn’t needed to advance the story, yet Maas was able to avoid this by adding layers and interesting plots to add lovable depth to each character. The way the paths of each character intertwined was fun to follow, and if their stories had not been developed properly throughout the series I would have found myself overwhelmed with the amount of characters.

Maas’ writing is beautiful and dramatic, which works wonderfully with the high fantasy genre. She can create such vivid scenes and creatures throughout her series such as the wyverns and the different geographical locations. The map at the beginning of the book was very helpful, and the sheer length of the series allowed us to explore nearly every part of Erilea (the novella The Assassin’s Blade also helps with this and additional back story that I would recommend reading before the first book Throne of Glass so you can understand a few subtle references placed throughout the series) and I often found myself thinking as the characters would to predict where the best place for them to go next would be.

Despite the charm of her series, I do find that when the story slows down, it really slows. I would find myself painfully trying to read through a chapter or two until I gave up and set the book down for a month or two. These slow parts aren’t usually that long, and I was probably a bit impatient as some of my friends got through the book without having to stop. When the slow parts are over, Empire of Storms becomes incredibly fast paced and intense. The final one hundred pages were the most enjoyable and action packed for reasons I can’t reveal for sake of spoilers.

Empire of Storms has lots of romance to accompany the action, which is good, but I found myself a bit upset that every single one of her characters had to be in romantic relationships, even the ones that seemed best single or good friends with each other. The book does have a warning on it for explicit scenes and although there are only two, it’s worth mentioning if you aren’t a fan of that or a younger reader.

Overall, this was an entertaining, action packed book that really built up anticipation for the war and fear for beloved characters that will be front and center in the final installation Kingdom of Ash coming October 23rd, 2018. The next book in the series is called Tower of Dawn which follows Chaol, who wasn’t present in Empire of Storms. I have not read this book yet but will review it when I do.

I would rate Empire of Storms a 7.5 / 10.

A Pirate’s Journey: Part Eight

three pirate ships on a dark, cloudy ocean

 

 

 

 

“Silas,” Red said desperately. “You don’t have to do this. We’d rather you be alive than take those chances.”

Maldir shushed Red and cheered, “Come on, Silas, you can do it! Show this rum-guzzling, captain-stealing fool why he shouldn’t mess with Timberwolf’s crew!” The rest of the crew followed suit, chanting Silas’ name and booing at Halloway.

Silas drew his sword and faced Halloway. “Do you accept my offer?”

As an answer, the short captain drew his own weapon. “Prepare to suffer.”

Their swords met with a resounding crash, and the duel began. Silas quickly lost ground as he was backed up against the railing, but he darted to the side as Halloway slashed at him. The fight took them all over the ship, Halloway using his strength and experience to his advantage, while Silas used his surroundings and knowledge of the ship to his own advantage. To avoid getting his legs sliced, Silas tried to jump onto a barrel, but lost his balance and fell to the ground.

Halloway stood over him, grinning evilly, cutlass raised high. “I suppose you had a bit too much confidence in yourself, boy.”

Silas returned the grin with a beam of his own. “I think not.” He slid between Captain Halloway’s legs and out the other side, jumping up to give him a hard kick in the back. The man turned around, stumbling, and Silas shoved him to the ground, planting a foot firmly on his chest. “I believe I have won this duel. Would you care to surrender, captain?”

Halloway glared at him. “I surrender.”

Graciously, Silas stepped off the captain and offered to help him up, but Halloway refused. He called to his own crew, “It’s over, boys.” Without a word, the older pirates retreated to their own ship.

Timberwolf’s crew cheered, crowding around Silas to hug him and ruffle his hair. After all, he had saved them.

Once Halloway was behind his own wheel, he yelled back to Silas, “This isn’t over yet, boy. We’ll be back, mark my words.”

“Yeah?” Silas called. “Maybe next time we’ll bring some friends so it might actually be an even fight.” His crew erupted in another bout of joyful yelling.

Halloway didn’t respond, only spun the wheel to turn his ship about and head back to his stronghold, defeated.

Once all the dark-sailed ships had nearly disappeared over the horizon, Silas turned to his crew. He felt extremely giddy – he had just fought a pirate with much more experience than him and lived to tell the tale. Not only that, he had won, and saved his crew in the process.

“Now, who’s ready to go save our captain?”

A Pirate’s Journey: Part Seven

 

Halloway had obviously underestimated the abilities of Timberwolf’s crew, as there were only a few guards in the passages between Silas and his mates. Silas broke the other seven boys out of their cells without much effort. However, when they returned to the caves where they had arrived, the crew found that their ship was missing.

Fortunately, Algreve mentioned that he had seen a large port around the front of the hideout when they had first sailed in. Theo had managed to snag a map of the stronghold off one of the guards, which he gave to Silas. Then, with Silas leading, Captain Timberwolf’s crew snuck off to find their ship.

With the help of the map, it was relatively simple to find the docks. The hardest part was trying not to be seen, though Silas knew they would have to go out in the open to get to their vessel. Luck was on their side, as Timberwolf’s crew managed to stay hidden until their sprint to the ship. The lookout spotted them within moments, but by the time guards had arrived to stop the boys, everyone had boarded the ship and Silas had given the order to weigh anchor.

Never before had the crew worked so quickly or efficiently to put to sea, and Silas was prouder of his mates than words could express. However, they were not out of the woods yet, because there was no doubt that Halloway would pursue them. His ship was said to be one of the fastest on the water.

Once they were underway, Silas called Maldir up to the deck to ask if he could find the island the first guard had told him about. Maldir had already located the island and gave Silas directions on how to get there. It would only take a few hours to sail to the island, but Silas, catching sight of not one but four black-sailed ships tailing them, knew there was only a slim chance they wouldn’t be caught before they could rescue Timberwolf.

That was why he had a backup plan, one that even his crew was not aware of; he hoped he wouldn’t have to use it, but if the worst came to pass, he was willing to go through with it.

After all, it was the choice a true leader would make.

.   .   .

To Silas’ dismay, Halloway had almost caught up within the hour. Timberwolf’s crew had worked furiously to catch more wind in the sails, lighten the load of their cargo, anything to help them sail faster, but now they simply stood on deck awaiting their fate. The boys, so full of hope not long ago, were now as listless as Silas had been in his cell in the stronghold.

Silas left his position at the helm for a moment to walk about his crew. “Fear not,” he told them, grasping arms and squeezing shoulders. “I still have something up my sleeve, and I assure you, everything will be fine. You just have to trust me and let me do the talking.”

He returned to the wheel and pulled the ship about abruptly. Halloway’s ship approached quickly, and it docked beside Timberwolf’s vessel. A gangplank was thrown between the two, and then Captain Halloway himself, a sallow-skinned man, appeared on deck. “Well, Mr. Creed,” he addressed Silas, squinting at the boy. “It appears that you have lost. Surrender yourself and your crew may survive.”

“No, I don’t think that is going to work,” Silas said, a hand on his hip. “What if I were to duel you instead? If you defeat me, I will give myself up. However, if I defeat you, then you must let my crew and I go, and you must grant us free passage to rescue our captain.”

Halloway smirked, and Silas was suddenly reminded of José. “I admire your valor, but are you sure you would like to suffer defeat in front of your own crew?”

A Pirate’s Journey: Part Six

 

As night began to fall, the stronghold came into view. The ship made a wide circle around the rocky structure, trying to keep out of view. Algreve, once again in the crow’s nest, sighted the entrance to the caves and directed Silas toward it. José offered to steer, claiming he had the steadier hand, but Silas ignored him and guided the ship smoothly between the rocks. He pulled up beside a crag that resembled a pier and threw the anchor overboard before disembarking, his group following close behind.

José pointed out the staircase and the four boys began to climb, Silas leading the way. He could see a wooden door set into the stone wall at the top landing. Silas put a finger to his lips, signaling for the others to be as quiet as possible as he gently pushed the door open . . . to find a group of nasty looking pirates waiting for them.

One of them wrestled Silas away from the door, while another two grappled with Maldir and Algreve. The last one nodded at José and said gruffly, “Well done. The captain will be pleased.”

“I should have known,” Silas hissed. “You always did have the makings of a traitor.”

José leered at him. “No, I am simply a good first mate, unlike you.” He turned away from Silas and began to walk down the dark hall, away from the caves, calling back, “There are two at the cave entrance, and you can find the last three on the ship. Now, take them away.”

Silas was shoved into a dank cell with no light and no idea where the rest of his crew had been taken. He sank against the wall and a feeling of absolute hopelessness overwhelmed him. He had failed – not just Timberwolf, but the whole crew – and there was no one to save them.

.   .   .

Silas wasn’t sure how much time had passed since he was thrown in the cell, but he knew it hadn’t been more than an hour. In that time, Silas had been sitting listlessly on the ground; there was no point in trying to escape because he never would be able to do so anyway.

Silas choked back an angry sob and threw a punch at the wall. He gained nothing but bloody knuckles and a sore hand. It was all his fault. Sure, José had betrayed them, but Silas had been the one to trust him in the first place. He had wanted to lead the crew, but had led them toward nothing but their own imprisonment.

A sudden sound startled him out of his stupor. The sound was faint at first, but it grew in both volume and proximity until he could recognize it as a voice. It sounded like a guard talking to himself as he made his rounds. Moments later, a flicker of torchlight on the wall confirmed Silas’ guess, and with the short burst of light, Silas was filled with a strong determination to escape and save his crew; no, his family. He remembered Kincade’s faith in his ability to lead the crew. He remembered Maldir standing up to José without thinking twice about it. He remembered Red looking to him for confirmation when the other boy was the one taking charge.

Silas had so many people who believed in him, and he was determined not to let them down.

As the guard passed by his cell, Silas called out to him. The pirate stopped to sneer at the boy. “What do you want, scum?” Silas muttered something under his breath and the guard moved closer to hear him. “What?”

Quick as a diving sea eagle, Silas’ hand shot out from between the bars of the cell door and grabbed the man’s shirt, pulling him against the metal bars. Halloway’s guard struggled to get away, but the boy had a grip of steel.

“Let’s make a deal,” Silas growled. “You let me out and tell me where they’re holding Captain Timberwolf, or I’ll figure out how to kill you from inside this cell.”

The pirate, of course, chose the first option. He unlocked Silas’ cell, then told him that Timberwolf wasn’t at the stronghold. The captain was being held at a prison on a nearby island, with little security because of its utter isolation. After thanking the pirate for his cooperation, Silas took his keys, locked him in the cell, and went to rescue his crew.

Dread Nation

dread nation cover

 

The American Civil War comes to an abrupt halt at the Battle of Gettysburg when the dead begin to rise and attack the soldiers on both sides. Too busy dealing with the new threat to worry about each other or their differences, the issue of slavery is resolved. Or is it? Because former slaves are forced to be the front line in the new war on the dead, and Negro children are rounded up and sent to combat schools to learn the necessary skills. If they are lucky, like Jane McKeene, they are sent to a good school like Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore. There are far worse schools. But when Jane notices that several prominent citizens seem to have gone missing, she opens a can of worms that lands her and her friends in the soup. She is in far greater danger than she ever imagined and must find a way out of certain doom. But she can handle it. She’s a Miss Preston’s girl.

This alternative history has it all. Amazing, strong characters, evil villains, action, adventure and humor. And…zombies. Did I mention zombies?

4.5 stars.

DoloresS

Review – Rick and morty season 3 episode 3

Still image from TV show Rick and Morty

Review by: wrackon

Rick and Morty season 3 episode 3 “Pickle Rick” is one I have been anticipating for a while. The concept of Rick turning into a pickle and having to make his way back home struck me as a very intriguing concept. In this episode, Rick turns himself into a pickle in order to get out of having to go to family therapy. When Morty discovers a timer on a needle that appears to be the serum that turns Rick back into a human he tries to play it off as something unrelated. Beth then takes the needle, puts it in her purse and leaves to go to the family therapy with Summer and Morty. Right after they leave, a cat comes into the garage, knocking Rick into the driveway. After this, heavy rain starts pouring and carries Rick into the sewers. There he manages to kill a cockroach and uses its brain control its limbs. Using the cockroach he builds a trap that decapitates a rat and attaches its limbs to his body giving him arms and legs. From there he fights through all the sewer rats and manages to escape the sewer unscathed only to find out he escaped into an armed facility. When the guards don’t let him escape, he kills them one by one until the head of the facility decides to let a mercenary named “Jaguar” out of his cell to kill Rick. After a shootout between Jaguar and Rick takes place and it appears that Rick won, the head of the facility calls in a escape helicopter only to find that it is piloted by Jaguar with Rick in the back. Rick then takes a puff of a cigarette and flicks it onto the ground that is covered in kerosene with a fuse that leads back to explosives blowing up the building. Jaguar and Rick part ways as Rick flies the helicopter to the therapy session where his family is and barges in in the middle of their conversation about Rick. After the therapy session with a spot on analysis on the family’s problems Beth gives Rick the anti-pickle serum and the episode ends shortly after.

Overview:

This episode I think is one of the best yet. It has a very interesting concept and was a funny episode all throughout. It was cool getting to watch Rick go through the process of finding his way to attach limbs to his pickle body and to escape the sewers and the armed guards to make it back to Beth and to get the anti-pickle Serum. Overall this was a cool idea for an episode with many comedic moments and is easily my favorite of the season so far. This episode is one that I have long awaited and it did not disappoint.

Rating: 9.3/10