E3 2012: “Dark Souls: Prepare To Die” edition will be “so satisfying” for fans


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LOS ANGELES, California — Namco Bandai took a gamble on “Dark Souls” when it was released for consoles last fall, and it paid off. The action RPG was a challenge for players, making them adapt quickly to the game’s mechanics and learn new strategies or else face repeated deaths from its enemies and environments, but the game earned itself a large cult following. Fans started a petition for Namco Bandai to port the game to PC so all users could play, and after more than a hundred thousand signatures, the publisher complied.

“Dark Souls: Prepare To Die” was announced in April, with developer From Software going into “crunch” mode to bring it to PCs. From Software announced they would add new material to the game for its PC edition, and console gamers started their own petition to have that content be available as DLC. From and Namco Bandai complied, and the new material had a presence at E3 this year, though it was not playable.

Senior manager for Bandai label products Nobu Taguchi said that this was in an attempt to preserve the mystery of the additional content until it is released on August 24 for PCs and later in the fall for consoles. It will include new bosses, like the Sanctuary Guardian that was shown in a demo video on the E3 floor, as well as new enemies, new armor, new weapons, new lore, new maps, new items and new magic.

“The amount of excitement that I can only say by words right now is just phenomenal,” Taguchi, a self-professed fan of the game, gushed. “It’s a phenomenal piece and fans will definitely love it, and I’m going to the extent that I’m willing to bet my life’s savings that this will satisfy every single ‘Dark Souls’ player that’s out there.”

He said that an experienced “Dark Souls” player will be able to do a rush A-to-Z playthrough of the new content in about five to six hours, while a more exploratory trek through the additional material could take up to 10 hours. And that’s not to mention the desire fans will have to go back after they finish and start the game from scratch with a new character, which Taguchi said could be an additional 100 hours.

One of the other more exciting new elements of the “Prepare to Die” edition is the inclusion of a new form of player versus player combat. In “Dark Souls,” players who wanted to fight against others could “invade” the world of anyone who was signed online playing the game in its “human” mode, whether they wanted to be invaded or not. Now there will be an “arena” location where players can come to specifically because they want to battle against their peers. PC gamers won’t be able to battle against those using the PS3 and Xbox 360, but they will be able to fight against players on their own platform.

“It kind of adds more flavor to the concept of how the actual PvP plays, without detrimenting somebody else’s gameplay who’s trying to enjoy adventuring, trying to play the game aspect of it,” Taguchi said. He added that players can choose from one-on-one, two-on-two or death match styles of battling.

As Namco Bandai and From Software aren’t particularly known for their PC prowess, there has been some concern from fans that the PC port of the game won’t be as optimized as it could be. Taguchi addressed this concern, saying that Namco Bandai is aware of its shortcomings and is trying to make the “Dark Souls” PC edition be as good as it can be.

“I think one of the beauties of the PC is that the hardware spec is obviously very strong. There’s a lot people who are used to gaming on PCs, so if you notice, they have a lot more stronger processing power on top of it,” he said. “In order to maintain the authenticity of what the consoles already have, we basically did make a direct port plus a few tweaks to kind of make things a little bit better. I won’t say it’s moving at 60 frames per second or anything, but it moves to the extent that it satisfies a lot of people’s concerns that they had with it.”

He added that one way fans’ concerns have been addressed is by making the game available on PCs both through Games for Windows Live and Steam.

“It was a difficult process because, realistically speaking, our background and From Software’s background is not very PC oriented, so when we heard the many community complaints or concerns over it, that was when we started exploring the possibility of Steam and fortunately and happily we were able to announce that we will be also releasing this on Steam as well,” Taguchi said.

Even if the “Prepare to Die” edition is successful, Taguchi said there likely won’t be additional DLC released in the future. This material was meant as a “thank you” to fans who asked for the game to be released on PC, but went against director Hidetaka Miyazaki’s original claim that there would be no additional content. That being said, this new content is going to make fans very, very happy.

“There’s so much content in there that I wish I could tell you. It will blow the ‘Dark Souls’ player’s mind. It is probably going to be so satisfying that I’m literally going to be expecting people to drain their humanity away in this game. Literally,” Taguchi said. “In the real world and real game, we will suck your humanity out. We will make you deprived.”

Are you looking forward to “Dark Souls: Prepare to Die” edition? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar


IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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