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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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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.