Oh, hey guys. Didn't see you there. Hm? Me? Oh, nothing, just finished a little game by the name of... Bloodborne!
Remember when I said I got it earlier? Well, I now know that I didn't get it back then, but now? I get it. I didn't just finish Bloodborne, I explored every optional area, beat every optional boss, learnt how to use all the save data utilities on my PS4 so I could back up an endgame save to a USB drive and see all three endings, and now I'm thinking really hard about going for the Platinum Trophy.
I had some problems with Bloodborne's Blood Vial system at the start, where healing items are a limited consumable item that do not replenish when you spawn back at the bonfire. It reminded me of the Nintendo platformers that insist on giving you a limited pool of Lives, and then every time you die your Life counter comes up and ticks down by one, with the implication being that you'd better start getting better at the game real quick because if you run out of these things, who knows what will happen. I hate it. I honestly think that's the reason I just can't play those games; I just find that Life counter ticking down to be so stressful. But Bloodborne's system kind of sorted itself out over time, and around the middle of the game I realised that by playing a little conservatively I'd built up such a stock of spare Blood Vials that I never once had to actually farm for them. In fact, I kind of over-corrected on the game's entire difficulty curve, and eventually it became clear that I had over-leveled my character and was smoking endgame bosses in just a couple of attempts. Oh well, something to keep in mind for the next playthrough
The Sekiroulsborne series gets so much effusive praise that I suppose it's easy to just tune it out, and all the gatekeeping, "git gud, an Easy mode would ruin everything" rubbish is so obnoxious that you want to tune it out, but they really are some pretty special games. I really liked Sekiro, I really liked Bloodborne, and now it's become clear that I'm going to have to play every single one of these bad boys so I'm going to go back and restart Dark Souls 1 when I can tear myself away from BB. I don't think they're going to be all-time favourites for me, since they still do a lot of stuff I'm not really crazy about. I like my games to have a story, and the Souls approach of having snippets of lore strewn about at random that might piece together into something semi-coherent (if you gather it all into a wiki and make some guesses) doesn't do it for me at all. I like quests you can follow without having to use a guide to even find them, and I like a little more of a driving impetus than "Well, I explored the whole level and found a boss, and if it's there I suppose I should probably kill it...?". I honestly have absolutely no idea why I did any of the things I did in Bloodborne. I'm pretty sure I went and hunted down all the safeguards that protect the world from an evil beast that lives inside the moon. y tho?
Anyway, I'll look up some story explanation videos down the line, but I'm really in it for the gameplay. From Software's approach to level design is second to none, and their combat ain't half bad neither, and exploring all these meaty levels and killing all the horrible beasts that live in them is more than enough to keep me interested. I'm going to start delving into Bloodborne's Chalice Dungeons now, and I still haven't touched the DLC yet, and then once I can tear myself away from this bad boy I have three entire Dark Souls games to play. And then Elden Ring!
I leave you with this live performance of some Bloodborne music, which is still one of the chill-down-my-spine-iest things I've ever seen: