Hello, and welcome to this blog I decided to write up! Yes I've decided to write about video games once again (and yes I changed the name), regardless whether or not anybody actually read the last one. So just in case you were one of the many few that skimmed through the wall of text I posted last week, I mentioned something about Dragon's Dogma. Well that didn't come in this week, so that plan bombed. What I did get my hands on however will pretty much take up all the space that game would have anyway. So here was plan B!
The Binding of Isaac: Wrath of the Lamb
Yes, the disturbing roguelike makes it's inevitable return with the new DLC content Wrath of the Lamb. Since I had absolutely nothing else to do this week, I found myself going through the depths of the basement once again, only this time with new items, secrets, and bosses waiting for me. Luckily I was able to amass a bunch of playthroughs and a good chunk of the new items to share with you, and whether or not the new items were good or not. So to start off I'd like to share what I though was the best (and worst) additions to the basement.
Best New Item: Prayer Card
Prayer Card is one of the Space items you can pick up, and is by far the best out of all of them. Prayer Card when used awards the player with a new "Eternal Heart", a half-white heart, that can be turned into a permanent heart container if another Eternal Heart is picked up. This item really shows off its worth if its found early in the game, for you can actually use it after you clear a boss room, and as you move onto the next level, will instantly award you with a permanent Heart Container. Meaning you can have up to a total of a 9 heart container gain by the last floor (given how far you actually go). While it may be a matter of preference on what Space item anybody uses, Prayer Card can definitely be considered a staple to some. So if you find it, pick it up!
Best (Worst) New Item: IPECAC
Now this may be a bit controversial only because in my opinion an item with an explosion should instantly be good like Fetus in a Jar. Yet somehow IPECAC's explosive shot is by far one of the worst in the game. It travels through the air in an arc and randomly decides what is close enough to explode on impact. Most notably it will to rocks, but not to enemies, and because of that the item with all this potential is suddenly wasted. Why? Because it has a glaring weakness, it's terrible against fast moving enemies. I will not point fingers yet, because this item actually gets brought back up during a run I'm going to share with you. All you need to know is that IPECAC can be a good friend, but most of the time it's a ticking time bomb waiting to blow up in your face. Only pick it up if you have/had no dmg up items, otherwise stay clear.
I would love to talk a bit more about some other great and terrible items like The Holy Grail and Guppy's Paw, but what the game really comes down to is not what pick ups the game throws in your face, but how you actually use them (or misuse) to your advantage (or disadvantage). So I bring to you the three runs I compiled for this blog (Best, Worst, and Most Surprising).
The Best Run:
- Character: Isaac
- Most Notable Pick Up: Fetus in a Jar
- Worst Pick Up: IPECAC
So naturally my best run would include the default character and the best collectible item in the base game. The reason why I think Fetus in a Jar is considerably the best pick up is not only because of the fact it turns Isaac's tears into bombs, but how the bombs still get effected by other collectibles like Spectral Tears and Homing Tears. Thus making Isaac deadly in any fight if teamed up with Ouija Board or The Holy Grail especially. You can literally run through most of the game with Fetus in a Jar without picking up any other item, at that point it would just be overkill. As I was running through though I made the mistake of picking up IPECAC, which actually turned into a bigger hassle than what I wanted. Mostly because IPECAC screws up more item combinations than it creates, namely with items like Fetus in a Jar, in which it will actually SLOW DOWN the rate you can throw out a bomb. You'd think because I'm already throwing out bombs that it wouldn't be an issue, but because of IPECAC's current state, it simply gimps Fetus in a Jar so much that it makes you vulnerable to fast moving enemies and bosses.
Upon figuring this out I quickly started to just skip everything I saw in the game just to finish it before it could finish me. I mostly avoided the rest of the Treasure Rooms in favor of beating the bosses as fast as possible, and luckily for me there were none of the fast moving ones the likes of The Fallen or Gemini. I essentially dodged a bullet through most of the game. I would eventually find myself in the newest addition in the game, The Cathedral, and run into problem after problem. The first one being Twin Mini Gurdy, which I have to ask Mr. McMillen, WHY. Gurdy was already troublesome given if he's allowed to spawn a legion of enemies. Why split him in two and give him the ability to MOVE. Regardless of Gurdy's newly found mobility I was able to scrape by simply because of The Holy Grail and hiding on top of rocks. Then the second problem ended up appearing multiple times throughout the floor, even right before the boss fight, in which I'm talking about Super Double Greed. Now if you know about Greed he normally isn't a problem to most people, but so far he is the only one of the Seven Sins to actually mess me up pretty bad. I have no idea why, but everyone has their simple problems. I of course opted to have the My Little Unicorn pick up at the time, and in an effort to get through without losing any hearts I used it, only to almost break the game in the process. It turns out that when you come into contact with Super Greed he will spit out a large number of coins. I made the mistake of hitting them BOTH, causing the framerate of the game to spiral out of control due to all the coinage on the screen. So instead of trying to ram into them more before it ran out I had to make the decision to pick up ALL of the coins before I could blow them up, which put me in a bad situation. Luckily, again, I got through it and was able to hit up the Cathedral boss for my first successful clear.
The Worst Run:
- Character: Samson
- Most Notable Pick Up: All the Familiars
- Worst Pick Up: All of the Familiars
This was actually one of the first runs I managed to concoct, and by far one of the unluckiest and dumbest. Now I actually ended up unlocking Samson way before I even ever touched Cathedral, and the fact that he had Bloody Lust (a pickup that increases your damage as you kill enemies) sounded really appealing, so I decided to (or atleast TRY to clear) the game with him first. Samson can be a really good boss killer, and destroy floors like there's no tomorrow, as long as they're rooms filled with SLOW enemies. Unfortunately for Samson, alot of the new enemies show up for him to face, and they're mad fast, making him rather ineffective in alot of situations due to how slow his fire rate starts off. Now what made this run suck so bad is what I'm about to show you.
I for one am all for Familiars given the fact I play Cain most of the time, but with Samson it's a different story. Samson fires so slowly and has little to no impact with his tears that most of the time you should be wanting to get things like Jesus Juice. Yet somehow I ran into every boss that wanted to give me a familiar, namely Steven, Chad, and after that bosses that gave me Cubes of Meat. Along with that a kind Treasure Room wanted me to have one of the many Brother and Sister familiars. It was great in a sense I had a pretty good scatter shot, but it was terrible in a sense my OWN ability to damage enemies myself were so low that it didn't even matter, even after getting Spectral Tears it didn't matter because it doesn't effect my familiars shots. I ended up dying on this floor, and learning my lesson with Samson, if you don't get anything worthwhile in the first floor, just give up.
The Most Surprising:
- Character: Cain
- Most Notable Pickup: Prayer Card
- Worst Pickup: IPECAC
Now in this run I was in a bit more comfortable returning to Cain and his Lucky Foot, as goodies abound were guaranteed this run. I was instantly shut up as soon as I saw my first pickup was IPECAC. I thought to myself that this run was already over, but being the hopeful fool I am I went and rolled with it like a boss, and didn't run into any issues for a good two or three floors. Picked up a Cube of Meat and a Pretty Fly to boot, as shield familiars are normally pretty decent. As I made my way through I would eventually run into the make or break moment, and my most real trouble through the whole run, The Fallen. The Fallen actually has this extremely good advantage against IPECAC, namely, if you damage him enough, he will decide to charge at you Gemini style, the only difference? HE WON'T STOP. He moves way to fast for you to hit him with a tear, and it seems like the only way out of the fight is to just simply die. I couldn't accept that as I desperately wanted this nightmare to end the way I wanted it. So I came up with a plan, I decided to run, make sure he closed the gap every time, and slowly but surely shave his health off using Cube of Meat. It was a test of patience and I would eventually come out on top, as you only need to hit him a little bit in order to knock him out of his charge, which was all I needed to win the fight. Now the reason why I mentioned the Cube of Meat and Pretty Fly earlier was because the fight becomes impossible to win with IPECAC being your only offensive outlet. Without those, or possibly even more suicidal methods like The Virus or Razor Blade, The Fallen becomes invincible. After that the rest of the game became a cakewalk as enemies like The Fallen failed to show up for the rest of the game, and by the time I hit the boss room in Cathedral, I had too much health to fail. I snowballed out of control after the breaking point, which is why I'm still stunned I was able to pull this run off. CLEARED.
Of course I had many more runs, but these ones stood out the most, and they were the only ones I managed to snag screenshots of, since I mostly forget to in the middle of the game. Which is why there's no images of The Fallen impossible fight or of the actual Cathedral bosses. I usually get caught up in the rather hectic gameplay to focus on anything else. So the only thing I can do now is leave you with a bit of advice. Always, and I mean always PICK UP THE PRAYER CARD.
The Super Monday Night Combat Corner!
I said I would dedicate a small portion of this blog to SMNC, and I will darngummit! Regardless of how much I actually played this week, it wasn't much, and all of them tallying up to losses, I still feel like I should share a bit of the action. There's really only one game that stood out above all of them, as I dedicated all of these games to playing my new found Vet love, I was on the unfortunate end of a 40 minute loss. Now normally SMNC games do not hit the 40 minute limit, as usually a decisive move happens pretty much at the 15 minute mark. Apparently nobody gave either team the memo. Now what actually disgusted me about this game was that even with my 10-14 performance and nearly 200 bot kills, I STILL had 3000 less dosh than the other team's worst player, who went 15-30, and had under 100 bot kills. I had to stop myself from vomiting how ridiculous this sounds, I even tallied +10 more assists than him. There was no way the game can award playing like.. like THAT over the rest of our team. Regardless of people performing as badly as he was, our team managed to be even worse, as I wasn't able to get most of my kills due to being forced out of combat by their 15-30 Tank, and not scoring the last hit on enemies. Our only outstanding player was a Gunner, who currently I've been seeing in alot of games just snowballing out of control more often than any other Pro. So after that game I ended up playing 4 equally as bad games and tallied up my first lost streak since I started playing mid-December. I'm sure Uber is making it's best efforts (as they were trying to do with this patch) to fix the matchmaking system, but games like this keep happening, and it's becoming real discouraging to go into this game alone anymore. Yet as the motto goes, don't get discouraged, and I will live by those words, and I will continue to live by this game. Maybe this next week will yield better performances worth talking about, and maybe pictures.
The End! (?)
As this edition comes to a close, I would like to remind everyone that Dragon's Dogma is totally still planned at some point, but at the rate Gamefly sends RPGs to people post their release date, expect to see something else next week, and after that Lollipop Chainsaw. As I am not good with intros and goodbyes, I'll leave you with this one sentence,
SEE YOU GUYS LATER
(Seriously if anyone can hook me up with a clip of Ricardio the Heart Guy where he says this it would be much appreciated.)