Elden Ring: Ascended
released on Aug 22, 2022
A mod for Elden Ring
With three different available difficulties, Elden Ring Ascended adds plenty of changes to the base game:
-Enemies' physics and AI changed
-New armour set effects on each piece
-New Talismans' effects
-New weapons' effects
-New enemies' status debuffs
-Altering armours gives different effects
-Spells', Items', and Weapon Arts' buffs stack
-Changeable Weapon Arts on each weapon
More Info on IGDB
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One year ago I finished Elden Ring, a game that I still really adore despite its obvious problems, and that I should have done a better review on. Although I’ll admit my opinion about it has diminished a bit over time, I still regard it as a favorite, but unfortunately I’ll only be talking here about the one major area in which I think the game is lacking: memorability. They should have played it less safe, and I’m glad we’re getting a new Armored Core, because I don’t think I have the necessary mental fortitude for Elden Ring 2: Revenge of Godskin Stitcher.
It’s no secret that the gaming market started to prioritize more and more games that feel similar to one another to standardize the triple A experience, making these products feel more like safe investments from both the developers, and players alike. When games already feel like a luxury in most countries, including mine, and you are feed X amount of content for a moderate price, you just take it, and I don't blame at all the consumers in this parasitic market relation, after all this might the biggest reason to why Xbox even exists.
Back when it was a meme to say that almost all games had the tags “Open World”, “Survival” and “Crafting” (sometimes “Early Access” too), it was inevitable that while playing one of those games there was always a constant self reminder that you had already been there before. If the products didn’t exactly fit this label, they’d improve on the foundations that they already had with less radicalizing changes over time, and you don’t have to look at all the FIFA’s and AC that were getting released, but also to the amount of remasters and remakes that were brought up.
To quote Marty Silva in his much better article than my review: " In the AAA space, the rest of 2023 is filled with high-profile sequels and original games very much cut from the same cloth as a developer’s previous hits. It’ll be interesting to see if Tears of the Kingdom will land with the same impact that Breath of the Wild did six years ago. What new ideas and innovations will Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Final Fantasy XVI, Starfield, Street Fighter 6, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, and Assassin’s Creed Mirage bring to the table? In a world where that many sequels are at the top of the mountain, is trendsetting even a reasonable thing to expect? "
This is by all means not a problem exclusive to videogames, I’d argue that the biggest example that everyone is mostly familiar with is the MCU, but unlike movies it seems like the average gamer won't give a shot to different stuff unless it reaches extreme mainstream levels, besides the fact that indies have been getting a lot of recognition after the second half of last decade. If you were an influential figure like Dr. Disrespect but in any other art form and said something among the lines of “I wish there were more games to play. I want to have fun! I want different stuff!” you’d lose all respect that you gathered in your entire life, on the spot. Oftentimes I forget how prevalent the overall r/gaming mentality in video game circles actually is compared to the one present in our own small Backloggd bubble…
With that said, I don’t think it’s controversial at all to state that, comparing it solely to the 00’s, the amount of investments toward games with a more experimental nature that were monetarily risky and the very nature of double A games started to dwindle, as games started to accept that the ‘worth your buck’ mentality was there to stay. Elden Ring unfortunately, undeniably falls under this category.
Besides the exploratory nature, what exactly changed from the gameplay core of Dark Souls 3? I don’t mean this in the sense that nothing was altered, but moreso that I’m playing more from something that I had already experienced, it’s similar to how I think a lot of people, including me, felt with Bowser’s Fury. I really love these 2 souls games individually but I was getting constant flashbacks playing Elden Ring that despite being my first time playing, I felt like I had already pulled the curtain to see the truth behind the tricks that it was trying to play on me.
Despite being my least favorite souls game, I respect DS1 quite a lot. I hate Blighttown, Tomb of Giants and Lost Izalith as much as any other individual with respectable opinions, but I will never forget about how I felt actually overcoming those areas. I hope I’m not alone in finding a certain type of fascination in playing unfair or just bullshit to the core games. Sure it is good to enjoy yourself playing something, but if I am to forget about it tomorrow, how much did it really add to the experience?
I see this debate a lot online and it’s usually something like “Would you rather watch a fun 3/10 movie or a boring 6/10 movie?” and putting aside the fact that I don’t think something boring deserves a high score just because its “competence”, I think the general consensus is that the wacky low-scored one is the one to go for. The highest praise I can think of for a piece of media is saying that it’s unforgettable, and after it, saying that it’s great. Of course that is not to say that you can’t pull off something that is both of quality and memorable, but what I’m saying is, in very controversial gamer terms, I would rather play Devil May Cry 2 than 4 because I can’t recall anything that took place during the latter.
This fucked up Elden Ring Ascended mods fixes just that, believe it or not. I never knew what the fuck the game was pulling upon me at any given point. Renalla’s summonings not despawning after the timer? Every enemy attack inflicting poison? PvE invasions against 3 mfers? Radhan’s passively shooting arrows while using the sword? Cheese weapon locations being changed? Scarlet Rot now fully breaks your equipment? Despite feeling like I knew what the game was doing, the amount of subtle and not so subtle changes was always cool to see, even if its miserable at times, it’s exactly what I’m looking for.
Radahn was the fight I remember liking the most in Elden Ring, and I recall the first time he fucking fell out of the sky like a meteor, but do you know what's more memorable? When his shit comet was homing directly at me with increased speed, giving me Scarlet Rot just by being nearby, even if that didn't touch me. This boss fight took me around 50 attempts, I don't think it's actually possible to avoid being close, what a homophobic attack fr...
The most competent mod from this bunch is easily the DS3 one. Kicks it off with changing the first boss to Champion Gundyr because why not, while also giving you 100 levels worth of souls when you beat it. Oh also, it increases the amount of stats you get per level and reduces any cap regarding it, meaning that, after just the first boss, my HP bar filled completely the upper part of the screen. It was glorious. From Crystal Sage spawning 4 crystal lizards during his 2nd phase, to 4 feral giants being in the Deacon’s arena, to my personal favorite one, Soul of Cinder fighting alongside the 4 lords of Cinder, among other stuff, I felt like I was equally as busted as whatever shit was thrown at me.
I’ll briefly explain the other 2 ascended mods because why not. The one from DS1 is funny because it just amps everything up to 11, to the point that the best build is an archery one because it makes you stay faraway from everything while spamming rolls because you get stamina to spare. The new boss fights suck ass unfortunately, but the areas are cool. The one from DS2… is just plain bad. You know people often complain that the game puts a lot of enemies on screen for no reason? Yeah all they did was adding even more of them because of course. I'll say that the one saving grace it has is that it's the funniest one out of context.
I also can’t wait to play the Sekiro one that is in development right now. I’m sure it’s gonna be absurdly unfair and rage inducing and all that jazz, but Sekiro to me is already one of the most unforgettable games ever made and one that I ‘m sure beating it 4 times will come in handy somehow. Can’t wait to fight the Lady Butterfly and have her illusions being active all the time and for them to one shot me if I touch them.
Overall I’m not sure how to finish this, because I’m also not sure how to feel about Elden Ring as a whole. It sucks slowly starting to dislike something that you once considered as the best of the best, but that’s just life isn’t it? Nostalgia glasses don’t happen only during our childhoods after all. If you told me 2 years ago that I would actually finish Umineko, get a job, and that I’d be working in a Danganronpa cosplay for June this year I wouldn’t believe you, but here we are, right? Life moves on, and so should we. Basically what I’m trying to say is: Armored Core is better.