Bio
Kassie | she/her | 24 | 🏳️‍⚧️🏳️‍🌈☭

Elden Ring invasion enthusiast. I'm active on PS5 as Ruin Scavenger (70), Dragon Cultist (80), Darkmoon Knight (125), Goatimoshi (139), Confessor Iseult (139), Witch Meliora (9), and DS2 Enjoyer (168).
You might see one of my signs down to help with Maliketh (my favorite for co-op) or other major bosses.

Steam: Zwerchau
PSN: Zwerchau99
Discord: zwerchau
Personal Ratings
1★
5★

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Favorite Games

Elden Ring
Elden Ring
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - GOTY Edition
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - GOTY Edition
Demon's Souls: Deluxe Edition
Demon's Souls: Deluxe Edition
Dark Souls III: Deluxe Edition
Dark Souls III: Deluxe Edition

179

Total Games Played

027

Played in 2024

122

Games Backloggd


Recently Played See More

LEGO Fortnite
LEGO Fortnite

Apr 07

Fortnite
Fortnite

Apr 06

The House in Fata Morgana
The House in Fata Morgana

Apr 02

VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action
VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action

Apr 02

Dark Souls: Archthrones
Dark Souls: Archthrones

Mar 29

Recently Reviewed See More

(This is a followup to my previous review of the Artcthrones demo, as there has been a major balance patch since I wrote that review.)

I started a fresh playthrough today to see if the new balance patch would solve my issues with enemy scaling. In short, it absolutely has.

I hadn't actually gotten very far through the mod on my original playthrough, only beating the Angelic Siege Golem boss and running around the beginning of each Archthrone, so I was able to catch up very quickly. The decreased enemy scaling is very noticable and feels far more appropriate for starting characters even outside of the first Archthrone.

A lot of my complaints in the previous review centered on the overturned bosses, and I'm happy to report that they now feel much closer to vanilla DS3 bosses in damage and health. Their movesets are still a bit more complex than I would prefer this early in the game, but at least the punishment for getting hit isn't instant death. I was able to beat the Angelic Siege Golem on my first try at level 15 with a +1 Claymore, and the Pus-ridden Beast on my first try a couple levels higher with a +2 Claymore and some fire consumables. I do not believe they have overcorrected; the bosses were still challenging and if I hadn't had practice with their much harder previous forms, I would not have beaten them in a single try.

Given how much better this mod feels to play after the balance patch I do intend to finish the demo this time around. Previously I had said I didn't recommend the mod, but this patch has changed my mind. Definitely give it a shot if you're a fan of Dark Souls III, Elden Ring, or Bloodborne. I think there's a good chance you'll enjoy it.

Update: I've been playing all day and found a few more bosses, one of which I really liked (unfortunately my obs hotkey failed me so I need to do the fight on another character), and a few others that were decent. Overall really enjoying this demo.

Update 2: The further in I get, the more over-designed the bosses are. Does a mid-game boss really need to have moves from Soul of Cinder, Champion Gundyr, Great Shinobi Owl, Maliketh, Margit, and fucking ISSHIN?!?! There's also a janky version of Great Shinobi Owl as a separate boss in the same mod (the parry timings on that boss are completely fucked, you need to parry WAY earlier than normal for DS3). There's also a Sekiro-ass ninja boss who I really hope is just unfinished because the jank was unbearable but the presentation was really good. These bosses look really cool but borrowing moves from such a wide variety of other bosses (from different games, even) means they have no cohesive feel or flow.

Update 3: I found the secret boss in Phoenix Tower today and laughed out loud at how absurdly janky it is. The lock on couldn't stay on the boss for more than 15 seconds and every move felt completely off-tempo. I'm not even going to say I hope this one is unfinished because if it made it into the full release like this it would be fucking hysterical (this thing makes Maneaters look extremely polished).

There's a lot of promise here, but in its current state the enemy scaling absolutely ruins the entire experience. No area is scaled for starting level characters, and even the earliest bosses have complex and difficult movesets.

The Angelic Siege Golem (pictured on the cover here on Backloggd) is a great example, and the first boss I found in the game. The basic moveset of the boss is that of the Iron Golem boss from Dark Souls, but with the knockdown gimmick of the Tower Knight from Demon's Souls. That sounds fine for a first boss, right? Well, once you've worked your way about 30% into its gargantuan health bar, he gains magic spam that follows some of his basic attacks, and around 50% health, he starts teleporting across the arena and doing the Valiant Gargoyle's vacuum slice attack from Elden Ring, which oneshot me the only time I got hit by it. The bosses are maddeningly overtuned. I was level 15 and had a +3 fire longsword when I managed to beat the Golem, and it was gruelingly hard.

The second boss is far worse. An obvious reskin of the Cleric Beast from Bloodborne, but it's styled as a Pus of Man type monster now. This boss is in the same area as the Golem, but has even more health and does even more damage. I was still using the +3 fire longsword, which I expected to be a very strong choice against this boss; both Bloodborne beast bosses and Pus of Man monsters in Dark Souls III are extremely weak to fire. My sword did 102 damage on an r1 attack, barely scratching the massive healthbar of this extremely aggressive, very lethal, difficult to dodge boss. Oh, and I had gone out of my way to acquire the Soul Fog spell, which seems to poison the target and does good damage, but this boss seemed nearly immune to it (took 12 damage over the course of about 2 seconds, then nothing). I gave up on this boss after a couple attempts and haven't touched the mod since.

I ran around the starting areas of every Archthrone, but all of them were scaled so aggressively that I couldn't hope to fight through them. I barely found any new weapons or spells, and upgrade materials were incredibly sparse.

If the developers scale the enemies down to a reasonable level or let the player gain levels much quicker in the early game, this mod definitely has the potential to be something special. As is, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who isn't a challenge runner of some kind. It just isn't fun.

I will update this review or make a follow-up if I end up playing more of the demo.

Edit: apparently there was a balance patch, so I will be revisiting the demo.

This review contains spoilers

Lae'zel is the best thing about this game by a huge margin, her companion/romance story was amazing and she's one of my favorite video game characters because of it.

The rest of the companions were mostly just okay, and a lot of their stories were kind of underwhelming or disappointing (or basically nonexistent in Wyll's case). Shadowheart's story was probably my least favorite, especially with the ending focusing on her boring-ass parents who are given no characterization before this point. Karlach's story mostly just felt one-note, though I did love her little fangirl crush on Jaheira (me too Karlach, me too). I started a Durge run to romance Minthara and see her story for myself, but put it on hold as there seemed to be a lot of bugs surrounding her quest triggers.

The main story/plot was honestly godawful. The only good parts were those involving Raphael, Ketheric Thorm, and the late game reveal about the Emperor's true identity. By far the worst part of the plot is the most important aspect, the initial hook of the mind flayer parasites. At first it seems like a compelling reason for the party to get together, but it quickly falls apart when you're encouraged to infect yourself with more parasites in exchange for more powers. The reason this aspect falls so flat is that there is mechanically no reason to avoid doing this. There is no consequence, even just narratively, whatsoever for filling your brain with parasites, despite the entire first act's plot being dedicated to trying to find a way to remove the one parasite you started with. That's fucking stupid. The story in the second act is much better, but mostly because it's so separate from the story of the first and third acts. Act three picks back up with the mind flayer plot and it's immediately shit again. The House of Hope, the wizard tower, and the secret dragon fight are the best parts of the third act by a huge margin. The rest of the final act was mostly forgettable or disappointing.

I almost forgot to mention performance! It's shit! I have a decent PC, nothing fancy but it runs Elden Ring smoothly (shader compiling stutter notwithstanding, thanks Windows). In this game, cutscenes as early as the opening would fail to fully load textures and were consistently choppy. The Nightsong cutscene in act 2 completely failed to load almost all of the structures and details, which was a common theme for the rest of the game. By act 3, even outside of cutscenes entire buildings would refuse to load walls, floors, enemies, etc. The mansion where the painter's quest finishes was the worst offender.

Overall, this is one of the hardest games for me to rate. The voice acting is incredible, some of the writing is amazing, some of the set pieces and encounters are iconic; on the other hand, a lot of the writing sucks ass, some characters' stories are disappointing, and the main plot is mostly dogshit. Performance is bad, and in act 3 is unforgivably horrible. I love this game and I hate it at the same time.