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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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  1. Avatar Louis B.
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    says:

    Does Yglesias define inflation as an expansion of the money supply or a change in the CPI?Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Some open-thready observations:

    Demon’s Souls for the PS3 is difficult. I mean, like, surprisingly difficult. Interestingly, it’s difficult in a new and interesting way… you buy equipment with, you guessed it, Demon souls. You get a handful of demon souls every time you kill a creature (and, sometimes, you get a healing item, a weapon, a shield, and, if you’re really, really, really lucky, an item that you can break open that will give you more demon souls). When you die, you drop your body with all your souls on it. You regenerate back at the home base with all of your items… and all you have to do is hack your way back to your body where, if you pick it up, you can also pick up all of your old souls.

    If you die along the way, you drop a new body… and your old body disappears. (So if you die carrying 1000 souls, and you regen and fight your way back and you die carrying 50 souls, the 50 soul body is the only one you will be able to pick up.)

    And that’s it.

    Here is the catch. There are no shops where you can sell items. The only way to get souls is to kill monsters (or, if you’re lucky, stumble across that item I mentioned before). There are no banks. You can’t deposit half the purchase price of a suit of armor and keep it safe. If you want to drop 2000 souls on a breastplate, you have to have 2000 souls in your sweaty little hand.

    And, let me point out, that is really, really, really, really, really freakin’ hard to do.

    That said, it’s a fun (if frustrating) game to play. I’d compare what it looks like to, say, Dynasty Warriors insofar as you’re running around staring at this guy’s (or gal’s) back while you squash hundreds of baddies of various levels of difficulty (while watching your healing items slowly, but surely, dwindle)… but Dynasty Warriors is built around the idea that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of folks named “Cannon Fodder” that would be fun for you to plow through, dozens of “minibosses” that make you sweat, and one Uberboss that would make you really, really work for it.

    Demon’s Souls takes the attitude that you should never, ever, eeeeeeever stop sweating. This can be harrowing.

    If you don’t like “run around/hit stuff” video games, this one will not change your mind one iota.

    If, however, this is your favorite genre? You’ve never played nothin’ like this. It’ll change the way you think about games. Check it out.Report

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