Over the summer, the developers behind the (tragically overlooked!) Dark Souls/Castlevania mashup Blasphemousannounced the details of their upcoming downloadable content. It hit all the usual bullet points for an add-on like this: new areas to explore, more bosses to fight, yada yada. But by far, the biggest and loudest response from players came from the introduction of a dog you could pet and the addition of a Spanish voice over for the game.
Honestly it’s more of a Metroidvania. The souls-ish corpse mechanic doesn’t hold your experience or anything like that (slightly limits your mana instead), and picking it up heals you a certain amount so it can be used as a boost for battles you’re having trouble with. Point of death being marked and it being difficult are the only things it shares with the soulslike formula.
That feels like a worthwhile sales pitch for someone (and I hope they get to read this thread) but unfortunately I hate hard video games because life is hard, everything is hard, please God, just once, put a drop of sunshine on my head.
I played Blasphemous when they released a pre-launch demo. It was alright, but the stiff combat felt like it would take a lot of getting used to, and not knowing anything about what its aesthetic was actually going for, I ended up dismissing it as yet another mindlessly grimdark Metroidvania.
Then I read this article, made the connections between the game’s cultural influences and its presentation, loaded up the copy I received in a bundle a while back, and I’ve already sunk four hours into it since last night. My initial impressions left me wanting for some je ne sais quoi to tie everything together. But then I heard the blood curdling screams that open the new Spanish language track and I was instantly hooked.
I’d actually be very interested in more expansion of this: it’s not clear how technical he’s being, but “Old English” and Early Middle English are both actually pretty blunt - the problem is more that they’re not very* comprehensible to modern English speakers; especially in comparison to what I am told about Old Spanish’s comprehensibility to modern speakers of Castilian or even to speakers of Portuguese (my Spanish is very poor, but certainly 13th C Old Spanish looks more Spanish to me than Early Middle English looks English from the same period).
(There’s also an interesting assumption about what “Shakespearean” means: I assume in this case, they mean “written in iambic pentameter with lots of flourishes”; ironically, of course, this wasn’t how most things were even written or declaimed even in Shakespeare’s time, and even Shakespeare is using this as a mode of speech for his “high-status” characters. Low-status characters in his plays speak rather differently…)
So it feels here that, in a sense, the problem is a sort of “historical translation” issue, in that the most fitting version of English to translate into is also one that would be unreadable to a modern audience…
*I understate this problem: Old English is essentially unreadable by modern English speakers, and even Late Middle English, which is what Chaucer wrote in, is hard going.