'Code Vein' Injects Anime Into the Heart of Dark Souls

Code Vein is the Dark Souls of 2003 anime music videos with nu-metal soundtracks. That may already be enough of a review for you. How anime is it, and how Dark Souls? Well, there are doors that only open from one direction so as to indicate a future shortcut you will unlock later in the level, and it takes twelve hours of playtime before encountering a female character simultaneously wearing both pants and a shirt. You can circle strafe around enemies and backstab them, and everyone in the game is a hot tortured science vampire whose melodramatic backstory is unveiled through crystals made out of blood.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/j5yda4/code-vein-injects-anime-into-the-heart-of-dark-souls
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God, I knew I would love this game the moment I saw it, and this is exactly the review I was hoping to read. I LIVE for this stuff, yo. This peice really captures the appeal of these games that I tend to gravitate towards calling “good trash” for lack of any better language. What a great write-up!

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I’ve been having a lot of fun with the trial version.

There are places in the hub/safe zone where you can have your character sit or lay down and they go through a series of progressively more tired emotes until they fall asleep. So this game knows exactly what its doing lol.

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Aevee Bee: In 2019, I don’t need any more revisionist celebrations of high difficulty and tight dodge timings.

Me, the girl who refused to use the fireworks in Sekiro because they made things too easy:dd0

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I like this review, the way it’s written, and how it goes into the mechanics of the games and what it does right and what it does wrong. I think it’s great that games like these are leaning hard into absolutely bizarre character creator nonsense.

However, I’m not a huge fan of the article stating “it takes twelve hours of playtime before encountering a female character simultaneously wearing both pants and a shirt”, and then just… leaving it at that. That could mean that it’s the premise of another article, but I’m not sure. Mostly I’m worried that it speaks to this assumption some people have that, since anime-style games are always going to have an objectifying gaze when it comes to women, it no longer bears talking about.

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Tangentially it’s also great that one of this game’s marketing plays was… a blood drive with the American Red Cross.

This is honestly why I gave up on anime as a uh, genre I guess? It’s so baked into assumptions around critiques that its never even brought up now, because we all talked about bayonetta a lot or something?
And it’s annoying for a lot of reasons (one of them being the ages of a lot of the characters being objectified. Which is almost never brought up in actual reviews as any thing worth more than an eye roll) but the one that seems most underplayed is that it more often than not feels like if the game was made anywhere other that Japan it would get racked over the coals for it which is honestly super condescending. Like y’all I a am pretty sure the nation and people of Japan can handle this stuff being treated seriously. Gonna go out on a limb and say that critiquing this product of a subculture of a subculture of an industry, that is made by individuals and not some hive mind, is not going to be that a big a deal. And sure there’s nuance to all of these but like:

And it it’s at a point where I just don’t really bother trying to find media from “Japan” (quote unquote) to engage with as everything just feels like a landmine waiting to be stepped on and it’s easier to just not even try anymore when even sites I trust don’t seems to want to actually engage with this stuff.

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