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Dark Souls III

Developer / Publisher: FromSoftware
24 March 2016
Dark Souls III - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.16 / 5.0
0.5
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2,655 Ratings / 15 Reviews
#68 All-time
#2 for 2016
Welcome to Lothric, where the lands of the Lords of Cinder converge. You are the "Champion of Ash," awoken to return these mighty lords to their thrones. Familiar faces and locations will return in this final installment of the Dark Souls series. Are you brave enough to take on the many challenges that lie in wait? Are you prepared to finally bring balance to the world? Prepare to die yet again.
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Dark Souls III Day One Edition
2016 From Bandai Namco  
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Dark Souls III Collector's Edition
2016 From Bandai Namco  
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Dark Souls III The Fire Fades Edition
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JP 4 949776 441036 PLJM 84096
Dark Souls III The Fire Fades Edition
2017 From Bandai Namco  
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XEU 3 391891 992039 CUSA-07439
Dark Souls III The Fire Fades Edition
2017 From Bandai Namco  
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XNA 7 22674 12140 8 CUSA-08155
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I'm glad it's over
I feel like Dark Souls 3 was at its best when it wasn't clinging onto past glory.

Spoilers:

The final boss is probably the best example of what I'm talking about. Dark Souls 1 had you fight a tragic, burnt out old husk of a God who's been bigged up since the game's introduction. It was a poignant, powerful moment to face Gwyn, and it's one of the reasons that Dark Souls 1 is one of my favourite games.

Walk through the kiln again, it's higher res this time. Instead of having the balls to try something different, and to try again to make an encounter as brilliant and memorable as Gwyn as its final boss, in more content to give you it again, pointing inwards and backwards at how great that time you fought Gwyn was. However, the Soul of Cinder lacks personality of Gwyn, instead being an, ironically, soulless impersonation of a far better boss. The Soul of Cinder's boss music is revealed to be a lightly orchestrated version of the melancholy piano track that really made the Gwyn fight hit home for me, but with none of what actually made it hit home for me. Soul of Cinder, however, at least tries to do something different, with the boss's first phase going through some generic starting class's movesets, shifting between the sword of a warrior to the staff or a mage or the flips and fire of a falchion weilding pyromancer. And the more forms it takes to try and capture a past player character, the farther it gets from doing so.

Oh and when you're done, will you link the fire or walk away? Because if you plan on letting the fire fade I hope you did all the silly requisites that allow you to do so where in dark souls one you just walked away from the bonfire.

Don't get me wrong, Dark Souls 3 is enjoyable. The combat feels pretty good, even if r1 mashing with the fastest weapon did manage to seep in from Bloodborne, a game where it belonged, alongside a generally quickened pace of gameplay due to faster, cheaper rolling at higher equipment loads. Levels are well designed, and there's very few bullshit unavoidable deaths despite the atmosphere being tense as ever; mobs are tougher than ever. Perhaps the best moments, though, were the ones that felt the most fresh to me. I fell in love with the Pilgrim Butterflies that fly over Lothric castle late in the game. They left a taste of potential greatness in my mouth that made me wonder what kind've game we could've gotten if Dark Souls 3 didn't have to be Dark Souls 3.

But instead we see our old friends again, Andre greets us at, yes, firelink shrine. We find Ornstein's armour again, Smough's stuff, too, Gwyndolin hangs out of Aldritch's mouth regardless of what you did in Dark Souls 1. Here's a clone of onionbro because we know you guys loved him. Patches I can forgive, but still. One of the few enjoyable experiences I had with a recurring character was the expansion of the crestfallen warrior into a more fleshed out character. Dubious lore questions raised by this Dark Souls 1 fanservice aside, it just feels too easy, cheap and unfiulfilling.

I also need to say that for every toughened mob in the game there's a dissapointing boss, either for its sheer gimmicky nature or its easiness removing the tension and atmosphere of the encounter. Fighting against Vordt of the Boreal Valley and taking a grand total of one hit due to parking in his crotch area had me from tense and engaged to bored and dissapointed in record speeds. The dude seriously might not as well be in the game. He's got great design, but it's wasted. You can't feel it if he doesn't pound it into you with that mace of his. I don't mind easy bosses per se. I think the difficult of the Souls series is important in creating its atmosphere, but that doesn't mean every bossfight needs to be the hardest most gruelling experience yet. But Vordt and a couple of others that are clearly intended to be action packed one on one combat are just end up so flacid due to their easiness.

Meanwhile, stand idly by and wait for one of the gimmick bosses to expose its weak spots. One of the reasons I fell in love with Dark Souls one was that very few of the boss battles were the conventional 'wait for the attack that exposes his big red kick me sign' affairs. For the most part you were free to attack and do damage when you saw fit based on whether you thought you could get away with it. Fast forward to Dark Souls III and you're waiting for Egg Tree to expose his last egg sack and Wolonir to drag his magical bracelets of boss killing out of his fog all whilst avoiding absaloutely fuck all else. Just standing there without so much as a shield up. Yhorm, Giant King (and smallest giant in the game?) needs to be killed with this special weapon that you find in his boss room. No, no, don't just attack him with it, you need to use the weapon art. No, you have to charge it up fully, in case you didn't know that you needed to charge it. And then you need to use an l2 attack, not just a regular attack. And as soon as you figure out that riveting puzzle, yhorm is trivialised.

I read back all my ranting and complaining but I had a good amount of fun with the game. It's not like Dark Souls 2 where I disliked the thing. I liked Dark Souls III. It's a good game. It's just not great, and due to its unfortunate nature of being a game in a series which had previously approached perfection its flaws stand out all the more to me.

How do we break the cycle, Miyazaki?? Let the flame fade.

Probably gonna delete this review soon lol
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Diiny 2016-04-15T03:16:07Z
2016-04-15T03:16:07Z
3.0
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Whoah boy, here comes the hate....
The Souls series, to me, has become one of the most derivative series in all of gaming. To me, the dead giveaway of this is the fact that the only series by FromSoftware that is celebrated is their lineup of soulslike games. The one time they tried to deviate (Dark Souls II), it is seemingly cast out of the series because it isn't more of the same. Of course, we have a new direction that is highly celebrated in the form of Elden Ring, but it would seem that even a good amount of die-hard soulsborne fans dislike it for deviating despite the fact that it seems far more compelling than any other game in the series. The derivative nature of the Souls games come in the form of the gameplay, music, visual style, color pallet... just about everything. Even when they make a game outside of the Souls series, it might as well just be another Souls game (for example, Bloodborne and Sekiro). For Dark Souls III, it's really as derivative as it gets as this game is basically a more polished Dark Souls 1. The difference between this game and the first Dark Souls is that Dark Souls seems more compelling. The story, at that point, was more original. Some of the music was fantastic (see Gwyn, Lord of Cinder). The story of Gwyn and Sif is at least somewhat interesting and the concept of the ending of that game and what it means does sound worthy of praise.

When I set out to play and finish Dark Souls III, even though I wasn't hooked in the slightest, I told myself I'd finish it to at least understand the hype behind the series. I had dropped Bloodborne already and I was fighting dropping this game. After getting about halfway through and still actively disliking the experience, I dropped it. However, I set out to understand the game so I could fairly criticize it. I listened to the soundtrack. I watched more boss fights. I even went as far as to watch lore videos, read the wiki... and still nothing. Seemingly, there are more questions than answers left behind by looking into this game. Did Lothric refuse to reignite the age of fire solely because he didn't want to be a lord? What is the reoccurring "compelling" theme discussed in these games that garnered so much praise? It seems like the overall message of the game is one used countless times in RPGs like these: light vs. dark and dark bad and sometimes the line vs dark and light is thin and sometimes there is a reason for dark and blah blah blah... I don't get it. It is just so boring to attempt to understand all of this. It doesn't help that most of the lore is hidden behind items, online in lengthy lore videos, sitting in descriptions, and assumed from the environment. I get that the lengths they went through to build a world and make a story behind everything is impressive and time consuming, but that doesn't make it inherently good. Why is it that when Destiny does this, it is seen as awful but when a Souls game does this, it is suddenly groundbreaking? The fact that the lore behind this game is seemingly endless and convoluted and it also doesn't give you a straightforward or memorable story leaves the whole story of this game practically nonexistent. If you wish to enjoy the lack of story, you must study these terms like vocabulary words. If you wish to do THAT, then good luck. You have several hours of lore videos waiting for you.

The music in this game is admittedly decent when it tries its hardest to be, but the most compelling moment in this soundtrack is simply a leitmotif that already exhausted its charm when it was originally used. It doesn't add much of a sense of grandeur even if it's one of the most compelling moments. Mostly, the soundtrack here is pretty by-the-numbers orchestral music that doesn't do much to stand out. However, it does successfully reach some pretty twisted and demented peaks when it tries hard to. Sometimes, the visuals of these towering and putrid bosses with these songs does well up some interest. Speaking of visuals, they're also alright. There is an art style here even if it isn't the most interesting (shades of grey and color pallets of death matched up with barren wastelands). One of the most disappointing aspects of the visuals, however, is just how barren some of the land is. It isn't a charming barren like that of Shadow of the Colossus, because the dead don't come back in that game. Where you would expect to see chaos, you simply see stagnant land with occasional enemy spam laid about. Speaking of the enemies, why is it that they're so tightly packed and there is such a variety of them, but they don't ever seem to have conflict? The only time they do is when they accidentally hit each other and just act like nothing happened. It's jarring how stupid the AI in this game can be. They'll run into obvious invincible barriers, seemingly never run out of stamina sometimes, and generally make a mockery of themselves. Any difficulty that comes from these enemies is purely artificial, such as enemy jump scares, enemy spam, enemies refusing to stagger, and enemies sometimes endlessly swinging their own weapons. In any other game, these would all be seen as bad things. Making enemies hide and jump scare the player here is strategic enemy placement here but lazy in any other medium? It's noticably annoying but nobody seems to comment on it because there are so many different kinds of enemies in this game. Because of that, you move onto the next one right before you get too tired of a specific enemy. That's one thing to praise here: the enemy variety. I also enjoy the bosses here to a degree. While some of them are gimmick based and others just have too much health, the designs really take them home. I am particularly a huge fan of the Abyss Watchers. That design is stellar.

Speaking of design, there are several jarring design choices in this game (whether that be visually or gameplay wise). Firstly, this game is unbelievably sharpened and crusty looking for a Triple-A studio's game that came out in 2016. Secondly, most of the armor in this game is ugly beyond belief. It is unfortunate that the few times I find good looking armor, it is almost immediately replaced by higher stat but beyond ugly armor. Speaking of equipment, this game is all over the place. Way too many stats to take in and you seemingly have to study the terms in this game to truly loadout build. It may work, but you have to put in too much work for a simple load out in a singular game. By the time you put in that work, you may have already moved on to an even uglier armor set. Also, would like to note that this game switches abruptly from being too linear to suddenly at random being confusingly aimless. For example, that one swamp where you light the fires. While there are some cool looking enemies there, that may just be one of the worst designed areas in gaming. A constant time limit-based threat of being poisoned by the environment and random objectives spread out while trudging through a slow swamp with enemies everywhere is so unbelievably non-intuitive that I just don't even know how to react. Also, I remember one time falling down to some pocket in the ground but there was no way out. Why is that a good design choice? To teach me a lesson? What, am I not allowed to be curious by this boring world?

Lastly, I'd like to discuss the multiplayer and the community for this game. The multiplayer is fine enough, and I enjoy playing through the story with my friends, except for one detail... invaders. Random online players invading every 10 minutes is so annoying because if they are invading, they are likely very good at the game with tons of hours. Why is this invading system not intuitive? It would be far more interesting if invaders could manipulate the environment, set traps, or manipulate enemies, but no. They just spawn and attack you. They also seem to have some bewildering honor code where they only want to 1 on 1 with no healing allowed. That would be fine and all, but most of these invaders choose to pick on the little guy because it is easier despite being veterans at this game. Also, they just break their honor code when they think they might lose and choose to heal. Also, for a player base that chooses to have an honor code when fighting, there sure are way too many hackers (as spotted not by me, but by my several veteran DS playing friends who tried to get me into it.) It got to the point where even my veteran friends were complaining, and we just started relentlessly 2-on-1ing anyone who invaded because it was such a lame mechanic. Outside of being lame in multiplayer, a sizeable chunk of Souls fans exude a pretentious aura that makes it even harder to enjoy their games. Even outside of that, they go out of their way to tear down your favorite games and chastise the use of cutscenes in gaming in general (as if this game doesn't have its fair share of cutscenes). One of my favorites is when I express how boring I really think this game really is and people online just assume I'm taking out my frustrations because I died a lot. I died a lot, but even when I was alive and exploring, I was trying my hardest not to switch games or fall asleep. I will also note that the biggest "praise" I see for this game online is the dopamine fix you chase after killing bosses that you've been working on for a bit. Finally killing those bosses usually doesn't make people happy out of the game's design itself, but rather killing those bosses is good because it rewards you a sense of personal achievement that tries to convince you this game is any better than mediocre.

I tried, I really tried. But frankly, I gave up on playing it and that's okay. I didn't give up on trying to understand it, but I have yet to find much satisfaction out of even that. Overall, this game is just not great. I would struggle to even call it good. Where it offers positives in the sense of great worldbuilding, decent style, alright music, and great bosses, it lacks in so much more. My main problems with this game particularly are just how derivative it is, the artificial difficulty, the inaccessibility, the awkward design choices all around, the lack of an overarching story and themes, and the community that never ceases to make me roll my eyes. I could go on and on about all of the particular gripes I had about specific gameplay instances in this game, but I won't. Frankly, I don't want to spend any more time writing this. So I'll do just that; express my distaste and simply move on.
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grayymann 2022-07-28T22:48:20Z
2022-07-28T22:48:20Z
2.0
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My favorite in the Souls series
The game has the best storyline in all of Souls. It’s not bombastic like Dark Souls 1 not at all. it’s quite the opposite, but my god is it beautiful
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yoyochinese 2022-06-10T15:01:02Z
2022-06-10T15:01:02Z
5.0
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Dark Souls III is all killer, all filler, and I'm dead and stuffed.
Regardless of one's opinion on this or any of the other more recent From Software games, I think it somewhat uncontroversial to say that the somewhat polarized reception of its sequels and successors only serve to highlight the strength of the original Dark Souls. Despite whatever imperfections it may have had, Dark Souls was a game that did so many things right that a lot of people found wildly different reasons to love it. Dark Souls is in so many facets so close to the absolute essential core of what makes video games great that even if another game could get even closer in even one aspect, it would always come at the cost of something else.

Dark Souls III's core gameplay is most similar to the original Dark Souls, but with its animations and character control fine-tuned to perfection; this is the first From Software game where it feels good to simply move around. The game has all of the quality of life improvements that began as band-aid fixes in Dark Souls II. Every level in the game is as detailed, sprawling, and multi-layered as one of Bloodborne's best, yet their arrangement within the world as a whole is as transparent as in the first game. Speaking on gameplay specifically, calling Dark Souls III a "greatest hits" of the series is still selling it short. It's not just borrowing the most memorable situations and set-pieces from previous games, it's picking and choosing elements of the games' systems and structures themselves, and still building upon them yet.

One of my favorite moments in Dark Souls was on my second playthrough, reaching the tower before the Taurus Demon boss fight, and realizing just how much of the world I could see. Picking out landmarks and realizing how (despite being rendered in much lower detail than it would be up close) decidedly congruous the world was, and more importantly how intentional it all felt. The popular phrase when showing a game's scale is to point at something in the distance and say "you can go there", but "there" is often not a place of any import, and the "go"-ing process is rarely anything all that special. One of Dark Souls III's earliest moments is the game giving the player a similar view of virtually every above-ground area of the game, with only a couple of places barely obscured (though one should not assume that the game has nothing to hide, as it in fact has some of the most obtuse secrets in the series). At virtually any point in the game the player can look around, see where they've been, where their goal lies, and think of all the challenges they overcame to get to where they are. While Dark Souls may have had a more interconnected world and the potential for more diverse routes, I genuinely believe that Dark Souls III surpasses it in both level design and in its believability as a space.

While the player's quest is ultimately to defeat all of the Lords of Cinder and link the first flame once more, the bulk of the journey through the aforementioned spaces is spent hunting down one in particular: Aldrich. A web of interconnected side-quests eventually narrows into this encounter, chasing him from the Cathedral of the Deep to Irithyll of the Boreal Valley. A trek that lasts the better part of the entire game ends in Anor Londo, perhaps the most hallowed location from the original game, its cathedral now stripped from its original context, a sort of museum artifact for some invading heretic. The player finds within an avatar of pure consumption, puppeting around one of surprisingly few named returning fan-favorite characters. The message could not be more clear, the anti-climax could perhaps only barely be more intentional, this is an absolutely naked indictment. Dark Souls has to end, because if it continues it will turn to sludge and cannibalize everything you love about it.

The heart of Dark Souls III's narrative is, like Dark Souls II before it, ultimately about the futility of this whole sequel project. Dark Souls II did do the roar, but it also smashed the cake, all the while yelling "Ya like that!? Huh?!"

As Dark Souls III plays its hand it feels more like the game has sat you down to sternly say "listen, we know you like this, and we'll give it to you one more time, but this is it." I personally think that video games' status as commercial entertainment products has been pretty much a disaster for their ability to tell stories, and a side effect of this is that some of the most potent stories they can tell are often bittersweet metanarrative musings on this predicament. Dark Souls III may not be the absolute strongest example of this, but you absolutely could do so, so much worse, and its real triumph is in delivering a compelling version of this story in balance with just being a plain fantastic gameplay experience.

The DLC only makes it more clear, with its principle locations being another world, plagued with rot and its denizens begging for death, and the entire Dark Souls universe compacted like trash. Dark Souls III's world, the "converging lands", was already a kind of new Pangaea, the different continents of the Lords of Cinder merging together into a tangled mess of ravines and canyons. By the end of the Ringed City DLC, everything has compressed together to the point where all that's left is an endless desert of ash. The final goal of these DLC areas, the finale of the entire series, is to help a certain NPC paint a new world. What is this world? It doesn't matter. Giving some clear-cut explanation, like "It's Bloodborne! Or Demon's Souls!" would completely undermine the entire conclusion.

The only thing that matters is that it's new, that it's something else.

One NPC in the Ashes of Ariandel DLC says, specifically, that the player must "make the tales true, and burn this world away."

This is the real curse of a zombie franchise, the lack of any real finality will always give every element of its story a kind of impermanence. Without an absolute true ending, anything in the narrative is up for debate, can be rewritten and ret-conned to suit a new installment. Dark Souls II was itself an admission that its own existence meant that there could be no true tale of the original game, and while it initially tries not to let the cat out of the bag, Dark Souls III's grand anti-climax also invalidates a particular player decision in the original game by canonizing only one particular option.

Dark Souls had to end, absolutely end, so that it could be anything at all.
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ThroughLidlessEye 2022-06-05T00:57:01Z
2022-06-05T00:57:01Z
5.0
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:)
Played this game like 3 times, and I would probably say it is worth it.
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Joeman2 2022-06-03T14:32:14Z
2022-06-03T14:32:14Z
4.0
1
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While Dark Souls III is not focused on innovating, but on consciously retreading old ground, as a matter of its themes, I adore the level design, and I find III vastly better to play than 1 thanks to smoother animations and movement.

Some of the cameo/clone fanservive feels tedious (the character in the Ringed City being an exception), but I feel excited at the thought of playing through Farron Keep, while Darkroot Garden and Blighttown just make me remember the tedium and jank. So I would argue that DSIII refines the series in a way that was very much needed.

In conclusion, I largely agree with the "A Happy Little Disappointment" review, and yet this is my favorite between 1-3, due to still-solid atmosphere and sheer playability.
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worshipamplifier 2022-01-18T11:50:56Z
2022-01-18T11:50:56Z
4.5
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Catalog

tinchou Dark Souls III 2022-08-16T05:54:19Z
2022-08-16T05:54:19Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
blankdfieldd Dark Souls III 2022-08-15T18:56:20Z
2022-08-15T18:56:20Z
1.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Coins95 Dark Souls III 2022-08-15T18:41:30Z
2022-08-15T18:41:30Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
paracetamolo Dark Souls III 2022-08-15T15:27:54Z
2022-08-15T15:27:54Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jakkos Dark Souls III 2022-08-15T09:34:56Z
2022-08-15T09:34:56Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Big_Village Dark Souls III 2022-08-14T21:42:57Z
2022-08-14T21:42:57Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
PerpetualFlyer Dark Souls III 2022-08-14T20:33:14Z
2022-08-14T20:33:14Z
9.4
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
liamsams Dark Souls III 2022-08-14T15:03:07Z
2022-08-14T15:03:07Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bgnd Dark Souls III 2022-08-14T14:40:33Z
2022-08-14T14:40:33Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
donkle Dark Souls III 2022-08-14T06:41:30Z
2022-08-14T06:41:30Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Chuyi Dark Souls III 2022-08-14T02:36:35Z
2022-08-14T02:36:35Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
pc ps4
donnydeq Dark Souls III 2022-08-13T03:49:22Z
2022-08-13T03:49:22Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
CERO: D
Media
1x Blu-ray
Multiplayer options
Online
Franchises
In collections

Comments

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  • Previous comments (115) Loading...
  • Yobyoni 2022-06-16 19:30:05.948169+00
    best from game
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  • moonisharp 2022-08-03 21:09:35.891445+00
    Hot take, Nameless King is overrated and the first phase is probably the worst designed boss encounter in this game and yes even fighting it locked off.

    The actual fight against Nameless King is great but there’s still like 10 other bosses I prefer.
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  • NickFerrant 2022-08-04 19:25:57.189966+00
    While this game has the best bosses in the series, it also has the dullest areas imo. Apart from Lothric Castle, Ringed City, Archdragon Peak, Irithyl and High Wall Of Lothric, most of the game's areas are drab and forgettable.
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  • NickFerrant 2022-08-04 20:05:52.629036+00
    Not that they're bad. Nowhere near as bad as DS II
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  • Jackranderson 2022-08-09 23:59:55.48566+00
    Incredible game.
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