I just want to talk about Dark Souls...

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Da_Schwartz said:
I tired, i really tried. Im 34 and couldnt resist this generations "Hardcore" flagship game. (yes i remeber when most games were difficult) But Souls has this reputation like its an honor or insta kudos if you are ever to finish the game. But...I dont like it. I love fantasy stuff, i love rpgs, but the game is just a pain in the ass. It's not because its overwhelming difficult. Its no walk in the park mind you, but the fact that combat, skill, patience, preserverance is replaced by simple trial and error really bothers me. No matter how much ass you can be kicking it all comes down to patterns, trial and error, and at later stages spamming health pots. It seems like it was made as a giant FU to anygame with health regen and no checkpoints. "Like hey look how hardcore this is GRRRRR!!" meh whatever. It's cool and all, just not enjoyable.
Meh, the whole 'super-hardcore' thing is pretty detrimental to the game's image in my opinion. LOOK AT THIS GAME IT'S SO HARD YOU MUST BE SO HARDCORE IF YOU CAN FINISH IT, which then makes players approach it with a certain biased mindset which colours their initial opinion and they're always looking out for ways to call the game out on being unfair then blah blah blah... All it really requires on a regular run is that the player actually stop and think sometimes, practice and learn their spacing and *gasp* maybe actually have to attempt killing a boss 5 or 6 times, and it all ties into the aesthetic and story of the game. But yeah, Dark Souls chews up time like nothing else (which doesn't help if you don't have much of it).
 

Benpasko

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Da_Schwartz said:
Its no walk in the park mind you, but the fact that combat, skill, patience, preserverance is replaced by simple trial and error really bothers me.
I see this a lot from Dark Souls detractors, and it's bs. I beat a lot of Dark Souls 2 on my first go, using the combat skills, observation, and patience I learned in the first one. If the game wasn't for you, that's fine, but there's no need to make excuses about how it's because the game wasn't good enough, or didn't require the one specific skillset that you consider 'true' skill.

I'm not saying you have to like the game, or even that your opinion is wrong or w/e, but saying that there's no 'actual' skill involved in DaS as a reason not to play it is just an excuse.
 

lapan

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I liked Dark Souls 2 a lot less than the first.

While there had been some gameplay improvements, overall weapons of the same type now had virtually identical movesets. There were much less differences between weapons than in Dark Souls 1. It didn't help that my favorite weapon wasn't even in the game either.

The story felt lazy, almost all lore boiled down to "this item was once very famous but now everyone forgot it's purpose". Instead of exploring the other lands and gods mentioned in Dark souls 1 they decided to go with a simple time loop instead
 

johnnybleu

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I consider myself a huge Souls fan. I've played around 200 hours of both Demon's Souls and Dark souls. I think both those games are masterpieces, and some of my favorite in recent years. The combat alone is exquisite, and I lament the fact that more games don't borrow from them.

Dark Souls 2, however, was mostly a disappointment. I can't really explain it, but there's just something "off" about the way the game feels. Personally, I think it's probably because they tried too hard to push the "X-treme difficulty!!!" angle. It's almost as though the Souls game had a reputation for being notoriously brutal, and they wanted to live up to the hype-- especially after the initial scare that they were trying to be more "accessible" for new players. Unfortunately, I think they may have gone too far. To me, it just felt too hard, without any real substance behind it-- it's difficult for the sake of being difficult. Like the game is constantly saying "Oh yeah? You think you're all that? Well, take THIS!!!". And that's the thing; I certainly don't think I'm all that. Sure, I'm all for a challenge, but overcoming obstacles for the sake of proving how "hardcore" I am just isn't my thing.

Miyazaki famously said that Demon's Souls was difficult to give the player a sense of accomplishment for overcoming its challenges, that the game being unfairly hard was never the point or the focus. I think that's what was lost when he handed the reins over to the new team. I barely mustered up enough strength to play through Dark Souls 2's lackluster story once, and I don't see myself playing again anytime soon. There were just so many "oh, COME ON!" moments for me, and it felt artificial and cheap. I tried a second playthrough with a different build, but I got stuck at that initial brick wall where your options are to a) fight the Pursuer, or b) face gangs of giant knights on narrow walkways, all at low level and with basically starting gear. I just gave up. Granted, I haven't played since they started patching the game...

I've had no interest in the DLC either, since all the reviews I've seen boast the fact that they're actually harder than the main game. At least I still have Bloodborne to look forward to!
 

SmallHatLogan

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johnnybleu said:
Dark Souls 2, however, was mostly a disappointment. I can't really explain it, but there's just something "off" about the way the game feels. Personally, I think it's probably because they tried too hard to push the "X-treme difficulty!!!" angle. It's almost as though the Souls game had a reputation for being notoriously brutal, and they wanted to live up to the hype-- especially after the initial scare that they were trying to be more "accessible" for new players. Unfortunately, I think they may have gone too far. To me, it just felt too hard, without any real substance behind it-- it's difficult for the sake of being difficult. Like the game is constantly saying "Oh yeah? You think you're all that? Well, take THIS!!!". And that's the thing; I certainly don't think I'm all that. Sure, I'm all for a challenge, but overcoming obstacles for the sake of proving how "hardcore" I am just isn't my thing.
Really? There were a few bosses that gave me a lot of grief but apart from that I didn't think the difficulty was particularly excessive. I thought it was on about on par with Demon's and Dark Souls.
 

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SmallHatLogan said:
johnnybleu said:
Dark Souls 2, however, was mostly a disappointment. I can't really explain it, but there's just something "off" about the way the game feels. Personally, I think it's probably because they tried too hard to push the "X-treme difficulty!!!" angle. It's almost as though the Souls game had a reputation for being notoriously brutal, and they wanted to live up to the hype-- especially after the initial scare that they were trying to be more "accessible" for new players. Unfortunately, I think they may have gone too far. To me, it just felt too hard, without any real substance behind it-- it's difficult for the sake of being difficult. Like the game is constantly saying "Oh yeah? You think you're all that? Well, take THIS!!!". And that's the thing; I certainly don't think I'm all that. Sure, I'm all for a challenge, but overcoming obstacles for the sake of proving how "hardcore" I am just isn't my thing.
Really? There were a few bosses that gave me a lot of grief but apart from that I didn't think the difficulty was particularly excessive. I thought it was on about on par with Demon's and Dark Souls.
I can kind of see what he's saying. In Dark Souls 2 the enemy positioning is such that you're a lot more likely to have to fight multiple enemies at once than you are in Dark 1. Enemies are also more likely to double pull if you're trying to lame them out and thin their numbers with a bow. So I do kind of see where he's coming from in talking about the difficulty, but honestly I think it's perfect for the most part. There's a couple of enemy positioning points that are just fuck you difficult but for the most part I think that the added difficulty is a good thing. I didn't like how in Dark Souls 1 after you know what you're doing you can kind of just 1v1 most enemies and make encounters a total joke, which is more difficult to do in 2.

Then again, he had problems with the old knights in heide's tower of flame, and I don't tend to find them very difficult or intimidating at all, so maybe he's just not great about kiting enemies into position.
 

Dandark

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I have a tough time deciding between Dark souls and it's sequel.

I feel that the sequel improved on the gameplay, it feels smoother and more weapons are actually viable. However the first game tends to beat it out in nearly every other way from story and lore to aesthetic and atmosphere.

The new soul memory system is also kinda iffy. The first game had a huge problem with people invading low level characters with end game gear and soul memory seemed to help stop that problem. At the same time it's a awful system to play with, it puts an expiry date on characters since it forces you to constantly progress in terms of who you will be able to connect to until eventually your at the point where everybody has maxed out stats and PvP is reduced to one build.

Whenever I play Dark souls I like to take my time and do areas slowly often only advancing partly into the area before returning to the bonfire and restarting it. I also do each boss at least twice in co-op, often more. I always feel like I am being punished for playing this way in DSII as my soul memory keeps getting higher even if I don't spend the souls on anything useful. Im not sure what else to say about it but I dislike the soul memory system even though I don't have a better solution for the twinking problem that was present in the first game.

I haven't got any of the DLC for the second one and I am not sure I will get it, I just find myself not playing the second game anymore.
 

Riotguards

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just gonna say this, i've liked most of the DLC so far (minus Sir Alonne) and the Ivory crown DLC was pretty fun but there's just this one section which can only be described as satan's anus spewing content and that would be the F***ING FROZEN WASTELAND that you have to get through to get to the optional boss

i cannot describe the hatred i have for this place, huge screen block which obstructs vision (leading to pulls) check, unlimited amounts of spawning mobs which have horrible moves (a charge that locks on so it doesn't miss) check, long ass treck through this zone with nothing interesting but hundreds of said mob, check

and finally a huge middle finger from FROM on the optional boss of being TWO copy and paste bosses together (2 tigers)

the worst thing about the DLC is just how lazy they've been, they make these amazing area's and wreck them by just being lazy on everything else

btw spoiler

so it looks as if the big reveal of having all crowns turns out to be a cop out cure for hollowing and that's it, there's nothing else (well nothing found) that adds to the story, the DLC didn't explain jacks*** about the plotholes but added a few more

like how the Ivory king made golems

edit

just remembered something else satan's anus spew out

sonic the F***ing hedgehog rabbits

i know people hated bonewheel but these guys can easily take of 4/5 of your health in NG+ and attacking them can easily take 1/5 since they do on touch damage

they're one of the things that made me rage quit a few times
 

johnnybleu

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Dirty Hipsters said:
SmallHatLogan said:
johnnybleu said:
Dark Souls 2, however, was mostly a disappointment. I can't really explain it, but there's just something "off" about the way the game feels. Personally, I think it's probably because they tried too hard to push the "X-treme difficulty!!!" angle. It's almost as though the Souls game had a reputation for being notoriously brutal, and they wanted to live up to the hype-- especially after the initial scare that they were trying to be more "accessible" for new players. Unfortunately, I think they may have gone too far. To me, it just felt too hard, without any real substance behind it-- it's difficult for the sake of being difficult. Like the game is constantly saying "Oh yeah? You think you're all that? Well, take THIS!!!". And that's the thing; I certainly don't think I'm all that. Sure, I'm all for a challenge, but overcoming obstacles for the sake of proving how "hardcore" I am just isn't my thing.
Really? There were a few bosses that gave me a lot of grief but apart from that I didn't think the difficulty was particularly excessive. I thought it was on about on par with Demon's and Dark Souls.
I can kind of see what he's saying. In Dark Souls 2 the enemy positioning is such that you're a lot more likely to have to fight multiple enemies at once than you are in Dark 1. Enemies are also more likely to double pull if you're trying to lame them out and thin their numbers with a bow. So I do kind of see where he's coming from in talking about the difficulty, but honestly I think it's perfect for the most part. There's a couple of enemy positioning points that are just fuck you difficult but for the most part I think that the added difficulty is a good thing. I didn't like how in Dark Souls 1 after you know what you're doing you can kind of just 1v1 most enemies and make encounters a total joke, which is more difficult to do in 2.

Then again, he had problems with the old knights in heide's tower of flame, and I don't tend to find them very difficult or intimidating at all, so maybe he's just not great about kiting enemies into position.
Well, I should say that once I got past the aforementioned brick wall on my first playthrough, I completely steam-rolled huge chunks of the game. I suppose that at the end of the day DS2 is probably comparable to the first two games in terms of overall difficulty. Heck, I killed too many of the bosses on my first attempt. I just found there were more difficulty spikes and arbitrarily hard encounters/areas (fighting groups on a narrow ledge seems to be a theme). Oh, and we can't forget those mace-weilding assholes in Dragon Shrine...

As for the knights in Heide's Tower, I remember trying to pull one of those in the bigger central tower with a bow, and all three coming after me. Though I think if you actually just go in there and fight one, they don't all aggro... Also, while the knights aren't particularly difficult alone (or even 2v1), you encounter them early in the game, and your damage potential could be severely limited depending on your build. You have to chip away at them for what feels like an eternity, which leads to impatience and sloppy play in my case. ;)

Nevertheless, I still feel like they were trying too hard to make difficult encounters, rather than interesting ones. In my most humble opinion, mind you.
 

endtherapture

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Dirty Hipsters said:
Hey all, I just felt like talking about Dark Souls (well, all the souls games actually), and there hasn't been a front page topic about any of the Souls games in Gaming Discussion for a while so I figured "eh, why not?" and decided to make one. No really direction to this, I'll just start talking and anyone is free to steer the conversation anywhere they want and talk about anything they want, so long as it's Souls series related (hell, maybe even Bloodborne, what do I care?).

So, to start, I'm currently playing all the souls games concurrently and doing so has really made me realize some interesting things about them that I never noticed before when playing them separately.

1. The boss fights in demons souls are ass. Visually they're cool, but mechanically speaking they're kind of a joke. All of them are easy, yes even flamelurker and the maneaters. None of the bosses punish healing. If you have grass you can pretty much chomp it at any point in the fight and not worry about the boss retaliating during your healing animation. This is the second time I'm going through Demons Souls, and I have yet to die on a single boss, what's up with that? I'm running through Dark Souls 2 with a caestus only build and I died to Pursuer 6 times.

2. I really like Dark Souls 2 from a mechanical standpoint. I'm using a dual caestus build right now and it's soo much fun. I love the fact that any weapon is totally viable. Thinking about doing a ladle run after this. Whenever I was playing Dark Souls 1 I always felt like there where certain weapons that I just favored so much more than others, like certain weapons were totally unusable to me, and Dark Souls 2 doesn't feel like that at all. I feel like I can grab any weapon and use it confidently which is really cool.

3. I'm also playing through Dark Souls 1 again, though this one I'm doing much more slowly and methodically than the other 2 (partly because this is the first time I'm playing through the DLC), and I've noticed that there actually aren't very many boss fights I really like. Ornstein and Smough are obviously a standout, as are the bosses in the DLC, and gaping dragon and Quelaag are visually amazing, but a lot of the other boss fights just aren't that great. Many of them are very challenging, but part of the challenge is that the bosses are just huge and the camera doesn't like cooperating with me. It's difficult to roll an attack when you lock on to some of the bigger bosses because you end up having no idea where your character is in relation to them, and if you don't lock on you can't see some of their attacks. Wish they'd fix their camera for Bloodborne, but from the gameplay trailers it doesn't look like it.

4. The Quelagg and Najka boss fights are actually nothing alike. Quelaag and Najka have very similar visual designs, but I actually don't think they share a single attack in common. Quelaag doesn't have a tail, so Najka's tail attacks are unique to her, Quelaag doesn't have magic so Najka's magic attacks are also unique to her, and Najka can tunnel underground, which Quelaag cannot do. At the same time Quelaag has constant fire damage on her weapon, which Najka doesn't, and Quelaag has area denial with her lava, which Najka doesn't have. Hell, even their melee attacks are totally different with Quelaag using slashes and Najka favoring stabs. It actually kind of bothers me now that people complain about Najka just being Quelaag 2.0 considering they fight nothing alike.
Dark Souls is a game I enjoyed for about 20 hours, but sadly its greatest strength eventually kicked me right out of the game and I haven't been able to enjoy it since.

First the strong points. The art direction is great and the world is gorgeous and full of atmosphere. The level design in the game is fairly strong and the way all the areas interconnect is really good. I like the way the story is told because that's fairly interesting for a video game. The enemy design is great too and the game overall is extremely tense and feels like a proper adventure to play.

However...the games difficulty became its greatest downfall for me. Because I couldn't enjoy it. I got too far in. The lack of a quicksave or a reload meant that I had to schedule times where I would play the game for a few hours. I'd get frustrated when I wouldn't progress, and I'd spend too long farming shards so I could progress. I was stuck in Anor Londo doing Ornstein and Smough for a few weeks. That killed it all.

The thing is...there is so much atmosphere in Dark Souls, and everything seems like an immersive fantasy world, however when you start trying to get into the game, the monsters stop becoming monsters because you end up learning their movesets, so they aren't interesting fantasy creatures and are instead just a set of moves to be memorised and overcome. And that ruined the game for me.
 

Demonchaser27

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I actually have quite the opposite view of Dirty Hipster. I felt like Dark Souls 2 was the lowest of the Souls series for various reasons. I didn't like mechanics.

1. The floaty feel of the player character. There feels to be much less weight in the character. Dodge roll takes far too long to come out of as a result. Ironically "fatter" builds come out of rolls faster than "thinner" builds.


2. The parry mechanic is now way less reliable due to the massive delay on it for most equipment. Parrying in previous games had a lot of skill to it but never felt luck based. The reason is because it's active frames were instant. So no matter what combo the enemy uses or how fast they attack you could ALWAYS parry it if your reaction timing was good enough. In Dark Souls 2 it doesn't matter how fast your reaction timing is, most weapons will absolutely not be able to get a parry off on certain attacks. The reason? Well the same thing that has existed in all Souls games with enemies. They can vary their attack animations and sometimes the speed of an animation. They might do a stab that executes 0.5 seconds one time which the parry "might" be able to be executed fast enough. Then the next time they do that exact stab again it might come out at 0.3 seconds which is impossible no matter how good your reaction timing unless you use a very select few weapons/shields to parry with. It hurts diversity and makes the game feel less master-able. Essentially if the player can't reliably master mechanics against the foes/obstacles of the game then it feels lesser. Now I'm not saying that parrying isn't possible on all of those foes but it's less reliable. And because they no longer have the "almost executed parry" where you just take very minute damage but fail to parry, there is little incentive to even attempt parries at all in Dark Souls 2.

3. Enemy balance is terrible. Some foes have no health and ridiculously easy patterns. While others are borderline BS. They have way too much health to where it feels like a grind to fight them and they have almost impossible to avoid attacks which all hurt diversity. And encounters all too often rely on just pitting you against numerous foes at once instead of having more interesting encounters. Thus resulting in the player running and shooting everything with poison daggers/arrows. Again, hurting the viability of a diverse range of options.

4. Hit detection is wonky at best. Not all hitboxes are bad, but there are more than enough for it to be a problem. Countless videos/gifs/webm's have been made showing a huge slew of enemies with either broken hitboxes or awkward timings, where the foe is able to hit the player in the wind back of the attack for some reason, even when standing right in front of the foe. Some of it comes with the flaw of Agility even being a stat. The problem with it is that it makes rolling iframes an unreliable and problematic thing to keep up with. They never remain consistent. And if you don't level it up then you don't have enough iframes on your dodge. Which wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that almost every single enemy can track the player up to 270 degrees in any direction during 90% of the attack animation and sometimes through the full animation. This results in it being impossible to dodge AND retaliate unless your are either a magic build/use arrows or you have enough iframes to ignore the attack all together. Again hurting diversity and making Agility so important that practically every character build is going to be using it to some extent or another, which wastes precious points that should be spent on diversifying your build, not making it like everyone else's.

5. On a more personal note, just the lore. I didn't care for it as much this time. I read into it and it just feeds off of Dark Souls 1 too much. I mean, yes, it's a sequel but because both Demon's and Dark Souls weren't sequels they had to rely on making unique and intriguing lore because they couldn't fall back on something else to keep it interesting. So it was a lot more impressive in those games.

All this except #5 makes the game feel sluggish to me. And it creates balancing issues where some builds are clearly more viable for game completion than others. Were their imbalances in previous Souls games? Absolutely. But they weren't on a mechanical level the way they are in Dark Souls 2. They were the result of a too powerful spell or not powerful enough piece of gear. They didn't come from the inate basic mechanics. Everything is still possible, but it feels far more luck based/trial and error than before. There isn't a sense of mastery to the game the way there was in the previous games. Could some of the bosses have been harder in Demon's Souls? Of course. But it wouldn't have necessarily made them better boss fights.

The problem I see in discussions with games like Dark Souls is that the community uses difficulty as a crutch for bad game design. When something feels bad, it must be that I didn't die enough. Death isn't necessarily what defines a fight. It's the skills required. It's the amount and type of effort required. It's how interesting and deep the engagement goes. Will these things increase difficulty? Most likely, but just saying that a fight needs to be more difficult isn't enough. That's like saying "This is bad. You should make it better." And that's it. There is no description as to how to make it better. Difficulty isn't an explanation, it's a result. It happens for a reason, that usually comes from a blend of a multitude of game mechanics and sometimes fight-specific features combining to make something special. I just feel like the community just wants to be stopped. It's a huge problem that occurred with the Borderlands community. They kept asking for higher difficulty until the point where the game became so broken that no one wanted to play on the higher difficulties anymore. It became too much of a chore and for a huge variety of builds, impossible. Difficulty has a spiking point. It has a limit where it just absolutely DESTROYS variety and viability of playstyles. It comes down to one or two fixed strategies. It becomes like those Zelda bosses that everyone dislikes so much. Except instead of your sword bouncing off because you haven't done what the game wanted yet, it just kills you instead because didn't do what it wanted yet. A lot of people don't understand that in the same way that too easy can make a lot of gameplay mechanics FEEL pointless, too difficult (if that's even what we call it at that point) literally FORCES a lot gameplay mechanics to BE pointless.
 

Demonchaser27

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endtherapture said:
Dark Souls is a game I enjoyed for about 20 hours, but sadly its greatest strength eventually kicked me right out of the game and I haven't been able to enjoy it since.

First the strong points. The art direction is great and the world is gorgeous and full of atmosphere. The level design in the game is fairly strong and the way all the areas interconnect is really good. I like the way the story is told because that's fairly interesting for a video game. The enemy design is great too and the game overall is extremely tense and feels like a proper adventure to play.

However...the games difficulty became its greatest downfall for me. Because I couldn't enjoy it. I got too far in. The lack of a quicksave or a reload meant that I had to schedule times where I would play the game for a few hours. I'd get frustrated when I wouldn't progress, and I'd spend too long farming shards so I could progress. I was stuck in Anor Londo doing Ornstein and Smough for a few weeks. That killed it all.

The thing is...there is so much atmosphere in Dark Souls, and everything seems like an immersive fantasy world, however when you start trying to get into the game, the monsters stop becoming monsters because you end up learning their movesets, so they aren't interesting fantasy creatures and are instead just a set of moves to be memorised and overcome. And that ruined the game for me.
I would argue that this isn't the difficulty of the game making you hate it. It's the punishment. They're two separate things. And, while it didn't affect me as much, I completely understand why it would be a deal breaker. There were a few times in all of the games where I would just say, "Fuck it, I'll play this later," because I had to redo 15 minutes of crap to reach the point that actually killed me. It's pretty nonsensical to be honest. I don't disagree with the assertion that it's a game flaw, despite it being an intended feature. They could have added better shortcuts that could be unlocked to make it not such a grind to retry the boss.

While some might argue that, "The enemies are your training for the boss. They make sure that your top notch for the fight." I call bologna. That does a huge disservice to the bosses, first of all. The bosses are largely different in their approach and mechanics needed to survive. And besides, do you really NEED to prove that you can bypass/kill all the enemies up to the boss 20 times? How is that helping the player actually get better at fighting THAT boss. THOSE enemies have no relation whatsoever to THAT boss. Their attack animations, timings, and tells are COMPLETELY different to the boss'. They aren't teaching you anything before the fight that you didn't already have to learn at the beginning of the game. So essentially, yes, it's a waste of your time.
 

endtherapture

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Demonchaser27 said:
endtherapture said:
However...the games difficulty became its greatest downfall for me. Because I couldn't enjoy it. I got too far in. The lack of a quicksave or a reload meant that I had to schedule times where I would play the game for a few hours. I'd get frustrated when I wouldn't progress, and I'd spend too long farming shards so I could progress. I was stuck in Anor Londo doing Ornstein and Smough for a few weeks. That killed it all.
I would argue that this isn't the difficulty of the game making you hate it. It's the punishment. They're two separate things. And, while it didn't affect me as much, I completely understand why it would be a deal breaker. There were a few times in all of the games where I would just say, "Fuck it, I'll play this later," because I had to redo 15 minutes of crap to reach the point that actually killed me. It's pretty nonsensical to be honest. I don't disagree with the assertion that it's a game flaw, despite it being an intended feature. They could have added better shortcuts that could be unlocked to make it not such a grind to retry the boss.

While some might argue that, "The enemies are your training for the boss. They make sure that your top notch for the fight." I call bologna. That does a huge disservice to the bosses, first of all. The bosses are largely different in their approach and mechanics needed to survive. And besides, do you really NEED to prove that you can bypass/kill all the enemies up to the boss 20 times? How is that helping the player actually get better at fighting THAT boss. THOSE enemies have no relation whatsoever to THAT boss. Their attack animations, timings, and tells are COMPLETELY different to the boss'. They aren't teaching you anything before the fight that you didn't already have to learn at the beginning of the game. So essentially, yes, it's a waste of your time.
Yeah that's a much better way to put it.

Areas in Anor Londo really killed the game for me. The first part was the infamous Silver Knight Archers portion of the game, where a lot of players (including me) died extremely often because of the sheer cheapness of difficulty. What was worse than that though, was the 10+ minute preamble up to that point from a bonfire. You have to spawn at the bonfire, walk out of the room, up some stairs, then turn a lever to the stairs change level, then walk up some more stairs, fight/kite 2 massive enemies, then fight your way past about 8 lightning imps before getting to the actual challenging bit and likely dying again. That took about 10 minutes and really killed all of my desire for the game having to redo that part over and over and over until the freak occurrence that I actually got through.

Same with Ornstein and Smogh. You come up against a bunch of the toughest enemies in the game and have to fight or run through them just to get to the boss. I frankly did have the time or patience to get through this, it wasn't making me any better at the game and was frustrating me and killing my enjoyment. Bonfires should've been placed right next to the boss.
 

manic_depressive13

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Dark Souls 2 was such a huge disappointment to me because it completely undermined my favourite thing about Dark Souls: the atmosphere. I mean it opens with this fucking long ass cut scene of an old lady just talking at you, and it just drags on and on, shitting on any momentum or excitement right off the bat. They made the crestfallen warrior equivalent this sappy optimist. No one is hopelessly depressed by their fate. No one is teetering on the brink of sanity. No one goes hollow to remind us of our cursed fate. There's no sense of solemn isolation because every time you want to level up you have to skip three fucking lines of dialogue from the Emerald Herald. Now not only do the NPCs let you wail on them for five minutes before they aggro, they don't even die. I can't even fucking manufacture the sense of isolation because there's that stupid gravestone staring at me, reminding me that there are no consequences to anything anymore.

There's a lot of other stuff I didn't like, such as enemies despawning, stupid hitboxes, the way you couldn't shoot dragons out of the sky in Dragon Shrine the way you could the giant stingrays in Shrine of Storms, and that it didn't matter if you cut off an enemy's tail. But the lack of atmosphere is what ruined the game for me.
 

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endtherapture said:
Dark Souls is a game I enjoyed for about 20 hours, but sadly its greatest strength eventually kicked me right out of the game and I haven't been able to enjoy it since.

However...the games difficulty became its greatest downfall for me. Because I couldn't enjoy it. I got too far in. The lack of a quicksave or a reload meant that I had to schedule times where I would play the game for a few hours. I'd get frustrated when I wouldn't progress, and I'd spend too long farming shards so I could progress. I was stuck in Anor Londo doing Ornstein and Smough for a few weeks. That killed it all.
There actually is a quicksave in the game (sort of). Every time you pull up your menu screen the game autosaves. This means that if you're playing and something suddenly comes up you just pull up the menu screen and quit, the game saves, and then when you load back into the game later your character is in the exact same spot where you left him/her, with the same number of estus flasks, and all the enemies that you'd previously killed are still dead.

There isn't a "reload" option though because that would make the game ridiculously easy. The way the game functions is that all the enemies are always in the same place, and once you've run through an area all the enemies are predictable (with a few minor exceptions). If you had the option to instantly reload after a death then you'd be able to finish the game in just a few hours time because you'd never have to repeat an area. The game world is actually fairly small (seriously, you can run from Anor Londo to New Londo, areas on opposite sides of the map from each other in about 5 minutes), and the entire design of the game is based on forcing the player to replay areas over and over again until they're mastered and this design wouldn't work with a reload feature. The design of the game just doesn't cater to being able to reload whenever you want and would actually make the game less interesting.

As far as the frustration from dying and having to run back through an area again, I have to say that most of the time it's not a big deal. Once you've gone through an area a couple of times you can basically navigate it with your eyes closed. Take for example the run to Ornstein and Smough. If you ignore the silver knights it's very easy to run from the bonfire to the fog wall in about 2 minutes. Going through an area over and over again gives you a mastery of it. After a while you can kill every enemy without taking any damage, and then you feel like you are the chosen undead, and you understand why you're able to kill LITERAL GODS.

I think it's a cool theme of the game that your character isn't necessarily stronger or better than any of the enemies he faces, but he has an unbreakable strength of will. The reason he's capable of overcoming these monsters is that no matter how many times he dies he comes back, and eventually wins. That's also what's scary about the chosen undead, no matter how many times he's beaten he can never be truly defeated, and it's inevitable that he'll win because with each attempt he gets a little better, a little closer to victory. It would be impossible to create this feeling without the frustration of having to go through areas over and over again.

The thing is...there is so much atmosphere in Dark Souls, and everything seems like an immersive fantasy world, however when you start trying to get into the game, the monsters stop becoming monsters because you end up learning their movesets, so they aren't interesting fantasy creatures and are instead just a set of moves to be memorised and overcome. And that ruined the game for me.
Most of the enemies you fight in the game are hollows, mindless killing machines who operate on pure instinct. It seems kind of fitting to the lore that fighting them becomes predictable as you encounter more and more of them. They don't think, they aren't actively trying to figure out how to fight you, they're just creatures who have lost their sanity and their souls, they're moving husks.

When you encounter unique enemies (like invaders), those are enemies that aren't hollow. It's a lot more difficult to predict their moves or get them stuck in patterns because you fight most of them only once.

Thematically I think it all makes sense, and actually adds to the atmosphere rather than detracting from it.
 

The_Blue_Rider

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SmallHatLogan said:
I'd imagine a lot of the bosses in Demon's Souls are probably pretty damn challenging to those unfamiliar with the series. As someone who played Dark Souls first though I did find quite a few of them underwhelming. On my first playthrough I pretty much curb stomped about half of them on my first try.

Can I tell you my Storm King story? Well I'm going to. For those of you who haven't played Demon's Souls one of the worlds has a lot of cliff faces you have to traverse while being attacked by these flying sting ray things that shoot harpoons at you. The only way to kill them is with ranged attacks, which I was doing with my trusty bow. You eventually get to a boss, the Storm King. Essentially the brood mother to all these things. It's gigantic, and it also has a bunch of its babies with it. What's my first instinct? Use my bow, after all I've been using it through the whole level. I pick off all the sting rays one by one, then I set my sights on the Storm King. It seems to be following a very simple flight path and only fires harpoons from one direction which I'm easily able to avoid by hiding behind a conveniently placed rock near the entrance to the arena. The boss goes down very easily (albeit a bit slowly) and I'm left feeling pretty "meh". I make my way down through the boss area only to find a sword that has a crazy, magical ranged attack. I come to a realisation: I've cheesed the boss without even realising it. I thought the boss was unusually easy, and it was, because I fought it wrong. That in itself wouldn't necessarily be the game's fault, except the preceding level had trained me to do it that way.

I have to say I felt cheated.
Duuude you missed out, I finished the Shrine of Storms only like an hour ago and holy shit using the Storm Ruler sword is goddamn awesome. Rending the sky in twain, felling beasts of the air that have been pissing you off for the entire level. Its easily my favourite fight in the entire series so far, tied only with Gwynn (Yeah I know he was actually really easy, but the atmosphere in that fight, and the music and the entire part leading up to it just make it so great).

On that note I thought I'd talk about Demon's Souls quickly, so today I decided to finally try playing more Demon's Souls, and I sat down and completed most of the game in one sitting, beating the first half of Boletaria, The Shrine of Storms, The Burrow King, and The Tower of Latria. Now Ive only got to do Valley of Defilement and the last two parts of Boletaria.
And wow Im actually somewhat shocked at how easy Demon's Souls is compared to Dark, I played Demon's first but never got very far into it, then I played and beat Dark and thought I might try Demon's again, but yeah Demon's is surprisingly easy (in comparison).

Its actually somewhat strange since Demon's doesnt really have a defined difficulty curve, Tower of Latria actually gets easier the further you get into the stage (barring the Maneaters of course, but even they werent too difficult after facing the dual headed nightmare that is Ornstein and Smough), and in the Burrow King you can skip pretty much the entire section between the Armor Spider and the Flame Lurker by simply dropping down a hole, I actually discovered it on accident. Compared to the Bed of Chaos, the Dragon God was a complete breeze, and the Old Hero didnt stand a chance against me.
I think a big part of this is the fact that things just arent as aggressive in this game, the most aggressive boss Ive encountered so far, the Flamelurker, isnt nearly as aggressive many standard enemies in Dark Souls, and enemies in general arent very aggressive either.

With that being said im still enjoying the game a lot, its definitely very dark, much darker than Dark Souls, and its just overflowing with atmosphere, its also really interesting looking at what is essentially a primitive Dark Souls. I really cant wait to get DS2, I know its got problems but its combat just looks so good
 

johnnybleu

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The_Blue_Rider said:
And wow Im actually somewhat shocked at how easy Demon's Souls is compared to Dark, I played Demon's first but never got very far into it, then I played and beat Dark and thought I might try Demon's again, but yeah Demon's is surprisingly easy (in comparison).
I think it's because both games are so similar that any skills you get in one can easily be applied in the other. I beat Demon's Souls first, and I remember thinking that Dark Souls wasn't as hard (minus a few spikes here and there). And I'm willing to bet that if I had played both games back-to-back, I would have found Dark Souls easier still. If you play dozens of hours of any Souls, you have such an intricate knowledge of the mechanics and design philosophies of these games that you instantly have a leg up when playing any of them.

Also, as you said, after dancing with Ornstein and Smough, the Maneaters are a joke. I suppose that could be evidence that Demon's Souls is objectively less difficult, as a lot of themes and bosses in Dark are just beefed up versions of similar things seen in Demon's.
 

The_Blue_Rider

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johnnybleu said:
The_Blue_Rider said:
And wow Im actually somewhat shocked at how easy Demon's Souls is compared to Dark, I played Demon's first but never got very far into it, then I played and beat Dark and thought I might try Demon's again, but yeah Demon's is surprisingly easy (in comparison).
I think it's because both games are so similar that any skills you get in one can easily be applied in the other. I beat Demon's Souls first, and I remember thinking that Dark Souls wasn't as hard (minus a few spikes here and there). And I'm willing to bet that if I had played both games back-to-back, I would have found Dark Souls easier still. If you play dozens of hours of any Souls, you have such an intricate knowledge of the mechanics and design philosophies of these games that you instantly have a leg up when playing any of them.

Also, as you said, after dancing with Ornstein and Smough, the Maneaters are a joke. I suppose that could be evidence that Demon's Souls is objectively less difficult, as a lot of themes and bosses in Dark are just beefed up versions of similar things seen in Demon's.
Yeah I was thinking that could be it, but im just getting the nagging feeling that nothing in Demon's wants to kill me as badly as creatures in Dark Souls, also theres a lot more enemies that are just man sized in Demon's. That being said it really could just be skills bleeding over, I really dont know. I am going into Demon's blind though, which is something I didnt do with Dark, I had already seen large portions of the game, whereas with Demon's I havent seen anything apart from what I've played and I still had a harder time with Dark Souls. Still good fun though, its not easy by any means, and theres always a feeling of dread because for all I know there is something around the corner that can and will horribly kill me
 
Apr 8, 2010
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Kind of tangential but since you guys are talking about it, anyway: I finished the first Dark Souls for the first time yesterday and bought the second while it was on sale in summer. What I really didn't like about the first game was that the story was as hidden as it was and I could only catch glimpses of it through the item descriptions and very vague ideas conveyed by the surroundings. Since I was looking up the Wiki occasionally I realized that many parts were still missing which I really have no idea how to find.

I really don't want to get into the same predicament with the second one, so any tips for me as to how to properly puzzle together the story in the second one without referring to the Wiki[footnote]...which I really want to avoid so as to not spoil the fun of discovering the new world in the second game[/footnote]?
 
Feb 28, 2008
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Chromatic Aberration said:
I really don't want to get into the same predicament with the second one, so any tips for me as to how to properly puzzle together the story in the second one without referring to the Wiki?
I needed the Wiki to help piece together the second game's story, but not the first's. In fact, the whole progression in DSII in terms of narrative and actual advancement, makes very little sense. That made it for me a great disappointment compared to the original game (a few other reasons as well).

So, sorry... not really advice but just my thoughts.