Objective opinion needed: Should I give up Soulsborne?

ReservoirAngel

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Let me explain: I feel like I'm locked in an abusive relationship with From Software and the Dark Souls/Bloodborne games. I absolutely love everything about them, from the design to the lore, but despite my desire to experience these things for myself I have been categorically unable to because I am what you'd call a pathetic ***** who might as well be trying to play with 10 thumbs, 9 of which are broken, when attempting these games.

Just a quick rundown of how badly I have failed at them:

Dark Souls: Couldn't even beat the Tuarus Demon.
Dark Souls 2: Got up to Ruin Sentinels. Didn't even bother fighting them, just kind of... stopped playing. Got the game again later, couldn't beat the Pursuer.
Dark Souls 3: Not even going into how badly I sucked here. I at least beat Iudex Gundyr but to this day have no idea what the next boss is.
Bloodborne: Made it to Witches of Hemwick, died embarrassingly because I forgot they had an AoE attack, have been unable to get back because I can't fight Executioners.

So... yeah. That's my record. With this in mind, should I honestly just stop kidding myself, give up and forget these games even exist? Is it even worth the hassle and failure?
 

Pyrian

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Hmm. If what you like is the design and lore, rather than the punishing gameplay, then perhaps a nice Let's Play experience is indeed the media for you.
 

Maximum Bert

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If you really want to experience them for yourselves and not watch someone else play them or just read lore as the previous poster suggested then you really have to just keep playing.

Its not something anyone else can answer for you its just whether you think the reward will outweigh the pain to get there. To some it is likely very worth it and to others not at all. No one is really going to care either way if you stop or complete it/them.

If you are having a really hard time and want to beat it but are stuck on a specific part just look up strats. I only played (and finished) Demons and Dark Souls so dont know about the others but there are ways to cheese a lot of encounters if you so choose to do so.
 

Chanticoblues

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I mean if you don't enjoy them, by all means don't play them.

But they are RPGs. You can always do a run-through of an area to accrue resources and level up or upgrade your gear if you're being railroaded by a boss.
 

Cold Shiny

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In all four games, you have the ability to massively over-level your character, making bosses much easier. If you don't mind a little grinding, that's what I recommend. Secondly, if you have internet, summoning allies will make boss fights way more manageable.
 

JohnnyDelRay

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+1 for looking up strategies and grinding. That was the only way I could beat Dark Souls. There are some cheap places to farm there, especially mid-way thru the game when it's at it's most demanding.

I had a similar experience, because I wanted to see how "good" I was at games. On my very first run, I tried to go through the graveyard (Dark Souls) and got smashed to pieces repeatedly by skeletons. I gave that venture up quickly and didn't look back until much later, when I found out a friend of mine was playing. By reading strats, I realized I was headed the entirely wrong way. After reading strats, I dedicated myself to a certain play style - light enough armor to roll around deftly and not get bogged down, and a very powerful japanese sword (Uchigatana, +15 by the time you're done with it, killed the last boss no sweat).

Eventually it got me thru it. There are some bosses you can cheese with poison arrows, and some places which just take patience, so I'd say if you really enjoy them sit down with one and don't jump from game to game or you'll lose your momentum and never want to go back. That is, unless it's just straight up misery with no reward and just relief out of beating something, then yes quit the series altogether, there's hundreds of great games out there besides Souls/Borne.
 

zombiejoe

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I still think that if you just take things slow and be patient, you really can handle these games.

All I really want to know is, why couldn't you beat the Taurus Demon? That boss has a built in way to beat him easily in the form of the ladder you can use to drop down on it.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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From the sound of things you give up a little too easily or don't stick with a game for long enough. My advice would be to never give up and eventually you'll get through the games. Nobody was born good, everyone sucked at one point, you're not especially bad at anything, you just quit where others pressed on.
 

Terminal Blue

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Give it a while and come back to it later.

I had this problem with Dark Souls 3, which for some reason just kicked my arse the first time I played it. A couple of months later I tried it again with a fresh mindset and am having a great time with it.

Getting to the Taurus demon was an achievement. Beating Iudex Gundr was an achievement. I still dread fighting the ruin sentinels (although they're optional, and you can skip them if you want). Regardless of what the community will tell you, finding Souls games hard is not a sign of personal failure or that you're not the right kind of person, it's a stage we all go through, sometimes more than once in fact. Most of us, at some point, felt like giving up or needed to take a break for a bit.

But this is part of why these games are so different and a big part of why I personally think they're genius. They're not afraid to push the boundaries of what constitutes "fun". They really commit to the theme of a hopeless quest being some kind of ordeal and make that a part of the gameplay rather than just "dark" flavour to a conventional fantasy story. I might be getting a bit pretentious at this point, but you see what I'm saying, right? Everything you're feeling is what you're supposed to feel. Maybe you don't like that and think it's genuinely not for you, and that's fine. But maybe it's all setting you up for the moment where you finally do it and feel like a medieval boss. I don't think any other game around quite now can quite replicate that feeling.
 

ReservoirAngel

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Sounds like how I am with RTS and competitive fighting games; I enjoy them but simply don't have the time, dedication or interest to git dat gud. These Soulsborne games with their adventure focus are personally a much better fit, but can also take a decent amount of patience, planning and persistence. I started with Demon's Souls and took months-long breaks simply because the game was intimidating lol (same could be said for Silent Hill 4, but that's another story). I ended up Plat'ing it without taking the "shortcut" the game is known for though. The more I played, the more comfortable and enjoyable it became, as with Dark Souls and most recently Bloodborne.

I have limited time to game and am yet to tackle DS2 or 3; currently on a Bloodborne playthrough before digging into DS1 NG+ for the remaining trophies. I really like Bloodborne in some ways more than Souls, due to the added emphasis on offensive combat. It sounds like you were doing pretty well in it; possibly better than I was at that point. I'm finally getting the hang of it after 3 bosses, but damned if I didn't struggle more than with Demon's and Dark Souls combined. Those shields are pure luxury items lol.

If you really enjoy the games, read up on some wiki's and watch some Let's Plays, then pick up the controller and give them another go. You'll eventually know what level of investment you're wiling to make. Understand that if the games were easy they wouldn't be so rewarding. They really are a great example of giving as much if not more than what you put into them.
 

ReservoirAngel

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Lol, take Ezekiel's words with a grain of salt. "Probably" is a huge grey area. Giving up on anything is a natural tendency towards whatever's unfamiliar, uncomfortable and especially what's difficult.

Having said my original reply, I could paraphrase it with "Stop being a pathetic *****" if it helps.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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ReservoirAngel said:
Bloodborne: Made it to Witches of Hemwick, died embarrassingly because I forgot they had an AoE attack, have been unable to get back because I can't fight Executioners.
If you can't fight the executioners then why don't you just run past them?

Here's the thing, the souls games have a built in easy mode, it's called "run past the enemies." There are very few areas in the games where just running past all the enemies isn't a viable strategy. At your sprinting speed you easily outrun every enemy. The only thing you can't run past are the bosses.

Sure you lose out on souls, but if you're dying as much as...well, you, then it's not like you're leveling up with the souls anyway, and beating bosses gives you enough souls to level up enough to beat the next boss. The souls games are designed that you can beat them using only the souls you get from bosses with no need to power level.

Also, if all else fails you can always just summon help and do the bosses in coop. Most of the bosses even have an NPC summon in case you don't play online.
 

Sniper Team 4

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I recently bought Bloodborne for my friend. He is...not that great at video games. We're talking level of skill where he's lucky if he gets one kill in playing Star Wars Battlefront in a full match. He's just doesn't have the reflexes to be considered a gamer.
However, he enjoys playing with my friend and I, and we help him out. Bloodborne is no different. For the first run through (we're getting him the platinum because what better game to get your first platinum on?), my other friend and myself did 90% of the work. We told him to go hide in a corner during boss fights, or to stay away from certain enemies. So there's one thing you can do: summon other people. Because trust me, anyone still playing these games at this point is good. They will crush anything that gets in your way.

But the cool thing is that, as time went on, my friend slowly started to get better. He learned enemy movements, learned when to attack, when to dodge, what the different weapons did. It took him a long time--probably until we killed a boss halfway through the game--but he had gotten to the point where we didn't need to constantly watch out for him. He could handle himself. Was he at the level of taking down a boss by himself? No, but he can help now and we don't have to worry about him getting stomped right away. So there's another thing: keep at it, if you're really enjoying it, and you will learn. It might not seem like it, after getting your face kicked in for the 100th time by the same enemy, but if it's giving you problems, go back to earlier areas and see just how much better you've gotten as you slice through enemies that used to own you. Unless you have a defective brain, it is impossible to play these games and not get better at them the longer you go.

Next, if you're still having problems, magic. Magic the crap out of EVERYTHING. Make a character that is magic focused and burn enemies to the ground. Seriously, magic almost breaks the Dark Souls games. Heck, even having a bow and sniping at range makes a difference, so if all out fails, fight at range. Is this going to work in Bloodborne? No, but at least you can play the other three.

Finally, as has already been pointed out, book it. If you are sick and tired of this one enemy stopping you, run past it. There's not shame in that. Of course, this won't work with bosses, but seriously, summon someone else to help with those.
 

Elijin

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Being good at =/= enjoying the game.

If you're enjoying your experience up until you stop playing, and can comfortably absorb the cost of these titles, I don't see the problem.

Getting to the end point, or going through the checkered flag isn't a requirement for enjoying a title.

On the flipside, if you only enjoy them conceptually, and are finding it a frustrating slog every step until you just give up, then yeah.... watch some lets plays or something.
 

Dalisclock

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So, it depends. Do you actually enjoy playing when you aren't getting horribly murdered? Because it's normal to get frustrated when you've fought the same boss 20 fucking times(Fucking Velstadt), each time getting him/it/her down to 10% health before snuffing it, or when you run across areas that just kinda suck(Fuck you, Iron Keep/Blighttown/Black Gulch). If the gameplay just doesn't do it for you, then maybe you should watch LP's and Lore videos(Prepare to Cry is pretty good).

If you do want to play them, There's no shame in using wikis and strat guides. Also, Summons and Co-op. I swear I've beaten most of the DS2 bosses by finding and using the NPC summons when available, because if nothing else, it gives the boss someone else to focus on, giving you time to run up behind them and backstab them.

And if it makes you feel any better, I'm working through DS2 for the first time after beating DS. I hated the Ruin Sentinels. There were "harder" bosses I beat with few issues but the fucking Ruin Sentinels. Even with summons it took me like 10 tries to beat them, because I just don't like bosses where you're fighting two or more enemies at the same time.

And if you don't mind co-op, I've found an interesting strategy is to place your summon sign(when you can) near a boss fog gate and wait for someone to summon you for the fight. If you die, you get experience fighting the boss and you don't lose the souls you have. If you win, you still get experience fighting the boss and get a fraction of the souls from the victory.

Also, try different weapons and tactics. When you find something that seems to work, go with it. Yeah,you can study the stat tables and look into all the equipment but generally it's looking for equipment that suits your playstyle and upgrading it when you have spare souls.
 

bartholen_v1legacy

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I believe the best answer is "git gud, skrub!!!"

In all seriousness, I'm not one to give an objective answer. I don't know what goes on in your head while you play. Do you enjoy it at all? Do you even get the "I'm gonna get you next time, *****!!" feeling after your 10th death to the same boss? If not, your brain might not be wired to be able to properly enjoy the games. To me the primary component of enjoyment Soulsborne gives me is the feeling of danger and tension that comes from the punishing gameplay, as it forces me to never lose focus or lapse in concentration. If you enjoy the lore more, I suggest VaatiVidya's channel on Youtube. If you actually want to play them, consider the following:

As others have pointed out, there are ways to ease the game despite your skills not improving. Grinding is always a viable one in these games, and it's not even the "hours upon hours" variety. Even half an hour of just grinding levels will usually get you well beyond what the game usually expects you to be if you know the right spot. One thing to keep in mind is, and I'm quoting Yahtzee here: You are not cheesing it. And that doesn't mean you're not allowed to, it means whatever way you play the game, no matter how cheap and cowardly it may feel, is no more right or wrong than any other. Even if you're sniping the enemies with magic, running past all the enemies and just blocking all attacks, it's the way the game is meant to be played, since the developers put it in the game.

Guides. Guides, guides, guides! Playthroughs, videos revealing secrets, text columns, wiki entries! These are not only perfectly fine to look up, but in some cases necessary to find certain things unless you have OCD and comb the world through after every single minute event. There is no shame in it. Youtube has a ton of great channels. Sunlightblade, VaatiVidya (more lore-focused), Otzdarva and EpicNameBro all have great videos showing a shit ton of stuff you're bound to miss and not get by merely playing the game. Search "things you didn't know about Dark Souls" and "things you missed in Dark souls". Your mind will be blown.

Though it really bewilders me how you could beat Iudex Gundyr, but not the Taurus Demon. Iudex is, rather bafflingly, one of the tougher bosses in DS3 considering the level you face him at. Taurus is practically given you a platter to plunge attack him for days.
 

ReservoirAngel

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bartholen said:
Though it really bewilders me how you could beat Iudex Gundyr, but not the Taurus Demon. Iudex is, rather bafflingly, one of the tougher bosses in DS3 considering the level you face him at. Taurus is practically given you a platter to plunge attack him for days.
Dark Souls was my first ever attempt at these games, so I got a touch overwhelmed. Being honest if I played it again I could probably kill the Taurus Demon now, but back then I just couldn't. I mean if I can kill the Last Giant, the Pursuer, the Dragonrider, the Old Dragonslayer, Flexile Sentry, Iudex Gundyr, the Cleric Beast, Father Gascoigne and the Blood-Starved Beast then I can probably whomp the Taurus Demon at this point.