Review: Demon's Souls

HyenaThePirate

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I have no shame in admitting that this game probably will not appeal to me due to that niggling little factor of the incredibly high difficulty.
Not that I don't enjoy a good challenge, but I find that games that are TOO difficult soon cease to be "Fun" as most of the time I just want to play a game and have a few hours of kicking back and passing time between school and work.
When a game is killing me every 5 minutes, that breaks the fun factor. For example, Ninja Gaiden Black could be crazy tough, and so could God of War, but neither crossed that line between "Hard but fun" and "Too hard it's NO fun".

As for the message system, I'm extremely interested in how it works and wonder if the author can go into more detail... When you play the game, are you ALWAYS online with the thousands of other gamers who are also playing it? Or do you have to go online somehow by selecting an option? How do the messages keep from bleeding over each other...
From the description I can imagine coming up to a trap and finding 4,000 messages littered all over the passage way all warning me of the same thing... which in it's own way could potentially bring down the game because if everyone is telling you how to get past something, then where is the fun of figuring it out yourself?

It's like getting a strategy guide walkthrough for an RPG or looking up one of the walkthrough's online... i always felt they rob me of the fun of experiencing things for myself.

So how does the message system work? Will I be tripping over them all the way through every inch of the game?

I think I'll just pass on this one and continue waiting for White Knight Chronicles.
 

Antzon

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Pipotchi said:
Lord_Gremlin said:
ssgt splatter said:
Hi!......and "hi" to you too. HA! That was funny.
The most frequent message is, as far as I noticed, "it's harsh. Evacuate me.")
I usually find the message "white sticky stuff", usually clustered around the female NPCs

I have been playing this game for a good few months now and I still love it

LOL.... what are you hinting.., Yea, but the Hi portion was epic
 

theultimateend

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Eric the Orange said:
Maybe I'm just jaded but when I think of interactions with others online my thoughts are more of them being dicks then them being helpful.
I expect many bloody spots that say "You are a fag" when I get on the game.

At least when folks get banned from this they'll hopefully need to make a whole new account to be a douchebag.

As always enjoyed the reviews Susan :).

HyenaThePirate said:
I have no shame in admitting that this game probably will not appeal to me due to that niggling little factor of the incredibly high difficulty.
Not that I don't enjoy a good challenge, but I find that games that are TOO difficult soon cease to be "Fun" as most of the time I just want to play a game and have a few hours of kicking back and passing time between school and work.
When a game is killing me every 5 minutes, that breaks the fun factor. For example, Ninja Gaiden Black could be crazy tough, and so could God of War, but neither crossed that line between "Hard but fun" and "Too hard it's NO fun".

As for the message system, I'm extremely interested in how it works and wonder if the author can go into more detail... When you play the game, are you ALWAYS online with the thousands of other gamers who are also playing it? Or do you have to go online somehow by selecting an option? How do the messages keep from bleeding over each other...
From the description I can imagine coming up to a trap and finding 4,000 messages littered all over the passage way all warning me of the same thing... which in it's own way could potentially bring down the game because if everyone is telling you how to get past something, then where is the fun of figuring it out yourself?

It's like getting a strategy guide walkthrough for an RPG or looking up one of the walkthrough's online... i always felt they rob me of the fun of experiencing things for myself.

So how does the message system work? Will I be tripping over them all the way through every inch of the game?

I think I'll just pass on this one and continue waiting for White Knight Chronicles.
Want to play a game that is so hard it is entirely unfun?

Holy Invasion of Privacy Badman! is the title for you.
 

FROGGEman2

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Mar 14, 2009
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You like to coat your Halberd with sticky white stuff?

What?

Ehrm. I'll definitely rent it.
 

KoudelkaMorgan

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I imported it a few months back, and played it 5 or 6 times through. Already preordered the CE out next month in NA.

Too often I hear this game as (insert superlative) difficult. In reality its only as difficult as you make it. I the video review for example, she is using a halberd to fight a pack of wolves in a tight space. You wouldn't be able to swing fast enough or likely at all in that scenario to keep your cream filling on the inside.

She is also wearing pretty heavy armour in the second part of the first level. Assuming she didn't go back to it after a bit of grinding she would be too encumbered by her armour weight to actually be able to dodge roll.

I had no experience or foreknowledge before I began the game, and my manual was in chinese, but I would now consider myself to be an expert on it. If anyone wants to know anything about it you can just message me.

Biggest tip is that you want to stay dead as much as possible. When you beat a boss you get your body back. You should dive off the ledge in the nexus to get rid of that smelly thing asap. This keeps away unwanted PKers if you like, but more importantly you do way more damage as a spirit. You lose half your HP though, unless you equip the cling ring which lets you keep about 33% more of your max HP while dead.

The new NA servers are gonna be intersting for PK/Co-op. Currently you rarely find anyone around your level to actually be able to do either, and in my experience people will literally cut there internet connection rather than lose gracefully. I rarely invade games, I only help people in theirs against invaders/bosses.

While its true you can build your character any way you want, you really want to focus on stamina early and often. Armor is barely useful, so just wear whatever looks good/has most defense but weighs < 1/2 your max equip cap. Because rolling is good. Falling over like a bowling pin when you try to dodge is bad mkay?

Strength is not too useful, even if you want to be pure melee (and you are handicapping yourself if you are). Just get it high enough to equip a purple flame shield, as its one of the two shields you will ever need, and if you plan on doing more than one play though its all but mandatory.

Dexterity is where its at. My starting class was the wanderer, which is kinda a cross between a soldier and a thief. Plus is that you begin with a Falchion (curved sword) and all curved swords are faster an duse less stamina to wield. They also use Dex and Str as modifiers, but mostly Dex. Dex also is the main modifier of your crossbow/bow. You won't be using a crossbow, as they have poor range, poor reload, and poor power. They use only one hand though.

If you like, you can snipe almost every enemy and a lot of the bosses. However its only end game when you have the right equips that enable 4x damage (at a hefty and reasonable price).

Two kinds of spells. Magic (i.e. useful) and Miracles (i.e. uneeded healing/curing spells). You will consume moongrass to heal pretty much exlusively as its quicker and you can full heal with most of them. The only miracles you need are Anti-Magic field (so you don't get one shotted by the octopus guys or have ot defend against ANY magic) and evacuate so you can warp for free back to the nexus.

As for Magic you will proably use Soul light and firestorm like the cool people, because your other options suck and you only have so many spell/miracle slots.

Bosses are awesome, but the only really difficult ones are Maneater (you will know why and you will QQ), Flamlurker (this is why you have that purple flame shield), and the False King (unless you use the ubercheap method of poisoning him and walking away).

Unlike most reviewers, I strongly reccomend NOT playing it online. At least not at first. You really don't want to deal with the PKers when you don't even know the level yet. The NA servers will be starting fresh though so you won't have any douchebags that deleveled themselves with an old glitch so that they could fight newbs with end game stuff.

Also, there is a glitch/design choice that randomly resets your world tendancy to neutral in a world when you play online. This will seriously impact how easy/hard enemies are and which side areas/equip is available to you. If its your first time through this can mess you up to the point where you need to help others/kill yourself repeatedly to fix it. Assuming it doesn't happen while fixing it.

Best advice is to find a type of weapon early on that fits your playstyle, but be especially aware of its short comings. Daggers are great for critical backstabs and ripostes, which require you parrying with a light shield or certain weapons in your off hand. While novel, you would be a fool to have anything but a heavy shield in your off hand unless you are using your bow at the time. You can still back stab, and you can't parry a lot of attacks. Using a dagger on a boss is not going to work as you can't backstab them (unless they are black phantoms).

Halberds have the longest reach, but indoors they are hindered by this. Only a few of the attacks you can do with them will have room.

Most new players use spears since they are relatively quick, there are plenty of mobs that are weak to piercing damage, and you can attack from behind your shield.

Once you are more advanced you may have your own distinct playstyle, but I used a Moon Kilij +5 almost exclusively. It combines the speed of a curved sword with added magical damage on top of the regular physical damage. I use my bow and my spells often as the situation calls for, and this weapon is modified heavily by MAG, with minor STR and DEX.

The Meat Cleaver is another good choice, as is the Blueblood Sword. The former get mods from STR DEX MAG and Faith (on top of the ability to pound your enemies into the ground where they are set up for more abuse). The latter is like a longsword that's Mod includes Luck which makes it unique. You won't find a rapier that doesn't suck. Sorry.

Lastly if the idea of making a warrior priest sounds like fun, there is the Moonlight Sword. It has a purely magical damage modded by Faith. The blade is made of light, and as such it is the fasted of the huge swords and only weighs 2 pounds. Plus it being basically a lightsaber, it IGNORES SHIELDS. Goes right through them like tinsel. Useful indeed.

As long as you are flexable you will do fine. Since in the end (after way more time than most sane people would spend) you can level up to 786ish and max all your stats you should just have fun playing around with different stuff. Rerolling isn't needed.

Each time you beat it the game gets about 20% harder, with the exception of the second playthough which is a bigger jump in difficulty.

Devil may cry games, Shinobi, and Ninja Gaiden are way more difficult than anything this game has in store for you.
 

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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HyenaThePirate said:
I have no shame in admitting that this game probably will not appeal to me due to that niggling little factor of the incredibly high difficulty.
Not that I don't enjoy a good challenge, but I find that games that are TOO difficult soon cease to be "Fun" as most of the time I just want to play a game and have a few hours of kicking back and passing time between school and work.
When a game is killing me every 5 minutes, that breaks the fun factor. For example, Ninja Gaiden Black could be crazy tough, and so could God of War, but neither crossed that line between "Hard but fun" and "Too hard it's NO fun".

As for the message system, I'm extremely interested in how it works and wonder if the author can go into more detail... When you play the game, are you ALWAYS online with the thousands of other gamers who are also playing it? Or do you have to go online somehow by selecting an option? How do the messages keep from bleeding over each other...
From the description I can imagine coming up to a trap and finding 4,000 messages littered all over the passage way all warning me of the same thing... which in it's own way could potentially bring down the game because if everyone is telling you how to get past something, then where is the fun of figuring it out yourself?

It's like getting a strategy guide walkthrough for an RPG or looking up one of the walkthrough's online... i always felt they rob me of the fun of experiencing things for myself.

So how does the message system work? Will I be tripping over them all the way through every inch of the game?

I think I'll just pass on this one and continue waiting for White Knight Chronicles.
Happy to provide a bit more detail on the messaging. First off, don't worry about messages saying "FAG" or anything like that, because you have to build your message from a selection of pre-selected words and phrases. You can't type anything on your own. So everything you see, whether actually helpful or not, will at least be fit for public consumption.

If you are signed into the PSN, you are playing with others. The game signs you in to the servers automatically. Each area can only hold a certain number of messages, however. As it fills up with new messages, older ones drop off. Ones that are popular (by which I mean they have been recommended many times) float to the top despite their age. So, unhelpful, old messages will eventually dropped off, to be replaced by new messages.

In case it's not clear in the video, messages show up as glowing red letters on the floor. You're free to ignore them if you wish, you have to actively ask to read them.

Hope that helps!
 

JonnoStrife

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So the only way to win is to lose constantly? Can anyone tell me if this game out in Australia yet, because I can't find anything on it and I'm a glutton for punishment. Also it's a bit of a shame that there isn't an easier mode that allows the player to really get into the the hack-and-slash swing of things. PS. Can you slay a dragon either online or solo?
 

BlackDodongo

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Monocle Man said:
BlackDodongo said:
Monocle Man said:
Still no European publisher, I presume?

Import it is.
Better figure out whether I can use paypal through bank transactions since I have this special credit card that isn't supported by any site.
EDIT/ Quite amusing, Amazon is not willing to ship that particular game to an address outside the US. As if the gods are mocking me.
http://www.renchi.com/renchi/PS3_Games_Asia_Demon_s_Souls_AS.htm

Thats were me and my friend got our copy. Works perfectly :)

As for the game, definitely one of my favourites. I love the feeling you get after you get past that room you've been trying to do for hours. Although I had the benefit of watching my friend play through the game while I waited for my delayed copy so I knew about alot of the early traps :p

Also, brilliant review. Really did the game justice.
Would I be correct if I'd assume that version is completely in English and has no subtitles written in strange characters?
And does the game still have an active playerbase in those servers since those servers are supposedly separate and a lack of players to co-op or murder/be murdered by would probably detract from the overall experience.
The game is completely english. I didn't even have to change languages or anything. There is full English voice acting and the option to have English subtitles, or none at all. Only think is that the box is in foriegn and so is the instruction manual. But you do get an english booklet and the box art, in my opinion, looks better. It really captures the essernce of the game, in bieng that your characters already dead on the cover! As for the playerbase, still very, very active. And ofcourse there are always the players that, like me, couldnt wait to import the American release, so we got the Asian one instead :p And because the messages are pre-set, they are all translated online. So no problemn there. The only thing i can think of is that, if there is any future DLC, you will need a japanese account.
 

Biek

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I guess the multiplayer message system will remind me that the cake is a lie many, many times.
 

Monocle Man

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BlackDodongo said:
The game is completely english. I didn't even have to change languages or anything. There is full English voice acting and the option to have English subtitles, or none at all. Only think is that the box is in foriegn and so is the instruction manual. But you do get an english booklet and the box art, in my opinion, looks better. It really captures the essernce of the game, in bieng that your characters already dead on the cover! As for the playerbase, still very, very active. And ofcourse there are always the players that, like me, couldnt wait to import the American release, so we got the Asian one instead :p And because the messages are pre-set, they are all translated online. So no problemn there. The only thing i can think of is that, if there is any future DLC, you will need a japanese account.
Ah, thank you very much. I will look into ordering it sometime soon.
 

Biek

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Susan Arendt said:
Biek said:
I guess the multiplayer message system will remind me that the cake is a lie many, many times.
You didn't read the rest of this thread, did you?
Whats your problem? Im just saying that if theres gonna be bloody messages scribbled by players throughout this game, I predict alot of people will put in the "cake is a lie" or something like that because the same thing happens in portal. This is actually the first thing that ocurred to me after watching the review video.
 

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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Biek said:
Susan Arendt said:
Biek said:
I guess the multiplayer message system will remind me that the cake is a lie many, many times.
You didn't read the rest of this thread, did you?
Whats your problem? Im just saying that if theres gonna be bloody messages scribbled by players throughout this game, I predict alot of people will put in the "cake is a lie" or something like that because the same thing happens in portal. This is actually the first thing that ocurred to me after watching the review video.
As has been addressed both in the written review and in this thread, that's simply not possible. The messages are created by selecting words and phrases from a list. You can't actually type anything in.
 

Korten12

Now I want ma...!
Aug 26, 2009
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cant wait to buy this on my ps3 on october 6th. I have been waiting for this game since before atlus said they would be releasing the NA version. I was going to import the game but then I checked up on wiki and saw the NA release date and I decided to wait.
 

wlad777

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Sep 16, 2009
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I imported this game about a month ago (I live in South Africa and since we share releases with Europe we won't be seeing it here any time soon) and I have to say it is one of the best purchases I have ever made. I managed to finish the game, with a little help from other players here and there, and I have to say it is the most difficult yet rewarding game I ever played. I highly recommend this game to anyone who has a PS3 and loves RPG's. I would even go so far as to say this is the best game I have played in my life. It took me about 60 + hours to finish the first playthrough, although I did rush it at the end, but immediately after you finish it the game restarts again (you keep all your items, weapons, souls, etc.) but only this time it's a LOT more difficult.

There is definitely a lot of replay value as every time you finish the game it just restarts with an increased difficulty level and the max level you can become is 712! (I was only level 91 after the first playthrough)

The online play is awesome when your in soul form and extremely frustrating when your in body form. When in soul form you can be summoned to help other players with their levels, but any bosses you help them defeat are not defeated in your world and you do not get the PSN trophies for them. In body form you can summon other players to help you, but it also makes you open to attack from black phantoms, i.e. other players invading your world with the intent of killing you and taking your souls (which happens a lot). The message system is also pretty awesome and I've come accross a lot of very helpful messages pointing me in the direction of valuable loot. The closest thing you'll get to people calling you a "fag" or whataver is fake messages, i.e. messages telling you to jump down for treasure but when you do jump you just die and lose all your souls.

Again, if you have a PS3 and love RPG's get this game. I cannot stand difficult games, but this is definitely the best game I have ever played. It is very, very difficult, yes, but it is also very, very rewarding. A definite must-buy!
 

jboking

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Demon's Souls looks good and difficult. I could likely spend a large amount of time with this if the difficulty isn't exaggerated. Will definitely buy on October 6th.
 

Raykuza

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KoudelkaMorgan said:
I imported it a few months back, and played it 5 or 6 times through. Already preordered the CE out next month in NA.

...

She is also wearing pretty heavy armour in the second part of the first level. Assuming she didn't go back to it after a bit of grinding she would be too encumbered by her armour weight to actually be able to dodge roll.

I had no experience or foreknowledge before I began the game, and my manual was in chinese, but I would now consider myself to be an expert on it. If anyone wants to know anything about it you can just message me.

Biggest tip is that you want to stay dead as much as possible. When you beat a boss you get your body back. You should dive off the ledge in the nexus to get rid of that smelly thing asap. This keeps away unwanted PKers if you like, but more importantly you do way more damage as a spirit. You lose half your HP though, unless you equip the cling ring which lets you keep about 33% more of your max HP while dead.

...
I also imported the game a while ago, and I'll have to disagree with your advice. Don't chuck your body off a cliff as soon as you get it; that thing is totally awesome. When your HP is at full, you don't have to wear the Cling Ring, thus freeing up a ring slot (you only have 2 slots). This is important because there are only 2 rings you'll want to wear most of the time (by most of the time, I mean when you are dead): the Cling Ring to boost your HP from 50%, and either the Fragrant Ring for MP recovery if you're a Royal or the Thief Ring which makes it easier for you to see enemies before they see you (super helpful). Freeing up a ring slot opens up a wealth of other possibilities for rings with very helpful effects.

Also, when you have your body, you can summon up to two other players to help you get through the level. This not only means that you will have extra man-power when fighting the boss, but also when fighting invading players.

PvP Protip: Scraping Spear. That is all.
 

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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It's a shame this is getting 8s and 9s rather than 10s simply because of the difficulty issue. Nobody complained about the difficulty of games like Thief, System Shock 2 and Deus Ex when they were originally released. Even the original Half-Life was a quickload extravaganza. It seems like console games must adhere to a certain (universally accessible) standard of difficulty these days in order to get top marks. Susan, would you give this a maximum if you had to provide a number score? Or is that a forbidden question? :D

Oh and two more questions:

1) Did you play on Japanese servers?
2) Did you encounter any PvP competitions?

I found the Japanese players to be extremely chivalrous & helpful, which made the online experience way better than I expected it to be. I fear that playing with Americans might be... umm... slightly less enjoyable on occasion. The PvP competitions are basically where everyone stands around in a circle and guys fight each other one-one-one, then when someone dies another contender steps in. They just happen randomly sometimes, and they're as awesome as they sound.
 

HyenaThePirate

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Susan Arendt said:
HyenaThePirate said:
I have no shame in admitting that this game probably will not appeal to me due to that niggling little factor of the incredibly high difficulty.
Not that I don't enjoy a good challenge, but I find that games that are TOO difficult soon cease to be "Fun" as most of the time I just want to play a game and have a few hours of kicking back and passing time between school and work.
When a game is killing me every 5 minutes, that breaks the fun factor. For example, Ninja Gaiden Black could be crazy tough, and so could God of War, but neither crossed that line between "Hard but fun" and "Too hard it's NO fun".

As for the message system, I'm extremely interested in how it works and wonder if the author can go into more detail... When you play the game, are you ALWAYS online with the thousands of other gamers who are also playing it? Or do you have to go online somehow by selecting an option? How do the messages keep from bleeding over each other...
From the description I can imagine coming up to a trap and finding 4,000 messages littered all over the passage way all warning me of the same thing... which in it's own way could potentially bring down the game because if everyone is telling you how to get past something, then where is the fun of figuring it out yourself?

It's like getting a strategy guide walkthrough for an RPG or looking up one of the walkthrough's online... i always felt they rob me of the fun of experiencing things for myself.

So how does the message system work? Will I be tripping over them all the way through every inch of the game?

I think I'll just pass on this one and continue waiting for White Knight Chronicles.
Happy to provide a bit more detail on the messaging. First off, don't worry about messages saying "FAG" or anything like that, because you have to build your message from a selection of pre-selected words and phrases. You can't type anything on your own. So everything you see, whether actually helpful or not, will at least be fit for public consumption.

If you are signed into the PSN, you are playing with others. The game signs you in to the servers automatically. Each area can only hold a certain number of messages, however. As it fills up with new messages, older ones drop off. Ones that are popular (by which I mean they have been recommended many times) float to the top despite their age. So, unhelpful, old messages will eventually dropped off, to be replaced by new messages.

In case it's not clear in the video, messages show up as glowing red letters on the floor. You're free to ignore them if you wish, you have to actively ask to read them.

Hope that helps!
That explains everything... awesome..
The game sounds a bit more appealing now, especially thanks to the another long post up above where someone sheds a little more light on the intricacies of the combat depth.
Still it does sound a bit too daunting for my more casual/hardcore style.
I think I'll be wait and gamefly it first just to see if I can handle the "die, you DIE! DIE!" over and over again... the whole black phantoms thing smacks of PKing, bringing up FEARS from the old UO days.. which is perfectly fine in my MMO's... not so fine on my console.
Thank you tho for taking the time to clear things up!