Dark Souls

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pjbogart
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Re: Dark Souls

Postby pjbogart » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:41 pm

Yeah, I know I'm pretty much talking to myself in this thread, but if anyone is listening, I've got an update to my obsession with the Dark Souls franchise. I bought a PS3 for the soul purpose (heh) of playing Demon's Souls, the infamous precursor to Dark Souls and Dark Souls II which is not available on PC or Xbox. Now I know some of you are thinking, "pjbogart must be a complete moron to pay over $200 just to play one game," and you'd be right about that, but after spending literally hundreds of hours on Dark Souls and Dark Souls II, I felt compelled to see where it all started.

Demon's Souls was great fun and I don't mean this as a critique in the slightest, but it was a stepping stone to the greatest games ever made. Whereas my first runs through Dark Souls and Dark Souls II took me over 100 hours, Demon's Souls clocked in at an anemic 31 hours. Granted, I knew what I was up against and understood the mechanics, but you could also say that of Dark Souls II, a game that still took me over 100 hours to finish.

The bosses are creative and fun, but almost universally easier than the journey to find them. Most of the bosses (I'd say 75%) were killed on my first encounter and I can't name a single boss in Dark Souls that I killed on my first try.

But don't get me wrong... the game wasn't easy. I died plenty of times, often what I would refer to as "cheap deaths" when the mechanics or design failed me. Like swinging my sword and falling off a cliff or walking off a precipice that couldn't be seen until I was literally falling off it. Demon's Souls did a better job of challenging my patience than my skill and many of those shortcomings were fixed in its successors.

So basically, if you own a PS3 and you liked Dark Souls or Dark Souls II, go ahead and download Demon's Souls. But don't buy a PS3 AND Demon's Souls believing that you'll get a worthwhile installment to the Dark Souls series. It's fun. But it's not $200 fun.

snoqueen
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Re: Dark Souls

Postby snoqueen » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:13 am

I'm reading along.

It's like reading reviews of movies I will never watch.

I have no idea what's going on, but I keep coming back for more anyway.

pjbogart
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Re: Dark Souls

Postby pjbogart » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:32 am

Thanks, Sno. I'll get wound up in politics shortly here. There's an election coming up, no? I just wish TDPF had at least one sane conservative to defend the Republican Party.

pjbogart
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Re: Dark Souls

Postby pjbogart » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:40 am

Oh, and a few obligatory dragon pics from the Dark Souls games:

Demon's Souls:

Image

Dark Souls:

Image

Dark Souls 2:

Image

pjbogart
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Re: Dark Souls

Postby pjbogart » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:54 pm

Dark Souls 2 DLC out tonight.

Image

I'm there, dude.

pjbogart
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Re: Dark Souls

Postby pjbogart » Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:59 pm

Well, the final installment of Dark Souls 2 was set to arrive last Tuesday but it was delayed and I have to wait until next week to wrap the game up. The DLC's have been amazing. Super hard, even by Dark Souls standards, and the extra week gave me some time to complete the hardest achievement in Dark Souls 2 (and perhaps all of gaming).

I just finished Dark Souls 2, front to finish (optional bosses not included) without dying a single time. How is that possible? I don't fucking know. Honestly, the challenge runs (no-death and no-bonfires/save points) seemed so ludicrous that it took me four months just to muster the courage to try one. And it ended pretty quickly. The game isn't only famous for its punishing difficulty, it's quite a long game as well. And death is hiding behind every corner.

Amazingly, it only took me seven tries to complete the no-death run. I figured it would take more than that. If anyone is playing the game and contemplating this insane challenge (you get a ring for it, which is useful in PvP but I don't PvP) I have a helpful tip for you: save your characters that you fail with... when you approach and area or boss that gives you fits and a potential death, play it with the old character first and use a bonfire ascetic to boost the difficulty of the area. After you beat it on +1, you've got a much better chance of beating it with your NG character. And because you're doing the levels subsequently, everything will be fresh in your mind.

I guess now I just need to do the no-bonfire run and the game is completely mastered. That one should be easy, just time consuming. At least I don't need to worry about dying, other than the long journey it takes to get back to where I died.

penquin
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Re: Dark Souls

Postby penquin » Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:18 pm

I don't play that game, but know enough about it to know that is an awesome achievement. Congrats!

Achievements have totally changed the way we play games now-a-days, eh? Or at least changed how often we'll re-play the same game over and over again.

FJD
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Re: Dark Souls

Postby FJD » Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:38 pm

What Penquin said. Hell of an impressive feat there PJ.

pjbogart
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Re: Dark Souls

Postby pjbogart » Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:57 pm

penquin wrote:Achievements have totally changed the way we play games now-a-days, eh? Or at least changed how often we'll re-play the same game over and over again.


I think that's true of most games, but not so much true of the Dark Souls series. Reason? The punishing difficulty, unique co-op/invasion mechanics and minor (but significant) tweaks to the difficulty in subsequent playthroughs.

Primarily, what makes Dark Souls games replayable is that they're so difficult, so even after you've played the game several times it never really loses its challenge. Basically, you slog through the game on NG (new game) and rage quit about ten times before finally conquering the beast, but when you finish it simply restarts (this is termed NG+ and for each playthrough you can add another +). In the case of Dark Souls 2 this includes not only enemies with higher health, damage output and defense/offense, but also randomly placed additional enemies and NPC invaders. You might THINK you've beaten the game, but try to beat it again!

And the rewards increase too, so not only do you get more souls and thus levels while tackling NG+, but you get items you didn't have access to in NG. For instance, getting a valuable "Ring of Blades" comes early when you meet your first Pursuer, the "Ring of Blades +1 is found much later after your second pursuer and the "Ring of Blades +2", a highly powerful and coveted item doesn't come until roughly halfway through NG+ and you need to kill TWO Pursuers simultaneously when one seems like more than you can handle. There's a glitch to this fight, but without the glitch you'll need to summon some helpers... other people willing to help you conquer the fight.

At least one of the achievements takes almost three playthroughs to complete, and it's not a senseless grind... the spell (Wrath of the Gods) is highly coveted.

Basically, the game has a way of making tedium seem not-so-tedious. By keeping you on your heels, it maintains it's luster.

A bossfight from the latest DLC:

Sir Allone

pjbogart
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Re: Dark Souls

Postby pjbogart » Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:59 pm

Here comes the new year! And with it, two installments of the Dark Souls franchise. In March we'll see the PS4 exclusive "Bloodborne", a completely new game from the makers of Dark Souls, but obviously a spiritual sequel, though it's making me a bit nervous that there don't appear to be any shields in the game. The ability to dodge is critical to success in Dark Souls games, but having a shield handy for when you fail is also pretty critical.

Image

The Cleric Beast

Then in April we'll get our ports of Dark Souls 2 with updated graphics and content for the PS4 and Xbox One.

Next Gen Preview of Dark Souls 2


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