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Before Dark Souls there was...


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We all know how hard some of the original NES games are/were. Dark Souls may get alot of press for how "difficult" it supposedly is, but let's be honest, some of the original NES library could rip that younin' a new one.

My top three picks for the "original Dark Souls" are:

Ninja Gaiden: I didn't beat this dank piece of software till I was an adult.

Battletoads: Still haven't beaten it.

Mike Tyson's Punchout: Didn't beat it till about two years ago.

What are yours?

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2 hours ago, ap123 said:

There are literally hundreds of NES games I can’t get close to completing, but I found Dark Souls on the Switch really tough as well. I probably got two hours in before throwing the controller down in disgust at my ineptitude and haven’t revisited it since.

You should give it another shot if you get the time. My first time playing it was also on the Switch. I still think the controls are a bit strange but I had a lot of fun playing through the game. The first 5 hours or so were awful though, mostly because I went all the wrong ways at the starting area and got destroyed. In total I put 115 hours into it and stopped halfway through NG++. 

To me Dark Souls is the kind of game where you start out thinking "This is ridiculous, how am I supposed to survive?" but then, once you finally beat the boss or area you've been stuck on, you think "That wasn't so bad." I think the best parallel on NES is Ninja Gaiden. I felt that way when fighting Bloody Malth and playing all of world 6. A very close second would be Ghosts 'n Goblins, though that one leans more on the unfair side.

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Battletoads, for sure.  If my memory serves me right, I've gotten to the snake stage, but that's it.  I've also never beaten the original TMNT game.  There's a part where you're supposed to use a rope to swing across and I never figured that part out, lol.

Lastly, Mega Man 1 is pretty tough to get through, imho, especially once you're past the initial robot masters.  I spent quite a bit of time trying to nail down the pattern for the yellow robot guy that comes apart.

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@m308gunner Agree with you on Punch Out. I finally beat that a couple years ago. I couldn't make it past Sandman as a kid, and the first time I got to Tyson as an adult he scared the crap out of me. I put the game down for years. Once I got used to Tyson, he really wasn't that bad.

Other NES heavyweights for me were Battletoads and TMNT, neither of which I got very far in (I think I at least made it past the water level in TMNT).

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• Super Ghouls n Ghosts - Feels like an old school 2D Dark Souls more than any other game I've played
• Battletoads - For is impossible racing gameplay sequences
• Punch-Out because button press timing and memorization is hard for me

Dark Souls is one of my favorite games series of all time. The original Dark Souls took me 7 years to beat. No I wasn't playing it for all 7 years. But I originally played it when it came in 2011(or 2012) and couldn't even get past the Taurus Demon. The first "real" boss. I revisited the game a few times since then and never got far and would end up quitting in rage. I figured the series is just not for me. I picked up Bloodborne last year and ended up really falling in love with the game even though I found it to be just as hard as Dark Souls. I got really far though (still haven't beaten it) but far enough to know that I could eventually keep going to beat it and that I loved the game. After that I revisited Dark Souls and much to my surprise I actually beat it. I couldn't believe it. It took me a month straight of playing only that game, but 70 hours later and 7 years in the making it was well worth it. It might have been the single most rewarding gaming experience ever.

I went on to play Demon's Souls, Dark Souls 2 and Dark Souls 3, and loved every single one of them. I have yet to completely finish them all but I made very good progress in them all and I will go back (needed a break as they are very draining to play). But the games are genius in design. Yes at first they seem like they are BS. But really it employs the old school mentality of just learning enemy placements and patterns and if you know the game well enough you can blaze through it easily. There are a few unfair moments I've encountered but most of the games are completely fair. The series is an acquired taste so I understand completely about not liking it. But if you enjoy difficult but rewarding games I say stick with it, you will get a bit farther as you keep going and eventually (hopefully) it will just click for you and you'll get into a sort of flow and the rest of the game will be smooth.

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10 hours ago, scaryice said:

I beat Ecco the Dolphin recently, now there's a brutal old-school game.

I only played the sequel, but in all my hours playing it as a kid I probably got about 5% of the way through the game. I'm still not entirely sure what you are even supposed to do in the game lol. I just remember thinking it was cool to play as a dolphin.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/24/2019 at 7:16 PM, fox said:

Before there was Demon's Souls there was King's Field.  All the trapping of a souls game way back on the PS1, cept first person.

Yep King's Field the Granddaddy of DS Franchise. I remember reading somewhere that King's Field was the one of the major influences for DS.

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On 10/22/2019 at 10:22 PM, mbd39 said:

Never played Dark Souls. I only know that it's supposed to be hard.

Ghosts n Goblins is the original hard game. It's the hard game that other hard games should be compared to.


So much this!  It even makes you beat it twice.

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