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Game Debate #7: Dark Souls


Reed Rothchild
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  1. 1. See below for explanation of ratings

    • 10/10 - One of your very favorite games of all time.
    • 9/10 - Killer fucking game. Everyone should play it.
    • 8/10 - Great game. Maybe one of the best released that year.
    • 7/10 - Very good game, but not quite great.
      0
    • 6/10 - Pretty good. You might enjoy occasionally playing it.
    • 5/10 - It's okay, but maybe not something you'll go out of your way to play.
    • 4/10 - Meh. There's plenty of better alternatives to this.
      0
    • 3/10 - Not very good.
      0
    • 2/10 - Not your cup of tea at all. Some people might like this, but you are not one of them.
      0
    • 1/10 - Horrible in every way.
      0
    • 0/10 - The Desert Bus of painful experiences. You'd rather shove an icepick in your genitals than play this.
    • Never played it, but I'm interested.
    • Never played it, never will.


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Events Team · Posted
1 minute ago, ChickenTendas said:

Even though Dark Souls has some rpg elements like leveling up and skill trees, it's actually very heavily inspired by Zelda as stated by Miyazaki in numerous interviews. Believe it or not, Breath of the Wild actually borrowed from the souls franchise in a few regards. 

Oh yeah, I'm aware of both of those facts. I'm surprised I haven't played it by this point in my life honestly. I love both leveling up and skill trees, so it sounds like it'd be right up my alley in every way.

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Member · Posted

Fantastic atmosphere over a sprawling interconnected world.  So much to explore and uncover with some tough as nails monsters.  Everyone should give this game a try, and not just for 20 mins, it takes a few hours to really get into the groove, but once you do, you are hooked.

My only complaint is a couple of the areas late into the game come off as lazy (demon's ruins), unfinished (lost izalith), or annoying (tomb of giants.)  Otherwise this in immaculately designed game.

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10/10. This series has become one of my favourite games.

I think once you learn how the game works it’s actually not as difficult as people say it is. The problem is that AAA games have become lazy with their controls and can be very forgiving. This game trains you to not be greedy or rush in like an idiot. Dark Souls also is not cheap like old NES games. All areas can be overcome with patience and learning.

I recommend anyone that gave up on it to give it another shot but just take things slowly.

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Here's a little story about my time with Dark Souls. I played the first one when it first came out in 2011. I absolutely hated this game. I recognized why some people liked it, but it was so far beyond my skill level that repeated attempts only made it 3 bosses into the game before I decided to quit and sell the game. For 8 years this game haunted me as a game that if I really gave the chance I would end up loving. I could recognize its quality even though I was atrocious at it. But I just kept shying away from it because I generally dislike brutally difficult games.

Fast forward to last year. I was talking to someone in Discord about the series, and after an evening of discussion they convinced me to give it one more shot. I went out and bought it on Switch that night. Somehow, I was able to make it further than I ever have before. Apparently I was playing it wrong the first time. Despite the way it looks, it's not a hack and slash action game. It's slow and methodical, and once I realized that and played the way the game intended me to play, it just clicked with me and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way, all the way to the end. By the time I reached the end of my first full playthrough I absolutely LOVED this game. I couldn't believe I waited 8 years to finish the game. I was so happy I returned to it years later because I would've never found one of my favorite modern franchises. This year during the pandemic, for whatever reason, I decided to replay the original Dark Souls on PS4. I breezed through it 3 times over and got the platinum trophy on PS4. That's how I know I absolutely loved (possibly obsessed with) a game - I replay it over and over and 100% it. And as far as the platinum trophy goes - I am not typically a PS4 trophy hunter. I think I have 7 platinums total. But if a game strikes me just right, as Dark Souls did, I just have to go for it.

Then I played Dark Souls 2 for the first time afterwards. I was struggling with it at first due to the unfamiliarity of the levels and slightly different feel to combat, but again a few hours in, and the game just clicked for me just like the first one. 60 hours later, I finished that one. Then I moved onto Dark Souls 3. I'm currently near the end of my first playthrough, though I've taken a break because I needed to play some games that didn't stress me out.

But what can I say about these games, particularly the first one? One of the best games of all time. 9 years ago I swore this series off, as I'm sure so many people have. Yes the games are very hard, but they're not unfairly hard. If you take the time to learn the mechanics, and use wikipedia to learn what items do (I had to - the item descriptions in-game are so cryptic) then if you keep trying, you will persevere. On top of my love for the games themselves, I also found a really awesome podcast that talks about each area of each game and reflect on the lore, gameplay and personal stories - Bonfireside Chat. I highly recommend it to those who've finished the games. But if you're seriously struggling in the games maybe a listen through an area may help you through as well but there are spoilers.

Anyway, enough gushing about these games. 10/10, no question. If I could give it an 11 I would. One of the best games and series of all time. And I don't say that about many.

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Member · Posted

This series was a game changer for modern video gaming, there's no way I can't award it a 10/10 

When Demon's Souls came out I tried a friend's copy and immediately went to import a copy for myself. I was just blown away by the general atmosphere as well as the fact that these guys actually made fun sword-and-shield melee combat work in a third person 3D game. Something other titles had struggled with for ages. Considering the popularity of the series now, it's hard to imagine that it wasn't originally even slated for a release here, and only came out one and a half year later.
At the time I sort of understood that. I mean, I loved the game but I could see it wasn't for everyone. I figured it was an acquired taste. But eventually the game blew up, won multiple "GOTY" awards, a true dark horse giving From Software the comeuppance they've always deserved. Turns out it had a lot bigger appeal than I had imagined.

Of course Dark Souls took it even further. I preordered that game immediately (first game I'd preordered since wind waker) and wasn't let down in any way.
They brought back and refined the crystal flask idea from King's Field, eliminating the superfluous heal farming from the first game, and massively improved the overall world design by putting everything in one interconnected map and not allowing any sort of fast travel until around the endgame.

The game was a hit, and moreso than being just a good game, I think it managed to show off a ray of light in the landscape of the modern gaming industry. There is still a very profitable market for people wanting traditional challenge-based gameplay, without having to cater to nostalgia or the "retro" or indie audience.
In the GTA3 thread I talked a little about the decline in modern AAA game design, and as I see it Dark Souls is the antidote to that. It's not quite AAA (and thank god for that), but it's that super comfortable spot right below that which still holds a massively impressive production value, but is able to focus on a more trimmed down gameplay experience and doesn't take years to get a new game out.

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I almost platinumed Demon Souls, but this one I am about 2/3 of the way through. Really beautiful level design, and enemies. Feels like a three dimensiomal nintendo game; youbhave to memorize the levels and the enemy placement is on par with Castlevania IMO.

My biggest problem when I play is can't tell if I am ready to beat a boss yet, so sometimes I give up too earlt and other times I spend too much time pushing in the wronng direction.

Edited by Californication
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Had intended to get, via download early last year, was about to trade in my microsoft reward points but then they asked and required a telephone number, something I did not have then, thus I missed out on the chance to get it while it was on sale for super cheap at the time. Definitely looks like something I would enjoy.

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