Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dark Souls Impressions

Ok, I'll try to keep this brief so I can go back to actually playing the game. First off, the limited edition. It's a piece of shit. Maybe that's a bit harsh but still. You get a cool tin box and a decent artbook. But that's pretty much it. You know the mini guide and soundtrack cd you see in the ads? Well what you actually get is a little card with a code on it to download them off the website. The mini guide is just a few pages cut-and-pasted out of the real strategy guide. It is good info, but a lot of it should be in the damn manual to begin with. Overall I was disappointed with it, but it didn't cost me anything extra so in the end, who cares I guess.

The game itself is good. Damn good. And hard. Damn hard. But I am sure we all knew that already. If you liked Demon Souls you will really enjoy this game. Surprisingly, at first I did not like it very much. The areas they start you out in are kind of lame, and they throw annoying shitty enemies at you right off the bat. Not to mention there is a lot to take in and they explain as much to you as the original Demon Souls; which is, jack shit. So it's very easy to get frustrated and die a lot in cheap, shitty ways that just are not fun at all. I actually had to start over because the class I chose was useless at pretty much everything.

However, once you gain a few levels and get a handle on how things work it becomes a lot more fun. It takes a few hours, but like a crazy ex-girlfriend, once this game gets it's hooks into you it won't let go without a fight. The big change in Dark Souls is that there is no hub area anymore. All the levels are connected, really makes it feel like one huge world. You will open up shortcuts which allow you to get around much easier and bonfires in each area will allow you to regenerate health and level up your stats.

If I have one complaint, it would have to be the story so far. Not that Demon Souls was Shakespeare, but the story really helped to draw you in while remaining fairly unobtrusive. King goes mad with power, wakes up ancient evil and unleashes demons. Your job is to kill demons and defeat the king. Simple but effective. In Dark Souls you play as undead guy, whose mission ring some bells...or something? There's a cutscene at the beginning that doesn't really explain anything but shows some cool monsters that you'll no doubt end up having to fight. Occasionally you'll free an NPC that is trapped in a level and they'll spout off some gibberish, but so far there has been nothing to really make me feel like I am on an important quest of awesomeness.

In spite of all that, I am still having a blast. The gameplay is very similar to Demon Souls. There are a lot of ways to exploit the AI and use cheap tactics to kill hard bosses way before you should be able to. Not that it's a bad thing, as it allows pussies like me to actually finish these games. If you're stuck at a certain enemy, you're also free to grind levels until you're strong enough to beat them. And you will have to grind a bit to upgrade your stats and weapons/armor, but this is a Japanese RPG after all. Now if you'll excuse me I've got some grinding to do. Peace!

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