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Dark Souls - Prepare To Die... You Died.


The Sarge
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your being shot by goons with blowdarts, keep your shield up at all times. look for little white dots coming towards you.

Deary me! I couldn't even see anything incoming to think it was some hidden enemy.

The, er, Gaping Dragon, was an enjoyable boss fight. No faling victim to cramped environments, no cheese. Not like Capra's cupboard and his fucking dogs.

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Best death ever

True story:

For some reason, I was having a really, really, *really* tough time with Bed of Souls on my first run through. It took me about four tries just to set up the final jump over to where his weak spot is located, and another five times to unsuccessfully make said jump. Every time he'd just sweep me away, or use his accursed Area of Effect fire attack.

On a completely unrelated note, it was my brother's birthday, and he got himself a new 360. I had a few wireless controllers spare, so I gave him one as part of his present.

SO, yet another run at Bed Boss, and I actually make the jump, and actually seem to be cutting a swathe through his roots, and actually look like I'm going to do it this time...

..."Turning off this console will cause you to lose all unsaved progress. Are you sure you want to turn off the console?"

At this point, I'm sort of half-screaming, half-querying why the prompt has appeared on the screen. It takes me a few seconds to figure out that the wireless controller I'd given my brother is still linked to my console, and as he'd turned it on, he'd... well, you know. I yell at him to PRESS DOWN AND A NOW NOW NOW and he can't really figure out why and I'm trying to explain it to him and at this point the Bed of Souls has torched me good and proper and that was me dead once again.

I couldn't stay mad at him, birthday and all that, but deep down a very small part of me wanted him to implode.

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Hey, now I can actually unwrap my PS3 copy! Especially as seeing that one will probably be patched weeks before the 360 version...

Try 175 hours of human form, and countless (last actual count = 80-90) Japanese invaders. THEN! You know you're playing the real deal! ;)

But in all seriousness - congrats! My 360 version was stolen by Royal Mail, so i'm being a sour-puss. Not particularly sour about the refund from Shopto that paid for Uncharted 3.

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Well I managed the Capra Demon on abut the fourth or fifth attempt basically using the Magic Shield and concentrating on getting rid of those bloody dogs :angry: . I'm on about SL23 after pottering around the depths and having rung the first bell, is this about the right SL for this bit?

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I'm dead slow when it comes to games. I get distracted easily by shiny things (new games) so getting anywhere takes me forever. Tonight I got to the Bell Gargoyles and realised I'll never be good enough at this game. Entirely my own bloody fault, because I sucked massive donkey pole at Demon's Souls and realised then that I wouldn't have the time or patience or skill to get the most out of it. I thought it'd be different this time. I have no idea why.

It's a shame, because the game gives me a wonderful sense of pleasure from playing it and defeating enemies and all that good shit, I just don't have the inclination to put the time it deserves. Oh well.

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Pretty much. I took it out of the drive, put it in its case, put the case in the LE box and placed it on top of the guide to sell. I then booted up Daytona and soaked up the blue sky awesomeness. I'm done with being punched in the cock/being incredibly shit (delete as applicable), I've accepted it. I've finally realised my hardcore gaming days are well and truly done with and I'm very, very happy with that.

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Pretty much. I took it out of the drive, put it in it's case, put the case in the LE box and placed it on top of the guide to sell. I then booted up Daytona and soaked up the blue sky awesomeness. I'm done with being punched in the cock, I've accepted it. I've finally realised my hardcore gaming days are well and truly done with and I'm very, very happy with that.

I was going to add the intended winky smiley in my post, but I realised that would be hypocritical in a sense so I resisted.

I can see why people give up on the souls games, the first strech (first 5-10 hours or so) are the biggest hurdle and it's a shame because once it clicks, the idea that people call these games some of the hardest around when you're running around like a boss, more or less one shotting some bosses and laughing off attacks, only dying because you've been utterly reckless, is pretty alien.

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In all fairness, Dark Souls up until the first bell is a lot more difficult than it is immediately after. Not using the Drake sword and putting souls into levelling up endurance really makes things unnecessarily difficult. The margin for error is tiny when you're under-equipped.

There are definitely the odd spikes later on but the game does (at least up to where I've played) become more generous with bonfire placement and shortcuts. Running the gauntlet between the bonfires in Undead Burg and Parish was fucking brutal for me.

Given that it took well over 10 hours to ring the first bell, I've not even come close to being as stuck as I was then.

I was going to add the intended winky smiley in my post, but I realised that would be hypocritical in a sense so I resisted.

I can see why people give up on the souls games, the first strech (first 5-10 hours or so) are the biggest hurdle and it's a shame because once it clicks, the idea that people call these games some of the hardest around when you're running around like a boss, more or less one shotting some bosses and laughing off attacks, only dying because you've been utterly reckless, is pretty alien.

I think for a lot of people it still remains hideously difficult, precisely for the reasons you say it isn't. Both games put you in a typical hack and slash setting, give you a shitload of big swords and spears, and then laugh at you for being stupid enough to run into a fight swinging them everywhere.

When there are so many games that follow the COD framework of encouraging you to move rapidly from one set-piece to the next, it becomes difficult to 'unlearn' that sense of constant forward momentum, and so the game is harder than it actually is up until you appreciate the fact that patience really is a virtue and trying to cane each gauntlet isn't going to work until much later on.

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I hate games that make you grind through sections just to kill you again and again, till you learn good.

It's unnecessary.

I want to love it. I want to travel and see the rest of the game and get to grips with the combat. But having spent hour upon hour retracing my way through undead burg to die at the top yet again, I've got bored of it all.

Why not put a save point in before the boss fight, unless they want to extend the life of the game by dragging you back through a 15 minute section to try a different approach before dying again. Why can't you choose the level of hand holding and number of saves points available in a level. It just smacks of trying to make the game last longer!

And not telling you how to use equipment or give clues about weapons and armor is just making life hard for the sake of it ... oh unless they want you to wad out more cash on the guide of course.

Well I've had enough of being killed by the demon at the top of Undead Burg, I get the feeling i need to level up to have a chance, the knight doesn't seem to dodge very well so I'm always getting nailed once I've dropped off the tower with the diving attack. I can't get back up the tower to give it another crack either he's too fast for me.

It's just too sparse, too secretive and unfair.

It's getting traded.

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It's nothing to do with making the game last longer. It's not for you, and that's fine, but it's designed to make the player work, to keep improving their skills, and to ramp up the tension between bonfires. It's quite old-fashioned in that regard, but bring able to choose number of save points would just kill it; the feeling of progress, satisfaction and discovery is intrinsically linked to the feeling of vulnerability. I can't think of another game I've played in years where the mere sight of a checkpoint has been enough for me to want to punch the air and break down in tears of happiness. Reaching the bonfire in Undead Parish with the blacksmith is one of my favourite gaming moments of this generation. Nothing more than reaching a bloody save point.

The Edge review of this is awesome actually, it really nails what makes the game special; how other games feel facile and shallow in comparison, how mollycoddled we've become through years of checkpoints in every room, tutorials that seem to last through the majority of the game (hey Batman). 99% of retail games out there cater to your desires, if you can't buy into Dark Souls then you're not short of other options :)

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I had a really good run on this today.

I went back into Tomb of the Giants and took down Nito. Then I explored the last few bits of it that I hadn't seen and found some sweet look, including the Silver Serpent ring \o/

I then decided it was time to have a serious go on the Asylum boss; after a couple of false starts, getting OHKO'd before I could figure out what was going on, I go into a nice rhythm on my 3rd or 4th go and chopped his fat ankles to pieces. Slightly disappointed with the reward, but it's better than nothing.

After that, I returned to Demon Ruins and decided to poke my head through the fog door at the end of the area. Much to my surprise I was presented with the Asylum Demon again, only he was on fire this time. Second go and he fell to my Uchigatana + 10 and Great Magic Weapon. After that I tried whoring myself out to help people on the next boss (Centipede dick head), and failed miserably (mostly by running into the lava).

So I decided to have a go at him myself, took up my Drake Sword +5 and proceeded to chop him up real good, again, did it on my second go!

Things ended on a bit of a downer though, as I started exploring the Crystal Caves. Not feeling much love there. Got raped when I tried fighting a butterfly, and managed to fall off the invisible walkways a ridiculous number of times. I think I'll leave that area for now.

Quite a successful evening overall.

I'm totally in love with my Fire Great Scythe - it makes roasted mincemeat out of almost everything, and the range on it is mental.

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Oh absolutely, the hand holding in some games is awful, hours and hours of instructions for the most basic of command. But this games seems to rely a lot on either previous knowledge of Demon souls or the guide or on sheer bloody mindedness.

I have no doubt that if you have the time it's a fantastic game and lots of people are loving it. I've played enough to see that it is a great game.

Maybe in 30 years of video game play i have got flabby and lazy. But I've paid my dues, I've stuck the 10p in the machines marked instant death and i don't need to do that anymore. I would rather have a long involving plot that guides and leads me on a world of discovery, that doesn't kill me dead and send me all the way back to the start again. I've seen it, i don't need to see it again. It's just tedious.

FF was an endless series of corridors that were dull as shit and i had to read page after page of text every ten minutes to keep up with the bat shit mental story whilst prepubescent characters panted and groaned at me every time i turned a corner. This is a world better, but still i have to go back to the start of a section which isn't difficult to get through, just a slog to then get to a bastard hard boss.

I think it's just a marmite game. you either love it or don't need the grief. Games should be fun, not a lot of slog for a brief moment of gratification before yet more slog and death to the next bonfire.

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It's just too sparse, too secretive and unfair.

This is a really interesting reaction, as it's really the total opposite to what I experienced with the game.

For me, the sparseness of the information presented in Dark Souls is actually a plus. It encourages a sort of community effort that very few games (outside of perhaps MMOs) can replicate, as thousands of players essentially work together not only inside the game itself, but also in person and across the Internet to tackle the challenges the game presents them with. The information you crave may not be readily available within the game, but it is available and there are dozens of people in this very thread who will happily share it with you. I think going into a game like Dark Souls expecting to conquer it alone is somewhat the wrong attitude. Is this a design flaw? I don't think so, though I can understand why you might think it to be.

Calling the game "unfair" is in itself unfair, I feel. I've yet to encounter anything in the game I would class as unfair, and I'm one boss away from the finale. There have certainly been periods when I have felt more than a little hard done by, but rarely has anything been any more than my own fault. Your comments about the Taurus boss are interesting as once you beat that boss, you'll likely never be killed by it again. It isn't a particularly difficult encounter if you're willing to learn the lessons that it is trying to teach you. You sound like you're playing a Knight, which is the slowest possible starting class, and are dying in a fight where you need to be quite nimble. Have you tried removing your armour so as to be more agile? Did you buy any firebombs from the Undead Merchant in the Undead Burg? They really make the whole thing significantly easier.

As you say, I guess the game is just a little marmite, though I certainly feel many of the people professing to hate it would actually really enjoy it if they changed their approach a little.

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Thing is though, the game padded by a fair whack of tedium. You are simply continually underlevelled and having to fix that usually takes several hours of killing the same stuff to farm items, gain levels and fix equipment. You could try pushing on, but basuc enemies will take an unreasonable number of hits to take down. Once you are moderately levelled for an area, even bosses can be taken reasonably quick. The game survives this flaw because the combat mechanics are fun, except when the camera borks.

The game does live up to its promise a lot of the time. I shit a brick at the stone knights in the forest, a few goes later I had them down. Brilliant. And even the lowest enemies can screw you if you are impatient or allow them to gang up. It requires a genuinely different style of play but there are a lot of gimmicks that are unnecessary: hidden bonfires, traps that you can only know by falling into them and giving you weapons you can cant use until they are useless, annoying invades. A bit of streamlining really would improve the game.

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I had a really good run on this today.

Things ended on a bit of a downer though, as I started exploring the Crystal Caves. Not feeling much love there. Got raped when I tried fighting a butterfly, and managed to fall off the invisible walkways a ridiculous number of times. I think I'll leave that area for now.

You can ignore the butterflies in the Crystal caves unless you're overly bothered about getting items from them. They pretty much don't react to you.

The ledges.....I can't really give you much advice. You're going to die a lot with those. Try looking for where the snow lands in mid air which I grant isn't helpful. Also, the game seems to want you to use prism stone to mark a path/find bottomless pits. That's why there's a chest with 10 of them under the stairs before you leave the library. Can't say I used them though.

Edit: My 2 pence worth on the game - It's hard but I never felt it was overly unfair. It can feel cheap as shit when you die 3 seconds into a boss fight and have to trudge through a section again to fight them (fuck you Gwyn) but there's something incomprensibly addictive about it. I lost count of the number of times I logged out the game to leave it for a while only to be back five minutes later to try out some new strategy I had in my head.

As for the bosses themselves, even at their worst, with a decent shield you can pretty much take most of what they hit you with. My tactics in the end always boiled down to running in with shield up and then back off as the attack animation starts before shanking them.

The only one I felt was a bit of a dick was 4 Kings since it goes against my principle of "shield up and carefully stab the fuckers in the face till they die".

But the game's not for everyone. It's good that people are willing to try it at least.

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hidden bonfires, traps that you can only know by falling into them and giving you weapons you can cant use until they are useless, annoying invades. A bit of streamlining really would improve the game.

Some of those gimmicks are what I really like, and like in Demon's Souls, most - if not all - of the booby traps can be avoided by proceeding carefully. One in the Depths is particularly clever, I think:

Enter a tunnel and you have two ways to go: one is full of rats that all run away from you when they see you, the other seems empty but actually conceals a massive hole with a bunch of curse giving frogs at the bottom. How many people automatically assumed the escaping rats was a sign of something more dangerous lurking nearby?

They're also funny to watch unsuspecting players react to when they get caught unawares.

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Thing is though, the game padded by a fair whack of tedium. You are simply continually underlevelled and having to fix that usually takes several hours of killing the same stuff to farm items, gain levels and fix equipment. You could try pushing on, but basuc enemies will take an unreasonable number of hits to take down.

I guess this is where the confusion comes in as I only ever experienced this during the transition between the Undead Burg and Parish, which was ultimately solved by getting the Drake Sword. The rest of the game is really well balanced and I've never felt the need to grind for anything, even after messing up and losing huge stacks of souls from time to time. :P

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It's only a slog if you're impatient, stubborn or just prefer to have your brain switched off while playing a game. It's beautifully balanced otherwise.

I dunno, the game mechanics do fall apart a little in cramped spaces. And its still easy to cheese thigs by exploiting path finding and the Drake Sword in particular is overpowered (but necessary to avoid early anger for me at least)

It's a great game, very atmospheric, addictive and refreshing but balanced it ain't!

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I hate games that make you grind through sections just to kill you again and again, till you learn good.

It's unnecessary.

I want to love it. I want to travel and see the rest of the game and get to grips with the combat. But having spent hour upon hour retracing my way through undead burg to die at the top yet again, I've got bored of it all.

Why not put a save point in before the boss fight, unless they want to extend the life of the game by dragging you back through a 15 minute section to try a different approach before dying again. Why can't you choose the level of hand holding and number of saves points available in a level. It just smacks of trying to make the game last longer!

And not telling you how to use equipment or give clues about weapons and armor is just making life hard for the sake of it ... oh unless they want you to wad out more cash on the guide of course.

Well I've had enough of being killed by the demon at the top of Undead Burg, I get the feeling i need to level up to have a chance, the knight doesn't seem to dodge very well so I'm always getting nailed once I've dropped off the tower with the diving attack. I can't get back up the tower to give it another crack either he's too fast for me.

It's just too sparse, too secretive and unfair.

It's getting traded.

mj-laughing.gif

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I agree somewhat with sideways. I played Dark Souls as a Knight as I felt my run Demons Souls as a Royal cheapened the experience. However I really wish I'd had a magic based class instead of having to rely on a bow and the slog to get arrows. If I hadn't got the Drake Sword I would have had to grind and farm for a week.

As to the game being unfair, the only time I've truly felt that is the Londo Archers section I finally did this weekend which was a truly shocking bit of design and the really dark bit where I can't see more than 6 inches infront of me. The enemies I can beat so it's going to be tedious repetition ahead. The boss just prior to this was beaten in one go so I would say there are balance issues for the sake of being unnecessarily tough.

I really love the game and will see it through but it is an extremely vicious animal to give affection to, for me mainly into the amount of time you effectively have to waste to make progress. I bet the sales to completion statistics are going to be very interesting for From. I can see me playing this well into the new year..

On thinking of it i much prefer the selective challenge of the first games level system where you could make a decent choice on difficulty rather than the hit and miss approach of the open world and the covenant thing needed better explaining and was underused

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The, er, Gaping Dragon, was an enjoyable boss fight. No faling victim to cramped environments, no cheese. Not like Capra's cupboard and his fucking dogs.

Did that dragon last night, it was great fun! First tries at summoning/being summoned there too, first time I thought I'd be summoned so I could get a look at it and I hacked away at it a bit with some magic user who didn't last long. I had Solaire available so I summoned him along with some other chap who seemed quite handy, he'd obviously done it before the way he was legging it away at the right points, going for the tail and so on but mainly went for ranged attacks. Allowed me to get stuck in and rip the bastard to shreds :)

So what do you get rewarded with when summoned? He lived 'til we killed it then it said he was vanquished or something and disappeared, presumably he got some reward for helping out? And there were plenty of summon signs a way back by the Depths bonfire, I guess you disappear from someone's world after beating a boss but if you don't do that can you just help out for as long as you want? I might give that a try for a bit, it's either that or Blight Town.

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I didn't play Demons Souls, and came to this green. It was initially very hard and I'm still amazed at the amount of stuff they don't tell you - jumping, sliding down ladders, how to equip and then use magic! I think it's hard enough without the developers withholding pretty basic gameplay controls. But I've come to feel it's almost fair. For every instance that a situation is overpowered in some regard, there is always an exploit available to let you even the odds. Once you know the tricks, once you've learnt what the game is telling you, the balance is restored. The Armoured Boar in Undead Parish is a great example

the blue skull pickup on the bridge behind him can be used to kill him in the fire without you ever going near him

but I didn't twig to this, instead I lured him down to the little tunnel where hid and slowly stabbed his bum. Some brave warrior I turned out to be.

The ending - Endgame Spoiler-

is proper guff, I'd have loved a cinematic to equal the excellent intro. DON"T I DESERVE A REWARD NOW, DARK SOULS????

I'm now on NG+, and I've breezed through and picked up the Lordvesel much quicker than my first playthrough to the Capra demon. It's a totally different experience when you know what the next challenge is. Forewarned is totally forearmed.

It's undoubtedly my game of the year. I don't mind putting the work in, I don't object to learning the game. And for all the trolling the game does - which has become part of its appeal - it's rewarding to look back at overcoming all manner of horrible, horrible moments. My personal 'favourites' would have to be

Jumping out of my skin when I got mugged by some slime

Finding the cocking wizard that had been sniping me through the Gaping Dragon fight

Sif :wub:

The wheel skeletons in the Catacombs, and the resolution I felt behind my big shield when they were bearing down on me. And then panic when my plan didn't work!

ALL of Tomb of the Giants. F that place, it made Blighttown feel like Butlins

Quelaag and her sister, and then being impregnated by a head maggot.... WTF IS THAT!!! AAAAHHHHHGHGHGHG

Going online and helping others against the Iron Golem, and having them bow to me as the fight ends

The final boss was a git. But after admitting defeat and going to bed in a bad mood, I was up early the next day and downed him first try. Oh Dark Souls......

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