Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thoughts / Demon's Souls

I waited over a year to pick Demon's Souls up because of all the harsh reviews out there. All of them warned me about how difficult and frustrating this game would be. A challenge is not what I solely look for in my video games. I want something I can relax and play, without constantly worrying about losing all my progress when I get instantly killed by something jumping out of the darkness. Demon's Souls isn't like that, it usually takes about 2 hits from that creature jumping out of the darkness. That is, if you're not paying attention.

When I first started my own character a couple months ago, I was terrified. I was expecting to get killed over and over again. Perhaps even by the very first enemies I encounter. This did not happen however. I jumped into the world of Demon's Souls and took no prisoners. Destroying anything that I came across. I didn't even die until well after beating the first real boss. What the hell are those reviewers talking about? Demon's Souls has such intense atmosphere and clearly is not a button mashing game. Is that what they were doing? Hacking and slashing until they got put down easily? As long as you keep an eye on your stamina and strategically plan out your attacks, this game isn't frustrating at all, not in the least bit.

What happens when you die? Well in most games you'll be sent to a title screen where you can load up a previous save file. Not in Demon's Souls, you get sent back to a place called the Nexus. You even get to keep all of your items and equipment. The ONLY thing you lose is your souls that you've collected by defeating enemies. Sure, souls are your only form of currency, as well as a way to boost your stats, but as long as you head back to the Nexus occasionally to spend your points you will never lose much. When you do lose your souls from death, you can also just travel back to your blood-stain and receive all the souls you lost. As well as the souls you gained while traveling back to said blood-stain.

Okay, I can accept that I just play games differently than a lot of people. I know there are a lot of people that do have a seriously hard time with Demon's Souls. "Take your time and be patient" is the only advice I can give that might help. This is the type of game where you really need to let the atmosphere take you in. You're in a world where everything wants to kill you and eat you, not always in that order. Lift your shield up so you don't get an arrow in the face and be aware of your surroundings, dammit!

I only have two bosses left to finish according to my trophy data, but I've had other things going on for the past month or so. I played a lot of online, helping other people with bosses as well. There is so much more to talk about but I think I got my point across. I was mostly a little pissed with all the reviews I read after playing the game that first night. I guess they did prepare me though, because being extremely cautious certainly helped me out when I took my first steps.

Demon's Souls is the type of game that you either love or absolutely abhor. If you can figure out the controls and actually take your time with it, Demon's Souls is an epic game that can keep you interested for many many hours. If not, you'll die over and over again and whine about how stupid it is. I only reached a soul level of 85 but spent well over a hundred hours on a few different types of characters. This game is incredibly rewarding and is worth picking up.

It was announced at the Tokyo Game Show that Demon's Souls will be sold at a Greatest Hits PS3 price of $29.99. So I thought I'd write a little something about it. What's your take on Demon's Souls? Too hard for you? Unbalanced? Needs a sequel? Please comment.