Dark Souls II Review

Posted by Jamin724 (159 posts) -

Having just platinum this game on PS3 I was bored and decided to write a quick review. Little bit about me I am very big into action and RPG games really that is all I play. I am 28 been playing games since I was 5 and have loved them ever since. I have played and platinum all 3 souls games and love them to death because they have that old school feel but with updated graphics and gameplay.

Story: The next adventure into the souls series has the player putting the plot pieces together like before but something is missing. All souls game stories are convoluted and requires the player to look into item description, character dialogue, and even the scenery of the area in order to try to figure out what just has happened here. This game also follows that same idea but some of the pieces are missing. As far as for new players the story allows them to join the game with ease, and while playing Dark Souls I helps it is not essential in order to play this game.

Design: I like many others were disappointed in the graphics of this game compared to what they showed before release though saying that the game still looks beautiful. Though some mechanics in the game that they showed are pointless now because of these lighting issues. Torches were supposed to be a key role in playing the game and they do help in some parts, but players can easily get through with out using them. The art and design that goes into the background has some of the best looking in the series so far. The game has an uplift from the other titles it is not as dark and gringy as Dark Souls I or Demon Souls. Having played the PC version as well there are definitely improvements: higher FPS, and some graphical improvements but nothing like what was demonstrated.

Game-play: This is were the game falls short compared to the other titles. The controls are sluggish and with out invincibility frames being as predictable it makes for fast players to really time their rolls. Enemies in the game though move at lighting speed and the hit box were they can hit you is very big. One example I was using a dagger and the enemy was using a large sword they could take out their sword from their sheath and swing and connect with me before my dagger that was already out be able to touch them. There are stats that you can put points into to make your character "quicker" but, this seems thrown on and really just makes the game more frustrating and not as fair as previous games. Also the poise mechanic seems to be nerfed as well getting hit while wearing heavy armor you will get stunned a lot. Some positives about the gameplay are that jumping is easier to do, weapon crafting is not as tedious and is definitely an improvement from the old grinding days. The souls memory mechanic allows players to not get trolled for the most part. Also having the ability to chat and turning on off cross region PVP gameplay allows for some good PVP matches.

Conclusion: For soul veterans it is the easiest of the series and that being said it maybe the best in the series for new players to start joining. Also with souls veterans this is the hardest controls to get used to and at some points feel cheap and unfair. For story it is good but just missing something to make it great and really draw the player in. I would play Dark souls II for PVP, Dark Souls I for PVE, and Demon Souls for lore. I would give it 4/5 Stars.

#1 Posted by KirillOrlov (214 posts) -

No star ranking = don't care. Give me dem scores!!!

#2 Posted by Jamin724 (159 posts) -

@kirillorlov: Can you give star rankings in a blog? I never done this before

#3 Edited by 8Bit_Archer (451 posts) -

Very respectable, and I don't know if this the whole I played it first so I love it more scenario but, I have to disagree with your synopsis of the three titles I would say Dark Souls 2 is better mechanically, Dark Souls 1 is the better overall package, and Demons Souls has the atmosphere the other two lacked. I think Dark Souls 1 had a magnificent story and world and brace yourselves I think its was harder than Demons souls, but it could be the case of that's were I experienced my learning curve. Its my theory that that is why people who played Demons Souls says it is harder. However if it were the case that Demons souls is harder than I would say its because its a little clunky but I guess since we only have our first souls game once we will never know. I'll again say that I admit this could be just me gushing all over the first souls game I played but Dark Souls 1 is were its at.

A little aside if we want to talk about voice acting than the Armor smiths in Demon's Souls who sound vaguely like Professor Snaype makes Demon's Souls the best game of all time....lol but then again Framp....lol

#4 Edited by KirillOrlov (214 posts) -
#5 Edited by Jamin724 (159 posts) -

@8bit_archer: Demon souls I agree design is unmatched I was thinking of it as part of the lore tbh in that game but really in all souls games I think the lore/design intertwine. I learned on demon souls and I 100% agree your first souls game is probably your hardest because of the fact you are new to the game. Also munching grass is a lot easier to farm then swigs of estus. I would say the difficulty between demon souls and dark souls 1 is up to debate, but Dark souls 2 is just easier then both of them making it the easiest of the franchise.

#6 Posted by nasp (202 posts) -

dark souls 2 to me destroys the other two games.i like demons souls but i only beat it once because i was bored with the game after a playthrough.dark souls i beat once because i really liked it and tried new game plus and found it way too easy,so i got bored and quite it too.dark souls 2 ive already beat it 3 times because its the most fun in the whole series to me.new game plus also gets harder which got me to play it again and again.pvp is also way better.demon souls had fun pvp but i felt it needed more.dark souls pvp was horrible to me because it wasnt balanced good imo,also the lag was horrible.then you got the lag back stabs and the fact that the whole pvp was really trying to back stab or parry people.plus there was a buttload of hackers.i havent had any problems with the hitboxes or invincibility frames,they feel the same to me.the controls also felt the same to me maybe even a little better than the previous games.as for the difficulty i beat demon souls dieing maybe 7 times,dark souls i died around 15 and dark souls 2 i died 20 times to just one of the bosses alone.so to me dark souls 2 is way harder even after beat the other two first.in fact i never thought the souls series was ever hard if you just play slow and dont try to play it like dynasty warriors.so to me its not even close dark souls 2 was the best in the series by far.TLDR dark souls 2 is the best in the series by a mile.

#7 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -
#8 Posted by Jamin724 (159 posts) -
#9 Posted by 8Bit_Archer (451 posts) -

@jamin724: yeah I can't argue with anything you said there lol. I really feel the boss design is a MAJOR let down in DaS2 but that doesn't make me like it any less. I wish I played Demons Souls in its day because I feel like if have different things to say about it. I enjoyed playing it and all three are must plays.

#10 Posted by Myrmicus (213 posts) -

@jamin724: I am with 8Bit_Archer all the way : Dark Souls 2 has better mechanics, Dark Souls 1 is better packed overall, Demon Soul has the best atmosphere.

And I have to say I can't really agree with you saying it's the "easiest" : You started with Demon Soul, so you're a veteran by now. Even if some mechanics tweaks force you to relearn how to play the game, you still know how it is, so it's easier. I also sense a contradiction with you saying it's the easiest, while also saying the dodging mechanics and poise are frustrating. Those mechanics make the game harder... which can be frustrating. But in the eye of a newbie, he dosen't know those changes, he learns those mechanics I think it won't be as frustrating for him as it is for you : You knew how to survive and now you die, doing what you did to survive before.

From your comment, I think you don't understand the usefullness off Adaptability. It's a vital stat you don't want to forget. It gives you agility and natural poise. Agility, which is granted by intelligence and adaptability. Agility makes gives you more invincibility frames during rolls (I have multiple charactes with different Adaptability levels, and I noticed a real difference between them, one had 10 while the other had 20). Adaptability shorten the duration of healing items animations and shorten the time it takes to rise your shield and switch your weapons. I think that's why a guy could unsheath his sword and hit you before you unsheathed your dagger.

I think it's a great addition, it makes different build... different. You can really make an agility based character and still hold your ground against those higly armored knights... Dark Soul 1 was plagued with heavy armored flipping ninjas. No more of that and that is good.

#11 Edited by Jamin724 (159 posts) -

@myrmicus: I know the usefulness adaptability and how important of a stat it is, but you do not put that into a review. The stat feels like a filler stat and let me explain. It is a filler stat as in you will have to put points into this to get good gameplay out of the game. Now you could argue endurance and for the most part vigor fall into this same category and I would not disagree, but having 3 stats off the bat where you need to throw at least some points into just seems like one to many. This is just my opinion and you can have yours as well and I appreciate that 100%.

I fail to see how any part of this game even compares to Sen's Fortress or the Fire Drake on the bridge near our beloved Sun Bro. With demon souls Valley of Defilement still the most pain in the ass place I believe out of all the Souls areas. When I say fair vs frustrating I am referring to *spoilers alert* the treasure in fire keep, the fact that there is a stat to make you drink faster? (does he become an estoholic?), how fast enemies can hit your hitbox, the whole belfry areas basically rewarding people to troll you and things along that nature. I know there are also work arounds for those things I mentioned and I know they are not impossible to do as I have done them multiple times, but I never had my Sens Fortress or my Valley of Defilement moment were I was proud I got through it. It was more like glad I got that crap out of the way. Now I also 100% agree back flipping havels was crazy but just remove the ring and you are all set and also with that same concept you can go up to 70% weight burden and still do fast rolls I made a fast rolling guy with havels armor.

#12 Edited by nasp (202 posts) -

@jamin724: its not a filler stat for the reason that you dont need to use it.its like strength where its all about the class you are playing.depending on what build you are making is what decides how much you want of adaptability.because with a full havel and a greatsword build,you wont be rolling or using a shield in most cases.which means you can put those points into more strength or whatever,because adaptability will be kinda useless.also the gameplay isnt bad without adaptability its just different.the souls games have always been about timing and without adaptability it just makes you learn the different timing of actions.so basically its just being good at the game.

#14 Posted by nasp (202 posts) -

@jamin724: for some reason i couldnt see your reply in the forums.i had to see it another way.anyways you dont need to raise your shield if you are a heavy character in most cases.the majority of heavy characters are two handing weapons,which means adaptability does nothing there.if you are good at the game you wont need to use potions in a time where it needs the adaptability to work.so really adaptability is in the same category as attunement or vitality because depending on the build you are doing you wont need one or the other.if youre not a magic character you wont really need attunement.if youre a heavy character you wont really need adaptability,and if youre a lightweight character chances are you wont wear heavy armor so you wont need vitality for the equip load.if you are a combination of build types then its going to miss mash what you want,and you will have to sacrifice something.so it all balances out.one way or another you wont need all three unless you are making a build that utilizes them.so in the end you dont need adaptability for good gameplay,it just happens to be that the character you play needs adaptability like a mage would need attunement.

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