Finally popped the game in yesterday and I must say, it makes a HORRIBLE first impression.
The opening cutscene with the red-hooded ladies is apparently just a writing exercise wherein the guy penning the script tried to see how many ways he could say "YO YOU GONNA DIE AND LOSE PROGRESS!" It takes like three minutes for them to hammer that message home.
The NPCs are--likewise--yappy as hell and--likewise--don't really have anything to say.
And the game just feels bad. Having JUST replayed through Demon's Souls, the sluggishness with which the DS2 characters move is really apparent. (Finally got my adaptability up to 12 and that seems to have helped).
Don't like how fast weapons wear down.
After spending about 6 hours with it, I feel like I'm starting to come around on it. But this game was a chore to enjoy from the jump, whereas I fell in love with Demon's and DS1 right away.