The Matthewmatosis critique video

#101 Posted by dudeglove (9291 posts) -

@zevvion said:

@dudeglove: You're forgetting Executioner's Chariot. If you ask me, that boss relies on the same principle as Bed of Chaos (environment triggering), except it's actually a pretty well designed boss fight. Unlike Chaos of said Bed.

It's hard, but not impossible to do that fight another way by basically taking pot shots. Skip to about 6 minutes in.

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Once it's down to about a 1/3rd of its health, the Chariot can no longer make the jump across the pit, and can then be one shot.

#102 Edited by Myrmicus (233 posts) -

@dudeglove: Second time I wanted to have "the decency" to make a long post as an answer, second time my connection doesn't want to work. Oh great. I'll make the effort again.

When I said ignorance riddled (thanks for correcting me) with worse explanation possible... it's what your post made me think. You say that you have spent enough time on the Soul Series to know "more than most", but seeing how you ignore pretty much everything about the Pursuer makes me think about three possibilities : 1/ You overestimate your own knowledge. 2/ Not liking him, you don't bother to search for the answers and prefers easy bashing. 3/ You do know about the Pursuer, but prefer to ignore it just to fuel some bashing.

My problem isn't that you don't like the Pursuer. For each his tates after all. But bashing the Pursuer as you do, without really knowing stuff about him, using opinion based arguments and then stating that he can't be defended is bad. And you're wrong, we can defend it. Zevvion did.

On the bashing itself : Explain how exactly the Pursuer looks nothing alike every other ennemies IN THE WHOLE GAME. He has a classic knight helm, like many others. He has a shiny armor, like others. Huge sword and shield, like others. You say he's robot like. Explain how. His armor has not even a robotic hint, being quite classical on the medieval part, except for the face of the dameds engraved in it. So it's his levitation capbilities ? Explain how levitation is a robot thing ? The knee forward while overing toward you ? Explain how it's a robot thing too... As far as I'm concerned, when someone attack while moving toward an opponent, he as his knee forward to keep a better stability...

Now about the eagle. Actually, I read somewhere it's a crow, even if it looks like an eagle. I'm not sure where Zevvion had his informations about the Pursuer being a creation of Aldia, but I was under the impression that he was a creation of the Old Iron King. It is consistent with him chasing undeads and appearing in the Iron Keep. My second theory was that he was Raime, former Left Hand of Vendrick, until he and Vestdalt clashed. Raime love crows and the Pursuer's weapons says he hunt the undead to atone one of his sins... this theory have one problem : the appearance of multiple Pursuers. Anyway, back to the Crow... Why should the Pursuer travel by Crow instead of teleporting everywhere he goes ? Who said he could teleport ? All we know is that he can disappear into the ground... that's not necessarily a form of teleportation and could very well be a stealth technique : The only time we can deduce he moved from one place to another (Forest of Giants), he appeared via bird both times we can encounter him. Next, why should he travel by crow at all (even without considering teleportation abilities) ? Crows are a symbol of Velka, goddess of Sin and Vengeance. The Pursuer want to atone for a sin of his. See a connection ? And that's even without considering the possibility that Pursuer is Raime. Next, why the bird (crow or eagle) helps us even after we killed his master ? Good question, that could have multiple answers : First this is a problem only if we assume that the Pursuer was the bird's master, which isn't proved. But let's say he is. When you kill the Pursuer, you get his soul... something I think is enough to trick a big bird into thinking you're the same dude. Or... who said the bird helped you ? All it did, was droping you into a giant prison in the middle of the sea... how is that helping ? You can only leave this place because you can teleport, thanks to bonfires and Primeval Bonefire.

Other stuff you said are design choice and Zevvion already answered to that.

Now speaking about the Glass Knight, it's interesting... What make you think he is alive ? After all, everything is Drangleic appear to have hollowed, except for a few. Why does the Looking Glass Knight should be an exception ? Let's say Nashandra killed him : he's undead so he came back to life, hollowed or not. We know hollows retein some of their past life trainings and duties, which is why hollowed soldiers are still able to fight with skill and keep guarding empty places. Or I can be over-thinking and it's a plot hole.

#103 Edited by dudeglove (9291 posts) -

@myrmicus: Well Chancellor Wellagher (probably misspelling his name, but I mean the ghost dude in Drangleic foyer before throne room) says Vendrick somehow got the power to create automatons or golems of sorts, which explains the presence of statues coming to life. Unfortunately it's not certain what out of all of the enemies in Drangleic are automatons (why are the elephant/mastodon dudes from the Doors of Pharros kicking about?). As for LGK, I think it's a combination of us overthinking it, and them not thinking about it at all, but if it's just a mindless automaton, then sure, maybe you can get away with that explanation.

As for the robot pose, I mean this sort of crap that's seen in things like Zone of the Enders

Note the levitating pose, one-knee-forward, sword displayed out to the side. There's probably a word for that "thing", but regardless it's absolutely a trope of the whole anime robot thing. Coupled with this is that The Pursuer is about the only boss/enemy in the game that for whatever reason does not walk properly. He friggin' levitates across the ground towards you, ignoring the laws of physics. In regular NG, he teleports (or morphs/emerges out of the floor somehow) in the Smelter Demon arena, and in NG+, two of them do the exact same thing in the throne room of Drangleic behind the Chancellor. If he's an Old Iron King creation, why are the other knights and enemies in said areas not similarly capable of other eery things? Why is the Pursuer about the only enemy to appear in such a grand and idiotic fashion? It's almost as if he was an outsourced design or picked up from the cutting room floor.

It's not a crow he flies in on either, it's closer to an eagle in appearance and, much like the Pursuer, it's nothing more than a cheap throwback to the first game ("Hey remember how a bird picks you up there? Cool right?!"). Crows usually have black feathers for a start.

#104 Posted by Zevvion (2997 posts) -

@dudeglove: Yes.

I am not clear on what you're trying to point out with that method. Bed of Chaos was a terrible boss fight for many reasons. One of which was that he was only able to be defeated in one very specific way. You're not allowed to experiment and see what works. There is only the one solution. Again, counter to great Dark Souls bosses. The fact that you can defeat Executioner's Chariot in a different way is actually a pro, rather than a con. We're not looking for a boss fight that is exactly like Bed of Chaos. We're looking for one that is designed around the same principle, but actually works well in practice. Which it does.

#105 Posted by dudeglove (9291 posts) -

@zevvion said:

@dudeglove: Yes.

I am not clear on what you're trying to point out with that method.

I'm pointing out that you did just say it relies on environmental triggering, but it can in fact be killed by (sort of) conventional means. As an aside, the bigger issues with Executioner's Chariot are that it's both an optional area, as it's possible to completely ignore Huntsman's Copse, and that there clearly should have been a shortcut between the second bonfire and that boss, except there isn't (at the end of the bridge you can easily drop down to it, but not get back up). Instead you have to not die repeatedly to the 6 or so stupid dark weapon-wielding jerks who stand on top of poles on your way to the boss should you get accidentally mauled by the bad hitboxes on the chariot's wheels (despite hugging the wall with a good shield up).

Honestly, I think we're in agreement on certain points, but it's like Matthewmatosis said: for nearly every improvement they've made on DS1, they've dropped the ball in other areas, or "fixed" certain things that weren't all that broken to begin with. Just because the game is "okay" and has both a solid legacy and following doesn't somehow make it magically immune to criticism. If anything it should be held to a much higher standard because of DeS and DS1, as a watered-down, stretched-thin and intellectually-devoid Souls' experience is the last thing thing I want.

#106 Posted by Zevvion (2997 posts) -

@dudeglove: That it's an optional area is not criticism. Capra Demon is a terrible bossfight. He is completely optional, you do not have to go to the Depths at all. That doesn't mean that Capra Demon is suddenly a good boss fight. It stands as it stands.

I disagree with most points the guy makes in his video. I think Dark Souls II is a vast improvement over Dark Souls in terms of gameplay. The environment thing, I understand and agree with. Dark Souls was more interesting with its environment layout and design. That said, I ultimately play Dark Souls for the gameplay, so in my view it is still a better game than the first. For a possible Dark Souls III, I would of course prefer if they designed a world more akin to Dark Souls. But if I had to choose between better gameplay or better world design, I would choose gameplay every time.

#107 Posted by nasp (584 posts) -

@zevvion: i have to say that i liked dark souls 2s layout and design better.i felt like all the areas in dark souls 2 connected together better,and it felt more open to me.maybe being able to fast travel made me like the levels more or whatever i dont know.i just know i enjoyed the layout and look of the levels more in dark souls 2.

#108 Posted by rocketboot (143 posts) -

I'd like to suggest that instead of looking at this game saying "Oh Miyazaki was absent and it really shows in this detail and that design decision and that's why this game is worse than Dark Souls and Demon Souls" try and consider that you've got a team that is under new leadership and missing at least half the talent that went into the last 2 games. Also consider that despite some things you don't like, there have been a TON of improvements to the formula. Isn't that just a little impressive? The new director (I can never remember his name) has shown he can pull something like this off, and will probably show further improvement on future products. Miyazaki can't make all the games and I think they picked the right guy to take over Souls from him.

#109 Edited by Zevvion (2997 posts) -

@nasp said:

@zevvion: i have to say that i liked dark souls 2s layout and design better.i felt like all the areas in dark souls 2 connected together better,and it felt more open to me.maybe being able to fast travel made me like the levels more or whatever i dont know.i just know i enjoyed the layout and look of the levels more in dark souls 2.

Nah, Dark Souls was obviously a more connected world. But yeah, Dark Souls II does have some good looking environments in general. I think Iron Keep is a great area. Its location is nonsense though. I also dig Shrine of Amana. It looks really unique.

Truth be told there is only one thing I hate about Dark Souls II and one thing only: the absence of a roll-override ring. I was thinking of creating an Oberyn character but didn't do it because it doesn't make any sense without such a ring.

#110 Edited by Random45 (1411 posts) -

Ah, I just saw this video, I didn't hate it with as much venom as a lot of you guys, and there's even four huge points I agree with.

1. He claims that the world isn't connected very well and makes absolutely no sense. I remember I was playing the game, and I just felt like the world wasn't as connected as it felt in the first Dark Souls, but it wasn't until he pointed it out that I realized WHY I felt like that. The environments look great, but given where they're supposed to be placed, it definitely felt like the developers were attempting to make cool looking environments rather than attempting to make them connect in any meaningful way. This really contrasts with the first game where the environment was connected SO much better and actually felt like one location.

2. The NPCs not doing anything at all. One of the things I really liked in Dark Souls 1 was how each NPC, like he says in the video, has their own agenda and does their own thing after a while, eventually turning hollow or relocating to continue their own adventure. It really made the world feel more alive, and when I was playing Dark Souls 2 I kept repeatedly going to the blacksmith's daughter to see if her story would advance further and she'd realize that the Blacksmith WAS in fact her father. No such luck though, other than the Emerald Herald and the Cat near end game, they are all just static and say nothing brand new.

3. This point is a bit controversial, according to posts here, but I DO agree that a lot of the bosses are difficult simply due to the amount of enemies there rather than the actual mechanics of the boss. The Ruin Sentinels is the very first big hurdle you'll most likely come across, and the fight isn't hard because the move set of the sentinels is difficult to memorize to dodge or block, but it's simply because you're fighting THREE of them at the same damn time! (Or, if you don't drop off the platform, you'll only fight 2 of them at the same time, making the fight much more manageable, but still quite annoying). The Belfry Gargoyles is another he listed that I agree with - the fight isn't hard at all, but it's extremely uninteresting because again it felt like the developers thought more enemies = hard, however, each Gargoyle was weak as hell, had a very predictable move set, and it was just a boring test of endurance. The most memorable boss fight in the game, the Undead Chariot, also had this damn issue. I feel like that boss would have been significantly more fun and intense if there were NO other enemies in the corridors, and if you had to do some sort of puzzle while avoiding the chariot running around the corridor. It could have been a Bed of Chaos boss done right, but instead they just threw in a ton of skeletons and necromancers, and it just made the fight the same old shit once you pulled the lever.

4. I agree with him regarding the Estus flasks as well. Additional healing items makes them feel more like they were just carried over from Dark Souls 1 because it was Dark Souls. Given all the ways the player can heal themselves in the second game, fear of death is greatly reduced, and you really don't have to worry about using one of your precious flasks when instead you can just pop a lifegem to fill up the last bit of your health bar.

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