Which of the series do you prefer?

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Edited 1 year, 1 month ago

Poll: Which of the series do you prefer? (206 votes)

Demon's Souls 17%
Dark Souls 40%
Dark Souls 2 42%

I know it's early days but as someone who's finished them all now i'd like to see where people stand, personally I still think Dark Souls 1 is the best, only by a bit though.

#1 Posted by Demoskinos (16295 posts) -

I rank em' Dark Souls 2,Demons Souls then Dark Souls. I think the late game in Dark Souls is boring and its the only souls game I've never finished as a result.

Online
#2 Edited by afabs515 (1440 posts) -

Even though I enjoyed my initial playthrough of DS1 more, I've gotten so used to all the animations and other changes in DS2 that I can't even imagine going back. They also made changes to make DS2 more accessible and PVP is better, so I prefer DS2 to DS1, even though I didn't enjoy it quite as much.

#3 Edited by Fredchuckdave (7106 posts) -

Dark Souls 2 is definitely the best for gameplay/challenge, Dark Souls is better for characters/storyline (if you can call it that)/world design, Demon's Souls is better for uh... bridges? I think these games are about the gameplay at the core so obviously I prefer Dark Souls II.

#4 Posted by mosespippy (4746 posts) -

Most of the changes to systems from DaS to DS2 have been smart but the world is just so much less interesting to explore. DaS also has the edge on the technical front.

#5 Posted by CaLe (4246 posts) -

I would have easily said Dark Souls > Dark Souls 2 before getting to Drangleic Castle and beyond. I still think Dark Souls is put together in a more cohesive and refined way, but overall Dark Souls 2 is a better game.

#6 Posted by SunBroZak (1735 posts) -

I prefer Dark Souls over Demon's Souls, and I'd place it as an equal to Dark Souls 2. They've made some really smart changes, and some not so smart changes. Still, considering I hold Dark Souls as my second favourite game of all time, that's not a bad title for the sequel either.

#7 Posted by ElixirBronze (470 posts) -

I haven't finished Dark Souls II yet and I'm still having way more fun with it than I ever had with the first one, that's not saying I didn't have fun with the first one though.

I guess if all you play is meat and potatoes i.e. sword and shield it could get a little bit same old, same old, I dunno.

#8 Posted by Oni (2223 posts) -

Dark Souls 2 is categorically best in the franchise imo. I get the complaint that the world is not as cohesive as Lordran, that's fair, but it worked for me, considering the whole game has this dreamlike, purgatorial feeling to it. It makes it feel bigger and more otherworldly, and I have to imagine it's intentional to some degree. Even if it isn't, doesn't bother me. Dark Souls feels very small compared to it, and I don't care for any of the post-Lordvessel areas in Dark Souls aside from Duke's Archive. Still, I've done like a dozen Dark Souls playthroughs, so I was obviously invested in the lore from the moment I started playing DS2, which made it feel much more rewarding than my Dark Souls playthroughs.

#9 Posted by Karkarov (3748 posts) -

Dark Souls 2 is definitely the best for gameplay/challenge, Dark Souls is better for characters/storyline (if you can call it that)/world design, Demon's Souls is better for uh... bridges? I think these games are about the gameplay at the core so obviously I prefer Dark Souls II.

That's a pretty wrong comment on multiple levels. Demon's Souls is by far the best for pvp. It can be set up easily, you can organize it, you can run events.... try doing any of that without a massive cluster **** of waiting and issues in either other game. DS2 doesn't even give you unlimited invading items. You can even easily pull a co op playthrough of Demon's Souls if you want to. It simply has, and probably always will have, the better multiplayer/pvp.

Dark Souls 2 on the other hand is a superior all around game to Dark Souls 1. The areas are more varied, there is more mob variety (especially NG+), it has the most bosses, the most interesting covenants, and on the gameplay level it is probably the best tuned of all three. How anyone can think Dark Souls 1 is better than 2 is quite literally beyond me, DS1 was improved on in almost every conceivable way and all the cheap Ninja Gaiden nonsense like Anor Londo archers was taken out. The only thing I don't like is the fact that you have to burn human effigies to avoid invasions. On the other hand you can always play offline just like in the other two and it is a non issue. That would even be a non issue, if it weren't for the fact that no vendor in the game sells unlimited human effigies and farming is limited thanks to respawn caps.

So if I had to rank them it comes down to two things, what do you care about more? PVP or the gameplay/main story? If you prefer PVP it is Demon's Souls. If you prefer anything else, it's Dark Souls 2.

#10 Posted by Shiro2809 (88 posts) -

Demon's Souls > Dark Souls 2 > Dark Souls.

Dark Souls 2 may potentially go ahead of Demon's Souls for me.

#11 Edited by Marokai (3306 posts) -

I haven't finished the game yet (I'm close to getting the fourth Great Soul) but I feel comfortable in saying that I think I prefer Dark Souls over Dark Souls 2. There's a lot of really great quality of life improvements they made in Dark Souls 2 that I really appreciate, but in terms of the important stuff, I think it's inferior.

The world design of Dark Souls, to me, is more thoughtful and cohesive, the enemy designs of Dark Souls are more interesting to me, the boss fights of Dark Souls are more compelling and the designs of the bosses themselves are much more varied and detailed, the mechanics of the fighting Dark Souls are tighter, and I think the story, such as it is in these games, is better told in Dark Souls, and 2's story is only interesting insofar as it relates to the first game.

I still really love my time with 2, but there's just a lot of little annoying things about my time with it that I never remember having with Dark Souls. Jarring sound glitches, frustrating input lag and weird load-in issues on the menus, having to constantly travel back to Majula just to level up for no good reason. And personally, I don't really think the way items are presented in the menus are all that improved; I'd still prefer a named list over a blast of unsorted picture icons I have to scroll over.

There are a few areas of the game I really fell in love with (No Man's Wharf is an awesome looking pirate cove, and the Doors of Pharros, despite how brief it is, is beautifully shaded), and graphically this game is better in a lot of areas, but I don't think this game will have the same lasting impact and impart the same love on people as the first Dark Souls and that's for a lot of these same reasons.

#12 Posted by Fredchuckdave (7106 posts) -

@karkarov: Co-op works fine in Dark Souls II (you can do a whole playthrough with a buddy if you want, even), invasions maybe not so much but there's plenty of other ways to engage in the PvP. We agree that Dark Souls II is the best, let's not let a river of shit come between us. Invasions are sort of irrelevant, I mean you could theoretically have an interesting invasion but it's along the lines of 5% or so that actually wind up being interesting; the rest is just generic ass boring builds. Now that's not to say the other PvP is any different than that, but you sort of go in knowing what to expect so it's not quite as tedious.

#13 Edited by HH (828 posts) -

i'm one of the ones who got bummed out by the cathedral archers in dark souls, beating that part was so tiresome it turned me off the game and it took over a year before i went back and replayed it. Demon's was a better experience for me in 09, but in both those games i felt non-committal about pvp, i was playing them to explore the world and to experience the taut challenge, whereas now with 2 i feel much more in control and in tune with mechanics and character builds and covenants, and although i'm not one for hundred percenting games, i reckon this'll be up to seventy-ish before i move on, whereas demon's sits at 50, dark at 40 odd. basically i've enjoyed the hell out of this last week of gaming.

#14 Posted by bybeach (5150 posts) -

I haven't played DS2 yet, but the one thing I hoped they got away from was so much area crossover from demon souls to dark souls. I've seen the gargoyles give you a lift twice now. I have most certainly seen enough Blight town/Valley of Defilement with their poison and socially transmitted diseases. I have seen lots of lava and underground red and black caverns where the sun don' shine.

I'm waiting for 04/25/14, but If they try to make their areas interesting and original to Dark souls 2, I'd be pleased. That one Brad was running around in, it was perhaps new, but mehhhhhhhhhh.

#15 Edited by Karkarov (3748 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

@karkarov: Co-op works fine in Dark Souls II (you can do a whole playthrough with a buddy if you want, even), invasions maybe not so much but there's plenty of other ways to engage in the PvP. We agree that Dark Souls II is the best, let's not let a river of shit come between us. Invasions are sort of irrelevant, I mean you could theoretically have an interesting invasion but it's along the lines of 5% or so that actually wind up being interesting; the rest is just generic ass boring builds. Now that's not to say the other PvP is any different than that, but you sort of go in knowing what to expect so it's not quite as tedious.

Fair enough Chuck! I just see too many people discount Demon's Souls outright for some reason or insinuate it is a lesser game. It isn't in any respect, it is just very different in certain key ways and much more about multiplayer than Dark 1 or 2. The one thing the Dark Souls fan needs to remember is that without Demon's Souls there would be no Dark Souls.

All that aside I agree. Mechanically and as a single player game Dark Souls 2 is handily the best of the three. I also think the challenge balance is much better because it has returned to the days of hard, but fair. At least as long as you get 20 or more adaptability :D

@bybeach Prepare for disappointment. DS2 has a "valley of defilement/blightown" level, even though it is far less... annoying than the other two. It also has a lava filled hell hole, though it has a much different spin than the lava filled hell hole of the other two. One thing it will annoy you on... there are lots of areas with cheesy poison traps. But look on the bright side... there are 70% less narrow twitch and die walkways, you will never be shot by an archer you can't shoot back at (maybe they are hard to spot but they will be there), and you are never asked to walk on platforms you can't actually see.

#16 Posted by darkmoney52 (51 posts) -

I prefer Dark Souls 2 by a pretty wide margin. It's been very consistently high quality. It doesn't have some of the truly awful moments of DS1 and it hits all the same highs. Also, I like the changes they made to character builds, definitely more interesting this time around.

Haven't played Demon Souls though, I don't have a PS3 and without the online now it wouldn't be the same.

#17 Edited by davidh219 (372 posts) -

I think they improved the sequel in a lot of ways. Some of them honestly took some getting used to. They were off-putting at first and probably were for a lot of fans of the first game. Stuff like the healing being over time, the split between lifegem consumables and estus, the animation changes, etc. And that was a huge risk I'm glad they took because the game was better for it.

I don't understand people who like Demon's Souls the most though. Can somebody explain why? Because honestly, while I haven't played too much of Demon's Souls I watched a buddy run through it in a day and I watched brad play through it on here so I feel like I've seen enough of it to say I don't think it's as good as Dark Souls on a basic design level. The level design and bosses are just...not very good, imo. The jump from that game to DS 1 was a huge one. Way bigger than the one from DS 1 to 2. It was almost like a demo of an idea. It was the Assassin's Creed to Dark Souls' Assassin's Creed II. But some people really love it -shrug-

#18 Posted by HH (828 posts) -
It was almost like a demo of an idea. It was the Assassin's Creed to Dark Souls' Assassin's Creed II. But some people really love it -shrug-

dude it's so obvious you haven't played it, this evaluation is entirely inaccurate.

also, although i suspect it will only become more common, referring to dark souls as "the first game" is an unfortunate pitfall.

demon's souls is every bit as good as either of the successors, it was in 09 when it came out, and it still is now. understand, it is not raw or broken or untested or lacking in any way, it is a tight-as-fuck souls game, and it's your loss if you come to some other conclusion independent of the experience.

#19 Posted by tourgen (4568 posts) -

Dark Souls was more fun to explore and looked better.

Dark Souls II plays better and has a pretty good story.

Demon's Souls had the best online modes.

Dark Souls > Dark Souls II > Demon's Souls. For me it's always been about exploring the world and fighting crazy bosses.

#20 Edited by StrainedEyes (1353 posts) -

Dark Souls 2 improves just about everything except the open world. I think the intricate, wrapping around would in the first Dark Souls is amazing. Being able to walk from the bottom of the world to the top, while seeing everything in the distance. It was so well made. DS2 just doesn't have the same feel, each branch ends and nothing connects as well as it did before.

I also don't think the bosses are as interesting in DS2. There are a lot of dudes with weapon+shield that you rotate around. Too many mob bosses too.

The first Dark Souls was something special, so it gets my vote.

#21 Posted by Turambar (7156 posts) -

Dark Souls 2 = Dark Souls > Demon's Souls.

Dark Souls 2 has introduced many different things to the series, and while some have been improvements, others have been a mixed bag at best.

#22 Posted by Rafaelfc (1778 posts) -

My sole complaint about Dark Souls II is the limited respawn BS.

Other than that I've never had as much fun playing a Souls game before.

I had TONS of fun with both Demon's and Dark Souls so that's saying a lot.

#23 Edited by Gatehouse (839 posts) -

Admittedly, I've never played Demon's Souls (the sound of it scared the life out of me) so my answer's a little compromised. I was just about to say that I preferred Dark Souls 1, but then I remembered Blight Town and those fucking Anor Londo archers. So right now, it's up for grabs, even though I'm probably only half way through this new adventure.

#24 Edited by MrAbomination (44 posts) -

Dark Soul was the first game I played in the series, and it ruined Demon's Souls for me. I felt like Dark Souls did everything better. Dark Souls 2 feels like a worthy successor, but it hasn't managed to hook me as bad yet. That might change once it comes to PC, though.

#25 Posted by HaniBall (361 posts) -

@karkarov: how can anyone prefer dark 1 over two. Lets set gameplay aside, no argument there, but how about because they dropped the ball on the atmosphere. There is no sense of mystery in dark2. And Dark was already a big step down from adjudicator, astrea, old monk levels. So I would set demons on top not just for pvp but also story and atmosphere.

And not sure about the ninja gaiden reference but if you are referring to casters they are a pain but key to mastering arenas, so far from a cheap afterthought! And they can be both thrown and izuna dropped, as long as you dont grab somebody else :)

You know what does remind me of ninja gaiden. The plasticy look of dark2. I am sure its got to do with the frame rate. Again, gameplay over atmosphere.

#26 Posted by benspyda (2112 posts) -

I think they get better with every instalment, those game designers at FROM SOFTWARE know their shit.

#27 Posted by Karkarov (3748 posts) -

@haniball: When I make Ninja Gaiden cracks I mean Dark 1. Anor Londo archers attack you from so far away they don't load on screen and can't be hit back.... happens all the time in Ninja Gaiden games. Tons and tons of thin bridges and walk ways where the slightest misstep is death.... again very common in the early Ninja Gaiden's. Etc etc etc. It is my way of saying I think Dark Souls 1 is the worst tuned of the games and crossed the cheap line too often, something I think neither Demon's or Dark 2 did "too often".

I actually prefer the story/lore of Dark 2 more. And the characters. Patches is just a pale shadow of original Patches. Crestfallen warrior was another rehash. Maybe I am a terrible person but Solaire hit on me too often so I kind of wanted him to die :P.

#28 Posted by HaniBall (361 posts) -

@karkarov: OK, maybe I need to start paying more attention like I used to. Will give it a fair shake.

re:Ninja Gaiden I don't really remember such spots. Are you referring to the old NES games? I never played those. I guess in Sigma 1 there is the shrine with the zombies that does have some strategically positioned archers. But then the "levels" and "platforming" in those games is dialed in and a rather minor annoyance on the way to actual fights and bosses.

tbh right now I'm annoyed with the pirate level. I can't seem to run past the enemies on my way to the boss. They catch up with me on the ship. And what I wouldn't give for a Wind Run and an Izuna Drop when they swarm me!!

#29 Posted by Karkarov (3748 posts) -

@haniball said:

@karkarov: OK, maybe I need to start paying more attention like I used to. Will give it a fair shake.

re:Ninja Gaiden I don't really remember such spots. Are you referring to the old NES games? I never played those. I guess in Sigma 1 there is the shrine with the zombies that does have some strategically positioned archers. But then the "levels" and "platforming" in those games is dialed in and a rather minor annoyance on the way to actual fights and bosses.

tbh right now I'm annoyed with the pirate level. I can't seem to run past the enemies on my way to the boss. They catch up with me on the ship. And what I wouldn't give for a Wind Run and an Izuna Drop when they swarm me!!

Just as an aside but uh.... it is kind of hard to see your way in the Warf area. Maybe you should try using a torch....

#30 Posted by Deathpooky (1506 posts) -

I'd say Dark Souls 2. The world is more cohesive in Dark Souls, but I came to appreciate DS2's design with discrete, connected paths, and the ability to jump around to different challenges or bosses and explore more easily. Dark Souls 2 is almost the inverse of Dark Souls, and it works better. DS2 starts with a open world and an objective to kill four major bosses down each of four paths that open relatively quickly, allowing you to try different areas, build your character, and explore. There's a likely opening area, but after that the game gives you lots of options. Then after the four bosses, once you're more set on your character and comfortable, it funnels down a straight line towards the second half, going through some of the best areas of the game.

Dark Souls has a strong start going through the Burg, Depths, Sen's and Anor Londo, but post-Lordvessel the areas are just not as much fun, and the game loses focus at a time when it should be ramping up to the end. Outside of the DLC, none of the later game bosses or areas are all that great. And the open world is less fun to explore, since traversing the world is so time consuming, and since so many areas are theoretically "open" to you, but would murder you if you tried them early. Sure you could go to the Catacombs or New Londo if you wanted to at the start, but you'll just die and you need the Lordvessel before those areas really become relevant. I never ran into roadblocks like that in DS2, and the gates were readily apparent in certain paths, instead of awkwardly placed in the middle of areas.

And DS2 just has more of everything - bosses, areas, enemies, spells, equipment - which makes up for the fact that some parts aren't as memorable as the first game. Add in mechanical improvements like soul popping and item management, understandable upgrade systems, better accessible covenants with interesting PVP encounters, and an NG+ that's actually a new challenge. Just a better game overall.

#31 Posted by Irvandus (3067 posts) -

I've only gone back to play demons souls recently, I don't have much of an opinion on it other than it feels like a slightly lesser later souls game. Dark souls 1 was certainly more challenging and near in terms of style (connectivity in level design, visual look, loneliness, etc) but I am just having a blast with Dark Souls 2. It's not as difficult but that means I haven't gotten stuck in one particular area for a long time which keeps the pace up. Not to mention I enjoy being able to hop from place to place like demons souls, letting me do areas in the order I want to do them. It's also encouraged me to try out the multiplayer which I avoided like the plague in the last two games. I meddle with pvp in the sparring arena and it's pretty fun and helping with bosses is really enjoyable in a way that reminds me of Peace Walker of all things. Kind of like a boss in a world of warcraft dungeon but on an even smaller scale. For all of it's flaws it's the most fun I've had with a game. It's a great time.

#32 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1864 posts) -

This poll is bogus on account of substantially fewer people having played Demon's Souls than Dark Souls 1 and 2 because it was a PS3 exclusive.

I'm going to have to go with Demon's Souls on this one. I wouldn't say it's mechanically, technically, or even narratively the best in the series (those awards probably go to Dark Souls, though I desperately want to read a book on Latria), but I just find myself having more fun when I play Demon's Souls. Though it was technically my first, it hardly counts considering I just beat Phalanx and got scorched by a dragon before returning it. I didn't come back to it until after beating Dark Souls and it's just a more viscerally satisfying experience for me when I play it over the other games.

By the time I got to Dark Souls, it had already been broken down into pure numbers game, where as I still feel like there's room for me to explore in Demon's Souls because it's following isn't as large. I also feel like the level design is much more evocative in Demon's Souls than either Dark Souls games, with world 3 and 5 as the clear standouts. The bosses are also much much interesting to me, and From seems to agree seeing as they reused several of the wholesale in Dark Souls.

It's certainly a flawed game though. The right build can bust that game wide open very early and they game has no real answer for it. Magic is hopelessly overpowered and Second Chance is antithetical to the entire design philosophy of the game. Armor is mostly useless and upgrading materials are hidden behind one of the most baffling mechanics I've seen in any game. World Tendency was a great idea, but doesn't play as well today and as a result makes much of the more interesting things in the game neigh impossible to see.

The jury is still out on Dark Souls II, but so far it feels like it's having the lightest impact on me. I think the dust needs to settle first, but right now I think it's probably my least favorite in the series. That may change in the future, though. It's sort of straddling the line between Demon's Souls and Dark Souls and I'm still not sure it's doing either of them justice yet.

#33 Posted by development (2946 posts) -

It's too early to tell. I'll get back to you in 6 months. Right now I probably won't think clearly on a number of things related to DSII. Takes time.

That being said, I think DSII is deceptively complex. I'm finding there is actually way more room for crazy stat builds than I thought, and there are some crazy fucking weapons in there:

You know those two giant double-Tower-Shield-wielding dudes you fight in the hallway in the Undead Crypt? If you get both shields from them (there are two different ones), you can read the description and realize they were originally a single shield that was broken in two, and the "Imperius" knights you pried them off of used to smash people between them even before going hollow. I looked at them... and I had to try it. 33 Strength required... so I spent a Soul Vessel and raised my Strength to 50... and guess what? You can dual-wield fucking tower shields. But only those two (that I've seen). You can do a fairly fast smashing attack that does tons of damage (the shields each do 200 damage unupgraded) and brings the broken shield-halfs together so the jagged "teeth" line up. Totally worthless for PVP, but hilarious... especially with around 115% encumbrance, so your hulking dude can only do a slight jog as you stalk dudes.

It's shit like that...

#34 Posted by Berserk007 (226 posts) -

They are kind a variant of the same thing, I love them all but went with "Dark Souls"

#35 Edited by DeathByWaffle (698 posts) -

I'm only about 14 hours into Dark Souls 2 right now, but so far I have found it a lot easier. I've beaten a couple bosses on my first try, something I think I did maybe once in the original dark souls. I've still had a lot of fun with it, but I wish I felt a little more challenge from the game. Maybe it gets harder, I'll have to see.

#36 Edited by Icicle7x3 (1242 posts) -

Haven't played Demon's Souls so can't speak for that, but I'll say this:

NG - Dark Souls > Dark Souls 2

NG+ - Dark Souls < Dark Souls 2

I'll give the edge to Dark Souls because I enjoyed the characters and lore more in that game over the sequel, but Dark Souls 2 is still pretty good.

#37 Posted by Sterling (3180 posts) -

The more I play DS2 the more I like it more than the others.

#38 Posted by HaniBall (361 posts) -

@karkarov: yea, they forgot to turn the lights on. That and the patience. To kill them. One. By. One.The boss battle itself was a bit anti climatic.

So, I'm getting there. But 30min sessions really aren't how this is supposed to be played :(

My vote still goes to Demon's if that wasn't clear from above. But I am starting to see the light, gameplay wise, in Dark2. My ADP is at 18 and it does feel tight.

#39 Edited by VaddixBell (275 posts) -

Even though I haven't finished Dark Souls 2, I voted for it because; while I liked Demons' Souls and loved Dark Souls, DS2 has dedicated servers and for someone who likes playing co-op and helping other people in their game, the ability to connect to other people is just better.

I think DaS had a much more cohesive and realised world than the other two (so far), I'm still really enjoying the gameplay and challenge of DS2, which is what really matters.

#40 Posted by kqedequalsvolvo (52 posts) -

I havn't finished Dark Souls 2 yet and on current form it could well end up being my favourite of the series - but currently, it's Demon Souls for me. It's difficult because mechanically, it's probably the least good of the three. But asides from the fact that it properly features my favourite areas in terms of what I have played of the series, it is always going to be special for me because it was my introduction to the series. It gave me that first step into the Souls universe and that first sense of realising how unlike anything I'd ever played this game was - swiftly followed by a sense of being absolutely overwhelmed and intimidated!

#41 Posted by VaddixBell (275 posts) -

@kqedequalsvolvo: What's your favourite areas in Demons' Souls? I've only ever played it about 1 1/2 times so I'm familiar with most of it but don't have the greatest memory of it... I really liked (and dreaded) the later parts of the Tower of Latria just because of the atmosphere.

#42 Edited by Oldirtybearon (5204 posts) -

Never played Demon's, but I did play a few hundred hours of Dark Souls. I loved that game, but I hated the PVP. So much lagstabbing, so much twinking (and not the cool gay kind), so much shit that was just annoying about multiplayer in that game.

With dedicated servers in Dark Souls 2, vastly improved gameplay mechanics, a high, steady framerate, and a rejiggered leveling mechanic it's made PVP one of the most enjoyable things about playing Dark Souls 2. I am loving the MP in this game. I max-ranked the Heirs of the Sun covenant in a few hours because I kept dropping my summon sign in front of the Lost Sinner boss. I've joined the Blue Sentinels and I've been hounding the guilty, filthy, invading sinners and killing them lots and lots. To put it in perspective, I just hit rank 2 of the Blue Sentinels last night.

Even if the lore and story might not match up to the original (a very frank possibility considering how little lore is actually in the item descriptions this time), the sheer gameplay has kept me coming back to it again and again every night. Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series.

#43 Edited by BradBrains (1346 posts) -

ive had more fun with dark souls 2 than either of the last 2. great improvements

#44 Edited by kqedequalsvolvo (52 posts) -

@vaddixbell said:

@kqedequalsvolvo: What's your favourite areas in Demons' Souls? I've only ever played it about 1 1/2 times so I'm familiar with most of it but don't have the greatest memory of it... I really liked (and dreaded) the later parts of the Tower of Latria just because of the atmosphere.

I never completed it as I'm ashamed to say that I found it too hard (although in my defence, I spent the vast majority of the time not looking at a guide/forums etc.). Tower of Latria was my favourite because, like you say, of the atmosphere. It was claustrophobic and always kept me on my toes - just being in there and hearing the suffering, imagining what it would be like to be there used to creep me out. Valley of Defilement was amazing to me as well - so grotesque, so much disgusting imagery absolutely full of sub-text. It was a frustrating area but I can't think of many games with an area like it that took on the same kinda themes. The later games are more expansive and have some amazing locales - there was just something about how Demon Souls' universe fit together that really hit home for me. Dark Souls (and Dark Souls 2 so far) feel more like a crusading adventure in a difficult, hostile world. Whereas Demon Souls felt like you were battling through somewhere so much darker - there was a bigger sense of despair and desperation about it all that I found really affecting and impressive. Sounds like a weird reason to praise it but Demon Souls was, for me, the best at making you feel insignificant in terms of the game world for much of the play-through. I found that really refreshing considering how player-as-hero focused most games seem to be. Willing to accept some of that comes from it being the first of those games that I played and it's inferior to the other games in lots of ways. But yeah.

#45 Edited by HaniBall (361 posts) -

@vaddixbell: I realize you didnt ask me but since I voted for demons and the answer is so glaringly obvious I'll jump in. The levels in demons in combination with world tendency and NPC's stories and events is just soo well thought out and intriguing. Take the very first level. With Ostrava fighting alongside you. With the Miranda black phantom event. With the old king. A battle btw that has more emotional punch than anything in Dark and tbh Dark2 isn't even trying.

What am I missing. And that was just 1:1! Sure, you had to work for it. You could play through the level and even finish the game without ever knowing any of this.

Other highlights. Being somebody elses boss as the old Monk. Fighting Ostrava later on. Fighting alongside Biorr. How much more impactful was that than summoning NPCs in Dark1/2? Fighting the cleaver lady in the swamp. Selen Vinland and her armor/sword. Astrea. Astrea! Heartbreaking that one.

Story/atmosphere wise? Demon's. All the way.

#46 Edited by VaddixBell (275 posts) -

@haniball: By all means, I like hearing the reasons for liking Demons' more than Dark. I can see the appeal. I enjoyed my first time through it and everytime I go to play Demons', it's off the back of extensive DaS play so I get burned out on it relatively quickly.

Going through it the 2nd time was so great seeing Biorr and Ostrava sitting right next to each other and if you could tell either one "Hey that's ____ over there" they'd join them but because Ostrava is hiding his real identity they can't and that was just so ... sad (if that makes sense). I like Demons', just not as much as Dark Souls but I can see why anyone puts it over DaS especially when you can't consider games in a vacuum, you have to consider being the first to do it has such an impact.

#47 Edited by Hippie_Genocide (893 posts) -

I love Demon's Souls, I really do. But I don't understand why people would prefer it over either DS or DS2, other than desperately clutching at the "I liked it before it was cool!" type of indie cred. Dark Souls is a bigger game, but it's not loaded with filler, has better combat, a more fully realized world and a better story. For me it would be DS = DS2 > DeS

#48 Edited by HaniBall (361 posts) -

@hippie_genocide: Well then I guess I have been outed as an elitist hipster. because there is absolutely no way that world or character tendency matters. Or moments like finding out Yurt is killing your NPCs. Or doing deeds for Mephisto. Or being able to have actual organized PVP.

Then there are things that are probably up to personal preference but I like the enemy designs better. Fat officials, black skellies, red eye knights, ninja assassins. Death itself. They were onto something. With Dark they have taken more of a generic fantasy route. With the enemies, and the world. I mean Dukes Archives. Those ice caverns. C'mon. And as early as the Last Giant in DarK2 it is obvious that they are even a bit cynical now. That thing did not have the dignity of a last giant. Let's just say that in Demon's they would have made you shed a tear for him.

I don't know if it's more complex necessarily. But what it does with its mechanics is more relevant. And it is definitely a more emotional experience.

p.s. like I said, once you up your ADP the combat feels tight in Dark2, so from a gameplay perspective there is no contest really.

#49 Posted by freakin9 (1188 posts) -

It's possible that Dark Souls 2 is the best of the series. But I do have a fondness for Demon's Souls that's hard to escape. As for Dark Souls 1... didn't like it at all.

I'm just glad Dark Souls 2 made me enjoy the series again.

#50 Posted by Nightriff (6308 posts) -

Voted Demon's Souls because that is the only one I've played and was curious to see the results. I'm surprised DS2 is in the lead, seems that there was more talk around 2011 about DS1 than there is about 2 right now

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