Dark Souls or Demon's Souls?

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#1 Posted by Irk (3 posts) -

Pretty straight forward "which do you prefer" affair. Dark Souls has been out long enough now to draw up comparisons and preferences and i was curious as to what people thought.

I'll get the ball rolling; I LOVE Demon's souls. I'm 25 hours into Dark Souls and have found the more i play, the more i miss Demon's Souls and I have now given in and started playing my DS Char again. Cant quite put my finger on why this is, the concepts in DKS are really nice (open world, no load screens etc) but it just didnt click for me.

#2 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

Dark Souls is the more impressive game, Demon's Souls had better weapons it's a hard call

Dark Souls is probably better, but I have the Plat in Demon's, and I cant imagine playing Dark for that long.

#3 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

They're extremely similar, but I really don't like all the back tracking and running back and forth that Dark Souls forces you to do.

#4 Edited by DecadentPimp (17 posts) -

I prefer Demon's for many reasons.

I like the Nexus and branching levels more than Dark's open world. It takes far less time to get to a specific place because you don't have to go through two levels to reach there. Sure you can warp between bonfires in Dark, but only after about 60% through the game, and only to certain areas. The Nexus was also such a cool area, setting wise - it felt a lot like your home, with memorable characters like the Maiden.

I preferred the more simplistic tendency system in Demon's. Covenants provide a lot of gameplay depth, but the sheer number of them and all the little requirements makes it a bit complex to get the most out of them.

I'm not sure why exactly it's the case, but I find it more difficult to get out of Hollow form in Dark Souls. Lack of humanity perhaps?

I also didn't appreciate the changes to the way server connectivity worked (makes leaving a summon sign for a friend really hard), hated the +-10% level rule rather than Demon's +-10 level rule, and in general found it much harder to get connected to other players. Perhaps the 1.04 patch will address the matchmaking.

The difficulty curve of Demon's was a bit smoother. It's all over the place in Dark in comparison, from the unbearable Blighttown, to the endgame which was a cakewalk above level 80. Dark also feels a lot more grindy - it's around double the length of Demon's, but a lot of that is spent just trying to get a better character rather than genuine progress.

Framerate is shit in Dark.

And finally, I just liked the levels and setting of Demon's more. I appreciated how each branch of the Nexus had its own distinct 'theme'. All this said, Dark does it's own thing very well. I love both games, but Demon's just a little more.

#5 Edited by bkbroiler (1626 posts) -

I wonder if it's just a "first love" thing, or if Demon's is actually better. I haven't played Demon's, but I've spent more time with Dark than any other game I've played in at least a few years. It's absolutely fantastic.

Part of what appeals to me about it is the open world. I have no real desire to play Demon's because I just don't really like the look of the Nexus and loading between worlds all the time.

#6 Posted by FesteringNeon (2164 posts) -

Dark Souls adds another dimension in the fact that you have to approach stages from two ways. There's really no sigh of relief either. Once you're done with a boss battle, either you can trek back and feel like you went "home" to rest a little, or you can plow on hoping to find another bonfire.

The great thing about Demon's was after a boss, you had this sigh of relief.. then could mess around awhile before moving onto the next challenge. Dark Souls gives you this isolated feeling.. I know there's a name for it, but I can't think of it off the top o' the dome. Even when you head back to the firelink shrine starting area, it just doesn't have as much of a "home" feel as the first game did. If I wanted to grind 4-2 / 4-3, then head back to another level to collect stuff, it felt separate.. I didn't need to traverse anything in between.

This is all not to say Dark Souls is bad in any shape or form, it's just different... and very isolated. I love what they both accomplish. So far, I'm still loving the first one more... but I'm still not finished with the second one either, and have been putting it off for a bit to save a nerve here and there.

#7 Posted by Irk (3 posts) -

bump

#8 Posted by Humanity (9279 posts) -

Dark Souls is the better game but Demons had a bit more atmosphere to it.

Although to those that never played Demons Souls, that game had even less story in it if you can imagine that. The increased NPC dialog is something I enjoy a lot about Dark Souls.

I also miss the Nexus. That was a place you could truly call your own and chillax in. Dark Souls makes it seem like no matter where you are you don't belong.

#9 Posted by Largo6661 (335 posts) -

Demon souls, it simply has better frame rate not perfect frame rate but better then dark souls.

#10 Edited by Chop (1998 posts) -

I like Demon's Souls more. I GREATLY prefer the hub world set up, Demons was much better on the technical side of things, and I prefer the way it is balanced.

#11 Posted by Branwulf (407 posts) -

I agree the backtracking can be annoying but i still prefer the world of Dark Souls and the story, also i prefer the new magic system.

#12 Posted by Spoonman671 (4641 posts) -

Demon's Souls is better.
 
The controls were so much tighter in Demon's Souls and there seems to be something wrong with the way Dark Souls queues up your actions.  Sometimes there's a dramatic delay, and sometimes actions occur in the wrong order.  It's rare enough that in most games it would be a minor imperfection, but in a game where combat can be as deadly and consequential as it is in Dark Souls, this is a severe flaw.
 
While I think the structure of the games are more up to preference than anything else, I think that Demon's Souls hub world worked better for the game.  If I wanted to make a faith-based build, I knew I would want to run through the Valley of Defilement early to get certain items and weapons that suited that build.  In Dark Souls you pretty much just have to work your way through the game's intended (though not explicit) path to progression.
 
Then there are the weapons.  The only weapons I really enjoy using in Dark Souls are the Greatswords.  Making weapons like the Halberds and the Axes/Maces one-hit attacks really limits their potential and makes them kind of boring.  Nevermind the fact that there is barely any reason to try upgrading your own weapon because you're just going to find a better one like the Drake Sword, and later the Lightning Spear.  Don't even get me started on lightning weapons.
 
I'm tired of talking now.

#13 Posted by Souai (5 posts) -

I like both games. To a new player I'd probably recommend Demon's Souls over Dark simply because of the price difference. I think Dark Souls is the better game overall but the difference is not enough to overcome the current difference in price. We'll see when Dark Souls goes on sale or if further patches to the game uplift its quality to keep things close. I would recommend buying both if your money isn't tight, or buying Dark Souls if you feel like giving greater support to the game's creator, though.

My disappointments with Dark Souls were the inconsistent multiplayer experience, the input delay glitch regarding the use of shield block in certain situations, and the homogenization of effective builds from the power of elemental weapons. The late game level design quality took a bit of a nosedive as well; a few places, most notably Izalith could have been done a lot better.

#14 Posted by McQuinn (651 posts) -

I love both, but there are some major elements in Dark Souls that I like more than Demon's. I felt like Demon's was super grindy. Farming the shit out of world 4 and bullshit. Also, the contiguous world of dark just pulls me in much more. Online might not be as good, but the game itself is much better. P.S. Fuck world tendencies.

#15 Posted by Carlsen (34 posts) -

Dark Souls.. it has drawn me into its world way more. Although I agree with Souai: some of the latter level designs (e.g. Izalith) are far from on par with the early ones.

I think the game is amazing, but to me it seems like they should have made it a bit shorter, and gotten rid of a few poorly made areas.

#16 Posted by Aetheldod (3586 posts) -

Dark Souls , I just loved the 1 world conectivity and atmosphere , altho the fight against maiden astrea in Demon Souls is still one of my favorite moments in the Soul's games.

#17 Posted by ALXNDRB (11 posts) -

To me, Demon's Souls soundtrack and storyline/characters were far more interesting

Dark Souls is extremely huge though, and harder. So more satisfying to conquer. Its level design/monster design is vastly superior as well.

Still, my choice remains with Demon's Souls

#18 Posted by Humanity (9279 posts) -

@McQuinn said:

I love both, but there are some major elements in Dark Souls that I like more than Demon's. I felt like Demon's was super grindy. Farming the shit out of world 4 and bullshit. Also, the contiguous world of dark just pulls me in much more. Online might not be as good, but the game itself is much better. P.S. Fuck world tendencies.

I think the grinding is the same except now the world is more streamlined so you're approaching each area at a steady pace. In Demons you chose which area to tackle next and sometimes that area was not necessarily the best "next move"

Also super agreed - fuck world tendencies, but more than that fuck character tendencies. What a clusterfuck.

#19 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -
@McQuinn said:

Fuck world tendencies.

Exactly.
#20 Posted by Mirado (993 posts) -

Dark soul just feels more streamlined, and less frustrating. Sort of like From Software has done one of these before, and has learned a bit from their mistakes?

@Humanity said:

Also super agreed - fuck world tendencies, but more than that fuck character tendencies. What a clusterfuck.

You are beyond correct.

#21 Posted by Stray (117 posts) -

I liked Dark a whole lot but liked Demons a bit better. It just seemed more focused. I think taking the master key as a gift really hurt my game play experience. I was constantly sequence breaking by accident and had no idea where I was supposed to be going. Plus as someone who plays a pure mage build, it's almost impossible at first with the bonfire system. Early in the game you're constantly running out of spells and hitting the bonfire to refill your magic respawns the enemies. Which almost results to running through areas a ton. I miss the grass system.

#22 Posted by Humanity (9279 posts) -

@Stray said:

I liked Dark a whole lot but liked Demons a bit better. It just seemed more focused. I think taking the master key as a gift really hurt my game play experience. I was constantly sequence breaking by accident and had no idea where I was supposed to be going. Plus as someone who plays a pure mage build, it's almost impossible at first with the bonfire system. Early in the game you're constantly running out of spells and hitting the bonfire to refill your magic respawns the enemies. Which almost results to running through areas a ton. I miss the grass system.

Munch munch munch

#23 Posted by xyzygy (9997 posts) -

I think Dark is the far better game mostly for the reasons that it's longer and larger. Sure you can say that those two things alone don't make a game, but when two games as similar as Demon's and Dark are compared then yes it does matter. The world of Demon's Souls is so tiny compared to Dark and it just dwarfs the whole experience.

There are smaller differences in Dark that I do like over Demon's as well, like the Crystal Lizards and the exclusion of mana and inclusion of uses.

I also prefer the setting of it more. It feels darker and more depressing.

Also, I completely hated the whole World Tendency of Demon's Souls. Basing the drop rates of certain items off of how "well" you do in the game is in theory a good idea, but in reality it just involved a lot of people suiciding to cheat the system. Covenants of Dark are a nice addition that don't seem to affect item discovery so I like how they're not completely necessary.

That said I LOVE Demon's Souls.... I just love Dark Souls more.

#24 Posted by mordukai (7151 posts) -

Dark Souls might be the better SP game but it'll never be as epic as Demon's Souls.

#25 Posted by Topsdrop (8 posts) -

I prefer Demon's Souls mostly because I played it first. Other than that I really miss the Nexus. Stressful games always need a safe rest area and you can get invaded even at bonfires in this game.

#26 Posted by xyzygy (9997 posts) -

@Topsdrop said:

I prefer Demon's Souls mostly because I played it first. Other than that I really miss the Nexus. Stressful games always need a safe rest area and you can get invaded even at bonfires in this game.

If you fear invasion, play the game in offline mode.

#27 Posted by McShank (1629 posts) -

Dark souls is a better game but Demon's started it all and will forever be in my top 5 all time favorite games.. Tendencies were never a problem as they just brought more fun to the game :D The FR in demon's was alot better then Dark but there were less of everything (Armor, weapons, spells) which makes going back kinda hard. Not stopping me from playing it but it does make me miss having Greater combustion sometimes : /

#28 Posted by Godak (166 posts) -

Dark Souls. The tendency system in Demon's Souls wasn't difficult to navigate, but it was rather tedious. Points to Dark Souls for making a smoother overall experience where you can see content without the monotonous headaches that sometimes came with Demon's Souls' territory.

#29 Posted by WarlordPayne (700 posts) -

I like Dark Souls single player quite a bit more, but the multiplayer isn't as good. Between not being able to heal as a phantom, that god damned fog ring, losing the dedicated server, fewer reasons to be human, and getting sent into the worlds of players that are triple your level it just all adds up to a far less fun multiplayer experience.

#30 Posted by Svenzon (720 posts) -

Dark Souls all the way for me. It has its flaws, but at the end of the day I'd rather have an atmospheric game with slight balance issues than a perfectly balanced boring one.

#31 Edited by JoshuaKadmon (1 posts) -

Yo, Svenson. Don't know if you noticed or cared, but this thread is more than three months old. Still, I'm right there with ya, as I'd like to weigh in on the topic. Personally, I find it very difficult to declare one as superior to the other. I have a greater personal attachment to Demon's Souls, and I prefer its multiplayer and the Nexus hub setup. I actually found NPC interaction, combat, and story to be more satisfying and dynamic in Demon's Souls. Dark definitely has its strong points, primarily the achievement of a truly open world, some almost overly complex covenant mechanics, a greater sense of isolation and desperation, and higher-resolution graphics, though I'm not sure any of this is so much an advancement as it is a personal preference. I also tended to like the weapons and armor in Demon's Souls, and the NPCs that help you in the Nexus just make more narrative sense than conducting most everything at a bonfire. I love Dark Souls, but I feel like Demon's Souls was a better game, an instant classic that was more like an evolved 8-bit Castlevania or 16-bit Golden Axe than a direct contender against Elder Scrolls. Demon's Souls has sold more (1.53 million vs 1.40 million), despite it being completely word-of-mouth, which proves a continued underground appreciation for the game, and without its success in North America, Dark Souls would never have been a possibility. Also, I felt like Demon's Souls was a greater challenge overall, since Dark Souls tends to be a bit out-of-balance at times and promotes constant progress despite combat being more demanding in the initial stages. Anyway, that's my case. Both games are among my all-time favorites, but Demon's Souls is one of my top 3 in any genre, right up there with Mass Effect 2 and Persona 3.

#32 Posted by wewantsthering (1567 posts) -

Skyrim.

#33 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1440 posts) -

All of the souls, none of the tendencies.

#34 Posted by Razmataz650 (15 posts) -

I played Demon Souls after falling in love with Dark Souls and was surprised how much I liked it. I thought I would be really put off by the nexus area over the open-world of Dark Souls but it actually fit that game really well. Still, Dark Souls is definitely my favorite, although it being the first Souls game I played probably has something to do with my preference.

#35 Posted by SYMPHONICOLOSSUS (39 posts) -

Dark Souls. I loved Demon's Souls, but I love the Metroidvania-esque world of Dark Souls even more. Also, I'm pretty sure you couldn't become a humanoid dragon in Demon's Souls. +1 for Dark Souls.

#36 Posted by Akeldama (4248 posts) -

Dark Souls, but I do love both pretty much equally.

#37 Posted by Oni (2098 posts) -

Dark Souls. No fucking world tendencies, huge world with a massive sense of scale, and amazing lore. The online system sucks and the weapon scaling for low levels kind of fucks up the balance towards elemental weapons until level ~100, but in terms of game design I think Dark Souls is just so much better. Was never really drawn back into Demon's after finishing it once, and I've finished Dark three times already, got the S-Rank... and still want to go back to it. Better boss fights, too.

And again: Fuck world tendency.

#38 Posted by MysteriousFawx (383 posts) -

@Oni: I love the IDEA of world and character tendency, but in practice its pretty flawed. I feel Dark Souls 'version' of this did a pretty fair job, although it was only in Anor Londo (light and dark). This is something I'd love to see expanded upon in future titles, maybe specific drops for if you're playing one way, so you're getting white robes, silver armor etc for good deeds and black or corrupt armor for constanatly invading or murdering npcs. Would really improve the RPG element I feel.

#39 Posted by Kyle (2323 posts) -

Don't even bother with Demon's Souls. Dark Souls is better in every way.

#40 Posted by MasterBrief (222 posts) -

It's really a hard question. I think I lean more toward Demon's Souls just because I got pulled into the style and hardcore gameplay by it but then Dark Souls does a good job as a successor and also brings some good editions to the table. I think I would say Dark Souls only thing they shouldn't have fucked with is the servers. I wasn't able to play with any of my friends that had the game and that pissed me off a lot just because of some stupid multi-server BS.

#41 Posted by CaptainCody (1507 posts) -

It's not even funny how shitty Dark Souls is in comparison to Demon Souls. Holy fuck, what an off-putting, mediocre game.

#42 Posted by phrali (646 posts) -

demon's souls.

executioner miralda's armor set.

/argument

#43 Posted by maturityFAIL69 (2 posts) -

Ok, so this post is super old but I just need to speak about this. I absolutely LOVE both of these masterpieces. But overall, I think Dark Souls is a better game. I only played a couple of worlds in Demon's Souls before Dark Souls came out. It took me a while to beat Dark Souls. After about a hundred hours and multiple play throughs, I felt I had pretty much mastered the game. After my extensive time with Dark Souls, I went back to Demon's Souls and started over. I beat the game twice, NG and NG+, in 4 days. It took me under 25 hours so about half the time as Dark Souls(I sucked at Dark Souls the first time). Anyway, I realized that many of the bosses in Demon's Souls were extremely easy to handle. Shrine of Storms was just insanely easy. Now I know that my Dark Souls experience made Demon's Souls easy but it was just ridiculously easy. Anyway, the bosses in Dark Souls are more diverse, more complex and way more challenging, but with that comes more reward and with an open world, a greater sense of adventure. The graphics are greatly improved and the combat feels even nicer. I, personally, like the weapons more in Dark Souls, along with the badass armor. The environments in Dark Souls are just as, if not more, diverse than the worlds in Demon's Souls. The addition of the flasks is amazing and I prefer that to having to farm grass. I think both offer a great sense of adventure, hardship and just pure epicness. I say why not play both, because they both phenomenal . Having beat both of them three times, I think I'm ready for a third serving of Souls.

#44 Posted by Lepruk86 (63 posts) -

I only just got into Dark Souls. I have had it since xmas but couldn't really enjoy it.

I straight up prefer Demon's Souls; I prefer the levelled nature and Nexus set up. I find the Dark Souls world gets extremely frustrating really quickly when you want to move from one area to another. I am now in the later part of the game (4 kings fight) but if I want to go to the forest or to the swamps below blight town, I have to spend an age travelling where as in Demon Souls you can just teleport anywhere.

It's the fact that despite being an open-world, it is actually more limiting to move around compared with just having levels. Now I do prefer the flask system over grass farming however. I also think magic got a vast upgrade in Dark Souls with how it works.

Overall I think Dark Souls does a lot of things better, but losing the level structure and offering a very limited warp system (so far limited anyway; just 3 locations) makes getting to certain blacksmiths etc just a huge pain in the ass.

#45 Edited by Tassadar (1 posts) -

I believe that Demon's Souls is a better game than Dark Souls. Demon's Souls made the series what it is, and not to mention how the game play changed depending on your world and player tendencies, either making the new game harder, or easier, or whether some items became available or not. Demon's Souls story made more sense as the game progressed because it never threw in some random information that messed it all up. For example, in Dark Souls, you have to kill the four lords, being Gravelord Nito, Seath the Scaleless, the Bed of Chaos, and some random ass guy who was never talked about in the beginning cut scene, the Four Kings. Where the hell did the Four Kings come from? and who exactly ARE they? No where in the game does it tell who they are. Wheras in Demon's Souls, the bosses were just benchmarks in the level, E.G. The Flamelurker, the Man Eaters, Adjudicator, Tower Knight, and the Dirty Colossus. Also at the complete end of a level there were the main Archdemons, Allant, Dragon God, Old Monk, the Beast King, and Maiden Astroa and Garl Vinland. These characters are important to the areas story, not the entire game story, whereas in Dark Souls, the area bosses besides three of the four lords, really didn't have much importance seeing as how you can fight the Taurus Demon and Capra Demons again in the Demon Ruins. Also, they never really explained as to why Gwyn is the MAIN bad guy, though he was the first to link the fire. And why kill him if one of the endings is to link the fire AGAIN!? Makes NO sense at all :l and apparently that is the "good" ending. Story wise, Demon's Souls beats Dark Souls.

Now to actual game play. The game play for these games in relatively the same, though you couldn't impale enemies from above in Demon's Souls, making the game much harder and challenging. After patch 1.05 in Dark Souls, they even NERFED the difficulty of the game due to fan service even though it fixed bugs in the game. Where in Demon's Souls, I had to be level 120 + to beat the game, i beat Dark Souls in the 80-85 level range. Ridiculous. Also with fighting Gwyn, it is very easy to cheese him so he can't hit you, making the game easier to beat. Also with the majority of the boss fights, you could just kite/hug the bosses so they couldn't hit you with conventional attacks or tricking them to do the same moves over and over again in rapid succession. It felt as if From Software wanted this to happen because they realized that Demon's Souls was more challenging with having the bosses have a random pattern every time they were challenged. For a great example, you could fight the Flamelurker in 2-2 one time, and get totally destroyed by him, and the next, you could kill him depending on how the game changes and how you react to those changes, whereas in Dark Souls, if you can kite, you can beat them in one try, or if you make the boss do the same attacks over and over again where you can roll in and hit them, you can beat them on your first try. Overall, the harder game play of Demon's Souls is more appealing to me.

Weapons and Armor. Weapons and Armor help determine how the game is played, whether you tank though a boss, or you evade all their attacks. Also it determines how effective your combat is while fighting bosses, exploiting weaknesses, or just going in with a Bramd or Dragon Bone Smasher/ Keel Smasher and destroying their health bar. First off, I will go through the most notable example of starting armor for both games, the Knight class, looks and uses. Knights don't go down easily and have increased HP and Defense with little to no magic capabilities. The armor for knights in Demon's Souls, actually looks like a knights armor, being fully steel plated armor and a closed helm, providing more protection. Whereas the Knight armor in Dark Souls includes an open helm, revealing the players face, and the whole armor is not made out of only plated armor, making the ability to tank though bosses harder. In Demon's Souls, the starting Knight armor cannot be accessible until three fourths of the way though 3-1 providing the most physical protection in a suit of armor this far into the game besides the Brushwood Armor from 1-1 in a locked area where you need a Soul and World tendency of Pure White to access. Where in Dark Souls you can find Knight armor in the Darkroot Basin near the Hydra where you can run in and out of quickly to attain. The thing that makes the Flaunted armor more rewarding is that for it having not the best resistance to physical attacks, the weight of the set if more manageable than the Knight armor in Dark Souls. Now for my favorite weapon in the series, the Dragon Bone Smasher from Demon's Souls, and the Dragon Greatsword from Dark Souls. The Dragon Bone smasher is only accessible if the world tendency of world 2 is pure white, opening a path to the left from the Dragon God's chamber, giving a physical attack of 200, normally, with a durability of 600 and physical resistance of 70 and magic resistance of 10 with needing 30 strength to wield effectively with one hand. The Dragon Greatsword is obtained by going to Ash Lake and cutting off the Eternal Dragon's tail, which anyone can do. This weapon gives a physical damage of 390 normally, a durability of 400, physical resistance of 70, magic resistance of 10, and requiring a strength of 50 to wield effectively with one hand. Though the power is overwhelming to any other weapon in the game, you must have a strength of 50 to use this weapon, while its special attack when holding two hands takes off 50 durability every time it is used, producing an effect similar to the Stormruler in Demon's Souls, but on the ground. Though the weapon is much more powerful than the Dragon Bone Smasher, the Dragon Bone smasher makes up for this in its durability and its weight or 20, compared to the weight of the Dragon Greatsword being 24. Given different circumstances, the Armor and Weapons balance out, not really giving a definite advantage to either game. In my personal opinion, the Armor and Weapons from Demon's Souls are better, Hiltless, Magic Sword Makoto, Bramd, Dragon Bone Smasher, Flaunted Armor, Dark Silver Armor from Garl Vinland, and the Brushwood Armor.

I could keep going on and on about the differences in the game, but My personal opinion will still stand that Demon's Souls is a much better game because it actually provides a challenge to me to this day while I am on my fourth play through. Don't get me wrong, I really like Dark Souls, but I think Demon's Souls is better.

#46 Posted by ERoBB (160 posts) -

Dark Souls. The campfires were a big improvement. Although I loved the Nexus in Dark Souls, and how some characters interacted with eachother and killed eachother. It added a sense of mystery to what was supposed to just be a hub world.

#47 Posted by p00rdevil (158 posts) -

I never played Demon Souls. But I will at some point after I finish with Dark Souls. With the DLC on the way for Dark Souls that might be a while. But when things get slow and I am looking for a good game to play, I will have Demon Souls waiting in the wings.

#48 Posted by Ventilaator (1501 posts) -

There are things Demon's Souls did better, and there are did Dark Souls did better.

Solution: Get both.

#49 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

Dark Souls is just the better game all around. It's more refined in its concepts and it makes it more fun and an all around better experience. Also, Demon's Souls is completely broken with the duping glitch so it really took the fun out of it when I found out about that.

#50 Posted by nosferat2 (34 posts) -

This thread hasn't been touched in three+ months, but I've very recently been thinking about this very topic. I bought Demon's Souls about a year after it originally came out (didn't have the money at the time it came out), and I LOVED it. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint), I played through most of my first game with two very experienced players helping me (mainly because I was just so excited to finally play an online game). So they kinda blew through it with me trying to play catch up. Last weekend I finally decided I needed to go through Demon's Souls and beat it all by myself (the mission is going great, by the way). Fast forward to last October, and I got Dark Souls the day it came out...and I FUCKING LOVED it. I played through the whole game essentially by myself (I might have had help killing Gwyn at the very end), and then I immediately decided to play through it again, this time beating everything on NG+ by myself. I don't know what it is about Dark Souls, but it just speaks to me so well. Maybe it's because I played through more of it myself (despite my earlier admission to being excited to play a game online, in general I really just like playing games by myself, offline). I think I like Dark Souls just a smidge more, and I'll quickly give my reasons:

I LOVE Dark Souls's connected, open world. I found it thrilling to discover all the shortcuts. It's certainly a pain in the ass to have to backtrack, but I really didn't mind it.

The general look of the game, and the atmosphere in general, are just breathtaking. Demon's Souls looked great, but there was something about Dark Souls that drew me in unlike any other game.

I really enjoy the bonfire/estus flask mechanic. It works well, and better than collecting/buying several different grasses.

It seems to be a longer game, which is always great. I love playing my games for a while.

The ridiculous air of mystery. Demon's Souls was vague, but Dark Souls doesn't tell you shit, and for some reason I find that fantastic.

The monsters/bosses are great. They are probably comparable to Demon's Souls, but still it's a huge plus.

I'm just rambling here, but there are a few other things to note:

I don't hate Blighttown. I don't dislike Blighttown. I actually kinda LIKE Blighttown. I don't mind the lag (although it is inexcusable in this day an age), but I think I'm hugely biased anyway.

Another thing that seemed to really piss everyone off (but didn't bother me in the least), was the online connectivity. I really enjoy seeing other phantoms, hearing the bells rung by other players, seeing the bloodstains of others and seeing messages, but the whole PVP thing was never too big on me. It's fun to jump into someone's world and help them kill a particularly aggravating boss (Four Kings and Fatboy and Slim immediately come to mind...). I generally didn't summon other players to help me out, because I like to conquer the challenges myself.

Again, the lag with the Sif battle could be a little annoying, but didn't bother me much.

I suppose what I'm trying to say here is this: Dark Souls is a very special game. I love playing it. I loved it when it came out. I'm going to love it all over again when the Artorias of the Abyss DLC comes out for consoles. The game truly transcends traditional video games for me. For my money, Dark Souls (and also Demon's Souls) is/are the best games on the PS3, and probably on the other next gen consoles. Final note: for some reason, I really get a kick out of the boss names in Demon's/Dark Souls. Very cool, in a mysterious/almost cheesy sorta way. And sorry for the length of this post, and the absurd number of parentheses.

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