Learning to Praise the Sun

#201 Posted by Oginam (447 posts) -

@patrickklepek I think Demon/Dark Souls' "veterans" are often times just frustrated by how the game is talked about. So, though you don't owe anyone an apology, I think it's pretty clear you understand the game by what you said above and I wish you the best of luck in Dark Souls 2.

Also, tell Jeff to quit being a baby and play Dark Souls. Just tell him it's basically a fighting game but you need to be more patient with your counters and movement...it's like Divekick, tell him it's like a more methodical Divekick - I think he'll understand that.

#202 Edited by BelligerentEngine (344 posts) -

I quite enjoyed this game, but I didn't find it all that hard. Relatively generous bonfire placement removed the only thing I found annoying/challenging about demon souls. Sure I died a lot, but usually the fix was pretty obvious.

The only thing that I really had trouble with was invasions, still I did alright... even though most of the invaders seemed to actually know what they were doing/had normal people builds/lagged into back-stabs non stop.

My favorite thing about this game is the viability of such a wide range of builds, my current run through I have a guy who does high rolls in full Elite Knight Set it's pretty fucking dumb, but I love it. It really didn't seem to me like there was a significant penalty for death in Dark Souls considering how easy it is to farm; although personally I enjoyed it that way. It's definitely in my top 5 of the generation, I just never really felt the need to pat myself on the back for playing it =\.

Edit: I should clarify that I only ever took a character to NG+2, so it's possible I missed the truly horrific challenges.

#203 Posted by ptys (1932 posts) -

A common trend in media these days is getting (IMO) a little too personal with the viewer/reader. Its nice to have a bit of distance so you can be objective. The latest KFC ad promotes fried chicken as the icebreaker for longing workplace friendships?.. I mean come on!!

#204 Posted by gerrid (318 posts) -

I would love to see the GB team revisit the 2011 GOTY awards having all actually played Dark Souls now.

Vinny put it at #7 in his personal list but it was summarily dismissed by everyone else. Looking back at those podcast discussions it's amazing - Jeff being super pissed off because the tiny beings ring doesn't give you HP regen is a particular highlight.

Perhaps it'll get some recognition in the upcoming Game of the Generation stuff, now that everyone has caught the Souls fever, although I'm sure it'll face a tough battle with Burnout Paradise.

#205 Posted by rmanthorp (3911 posts) -

@vinny said:

I want an apology too!

EDIT: Also, let's go watch some DBZ!

I'm there.

Moderator
#206 Edited by Mentaur (11 posts) -

Great write-up Patrick. What I admire so much about the Souls games are the mechanics. It is all so well-designed. Jeff always argues he doesn't like being stuck in animations and I've always thought, well just play a spear or rapier character. The attack is much more immediate. I love that there is the flexibility in the system to support different play-styles.

The depth in the crafting system alone and the cruelty in how hard it is to find the materials you need... frustrating... but it makes that extra +10 damage REALLY matter.

For what it's worth I've played this game through twice now and both times I had the guide in front of me. I watched EpicNameBro videos on YouTube. I summoned players to help me defeat bosses. I don't have amazing skill, but I still had an amazing time and feel an incredible sense of achievement in beating this game (and Demon's Souls).

My tip - if you can, play the PC version in 3D (NVidia 3D Play or 3D Vision) with the DSfix of course for the frame rate. It brings the art alive and really enhances the sense of place. Judging those attack distances is also a lot easier!

#207 Posted by Orange_Pork (588 posts) -

Whatever you guys, I'm not apologizing for anything. These are bad games. But I am at least glad you all stopped spamming Praise The Sun on every other message board on the internet for a while. Until DS2 comes out and circlejerk resumes.

#208 Posted by vinster345 (125 posts) -

I would love to play through Dark Souls at some point. Sadly I don't have the time or the want to put 60 to 70 hours into one game when I get very few hours to play a game at the best of times.

#209 Posted by jimmyfenix (3852 posts) -
#210 Posted by Cybertification (198 posts) -

Thank god, now people can stop pretending like Dark souls is this extremely different and extremely hard game when it isn't, it's just damn good.

#211 Edited by akiman89 (81 posts) -

I don't like this article. . . . . . . . . . . . .I LOOOOOOOVE IT!!!

#212 Edited by Viking_Funeral (1765 posts) -

Rogue Legacy is the last game I truly felt a sense of accomplishment in beating.

It's sad that this is becoming such a rare experience these days. It would seem that the conglomeration of developers into fewer and fewer top-heavy corporations is making video games quite risk adverse. Thank goodness there are still small companies and upstarts that are willing to create 'niche' video games.

#213 Edited by minishdriveby (12 posts) -

@mormonwarrior: But the thing is I did really feel I was "brute forcing" my way through it. There wasn't much struggle. I only ever got stuck for a couple hours at Asylum Demon, Orstein and Smough, and Capra Demon, but even then I finished my first playthrough going to all locations in 35 hours, and I got the platinum in 80 hours. Every other boss ended up being a pushover in the main game. Sure there is a learning curve, but it's not a learning curve that suggests that you'll have mastery over the game by the end , you can just be adequate. After putting the game down for 2 years, I started it back up for the DLC the other weekend. I had to relearn the mechanics I knew for the bosses, but again the DLC took 10 hours to beat; Artorias wasn't bad, and the other 3 bosses took some tries, even when playing on NG+++ with no good equipment it wasn't ever a grating or halting experience.

Was I "playing it wrong", possibly, but I didn't need to play it any other way to beat it... and the combat isn't even the thing that I enjoy most about the Souls games although it's still very exhilarating.

#214 Posted by Suits (245 posts) -
#215 Posted by flufflogic (289 posts) -

As someone who got to S&O on 360 and got so helplessly whupped they double-died and lost everything, I'd say this to beginners:

Go to Youtube, and watch Seraphim's guide. He does a great concise beginner's walkthrough - yes, it's hugely long, but watch it in chunks to see where to go, not to copy every move he makes.

#216 Edited by Neferon (262 posts) -

Patrick, this is an amazing post.

Games that buckle under mastery, I like that way of thinking about it. I believe it's very descriptive of the games that have given me a sense of accomplishment.

I think you may have played it before, but Monster Hunter is also a good example of such a game.

#217 Posted by TheLastGunslinger (228 posts) -

I have to credit Giantbomb with getting me to pick the game back up. It took me almost three years (I left off long ago after entering Anor Londo) but beating Dark Souls was so worth it.

#218 Edited by Nasar7 (2612 posts) -
@gerrid said:

I would love to see the GB team revisit the 2011 GOTY awards having all actually played Dark Souls now.

Vinny put it at #7 in his personal list but it was summarily dismissed by everyone else. Looking back at those podcast discussions it's amazing - Jeff being super pissed off because the tiny beings ring doesn't give you HP regen is a particular highlight.

I remember hearing that and thinking for god's sake it's just a fucking typo get over it. But even before that, the vehemence with which Jeff and Ryan dismissed Demon's Souls back in 2009 was kind of shocking. How far we've come.

#219 Posted by wapostyle (154 posts) -

Great write up, Patrick!

I didn't quite get Dark Souls at first either but when I finally beat the Carpa Demon for the first time the game started to click. I dare say that is has become my favorite game of all time.

Being someone that has been playing games since 1985 and really missed the old days when games didn't hold your hand every step of the way; I felt like this game was designed just for me.

#220 Posted by MormonWarrior (2569 posts) -

@minishdriveby: You had a dramatically different experience than me and most people I've talked to about this game, then. Not that it's invalid...it's just that I found mastery of key principles in the game to be crucial, especially in NG+. After that point the difficulty level is pretty easy. The DLC is hardest (brutally, unflinchingly and even unfairly hard, actually) on just NG+ but was way easy on NG++ and NG+++.

I would actually theorize that you mastered most key concepts in this game, though you somehow missed some simple mechanical things that didn't end up being vital to your success. That's actually perfectly in line with the different ways that people approach this game and its myriad challenges.

Oh, by the way, @patrickklepek, great write-up. I really enjoyed it. I wrote a similar one a little less than a year ago here on the site. It includes some thoughts about Demon's Souls too, which I approached after playing a significant amount of Dark Souls. People should give that a read.

#221 Posted by Elyhaym (193 posts) -

Excellent write-up, Patrick! I too was a late adopter of Dark Souls, and while I have nothing but respect for the early players of the game, I, like Patrick, would probably not have played the game if I didn't have some of it illuminated somewhat by videos, message boards and articles. And I would've been a hell of an experience poorer.

#222 Edited by minishdriveby (12 posts) -

@mormonwarrior said:

@minishdriveby: You had a dramatically different experience than me and most people I've talked to about this game, then. Not that it's invalid...it's just that I found mastery of key principles in the game to be crucial, especially in NG+. After that point the difficulty level is pretty easy. The DLC is hardest (brutally, unflinchingly and even unfairly hard, actually) on just NG+ but was way easy on NG++ and NG+++.

I would actually theorize that you mastered most key concepts in this game, though you somehow missed some simple mechanical things that didn't end up being vital to your success. That's actually perfectly in line with the different ways that people approach this game and its myriad challenges.

Oh, by the way, @patrickklepek, great write-up. I really enjoyed it. I wrote a similar one a little less than a year ago here on the site. It includes some thoughts about Demon's Souls too, which I approached after playing a significant amount of Dark Souls. People should give that a read.

I just put all my souls into health, stamina and strength, so paired up with Havel armor the second half of the game was a hack and slash (collecting the Lord Souls + Gwyn). In the DLC, a Heavy armor tank build wasn't the greatest way to go about doing it, so I just took my pants off and rolled around a bunch while using a Great Shield.

NG+ was extremely easy though, easier than my first time through. NG+++ was more difficult because the last NG+ and NG++ I didn't level my character too much so my Soul Level was 130.

#223 Edited by turboskerv (41 posts) -

I really enjoyed watching you play. I'm almost done with NG+ and it was interesting to watch how you played it. Was really looking forward to this write-up and was not disappointed. Excellent work Patrick!!!

#224 Posted by gla55jAw (2687 posts) -

Great article, Patrick! I still haven't beaten Dark Souls, but I will say it was pretty difficult in the beginning not knowing where to go or what lies ahead. I went back and started a new game a few months ago on the PC and blasted through most of the areas (and then went back and played some more of my original game). The game is very different when you know what to do and where to get items.

It's weird how the coverage here has got me back into it. It took another break from Dark Souls and went and played some Demon's after watching Brad. I did the same thing since I never beat that game either, and started a new character. 6 Hours in compared to my 30 on my first game, and 10 levels lower and I'm stronger and have progressed almost as far. When people say these are some of the hardest games, they just have never played them or figured them out.

#226 Posted by Veektarius (4769 posts) -

Good description. My reason for not getting into this series remains the tight corridors, poor visibility and lack of a sense of direction moreso than the difficulty itself. Perhaps I'm drawing a false parallel, but when I played the expansion to Dragon's Dogma (a game I liked), it had many of these qualities and I really couldn't stand it.

#227 Posted by Bholla71085 (48 posts) -

Great writeup Patrick, if the resurgence of Dark Souls on Giantbomb hadn't happened I may have never gave this great game a shot. Looking forward to being in the group of people that has bested Dark Souls.

#229 Posted by Deadstar (19 posts) -

Really great write up Patrick. As someone who fell in love with the Demon's Souls and eventually Dark Souls it was really frustrating to hear people dismiss the game because they heard it was "the hardest game of all time." Why? Because I wanted everyone to enjoy the game as much as I did. When speaking about the game, it should be described as "extremely rewarding" not "overly difficult." I think the perception of the game is changing with Giant Bomb's coverage as well as Jeff Green's stream and the many others online. I guess I just want to say I'm glad you enjoyed it and thanks for playing! Your streams were a lot of fun!

#230 Edited by QuantumButler (2 posts) -

Great writeup Scoops!

At least you haven't fallen down the same deep dark path I have, which is making tons of characters and beating the game with different playstyles multiple times.

Dark Souls is like a Megaman game for me, I can just play and play it over and over and never tire of it.

Send help.

#231 Posted by JohnB (63 posts) -

"If you don't watch, you're punished. If you don't learn, you're punished. But if you do both, you're rewarded with mastery, and Dark Souls bends to mastery. Not only does it bend, it buckles and breaks, respecting the player's ability to learn its rules."

Yes.

#232 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10894 posts) -

Fantastic write-up, Patrick. Absolutely nailed what makes this game so special.

Moderator
#233 Posted by Fallen189 (4982 posts) -

It's kind of a shame you waited until a massive resurgance to get with the zeitgeist, but it's still a good game.

#234 Posted by lordofultima (6234 posts) -

@oginam said:

@patrickklepek I think Demon/Dark Souls' "veterans" are often times just frustrated by how the game is talked about. So, though you don't owe anyone an apology, I think it's pretty clear you understand the game by what you said above and I wish you the best of luck in Dark Souls 2.

Also, tell Jeff to quit being a baby and play Dark Souls. Just tell him it's basically a fighting game but you need to be more patient with your counters and movement...it's like Divekick, tell him it's like a more methodical Divekick - I think he'll understand that.

Fighting games and Dark Souls have a lot in common. Understanding the risk behind throwing unsafe moves out with a lot of recovery, analyzing player behavior to counter. You saying you need to be more patient with counters and movement in Dark Souls is selling a fighting game short, however.

#235 Edited by he1ixx_gb (18 posts) -

Great piece.

#236 Posted by drew327 (576 posts) -

It really pumps me up that this site (with the exception of Jeff) has come around on these games.

#238 Posted by LaserJesus (50 posts) -

The idea that it's somehow disingenuous to use every advantage these games offer you is ridiculous. When Brad abuses his Soul Arrow in Demon's Souls, he's playing the game correctly. These games are unforgiving and pull no punches, and you should pull none either.

#241 Edited by Humanity (9050 posts) -

@nasar7: it's always a good reminder that as much as we all love these doods, it's all just opinions and not gospel. Jeff has a way of speaking in a very authoritative tone which makes it seem as if he's proclaiming a truth - but they're just as likely to have "wrong" opinions as anyone else. Seeing how everyone got into these soul games now makes their down right, aggressively-dismissive attitude from the past even more so entertaining. Remember to enjoy what you like, don't seek validation in others and above all else live and let live.

#242 Edited by guilherme (331 posts) -

SOULS FEVA

#244 Posted by Slag (4242 posts) -

Now this is how you do justice to a game.

Appreciate all the work you've done in the past year + @patrickklepek to widen your horizons and get why there are those of us who really like games like these.

#247 Posted by Zevvion (1858 posts) -

Patrick, my first run cost me 88 hours to complete. My second was around 20. When I went back into my old save, I realized I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I was still using the short sword I started the game with, upgraded to +7 or something like that for like 120-130 damage. I put all my points into strength; while the short sword scales a bit with it, it scales more with dexterity. I had a lot of points in attunement slots, faith AND intelligence for whatever reason (I think I was trying out different spells and ending up never using any of them). My character was a complete wreck.

Then you go play and know exactly where to put your points. To take the Smough and Ornstein fight: you did a bunch of damage, had a ton of stamina to still move around in the heaviest armor in the game and you had a load of health. I saw the stream, and I think you did an amazing job. To this day, I still usually take around 5-10 tries to beat them each time and I consider myself pretty good at the game (S&O are the only bosses that still give me trouble). That said, when you downplay the game afterwards for not being that hard on several occasions; even when we see you die a lot of times before securing a victory, it kind of gets under people's skin. You found the game isn't as impossible as you thought, but I don't think I've ever heard anyone say the game is impossible. It's just challenging.

Everyone can finish Dark Souls. The people that do, are the people that keep trying. That is the only difference. You don't have to be a master to beat the game.

#248 Posted by MetalMoog (908 posts) -

I bought my PS3 solely based on a Gamespot review of Demon's Souls. It did not disappoint. Dark Souls continued that tradition. Let's hope that Dark Souls II continues to deliver challenging yet fair and unique experiences and gameplay.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.