Played Lately: Dark Souls

Posted by AnjinM (112 posts) -
  • I dedicate this post to the two brave souls who helps me defeat the Bell Gargoyles for the very first time last night. You will never be forgotten, though I’ve already forgotten your Xbox user names.
  • Dark Souls has occupied an inordinate amount of my attention lately. It started last week when Vinny Caravella from Giant Bomb decided to stream his return to the game. (I would embed them, but the videos are subscriber only.) That got me looking for speed runs on YouTube. That video got me looking for Let’s Play videos.
  • And that led to me playing Dark Souls Sunday night. I looked at my achievements. It has been nearly two years since I last played the game. Even after watching the videos, I couldn’t remember how to control or play my character, so it was time to roll up someone new. Instead of playing it by ear, I followed the bog standard recommended build a rolled a pyromancer with the master key.
  • Wow, those Let’s Play people make this game look easy. I played through the Undead Asylum pretty quickly since it is straightforward once you know the layout. Even with all of the video training, the Asylum Demon killed me on my first attempt. But, practice make perfect, right?
  • On my first character, those two years ago, I ended up spending a lot of time farming the Undead Burg for souls. This time, since I was more confident in what I was doing, I moved through the zone with greater speed. After clearing the zone to the best of my abilities, charged right in to take on the Taurus Demon.
  • And he killed me. Over and over again. I swear, they make it look so easy in the videos! But down he went down eventually. One of the things they don’t tell you about Dark Souls is that death is actually liberating. Once you’ve been killed and you’ve lost your souls on hand (souls are currency and experience all rolled into one), you are free to just pile your enemies under your corpses until they no longer stand. As long as you can persevere, you can find a way to defeat your enemies.
  • I wasn’t about to end there. In my prior attempt, I never got very far into the Undead Parish. But I was confident that I could do better. I continued on. Past the rats, past hollows of all sorts, past the fang boar. Finally, I ascended the church and, with the two other players I mentioned earlier, I defeated the Gargoyles. Ringing the first Bell of Awakening was a huge achievement for me, something that seemed like a distant goal when I first started playing
  • When I turned off my Xbox for the night, I compared my save games. My new character was level 22 in under four hours. My old character was level 25 in over ten hours. I had accomplished more in one night than I ever did when I played back in 2011. No, I did not do it the right way. I watched all the videos and I followed the wikis. But I had fun doing it. Don’t let the perceived difficulty dissuade you. If I can get this far in Dark Souls, I suspect anyone can.

- Marty Runyon

#1 Posted by ConfusedOwl (952 posts) -

I played Dark Souls for about 25 hours close to release and probably never would have gotten that far without the help of other people. I really suck bad at this game but since I started watching Vinny play it I've given it another shot. I believe I got down to the boss of Blight Town and stopped after realizing I had to grind a ton for those poison items so I could actually get to the boss without dying.

#2 Posted by PollySMPS (228 posts) -

Death being liberating is definitely something I can agree with. The game seems balanced enough to know that death is one of its major mechanics/something that's going to happen a lot, and seems to dispense souls from kills or items at a fair enough rate that keeping yourself in items or gaining a few levels shouldn't be too hard. I guess the stumbling block for a lot of folks (including myself) is that the game is frustrating and intentionally vague and it's hard to get over like feeling that any death was the worst thing to ever happen, which can lead to a bad time if you're not looking at it the right way.

I've still not mustered the patience for the game myself. Too many real life stresses make a game like Dark Souls really hard for me to want to try and wind down with, truthfully. Watching Vinny play has reignited my interest in it, but I'll have to hold off till things are a bit calmer in real life to wanna go in with a fresh and breezy attitude toward failure.

#3 Posted by mosespippy (4286 posts) -

@ezakael said:

I played Dark Souls for about 25 hours close to release and probably never would have gotten that far without the help of other people. I really suck bad at this game but since I started watching Vinny play it I've given it another shot. I believe I got down to the boss of Blight Town and stopped after realizing I had to grind a ton for those poison items so I could actually get to the boss without dying.

There is a ring you can get if you return to the undead asylum that makes walking through poison water or tar as fast as normal walking. You should be able to get there no problem. Also, The guy at the top of the Undead Parish sells a poison resistant ring. They are two of the most useful rings in the game.

#4 Posted by Wolfgame (816 posts) -

One of these days I am gonna sit down and really try dark souls, I bought the piggyback(I think) strat guide at release because they are usually so good. I only recently bought the actual game when it was down to 9.99 on games on demand sale. It seems like the kind of game that everyone has different experiences with. Personally, last time I played it, I was struggling with the start of game.

#5 Posted by ConfusedOwl (952 posts) -

@mosespippy: Huh, wish I had looked that up earlier. Thanks for the tip.

#6 Posted by RichyHahn4 (46 posts) -

Hi, until a couple of months ago Ive been under a rock, I never saw footage of this game till Vinny's stream, and im very interested...is it worth the $20 on the Xbox Marketplace?

#7 Posted by TruthTellah (9323 posts) -

Hi, until a couple of months ago Ive been under a rock, I never saw footage of this game till Vinny's stream, and im very interested...is it worth the $20 on the Xbox Marketplace?

Yes.

http://media.tumblr.com/1c136ea0dfedf3bb272bb4a47ee6f96c/tumblr_inline_mggwv0D6aZ1rvodg7.gif

Online
#8 Edited by RichyHahn4 (46 posts) -

alright thanks, I'm starting to play through the beginning now

#9 Edited by BongChilla (226 posts) -

Like most people I bought Dark Souls a while ago, played a bit than stopped.

Past few weeks it's all I've been playing and I'm loving every bit of it. I just beat the Capra demon and I'm heading down into the Depths.

#10 Posted by steelerzfan101 (272 posts) -

The premium streams with Vinny pounding through this game are great! They really make me want to get into those games again!

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