Good write up Rorie. I'm equally eagerly awaiting and dreading the arrival of my copy in the mail tomorrow. As a 360 player I never had a chance to play Demon's Souls, but I am more than aware of it's reputation through both the original Giant Bomb Quick Look and some "Let's Play" footage I watched some months back.
The Quick Look you did for Dark Souls last week really piqued my interest, and that little chat with you had with Kessler confirmed my decision. I'm in the mood for something challenging right now, and although I don't really agree with some of the design decisions, mainly the obfuscation of game mechanics, it definitely seems like a game worth my time.
MDK2, Jet Grind Radio, Seaman, ChuChu Rocket, Power Stone, Rez, Shenmu, Skies of Arcadia, Typing of the Dead, Sonic Adventure 2, Fatal Fury.... there's a good handful of games that would be suitable of a disk like this.
Sega is crazy as tits for avoiding all of these games.
Not sure why all the Funcom hate. Anarchy Online was an amazing MMO for the first 6 years. Age of Conan isn't THAT bad either; especially since the overhauled update/expansion-pack, in which it's become a great MMO.
Only issue is that that bane WoW, no matter how much hand-holding they add to that game, people flock to it like sheep. If that game could get knocked off its undeserved throne, perhaps other MMOs would finally have a chance. At least, that's my opinion.
With that said, TSW looks great, but chances are it won't do that great simply because of the lack of people willing to change MMos.