LTTP Dark Souls

Last night, I spent 6 hours playing Dark Souls Prepare to Die edition. I had played the intro sequence like about 3 months ago when I bought the game on sale through steam sale. And before then I played maybe 4 hours into Demon's Souls which was also a good experience. But I still feel like I'm going in blind, because the introduction just left my mind playing too many other games in between.

So with that, I opened up a livestream through twitch.tv and had anyone come in and help me out. Now to be fair I was dicking around, running up to anything and whacking it. I completely forgot why the crow dropped me off here who were these two guys and why I'm here. The biggest problem I have is this is written like a 11 year old's idea of fantasy. Throw out fancy words and say it with phony English accents to make it feel like it's fantasy, and that's a problem in letting me fallow along with the game. Now this isn't just Dark Souls' fault in fact a lot of JRPG voice work sounds like this, and even some poorman fantasy books are written like this and I should know since I use to write like this when I was a teenager too.

First reaction is how pedestrian the art of this game is. It's hard to imagine this is a JRPG, nothing really spiky hair, androgynous or over the top about it. In fact it's rather classic fantasy, but I'm just amazed at the amount of color in this world. It's dark, creepy and haunting but there's always a sense of light just as it bounces off objects. The colors stand out more as punctuation in a world that's just dark so it's never really boring. The armor designs look really awesome later down the line and the giant monster designs are just glorious. So it's not like it's not a JRPG, it's actually really smart way of handling atmosphere so rich you can make yup your own story.

So within 2 hours I'd receive 4 or 5 viewers, and one of them would bravely comment over my dumb fun. I shut off mic and video, because then they would see me just humming along to Super Mario music. I don't enjoy seeing videos of teenagers screaming while they play a game, even though I myself am a goofball while I play myself. I tend to watch more nerdy videos where someone comments about the back story of how this game was made. So there was a slight disconnect with the viewers. I'd break from time to time just to politely say "hello." It's quite a uncomfortable experience just to have voyeurs coming into my game experience, because I play different then most gamers. People say they beat Portal in less then 2 hours I'm like 10 hours because I'm looking at the walls and admiring the graffiti. But still everyone is rather polite and is probably a teenager, because everyone commented "Are you on 360 or PS3?" all of them confused to be playing on PC. So it's awkward looking from one screen to another, seeking out quite spaces where I can type without getting ambushed. I might want to turn the mic on, but it's difficult doing this alone then without a friend reading off chat.

I couldn't have done this without twitch help

What works best in this game is the combat, it's quick, it's reactionary, it's deep and it's actually rewarding. Within 4 hours I got the countering down perfect rhythm and I felt like dancing a little jig in celebration. Still what makes the game difficult is really fighting more then one enemy so it becomes more about trying to lure out enemies away from one another and making it into a single one on one fight. And because of that, the fights becomes really tense.... actually they feel tense when I know what I'm doing, so I keep trying to be optimistic and say "every single death is a learning experience." I have no one to blame but myself, because a lot of the movements are very slow and telegraphed. The reaction time is the key, instead of number crunching which is what is what RPGs are economy major's spread sheets. Even the MASSIVE bosses have slow tells, they have small spots to run in between their legs and there's always one key move to stun them. So it's a excellent design that never feels like the game is holding your hand and every experience just feels fresh and exciting.

Knowing is half the battle

Well withing my 6 hours of streaming, there later came off a rather hostile viewer who turned into a backseat gamer. "TURN LEFT, HEAL, HEAL HEAL HEAL, YOU SUCK." The rest of the chat was yelling back at him. I didn't care too much, kept picturing him just terribly young and I actually listen to him a bit. The parts that were advice, but those kids really do give streaming a bad name and he was only one kid. The rest of the audience was supportive, and always kept asking "what do you think of this game?" or "are your really new to DS?" So there was a honest sense of enthusiasm to get someone new into this game.

Live streaming added another surreal quality to ghosts and the messages. It help illustrate how I'm not alone on a single player experience. I have no idea why anyone would want to watch me play even when I posted "this is my first time." But at the same time I enjoyed the help more then going through a message board or reading a FAQ afterwards. I may or may or may not try this again.

I really had an excellent time with Dark Souls, I'm eager to play it again. Now GFW has less users then console, on my experiences with Demon Souls I could spot at least 30 or 50 ghosts walking by me. So GFW's last dying breaths could be a wonderful sign when Dark Souls migrates to Steam. Still the combat and the rich atmosphere really make me excited to continue playing this game.

but first, I should do the DSFix to fix the PC textures.

19 Comments
19 Comments
Posted by Doctorchimp

Did you just talk shit on the story? How would you fix it?

Edited by crithon

@doctorchimp: nope, and no that wouldn't matter it'd be up to them.

Edited by TheManWithNoPlan

Dark Souls was definitely a slow burn the first handful of hours, but once you get a feel for the game it can really get it's hooks into you. Before you know it, you've beaten Smogh and Orstien, and you get the most satisfying rewarding feeling surge through your being. That's the draw of Dark Souls for me. It's not about being a masochist much like the Internet has perpetuated, but it's rather about slowly and methodically breaking down the game's various combat puzzles and overcoming seemingly impossible odds. Anyways, Yay for Video Games! Glad you enjoyed it.

Posted by chiablo

LTTP?

What is this, NeoGaf?

Posted by MikeLemmer

Sounded like he was talking shit about the dialogue instead of the story. And how would he know how to "fix" the story when he hasn't even rung the Bells yet? Give him some time; the story may grow on him yet. Even if it doesn't, the story isn't the most vital part of Dark Souls.

Online
Posted by crithon

@themanwithnoplan: hehe, yeah yeah. I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but it has an Ico and Shadow of the Colossus vibe. If not for the lack of little horn boy, something about those corridors and hallways just give me a vibe I've been here before. That's what really attracts me to this and demon souls, that or like an 80s film sense of atmosphere.

@chiablo:

Posted by ThunderSlash

Link to the Past? Enjoy Dark Souls, it's a pretty good game.

Posted by crithon

@thunderslash: "L.ink T.o T.he P.ast" At least when I first read it all those years ago.

Edited by dudeglove

Posted by Fattony12000
I'm LTTP with LTTP

Edited by Tarsier

another victim

Posted by crithon

@tarsier: yup man, the bug bit me hard man. I keep thinking about it, and then it's fucking frustrating when I'm stump and then I talk to friend and listen to their experiences. It's different then what I expected

@fattony12000: dude..... sold that original SNES card for Street Fighter Alpha 2 for PSone.... BEST CHOICE OF MY LIFE!!!!!!!!

Edited by Ravenlight

@crithon: You may be late but welcome to the party nonetheless.

I keep trying to be optimistic and say "every single death is a learning experience."

This is exactly the mindset to have if you want to enjoy Dark Souls. My favorite Dark Souls learning experience was "sometimes soapstone messages lie" after jumping to my death down the Firelink well.

Edited by eroticfishcake

Interesting read up, always fun to watch other people play this game on the first time. Pretty sure I'm watching like, 4 other people stream it and now and again. What's your twitch? I may get in on that.

Edit: Ah, found it. Didn't realise you linked it earlier.

Posted by Fattony12000
@crithon said:

@fattony12000: dude..... sold that original SNES card for Street Fighter Alpha 2 for PSone.... BEST CHOICE OF MY LIFE!!!!!!!!

DAYUM DUDER! FIGHTING GAMES ON SONY PLAYSTATION!? THAT'S THE SICKEST SHIT I'VE EVER HEAD!

Edited by crithon

@fattony12000: I was one of those early Zelda haters who kept whining about zelda because Secret of Mana was out a few years later. But SFA2 was a big influence on me, just the whole art and design of it, and LTTP has that ugly palette that looks dull fast, just thinking about it makes me go, ugh. I'd rather have bathroom stalls that open when you activate a super.

@ravenlight: hehe, yeah, it's hard to stay mad at the game. It's not punishing, it could be easy just first time seeing it and it's BANG! A cheap death. I make a fart sound, then continue on and then it's rewarding just a few moments later.

@eroticfishcake: The game is a bit difficult to stream, lack of pause button is not it, but every couple minutes there's always someone saying "That's the wrong build" "you should go like this" or "I beat the game in an hour and 25 minutes." It got pretty bad last night, when one guy advice me to level one way then later another viewer told me to level another way. Plus there's also a lot of viewers who want to rush me to the boss without grinding for souls. But fortunately there was a productive moment where the chat explained to me how swords level along with your skills, which got me to actually seek out more information on it.

Posted by Tarsier

@crithon said:

@tarsier: yup man, the bug bit me hard man. I keep thinking about it, and then it's fucking frustrating when I'm stump and then I talk to friend and listen to their experiences. It's different then what I expected

@fattony12000: dude..... sold that original SNES card for Street Fighter Alpha 2 for PSone.... BEST CHOICE OF MY LIFE!!!!!!!!

ya some people just cant handle difficult games. i understand

Edited by Fattony12000
@crithon said:

@fattony12000: I was one of those early Zelda haters who kept whining about zelda because Secret of Mana was out a few years later. But SFA2 was a big influence on me, just the whole art and design of it, and LTTP has that ugly palette that looks dull fast, just thinking about it makes me go, ugh. I'd rather have bathroom stalls that open when you activate a super.

Yeah, where's the red focus and tiger knees.

Zelda's got garbage frame data and stupid delayed wake ups.

Mario can eat a dick, too.

  • Churning Butter
  • Yomi
  • American Reset
  • Finishing Their Plate
  • Chip Damage
Edited by Apsup

@crithon said:

@eroticfishcake: The game is a bit difficult to stream, lack of pause button is not it, but every couple minutes there's always someone saying "That's the wrong build" "you should go like this" or "I beat the game in an hour and 25 minutes." It got pretty bad last night, when one guy advice me to level one way then later another viewer told me to level another way. Plus there's also a lot of viewers who want to rush me to the boss without grinding for souls. But fortunately there was a productive moment where the chat explained to me how swords level along with your skills, which got me to actually seek out more information on it.

If you are going to stream more of Dark Souls, I'd suggest you to ignore the chat unless you are really stuck and need pointers where to go. Sure it's nice to interact with viewers, but if it ends up with them leading the game, it's not your play through anymore then, at that point you are only the controller for the players in the chat.