Dark Souls II is my first experience with a Souls game. It's not super easy or anything, but it's no more difficult than putting a modern action game on hard.
This is not what I've been led to believe.
These games appear on "hardest games ever" lists. The first question for newcomers (like myself) usually tends to be "how tough is it?" I asked my buddy about a boss, and he spoke in hushed tones as if traumatized by the experience.
Do you feel like the reputation is earned? Or is it some weird internet thing to single this series out as a legendary quest?
I'm 7 hours in. I'm carefully approaching battles, observing patterns, and staying patient if I die. Fell in some holes, got hit with an ambush, died on the Pursuer like 5 times. Maybe it gets extraordinarily hard later, but watching Vinny finish his playthrough of DS1 made it look like he was getting through ok.
Personally, I can't understand why the difficulty is overblown to such mythical heights.
(Also, this game is way more fun than I expected.)
Not at all! That's the main misconception about the Soul's series. It's not exactly hard. It's punishing. So if you make a lot of mistakes, you're gonna die. As long as you play carefully and swiftly like you seem to have so far, you're not gonna have much problems. It's just that the souls series is the only one that challenges the player with it's deep mechanics unlike every other game out there which just lays everything in front of you. Dark Souls is obscure and challenging, not difficult and unfair.