What Madness Has Been Wrought On This Man?

Within the course of a week, I purchased Dark Souls and Skyrim. This is the part where you look at the computer screen and say "oh shit, what the fuck have you done to yourself, jakob187?" I know, I know. It's kinda fucked. Not proper fucked, but fucked enough.

I had just gotten my Greatshield of Artorias and Quelaag's +5 on Dark Souls (and on my way to picking up my Ornstein's Armor...first playthrough btw) when Skyrim was released. The moment the game hit my hands, there was this internal conflict that was too great to handle: which game would get my time? Both are incredibly well-made RPGs, both are relatively unconventional by many genre standards, and yet...it feels like the Judgment of Solomon. It's impossible (or at least feels that way) to dump the right amount of time necessary for either one of them to be everything that they should be.

This is an odd place to be as someone who has (flame-shield on) venomously hated the Elder Scrolls franchise. I never cared for the leveling system, the way they handled stat dumping, the level scaling, and so many of the other things that the games featured. However, something about Skyrim feels so goddamn right. The way they handle leveling is still the same, but it feels much more natural and well-paced as I progress through the game. The perks system is what makes all that feel perfect. I never felt like I was actually creating my own character before in the other Elder Scrolls games - I was playing by genre conventions still. In Skyrim, it genuinely feels like this character you've created is your own. Everything about him (or her), from the spells you use to the weapons you smash with... It just feels...right.

Dark Souls is phenomenal, though. It's the kind of game that makes you realize just how weak and yet how strong you are. When you are getting your ass handed to you, man...you are getting it HANDED to you! However, when you triumph over that battle, you stand back and shout "I AM A GOLDEN FUCKING GOD, YOU PIECE OF SHIT" and then do a celebratory dance...and that's just against some piddly muthafucker in the first area. Sure, the game can be exploited, but it's part of it all. That capability of saying "hey, I found this way to do something I probably shouldn't, but I just fucking owned that asshole, so it's worth it" is just another layer of that power. The depth of character creation is also fantastic, as you feel COMPLETELY custom.

It's a tough place to be as a gamer right now with all the games coming out (I still haven't touched Arkham City or Battlefield 3 again since I bought Dark Souls). However, for any RPG fan, it's an especially difficult time. How do you put the proper amount of time into two games that are fully deserving of it?

And that's BEFORE February come around and we have Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning brought into our lives.

Anyone else that has this problem arising? Is anyone else torn between these two games...or any games right now...and if so, what's the solution? Do you just forsake one until you've become sick and tired of the other?

13 Comments
14 Comments
Posted by jakob187

Within the course of a week, I purchased Dark Souls and Skyrim. This is the part where you look at the computer screen and say "oh shit, what the fuck have you done to yourself, jakob187?" I know, I know. It's kinda fucked. Not proper fucked, but fucked enough.

I had just gotten my Greatshield of Artorias and Quelaag's +5 on Dark Souls (and on my way to picking up my Ornstein's Armor...first playthrough btw) when Skyrim was released. The moment the game hit my hands, there was this internal conflict that was too great to handle: which game would get my time? Both are incredibly well-made RPGs, both are relatively unconventional by many genre standards, and yet...it feels like the Judgment of Solomon. It's impossible (or at least feels that way) to dump the right amount of time necessary for either one of them to be everything that they should be.

This is an odd place to be as someone who has (flame-shield on) venomously hated the Elder Scrolls franchise. I never cared for the leveling system, the way they handled stat dumping, the level scaling, and so many of the other things that the games featured. However, something about Skyrim feels so goddamn right. The way they handle leveling is still the same, but it feels much more natural and well-paced as I progress through the game. The perks system is what makes all that feel perfect. I never felt like I was actually creating my own character before in the other Elder Scrolls games - I was playing by genre conventions still. In Skyrim, it genuinely feels like this character you've created is your own. Everything about him (or her), from the spells you use to the weapons you smash with... It just feels...right.

Dark Souls is phenomenal, though. It's the kind of game that makes you realize just how weak and yet how strong you are. When you are getting your ass handed to you, man...you are getting it HANDED to you! However, when you triumph over that battle, you stand back and shout "I AM A GOLDEN FUCKING GOD, YOU PIECE OF SHIT" and then do a celebratory dance...and that's just against some piddly muthafucker in the first area. Sure, the game can be exploited, but it's part of it all. That capability of saying "hey, I found this way to do something I probably shouldn't, but I just fucking owned that asshole, so it's worth it" is just another layer of that power. The depth of character creation is also fantastic, as you feel COMPLETELY custom.

It's a tough place to be as a gamer right now with all the games coming out (I still haven't touched Arkham City or Battlefield 3 again since I bought Dark Souls). However, for any RPG fan, it's an especially difficult time. How do you put the proper amount of time into two games that are fully deserving of it?

And that's BEFORE February come around and we have Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning brought into our lives.

Anyone else that has this problem arising? Is anyone else torn between these two games...or any games right now...and if so, what's the solution? Do you just forsake one until you've become sick and tired of the other?

Posted by Sikila

I have the exact same Problem, though you can add MW3 and Skyward Sword to that List. It´s a great yet complicated time to be a gamer.

Edited by countinhallways

Thankfully I finished Dark Souls the night before Skyrim came out so I avoided your dilemma. But damn... while the choice is a hard one it is nevertheless a wonderful position to be in. This past few months have seen some quality games come out. More so than in a good few years, at least in my opinion.

And KOFXIII and UMVC3 are just around the corner! At least they are different enough from Skyrim so as to not clash. Although it throws up another choice, which fighting game to concentrate on? So many sweet, tasty choices to make.

EDIT: And AE2012 is next month! Holy christbuckets...

Posted by Make_Me_Mad

Currently hopping back and forth between Skyrim and Dark Souls myself. I don't think it will be too much of an issue, though. Just got the Lordvessel and Smough's armor, have a decently upgraded Gravelord sword that will probably take me close to the end of the game, if not into NG+, and it seemed like a natural point to take a break. After a little more time in Skyrim I'll probably hit a similar point, and switch back over to Dark Souls while relearning how to play a game in which I can't tank everything forever.

Posted by jakob187

Psh. Get the Greatshield of Artorias on Dark Souls...and you can pretty much damn near tank everything forever! lol

Posted by zombie2011

We all know how hard Dark Souls is, but holy shit i've been get my ass kicked in Skyrim. Every-time i face someone i get really worried because i've probably died over 50 times in my 12hrs of playing so far. I'm about to turn down the difficulty because it's getting really rough.

Posted by jakob187

@zombie2011: The only thing I've had any real problems with so far is this Bandit Plunderer in one of the caverns. He's being a fucking asshole. I mean, I've killed two goddamn dragons, a mammoth, and almost killed a giant. However, I get two shot by this piddly bandit muthafucker. It's goddamn infuriating!

I HAVE DEFEATED SMOUGH AND ORNSTEIN ON GODDAMN DARK SOULS, BUT I CANNOT DEFEAT A FUCKING BANDIT PLUNDERER!

Posted by AndyD74

I had hoped for a "sequel" to Demons Souls for some time, and when I heard they were in the process of developing it, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. In the mean time, I had never touched an Elder Scrolls game. My son had played Oblivion at a friend's house and asked if we could get it. I didn't even know what it was, but I bought the newly released edition that already had the DLC added to the disc. I loved that game. So, next I hear that a new Elder Scrolls game was coming out, and was excited. Lo and behold, Dark Souls and Skyrim were to be released very close to each other. I bought Dark Souls and became immersed into it, but haven't finished a NG yet, then Skyrim came out. I shouldn't have started Skyrim....because I have a feeling I won't be getting back in to DS for a while, and I hate that. I love the immersion of Skyrim, the character development, the story, the voice acting, etc. is just wonderful.

Posted by Sweep

Proper fucked. Like ze germans.

Moderator
Posted by magnum45

Ye got the same "problem" here. In between Dark Souls, Battlefield 3 and Skyrim.. there just isn't enough time for it.. :(

Posted by Anund

Same here... I just beat Seath the Scaleless in Dark Souls. I actually never liked The Elder Scrolls either but bought Skyrim on a whim last friday (because my girlfriend thought it would be a good idea to watch Idol 2011). It's amazing and I love it. Now I'm going to be playing Skyrim but I hope that doesn't mean I won't be finishing Dark Souls, that would suck.

Then there's Uncharted 3 and Battlefield...

Posted by jakob187

@Sweep: It's a good thing you've got that gun, Tommy.

Posted by Ravenlight

@Anund said:

my girlfriend thought it would be a good idea to watch Idol 2011

Dump her.

Posted by Anund

@Ravenlight said:

@Anund said:

my girlfriend thought it would be a good idea to watch Idol 2011

Dump her.

Hey, she can watch whatever she wants as long as I get my Skyrim fix ;)