I think that area exists for you to discover on your own. Going there like a tourist following a map just so you can check it off the list probably isn't all that satisfying. It's pretty and I like it, but I don't go back there much. I wish it had a proper bossfight to justify the trip.
I think you should try the Zweihander or the Large/Great Club. You'd need a tiny bit more strength to use them 1-handed, but 2-handing them is the way to go IMO. You will absolutely flatten the Man-Serpents in Sen's fortress, especially if you go down to blighttown and farm some large shards so you can upgrade them to +10.
I respect Mass Effect 2, I think it's a great game in many ways. It's one of the few games I might have picked if you said I couldn't pick Dark Souls. That said, I do think that from a critical perspective Dark Souls accomplishes more. It has a more coherent vision, it's more subtle, it trusts its players more, it has much stronger thematic / mechanical cohesion, it shows more restraint and it has more to say. If I had to sum it up in once sentence I'd say that Dark Souls takes better advantage of the medium, it doesn't squander any part of the disparate parts that make up a game. That is something very few games do.
Dark Souls has its bad parts though, Bed of Chaos, Lost Izalith. I can't defend those parts.
Dark Souls is a throwback to an antiquated game design philosophy (trial and error) which is now only popular with a niche audience (hence most people not playing it). The Souls games simply met the pent up demand from that niche audience, but it isn't going to suddenly change how the rest of the market wants or expects games to be designed. Games stopped using that old school design philosophy in the first place for a reason after all.
This is a gross misclassification of the game and an all too common one. Dark Souls is not in any way a throwback, every part of the design is permeated by a strong coherent vision. That their vision led them to make some design choices, that in the most broadest sense are associated with retro games ("it's hard, old games are hard!"), is a coincidence. As for the trial and error part, let's take a moment to consider why that term has negative connotations: it's because of gameplay situations that consist of figuring out the intent of the designer. There is one correct solution and the only way to find it is to try every possible thing until you luck out. That does not describe the gameplay Dark Souls. It is trial and error in a literal sense though, but that's because trial and error is how we learn and Dark Souls wants you to learn so many things; that's part of its greatness, it trusts to learn on your own.
The most basic example of this is in the Undead Burg, just past the bonfire. There's a bridge covered by firebomb throwing hollows who force you to sprint into a room where you are ambushed by another three hollows. The game will make you repeat that encounter a lot of times because the point isn't for you to get past it once, it's for you to completely master the dynamics of the encounter. That means getting a better understanding of the mechanics, both your own moveset, the enemies' moveset and the environment itself. By the time you've mastered it you will have learned a lot of things that have applicability to the rest of the game, not just that encounter. Then after that there's another encounter with another lesson that also has applicability to the rest of the game, and so it goes. Yes it's trial and error and it's god damn amazing design.