How did you get into the Souls/Souls-likes?

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liquiddragon

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#1  Edited By liquiddragon

Hey, I still have yet to get into any of these games. I was wondering, how did you start playing your first one?

Did you hear about them, maybe watched a quick look, and played it blind? Did you watch a let's play first? Did you play it alongside a let's play? If so, which one? Did you look up tips or a helpful guide beforehand? If so, which one? Did you play along with a community, exchanging info on a forum?

How did you get into these games, what was your first experience?

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Cory7911

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I started with Demon Souls when it was free on PS Plus, due to time constraints I usely use a walkthrough on games that take longer to beat so that helped incredibly with understanding how the game works. Souls/borne games been all similar in nature that helped a lot when it came time to play DS 1-3 and Sekiro.

DS 3 is now one of my favorite games of all time where it would have never been if it wasn't for starting out Demon Souls with a walkthrough.

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Cory7911

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I started with Demon Souls when it was free on PS Plus, due to time constraints I usely use a walkthrough on games that take longer to beat so that helped incredibly with understanding how the game works. Souls/borne games been all similar in nature that helped a lot when it came time to play DS 1-3 and Sekiro.

DS 3 is now one of my favorite games of all time where it would have never been if it wasn't for starting out Demon Souls with a walkthrough.

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north6

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#4  Edited By north6

Pretty sure from the original Vinny playing demon souls quick look, then watching a lot of epicnamebro playthroughs because i was fascinated by demon souls. Souls games have fascinating lore in that they tell you very little directly, but do a ton with environmental storytelling. There's a lot of care and love there that I just don't notice in other games.

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FacelessVixen

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Started with Demon's in 2010 and the rest is history.

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Humanity

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Like a few others in this thread I started with Demon's Souls. A guy at a local GameStop who was half Japanese was way into it and he played on the JP servers where that game was already kind of known and the PVP community was building rapidly. I liked the way it looked because it wasn't your typical fantasy RPG and there were these massive bosses that seemed spectacular so I gave it a try. At first I didn't look stuff up and the game was absolutely confounding. I wanted to wear the cool armor from the screenshots but none of the enemies were dropping any armor? Only ..grass? I've heard about the difficulty but I was still kind of shocked when I realized it never checkpoints anywhere and that they really do expect you to run through it all in one go and the odds (in the first level for a first timer) seemed so overwhelming stacked against you.

Of course with time you learn the cycle. You look for the shortcuts, you make your way through methodically, don't rush ahead. You scour every corner. Then you bang your head against the boss and forge onward.

To this day I think it's my favorite one of those. Of course later games looked better and they introduced a lot of quality of life improvements. Can't say that technically they made any leaps forward as I'm often found on this forums like an old man yelling at the cloud, complaining that once again the lock-on camera is dogshit in certain situations or how there are slowdowns or basically the same handful of issues the Souls games seem to have suffered from starting with Demon's. It's the atmosphere and art design that was so entrancing at the time. Boletaria was an interesting take on the medieval fantasy and all of it was so grand, the castles and hallways all so majestic. The Tower of Latria was equally mesmerizing as it was terrifying. The sound of chains, the cells, the labyrinthine nature of the floor layouts and those lantern wielding jail keepers straight from a Lovecraft story.. The Storm King boss fight. The Tower Knight. Even the hated Valley of Defilement with it's single digit framerate was artistically truly vile and the final fight of that area once again - quite memorable.

That said I think the best place to jump into is the newest one. I think Demons Souls 3 is great although if you start there you do lose out on a lot of fun callbacks as that third game is sort of like the Best Hits collection of the Souls series. If you're a more action oriented player and care less about "builds" or properly distributing stats then I think it's a great idea to check out either Bloodborne or Sekiro depending on where your preference for setting lies. Both of those games carry none of the traditional souls baggage with them so you won't feel like you're missing out. Lastly if you want to try something completely different, then personally I've been trying to spread the word that The Surge is a fun and unique take on the souls formula in a sci-fi setting with a few tricks of it's own. Currently The Surge 2 is on Game Pass for both PC and XB1 so it's a low barrier to entry. They aren't as pretty as the Souls games and the art direction is decidedly leaning towards a B game feel, but the fast paced combat and very transparent upgrade system make it an accessible option for newcomers.

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Rejizzle

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I tried playing Demon Souls when it came out and disliked it. I tend to dislike playing defence in games so I went for an ill advised duel crossbow build before pivoting to using a falchion. I understand that people can totally play this game using any items available to them, but it seems like sheids are the way to go for the most part.

Because of this I ignored Dark Souls thinking it was more of the same. It wasn't until Bloodborne when I gave the series another shot. Bloodborne looked more action focused and I liked the setting a lot. I love Bloodborne. Beat the game 2 times, beat the DLC beat every optional boss except Laurence the First Vicar, because every time he turns into a lava slug I burst out laughing and drop my controller.

Went back to give Demon Souls another shot. I got a bit farther, but still didn't really enjoy the game. Played Dark Souls 3, but dropped it about 3/4s of the way through. I liked my time with Dark Souls 3, but it made me realize that the tonal shift halfway into Bloodborne really gave it legs for me, and the other Souls games seem kinda one note. Its a good not, but wears thin on me after twenty hours or so.

I played Nioh and liked it. Probably due to its more attack focused combat like Bloodborne. I should probably give Sekiro a chance, it seems up my alley.

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Mezmero

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Demons Souls Quick Look intrigued the hell out of me but I only ended up renting it and got stuck on Flamelurker before calling it quits. Struggled a bit with Dark Souls but I got through it and was pretty much on board for the series going forward. Still haven't played more than the opening of Sekiro but I'm of the opinion that it's a Tenchu game.

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jamesyfx

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I picked up Demon's Souls early on, as it was a PS3 exclusive and I tended to buy all exclusives at that point to justify having the console. Was pleasantly surprised. Fell off on Dark Souls 1, didn't enjoy it as much... but returned for Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne. Not touched Sekiro, don't think I will.

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Relkin

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Started with the first Dark Souls, and fell in love with it pretty quick. Went in blind, as I wasn't really aware of the mystique around that game apart from that it was apparently difficult. It wasn't until after I beat it that I began to dig into resources online; info on weapons, enemies, covenants, loredumps, etc. I've since beaten that game a dozen times in different playstyles, and done roughly the same with it's two sequels.

While my first time was blind, I wouldn't dismiss the idea of looking up stuff beforehand or during a first playthrough, although I'd probably leave lore stuff out of it until after you've beaten the game. I used the Dark Souls wikidot mainly (no auto-playing videos or intrusive ads, etc), and people seem to really enjoy VaatiVidya's loredump videos, if you get into the story.

If you plan on playing Demon Souls, play it first. As someone who only played it after playing all three of the Dark Souls games, I found it to be...lacking. A decidedly worse thing. I'm not gonna dig too deep into that as it's at best adjacent to your intended topic conversation, so I'll just put it like this: Demon Souls is when From happened upon a winning formula, but Dark Souls is when they understood what to do with that formula.

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MerxWorx01

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Imported a Demon Souls a about four or so months prior to the US release. There was very little talk about the game and it was still a weird little niche mentioned occasionally on a few blogs. Picked it up because it reminded me of an old PC game called Severance and more than anything before I played it I liked the look of the creatures and how strange and sad everything looked. I don't even recall if I knew the devs before hand, I most certainly have been playing their Armored Core games.

Been playing almost every single souls and souls-like game that has come out since.

Every time I think about it I still think that it's such a massive shift when early japanese screen shots of the game came out one of the major views of the game was that it was more weird japanese trash (this was back when there was a clear divide between japanese devs and their western counter parts when it came to technical aspects of a game and people had no problems comparing COD or GTA to MSG and the Yakuza series seeing only of the technical achievements of the latter). Either the swords were comically large, or the dragon in the trailer look ridiculous or people simply tuned out when they watched a player block a giants attack with a shield.

Now it is it's own genre and From Software is a dev beyond reproach with small and large studios looking to them for inspiration.

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csl316

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#12 csl316  Online

As an old Armored Core fan, I appreciated From enough to check in on their new endeavors. I played a few hours of Demon's and Dark Souls 1 and 2. They were interesting but felt super clunky, so nothing stuck.

Then Bloodborne came in and felt way more fluid and fast, appealing to the character action fan in me. That topped my GOTY list and continues to be one of my favorite soundtracks. The updated gameplay was really the only missing piece for me.

Dark Souls 3 allowed me to play the game similar to Bloodborne and got me to appreciate that series more. And then Sekiro had pitch perfect controls, a great setting, and even incorporated some Tenchu stealth mechanics (and became my GOTY in 2019).

So from a passing interest in the games to a dedicated fan, I'm down with Elden Ring and whatever From does next. They nail this style of game in a way that's really tough to replicate. I don't have much motivation to revisit the early Souls games or King's Field, but I appreciate them as building blocks to where they are now. I've been wanting Bloodborne 2 for awhile, but Sekiro was such a great surprise that I don't mind them making one-off games going forward.

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lobster_johnson

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#13  Edited By lobster_johnson

I was intrigued by the atmosphere and aesthetic but was put off getting into the first Dark Souls by its reputation for a long time. Punishing difficulty, and a feature where other players can show up and kill you out of the blue? No thanks. 'The challenge' is about at the bottom of my list of reasons I play videogames. It wasn't for me.

I never really sought out footage of the game being played or anything like that but I could still somehow name half a dozen bosses from the game and several of its areas just from seeing its praises sung regularly on forums and stuff like no other game I can think of, which overlapped right up into the hype for the second game. But I knew it just wasn't for me.

So when Dark Souls 2 came out I was glad that everyone seemed to be excited for it but I wouldn't be playing it. Even though I wouldn't be playing it I decided to check out the Quick Look. I was immediately taken by the look of the game, the melancholy feel, the way every part of the game, from the enemies, to the environments, to consumable items seemed to be a mystery to be solved. But having to replay that whole bit again every time you got killed (which looked like it would be a lot)? Definitely not for me.

And that was that. Except, like some forbidden love, I could not stop thinking about Dark Souls. Finally, in 2015, I decided I could resist no longer, and I would try it. I would try it, I would play it for a few hours, confirm that it wasn't for me, ragequit, and probably play Lords of the Fallen as an alternative.

Without too much trouble, I made my way out of the asylum, slaying the demon there. I found myself in a place called Firelink Shrine. That music. Maybe this game was for me? Where to next? I could go up into those ruins, or down to this graveyard area. But what's this... stairs? Or there's this key I chose at the start....

I went down a lift. I used my key to get into an area it really seemed like I should not be in yet. I died. I knew this game was about perseverance though, so I tried again. I died again. This continued for some time. I backtracked a bit and journeyed deeper down. There were ghosts. I died some more. Annoyed, I decided to try that graveyard. It was right there, after all, obviously the way I was meant to go. Skeletons! They were hard and they kept coming back to... undeath? I died, I died, I died. And these were the first proper enemies in the game? Fuck this game, I knew it wasn't for me. Six hours in, and it was about quitting time. I hadn't even been invaded yet.

I was about to turn it off when I rotated the camera to the right. 'Oh, I guess you can go up that way? Fine, I'll give it one try but if it's more of this same bullshit that is it'...

Reader, it was for me.

I'm not one of these players who have gone through it multiple times or anything but it went on to become easily one of my favourite games last gen, and I did really like the second game too. I actually just started playing the third game a couple of days ago.

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Sahalarious

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I started with demons souls and bounced pretty quick, and got DS a year or two late and fell in loveee. I used a bit of wikis for builds but tried to explore otherwise. DS1 is my fave but DS3 is riiight up there. 2 I could do without but still beat it twice

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cikame

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I saw people online talking about a difficult but extremely rewarding game, then a friend started linking me to all the VaatiVidya lore videos and i was impressed, so i played Dark Souls, found the Dark Wood Grain Ring and have been disappointed by every game since :P.

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SMTDante89

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#16  Edited By SMTDante89

A friend was giving pretty glowing praise to Demons' Souls when it came out and I ended up buying it myself shortly after and really enjoyed it. Pre-ordered Dark Souls but dropped off of it due to increased workload in college and I just didn't want the additional stress of playing a difficult game in my down time. Played a few Souls-like games here and there (Salt and Sanctuary, in particular) but didn't go back to the From Software games until Bloodborne was a PS+ title a couple years back and fell in love with the series again. Bought Dark Remastered and III's GOTY edition shortly after. I'm kind of done with the games after playing so many in a short amount of time, but I might try II someday.

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someoneproud

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A few friends in high school used to always rave about Demon's Souls and how difficult but great it was. I tried it a few years later and bounced right off. I was intimidated by the supposed difficulty for years, then about 2 years ago I decided to give Dark Souls an extended try and realised it really isn't as hard as some people make out.

Sure, making mistakes can get you killed quick but once you have the iframes on the roll dialed in and try to fight the enemies in small groups it's pretty easy to avoid taking damage very much at all. By the end of the first game I had all the skills I needed to get through the later entries pretty smoothly (although Sekiro is a different beast entirely)

The enemies spawn in the same locations, you can always over-level for a tricky segment and there's never really a fail state. The combat is really fun and the encounters, areas and lore can be pretty damn spectacular. I'd recommend giving any of them a try and don't stress when you die, there's a whole lot to love in these games.

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Shindig

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#18  Edited By Shindig

I picked up Demon's and Dark Souls but it took me maybe a good two years to really sink my teeth into them. The combat interested me and I think I just needed to be in that frame of mind to commit to one. There's a rigid nature to them that you really have to work at to uncover but I've been hooked ever since.

In terms of the actual difficulty, it all gets better with hindsight and knowledge. You can always make the numbers go up. With the exception being Sekiro which is very based around your own skill. Skill at a very specific thing.

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citan359

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I had a few friend's briefly show me Demon's Souls and rave about it, but I didn't really get the appeal and never paid much attention to it. When Dark Souls came to Steam, I bought it on some sale (like so many things...) and let it sit. In the last month of my Wife's pregnancy I finally loaded it up because we needed something to kill time and was low impact. She would watch and read off lore as I was figuring out the systems and since we were playing it very late after it came out there were detailed FAQs so she would drop hints about some of the more cryptic secrets being careful to limit spoilers. We beat the game and my daughter was born shortly after. It was really a perfect moment in my life, such a fantastic way to experience that game.

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Justin258

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I played some Dark Souls: Prepare to Die when it was still a GFWL game. I thought it was kinda drab - dull, gray-brown environments, I felt like I wasn't doing any damage, and it was really slow.

Then I watched Vinny play Dark Souls and actually learned how to play the game. Those videos actually have a lot of bad calls in them, but at the time I had no idea and there's enough good info in them that I got a decent grasp on what I was doing wrong before. I didn't want to play through what I had just watched Vinny play, however, and the PC version of DS1 ran like ass anyway, even with DSFix holding things together. So I bought DSII, which runs much better, and got addicted to it. It really helps that DSII was a much brighter, more colorful game.

Another reason I didn't play much Dark Souls is because I hated the concept of invasions and back then, there wasn't an offline option. So for DSII, I put the .exe behind a firewall and played the entire game offline.

For a while, I considered DSII my favorite, but after having played DS1 and 3 a few times I think 1 is probably my favorite. I still love all three, but 1 has something special going on. That level design is a big part of it.

I have played the rest, but never finkshed any of them. Bloodborne and Demon's Souls run so poorly and at such low resolutions that playing them just isn't fun and Sekiro is laser focused on a combat style that I never found all that fun in Souls games.

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mellotronrules

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#21  Edited By mellotronrules

i saw a skeleton kick vinny off a cliff and thought, "oh- NOW i understand."

the vinny/ian/rorie combo was such a delight- i'm not sure how but i'd love to get that band back together for something.

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militantfreudian

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The reputation surrounding the Souls games made me ignore them for so long. The first Souls gameplay footage I've seen was the Dark Souls QL (with Rorie, Vinny, and Brad) sometime after it came out.

It slowly became apparent to me that these games (at least the earlier ones) seemed to reward patience just as much as skill. And that they're bucking the trend as far as storytelling and gameplay. What made me finally jump on-board was the We're Playing Dark Souls Too! videos. I wanted to be part of the conversation.

I started with Dark Souls 2, relying for help on the impressions and 'tips and tricks' threads that were popular when the game came out. After finishing 2, I went back to the first game, then played every subsequent game as they came out.

These games actually changed my views on certain video game facets and tropes.

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Humanity

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i saw a skeleton kick vinny off a cliff and thought, "oh- NOW i understand."

the vinny/ian/rorie combo was such a delight- i'm not sure how but i'd love to get that band back together for something.

IF this video doesn't get you in then I don't know what will..

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#24 TheRealTurk  Online

I remember being super-intrigued by Demon Souls when it came out, but I didn't own a PS3, so when Dark Souls came out on XBOX, I jumped at it. I think it's still the best in the series in a lot of ways.

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BaneFireLord

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Still hasn't happened for me and likely never will, though I've played a significant chunk of all of them except Sekiro and DS3. I did buy Dark Souls on launch day because of all the buzz, and I played about 20 hours before losing patience with the design ethos. I had pretty much the same experience with 2 and Bloodbourne. The payoff in a Soulslike when you beat a boss or unlock a shortcut is undeniably awesome, but I'm terrible at the moment-to-moment gameplay and the rush of accomplishment is far too shortlived for the amount of repetitive drudgery and frustration I need to endure to get those wins.

I do appreciate Souls content, though, just not actually playing the games. Load Our Last Souls coincidentally started up exactly where I'd stopped playing DS1, which made me feel like I "completed" DS1 in some capacity. What a great series.

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CoinMatze

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#26  Edited By CoinMatze

Vinny's Demon's Souls Quick Look is what got me into it, too. I was drawn to it almost immediately. I imported it, like, five minutes into the video.

From Software's games inhabit two aspects that drew me into the medium of games in the first place.

  • A mysterious story that the player can figure out on their own terms. Not forcefed through non-interactable dialog or cutscenes. I grew up playing Adventure games, CRPGs and then Immersive Sims when they popped up. Demon's had a lot in common with those. Going through a space and learning its history by looking at the environment, picking at nooks and crannies and discovering important objects.
  • A seemingly insurmountable obstacle that the player may overcome on his own terms. By picking from a myriad of options. I enjoy games much more that let me do that through means other than combat but... There aren't a lot of those. In combat focused RPGs I almost always go for the playstyle with the exponential power curve. Starting slow but ending up over-powered. I picked the royalty class and beat Demon's as a magical glass cannon. And then again with a dex build. And then again and again. Everyone of those playthroughs felt totally different. It's why I'll probably never play Sekiro again. I liked it very much but there's nothing to dig my cerebral teeth into there, no build variety or problem-solving other than "parry good, hit good, stay in that ass".

Edit: Oh, and I just love role-playing. Inventing characters and expressing them through the means given to me is so much fun. (I love Austin and Rob's XCOM2 run on waypoint for that reason. Just a quick shoutout.) For example, I made a snooty Mr. Moneybags-type in Bloodborne. I picked clothes that fit the mold, ending up with a white scarf, tophat, monocle and twirly mustache. He only used the Threaded Cane. As a real Gentleman should.

Reading this thread really makes me want to reinstall DS3...

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norm9

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Was at the import videogame store and guy behind the counter said demons souls just came in and was the hardest game of all time and that the disc would work in a regular ps3 but not to buy it because it would be too frustrating. Bought it and now here we are.

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Nodima

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Well, I really enjoyed watching Vinny play Dark Souls, and then Brad. Bloodborne kept getting mentioned by everyone even Jeff as the "action" one, and it was on discount for something like $13 (shortly before it went on PS+...) in 2017 so I decided to buy it. I really did not click with it and set it aside, but there was a lot of hubbub about a "Return to Yharnam" even a bit later so I re-downloaded it and the game clicked with me...to a point. I ran Central Yharnam over and over and over on a day off...I mean, over 6 hours over and over. Never ran into a boss so I never leveled up, I just amassed hundreds and hundreds of bullets and blood vials, until finally I stumbled into Cleric Beast and realized now I could level my character and everything I'd done that entire day was nearly pointless.

Weirdly, I was hooked. And because I did all that material grinding early, I almost never had to quit was I was doing while playing the main game to grind for anything so I had a pretty seamless Bloodborne experience from that point forward. Father Gascoigne to me is one of the best designed boss fights of this generation, partially because he just clicked with me and I took him down in two or three tries. All the hunter fights were that way for me, I just savored them so much. The world and lore also might be my favorite in all of video games, though I owe the Youtuber Aegon of Astoria's Let's Talk Lore series for that.

I've still never played any of the others. I did play Sekiro and hated it (or more accurately, hated the bosses and loved the moment-to-moment combat with fodder enemies), for what it's worth.

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mellotronrules

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@humanity: ha, thanks for that! i hadn't seen it but that's pretty great highlight reel.

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Rebel_Scum

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I played 2 hours of Dark Souls when it was free on xbox 360 just on a whim, I already knew of its reputation. It clicked immediately with me but I never played it again as I had other games which I was playing at the time.

I bought Nioh last year and have blasted through that. I had another go of Dark Souls recently and found it really slow going compared to Nioh. Not to say it wasn't fun. But I think I need to give that game a rest for a while. Bloodborne is what I'll try next. Then maybe Dark Souls.

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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When Demon's Souls came out I was in the midst of my big Gamefly period during college when I'd play most new releases, so it got rented. It was hard to get through quickly so it got "lost in the mail" and my journey continued on over time, as opposed to most games then I was just blowing through. I remember being confused at first but looking things up online helped and did still feel cool.

The sad thing for me is that I think the series has gotten worse basically with every iteration. I love the open nature of Demon's Souls (yeah the shortcut filled style of Dark Souls is cool too, but there's something freeing and exciting about the open style that isn't' appreciated by most in how it allows build variation and different strategies and there's still shortcut fun in there). I love how it focuses on level difficulty more than boss difficulty (since then it's been way too many bosses, too many boss phases and moves for bosses, just too damn hard, especially relative to the level that leads up to them). And the story is the best in any Souls game by far. The balance in it with some things, mainly magic, is wonky but I like that it allows you an easier route to play the game if you want (sort of an organic difficulty level). And it has the best music by far.

The boss thing is probably the biggest thing to me and is just key to the thinking with where they went wrong. If you look at Demon's Souls, they were willing to do awesome stuff like make a PvP Archdemon boss (which can work out great or stupid if you draw the wrong enemy, but its awesome its there) or one Archdemon boss that just kills themselves when you approach to fight them. They had more varied boss arenas that either work against the boss but provide interesting play or allow you to, gasp, run away a bit and lick your wounds and strategize (think the Tower Knight or Adjudicator). Now most bosses take place in the same arena, it's just lets make this hard as shit over creative or different (so most bosses are very samey) and add one more phase than is reasonable.

To me it has seemed like they listen to a lot of their worst fans for feedback (the ones obsessed with "get good" difficulty) and that's shaped the series.

I still think Dark Souls 1 and 2 are pretty great but III was not and Sekiro I think is bad (feels like a lock on simulator, not real combat, and its entirely boss focused). Still need to play Bloodborne.

Also: Demon's Souls playthrough is one of the best things on this site. Way underrated. I've been rewatching it during this quarantine.

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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@rebel_scum: The combat in Nioh is great, and better. However, in bascically all other areas Dark Souls is a better game, but all that is going to take some time to show itself and set in for you. You definitely should give it a shot.

I loved playing Nioh for combat but the lack of any of the rest of the stuff, like world building and design that Souls games thrive in is basically absent.

But of course, if you value combat above all I get it. I think the first game played so well.

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NTM

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#33  Edited By NTM

I saw the 9 GameSpot gave Demon's Souls; thought it looked cool and so I got it around its release. I enjoyed what I played of it but didn't get very far into it. I mean, I played it for about 15 hours (twice mind you, due to starting over) but didn't get far. Dark Souls came out, I got that, again the same thing. 2016 came and just before DS3 came out I decided to jump into them all (including Bloodborne), starting back with Demon's Souls. Loved them. I couldn't get into them before because I used to think it wasn't worth it as I assumed it was a lot of grinding, and I just wanted to move onto the next location to see new places and enemies/bosses.

It came to my surprise that they don't have that much grinding unless you want it. I was just thinking about Bloodborne. I just watched The Dark Tower, and The Dark Tower (not the movie perse), reminds me of Bloodborne kind of. I played Dark Souls Remaster on the Xbox One X last year. I liked it, but I can't say that it was as good as my first time through just a few years ago, playing the PS3 version of it. It was also, perhaps ironically, very easy. I could count on my hands how many times I died in it. Oh, but I will say, Bed of Chaos is still terrible!

Oh, I also find it hard to put in order the games from best to worst (including Bloodborne, and now Sekiro). Well, okay, I would personally say Sekiro's my least favorite by far, but it's not a bad game by any stretch and I did like that they changed it up, challenging the player in a new way. Dark Souls 3 was my least favorite; I did not like the two-phase boss fights (which Sekiro brought back, but I may have had less of an issue with at that point). It wasn't until after I beat it that I warmed up to it. I disliked it so much that I got to the final boss, and quit the game for two years until going back to finish it. Honestly, the same thing happened with Sekiro, just a shorter time span as I beat it the same year it came out, just months after.

I'm bummed though because out of the entire series, I never beat Orphan of Kos (Bloodborne) or Nameless King (DS3). What I love about the Souls games is the feeling of not knowing what is around the corner, working your way through an environment that gets engrained into your brain so it'll stick with you forever. It's, for lack of a better word, a magical feeling. I love the bosses and combat is fun for sure, but it's the atmosphere that sticks with me most.

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I was aware of then back when demons souls was new. Heard it was a good game, but really hard. Watched the quick look and saw that it looked pretty unpolished and it didn't give a great impression so I skipped it. Dark Souls came around and I watched the quick look for that and it gave me a much better impression. Looked more refined without losing what seemed charming about demons. So I bit the hook at that point and got addicted to dark souls. I've played 1-3, Bloodborne, Sekiro, and Nioh at this point. Bloodborne or Dark Souls 1 are probably my favorite. I find I'm getting tired of that style of game after these last few years, but those 2 still get me excited about the though of replaying them.

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Ginormous76

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Heard about how difficult Dark Souls was and I got for like $10. Got to the first boss that you're supposed to just run past and kept dying. I kept fighting it because "Dark Souls is hard." Gave up on the game and decided I wasn't good enough. A few years later, decided to watch a Let's Play of Dark Souls. When they ran past the first boss, I was like, "Are you freaking kidding me?" Stopped watching the Let's Play and started the game again. Played it through to completion, then played one run of NG+ that was actually really easy. I have not been able to get into another one though. DS2 & DS3 I dropped. Nioh I played for like an hour. Going to at least give Bloodborne a try.

The thing about Dark Souls (at least the first one), you can grind out your character until you're over leveled and make the game easier (never so easy you can just walk through it). You still have to at least pay attention to the enemies, but almost everything is fair. There's one spot in the game, that I feel is cheap (castle ledge of Anor Londo, where you can fall off/get knocked off so easily, it just doesn't fit the rest of the game design). Otherwise, every time I died, I felt like it was my fault. I misread the enemy's attack. I wasn't paying attention and stepped off a ledge. Those kinds of things.

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AtheistPreacher

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The story of how I got into Souls starts a long way back, because I am one of those few, weird people who played From Software's King's Field games on PS1 back in the mid-90s and loved them. King's Field and King's Field 2 (which were actually KF2 and KF3 in Japan, seeing as the Japanese KF1 was never released in the States) were both games that I played through obsessively many times right around their release. I later got the 2002 King's Field: The Ancient City on PS2 and loved it just as much. I still play those games today, particularly KF2 and KF:TAC. I actually replay them more frequently these days than any other old games, including the Souls games.

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Of course I tried other From Software titles. I got into Armored Core (loved the first one), though I got progressively less interested in those; the last one I played seriously was For Answer. I also tried Shadow Tower, Eternal Ring, Evergrace, and Chromehounds, but didn't like any of them much (I eventually played Shadow Tower: Abyss on emulator, which was better, but still not something I'm looking to play again). I really *wanted* to try Otogi, but I already had a PS2 and wasn't willing to pony up for an original X-box just to play it.

Then came 2009. My brother--also a King's Field nut--noticed that From Software had put out this crazy-looking game called Demon's Souls in Japan. A producer from Sony Japan named Takeshi Kajii was calling it a "spiritual successor" to King's Field... which meant more in Japan than it did in the States, since the KF series was actually reasonably popular over there (enough to get a 20th anniversary release in Japan with all four games). I watched the footage. My God, this game looked amazing. I read Keza Macdonald's import review for Eurogamer written in April, to the best of my knowledge the first import review it got. My brother and I both lamented that it looked like it might never get a US release.

And then it did.

At the time, I didn't own a PS3. I had bought myself an Xbox 360 near launch, simply because it was the next-gen system that got released first, and also I had really wanted to play Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on it (it would subsequently RRoD something like four times). But with Demon's Souls coming to the States on October 6th, I suspected that I might have to go ahead and buy a PS3. Luckily, I got a chance to play it without buying anything shortly after release: my birthday was in late October, and I had gone to my brother's house to celebrate, and he had a PS3 and, of course, Demon's Souls. So I played it.

I was instantly hooked. I couldn't believe how good it was. It was one of those few really transcendent gaming experiences I've ever had, those rare occasions when cynical and jaded me played a game and felt the unrestrained joy only common among the very young. In short, it made me feel like a kid again (the other times when I remember feeling like this playing a game: playing PS1 games for the first time, playing RE4 for the first time, maybe a few others).

Even though I felt liked I needed to own this game myself NOW NOW NOW, somehow I managed to restrain myself and hold off buying a PS3 until I could get a PS3 Slim (just recently released) in a discounted Black Friday package deal. From then on, my 360 rarely saw use again (partly because of Sony exclusives, and partly because it was nice to have a console that wasn't prone to constant hardware failures). And the rest, as they say, is history. From then on I've played all of From Software's Souls-likes obsessively, along with a number of the copy-cats, including Salt & Sanctuary, Nioh, and The Surge. Can't get enough of them.

I only wish that the King's Field games would come to the North American PS Store as PS1/PS2 classics, as they have in Japan. I briefly saw a press release that there were plans to make KF2 available, but it never happened. I still have my old PS2 and the original discs for all of them, and I play them all every year or two. But it would be awfully nice if I could have them digitally, too.

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prl412

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#37  Edited By prl412

There was a ton of praise being heaped on Demon's Souls, and people were importing it well before it came to North America. I tried, but bounced off it.

Then Dark Souls comes out, a spiritual successor with no plot ties to Demon's that also improved the mechanics. Now I'm hooked. The biggest change was the Estus flask; five heals in a bottle that refreshes every time you sit at a bonfire (Demon's Souls had consumable health items that could run out and then had to be farmed from enemies). Not a huge thing, but it streamlined the gameplay loop.

Went on to beat Dark Souls, Dark souls 2, Dark Souls 3, and even went back to beat Demon's Souls. I'm late to the PS4 so I haven't finished Bloodborne, and haven't tried Sekiro yet.

You can start with any one of the Souls/Borne/Sekiro games, but what really helped the most was having the wiki nearby and the many community videos covering the lore woven into the environment. Since Dark Souls Remastered includes all the DLC, it's still probably the best introduction.