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Will play most anything: 1/27/12

Today I'm going to talk about a game that a lot of people know about! (Kind of)


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I like to think that I'm pretty good at video games. And of all things, my time with Dark Souls has proven me I think correct. I think it helps that I do tend to look up stuff on the extremely helpful dark souls wiki and the subreddit, but honestly, that's kind of what this game is about. It prepares you very little for the trials you have to face, and instead really depends on word of mouth as it's guide. It's practically a system built into the game, with it's unique online features allowing for all sorts of useful tips to appear from your fellow players.

I honestly think that the combat in Dark Souls is some of the best melee combat of any game I've ever played. It seriously requires all of your focus at all times, enemies that you've slain over and over still requiring focus, lest you find your self stamina-less in a corner, dead before you could get out of stun lock, your souls now lost as your were trying to rush your way back to the last spot you fell to some awful beast.

The combat has clearly been fine-tuned to a very sharp edge. All of the animations, the weapons, the amount of stamina you use with each action is clearly intentional. Blindly swinging your weapon about is a surefire way to die very quickly. Same with keeping your shield up between strikes, your stamina, almost as important as your health, doesn't refill as fast with your shield up, and with the stamina too low you will be stunned the next time you're hit, and more likely than not, felled quickly.

So I understand that all of that just sounds difficult, and rather off putting. But it's not! It's really rather fun! The feeling of exploration! The getting completely wrecked when you stray to someplace you shouldn't be! Killing an innocent NPC because it's the only way to get a certain ring that let's you do ninja flips which you would have no way of knowing about lest you look it up! Yeah. Look, all in all, I agree with Vinny in how it's honestly one of the best games of the year. I managed to have loads of fun, and despite sinking 50 or so odd hours into it I'm nowhere near finishing it, and I plan to go back to playing it. Just got a little distracted with a considerably less hardcore title as of late. Freakin' romance novel disguised as a game...

Anyways, I think I've managed to do quite well game play wise. Ornstein and Smough gave me absolute fits, but all the bosses before that I beat pretty much my first try. Course, now I'm getting my ass handed to me constantly, and I HATE the catacombs with a fiery passion, so yeah, that ease has quickly faded. Part of the reason I've only gone so far though is I keep making new characters. My first one is a pretty standard Jack of all trades type, but the newest one, which hasn't faced O&S, is a Katana wielding sorcerer. So I'll see how I do when I make it there.

Despite my enjoyment of the game, I'm going to have to say that you really can't plan on playing this game unless you have the time to spend on really digging into the game. You can make it just stumbling around the environment, but it would be a lot more frustrating of an experience I feel. The difficulty of the combat though I could see really turning off someone focused on a more quick action game experience. That said, it's a beautiful game, with sweet music and a feeling of accomplishment through completion that other games can barely touch.