Took an unintentional break from this game because Blizzard recently released a game which was actually pretty good, believe it or not. Well I'm back now. Last time I fell in a pit in the Tower of Latria, let's go again!
I got a phonecall, and this game can not be paused, so I hoped I was in a quiet corner and answered the phone. I got attacked by a FEOM (Face-eating-octopus-man) while on the phone and fought it off with my free hand, because that's just how hard these enemies are.
Since I opened a shortcut door before I died, it wasn't that hard to make my way back to where I failed. A commentator earlier said "Wait till you get to the arrow wall"
Well, I did find a wall that shot arrows at me. As advertised. Nothing special about it though, it was just blocking your path. You had to make your way around it so you could shut it off.
Some hallways, some rooms, the same 2 types of enemies I've seen the entire level.
Then I found a dude sitting on a bench, who asked who I was and assured me he means no harm and I shoudl just leave him be. Around him were messages left by other players such as "Attack!", "Liar" and "Liar lies in wait ahead"
Yeah right, just like the numerous messages I've seen telling me to attack the shopkeepers and attack the lady who increases my stats?
Just like the numerous messages telling me to walk off a cliff because there's treasure there, although there's nothing besides infinite empty nothingness?
Screw this guy, I'm moving on.
To a huge foggy door and to a boss fight.
All this thing did was shooting at me, which was easily avoided by not being where the shot is going. After 4-5 hits it teleported away.
And then there were 2 of them.
As I then learned, only one of them is real, and hitting the wrong one won't damage the boss at all .
I hit one of them, it turned out to be the fake one, and it disappeared. I hit the real one some more and it teleported away.
And then there were 3 of them.
And then there were 4 of them.
The trouble with there being a bunch of them is that dodging away from shots is exponentially harder. Especially considering how one of their attacks is a stun attack that prevents me from moving and makes me an easy target. It only takes 2 of their stronger shots to finish me off, so this is not fun at all. Especially because the stun attack was completely impossible to avoid, it just seemed to hit, completely randomly.
Thank god I had about 83 infinitys of healing items with me, so whenever I randomly got hit, I simply walked behind a pillar and healed up.
Eventually, the thing went down. I didn't get a "The demon was destroyed" message though, which had followed every other boss fight so far. Is there another boss to fight then?
Then a loud voice told me how I'm an idiot and stupid, and a message on the ground told me how the voice is reviving the idol.
There was nowhere else to go, so eventually I walked up to the dude who told me that he was harmless.
He's right there next to the boss fight area and the messages are telling me to attack him, so I did.
Like, nothing happened. I walked around for a bit and then back to the boss fight room. Hey look, a boss fight! Against the same thing! Because I didn't kill the dude before so he revived it.
Oh, Demon's Souls, how I hate you now. The difficulty is still the least of my worries, this is just completely annoying.
A few minutes later (Because I simply ran at the boss and hit it, and ran to the nearest one when it multiplied) it went down again, and I got a "The Demon was destroyed" message. Then some helpful FLYING HARPIE DEMONS appeared and moved me to a new location, where I got the chance to teleport back to the hub and restock.
Now the flying harpie demons decided to attack. They are huge and they are creepy.
They are also very slow and very weak.
Then a cage-elevator took me about a billion feet down, where I saw leechy-centipede-like creatures with a face uglier than the ugliest person in Uglyville.
Also very slow and very weak.
I made my way through these ugly, slow and weak enemies, freed a knight from a cage who promised to remember me, and fell down a pit.
to tell you that Heavenly Sword is awesome! Late to the party, I know. A little generic on the gameplay side, but the storytelling and the world Ninja Theory has created are very compelling. Since it's supposedly a short game, I'll be done with it soon, but I'm really enjoying it so far.
Alright, Demon's Souls. I'm back in with your level design. The Tower of Latria is messed up, creepy and weird. The 'octupus men that eat your face' are actually pretty freaky because you can hear them from a while away, but can't see them. The octopus men aren't that hard to fight, if they managed to hit me once I was pretty much dead, but when I got to it first, it had no chance. So I sort of just rushed it and did a forward roll whenever it seemed to try something and didn't have a problem with them.
This seems to be some sort of a prison, because there are a lot of jail cells with people in them. ...
Deductive reasoning like whoa, son.
The atmosphere in this place is great, the octopus men are creepy, the prisoners are creepy, the sounds are creepy and this whole place is creepy. I love it.
There were also some iron maidens there which gave me all sorts of useful items if I opened them, but one of them had a message in front of it that said "Poison precaution"
Oh and I just got a full set of armor which increases my poison resistance?
Is poison some sort of a thing here?
Then I found a prisoner who said he needed something from his body, as he had died at some point. Then I ran around the place a bit and fell down a pit.
Yesterday, I spent several hours being lost in a tunnel.
After shutting the game off I learned via a helpful Youtube video that I didn't actually need to go through the whole long route that I did, and turning right (Which led me to a dead end yesterday) was the right thing to do. Apparently the huge gaping hole at the dead end won't actually kill you if you jump down from it, so I did and after a few moments I had found my way to the boss of this level.
Meet the Flamelurker:
It's a big huge fire...thing. After yesterday's post, username Karkarov commented:
"But don't get cocky you still have maneater, flamelurker, false king, the entirety of world 5, and octopus men that eat your face."
Oh hey look! This guy is mentioned in his list! This is going to be tough!
The fight took place in a wide open space, so no chance for hiding and staying away like with the Tower Knight. This boss seemed to have 4 different attacks.
1) Jumping towards you 2) Running towards you 3) Punching when he's close 4) Creating a random explosion around itself when it's close
I took off about 3/4ths of it's health on my 1st attempt. I ran into two issues. Firstly, my strategy was to dodge it's attack and then shoot it in the face, but I ran out of magic and had no mana restoring items with me.
And secondly, all the constant dodging (Flamelurker moves pretty fast) was a drain on the stamina meter, but I needed the stamina meter for dodging. This problem was also my doom because the boss got some hits in when I was too sloppy with the stamina, and if the boss gets a few hits in, you're dead.
Off I went to the hub in search of mana restoring items, and I came away with 7 of them. Then I messed with my inventory and made it so I could quickly switch between my life restoring and my mana restoring items with nothing else in between them.
Once again I took off about 3/4ths of Flamelurker's health, but once again the stamina meter screwed me over. I held my shield up the whole time and when the boss managed to hit me once, the stamina was gone, and I was unable to dodge away from it.
Likewise for attempt 3.
Attempt 4 was a success though. I tried to substitute dodging away with running away to conserve stamina, and it worked very well.
I still didn't find this boss particularly hard in the supposed hopeless "god-this-game-is-messed-up" sort of way. I just screwed up a few times.
After using the souls I won to increase my stamina meter, I moved on. There was a corridor, and after the corridor:
A huge f-ing dragon. Although it had a life bar, it wouldn't let me target it, so I figured that I probably don't have to fight it head on. Also, this thing's lifebar says it's the Dragon God, and that thing wasn't on the list of the supposed horrible deathtraps.
There was a pathway to the right which was occasionally blocked by stuff which could be destroyed by hitting it, so I walked on this path and got stomped to death by the dragon.
This happened quite a few times. I tried to figure out the rhythm the dragon uses for hitting the pathway and everything, but it seemed to be totally random. Then I just dashed through it without thinking and it worked. Next I found some kind of a device which shot an arrow on took off about half of the dragon's health. Okay, I see how this works. Now I'm on another pathway with some blockages in between and there's another arrow device there. The second one took off another chunk of health from the dragon, but it didn't kill it. The dragon just groaned and fell over with it's head right there on a pathway I can go to.
I walked up to it and now I could target it, and went in to attack it, but then it still showed some signs of life and spat some fire out. I got the hell away, figured out it's behavior with the fire and all, and won.
I would have been done for the day, but then I decided to check out Tower of Latria because it's there where the "octopus men that eat your face." live.
I went there, found one, killed it, meh'd, and was done for the day.
Moving on from the Armor Spider, I got attacked by another one of those slave workers. He hit me once, and took off about 3/4 of my health. That can't be right, I thought. I then remembered a vendor in the middle of the dragon level selling some heavier armor which I couldn't buy then due to a lack of funds.
Cutting my way to the vendor wasn't any trouble at all, and the armor was bought.
Wait...I can't use these. Due to the weight of the armor, my dodging ability was seriously damaged. The dodge move was painfully slow and useless, so I put my regular armor back.
Then I thought that I should go to another level if that one was so hard, so I picked another one.
And the other one wasn't any easier.
"Alrighty then, I appear to have found some real difficulty in this game!" were my exact thoughts.
Onwards! I got past the slave by adjusting my strategy slightly and adding the idea of not getting hit, and it worked. Then some exploding stuff came barreling down from the left, so I decided to go the other way.
After tons of enemies and nothing interesting in particular, a dead end.
Towards the exploding stuff then. This problem got solved by just running past them before they got the chance to explode.
I found some new enemies, a bunch of flame-based creatures THAT DON'T DO ANYTHING AT ALL. I just walked up to them and cut them and then they died. The difficulty here is heartmelting. Some huge worms did pop out of the ground occasionally, which died after a single blast from my magic. All this was a long time of absolutely nothing interesting.
And the thing where I go to a direction, make it to a dead end, and turn back, happened WAY TOO MANY TIMES.
Eventually, I made my way to some tunnels, and this is where I fell in hate with the entire thing. The level design turned into a horrible labyrinth, and the enemies were these things:
Their attack was slow and even my little brother with his hands tied behind his back could have dodged them, but they took about a million hits to kill. Sure, hitting them from behind would have done more damage, but HOW THE HECK am I supposed to get behind them if I'm located in a tight tunnel with no space for navigation?
Okay, calming down, I did kill the dragon yesterday which also took a long while, I can get through this.
I killed it and moved on to find another one. I killed that one and moved on to find another one. I killed that one as well and moved on to find another one.
All while getting completely lost in this nonsensical maze of tunnels. Every direction led to a dead end or right back to the start of the maze. I ran around this place for quite a long time and finally figured that I'm probably missing something in this room:
I disposed of the flying enemies because they were weak and spent another billion hours or so 'fighting' those huge things.
Okay, that's done. I probably can't walk forward because that's all lava and that probably hurts. There's something to pick up on the right there, I should check that out...
But there was another one those big things there, and I had just turned the camera away to look the other way. He got behind me and hit me, and since I hadn't been healing because this entire trip was SO FREAKING SLOW AND BORING, I died.
Yup. I get to do this entire long trip again, fighting all those completely boring enemies again, and getting lost in this ridiculous maze all over again.
The difficulty is the least of my worries in this game, my problems so far are the weirdly unstable framerate (It chugged for a random 5 minute chunk) and completely F-grade level design. The first levels had great style to them and they were great to play through, so what the fudgemonkey is this garbage now?
Stay tuned for tomorrow when I'm going to a completely different level, screw the 15 000 or so souls that I left in the tunnel, I'm not going to fetch them.
Yesterday, I got murdered by a dragon while trying to cross a bridge. Later I learned that you can actually kill it by standing at the top of a tower and shooting at it. I tried to do so with my magic, but failed to hit it because it was too fast. I figured I should try using a bow.
Problem! I don't have a bow!
Went back to the hub and talked to the blacksmith dude, and he didn't have one. I then decided to replay levels to get more souls, so I could upgrade my stats and then maybe the bridge part wouldn't be an issue.
Off I went, and I found a bow on the ground. Convenient.
I bought 150 arrows and climbed back to the tower and took aim at the dragon. It was rather hard to judge the exact moment I should let the arrow go, because the dragon kept moving.
It took A LONG GOD DAMN TIME, but the dragon went down.
Crossing the bridge wasn't that big of an issue now, because I had enough space to fight the enemies properly. After the enemies, a foggy door. Behind the foggy door....
You can call him the Tower Knight. Now go back to the picture and look at the player character at his feet there.
Tower Knight is pretty big.
The cutscene introducing me to my certain death also showed me tons and tons of archers gathering all around the area. The first order of business was to RUN THE HELL AWAY from the Tower Knight and up the stairs (The stairs on the picture)
I quickly made my way around the area and cut all the archers down. This only left the small problem OF THE HUGE GOD DAMN KNIGHT.
I had no desire to get up close on him, so I tried to shoot at him from the high ground. It hit his shield and didn't do any damage at all.
He started fighting back by shooting some kind of a projectile at me.
In order to shoot, he moved his shield away from his face.
I still fail to see how this game is for hardcore masochists...
Alrighty then. Moving on.
Wait. I can't move on because I don't have the appropriate soul for it. What this meant in practical terms was that I had to go back and choose another level, because several were unlocked.
Off to Some Other Place I went.
Killing the boss at the end of a level brings you to body form, which means that other players can invade your game and murder you.
I was a few minutes in the next level when I got the message about someone else invading. Okay, I know the direction he's coming from so I lifted my shield up and prepared my newly bought fire spell.
I saw someone and I shot at him a few times. He died.
That was easy.
Very soon after I got another invader. He was kind of tougher, but I managed to stay away from him and whittle his life down. "Maybe one more hit?" was my last thought before my mom walked past the TV screen.
Well, whatever. I'm in soul form now and that means no invaders! Yay!
This level consisted of very tight corridors and hallways. There were a bunch of slave-like creatures working around me, who were all so very weird because every 5th one would attack me and others couldn't care less that I was there. Okay, moving on.
Nothing especially interesting here other than the fat guy who shoots fire at you. He made a funny sound before attacking.
Slaves, fat guys, slaves, slaves, slaves with huge metal rods with heated up tips and some weird fire salamander creatures. Right.
Then a huge elevator took me down a long way right to a foggy door. Time for a boss fight again?
Yup. That's a giant spider. When I first entered the room I got raped by it's web-fireblast combo, but I survived. Then I figured out it's rhythm of shooting fire and the web. I shot at it when I saw an opening, and I won.
I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL I GET TO THE PART WHERE I'M SUPPOSEDLY GOING TO THROW MY CONTROLLER AT THE WALL.
This game has one of the weirdest character creators I have ever seen. It has tons and tons of buttons to change every single thing about the face of your character, but whatever you try to do, it still looks ugly.
After you've picked a gender, you get a gender slider.
So you can choose how male or how female do you want your male or female character to be. Weird.
After making myself a 100% male, 100% ugly character I could start the game. The intro cinematic told me about the evil force that has to be stopped and how the whole world is messed up because it hasn't been stopped. And off I went.
The tutorial level taught me very quickly that this is no hack&slash. If you run towards your enemy and mash the attack button, you'll go down in 2 seconds. The game forces you to pay attention and keep your shield up.
After a bunch of generic enemies and instructions about dodging, I got this:
Meet the Vanguard. He waved his axe in my general direction and since the room was small and I was too shocked to do something about it, he hit me, and I died.
Then a cutscene started and the game went on. That was apparently a fight you were supposed to lose. The game then introduced me to the hub and to the NPC characters. There's a blacksmith dude and an item storage dude.
So off I went to the first level.
Hey, this doesn't seem that hard. I'm walking from room to room and there are enemies there, and as long as I stay away until they attack, and then rush in and cut them down, I should be fine.
Wait what's this. This seems to be some sort of a tougher enemy. No problem. I'll just stay away until he attacks and then rus...
When you die in Demon's Souls, you restart from the beginning of the level and lose all the souls you've gathered (Souls are basically money) You can get your souls back if you reach the point where you died and touch the bloodspot you left, but if you die on the way there, the souls are gone for good.
I quickly made my way back without much trouble at all, and killed the tougher enemy by staying the hell away and using long range magic.
And then some more easy enemies.
And then a lever.
I pulled the lever, and a huge door opened near the beginning of the level which led to a boss fight. The fight was against a huge turd monster, which totally made it feel like the game was laughing at me.
Well, the turd was tough
It was covered by several smaller turd monsters, which acted as a shield.
I tried attacking it and died instantly.
I had to start from the beginning, but since I had pulled the lever I got back to the boss immediately and reclaimed the souls.
Getting close to the turd was out of the question, so time for plan B, which was my ranged attack.
I ran away from it, shot it, and ran away from it again when it got too close.
It wasn't that hard...
Right then, back to the hub. A lady with a funny looking face told me that I can use all the souls I got to make my character stronger. I gave her all of my souls and got a longer life bar in return, and off I went to level 2.
Right then. Corridors. Generic easy enemies. A bridge. A dragon. Flying across. Shooting fire at the bridge.
Attempt 2. I dashed across the bridge while touching my bloodspot in between to get my souls back and moved on.
Corridors. Easy enemies.
...and 4 dogs.
I was mauled to death.
Dragon. Dogs. More dragon. I died.
Dragon. Dogs. More dragon. I dashed across the bridge. Didn't make it.
I made it across the bridge. The other side of the bridge was filled with all sorts of enemies of various toughness, but I couldn't fight them because that would involve me moving, but I can't move because a dragon is shooting fire everywhere right behind me.
I made it across the bridge and didn't manage to get past the army at the other side because of my limited room for moving.
Demon's Souls is an action RPG game developed by From Software and published by Atlus in 2009. It very quickly gathered a reputation for being tear-jerkingly, rage-induncingly and controller-throwingly difficult.
Here, have some quotes: ---------- "Demon's Souls is difficult. Really, really difficult." - Playstation Official Magazine UK
"A game best left to the most masochistic, hardcore gamer" - Playstation: The Official Magazine US
"Prepare to die. In Demon’s Souls you can die hundreds of ways, even in the tutorial level. Scratch that. You will die in the tutorial level" - www.siliconera.com
"But it's also the type of game that is so difficult that you'll sometimes have to put the controller down and step outside for some fresh air." - Destructoid ----------
Sounds great right?
But the problem is, I've been watching loads of videos and reading up on this game and it doesn't seem THAT difficult. This seems like a game that asks you to pay attention and act carefully, and punishes you if you play sloppily. Not difficult, just sort of...harsh.
I want to try this, and I'm going to get this game tomorrow. I'm also going to write about my experiences. My moral is high and I don't believe this game is as hard as people make it out to be, but we're going to see.