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Forums > Submission Feedback > honestgamer's Dark Souls review

This thread is in response to a review for Dark Souls on the PlayStation 3. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: hmd
Posted: October 20, 2011 (07:51 PM)
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So what you're saying is this game is pretty much King's Field V? I can dig it!


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: October 21, 2011 (02:55 AM)
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I don't know if it's like King's Field V or not, as I've never played a King's Field game. The PlayStation art always turned me off, made the games look awful. Given how poorly PlayStation titles have aged, I'm not sure that's an impression I can ever rectify. Which is sad, possibly, if it means missing out on a great game.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: October 21, 2011 (10:42 AM)
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I don't come around here to comment much anymore, but I felt obligated to say what a great review this is, Jason! It actually made me cancel my pre-order of Drake's Deception to spend the money here instead. It's nice having someone talk to the "older generation" of gamers. Maybe that's what hooked me.

Or maybe it was the description of the opening scenes. Or the assertion that this is a good open-world multiplayer experience (so rare). Or maybe the game is just really good and you reported on it accurately and succinctly.

Whatever the reason, I was hooked and drawn from the depths of apathy that I've fallen into regarding video games and now I'm looking forward to my expedited shipment of Dark Souls. If only I could skip that wedding tomorrow to stay home and play it...

Anyway, maybe I'll see you online.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: October 21, 2011 (11:27 AM)
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I might have to add this to the list of games to look for in the future after price reductions and all that. It looks really good.


I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle


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Author: Suskie
Posted: October 21, 2011 (11:26 AM)
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Over the course of 150 hours of play, I encountered around 5 or maybe 10 seconds of slowdown while battling a slew of enemies in a waterlogged area.

Even though it went multi-platform, I'm still assuming Dark Souls was made with the PS3 in mind, because there's a lot of slowdown on the 360 version.

The 360 version is also one of the most horrible games ever made. Dunno if the version you played is any different in that regard :)


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: October 21, 2011 (02:09 PM)
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Suskie, our assessments on the quality of Dark Souls are likely destined to remain at odds with one another.

I feel like nearly everything the game did right is something that you were never going to appreciate because you have different ideas when it comes to what an action-RPG should do. I think a lot of it also comes down to the difficulty. Please don't think I mean that as an insult. I believe that you're probably a more skilled gamer than I am (my experience is that I appreciate difficult games much less than you seem to), so I'm not saying that this is about comparative ability to kick a game's ass. I'm saying that this game is kicking your ass and it shouldn't be, but it's getting inside your head because that's what it was designed to do.

Some people will cherish that aspect about Dark Souls and they will rise to the challenge and dive into the numerous rewards that the game offers to those who take the time to consider its design and discover its secrets. Other people will resent that difficulty, and their resentment makes it understandably difficult to appreciate the many things that the game does so perfectly.

From your comments, I believe that you have had less fun with Dark Souls than you've had with nearly any game you've played in the last decade. I also believe that the game is one of the best titles to be released this year (its only real competition for me is The Witcher 2, a much easier title that falls within the same genre and rocks for completely different reasons).

I wish more of the Dark Souls coverage would focus less on the game's difficulty--which is very real, and which the game's own publisher promoted aggressively--and more on the host of other things the game does so perfectly. That's one thing I tried to do in my own review. Debate has come down to "You love the game because you're a masochist" versus "You hate the game because you suck at games" and it's clear to me that there's a lot more at work here. Sometimes, I think that gamers just can't be allowed nice things.

As for the PlayStation versus Xbox 360 thing, I've heard people on Twitter tell me that yes, they're playing the Xbox 360 version but that's not why they hate it. They assure me that they know someone who says both versions are precisely the same. They are same the people who are experiencing the most slowdown and they're the people who are least able to appreciate the spectacular beauty of the game world and the finer points of its design, but they have a friend who says that platform is not an issue, so what would I know? I'm just playing the PlayStation version, so I'm guilty of a lapse in judgment right from the start. Of course, the game's developers did build and engineeer the title specifically for the PlayStation 3 hardware and there's not even an Xbox 360 version available in Japan, but apparently that's irrelevant.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Suskie
Posted: October 21, 2011 (07:56 PM)
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You don't quite have the full picture, Jason, but since you're basing most of that what I've said on Twitter (which was pretty much just me venting), that's not your fault. I actually do have fairly complicated reasons for hating the game as much as I do, and it's not simply about the difficulty, but rather how the level of difficulty clashes with other design choices they've made.

Honestly, don't be surprised to see a review from me in the near future. I know I've only completed a small chunk of the game (15 hours, which is apparently around 10% of it), but here's the thing. When I played Demon's Souls, I very frequently wanted to quit, but I didn't, because I wanted to give the game a fair chance. Turns out it wasn't worth, seeing the game to the end didn't change my opinion of it. I've been through this before. I have a lot that I want to say about Dark Souls, and I'm not going to suffer through 130 more hours of this crap to say it.

By the way, for as much as I disagree, this was a very good review. Might've even convinced me if I hadn't played the game already.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: October 21, 2011 (08:44 PM)
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Thanks for the comments on the review, Suskie! I didn't expect to convince you with my review or my follow-up comments. Dark Souls clearly isn't the game for you. While I believe that it would improve SOME in your eyes if you experienced the whole thing (it has a lot more variety and feels a lot different by its end than Demon's Souls ever did), I can't picture a scenario where you reach the end and realize with surprise that you liked the game. Just considering that possibility makes me chuckle. I'm glad that even though we disagree on the game, you were able to appreciate what I did with the review and to respond respectfully. That's the sort of thing I expect from this community and it's something that I hope will continue for a long time to come.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Suskie
Posted: October 21, 2011 (08:55 PM)
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You know, it's weird. Dark Souls is almost identical to Demon's Souls; the one big difference is that it's now set in one enormous world. You paint this as a positive thing and I understand your logic (although I'd liken it to, say, Metroid Prime rather than Zelda). At the same time, this new approach to level design is one of the major reasons I became so much more frustrated with this game than I did with Demon's Souls. I'd go into more detail, but I'm actually writing my "review" as we speak, so hopefully it'll become clear.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: October 21, 2011 (09:06 PM)
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I'm curious to see both sides of this argument! Regardless I've heard the game is much harder than Demon's Souls (from everyone but Jason) and I have to say I can't wait for the challenge. I've been playing UNcharted on Crushing and God of War on God mode and it's just barely doing it for me.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: October 21, 2011 (09:11 PM)
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It was easy to cheese Demon's Souls by building a sorcerer-type character and then taking everything out from a distance with magic. That worked more often than not, and in fact you could defeat the final "real" boss by standing at the top of a short set of stairs and just throwing magic at him (he wouldn't even move to attack). In Dark Souls, you have to use actual skill with melee weapons. That was an adjustment for me, but once I got good at close-range combat, the game became much easier. Once I learned to use the right weapons and strategies on the right areas, enemies and bosses, things got much simpler and I was able to relish the exploration. There were still places where I died--a lot--but it was always because of my impatience, my lapses into a frame of mind where I told myself that games like this allow you to just run in and start hacking things to bits. That never works here. Keep it in mind and the game is a delight.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Suskie
Posted: October 21, 2011 (10:44 PM)
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Uh, I just submitted my review, but there was no preview screen and it's not listed under my submissions page. Did you receive it?


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: October 21, 2011 (10:55 PM)
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It's in the queue. Someone should get to it soon, possibly me.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Suskie
Posted: October 22, 2011 (12:08 AM)
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Thanks. Sorry it was a bit shoddy, mechanically. I usually do my proofreading from the preview page, and I forgot that there no longer is one.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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