Archive for category Demons Souls

Demon’s Souls Impressions

ds3

Overview

Awesome. Really awesome. This is the opposite of mass market accessibility. It’s punishing, easily frustrating, humorless, cryptic, hard to figure out, and definitely for a certain niche of gamer. But it’s spectacular. I would recommend this to any of the more patient players or RPG buffs out there.

Visuals

The preview footage left me with the impression of a very drab, empty, simple looking game. This isn’t something you would show off to a visitor to quickly dazzle them. However, when you are immersed into playing the game, the art style is absolutely awesome. This is far from generic cookie-cutter fantasy stuff and shows real artistic flair. Various items, monsters, and special scenery have some really wild and evocative designs that help draw you into the game and intensify the dark fantasy experience.

ds2

How Frustrating?

As everyone has heard, the game is hard, it punishes you, and you will die a lot. And when you die, the entire level respawns, and you have to find your corpse (actually a blood stain) to reclaim your “souls” which are the game’s currency for buying/repairing/upgrading equipment and getting new skills. If you die before getting to your corpse, all your old souls are permanently gone and you will probably get frustrated. However, it’s not that bad. You keep all of your inventory and loot as well as anything you bought with your souls across deaths. Secondly, after you play through a section several times, you figure out the tricks and it gets much easier to beat.

Why is it Good?

The strict penalties combined with the non-traditional rule set and the game’s wildly bizarre art style and unique level setups lead to a real nervous excitement and wonder about exploring and discovering the game. This brings back memories of playing Dungeons & Dragons for the first time as a kid.

I may be overstating this game’s quality a bit. This isn’t a perfect game or anything, but it really does tap into some of that sense of wonder.

Learning Curve

Normally, learning how to play a game is a real annoying chore. It’s like studying a college textbook on material that is ridiculously useless. This game has a long steep learning curve with lots of weird rules that I had to read about on the Internet, but I was hooked and entertained right from the start.

ds1

Action RPG

Yes, it’s an action RPG, but that genre label is generally associated with Diablo-clones, and this is a completely different style of game. Diablo and it’s clones are easy to get into relaxing and mind-numbing click-fests that deliver a constant stream of positive reinforcements and that’s not what this game is about at all. Also, the “action” mechanics are much more involved here than one would expect for the genre.

ds4

Character Classes

You select a character class at the start, but this just determines your initial attributes and equipment set. From there, you can develop the character in any direction you want. There is a trophy room where you can see the characters that players beat the game with and it’s impressive to see the diversity of character build types that were successful.

, ,

9 Comments

Demon Soul’s “Visceral Action” Trailer

There are few RPGs on PS3, even fewer JRPGs, and even fewer genuinely innovative RPG games this generation. From all the buzz, Demon Souls looks like it will be one of the few to meet all those expectations. The Japanese import version has gotten tons of rave reviews, and now there is an official US release for October 6.

1 Comment

Replayability and its fine uses.

I never play through a game twice unless the game was incredible. Not even achievements made me play through the game twice, because well, those are usually for only one playthrough anyway. That was all and dandy until trophies hit.

At first for me, they did nothing except for me to go back and play the game a different way than usual. And I could never finish an old fashioned RPG, and that’s my favorite genre. (Excluding the kingdom hearts series, and we’ll see with demons souls.) The way trophies changed replayability is this, it makes you play the game over again until you get the final ding.

For example, right now I’m playing through inFAMOUS and I have all the dead drops and i’m 40 shards away to having all of them. I’m pretty thrilled. Another example is Resistance 2, when you have to go back and play it through 3 times to get that platinum(which in fact to me is a bit ridiculous.)

And I also believe LittleBigPlanet changed it in a way also, by Play Create Share, instead of having to just play the story, you get people making more levels at your disposal. Or you can create your own, I don’t know how they do it in fact. So tell me, did anything change your way of gaming?

7 Comments

Demon’s Souls Import Impressions

PS3 owners, are you still looking for a good rpg? Still waiting on Square Enix to decide whether or not to release The Last Remnant for the PS3? If so, then you’re in luck! There’s an rpg gem out there that may have slipped under your radar and it’s a PS3 exclusive. The rpg I speak of is Demon’s Souls, a collaboration between Sony and From Software.

Box Art

Demon’s Souls can be described as a dark, open-ended , action rpg. Since it’s initial Japanese release in the land of the rising sun in February, Demon’s Souls has been getting some good reviews and selling out.

Reviews

Eurogamer reviewer Keza MacDonald wrote “It’s stoic, uncompromising, difficult to get to know, but also deep, intriguingly disturbed and perversely rewarding. You can learn to love Demon’s Souls like few other games in the world. But only if you’re prepared to give yourself over to it.”, scoring the game 9/10.

Famitsu reviewer Paint Yamamoto, rated the game 9: “This is a game you learn how to play by losing — you’ll face sudden death frequently. But! Keep playing… and you’ll realize how deep it really is. If you’re looking to experience rich RPG elements, by all means play Demon’s Souls!!.”

However Famitsu “casual” reviewer Maria Kichiji rated the game 6 “It’s super-difficult… ‘Souls’ are needed for everything from shopping to power ups, and the entire game is unforgiving. Even worse, there are almost no hints. Demon’s Souls is far too stoic… it’s not a game for everybody.”

While the game hasn’t been released outside of Asia ( better announce a US release @ E3 Sony ! ) there are 3 versions of the game. The Japanese version is in complete Japanese but the Asian versions, either the Hong Kong or Korean ones, support full english text and audio.

On to the game.

You can create your own character with the deep customization system. It’s probably just me but I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to created a character with complete black eyes and bright pupils! You can choose between 10 different classes;

Knight: strong and heavy armored.
Priest: Warriors of the priesthood, and use miracles.
Thief: Work under the cover of darkness, sneaking up behind enemies.
Magician: Masters of magic, poor physical offensive and defensive skills.
Temple Knight: Strong warriors that also use defensive miracles to their advantage.
Soldier: Skilled in combat, able to handle many types of weapons.
Wanderer: Low armored but fast and agile, skilled with swords.
Barbarian: Uncivilized people not wearing any armor, physically strong.
Royal: Aristocrats users of offensive magic, starts with valuable magic rings and rapier.
Hunter: Specialized in outdoor activities, skilled with bows, light on armor.

No matter who you create all classes can use/learn magic and miracles. Unfortunately in order to use it you’ll need a catalyst ( magic stick ) or talisman to cast the respective spells. Also how you advance through the game can change the World Tendency of the current area you’re in.

Map
The individual areas can turn completley black or glow white. What’s the center statue for..?

For example, if you die repeatedly in the same area in human form, that area will gradually turn black unleashing new enemies called ‘Black Phantoms’ . These enemies are stronger forms of the regular enemies of the stage. These types of World Tendency changes can affect the strength of your weapons and adversaries. While that may sound horrid ( believe me, it is ) some areas require a tendency change in order to access closed areas which may hide goodies in the form of souls, new armor and weapons.

The souls you aquire from enemies and bosses have to be used for everything. From buying more supplies to increasing your player’s attributes. So expect to spend a lot of time farming souls.

The most fun part about Demon’s Souls is the online. Other players who are either 10 levels above or below you can invade your game and fight you. They’re called Black Phantoms. I’ve beaten quite a few. Mostly Japanese players. Winning pvp is so satisfying. You can also summon up to 2 other players into your game to help you complete the level and defeat the bosses.

Speaking of bosses, they are some of the most challenging I’ve seen since Onimusha 1 and Devil May Cry 1.

This guy’s a pain!
False King

If/when you die you lose all the souls you collected but can regain them if you return to your ‘bloodstain’. If/when you die in human form you respawn in spirit form at the beginning of the level and all the enemies you killed will respawn also. When in spirit form I’ve heard bosses are less aggressive. Also to regain your human form you need to kill the boss of the level or find a special item. Did I mention while in spirit form you only have 3/4 of your max health?

In closing

While The graphics aren’t on the level of Kill Zone 2 or FFXIII , the game play and replay value makes up for it. They just don’t make games like this anymore I tell you!

6 Comments