Souls Thread: Dark Souls, Demon Souls, Bloodborne -

Alec Benson Leary

Creator of Asperchu
Christorical Figure
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^It was a pretty big complaint, I never had any idea what it was about. I played Dark Souls on PC and I never had a single issue with it.
 

c-no

Duck
True & Honest Fan
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^It was a pretty big complaint, I never had any idea what it was about. I played Dark Souls on PC and I never had a single issue with it.
From what I heard, the resolution and/or frame rates were locked. Also according to TV Tropes (Take it with salt just in case), some gamers believe From Software is worse than EA.
  • Hate Dumb: To say that there are PC gamers that're treating FROM Software like they're worse than Electronic Arts (the generally-held worst gaming company in America, to put things into perspective) primarily due to the one month delay is like saying the sky's blue in the daytime.
I don't know why From Software would release the PC version separately from the console versions. If it has to do with graphics, framerates, and the like, I think that can be understandable since the console versions have downgraded graphics (According to the guy who wrote the strategy guide, From Software had to cut it down in order to get a steady 30 frames per second. The graphics in the debug build made it more like "seconds per frame" than frames per second.)

*Edit: Since the graphics for the game have been criticized, I decided to look it up. I think this complaint about graphics might hurt my head just like with the Molestia drama. My only thoughts of DS 2 is if gameplay is good. I don't care if it has photo-realistic graphics with HD bloom lighting. I just wonder if it just as good as Dark Souls.
 
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Springblossom

Dungeon Crawlaholic
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I've gotten a little further into the game.

Honestly, I'm kind of not liking some of the changes they've made. I don't like that Estus Flasks are nigh-useless in combat, and I hate relying on consumable items - especially ones that can't be easily replenished - for healing. Also, getting your guard broken staggers you for an insanely long period of time, which feels kind of cheap. I'm hoping that goes down as you increase your poise, because it's really ridiculous how long you stagger.
 

Springblossom

Dungeon Crawlaholic
kiwifarms.net
*sigh*

The more I play this, the less I'm liking it.

Can I say I really, really hate the health reduction? I liked Dark Souls' attitude towards player death, where you could just keep trying again and again. Sure, you'd eventually run out of humanity and lose the ability to summon, but that's not that much of a concern. Here, having finite resources adds an uncomfortable timer to the game, and I don't like it. Better save those souls, those enemies only respawn a few times. Better save those Lifegems, or you won't be able to heal in combat. Better save those Human Effigies, or you'll be fighting with half a life bar.

I really want to like this, but I'm just not feeling it right now.

I'm not buying anything on day one anymore. Every time I do that, I end up disappointed. The last time I did that was for Mass Effect 3, and the less said about that the better.
 

Springblossom

Dungeon Crawlaholic
kiwifarms.net
So a friend and I started a new character, and I'm warming up to it a bit.

First off, pick Healing Wares as your gift. It gives you a big supply of Lifegems, and helps make the first few areas easier. Also, don't pick the Swordsman. Go for the Warrior, he's the only class that starts with a shield.
 

Protoman

Row, row, fight the power.
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How do the graphics look on PC? Are they in anyway different from console?
The graphics are gorgeous. I havent played the console version, so i can't speak for that, but from what I understand if you're running it at high quality on pc you've got a much better looking game on your hands. they said in a few interviews that the textures on the PC version were going to get a big upgrade over consoles. That probably explains why it took so long for the port.

The issues that Dark Souls 1 had with framerate never really bothered me too much but were definitely there. Dark Souls 2 has completely gotten rid of those, it runs smooth as baby-ass and it looks absolutely gorgeous. I haven't played w/ mouse and keyboard but from what ive heard those controls are a whole lot less shit than they were in DaS1.

There's a lot of quality options, too, so if you've got a low-end pc it'll be fine but if you've got a high-end one you can have a pants-shittingly good time because holy fuck is this game pretty.
 

Springblossom

Dungeon Crawlaholic
kiwifarms.net
So I got past the Pursuer, which was a bit of a roadblock for my first character. I'm getting the feeling that he's like this game's equivalent of the Capra Demon or the Bell Gargoyles. I got to the Lost Bastille, but got a little bored and went to poke around Heide's Tower of Flame.
 

Protoman

Row, row, fight the power.
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Tip for those of you who are having difficulty with life lost upon death. Minor spoilers for items.

There's an area that's easily accessible from Mejula called Heide's tower of flame. It's got a lot of enemies that do and take a lot of damage. They mostly face you one on one, though, so that's nice. They're slow, so if you're good at dodge rolling, you should be able to beat them, even early in the game.

If you work your way through it and follow the first major fork in the path to the left, you'll eventually come across a corpse in front of a fog door. That corpse has the Ring of Binding on it. This ring reduces the HP penalties upon death by 50%. That 50% HP reduction just got cut down to 25%, making the game much easier to get through.
 

Springblossom

Dungeon Crawlaholic
kiwifarms.net
Tip for those of you who are having difficulty with life lost upon death. Minor spoilers for items.

There's an area that's easily accessible from Mejula called Heide's tower of flame. It's got a lot of enemies that do and take a lot of damage. They mostly face you one on one, though, so that's nice. They're slow, so if you're good at dodge rolling, you should be able to beat them, even early in the game.

If you work your way through it and follow the first major fork in the path to the left, you'll eventually come across a corpse in front of a fog door. That corpse has the Ring of Binding on it. This ring reduces the HP penalties upon death by 50%. That 50% HP reduction just got cut down to 25%, making the game much easier to get through.
Oh, how much do you want me to pay you for telling me about that?
 

Protoman

Row, row, fight the power.
kiwifarms.net
I accept payment in the form of cash, visa, and first-borns.

Some analysis: I think the major difference between this game and its predecessor is how incredibly free-form it is. So far I've unlocked almost every area on the teleporting screen adn I've only run into two roadblocks, fairly minor ones at that. You can honestly start just about anywhere you want, though you'll be punished with death unless you're incredibly skilled. DaS1 was (in?)famous for not telling you exactly where you should be going and just kind of letting you wander until you found something that kiiiiiinda matched that description of that one thing that one guy said that one time. This changed around the time you got the lord vessel and with it the ability to teleport to previously visited bonfires.

This game drops even that, instead pushing you to do whatever whenever. It gives you bonfire-teleports from the start of the game so that hiking back to the hub-world in Mejula doesn't eat up too much time. I don't know if I like the more free-form approach and I probably won't have a solid opinion on whether this game is better or worse than Dark Souls was until I finish and have a little time to stew. I haven't hit an Ornstein and Smough moment, though, and if I don't by the end of the game, I think it's safe to say I'll be a little disappointed.
 
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Springblossom

Dungeon Crawlaholic
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Is there some trick to the Dragonrider boss? Because that was seriously the nanciest 'Dragonrider' I've ever fought.

Also I got the Ring of Binding and the Old Knight Shield and that last one is seriously amazingly good. I'm now going back to trash those ballerina robot things in the Lost Bastille.
 

c-no

Duck
True & Honest Fan
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Is there some trick to the Dragonrider boss? Because that was seriously the nanciest 'Dragonrider' I've ever fought.

Also I got the Ring of Binding and the Old Knight Shield and that last one is seriously amazingly good. I'm now going back to trash those ballerina robot things in the Lost Bastille.
Well, it has to do with a switch outside the room that can affect the layout of the room you fight him in from what I heard.
 

Protoman

Row, row, fight the power.
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Yeah. If you don't pull the switch and rush past all the giants (which you can do) the boss fight gets super hard. Basically the entire outer rim of the stage is gone and he can push you off. He's not so much supposed to be tough as he's supposed to tell you "hey you have to take it slow." If you're already doing it right, he'll be easy as balls.
 

Springblossom

Dungeon Crawlaholic
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Okay then. I beat him on my second try and was figuring there had to be something more there, because he was easier than most of the big guys outside.

I found those switches and saw them doing something with the tower, but I wasn't sure what it was.
 

Springblossom

Dungeon Crawlaholic
kiwifarms.net
Okay, the Old Dragonslayer boss fight was seriously the best thing ever. I love this game now because holy shit that was awesome.
 

Protoman

Row, row, fight the power.
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Alright, I just finished the game. Review and analysis under the first spoiler, lore speculation under the second.

So this game does several things INCREDIBLY right and drops the ball on one or two really important things.

So first, I adored the music. The song that plays when you battle Vendrick, for example, is kind of incredible. The Milfanito's song in the Shrine of Amana? Incredible. Mejula's theme? Really really terrific. Just straight up tons of really really incredible music. I can't think of a single throwaway track.

Second, the atmosphere is kind of amazing. Dark Souls 1 put you in a kingdom that was on its last legs, dying slowly of a terminal disease. Dark Souls 2 places you in the hollow shell of a kingdom that died a long time ago and is waiting for someone to bring it back to life. This interplay and contrast between the two games is really awesome, and I think it might be my favorite part of the series now.

Combat improvements are pretty nice. I like a lot of the new weapons, dual wielding could use some improvements mechanic-ways but it adds a lot of depth to the game as is. Plus running around dual wielding a sun sword and the drangleic sword made me feel like a badass but that's beside the point.

The ability to respec your character: SO FUCKING NICE. like wow im so fucking happy they added this in. Makes NG+s past the first one a lot more interesting and appealing since it's not just going through a harder game with the same exact character, unless you want it to be.

I can't speak much about the PVP mechanics since PVP isn't my realm but the new covenants are really really rad. I spent most of the game as a sunbro so I can't really talk much about how well they function but the Rat Kings have a really cool concept to them, the belltower guys would be cool if so many of them weren't dishonorable douchebags who just use the rapid fire crossbow and then spam the mock gesture, the function of the two blue covenants (vanguards and way of the blue) is super fucking interesting, etc. etc. Really just all of the covenants in this game that aren't the brotherhood of blood are sick as shit.

As for the negative: There's a lot of really good boss fights in this game. A lot. Then there's the throwaway ones. The Covetous Demon might be the second worst boss fight in Souls history (right behind the infamous Bed of Chaos, though for opposite reasons.) The final boss is probably the third easiest boss in the game. People complained about Gwyn being easy as fuck, (a sentiment I disagreed with for lore reasons) but holy Christ, this boss battle is simple.

This game also never had its Ornstein and Smough moment. There was no boss battle that straight up stumped me. I guess the closest thing to it was the Duke's Dear Freja or the Smelter Demon, which, despite being really excellent boss fights, couldn't quite compare.

So overall this game is still fantastic. Its only flaw is being a 10/10 in a series of 11/10s. I'll probably rethink a lot of what I said after playing NG+ because I've heard that amps up the difficulty and complexity of a lot of bosses by a ton. If what I think changes enough, I'll write something up again probably. Should be fun.

Okay, so lore. As far as I can tell, this game is built around the last two players in a power struggle that went on in Drangleic way before the game started. Time period ways it seems we're in a land that's as deep into the Age of Dark described in the game as is sustainable.

From what I've pieced together from item descriptions, Vendrick was a mostly-normal man/undead of exceptional virtue who, through his ironclad will alone, forged a kingdom out of the remnants of one that was long dead. He had by his side his brother, Aldia, and his wife, Nashandra. Vendrick's motives and goals seem simple enough - he wanted to be king, and he wanted to maintain a glorious kingdom. Aldia's goals are more ambiguous, but he seems intent on breaking the curse of the undead. Nashandra is a shard of the soul of Manus (the primordial man from the first game, heavily implied to be the father of all humanity) and wants only to snuff out the last bits of the first flame and usher in a true and permanent Age of Dark.

Once he was king, Vendrick and Aldia had a falling out. All we're told is that Aldia and Vendrick both sought the truth, but disagreed on how to achieve it. Aldia left, somehow became a dragon, and... after that a lot of his story's ambiguous. Somehow he ended up creating the Emerald Herald whose goals are just as vague. Both of them feel like genuine good guys to me, though. Unlike Frampt and Kaath in DaS1, it really feels like these guys are kind of on the right side to me. I'm not entirely sure why, though, and I don't really have anything to back it up.

Vendrick, on the other hand, was convinced to invade the Giants across the sea by Nashandra, seeking some sort of prize that they held, likely either the Great Souls or something of vital importance to the rekindling of the First Flame. The invasion failed, the Giants counter-invaded, and all hell broke loose. After a while, Vendrick realized that Nashandra was using him as a pawn. In response he sealed away his throne room, left two of his most stalwart and loyal guardians there to protect it, took the only key with him, and ditched. Nashandra got pissy and just sort of waited around until some patsy (you) came along. Once you unlock the door and kill the two guardians, Nashandra comes in and tries to kill you. Shit doesn't work out so well and you end up taking the throne. It's up to you to decide whether you'll rekindle the First Flame, ushering in another Age of Fire, or break the cycle by allowing the First Flame to fade away and preparing yourself for what may come with a true Age of Dark. Neither of the decisions are good or evil, but unlike in Dark Souls 1, you're no pawn of fate. You get to make your own choice, and neither the gods nor the serpents are waiting to seize power the moment you make it. I like that a lot.

Once again, a lot of this is just my interpretation. I'd love to hear what stories other people make up with the gaps the game gives us. It's one of my favorite parts of the Souls games, tbh.
 
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Watcher

Cishet dudebro
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Apparently, Dark Souls 2 is getting some DLC.

http://www.joystiq.com/2014/06/04/dark-souls-2-kills-you-again-with-the-lost-crowns-dlc/

I recall the director of the game saying they wouldn't want DLC but it is coming. As much as how people will scream "betrayal" and all, I do wonder how this DLC will turn out.
I don't see a single problem with this. Dark Souls had DLC called Artorias of the Abyss, that was included with the PC version for free and was a paid download for console players. If they wanna make DLC, more power to them.

Plus the DLC sounds kinda interesting. "The first chapter, "Crown of the Sunken King," drops on July 22, taking place in "an entirely different world within the Dark Souls 2 universe, where stepped pyramids span a vast underground cavern.""

As long as it's well priced I might get it.
 
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