The biggest difference I've seen would just be the time it takes to re-try a boss.
Instead of having to re-tread a whole level, you can die, and run back to the boss within a few minutes. This makes it so they don't really need use a guide or look somethin up. In demon's you didn't always have time to study a boss, you often had to react quickly. Adjudicator Boss comes to mind.
That was a long and pretty rough lvl to re-do everytime, and the boss would one-shot you before you even knew what you were doing.
If I had to choose though, I'd say dark souls is harder, simply because I've spent so much time in demon souls, re-playing it with low lvls and minimum requirements for things, and yet I find myself gettined killed often in Dark Souls, since some of the usual reckless tactics that worked wonders in Demons, gets punished in Dark Souls ;)
I'd have to say the environments in Demon's Souls were more dangerous than the ones in Dark Souls, but Dark Souls has the difficulty edge in all other areas, but not by a huge amount. Many people often like to cite DeS bosses as being much harder, usually Flamelurker, and Maneaters, but both of those bosses were not at all difficult if you knew how to fight them.
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Both games are excellent IMO. Honestly. Demon Souls has better atmosphere but I think Dark Soul is the better game.
This x1000; it is my overall appraisal of the two games in a nut shell. I REALLY hope they can bring back the atmosphere of Demon's Souls to Dark Souls 2.
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Demon's. I definitely felt more "despair" playing that game. Whether it's the Valley of Defilement (any part... falling to your death, getting poisoned by rats, bum rushed by 6-7 enemies, knocked around by those huge troll guys, stuck/poisoned in the swamp while fighting said troll guys, wading through the quagmire at the end boss when those deformed babies keep popping up)...
...or Shrine of Storms with the death/scythe enemies that summon ghosts...
...Tower of Latria with the magic spamming/paralyzing... uh, medusas? Warlocks? Whatever they are called. They killed me so often.
Also, the enemy NPCs you fight on PBWT are way tougher than any of the black phantoms (Maneater Mildred, Crestfallen, Leeroy etc.) that come up on Dark Souls.
And the fact that it's much tougher finding people to co-op with.
Yeah. Demon's Souls is more difficult, there's no two ways about it.
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I'm gonna go against the grain here... i played Demon's first, and yes... it was hard. But, i honestly found Dark to be harder.
In Demon's, there wasn't a whole lot of back tracking, unless you needed to grind for components, or were specifically going back to get X from the X-world/Player Tendency. I would get killed a lot at first, but you adapted, and that was it. However, in Dark, i die WAY more just due to not paying attention when having to backtrack through areas many times.
Maybe a better way of putting it would be that Demon's had a sort-of spike difficulty. Many instances were rather difficult as stand-alone set pieces... but Dark, kind of has this all-around perpetual difficulty where you REALLY need to always pay attention.
Both hard for different reasons, and both are awesome games for different reasons!
I still have nightmares of old king allant.
And I still never felt the thrill that can compare to facing old monk 3-3. ( as a player)
Darksouls is still hard but demon souls felt so much harder.
Actually, its very subjective to say which is harder. I don't agree with saying which is hard unless we are talking from a ng+ point of view and different builds can make the hardest boss, extremely easy, so it all falls down on how you play.
Whatever you played first is going to be harder.
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Both are harder than the other in certain respects. There's very little backtracking in DeS, you have no poise ever, you can never upgrade your armor, you become married to the Cling Ring if you don't want to be invaded. Materials are a pain to farm, especially the Pure materials (think Titanite Slab of each type) and the rarest of that being the Pure Bladestone, only found on 1 or 2 enemies in the entire game in World 4, it's the dual katana skeletons, I think the black skeleton and it's BP version, both of whom can make short work of any build. Pure Bladestone is required for DEX weapons.
Dark Souls has more unforgiving enemies and boss fights (Old King Allant, Penetrator, and Flamelurker aside, maybe Maneaters too), but you have more mechanics to help you this time around. Poise can help you power through some attacks that would otherwise stagger you (though DeS had Hyper Armor in a few weapons), upgradable armor allows you to take a few (at most) more hits in NG+ and beyond, a much wider selection of weapons. You're not burdened by carrying gear, only equipping it. Yeah that was fun in DeS, seeing a lootable item right near the Flamelurker, try to pick it up and see they're too heavy, those super-heavy fist weapons I had no intention of using, and every intention of just keeping for completion's sake.
Granted, DkS doesn't have a boss fight like Maiden Astraea with Garl Vinland, and you had to be careful when attacking Garl Vinland with anything other than the Scraping Spear (more on that weapon later) because he could actually parry you and wielded the strongest weapon in the game, and his riposte was almost always fatal on NG. NG+ with Garl Vinland and The Penetrator were often full of one-shot deaths if you weren't careful
Scraping Spear time! DEX builds often utilized weapons that had rather poor durability, and the Scraping Spear takes away 10 durability from an enemy's equipped weapon per hit, or shield if blocked I think. So if someone used that with the... Baby's Nail is it? You could find yourself with a drastically weakened weapon and inflicted with something between Toxin and the Blowdart Sniper's Toxin: Plague, it was nasty.
The end-all-be-all shield for most in DeS was the Dark Silver shield for it's 100% physical/magical block rating, weighed as much as most normal shields too.
There were grasses that you could carry up to 99 of (if you could carry that many without being burdened with your gear equipped/carried) and they went from weak healing items to essentially Divine Blessings. Oh, and the Divine Blessing ones could be farmed from non-hostile enemies who would always spawn in world 4-4 even after the boss was dead, and the duping trick is still not-patched, so imagine PvP with people who could decay your weapons super fast and always having 99 Divine Blessing on hand.
So there it is, both are harder than the other when you compare how things were done or changed. Some bits of legitimate fairness were added, some exploits removed, AI improved in DkS, etc. It's just that DeS can be more artificial in it's difficulty than DkS at times. One final example of that is running into a Giant Depraved One BP while walking in the swamp and moving super slow. They hit hard enough to kill in one shot and aren't slowed down by the swamp at all.
Playing Dark Souls and Baldur's Gate Trilogy right now.
I guess I'm alone on this one saying that I enjoyed Dark Souls more and felt it was more forgiving then Demon Souls. Demon Souls is just plain cheap sometimes creating not difficulty but annoyance whereas Dark Souls has less "seriously that just happened?" moments.
I could never finish Demon Souls because of those minor annoyances that are meant to "test your might / skill." but come off as just plain dumb.
Dark Souls is easier then Demon Souls, IMO.
Dark Souls = Great Balance
Demon Souls = DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE, you want a checkpoint? TOO BAD!!! MUWHAHAHAH.
i have beat dark souls so many times that i forgot what it felt like to be "noob".
strictly speaking demon souls is harder if you play on pure black tendency, but judging both games as an average player just playing the game then dark souls wins by a long shot.
just the other day i started playing a new char on dark souls & built him as faith. put the minimum stats for the katana & had an absolute blast when i started seeing how smart the AI is when it takes several hits to kill the average enemy.
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