I think they resemble Roguelikes in their emphasis on stat and equipment management, and brutal, unforgiving difficulty, where you're guaranteed to die. The main difference is that your character death simply sends you back to the previous bonfire, instead of being killed forever. Like I said, they only slightly resemble the genre, though.
I always get a laugh when people put demons/dark souls in the same category as jrpgs. Sure they are rpgs from japan but they are base around western rpgs. It's just silly to put them in the same category as final fantasy or persona games. If anything demons/dark souls goes to show how much jrpgs are bad cause it had to play like a western rpg to be good.
I always get a laugh when people think JRPG and WRPG are different genres.
Well, I don't see why. They are different enough to be separate genres. I can't see how Skyrim/The Witcher/Fallout can be directly compared to Dragon Quest/FF/Star Ocean/Tales Of. We would have to broaden the definition of RPGs so much that I thinks it's best just to split them into 2 subgenres.
To everyone saying Dark souls / Demon Souls plays like a WRPG, it doesn't follow the full wrpg side of things, did you know Dark Souls is only following the style Kings Field had? This was far before anyone even termed the phrase wrpg. Kings Field to this day still remains one of my favorites due to it's exploration. The graphics were pretty horrible, the story was almost non existent but the combat and exploration was amazing. They have stuck to that style for a while and perhaps even started it before any western developer even got to it. So if anything you might even say wrpg's copy kings field's formula which is from the same developer that makes dark souls.
So lets just drop the "dark souls isn't a jrpg because of how it plays" when they perhaps invented that formula that wrpg's use. I may be wrong, but I know they have been using it for over 15 years now.