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I keep coming back to Demons Souls

#51DaLaggaPosted 3/8/2013 5:45:33 PM
SigmaHaciel posted...
The story is handled like a "W" RPG. Thus, yes, of course it seems non-existent. Because YOU are making it.


You...haven't played many WRPG's, have you? Countless WRPG's this gen like TES, Fallout, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age, etc. all completely destroy Dark Souls in terms of story (mainly because those games actually have a story). I'm not expecting long dialog scenes with tons of exposition from a game like Dark Souls. But something along the lines of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic as far as storytelling would have been perfect for DS.

Also, the lore is sparse and not deep? Obviously means you haven't bothered looking into it. The lore in Souls makes TES look like a joke.


I have looked into it. I read two wiki's describing the so called "lore" and even watched a couple videos of some guy on youtube everyone recommends. The lore in DS is sparse and shallow at best, and that's if you really dig into it to try to piece it together. Brief item descriptions and vague NPC babbling do not make for great lore.

And what? So, because you found it simple, you think Souls has simple combat? It has the meatiest and most solid combat I've seen in a game like this. 1 to 2 bosses offer a real challenge? So, elitist now, are we? Only a few bosses are true slouches.


The combat is painfully shallow, and that's the problem. Go look at Mount and Blade if you want to see deep melee combat. Dark Souls is just about memorizing enemy patterns and striking after a big slow enemy attack. There's no momentum based damage, no hit locations, no damage based on which part of your weapon connected, no feinting, no destroying shields (no, a massive durability bar isn't the same thing), no damage type vs armor calculations, no interrupt with high poise (which is easy to achieve) and no direction based blocking.

I could go on and on, but you get the point. And the only boss fight that took any real amount of skill and timing was O&S. That was it. Almost all of the other bosses could easily be dodged because their attacks were laughably slow or were so pathetic that you could just hide behind your shield and they couldn't touch you.

And OH, LOL at the ref to Mount&Blade.


You tried to button mash and wondered why it didn't work, right? Or let me guess, you were wondering where the unrealistic dodge roll button was so you can be temporarily invincible?
#52PoorCountryPosted 3/8/2013 10:13:01 PM
DaLagga posted...
SigmaHaciel posted...
The story is handled like a "W" RPG. Thus, yes, of course it seems non-existent. Because YOU are making it.


You...haven't played many WRPG's, have you? Countless WRPG's this gen like TES, Fallout, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age, etc. all completely destroy Dark Souls in terms of story (mainly because those games actually have a story). I'm not expecting long dialog scenes with tons of exposition from a game like Dark Souls. But something along the lines of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic as far as storytelling would have been perfect for DS.

Also, the lore is sparse and not deep? Obviously means you haven't bothered looking into it. The lore in Souls makes TES look like a joke.


I have looked into it. I read two wiki's describing the so called "lore" and even watched a couple videos of some guy on youtube everyone recommends. The lore in DS is sparse and shallow at best, and that's if you really dig into it to try to piece it together. Brief item descriptions and vague NPC babbling do not make for great lore.

And what? So, because you found it simple, you think Souls has simple combat? It has the meatiest and most solid combat I've seen in a game like this. 1 to 2 bosses offer a real challenge? So, elitist now, are we? Only a few bosses are true slouches.


The combat is painfully shallow, and that's the problem. Go look at Mount and Blade if you want to see deep melee combat. Dark Souls is just about memorizing enemy patterns and striking after a big slow enemy attack. There's no momentum based damage, no hit locations, no damage based on which part of your weapon connected, no feinting, no destroying shields (no, a massive durability bar isn't the same thing), no damage type vs armor calculations, no interrupt with high poise (which is easy to achieve) and no direction based blocking.

I could go on and on, but you get the point. And the only boss fight that took any real amount of skill and timing was O&S. That was it. Almost all of the other bosses could easily be dodged because their attacks were laughably slow or were so pathetic that you could just hide behind your shield and they couldn't touch you.

And OH, LOL at the ref to Mount&Blade.


You tried to button mash and wondered why it didn't work, right? Or let me guess, you were wondering where the unrealistic dodge roll button was so you can be temporarily invincible?


In all of this post, you are comparing it to other games in terms that obviously favor the other game. You can't say Dark Souls doesn't have a story and then boast about how another game's story is better -- that's a stupid comparison.
#53DaLaggaPosted 3/8/2013 11:12:23 PM
PoorCountry posted...
In all of this post, you are comparing it to other games in terms that obviously favor the other game. You can't say Dark Souls doesn't have a story and then boast about how another game's story is better -- that's a stupid comparison.


I'm saying that Dark Souls's story is practically nonexistent. It's not just bad compared to other games. It's bad in its own right. The same is true of the combat being repetitive and shallow. I compared it to other games to provide examples of how these elements could have been much better handled. But even if those other games didn't exist, my criticisms would be just as valid.
#54PoorCountryPosted 3/9/2013 10:34:53 AM
DaLagga posted...
PoorCountry posted...
In all of this post, you are comparing it to other games in terms that obviously favor the other game. You can't say Dark Souls doesn't have a story and then boast about how another game's story is better -- that's a stupid comparison.


I'm saying that Dark Souls's story is practically nonexistent. It's not just bad compared to other games. It's bad in its own right. The same is true of the combat being repetitive and shallow. I compared it to other games to provide examples of how these elements could have been much better handled. But even if those other games didn't exist, my criticisms would be just as valid.


You don't get what I'm saying. If we can agree that, by virtue of the story being "practically nonexistent", it isn't the appeal of the game, why are you comparing other games to it on the basis of story? This is like comparing the bounciness of a toothbrush to that of a basketball.

I've played games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age, and the lore in those games doesn't feel like genuine history. I don't have any sense for it ever actually happening, so they don't feel deeper than Demon's or Dark Souls.

"Repetitive" is an easy label to throw at any game, as they are all repetitive. It's just an objective-looking way of saying, "I don't like the combat", and isn't a compelling argument to make against someone who does.

The criteria you've chosen as a basis for comparison plays to the strengths of the "other game" -- it's blatantly biased. I can't fault Kingdom Hearts for not having combat as deep as Mount and Blade.

I agree with most of what you said about the Souls' series -- that their storyline is scarce (which I thought played to its strengths), and that the combat is not as deep as Mount and Blade (I feel totally whatever about this) -- but the comparison still doesn't detract from their appeal.
#55DaLaggaPosted 3/9/2013 11:09:46 AM
PoorCountry posted...
You don't get what I'm saying. If we can agree that, by virtue of the story being "practically nonexistent", it isn't the appeal of the game, why are you comparing other games to it on the basis of story? This is like comparing the bounciness of a toothbrush to that of a basketball.


Two reasons. First, almost every game benefits from a story. Like I said, it doesn't have to be "in your face" about it. Which is why I mentioned Dark Messiah's story because it's an aRPG with a fairly brief but rather good plot and Dark Souls would have benefited by doing something similar. Second, I'm also criticizing Dark Soul's plot because everyone seems to praise it for having an amazing story with deep lore. Neither of those are true.

I've played games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age, and the lore in those games doesn't feel like genuine history. I don't have any sense for it ever actually happening, so they don't feel deeper than Demon's or Dark Souls.


I'm not sure how to even respond to this. Mass Effect and Dragon Age literally have hundreds of times more story and lore than Dark Souls and most of it does a very good job of fleshing out the universe in which those games take place.

"Repetitive" is an easy label to throw at any game, as they are all repetitive. It's just an objective-looking way of saying, "I don't like the combat", and isn't a compelling argument to make against someone who does.


While most games have repetition, a good game is deep enough so that it doesn't feel repetitive (at least for a long while). For example, look at the Civilization series. Every game you play has a lot of similarity to the last, but there's so much depth and skill involved that every game still feels very different. Thus, it takes a very very long time before things start feeling repetitive. The same is true of something like Starcraft because of all of the different ways matches can play out. With Dark Souls, most weapons feel and function basically the same, most enemies are beaten using the exact same strategy that worked on the last, and everything in the game is completely static.

I agree with most of what you said about the Souls' series -- that their storyline is scarce (which I thought played to its strengths), and that the combat is not as deep as Mount and Blade (I feel totally whatever about this) -- but the comparison still doesn't detract from their appeal.


The thing is, if the combat is shallow and the story is fragmentary at best, what does the game have to fall back on? I just don't understand the praise this game gets when most of the elements that get praised aren't actually that good. Like I said in my first post, the game isn't bad by any means. Going by the typical rating system where a 7 is average, I'd probably give it a 7.5/10. But a lot of people seem to think it's some kind of epic masterpiece and I don't understand why. What's worse is that when you try to discuss it with most of them, they call you a troll and/or refuse to really respond.
#56PoorCountryPosted 3/9/2013 1:12:34 PM
DaLagga posted...
Two reasons. First, almost every game benefits from a story. Like I said, it doesn't have to be "in your face" about it. Which is why I mentioned Dark Messiah's story because it's an aRPG with a fairly brief but rather good plot and Dark Souls would have benefited by doing something similar. Second, I'm also criticizing Dark Soul's plot because everyone seems to praise it for having an amazing story with deep lore. Neither of those are true.

Every game benefits from giving players a chance to win a million dollars, as well. Stories are normal, but that doesn't rationalize evaluating one game against a criterion that it evidently doesn't try to achieve. Don't try to bring this linear thinking into the argument just to win it. What we're talking about -- quality of entertainment -- is an abstract thing. We can't just say, "games benefit from stories so any story is better than no story". Entertainment is more than the sum of its parts and what matters is how those parts work together.

I think Dark Souls' (just going to go with this one instead of saying "series") story is perfect in context of the game. I don't consider it a negative that I would like to see more of it -- it means I'm interested. Mass Effect, for all its codex entries, never captured my imagination in the first place. I got bored listening to the codex because, like I said, it never gave me a sense for any of this history actually happening.

DaLagga the biased
I'm not sure how to even respond to this. Mass Effect and Dragon Age literally have hundreds of times more story and lore than Dark Souls and most of it does a very good job of fleshing out the universe in which those games take place.


Just because, it seems. I don't know who could feel passionately about what was written in the codex. I don't feel the repercussions of history in any place or on any person in that game -- I see archetypes and tropes, people that I fully understand just by the shallow aspects of their character. I noticed this in particular regarding Mass Effect -- when they tried to represent poverty, it came off cloying and unnatural. There was always an artificial feeling to that game.
#57PoorCountryPosted 3/9/2013 1:13:27 PM
DaLagga the authority on all things

While most games have repetition, a good game is deep enough so that it doesn't feel repetitive (at least for a long while). For example, look at the Civilization series. Every game you play has a lot of similarity to the last, but there's so much depth and skill involved that every game still feels very different. Thus, it takes a very very long time before things start feeling repetitive. The same is true of something like Starcraft because of all of the different ways matches can play out. With Dark Souls, most weapons feel and function basically the same, most enemies are beaten using the exact same strategy that worked on the last, and everything in the game is completely static.

You can't impose this definition of a good game on me. A game doesn't need depth of gameplay -- on the level of Civilization or Mount and Blade, that is -- to be a satisfying experience; and finding a deeper game doesn't render all games before it "shallow". I agree that the weapons are mostly the same in Dark Souls, and I find that in itself disappointing, but I enjoyed the combat.

DaLagga the Goose King

The thing is, if the combat is shallow and the story is fragmentary at best, what does the game have to fall back on? I just don't understand the praise this game gets when most of the elements that get praised aren't actually that good. Like I said in my first post, the game isn't bad by any means. Going by the typical rating system where a 7 is average, I'd probably give it a 7.5/10. But a lot of people seem to think it's some kind of epic masterpiece and I don't understand why. What's worse is that when you try to discuss it with most of them, they call you a troll and/or refuse to really respond.

I'd give it a 9. It has a unique atmosphere, and the characters are expressive in a realistically tempered and mysterious way. It feels more like an experience than a pandering game. That's the sense I get from most games -- that they pander, and it undoes my suspension of disbelief faster than anything else. As for what others say, I don't think they know why they like anything. They're bad critics.


Also, I'd prefer it if you didn't break up the post into quotes like this. It's a hassle to manage and makes them unnecessarily large.
#58DaLaggaPosted 3/9/2013 2:40:40 PM
PoorCountry posted...
Every game benefits from giving players a chance to win a million dollars, as well. Stories are normal, but that doesn't rationalize evaluating one game against a criterion that it evidently doesn't try to achieve. Don't try to bring this linear thinking into the argument just to win it. What we're talking about -- quality of entertainment -- is an abstract thing. We can't just say, "games benefit from stories so any story is better than no story". Entertainment is more than the sum of its parts and what matters is how those parts work together.


First, many people praise the story and lore and believe more games should be like Dark Souls in this regard. Therefore, criticizing the story/lore is perfectly valid. Second, almost every game does indeed benefit from having at least some kind of story because it enhances every other aspect of the game by giving you more of a reason to play. It adds meaning to everything you do in the game world. Sure, a game doesn't have to have a story to be good (M&B for example has no real story either). But Dark Souls most certainly would benefit from one and if people are going to praise the broken plot then they need to be able to handle criticism.


Just because, it seems. I don't know who could feel passionately about what was written in the codex. I don't feel the repercussions of history in any place or on any person in that game -- I see archetypes and tropes, people that I fully understand just by the shallow aspects of their character. I noticed this in particular regarding Mass Effect -- when they tried to represent poverty, it came off cloying and unnatural. There was always an artificial feeling to that game.


I'm not saying every story aspect in those games was handled well, but most of them were. The codex is optional, but reading it does enhance the story by making the world feel far more complete and tangible. I like having some idea on how things actually work within the context of the Mass Effect universe instead of just being forced to accept concepts that are usually only vaguely explained in most games. The "plot" in Dark Souls on the other hand is so brief, broken, and shallow that it's hard to even criticize specific elements because it's difficult to comment specifically on things that don't really exist.
#59DaLaggaPosted 3/9/2013 2:50:08 PM
PoorCountry posted...
You can't impose this definition of a good game on me. A game doesn't need depth of gameplay -- on the level of Civilization or Mount and Blade, that is -- to be a satisfying experience; and finding a deeper game doesn't render all games before it "shallow". I agree that the weapons are mostly the same in Dark Souls, and I find that in itself disappointing, but I enjoyed the combat.


Sure, a lot of people find fun in button mashers that lack any depth or strategy. Just look at the popularity of games like Fable and Dynasty Warriors. But when people talk about Dark Souls, they speak of it as if it's something sacred. Something that requires untold amounts of skill and dedication to master. My point is simply that this is not true in the slightest for reasons already mentioned. If you're going to praise a game for deep combat (as many people on this forum do), then it had better have deep combat. Dark Souls simply doesn't. That doesn't mean it can't be fun though as I myself most certainly had fun at some parts of the game.

The O&S fight was a real highlight because it was practically the only fight in the game that actually did take a lot of skill, timing, patience, and strategy to win. If the rest of the bosses had been like that, then I might be inclined to agree with the opinions of many people here. But the fact is, most bosses could easily be beaten by just tapping block or roll before an excessively telegraphed attack. And some bosses could easily be beaten by just mindlessly button mashing without even bothering to avoid being hit (Pinwheel and Four Kings for example).

I'd give it a 9. It has a unique atmosphere, and the characters are expressive in a realistically tempered and mysterious way.


In what way are the characters expressive? There's quite literally more dialog and character interaction in the first 15 minutes of Mass Effect 1 than there is in all of Dark Souls. Most of the characters only have a few lines of dialog, facial expressions and voice syncing are pitiful at best, and most of them tend to just ramble like they have mental conditions. The atmosphere is decent, but it's definitely held back by From Software's inability to write code (hence why the framerate is garbage in several different spots).

Also, I'd prefer it if you didn't break up the post into quotes like this. It's a hassle to manage and makes them unnecessarily large.


It's the only way I can really respond to each of your points without things getting too confusing. This way, you know exactly which point I'm responding to.
#60PoorCountryPosted 3/9/2013 6:46:32 PM
DaLagga posted...

First, many people praise the story and lore and believe more games should be like Dark Souls in this regard. Therefore, criticizing the story/lore is perfectly valid. Second, almost every game does indeed benefit from having at least some kind of story because it enhances every other aspect of the game by giving you more of a reason to play. It adds meaning to everything you do in the game world. Sure, a game doesn't have to have a story to be good (M&B for example has no real story either). But Dark Souls most certainly would benefit from one and if people are going to praise the broken plot then they need to be able to handle criticism.

Refuting their claim is valid, but judging a game on the merits of what people say about it is irrational and unfair, and I'm suspicious that this would occur to you as a valid form of critique. I think you're being dishonest. The argument that story enhances everything else is fluff; you're the only one saying it doesn't have a story, so you don't need to convince me that stories are good things.

DaLagga the Dishonest
I'm not saying every story aspect in those games was handled well, but most of them were. The codex is optional, but reading it does enhance the story by making the world feel far more complete and tangible. I like having some idea on how things actually work within the context of the Mass Effect universe instead of just being forced to accept concepts that are usually only vaguely explained in most games. The "plot" in Dark Souls on the other hand is so brief, broken, and shallow that it's hard to even criticize specific elements because it's difficult to comment specifically on things that don't really exist.

You're arguing that knowing is better than not knowing. I don't think either side of that issue is necessarily right, so I'm neutral on it. In Dark Souls' case, not knowing the mechanisms of life and of being undead, of bonfires, the origin of demons and why they behave the way they do, or why Lautrec is such a bastard, made the game more atmospheric and mysterious. When the gargoyle-type things pick you up from Sen's Fortress and bring you to Anor Londo instead of attacking you like the rest of them do -- there's no reason for me to know what's going on with those guys. The effect was that at first I was fearful and distrusting of them, and that syncs with the spirit of Dark Souls perfectly.

The codex in Mass Effect didn't enhance the experience for me. What I learn in the codex doesn't feel relevant, except technically -- as in I have to accept, "that stuff happened", though I don't feel any impact. Off the top of my head, lore is, aside from the Dragonborn stuff in Skyrim, always relegated to sidequests. So that would explain I don't think it's important: it isn't. I'm sure other people can relate to this feeling, when some character comes up to you and references something from the codec, as if saying, "Hey, look how relevant that was. What a fleshed-out world we live in, don't you think?"