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10 reasons why Dark Souls is an action game and NOT an rpg

#1AstronomerJakePosted 5/4/2013 7:49:22 PM
In no particular order-

1. There is no story, lore, or background. Let me get this out of the way guys: a couple scribblings on a wall or a one word sentence describing something does NOT constitute being a story for a game. Or lore. Or background. End of story (lol).

2. Dark Souls tries too hard to leave it up to the players' skill with a controller to progress in a game, when 100% of other rpg's don't do that in my opinion. Yea, I think player skill should be a determining factor in progression, but not everything. It makes it an action game. Which leads me to my next point.

3. The loot system. You can beat the game naked without equipment. The loot system is completely irrelevant if you can just ignore it. I realize that you can do this in other rpg's, but Dark Souls, above all other games, is meant to be frustratingly hard and the devs even mention they want to frustrate people with the "difficulty." If you can beat this "difficult" game, whose #1 forte is supposedly the challenge, with no equipment, then yea, its an action game.

4. No character interaction or dialogue. Even loot crawlers that are known to be mostly mind-numbingly grindfests like Sacred 2, have more character interaction and dialogue. You actually talk to npc's and learn about characters' problems or get a sense of belonging in the atmosphere npc's help create. You don't get any of this in Dark Souls. And no, its not because the game wants the player to feel alone in a dark dark atmosphere; its because the game is an action game and you fight nonstop with no rest in between, like ff13 (which is an rpg because it has character interaction and cutscenes to craft a story).

5. Being unable to pause. This may sound like a rudimentary childish argument, but it isn't. You can't pause in the game. One thing that separates action games from rpg's is that in action games, you're fighting nonstop whereas in rpg's, you actually get to rest in between battles and look at statistics or inventory screens w/o worrying about monsters attacking you. You usually do this in towns, Which once again, brings me to:

6. No towns. Come on, name me one true rpg that doesn't have towns in it besides ff13, which tried too much to be like Call of Duty than an rpg. Role playing games need towns. It goes back to the entire theme of my reasons- in action games you fight nonstop while in rpg's you get to fight, rest, fight, rest to your heart's content.

7. Invading/griefing is too much of a gimmick. I'm 100% okay with griefing online in video games, but the problem with Demon/Dark Souls is they encourage it so much that its too much of a sticking point in the game and they designed the entire game with the sole purpose of encouraging invaders/griefers to ruin other people's games. Once again, I'm okay with the griefers, but they put too much of an emphasis on it, which makes it more action game-ish and less rpg-ish.

8. The auto-save system- I'm sorry, but auto-saving shoudn't be required in rpg's. I realize you can manually save in Dark Souls, but the game auto-saves after every fight or death. Its just another design mechanic that is more attuned to the action game genre than what we are typically used to in rpg's, like save spheres and saving anywhere w/o fear of monsters respawning, which they do in Dark Souls at every Bonfire you touch.

9. Exploration is lazily designed. What I mean by this is, I hear people all the time saying they love the exploration in Dark Souls and after every corner, there could be a mean baddie lurking around. This is true, but the problem is, the devs sort of got lazy and said, "we'll put 9 monsters at normal strength in this area and then put a 10th monster that can one shot you." I had this happen where I was fighting skeletons then went down stairs and a knight one shotted me. Its lazy design.
#2AstronomerJake(Topic Creator)Posted 5/4/2013 7:50:09 PM
10. For my 10th reason, I'm just gonna say that I own Dark Souls and enjoyed my time with it, but it has too many design mechanics that are attuned to action games and lacks too many to be officially considered an rpg.

Thank you all and I look forward to describing my reasoning if anybody has any rebuttals to my points.
#3CV24Posted 5/4/2013 7:57:12 PM
I lol'd
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#4akuma634Posted 5/4/2013 7:57:14 PM
I don't like the game but it does have just as much merit as an RPG as anything else. The RPG is way too broad a genre, I mean you can loosely find reasoning for games like River City Ransom, Legend Of Zelda, over a decade of Castlevania, and other games that have been merging RPG features into other genres. Ever since System Shock 2 in 1999 the line between action and RPG has been shattered, that was a FPS survival horror game with RPG stats, leveling, and of course making your character build with strengths and weakness like if you're full on commando then you probably won't be a good hacker or psychic. After SS2, it proved that any action game could run on full RPG systems without losing anything of an RPG or action game.
#5gilv3rPosted 5/4/2013 8:01:23 PM
Dark Souls is a JRPG
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#6jubjub360Posted 5/4/2013 8:06:01 PM
It's an RPG. You create a character from the ground up, choosing everything from who he is to his/her base stats. You then go through the game and level him/her up using experience points gained from doing multiple things, in Dark Souls killing and spending souls.
#7cirkmetroidPosted 5/4/2013 8:08:51 PM
I bet this guy is a riot at record stores, always complaining about his favorite bands are in the wrong section. "This is not rock, this is clearly alternative!" "This is not popular, this is clear rock!"

Eh, chances are they've never been inside one.
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#8NarutoPosted 5/4/2013 8:18:45 PM
It's not how much story you get or how you can open treasure chests. The core of a RPG are the numerical stats associated with the character and combat system.
#9ace_spades111Posted 5/4/2013 8:20:22 PM
I'd say it's an RPG, just not a typical JRPG. It has a more western dungeon crawl feel to it with spiked difficulty.

but yeah lack of deep story is kinda disappointing.

The way RPG's are these days... any game can be called an rpg. Every RPG at least needs an inventory system, changing stats with levels and interact-able NPC's that have a purpose....like buy/sell

DS has all 3
#10Omega_GilgameshPosted 5/4/2013 8:43:18 PM
1. I agree that the story a little minimalistic, but if you consider where RPG's came from, Dungeons and Dragons, they had basically the same thing.

2. It's an ACTION RPG, not JUST an RPG. And stats have a major impact on the game.

3. Even without equipment, there's still the stat system and item system. And not using those is kinda like going No Sphere Grid/Summons in FFX, or playing all of FFIX at level 1. Just because it's not absolutely necessary doesn't make it invalid.

4. I would, again, point you toward D&D, but I'd also like to point you toward most MMORPG's (SW:TOR is an exception to this trend)

5. They're called Bonfires.

6. I'll agree that this is point is definately breaking convention (and I would've liked to see actual civilization in that game), but I'd still not call this genre breaking.

7. Again, MMORPG. It's called PvP.

8. I'll agree insofar as that RPG's don't require auto-saves, and that Dark Souls might be better off without an auto-save.

9. And this is a common complaint in many, many traditional RPGs. Not so much with the gems we tend to remember, but it's still there in many of them.

And 10. I can understand and respect your opinion, but I'll have to respectfully disagree (almost wrote disrespectfully agree, lol). Lots of action games have, ahem, "RPG elements", but none of them are even close to as robust as Dark Souls, and it's spiritual predecessor Demon's Souls.

Closing Statement: In short, your arguement revolves heavily around your definition of what makes an RPG. Some people think of levels and experience or their rough equivilants, some people think of games that emphasize that you're playing "a role". Consider this, scientificially it's impossible to classify human "races". There is simply too much variability that it's impossible to get any kind of objective classification as to what constitutes caucasian, african, latino, asian, and so on. These things can only exist in our subjective minds.
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