GAMING

Gaming: Dark Souls Appreciation

One of the most important games of the 21st Century.

Dark Souls might not be for everyone. It is definitely not a casual game. If you die once in this game, you have a chance to recollect your souls (aka currency in this game) at wherever you die at. However, if you die in the process of collecting your lost souls, you lose them all. Doesn’t matter if you had 250,000 souls. If it’s gone, it’s gone. There are no difficulty settings in this game. You start the game as it is. The controls are very clunky. There’s no dedicated jump button. In order to jump, you have to be sprinting first and then tap the run button. Dark Souls is definitely the epitome of “git gud”. It’s all about trial and error. With all that being said, why is this game so celebrated everywhere? Why is it a game that has a slightly high difficulty spike so celebrated in the gaming community? Why should you play this game?

Dark Souls is fair but rewarding.

Ah yes, if you’ve watched a couple of speedruns for this game, you can assume that this game can easily be beaten within an hour. First of all, that’s what a speedrun is. You’re supposed to beat the game under a certain amount of time. Even if the speedrunners make Dark Souls look easy, it is not easy at all. In fact, I would say that Dark Souls is a fair but rewarding game. As long as you know how the mechanics of this game works, nothing is cheap in this game. This game is completely balanced and fair.

Dark Souls introduced a new type of mechanic to the gaming community. Its clunky yet fair game is what makes this game much more memorable. No boss is overpowered as long as you know what you’re doing. Although some bosses might be cheap and annoying, those only make up like 10% of the bosses throughout the game. Ever since the success of Dark Souls, there have been many games that try to mimic Dark Souls. People coined this term as “souls-like” game where they would borrow the major mechanics from Dark Souls, and try to recreate them. Games such as Lords of the Fallen and Nioh do a pretty good job at mimicking what a Dark Souls game would be like. Unfortunately, the latter would actually end up doing better in ratings and sales due to its extreme difficulty like Dark Souls. The combat might not be the greatest of all, but it has definitely inspired many games. The Witcher 3 and God of War (2018) borrow the combat style from Dark Souls.

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Dark Souls is definitely up there in my Top 5 games of ALL time. I’ve played ever single entry in this series, with the exception of Demon’s Souls. Going to be checking out Demon’s Souls remake once it launches for the PS5. Dark Souls had many memorable boss battles. Its rich soundtrack also made the game feel more different than many other titles out there. I’ve beat Dark Souls roughly around 4 times total; with 2 of them being on the PC, 1 on the PS4, and 1 on the Nintendo Switch.

I absolutely love this game. I would highly recommend playing through Dark Souls 1 to 3, along with Bloodborne on the PS4. Its difficulty might scare some new players away, but once you get used to the controls and how the game works, this game will be worth your time. One interesting aspect I like about the series is that you basically will have no idea what’s going on with the game. You will usually learn what’s going on by talking to NPCs or by reading each item. Each item has a unique lore, and they tell a quick excerpt about a town, player, or boss.

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Dark Souls 2 weapon menu

I think most players will have a great time with every entry in the series except Dark Souls 2. Dark Souls 2 is the only game in the series where the main director of the DS1 didn’t return. Dark Souls 2 was just overall annoying. Nothing seemed right. Nothing was memorable. I’d recommend playing through DS2 once and thats it. DS3 is an alright game, but I felt that it could’ve been much better. Wasn’t really my favorite entry as well, but I personally liked it and enjoyed it more than DS2. Bloodborne and DS1 are up there in the ranks. Both examples of what a perfect game is.

 

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