Monday, October 11, 2010

demon's souls

DEVELOPER: FromSoftware
Progress: 0%

Demon's Souls recently made the PlayStation "hit list" meaning: it's been giving Greatest Hits status. Greatest Hits labeling means a lower price tag and usually a resurface of active players online--not that this game needs it. This game was originally released in Japan and its fans have been spotted all over in North America. DS has cult followings both online and around the world wide web with numerous web pages like this and this and that, where players gather to trade walk-throughs, item knowledge and strategy.

Demon's Souls is set in medieval times, where you face armored knights, ogre hoards, dragons and of course demons. It is a very action oriented take on, the sometimes slow, Role Playing Game (RPG) genre. The medieval setting is done very well with all the dirt and blood you may expect from the time. Players have access to various RPG characters classes as you may have expected, each one with their own intricacies. However you choose to start out, you begin at the foot of a castle with heavy, clunky armor and a sword. A glowing spot on the floor, left by another online player, reads "the real Demon's Souls begins here."

Online is handled very differently in this game. You can leave (limited) messages to other players, who are playing the same levels as you. Or one can join up with a "ghosted" player, who will lead and assist you. Trust me when I say, this game is overly complicated and I'm sure I have missed some key aspects.

While online play may be complicated, the fighting mechanics are among the best I have ever played. What could make more sense than L buttons controlling your left side R buttons your right? With the controls nailed down to precision, every move counts. Timing your attacks right and picking your battles goes a long way in this game. Eventually, you acquire potions and oils that will give you more skills to help you advance. I will say this game is a challenge. While the controls are tight, the unforgiving combat engine may be too much for most casual gamers.

You have next to no chance of beating this game or even getting started. This is by far one of the hardest games available. Which leads me to my major gripe with this would-be "masterpiece." There are no check points along the way. Each level begins anew. You get 25 minutes into besieging the castle, surviving impossible battles just to get mobbed on a bridge and sent back to the beginning. I consider this to be a huge game flaw that could easily have been avoided with an option to have save points (or not) that the player can toggle on and off. Novice and many seasoned players need and want save points because they are eager to see the story and graphics unfold before them. Some seasoned players, those with a masochistic playing style, enjoy a game with no save points so they can feel that special satisfaction when finally conquering a level without a save.

This outlandish game flaw has greatly affected my grade for this game. Demon's Souls is just crushingly hard and with no way to save or hit a check point, it is useless to me. Beautiful graphics and a sick fighting style are wonderful just let us get to use them. Maybe one day I will head back to this daunting castle for revenge but for now I've sold my copy.

I really wanted to like this one


  1. I couldn't agree with you more. This games style and look are fantastic, and the game play was engaging. However after playing for 4 hours, and still being at the very beginning of the game, it just gets frustrating. I wouldn't even mind if the checkpoints were far between but there needed to be some. There were too many great triumphs that got lost because of one mistake shortly after. This game could have been a favorite, and I'd love to give it another shot, but for now there's just not enough time in the day. I know video games can be a waste of time sometimes, but I don't want to waste my time while wasting my time. I would have like to have felt some progress after what was half a day of effort.

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