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    dkirschner's Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (PC)

    [July 1, 2016 07:03:09 PM]
    Dark Souls is sooooo frustrating! The most frustrating thing is how much I want to enjoy it. I mean, this is an RPG that is beloved by critics and fans alike. It’s a hugely popular series. It’s known for being beautifully…dark. The world is bleak. The story is bleak. The characters are bleak. It’s known for having some cool twists on standard RPG mechanics, such as collecting “souls” (experience) from slain enemies, except that you drop them when you die (like all your hard-earned gear in EverQuest). It’s okay though! You can return to the blood-stained spot where you died and collect your souls. Well…unless you die on the way there. Which you will. Frequently. You can only collect souls from your most recent death.

    The other mechanic I found so neat allows for an odd type of player-player interaction. You can purchase an item that allows you to leave messages for other players. The idea, narratively, is that there are parallel universes. You can examine blood stains and see replays of a phantom other player dying. Sometimes player-phantoms will flit in and out of your world. (And later on players can actually invade one another’s worlds and help or kill one another). But with the message item, you can choose a spot on the ground and select from a wide variety of word pairs to try and communicate to others (“Danger ahead!” was a very useful one). These messages will appear on the ground in other people’s games, and you can upvote and downvote them too. I remember I was stuck on a bridge blocked by a giant dragon. I couldn’t figure out how to get by it without getting burned alive. So I read the messages. “Ranged fight.” “Try arrows.” “Here” (referring to a spot where, when I stood there, I could see the dragon’s tail hanging, looking like it needed an arrow through it). Sure enough, that’s the trick. Thanks strangers! Other times, players are not so helpful. It is common to approach a ledge and read something like “Jump here.” I jumped to my death several times, as instructed. One time I jumped and it was a shortcut. This was confusing, as it wasn’t always obvious whether or not I could trust the messages!

    So, yes, Dark Souls has some really cool aspects. But what’s the other thing Dark Souls is known for? That’s right. Being insanely difficult. While I enjoy difficult games, I couldn’t get over the difficulty level of this one. It feels unfair sometimes. Sometimes that feeling lasts until you have an “a-ha!” moment, but usually the only way to combat the difficulty is to slog your way through, sloooowly, caaaarefully. I finally quit the game because I lost 7000 souls (that’s like 10 levels worth where I was at!). You can’t be cautious enough. You will lose your souls. You will curse aloud. If you are prone to throwing controllers, you will be purchasing replacements. I did a lot to help myself. I looked at tips and guides. I asked friends. I posted on message boards.

    After much advice (and much sympathy), I decided to grind for some gear and levels and miracles (spells). That was realllly boring! Then I went back to the boss I was stuck on, the Taurus Demon, and figured out I could lure him to a tower and jump off the tower to impale him, and that’s how I killed him. Next, that big dragon was in my way. Before I could successfully get past him, I got poisoned by a rat and died and dropped over 7000 souls (everything from the Taurus Demon and from killing a ton of skeletons around the dragon bridge trying to figure my way forward). No problem, I'll just go get the souls. Except there's this skeleton with a shield and spear that will not leave a narrow ledge that I have to pass, no matter what I do to lure him out of my way. So I finally go try and just kill him because I'd knocked him off a couple times before (every time you die and every time you rest at a bonfire, all enemies respawn…), but lo and behold I accidentally did this irritating move with my weapon where my character, after blocking, attacks and somersaults backward. Well, I somersaulted off the ledge and was out 7000 souls. That was about 2 hours after the Taurus Demon.

    After much soul-searching (ha…), I’m taking the perspective that I have many other games to play, and if I’m not having fun with this after 6 or 7 hours, I should put it to rest. On the bright side, my Steam wishlist is two games shorter (Dark Souls 2 & 3)!
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    dkirschner's Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Saturday 25 June, 2016

    GameLog closed on: Friday 1 July, 2016

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Good lord this is hard. Fun, frustrating mostly though. Read some beginner's guides and going to get my head on straight to try more. ------------ Nope. I quit!

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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