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Feature Video

Game of the Month March 2014

Tough, but fair.

by

It came in like a lion, and went out like a lion. March remained hot throughout, thanks to the releases of several highly-anticipated games--not to mention the surprise hits that graced our consoles and PCs. And it all started with farts.

Indeed, South Park: The Stick of Truth blew many fans away with its flatulence, not to mention its excellent presentation, which almost perfectly mirrored the show’s look and tone. But Telltale’s Walking Dead series wasn’t about to be overshadowed, landing one punch to the gut after another, leaving everyone bruised and winded. One by one the good games came. Towerfall and its marvelous competitive matches. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and its tense brand of stealth action. Infamous: Second Son and its stunning vision of Seattle. March wanted to be loved, and loved it we did.

It’s painful, then, to disappoint the above games by declaring that March’s true juggernauts were Titanfall, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and Dark Souls II. We love Titanfall--the parkour movement, the tense action, the giant mechs. We also adore Hearthstone and its slick, fast-paced card battles. But the joys of Titanfall are ultimately overshadowed by the dread of Dark Souls II. Dark Souls II is a harsh mistress, possessive and needy, demanding your patience as it breaks your heart over and over again. If Dark Souls II were your significant other, you’d need relationship counseling. This kind of codependence might not always be healthy, but Dark Souls II insists on nothing less than your full focus.

To criticize Dark Souls II as just more Dark Souls would be an immense error, however. Its changes regarding health replenishment, enemy respawning, and world structure may seem superficial, but they combine to have a dramatic effect on how you play. Dark Souls II is a smart game, naturally leading you through its misty marshes and black crypts without holding your hand along the way. It rewards your keen eye and innate curiosity by gifting you with new rewards, new ideas, and perhaps even a few tricks that mollify the extreme pain of upcoming boss fights. Dark Souls II's world reveals increasingly surprising sights, sounds, and battles, some of which are nothing like what we've seen in the Souls series until now. And for that, we say “Praise the Sun!”

Game of the Month March 2014 Winner: Dark Souls II

Read our review.

Discussion

396 comments
Banyek
Banyek

Im not really proud about it, but I just played trough Dark Souls- Prepare to die edition with the help of a mod tool. Even so, I found it way too average to consider it a good game, and sometimes I was just amazed by how that game was considered goty. I mean sure, there are a few touches in the game that are pretty awesome, like the great character design,  armour design, the opponents and bosses look pretty good, and the map is chained together pretty well. I sometimes thaught, If this game had a medium or an easy difficulty option, it would be a really mediocre B type of game. It feels like, the developers directly tried to make the game as hard as possible, to make the player appreciate every bit of progress, while taking away his attention on how average otherwise this game would be. And in some magical way, within this degenerate dynasty of games that we have today, the gamers are looking exactly for this type of challange, and only that and no more, overlooking every bit of shit this game has thrown at them. At one point in the game around blighttown where you move up and down on those wooden structures and ladders the framerate almost stops and becomes unplayable on the 360. How come that was never mentioned in any review? The pc adaptation was downright broken, and you had to get a patchfix from a third party supplier to fix the resolution. How was that not even mentioned? I just wish that this 2nd Dark souls would be different, but as I heard, its a pretty much the same thing.

The worst thing about the first game was, where your characters death was mendatory, or based on a trial and error etape.This is where the game becomes less fun, and just plain frustration that the average gamer just dont want. (you'd think) Like at the first try, the scaleless dragon has to kill you to proceed. Or the first dragon on the bridge comes out of nowhere only to kill you becouse you didnt knew that you shouldnt move on the top of the bridge. These are all just cheap undeserved moments , where you just want to put down the controller and ask a developer ,why that was necessary...I do believe that a game has to have challenge and other good quality proportions, that sometimes a game completely misses, like the COD series, wich is basically a movie these days with some mild shooting. But even if these series took a bad turn, that does not mean , that other games have to do the complete opposite, and give you the ultimate challange, while leaving out the other proportions of the game that should also be at least ok, like graphics, or story.

Since someone already made a mod tool for this second installment , I think Im going to try it becouse the atmosphere looks pretty decent in this one, lets hope it will be a better experience. 

ninboxstation
ninboxstation

for the FIRST Playthrough do NOT use walkthroughs or strategies! it's just so much more intens, ..try to withstand as much help as possible..

(but also maybe do NOT use the deprived class nor join the convent of champions on the first run...)


Gamespot was right twice, once here with "sorcerer" class build ups are (unlike in DS1..) the best/strongest in DS2  (or was it IGN??), and they were right with Infamous SS (play it on hard for the fist run..)

ninboxstation
ninboxstation

have a feeling, that besides Dark Souls 2, Evolve, Dragon Age 3 and The Witcher 3 will be GOTY 2014 contenders ... (if Batman, the Order 1886 and Quatum Break don't suprise us..., just Batman's new "style" isn't making me hype...)

ringringabel
ringringabel

currently trying to tackle the Abyss dungeon optional boss at SL 120 before I tackle vendrick, then the last boss...and god that ancient dragon was ridiculous to say the least! then it's on to new game + ! can't wait to try dual-wielding tons of weapons w/ my STR/DEX build

cooolio
cooolio

The sad thing is that certain builds completely destroy some bosses.  Summoning also makes all the bosses easier.  Anyway, my only real problem with Dark Souls is the boss design.

ClintCommander
ClintCommander

I absolutely agree! I have completely enjoyed every game mentioned in the video above, but DS2 is the clear winner in eyes.  Not only is the game incredibly satisfying to play and an overall improvement over the original(again, in my opinion), but it's one of those rare games that is really worth the asking price. 60 hours in and i have yet to do everything and im still looking forward to the new game +.  A game hasn't absorbed me like this in a long time.  Easily a contender for GOTY!

jl9537
jl9537

In a month where fanboys of both sides fight over which big exclusive is better... they're surprised by the third party game Dark Souls 2!

Joedgabe
Joedgabe

Already on my 5th playthrough planning the 6th one.

jayjay444
jayjay444

I love DS2 it's better than DS but it's no where near as hard in my opinion, great game deserves that spot and quite possibly game of the year but with all the big games coming out this year I can't see this being game of the year, I think Destiny is going to claim that prize. 

fatee
fatee moderator moderator

Dark souls 2 game of the month for all months. 

crymore_noob
crymore_noob

Is this game really fun to play?? Playing this game makes me sick.. Die and die and die over again and again and again.


Had Dark Souls PTD, got sick. Expected something more from its sequel, but not so different.



Syndicalist
Syndicalist

Praise the sun, therefore praise the Sun.

stage4saiyan
stage4saiyan

After fucking up COMPLETELY for February, Gamespot made a respectable choice for March. Color me impressed.

TallTower23
TallTower23

Would've had to fight someone if dark souls didn't get it.

eternal_napalm
eternal_napalm

Dark Souls II is brilliant. Working on NG+ as my knight and started another playthrough as a cleric.

MatthewSnyder86
MatthewSnyder86

Well deserved, got the collectors edition, best collectors edition ever!!! Love this game, going to try, and platinum it!

nayce54
nayce54

This is undoubtedly the GAME OF THE YEAR!!!! I am on level 153, I went into deep abyss in Majula, I met Drangleic Castle add me for glory! PSN: "NateIsGod4"

BeNOwNz
BeNOwNz

i found out that you can put your right weapon on your back if you hold the switch button.. after 60 hrs

sickzero
sickzero

@Banyek besides the once issue being the frame-rate in Blighttown (which was mentioned in Kevin's original review for PS3) all the points you just mentioned are reasons why people love the Soul series in the first place

packtop
packtop

@ninboxstation

I actually choosed the deprived class and the champions covenant on my first playthrough and damn it was fun, but yeah i can't recommend doing that for anyone other then peoples who have good experience in playing Souls games.

nayce54
nayce54

@Joedgabe Your 5th Playthrough? How the heck did you do that? Do you summon people to help you in the boss fights etc and are you looking at a guide or a walkthrough to help you? I am almost 200 hrs in the game and I just reached Drangleic Castle - what you talking about? :)

cooolio
cooolio

@jayjay444  Destiny will definitely do more with the RPG elements.  There is no doubt that dark souls provides a lot of freedom in stats, weapons, etc.  However, my only problem is that your abilities never evolve.  It just seems like the RP elements are all about stats.

jayjay444
jayjay444

@crymore_noob  LMAO go cry on cod kid and you expected more from the sequel and it's no so different? DS2 has been majorly dumped down and feels different when your playing it did you even bother to play past the first 5 minutes or was it too hard for you lmfao?

20years
20years

@crymore_noob you are the biggest crybaby noob around here . go play your battlefield or CoD this game is not for you

jayjay444
jayjay444

@stage4saiyan  Apart from the fact MGS5 ground zeroes should have got a 3/10 and should have mentioned the fact the game is only 72 minutes long. Instead what did gamespot do they praised the game I still can't work out how they managed to score a demo 8/10, and btw i'm a huge MGS fan but ground zeroes was day light robbery not a masterpiece like MGS4. 

nayce54
nayce54

@eternal_napalm clerics are so essential, Don't know what I would do without my "homeward"miracle!

Syndicalist
Syndicalist

@BeNOwNz

Lol shoulda done the tutorial, it explains the new combat mechanics etc. 


Additionally, if you do that same action (holding Y/triangle) whilst you have 2 of the same weapon type equipped, and you have 150% of the stat requirements for both weapons, you enter a dual wield power stance, with unique DW attacks.

This game is incredible.

nayce54
nayce54

@BeNOwNz Lol, they explained that on the instructional stones back in "Things Betwixt!"  You're a damn fool!

cooolio
cooolio

@nayce54 @Joedgabe  200hrs?  You must be taking your time in pvp, coop, and exploring.   I beat the game a few hours ago.  I think that my total play time was 50 hours.  I skipped two of the great souls bosses.  That by itself save me a bunch of time.

thebastardsword
thebastardsword

@jayjay444 3/10? lol OK, we are all entitled to our own opinions, but if that score is based on the length of the main mission, you bought it for the wrong reason.  There was no secret as to how long the Ground Zeroes mission would be, and If you are a MGS fan I am sure you knew about this if you looked up anything on MGS GZ in the 2 or 3 months prior to the launch. 

I don't understand why people bought it knowing it was just a 30 dollar filler with a maximum of 2 hours gameplay for the main mission, When is the last time you bought a triple A game for 30 dollars on launch? Ive played it nore and enjoyed it more than a lot of 60 dollar 20hr plus AAA games.. 

It was a tleast worth a 7 in my opinion.  It was disappointing to see that the finders keepers inventory system was removed, but in no way was the game horrible, I had a great deal of fun learning the perfect route for a 0 kill, 0 alert S rank speed run. Ive gotten well over a few days of gameplay out it just trying to master it.  I spent more time playing it than AC IV, and I imagine I will end up playing it again when I get more free time for picking up the remaining trophies.. 

Playing it has got me hyped up for Phantom Pain, and I am pretty interested in seeing what kind of DLC I got for it by preordering Ground Zeroes.

Feeder16
Feeder16

@jayjay444  Had they reviewed it bad, they'd certainly of lost loads of interviews when PP comes out.

eternal_napalm
eternal_napalm

Yeah it's fun, I'm doing Faith and Dex in my cleric build. Emit Force is another great miracle...comes in really handy. Using many different rings this time, too.

BeNOwNz
BeNOwNz

@nayce54 @BeNOwNz  i had to kill all those stones, can't risk becoming hollow to instructional stones

nayce54
nayce54

@eternal_napalm Wow, you really leveled up your weapons.  I use most of my souls for leveling up my character

eternal_napalm
eternal_napalm

I'm level 126 with my knight and in the 60's with my cleric. My main weapons for my knight are raw zweihander +10, raw mastadon halberd +10, lightning ultra greatsword +10, black knight greatsword +1, Vengarl's armor +5 but with Lost Sinners mask sometimes. And a Magic Pursuer's Greatshield +5. Shrine of Amana was HARD. Lol.

eternal_napalm
eternal_napalm

I'm still early level in my cleric build, but I have Dex and Faith at 31.

My knight has 33 endurance, 45 strength and 33 Vigor.

nayce54
nayce54

@eternal_napalm I love it! I also started the game with no specific class, just went out as "Deprived" in my loin cloth! I have many attunement slots for spells, miracles, hexes, sorceries, & pyromancies.  To me, I find endurance and Vigor (life) a waste. I just use skill, timing, and patience to counter balance for not having it. What are your stats?

nayce54
nayce54

@eternal_napalm what's funny is that I am just now using emit force. realizing i should have used it sooner!!!! Below are my stats:


VGR - 7

END - 7

VIT - 22

ATN - 31

STR - 25

DEX -20

ADP - 14

INT - 42

FTH - 41



Syndicalist
Syndicalist

@nayce54

Dual Wield. Try it out with 2 of a basic weapon. left bumper and trigger do your dual wield attacks instead of a parry and light attack.

nayce54
nayce54

@BeNOwNz @nayce54Wow, that's impressive! I am level 153. I Just reached Drangliec castle, but I did reach the damnation of the hellish pit from the big Hole in Majula in front of the cat's house!! oh my god! "In Short" hell is down there!!

Dark Souls II More Info

First Release on Mar 11, 2014
  • PC
  • PlayStation 3
  • Xbox 360
Dark Souls II is a sequel to From Software's critically acclaimed title Dark Souls. The game with feature a new hero, a fresh storyline, and an "unfamiliar" setting.