Sometime in the year 2010 a friend of mine (we'll call him Josh, since that's his name) was talking to me about a game that had released the year earlier to critical acclaim called Demon Souls. Josh loved Demon Souls, he loved it. Loved it. Would shut up about it, knowing I did not share his enthusiasm. It didn't matter, that game dominated his thoughts for months and he hated that I didn't like it. I had very little interest in this game at the time, I don't know why, but Josh said he had completed the game "about 20 times" and he was really bothering me about playing it. I didn't care to, but I told him I would check it out at some point. I borrowed it from him and didn't think about it for months, but eventually I didn't really have much to play so I put the game in and created my character. I have no memories of my character or the game's levels anymore, as I put about an hour into it and lost interest. I think I found a spear on the whole of my journey.
I will admit that maybe I really just didn't 'get' the game, but nothing about it grabbed me and I even enjoy a difficult challenge in my video games. I didn't care for the ambiguity, the environments, the character models, the (seemingly) clunky combat, the bizarre dying/reviving system...I really never had a grasp for anything having to do with it. I told myself the game wasn't so great and I made my mind up about it, but with so little effort having been invested I should have known better; this is not something I typically do. I rarely make my mind up about something so quickly, especially video games. I gave the game back to Josh and moved on from it.
Well fast-forward to this year, this very month, when Dark Souls went on sale on XBL. Right away, Josh is bothering me about giving Dark Souls a try. I say "Dude, why the f*** would I play the sequel to a game I didn't even like?" He says "Because, I think you'll like it." I say "What gives you that impression? I've told you a hundred times I didn't like the other one..." He says "It's $10, don't be a cheap bastard and buy the f***in' game. Trust me on this one, you'll like it better than Demon's. I promise" I say "Promises? Go away man, I don't want to play the game." But I'm intrigued, just enough I guess and I buy the game. I don't tell Josh.
Okay, whatever, I bought the game. Even if I don't like it, it was 10 bucks, no big deal and then I can rub it in Josh's face a little.
Holy s***...holy s***...holy s***...
I had the same damn feelings; underwhelmed severely. I was dissapointed because I wanted to like this one, the music is great, the environments are better, the characters look a little better to me, the game makes slightly more sense to me, I had to ring some bells so at least I knew what to do...but it wasn't happening. This game sucks, and the souls series is terrible...overrated.
Then it happened. It hit so damn hard I swear I was in a trance playing that game for a bit. I got everything about it all at once; the despair of it, the 'classic' feel of the ambiguity and challenge, the feeling of finding a superior weapon and the rush of felling a giant beast, the polish of the combat, the thought that there is something amazing around every turn and in ever corner, the deliberate feel of every movement (something I love in games that pull it off well)...I don't even know what else to say. I wanted to put this here because I am shocked by how much I like this game, and I'm going back to play the first after I'm done with Dark. I know I've been outspoken about Dark Souls/Demon Souls being overrated, and I didn't even give the franchise the chance I should have when I played it first. But I can admit I'm wrong about something, and I was way wrong here.
You were right Josh. But f*** you anyway.