A couple weeks ago, as I posted in my previous blog post, I started playing Dark Souls. I was looking forward to playing the game, but I was worriried that I would have the same experience I did with Demon's Souls.
I started playing Demon's Sous at the start of 2012, and gave up on it six months later, with over forty hours into it. The game was just too hard for me, I guess; however, I kept at it. I kept on grinding and trying to get good at the game, but that damn soul mode that cuts my health in half always kept me down. My little brother told me that Dark Souls got rid of that, so, after beating Sonic Generations, I decided to give Dark Souls the old college try.
The game got rid of soul mode, but everything else was downgraded. The combat and physics I found to be terrible. I clipped through the leg of the first boss after a failed attempt at a plunge attack, and, when he moved to turn around to face me, the game counted it as a stomp because I was technically under his foot. Enemies can't even hurt each other, and their attacks clip through other solid objects. There's also that annoying thrust my character does that makes him jump a foot whenever he attacks. On small platforms, that gets really annoying, and it kills the pace of combat. My biggest issue with the game was the inane way the A.I. works. The A.I. is locked onto you, much like the way I lock onto them. The only difference here is that when I get behind them, they will often turn on a dime. Big deal on it's own? No. Unfortunately, they do this in mid-attack. I had enemies use attacks that lock-on to me land a hit on me despite the fact that I would be behind them. It's credibly cheap and illogical.
Another problem I have with the game is From Software's insistence that I not be able to pause. This is not just when I am online, but even when I am offline. I understand not being able to pause to change equipment and all; that's the same thing Kingdom Hearts does when you're in combat, but at least you can still pause the damn game!
My final issue of the game is the learning curve. Even if I wanted to learn to get around the bad physics, the game would still have a sharp learning curve, which is not bad thing in itself (it's just bad when it's influenced by bad physics). The thing is, I do not have the time for such a learning curve. Do not get me wrong; I like a good learning curve, but Dark Souls' is extremely sharp. I do not game as much as I used to. I am a much busier person than I was a long time ago. I estimate that on an average week during a college semester, I game between four and five hours in a whole week. I simply do not have the time to invest in Dark Souls.
If that does not quite make sense, let me explain my reasoning with an analogy. A car analogy, to be specific. Playing Dark Souls is a lot like driving a Porsche. For those of you who do not know a lot about cars, Porsche's are high performance, but costly to maintain, cars (especially if you're American and you have to import the parts). If you want to own a Porsche and truly enjoy it, you have to have the money to maintain it. Otherwise, it's a horrible car to own, as they are traditionally unreliable cars (although the past few years they have the upped their game on that aspect). Dark Souls is a game that you, or at least me, have to have the time to get good at to truly enjoy and get good at it. Because I do not have the time to get good at it, I do not enjoy Dark Souls; much like I would not enjoy owning a Porsche because I do not have the money to maintain and take care of it.
Dark Souls is a game for the dedicated gamer, and I am not dedicated enough to ever truly appreciate Dark Souls. That does not make me a "casual gamer," nor does it mean that I just suck at the game (sorry, Dark Souls fan boys, but you really need to get a new argument) It just makes me someone who does not have the time and love for Dark Souls to give enough of a shit to get good at it. Besides, the physics really did suck.