To start out, I don't play many RPG games. I've played skyrim, and D&D with some friends, but that's about it as far as that genre goes.
So my new years resolution was to play more RPG based games. Needless to say, the first game I picked up was Dark Souls, supposedly one of the most challenging RPG's of 2011. Whew. Well then, I put on my boxing gloves and inserted the game.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS THROUGHOUT
Well, as far a beginnings go, it was standard enough I suppose, doom and gloom and all that. It was a surprise for me to find out that my character was dead from the start. Hmmm. That was a bit different.
Now that I mention it though, the atmosphere is incredible, it feels uniquely terrifying just being in a hallway. I guess the game's reputation has me on edge...
After killing a few enemies with my broken sword hilt (Really, a broken sword? Hmph), I proceeded up a ladder and lit my nice cozy bonfire. :) Which I then realized causes everything to spawn over again. Ah well, price to pay.
I then opened the big double doors and proceeded to get smashed flat by a dinosaur of sorts when I took to long to get away. That would be death number 1 in a very long proceeding. I spawned back at the bonfire, and this time succesfully sprinted by the monster to the big double door on the other side of the hall, only to find it was locked. I looked over to see the actual little door in the wall, just in time to meet the recieving end of the big guys club again. That would be Death number 2. :?
No matter, it happens I guess. I spawned again, a little more humbled, and booked it to the correct door this time. After it shut, I breathed a sigh of relief and proceeded up the hallway to the glowing items, succesfully dodging [most] arrows fired by a guy at the end of the hall. Finally, I had some weapons! Mwaha, I was ready to take on dark souls in earnest!
My elation was a little premature I guess. I had no sooner walked up a flight of stairs then I got rolled over by a boulder, knocked off the stairs and died when I hit the floor. WTF!!!! Death number 3, and it's still the tutorial. Same drill, respawn, kill enemies, and this time avoid the boulder and run up the stairs to kill the little bastard that pushed it on me! Ha! :P
After that, I got my estus flasks, yum, and proceeded with my life. (or death rather I suppose)
I followed the path, walked around a corner, and got a good chunk of my precious health removed by two guys and an arrow. Thankfully, I backed up and took out the two soldiers with enough health to muscle my way into the archers postion. After gulping 2 more estus flasks,3 left (yikes), I walked into the next room, and read the cue about parrying. Maybe I should have payed more attention to it, because a skelator in the corner proceeded to slice and dice me until I finally figured out the timing. Son of a gun, I had to use another 2 estus flasks. 1 left now.
I backed up and went through the door, blew right by the note, and looked down to see the dragon/dinsosaur thing from before. Oh hey! Well, I thought, I have time to breath and go get a drink quick right before I hop down? Wrong! I had just set the controller down when it jumped (for a thing it's size, it can get considerable air), and destroyed the ledge I was on, taking most of my health with it. I barely had the controller back in my hands when a club ended my hero. (Who was off to an arguably shameful start). M%@#*%@$&*#er!!!!!! Death number 4 already.
I took advantage of the new break to geta drink and come back. Take 2 Dino!! I zipped throught the section, ran through the door, and blew by the note again, dropping down to the monsters side, and proceeding to hack away. I got a good 4 hits in before it swiped me off my feet, knocking me down. It then proceeded to hit me again, as I was getting back up, knocking me down again. It juggled me again for an easy 5th Death. Sigh*
At this point, I may as well be spending my time throwing my character off a cliff I figured, for as much success as I was having. But, I digress, so I gave it another try, this time figuring I'd try reading the hint on the ground quickly. I got through the door and read it to find I was supposed to do a falling attack. Well, whatya know, reading helps! :P I pulled it off first try and it took a good half of it's health away like that, so that was a nice early lead. From then on, the battle was actually fairly simple, just roll to its butt and attack its tail like its the end of the world, it went down pretty quick. Whew. Big Pilgrim thing defeated!
I proceeded up the path fairly quickly, and after the cutscene, ended up in the middle of knowhere. This game apparently doesn't like to inform you what to do with your stuff. I had things like humanity and gems that I had never heard of. O_o
Well, as most know, trial and error work pretty well, although the exception to Dark Souls is that trial and error with items proves to be dangerous or downright traumatic. I decided pronto to level up, and gave myself some more health or "vitality" as it's called. I then went up a path and met a fellow that said to keep away.
I figured this must be because I'm undead of course, who wants to talk to a corpse? So, I went back to the bondfire and tried to "Reverse Hollow", and recieved a message that I had no humanity. WTF was it talking about, I had it, right here! I figured out I had to use it first and proceeded to use it on myself, and then reverse hollowfy myself. Hey hey, I'm normal!!! :D
After going back to the guy, he gave me a copper coin, so I figured I had done something right.
(DO NOT reverse hollow, I learned later, you just have to keep badgering him, undead or not)
(Pictured above: something similar to that Dino/Dragon thing I fought against)
I then walked down a path to a sinister looked graveyard, because it looked like the only way to go. As I headed down the stairs, two ridiculously powerful skeletons proceeded to reassemble themselves in front of my eyes, and kindly handed my my ass. Death number 6, and I had just lost 600 souls, and mother****er, I was back to being undead again, with no humanity this time. (I think I cried a little bit here :P)
I tried to go this path for almost 4 hours, because I thought it was the way to go. It was the most frustrating thing I've ever experienced. The enemies came two at a time, and the weapons I had did almost nothing to them. Beleive it or not, on the 11 millionth try I actually successfully fought my way to the catacombs with a level 1 weapons, and still had 4 flasks left. Anyone who know what I'm talking about is eitherslightly impressedor thinks I'm lying. :P I then proceeded into the catacombs and fought of the skelobombs, and the skeleton scimitar people. And then was promptly attacked from behind, so I killed this "new" enemy off, and turned around again and started walking. Only to be attacked AGAIN from behind!! So I killed this "new" guy off as well, and hopped down into the pit, where another enemy attacked me from behind. I swear, I fought waves of two enemies off for at least 10 repititions before it dawned on me that I was fighting the same things, over and over and over and over again. They just kept reviving. I had used up the last of my potions, still valiently fighting what I knew to bea losing battle,and Death number 7 came soon after.
Well, almost 5 total hours of fighting and dying on the same stretch is enough to make a grown man almost break down and give up right there. I thought that something seemed off. There was no way, a game could be THIS HARD!! Not on the second area! So I looked around a bit.
*Facepalm* M********ER!!!!!!!! There was a road off to the far right, leading up to a bridge. And hey, what do you know, those enemies are easy! 5 hours of my life wasted on an area that was clearly for a much higher level character. Do you know how that feels? Do you know the agony???
The one good thing that came out of the whole event was that by 5 hours of fighting skeletons that should have taken my head off at first sight, not to mention succesfully taking out a Duo of Giant skeleton warriors at once, I was so good at rolling and parrying/ riposte that I shredded the following enemies without a scratch. And then next one, and the next. Hmph. So I guess my time in frustration was good for combat skills...
I ended my game back at the original bondfire, I was just burnt out after so much frustration and effort, only to find I had been pushing forwards the wrong way. But really, there was no signs, no indication. Thats like forgetting to tell someone which way they move in monopoly!
But so far my experience with dark souls has been an interesting, and challenging one. I've pushed my limits as a gamer, and even though it was all in vain, it's nice to know that I've gone farther theinsaneway, then a lot have the right/easy one, judging by the number of blood spots on the bridge.
I'll play more tommorow, but for now, not only my character needs to rest, I'm simply burnt out.
But so far, first impressions nets this a 10/10, but not for the casual gamer