@_Matt_: Having recently finished Dark Souls, I ordered SOTF. I was a bit weary of this after hearing so much bad stuff about Dark Souls II on Youtube. The scores are a stark contrast between critics and fans. Knowing that Dark Souls 3 borrows heavily from Blood Borne I decided it was best to play DSII next. Get in as much traditional soul's play before the series gives in to the fast players who roll around like crazy.
Here's to the sword and shield!
Also I have to add, I got into Demon's Souls when it first released. Loved it before the dark souls phenomenon ever occurred. Even then, I would say Dark Souls is the superior game. That level design is the stuff of gaming legend.
PvP is king in DS2, people are flocking back to it because DS3's PvP is forever absolutely broken.
And the souls fans are not the smartest tools in the shed. SOFTS is the best Soulsborne game overall, and has the best level design (not world design though, DS1 wins there). And the storytelling is tops, Aldia adds such a new dimension to the game's storytelling.
DS1's level design isn't great, especially the second half. Don't confuse it with world design, in which the first game did well. DS2 levels are more dynamic and have more factors to deal with than DS1 or DS3, especially its DLC.
And DS2 actually has a real NG+, unlike DS1 and DS3.