It’s been nearly two years since I decided to man up and see what all the hype about “Demon’s Souls” was about, and that lead to me spending most of April and May of 2016 playing through that game and then the three Dark Souls games.
This was entirely out of character, because I am not typically drawn to difficult games and the Souls fanbase rather revels in the legendary difficulty.
It turned out that, well, they’re not forgiving games BUT they reward patience and persistence rather than twitch reflexes, and that’s pretty well suited to a old guy. I didn’t ever really feel like they were unfair… until I hit Dark Souls III, which was just BRUTAL. It took me a good fifty hours to claw my way through and I wound up summoning other players to help with the vast majority of the bosses.
A good part of that, it turns out, was just because I decided that I was going to play a pure magic user – no pyromancy, no miracles, just raw sorcery – and I did this just in time to start a game that was really unforgiving to glass cannons. I spent hours grinding INT up and collecting the four rings needed to make sorcery even halfway viable, and the result was… well, if I could make space between myself and the thing I was trying to kill, I could usually blow it up REAL good.
Dark Souls bosses rarely let you make any space, and the bosses in Dark Souls III are particularly keen on getting right up in your proverbial grill.
Anyway, I mentioned a few days ago that I’d been needing distraction and had started a second playthrough, this time picking the Knight starting class and working on the Yuria of Londor questline since I’d missed my chance to do it the first go ’round.
It went pretty well.
Actually, let me rephrase that. It went shockingly well. I gave the Soul of Cinder a merciless beat-down with only about 30 hours on the clock, and on my first try. Excluding Pontiff Sulyvahn – I have NEVER been able to reliably parry in a Souls game – I didn’t get hung up on any boss for more than a few attempts and had a surprising number of first-attempt kills – all solo, with the exception of summoning Yuria for a fight because I wanted her armor set. I didn’t even go nuts hunting down Estus flask upgrades or gear, with the exception of about two hours of beating up Lothric Knights so they would drop me their armor set.
Fashion Souls IS the true end game.
Some of this, yes, I did play the game about two years ago and I did remember a few things, but most of it was realizing that the game really wanted me to play a character who would go toe-to-toe with the bosses instead of running around trying to pew pew them to death.
So. Lessons learned and all that. I may have to rethink my personal ranking of the series, because I was quite harsh on this game when I originally played it, and it turns out I was just doing things wrong.