Demon's Souls

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ratsoalbion
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Demon's Souls

Post by ratsoalbion »

Issue 118 of the Cane and Rinse podcast will see James Carter hosting Darren Forman, Sean O'Brien and friend of the show CoffeeJezus for our long-awaited and much-requested look at From Software's Demon's Souls.

Please share your experiences, opinions and anecdotes of the game for potential inclusion on the show in this here thread.

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Chopper
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Re: Next week's podcast: Demon's Souls

Post by Chopper »

It’s difficult to encapsulate what makes Demon’s Souls great, because there are so many things. It’s such an intricate game. From the weapons and their properties up – through the miracles, spells, character builds, to the environments where the level design brings you back round to your starting point in unexpected and delightful ways, to the environmental storytelling in those levels that feeds into the worldbuilding, to the shifting of character and world tendency - you have all these intricate systems that make up a perfectly designed whole.

It’s a game that lures you into complacency, and punishes you for it. A series of single enemies or a group of mooks will be followed by the cunning placement of mooks in a slightly different configuration, or a harder enemy, or the same dudes armed with longer range weapons that have to be fought differently. Environmental hazards like ledges, traps, and cluttered furniture are a major part of the game. Running through the level to get back to the spot you died is often surprisingly difficult, because of the range of challenges you face. The game is significantly different if you play without the Thief’s Ring. The flow of the game is beautiful because of all this. I’ve played through it around six times now and it still retains the ability to delight and surprise.

Such a complex, fantastic game, designed and executed to perfection. A forum post can’t really do it justice as there is so much to talk about. Looking forward to the podcast!

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Re: Next week's podcast: Demon's Souls

Post by AndyKurosaki »

Played it, kicked my arse, gave up on it. While I can see it's potential, I haven't really got time anymore to sink into games like the Souls series. You need time to get to grips with them, and a combination of very early (3AM) starts and early bedtimes mean my brain couldn't focus enough on this.
10 years ago I'd have likely been well into this. But sadly not now. My loss though, as I can see why people love it.

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Flabyo
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Re: Next week's podcast: Demon's Souls

Post by Flabyo »

Yeah, I had a similar experience to that.

I played it for about a weeks worth of evenings and made very little progress. I appreciate I was most likely 'playing it wrong' and all that, because it's clear the series has given people I respect a lot of enjoyment, but I just couldn't get into it at all.

There's a fine line between being challenging and frustrating, and the game sits so close to that that a good chunk of players are never going to like it. I hear Dark Souls corrects a lot of that, but I've never felt like finding out.

And yet I love Dragon's Dogma, which can be just as difficult at times. Maybe that's it, the 'at times' part. I just don't like my games to be quite so punishing.

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Re: Next week's podcast: Demon's Souls

Post by Woodfella »

I came in to demon's souls knowing absolutely nothing about it, it was this weird Japanese oddity that appeared in my house one day (my brother had ordered it after reading about it). It's so rare these days that you go in to a game completely blind, I did so with Demon's Souls and it blew my tiny mind.

I wrestle with over which I prefer all the time, demon's or dark. Normally when I say demon's I'm made out to be some contrarian wanker but people who dont understand that choice invariably played Dark first. Demon's is weirder, every area is unrelentingly bleak and also beautifully designed, with lotsof different interconnecting pathways and secrets to find. Demon's is special to me because it was first, it was new, it was the revolutionary one. Throughout there was this overbearing sense of dread and fear, you were alone in this horribly bleak world, the enemies were punishing and surprising. I'll never forget the first time that message flashed up at the bottom of the screen and I was confronted by a black phantom toting a large spiky bat. These feelings were slightly diminished when playing dark souls, even with the huge amazing world it plonked you in. Dark Souls is the better game, but Demon's Souls will always hold a special place in my heart.

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Chopper
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Re: Next week's podcast: Demon's Souls

Post by Chopper »

Andy & Flabyo: I feel your pain, and to be honest I had some teething problems with it myself. Speaking of anecdotes, get this: it took me 11 hours to finish the first level. Eleven hours. :D

I'd recently got back into gaming after years and years away, and was on a diet of normal triple A titles, and bits and bobs of other things. Shooters and generic RPGs where you could wade in guns blazing. Absolutely nothing prepared me for Demon's. I could barely comprehend what I was supposed to do, or how to play, and it took eleven long hours before the penny dropped. I don't know what kept me going - if it was sheer bloody mindedness or Stockholm Syndrome, but 11 hours to finish world 1.1. Yeah.

I've improved a wee bit since then.

Woodfella - personally I think Demon's is the greater game, though there's not much between them. Yes to originality, bleakness and dread.

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AndyKurosaki
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Re: Next week's podcast: Demon's Souls

Post by AndyKurosaki »

Yeah,my mate loves Demons, to the extent that he platinumed it twice (US, then UK version). Judging from his enthusiasm I really wanted to get into it. If I had loads of time to play, like in my early/late teens, I absolutely would have. But these days after work, I'm knackered, and at best manage 2/3 hours in an evening. Which isn't enough to do it justice. I tried Dark Souls, and Dragons Dogma too. But as much as I liked the look of them, and they're certainly fun to play, I've not got the time to commit to them anymore.
Having said that, I think Dark Souls 2 is on my rental list. I learn nothing :lol:

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Re: Next week's podcast: Demon's Souls

Post by James »

ratsoalbion wrote:Issue 118 of the Cane and Rinse podcast will see James Carter hosting Darren Forman, Sean O'Brien and friend of the show CoffeeJezus for our long-awaited and much-requested look at From Software's Demon's Souls.

Please share your experiences, opinions and anecdotes of the game for potential inclusion on the show in this here thread.
Thanks all for answering Leon's rallying cry!

As I'm sure you can imagine, we all have lots to say about Demon's Souls, but it's great to see some responses from those who tried the game and didn't fall under its thrall. Rest assured, we'll include as many of your comments as we can. Keep them coming! :D

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Nekemancer
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Re: Next week's podcast: Demon's Souls

Post by Nekemancer »

I died over and over and over again, slowly exploring more of a bleak world filled with creatures and npcs that are bereft of hope. The story is incredible if you look for it, but you have to spend some time looking for it. It won't be spoon fed to you. The armor sets are gorgeous, and weapon design is topnotch. Every sound effect and bit of music suits the scene perfectly and pulls you in. You'll be hard pressed to discover a world more immersive than this one.

I'm talking, of course, of King's Field II. KF2 (NA title) was my introduction to dark, hardcore RPGs. And it was by, of course again, FROM Software. I've been a fan ever since.

I said above that you'd be hard pressed to discover a world more immersive than King's Field. Demon's Souls is more than up to the task. Everything I said about KF2 above applies to DS, but bigger and better.

Something I love about the Souls games is how much it rewards experience. Not in the gaming sense of the word experience, but in terms of the player learning. Improving your level and gear helps, but it will never replace learning the enemy attacks/movements and your weapons' movesets. Using experience, practice, knowledge and preparation people are capable of performing ludicrous feats, like soul level 1 NG+++++etc runs. Different builds change the game in huge ways. A section that was a piece of cake before may be a huge hurdle going with a new build.

I actually had this sitting half completed on my shelf until I'd beaten Dark Souls. I got about 1/4 of the way through, got busy with other stuff and couldn't devote the time and energy to it. When I returned to it from Dark Souls much later, I'd learned how the systems worked and was able to play it much more appropriately on my second try. One thing I learned with Souls games. Your first character is almost always gonna be awful, since the systems are so different from how a standard RPG works. Level doesn't matter aside from hitting minimums for weapon/armor use and enough health/endurance to suit your playstyle. The best part of that? You can do literally anything you want with your character and it works. If your personal playstyle works, it is the best playstyle. Heavy armor, big shield, huge health bar and big honking weapon? Great! Cloth, rolling around and tiny stabby things? Works just fine. Everything in between? Sure enough.

Yahtzee recently reviewed Dark Souls and said something along the lines of (major paraphrasing), "Everyone kept telling me how great this game is, but when I asked what made the game so good, they couldn't tell me. Then I played it and now I know." Demon's is much the same. It's hard to nail down exactly why it's so much fun when you're a fan. The difficult yet rewarding nature of the game is part of it. The storyline is part of it. The fantastic introduction, the brilliant voice acting and writing, the beautiful and completely hostile world to explore. The genre-defining multiplayer. The sound effects and music. The goofy-at-first controls that are actually perfect for what you're doing. The moment to moment gameplay of little things, backstabbing a guy off a cliff, your first Blue Eyes Knight, your first meeting with a dragon. It truly is greater than the sum of its parts. And the parts are all individually incredible in their own right.

It's not flawless, as evidenced by Dark Souls improving on it as a whole. But it's goddamn close. And everyone should give it a shot.

PS: FUCK YOU WORLD FIVE. And, slightly less, World Three.

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CapinGreen
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Re: Next week's podcast: Demon's Souls

Post by CapinGreen »

I'm going to keep this extremely brief.

I bought a PS3 exclusively for this game; I wanted to experience the fear of the unknown I felt playing Dark Souls again. Demon's Souls delivered on that in every respect.

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Beck
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Re: Next week's podcast: Demon's Souls

Post by Beck »

I just didn't get on with this game. I went to it expecting it to be difficult with little assistance , I thought I could handle it. I was so wrong, I just don't have the time or patience to deal with the commitment required for this game. I've tried 3 times and just end up a angry wreck. I'd like to blame mechanics or poor game design...

Dark Souls is a game I'm happy to admit that I'm shit at.

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Todinho
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Re: Next week's podcast: Demon's Souls

Post by Todinho »

I still remember playing Demon's Souls for the first time,back then I didnt even know what kinda of game it was only that it had won a few RPG of the year prizes and it looked interesting,I start the game and think " oh this is interesting im in full control of my character this combat is pretty fun!" I met Vanguard shortly after and then I understood what the game was about.I rage quitted the game 5 times not touching it for months,so much so that I ended up beating Dark souls which is the harder game first,but I always came back for the combat,the level design and the world until I finnaly beat it this year,unfortunally beating the game left a bitter taste in my mouth and that's because I did it after completing Dark souls,I really like both games but when it comes to mechanics Dark Souls is just better,the combat is tighter,the level design for the most part is better and the bosses are much more fun and challeging to fight.

There are some things I prefer in Demon souls , it's mainly the world though I find Boletaria much more memorable than Lordran,I like the Mega Man structure of the game better as well even if it sacrifices the impressive interconnected open world Dark soul has this aproach helps new player's get into the game,the Nexus is also one of the best hub Worlds in a game and not before long it started to feel like home to me.Demon's souls also has some pretty stupid things the main one being World tendency something that even now I dont fully understand,the carry limit that constantly bites you in the ass while exploring,the existence of gender especific gear,the easily farmable consumables and let's not forget Allant bullshit souls level drain attack.

But even though I cant enjoy the game as much as used to I have no doubt in my mind that Demon's Souls is a revolutionary game influencing even the PS4 design,it inspired many developers into incorporating a "fair difficulty" back into their games but not only that im also convinced that the recent trend of anonymous multilplayer wouldnt exist without Demon's souls and without it games like Journey would be much less memorable.For me this is one of the games that defined this last generation and I'd recommend this game over Dark souls for those looking to get into the soul series.

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Re: Next week's podcast: Demon's Souls

Post by Alex79uk »

What's the deadline for this, I was going to write my thoughts up at work tomorrow...

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Mono
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Re: Next week's podcast: Demon's Souls

Post by Mono »

Demon's Souls actually ended up being the first "next-gen" game I owned when I got my PS3 back in August 2011, along with Red Dead Redemption and Uncharted. I was keen to sample its' morbid curiosity in punishing the player with my own hands, and while it certainly didn't disappoint in fulfilling its' murderous duties (I must've died a good twenty or so times before even reaching Phalanx), I was intrigued, but something didn't quite click.

After a couple of months break, I finally returned, accomplishing more in a brief span of time than in all the time I had spent with the game to date. It wasn't long after that I managed to finish the game, with the high point being the unexpectedly poignant fight in 5-3 with Garl Vinland and Maiden Astraea at his side, where there's a brief moment in the dialogue after you attack her where she begs God - and the player - for mercy.

I guess I never fell in love with Demon's Souls in the way I hoped to - there's certainly something satisfying about its' combat mechanics, but my biggest complaint of the game is that it's all too easy to find an overpowered weapon or setup. Armed with a Cling Ring, Crescient Falchon +1 and starting off as the Royalty class virtually guarantees a far more straightforward and easier ride through the game. Perhaps if I was to limit myself to not using these items, I'd find a more rewarding experience, but even without a guide, they're easy to find and far too easy to abuse.

All in all, Demon's Souls was enjoyable, but didn't live up to the lofty expectations I had for it. I also feel like I missed out on the "social" experience, the one of learning the game's little nuances and intrigues, that I also missed out with Dark Souls (which I have still not yet played). I'm somewhat interested in Dark Souls 2, although my issues with game balancing would only be discovered long after the fact. I'm not sure yet whether I'm going to be picking it up or not.

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Re: Next week's podcast: Demon's Souls

Post by James »

Alex79uk wrote:What's the deadline for this, I was going to write my thoughts up at work tomorrow...
We're recording in about an hour, sadly. Sorry we missed your input. As it turns out we're jam-packed with forum and Twitter contributions, so it's okay for you to have taken the week off. See you next week for Manhunt?

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Re: Next week's podcast: Demon's Souls

Post by Alex79uk »

Doh >_< Ha never mind. Absolutely loved the game, although I played it after Dark Souls, and found it considerably easier going.

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Re: Demon's Souls

Post by JaySevenZero »

Decided to dust this off and have a proper attempt at completing it after listening to our recent podcast. I can feel it starting to get its hooks into me if I could only get past that bastard red-faced knight with the spear in the Bolatarian palace!

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Re: Demon's Souls

Post by arry_g »

JaySevenZero wrote:Decided to dust this off and have a proper attempt at completing it after listening to our recent podcast. I can feel it starting to get its hooks into me if I could only get past that bastard red-faced knight with the spear in the Bolatarian palace!
Some people might have seen in the "What are you playing?" thread and I'm in a similar boat where I'm playing it too. Well actually I am just discovering Demon's (I own all three of the Souls games to-date but have not really played them until now). The game is often in my thoughts - alarmingly so. I feel that once the mechanics click then the difficulty (which I don't think six hours in is as great as some people say) matters compared to the feeling of accomplishment when you beat a level with your souls intact or when you correctly identify an ambush or beat a boss for the first time. I do find myself wanting to kill that arrogant blue soul in the Nexus though, seriously I dreamed last night of beating him to death with my Hunter's Great Axe +5. Am I a bad person?

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Re: Demon's Souls

Post by JaySevenZero »

arry_g wrote:I do find myself wanting to kill that arrogant blue soul in the Nexus though, seriously I dreamed last night of beating him to death with my Hunter's Great Axe +5. Am I a bad person?
You mean you can't? I haven't tried this myself - yet. I wiped out most of those frequenting Firelink Shrine at the earliest opportunity in Dark Souls as I'd read that some of them turn on you later in the game so I felt it was pertinent to strike first and wondered if something similar is gonna happen to those sitting around the Nexus or not?

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Re: Demon's Souls

Post by arry_g »

JaySevenZero wrote:
arry_g wrote:I do find myself wanting to kill that arrogant blue soul in the Nexus though, seriously I dreamed last night of beating him to death with my Hunter's Great Axe +5. Am I a bad person?
You mean you can't? I haven't tried this myself - yet. I wiped out most of those frequenting Firelink Shrine at the earliest opportunity in Dark Souls as I'd read that some of them turn on you later in the game so I felt it was pertinent to strike first and wondered if something similar is gonna happen to those sitting around the Nexus or not?
I'm sure you can, the AutoSave of the game (to stop people cheating the system) has stopped me from trying on my first playthrough though. I don't want to risk the repercussions on my character tendency (if there even are any)... that said killing him would mean more souls and I don't have to listen to him keep telling me how everything is ******.

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