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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Gave up on Dark Souls after my third attempt

I enjoyed dark souls a lot but I also agree with you, movement was very clunky and the story is mostly what you make of it in your own mind. There are a lot of questionable bottlenecks in the game and tbh, I didn't enjoy the boss battles at all, none of them. The only stand out in my memory in order of how annoying they were. Multiplayer was a complete fail and even the messages broke immersion more than be helpful. The 'ghosts' were the only good part of the online functionality.

That said, the atmosphere of Dark Souls is still unrivaled and exploring the intricate 3D vertical world kept me going. Dark souls has one of if not the greatest gaming world map there is, all interconnected. DS2 was a let down compared to that.

I leaned on light armor to keep movement a bit less clunky and heavily relied on magic to get through the game. Which made me mostly useless against bosses but at least exploration was fun and very do-able. One on one combat reminds me most of Zelda. Learn the pattern, wait for cues, don't improvise, just do the same dance over and over and over. More like developing a programmed response (in you) than actually engaging in a tactical fight. Closer to a rhythm game than fighting AI.

From Software games have great atmosphere, yet after DS and DS2 I was done with the game play that comes with it. I still have Bloodborne unplayed if I ever feel the itch again. Haven't bought any since.



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I played one of them (2 I think) for a little bit, and felt like the game was really making no effort to get me into it. Felt like the game really didn't want me to play it, so I didn't.



freebs2 said:

Beforhand I think Demon't Souls and Dark Souls are excellent games, but at the same time I don't like very much From Software later games.

As for first playthrough impressions. My first souls game was Demons Souls, so when I started Dark Souls I already knew the basics...but still I had a lot of difficult times.
Firstly yes, the game can be overwhelming...the thing is DS rewards caution and carefull exploration. Also to be played properly it requires you to understand how the rpg elements in the game work and that can be a challange at fist. I would say DS is one of the few games I recommend playing with a guide for the first time, not much for walkthoughs but to understand how character progression and equipment power ups work.
That said, I would recommend to approach Demon,DS,DS2 not much as action games but more as survival games. The key to beat the game is to utilise your resources at best and to minimize risks. As for boss fights it's very important to understand thier moveset, the environment, their weak points, if it gets to difficult it can be very usefull to experiment with different approaches.
Contrary to what 'purists' say it's not always fair and it has a lot of rough edges, but It's still my favourite single player game of last generation, regardless.

And there is where i question myself just how great its a game if it requires a guide or a walkthrough, so you can truly play it as it is supposed to be played, i don't question the enormous effort and amazing qualities those games have, but having someone told you that you can't initiate or procced in the game in a certain way or another because you will hamper yourself your experience its kinda strange; i mean most of the time i didn't need a guide to 100% a game, most games you just needed to pick them up and play starting since the Atari era you didn't need a special way to play pac-man,space invaders, centipede etc., and the best NES and SNES games certainly didn't need them. The only time i remember i completely needed a guide was for Silent Hill and that damn piano puzzle near the beginning of the game, and another time for knowing how to get the best ending since one or two required items were easily missable, and not a walkthrough but kinda some tips i needed for original Fallout since giving yourself balanced stats at the beginning of the game were just lost of time, and it would become kinda trial and error since you could just roam aimlesly without truly achieving nothing in the game.



I think it's all a matter of taste.

So I don't think you're wrong or you "failed" this game. It just wasn't what you liked. And that's fine. Not everyone is going to like every game.

You didn't like it in terms of its control and that's a fair point, too. I haven't played DS, but I platinumed Bloodborne and love that game to death.

Although the controls are more action oriented compared to other SoulsBorne games this side of Sekiru, it still has that "heavy" feel you talk about. Other people may call it clunky, but I don't. I personally love it. The abilities to parry or evade are responsive (talking from BB experience so I'm sure it's the same for DS and blocking in addition to the other skills), and combat is fluid. Not being like an anime and being able to wield any weapon willy nilly does not make a game "not-clunky" and the opposite is the same. But the approach is all about constraint and using what you can at a given time (as in real life even though I would be dumb to compare BB or DS to real life), so for some people like me, that enhances the experience and the immersion. I like to feel like I hit what I hit and there's weight to all those moves. But in the same fashion, I like to know there's consequence to how I choose to play and I can feel when I made a bad choice. To me that's an asset to these type of games.

Same thing for what people said about Shadow of the Colossus controls. They were weighty but I didn't see them as clunky. If anything, their weightiness made the game more immersive because each move made Wanderer's actions and reactions more tangible. I think that's a strength that video games can provide that no other medium can, so I get confused when people see these things as a liability instead of an asset to the gameplay.

To those that may want a more escape fantasy where they are brutalizing enemies, it makes sense that it's not their cup of tea, and that's fine.

It is what is its.



Souls games are weird as hell. I played Demon's Souls and thought it was fine but nothing special and avoided the franchise until Bloodborne came out. The first time I beat Bloodborne it was really just a case of me 'not letting the game beat me', and by the end I genuinely didn't like it. I thought it was unfair, obtuse, unclear, and just a mess that gave me more frustration than it was worth.

but then I started NG+ after convincing my friend to play it and watching him struggle with Central Yharnam. I remembered where things were and what to do and where to go. I remembered tactics. I kinda disliked - maybe even hated - the game upon first completion but on subsequent playthroughs I quickly came to love it and now consider it among my favourite games of all time. In fact, of my top ten games of all time, it is the only one NOT on the Super Nintendo. It might actually go down as my single favourite game of all time if things persist. Once it gets the same nostalgia factor as those SNES games, it might be my favourite.

Same thing happened with Dark souls. First time through I actually kinda hated it. sure, it had some bosses and areas that I loved, but for every Ornstein and Smough there was a Bed of Chaos. for every anor Londo, there was Lost Izalith. Once I played the remaster on Ps4/Switch, something changed and I went from hating it to loving it. It's obtuse, the controls are not that great, it's insanely difficult and seemingly unfair most of the time, but the community aspect of it and the self-imposed desire to 'conquer' it results in some of the most satisfying senses of euphoria I've ever gotten in gaming. What starts as a game you struggle against and combat becomes a game that I love playing. Once you 'get' it and it clicks, it often becomes a favourite. I definitely understand both halves of the spectrum, given its nature as a game you have to learn to love, not something you just pick up and enjoy. This isn't Spider-Man PS4 or God of War, it's not an easy to pick up and play game, it's a game you gotta work at for the combat AND story.

In my experience, people either hate it, don't get it, and think it's overrated or they love it and rank them among their favourites. I'm in the latter camp but I 100% understand why so many people feel the opposite. I don't tend to get bitchy with people who dislike Souls because I understand that it's not for everyone. I feel no need to be condescending about 'git gud' or 'you just don't get it', because it's so deliberately obtuse and challenging in many ways.

I recommend playing Bloodborne or Dark Souls III. Both of those games have stunningly similar level and world design to dark Souls, but both of them have far more refined control and gameplay options as well as much better bosses and (in my opinion) a better world. If you got as far as the Crystal Caves in Dark souls, then you have the tenacity to power through Dark Souls III or Bloodborne. and if you get that euphoric, hard-won sensation of accomplishment, it's all worth it.



My Console Library:

PS5, Switch

PS4, PS3, PS2, PS1, WiiU, Wii, GCN, N64 SNES, XBO, 360

3DS, DS, GBA, Vita, PSP, Android

Top 6 this generation: 
Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, God of War, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls III, Red Dead Redemption II, Rock Band 4

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JWeinCom said:

I played one of them (2 I think) for a little bit, and felt like the game was really making no effort to get me into it. Felt like the game really didn't want me to play it, so I didn't.

in all fairness, 2 was terrible. It was made by a different team than all the other Fromsoft Souls titles, and it feels like the team knew WHAT people liked about Dark Souls but had no idea why that made them like it. Like, they knew the game was hard but not how to balance it so that it was challenging but fair, and instead opted for cheap kills, ganks, and overwhelming odds. I disliked II a lot, even though Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Dark Souls III, Bloodborne, and Sekiro are all among my top 25 favourite games of all time. 

I would recommend III or Bloodborne if you wanna give the franchise another shot. 



My Console Library:

PS5, Switch

PS4, PS3, PS2, PS1, WiiU, Wii, GCN, N64 SNES, XBO, 360

3DS, DS, GBA, Vita, PSP, Android

Top 6 this generation: 
Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, God of War, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls III, Red Dead Redemption II, Rock Band 4

It is ok if you dont like it, especially playing it today so many years after it was released. It is a game that needs to be understood under the scenario of how games were 10 years ago. It was a revolutionary game at that time, it did a lot of things right and influenced a lot of games that came later. It even created it's own genre. A lot of things people complain about the game some other people considers its actually some of it's strengths.
It's alright to not like some games/genres that other people consider amazing. Personally I dont like Zelda games. My first one was a link to the past back in the early 90's and after that I tried a lot of different Zelda games but could never enjoy it.

Personally my take would be:
- Amazing combat at that time, nobody was doing that. So many different builds, all weapons had totally different move sets and different ways of playing it. It is a slow and tactical combat. Your character is slow, you feel the weight of the armor and the use of the shield is really great. On top of that the stamina bar makes everything more tactical, way different that a god of war hack and slash
- The story is great and very deep but in a very different way, it is not given away for free to you. You need effort to understand it if you want, mostly through the scenarios, paying attention to what is around you and reading the pieces of lore you capture through the item descriptions. If you dont like about the story then it is just like a zelda game, you need to beat the bad guy and save the princess (link the flame so humanity persists existing)
- Level design. Well what can be said about that? Nothing compares to it. It needs to be experienced to be understood. Except for the crystal cave and the lava levels at the end, that was pretty cheap and poor.
- Secrets, so many secrets and nothing was explained to you. In a very old fashioned way you could play the game and not discover any secret. You would know about them on the internet creating a great sense of community with everybody trying to uncover all the links between scenario, characters, story and items. Just like we would do in the old days talking about it with our friends.
- The online portion of the game was revolutionary, the option to summon people to help you, being invaded, the messages. Its a pretty amazing system. And you could turn it off if you wanted.
- And last but not least, the difficulty which is only ONE of the main aspects of the game that people like. The game is not even that difficult after you learn how to play it and it creates a sense of accomplishment. You think you never will be able to beat that enemy, that boss, that level, but it is just a matter of learning how your enemies behave.

Its a masterpiece. But again, it is not for everyone and that is ok.



Runa216 said:

Souls games are weird as hell. I played Demon's Souls and thought it was fine but nothing special and avoided the franchise until Bloodborne came out. The first time I beat Bloodborne it was really just a case of me 'not letting the game beat me', and by the end I genuinely didn't like it. I thought it was unfair, obtuse, unclear, and just a mess that gave me more frustration than it was worth.

but then I started NG+ after convincing my friend to play it and watching him struggle with Central Yharnam. I remembered where things were and what to do and where to go. I remembered tactics. I kinda disliked - maybe even hated - the game upon first completion but on subsequent playthroughs I quickly came to love it and now consider it among my favourite games of all time. In fact, of my top ten games of all time, it is the only one NOT on the Super Nintendo. It might actually go down as my single favourite game of all time if things persist. Once it gets the same nostalgia factor as those SNES games, it might be my favourite.

Same thing happened with Dark souls. First time through I actually kinda hated it. sure, it had some bosses and areas that I loved, but for every Ornstein and Smough there was a Bed of Chaos. for every anor Londo, there was Lost Izalith. Once I played the remaster on Ps4/Switch, something changed and I went from hating it to loving it. It's obtuse, the controls are not that great, it's insanely difficult and seemingly unfair most of the time, but the community aspect of it and the self-imposed desire to 'conquer' it results in some of the most satisfying senses of euphoria I've ever gotten in gaming. What starts as a game you struggle against and combat becomes a game that I love playing. Once you 'get' it and it clicks, it often becomes a favourite. I definitely understand both halves of the spectrum, given its nature as a game you have to learn to love, not something you just pick up and enjoy. This isn't Spider-Man PS4 or God of War, it's not an easy to pick up and play game, it's a game you gotta work at for the combat AND story.

In my experience, people either hate it, don't get it, and think it's overrated or they love it and rank them among their favourites. I'm in the latter camp but I 100% understand why so many people feel the opposite. I don't tend to get bitchy with people who dislike Souls because I understand that it's not for everyone. I feel no need to be condescending about 'git gud' or 'you just don't get it', because it's so deliberately obtuse and challenging in many ways.

I recommend playing Bloodborne or Dark Souls III. Both of those games have stunningly similar level and world design to dark Souls, but both of them have far more refined control and gameplay options as well as much better bosses and (in my opinion) a better world. If you got as far as the Crystal Caves in Dark souls, then you have the tenacity to power through Dark Souls III or Bloodborne. and if you get that euphoric, hard-won sensation of accomplishment, it's all worth it.

Interesting, I went from loving DS to disliking it in NG++, same with DS2, hence I quit the franchise.

I love the exploration, yet without that the game falls apart imo. There's not much left to enjoy on subsequent play throughs and all the annoyances start to add up. Maybe I'll give BB a try some day, not feeling like it yet. I definitely have no desire to ever play DS again even though it's in my top 10 best games of all times.

The difference is, I get that 'euphoric sensation' from discovering things / finding things out, while overcoming a boss battle at most leaves me with a 'glad that's over, now I can get back to the fun stuff' And when that 'fun stuff', the discovery phase runs out, the game is as good as done for me.

Anyway, good to know BB has similar level design to DS, that was its strong point. The reason I never started BB is that it relies more on swordplay, parrying, stuff I never got along with in DS. Hence I went the magic route with lots of shield block action. Parrying is one thing I can never figure out in video games, I always time it wrong.

I guess I gave up on Dark souls as well after my third attempt haha. The first one ended in a restart, the second was amazing, the third, ng+ was bleh, only saved by not having explored two sections yet in my second attempt. By ng++ I realized the magic was gone forever and nothing but clunkiness remained.



kirby007 said:

Purists say the clunkyness is what makes it great, idiots if you ask me

Nioh, Bloodborne and DS 3 are better games.

In Nes and SNES era have a bunch of difficult games, and few people can complete. 

In PSone era the game, with the up of cinematograph games, games become easier and the low difficult are the norm.

Souls games bring the arcade difficult to modern cinematograph style.

@Metallox, Maybe stamina base game is not your forte. Try Ninja Gaiden ( Xbox and the originals), try any bullethell, try CupHead( and other run an gun games). Doom Eternal in Nightmare Difficult is brilliant(and hard). Hollow Knight ( true ending, Path of Pain and Pantheon is a blast).

I really bad at RTS, Great Strategy Games, SRPG, I liked, but always low the difficulty in these games. 

Last edited by Agente42 - on 24 January 2021

Runa216 said:
JWeinCom said:

I played one of them (2 I think) for a little bit, and felt like the game was really making no effort to get me into it. Felt like the game really didn't want me to play it, so I didn't.

in all fairness, 2 was terrible. It was made by a different team than all the other Fromsoft Souls titles, and it feels like the team knew WHAT people liked about Dark Souls but had no idea why that made them like it. Like, they knew the game was hard but not how to balance it so that it was challenging but fair, and instead opted for cheap kills, ganks, and overwhelming odds. I disliked II a lot, even though Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Dark Souls III, Bloodborne, and Sekiro are all among my top 25 favourite games of all time. 

I would recommend III or Bloodborne if you wanna give the franchise another shot. 

Don't think I do.

The main thing that bothered me, which other people have pointed out, is the complete lack of direction. I don't like that in games generally. It can be done well, like in Breath of the Wild where you don't have much direction, but whichever way you go you're going to find something interesting that will ultimately contribute to completing the game's main objective. In this case though, it felt like there was something I was supposed to be doing at that particular game, but the game just wasn't going to tell me what it was. 

Also, I may have been playing one. I don't remember.