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Is Dark Souls overrated?

Discussion in 'jRPG Weeaboo Discussion' started by MotherMachinae, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. Dark Matter Prophet

    Dark Matter
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    Forget an essay, atleast try to muster up a two paragraph criticism that isn't filled with meaningless fluff that reeks of trying too hard.
    "Suffice it to say it's a J-action-RPG in sheep's clothing"
    "The difficulty? Amateurish understanding of it."
    "This is my main problem with the game, it's just an archaic JRPG-like arcade game that is masquerading as a serious attempt at game design."
    "And people go into fervor-infused catatonic trance from proclaiming this outdated mechanic as intentional genius. It's a Skinner's Box in a different context. "
    "Since the story doesn't go anywhere it's a more elaborate version of those pretentious hipster bullshit walking simulators, like Dear Esther and the like, in terms of the ongoing narrative."
    "It's like a static painting that takes hours to observe."
    "The game just got popular because people confuse meaningful difficulty with repetition and archaic game design."

    :roll:

    And then there are the reductionisms that are equally meaningless:

    "The combat is also simplistic to a fault and is the same from start to finish, you just need to memorize different patterns."

    You've effectively said a whole lot of nothing and I don't think your post merits a serious reponse, but I'll try to address the few comments that resemble actual arguments:
    Except the challenge is not about simply overcoming one encounter, the challenge is about being able to overcome a series of encounters with a fixed set of resources. The challenge of beating a few hollows is not about making it out alive, but the point is to overcome that encounter without losing much health so that you can save your estus flasks for the more difficult encounters, or, if you fuck up in the easy encounters, to try and overcome the more difficult encounters from a disadvantage (fewer estus).

    In a sense, the entire run from one bonfire to the next is just one encounter. When understood this way, your complaint that you shouldn't have to go through an encounter you already beat once is akin to saying that if you took half of a boss' health before dying, the game should just reload with half of the boss' health already gone. After all, you already proved that you're good enough to take out half of the boss' health bar, so making you do it again is just a cheap way to lengthen playtime right?

    By the sound of it, you're the type of person who saves between every single combat encounter in a RPG, since you seem to think each encounter should stand on its own, which in itself is not an unreasonable stance, but when you consider that most games are not actually balanced around this approach to encounter design, all you're really doing is savescumming your way through the game and effectively trivializing all but the most difficult encounters in the process.

    I'd say the proper way to play most games is to find a balance between doing a full on Ironman playthrough vs. savescumming after every encounter, like maybe only saving at the start of each level in a dungeon.

    The devs of Dark Souls seem to agree because this is the how the game plays due to the bonfire system and the encounters are balanced around this approach. The difference with Dark Souls is that the game imposes this playstyle on the player, instead of being an optional self-imposed challenge from the player. So ofcourse all the retards who are not used to playing games this way and who rely on save-scumming their way through games are gonna whine about it.

    Regarding the comparison of this system to arcade games, well first of all there is a key difference that makes this not an entirely valid comparison. The fact that you have limited lives was always the frustrating and unforgiving part of arcade games, not the use of checkpoints over an option to save anywhere. Even then, Dark Souls is a lot more forgiving because if you keep fucking up, as long as you can make it back and collect your souls, you'll atleast be able to keep accumulating souls so you can always go back and spend those souls to buff yourself to help you overcome the challenge.

    But even ignoring these differences, the notion that this is an inherently exploitative mechanic that has no value beyond its ability exploit the player to keep spending coins or to pad out game length is pure nonsense, and frankly triggers me just like all other instances of modern casualtards dismissing mechanics and game design choices from older games as "archaic" because they're too fucking stupid to understand or appreciate it.

    After all, if the goal was simply exploitation, it's foolish to think that you can't accomplish that with a system that lets you save anywhere. The problem was not the system itself, it was always the fact that bad arcade games were clearly exploitative in how they used this system, like being filled with cheap deaths. Compared to a lot of arcade games, Dark Souls is a joke in terms of difficulty and there's really nothing unfair about it. The point of the sparing use of checkpoints in Dark Souls was simply about making you take dying more seriously than in other games, and that simple fact of making death have a more severe consequence adds so much to the overall experience. It makes the game more immersive by making you experience the game as your character would. It makes the game feel so much more tense even when doing something mundane like walking on a ledge or fighting a pair of hollows. It is essential to the pacing of the game. The tense feeling while navigating through the world, the eventual climax with a boss fight that tests your mastery of the mechanics, the feeling of relief and safety when you finally come across a bonfire....all of it is either cheapened or lost altogether without it.

    Ofcourse, a big part of why it works in Dark Souls is because the controls feel tight and precise, and when you die, most of the time it's clear you fucked up. It wouldn't work in a game like Ass Creed or Witcher because of how shitty and imprecise the character movement feels in those games.

    Anyways, the accusation that From Software used the bonfire checkpoint system to pad out the game length is absurd. Even if you never die once, Dark Souls is a much longer game than most other games of its type, without even considering the longevity and replayability it offers with its multiplayer and different builds.

    From Software understands that you can't have a challenge that feels truly rewarding to overcome without accepting the possibility of experiencing great frustration in the process. So yeah, Dark Souls can be frustrating at times, but you don't seem to realize or appreciate what the game would lose if they attempted to minimize that frustration by letting you save anywhere. It is unquestionably one of the best design choices of the game and the fact that it's the one notable criticism you make of the game kinda leads me to believe that you have little interest or appreciation for the sort of experience Dark Souls tries to provide, especially in light of some of your other statements (like criticizing the game because it doesn't "seriously explore" its premise).

    Are you saying the exploration is just trial and error? Unless you're a retard who blindly rushes from point A to B, there's no trial and error in exploring Dark Souls. Saying it's trial and error implies the game is full of hidden instant-death traps. If anything, I'd say the player messages and bloodstains sometimes makes things too easy and encourage a more careless playstyle.

    Yes, you are the only one who can do it insofar as you are the player character and therefore the primary driving force of the game. So no, Solaire won't randomly finish the game for you. Is this actually supposed to be a legitimate criticism?

    If instead you mean that you are the only one who can do it as in your character is canonically somehow special, well that's just plain false. According to the prophecy, any undead who escapes from the Undead Asylum (such as Oscar) could potentially fulfill the prophecy. It just so happens that you succeed where others failed by virtue of your skill and perseverance. Even then, the prophecy isn't something divinely predestined. It is simply a myth held by a particular culture. Just as one character tells you about the prophecy and suggests that you might be the chosen one to fulfill the prophecy, the very next character you meet (the Crestfallen warrior) dismisses the prophecy and mocks you as another naive fool thinking he's somehow special.

    Ultimately, from your character's POV, fulfilling the prophecy simply represents a hope for salvation and a promise to a dying man who freed you. From the player's perspective, it is simply about giving you a rough sense of direction of what it is you're trying to achieve as you make your way through the world.
     
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  2. Sothpaw Learned

    Sothpaw
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  3. Clockwork Knight Arcane

    Clockwork Knight
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    I'd be more understanding of people's disgust with chosen one stories if they usually didn't praise the "random nobody who just happens to be in the right place at the right time and fortunately has a very specific set of skills that make him a nightmare for people like the villain" device in the same breath. Spoiler warning, it's not really any better, you have shit taste like me

    Anyway, looks like it's time to repost this

    [​IMG]


    Bonus:

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    You could've, you know, read my other posts in which I cover these things more in-depth. The respawns aren't frustrating, they are, like I said, boring and just waste time you could spend killing the boss. Not to mention that there are a few instances where you could just run past the mobs, like with Sif, so so much for that. Also, there is a thing called context, so you can't say that not respawning mobs is like not resetting the boss after each attempt, bosses are framed in such a way as to prevent exactly this sort of allegory. It's a false equivalency. If they wanted to force you to complete the entire run with limited resources and make it count, they could just make it so you can't replenish your resources by resting at a bonfire and it wouldn't respawn the mobs. The resources would be replenished by killing the bosses. That would be, of course, a lot more frustrating, but, as we've seen, people don't mind frustrations. It would require more thought to how the entire game is structured, how it tackles challenges and how it conveys information though. Now that I think about it, maybe that's the next step for action games after DS.

    What I meant with the trial and error thing (regarding exploration) is that there is no way to know which thing is where, so that means just randomly stumbling about (which you wouldn't know to do btw) hoping to find something you don't know even exists. I'm not saying the game should tell me where things are, the characters could've just remarked that they've heard rumours of a merchant somewhere in the Undead Berg, or even merchants in general. The way they did it still works (depending on your definition of "works"), but it just smells of poor design rather than an intentionally kept information from you, and it's all because of the online marker systems and not a coherent thought process aimed at strengthening the atmosphere. Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, as an example of Japanese productions, are games which show intentional design, DS is just a series of serendipities regarding the narrative.
     
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  5. CyberWhale Arcane

    CyberWhale
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    :retarded::retarded::retarded:
     
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  6. toro Arcane

    toro
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    So basically, FromSW struck gold by accident.

    However you forget to mention something: DaS is borrowing heavily and literally from the previous 4 King's Field games and DeS.

    A normal person would see this as a pattern of refining a game formula while a retard can only see a series of serendipities. I bet you feel smart using what word.
     
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  7. WhatAreYou?ACasul? Unwanted

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    Actually the run to Sif is really interesting if you decide to do a little role play and actually fight the enemies on your way, the forest guardians. Sure, it means nothing if you join the covenant, because then there's no enemy on the way to the boss, but the whole purpose of the covenant is that they protect the forest and the grave of Artorias. Ergo: you're wrong claiming that the run to Sif is an example of bad design.

    But, surprise surprise, I believe Dark Souls and Dark Souls 3 are inferior than Dark Souls 2 in terms of design. I didn't read the thread, just the last post and the quote from it, so I don't really know where to start. One thing I can tell you for sure is that for me Dark Souls actually is overrated (and DS3 only further proves this).

    Dark Souls is like a Marvel comics. Dark Souls 2 had a different direction and they threw away a lot of meaningless crap from the universe and introduced refined themes and VERY VERYYYY interesting design instead. Dark Souls 3 is like that Marvel comics, Second Generation.
     
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  8. toro Arcane

    toro
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    Can you provide some examples from that VERY VERYYYY interesting design?

    I don't want to die dumb.
     
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  9. Gerrard Arcane

    Gerrard
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    Does a bear shit in the woods?
     
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  10. WhatAreYou?ACasul? Unwanted

    Unwanted
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    You're a bit too aggressive for my taste, but okay.

    However, I don't know you and don't know a perspective from which I should address the question. Should it be "why Dark Souls 2 is unique as compared to video games in general" (and I think Dark Souls 2 does things that no game had ever done), or "as compared to other games in the series" (and again, Dark Souls 2 is quite unique in this sense). I haven't read the thread, but a quick peek at your post and Dark Matter's post was enough to conclude that you guys are discussing the series from both perspectives. I'm not particularly interested in writing an essay, though, you know :)

    I'm open for suggestions. You may be thinking "DS2 has the worst map design in the series", or "DS2 story makes no sense", or "DS2 is a game for babies, adult men play Bloodborne". I will be more than happy to address these issues :)

    A quick answer is: the strongest point of DS2 is it's story. It touches really interesting and abstract ethical themes. The new director cut out meaningless crap from DS1, and introduced new themes. If there ever was a book that accurately reflects the meaning of the game it would be very similar to "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Albert Camus. Some actually tried to explain these things before me, so you can read about some of the more sophisticated themes in the game here: http://killscreendaily.com/articles/beginners-guide-kierkegaard-dark-souls-2/ Now, what I've been describing as more sophisticated themes and general refinement of the game is of course reflected by the design. Roughly speaking, the game is more humble, because they cut out a lot of bad and bombastic design, and focused more on the story. So, for example, the last boss is no longer just a guy who stands still in one place the whole game and has nothing to say what so ever. What seemed like a cool idea for the Kiln (at first sigh it looked like an actual place in the world) was devastated in DS1 by a bombastic approach to design (in reality the area looks like "another dimension" type of crap). These mistakes were replaced with characters and plot that remind such classics like Macbeth or Oedipus in DS2.

    That's just a tip of the iceberg. I'm a huge fan of Dark Souls 2, to the point where it ruined other games for me, Dark Souls and Dark Souls 3 included (as I said, my first impression from a full DS3 run is that they learnt nothing from DS2, and that DS3 repeats the same mistakes that you can find in DS1, but manages to be twice as much of a parody of the series than the first game).
     
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  11. Cowboy Moment Arcane

    Cowboy Moment
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    To be honest, I actually agree that running back to the boss after dying is more an annoyance than anything else in the long run, as it provides little challenge, just a waste of time - it is, in the vast majority of cases, very easy to just run past enemies along the way. This observation, however, cannot be generalized to exploring without a clear destination, and respawns are both necessary and useful in that case.

    On a related note, I just wanted to point out that there's no connection between checkpoints and "exploitative coin-munching game design" in arcade games. In fact, from an efficiency perspective, you don't want the player to repeat what they've already learned, as they could instead be dying to new things and spending more coins (or leaving the machine for someone else to play). And as a matter of fact, checkpoints are not a widespread feature of arcade action games.

    That argument does apply to a lot of old-school platformers, like the early Castlevanias for instance - there the point was indeed to increase the playtime by forcing the player to redo sections after dying. This was, however, a result of these games being developed for consoles to begin with. Arcade sensibilities were, again, very different because of differences in their underlying business models.

    My point being, don't try to make an argument by drawing an analogy with arcade games when you clearly have little to no idea about them. Just makes you look like a dumbass.

    Actually, people who play music and shmups both often remark that they're quite similar in terms of how they are learned and executed. DS is more about reacting to things, unlike playing music. That aside, the "it's all memorization" argument is brought forth for shmups and other unforgiving action games quite often, and is similarly rather stupid. If someone claimed that playing the piano was all "just pattern memorization", then he'd be rightfully considered a dumbfuck.
     
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  12. Lyric Suite Converting to Islam

    Lyric Suite
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    Playing music is not about reacting to things? Ever heard of jazz?

    At any rate, the underlying idea behind the "memorization" argument is that your brain is actually learning something and that this form of gameplay isn't just some kind of twitch fest devoid of cognitive participation of any kind. You have to acquire a certain type of knowledge, gained purely by direct experience, in order to get past a given obstacle, and this learning process is what makes the gameplay fun, and the mastering of a given challenge satisfying.

    The only drawback to this system is the fact the experience is greatly diminished on subsequent plays, which is why players try to find different ways to challenge themselves by devising all sorts of arbitrary handicaps for themselves.
     
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  13. Cromwell Arcane

    Cromwell
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    Did you just touch yourself after writing that? Normally I am a huge storyfag and can not understand people who play whatever games just to sperg about stats, min maxing and whatever else related to mechanical faggotry but at last listening to them doesnt make me feel like I need a shower afterwards.

    Did you know that braid was really about atombombs and womans rights?
     
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  14. NotAGolfer Arcane Patron

    NotAGolfer
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    about "adventurer #1":

    Link me even one LP going down like that or it didn't happen (of a player that didn't play through it 10 times before of course).
    Everything in this fucking boring game is about pattern memorization, not just the enemies, the nonsensically built levels too.

    I remember having played only a few good action games in my life, among them some Nintendo console games (on the old consoles), some shooters (I'm looking at you, Dark Forces and Duke Nukem 3D) and some arcadey racing games and flight sims.
    The thing that made all of them good was that when you reached a certain skill level you could often clear an entire mission/level/whatever in one smooth sweep, which gave you quite an adrenaline rush ... riding the wave and all ... and a good feeling on top.
    If it was too easy though, if the game was too slow in its pace or if the levels didn't last long enough then it didn't work.

    I had none of those feelings in DS, this is all about repeating the same crap over and over til you get it right, rinse and repeat for the next "challenge".
    Sure, a lot of action games are like that, but in my book that's the shitty branch of them. And yes, it's the same design philosophy like some arcade games back in the 80s.
    The difference is that DS can be finished by every fucking retard on this planet, while these games at least punished you for failing to remember the patterns.
    So ... I guess DS hurt my feelings, I'm just not good enough at it to be able to get that kick I got from mastering the better action games I remember. And if I don't get that kick and the story is that dull then why even bother.
    And that "story" bored me to tears. And the atmosphere had the same effect. What a lifeless husk of a gameworld (pun obviously intended).
     
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  15. WhatAreYou?ACasul? Unwanted

    Unwanted
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    All I know is that you may be a village jester, and I'm done talking with you in this thread. Consider it a "local ignore".
     
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  16. United Nations Legion

    United Nations
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    Dark Souls is way too tough to be fun and I like hard games.

    Reminds me of the old school Devil May Cry games which I could never make it past the beginning of either.
     
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  17. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron Sad Loser

    Jasede
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    No. Next question.
     
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  18. United Nations Legion

    United Nations
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    Dark Messiah is a great and underrated game, I agree.

    I remember when it first came out and was universally canned.

    Playing it now, it reminds me of Arx Fatalis or Severance: Blade of Darkness.

    It was of course, created by the same developer as Arx Fatalis which I seriously hope they release a sequel to sometime soon.
     
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  19. Lyric Suite Converting to Islam

    Lyric Suite
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    Git gud scrub hurr durr.




















































































    But seriously, git gud you fucking scrub.
     
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  20. Lord Azlan Arcane Patron Shitposter

    Lord Azlan
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    I only bought it as it was on the all-time codex list.

    My first thoughts was about asking for my money back. But I also received very good - I would say exceptional - bang for buck experiences with Fallout 1 and 2, Wizardry 8, Arx Fatalis and Risen.

    I don't believe console games make good RPGs - apart from Final Fantasy 7. What is the difference between Darksoul and Darksiders?

    Unlike Alpha Protocol, DS is on my list of "Try Again" games and hopefully I can move towards the consensus that it is a decent game.
     
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  21. Lyric Suite Converting to Islam

    Lyric Suite
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    The difference is that Dark Soul is good and Darksiders is a pile of shit.
     
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  22. tormund Arcane

    tormund
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    You claim how you don't enjoy DS because combat is too tough for you and because that difficulty somehow reminds you of DMC... but at the same time you apparently love Severance. You are being extremely, obviously dishonest.
     
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  23. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron Sad Loser

    Jasede
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    You know, if Dark Souls had stayed niche like King's Field, the same retards calling it bad would be sucking that oh so niche and obscure game's cock.
    Fucking hypocrite whores with no eye for quality. Lyric Suite might have brain fog but he is right about one thing: some things are just better than others.

    And you don't have to explain why. I don't need to explain why canned shit isn't as good as Rembrandt. I don't need to explain why Bach is better than Britney, or why Catholicism is better than believing in the power of healing crystals. These truths are self-evident to any person with half a brain. So it is with Dark Souls, and its popularity or lack thereof makes no difference.

    Also people pointing out DS is 'not that hard' are being obtuse. It's like an NES game. Also, people who think having to 'retry the same shit' is a bad mechanic must have never played a computergame before.
     
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  24. Kahr Guest

    Kahr
    But the save system IS just annoying. Why do i HAVE TO either farm these dumb one hit enemies or run around them if i died at a boss?
    It's just prolonging my inevitable victory some more...
    They could at least put campfires before the bosses.
     
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  25. WhatAreYou?ACasul? Unwanted

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    ... and you're the biggest idiot in the thread.
     
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