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post #31 of 1770 Old 09-05-2009, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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*** September '09 Update ***

Already a critically acclaimed title in Japan with a HUGE positive response from import gamers, the U.S. version is due out October 10, 2009. The reviews are now starting to come in for the localized version.

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Challenging games are a rare commodity in the present market of casual “pick up and go” titles. On occasion, a tough title will pop up, only to be deflated by claims of “fake difficulty” or cheap AI.

Simply put: Atlus and From Software’s Demon’s Souls has effectively redefined the term “difficult game” into something much more favorable than what we’re currently used to. There is so much freedom and underlying strategy involved in Demon’s Souls that every time you die, you’ll feel like it’s your own fault. Read on for our review of Demon’s Souls, and learn how to channel your inner masochist.

Demon’s Souls sort of takes a dark fairytale approach in its visual style, and the result is hauntingly pleasing. Freakish creatures will skitter across the once glorious kingdom of Boletaria, and looming cloud patterns paint the sky. The entire experience is reminiscent of the Playstation 2 hit Ico; you’ll find yourself stopping right in your tracks just to admire the beautiful architecture and scenery.

Upon completing the game’s tutorial (which is conveniently skippable after your first character), you’re placed in The Nexus: Demon’s Souls hub world. From here, you can conduct business, upgrade your statistics, and travel to different levels. It’s an understatement to say the stages feel incomparable towards one another; the locales are so drastically different looking, at times you’ll swear you’re not even playing the same game. Enemy models will also suit the level’s theme perfectly and will even change based off the “world tendency” reactionary system; effectively, each play through will feel different.

After admiring the game’s scenery, you’ll of course want to dive right into actual gameplay. During the tutorial, you might find that the game is comfortably easy, but once you teleport into your first level, the difficulty shock will kick in. First off, when you die, you’ll be forced to wander as a “soul,” with 50-75% of your current health cap until you defeat a level boss.

Dying is also incredibly easy to do: if you’re not careful, you could fall off a cliff, spring an enemy trap, or get caught in crossfire. In fact, very rarely will you be happy with the first character you make. By the time you’re a few hours through your first play through, you immediately might want to restart your game and make different choices.

Another aspect of the game’s difficulty stems from a Dead Rising type save system to the extreme: one slot, autosave only. Because of this, you’ll approach the world of Boletaria much more cautiously than you would in any other game, which definitely adds a feeling of excitement that not many other titles are able to pull off successfully.

Is the prospect of an extremely difficult learning curve really getting you down? Fear not! While Demon’s Souls is in fact one of the hardest games I’ve ever played, salvation is possible. After the trials and tribulations of creating your first character sink in, you’ll start to see the world more clearly (not unlike a certain Keanu Reeves in The Matrix). Every enemy in the game has some sort of weakness, or a strategy that can be employed against it. Additionally, there are soul items that can be picked up and stored as “insurance,” so even if you die twice and lose all your stored souls, the items are always consumable for experience. You’ll also quickly pick up the various checkpoints and shortcuts in every level ensuring a quick recovery of your corpse.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you can always farm enemies for souls at any time, and run back to The Nexus to spend them; even if you die as a soul, all you lose is currency (never statistics or experience), so it’s not a total loss. The classes are also not restrictive: every class can eventually learn everything and become a super hero. All of the above factors of success contribute to Demon’s Souls’ brilliance as a video game. Rather than simply tossing a bunch of uneven tasks at a player, Demon’s Souls wants you to learn from your experiences and better yourself as a gamer.

Demon’s Souls was met with great success in Japan, and gamers from around the world have been importing it for months. From the looks of it, Atlus didn’t do a whole lot in terms of the localization outside of the retail deluxe package and some (correctly) rewritten mistranslations for item descriptions: one of the two main helper character’s voices is still “engrish” sounding, and the core gameplay remains the same. For those who already imported it, unless you wanted the extra goodies, you aren’t missing out in anything drastically different.

While aesthetically pleasing, musically, there isn’t a whole lot to be found in Demon’s Souls, and the tracks range from orchestra quality pieces to odd hymns. While most of the level mood is going to be set by the ambiance (water dripping, clawing noises, etc.), some boss themes don’t really fit the bill.

Demon’s Souls seeks to put an end to the “15-20″ hour lifetime that’s so commonplace in today’s action titles. Be prepared to become a shut in for a few weeks; the re-playability is astounding. After the success of my second character, I’m already planning magic, power, and mix builds for my next play throughs. Given the size of the game, and the insanely detailed character creator function, I have no doubt that it will feel like a completely different experience. Not to mention, the maximum level is 712.

In addition to the normal classes, From Software also included a genius character addition: Royalty. Starting as this unique class not only makes early game combat more difficult, but grants a special ring only Royalty starts with. In short, it warrants a play through all on its own. For the completionist out there, there’s also a new game+ mode that ups the difficulty and net souls gained every time you play it. How’s that for value!

Demon’s Souls will also beckon you to keep it in your disc tray using a whole heap of other unique mechanics. You can also take advantage of the numerous multiplayer facets of the game, some of which aren’t really seen anywhere else on the market. You can summon up to three players into your game, or jump in rival’s games as a deadly dark enemy spirit (if you successfully defeat your peer, you’ll earn your soul back). Additionally, unlike Fable II, each player will have a separate screen to control their hero with, and your character will gain experience and loot as normal, which is the way it should be for online play.

Outside of directly interacting with your peers, my absolute favorite feature of Demon’s Souls’ online mode is easily the “note system.” By pressing the select button at any time, you can leave tips for other players such as “watch out for the trap!” or “really tough enemy ahead, heal!” If a player enjoys a tip, they can recommend it, which refills your health bar. Alternatively, you can have a bit of fun by dropping tips like “coast is all clear!” when your rival is about to walk into a trap.

Demon’s Souls has completely revolutionized the action genre as we know it. While it remains a single player affair at its core, great strides were made to get other players involved in an action adventure experience, something Fable II tried and failed in the past. While casual gamers should be wary of the game’s extreme difficulty, if you have any sort of strategic acumen, you will easily be able to figure a solution to any problem, and that’s a truly gifted design choice.


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9.0 Presentation
All in all, Demon's Souls' graphics look top notch on the Playstation 3. While you won't find it hard to appreciate the hauntingly detailed locales, some areas feel a bit more boring than others.

9.5 Gameplay
You won't find many titles that have as much combat depth as Demon's Souls. Additionally, you can play the game exactly how you want it, and you will always learn from your mistakes. However, the in-game tutorials are poor, and it will leave many gamers scouring the internet for FAQs.

9.0 Sound
Demon's Souls' sound effects are absolutely perfect. When you encounter the haunting tentacle mage's gentle bell ringing, you'll feel chills. It's a shame that the score wasn't utilized as well as it could have in practice, though.

10.0 Longevity
I can't think of another action game with the same amount of replayability as you'll find here. If you're bored of playing on your own, join someone elses game and grief them as a demon, and leave them notes that will unbeknowst to them, lead them to their doom. Addtionally, with a level cap of 712, don't expect to ever put this game down.

9.5 Overall
Demon's Souls is one for the history books. It simply improves the recently stale action genre, and is way ahead of its time with its vision of online play.






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post #32 of 1770 Old 09-05-2009, 03:19 PM
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Thanks Joe, I can't wait for this.

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post #33 of 1770 Old 09-05-2009, 03:29 PM
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can anyone get into this game? or is the learning curve for semi pro-gamers only?
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post #34 of 1770 Old 09-05-2009, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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They say with patience you will learn the system and do well... the deaths are mostly fair, but it can be hard.

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post #35 of 1770 Old 09-05-2009, 04:39 PM
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thanks. i think i'll pick it up when its released...just didnt want to buy something to realize i couldnt get past the first batch of baddies
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post #36 of 1770 Old 09-10-2009, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, this is a fantastic new launch trailer of the game. If this doesn't get you interested in the October 6th release, nothing will!

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post #37 of 1770 Old 09-11-2009, 02:07 PM
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My brother imported the game and said it was awesome. Can't wait for it to hit NA to play!!
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post #38 of 1770 Old 09-11-2009, 02:35 PM
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http://blog.us.playstation.com/2009/...ull-soundtrack

Hey guys, don't forget to pre-order this one. Lots of goodies and the deluxe version throws in the strategy guide and special slip case for $10 more.
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post #39 of 1770 Old 09-12-2009, 09:49 AM
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I'm debating buying this one again just to play on U.S. servers

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post #40 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 07:12 AM
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This and Uncharted 2 dropping the same week! I've been watching gameplay videos on youtube of Demon Souls and it looks good. Definitely catering to the hardcore action RPG'er.
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post #41 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 08:54 AM
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So is this game more like Fallout/Obilivion for anyone that has actually played?

Also, does this game have a lot of Cinematics? (not like Metal Gear, but probably like Uncharted/Resident Evil)

For anyone that played Lost Odessey on the other system, is this game about the same difficulty? LO was one of the hardest games I have played, but also one of the best.

While I like RPG's, Fable was quite boring for me so I am hoping this game is not like Fable.

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post #42 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 09:00 AM
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No, it's not like Fallout/Oblivion. It's much prettier and far more action/strategy oriented in battle.

Not a lot of cinematics, but the few there are are gorgeous.

I'd say it's harder than LO. LO was good, but this is more brutal.

It's not like Fable.

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post #43 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Schempp View Post

No, it's not like Fallout/Oblivion. It's much prettier and far more action/strategy oriented in battle.

Not a lot of cinematics, but the few there are are gorgeous.

I'd say it's harder than LO. LO was good, but this is more brutal.

It's not like Fable.

Thanks,

Makes my decision a little harder. Will check out more videos to see if this game would be my style.

I really like JRPG's and not the Obilivion type of RPG's, but this one does sound interesting.

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post #44 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 11:51 AM
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I'm unexpectedly very interested in this game now! However, I rarely play RPGs b/c I'm usually not a big fan of their combat systems. How exactly does it work in this game? Is it more action based or more of the "select a move and watch as your character executes said move" or is it something really cool that I don't even know about?

The only RPG I've ever played thru to completion is FFX, and I didn't care much for the combat system of that either, I just got wrapped up in the characters, graphics and story.

I'm a sucker for great action/adventure games and love an engrossing storyline and a good challenge. This looks like an unbelievable game, but I've thought that about RPG types before and have been disappointed simply b/c it's not my cup of tea. Can someone shed some light on the gameplay/combat of this one? It doesn't have to be a hack-n-slash for me to enjoy it, actually I hate button mashers, but since some of you seemed to have already played the imported version of this game I'm sure you can help me out!

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post #45 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $mitty View Post

I'm unexpectedly very interested in this game now! However, I rarely play RPGs b/c I'm usually not a big fan of their combat systems. How exactly does it work in this game? Is it more action based or more of the "select a move and watch as your character executes said move" or is it something really cool that I don't even know about?

The only RPG I've ever played thru to completion is FFX, and I didn't care much for the combat system of that either, I just got wrapped up in the characters, graphics and story.

I'm a sucker for great action/adventure games and love an engrossing storyline and a good challenge. This looks like an unbelievable game, but I've thought that about RPG types before and have been disappointed simply b/c it's not my cup of tea. Can someone shed some light on the gameplay/combat of this one? It doesn't have to be a hack-n-slash for me to enjoy it, actually I hate button mashers, but since some of you seemed to have already played the imported version of this game I'm sure you can help me out!

Oh, it's entirely action based. There's no watching going on here. There's a light and a strong attack button that perform different combos based on the weapon your holding. There's also the all important block button that, when timed right, can be used to counter-attack.

This game is about as far from a button masher as it gets. The combos are only 3 hits long, but mostly you'll just be attacking one swing at a time. It's much more about positioning and timing. And honestly, this game is fairly light on it's RPG aspect. If you master the movement, blocking, and attacking, you could get through the whole game without "leveling up". That's not to say that upgrading your strength, magic abilities, and weapons isn't fun and rewarding.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $mitty View Post

I'm unexpectedly very interested in this game now! However, I rarely play RPGs b/c I'm usually not a big fan of their combat systems. How exactly does it work in this game? Is it more action based or more of the "select a move and watch as your character executes said move" or is it something really cool that I don't even know about?

The only RPG I've ever played thru to completion is FFX, and I didn't care much for the combat system of that either, I just got wrapped up in the characters, graphics and story.

I'm a sucker for great action/adventure games and love an engrossing storyline and a good challenge. This looks like an unbelievable game, but I've thought that about RPG types before and have been disappointed simply b/c it's not my cup of tea. Can someone shed some light on the gameplay/combat of this one? It doesn't have to be a hack-n-slash for me to enjoy it, actually I hate button mashers, but since some of you seemed to have already played the imported version of this game I'm sure you can help me out!

You might call the game "hack and slash" but its certainly not a button masher. You need to execute you moves extremely skillfully at all times or you will die You don't sit back and while your guy executes, you execute and you always have to be ready for the next guy who could jump out from anywhere. The game takes skill, mad skill. I died countless times and cussed up a storm and I still think its the best game on the PS3.

Boss battles are intense as hell, the list of items is awesome, and the online play is inspired. And if you don't spend the extra 10 bucks for the special edition with the strategy guild you're nuts! hahaha. Amazon has it for 67, and since its free to join the ECA right now you can easily get another 10% off. Use the code GIMAG at theeca.com to join for free.

http://www.amazon.com/Demons-Deluxe-...3041499&sr=8-1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubBucket View Post

Oh, it's entirely action based. There's no watching going on here. There's a light and a strong attack button that perform different combos based on the weapon your holding. There's also the all important block button that, when timed right, can be used to counter-attack.

This game is about as far from a button masher as it gets. The combos are only 3 hits long, but mostly you'll just be attacking one swing at a time. It's much more about positioning and timing. And honestly, this game is fairly light on it's RPG aspect. If you master the movement, blocking, and attacking, you could get through the whole game without "leveling up". That's not to say that upgrading your strength, magic abilities, and weapons isn't fun and rewarding.

Sold.

Never was a fan of the old style turned based RPG's that were more a function of old console limitations.
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post #48 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 01:14 PM
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Sold.

Never was a fan of the old style turned based RPG's that were more a function of old console limitations.

Yeah, I've been dreaming about a game like this ever since the first 3D Zelda game on the N64. It seems like such a simple concept. You have one character and he can move, attack, block, and dodge. You're free to roam around and get yourself killed in any manner of ways.
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post #49 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 01:23 PM
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I imported Demon's Souls in May and have played about 240 hours and I just started my 7th play thru this weekend. This is the best game this Gen (for me anyways). It will be very hard and unforgiving at 1st because you have not leveled up yet. Like the others have said, it's NOT a Hack-N-Slash, if you play that way you will die ALOT. You have to execute your moves and have a game plan going into every confrontation. You have to level up your weapons, armor, magic/miracles. This is a 3rd person Action RPG. You do all the fighting. It's a Dungeon Crawler at it's finest.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubBucket View Post

Yeah, I've been dreaming about a game like this ever since the first 3D Zelda game on the N64. It seems like such a simple concept. You have one character and he can move, attack, block, and dodge. You're free to roam around and get yourself killed in any manner of ways.

I have to say, this game blows Zelda 64 out of the water.
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post #51 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 02:17 PM
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I have to say, this game blows Zelda 64 out of the water.


No offense to good old Zelda(yawn), but i hope so.
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post #52 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 02:20 PM
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Watched a guy at Gamestop playing import version of this a couple months back(tough!!!), all i can say is.....im too old for this ****
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post #53 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 02:49 PM
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After reading your feedback and some reviews online, this is now at the top of my list! Is a demo available in any other region's PS store? I've got EU, AU and JPN at the moment.

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post #54 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 03:17 PM
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So i hear there are barely any save points. I'm up for the difficulty as long as it doesn't become frustrating.

Am i going to have to play for 30 minutes to get to a boss fight only to be killed with one hit, then have to do this over and over again?
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post #55 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 04:07 PM
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Do you actually get to fight that huge-ass dragon?

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post #56 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 04:20 PM
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Do you actually get to fight that huge-ass dragon?

Yes.. sorta. That particular fight is more like a GOW event driven boss battle. No quick-time things, but you use the environment more than you actually actually straight up attack him.
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post #57 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

So i hear there are barely any save points. I'm up for the difficulty as long as it doesn't become frustrating.

Am i going to have to play for 30 minutes to get to a boss fight only to be killed with one hit, then have to do this over and over again?

Well, in a way, the game is constantly saving. Most aspects of your character, stats and items, don't change when you die or quit. All that you lose, is your Souls and your position. Levels are broken into sections that you have to complete in one go(i.e. without dieing) or you start back at the beginning.

So, yes, it's very likely that you'll spend 30 minutes to get to a boss, and he'll kill you, putting you back at the beginning of the level. All the monsters respawn, and you have to work your way to him again, and will likely die again. However, each time you run through a level, you learn something, and it's gets easier and faster.

This is exactly why people find the game so challenging, but it's also what makes the game so rewarding, in my opinion. With the standard checkpoint system that most games have now, you're only set back a few steps, and there's really no punishment for dying. So you breeze through a game with no fear of death.. like Prince of Persia. Demon's Souls will make you fear for your "life" every step of the way, and if your smart, careful, and skillful, you can get through most situations the first try.
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post #58 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 07:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pbicich View Post

No offense to good old Zelda(yawn), but i hope so.

Zelda 64 was trash, it was all downhill after Link to the Past. Demon's Souls is one of the best games ever made.
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post #59 of 1770 Old 09-15-2009, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by rpggamer View Post

Zelda 64 was trash, it was all downhill after Link to the Past. Demon's Souls is one of the best games ever made.

oh... now I see why what joe said in the other thread was funny.

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post #60 of 1770 Old 09-16-2009, 06:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by DubBucket View Post

Well, in a way, the game is constantly saving. Most aspects of your character, stats and items, don't change when you die or quit. All that you lose, is your Souls and your position. Levels are broken into sections that you have to complete in one go(i.e. without dieing) or you start back at the beginning.

So, yes, it's very likely that you'll spend 30 minutes to get to a boss, and he'll kill you, putting you back at the beginning of the level. All the monsters respawn, and you have to work your way to him again, and will likely die again. However, each time you run through a level, you learn something, and it's gets easier and faster.

This is exactly why people find the game so challenging, but it's also what makes the game so rewarding, in my opinion. With the standard checkpoint system that most games have now, you're only set back a few steps, and there's really no punishment for dying. So you breeze through a game with no fear of death.. like Prince of Persia. Demon's Souls will make you fear for your "life" every step of the way, and if your smart, careful, and skillful, you can get through most situations the first try.


GOOD


I'm really sick of this "I need to beat a game first time through without any problems" mentality. Games used to, you know, be challenging. They used to penalize you for being reckless.

I couldn't begin to tell you how many times I died in RE1 both from enemies and from situational traps, only to be whisked back to my last save room. It made that final boss battle, and the end, all the more rewarding.

If you don't have the time for such a game, pass.
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