I've been gaming since before I can remember, growing up on NES and SNES games like Duck Hunt and Super Mario World. I own every Nintendo system exept the Virtual Boy and the Famicom, but I currently play Xbox 360 because my PC is kind of mediocre and the Wii... well... it's the Wii.
Read my incoherent ramblings on Twitter, if you want.
Dark Souls is a fantastic game. It's most certainly not for everyone, but for those of you who can get into the mindset will certainly appreciate and enjoy it for what it's got to offer. A Gothic fantasy action/roleplaying game (of which is already a fairly unique premise nowadays), the world of Dark Souls is one where everything in the world can ó and most likely will ó kill you. Every single enemy in the world comes back when you die, or heal up and save. When you die, you lose your money and experience (souls), and get put right back as if the entire time you went without saving had never happened ó sometimes hours of work. You just keep working at an area until youíve mastered it. Itís immensely rewarding once you actually make progress.
It seems like the kind of game you'd think you would hate yourself for playing, but somehow Iím drawn to it. Itís really great. The atmosphere is incredible, and permeates a dark, twisted, unsafe world where there is no hope for anyone. Ruined castles, towns, dungeons and such structures litter the cliffs of the land. To survive in the world of Dark Souls you engross yourself in the world; taking a closer look at your surroundings, learning how they benefit you or your enemies, exploring every nook and cranny hoping to find some small trinket worth your while. Vicious enemies lie around nearly every corner, ready to kill any and all who try to pass. The people who are left have little to live for and stand by the wayside watching the world crumble. This world is not meant for outsiders to enter, but you do so anyway. You are an anomaly; you are the chosen one. You're not going to sit there and watch the world crumble around you, helpless. With enough persistence you can make it through anything, no matter what the odds.
PICTURED: In most games: Cannon fodder. In Dark Souls: Your demise.
The difficulty is intense, but at the same time feels fair and realistic ó it literally feels as if youíre one man taking on an army, one by one. There is something so satisfying about taking out dozens of undead soldiers, all in one life, and living to tell the tale; shooting off a dragonís tail with mere arrows to acquire a powerful sword; exploring the heavily guarded ruins of a castle to find that one guy who's just crazy enough to set up shop by the wayside. That's what makes Dark Souls such a fantastic experience. The feeling of discovering, solving, and eventually conquering the unknown. This kind of game has no place being in the modern game world where difficulty is frowned upon as something unfair, and where exploration is rare, and where a close look at the world usually shows the underbelly of a machine not meant to be seen by the player. And yet it survives, an anomaly that, against all odds, is pretty awesome.