100 hours in; Demons Souls - Destructoid

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Demons Souls

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10:47 AM on 03.22.2011

First off, a huge shout out to one Trev "Elzicho" Treverson(Because that's your full name), for getting me back into this game a while back, and helping me a ton with all my dumb questions. You rock!

Demons souls, in every way, is a cult classic. Even before it hit shelves there was the fan base for it, of people clamoring for something different, compared to, at that time, the sea of next gen shooters promising to be bigger and better then the prime target, Gears of War. Resistance was waging war against Halo, Uncharted seemed to march head on against gears, and Demons souls seemed to be released underneath all of them. Yet, it was so much more then all of them could ever hope to be.

This dark foreboding world was etched into your soul (pun totally intended) as soon as you took your first step in Boletaria. From the start, with arguably the greatest tutorial ever created, to the interesting ending, and everything inbetween, Demons Souls is bursting with style, and more importantly substance. It's a world that is unique, interesting, haunting, and so much more. It demands respect, punishing slight error with swift death. And as much as it punishes, it rewards. Each enemy encounter is different then the next, constantly bringing up thought provoking challenge, to figure out the right way to defeat it, without suffering death. And then, you fail, learn, and come back to defeat that encounter, get a few steps further, and repeat. And those few steps are so rewarding. Not only through in-game rewards, such as weapons and equipment, but the personal satisfaction that you get from completing just a few parts of one level is outstanding. And watching your friend try and do the same and failing, just adds to it all. The opposite, watching a buddy do something where you fail, is just a challenge! You see him victorious, you want to be victorious as well. It's a constant cycle of 'I can do this, let me show you', and 'you can do this? show me!', that even in new game plus doesn't end.

I once read somewhere(If I recall correctly, it was Kotaku), that the writer of that particular articles favorite part of the game, was the message system, and the death system. The message system, where you can leave predefined messages to help or hinder ones progress, and the death system, where as you leave a blood stain showing the last ~10 seconds of your life for others to see how and where you died. The reason he enjoyed both of these, is that they give the game a sense of comradeship, that in this desolate place, your not alone. Others are facing the same challenges you are, and have failed. And he's right. The pseudo co-op without a person being in your world is a fantastic touch that adds a subtle twist to the game, unlike many others.

Not to mention the actual co-op. Having a friend in your world, tackling obstacles and adventuring with you is a blast. It makes the game allot easier, and is a great way for a newbie like myself to get run through some of the tougher spots. Even after your second play through, aka, new game +.

And, putting hours into new game + is where this game really starts. Literally. You well not understand everything that goes on with the game until you get to your second playthough. World tenancies and drop rates, Phantom encounters and saving people. What the hell those crystal lizards do? Why did those guys in 2-2 drop so many shards? Can you kill that dragon in 1-1? Understanding pvp, co-op,
gestures, writing and recommending messages, all these things are learned over multiple playthroughs. There is so much to know in the game, that you just can't possibly understand it all right away.

Understanding it all, isn't just done in game either. I've spent an equal amount of time, reading forums, watching videos, chatting to friends about how to tackle each scenario. The community support for the game is outstanding. There are so, so many videos just on youtube alone, about how to beat each boss, secret shops, ect. This could be a turn off to some, having to almost 'study' and play a game is a huge time investment, but it's worth it. The game is incredible, and undeniably fun, even after 100 hours.

Result: (if you're the type of person to only play a game through once)SKIP
Result: (Every one else)MUST PLAY!

Now who else is so looking forward to Dark Souls?! :D
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