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Step aside, Jim Sterling, and bow down to your new KING OF GAMING. Please inform the relevant organizations of my accomplishment. I will await my Nobel Prize sometime this fall.

I spent a whole 60+ hours on this game, and I have no regrets. Judging from my last blog post calling for more short games, how is this at all consistent? Because Demon's Souls is so unlike most long games it's not even funny. It really isn't. And if you think it's funny, Demon's Souls will kill you during the half a second you spent laughing instead of paying attention to that zombie with a pick-axe. Because there is one thing that Demon's Souls offers above all else: the pleasure of mastery.

I did not play DS for its story (some bad stuff happened, now you gotta kill demons), atmosphere (although it does a great job there), or innovations (and it does have some). I played it for its challenge. It is relentlessly unforgiving and always keeps you on your toes. Every new area requires you to re-think your strategies and find the optimal way of defeating it. With a few exceptions, every boss is a uniquely brutal obstacle that requires many tries before you figure it out. But the beautiful thing is, once you figure it out, you have indeed figured it out (until the next new area). Although cold and difficult, the world of DS is consistent and fair. Every time I defeated a boss or mastered an area, I experienced a sense of satisfaction and triumph that I had not experienced in games for a long time. And when I beat the game? Man, you would've thought I had just cured cancer or something.

So while Demon's Souls is a lengthy game, it is dense with challenge. And this is something I find many AAA titles lacking these days. I wasn't just mindlessly stepping through mission after mission, progressing a story or exploring a world or grinding my character. I was improving my own skills with the game and seeing them pay off. There is a slight amount of mindless grinding in the game, but nothing that comes close to the kind of filler you find in most RPGs or action-adventure games. I never got the sense that an area existed just to make the game longer, because every area was so unique in its dangers and challenges. In short, DS offers an experience packed with constantly fresh challenge that is hard to find these days.

Anyway, on to Super Meat Boy...
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About stevesanone of us since 11:25 PM on 02.22.2008