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Your opinion of the Souls series?

I don't like these games because they are too hard.
0
No votes
I don't like these games because of another reason.
1
3%
I hate this series!
1
3%
I think these games are decent, just decent.
2
7%
I like these games primarily because they are challenging.
6
20%
I like these games because of another reason.
6
20%
I love this series!
6
20%
I've never played any of these games, but I'd like to.
5
17%
I've never played any of these games, and I never will.
3
10%
 
Total votes : 30
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Exhuminator
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☠ Souls Series Symposium ☠

by Exhuminator Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:41 am

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I understand that some do not consider Bloodborne to be part of the Souls series. But I do.

Demon's Souls | 2009 | PS3
Dark Souls | 2011 | PC/PS3/Xbox 360
Dark Souls II | 2014 | PC/PS3/PS4/Xbox 360/Xbox One
Bloodborne | 2015 | PS4
Dark Souls III | 2016 | PC/PS4/Xbox One

I've noticed as I've been playing through Demon's Souls, that there are some fans of the Souls series on this board. Granted I'm way late to the party (I always am folks), but I still think it'd be interesting to discuss this series and our collective experiences (or lack of) with them. I have included 10 questions to start the conversation. These questions assume someone has played at least one game in this series:
1. How did you initially react to the first Souls game you played?

2. If you do not enjoy this series, what are the reasons why?

3. If you do enjoy this series, what are the reasons why?

4. What's your greatest and/or worst memory of playing a Souls game?

5. What's your preferred build and weapons style?

6. Do you believe the Souls games have been influential on modern gaming, or do they stand alone?

7. What's your opinion(s) of the various DLC packages available?

8. Do you believe the reputation of extreme difficulty in this series is warranted or overstated?

9. Which Souls game do you believe is the best thus far?

10. If you could make one change to the Souls formula, what would it be?

(Totally Optional Question: How many Souls games have you beaten, and what's your opinions of them?)

As for the poll, please respond with an explanation of your vote if you don't mind.

PS
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: ☠ Souls Series Symposium ☠

by ElkinFencer10 Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:46 am

I said I love them for another reason. The most accurate vote for me would have been "I love these games but I'll never see more than the first part of any of them because they're too hard and I'm too trash." I absolutely adore the style of the Souls games (I, too, consider Bloodborne to be part of that series), and the combat feels fantastic. It's just really fucking hard, and while I think very highly of the games, I don't enjoy them enough to have the patience to put in the requisite time to "git gud" at them. They're the kind of games that I'll sporadically pop in, play for 30 or 45 minutes, get pissed off, and quit again.

1. How did you initially react to the first Souls game you played?
"What the fuck is this shit? Organic chemistry is easier."

2. If you do not enjoy this series, what are the reasons why?
N/A

3. If you do enjoy this series, what are the reasons why?
The dark, gritty style sucks me right in, especially in Bloodborne. The art direction of the series is simply superb.

4. What's your greatest and/or worst memory of playing a Souls game?
My greatest memory was this one time I beat a boss in one of them. That's it. One boss. One time. In one game.

5. What's your preferred build and weapons style?
I always play as a glass cannon, but I'm also typically pretty lackadaisical with character builds in most games, so I just get whichever big sword looks cool.

6. Do you believe the Souls games have been influential on modern gaming, or do they stand alone?
I think they've mostly stood alone. I think they've probably influenced games to include harder difficulty settings, but that's the biggest influence I see on the industry as a whole.

7. What's your opinion(s) of the various DLC packages available?
Generally not a fan of DLC. Haven't tried any of it with this series.

8. Do you believe the reputation of extreme difficulty in this series is warranted or overstated?
I think it's definitely warranted, but some folks don't seem to realize that it is possible to overcome that difficulty with practice and skill.

9. Which Souls game do you believe is the best thus far?
In my opinion, Bloodborne, but I'm partial to the style.

10. If you could make one change to the Souls formula, what would it be?
Difficulty settings would be nice so punk ass bitches like me could see more of it. :lol:

Totally Optional Question: How many Souls games have you beaten, and what's your opinions of them?
None. Ever. Never have, never will. Too trash.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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Re: ☠ Souls Series Symposium ☠

by Gunstar Green Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:12 pm

I voted "other reason." I fell head over heels for Dark Souls because of the world. It had been a long time since a game had managed to consistently surprise me like that. Every new area was full of surprises both from gameplay and aesthetic standpoints. I felt like I was dropped into a fully realized world and was driven to get better so I could see more of it.

1. How did you initially react to the first Souls game you played?

I found it instantly immersive. I knew it was supposed to be a challenge so I went in over-prepared and wasn't as overwhelmed as a lot of people on the net seem to be.

2. If you do not enjoy this series, what are the reasons why?

3. If you do enjoy this series, what are the reasons why?

No hand holding but it's also not obtuse in its design. It's difficult but rarely unfair or frustrating. The wold as I already mentioned was a big draw for me. It's such a perfect blend of medieval fantasy, mystery and horror that it creates an immersive adventure.

4. What's your greatest and/or worst memory of playing a Souls game?


Reaching Anor Londo for the first time in Dark Souls is probably one of the greatest. After fighting your way through some really nasty places you feel like you're finally really going on the offensive and the view was stunning.

Worst would probably be The Bed of Chaos. I'm not sure if designing a boss where fall damage is its main way of killing you was genius or fucking stupid but I just could not make that damn jump at first.

5. What's your preferred build and weapons style?

Big ass knight with a big ass sword though that's not always the best way to go about things I have the most fun with it. I also like pyromancy because fire.

6. Do you believe the Souls games have been influential on modern gaming, or do they stand alone?

I think they've very obviously influenced a lot of modern games especially its punishment for death which has spread to quite a few games of various genres. It's also spawned a legions of "Souls-like" clones, some more shameless than others. I do think the series got a lot of developers to think more about their gameplay and showed there was still a market for games that don't just play themselves.

7. What's your opinion(s) of the various DLC packages available?


I can't speak for all of them but from what I've experienced the DLC is always worth it and actually expands on the games. I think if you're going to play these games seriously the DLC is mandatory.

8. Do you believe the reputation of extreme difficulty in this series is warranted or overstated?


I think it's warranted for people used to games designed to be beaten regardless of skill level but I think most retro-gamers used to a challenge will find it to be overstated. Even if you are bad at the game it is still an RPG and you can still eventually become powerful enough to power through it. I'm not usually a big fan of RPGs in general but I never found myself hung-up for very long on my first playthrough of Dark Souls and never really had to fight any boss more than a few times. This was all without spending much time grinding.

Though now that I think about it being primarily an action oriented kind of gamer probably gave me more of an advantage than the average RPG fan.

I describe the difficulty as challenging but fair. You die mostly because you yourself messed up. I don't think it's the nightmare many people make it out to be.

9. Which Souls game do you believe is the best thus far?

The first Dark Souls but I'm biased as hell. It had the best designed interconnected world in my opinion though some of that does fall apart in the later half of the game.

10. If you could make one change to the Souls formula, what would it be?

A better way to do online co-op.
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Re: ☠ Souls Series Symposium ☠

by MrPopo Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:34 pm

I remember first getting the Atlus Faithful email about Demon's Souls being announced; unfortunately none of the images work in it anymore so I don't have the exact text. But it was something akin to "you're not hardcore enough for this game". My response was "Challenge Accepted".
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Re: ☠ Souls Series Symposium ☠

by Exhuminator Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:39 pm

Gunstar Green wrote:It's also spawned a legions of "Souls-like" clones, some more shameless than others.

This would be an interesting tangent to include. I was looking a few days ago for obvious Souls imitators (I don't meant that word negatively necessarily). I had a hard time finding games which were obvious about it. Maybe Dragon's Dogma, ArcaniA, and Lords of the Fallen? What other games are strongly Souls inspired?
MrPopo wrote:I remember first getting the Atlus Faithful email about Demon's Souls being announced; unfortunately none of the images work in it anymore so I don't have the exact text. But it was something akin to "you're not hardcore enough for this game". My response was "Challenge Accepted".

Did you beat it? Did you beat any of the others?
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Re: ☠ Souls Series Symposium ☠

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:47 pm

Well I'm in the "I think these games are decent, just decent." camp. Played, but not necessarily finished, the first three on PS3 (no interest in the latest two). I dig the aesthetics and gameplay, but don't find them mind-blowing. From Software's older stuff is better, I'd say, and I'd take almost any old 2D 16-bit ARPG over these games.
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Re: ☠ Souls Series Symposium ☠

by MrPopo Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:56 pm

Exhuminator wrote:
MrPopo wrote:I remember first getting the Atlus Faithful email about Demon's Souls being announced; unfortunately none of the images work in it anymore so I don't have the exact text. But it was something akin to "you're not hardcore enough for this game". My response was "Challenge Accepted".

Did you beat it? Did you beat any of the others?

I've beaten them all, though I haven't participated in the DLC. For me the DLC ended up coming out too late after the release of the game; I'd already moved on to something else. And half of the games are actually pretty unfriendly regarding the DLC; after you beat the game you get shoved into new game plus and so you'd need to progress reasonably far before you could access the DLC (and now it's even harder than it originally was). The DLC does seem like a good value for someone who's coming in to the games later, as they can be integrated into your first playthrough.

Overall I love the games because of the groove you get into. At the start you are going to get your ass kicked over and over, and if you get cocky you will get your ass kicked over and over. But after a bit you fall into a mindset that makes you feel really awesome as you overcome these various enemy challenges. Something new might pop out of a corner in front of you, but if you're in that groove you can take it in stride.
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Re: ☠ Souls Series Symposium ☠

by Gunstar Green Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:49 pm

Exhuminator wrote:
Gunstar Green wrote:It's also spawned a legions of "Souls-like" clones, some more shameless than others.

This would be an interesting tangent to include. I was looking a few days ago for obvious Souls imitators (I don't meant that word negatively necessarily). I had a hard time finding games which were obvious about it. Maybe Dragon's Dogma, ArcaniA, and Lords of the Fallen? What other games are strongly Souls inspired?


I don't necessarily consider it a negative either.

I think Nioh is probably one of the more shameless clones on the market right now.
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Re: ☠ Souls Series Symposium ☠

by isiolia Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:36 pm

Exhuminator wrote:[I had a hard time finding games which were obvious about it. Maybe Dragon's Dogma, ArcaniA, and Lords of the Fallen? What other games are strongly Souls inspired?


From what I've played of it, I wouldn't put Dragon's Dogma in that pile (I kind of doubt ArcaniA as well, since the Gothic series predates all of them)...but I haven't played it, so I couldn't say for sure.
Lords of the Fallen definitely is. Nioh is heavily inspired by it, with some elements, but stands apart in other areas. Having beaten it, I wouldn't call it a clone at all, much less a shameless one. Salt & Sanctuary is basically trying to be 2D Souls.
I think Deep Down is/was supposed to be, but it's vaporware AFAIK. Let it Die is supposedly a bit like it with microtransactions, upcoming game The Surge apparently has a bit of inspiration from it, as (likely) Code Vein will.

That said, I would say that there are probably fewer directly inspired games out there than the success of the series would generally result in.

Anyway, questions from the first post.

1. How did you initially react to the first Souls game you played?
The first one I played was Demon's Souls not too long after it came out, and I think I managed to get through 1-1, literally spent like two hours trying to find the Monumental, I think shot down the dragon...and then went back to playing FFXI. This is a pretty typical pattern for me. :oops:

2. If you do not enjoy this series, what are the reasons why?
I have since come to really enjoy the series.

3. If you do enjoy this series, what are the reasons why?
The particular balance of tough but fair gameplay tends to make it satisfying to plug away at until I succeed. Things I practice and get better at, or build my character towards, matter. Not exactly in the same way that improving in an MMO is, but for me, kind of similar.

On top of that, I find the atmosphere and lore to really add to the experience - I watched a lot of Youtube videos, bought the artbooks, and so on. That's something I have yet to see similar games replicate.

4. What's your greatest and/or worst memory of playing a Souls game?
One of my standout memories is from my first playthrough of Dark Souls. I had finally managed to make my way to the Depths, and in getting through there, got cursed, halving my HP. Then I found the boss, and determined after a couple tries that it'd really benefit me to go back up and buy a curse removal item...which, with it being Dark Souls, meant a bit of backtracking.
I opted to go back to the church, since Purging Stones cost half as much from that NPC. Went, farmed souls, bought a couple, and made my way back. I actually made it pretty much back before deciding to use a stone, which I did. I promptly made a wrong turn and got cursed again. At that point, I resolved to just beat the boss with half HP, and did, though it took a lot more practice. I also took a crash course in weapon durability, since it has an acid attack.

That was before I spent three days trying to beat O&S... :lol:

5. What's your preferred build and weapons style?
I've used different builds between games and playthroughs. I do typically end up with a shield still, with smaller/middle of the road weapons.

6. Do you believe the Souls games have been influential on modern gaming, or do they stand alone?
I think some parts of them are influenced by contemporary games, since a lot of the always-moving-forward kind of style is more just typical of online games than it was completely new.
The actual online model with echoes of other players and all is less copied than I'd think, but a little influential at least.

I haven't yet seen a game that actually quite captures the feel of a Souls game.

7. What's your opinion(s) of the various DLC packages available?
Generally speaking, they're exemplary. All of them include some of the best, most challenging content for their respective games. (Taken by itself, the first DS3 DLC is a bit weaker, but as a package, the full DLC for that is great).
The main downside is that the U.S. has not tended to get "complete" versions of the games, other than for Dark Souls II (and the PC version of Dark Souls).

8. Do you believe the reputation of extreme difficulty in this series is warranted or overstated?
I think they can be objectively classified as more demanding games than the current average, but quite a lot of it is simply a steep learning curve. It's more a matter of if the challenge present is interesting or fun for a player.

9. Which Souls game do you believe is the best thus far?
I think they all have things that stand out, but I'd have to give the nod to the original Dark Souls as largely refining (or defining) core elements. Being fair, the second half or so is a step down (if not bolstered by the DLC), but the first half can (and has) been dissected for its design elements.

10. If you could make one change to the Souls formula, what would it be?
While easier said than done, I feel like a lot of game balance decisions end up being made around PVP - or in some parts of DS2, balanced around potential PVE. I think they could keep more builds interesting (at least) if they'd change how things work between the two, like games such as Guild Wars do.
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Re: ☠ Souls Series Symposium ☠

by Sarge Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:46 pm

It may be shameless, but Nioh is also apparently very good. My brother has enjoyed several aspects of the game more than Souls.

I can't say much in the yea or nay category because I've not put in the sort of time to really come to a concrete stance on the games. Maybe one day.
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