All About Ryder_49
Demon's Souls was a game well known for its incredible difficulty. Its sequel Dark Souls possibly even more so. But one thing people forget to mention is that the majority of that difficulty comes from player interaction. The creatures, while all of them tough and numerous, were fair to fight and any mistake or death was always the players fault. Bring in both games unique online component however and you have a recipe for something special.
In the Souls games players can briefly see each other as ghosts running around their own world, experiencing the same hardships and facing the same perils. Another feature of this is the ability to leave messages to one another with advice or communication about the road ahead. Of course some of these messages left by players will not always tell you the correct things. I remember seeing a message next to a cliff-edge stating "Run straight ahead", and unfortunately a bloodstain almost on top of it (bloodstains in the game are where others have died and you can re-watch their last few moments of precious life). Watching this particular one, it seemed that the person had indeed followed the messages advice, resulting in a small chuckle from myself (it's a harsh world, you take what you can get) and a loss of souls for him.
Undoubtedly though, the most danger from player-to-player interaction comes from the player's ability to invade one another. This is basically when one player uses a Red stone that allows them to enter another player's single player world and do battle with them. This results in some spectacular PVP competition and an incredible experience for both parties involved. You can only invade people of a very similar level to you and so fairness is (mostly) maintained.
In Demon's Souls I was an avid invader. I used to break into other worlds and frequently cut down the lone adventurer I'd find inside; though sometimes it would be myself who would be in trouble upon finding an equally skilled or better match. I remember the rush of arriving in the world; you'd try and get your bearings as quickly as possible and prepare yourself for any oncoming ambush the host might have laid for you. Slowly working your way through the level and checking every corner along the way, the hunt would begin. Usually the player would already be half way through their chosen level and so this meant you would'nt have to worry until getting further in. Upon finally sighting your quarry, the both of you would turn to face each other and usually bow before your duel (I say usually because sometimes either party might decide to try and take the early opportunity to win). Then it would commence.
I lived and breathed for these invasions. They were my life-blood for a long period of my time with Demon's Souls. Appearing in the world of my (hopefully) victim, a shimmering red phantom of pain and suffering sent to deal death upon the host and only the host. Wearing my intimidating, Dark Silver Armour and two-handing a blessed Great axe with an Adjudicator's Shield on my back, I would stalk into their realm. My character was a faith build and the meaning of this was that whenever I was hit or took damage, instantly my character would begin to heal of his own accord. The psychological effect of this seemed to be exceptional. My axe was brutally effective, causing the host to stumble and retreat constantly from the epic damage it dealt. The armour I wore was almost impervious to any form of magic and so mages seemed to trip over themselves in confusion over what to do. Because of my faith build even warriors who attempted to go toe to toe with me almost melted away as they realized the ineffectiveness of any successful hit they could land. Thanks Ilkar.
In Dark Souls however, everything seems to change. Lag is a common and frustrating part of any invasion or assistance in the world. Frequently a target will appear in front of you then seconds later be stabbing you in the back, short teleports like this are common for the game. The reason behind this annoying change is that Dark Souls changed its online handling quite drastically. In Demon's Souls, all online interactions would be run over the three main servers From, Namco and Atlus had set up; Dark Souls going instead in favour of the dreaded peer-to-peer connection.
I love both games. I think they are both exceptional and effectively do something that no other game can achieve. I've been soloing Dark Souls the entire game so far and having a blast doing it (Tomb of Giants I'm coming for you). However, it can never live up to the sheer amount of fun I had online with Demon's Souls. The epic duels, the great co-op and the masterful bosses were simply an incredible gaming experience I'm yet to find anywhere else.
Demon's Souls, I salute you.
17Jul 12Apparently many gamers don't end up seeing the final levels of a game, usually because of either lack of time or boredom with the product. Of course some games do eventually lose their luster after many hours invested (like RPSs or sometimes even FPSs if you're an avid online player) and I can certainly understand why in today's more immediate society.
Gamers want and expect a more immediate high to experience, with the likes of Call of Duty and even Skyrim (yes Skyrim) filling that hole. Small tasks often give big rewards in modern games and while that's fine to a point, the rewards you get are always hollow because of it. I'll speak more about the whole Risk/Reward thing at a later time but my main point (in regards to the boredom idea) is that un/fortuantely games are becoming shorter and sweeter.
Few wish to see a fifteen or even ten hour journey play out on screen (heaven forbid anything goes into the twenties) because most just want that fundamental kick, that easy win over the Big Bad, that simple forseeable destruction of the Dragon.
Which while there is nothing inherently wrong with that, disappoints me when I consider the huge amount of fun and pleasure games like Fallout 3, MGS3: Snake Eater and even the Journey can provide. Plus many more I can't even begin to list. F3 and MGS3 require large investments of time but pay off in the end with incredibly rich character bonds and deep investments in their worlds. The Journey is a good example of the boredom excuse, why play a game when you can't kill anything or best anyone? Where is that kick that most gamers today crave? It comes in how rewarding the actual journey is. By the end of the two hours or so it takes to play you will really feel like you've been on an adventure.
On the other side of things yes I can understand stopping play when a game gets boring or annyoing to play because it's simply not your thing or was poorly designed. One example that comes to mind is :shudders: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Probably the MOST broken, poorly designed game I have ever played. After playing for a time I ended up having to stop playing once I hit the 2 hour mark, despite paying retail for it. It was that bad. While this has become much more rambly than previously hoped, I hope you understand the point I'm trying getting across. Play those well-made longer games, invest some time into their deep worlds and rich stories, and if you've chosen well you truly will feel the awesome rewards of playing such a game.
Remember, as that saying goes: "You only get out, what you put in." For more info see below article: http://au.gamespot.com/news/most-wont-finish-hitman-absolution-says-director-6384588
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