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Demon's Souls - remake's OUT - mindful of the spoilers, please!


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Do most people use guides for boss fights? These bosses, like most games worth their salt, require a lot of practice and patience to defeat them. So without a guide is everyone continually running back through sections of gameplay to get to to the boss, learning the boss patterns, etc. and then repeating until you defeat the boss? I'm not sure how repeating the same 5-10 minutes of fairly standard combat before a boss is less maddening than being able to go back into the boss straight away. I refuse to read guides for games, especially ones like this where its about learning combat techniques and patterns so when I get to a boss I just want to work on the boss and not have to tag on compulsory fodder bashing / dodging.

 

The issue is that there is no choice. Sure, for all you mad cunts that apparently love the self harming approach of 'run backs' just to get to the boss you keep doing that but why not simply allow muppets like me the option to checkpoint before a boss (and I want to emphasize that I only mean boss encounters, as 1-1 and everything I went through on the Gates is an experience I never want to change), which is a mechanic 1-1 seemed to handle perfectly.

 

A while back I went down a rabbit hole on the Soulsborne difficulty argument and I really don't want to do it again :) so if you can, simply humour my very honest assessment of what this feels like from the perspective of a player like me and I promise to stick with it until I finish the game or its misgivings (IMO ;) )break me.

 

 

 

 

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Please don't refer to people who play these games by learning and paying attention as 'self-harming cunts'.

 

Cheers.

 

Your description of the game as speed running to get twatted by a boss is not one I'm familiar with. Maybe rethink your approach. 

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9 hours ago, MardiganX said:

All you guys that love Souls games, do you find the hours and hours of repeatedly twatting the same fodder, with the same attacks, along the same path, to get to that next boss for the 14th time fun?

 

I haven't played Demon Souls, don't own a PS5, but Undead Burg->Taurus Demon I did around 14 times and ended up loving it. At first I was extremely annoyed, why make me redo a 30 minute run to the boss? But after losing my souls through rushing I just played around on the run. Learnt when I could run, who I could ignore or get quick kills on. Started rolling, learnt how to quickly take down shielded hollows. Also levelled up a bunch of times whilst doing this. Eventually realised the level should be treated as the first stage of the boss. And it became a 3 minute run.

 

However, that was thanks to exemplary level design. The run to Capra is dull horseshit.

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6 minutes ago, Marlew said:

Please don't refer to people who play these games by learning and paying attention as 'self-harming cunts'.

 

Cheers.

 

Your description of the game as speed running to get twatted by a boss is not one I'm familiar with. Maybe rethink your approach. 

 

I didn't actually say it how you have quoted it and it has a very different context how you have phrased it above but I appreciate its a bit aggressive.

 

I'm not describing the 'game' as speed running at all. I almost crawled my way through 1-1, taking my time on every corner, shouting as I attacked while my health was dangerously low, scrabbling for distance to compose myself and marveling at every stunning view, thrilling encounter and mind bending level design decision. Then I was rewarded with a new shortcut ahead of the boss. It was a glorious gaming moment for me and I was all set to come in here and post that gushing sentiment... until I realised how 1-2 is structured and the old alarm bells started to ring.

 

I took my time on the bridge, I savoured every enemy encounter, I wondered at the

Spoiler

Dragon as it executed its strafing runs

I had earned my crack at TK and the journey to that point was tremendous. But doing that same journey again knowing I'm going to have to do it again and again because I want to learn and appreciate the boss by myself and without help really chipped away at that wonderful initial feeling I had, especially when the exact same process is handled IMO perfectly for 1-1.

 

I'm always going to appear like I am not understanding the game or I am missing something because I cant accept the way it handles replaying sections. The difference for me is that replaying sections works when you are doing it to get better at that section and improve your skills at the game. In Demon Souls, unless I am fundamentally missing the point, replaying sections is almost entirely for the purposes of getting to the next section because unless you are farming there is no reason to replay sections over and over. 

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Part of the challenge for me so far has been working out which fights to pick when redoing stretches. The whole run to the TK is a bit of an object lesson on that. Unless you enjoy oneshotting archers in the back, you only really need to kill the two knights at the end, then you're at TK again.

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Personally, I feel that boss battles should generally have a checkpoint right beforehand. ISTR that Sekiro structured itself this way for the most part, which makes sense given that Sekiro is more or less a boss rush; I also recall that Demon's Souls was particularly bad for this, which is understandable given that it was From creating  a new subgenre of game, but it's also quite annoying. I remember the run to Ormstein & Smough getting very annoying, because it was just a matter of going through the motions every time. There was no real challenge, just muscle memory, with the occasional frustrating fuck-up.

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@MardiganX

 

Do I understand that you are only on the second area? I'm not being a cunt, but is that where you've reached this overarching conclusion about the game? That probably is the most 'runback' section of the entire series, just a straight sprint. 

 

After 1-1, do 2-1, 3-1, etc...then go back to 1-2, 2-2, etc. There's a nothing in the game to tell you this, and you can sequence break if you know what's what, but for an new player, that's the recommended approach. 

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1 minute ago, K said:

Personally, I feel that boss battles should generally have a checkpoint right beforehand. ISTR that Sekiro structured itself this way for the most part, which makes sense given that Sekiro is more or less a boss rush; I also recall that Demon's Souls was particularly bad for this, which is understandable given that it was From creating  a new subgenre of game, but it's also quite annoying. I remember the run to Ormstein & Smough getting very annoying, because it was just a matter of going through the motions every time. There was no real challenge, just muscle memory, with the occasional frustrating fuck-up.

O&S is a bit perverse TBH. The fact that Anor Londo is such a PvP hotspot makes it ten times worse.

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2 minutes ago, Spacehost said:

O&S is a bit perverse TBH. The fact that Anor Londo is such a PvP hotspot makes it ten times worse.

 

Yeah, exactly. You can't even summon help easily, which is a pain. Obviously, it's also an outlier, but I've never been a fan of the boss run - I always think you should have a checkpoint before the hard bit. Having a checkpoint followed by an easy bit and then by a hard bit - nightmare.

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10 minutes ago, Marlew said:

@MardiganX

 

Do I understand that you are only on the second area? I'm not being a cunt, but is that where you've reached this overarching conclusion about the game? That probably is the most 'runback' section of the entire series, just a straight sprint. 

 

After 1-1, do 2-1, 3-1, etc...then go back to 1-2, 2-2, etc. There's a nothing in the game to tell you this, and you can sequence break if you know what's what, but for an new player, that's the recommended approach. 

 

No. Its a culmination of my collective experiences on Dark Souls 2, Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne, which are all games where I ended up feeling like this and never finished. I'm just doing it a lot earlier with Demon Souls because the high of completing 1-1 was so exhilarating that its really made the 1-2 structure stand out. 

 

I did think if going to 2-1 would maybe serve me better so I will try that but I'm still going to have to run that bridge soooooo many times just to know how TK moves and its that pre-boss 'run back' step that, as has always been the case in the past is really getting me down.

 

As far as the bosses as concerned the harder the better. I want a boss to annihilate me over and over so that when it does fall there is a real sense of achievement. I just dont want to have to run through sections before them over and over again when all I am really expected to do is defeat the boss :) its different when those pre-boss sections are play grounds for you to try new techniques and approaches but DS is not like that. Its about killing things as efficiently as possible, not with style or flair, just fucking killing and surviving to reach a boss or new area in as strong a state as you possibly can. 

 

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@MardiganX You won't, because by the time you've levelled up a bit, you'll survive a couple of hits from TK and you can learn how to deal with him during the actual fight. That's what I mean about player-defined difficulty. You shouldn't be dying so much (that's not a criticism). You're just in the wrong area too early and banging your head against it.

 

I did 1-1 then straight to 4-1 because I know what I'm looking for, I have a particular early game weapon to take care of the enemies there and I know how to deal with the really tough ones (cheese, basically). I then decided to try 4-2 like Billy Big Bollocks and got rinsed. Wrong place, wrong time. I got what I wanted from 4-1 and then back to 2-1 where the weapon I found sliced through the area like butter. I'm not good at the game, I just know how to approach it. 

 

I think a lot of the reputation for difficulty leads people to think that they must need to bang their heads relentlessly and git gud etc. It's like people going down to the Catacombs at the start of Dark Souls and spending hours getting pasted until they try...going the other way. It doesn't especially signpost but the cues are there.

 

You're underleveled and inexperienced for 1-2 at this point. 

 

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@MardiganX do you have PS+, because if you do get to TK's fog gate then stick your sign down, learn the fight by helping others, that's how I did it, then I tackled him myself and knew what I had to do to beat him.

 

As for my own playthrough, well I picked up the Uchi before bed last night, wow 4-1 is scary I had to nope out of there shortly after finding the Uchi, and my what a sword! I've been struggling to commit to a build but I've been levelling strength (it's at 19), and now I find the Uchi and I'm thinking I should just pump dex now as my god it's so much fun, then I think, hmmm maybe I should try quality, decisions decisions! The game is getting tougher and scarier now, I wonder if I can make it through with just conventional weapons or whether I should get Int to 10 and see what these Mage dudes can show me.

 

Edit: Just noticed I already have 10 Int but only 8 Magic, I'm guessing it's this stat that allows the mages to train you?

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4 minutes ago, Marlew said:

@MardiganX You won't, because by the time you've levelled up a bit, you'll survive a couple of hits from TK and you can learn how to deal with him during the actual fight. That's what I mean about player-defined difficulty. You shouldn't be dying so much (that's not a criticism). You're just in the wrong area too early and banging your head against it.

 

I did 1-1 then straight to 4-1 because I know what I'm looking for, I have a particular early game weapon to take care of the enemies there and I know how to deal with the really tough ones (cheese, basically). I then decided to try 4-2 like Billy Big Bollocks and got rinsed. Wrong place, wrong time. I got what I wanted from 4-1 and then back to 2-1 where the weapon I found sliced through the area like butter. I'm not good at the game, I just know how to approach it. 

 

I think a lot of the reputation for difficulty leads people to think that they must need to bang their heads relentlessly and git gud etc. It's like people going down to the Catacombs at the start of Dark Souls and spending hours getting pasted until they try...going the other way. It doesn't especially signpost but the cues are there.

 

You're underleveled and inexperienced for 1-2 at this point. 

 

 

Mate, I'm not underselling this to say that this post on its own may be the reason that I push on and actually finish the game. It would be easy to dismiss my rants as someone just not getting the game but that isn't the case. I totally get it, admire it and fucking love it when it hits the crazy heights it can deliver. Simply knowing that I am not ready for 1-2 is priceless.

 

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14 minutes ago, MardiganX said:

 

Mate, I'm not underselling this to say that this post on its own may be the reason that I push on and actually finish the game. It would be easy to dismiss my rants as someone just not getting the game but that isn't the case. I totally get it, admire it and fucking love it when it hits the crazy heights it can deliver. Simply knowing that I am not ready for 1-2 is priceless.

 

I'm kind of in two minds about the checkpoint before bosses thing. My favourite thing about these games is the sense of place. The reason Dark Souls is my favourite is the connected aspect of the world, I love that there's no fast travel and that if you get stuck down in Blighttown you're going to have to make your way back up through the world. As someone with no sense of direction IRL I feel like i know the world of Dark Souls like the back of my hand and it makes it feel like a real, tangible place. I think a big part of me knowing all the routes is because I had to run through the blasted things so many times. 

 

In Demon's though I'm getting the sense that quite a lot of the boss runs are quite long/irritating. And this mixes with the consumable health item mechanic to mean that I can see myself resenting it a bit. Even if they were to charge Souls for it or make it harm the world or something, having it as an option would really take away from the grindy feeling you get sometimes. 

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Had a fascinating session yesterday.

 

It began with another rude boi invading my game. Attacking them with a sword didn't seem to do anything so I thought I was in trouble until I switched to fire magic and totally incinerated their stupid ass.

 

Then I went into 3-1 to make some progress. It was pretty easy until I was tinkering with stuff in my inventory in a place I had just cleared when I started being attacked. It was another rude boi! This was not a good place for a fight as it was just a narrow walkway. I had to retreat somewhat as he'd gone some cheap shots in while I was otherwise engaged, so rolled blindly backwards and straight through the railings and off the fucking level. Not a problem, I set off out to reclaim the 10,000+ souls that marked my scene of shame*. I did so completely untroubled, found my souls and carried on breezily until I activated a cutscene with some ridiculous robotic arrow-firing machine, I thought "sod that" and went to the alternative route I'd already seen earlier. Sadly I wasn't paying attention to where I was going and fell off the fucking level, 12,000+ souls down this time. Christ. Here we go again. I didn't get very far this time as I had muscle memory miseries and instead of attacking the mind-flayer in front of me I ate a full moon grass that I didn't need. It killed me, 12,000+ souls lost forever.

 

Back to the nexus I went to repair and spend some hero souls, I was back in the menu screens and noticed that stage 1 was pure white and remembered that there's a gate right at the start which opens if the WT is pure either way. Off I go and find loads of kit lying around and some dreglings with red outlines. These caused some mild concern at first but they were easy to dispatch and I forged ahead to see what was at the end. I've no idea who or what it was but they were a right hard bastard, gave me a good hiding and brought to a close my evening of adventuring.

 

I'm pleased to say thought that not once was I angered by my deaths, so I've cracked that little nugget for now, and I'm looking forward to trying 3-1 again later but this time I'll watch where I'm going.

 

It'd be nice if the game told you what you were picking up before it goes into your inventory. What is the value in sweeping up dozens of weapons and armours that I either can't use or don't want to? Can't sell them, can't recycle them. Sure you can give them to Junkyard Pete or whatever his name is, but what's the point?

 

* I assume this was because I died through my own stupidity? Presumably if the rude boi had actually killed me then my souls wouldn't have been waiting there as they normally are?

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47 minutes ago, robdood said:

I just want to say that boss run backs are indeed shit and need to be dropped from any future souls likes. 

 

It's just wasting time for no good reason. 

 

 

I think that's what did it for me with DS3 - I got to a late game boss and the run wasn't even that bad but I reached a point where I just switched off and never returned to it.

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Oh man just got my character stuck in scenery in 2-2, exited the game and shut down for lunch but I assume I'll still be stuck there when I reboot and I'll have to use the nexus thing to kill myself. Met an old friend, didn't do what he suggested, might as well have done though as got stuck literally seconds later!

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3 hours ago, MardiganX said:


@Calashnikovreferenced the ‘run back’ sections as being Benny Hill moments, hence the reference to those early sword clashing, tactical, tense encounters being reduced to nothing more than exercises in getting through as quickly as possible. Even when what it takes to achieve that has you playing in a way that you wouldn’t have dreamed of doing during your early runs.

 

I have no issue replaying sections in games. My issue comes from replaying encounters where the actual gameplay that those ‘run backs’ evolve into is essentially busy work to get to the next section or boss. Maybe I am missing the point, but learning an area in a game so you can run and roll past most enemies is not my idea of ‘getting gud’

 

 


Fight them then. Try out different weapons on them. Practice your party and riposte. There’s a pretty fun combat system in these there Souls games. The option of fight or flight is always there, you can even mix them up when one approach to the run becomes tedious. Fighting them also comes with the added benefit of gathering more souls for levelling up too.

 

For me it’s a throwback to games we used to play. Like Megaman or something. @Marlewcompares them to arcade gaming, which I like. You seem to want the games to be more like a AAA experience with all the areas becoming a one and done type of thing. I can get where you’re coming from since you make the point about being worried you’ll become sick at the sight of these initially wow-inducing environments, but such surface wow factor is just superficial. The real beauty of these areas is in getting to know them in intimate detail. Being able to run through them in your mind’s eye as if they were your old high school. If they gave us a bonfire / archstone / shortcut before every boss then of course we’d take it, because we’re shitebags and we can’t be trusted, but in doing so we’re denied that pleasure of truly learning a level.

 

Providing loads of bonfires (checkpoints essentially) is one of the mistakes Dark Souls 2 made for me (I haven’t played 3 or Bloodborne yet). So many spaces and places that I have no lasting memory of because I rarely had to run back through them. There’s no chance those environments will stick with me anything like Dark Souls 1 or this, which is a pity, because I thought “wow!” when I originally saw the sights and scenes of Dark Souls 2. But by having so many sections as one and done it’s all just faded away for me :( 

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3 hours ago, MardiganX said:

I guess in amongst all my moaning I’m asking for help boys :) I am not an impatient gamer. I just don’t want to swing from the dizzy heights of ‘this might be one of the best game ever’ to ‘please god don’t tell me I have to replay this it over and over just to get to the boss’.

 


What’s always amazing and reassuring and an incentive to keep playing is that each run gets easier and easier. The initial multi-hour sweaty palmed gauntlet gradually becomes mastered and you can run through it in a couple of minutes or less. That’s just another one of the things that is enjoyable and rewarding about these games. Getting the inevitable spanking from the boss at the end of the section doesn’t really mean you need to go through all that again. I said this earlier. Each time you go through all that again, you’re actually only selectively going through some of it, and the knowledge of what needs done and what can be dodged comes through the very experience of having to do it repeatedly. 

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3 hours ago, Fitzcarraldo said:

It's not hard to believe that a lot of people find the runs back to the boss rooms maddening, nothing wrong with feeling that way. But personally, they are my time to decompress and clear the red mist. Get rid of the tension. If I had a bonfire right outside the boss room and could repeat a fight over and over again within seconds of dying, I'd probably end up breaking my controller, because I'd be taking the cumulative frustration of previous attemps with me into the next attempt.


Oh this is a great point too. Each run back to the boss really planning your strategy, and picturing its reads and how you’re going to dodge and counter them. Utter bliss ^_^

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13 minutes ago, Calashnikov said:


Fight them then. Try out different weapons on them. Practice your party and riposte. There’s a pretty fun combat system in these there Souls games. The option of fight or flight is always there, you can even mix them up when one approach to the run becomes tedious. Fighting them also comes with the added benefit of gathering more souls for levelling up too.

 

For me it’s a throwback to games we used to play. Like Megaman or something. @Marlewcompares them to arcade gaming, which I like. You seem to want the games to be more like a AAA experience with all the areas becoming a one and done type of thing. I can get where you’re coming from since you make the point about being worried you’ll become sick at the sight of these initially wow-inducing environments, but such surface wow factor is just superficial. The real beauty of these areas is in getting to know them in intimate detail. Being able to run through them in your mind’s eye as if they were your old high school. If they gave us a bonfire / archstone / shortcut before every boss then of course we’d take it, because we’re shitebags and we can’t be trusted, but in doing so we’re denied that pleasure of truly learning a level.

 

Providing loads of bonfires (checkpoints essentially) is one of the mistakes Dark Souls 2 made for me (I haven’t played 3 or Bloodborne yet). So many spaces and places that I have no lasting memory of because I rarely had to run back through them. There’s no chance those environments will stick with me anything like Dark Souls 1 or this, which is a pity, because I thought “wow!” when I originally saw the sights and scenes of Dark Souls 2. But by having so many sections as one and done it’s all just faded away for me :( 

 

This is where the justification for replaying areas doesn't really work for me. In DS non-Boss sections are about getting through them efficiently so there is no reason to replay them. Players are forced to replay these sections so you either learn to love it, focus on farming or end up where I am which is questioning my own motivation for continuing. 

 

As I said earlier, my issues completely go away and DS moves into GOTY territory if it structured things the way 1-1 is. It retains all of the tension, dread and excitement while providing a satisfying and suitable reward in that pre-boss shortcut. Forcing me to replay things that I should have the choice to do is not enjoyable.

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2 hours ago, Spacehost said:

Part of the challenge for me so far has been working out which fights to pick when redoing stretches. The whole run to the TK is a bit of an object lesson on that. Unless you enjoy oneshotting archers in the back, you only really need to kill the two knights at the end, then you're at TK again.


Can you just run along the top without getting scorched?  I got to TK last night but my approach to there was run to the first tower and then go into the wall and pop out near the end. 

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@MardiganX Did you like Bloodborne? That had one or two long runs to a boss. Father Gascoigne for one.

 

Personally, while the sense of discovery in these games is good, I usually find the difficulty prohibitive. I never finished Dark Souls 3, I just stopped at a certain point because I was sick of it. I finished* Dark Souls 1 though, because I followed a guide online. And for me that was really enjoyable. For Bloodborne I have the guidebook, and dipped into it when needed - I fucking loved my two runs through that game, the second was following the guide more closely to make sure I did certain things and get the proper ending. 

 

*I beat Glyn/Gwyndwr or whatever his fucking name is, but I recall some posters here laughing about the fact I hadn't really finished the game or something. No fucks given from me.

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