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Dark Souls 3

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I'm currently replaying this - just killed the fire demon with Siegward - and had forgotten how much of a thoroughly good videogame it is. The environments are just fantastic. I had intended to play a high int sorcerer build but I've gone for a dual-wielding/archer high dex type instead and, following Sekiro, am playing as aggressively as I can. Great fun! Took down Gundyr and Vordt on my first attempt.

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I recently began a new game on this, having done everything in the main game barring Nameless King on release. I intended to go back and do him when the DLC came out but felt rusty by the time it was all out so I ended up doing Ariendel up to the boss and basically nothing of The Ringed City. Since I've solo'd everything else in Souls and Bloodborne at least once it needed to be done!


My default in Souls was always just two-handing the biggest sword I could get but going through them all again recently I've been messing around with other things and here it was a pyromancy build. Some of the spells were quite an eye-opener, like I had no idea rapport worked the way it does on so many enemies! I used it for a laugh a few times then had to stop because it just felt wrong. Fun, but wrong. Maybe I'll abuse some of the dafter stuff on a future run one day. Mostly I ended up using the Onyx Blade, Witch's Locks, Pyromancer's Parting Flame and, towards the end, Demon's Scar.


Nameless King actually only took a few tries this time around, being able to lob a dark fireball at the dragon really helped as a lot of the issues I initially had with that were with the camera in the first phase before you could even get to the point of trying to learn the second. I very much enjoyed wearing his lovely hair for the rest of the game.


As well as being out of practice when it came out, I think the nature of the Ariendel boss definitely contributed to my losing the motivation to mop everything up the first time around. Cinematically it's incredibly cool but I'm not a massive fan of the health bar creep that From have increasingly lapsed into. Slogging through two phases you can do with your eyes closed only to get absolutely destroyed by a boss who's playing Bloodborne while you're playing Souls isn't brilliant design to me. It's one of the few times where you feel like they're actively trolling you too since you get an item drop after that second phase just to make you think you're all done. I think the third phase is hard enough that it would've been fine separated from the first two.


The Ringed City doesn't fuck about, eh? Those angels at the start.. The fat harald lads on the staircase of doom.. I think it's the first area in these games I haven't methodically cleared of every enemy I can find. Maybe it didn't help that pyro is apparently quite a bad build for this DLC but a lot of it felt like it was designed more for YOLO to me. That lightning knight fucker in the swamp was rough but at least you can fight him one on one easily enough.


Demon Prince was a great fight. Bit of a random element to the first bit but it's nice in that you tend to know very quickly after getting down there whether you'll get to the Prince without burning through too much estus. Great difficulty curve on it: each phase feels impossible when you first get to it then there's a steady progession from there as you get closer and closer.


Midir was an interesting one as I seemed to have about the worst possible build for it - my best weapons were doing like 50 damage per hit to an apparent health pool of 16000 :lol: . Made something (marginally) better but mostly had the pestilent mist strategy to thank for beating him, I definitely wouldn't have thought of that on my own since that's one of those spells you just immediately write off after reading the description. At least I hit him in the face a few times in the process.


Gael I got to the last phase first time but he took me a good few tries after that, mainly due to his relentlessness when he gets to that point. Really hard to time your chugs. Most of my weapons were a bit crap again so I ended up just two-handing the demon's scar. Super cool boss as far as the lore and arena go.


After all the muscle gains made from the DLC I ended up comfortably doing Soul of Cinder first time, I'm sure I found that on the tougher side first time around!


Such a great game and the sheer amount of cool looking weapons makes it really tempting to just start again. Time for a break from Souls though.

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After clearing all of the main game's bosses apart from The Nameless King, I flailed at him repeatedly and then gave up. I'm not sure I could go back and start from scratch, although I've now done that three times with the first game (got to Seath the first time with a melee-ish character, did the game + DLC with a dex/pyro build before getting owned by O&S on NG+ and currently just the final boss to go on my holy knight build, but wait we were talking about DS3).


I should really finish this game at some point, and then decide if I want to go through it another couple of times to mop up all the achievements or not. 

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Despite my gushing post above, I didn't end up replaying the entire game again as I couldn't be done with spending hours inching through each of the levels. I went straight onto The Ringed City instead and am glad I did as it really is fantastic. Hard as nails but with some brilliantly imaginative locations and excellent, thrilling boss fights. Of all three games, I think it's my favourite of the DLC. It's a real shame that by the time it came out people had seemingly moved on to other things and it went unplayed by many.

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