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The ultimate question: which From Software Souls game is the best?


Captain Kelsten
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Which From Software Souls game is the best?  

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4 hours ago, Doctor Shark said:

Hands up how many people have played King's Field.....I'll wait..... :P

I rented it (!) for ps1 and remember absolutely hating it. 

 

Havoc > Unreal engine for me personally so i prefer Demons' and Dark Souls 1 over the latter Soulsborne games*. I basically prefer the animation/ feel in the first two games. I kinda blame GoT for the developers reducing the animation on rolls and attacks to achieve implementation of flappy capes and castle banners. For me personally Sekiro is the first game since Dark 1 where the animation really feels on point again. 

 

*IIRC From tried to upgrade the engine for DS2 with mixed results. 

 

I really appreciated the later areas in DS1. Each area got larger, with fewer but stronger and bigger enemies the further you traveled in a certain direction. Since it should get harder the further you go, it's only logical that only really big and strong creatures would be able to reach those places. Each route/ world has three stages going from crowded/ dense to sparse which neatly tied in with the games narrative. Stood alone their quality might not be that of the initial areas but they certainly complemented the whole experience for me. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Benny said:

Woah. Steady on I think I just warped into an alternative reality where Sekiro is a cut scene heavy experience, magic in Dark Souls 3 is useless and Nickleback wrote a seminal album..

 

The Mandela Maneater Mildred effect?

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16 minutes ago, Benny said:

Woah. Steady on I think I just warped into an alternative reality where Sekiro is a cut scene heavy experience, magic in Dark Souls 3 is useless and Nickleback wrote a seminal album..


I didn’t say cutscene heavy, I said any is worse than none. I’m not saying that it ruined the game, but it was definitely one of the things in the first few hours of the game that bored and annoyed me. NPC conversations are always a bit weird in these games, but having control taken away and watching conversations between the man I played as, that little boy and the wood carver guy play out as cutscenes was a change from the previous games that felt notably worse and added nothing. 
 

Magic is completely useless in DS3. Magic is viable as a main form of attack in Demons and DS1, but is reduced to an additional thing which might help out occasionally in DS3. On top of that, DS1 has magic that doesn’t require a heavy stat investment, or any at all, which allows it to actually function as an addition. DS3 wants you to waste millions of souls adding to stats that disadvantage you in most circumstances so you can maybe occasionally hit someone from a distance. In Dark Souls, I’m rarely facing a boss without deciding how I’m going to combine my magic and melee abilities. In DS3 I might think to use it once every few hours, then realise my stats are too low so I won’t bother and go back to my one weapon.

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At launch, magic on DS3 was amazing fun. I actually ground out a 99 INT glass cannon build and put down my summon sign outside various bosses. I let the host fight them and when they needed some help I deleted the boss. Had all the candlestick shit in the off hand, Zelda ears and all that. Was so much fun. Then they nerfed it so there was nothing left beyond R1 straight sword spam. :mellow:

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6 hours ago, Benny said:

I mean I kited the Old Demon King boss to death without having to melee once with a sorcerer build in Dark Souls 3 so I'm guessing you didn't try particularly hard at speccing one.


How far through the game did you need to get before that was remotely viable though? I tried it but the early stages just forced me to constantly use a weapon, whilst dumping stats into stuff that didn’t improve the sword it was making me use, making the game a frustrating grind. I also notice you’ve listed literally the slowest boss in the game there, have you beaten Nameless as a pure caster? Because I’m guessing that’s borderline impossible. The faster enemies who can dodge better also make it worse to use in 3, and I don’t think they’ve increased cast speed enough to compensate. It feels like they don’t want me to use the magic, and I don’t really get why they didn’t just relegate a diminished role like in Bloodborne.

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9 hours ago, Benny said:

Woah. Steady on I think I just warped into an alternative reality where Sekiro is a cut scene heavy experience, magic in Dark Souls 3 is useless and Nickleback wrote a seminal album..

 

Talk about people that need reported to the authorities. 

 

 

 

 

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Demon's Souls - Most intimidating, obtuse, mysterious, and arguably most atmospheric because of the impressionistic spaces. Incredible 1-1 which sets out much of the level and encounter design fundamentals for everything which followed. Revolutionary approach to multiplayer. 

 

Dark Souls - Best world and area design, completely peerless first half which I could easily play through in my mind. Best environmental storytelling and lore, peerless in the whole action/adventure genre. For me, a gateway to podcasts and the broader Souls community and the likes of Berserk. Most iconic bosses. Best music. Best sense of progression. Most subversive DLC, recontextualises the main game in a way that was peerless at the time. 

 

Dark Souls 2 - The game I've played the most, the first I fell in love with before going back to Demon's and Dark. Best build variety, best PvP. My favourite hub. My favourite hub theme. Most varied aesthetic, most incohesive world but also the strangest, most serendipitous patchwork of areas and ideas which I really love. Best DLC and 'remaster'. A failed, semi-aborted experiment that somehow salvaged its own failures and incorporated them into the most wistful lore. By far the most 'gaiden', and the bravest in its rejection of so much of what made Dark Souls so iconic and successful! I will defend it to the DEATH. Joint best NPC dialogue and delivery. So many lines will be in my head until I also start to forget...

 

Bloodborne - Most streamlined game, joint best DLC for subversion of the main game, best for just best DLC. Best enemy design. Best weapon design. Best horror. Best at creating an instinctive violent repulsion to grind enemies into mulch. Best link between game mechanics and lore and emotional response, i.e. Rally mechanic R1 spam makes you feel simultaneously bloodthirsty, frightened and violent, completely in the shoes of the Hunter. That's genius. Joint best NPC dialogue, unbelievably quotable, amazing voice work. Best reveal, one of the greatest in all of gaming. Most unnerving ability to get under your skin and drag you down into its misshapen amorphous reality.

 

Dark Souls III is an action role-playing video game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows. 

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DS3 is amazing. More fluid combat, some amazing levels (Cathedral of the Deep is the best Souls level) and hands-down the best bosses: Abyss Watchers, Dancer of the Boreal Valley, Nameless King, Twin Princes, Sister Friede, Darkeater Midr, Gael: all amazing.

Also, that vista transistion when you exit the Catacombs and enter the Boreal Valley is :wub:

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31 minutes ago, Vemsie said:

DS3 is amazing. More fluid combat, some amazing levels (Cathedral of the Deep is the best Souls level) and hands-down the best bosses: Abyss Watchers, Dancer of the Boreal Valley, Nameless King, Twin Princes, Sister Friede, Darkeater Midr, Gael: all amazing.

Also, that vista transistion when you exit the Catacombs and enter the Boreal Valley is :wub:

Oh yeah, that’s great. The moonlight over the buildings is such a perfect change from the oppressive area you’ve just been through. Then you meet that bastard on the bridge.

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On 14/06/2020 at 11:50, Doctor Shark said:

So, here's my take: the games are hard, yes, but they're not super difficult. And, more importantly, they're never unfair.

Anor Londo archers... 

 

Bloodborne the best for me. I've completed Sekiro and thought it was excellent but didn't quite have "the magic" of Bloodborne and DS. 

 

Dark Souls I eventually enjoyed after bouncing off it hard as my first From game. I replayed on switch remastered and ended up getting through I guess 2/3 of it before giving up. Yeah, really good first half. I was just pretty bored of the combat by that stage and the world design was getting worse with each new area. Bosses also nowhere near as good as BB or Sekiro. 

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Someone mentioned story...

 

These games are mainly about the mechanics, but I also think Demon's has the best story. It's a sort of cold, nightmarish Chuhthuhlhuh Cthulhu type narrative. Ancient nameless ones, the death of reality, etc. It felt unique, novel, unusual, and apart from a lot of other game stories. DS1 and DS2 both felt kinda generic to me. More conventional. In some aspects sillier too. Demon's was pure darkness, but in DS1 in the forest, there were these ridiculous mushroom children running around. 

 

I own DS3 but have to play it. I don't own a PS4 so can't play Bloodborne.

 

I played a lot of King's Field (or King's Field II, since the US got the Japanese sequel, just losing the number). I never finished King's Field, but I loved how mysterious and confusing it was. I'd wander that island for hours, finding strange bosses, weird houses with NPCs, a dungeon I couldn't find the exit to so would reload a save, massively overpowered enemies. It just felt strange, and thus excellent.

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2 minutes ago, Sketch said:

Someone mentioned story...

 

These games are mainly about the mechanics, but I also think Demon's has the best story. It's a sort of cold, nightmarish Chuhthuhlhuh Cthulhu type narrative. Ancient nameless ones, the death of reality, etc. It felt unique, novel, unusual, and apart from a lot of other game stories. DS1 and DS2 both felt kinda generic to me. More conventional. In some aspects sillier too. Demon's was pure darkness, but in DS1 in the forest, there were these ridiculous mushroom children running around. 

 

I own DS3 but have to play it. I don't own a PS4 so can't play Bloodborne.

 

I played a lot of King's Field (or King's Field II, since the US got the Japanese sequel, just losing the number). I never finished King's Field, but I loved how mysterious and confusing it was. I'd wander that island for hours, finding strange bosses, weird houses with NPCs, a dungeon I couldn't find the exit to so would reload a save, massively overpowered enemies. It just felt strange, and thus excellent.

 

If you like the lovecraftian elements of demon's souls you'd love bloodborne's story as it is probably the best Lovecraft story ever realised in a game. 

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1 minute ago, Sketch said:

Someone mentioned story...

 

These games are mainly about the mechanics, but I also think Demon's has the best story. It's a sort of cold, nightmarish Chuhthuhlhuh Cthulhu type narrative. Ancient nameless ones, the death of reality, etc. It felt unique, novel, unusual, and apart from a lot of other game stories. DS1 and DS2 both felt kinda generic to me. More conventional. In some aspects sillier too. Demon's was pure darkness, but in DS1 in the forest, there were these ridiculous mushroom children running around. 

 

I own DS3 but have to play it. I don't own a PS4 so can't play Bloodborne.

 

I played a lot of King's Field (or King's Field II, since the US got the Japanese sequel, just losing the number). I never finished King's Field, but I loved how mysterious and confusing it was. I'd wander that island for hours, finding strange bosses, weird houses with NPCs, a dungeon I couldn't find the exit to so would reload a save, massively overpowered enemies. It just felt strange, and thus excellent.

 

Bloodborne is so good when it comes to lore. Unrivaled really. Play it if you ever get the chance.

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3 hours ago, Stanshall said:

completely peerless first half which I could easily play through in my mind.

 

I wanted to mention this. I think the later games were more player friendly with the whole teleport from the start thing, but DaS1 forced you to learn your way around properly by restricting it for so long. It helped that the level design was incredible too of course.

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1 hour ago, Doctor Shark said:

 

If you like the lovecraftian elements of demon's souls you'd love bloodborne's story as it is probably the best Lovecraft story ever realised in a game. 

 

1 hour ago, Vemsie said:

 

Bloodborne is so good when it comes to lore. Unrivaled really. Play it if you ever get the chance.

 

I'm waiting for the PS4 to be as cheap as the PS3 is now. I'll probs lose out on multiplayer though.

 

Oh, and to add, another reason I prefer Demon's : THE HUB WORLD.

 

Using the Nexus was great, since from the start it allowed you to dip into 1 of 5 worlds, coming and going as you pleased, as you built up stats, and if it was too tough, you could just warp back and try a different one. DS1 and DS2 forced you to traipse from one place to another - though at least DS2 allowed warping. Did DS1 allow warping? I don't think it did, though I played it years ago and never bothered with a 2nd run through.

 

I like my games to allow choice on how, where, and when to tackle things. Not railroad me down a linear path.

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41 minutes ago, Mogster said:

 

I wanted to mention this. I think the later games were more player friendly with the whole teleport from the start thing, but DaS1 forced you to learn your way around properly by restricting it for so long. It helped that the level design was incredible too of course.

 

Yep, massively cheapens the world imo. Every journey in the first half of DS1 is a hard-won victory and you're overcome with a sense of relief. Even with all the shortcuts open, you're running through enemies that can still mess you up if you get careless of complacent. You end up knowing the game like the back of your hand - to the point that playing again now, five years after my last playthrough, I can pretty much remember exactly where to go and how to get there (getting lost once or twice along the way, sure). Once you unlock the ability to teleport that is largely gone and the game is worse for it.

 

13 minutes ago, Sketch said:

 

 

I'm waiting for the PS4 to be as cheap as the PS3 is now. I'll probs lose out on multiplayer though.

 

Oh, and to add, another reason I prefer Demon's : THE HUB WORLD.

 

Using the Nexus was great, since from the start it allowed you to dip into 1 of 5 worlds, coming and going as you pleased, as you built up stats, and if it was too tough, you could just warp back and try a different one. DS1 and DS2 forced you to traipse from one place to another - though at least DS2 allowed warping. Did DS1 allow warping? I don't think it did, though I played it years ago and never bothered with a 2nd run through.

 

I like my games to allow choice on how, where, and when to tackle things. Not railroad me down a linear path.

 

Couple of things: DS1 doesn't force you to go anywhere. Sure, there are more obvious and definitely easier route (Firelink - Undead Burg - Cathedral) but you can, as soon as you're dropped off by the crow, go to a number of different places (most of which will be too difficult, admittedly), but it's only the same as getting to the nexus from the tutorial and going "4-1 looks fun!" and then getting battered repeatedly by those bastard skeletons. In DS1 you're given the mission to ring two bells. One is above, one is below. You can actually ring them in either order, and the game definitely nudges you one way over the other but again, only in the same sense that someone would see DeS nexus and assume 1-1 is easier and should be first rather than 5-1. You can go the "safe" route of burg to cathedral (lol...safe), or you can venture into the ruins of new londo if you have the master key and are feeling particularly brave; you can venture into the catacombs or even head to valley of the drakes and into blight town, all as soon as you land after the tutorial. Granted, almost every option listed will result in your death but hey, this is a souls game. It's kinda the point.

 

Second thing: DS1 does allow warping, but not until very late into the game and not to every single bonfire. As I said in my post above, it actually makes an already weaker (and blatantly unfinished *cough* lost izalith *cough*) final third slightly worse and more disjointed.

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I think warping is introduced at the perfect time in DaS. Post O&S you’re no longer expected to stick within the interwoven nest of places but wander into the far reaches of the world and even into the abyss. Without warping, returning to and from those places woud have been tedious (or impossible in the case of the abyss).

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