By now I should be reviewing other games, or at least playing some but Dark souls has it’s hooks in me. Some history would be useful here. I am a bit OCD and DS fits with that completely.
I played DS1 on my 360 and played it for a couple of hours every day. I had cataracts at the time which hampered my progress at the time. I never finished it and eventually sold it. Then I played DS2 but it never made the same impression on me. In DS1 you could farm ‘Souls’ in order to level up (Hence the OCD is an advantage, perfecting your knowledge of a level and the NPC’s in it means you can eventually do it on autopilot and gain souls by the bucket load.). You could do it ad infinitum and they would all re-spawn again and again. If you couldn’t beat a boss you could raise your stats like that. Eventually they all fell.
DS2 had as difficult or in some cases more difficult bosses but there were limited re-spawns, no farming, no levelling up. Once the re-spawns stopped and you were stuck on a boss you were completely stuck. Eventually further progress became impossible and I sold it. I have no wish to play it now.
Now I am playing DS3. Farming is back and I am progressing, albeit slowly. No cataracts now so fights are actually easier. I am stuck in one particular area but am learning how to use a Knight killer NPC. He chases me into an area awash with fire wielding NPC’s and I nip up some stairs while they fight. With luck some die and others are weakened enough for me to mop up. I know it will take a while but I will defeat this area. Ain’t OCD great?
So I am playing DS3. Cool. But it kept grating on me that I chickened out of DS1 before the end. I also gave my 360 to my wife, not that she really wanted it. It was just so the could let the grandkids use it. She is the de facto owner but she doesn’t mind me using it. You know where this is going, right?
Yes I bought DS1 again and am playing them side by side. It shows just how far the Xbox has progressed. My One S has much superior graphics but the games are similar enough to have me addicted to both. I didn’t realise how much my eye problems affected my playing DS1 the first time round but this means I am powering through it. Added to that, and this shows how these games get under your skin, each area and it’s NPC’s are engraved on my brain. I know they are coming before I see them. Sometimes I am already fighting before I realise they are there. This is what soul farming does, it’s almost instinctive. No wonder I can’t remember my own name some days, the Dark souls universe is filling my memory.
So all my other games sit gathering dust while DS takes over my gaming life. The thing is it’s still a hard game. When you have 50,000 souls and a level up is minutes away, one of the NPC’s will suddenly exhibit a totally different fighting style and kill you. You get one chance to retrieve the souls but if you die before that they are gone. This was far from a bonfire (Where you are re-born and everything re-spawns around you.) Guess what, a giant crab I had fought hundreds of times attacked me just as I was healing and 50,000 souls gone!
Meanwhile in DS1 I have done many boss fights that took months last time, in a few weeks. In both games I am learning how to use arrows and vantage points to snipe difficult enemies. The Dragon in the first photo is killing me on a regular basis. Yes the games are tough but I am a seasoned Dark Souler. You swear at the screen a lot, dust yourself off and prepare for the next fight. But, hey, it’s a great feeling when you finally beat a boss. Those dusty games will be waiting for ages yet. Must go and farm some more souls, see ya later.