Souls-likes

jro

Gonna take a lot
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Death's Door is fantastic. First two real bosses both made me want to break my controller at first but it also had that I-can-beat-this-guy feel that made me come right back after every death. Two-man dev team, seriously impressive.
 

jro

Gonna take a lot
Joined
Oct 11, 2004
Posts
13,766
My bad, Deaths Door turns to shit about halfway through. Don't play it. I mean it REALLY turns to shit.

Eldest Souls is also garage.

Fucking hell guess I'll gueess I'l just play Demon's Souls again
 

Taiso

Remembers The North,
20 Year Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2000
Posts
13,061
Finished up my first run through on Demon's Souls on PS5 yesterday and it was quite fun and quite good.

I hadn't played through the original in many years and I used the souls cheat to faceroll my way through it, so this was my first 'real' playthrough in a significant respect

Reflections:

I think I prefer the grasses to estus flasks as a healing method. While both have their advantages and disadvantages, I like the idea of farming them so you can better prep for difficult areas.

It seems like damage resistance is also crazy important, more in this than it ever was in Dark Souls. In the mining area (area 2), my halberd wasn't doing anything but the winged spear was jacking things up left and right.

Speaking of DPS, magic is also crazy overpowered. I always start these games as a melee build with minimal magic. This time, I decided to grind a fair amount to be OP in a lot of different ways, leveling the four weapon scaling stats to 18 to equip the Blueblood Sword. Along the way, I picked up a bunch of good spells. A high Magic Fireball or Homing Soul Beam is a nuclear option worth pursuing, and with good MP and/or MP regen tools you can wreak some real havoc.

Seems like defenses derived from base stats are more important than gear, which helps with resistance against physical, magic and fire damage. I went with the Saint's set, which offered better mobility but lower defenses than the Mirdam set or the Gloom Armor, which may be the overall best armor in the game but is too heavy for a mobility based player like myself.

4-2 is bullshit. All of it. Especially when tendency is dark and black phantoms are everywhere. For some reason, they are resistant to all damage types. Those rolling skeletons are super irritating, especially the black phantom variety that wield the giant cleaners about 2/3 of the way through the zone. And if you come across a black phantom variant of the samurai skeleton, RUN. They are a one shot that easily hammers down your Guard Break, even on a fully leveled Tower Shield, and can follow up effortlessly. The beginning of 4-2 is a good place to cheese souls by dropping down and killing that first Necromancer. And as I had the Evacuate spell, it was an easy exploit that I believe is intentional.

Falling damage is greatly reduced from the Dark Soula games.

Performance is a Marvel. From the graphic fidelity to the framerates to the loading speeds, this game is a technical marvel. Definitely shows off what a PS5 is capable of, and justifies this gen's existence on a hardware level. Problem is that not every dev is Bluepoint. And could Bluepoint have done this without the bones of the original game to work from?

NPC facial expressions as they talk are hands down the best I've ever seen in a video game. Period.
 

jro

Gonna take a lot
Joined
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Been gearing up to play a NG+ run of Demon's Souls myself recently, gotta start it up one of these days.

Re: 4-2, indeed it is. I know 5-1 and 5-2 have the reputation as the worst/most annoying levels, but 4-2 is definitely worse. Once you understand the level layouts and remember to pull the enemies both 5-1 and 5-2 are reasonable, but yeah, 4-2 is just brutal. At least 4-3 is incredibly cool as a reward for the slog of getting there.

The healing is one of the most interesting design choices IMO. At the start, when you don't have much grass and no HP regen equipment, the game is as hard as anything else in the genre. Then by mid-game you generally have more grass than you know what to do with and can also equip the Adjudicator's Shield and the Blessed Ring and it is, IMO at least, the easiest of the games in the main From line. The first time I beat Allant, instead of using grass I literally just ran away from him while my HP regenned due to equipment.

But I like that design choice in how it basically lets you use skill to earn a way to make the game a little easier on the back end. I think From also clearly liked that healing system a lot given that they brought it back (for the most part) in Bloodborne.

One more note on Demon's, I really like its approach to level design. I know the interconnected world in Dark Souls 1 in particular is (rightfully) lauded, but I can't help but appreciate the shorter more straightforward levels in Demon's. The much smaller number of shortcuts makes some of them notably harder than Dark Souls areas, but overall I prefer them. I don't think I've ever been lost in a Demon's Souls level, can't say that for Dark Souls by a longshot.

Thoughts on the Maneaters? First time through the game I died over, and over, and over on them until I barely won by dancing around the little circular thing at the end of the platform. Second playthrough I stayed right near the beginning, fought them straight-up, and took maybe two tries. So I think they're somewhere in between those two extremes of crazy hard and too easy and overall probably my favorite boss fight in the game.

Oh yeah, also, I love that From had the nerve to give Allant the ability to actually take levels away from the player. On my first playthrough I was completely paranoid of getting caught by that grab, but to From's credit, the tell on it is huge and easily recognized, so I didn't get caught. It's a great way to add stakes to the final boss fight (on my second playthrough I used Death Cloud just for fun :emb:).
 
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Taiso

Remembers The North,
20 Year Member
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Dec 29, 2000
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I think I prefer the level design and layout of Demon's Souls over Dark Souls as well, and for most of the reasons you explained. A sprawling world is fine but these games have a lot of things to keep track of all at once and it's nice to just have a, more or less, direct path to have to follow, with shortcut rewards for branching exploration options. Being somewhat familiar with medieval architecture, I can also say that I greatly appreciate all of area 1. It's a bit grandiose and no places like that actually ever existed, but the general look and functionality of the various sections feel very well researched. It knows it's a video game but with the PS5's processing power, you almost feel like you're actually there.

The swamp area wasn't that rough, IMO. There was a point in the game where I basically became sort of OP, going with the Saint's garb, a Quality Winged Spear +4 (didn't get the Pure Clearstone for the +5 until very late) and the large purple shield with high fire resistance (can't remember the name right now). I had a super high Strength and Vitality with Herculean Strength ring early on so on top of everything else, so I was very mobile on top of everything else. I was one and two shotting almost everything by the time I gave area 5 a serious look. There was one black phantom with a greatsword down there on the fringes in the swamp area that iced me and I just never went back to her because once I unlocked the shortcut to the 5-2 boss, I never had a reason to. There were also a couple of areas where some of the larger club monsters (trolls, I guess) were a bit of a challenge but they were all avoidable and I had plenty of good equipment and ways to get souls so I felt the ROI on gathering those drops just didn't make sense. If I NG+ it, I may revisit them just to see what the goodies were. I killed Yurt immediately after freeing him because I know he's a complete cockass and I wanted his Gloom Armor. So before completing area 3, i went and dealt with area 5 wearing the Gloom Armor. Its resistances greatly helped while rolling around in the mud, but my dodges were so armadillo-like you could meme them. Spacing benefit=zero.

The Maneaters were an enemy I had to come back to, admittedly. They were wrecking me with their dash although eventually, I did manage to figure out the timing and roll through them. When I finally took them out, my Guard Break was so high that I could resist getting bowled over four times in a row. When I finally killed them, I was swinging the Blueblood Sword like I was born with it in my hand and doing MASSIVE damage two handed. Because I was able to fight in such a fashion where I didn't need to use the whole area, I was able to keep the second one from spawning right up until the first one was down to 25% health or so. With the increased confidence gained from being able to stand my ground rather than having to fight evasively, I could effectively circle the enemy with little fear of a bottomless pit death. I would get vertigo when one of them took to the air, flew around and then came roaring back in but that was also a good time to rush in and land some blows two handed. Overall, I'd say that the fight is one of the more difficult boss battles because of the precarious footing and having to kill two of them, but with some grinding and the right shield, it's not an impossible task. I'd say the most frustrating enemies to fight in all of 3 are those Mind Flayer jailer dudes. Don't know what they're called but any enemy that can spam attacks while you're impaling them on a spear, paralyze you and then do 3/4 damage is bullshit.

At the end of the game, I chose to let the Maiden in Black live and I got the Soul sword (the 'bad' one). Is there a way to get the other sword that Allant was buried with?

That last encounter inside the Old One is my favorite game ending boss fight of all time. It's the right kind of subversion, one that totally makes sense, is expertly applied AND doesn't insult the players/audience.
 

Gentlegamer

Dodgeball Yakuza
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To get Demonbrandt you must face Old King Doran inside the Boletaria Mausoleum. You get the key from Ostrava.

When you have both Soulbrandt and Demonbrandt, you can forge the Northern Regalia.
 

jro

Gonna take a lot
Joined
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Posts
13,766
Death Cloud and Poison Cloud both ABSOLUTELY do not make Doran into a big 'ol pushover who won't even attack you, no sir.

Kidding, of course, it's kind of entertaining to just stand in the doorway and cast that on him and then have him admit what a total badass you are after about three minutes of standing there doing nothing. I did that on my first playthrough and then fought him straight up on PS5, he's definitely challenging but very fair.

Talking Demon's Souls is making me remember just how much I enjoy it, gonna have to start back in this evening.

Re: the mind flayer jailers, eeesh, no doubt. The ones that are on the long stairways, I can't remember a single time I even tried to beat them by means other than cheesing their aggro range and then hitting them in the back.

edit: agreed on the true final boss. First time through, I hadn't paid any attention to the lore so I was like cool, a big slug guy. Second time, on Remake, I took the time to get the lore figured out and when I got to him I finally really got it. So well done. The game in general is such an achievement especially when you consider that it originally came out in 2009, had no existing template (well, other than King's Field I guess), and basically nailed everything it tried and created an entire genre that would also bleed heavily into lots of others.
 

Gentlegamer

Dodgeball Yakuza
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I use Stormruler to cheese Doran off the side of the castle to get his armor set and ring.
 
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Gentlegamer

Dodgeball Yakuza
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edit: agreed on the true final boss. First time through, I hadn't paid any attention to the lore so I was like cool, a big slug guy. Second time, on Remake, I took the time to get the lore figured out and when I got to him I finally really got it. So well done. The game in general is such an achievement especially when you consider that it originally came out in 2009, had no existing template (well, other than King's Field I guess), and basically nailed everything it tried and created an entire genre that would also bleed heavily into lots of others.

Each of the bosses are demons that are "avatars" of NPCs you meet. At the beginning of 1-4 you meet the real penetrator, tower knight, and phalanx. When you defeat each boss, as they dissolve into mist you can see their human forms.
 
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jro

Gonna take a lot
Joined
Oct 11, 2004
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I use Stormruler to cheese Doran off the side of the castle to get his armor set and ring.
Holy hell that's hilarious, I had no idea that was possible. And I thought Sekiro had some truly goofy cheese strats.

Also did not know that on the lore, that's very cool. Thanks! :buttrock:
 

jro

Gonna take a lot
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Oct 11, 2004
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WOOF. 4-2 in Demon's Souls is just fucking terrible. First time I can remember a level and build that just made me tap out. Mage, 4-2, trash. 4-2 and 5-2 are up there with Horse Fuck Alley in DS2 as the worst levels in the series. To be honest... Nioh is better on a quality per game basis.
 

ggallegos1

Cholecystectomy Required.,
Joined
Oct 1, 2013
Posts
4,490
So i loaded up Dark Souls for the first time yesterday. Didn't get far, just to the Undead Burg but so far it's interesting. Got mauled by a group of undead and had to turn it off to make dinner.

I'm trying to go through with minimal assistance to see if these types of games are for me, we'll see how it goes. Went with a Warrior class named Jimmy. It's going to be tough to not want to look up tried and true strategies for these games, but im looking forward to getting my ass handed to me
 

jro

Gonna take a lot
Joined
Oct 11, 2004
Posts
13,766
So i loaded up Dark Souls for the first time yesterday. Didn't get far, just to the Undead Burg but so far it's interesting. Got mauled by a group of undead and had to turn it off to make dinner.

I'm trying to go through with minimal assistance to see if these types of games are for me, we'll see how it goes. Went with a Warrior class named Jimmy. It's going to be tough to not want to look up tried and true strategies for these games, but im looking forward to getting my ass handed to me
Awesome, always good to hear that someone new is giving the series a shot.

It may sound odd, but don't hesitate too much to pick up a wiki if you're banging your head on the wall and want to get a better handle on things. The From games, in particular IMO tend to have a variety of mechanics that aren't explained to the player at all and can be hard to learn without hints. Fextralife's game progress guide in particular can be helpful without getting too detailed.
 

k'_127

NeoGumby's Sycophant,
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Posts
6,656
So i loaded up Dark Souls for the first time yesterday. Didn't get far, just to the Undead Burg but so far it's interesting. Got mauled by a group of undead and had to turn it off to make dinner.

I'm trying to go through with minimal assistance to see if these types of games are for me, we'll see how it goes. Went with a Warrior class named Jimmy. It's going to be tough to not want to look up tried and true strategies for these games, but im looking forward to getting my ass handed to me

Having at least an experienced person around to explain the different stats and what to focus on / avoid is important IMO. Lots of missables and unexplained mechanics and secrets that you would almost certainly not find on your own (there is a whole map / area hidden behind two secret walls FFS)
 

Gentlegamer

Dodgeball Yakuza
Joined
Dec 7, 2014
Posts
627
So i loaded up Dark Souls for the first time yesterday. Didn't get far, just to the Undead Burg but so far it's interesting. Got mauled by a group of undead and had to turn it off to make dinner.

I'm trying to go through with minimal assistance to see if these types of games are for me, we'll see how it goes. Went with a Warrior class named Jimmy. It's going to be tough to not want to look up tried and true strategies for these games, but im looking forward to getting my ass handed to me
Do you know how to kindle bonfires? It's not something the game tells you.
 

ggallegos1

Cholecystectomy Required.,
Joined
Oct 1, 2013
Posts
4,490
There seems to be much more than "run around and hit the thing until it dies". I'll definitely take a look at all of those resources, I'm still super early in the playthrough so we'll see how it goes. Thanks all!
 

Lagduf

If I change my Custom, Rank. I lose The 15YR Tag.,
Joined
Dec 25, 2002
Posts
40,466
I used a walkthrough 100% to beat Dark Souls the first time and I’m not embarrassed to say so. Knowing what’s coming up or even what the hell to do/where to go was really helpful.

After that I beat the game multiple times with multiple characters, got 1000/1000 achievements, etc.

Dark Souls favors level memorization. It’s a built in mechanic. Die or Kindle the bonfire and all the enemies are back.

It was old school in that sense. Memorization and learning how to defeat an enemy.

I wonder what Elden Ring is going to be like?
 
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SML

NEANDERTHAL FUCKER,
Joined
Sep 24, 2003
Posts
10,292
Getting Guide>Getting Gud

As long as you can accept that you’re likely to fuck up a few things anyway.

It looks like I am actually going to get a card upgrade this year. I beat Sekiro on the minimum card, a GTX 760, earlier this year. I’m excited to go back and see what the experience is like without dropping frames.

Many people say Sword Saint is the hardest From boss, and it might be true. He’s still about as tough as Soda Popinski NES.
 

jro

Gonna take a lot
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Oct 11, 2004
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Getting Guide>Getting Gud

As long as you can accept that you’re likely to fuck up a few things anyway.

It looks like I am actually going to get a card upgrade this year. I beat Sekiro on the minimum card, a GTX 760, earlier this year. I’m excited to go back and see what the experience is like without dropping frames.

Many people say Sword Saint is the hardest From boss, and it might be true. He’s still about as tough as Soda Popinski NES.
Loaded Umbrella + Projected Force + Ceremonial Tanto = Profit.

Sort of a cheese, but not in the make the True Monk or the Demon of Hatred walk off a ledge type of cheese- still takes plenty of skill to pull off.
 
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