Paul Plays Playstation: Demon’s Souls – Nope

It’s a game I’ve been putting off playing since the day I got my PS3, but one I’ve been told is essential if I’m trying to get through all the best Sony exclusives, which is the purpose of this ongoing series.

Demon’s Souls’ difficulty is supposedly the stuff of legend, and I fully expected that with my short temper when it comes to particularly challenging titles, I probably wouldn’t make it through the whole thing. What I did not expect was how far I was actually able to make it before I quit.

Level one.

That’s right, level one.

Before you protest, let me stop you right there. This isn’t an actual review of the game in the traditional sense. No matter how much I personally couldn’t stand what I was playing, that doesn’t give me license to “review” a game where I couldn’t make it past the first level. That wouldn’t be fair.

Nice to see you again, for the 45th time.

What I can tell you is why I stopped, and why I don’t necessarily think that a huge degree of difficulty makes a great game.

I understand the argument. I get why in the modern era of gaming, it’s unique for a title to flash back to the old days of yore, where there were no save points and when you died, there were swift and severe penalties. Nowadays, there’s an auto-saving checkpoint every five feet and you can regain all your life if you crouch for four seconds.

But that doesn’t mean I’m supposed to enjoy a game  this sadistic, am I? I’ll explain for the uninitiated.

The idea is simple. You’re a knight, you fight skeletons and demons through a castle and eventually slay bosses. The trick comes in the form of when you die, you’re dead. You go to a kind of  purgatory and have to work your way through a different level at half health in order to find a demon’s soul that will allow you to get your body back.

Would you get off your ass and come help me?

This would be hard enough as is, but the reason this is insanely difficult to the point where it can make you start foaming at the mouth is because in each of these levels there are A) no checkpoints, if you die you start over B) lots of places where you’ll instantly die because you don’t know what’s coming and C) the controls are utterly horrid, so even if you’ve beaten a section a dozen times, you will still find a way to inexplicably die. Also, when I was playing the server was down, so there were no helpful warning notes or assisting ghosts to help me on my quest the way they’re supposed to.

The entire idea behind this is that through sheer force of will and infinite repetition, you will work your way through the same level about 50 times, learning where each and every enemy and trap is, and eventually you’ll be able to whip the controls into submission long enough to actually get to the end.

But when you’ve spent four hours on the first goddamn level, it becomes clear this game is only for the truly die hard and masochistic. There are few games I’ve EVER walked away from, and certainly none at level one, but it became painfully clear that this game was just not for me.

I don’t know what’s happening here, but I’m sure I’m going to end up dead.

There’s no joy in repeating the same level scores of times in order to make progress at such a glacial pace. The “challenge” might be intense, but is it creative? Is it at all fun? I’m not the type of person who spends twenty hours beating games on Insane difficulty. I never understood the point in dying ten thousand times just to finally live once. There are those types of people yes, and they’ll likely enjoy a game as difficult as Demon’s Souls, but to me there’s nothing at all worthwhile about boxing a brick wall just because it’s difficult. Even if you eventually punch a hole through it, you’ll have more broken bones than you can count, and the few seconds thrill of victory will be vastly overshadowed by the endless hours of despair that came before it.

If you like Demon’s Souls, I don’t think you’re stupid. I might think you’re insane, and might enjoy being chained up and whipped for fun, but you’re entitled to your opinion.

But I’m entitled to mine. If you took away every checkpoint from modern video games, cut your own life in half and doubled your enemies, would it make the game better? I’m just not convinced that “challenging” is necessarily “good” when repetition is the key to victory and your greatest opponent is clunky controls.

I guess I might be going out with a whimper here, as I can’t think of any other past classic PS3 title I’ve been dying to play. I’ve covered a lot, but now I think for the most part I’m caught up to present day, and will now be able to review the exclusives as they come. What? Twisted Metal came out two weeks ago? Crap, I’m already behind the times.

Any more suggestions for me? Here’s the full list so far of what I’ve covered

Uncharteds 1-3

God of War III

Heavy Rain

Infamous

I played Resistance and Killzone before I owned the system, but I didn’t find them worth investigating further. Infamous made me not really want to play Infamous 2.

32 Comments

  1. Nicholas March 9, 2012
  2. Guy Incognitus March 9, 2012
  3. Rosstopher March 9, 2012
  4. ORA March 9, 2012
  5. Stefanos March 9, 2012
  6. Jake Fortner March 9, 2012
  7. Paul M March 9, 2012
  8. Giauz March 9, 2012
  9. Paul March 9, 2012
  10. NY not NYC March 9, 2012
  11. banko March 9, 2012
  12. RBourn March 9, 2012
  13. Benc March 9, 2012
  14. Paul S. March 9, 2012
  15. Beorach March 9, 2012
  16. Roberto H. March 9, 2012
  17. Marcelo F. March 9, 2012
  18. Joe March 9, 2012
  19. Bob March 9, 2012
  20. Timmysteve March 10, 2012
  21. Michael March 10, 2012
  22. Steve March 10, 2012
  23. Foxfire64 March 11, 2012
  24. tonyctitan March 12, 2012
  25. KJD March 12, 2012
  26. Ric The Real Stooge March 12, 2012
  27. Gamer March 13, 2012
  28. Cartle March 13, 2012
  29. Devin March 13, 2012
  30. hypes057 March 13, 2012
  31. Charlie Ward March 14, 2012
  32. Henry March 23, 2012

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Mortal Kombat Movie
Should Hollywood Stop Making Video Game Movie Adaptations?
10 Humongous Plot Holes in the Star Wars Franchise
May the Fourth Be With You: The History of “Star Wars Day”
MCU Characters Whose Costumes Got Worse Over Time
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Possible Starter Evolution Types
Can The Xbox Series X Win The Console War?
Ill will be the First Horror Game with New Developer Team Clout
Destiny 2
How to Find and Use the Rat King Catalyst in Destiny 2
Yennefer
10 Things You Didn’t Know about The Witcher’s Yennefer
Watchmen Jeremy Irons Ozymandias
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Watchmen’s Ozymandias
Who Is Gotham’s Solomon Grundy?
Explaining Black Sky from Marvel’s The Defenders
Marvel Fortnite Comic Run to Start in June
Kylo Ren
5 Things You Might Not Know About Kylo Ren If You Only Watched The Movies
Lore Olympus
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Lore Olympus
The Top 10 Most Popular Web Comics Online Today
How Cloud-based Logging Is Influencing Gaming Experiences
Why Web Performance Optimization Matters
Monitor
Using Log Management Tools to Monitor Your Web App
Server
Server Monitoring Tools That Provide Uninterrupted Gameplay