Product Type: Namco Xbox 360 games
Newest Review: ... the individual monsters are very detailed and scary they all have deadly combo's and can easily push you of a cliff or group up on you.... more
Dark Souls - Limited Edition (Xbox 360)
Member Name: AverageJoseph
Dark Souls - Limited Edition (Xbox 360)
Advantages: Rewarding, Longevity, Varied Gameplay, Immersive,
Disadvantages: Poor Cooperative play, Exploitable PVP, Ending
"Don't get yourself killed" says the blacksmith, easy for him to say, snuggled up to a furnace in his safe little corner, surrounded by freshly forged weapons.
Dark Souls, a name that the majority of gamers have only heard about, the only inkling that its renowned for being a very tough game. But to be fair, this brief bit of talk doesn't do it justice. Underneath the difficulty lies a rich, classic fantasy land of giant castles, pitch black crypts, haunted churches and mysterious forrest's - all infested with hundreds of beastly enemies, mere target practice until the real boss's show up. Of course its gained its reputation for a reason though.. after a fantastic cinematic underling the story, its a baptism of fire for the player whose only help is little marks left on the ground, explaining controls and actions. Shortly after you've picked up the controls however, you are forced into your first boss fight, against a giant demon 50 times your size wielding a massive hammer. To take on at such an early stage is a learning lesson - some enemies just aren't worth the effort at this stage. A recurring theme throughout should you foolishly stumble into another boss, necessary or otherwise.
The safe part of Dark Souls is the bonfire, an unusual menu/save health replenishing system that rapidly becomes a sight for sore eyes since they are sparingly scattered in the entrences of several locations as well as subtler halfway points. Again though, this is Dark Souls, such a helpful tool turns out to be a double edged sword, re-spawning ALL enemies previously dispatched. For the average gamer, such spiteful rules can be a complete turn off, but persistance eventually pays off and dedicated players will soon see and in time reap the rewards. Gaining souls (currency & experience points) play a big part, spent on raising a characters stats or buying/upgrading weapons and armour. A vast array of smithed items are available to choose from, each type with their own combat moves for better user preference, spears, shields, staffs, hammers, halberds, shields, swords short, long or great, most capable of further improvement with the likes of fire and lightning or even blessing of divine for holy damage and if melee's not your thing, you can always cast the old school fireball and be defensive with healing spells. Armour also varies greatly with choices like leather for dexterity, steel for endurance and special gear found by exploring. The combat system is incredibly well done, if minimalistic, it gives the user a chance to use whatever tactics they wish, or are persuaded to try by the several thousand gamer messages left before obstacles.
Something that makes this game brilliant is the type of bosses you face. While I wont spoil any real surprises if you are considering this game, you must know that there will inevitably be dragons a typical medieval element in fantasy games, but some really fantastic, original bosses that make the special edition worth getting as its usually the same price but features the official soundtrack, making of documentary, mini guide, maps and the best of all an A5 artwork booklet with all the enemies found in the game. Negatives though are the massively flawed PVP system. When a game features exploits that allow players to level up in seconds, some unsporting individuals will inevitably take their chance. Since people can get randomly invaded or invade someone else, the chances of encountering such a loser seems slim.. you'd imagine. Not just that but most people go for the infamous 'backstab' for flawless victories and with the connection usually being unreliable, you'll be a second behind the other player and end up seeing them glitch behind you. Covenants seem pleasant at first glance, giving you free gear and rings etc but advancing through them bares little reward or relevance. Co-op is also very limited to most boss fights.. can't make it too easy for you, but co-op with friends is damn near impossible and not worth the time or effort. When complete, Dark Souls has yet another challenge for you, to take on the game again with the advantage of keeping all your weapons and armour, and the enemies being 3x as powerful. lovely. This choice effectively changes the way you progress, your first game will most likely be difficult to begin with then ease up, a new game+ is the exact opposite, breeze through the beginning, struggle later on.
If all that wasn't a deterrent for you, you'll be in for a treat, a painful one, with 'gorgeous views', a haunting score and rewarding gameplay. With all the harsh elements involved, dark tombs enlightened by relinquishing a shield, slippery edges over endless caverns, blighttown blow darts, don't expect Dark Souls to give you a pleasant ending.. and there are two..
Summary: Frustratingly Fantastic
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