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Old 01-31-2016, 10:36 PM
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Default All Souls: a genrral Soulsborne series thread (warning: spoilers!)

It occurred to me that there doesn't seem to be a thread for the Souls series (and Bloodborne) in general, so here we go. The point of this thread is for general discussion of the games: their story, their lore, their mechanics, the differences between them, and your impression of these games.

Given that, be aware that there may be possible spoilers, so read at your own risk.

I'm not in a position to say much at the moment (my Kindle's touchpad is a bit iffy for typing in-depth), but there's one point I'd like to elaborate on later: Demon's Souls was the reason I bought a PS3 when I did. I already planned to get one thanks to Metal Gear Solid 4, but Demon's Souls made it urgent.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:40 PM
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Demon's Souls still has the best voice acting and music in the series. They just nailed the audio in that one.
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Old 01-31-2016, 11:10 PM
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So the world might be mended.
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Old 01-31-2016, 11:34 PM
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Default Getting all of this out there now so I can just quote myself later

Demon's Souls has great atmosphere and level design, but is super rough around the edges in basically every other area. It's also pathetically easy once you get how Souls games work. Still really good though.

Dark Souls is one of the best games ever made and I like it at least a little bit.

Dark Souls II is good and I like it but it is likely the worst one. Still really good though.

Bloodborne is fucking sick as Hell. Best lore/setting in the series.

I don't know why this thread exists.
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:52 AM
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Here's a question for the dedicated DS1 fans:

I'm running through NG+ and passing through the hunter covenant forest as a Hollow. I decide to join the Forest Hunters (breaking my vow to the Way of White in the process).

As I cross over to the next section of forest (where you find the mushroom people), I am faced with black phantom mushroom people! The little ones are resilient but a punch from the mother is a straight up one-shotter.

I can't remember ever seeing this before. Am I being Gravelorded?

If so, awesome! If not, what in the hell is going on?
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:54 AM
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Yeah you were being Gravelorded. You can only have black phantoms show up that way in NG+ or higher!
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Old 02-01-2016, 03:52 AM
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I like Yuria ;-;
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf View Post
Demon's Souls was the reason I bought a PS3 when I did. I already planned to get one thanks to Metal Gear Solid 4, but Demon's Souls made it urgent.
Final Fantasy XIII was the reason I bought a PS3. I like it and its sequels more than most people. However, Demon's Souls and MGS4 are two of my favorite PS3 games.

Demon's Souls. Is my favorite Souls game. I love the Nexus, the atmosphere, the music, and bosses.

Dark Souls. Is my least favorite Souls game. Bed of Chaos stopped my progress cold. I had to use a hint guide to figure out how to beat her, and stopped caring about the game after that. I felt that boss was so poorly designed and broke the souls promise: the game will be hard but it will be fair if you are careful and observe the environment and enemies. I beat the game, but mainly just because I put in the hours in front of that boss.

There are certain games, that I will never like a much as the rest of the community. Dark Souls is one of those games for me. I had a similar experience with Super Metroid that caused me to not like it as much either. I got all the way to Mother Brain without the Super Shot or enough missiles to kill her. My save game locked me in her lair and so I had to replay from the start.

Dark Souls II. Is my second favorite Souls game. I like the flashback sequences, the singing maidens, and the disembodied head talking to you. It may be the easiest one.

Bloodbourne/Dark Souls III. I don't own a PS4 yet.

***
I wonder if the souls formula will get old in the near term. Will Dark Souls III seem fresh? I also wonder if having pieces of story and not the clear whole, or playing cautiously will get old. The sweetspot for me on the Souls games is about 80 hours. Once the game extends beyond that, I kind tire of it and want to move onto something else.

In favor of more souls sequels, I would play a new megaman, mario, FF, and castlevania game. Maybe Souls is like those games. It can be iterated on almost infinitely if given enough time between entries.

Last edited by Voncaster; 02-01-2016 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:35 AM
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Yeah you were being Gravelorded. You can only have black phantoms show up that way in NG+ or higher!
Thanks! I've been Gravelorded before, but I haven't played DS1 in so long that I thought there was something else going on. There are so many sequence variations in this game that it's almost hard to say if you've seen them all.

For instance, Lautrec escapes his jail cell no matter what. You can either let him out or, if you fight the Gargoyles first, he'll just show up at Firelink of his own accord. Also, he almost straight up tells you he's going to off Anastasia. A line of dialogue I don't remember ever encountering.

I feel almost as if I'm playing the game for the first time again. I already have the levels memorized for the most part and know the larger arcs of most of the sub-quests, but it's really cool seeing how the game clues you in to so many of its mechanics.

One of my favourite memories of my first DS1 playthrough was the time I got cursed in the Depths and then, after consulting the wimpy warrior at Firelink, found out about the curse healer in New Londo. I then fought my way, with a first-timer's pre-Blighttown DEX character, all the way there.

It was harrowing in a way other games aren't for me. This was me walking into tremendously oppressive and hostile territory not because it was the game's objective, but because I had to in order to help myself as a player. The entire game gives you the narrative window dressing of solving the curse or whatever, but it's really just a premise to your adventure rather than something you feel compelled to solve on its own sake. But going into New Londo to break your own half-health curse is like a microcosm of the Dark Souls narrative, except with actual quality-of-life weight all the lore in the world can't recreate.

EDIT: The female hollow merchant in the aqueduct sells curse-break stones. I think this was patched in, though?
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2016, 09:50 AM
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I really like Demon's Souls a lot but Dark Souls 1 & 2 killed any interest I have in continuing to play these games.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyonion View Post
EDIT: The female hollow merchant in the aqueduct sells curse-break stones. I think this was patched in, though?
Looks like that was patched in for 1.03. Oswald sells them too, but I'm pretty sure he always did.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyonion View Post
Thanks! I've been Gravelorded before, but I haven't played DS1 in so long that I thought there was something else going on. There are so many sequence variations in this game that it's almost hard to say if you've seen them all.

For instance, Lautrec escapes his jail cell no matter what. You can either let him out or, if you fight the Gargoyles first, he'll just show up at Firelink of his own accord. Also, he almost straight up tells you he's going to off Anastasia. A line of dialogue I don't remember ever encountering.

I feel almost as if I'm playing the game for the first time again. I already have the levels memorized for the most part and know the larger arcs of most of the sub-quests, but it's really cool seeing how the game clues you in to so many of its mechanics.
I watched a good chunk of ENBs From The Dark series and it's kind of nuts how much stuff I missed in my many playthroughs. There are lots of events and pieces of dialogue that most people are likely to miss.

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EDIT: The female hollow merchant in the aqueduct sells curse-break stones. I think this was patched in, though?
Yeah, that was added later. Also, the curse removal was originally supposed tobe part of a much larger quest that was more central to the game, but I really like that it's just an incidental thing that lots of players miss altogether.
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2016, 10:14 AM
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Dark Souls. Is my least favorite Souls game. Bed of Chaos stopped my progress cold. I had to use a hint guide to figure out how to beat him,
Her.
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2016, 11:02 AM
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Y'know, I was just thinking that Talking Time doesn't have enough Souls threads.

Anyway, I liked Demon's Souls, but I found it pretty exhausting to finish, and I've never had enough ambition to dive into another one. I'm sure I'd have eaten every one of them up if they'd landed 10 years earlier when I wasn't so lazy.
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:11 AM
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I really like Demon's Souls a lot but Dark Souls 1 & 2 killed any interest I have in continuing to play these games.
I've only played Demon's Souls and loved it, but I'm hesitant to try Dark because it doesn't feel like an experience I want to try a refined version of. I liked the messiness of Demon's Souls and I don't know if I want to see those edges polished.
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:29 AM
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It's still a From Software game. Plenty of edges.
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  #17  
Old 02-01-2016, 11:45 AM
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Yeah I love this series with all my heart but it'd be nice if even one of the games was complete before it shipped.
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:53 AM
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Hell, these days most triple-A games can't even pull that off.
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by estragon View Post
I've only played Demon's Souls and loved it, but I'm hesitant to try Dark because it doesn't feel like an experience I want to try a refined version of. I liked the messiness of Demon's Souls and I don't know if I want to see those edges polished.
Biggest thing that bothers me about Dark is that unlike Demon's where you can start at each segment and bang your head against different levels, Dark 1 holds this quick travel ability until like 70-80% though the game and instead makes you manually walk back and forth through sections of the game to get to new areas as they unlock. Lots of wasted time.
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:53 PM
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Biggest thing that bothers me about Dark is that unlike Demon's where you can start at each segment and bang your head against different levels, Dark 1 holds this quick travel ability until like 70-80% though the game and instead makes you manually walk back and forth through sections of the game to get to new areas as they unlock. Lots of wasted time.
Eh, it didn't feel like I wasted that much time trekking between previous areas, with the possible exception of slumming it all the way back to the Depths from Anor Londo to grind out humanity.

Also I kind of like the necessity to commit before venturing too deeply into unexplored territory; you have to consider whether you think you'll be able to make it back out again.
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Old 02-01-2016, 01:12 PM
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Demon's Souls still has the best voice acting and music in the series. They just nailed the audio in that one.
It also has the best characters and the best story by a wide margin I feel. Your character also has a strong motivation for action, right off the bat, a really basic thing I wish the other Souls games would do...

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It's still a From Software game. Plenty of edges.
I can't wait to see what boneheaded, completely baffling decisions they make for Dark Souls III!

Last edited by Ludendorkk; 02-01-2016 at 01:12 PM. Reason: Words no good
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Old 02-01-2016, 01:13 PM
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The quintessential Souls level design makes a lot of that backtracking less painless with shortcuts and what not. Plus you get to feel mastery as you roll over previous insurmountable walls.
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Old 02-01-2016, 01:17 PM
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Annoying gripe: I really would like to be able to level up and upgrade weapons at bonfires. All the constant warping required in DS2 and Bloodborne really kills my immersion.

Take Shrine of Amana for example. You just met the Queen and defeated the Looking Glass Knight. You walk out onto the top of Castle Drangleic to gain an amazing view of the surrounding world. Wow. Take the elevator down into the roots of a tree. Eerie singing. A giant pool of water. Holy...shit... Warp to Majula to cash in your souls....

Loading screen.
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Old 02-01-2016, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Ludendorkk View Post
It also has the best characters and the best story by a wide margin I feel. Your character also has a strong motivation for action, right off the bat, a really basic thing I wish the other Souls games would do...



I can't wait to see what boneheaded, completely baffling decisions they make for Dark Souls III!
Seigmeyer from Dark Souls is probably my favorite character in the series. Also, while Dark Souls doesn't have as much motivation for the main character, the mythology/history of the world is incredible. The intro is heads and tails above the start of the other three games.

The beta test for DS3 felt super good, gameplay wise. There wasn't any leveling up or menus, but controlling the character felt great. It'll be interesting to see how much weapon arts effect things, they seem like they'll add some depth to weapon choice.
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Old 02-01-2016, 01:33 PM
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It also has the best characters and the best story by a wide margin I feel. Your character also has a strong motivation for action, right off the bat
Show up for fame and glory?
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Old 02-01-2016, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Sensible View Post
Eh, it didn't feel like I wasted that much time trekking between previous areas, with the possible exception of slumming it all the way back to the Depths from Anor Londo to grind out humanity.

Also I kind of like the necessity to commit before venturing too deeply into unexplored territory; you have to consider whether you think you'll be able to make it back out again.
^ I like it too. Though I admit that it took some time to reacquaint myself with the bonfire rules since every other Soulsborne provides checkpoint warping in one way or another from the get go.

The first half of Dark Souls 1 is really unique in hindsight. I'm pretty confident that this section of the game is a favourite for most DS1 megafans, myself included. There's really nothing like the inter-connectivity of the "mid-strata" portion of DS1's world anywhere else in the series. There are just so many different ways to reach both Bells, so many sequence breaks, and so many detours to enhance specific builds that the first half is a masterpiece of replayability in itself, even if a few of the individual areas have their own issues.

I think a lot of the disappointment for post-Lordvessel DS1 is that outside of a few exploits, the segment really is less about free-form discovery and more about conquering four fairly linear mega-zones. Three out of four of these areas (Catacombs/Tomb, Demon Ruins, Upper New Londo) are mostly pretty open for exploration and ransacking right out of the gate, so if the player was particularly curious early on then returning to these areas could feel more like tying off loose ends than some epic infiltration of the god of death's domain. Lost Izalith feels like the second half of the Demon Ruins to me, so The Duke's Archives + Crystal Caves is the only brand new path the Lordvessel unlocks.
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Old 02-01-2016, 01:46 PM
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Show up for fame and glory?
The demon fog spreading from Boletaria is threatening the entire world. You are an adventure who travels there specifically to try and stop it.

I think I'm a pretty big outlier in that I don't much care for the lore of Dark series though.
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  #28  
Old 02-01-2016, 01:59 PM
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I haven't played Blood Borne, so I can't really take that game into consideration, but I feel Dark Souls 1 has the best feel and mechanics of all the games.

In Demon's souls, upgrading for certain builds was a huge pain because you needed to pretty much complete one of the paths before you could select the STR or DEX upgrades, and before you could you just had a lot of high base damage weapons with some minor scaling.

Dark Soul really made the upgrade system and base weapons better, where instead of having STR weapons or DEX weapons that you need to make more STR or DEX, they just had weapons with their own personality.

Having the two non scaling elements behind some pretty difficult area also felt like a reward to power players to me, and while I know some people don't like that, it's nice to see a game understand that some people might be doing something strange or different, and accommodate for them too.

I haven't even gotten into my favorite part of Dark Souls 1/Demon's Souls, which is how weapons and armor work. This is also one of the biggest reasons why I feel like Dark Souls 2 is a broken mess that doesn't understand what it wants.

I would love to make this it's own post again, because the damage and armor in Dark Souls 1 really works, and the math behind it comes together to make both putting on heavier armor, and finding a new weapon with a few points more AR feel worth it. While in Dark Souls 2, the flat armor and flat damage don't mesh well with the action gameplay and makes a game that has no concept of balance.
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Old 02-01-2016, 02:18 PM
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I find the rolling feels weird in DS1 after playing DS2 and BB. It's difficult to aim your roll and the timing feels jerky.
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Old 02-01-2016, 03:45 PM
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Bloodborne is one of the finest action games ever made and was easily my game of the year last year. I've tried Demon's Souls and Dark Souls and, though I have nothing but respect for their design and accomplishments, they are games that I just cannot enjoy. I haven't tried Dark Souls II, and don't really plan to, but Dark Souls III seems like it rolls in some of the more immediately satisfying fluidity of Bloodborne with the more deliberate nature of Dark Souls, so I plan on trying it at launch.
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