Underneath my yellow skin

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Dark Souls III: A Souls Game, For Better AND Worse, Part Two

Ed. Note: This is part two of my current feelings about Dark Souls III. You can read the first post here. The first post was about things I don’t like about DS III or am neutral about. This post is going to be a love letter to Hidetaka Miyazaki (the creator of the series) and the game. Now, keep in mind that even if you love something, you can criticize it, so there might be some vinegar with the honey. But, it’s mostly going to be sweet, I promise you. A warning, there will be spoilers. 

set it all on fire
Irithyll of the Boreal Valley, me, and my Pyromancy Glove.

I know my previous post makes it seem like I hate Dark Souls III, but nothing could be further from the truth. All of my criticisms are precisely because I love the Souls series so much. I cannot call the games fun, per se, so if that’s the reason you play video games, you’ll want to pass these games by. I can say they are engrossing, engaging, and give me an enormous sense of satisfaction when I conquer an enemy/area/boss who I’ve previously considered unbeatable. In fact, my shining moment in my brief, but intense gaming history is when I finally beat Ornstein & Smough on the last attempt before I was going to give up the original game for good. My sense of accomplishment was ridiculous, and you couldn’t tell me shit for several minutes after*. In my next playthrough, I handled them fairly handily, and they weren’t that much harder on NG+. It really underscores the point that once you learn a boss’s pattern, that boss is no longer much of a threat. Plus, summoning helps, too. Also. Still, the first time I faced them, I felt as if I would never beat them. That is the brilliance of Souls games. They have very steep learning curves, but once you learn them, you never forget.

I know, I know. They’re just video games. Who cares? I do. I am a perfectionist, and if I’m not immediately good at something, I give up. I’m old and my reflexes are crap, so Dark Souls should have tested my patience to the point of breaking. In fact, it has on several occasions, but the other thing I am is stubborn, and I was NOT going to let this enemy, this area, this boss, this fucking game beat me. So, pardon me if I give myself a little pat on the back for hanging in there with these games. Part of the reason is I’m stubborn, yes, but the bigger part is because of the games. Let’s get on with what I like in Dark Souls III.

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Dark Souls III: A Souls Game, For Better AND Worse, Part One

Ed Note: I have written about the Souls series numerous times before, including two posts on my first impressions of Dark Souls III, which you can read on my old blog. Part one is here; part two is here. In addition, there will be spoilers as I discuss the game. It’s  unavoidable, so if you still haven’t played the game, intend to do so, and don’t want to know anything going in, you might want to skip this post. 

nothing good happens in Souls castles
I hope there’s nothing but chocolate and lollipops in that castle.

Hi, my name is Minna, and I play Dark Souls games. Not only do I play them, I’ve beaten the first two games twice each, and I’m about a third of the way through the third and final game. I don’t consider myself good at the games*, but I’ve played them enough to consider myself a veteran of the series. Having played nearly fifty hours of Dark Souls III, I feel confident enough to say that if you love the Souls series and have been hungering for more, you’ll love this game, too. Conversely, if you hate the other Souls games or are frustrated/irritated by the combat system, you’ll want to pass this game as well. In other words, Dark Souls III is firmly a Souls game, for better, for neutral, and for worse. There are some tweaks and updated graphics, but the core game is Souls, through and through. Let’s start with what I don’t like about DS III, what I’m meh about, and I’ll finish up with what I like about the latest and probably last entry in the trilogy.**

The Bad

Janky physics. It’s a staple of the games, and Miyazaki probably considers them a feature and not a bug. There are few things more frustrating that running frantically around a room, finding a place that I think is safe to hide, only to be clipped through a wall/pillar/other inanimate object for half my health. In the last boss fight I encountered against the Old Demon King, he could breathe his flames through the piles of Capra Demon bodies (I think that’s what they were. I didn’t really focus on that because I was trying to kill the fucking boss) and take away more than half my health. Despite me having the Flash Sweat spell that boosts defense against fire. And wearing the Flame Stoneplate Ring, which also boosts fire defense. And wearing the armor that has the highest fire resist. To be fair, if I didn’t let the flames directly hit me, all that protection greatly decreased the amount of damage I took. However, if I got caught off-guard, all that protection was for naught. Frustrated as hell as I died to the Old Demon King more times than I should have.

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