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Climbing back up wasn't too bad though. I only died once, and it was because I was running around that area that has holes in the ground without paying attention.
Still, was it actually worth it otherwise? I dunno. It was an interesting diversion I guess. Maybe the hydra had something worthwhile, I dunno, I got CURSED in the tree so at half health the Hydra could 1-hit kill me, so I didn't even bother trying to beat it. The dragon covenant doesn't seem particularly great and I got the sword by cutting off its tail but I'm way too low of a level to use it. I also got some magic barrier spell, which sounds nice, but again, nowhere near high enough level to use it anytime soon.
Probably the most useful thing I got which I can actually use right now is the ring that regains your stamina quicker. Seems like a pretty sweet ring actually, will help a BUNCH I think, especially with blocking during boss fights. I've died so many times because my block wasn't *quite* quick enough due to waiting for stamina to refill.
So I fought the end boss in the painting world, at first she was annoying me and I was wondering if I made a mistake in attacking her because I couldn't seem to hit her at all and she would instantly wreck me, but once you get her visible she is a piece of cake.
Anyway after beating her I had around 40k souls. So I think well all I have to do is leave the painting and get through that room of assassin dudes to get to the save, no big deal. Even if I did it should be easy enough to get back there.
AND I DIED.
AND IT DIDN'T BRING ME BACK TO THE LAST BONFIRE, IT BROUGHT ME TO THE FIRST BONFIRE IN ANOR LONDO FOR SOME REASON.
Honestly not sure of the logic there. I get that they don't want to stick you back in the painting but why not at least put me at the bonfire I saved at before going in, you know, the one right by the painting?!
So I had to do that super annoying part where you're up on the skinny rafters using controls definitely not made for walking on skinny rafters knowing that one tiny mistake will lose me 40k souls. SO TENSE. And even when I made it across one of those dudes still almost killed me.
So I basically did most everything else I could find to do and I'm like 13 or 14 levels higher than my last attempt, at something like 64 or so which is very high based on where FAQs say you should be, with better gear and such so I tried again and...
JESUS CHRIST ORNSTEIN AND SMOUGH. THESE GUYS.
Solo it's just like... why even bother? I can't do much without them tag-teaming me right to death.
Summoning with Solaire, I've been able to kill one off Ornstein and get to powered up Smough but not consistently and then Solaire usually dies right away anyway and I lose against Smough.
So I summoned a random summon I found (honestly not sure if it was a player or an NPC) AND Solaire and the random survived into the second battle with a lot of health, but they weren't really helping much... just kept shooting magic and mostly missing, which is weird, since Smough is large and slow it should be easy to hit him with magic! It helped a little to have a distraction I guess.
Everyone online is like "once you get to Smough alone it is easy" but that move Smough has where he jumps into the air and comes down with a lightning butt-stomp is pretty much a one-hit KO for me so that is what usually kills me. I guess I should just try to stay very, very far away and throw whatever magic I have left at him? Eventually I will probably need to get in close though and he wrecks me.
The sucky thing is you can't just keep trying over and over, at least, you can't if you want summons, because you need to use humanity and it can run out. I actually still have about 20 at the moment but I've already wasted 4 or 5 on this fight alone so it's tough to want to keep wasting more without a real winning strategy here. And of course if you need more the only places to farm them are... nowhere near where you are.
The other sucky thing is, it's not a particularly long trek to the boss from the bonfire, but it's an annoying one because you have to flip the switch and move the big platform and blah blah blah. I know this is DARK SOULS and it is BRUTAL and whatever but these kind of things are just annoying.
Though really more accurate is the human and AI players I summoned beat them while I just tried to stay alive for the most part, but whatever, it worked.
I leveled up a bunch first, spent time farming stuff to upgrade my weapons, etc. The funny thing and I'm not sure it mattered much since I barely did anything but stay alive and throw some spells out here and there.
But maybe it gave me the edge? It did get a little scary near the end, both of my summons actually took out Smough first so we had powered up Ornstein left to face and I'd only faced him once so I didn't know his moves well and how bad they damage you and such. And then both of my summons died off when he had a little bit of health left and I'm like no big deal, I can solo finish this no problem... but it got close! One hit from him would take off more than half my health, so every time he hit me I had to try to get a heal in before he could hit me again which didn't leave much time for attacks. Every once in awhile he would get caught up on a pillar and that is when I'd throw a spell at him, and it only took a few more hits to get him.
Supposedly this is the hardest boss in the game so it's smooth sailing from here, eh? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Welp, it's definitely been smooth sailing since those two jerks. Burned through a few more areas without much trouble. The 4 kings were a little annoying at first since there is no save anywhere near them but then I disco... ok fine I looked at a FAQ... so I "found" the shortcut where you can just kind of run to them without really having to fight anyone on the way. Still a bit annoying since you're starting at Firelink every time but once I realized that they barely move and barely take off any health with most of their attacks I just used the spell that constrains your walking but gives you more defense and just 2 handed the heck out of them. Still was a close one but I pulled it off.
So yeah I'm in the demon area now and according to FAQs it is sort of more or less a straight shot to the end now. Will I actually finally defeat Dark Souls?
There is also the DLC world (which is contained on Remastered) and I will probably do that but I'm getting a bit burnt out and I heard the boss is annoying as hell so we'll see.
Does anyone know if you have to do the DLC world before beating the "end" of the main game? Probably not because it was DLC, right?
Wait, Sekiro doesn't have any RPG elements? SOLD! I wanted to get into Dark Souls because of how amazing everyone says the worldbuilding and combat are, but having to stare at screens of numbers to beat the artificially inflated difficulty didn't jibe with me, and too much character customization leaves me lost.
I didn't really do much with customization but Dark Souls is definitely one of those games where a boss can be super hard and you feel like you ran into a wall then you read a FAQ and it is like "it will be easy if you use this one weapon that has a specific property this boss is weak against but you can only get it from this one NPC on the other end of the map who only appeared when you did this one thing on the other other end of the map after finding the secret room on the other other end of the map" and it is like ok, that's one way to do it but who the heck would just stumble upon any of this?! Mind you none of that is NECESSARY, you can always use skill and / or just over-level yourself, and you can rely on summoning NPCs and real life players for help (I definitely summoned NPCs a lot, the real life players not quite as much), but it feels like the game kind of wants you to play a certain way but is way too obtuse for you to figure it out on your own easily.
I actually really like this game, but I also think it has a lot of issues that people kind of just ignore or justify because it is such a bold, revolutionary game. I kind of want to write a review when I finish it. I feel like I have a ton to say about it that would require sitting down and putting into clear words. I used to wonder why a game that EVERYONE was talking about like it was the BEST THING EVER was only sitting in the 8s on Gamerankings, but I think I get it now. I'd probably score it in the 9s but I'm not sure where. It definitely does have issues though, and I feel like it has the most hardcore fans ever so I'm scared to even say that, BUT IT DOES HAVE ISSUES.
In theory, Dark Souls's obtuseness is the big reason that I want to love it, but in practice it seems like everybody who plays the game just looks up everything on a wiki anyway. The whole crowdsourced problem solving trick in games might give them a nice live feel for the first week or two that they're out, but that effect goes away once everything has been solved by the community. To me, a game ought to be totally solvable without using an outside resource, and it's the game's job to help me figure everything out in the most rewarding way possible. Like a mystery novel!
I mean, obviously some people figure a lot of this stuff out on their own, but I have no idea how. A shit ton of trial and error?
Again, most of that stuff is optional, there is always a pretty clear path forward if you just want to get to the end of the game, but if you want to do a deep dive and really get the full experience, you almost need to use a FAQ.
Like, minor spoilers... but there is an entire world hidden inside a painting in a room that is like halfway through the game that you need a specific item on you in order to activate the painting, and the item is literally in the place you start the game, except it ISN'T there when you start, it just somehow appears there later, so you just have to sort of think "hey if I go back to the exact start of the game maybe I'll randomly find new stuff", except there is no clear way to even get back to the start or any real indication that it's possible (unless I missed it), so you end up having to jump off an elevator midway in its movement cycle and then roll off a cliff onto something that looks like it is maybe just part of the architecture and not a real thing you can get onto when you have done nothing like this before in the game, and even then you can't get into the world unless you have the key (admittedly it is kind of tough to miss the key if you got that far, but still, it IS possible to miss), and then go back to the way beginning, get the item, and... yeah go all the way back to the world with the painting and get sucked in. No freaking way would I have ever figured this out without a FAQ, but then I would have missed an entire world.
There is also a lot of weirdly obtuse ways of obtaining certain weapons, armor and spells that are super easy to not only miss, but do the wrong thing and make it permanently impossible to ever get them. Same thing with NPCs and summons, you can just fuck yourself over and then not be able to do certain summons even though the bosses can be REALLY annoying without them.
But yeah, I could go on and on. I'll save it for the review I may or may not ever write!
@Mop it up THE WORLD DOESN'T JUST REVOLVE AROUND YOU.
I would definitely say this is not a game for everyone though. It is notorious for being "hard" and it is definitely challenging at times but honestly this isn't the hardest game I have ever played or anything, it just has a lot of things built into it that make it not particularly player-friendly, and that could probably be mistake for "hard". It's more like... built for masochists or something.
But I'm not a masochist and I like it, so I'd have to really kind of think about the pros and cons and figure out what does and doesn't work for me and why.
I donít really see it as built for masochists. Sometimes it can go too far with being obscure, such as the hidden bonfire at the start of dark root or the Anor Londo archers. Some stuff Iím torn on, like getting to the painted world. But in the big picture, I think it mostly comes down to Bri ga different kind of Challenge. In a game like Castlevania (which is probably harder than any Dark Souls game), the challenge come from doing what you need to. In dark souls, the challenge is figuring out what you need to do and how to do it. You have to move with caution, analyze the situation, and preparing carefully. There is still a challenge in executing that plan, but there are few games that challenge you to cautiously approach the world in the way a real adventurer would. If youíre interested, I can link a video by Matthew Matosis that explains this well.
I always see smart designers say that Dark Souls's difficulty is probably the least interesting thing about the game and is more of a consequence of other decisions. It isn't tough-as-nails for the sake of it (or so I hear).
Jonathan Blow always talks about how his goal is making an interesting game regardless of how difficult it is. That's why some of his puzzles are really easy and some are really hard, he's just going for whatever best showcases that property of the mechanics
I'd definitely say the difficulty isn't ultimately what appeals to me. I do like how the difficulty makes you pace your attempt to exploration and movement and fighting... the fact that for large stretches of the game a single common enemy can be a real threat and letting a few of them surround you is definite death... how you can't always just run up and jam the attack button like you can in a lot of games... that is pretty interesting to me. You need to be very um, I can't think of the word I want right now, measured? in your approach. The whole pacing of the game is very different than something like Devil May Cry or whatever, which I find interesting.
But honestly a lot of times what actually happened is certain parts were too hard until I either found the right way to cheese them, or found the right gear, or leveled up a bunch, or just summoned AI / human helpers who did most of the hard work for me... and none of that gives you the sense of accomplishment you get from truly overcoming a challenge.
Oh geez, Bed of Chaos. So freaking annoying. Not even "tough" per se just a lot of running for a couple minutes straight from the bonfire to get to the boss to get instantly hit off the edge and die and get to do it all over again. Indie games got very good at not making you waste time getting back into the fight, and Dark Souls is sort of the opposite. There are sometimes no bonfires anywhere near a boss.
And then I'm reading FAQs and people are talking about having high poise, and it's like... WTF is poise? This game is really bad about teaching you important things. But yeah apparently it is a stat that helps with knockbacks and such which is pretty important against this boss.
So yeah beat that annoying ass Bed of Chaos (thank GOD you don't have to do it all in one life) so all that is basically left is the end area / end boss, EXCEPT... there is also the DLC area, which apparently you need to do before the end if you're going to do it, so I went there. And supposedly it's mostly just a bunch of tough boss fights which sounds uh, intimidating? I beat the first one without TOO much trouble but some of the upcoming ones are supposed to be some of the toughest bosses in the game.
Well, whatever the case, almost done? Maybe?! If any of the DLC bosses are way too tough I might just say fuck it and just go fight the end boss instead. It's a great game but I'm not invested in it enough to be a completionist. Feeling ready to move on...
Yeah, the end of the game sends you straight into NG+.
The DLC bosses are tough, but I feel that it's a fair sort of tough. They probably best embody how the game is in some ways an evolution of Punch Out. They're definitely worth trying. Artorias is an iconic battle that many people consider their favorite.
Did you fight Nito? I don't remember you talking about Tomb of the Giants? Bed of Chaos and the preceding area are probably the worst boss and level in the entire series (including Demon's Souls and Bloodborne).
Welp, it's definitely been smooth sailing since those two jerks. Burned through a few more areas without much trouble.
I actually didn't find the area leading up to Bed of Chaos too bad, honestly no area has really pushed me since Anor Londo. I'm probably super overleveled at this point because I have basically been strolling through most of the areas... more or less. I just found how far away the closest bonfire was (unless I missed one, I was using the one that is the shortcut back to the Demon area) from Bed of Chaos annoying, and somehow the fact that there are barely any enemies to slow you down on the way almost makes it worse, it's just a LOT of pointless running every time you die.
Thereís a bonfire hidden behind an illusory wall on one of those pillars out in the lava. Directly across the branch you have to climb up to get out of the lava and onto the big kiln. But even from there itís still a dull hike to the boss. The whole thing felt undercooked.
@Hero_Of_Hyrule Yeah that one is further than the one I used... or at least, about the same distance with way more enemies to manage. With the one I use there are really only a handful of bugs, that huge stone demon thing on the bridge and a couple of those slow moving fire guys to get past. I just ran the whole way and never took a hit except for the stone demon sometimes.