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dbarry_22's Video Game Reviews (221)

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Demon's Souls 3.5/5
Metroid Dread 4.5/5
Returnal 4/5
Dead Cells 4.5/5
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 4/5
Bloodstained: Ritual of... 4.5/5
Bloodstained: Ritual of... 4.5/5
Red Dead Redemption 2 4.5/5
Blaster Master Zero II 3.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Li... 5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Li... 5/5
Golf Story 4/5
Tetris 99 3.5/5
Red Dead Redemption 4/5
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes... 4.5/5
Mega Man 11 4/5
Octopath Traveler 4.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Sp... 3.5/5
Bloodstained: Curse of ... 4/5
Everybody's Golf 3.5/5
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 4.5/5
Super Mario Galaxy 2 4.5/5
Castlevania: Portrait o... 4/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5

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Demon's Souls   PlayStation 5 

Difficult, Frustrating, and also Rewarding    3.5/5 stars

Demon's Souls is a remake of a game with the same name on PS3. It's a beautiful, difficult, and rewarding game that lacks when it comes to controls and explaining things.

I had never played a game in the "Souls" series before starting this so when I began I only knew a couple things. First, the series is pretty popular and second, that it's viewed as extremely difficult. By the time I finished I understood both of these things very well.

The story of this game isn't that intriguing. In a land called Boltearia an evil presence is taking over. A fog is enveloping the area and there are evil creatures and demons strung about. Once you're in there is no escape and it appears there's a evil being making people like you kill creatures and take souls for them. I know that may seem a bit vague but honestly after about the first hour of the game you've learned basically all you're going to because after that you very much feel like you are on your own.

There are several character glasses to choose from ranging from a knight to a priest. I usually prefer to be right in the thick of things with combat and avoid ranged characters so I went with the knight. I'm not sure if this was a mistake, but I feel like I made things more difficult for myself by making this choice.

The main area where you store items and upgrade stuff is the Nexus. This is where you can access all the worlds and do other things where there are no enemies. It's a big area that has winding staircases and tons of nooks that you really need to explore otherwise you may never find the guy who sells spells or something like that. I found it overly complicated. Then, there are 5 worlds you can access, each has a few "levels" inside them that has a boss battle at the end. Only by defeating all the bosses in these 5 worlds can you get to the end of the game.

There's a ton of customization in this game. You start out with a basic layout of weapons and armor, but very quickly on you'll find new stuff and will have to decide what to use. While I experimented with several different weapons like a spear, axe, and bow I basically stuck with a long sword and upgraded it whenever I could. When it came to armor, I found several different types none of them had more defense than the one I was wearing so I rarely changed it out for the different benefits. You also can't upgrade armor which I found annoying. Upgrading weapons requires you to get certain items and it also costs souls. Souls are the currency in this game that you get after defeating enemies. If you die before finishing a level, you lose all the souls you had and you can get them back if you reach that same point in the level on your next attempt. It's just another quirk in this game that increases the difficulty. Finding the items you need to upgrade weapons can be annoying. You'll likely find yourself with an abundance of different materials that are basically useless because you really want to upgrade maybe 2 or 3 specific weapons. Because of this you'll need to grind levels over and over again defeating the same set of enemies which becomes a bore. Upgrading your character ends up being a debate. You can upgrade several stats with souls ranging from health and stamina to physical and magical attacks.

I'm not a fan of the play control in this game very much. I found my character to be slow and actions you do to be laggy. I'll hit circle to roll, but it doesn't happen right away so instinctively I'll hit the button again and I'll end up doing two rolls in a row. Or, I'll mash the attack button more than I wanted to and I'll do an extra sword swipe. Anyone who has played this game knows any of these mistakes can cost you dearly. the combat in this game is unforgiving. You need to be deliberate with your actions or death can meet you quickly. I died way to many times because of these mistakes and it frustrated me greatly. If the controls were tighter that alone would probably made this game a lot better.

The most challenging and rewarding parts of this game are the boss battles. Most of the time your goal is just to stay alive and then try to get hits in when you can. But, depending on the boss you may not cause damage right away. Then, while you're running around trying to stay alive you try to figure out what you need to do to actually cause damage to the boss. After you finally discover the weakness and take the boss down it feels quite rewarding. Unfortunately I thought a couple bosses in this game were way too fast compared to my character and made them practically impossible. This is another complaint of mine, the difficulty spikes in this game are to the point where I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of the people who start this game don't reach the end.

The game looks great on the PS5. The upgraded graphics and environments are stunning and the soundtrack matches the theme well. You can definitely tell it was a PS3 generation game before though just by looking at the birds flying in the air and the motions of the enemies. Those things just aren't as polished as games released now are.

My main complaint is that if pretty much gives you no direction what-so-ever. Normally I'd be like, fine, I'll figure it out as I go but this game takes it to the extreme. I'll give you an example. I finished 3 levels before I finally found one of the guys in Nexus that sells spells. Until then I didn't even know my character could cast magic. So, I bought a heal spell. I attuned it and tried to cast it but to no avail. Why? Because I needed a catalyst (basically a wand or staff) in order to cast it. So, I equipped the one that I had found in a level that was in my inventory and tried again. I still couldn't cast the spell. Why? Oh, there are multiple types of catalysts and the one I had was for magic spells and the spell I was trying to cast was a miracle. Does the game explain this to you in anyway? Not that I know of. Maybe it says something in the manual but I'll let you in a little secret, I don't even know how to access a digital game manual on the PS5 so there ya go. So there ya go, you'll find yourself frustrated by stuff like this in this game which might send you over the edge because the difficulty of the game is stressful enough.

If you think the lack of explaining things stops there you're wrong. Here are a few other things the game doesn't tell you and might end up looking up at some point. Early on in the game you need to talk to a monumental at the top of the Nexus to progress the story. I could not find it. After probably 20 minutes I had to look it up and I felt stupid afterwards but seriously it's easy to miss. You'll want to rescue a spirit by the name of Lord Rydell in a prison but I never did. After finishing the game I looked up what you'd have to do in order to it and I have no idea how anyone could figure that out without looking it up. Then there's a boss that will continue to regenerate unless you find an enemy tucked away in another corner of the level and you kill it so he can't conjure up the boss over and over again. And then there's this thing called world tendency that the game tells you nothing about but can have a drastic effect on how difficult enemies are and what items are dropped. All of this information could be extremely helpful and the lack of giving it is unforgivable.

I understand the appeal of these "Souls" games and I will be giving the Dark Souls series a try but this first iteration of it is quite flawed and dated. The challenge is just too much at times especially with the loose play control. I still enjoyed the experience but there are a lot of other games out there that's more worthy of the 30-40 hours of time it took for me to take it down. Is it a horrible game? Absolutely not. Is it as great as some people claim it to be? I say no to that as well.




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