Zero Punctuation: Demon's Souls

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I think that ZP's Demon's Souls review is fine on its own, the problem is that Yahtzee presents himself as this sort of champion of originality in video-games, then when original games like Demon's Souls come along, games that do so many things right, he tears them down or gives them the cold shoulder. It seems that having to do ZP every week has turned Yahtzee into a reviewer instead of a gamer that reviews games. His review was akin to the casual gamer friend that you let borrow an awesome game only to find out a week later that they couldn't get past the first level.

The real irony here is that the game is not even that difficult, it's only been hyped to be super hard. (Which is something that could be satirized by the way.)
As others have pointed out, the game only punishes you if you are not paying attention. Demon's Souls is about dying the same way that playing WoW or Diablo is about dying. Without the extra help in the form of messages and blood stains, the game would still not be unfair.

Another thing about his "reviews" that I find unprofessional is that he doesn't finish the games. Another example of this would be his review of "The Witcher." Yahtzee played the first area and then reviewed the game. Anyone critic worth his spit knows you have to experience the entire product before you give an opinion. That would be like someone watching half of the Sixth Sense and saying it's a drama about growing up. That is really what has happened here. Yahtzee, for whatever reason, probably gave up after an hour or two of play, and wrote a review for it.

Verrenxnon:

rdrouyn:
What a terrible review, and this considering that I'm usually a fan of Zero Punctuation. I guess he just played the game for two hours getting his ass kicked and just gave up on it. I'm also shocked at how many facts he got completely wrong about the game. Dodging is really quite easy, especially if you have a character with light armor. And not all attacks can be dodged, but that's why you have that nifty shield to block attacks with. Learning magic also makes the game quite easier, as its quite overpowered compared to melee/ranged IMO.

Having said that, this game can get pretty difficult, so it's a matter on how willing you are to learn about the game and how to do combat effectively. Reading the manual and gamefaqs.com helps a lot.

This game isn't that much harder than Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry.

1. We need to stop looking at Yahtzee as a reviewer. If anything, he's our Andre Bazin. He's a prototype film theorist. Read between the lines in his videos/writings. In this case, he's showing how game mechanics made to artifically enhance challenge are foolish and alienating to the gamer. A sufficiently challenging game will kill you, but you'll never have a sense of helplessness; you'll think (in that instance) 'I deserved to die.' This game does not adhere to that. Think of Capcom's maxim: 'easy to play, hard to master.'

2. Here's a theoretical dilemma: should a game require external help? You've mentioned that the manual/gamefaqs told you how dodge effectively. What if you had no manual and no gamefaqs? What would your level of competancy be then? Would people still leap to the game's defense?

Well considering the game comes with a manual AND considering the game is an RPG, I would hope that most players at least gave it a cursory look-through. I was able to get far into the game without looking at game-faqs but I must admit that doing that made the game much easier. However, you could say that about pretty much any RPG, so we would have to criticize the RPG genre for this point.

EDIT: I didn't learn that dodging was easier for characters with light armor from a guide, I learned from creating a light armor character, which is the reason why RPGs have character classes. Choose the one that suits your style better, etc, etc etc...

Haha that review was awesome

I have to agree about everything said in the video, but yet I still love Demon's Souls and don't know why.

zondervan:
I think that ZP's Demon's Souls review is fine on its own, the problem is that Yahtzee presents himself as this sort of champion of originality in video-games, then when original games like Demon's Souls come along, games that do so many things right, he tears them down or gives them the cold shoulder. It seems that having to do ZP every week has turned Yahtzee into a reviewer instead of a gamer that reviews games. His review was akin to the casual gamer friend that you let borrow an awesome game only to find out a week later that they couldn't get past the first level.

The real irony here is that the game is not even that difficult, it's only been hyped to be super hard. (Which is something that could be satirized by the way.)
As others have pointed out, the game only punishes you if you are not paying attention. Demon's Souls is about dying the same way that playing WoW or Diablo is about dying. Without the extra help in the form of messages and blood stains, the game would still not be unfair.

Another thing about his "reviews" that I find unprofessional is that he doesn't finish the games. Another example of this would be his review of "The Witcher." Yahtzee played the first area and then reviewed the game. Anyone critic worth his spit knows you have to experience the entire product before you give an opinion. That would be like someone watching half of the Sixth Sense and saying it's a drama about growing up. That is really what has happened here. Yahtzee, for whatever reason, probably gave up after an hour or two of play, and wrote a review for it.

Exactly what I was thinking. He criticizes games for being too easy and holding your hand through everything and along comes a challenging game and he shits on it.

Well I already played it and I must say nothing but the truth...although practise makes perfect I still find the game extremely hard and the game itself wants you dead...yes it hates us very very much

Great review. One of the few I've really laughed at in a while.

why are people being put on probation for their comments??? none of the comments I've seen so far seem offensive at all.....oh oh I just got put on probation for saying that lol, j/k

Hmm... I was hoping he'd review Borderlands. I've been waiting to hear his opinion on it. Oh well.

...Since when did Yahtzee become a pussy? All I've heard every other review was how games are too easy, now comes along a game with medium difficulty and all he can do is describe how impossible and unfair the game is. I thought he was better than this.
I mean, if describing getting your ass kicked in a game constitutes as a review then I could have been a famous game reviewer by now too.
As for the Demon Souls portion, I own it, I've played it, I've beat it. The hardest part in this entire game, is the army of dead babies. I have yet to beat it, and since I'm on my second run through they are even harder....It's a good thing Yahtzee didn't beat the game, otherwise he might have found the "hard" mode that is the real Demon>'s< Souls. As a final issue, I cannot believe Yahtzee got so many facts wrong in this review. The turd monster(the first one) is not a "suposed to lose" battle. I've beat it.

Since there isn't much to say about this one, yes, egg and cress sandwiches are disgusting.

rdrouyn:
[quote="Verrenxnon" post="6.161717.4142598"][quote="rdrouyn" post="6.161717.4142412"]
Well considering the game comes with a manual AND considering the game is an RPG, I would hope that most players at least gave it a cursory look-through. I was able to get far into the game without looking at game-faqs but I must admit that doing that made the game much easier. However, you could say that about pretty much any RPG, so we would have to criticize the RPG genre for this point.

EDIT: I didn't learn that dodging was easier for characters with light armor from a guide, I learned from creating a light armor character, which is the reason why RPGs have character classes. Choose the one that suits your style better, etc, etc etc...

An excellent point. But RPGs are typically collect-a-thons that necessitate external help.

Is Demon's Souls that much of an RPG? It looks like more of an action game with RPG elements. That suggests that the game could be played as an action game alone, thus not requiring supplement. It also appears to lack a compelling narrative, typical of the action game.

Should gamefaqs or a manual be required to play a game?

Somehow through all that he actually made the game sound fun to me. I'd never heard of it before this.

Uh that game does not appeal to me. What kind of a multiplayer game doesn't let you play with other people -_- . Funny review as always, biggest laugh for me was the messages joke with the "mum" part at the end. Does seem a bit too hard for a hack and slash, but maybe that's just not Ben's kind of game so he cant play it that well.

TL;DW

This game was too hard for him. Aww.

Demon's Souls aint for people who give up easily.

Yahtzee should do an Extra Punct. on Games being too fucking easy these days. I miss the challenges, might even try this one out. Though one has to differentiate challenges and for example giving all enemies Fucking Far (cry) vision and aimbot and similar.

Verrenxnon:

rdrouyn:
[quote="Verrenxnon" post="6.161717.4142598"][quote="rdrouyn" post="6.161717.4142412"]
Well considering the game comes with a manual AND considering the game is an RPG, I would hope that most players at least gave it a cursory look-through. I was able to get far into the game without looking at game-faqs but I must admit that doing that made the game much easier. However, you could say that about pretty much any RPG, so we would have to criticize the RPG genre for this point.

EDIT: I didn't learn that dodging was easier for characters with light armor from a guide, I learned from creating a light armor character, which is the reason why RPGs have character classes. Choose the one that suits your style better, etc, etc etc...

An excellent point. But RPGs are typically collect-a-thons that necessitate external help.

Is Demon's Souls that much of an RPG? It looks like more of an action game with RPG elements. That suggests that the game could be played as an action game alone, thus not requiring supplement. It also appears to lack a compelling narrative, typical of the action game.

Should gamefaqs or a manual be required to play a game?

It's really not required but they are quite a few items that you might miss on the first play-through if you arent looking carefully. Also there's the whole thing about world tendency that they never bothered to explain in the game which allows you to get powerful items.

In summation, it helps only to get more powerful stuff but never stops you from beating the game.

And Demon's Souls is an Action-RPG for sure. I mean you do level up, upgrade armor and weapons and talk to npcs.

I've been hearing about the crazy ass difficulty of this game for a few weeks now. I'm gonna have to give it a little looksee.

Malicious:
Uh that game does not appeal to me. What kind of a multiplayer game doesn't let you play with other people -_- . Funny review as always, biggest laugh for me was the messages joke with the "mum" part at the end. Does seem a bit too hard for a hack and slash, but maybe that's just not Ben's kind of game so he cant play it that well.

You can play with other people, just that Yahtzee did an unusually terrible review and never found out how to do it.

rdrouyn:

Malicious:
Uh that game does not appeal to me. What kind of a multiplayer game doesn't let you play with other people -_- . Funny review as always, biggest laugh for me was the messages joke with the "mum" part at the end. Does seem a bit too hard for a hack and slash, but maybe that's just not Ben's kind of game so he cant play it that well.

You can play with other people, just that Yahtzee did an unusually terrible review and never found out how to do it.

Well that's an epic fail on his behalf, but no worries, i don't watch his reviews for professional opinion about buying games but for a few good laughs. Even better if the game sucks or if i hate the game, then it gets a new level of funny.

Malicious:
Uh that game does not appeal to me. What kind of a multiplayer game doesn't let you play with other people -_- . Funny review as always, biggest laugh for me was the messages joke with the "mum" part at the end. Does seem a bit too hard for a hack and slash, but maybe that's just not Ben's kind of game so he cant play it that well.

Um...it DOES let you play with other people. Yahtzee just gave up before he got the item that let's him do that. Other people can also invade your game and try and kill you.
To be fair, playing with specific people is hard, but it's still doable. This game wanted to have a multiplayer element while still making you feel isolated and alone in a scary world and that's one of the things it does amazingly well.

Verrenxnon:

An excellent point. But RPGs are typically collect-a-thons that necessitate external help.

Is Demon's Souls that much of an RPG? It looks like more of an action game with RPG elements. That suggests that the game could be played as an action game alone, thus not requiring supplement. It also appears to lack a compelling narrative, typical of the action game.

Should gamefaqs or a manual be required to play a game?

First of all. Demon's Souls is an action RPG through and through. The RPG elements are very prevalent and more than something in the background. If anything the game is like Diablo, except you have full control of your character.
Also the ONLY thing that's really important that the game doesn't outright tell you is that if you have over half your equip weight equipped, it slows you down. Almost everything else is told to you in the game (really the only thing I can think of that you need the manual for is the button you press to zoom while arching and how to read the status screen)

Malicious:
What kind of a multiplayer game doesn't let you play with other people -_- .

It does let you play with other people. Yahtzee barely played the game.

When you are in body form you can summon other players to help you. (up to two others) And other players can invade to try to kill you. When you are in soul form you can choose to offer to help others or choose to try to invade others. (You don't get the "stones" required to do so right away)

No one should base whether or not to buy a game on Yahtzee's "reviews". They are funny though which is why I come here, to laugh, not get his opinion on games.

Ben, thank you for properly airing every frustration I've had with this game. And yet, I have a deep admiration for the cheapness, and pure assholery that DS offers. I find the comments on here utterly amusing; as most of them are knocking the game off as something horrendous, when it's just a really... really... really hard game. It's a very well-thought out RPG, with sections that require you to do a little thing called: think.

There's little-to-no room for wanton hack-n-slashery here. Think, prepare, and die. And die again. And die again. And then succeed.

"...Death isn't the handicap it used to be."
While incredibly hilarious, did you ever watch the show Red Dwarf, Mr.Croshaw?

Lullabye:
...Since when did Yahtzee become a pussy? All I've heard every other review was how games are too easy, now comes along a game with medium difficulty and all he can do is describe how impossible and unfair the game is. I thought he was better than this.
I mean, if describing getting your ass kicked in a game constitutes as a review then I could have been a famous game reviewer by now too.
As for the Demon Souls portion, I own it, I've played it, I've beat it. The hardest part in this entire game, is the army of dead babies. I have yet to beat it, and since I'm on my second run through they are even harder....It's a good thing Yahtzee didn't beat the game, otherwise he might have found the "hard" mode that is the real Demon>'s< Souls. As a final issue, I cannot believe Yahtzee got so many facts wrong in this review. The turd monster(the first one) is not a "suposed to lose" battle. I've beat it.

He was referring to the Vanguard from the tutorial, which is near impossible to beat on the VERY FIRST EVER PLAYTHROUGH.

And for the love of crap: HE'S A SATIRIST. Stop. Taking. Him. SERIOUSLY. -facepalm x2-

Yahtzee - while I normally enjoy your reviews -especially the biting sarcasm - in this instance I have one thing to say.

Harden the **** up. It's not that hard - you just have to approach it tactically. Oh and - dodge does work (if you time it right) - but roll is better.

Echoes my experiences with demon's souls perfectly :)

Verrenxnon:
The 'supposed to lose fight' is an arbitrary, lackluster trope in the context of a videogame; removing choice from a medium defined by it reduces the medium.

I'm going to disagree with that; I actually like hopeless boss fights, as long as they're pulled off right. The purpose of a hopeless boss fight is to either show you how impotent you are or how strong the enemy is, or both. For example, Bowser wiping the floor with you at the start of Paper Mario demonstrates that thanks to the Star Rod, he is too strong for you to defeat until you rescue the Star Spirits. Saturos and Menardi destroying you in Golden Sun serves to show that you're a wimp at that time and sets them up as the most powerful villains of the game. These could be rendered in cut scenes, but it drills home the point better if it's in an actual battle.

Of course, like with many things in video games, it depends on how it's carried off. A good hopeless boss fight makes you want to keep going so that you will eventually be able to actually beat the boss in a rematch later. A bad one just comes across as contrived and annoying.

waggonforce:
I feel bad for Yahtzee and all the people he just convinced to not play this game. It is now one of my favorite games of all time, not just because of the ZOMG HARD hype, but because it was legitimately challenging and very little was actually unfair.

Yeah, it may take more time to beat the first couple levels of this game than it would to fall asleep through the entirety of MW2, but you'll really get something out of it. Go ahead and say it's "too hard," you're the only one missing out, because I love this game. Kudos to anyone who stuck with it.

That's the one thing about this review that really disappoints me. It furthers the status quo of games being overproduced and just hard enough but really not actually very hard, especially because the same game has been made like a million times, and people already know how to play ie: MW2. I hate first person shooters, mostly because the majority of them make me motion sick, but also because every other game is a FPS and the game-play is always exactly the same.

Demon's Souls devs were brave enough to actually do something different, and they did it damn well. It deserves far more praise than most games on the market.

not very informative about the game imo.

Verrenxnon:
The 'supposed to lose fight' is an arbitrary, lackluster trope in the context of a videogame; removing choice from a medium defined by it reduces the medium.

I disagree, solely on the basis that it can be used, quite effectively mind you, to show that the enemy you're up against is incredibly strong. It's sort of a taste of what's to come in Demon's Souls. It's in the same sense that the game is telling you:
"If you want to live, you may want to brush up on the mechanics, boyo."

But then again, being able to topple enemies twice as strong as the Dragon from the tutorial, is one of the greatest sensations in any game.

ColdStorage:

Multi-Kill:

What,it's not my fault your annie and cant take getting hit by:A SMOOTH CRIMINAL!

I'd like to retract my previous statement with regards to you being a troll and state your just a bit rubbish.

Well than sir, my response is this, how did me saying that Most of Yahtzee's audience lives in the states make me a troll? A bit off maybe, and lacking in accuracy sure, but it's not like I called the guy I called him an ethnic slur or said he was stupid. It's certainly not troll material, like all these threads in the religion and politics forum that bash religion quite a bit, yet stil somehow manage to keep on going.

To your statement that I'm rubbish, I say, I'm not just rubbish, I'm just a bit:"CHAMONE!" *Spins around at a surprisngly high RPM rate, stops, and grabbs croch*

chrisassassin:
that was brilliant

Whooa yahtzee pwned with this one. I was truly crying during this ep :D good stuff man good stuff. Some of the recent eps werent as funny but this one was from you hearth i could hear it :D

Lord_Seth:

Verrenxnon:
The 'supposed to lose fight' is an arbitrary, lackluster trope in the context of a videogame; removing choice from a medium defined by it reduces the medium.

I'm going to disagree with that; I actually like hopeless boss fights, as long as they're pulled off right. The purpose of a hopeless boss fight is to either show you how impotent you are or how strong the enemy is, or both. For example, Bowser wiping the floor with you at the start of Paper Mario demonstrates that thanks to the Star Rod, he is too strong for you to defeat until you rescue the Star Spirits. Saturos and Menardi destroying you in Golden Sun serves to show that you're a wimp at that time and sets them up as the most powerful villains of the game. These could be rendered in cut scenes, but it drills home the point better if it's in an actual battle.

Of course, like with many things in video games, it depends on how it's carried off. A good hopeless boss fight makes you want to keep going so that you will eventually be able to actually beat the boss in a rematch later. A bad one just comes across as contrived and annoying.

Hear hear. Though, I have to say that for the most part, I just stick to arrows and distance to remove the more obnoxious enemies (Mind Flayers!). Demon's Souls has simply taught me to learn more "indirect" approaches to battles. And my first two fights with invading players? Holy crap. I was about to crap myself when I saw the giant titling appear: "A Black Phantom Has Invaded Your World". Truly a terrifying experience. Very gratifying when I won, too. That's the mark of a damn good game. That feeling of satisfaction.

Quick thought, shouldn't it be Demons' Souls?

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