Zero Punctuation: Demon's Souls

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Let's play spot the subtle Red Dwarf reference...

Wtf, the sections you played weren't even the hard ones. Those were the piss easy ones. I got through your sections without dying a single time and without a strategy guide.

Not trying to prove superiority or anything...but seriously...that's like not figuring out that you are supposed to shoot portals in Portal.

Though, I totally agree with the ''Demon's Souls'' part about the 's. In fact, I made a rant about this a few days ago. So I am just calling it Demon Souls from now on.

It is sort of sad seeing everyone saying that they won't even try such a excellent game because of this. It is challenging in the best way possible. It takes a certain kind of masterpiece in design to make a game challenging and punishing without making it feel like the game cheated you.

P.S. There ARE checkpoints, they are just related to the environment. Like...for example...in the Boletarian palace, about half way through you can open a gate that gives you a shortcut that takes you from the beginning to the half way point.

Am i the only one who played this game who picked up on the fact that Yahtzee never figured out how to use online support? If you're having a brutally hard time at running through a level then you can bring in 2 other players in ghost form to back you up.

Of course you have to be in body form to use them so... that might be the problem. Then there's the joy of having a Black phantom (other player) jump into your level and try to kill you... All the more satisfying if you have a team with you and you tear him to shreds.

Yahtzee also had the choice of 4 other worlds to jump into at that point so if he was having a hard time getting to the Tower Knight... he should've gone exploring elsewhere.

Demon's Souls reminds me of the Monster Hunter franchise in that you CAN play solo but it's not easy. I managed to run a wizard through the game and only needed to be backed up for the final fight against Allant.

Axikal:

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.

Axikal: I'm lucky enough to have played Paper Mario and Golden Sun to have seen and remembered these 'supposed to die' battles. Paper Mario worked, I felt, because I didn't have the time to build up and thus care about my character. Golden Sun was ok, but I would've prefered Final Fantasy VII's approach of finishing me in a cutscene. Why make me fight something I can't win? It's unnecessary programming and arbitrarily game-lengthening.

While 'supposed to die' battles drills into me my dire situation, I feel like a cutscene is more fair to the player. A 'supposed to die' fight works, but it renders the players' work fruitless. I'd much rather see a cutscene where my epic character falters. There'd be no excuse; I wasn't controling them. The 'supposed to die' fights that really ruffle my feathers are when your opponent summons hitherto unknown powers and wastes you. Final Fantasy IX's fight with Belatrix is a perfect example.

Lord Seth: A gratifying victory against a seemingly impossible foe? Excellent. The sensation of APPARENT impending doom spiced up the fight and rendered it satisfying. What if a game did that to your wonderful character; made your opponent seem just on the cusp of surmountability when they abruptly pulled the plug and mopped the floor with your face? Is it worth all the excitement and suspense if it's ultimately worthless?

Azaraxzealot:
man, console exclusives always get more praise than they deserve... Halo was good, but not amazing, and Uncharted 2 was okay, but not superb, and this game is just not half as good as RPGs that have come before. I say Japanese-made RPGs have a long way to catch up as Pokemon has already set the bar so high that they may never achieve it (i think that may be the nostalgia talking though). Fun is ultimately what games were meant to be, and so far, Japan's game industries have made (more than 80%) games that i find more hand-gnawingly insane than fun or even playable.

I'm sorry if I come off as a jerk, but the Pokemon series was a bland and boring experience that demanded that the player had to grind their ass off. I don't appreciate it when games force you to battle through endless amounts of generic battles rather than setting up the game so that someone who isn't spending three hours searching bushes is punished for not doing so, and I didn't appreciate it when I was a youngin' taking the fad with full on pride.

I understand that the point of Pokemon is collecting as many cute animals and badges you can, but if that is what set the bar, then you can thank the franchise for all the mindless hording of random nonsense that permeates games today, such as the flags in Assassin's creed.

on another note, the cute facade of the Pokemon was just a cover for something truly evil, the corporate rape for money. Am I the only one that thinks that paying full price for a game for half its content is bullshit? The games always came out in pairs, each containing half of the full monster roster, but that's it. The areas were the same, events remained the same, encounters remained the same, all except the fricken monsters. I personally never gave in to that ridiculousness, but its mind-boggling that a majority of other people have. Pokemon's only contribution to gaming as a whole is that it introduced it to a wide audience, but tagged along with that would be the market's decline into squeezing every last penny from the consumers until their bank account is in the red.

aside from that, I agree with you on your opinion's of the games you mentioned, but not on your view's of console specific games as a whole. Aside from multi-platform games, console specific games are what really differentiate the consoles. I agree that Halo is praised for more than its worth and that Uncharted is also, but those are the games that people are looking at when considering to buy a console, not the Modern Warfare's of the world, because that's like potential assholes, available everywhere. Games should, and usually are, judged by their merit, even if there is a little ignorance sprinkled in the assessment. So yes Halo was a mediocre game that was inflated because of its social popularity as is Uncharted's tendency to look really pretty, but they are both competent games, something that im finding very taxing when on the search for my next gaming endeavor.

Dead Rising was awesome for the Xbox as was Demon's Souls was for the playstaion, and the games that find themselves in between such as Brutal Legend are just dandy as well.

rdrouyn:

yzzlthtz:

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.

It is? I can think of so may things that might be "arbitrary lackluster tropes," but "have to lose fights" as part of a tutorial, especially a fight that is actually possible to win, doesn't come to mind. Even if it is as you say, Demon's Souls does it pretty damn well.

Everyone on here who is criticizing demon's souls without actually playing it: why do you waste your life blubbering on pretending to know everything about video games? We all like what we like.

Demon's Souls is a good game. I've spent over 100 hours playing, have beat it like 8 times, have killed almost 200 invaders, and have had a damn fun time with it.

So then all these kids come around to stand behind Yahtzee's sarcastic bantering to throw rocks at the monumental achievement that is Demon's Souls and it looks just like you'd expect to anyone who has actually delved into it : children boasting about throwing rocks at a mountain.

Yeah I love how all the tools come out of the shed to gang up on a game they never played just because Yahtzee didn't like it enough to play it more than an hour. I guess these people never play a JRPG or a Mario game because daddy Yahtzee doesn't let them. Its sad to not have any taste of your own.

Note, kind people, that I've never directly attacked Demon's Souls in my theorizing. I'm attacking the 'supposed to die' cliche'. While I can't speak to it being in the game or not, I suggest that the trope is flimsey like the overused slow-motion effect.

Having not played the game, I have no particular feelings about it. It looks cool enough, and I'm sure if I had a PS3, I'd certainly give it a go. I'm glad you all had fun playing it, but my argument is past Demon's Souls; it concerns a select game tendency used within the game. If you find that incendiary, that's your concern. I'd argue that we need to be more objective about our gaming experiences and less "Oh! Shiny!" than most praise posts tend to be.

Photon987:
[quote="Verrenxnon" post="6.161717.4142443"]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.

It is not arbitrary in this case. The boss fight is still part of the tutorial, and getting yourself killed by the Vanguard lets the game address both what happens when you die and the Nexus/what it has to offer you. If anything, it is actually a rather novel way of presenting a tutorial.quote]

This is a well-reasoned argument which I feel stands on its own two feet. Thank you.

Admittedly, I hate the 'supposed to die' mechanic so much that I'd rather see another way for the game to express the same information.

I don't like being cast into a battle I cannot win; it's a waste of my time.

Verrenxnon:

This is a well-reasoned argument which I feel stands on its own two feet. Thank you.

Admittedly, I hate the 'supposed to die' mechanic so much that I'd rather see another way for the game to express the same information.

I don't like being cast into a battle I cannot win; it's a waste of my time.

Another thing about the Tutorial boss fight is that while it is supposed to kill you, it is more than possible to actually beat it. But then you just get owned by a cutscene shortly after. XD

VioletZer0:

[...]Though, I totally agree with the ''Demon's Souls'' part about the 's. In fact, I made a rant about this a few days ago. So I am just calling it Demon Souls from now on.

Loved the rest of your comments :) However the name is appropriate because the big demon is collecting souls, the boss demons are doing the same, and the title references the Demon's Souls (which you are trying to steal, collect and trade for better items and equipment! [and ostensibly to increase enough in power to take the Old One behind the shed]) - sooooo :P correct context :)

Another entertaining review

Awesome review. I prefer games that are hard in a challenging way, not hard in a way as though it has been made by the devil of gaming.

I thought he would be doing Silent Hill Homecoming this week. Perhaps next week. Or perhaps he don't want to make another whiny "not as good as it used to be" review.

WaderiAAA:
Awesome review. I prefer games that are hard in a challenging way, not hard in a way as though it has been made by the devil of gaming.

I thought he would be doing Silent Hill Homecoming this week. Perhaps next week. Or perhaps he don't want to make another whiny "not as good as it used to be" review.

1. This IS that kind of hard.

2. He already did that. Are you referring to Shattered memories?

Best ZP in awhile

1. The first kind you mean? I think Yatzee would disagree. Whatever, I don't plan to get it anyways.

2. Yes, I am

benjtfell:
A dodge move that can't dodge shit, wow what a truly awrsome game Demon Ssssoul is.

By the sounds of things, Yahtzee was playing a rather armored fellow; big and brawny types in the game start off with heavy armor. I don't think he noticed (by the sounds of it) that weight of his equipment had an effect on mobility. The rouges and mages of the game that have little to no armor can hop back considerablly far, roll great distances (well... respectable I suppose). Whereas that knight in full plate? He's got a few hundred pounds of steel weighing him down, and the game reflects that.

Odd title aside, Demons Souls is a solid game. Clearly not for the timid. Esspecially the timid that have an internet weekly video. :)

WaderiAAA:
1. The first kind you mean? I think Yatzee would disagree. Whatever, I don't plan to get it anyways.

That's a shame...

Whose word would you take for it? An internet celebrity who only went through 1.9 of the stages(discounting the tutorial) or take the word of someone who has played through the game?

WaderiAAA:
Awesome review. I prefer games that are hard in a challenging way, not hard in a way as though it has been made by the devil of gaming.

I thought he would be doing Silent Hill Homecoming this week. Perhaps next week. Or perhaps he don't want to make another whiny "not as good as it used to be" review.

Firia:

benjtfell:
A dodge move that can't dodge shit, wow what a truly awrsome game Demon Ssssoul is.

By the sounds of things, Yahtzee was playing a rather armored fellow; big and brawny types in the game start off with heavy armor. I don't think he noticed (by the sounds of it) that weight of his equipment had an effect on mobility. The rouges and mages of the game that have little to no armor can hop back considerablly far, roll great distances (well... respectable I suppose). Whereas that knight in full plate? He's got a few hundred pounds of steel weighing him down, and the game reflects that.

Odd title aside, Demons Souls is a solid game. Clearly not for the timid. Esspecially the timid that have an internet weekly video. :)

Here's the thing; the game is challenging, and not at all impossible. In all the instances where Yahtzee said he died, there was a way to see that it was coming. The dragons breath? There's a PILE of charred bodies on the bridge that you're supposed to bolt across! When I got to that point, I saw the bodies, and knew something was afoot. I looked around, and saw a red dragon flying around aimlessly in the distance. I started to cross, and cought his attention. When I saw his flight path take him on course with where I was going, I retreated, and waited for the dragon to pass before darting to safety.

Yatzee also mentioned the psuedo-online play. It's not traditional online play, and there are other ways to regain your lost life than to destroy a demon on your own.

Anyway, I sense that Yahtzee gave up on the game cause it kicked his ass. If he'd have stuck to it, he'd have learned to pay more attention, learn from his mistakes, and man up. ;) As it is, he doesn't like it, and has told the world it's not as good as the world thinks. Shame, that. It's a good thing the world told HIM that it was good enough to review, and not vice versa (World being whatever collective told/made him review the game).

hahahaha... sussex. So true

Helba1984:

Thank you! I'm glad I'm not the only one shaking their head watching this interview.

I had to make an account just for this thread, I cannot believe how many stupid comments I've read on this particular thread.

DEMON'S SOULS IS NOT A HARD GAME FOR THE SAKE OF BEING HARD, IT'S MEANT TO BE REWARDING, IT'S ONE OF THE MOST FUN EXPERIENCES THIS YEAR FOR THE PS3.

I consider myself to suck pretty hardcore at games and even I beat it, I'm actually on NG+++ and the game gets "harder" each time you beat it and I still find it loads of fun.

I've read some posts about some guys that haven't even played the game and are saying stupid things about the gameplay mechanics like "lawl you don't have to kill the boss to revive, you just have to get your bloodstain" THAT IS WRONG, YOU DO NOT REVIVE, YOU ONLY REVIVE BY USING A STONE OF EPHEMERAL EYES (Ingame item) or killing a Boss.

I could go wiki on your rear ends but I won't, besides even the damn designers recommend using the official wiki for the game, so even loving stupid people can beat it without much trouble.

I've never raged so much at a thread before, jesus you guys, play the damn game before saying stuff this stupid.

yourbeliefs:
I'm a little worried about the whole "No Pausing" thing.. I understand not allowing pausing when menu navigating to keep the difficulty up, but odds are I'm going to be interrupted at least a few times by other, more pressing matters while playing this. Are there ANY parts in this game where you can take a breather or something, or do I just have to hope that I'm never interrupted anywhere outside the beginning of a level?

The game rewards things like being prepared. If you back up a few steps in a sword fight, and try to sift through your inventory for that healing herb, you're going to get run through. If however you prepare the herb before hand on the quick menu (very handy), you'll do just fine. Just get some distance before eating the, uh, grass.

Be prepared, be aware, learn from your mistakes, and learn from mistakes of others (blood splotches).

Firia:

yourbeliefs:
I'm a little worried about the whole "No Pausing" thing.. I understand not allowing pausing when menu navigating to keep the difficulty up, but odds are I'm going to be interrupted at least a few times by other, more pressing matters while playing this. Are there ANY parts in this game where you can take a breather or something, or do I just have to hope that I'm never interrupted anywhere outside the beginning of a level?

The game rewards things like being prepared. If you back up a few steps in a sword fight, and try to sift through your inventory for that healing herb, you're going to get run through. If however you prepare the herb before hand on the quick menu (very handy), you'll do just fine. Just get some distance before eating the, uh, grass.

Be prepared, be aware, learn from your mistakes, and learn from mistakes of others (blood splotches).

Actually, enemies don't respawn during the levels (Until you die that is) so if you clear out an area anywhere in the level you can just let your character sit there and not worry about being killed, unless you get invaded by a Black Phantom which is why I'd recommend always playing in soul form unless there's the need to be in body form

I am not going to argue against Yahtzee. He is entitled to his opinion.

However, the conclusions drawn from this in the comments are infuriating. Of all games to get bad press, I wish no such fate on Demon's Souls. Especially not Demon's Souls because I want this to be a model for future gaming. Hopefully so that we get challenge back in our games.

I'm curious what type his new microphone is, it looks like it's similar to the original one. $2.5 again?

Firia:

Helba1984:

Thank you! I'm glad I'm not the only one shaking their head watching this interview.

Lol. I appreciate Yahtzee for his comedy, this one was pretty funny, but I imagine I'd have been laughing a lot more if this were merely satire and not something I know people are going to use as a justification to pass on a supremely awesome game.

I didn't even get into the fact that after you press circle when that skeleton's about to Riposte, you can do a COUNTER-Riposte, which the game just calls a special counterattack. If you're not trying to do that, you're better off with circle + analog direction to just roll out of harm's way.

Or the Heroes.

Or the Merchants.

Or the fact that the dragon can be KILLED.

Additionally as others have mentioned, the game saves constantly, there are items EASILY found that make it harder for enemies to detect you, block poison/wounds, and boost soul form to 75% HP, ALL IN THE FIRST SECTION OF THE FIRST LEVEL.

This reminds me so much of the SSBB review where the actual review is hilarious and Yahtzee gets bashed by infinite fanboys. I also love how now suddenly so many people are going, 'OMG THE GAME ISN'T THAT HARD! COME ONNNNNN' Which frankly is quite a bit of bullshit.

The game is hard. Yes, even early on the game is difficult.

It isn't so infuriatingly frustrating you can't beat each section after a few deaths, but that doesn't mean it's just a step above the average game until (insert arbitrary challenging point here). What I see a lot of here is a bunch of hindsight talk, where you've already reached a level where the game feels comfortable to you. In fact I have the perfect comparison, this is what the people who play Touhou on any difficult above Normal tell all the other SHUMP players. Just because playing on Lunatic is a whole new level of hurt for me, I still recognize that lower levels are very difficult for many.

Artowis:
This reminds me so much of the SSBB review where the actual review is hilarious and Yahtzee gets bashed by infinite fanboys. I also love how now suddenly so many people are going, 'OMG THE GAME ISN'T THAT HARD! COME ONNNNNN' Which frankly is quite a bit of bullshit.

We are less insulting Yahtzee for his freaking opinion and more insulting the people being swayed away from such an excellent game.

And no, the early game isn't hard...at all. And this is coming from someone who consistently gets less than 1.00 K/DR in Modern Warfare 2.

Artowis:
This reminds me so much of the SSBB review where the actual review is hilarious and Yahtzee gets bashed by infinite fanboys. I also love how now suddenly so many people are going, 'OMG THE GAME ISN'T THAT HARD! COME ONNNNNN' Which frankly is quite a bit of bullshit.

The game is hard. Yes, even early on the game is difficult.

It isn't so infuriatingly frustrating you can't beat each section after a few deaths, but that doesn't mean it's just a step above the average game until (insert arbitrary challenging point here). What I see a lot of here is a bunch of hindsight talk, where you've already reached a level where the game feels comfortable to you. In fact I have the perfect comparison, this is what the people who play Touhou on any difficult above Normal tell all the other SHUMP players. Just because playing on Lunatic is a whole new level of hurt for me, I still recognize that lower levels are very difficult for many.

I agree with your difficulty assessment as to new players to the genre, but Yahtzee is a professional gamer - and the reason I and others are critical of his review is that most of his mistakes and gripes are because:

A: he didn't bother to explore (checkpoints, no mention of: Items, Nexus shortcuts, merchants, upgrades, etc.)

B: didn't "mind his surroundings" (charred bodies, a dragon that flies behind the gatehouse you just exited out the back of, and a loud roar that gets closer aren't enough to tell you there's danger ahead?)

C: He misunderstood controls and game mechanics

If not for that I think he might actually have enjoyed it.

lockeslylcrit:
Demon's Souls? As in one demon with many souls? Or did they mean many demons with one soul? Methinks they placed the apostrophe in the wrong place.

To quote Linkara... "Because poor literacy is cool."

You mean "bekawse Pore lytarecie is kewl."

Sewblon:

lockeslylcrit:
Demon's Souls? As in one demon with many souls? Or did they mean many demons with one soul? Methinks they placed the apostrophe in the wrong place.

To quote Linkara... "Because poor literacy is cool."

You mean "bekawse Pore lytarecie is kewl."

As-in the Biggest baddest demon of the game, called the Old One, who gathers Souls from living beings to increase his power.

Literally, the Demon's Souls.

BaldursBananaSoap:

Donttazemehbro:
yeah Demon'ssssssss souls doesn't deserve the rating it got.

Yes it does, I'm sick of these below 100 post tards who think anything Yahtzee says is true without even playing the damn game. Having an Xbox avatar doesn't do much for your credibility either

All of the cool kids have over 1000 posts as it makes everything they say far more credible, HURRRRRRRRR.

Helba1984:

Yahtzee is a professional gamer - and the reason I and others are critical of his review is that most of his mistakes and gripes are because:

A: he didn't bother to explore (checkpoints, no mention of: Items, Nexus shortcuts, merchants, upgrades, etc.)

B: didn't "mind his surroundings" (charred bodies, a dragon that flies behind the gatehouse you just exited out the back of, and a loud roar that gets closer aren't enough to tell you there's danger ahead?)

C: He misunderstood controls and game mechanics

If not for that I think he might actually have enjoyed it.

Couldn't have said it better myself. Maybe this just isn't the game you can play in a week, write a review about and animate it (don't underestimate how much work that takes!).

Demon's Souls takes patience above all else. Yes, this game is hard for the average gamer, but a more skilled player will only call this hard if he is reckless. The game is not very tolerant of mistakes, but that's why it is so very satisfying when you beat a boss.. even better, you'll frighten your balls off being faced off against one. Because of the punishment you do NOT want to die. This feeling is so strong that it makes it scary to die, which creates a mood that is very unique to this game.

This game is not for everyone, but it's brilliant in every way. It's the first game to beat Final Fantasy VII as my favourite game ever.

BTW: I was a bit disappointed with the first boss, because it wasn't as epic as I expected.. seems this is the only boss yahtzee saw.. if he had managed to get to Tower Knight (he was so close already!) he'd have at least experienced what makes this game so very great.

I don't know what everybody is complaining about. It seems like a great game... if you're a masochist that is.

Helba1984:

A: he didn't bother to explore (checkpoints, no mention of: Items, Nexus shortcuts, merchants, upgrades, etc.)

B: didn't "mind his surroundings" (charred bodies, a dragon that flies behind the gatehouse you just exited out the back of, and a loud roar that gets closer aren't enough to tell you there's danger ahead?)

C: He misunderstood controls and game mechanics

If not for that I think he might actually have enjoyed it.

If he doesn't like the game then he doesn't like the game. I'm sure everyone is cool with that.

I think what most people here are irritated with, myself included, is the mindless ZP fanbase that rears it's ignorant head every Wednesday.

Casual Shinji:

Helba1984:

A: he didn't bother to explore (checkpoints, no mention of: Items, Nexus shortcuts, merchants, upgrades, etc.)

B: didn't "mind his surroundings" (charred bodies, a dragon that flies behind the gatehouse you just exited out the back of, and a loud roar that gets closer aren't enough to tell you there's danger ahead?)

C: He misunderstood controls and game mechanics

If not for that I think he might actually have enjoyed it.

If he doesn't like the game then he doesn't like the game. I'm sure everyone is cool with that.

I think what most people here are irritated with, myself included, is the mindless ZP fanbase that rears it's ignorant head every Wednesday.

Well that's what I am sort of saying anyhow; I wish what I said above wasn't true, (and if it's not and it was all just for comedy's sake, good on yahtzee but most people are treating these like professional reviews) but having played the game and with an understanding of the mechanics, I not only feel sorry that he didn't have a better time, but moreso that the review treated in a serious sense rather than a comedic one is like someone who can't drive stick shift reviewing a race car's driving experience with no help and no manuals - it's not an accurate representation of the product.

He's of course entitled to his opinion but barring what I said above I think it would have been different. He's usually a pretty good judge of games.

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