Demon's Souls

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My problem with this review is that now, Yahtzee just seems like a jerk who will never be pleased. If you go back to the Bioshock review you will see that he was upset with the instant respawn chambers. He clearly thinks that you need to space out your check points further than that to make a good challenging game. He has also complained about the lack of difficulty in a number of reviews. But, if you put check points 30 minutes apart the entire game becomes crap?

So, unless a game puts its check points at the exact spot where Yahtzee feels challenged, but not overly frustrated, then the game gets a negative review? That is a bit much even for Yahtzee. You just come off looking like an inconsistent whiner now. It is a real shame too. I view Yahtzee as a positive force in the game industry. Helping to make games for gamers again. After this review I think he took a step backwards. I don't understand how Yahtzee can have such disdain for casual gamers but claim that Demon's Souls was unplayable.

I am not angry at Yahtzee for not liking the game or for not beating the game. I am just well, disappointed. Go back to his review on Explosion Man. There is a part where is gets upset at the game offering to allow him to skip a level and he responds "You will not beat me." That was the gamer I thought Yahtzee was. The gamer that rises to a challenge and gets a great sense of accomplishment from beating that challenge. He is just not the person I thought he was and thats a little disheartening.

Disaster Button:
And now I get to email Michael Atkinson the entire Offended page from Encyclopedia Dramatica, good times.

Well done. I can't see him being able to make it through, though, despite it's alleged health benefits.

It's true, though, the controller comment. My parents stop playing video games after the N64 and their hands have trouble with anything after that system(despite the N64 controller being one big pile of twisted).

Hell, sometimes my father has to look at the remote control.

I enjoyed the article, and completely agree with the points about how far away the checkpoints are. I also sent Atkinson an eloquently written and rather polite email asking him to extract whatever large object is obstructing his rectal passage.

...I can send mail to Michael Atkinson?! OH. MY. GOD. This will be AWESOME!
I do wonder if he's technologically savvy enough to actually check his mail, though...

I already emailed him. A good informative email with references and everything. just wish i had saved it.

remember boys and girls. be polite, or sarcastic. not rude

This is a game that requires patience and time to push through. Unfortunately, Mr. Croshaw has neither. I personally think it is outright silly to think that anyone would recommend such a title for him considering that he has a week to play through a game, write the review, make the little tile cards, etc. But don't get the idea that requiring patience = bad. It is still an extremely rewarding title with a deep combat system and excellent character development(By that I mean your character, not NPCs.)

I can't help but notice that there ARE checkpoints...you just have to activate them. In the very first level, there is a gate that you can open that shortens travel time if you die. It is very nice to have, especially in the really really ridiculously long levels.Though, there ARE levels without these checkpoints, but they are extremely short and take literally less than 5 minutes to beat. So it wouldn't matter anyway.

There are plenty of things to complain about in this game. Like how none of the NPCs you talk to are convincing in the slightest, or the fact that they threw an elite enemy that you are supposed to fight at level 50 or so into the middle of the beginner's level(AKA the infamous red eye knight.) Or maybe how other players can literally invade your game in the middle of a level you are trying to beat and then kill you. And especially how the AI likes to jump off buildings(Literally). But nope, the supposed lack of checkpoints gets to him the most. I just find that sort of silly, seeing as...you know...there ARE checkpoints beyond archstones.

Well, to all readers who don't have to post a weekly internet video and then start playing a new game, be sure to give it a try. It is really fun and really rewarding.

I got one question. What is Trasure Island Dizzy?

Meangunns:
To the people who keep saying that a game being overly hard is an incentive to work to get better at it, you seem to be forgetting something. IT'S A GAME!!!! If you have so much time on your hands that you work at playing games that makes you a loser at life.

If being a winner at life meant having no free time to play such an excellent title, then I'd rather be a loser at life.

Anarex:
My problem with this review is that now, Yahtzee just seems like a jerk who will never be pleased. If you go back to the Bioshock review you will see that he was upset with the instant respawn chambers. He clearly thinks that you need to space out your check points out further than that to make a good challenging game. He has also complained about the lack of difficulty in a number of reviews. But, if you put check points 30 minutes apart the entire game becomes crap?

So, unless a game puts its check points at the exact spot where Yahtzee feels challenged, but not overly frustrated, then the game gets a negative review? That is a bit much even for Yahtzee. You just come off looking like an inconsistent whiner now. It is a real shame too. I view Yahtzee as a positive force in the game industry. Helping to make games for gamers again. After this review I think he took a step backwards. I don't understand how Yahtzee can have such disdain for casual gamers but claim that Demon's Souls was unplayable.

I am not angry at Yahtzee for not liking the game or for not beating the game. I am just well, disappointed. Go back to his review on Explosion Man. There is a part where is gets upset at the game offering to allow him to skip a level and he responds "You will not beat me." That was the gamer I thought Yahtzee was. The gamer that rises to a challenge and gets a great sense of accomplishment from beating that challenge. He is just not the person I thought he was and thats a little disheartening.

He's not complaining about the game he just wishes that there was a better dificulty system in which players can chose more percisly there skill level. And in Bioshocks case they changed that with later DLC where you can turn of vita chambers completly so people can play more set to there skill level

Do you guys realise that yahtzee has just posted Michael atkinsons email address and that at least a million people will read it. Lets spam the shit out of him.

LordWalter:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: Demon's Souls

The problem with Demon's Souls isn't that it's hard, but that it purposefully wastes player's time.

Read Full Article

ahaha, I am, in fact, quite proud of my letter:

Subject: Legal Question on Acquiring Public-Affairs Permit

Greetings Mr. Atkinson,

I was wondering what the legal process would be for reserving a large area on public property in order to hold a community event. This year, the C.F.L.D.C will be hosting a rousing book-burning on the lawn of city hall. Coincidentally we will also be going through several works of world literature and drawing giant black Xes on anything that might make someone feel uncomfortable. We will then proceed to censor all other great works of cinema and video gaming and make sure that all incidences of violence, sex, or creativity are replaced by unicorns and rainbows. After all, how would children know about violence if we never TELL them? This is why times in the past pre-videogaming were so idyllic (Ah, to live again in the halcyon days of the dark ages, world wars, and near-nuclear annihilation!) This has clearly been shown to drastically reduce all manner of violent crime and deviant behavior in society (please ignore all those fancy "Scientists" and "Statisticians" in their ivory towers whose libertine "Scientific Methods" of study have found no such link whatsoever and claimed the media is merely scapegoating as a way of avoiding any analysis of serious sociological issues.) I applaud your continued resistance against public opinion and the concept of free speech. It is good to see that someone at least cares about the messages we pass on to our children

Sincerely,

- Walter A. Silveira
Chairman of the C.F.L.D.C (Censorship and Fascist Luddite Douchebags Committee)

P.S. Don't you just LOVE the game Yahtzee?

Mine isn't quite has clever has that:

Dear Mr Atkinson

FUCK YOU.

Easy, Medium, Hard levels gets the job done.

I like the way MMOs do things though. There, one size HAS to fit all. You can do basic questing which caters to the C-grade gamers, and offers you most of the games content, and is for the most part an entertaining experience (if a little annoying if you just want to power through to the level cap).

But there are side games you can to do that boost the challenge. You can solo a certain wandering boss mob maybe, or there is there pvp you can do, or maybe run instances at lower levels than usual (hopefully without being an impediment to your party). Or craft a rare piece of gear, or be the richest person in your guild, or level the fastest, or whatever.

In other words, set the basic game at easy, and then have medium, hard, and very hard optional side games, that reward you with some gear or some trinket you can use to show off your leetness.

This game didn't even have a difficulty slider?

Sounds dumb.

AvauntVanguard:
This game didn't even have a difficulty slider?

Sounds dumb.

Well, there is the Tendency system. That either allows you to weaken enemies and strengthen yourself(White tendency) or strengthen enemies and weaken yourself, but you get more loot(Black tendency).

The idea that, if given the option, Yahtzee would play a game on easy just makes it worse for me.

Does anyone have the street address for Atkinson's office? E-mail is all fine and dandy but someone made a good point earlier that e-mails can be deleted.

I'm not an Aussie citizen so I don't know how well he'd listen to a letter from me, but I'd like to at least try and help my Australian brothers

I laughed when I saw the email address at the end of the article. I think I might send him an email.

As for Demon's Souls, that is one game I will not be playing or buying. I'd rather not waste my time doing the same thing 20 times, regardless of checkpoints.

I actually didn't mind your review. I've personally grown accustom to no checkpoints in games. I just stopped dieing lol. As it stands i have 1 - 2 deaths in Demons Souls. But none the less not every one is as awesome as i am at the game lol.

It's a good thing you have this article space so you can correct all the errors in your reviews :)

I've yet to buy Demon's Soul, but it sounds interesting to me. I don't think a difficulty setting or checkpoint overdoses are necessarily the way to go for every single game. I think some games wouldn't be what they are unless they forced you to acquire a certain level of skill.

Good point Yahtzee. Nice to see you're writing articles explaining your opinions.

The PAL version isn't out 'til February, I'm afraid. Plus it's a Wii game, so I'd need to get past region encoding if I tried to import it. I still have my Freeloader disk I used to play Smash Bros Brawl with, but Nintendo (being evil and everything) put out an update to make it stop working. In the meantime, worst comes to the worst, an unusually large number of development ninnies missed the 2009 Christmas deadlines, so quarter 1 of 2010 has a surprisingly large number of big releases which I'm sure will keep me ticking over 'til Feb.

Return the FU to Nintendo and use bannerbomb to install the homebrew channel. Then you can use Gecko for Region Free or just mod the system menu to disable region locks. Not everyone who installs the HBC has to use it for illegal means.

Its the same with PSP CFW, or even P.C's in general. The means for illegality is there, it does not mean that's why people do/have done it. It is just a general assumption that if something allows you to either eat cake or murder puppies, everyone must be using it for puppy murder.

That last paragraph was ownage. Also:

Yahtzee:
Whoa, actually, hold the phone, I've just thought of a solution to that accessibility vs. challenge dilemma mentioned earlier. What if, like, at the start of the game, you could choose your level of competence? Say you could pick one option that would make enemies weaker and the player more powerful, and there'd be another option that made the enemies stronger and more numerous. And maybe there could be another setting in between for people who aren't sure where they fit. Man, that's a great idea. If only someone had thought of that before Demon's Souls came out.

Difficulty settings. Many games have them.

Still no mention of the fact that you thought dodging in this game was a step backwards, and not a roll to the side which it is? Even so, did you not think to step back twice. Once before you get hit and then when you're about to get hit straight after. Did you just fucking stand there after you dodged thinking you would somehow survive?

And that a pile of burning bodies was was an obvious sign of danger which would make a normal player raise their shield - which you obviously didn't. Plus there were huge "danger" signs right at the parts before you go outside to avoid the dragon flames.

I'm sorry but that last review was a pile of uninformed crap. Your reviews usually have a hint of truth behind the humour but that last one was the worst representation of Demon's Souls I've ever seen. Maybe next time don't review a game you can't play or don't have the time to play?

It's even funnier how you try to disguise it by pretending that the people pointing out your unresearched and poorly drawn out misinformitites are said by annoyed kids. You also try to disguise it by saying you didn't think it was hard but then your review clearly moaned because you got killed too many times since you weren't playing it properly? WTF?

Admit it, the game bent you over and fucking raped you hard. Next time you review a game that was designed to be difficult and challenging, don't moan that it's too difficult and challenging.

Russian Redneck:
That last paragraph was ownage. Also:

Yahtzee:
Whoa, actually, hold the phone, I've just thought of a solution to that accessibility vs. challenge dilemma mentioned earlier. What if, like, at the start of the game, you could choose your level of competence? Say you could pick one option that would make enemies weaker and the player more powerful, and there'd be another option that made the enemies stronger and more numerous. And maybe there could be another setting in between for people who aren't sure where they fit. Man, that's a great idea. If only someone had thought of that before Demon's Souls came out.

Difficulty settings. Many games have them.

You really didn't see the sarcasm there, did you?

Fearzone:
Easy, Medium, Hard levels gets the job done.

I like the way MMOs do things though...In other words, set the basic game at easy, and then have medium, hard, and very hard optional side games, that reward you with some gear or some trinket you can use to show off your leetness.

That is a good idea, though I think the various difficulties would be easier to implement. The "difficult side challenges" means that developers would have to make more content for their games. It would work for MMOs as quantity seems to be preferred over quality, though maybe not so much with single player games.

However I can think of games that go that route as well to increase their difficulty with side challenges while keeping the main game easy. "Final Fantasy 7" with the "weapon bosses" are one example.

@Yahtzee: I'll admit that watching your video on "Demon's Souls" (DS) was infuriating on my end, and I haven't even played the game. But I do like dungeon crawlers and I believe a game should be a challenge. Suggesting that DS have a difficulty options at the beginning of the game is something I like to see in games as well, though arguing that the game wastes a person's time by killing them frequently is not easy to agree with.

As you stated Yahtzee that you have a limited amount of time to play a game before posting their review so time is an important factor, and being a critic you would have to find something to...well, criticize. However the argument of a "game wasting" time seems absurd as any game is a waste of time, at least that is what all parents say to their kids. You said it yourself that MMOs like "Age of Conan" appear to distract you from washing the gimp or writing a novel--though I think that argument could be applied to any video game, or conventional games like "tag".

Criticizing a game because it is hard is also something difficult to believe as I think games should provide a challenge. Yes a game could be frustrating to the point that it may make you eat your fedora hat and then regret it when you head toward the toilet, but challenge is there to make the player learn how they work and overcome them. Some people here made some points that you could dodge better in the game with specified gear or realize the dragon on the bridge by the detail of charred bodies. It sounds like the clues were there in the game and, in time, would allow you to eventually overcome the challenges Yahtzee. However not picking up the clues to solve a challenge can make anything frustrating, as any student that overslept a lecture in an Algebra class on how to easily solve problems on the test next week could point out.

It's a good read, Yahtzee, though I still find points in the article and in the "Zero Punctuation" disagreeable on this end. Labeling a game as bad for wasting time seems silly as any game could be a waste of time (along with movies and reading entertainment books, though I wouldn't want those to go). Also criticizing a game for being difficult just makes you look...well, like you haven't tried learning what to do with those challenging scenarios.

Doctor Professor:
I think there's something major here - the difference between being hard, and wasting the player's time. This is actually something I've written about recently: Test Skills, Not Patience: Challenge, Punishment, and Learning

The way I see it, the fun hard part is 'challenge' and the time-wastey part is 'punishment.' They are distinct and where we get into trouble is when people just lump them together as 'difficulty.' Yahtzee's IWBTG example is a perfect illustration of high challenge with low punishment - fun - compared against Demon's Souls high challenge with high punishment - frustrating.

And as long as I'm plugging my own blog, I'll mention that I also wrote recently about the accessibility issue and the importance of having an "easy" mode: In Praise of Easy: Lowering the Barrier to Entry

OMG, someone talking about something other than the 404 or the Atkinson email bomb!

Well, if there's only one person who keeps standing between people and the games they'd love to play, I think there's a pretty simple solution: Dead men can't vote against something.

(To be serious, though, I don't think killing him off is the solution, you'll just get his retard supporters to blame games for his murder (because we all know that a copy of L4D2 can throw a Molotov into a person's house, right?); getting him out of office would do just fine.)

randomrob:
it's 1 second out of sync with the rest of the universe. perfect hiding place...tiny little pocket of time.

lol doctor who reference.

Yes I emailed that Politicion and here it is copy and pasted and already sent.

Please stopbeing so idiotic. I don't own any 18 games but if I wanted one and my tyranicle government forbid it I would be extremely outraged. You should be looking at the views of the PUBLIC THAT YOU ARE SERVING and not just your own opinion.

HAK TWOO!! ( That is the sound of me spitting on your face from THE ALMIGHTY COUNTRY OF IRELAND, were the government doesn't interfer with every ones personnal choice of entertainment)!!

LOL who else emailed him and please tell us what you said

I don't even live in Australia but now having his e-mail I feel almost obligated to write Atkinson and tell him what a shithead he is.

Anarex:
My problem with this review is that now, Yahtzee just seems like a jerk who will never be pleased. If you go back to the Bioshock review you will see that he was upset with the instant respawn chambers. He clearly thinks that you need to space out your check points out further than that to make a good challenging game. He has also complained about the lack of difficulty in a number of reviews. But, if you put check points 30 minutes apart the entire game becomes crap?

So, unless a game puts its check points at the exact spot where Yahtzee feels challenged, but not overly frustrated, then the game gets a negative review? That is a bit much even for Yahtzee. You just come off looking like an inconsistent whiner now. It is a real shame too. I view Yahtzee as a positive force in the game industry. Helping to make games for gamers again. After this review I think he took a step backwards. I don't understand how Yahtzee can have such disdain for casual gamers but claim that Demon's Souls was unplayable.

I am not angry at Yahtzee for not liking the game or for not beating the game. I am just well, disappointed. Go back to his review on Explosion Man. There is a part where is gets upset at the game offering to allow him to skip a level and he responds "You will not beat me." That was the gamer I thought Yahtzee was. The gamer that rises to a challenge and gets a great sense of accomplishment from beating that challenge. He is just not the person I thought he was and thats a little disheartening.

I agree hes being a bit schizophrenic with his point on respawning, but for Bioshock I'm sure he was complaining about the free respawns as they were so close together there was no real punishment for dying, it was more of an irritance than anything else and the game was pretty easy too so any replayed parts were a walk in the park. As for Demons Souls I guess it was just the gameplay was too hard to spread the checkpoints so far apart. I'm sure there have been numerous times while playing a game you've thrown down your controller in rage because the gameplay is silly and you won't like the thought of repeating the last half hour of your life again and again, and with a different game you've kept playing through the rage to beat the challenge. I know I have. Yet again Yahtzee is payed to complain about games, so whats a guy to do xD

Also Atkinson is a moron. If hes scared that 1% of the Australian gaming community are Austistic morons that think "wow I think im going to become a mushroom junkie and jump on peoples heads since a game told me to do it" then he shouldn't in any sort of power. If hes scared that someone will go on a n00b-bagging spree then he should have trust in the Australian police to stop a few psychotic plumbers :)

VioletZer0:

There are plenty of things to complain about in this game. Like how none of the NPCs you talk to are convincing in the slightest, or the fact that they threw an elite enemy that you are supposed to fight at level 50 or so into the middle of the beginner's level(AKA the infamous red eye knight.) Or maybe how other players can literally invade your game in the middle of a level you are trying to beat and then kill you. And especially how the AI likes to jump off buildings(Literally). But nope, the supposed lack of checkpoints gets to him the most. I just find that sort of silly, seeing as...you know...there ARE checkpoints beyond archstones.

Eh, I killed the red-eyed knight when I was level 30, spear and heavy shield helps there.
Player characters can only invade your world when you have your body and they are a spirit, they are essentially stealing your body for themselves. Oh, and you can summon players too, since the game warns you when someone invades (happened to me, guy ran off and summoned 2 friends to rape me). Plus, the character you are invading will be a higher level than you.

And, I've never seen the AI jumping over edges unless I tricked them to charge and rolled at the last second.

I'll admit this review did annoy me. I'll also admit I've beaten Ninja Gaiden 1 and 2, despite the supposed "camera issues" people had with it. I love playing Disgaea, and I do tend to have free time on my hands to invest in these games. I'm not some "low-life in his mother's basement" though as some said. I go to college full time, among other things, and still enjoy those games.

I never had an issue with Demon's Souls. To a person with maybe 5 hours to review the game, sure I could see why that might make it harder to enjoy, but you shouldn't let that affect your score of the game. As others have said, multiple people have had to deal with similar constraints, but praised Demon's Souls. Not once have I died in it and wanted to throw the controller into the TV or wall, instead it made me that much more determined to beat it.

The game does involve a level of paranoia and awareness. The dragon path in 1-2 clearly hints towards the fact that dragon breathes fire over it, with all the burning things and such. The dogs only really get you if you don't have a shield handy. Those enemies near the end can easily be dealt with.

And if you reaaally don't like the dragon, kill it. Might take an hour, but you can kill him/her, and once that dragon is dead, it stays dead until you decide to do a 2nd playthrough.

No that would offend the children, and I hope that's his real e-mail address I have some rather mean words to say that may offend him.

The best way to get Atkinson's attention is by being polite, using facts, and voicing disagreement towards his policies. The best you're going to get out of spamming his inbox or by sending hundreds of rude e-mails is him changing his e-mail, and the worst that could happen is him deciding that since all of these people were jerks about it, then he can just dismiss everyone's opinion since they're all probably not worth listening to.

Just be smart about it, and it could work.

Also, on the game. Yeah, I hear you. I wish it were different, but I just don't have an infinite amount of time to play games or watch movies or, well, anything. That doesn't mean I don't love new gaming experiences or that I don't love a challenge, but it does mean I just don't have the time nor patience for some things. It's one thing for me to "waste time" by experiencing a new medium or challenging myself by playing through on a harder difficulty setting or something, and it's another thing entirely to "waste time" by doing the same thing over and over because that's just how the game rolls.

axleblaze:
Interesting article...
You're still a pussy though. :)

A whiny one at that. ;)

'whaa, monster hit me once and i died, and I had to start all over again!!!! whaaaa' - damn straight. doesn't that remind you of another game..like Super Mario Bros? This game is waaaaaay more forgiving then that one ever was.

Every item you pick up or buy is still with you after you 'die', as well as any leveling up you do. Also, some doors you unlock stay open forever, creating a permanent shortcut.

Ya'll have been molly-coddled too much. Now get off my lawn. ;)

Oh mr. game-hater, i hope you like bizzare perverted porn, cause i'm gonan find all sorts of sites in which i can sue your email.

Also, who here thinks, given explanation that /b/ would hate him or would the still go not yout personal army... been waiting for a chance to "use" the massive force of group-stupidity that is 4-chan.

This idea that creating an "easy" instant win mode has no effect on the "very hard" difficulty setting is a joke. Difficulty across any one game has a range. If you make an instant you win mode, the hardest setting gets easier. Why? Because it has to be very hard, but not impossible, for the person who is capable of gaining enjoyment on very easy.

Look at the hardest settings in major recent blockbuster titles.

Very Hard in Fallout 3 was not hard for anyone who has been playing games for a long time. I would have called it normal. It was fine, but hardly much of a challenge.

Same problem with Nightmare on Dragon Age. Its ok, I enjoy it. But it is by no means very hard. If you have played Bioware role playing games before I cannot imagine using anything other than Nightmare.

I would have no problem with easy mode or a chapter skip option or even automatic mode if it did not effect the highest level of difficulty. But it always does. Games on any difficulty setting on the whole are easier now.

The highest difficulty settings should be going the other way. As more people get more experienced, games need to have settings to challenge those people.

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