Demon's Souls

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Hey guys, how many of you spammed him?

Jory:
Good article. And if it was a joke, then I applaud you. I was well and truly had.

I can totally see the point of the fine line between challenging and just provoking frustration, and seriously, varying difficulty levels can't be that hard to put in to a game can they?

No, but then you get people like my friend Josh, who says that freaking Ninja Gaiden 2 on the hardest difficulty setting is "easy".

solidstatemind:
Why? Because I'll still try to not die-- but maybe that's just me. Never even once did I do a berzerker charge on a Big Daddy in BioShock over and over next to a VitaChamber because, while I knew I could've, I wouldn't have felt like I really succeeded in beating the game if I had used that sleazy tactic.

Yeah, but you never turned a corner in fear of what's around because you also knew you'd get a do over. You never dodge rolled at the end of a forced run because you didn't know what was at the end. Never go into sniping stance just to see if there was any movement. Never go down a narrow hallway constantly turning around to see if some assassin BASTARD jumped up behind you. Never had your heart jump at your throat when enemies surround you, or feel the adrenaline pump of a fight or flight instinct kicking in when you see that a Black Phanthom invaded your game.

You may not have suicided at every turn just for kicks, but I'm damned sure you didn't fear for your life at every turn either...

snowman6251:
The final boss of God of War kicked my ass (specifically the segment where Kratos has to protect his family). I had to do it an obscene amount of times

Funny, there was no boss that took me more than, say 3 tries in Demon's Souls... And yet, the game is somehow "too hard"...

Btw, how can you say you tried the same part an obsecene number of times until you finally succeeded and NOT see how checkpoints have made difficulty pointless?

williebaz:
Hey guys, how many of you spammed him?

Not myself, unfortunately. I feel like I should, but I also feel like I shouldn't, though I don't know why.

KingPiccolOwned:

williebaz:
Hey guys, how many of you spammed him?

Not myself, unfortunately. I feel like I should, but I also feel like I shouldn't, though I don't know why.

Go for it, this is how democracy works :)

The Deadpool:

Funny, there was no boss that took me more than, say 3 tries in Demon's Souls... And yet, the game is somehow "too hard"...

Btw, how can you say you tried the same part an obsecene number of times until you finally succeeded and NOT see how checkpoints have made difficulty pointless?

Okay about the Demon's Souls thing, I also, to a degree, feel that way, but uhh, explain to me how having checkpoints makes difficulty pointless.

williebaz:

KingPiccolOwned:

williebaz:
Hey guys, how many of you spammed him?

Not myself, unfortunately. I feel like I should, but I also feel like I shouldn't, though I don't know why.

Go for it, this is how democracy works :)

True, but then I'm not even from Austrailia, so I kind of feel like I'm getting into other people's business when I do.

It becomes a game of trial and error much quicker. "Oh, that didn't work, oh well, just try something else literally RIGHT NOW"

It's less strategy and skill and more memorization and luck. I've beaten Demon's Souls more than once and I've yet to memorize a single bosses attack pattern... I just didn't fight them often enough.

Despite popular belief, you will not die 15 times in EVERY SINGLE boss fight. Hell, you die more in the stage than in the bosses.

The Deadpool:

solidstatemind:
Why? Because I'll still try to not die-- but maybe that's just me. Never even once did I do a berzerker charge on a Big Daddy in BioShock over and over next to a VitaChamber because, while I knew I could've, I wouldn't have felt like I really succeeded in beating the game if I had used that sleazy tactic.

Yeah, but you never turned a corner in fear of what's around because you also knew you'd get a do over. You never dodge rolled at the end of a forced run because you didn't know what was at the end. Never go into sniping stance just to see if there was any movement. Never go down a narrow hallway constantly turning around to see if some assassin BASTARD jumped up behind you. Never had your heart jump at your throat when enemies surround you, or feel the adrenaline pump of a fight or flight instinct kicking in when you see that a Black Phanthom invaded your game.

You may not have suicided at every turn just for kicks, but I'm damned sure you didn't fear for your life at every turn either...

snowman6251:
The final boss of God of War kicked my ass (specifically the segment where Kratos has to protect his family). I had to do it an obscene amount of times

Funny, there was no boss that took me more than, say 3 tries in Demon's Souls... And yet, the game is somehow "too hard"...

Btw, how can you say you tried the same part an obsecene number of times until you finally succeeded and NOT see how checkpoints have made difficulty pointless?

Because it was only one short segment. It was a total of about maybe 5 minutes of gameplay that I had to repeat until I did it perfectly and was allowed to pass. The segment was difficult and challenging and felt like an accomplishment when I beat it. If say I lost the segment and got sent back to the beginning of the temple that wouldn't be fun, just frustrating.

Then lets say I died in the next phase of the boss and had to do the whole boss fight over again. That'd just be a massive pain in the ass. I'm not even against no checkpoints in boss battles but having them there allowed it to be a much longer, more epic and varied fight without becoming frustrating.

The Deadpool:

solidstatemind:
Why? Because I'll still try to not die-- but maybe that's just me. Never even once did I do a berzerker charge on a Big Daddy in BioShock over and over next to a VitaChamber because, while I knew I could've, I wouldn't have felt like I really succeeded in beating the game if I had used that sleazy tactic.

Yeah, but you never turned a corner in fear of what's around because you also knew you'd get a do over. You never dodge rolled at the end of a forced run because you didn't know what was at the end. Never go into sniping stance just to see if there was any movement. Never go down a narrow hallway constantly turning around to see if some assassin BASTARD jumped up behind you. Never had your heart jump at your throat when enemies surround you, or feel the adrenaline pump of a fight or flight instinct kicking in when you see that a Black Phanthom invaded your game.

You may not have suicided at every turn just for kicks, but I'm damned sure you didn't fear for your life at every turn either...

snowman6251:
The final boss of God of War kicked my ass (specifically the segment where Kratos has to protect his family). I had to do it an obscene amount of times

Funny, there was no boss that took me more than, say 3 tries in Demon's Souls... And yet, the game is somehow "too hard"...

Btw, how can you say you tried the same part an obsecene number of times until you finally succeeded and NOT see how checkpoints have made difficulty pointless?

Yes, I did live in fear of death-- via suspension of disbelief. When I play a game, I try not to die. Bottom line. I took great pride in not losing a single unit in RTS games, even though it meant fuck-all in the statistics at the end of the level. Really, if I don't care enough to try to preserve the ingame personafication of myself... then what's the fucking point, anyway? Blowing shit up? Meh: that gets old fast, in my book. But I agree, I'm sure other people out there don't feel the same... but again, that is a matter of personal choice-- as I said in my original response, one of self control. Something I personally believe I should be the one to select, not something that is dictated to me by some developer who thinks they know what should be 'fun' for me.

The following is directed at all those championing distance between checkpoints, not just you DeadPool (so don't feel like I'm flaming you, ok?) :

Look, you can try to argue it as much as you like, but the length of time defined by the distance between checkpoints in a video game in re: the number of tasks you have to repeat is absolutely not a measure of SKILL. The following is absolutely, unimpeachably true: virtually any animal can be trained to accomplish a series of tasks if the trainers spend enough time and effort. Therefore, the 'mechanic' you are all defending is simply a measure of endurance... in this case, endurance of punishment for failure.

That's why it's a very lazy game 'mechanic', if you insist upon giving it that label at all.

The bottom line is that you are proving nothing by overcoming said interval, except that you are a) more stubborn than others, and b) have more time to spend in your efforts. What is exceptional about either of those traits??? Seriously?!? Before you respond, consider this: on each independant iteration, how can you truly differentiate between the person who skillfully overcame the obstacles, and the person who happened to be lucky enough to hit the right button (infinite monkeys, infinite typewriters aside)? If you can't, what are you really proving? That you're probably better than everyone else?

The truth is that the 'long time between savepoints' is a cheap way for game developers to make their product appear to last longer, but ultimately, it's the same mechanic at work while you play Solitare, for fuck's sake! "Eventually, you'll get it right." I find no satisifaction in that.

Before anyone goes on further about the validity of this game 'mechanic', I would strongly suggest that you go look up BF Skinner, Behaviorism, and rodent mazes. You may see some strong parallels.

One last observation: perhaps the draw of this element of DS is that there is some joy to be found in the 'elitism' of finishing a 'really hard game'? I can see that, but it's never been the draw for me (but I'll have to admit it clearly has widespread appeal given the explosion of online 'medals' and such); but if you enjoyed DS as a vehicle for entertainment and its worth as a game, and not just a means of lording your 'superiority at gaming' over others who couldn't (or couldn't be bothered to) complete it, then you would think you would at least endorse the idea of easier options, since that would allow for a much larger audience (and thus more sequels/offshoots/etc) than an "oMg!H4rdC0r3zzzz Onlee!" attitude.

Now if you all will excuse me, I believe there are a couple of sour ales in my fridge that need some tender loving care.

The Great JT:
I can't wait to see how Atkinson responds to this one...probably by trying to run Yahtzee out of Australia.

the same way Charlie Chaplain was out of America?
wouldn't surprise me, lol. Him and his deviant ways, especially as he's basically set the entirety of this websites community against the Australian government (i've only sent my message twice... xD)

KingPiccolOwned:

williebaz:

KingPiccolOwned:

williebaz:
Hey guys, how many of you spammed him?

Not myself, unfortunately. I feel like I should, but I also feel like I shouldn't, though I don't know why.

Go for it, this is how democracy works :)

True, but then I'm not even from Austrailia, so I kind of feel like I'm getting into other people's business when I do.

Me neither, but i sent him a letter anyway :)

solidstatemind:

One last observation: perhaps the draw of this element of DS is that there is some joy to be found in the 'elitism' of finishing a 'really hard game'?

If a game is cheap or unfair, I don't play it. If a game has harder difficulty settings, I just pick the one that I think is most fun(Which with most games today with their four difficulty settings, I usually pick the second hardest one because that one is the most fun). I do NOT play this game for the elitism. The difficulty sort of forces you to delve into the depth of the game. If it was easier, a lot of people would just hack and slash their way through and it would be boring. However, with the game forcing such a difficulty on us, we explore the nuances of combat and figure out just how deep it really is. And exploiting these said nuances to get past a really hard level or a really tough enemy leaves a good feeling inside. It isn't about how others view me, it is about the feeling of accomplishment from giving it everything you got against a seemingly impossible task and then coming out victorious. This game recreates that feeling time and time again.

I guess I sort of got addicted to it.

I can't even begin to explain just how amazing it felt after one particular incident. Just recently, I invaded someone only to find out that they have 2 blue phantoms with them. ****. I thought I was going to lose. So I took my chances and basically rushed to kill the summoner. And what do you know, I did it. All three of the player characters were taken down in one rush attack. My heart was beating so fast I felt like it was burning a hole in my body.

I tried a different approach ;)

Dear Mr. Atkinson

As you're no doubt aware of, your email adress has been publicised on a very popular website for hobbyist gamers. I can imagine that this will have led to a not inconsiderate amount of various emails written with the sole intent to harass and maybe even intimidate. For my own part I consider this a good opportunity to voice my disagreement in a more civilized fashion. Although I doubt that you'll ever read this, as this message is more than likely to drown in the ocean of other messages already pouring into your inbox. Still, it's worth an attempt.

As a gamer of grown age I've followed the debate on violence in videogames over the years and like to believe I have managed to remain somewhat unbiased on the issue (I do however enjoy several of the titles that have been given an 18+ rating, so my neutrality on the subject can be questioned), after all you have to know the subject matter to be able to make a balanced decision on any subject. In my experience there exist among us hobbyists (or childish, asocial nerds to some) a general consensus that yes, there are strong arguments that point towards a connection between violence in games and desensitization towards violence among minors. This should not be confused with the wrongful assumption that violent videogames leads to more violence, but it's pretty easy to understand that if a child is exposed to a great deal of graphic violence this will have an affect. However, this is no different to violence in films or books. Yes, the violence is interactive. Yes, you participate. And yes a lot of the violence is childish and sadistic. Violence in horror/slasher films is equally sadistic (take the "Hostel"-series as an example). A lot of great novels carry pretty graphic depictions of violence and sex and not always in a fashion generally considered moral or constructive. Yet, these mediums are accepted as entertainment because they were made for an adult audience, and not with children in mind.

I do believe you understand where I'm going with this and you've probably heard it before but remain unconvinced. Alas, it can't hurt to say it once more. Not all videogames are made for kids. In fact the term videogame is misleading and should be replaced with "interactive entertainment" or something similar. Videogames can be a form of art (I strongly suggest that you check out the game studio Tale of Tales with their titles "The Path" and The Graveyard") where themes such as death, sex and violence is given context. To deny these titles the right to be distributed by argumenting that "they are potentially harmful to children" is in my opinion both prejudiced and narrow. (You don't ban cigarettes, even though many minors get older people to purchase them for them).

I also believe that as an adult I'm entitled to certain rights. If I want to see Joel Schumacher's "Falling Down" where Michael Douglas, fed up with society, goes on a killing spree, I'm free to do this. If I want to write a novel about a guy torturing kittens and enjoying it, I'm free to do so as well. If I want to play a videogame intended for an adult audience, whether it be artsy, pseudo-melancholic, murder riddles or simply good old-fashioned beheading an alien with a chainsaw, shouldn't I be free to do so as well.

Pretty much every government in the world think so (including my own Norwegian government). Maybe you should reconsider too?

Sincerely yours,
Vivendel

Without making a big thing about it, checkpoints and save points directly effect difficulty. No matter how hard a game is, there are always patterns. The game is trying to figure out the patterns. The hardest games are those that offer the fewest chances to learn the entire pattern.

The hardest game I ever played was Everquest. Old Everquest was brutal. Nothing comes close. There wasn't anything amazing about the boss battles, you just had a very limited ability to learn the pattern. There was no instance. The mob was up in the real world. If another guild killed it, it wouldn't be up for a week or more. On top of that, you needed around 80 plus real people to make the attempt. When I got my epic, it meant something. WOW just does not compare. I know people call it punishment not difficulty, but its not. Its all difficulty.

Simple truth, more checkpoints means more opportunities to learn the pattern. Once you master the pattern the game is on farm status. Farming isn't fun. Just the way it is. Difficulty is always directly related to the death penalty. The lower the death penalty, the easier the game. That will never change. There is no point arguing about it. Some people just prefer easier games. Nothing wrong with that. I just did not think Yahtzee was one of them. I was wrong.

As Michael Atkinson has said "This is a question of a small number of very zealous gamers trying to impose their will on society -- and, I think, harm society" I would love society to think the same way as I do, there would be a lot less arguments, but the simple fact remains that playing games has never forced anything on society (with the exception of Running Man, 1982 book by Stephen King, and I'm almost certain that the book was a work of fiction).

The fact that I just want to see zombies explode into a glorious shower of body parts has nothing to do with a deep seeded fantasy to rampage through the streets yelling "The heads, you have to shoot them in the heads!" I just find it humorous.

Although the best part of his statement was "98 percent, 99 percent of gamers will tell the difference between fantasy and reality, but the 1 percent to 2 percent could go on to be motivated by these games to commit horrible acts of violence". Now I suppose this would be a valid argument if every week there was a murder where on the wall near the victim there was a message that said "The princess wasn't here either" or maybe a person sifting through the persons pockets saying "Why haven't you dropped any coins?" Then I might be concerned with what video games are doing to the minds of the impressionable.

Okay lets have a little bit of simple maths, lets say that we take on of the highest selling games of recent years with a decent amount of violence, Halo 3. There were 8.1 million copies sold going with 1% of gamers been unable to tell fantasy from real life that means 81,000 people could possibly go on to "commit horrible acts of violence" because of Halo. I may not have all of the incidences of game violence at hand but main-stream media has shown about fourteen over the last ten years to have tentative links to video games, we're talking the "They might have seen a video game in the past" tentative links.

Enough of me complaining here, I'm off to send one or seven e-mails to Mr. Atkinson.

williebaz:

KingPiccolOwned:

williebaz:
Hey guys, how many of you spammed him?

Not myself, unfortunately. I feel like I should, but I also feel like I shouldn't, though I don't know why.

Go for it, this is how democracy works :)

Democracy works? Since bloody when?

VanQQisH:

williebaz:

KingPiccolOwned:

williebaz:
Hey guys, how many of you spammed him?

Not myself, unfortunately. I feel like I should, but I also feel like I shouldn't, though I don't know why.

Go for it, this is how democracy works :)

Democracy works? Since bloody when?

Haha, very punny

Heheh, I have some e-mailing to do...

Not enough yet. Keep going!

I really, really hate to say this, but to all the people sending "serious" emails to Atkinson, please FOR THE LOVE OF GAMES USE THE SPELL CHECKER! I beg of you, at least prove that we can speak and write coherent English before trying to look serious.

I seriously hope no one decided to have a complete lapse in common sense and sent Mr. Atkinson any e-mails that were rude and insulting...

I'm going to murder Mr. Atkinson's inbox. >:)

VanQQisH:
I really, really hate to say this, but to all the people sending "serious" emails to Atkinson, please FOR THE LOVE OF GAMES USE THE SPELL CHECKER! I beg of you, at least prove that we can speak and write coherent English before trying to look serious.

This is a good point. We don't need them thinking we are a group of illiterates. Because if you can't grasp a concept as simple as correct sentence structure, they most certainly won't think you're well enough equipped to play games with advanced decapitations. Also I think the only emails been sent should be serious, because if you are threatening to sneak into his back yard and eat his dog, this isn't the mind of a sound person and will only serve to strengthen his resolve and give him ammunition for his, lack of a better analogy, single player campaign against gamers.

Do you guys think that this is a good letter for Mr. Atkinson?

Fuhjem:

Dear Mr. Atkinson,

While you may believe that gamers and game enthusiasts alike are just a small minority composed of small, helpless children; the real world is quite the contrary.
In the real world, gamers count for around 70% of the worlds population. That 70% counts for human beings of ages from 5 to 33. Thirty-Three years old is not a child, and should be treated as an adult.
A percentage, as you hopefully know, is nothing more than a fancy fraction. 49/100 would be a minority. 50/100 would be an equilibrium. 51/100 is a majority. We account for 70/100. That is MUCH, much more than what is the bare minimum for a majority.

Now I don't know much about how math works in Australia, I'm from another country, but in reality 70% is a very large Majority and you should listen to that majority.
We know of your false promises to allow games an 18+ rating after re-elections. We do not believe them.
But we are legion.
We do not forgive,
and we do not forget.
These ghosts will haunt you, Mr. Atkinson.

Now, please, enjoy the hot steaming load in your inbox.

Tell me what you think.

The end of that had me laughing my ass off. I don't live in Australia myself, but I still think the man is an idiot and I think I might just e-mail him and tell him so.

williebaz:
I'm going to spam micheal atkinson now.

croydon@parliament.sa.gov.au

I'd be amazed if he didn't have a filter or possibly someone to sort through all the hatemail. Even though he's a douche, he doesn't have unlimited time.

Fuhjem:
Do you guys think that this is a good letter for Mr. Atkinson?

Fuhjem:

Dear Mr. Atkinson,

While you may believe that gamers and game enthusiasts alike are just a small minority composed of small, helpless children; the real world is quite the contrary.
In the real world, gamers count for around 70% of the Australias population. That 70% counts for human beings of ages from 5 to 33. Thirty-Three years old is not a child, and should be treated as an adult.
A percentage, as you hopefully know, is nothing more than a fancy fraction. 49/100 would be a minority. 50/100 would be an equilibrium. 51/100 is a majority. We account for 70/100. That is MUCH, much more than what is the bare minimum for a majority.

Now I don't know much about how math works in Australia, I'm from another country, but in reality 70% is a very large Majority and you should listen to that majority.
We know of your false promises to allow games an 18+ rating after re-elections. We do not believe them.
But we are legion.
We do not forgive,
and we do not forget.
These ghosts will haunt you, Mr. Atkinson.

Now, please, enjoy the hot steaming load in your inbox.

Tell me what you think.

Change 'worlds population' to Australias, 70% of the worlds population do not play videogames, that's an outrageous claim (the majority of the worlds population are, in fact, living in poverty). I'd probably cut the anonymus part tool, enough people have been threatening him and it's acheived nothing.

Wait so you need a unanimous vote from all six attorney generals to pass this thing? That's ridiculous, like how often does THAT happen? Why not just say "um let's see 5/6? Good enough, let's pass this thing and tell Micheal Atkinson to go fuck himself."

canadamus_prime:
Wait so you need a unanimous vote from all six attorney generals to pass this thing? That's ridiculous, like how often does THAT happen? Why not just say "um let's see 5/6? Good enough, let's pass this thing and tell Micheal Atkinson to go fuck himself."

It's a mechanism that countries use to make their government as ineffectual as possible. Which is actually a good idea most of the time

Zombie Nixon:

canadamus_prime:
Wait so you need a unanimous vote from all six attorney generals to pass this thing? That's ridiculous, like how often does THAT happen? Why not just say "um let's see 5/6? Good enough, let's pass this thing and tell Micheal Atkinson to go fuck himself."

It's a mechanism that countries use to make their government as ineffectual as possible. Which is actually a good idea most of the time

Not really.

I wonder if Yahtzee hates NetHack? It sends you back to the start of the game if you die. (well, unless you have an amulet of lifesaving)

Then again, I suppose there is Explore Mode...

It's interesting to find out he liked IWBTG though.

I'm a gamer who's absolutely used to games and I found a game like Devil May Cry to be enjoyable. It sounds kind of masochistic but the truth is I can only get off (figuratively speaking) after being spanked and thrown around a few times. A challenge isn't a bad thing, but that still doesn't change the fact that more games need to come with various difficulty settings. Hell, Persona 4 is an RPG and it had an Easy and Expert setting so there really isn't any excuse.

Honesty. It's the key to any good discussion, if more game reviews/discussions could just embrace what you have just done here, the industry would be taken a lot more seriously. While the delusion that games are better if they're "Hardcore" because you die a lot and you get really frustrated over the loss of progress, eventually leading to a greater sense of accomplishment, is fairly and disturbingly popular among fan bases I found it even more unsettling that it was so prevalent in the professional reviews of Demon's Souls. This game is fun, it has a very satisfying one on one combat system, but it's lack of a cohesive story, ineffective targeting and camera system, static level design, hopelessly stupid AI and surprising lack of variety or substance in it's much lauded online implementations and in just about every aspect of the game, can't be ignored. This game is average, it's perceived difficulty and length are artificial and hopefully this whole thing will blow over soon.

Fuhjem:

But we are legion.
We do not forgive,
and we do not forget.
These ghosts will haunt you, Mr. Atkinson.

This part makes you seem psychopathic. I would cut it. unless of course you want Atkinson to add more fuel to the fire and claim a gamer/ satanic link.

From the Wiki:
"Legion, the demon of Gadarenes, appears frequently as a character in popular culture. The Christian New Testament gospels of Mark, Luke and Matthew describe an incident in which Jesus meets a man, or men, possessed by demons who, when asked what their name is, respond:

Mark 5:9 "My name is Legion, for we are many."

Yahtzee, I just lost even more respect for you because of this.

Your post was "Backpedaling, backpedaling, backpedaling, (insult viewers, epithets), backpedaling, (lie about checkpoint length), backpedaling, (insult game for having one standard level of difficulty and about 15 classes that completely change the game and you've only played one), (make excuses for not actually trying to beat game based on review length, when Kotaku specifically delayed their review until their reviewer beat the game in order to provide a more accurate review), backpedaling, end."

You want something you could actually complain about, checkpoint-wise, Yahtzee?

Play BAROQUE.

The game is not as unkind as you continue to insist it is; I posted a point-by-point rebuttal to your claims which you fail to recognize (other than backpedaling on the points which were obvious). But the Shortcut system in the game is exactly like a checkpoint, other than that it cannnot be quick-save abused, so it actually forces you to play the goddamn game.

Also, I don't think the complaints of casual gamers should weigh in on a game like this, because it's obviously not targeting them. that part of your post was just fluff to justify more backpedaling.

Edit:

If you happen to want an accurate review, rather than a comedy routine with smarminess, click here:

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