Death Mechanics and Dark Souls

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT
 

What? Dark Souls was a bit similar to Demon's souls? How odd....

Joshing aside, I did like the quip at the end. It seems so many people I know play games in that state, confusing "not being punched in the face with a red-hot poker" with "having a genuinely amazing experience".

EDIT: (Just to clarify, this went beyond personal differences. I would literally be in the same room as them pointing out flaws and they would be going "pfffft. Shut up, it's perfect because I say so".)

BTW: If we're talking super meat boy, then I have an idea for pickups: instead of the extra lives system, do what super meat boy does. It has bonus levels and pickups for unlockable characters to encourage exploration, and that works pretty well, actually.

I loved the shit out of demon's souls and dark souls and became hopelessly addicted to both for a period of time. It's the masochist in me.. and the need to feel loved...

This game hates me so much.. i just want it to care... why won't it hug me? Why won't it say it even likes me? if i keep playing with it maybe it will learn to tollerate me!!!

LMAO

But yes. It's rubbing your face in it after you die that generally does get annoying and even infuriating. Though i managed to accept it with these 2 games.

I have to agree that a death system that just exists to give you a game over screen seems kinda pointless. However for some reason adding the need to get coins, rings, mushrooms Sonic heads, bananas or balloons adds to the experience in my case. I guess that's some sort of brain damage that comes from playing NES and SNES too much...

Well, there's still Binding of Isaac...

The thing about Dark Souls is simple. A lot of games have demons to slay. In most games the demons disappear when you turn the game off. Dark Souls, the game itself, is one of those demons.

WWmelb:
I loved the shit out of demon's souls and dark souls and became hopelessly addicted to both for a period of time. It's the masochist in me.. and the need to feel loved...

This game hates me so much.. i just want it to care... why won't it hug me? Why won't it say it even likes me? if i keep playing with it maybe it will learn to tollerate me!!!

LMAO

But yes. It's rubbing your face in it after you die that generally does get annoying and even infuriating. Though i managed to accept it with these 2 games.

I like to think of my relationship to that game as an abusive one, I know that game hates me, but I just love it sooooo much I just can't quit it!

OT: I love that game to bits, and the same thing happened to me after a while. I played and played and died and died, but then after a while it didn't bother me. It was only after that that I actually made progress and only got slightly irritated when I died. I tell you what though, FINALLY killing the bosses and the mini-bosses around the game gives you the best feeling ever.

I have to say you hit the nail on the head. Dark Souls can be an extremely fustrating and annoying game. That is until a macabre smile rents a place on your face and each of the stupid deaths that your character is subjected to (ranging from pressing the wrong button whilst walking along a cliff face to being beaten senseless by weaker mobs who are powered by a nearby soceror) becomes an inside joke that only you get. Then you're in Anor Londo and being invaded by people without a clue where those last 20 hours went.

Difficult game in which it's clear what you need to do better in order to improve (and some way to improve other than dying constantly) = good. Difficult game that just makes you die constantly for no apparent reason = bad. You decide which one Dark Souls/Demon Souls is.

Oh God. Back in the relationship game for you, eh?

I anticipate the upcoming review in which you, once again, claim women are evil. :-P

Also, "I stopped caring" sums up my experience with Demon's Souls as well. I had no investment in it. Or to put it in your terms, the context was just not there. The challenge certainly was there, and I suppose there's gratification in knocking over the big guys, but after the thousandth little guy I knock over, the chore becomes more apparent and it becomes increasingly clear that I'm not controlling a character with thoughts, feelings, and drives, but a series of numbers trying to beat other numbers.

And yet, Binding of Isaac (which someone else brought up) stuck with me. Perhaps it's the brevity, or the style, or maybe I'm actually investing in Isaac due to the setup and his depressive state.

For me Dark Souls is a game I only play when I'm really pissed off.
98% of the time I can't stand it. But the other 2% of the time when I'm in the special kind of mood, The kind of mood that says "Get in my way and I'll shank you with the shard of a broken duel-shock 3 controller" That's when I can truly enjoy Dark Soul's (and by extension Demon's Souls).

For me the thing I hate most about dying in a game is when after dying a few too many times a message will sometimes pop up that says "DURR HURR You seem to be having some trouble, does baby want to switch to Pussies Mode?" God I fucking hate that, I don't even mind being sent back to a much earlier point in the game as long as its not patronizing about it.

I see the Mario's life system as what it is. Nintendo knows that if they ditched the classic green mushroom 1-Ups, legions of twenty-somethings neck-breads are just going to bitch about the change.

*Comparing dark souls to modern warfare*

MAN THE BARRACKS

Two games that did infinite life right:
VVVVVV
Super Meat Boy

Two games that did infinite life wrong:
I want to be the guy
Prince of Persia (2008)

The top two have instantaneous replay -- there is no gap in the music, and you pick up exactly where you left off.

IWTBTG makes you press a button to continue, and you WILL know that game over theme better than the whole rest of the game, while POP is almost very good but insists on showing you a cutscene every single time.
Just my 2 cents worth

(and yes, I know that IWTBTG is supposed to be masochistic and this is part of it, but STILL)

An attractive young lady not wearing a bra clinging to his leg? Didn't know you'd started having Adventures in Babysitting, Yahtzee.

ANImaniac89:

I see the Mario's life system as what it is. Nintendo knows that if they ditched the classic green mushroom 1-Ups, legions of twenty-somethings neck-breads are just going to bitch about the change.

Then Nintendo can start learning something from Yahtzee reminding them yet again that sitting through introductory dialogues on every single life is take-the-game-back-to-the-store infuriating.

Yahtzee is spot on about how removing control from the player between death and re-spawn is frustrating. It drove me insane in Final Fantasy XIII, there were loads of parts where death would take you back and make you re-watch a cut scene. Obviously I just skipped them but that took vital seconds, and if no-ones going to actually watch the scene again, what the hell is the point in replaying it every time you die? I just don't understand the thought process there. Of course, for FFXIII that's one of the more minor design flaws.
As for Dark Souls, I sum it up as hours of horrific, mind numbing torture, then you randomly get a very brief blowjob and then it's straight back to torture. But after all that pain and horror, that blowjob feel like the best motherfucking blowjob you will ever have in your life.

This makes me feel a little less guilty that I haven't bothered with traditional platformers in ages (although Psychonauts had the same lives system as Yahtzee is describing here, and ironically I got it at his recommendation). The last one was Crash Bandicoot Warped back on the original PlayStation, and it managed to be unfrustrating despite having this same lives system because one-ups were so easy to come by that I completely stopped encountering Game Overs around a third of the way in no matter how badly I was doing. And I suspect that was a fluke.

I'm kinda with Yahtzee. For a day or two I was addicted, but in the end there came a point where I just couldn't be bothered with Dark Souls. The game has no payoff what-so-ever.

I like challenging games. I love my manic shooters. When I become good enough to dodge 100 bullets whilst elegantly blasting the s**t out of the enemy, all in beautifully hand drawn 2D graphics, with an unbeatable soundtrack, I almost fall into a high.

But Dark Souls doesn't do any of the sort. I eventually asked my self "why am I bothering? is there going to be any reward in this? Better locations, more amazing music, improved combat? No, there isn't... sod this, back to my other games."

Only reason I keep my copy is in the hope my limited edition rises in value in time.

"Frustration grows exponentially for every second or dialogue box that passes between the player character's death and putting them back in the action, and even something as initially innocuous as "Try Again" starts to feel sarcastic and patronizing the darker one's mood gets."

Oh god this is so true. I recently played through Catherine, which, if you've played it, is quite a frustrating game. Add in the fact that every time you die you see Vincent fall (or get smashed to a spray of blood and bone), the dramatic music, and the "LOVE IS OVER" screen, and it just adds to the frustration. Even playing through Demon's Souls, I've never come so close to breaking a controller out of frustration.

I think Dark Souls only works when founded on mutual hatred. Get killed by a bullshit boss, just get angry at it and keep trying. Maybe I just have the world's largest dose of perseverance when it comes to facing a challenge, but I fucking love that game. I never really minded the frustration, that was actually what kept me going. The eventual despair on the other hand, that stopped me every now and then. Damn basilisks.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Not because I'm being deliberately obstinate for once; for some reason I can't get the online component to work, possibly because of connection issues, and apparently that's a big part of it and any attempt to critique the rest of it would be unfair.

image

I... that... what... but...
Double standards ahoy, Captain!

MonkeyPunch:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Not because I'm being deliberately obstinate for once; for some reason I can't get the online component to work, possibly because of connection issues, and apparently that's a big part of it and any attempt to critique the rest of it would be unfair.

image

I... that... what... but...
Double standards ahoy, Captain!

The difference the online is actually in the single player. Not a separate mode.

Sargonza:

Two games that did infinite life wrong:
I want to be the guy
Prince of Persia (2008)

I actually thought that Prince of Persia did infinite lives well - when you screwed something up, you turned back the clock to before you messed up. And while I haven't played I want to be the guy, I have seen it played and it seemed to work fairly well.

Just my two cents.

ManupBatman:
The difference the online is actually in the single player. Not a separate mode.

Indeed... yet I still fail to see what difference that makes.

Sabrestar:
An attractive young lady not wearing a bra clinging to his leg? Didn't know you'd started having Adventures in Babysitting, Yahtzee.

You sir, win the intern-wait...how did you know that?

O__o

I like the "something snapped" part. That's so true. It's like the 5 stages of grief:

1. Denial: This game isn't so bad, I can do it. This will be easy!

2. Anger: FFFFFUUUUUUCCCCKKKK!!!! YOU FUCKING COCK MONGER! DIIIEEEEEE

3. Bargaining: Ok, ok, what if I just try 1 more time? Then you'll let me beat it? What if I swap these rings, will you let me pass?

4. Depression: I'm fucked. This whole game is fucked. I should stop playing, this is just pathetic.

5. Acceptance: Whatever. Fuck it, here I go again. Just dodge here, swing there... HEY! I WON! WWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Yep. Honestly though, that's pretty much me fighting Ceaseless Discharge for about 1.5 hours (in around 3 or 4 sittings). Fuck that fucker. God fucking damnit. *cough* Anyway, I did eventually start playing other, easier games, and I just haven't had the urge to get back into Dark Souls and finish it off... one day I will.

Sargonza:

IWTBTG makes you press a button to continue, and you WILL know that game over theme better than the whole rest of the game

IWBTG's R to restart button is actually kind of great. Because you can hit it at any point. You don't HAVE to hear the ending riff, because most people who have played through the game will have hit it before they've even touched the spikes. Yes, it's an extra step over automatic, but it's instantaneous, and sometimes even faster than Super Meat Boy.

MonkeyPunch:

ManupBatman:
The difference the online is actually in the single player. Not a separate mode.

Indeed... yet I still fail to see what difference that makes.

Because (it seems) you can't claim to have a "FULL" experience if your PS3/360 is unplugged from the web... Unlike MW3/BF3 which have fully functional campaigns that don't depend on whether you are online or not.
Also, I guess a lot of people would have complained if he didn't review MW3/BF3, especially since its his "shooters/games with a 3" season

I've been playing a lot of Dark Souls lately and had pretty much the same experience.

The first few hours are maddening, obtuse, confusing, frustrating, and then after you beat the Taurus Demon and reach the parish, something just clicks. You learn to take it slow, to enjoy it for the oppressive, cruel but mostly fair beast that it is.

By the time you kill the Bell Gargoyles you'll have felt a kind of rewarding feeling that very few games these days can offer.

I'm one of those people who doesn't think Demon's/Dark Souls is so difficult, though it certainly takes a while to understand what you need to do. I remember putting four or five hours into Demon's Souls with a melee-based character and dying constantly, at which point I decided to restart the game as a magic user and had a much easier time, especially against the bosses. And I went into Dark Souls both familiar with the combat system from having beaten its predecessor twice and having chosen my class after extensive consultation of the online wikis.

As for the whole death thing, I'll argue that the Souls games are actually significantly MORE forgiving about death than most other titles on the market. When you die, you lose all your souls, but you keep any other items you picked up, and any shortcuts you opened and miniboss-or-larger enemies you killed do not respawn. And if you really can't get past a certain area, there's always other areas of the game to explore, especially if you have the Master Key, which helps you unlock alternate routes into areas and shortcuts back.

All that, plus the general enemy placement and combat system, results in two game that I found significantly LESS frustrating than, say, the total bullshit of Uncharted 2 and 3 where several heavily armored guys who each take more shotgun blasts to the head to kill than you do converge on your position while distant snipers and dudes with grenade launchers draw a bead on your position and you can't unstick yourself from the nearest piece of cover in time to retaliate.

Copy-and-pasted from Facebook

Many a game designs itself as one consistent flow, almost as steady as a movie's running time, and I'm not convinced that this is the right model for every game to follow. Some games aren't actually about the victory/defeat model, and I don't believe that a death clause should be thrown in for those.

With other games, that are certainly a win-lose model, having such little consequence to death at all - to the point where there's not even a second between 'game over' and your next attempt - encourage the player to ignore the reasons behind their defeat. Instinctively built into us is a desire to be invincible, and when something like failure pops up to remind us that, no, we have much yet to learn, we want to pretend it didn't happen. We'd rather carry on, oblivious, until the attempt when we win, since that's the only one that matters to us. I know, since this is exactly the pitfall I've fallen into many times.

That's part of why I respect the model of Dark Souls' and its predecessor so much - because as my knight slowly, reluctantly keels over to his wounds and painfully dies, the game wants me to remember that it happened. It wants me to ask why it happened, and what can I do next time to avoid it. From this, I genuinely learn from every moment, until I learn even from points like getting hit in the first place, and my own successes. Levelling up in Dark Souls has become inconsequential as a result; I don't need to be more powerful to beat the boss or make it to the next bonfire; the wisdom I have is enough.

Let me thank you for spending as much time with Dark Souls as you did. While it's a game I know isn't for everyone and for every time, I also want everyone to try it. I'll lament that I will never hear about your opinion on its integrated approach toward storytelling, but I I appreciate this much.

And about that minotaur in Dark Souls - did you try climbing the tower to leap down and do a plunging attack? Three of those and it's a goner; just be sure to leave enough space between you and it when you climb the ladder.

trollpwner:

Sabrestar:
An attractive young lady not wearing a bra clinging to his leg? Didn't know you'd started having Adventures in Babysitting, Yahtzee.

You sir, win the intern-wait...how did you know that?

O__o

Umm... Lucky guess? o_o'

I kind of like how Demon's Souls and it's sequel punish you for tripping up, I find it makes me pay more attention to what the hell is happening, hence less likely to do it again. This results in me willingly learning, and improving at the game, rather than being forced to figure it all out an the last second on the end boss. Demon's Souls and Dark Souls are a great example of training your player to adapt to a harder difficulty in order to challenge themselves and provide a huge incentive, other than an extra snippet of plot that you can get off Wiki, to actually succeed at it. Nothing is more gratifying than when you actually manage to defeat a boss in that game, it's like passing a level you've been stuck on in the old 16 bit platformers.

Yatzhee! you have finally become a gamer in mind. Most gamers get dopamine when they are loosing as well as winning, this keeps them from getting discouraged. This is measurable and the same mechanisms are at work in compulsive gamblers. I could find some articles about that...

The original Aliens Vs Predator (the 2000 game, not the abortion released last year) was criticized because you had to start the level over if you died. And the human and alien characters died if an enemy so much as noticed them. An update added a very interesting mechanic to satisfy these complaints.

They gave you a limited number of "saves" based on the play difficulty. So now choosing to save or not was turned into a strategic gameplay element instead of an obligatory extra button push every time you passed a save point, or every 30 seconds in the case of games with quicksave like doom3.

If you screwed up and saved in the wrong place there was a chance you couldn't beat the level and had to start over. If you were too conservative then you had to go pretty far back to your last safe location.

It was a great way to modernize the gameplay while still retaining the tension inherent in the "make one mistake and lose" situation and a very long level.

MonkeyPunch:

ManupBatman:
The difference the online is actually in the single player. Not a separate mode.

Indeed... yet I still fail to see what difference that makes.

The online component lets you enter other peoples' single-player worlds for various purposes. You can summon other players to your world to fight through an area or beat a boss together. On the other hand, there are various ways to disrupt other people's games. You can invade another person's world and try to kill them, which creates some of the game's most spectacular fights. Plus, you can leave hints on the ground for other players, and other players can rate those hints for helpfulness, which can confer a bonus for you. In short, the game is built around this subtle cooperation, and to play without it can be very frustrating.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Your account does not have posting rights. If you feel this is in error, please contact an administrator. (ID# 64545)