Dark Souls 3

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Re: Dark Souls 3

Post by Gordon Frohman » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:58

^^^100% worth it.

Where is Sally? I'm surprised he hasn't posted here yet.
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Re: Dark Souls 3

Post by Mr. Smith » Thu Apr 14, 2016 18:42

Gordon Frohman wrote:^^^100% worth it.

Where is Sally? I'm surprised he hasn't posted here yet.
I promise I let him go.
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Re: Dark Souls 3

Post by kob » Sun Apr 17, 2016 01:27

alright i'm most of the way through the game (just got my 2nd cinder lord soul) so i'll post my thoughts and maybe go more in depth after i finish and you guys start talking about it just because i like talking about it too

i'm enjoying myself a lot more than i expected. i wasn't hyped until close to release and given how quickly this game got announced i had a feeling it would be rushed but nope it's a complete game and it's great. i think this entry might have the best individual level design in the series. the areas feel so intricate and dense that i'm frequently going in all kinds of directions finding cool items and hidden secrets. i have a few gripes, though. firstly, i think some of the poor design choices of DS2 (i.e. cheap) creeped into this game. the 'git gud' mentality in some places can be very frustrating. one boss in particular
Pontiff Sulyvahn
was already very tough, but then they add the enrage phase turning the fight into a crapshoot. it felt so unnecessary given his low attack cooldown and moveset. there are a few regular enemy encounters as well that just felt kinda stupid e.g.
the jailers in Irithyll Dungeon. how the fuck do you even deal with them i still have no idea. i can't get them to stop reducing my max hp ?!?!?
most of my frustration is due to some cheap things here and there rather than butthurt i got my ass kicked. in fact, i've actually found DS3 to be a pretty smooth ride. bloodborne and DS2 fucked me up good, but i've only had some true struggle in a few places. nothing like the hell that was fighting Logarius, Sir Alonne and Gehrman. outside of that, i think the world isn't as cohesive as the original, though much better than DS2. i don't like that they borrowed from bloodborne and went with 'less difficult enemies but more of them' either. it worked in bloodborne because you were so mobile and had rally, but because combat is slower in dark souls there have been times, particularly with more advanced enemies, where you just get overwhelmed. i still maintain these games do not manage multiple enemy encounters very well, especially now that the games have drifted more towards pushing the absolute limit on what is fair or not. lastly, too many bonfires. i've noticed the series has become more about grinding you down slowly between bonfires rather than a string of tough individual challenges. you're fighting shit all the time here, where as in the original it was more about overcoming a few big obstacles here and there. so i think this design change is what causes there to be too many bonfires. you need all of them because you're only a quarter way through the level and have burned up all your estus. it's not a huge deal, but you always feel close to safety in DS3. the dread looming overhead just isn't there anymore.

my gripes are probably less of a big deal than they sound because i'm having a damn good time. that being said, if DS3 really is the final chapter then it's a great way to end the series and a necessary one at that. i probably could play a few more dark souls, but they'd feel very derivative without shaking up the series dramatically. DS2 showed signs and DS3 is living proof. i mean shit this game has sections that mimic the original. as good as it is, it's more of the same, which i know won't hold up over time. there's a novelty to these games and there's just no way i can see myself as enthused about them in 5 years without a change in formula.

PS: the OST is god damn amazing. the theme for
Dancer of the Boreal Valley
is so fucking good. the fight mixed with the music hitting that crescendo in the 2nd phase is orgasmic.

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Re: Dark Souls 3

Post by Mr. Smith » Sun Apr 17, 2016 03:58

I'm about halfway through myself, haven't died yet.
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Re: Dark Souls 3

Post by Saladin » Tue Apr 19, 2016 05:46

I feel very similarly kob, although I think I like it less than you do. I'm about at the same place you are I think, the dancer.

It clearly takes influence from Bloodborne's design, but without its mechanics, it mostly ends up being frustrating.

By far, this is the most difficult DS, at least in the beginning. It's very unforgiving and borders on horseshit sometimes, but is never as bad as DS2 jank. Although it comes close sometimes.

Despite all of its interesting bits, I actually have very little to say about it. It sort of did what it needed to do. It's clearly inferior to the original despite its gameplay and visual improvements, but it's much better than DS2.

So we have the hierarchy of the series as Bloodborne/Demon's Souls, then DS1, then DS3 as a distant third, then DS2 as a play if you have nothing else to do.

I will say that I actually like the theme a lot, particularly how it retcons DS2 into relevance by saying, "ok, yeah, the fire is linked in cycles, but that cycle is ending now, and it's gotten so bad, you're not even an undead, you're just subsisting off the embers of the age of fire because no humans are left at this point."

The game itself has been ups and downs. Some truly great moments, and some fucktarded as all hell. It sort of averages out to a comfortable "meh." Maybe end game will change my mind, but I doubt it. This one is good, but far from great.

Also, kob, for those two enemies. I think the torturer ladies only sap health when your character is *looking* at them. So you want to avoid eye contact and kill them quickly. As for the Pontiff, he was an *asshole*, but he was much easier with the dragon crest shield or any other comparable high resist medium shield. I personally find the very first boss to be stupidly difficult, particularly with the crappy ass starting gear the sellsword gets.

I've been running two-handed uchi for the whole game and I find certain segments impossible without one. Otherwise, I've sort of enjoyed this build.

I'll post more thoughts when I'm done.
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Re: Dark Souls 3

Post by kob » Tue Apr 19, 2016 06:55

i actually finished last night. i feel more or less the same about it as i did a few days ago. maybe enjoyed it a bit more as i thought the 2nd half of the game was slightly better. mostly because i thought the 2nd half felt like actual dark souls and not bloodborne. i actually agree there isn't a whole lot to say as well. we talked about bloodborne for fucking ever, but i find i don't have as much to say about this one. it felt like a souls game and in the 2nd half you really see that this is one big love letter final hoorah for the series because of all the ground it retreads.

regarding difficulty, this was probably the easiest for me. i suppose it just depends on your build, but for my standard (great)sword & board blind souls game run this one didn't strike me as too rough. some bosses got me good (Pontiff still being the hardest one i faced with a later boss in an optional area coming in 2nd), but most were one or two shots and only few sections tripped me up hard enough to be difficult. this one didn't have the huge playstyle adjustment of bloodborne or the incessant bullshit of DS2. the same general dark souls strategy applied, though it did seem like there were more enemies that punished constant shield usage. probably why i only used it as a last resort towards the last third or so. and oddly enough, greatswords were actually very weak. i noticed people with faster one hand weapons were doing more damage than any of my greatswords. they did buff em today from what i heard though.

my rankings of the series depends on how i look at it. as a total experience, especially as a singular one, my ranking is probably BB=DS1>DeS>DS3>DS2. but from a game perspective (i.e. i just want to play a fun game), mine looks like BB>DS3>DS1>DS2>DeS. looking back, the older games are nowhere near as fun as i remember, particularly DS1 where the quality nosedives after O&S. when you become a vet all the unrefined elements of the earlier titles really start to show. i expect DS3 is the one i'm going to come back to the most in the long run because it's the best iteration of the series from that perspective. it's just a fantastic game. but that's also its weakness as a souls game. DS3 has very little of the atmosphere, wonder, fear and intrigue that made these games so compelling for me (DS1 and BB specifically). it feels very game-y. like i was hooked, but only because it was fun to smash dude's skulls in.

i do love it though and plan to get a 2nd run in for a PvP build after i take a break. almost 30 hours of gameplay over the past week has really burned me out haha

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Re: Dark Souls 3

Post by Saladin » Mon Apr 25, 2016 18:43

I'm basically finished with the game at this point. I haven't watched the ending cut scene because I wanted to run around and make sure I didn't miss anything, but I beat the final boss and the optional side bosses, one of whom was ball bustingly difficult.

I went through almost the whole game just two handing an uchi but after Dancer it became clear that strategy wasn't going to work anymore so I switched to your build kob and God am I glad I did.

I used that quality great sword, can't remember which one. Astora I think. The big silver one. But after the buff it was crazy effective. Very fun build. Kinda as broken as it was in DS2 and pre patch DS1. These games are built around the heavy hitters pretty clearly.

Well, in terms of my thoughts, I actually sort of *disliked* this game prior to the end. Luckily, I think it finishes pretty strong, so my feelings are mixed now. Some very positive, some very negative. Overall I still think it's good, but not great.

Much better than DS2, but in the same league as DS2.

And because of that, I gotta say, as gently as I can, this series is dead to me now.

The original mission of Demon's Souls, continued partially in DS1, to make a game that was fun and challenging without being unfair, is fundamentally dead.

Dark Souls, since Artorias, has basically become another "hard" game like Ninja Gaiden. Another memorization based, unfair bullshit fest whose difficulty is a *gimmick*, and has nothing to do with iterating on interesting mechanics or exploration or challenging the player or bringing them to crazy new worlds.

Dark Souls is no longer a game, it's a tribe. It's a social clique like being a metal head that appeals to the "git gud" try hards.

Particularly stupid in this entry was the inclusion of Bloodborne boss formats *without bloodborne mechanics*. Bloodborne includes horse shit difficulty spikes and retarded ass mechanics like anti-punish boss attacks (an attack that triggers or is timed to your punishment) both to discourage passive playstyles and give you that feeling of horror and the hunt. And its mechanics, like side stepping and rally, are tailored to that experience

In DS3, it just exists to get you killed. It literally no longer means anything to be "good" at this game, because there's some jank most bosses or enemies have designed to give you a cheap death if you don't know about it. Easier to deal with once you know, impossible to deal with when you don't.

It was theoretically possible to beat Demon's or get very far in Dark without dying or farming at all. Because the game *rewards* you for paying attention to its core mechanics. Increasingly since Artorias, they've moved over to fake difficulty bullshit. And it's just not interesting to me anymore. It's tedious and frustrating to have to learn yet another set of jank boss mechanics.

I'll play this game a couple more times but, overall, other than some gorgeous set pieces, some fun bosses, and some great areas, there's no *magic* to this series anymore. It's just a fucking slog for like 30-40% of the game.

The series seems to have forgotten that there's nothing actually interesting about making a game hard if what you're asking the player to do is not itself interesting.

It's fallen prey to its own "Prepare to Die" marketing mentality and both the gameplay and the story have suffered for it.

I really, truly hope this is the last game in the series and that they move on to bigger and better things. The format has so much potential, as Bloodborne has proven, and there's just nothing left in this IP.

The game is all about a dying world sustaining itself on the embers of a once great age of fire, and like DS2 and "forgetting," it's like an accidental criticism of the game itself. It's just running on the fumes of its predecessor, sometimes literally without spoiling anything, and has nothing left to offer. Let the fire go out, and show us something new instead.
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Re: Dark Souls 3

Post by kob » Mon Apr 25, 2016 20:07

what bosses did you feel gave you cheap deaths? not because i disagree - i just don't remember all their mechanics right now.

i agree with you for the most part. everything since Artorias in the DS series has been tailored towards a very different audience. this is clearly a game centered around its difficulty and boss fights now rather than a full "experience" like DeS and DS1. but i think where i feel differently is that i still just enjoy playing these games. most of these AAA RPGs like The Division, Shadow of Mordor and Bethesda's games are so boring because of the gameplay. jumping from quest npc to quest npc, fetching, gathering and other menial tasks to fill up an XP bar, weak or uninteractive combat etc. all of that is just incredibly boring to me in a single player RPG. the formula in these From Soft RPGs is very close to ideal. i don't want my hand to be held, i don't want to be bogged down with all kinds of meta and interface elements. i just want to explore a new and interesting world while killing some bad dudes. it doesn't even have to be hard - it just has to be fun moment to moment. so these games really work for me.

where Dark Souls in specific is stumbling is it being more of the same. sure, the combat is mechanically the best it's ever been - i helped a friend in DS2 yesterday and combat is unresponsive by comparison - but strategy is the exact same, especially against the humanoid enemies. even with all the enemies trying to punish circle strafing it still ends up being the most effective way to deal with them. despite conventional logic, your instinct is still to get up close, run in circles and roll through attacks until the boss is on cooldown, where you then get your swing in. one of the big reasons Bloodborne was so amazing is because it changed this up. a lot of fights i actually had to stand toe to toe with the enemy. the side-step mechanic was the best thing about combat. i still remember how much i loved the Blood-starved Beast fight. it felt so engaging to be weaving in and out of attacks like that.

and then there's the art style. we're still going through the same castles, the same catacombs, the same swamps and dungeons and ugh. it's just not as cool the 4th time around. why not delve into other aspects of dark, high and epic fantasy? Archdragon Peak and Irithyll were cool. i want more like those. or better yet, i want them to leave this style of fantasy and go for more stuff like Bloodborne. maybe sci-fi. there's just so much potential here being wasted on the same style with the same themes. enough with the fire shit!

anyway, i'm going through the game a 2nd time with a rapier build and i'll be using a buckler rather than a good shield and it'll be mostly for style purposes. i'll see if i feel differently about it playing this way.

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Re: Dark Souls 3

Post by Saladin » Mon Apr 25, 2016 20:44

For me, the main two were the King of Storms and Gundyr, both Iudex and Champion (God, of all the boss fights they had to fucking reuse that one).

While I like storm\nameless king visually and lore-wise, he's just got three or four different movesets that are fucking dumb. And he exemplifies a boss that basically belongs in Bloodborne. In DS he makes no damn sense. He does too much damage too quickly. Perfect for rally but retarded without it.

And he's a poster child for the new bullshit memorization tactics. Every single move he does is delayed, which, when combined with the deliberate input delay in the game, means there's zero way to react to his moves or understand how they're being telegraphed. You have to memorize the timing and dodge through them. That's endlessly fucking irritating to me, because it means you have to continuously die until you've seen his entire move set enough times to have the dodge times memorized.

And it's triply stupid because you can't use a shield in this fight because of the lightning damage and you'll never have enough stamina to even block a full combo. So this is the *only* way to do it. Which runs completely contrary to the Souls philosophy of your shield being your best friend. He's a total bloodborne boss unapologetically.

Gundyr is just a horseshit DS2 boss transplanted into DS3. Excessive tracking, stupidly large hitboxes, relentless attack animations, anti-punish move set, excessive damage output. Just the worst fucking boss in the game. 100% fake difficulty. Were it not for the fact that he could be parried, the fight might as well be a JRPG, because it solely comes down to whether you can kill him before he makes you use all your estus. There's zero strategy involved.

Given, both of those bosses are optional. But you can't judge a game's quality by that. If it's in the game, of course I'm going to play it.

Basically every boss too has one move designed to kill you unfairly at least once. The Dancer has her retarded grab which will almost certainly kill you if you're not at full health, which is otherwise a pretty interesting fight. Vordt's second form is full of things you just have to know, like that you have to roll at his face to avoid attacks, the least sensible thing to do. The Evil Tree was a fascinating enemy but a completely stupid fight with garbage hitboxes and moves you had to just memorize.

In general, a lot of the regular enemies have this problem too. Dudes with way too much super armor, enemies that have way too much health for who they are, enemies with grabs that basically instakill with teleporting hitboxes (inverted mimics etc.)

The whole middle of the game is so utterly forgettable too. Basically the entire section from the evil tree to the abyss watchers is completely blank in my mind. I know there's the swamp and the Crystal Mage, but that's all I can even remember.
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Re: Dark Souls 3

Post by Saladin » Mon Apr 25, 2016 20:47

I agree with you too in the sense that no other games really come close to this series. Dragon's Dogma maybe, and there are some imitators like Lords of the Fallen, but nothing scratches the same itch.

That's why it's so irritating that they've gone in this direction. Because I loved these games so much before, and now they're like half forgettable, boring, frustrating garbage.
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Re: Dark Souls 3

Post by Gordon Frohman » Mon Apr 25, 2016 21:02

I haven't beaten it yet, but I did beat Champion Gundyr earlier and I loved it - my favorite fight next to Pontiff Sulyvahn.

I'll have more to say later, but some of the bosses are absolutely dumb. I agree with you, Sally, on the Dancer; that grab was absolute dogshit but overall I felt she was fair. Some of the bosses, like Aldrich, was just fucking bullshit. Really? You're gonna shoot an arrow storm that tracks you AND homing soul mass? Fuck yourself.

Old Demon King has so far been the biggest pain in my dick. I beat him ages ago but I've never died to a boss that many times in this game. Fucking hell, I raged.

All in all, I feel the bosses have been pretty fair. Yeah, some do feel more applicable to Bloodborne, but I have a soft spot for fast paced dodge-a-thons.
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Re: Dark Souls 3

Post by kob » Mon Apr 25, 2016 21:07

oh yeah ugh Champion Gundyr. that was probably my least favorite fight in the game. it was just so stupid. he definitely feels right out of DS2. King of Storms was a cool fight in theory but the camera is absolutely atrocious in the first phase. total crapshoot of whether i'd have enough Estus for the 2nd phase.

i totally agree about shields. you are punished for using one now most of the time because of stamina. any combo attack or kick-style move is purposely designed to guard break you and it's so obnoxious. i'd rather them just get rid of 100% physical block shields, or only have one in the game and it has drawbacks, or make it so only a fully upgraded shield can be 100% block. that way you can still make it harder to hold your shield up all the time without having to adding attacks like that.

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Re: Dark Souls 3

Post by kob » Tue Apr 26, 2016 23:12

oh there's this: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1212047

i wonder if new IP means we'll get something like Bloodborne, or something new entirely.

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Re: Dark Souls 3

Post by Saladin » Tue Apr 26, 2016 23:21

My guess would be something entirely new. I don't think Miyazaki even wanted Dark Souls sequels. Exciting news though.
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Re: Dark Souls 3

Post by kob » Thu May 05, 2016 02:22

man this game is way easier with a fast weapon thanks to all the bosses with low attack cooldowns. i mean obviously i'm better at the game, but you have so many more opportunities to strike. and the rapier has GS-like stagger potential.

also after defeating dancer a 2nd time i think that might be one of my favorite fights in the series (minus the grab - that thing is horseshit). she's really difficult, but i like that there's a thematic tie in with her patterns. it feels more genuine that she has unpredictable, delayed attacks rather than the bosses where it feels cheap and dumb (e.g. Gundyr). plus the music man that's some GOOD SHIT

really enjoying my 2nd playthrough. it's a lot more fun with this build while also knowing what's coming. it plays like a really fine-tuned action RPG and that's exactly what i'm in the mood for

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