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Forums => Live Die Live => Topic started by: Chedney Honks on October 03, 2021, 06:11:29 PM

Title: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Chedney Honks on October 03, 2021, 06:11:29 PM
It's not the best but it's my favourite Souls game.
.
I'm not being contrarian here and in large part my preference is probably because this was my first 'proper' Souls experience (played 20 hours of Demon's but hit a brick wall because I really didn't have a clue what I was doing and killed the blacksmith, levelled luck, etc). It's such a kitchen sink weird game, though. They basically throw a shitload of little one-off ideas and systems and items and have so much build variety in there they couldn't possibly balance it all properly. It's great.

I've played them all multiple times and put in probably hundreds of hours into each but this is still the one that feels most elusive and endlessly fascinating to me. The world variety and enemy variety is so much greater than any of the others, incomparably so. The sense of an actual journey is staggering. It's a cut-and-shut patchwork borne of development chaos but they somehow pulled it out of the bag in the end, and that fragmented lack of backtracking and transitional areas you only see once all adds up to the sense of a distant memory of a lifetime's journey, which also ties in really well with the dementia themes. It's bizarrely serendipitous that they managed to give that sense through the actual world traversal, even if it's partly by accident.

So many curious bits like No Man's Wharf, the torch enemy, Pharros Lockstones, Peter Serafinowicz, Belfrys, Shaded Woods, curse pots, blowing up the walls with explosive barrels and jank, Heide Knights, Pursuers, the windmill, Hexes, power stancing, ADP, the cat, the pigs, the great names of the NPC summons, the weird enemies, the humour, Laddersmith Gilligan, the map in the basement, most quotable voice work, the daft traps.

Majula is by far my favourite hub in any of the games, gorgeous melancholic music, woozy atmosphere, real sense of peace, collection of lost souls making it home because they got nowhere else to be, the cheerfulness of so many NPCs is great, always undercut by some sadness or something we know that they don't.

Has anyone ever heard of Dark Souls 2?
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: H-O-W-L on October 03, 2021, 10:08:31 PM
It's my favorite too. Far more eminently replayable than DS1 or 3 to me because you don't really have to do a lot in the intro and the bonfire balancing ensures a lot of uptime. You can just go wherever the fuck you want. It works for those games but that in itself doesn't really work for me every time I just wanna play a bit of Dark Souls.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: bgmnts on October 03, 2021, 10:12:45 PM
I've only ever played the first one and I didnt last long because it was a bit crap.

I'm to understand the second one is much better though so may try it.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: falafel on October 03, 2021, 10:23:26 PM
It's objectively the best one.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Chedney Honks on October 04, 2021, 07:42:08 PM
Quote from: bgmnts on October 03, 2021, 10:12:45 PM
I've only ever played the first one and I didnt last long because it was a bit crap.

I'm to understand the second one is much better though so may try it.

Yeah, it must be you've seen through the bullshit fooling all the rest of the mugs.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: bgmnts on October 04, 2021, 08:02:10 PM
Quote from: Chedney Honks on October 04, 2021, 07:42:08 PM
Yeah, it must be you've seen through the bullshit fooling all the rest of the mugs.

Uh? I just thought it was a bit crap.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Chedney Honks on October 04, 2021, 08:04:29 PM
Chances are you were wrong.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: bgmnts on October 04, 2021, 08:05:18 PM
I mean I suppose? If the second one is better i'll try that.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Chedney Honks on October 04, 2021, 08:10:09 PM
The second one isn't better. I just prefer it because it's weirder and jankier. If you don't like Dark Souls, DS2 will make you build a noose.

Just play Dark Souls again but properly. Loads of people bounce off it before they click with it and love it.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth on October 04, 2021, 10:17:24 PM
Dark Souls is really good...

Good at convincing thickos that it's not tripe!
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Chedney Honks on October 04, 2021, 10:32:22 PM
Praise the Sun mate ☀️☀️☀️

Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth on October 04, 2021, 10:45:22 PM
I don't read the tabloids.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: madhair60 on October 04, 2021, 10:45:29 PM
Quote from: Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth on October 04, 2021, 10:17:24 PM
Dark Souls is really good...

Good at convincing thickos that it's not tripe!

filtered by the gargoyles
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Thursday on October 05, 2021, 12:08:35 AM
I feel similarly to you Chedney in that there's so many things that resonate with me, so it's disappointing that actually playing it starts to feel a bit of a slog, but I'll take it over the more refined but rehashed Dark Souls 3.

Although for people that didn't quite get along with DS1 I'd suggest trying 3, because the things that annoy me about it, won't be a problem for you, and you might enjoy the more fluid controls and it's slightly less obtuse nature.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: oggyraiding on October 05, 2021, 12:12:07 PM
I don't understand why each of the DLCs felt more coherent and well put together than a majority of the base game. Real high quality stuff compared to shit like The Gutter, Black Gulch, Doors Of Pharros, Bright Cove Tseldora, Dragon Aerie etc. It is my favourite Soulsborne game, but there are a few too many areas that feel like chores or which are pointless.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Chollis on October 05, 2021, 12:21:03 PM
never played any of them. are they good then? i (wrongly?) assumed they were very much focused on the challenging combat and everything else was a bit bare bones, but Chedney describing melancholic music, atmosphere and a lifetime's journey has piqued my interest.  i'll start with Dark Souls Remastered will i?
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: falafel on October 05, 2021, 02:22:47 PM
Quote from: Chedney Honks on October 04, 2021, 08:10:09 PM
The second one isn't better.
wrong
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: bgmnts on October 05, 2021, 03:04:13 PM
Fuck sake guys is it better or not!?
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: druss on October 05, 2021, 09:23:05 PM
Quote from: Chollis on October 05, 2021, 12:21:03 PM
never played any of them. are they good then? i (wrongly?) assumed they were very much focused on the challenging combat and everything else was a bit bare bones, but Chedney describing melancholic music, atmosphere and a lifetime's journey has piqued my interest.  i'll start with Dark Souls Remastered will i?
I avoided them for the same reason for years. I nearly gave up with Dark Souls 1, thought I'd got to a point where everyone was too fucking nails and then when running away from someone I found a path to a blacksmith who made my weapons nails and I never looked back. One of the best games I've played in the end, it's so satisfying when you get the hang of it. You go from getting annihilated by nobhead dead fucks who can't afford proper armour, to parrying the end boss so he can't even get a hit on you. Stay down, fire cunt.

I'm not even that good at games, it's a steep learning curve but it's not as bad as people make out once you start to figure it out.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Thursday on October 05, 2021, 11:15:28 PM
Quote from: oggyraiding on October 05, 2021, 12:12:07 PM
I don't understand why each of the DLCs felt more coherent and well put together than a majority of the base game. Real high quality stuff compared to shit like The Gutter, Black Gulch, Doors Of Pharros, Bright Cove Tseldora, Dragon Aerie etc. It is my favourite Soulsborne game, but there are a few too many areas that feel like chores or which are pointless.

Different director - original version of the game was struggling supposedly because they were basing a lot of the game around this darkness mechanic which is why there are so many useless sconces about the place, and the mechanic only really get's used in the gutter. They ended up scrapping it as another Director (Yui Tanimura) came onboard to get the game finished. When it came to the DLC's he was Directing it from scratch, not bound to the same tangled webs of having it connected to the main game that had originally been built with some different design goals.

Obviously with games it's hard to know who deserves all the credit as titles can mean different things, but it seems a bit of a shame for the lad. As it looks like he salvaged DS2 and then made some absolutely top-tier DLC's but doesn't really get the recognition for it because people will just spout their "It was bad because it wasn't Miyazaki" takes.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: evilcommiedictator on October 05, 2021, 11:36:30 PM
I had two goes at Dark Souls 1, then got Dark Souls 3 on launch, then got 2 on sale.

Got screwed over by trying a dex build in DS2 - those axes vs all that early armour make the start of it so easy.
All the stupid shit with walls blowing up? Entirely stupid, because they're never consistent. I'm happy with The Pursurer showing up, and yeah, bosses coming back as normal enemies, fine.
The dumb co-op intended areas and frankly baffling DLC difficultly spikes? Pass. The fog area and scorpion guy? Pass. Branches of yore and lockstones, especially in the rat place? (well, at least halfway through the game there's no point to lockstones)
The entire lack of direction in finding new areas though is a killer, yes, at least there's two paths at the start but why make one so hidden? I'd watched Yahtzee playthrough it so I kinda knew what to do at least.
Also, fuck the windmill.

I've started a DS1 magic playthrough, as I've never done magic yet, and it was OK, but damn that game needs teleportation :)
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Inspector Norse on October 06, 2021, 09:53:31 AM
Quote from: evilcommiedictator on October 05, 2021, 11:36:30 PM
I've started a DS1 magic playthrough, as I've never done magic yet, and it was OK, but damn that game needs teleportation :)

You can open up teleportation halfway through as I remember. Once you've done Anor Londo.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Inspector Norse on October 06, 2021, 09:59:28 AM
Quote from: Chollis on October 05, 2021, 12:21:03 PM
never played any of them. are they good then? i (wrongly?) assumed they were very much focused on the challenging combat and everything else was a bit bare bones, but Chedney describing melancholic music, atmosphere and a lifetime's journey has piqued my interest.  i'll start with Dark Souls Remastered will i?

Bit of both, I bounced off the first one about four times before finally getting stuck into it, but while the combat was a big frustration at first I did find myself drawn in by the atmosphere.

The combat is often hard and often frustrating but at the same time there is a perverse joy to "learning" the game, ie how to take on each different enemy and learning each area - where all the enemies are, how to traverse the area without getting whaled on - and to coming back to those initial tough zones later on once you've levelled up and just going berserk on all those raggedy helmet twats. Finally beating a boss who's been a pain in the arse is such a relief, too. It's a bit like a survival horror in a way, you keep going in order to get to the end of the ordeal.

I liked DS1 more than DS2 because it was the first I played, I guess. DS2 had some areas that were a load of cock like the poison caves and I've never made my mind up whether or not I liked the thing with enemies stopping respawning after a dozen or so deaths. I definitely didn't like the thing where your max health dropped after each death either.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: H-O-W-L on October 06, 2021, 02:13:08 PM
The first DS was clearly meant to be a very niche, high-buy-in budget title much like Demon's Souls and King's Field were and it suffers a lot in the balance and control polish department as a result. Of all of the Dark Souls ones I'd say DS1 is the one where it's clearest that it is not endearing itself to you and will not try to-- either you get into it or you don't. DS2 and DS3 (as much as I hate to admit it, because I think DS3 is a total sell out piece of shit) at least have some compromises/conveniences provided for the player from the start (teleportation, etc) whereas DS1 expects you to invest so much fucking time into it from the get-go that you've either got to be ready to spend 2-6 hours a session on it, or not bother. Which is why I don't replay DS1, I don't want to sit down and put six straight hours into a game to make the same kind of progress I'd make in one with another game. For some people that's alright but to me it just seems like fucking busywork.

Also, people always try to disagree with me on this, but DS1 doesn't reward you for having played the game before. Sequencebreaking just fucks you over, instead of giving you shortcuts to later-game content at cost -- you will always have to do the Undead Burg runthrough to the Lower Burg and then to the Depths if you want to actually succeed at the game, whereas in DS2 I've never had any issues completely and totally skipping Forest of the Fallen Giants until the later game and rushing either The Gutter or Heide's Tower of Flame instead. The only true shortcut in DS1, the Master Key, basically just robs you of souls and gameplay.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: TrenterPercenter on October 08, 2021, 12:33:14 PM
I thought DS2 was widely regarded as the worst? I like them all they are all great no played them in ages though.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Thursday on October 08, 2021, 01:28:42 PM
It is, yes. A lot of us just have weird (but correct) opinions.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: H-O-W-L on October 08, 2021, 03:46:38 PM
It's funnily regarded as the worst because it's not Dark Souls 1.5, and instead dared to do its own thing with the basic formula. People can't understand that it was intended to be an athological installment and not a truly dedicated sequel. If it was called Giant's Souls it would've received far better reception by both fans and critics, but because it was released at the height of Dark Souls mania (which was fucking insufferable to live through as a gamer lemme tell you) as Dark Souls Two, people expected second verse, same as the first. It's explicitly not linked, directly, to the first game, it's just sharing a lot of themes and has wink-and-nods to the primary universe. It's sort of like the new Prey.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: madhair60 on October 08, 2021, 04:15:36 PM
No, it's regarded as the worst because it isn't any fun at all compared to the original. An arduous, poorly-designed ordeal of illogical nonsense and incredibly unenjoyable level design.

It's still alright, mind.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth on October 08, 2021, 04:17:32 PM
Quote from: madhair60 on October 08, 2021, 04:15:36 PM
No, it's regarded as the worst because it isn't any fun at all compared to the original. An arduous, poorly-designed ordeal of illogical nonsense and incredibly unenjoyable level design.
But what about Dark Souls 2?
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: madhair60 on October 08, 2021, 04:19:42 PM
what about shut the fuck up????????????????
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: TrenterPercenter on October 10, 2021, 01:50:05 PM
Yes I never got why it was hated so much; it was great, as was DS1 and DS3.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: madhair60 on October 10, 2021, 01:51:53 PM
right, but it wasn't, which is why it is overwhelmingly (and accurately) considered the weakest of the lot. it pales in comparison, especially to 1. i have no strong feelings about Dark Souls 3. it feels like they needn't have made it when Bloodborne had moved the series on.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Chedney Honks on October 10, 2021, 02:04:44 PM
I think it's the weakest in a number of ways, but you've also overlooked, missed or just don't like a lot of the things which I think make it stand out from the rest of the series. It's by far the most varied and breakable in terms of builds, both for the PvE and PvP. It's very sequence breakable with the Fragrant Branches and so on. The Pit at Majula is another route. You can get a shitload of levels fairly early and really specialise your build. Loads of secrets. Bonfire Ascetics for special items early. I could repeat the OP but that's some of the gameplay stuff I really rate about it.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: madhair60 on October 10, 2021, 03:06:19 PM
Oh yeah, the build variety is the best in the series. That's very true. You can play it a lot of different ways and they're all viable, which is refreshing.

Sorry, it's the same fuckin conversation over and over again isn't it? that's gaming for you.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Thursday on October 17, 2021, 02:19:59 PM
Just some more thoughts to add on why the game resonates with me.

Dark Souls 2 is the most positive Dark Souls game. It's sad and melancholy but with just a tiny bit more hope in its heart. You end up with quite a happy group back at Majula they don't all go mad and die, so there's a slight sense that maybe something can be rebuilt. They don't all just go mad and die. Not even the Crestfallen guy. You can imagine them all chatting together and sharing stories while you're not there.

The mechanic that enemies stop respawning when you kill them enough helps as well. Clearing an area of enemies can make it feel weird and empty but it's also safer and less hostile. So there's a feeling that your presence in the world is actually improving things. There's less of a "Maybe you're the baddie!" feeling throughout it.

The alternate ending in Scholar also reinforces this theme I think, maybe it's a doomed quest, but there's a hope that maybe you find a way of breaking the cycles the universe always ends in. Miyazaki's games seem a lot more fatalistic where this just has a little bit of optimism.
Title: Re: Dark Souls 2
Post by: Chedney Honks on October 17, 2021, 03:38:06 PM
Definitely agree with that, albeit nothing further to add. It's the one Souls game where I would enjoy hanging out.