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Dark Souls 2

Started by Chedney Honks, October 03, 2021, 06:11:29 PM

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TrenterPercenter

Yes I never got why it was hated so much; it was great, as was DS1 and DS3.

madhair60

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.

Chedney Honks

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.

madhair60

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.

Thursday

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.

Chedney Honks

Definitely agree with that, albeit nothing further to add. It's the one Souls game where I would enjoy hanging out.

druss

I went a bit Dark Souls mad this year after Elden Ring and replayed all of them. I was surprised that DS2 was probably the most enjoyable, although it is also by far the most unpolished. It's a bit jarring how good the DLCs are compared to most of the rest of the game. It feels like about 50% of the game (if you include the DLCs) is fantastic, but some areas are clearly weaker.

Dark Souls 3, whilst having the most fun gameplay, felt the least replayable. There's no real depth to any of the lore, the narrative is contradictory and felt like the gaming version of Lost, and the game itself is the most linear of the 3. I started out with a pyro build to try something different but then halfway through decided to change weapon to a greatsword and ended up doing a strength build because otherwise I felt like I was gimping myself. Played through DS2 as Dex, strength, hexxer and sorcery and each felt viable.

I didn't mind the callbacks in 3 the first time I played it but I found myself rolling my eyes regularly this time. The callbacks feel so lazy and often times unnecessary. Why is Andre at Firelink? Why is the hub even called Firelink? Why is there another onion knight with exactly the same personality? The game wouldn't have suffered by changing all of these and other details. Some of the callbacks work such as Irithyll being
Spoiler alert
Anor Londo
[close]
but their impact is lessened by all of the shitter ones.

But yes, DS2 was the best. Such a massive and interesting world with many memorable characters and moments. Nothing in DS3 comes close to matching the Vendrick reveal and I can't think of any NPCs as good or memorable as Pate, Navlan, Lucatiel, Maughlin, Aldia (and his mad house) or Vendrick. The game gets a lot of stick for its bosses but that's only because there were 40 of them. Half of them could have been mini-bosses without the boss title card and you'd be left with mostly fantastic ones.

It's sad the amount of shit that DS2 gets, it seems to be widely regarded as a poor game rather than the flawed masterpiece it truly is.

Thursday

Looking back on DS2 post Elden Ring, I really appreciate that it's simple enough to actually do all the NPC stories in DS2. In Elden Ring they are more fleshed out sidequests, but the open world means it's so easy to mess them up because you do something at the slightly wrong time. So you have to follow guides, which takes a lot of the excitement out of it. And even then on my 2nd playthrough I still messed them up when I thought I was following the steps correctly.

And there's been a lot of people rightly pointing out the similarities in some of DS2 and Elden Ring's design, but it's the mood of the world that really resonates with DS2 for me, and that's where I don't think Elden Ring is particularly similar.

I would still call Elden Ring a better game, but it's lore isn't really connecting with me other than Ranni's quest.

The Crumb

Quote from: druss on May 16, 2022, 09:52:52 AMDark Souls 3, whilst having the most fun gameplay, felt the least replayable. There's no real depth to any of the lore, the narrative is contradictory and felt like the gaming version of Lost, and the game itself is the most linear of the 3. I started out with a pyro build to try something different but then halfway through decided to change weapon to a greatsword and ended up doing a strength build because otherwise I felt like I was gimping myself.


Agreed on the lack of variation in DS3 playthroughs. Pyro was weird, I found it a slog at the start, but from Demon Ruins on it's probably the easiest build I've played in a From game. One of the pyromancies absolutely wrecks bosses and does massive splash damage.

madhair60

Quote from: druss on May 16, 2022, 09:52:52 AMIt's sad the amount of shit that DS2 gets, it seems to be widely regarded as a poor game rather than the flawed masterpiece it truly is.

it's horrible. I hate it.

chutnut

Me too, really had to force myself to finish it. Gave up on that pirate level first attempt, and on my 2nd attempt stopped as I got to the final boss (after doing all the dlcs too) because Sekiro arrived in the post. Genuinely can't imagine stopping any of the others at any point let alone as I get to the final boss. I did go back and properly finish it a couple of months later.
Replay all the others pretty regularly, last year I did DS2 too to give it another chance, it just made me angry and fucked it off again pretty near the end. If I ever feel tempted again, I just need to remember that half the time your character attacks in completely the wrong direction, and my ds2 boner is one shotted

Dickie_Anders

DS2 has a weird charm to it. It seems like it's almost an aborted alternative path for FromSoft games. Its combat is quite weighty and slow, like DS1. No insanely fast infinite attack bosses from what I remember, like you get in DS3 and Elden Ring. From Bloodborne onwards it seems like they basically decided on taking them in a more fast paced direction, closer to traditional action games.

For me personally, I prefer the slower style. Partially because my reflexes are shit. But I also strongly remember my first time playing DS1 and feeling like I was lugging about with heavy armour and a heavy sword, having to commit to every arduous swing. Felt more like I was just trying to survive rather than a pure action game, which I really like

So I should like DS2 as well, but I really don't. I think one of its main problems is that it launches about 40 enemies at a time at you. Even the later, faster games seemed to know not to do that. When you have a system that depends almost entirely on locking on to single enemies it's not a good idea. It's difficult yeah, but in a massively unfun way

Crenners

The worst gameplay.

The best everything else.

druss

Quote from: Crenners on May 17, 2022, 09:30:34 PMThe worst gameplay.

The best everything else.
I would roughly go along with this although I think DS1 is hard to top in many areas. There's something about Drangleic though. DS3's world is a joke in comparison.

Thursday

#44
Did some replays of them all in the build up to Elden Ring and honestly Dark Souls 3 was my least favorite mechanically (as well as being inferior in all the other areas). It's so much more reflex based, rather than being strategic like DS1 and 2. People confuse it being faster with better, but I don't think it is.

It's obviously designed to stop people relying on certain tactics - Every enemy does so much shield stamina damage, you can just dodge an attack anymore because even standard enemies have all these follow up pirouettes so you have to do multiple dodges*. Circle strafing won't work because every attack has a 360 degrees radius. Also so many more enemies doing AOE status effect damage as well. And they all hit so hard as well. The enemies in Irythyll for example are absolutely ridiculous, doesn't feel like a fair fight at all.

It's obviously necessary because as I say, people have figured out safer ways to play through DS1 and 2, but they're just so overbuffed it gets exhausting and just makes you want to sprint past everyone. 

*On this note DS3 and Elden Ring have this thing where you basically end up spamming dodge button so you end up rolling around like a twat. It looks and feels a bit silly, what's happened is they've taken the faster pace of Bloodborne, but reverted you back to the style of movement from Souls games even though it kind of doesn't make as much sense now. Bloodborne's gives you the movements and toolset for faster paced reflex combat, whereas DS3 is an uncomfortable marriage of the two.  I think Elden Ring does slightly better at combining the two as you've got a more varied moveset, but it still hasn't quite nailed it.