GRcade plays... Dark Souls series

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The Watching Artist
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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by The Watching Artist » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:09 pm

Hi glorious leader Karl. Sorry for delay in replying. Me tired and busy and not all that well :( I always apprciate the effort you go to when posting so didnt want to leave you hanging. :wub:

I dont really count the DLC areas as part of the second half for a number of reason.
Karl_ wrote:
The Watching Artist wrote:As for playing 1 again. Any twinge of temptation I ever have to do it is quickly crushed when I remember that only about a 3rd of it is any good with the second half being mostly strawberry floating shite.
I know you're exaggerating on purpose but I'm compelled to disagree...!

Undead Burg / Taurus Demon A good area. The way it intertwines feels like a slice of everything the rest of the game could be. Personally I feel its a little on the ganky side for noob players and the run to the boss is far too long.
Undead Parish / Bell Gargoyles Mainly carries on the good work from before. BG are gooseberry fool though and could be improved easily.
Darkroot Garden / Moonlight Butterfly Pretty decent forest area. Wouldnt call it remarkable in any way but decent enough. MB is lovely but a dull tedious fight that can also be irritating. Cool find just after it though
Lower Burg / Capra DemonMore soild stuff. CD is shite though. When you know the trick its absurdly stupid to the point its laughable and when you dont it a dire piece of games design. God awful.
Undead Asylum / Stray Demon Retreading old ground to reach a copy paste boss fight? Pass please. Also I did this in the second half. For me its certainly not something that fits the flow of the early game.
Depths / Gaping Dragon The depths are tricky in a nice way. Probably just stays on the good side but I'm lucky enough to not have been cursed here. Can kill giant rat through the bars because game is janky as strawberry float. GD fight is ok.
Blighttown / Quelaag Blighttown is dreadful. Its an interesting concept and I appriciate its placement in the world etc but strawberry float me I hate it and not in a good way. Jankiest area in souls? Flying bugs that can through walls and floors? Did they think that was meta? Those toxic sniping banana splits? The lift near the end which has a habit of just making you slide off for no god damn reason? Get in the bin. Mrs. Spider Tits is a strong fight though.
Sen's Fortress / Iron Golem I like the idea of Sens. But in practice I dont. Lacks decent shortcuts. Got to trust the games hitboxes (trololololol) The bonfire placement is unnecessarily obtuse and introduces those things. Top has some of the most blatant the walls dont work as walls enemies in the series. IG is a decent solid fight. Even if he can cheap kill you before you even reach him. :x
Anor Londo / Ornstein and Smough, Gwyndolin Pretty much the games peak right? Well if you ignore the terrible archer bit and that the legendary O&S is overated (mainly thanks to the same issues as the BG earlier although its a much better fight then that) Could maybe be well harsh and say seeing lots of the same enemies everywhere is a bit cheap looking but its still probably the best section. Almost feel like it should have ended here.
Painted World of Ariamis / Priscilla I remember really liking the painted world. Its fab. Cant remember anything about boss fights here though. Not a good sign.
--- second half ---
Demon Ruins / Ceaseless Discharge, Demon Firesage, Centipede Demon ABSOLUTE SHITE. Ugly. Boring. Reused "bosses" from earlier cloned all over the place. Anything "unique" here is over used and not interesting. Another reused boss fight alongside a pair of crap fights. DIRE.
Lost Izalith / Bed of Chaos STILL DIRE. Craptastic boss fight with a terrible run to it. Can not say how much I think the lava areas are utter shite. A small bonus point for those creatures that look like they should be in BB. Remove the bonus point because they dont fit in at all.
Catacombs / Pinwheel The Catacombs are..... o....k? I think. the concept is naturally irritating but I dont think its done too badly. At least the skellies are somewhat unique unlike in BB when they reuse this idea but just have the same basic copy paste enemies appear. So thats something. Its probably too long tbh. Pinwheel is weird. Like its hilarious and I like that. But also a waste. Also the music for the fight is actually really cool but you dont get to hear it.
Tomb of Giants / Gravelord Nito Ahhhhh Tombs. The great hidden example of how From dont play fair. Did you know they reduced the lock on range in this area? Kind of clever (if somewhat anger inducing for the player when they expect it to work). Did you know if you wear the sunlight hat is doesnt then make the lock on range go back to normal? HAHAHAHAHAHA. From are banana splits really. Theme wise I like this area. Its just a bit boring though. Loosing your footing because walking is janky whilst not being able to see is crap. At best its ok. Nito though! Oh yeah you take a hit at the start of the fight regardless. So thats shite. Cool design though and the fight itself is certainly better then the most of the others in the second half.
Duke's Archives / Seath Dukes is kinda cool actually. Well I hate the boars on the way. Got to be some of the worst placed enemies in the game. The staircases at least add something new to the level designs at this point. Its all let down by the rather bland outside area and and the ice area. Which could have been interesting. But its not. Seath fight is really poor too. A long tedious trek to it and a fight far too big for the camera and lock on systems to work well. Also it bugged out massively when I did it so I had no idea what I was suppose to do.
Darkroot Wood / Sif Sif is one of the best fight in the game. Maybe even the series. I shall not not dispute that. The wood though? Honestly I cant say anything about it. Its more of the garden really. So meh.
New Londo / Four Kings I do not like New Londo. I think its crap. Now I like it thematically. But I hate the resource dependent combat. I think its dull to explore. Dull enemies although has some that make the lack of working walls in the game finally makes sense! HAHAHAA I'm so funny. Four Kings is dreadful. Putting it in an actual void was a massive mistake for a game where judging distance is actually really important. Its got magic attacks you cant avoid (or do so by blind luck) and ultimately its just down to your damge output. So you dont even really "fight" the boss. Tedious. Also got another terrible run to the boss. I know New Londo doesnt have a bonfire for lore reasons but from a gameplay perspective that was the wrong choice and its a big mistake.
Oolacile Sanctuary / Sanctuary Guardian Pretty cool fight tbh. Area is charming but completely throwaway.
Royal Wood / Artorias, Kalameet Royal Wood is really forgettable to me. Its just more forest area but a bit brighter. It is actually a reused area. The time travel idea would be better if the areas were just more interesting in the first place. Meh. Artorias is a cracking fight though. strawberry floating hard but one of the few which always feels fair. Works within the games limits. Awesome. Kalameet..... less so. Much less so.
Oolacile Township / Manus I dont really remember the township much in all honesty. Its not terrible I guess. But its clearly not something I'd write home about as even after looking on the wiki my reaction was... "oh yeah I did that place". The Abyss area is more memorable. Sadly because its dull although seeing all the humanities is cool. The Manus fight is probably the hardest in the game and is juuuuuuuuuust the right side of the games mechanics to be good. Its ruined by a terrible run to the boss though. Sooooooooooooooo looooooong. Sooooooo gooseberry fool. It was one of those runs where I think my captured footage of me running to the fight was longer then the footage of the fight. And I was only trying to capture the fight FFS.
Kiln of the First Flame / Gwyn The Kiln is an amazing sight to behold. It not a very interesting place to explore though. Which would be ok but its actually quite large and has loads of repeated enemies in it. I know it "makes sense" but if for some reason you should struggle to beat Gwyn thats not an enjoyable trek to keep making. The Gwyn fight is actually really good but done after the DLC is an odd anti-climax. But From decided you have to do it in that order so thats on them. Idiots.

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by Karl_ » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:11 pm

The Watching Artist wrote:Hi glorious leader Karl. Sorry for delay in replying. Me tired and busy and not all that well :( I always apprciate the effort you go to when posting so didnt want to leave you hanging. :wub:

I hope you feel better soon! :wub:

I appreciated your thoughts! I think to be honest there are a lot of little things in each stage that wind you up that don't really bother me. :slol: But I think some of your thoughts do reflect how I initially felt about each area, and that's interesting. My opinion has improved on a lot of them, I guess because I've learned a lot of tricks that make them fun for me. (Like, I can't remember the last time I went all the way down Blighttown rather than taking the Valley entrance...)

We're in agreement about the mosquitos in Blighttown at least! :x (See video below...)

What's your favourite Soulslike, out of interest? Bloodbourne? Sekiro, if it counts?

jawa wrote:It'd be so neat to see you showcasing your Souls skills on stream, Karl (if and when you feel like it, of course)

So I didn't stream, but I did play for a bit. Here is me testing out NVidia's game recording stuff, showcasing my extreme Souls skills. (Proving that knowing a lot about a game isn't the same as being good at it :slol: )

I went on a quest to get the Power Within upgrade, which is handy in the late game, and got destroyed by mosquitos, weapon durability, and my own greed (I took the shortcut to the bottom, which is why I'm exploring bottom-up instead of top-down):



Then the NPC summon, Mildred, carried me through the Quelaag fight (and I got an egg, and I got scared of frogs and ran away from a tree):



The videos are probably not the most exciting or well-produced but you did request it ;)

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by Pedz » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:37 pm

After reading Matts post it makes me want to play it even less, about 80% of whats written there is saying how bad it is.


I'll Pass.

I'll join the next GRplayed, depending on the game.

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by Karl_ » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:42 pm

It's an all time great game (I mean, check out its Metacritic score!) but obviously everyone will have their own opinion on it. I actually didn't like it very much the first time I tried it, it took another go to click. Saying that, part of its design is to be frustrating, so I feel like you have to actually want to play it - it's right not to push yourself as you'll never get along with it if you're thinking "ah I probably won't like this"!

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by Mafro » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:29 pm

Hot takes galore there :dread:

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by The Watching Artist » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:38 pm

Karl_ wrote:
The Watching Artist wrote:Hi glorious leader Karl. Sorry for delay in replying. Me tired and busy and not all that well :( I always apprciate the effort you go to when posting so didnt want to leave you hanging. :wub:

I hope you feel better soon! :wub:
We're in agreement about the mosquitos in Blighttown at least! :x (See video below...)

What's your favourite Soulslike, out of interest? Bloodbourne? Sekiro, if it counts?

Thanks. :wub: I've seen the enemy tracking in Sekiro so it deffo counts! :slol: Not actually played it or DS3. My fav is easily BB. I say easily, BB has this one major issue in it that dragged the experience down for me (you have to farm for health :dread: ) but aside from that I found it more enjoyable across the whole thing. Its not without its own bs though.
Karl_ wrote:
jawa wrote:It'd be so neat to see you showcasing your Souls skills on stream, Karl (if and when you feel like it, of course)

The videos are probably not the most exciting or well-produced but you did request it ;)

I got them all but it took ages :lol: Those damn bugs! Vids production is well ahead of mine. Moving text :o :o :o

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by Mafro » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:35 pm

Tbf you don’t need to farm for health if you just use leftover blood echoes after levelling up to buy blood vials. That’s what I’ve been doing on my current play through and I usually have about 80-odd in reserve.

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by Jenuall » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:41 pm

I found BB to significantly easier than either of the DS games I played so never had to farm as I quickly maxed out my vials and rarely dropped that many on bosses as none of them took more than a few goes

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by The Watching Artist » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:45 pm

Mafro wrote:Tbf you don’t need to farm for health if you just use leftover blood echoes after levelling up to buy blood vials. That’s what I’ve been doing on my current play through and I usually have about 80-odd in reserve.

Whilst I know from posting during my playthrough I was in the minority it unfortunately was my experience. Even though I did often buy more. Which I know I did to try and prevent having to do it later on. I dont know why I suffered so much like that but I did. Perhaps I'm just able to last a long time hi Hexx! in fights others didnt? Maybe I was more reckless? Got unlucky with drops along the way? Had too much insight? Am just gooseberry fool at it? Given some of the things these games do maybe I just farted in the bath once and it knew. Regardless from a design perspective it seemed backwards to add to the farming you might already have to do in a Souls game and they must have know it was something could happen. At least half a dozen times I had to stop what I was doing and go farm them. Wasted my time and killed the momentum whenever it happened. Whats the upside of making vials like this? That you can stumble on some in the world? Could easily come up with something that topped up your vials in the world but had something back with the doll to always ensure you started with a set amount. But nope.

Despite that I'm far more likely to ever play through BB again then DS. Think my least fav area in BB is probably the Forbidden Woods. Most of that is ok but the snake part is a chore.

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by Mafro » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:04 pm

The Watching Artist wrote:
Mafro wrote:Tbf you don’t need to farm for health if you just use leftover blood echoes after levelling up to buy blood vials. That’s what I’ve been doing on my current play through and I usually have about 80-odd in reserve.

Whilst I know from posting during my playthrough I was in the minority it unfortunately was my experience. Even though I did often buy more. Which I know I did to try and prevent having to do it later on. I dont know why I suffered so much like that but I did. Perhaps I'm just able to last a long time hi Hexx! in fights others didnt? Maybe I was more reckless? Got unlucky with drops along the way? Had too much insight? Am just gooseberry fool at it? Given some of the things these games do maybe I just farted in the bath once and it knew. Regardless from a design perspective it seemed backwards to add to the farming you might already have to do in a Souls game and they must have know it was something could happen. At least half a dozen times I had to stop what I was doing and go farm them. Wasted my time and killed the momentum whenever it happened. Whats the upside of making vials like this? That you can stumble on some in the world? Could easily come up with something that topped up your vials in the world but had something back with the doll to always ensure you started with a set amount. But nope.

Despite that I'm far more likely to ever play through BB again then DS. Think my least fav area in BB is probably the Forbidden Woods. Most of that is ok but the snake part is a chore.

I just did the Forbidden Woods the other day. Still don’t know what on earth they were thinking with the post-windmill area. That was at least the 6th time I’ve played it and I still couldn’t even draw a vague map of that area.

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by The Watching Artist » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:20 pm

Mafro wrote:
The Watching Artist wrote:
Mafro wrote:Tbf you don’t need to farm for health if you just use leftover blood echoes after levelling up to buy blood vials. That’s what I’ve been doing on my current play through and I usually have about 80-odd in reserve.

Whilst I know from posting during my playthrough I was in the minority it unfortunately was my experience. Even though I did often buy more. Which I know I did to try and prevent having to do it later on. I dont know why I suffered so much like that but I did. Perhaps I'm just able to last a long time hi Hexx! in fights others didnt? Maybe I was more reckless? Got unlucky with drops along the way? Had too much insight? Am just gooseberry fool at it? Given some of the things these games do maybe I just farted in the bath once and it knew. Regardless from a design perspective it seemed backwards to add to the farming you might already have to do in a Souls game and they must have know it was something could happen. At least half a dozen times I had to stop what I was doing and go farm them. Wasted my time and killed the momentum whenever it happened. Whats the upside of making vials like this? That you can stumble on some in the world? Could easily come up with something that topped up your vials in the world but had something back with the doll to always ensure you started with a set amount. But nope.

Despite that I'm far more likely to ever play through BB again then DS. Think my least fav area in BB is probably the Forbidden Woods. Most of that is ok but the snake part is a chore.

I just did the Forbidden Woods the other day. Still don’t know what on earth they were thinking with the post-windmill area. That was at least the 6th time I’ve played it and I still couldn’t even draw a vague map of that area.

I know. Its kind of cool you can get lost but not THAT lost all the time. :lol: It really needs a landmark of some kind.

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by Jenuall » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:36 am

The Watching Artist wrote:
Mafro wrote:
The Watching Artist wrote:
Mafro wrote:Tbf you don’t need to farm for health if you just use leftover blood echoes after levelling up to buy blood vials. That’s what I’ve been doing on my current play through and I usually have about 80-odd in reserve.

Whilst I know from posting during my playthrough I was in the minority it unfortunately was my experience. Even though I did often buy more. Which I know I did to try and prevent having to do it later on. I dont know why I suffered so much like that but I did. Perhaps I'm just able to last a long time hi Hexx! in fights others didnt? Maybe I was more reckless? Got unlucky with drops along the way? Had too much insight? Am just gooseberry fool at it? Given some of the things these games do maybe I just farted in the bath once and it knew. Regardless from a design perspective it seemed backwards to add to the farming you might already have to do in a Souls game and they must have know it was something could happen. At least half a dozen times I had to stop what I was doing and go farm them. Wasted my time and killed the momentum whenever it happened. Whats the upside of making vials like this? That you can stumble on some in the world? Could easily come up with something that topped up your vials in the world but had something back with the doll to always ensure you started with a set amount. But nope.

Despite that I'm far more likely to ever play through BB again then DS. Think my least fav area in BB is probably the Forbidden Woods. Most of that is ok but the snake part is a chore.

I just did the Forbidden Woods the other day. Still don’t know what on earth they were thinking with the post-windmill area. That was at least the 6th time I’ve played it and I still couldn’t even draw a vague map of that area.

I know. Its kind of cool you can get lost but not THAT lost all the time. :lol: It really needs a landmark of some kind.

How they built the Woods to be something of a maze that is hard to get clear in your head at first is possibly one of my favourite things about it! So many games would have focus tested that area to the point of losing all substance and threat, it's good that you can get lost!

Made some progress on my Souls journey last night. Travelled from the Asylum to Firelink Shrine where I almost accidentally murdered the Crestfallen Warrior when I switched from KB+M to my 360 controller and forgot what the buttons were :fp: I'll be back to murder him later anyway I guess so it probably wouldn't have made too much difference!

I explored Firelink Shrine to collect most of the pickups including the Asylum F2 key and then headed back to the Asylum so I could get the Rusted Iron Ring which should come in handy later :D

After that I thought I'd try heading into The Catacombs first for a change, but the skeletons are so bloody annoying that I decided to leave it and come back later (I did grab Zweihander from the graveyard on the way though :nod: )

So after bailing on the Skellys for now I headed to Undead Burg and spanked the Taurus Demon before heading into the Undead Parish and visiting Andre to upgrade my Axe to +3. Oh and of course I stopped off to pay my respects to Solaire as well:

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Thought I would call it a night at that point. Next I'm going to choose whether to head straight to the Bell Gargoyles so I can ring the first bell or whether to head back and cover off a few things I missed (defeating Havel and opening the shortcut to Darkroot Basin for example)

So far so good! :toot:

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by Mafro » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:10 am

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The layout looks nothing like that in my head :lol:

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by Jenuall » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:14 am

Also the Shadow(s) of Yharnam boss is great, I always enjoy a boss fight where you have to deal with multiple targets. :D

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by The Watching Artist » Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:49 am

Mafro wrote:The layout looks nothing like that in my head :lol:

I dont have a layout. I just see snakes.

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by jawa » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:44 pm

Karl_ wrote:
jawa wrote:It'd be so neat to see you showcasing your Souls skills on stream, Karl (if and when you feel like it, of course)

So I didn't stream, but I did play for a bit. Here is me testing out NVidia's game recording stuff, showcasing my extreme Souls skills. (Proving that knowing a lot about a game isn't the same as being good at it :slol: )

I went on a quest to get the Power Within upgrade, which is handy in the late game, and got destroyed by mosquitos, weapon durability, and my own greed (I took the shortcut to the bottom, which is why I'm exploring bottom-up instead of top-down):



Then the NPC summon, Mildred, carried me through the Quelaag fight (and I got an egg, and I got scared of frogs and ran away from a tree):



The videos are probably not the most exciting or well-produced but you did request it ;)


Karl! I just sat down and watched your vids... magnificent! I had no idea you could go through Blighttown from bottom to top rather than top to bottom (well I know it's some form of shortcut!), and it was so cool seeing your playthrough alongside the funny progression text. I'd forgotten just how crazy those mosquitoes are and how annoying the fire-breathing-things and zombie-things can be. When you killed that big beastie at the end you tackled it in a different way to how I did. I (hello context thread) approached it from behind IIRC. I loved the jingle that you added :-).

Quelaag is such an ordeal. I must have fought her about forty times (and Matt saw about thirty-eight of them!) before gaining victory. I saw that you used an NPC to assist and I've never tried that; I might do if I face Ornstein and Smough again, though.

It was funny seeing your wee excursion to the Hollows (tree/woods) at the end :-). Those frog-things can be tough.

Overall, watching your vids has reminded me of my own journey eighteen months ago; how tough it was and how my progress was often glacial. I'd forgotten about those sections and your vids brought it all back. I'm genuinely not sure if I can get through it again! I shall try, though, because although the game kicks butt absolutely mercilessly, it brings about a feeling of achievement like no other.

Thanks for sharing part of your journey, dude!

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by Mafro » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:46 pm

Wish Karl would stream his playthrough :(

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by jawa » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:53 pm

Jenuall wrote:Made some progress on my Souls journey last night. Travelled from the Asylum to Firelink Shrine...

It's good to hear that you've started the adventure, Jenuall! IIRC, you've played through it a couple of times before?

Jenuall wrote:...heading into the Undead Parish and visiting Andre to upgrade my Axe to +3. Oh and of course I stopped off to pay my respects to Solaire as well...

Ah, yes! I upgraded my sword to +3 courtesy of Andre and bumped into Solaire to get the jolly co-operation quote, too :-).

Jenuall wrote:Thought I would call it a night at that point. Next I'm going to choose whether to head straight to the Bell Gargoyles so I can ring the first bell...

Those dang things are where I'm at right now. I'd kinda forgotten just what a pain they are!

Jenuall wrote:...So far so good! :toot:

What a way to test out your new PC. Souls is trying to wreck it :nod: .

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by The Watching Artist » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:56 pm

jawa wrote:I'm genuinely not sure if I can get through it again!

Jawa restarting BOTW tomorrow then

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PostRe: GRcade plays... Dark Souls series
by Cumberdanes » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:05 pm

jawa wrote:
Zilnad wrote:Capra Demon and the giant rat have been slain tonight.

I recall the Capra Demon challenge bring a pain mainly due to the two (?) hounds that attack you and the enclosed area that you battle in. The stairs are a big help , though. Great progress, Zilnad!

Cumberdanes wrote:...Dark Souls 2... I’m still plodding on with the last DLC... had a few fights against the end boss himself...

Sounds like the end is near, 'Danes! It feels like you've really been into this journey even though some of the enemy setups frustrated. Have you enjoyed the DLC a bit more than you'd expected to?


I’d already heard the DLC was better than the main game but I wasn’t prepared for just how hard the bosses would be.

The actual gameplay has been much better for the most part with sone cool new mechanics including some basic puzzles which you wouldn’t normally see.

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