The lights are on
You are a brave warrior who ends up stuck in a purgatory-like area called The Nexus. This Nexus is home to 6 archstones (leading to worlds), which serve the purpose of keeping an evil known as The Old One sealed away, thus keeping the land of Boletaria safe and happy. Recently though a corrupt king has awakened the evil and now it threatens to engulf the land in darkness. Solution, The Maiden you meet here tells you about lulling The Old One back to sleep In order to keep the land safe from these evils and whatnot. In order to do so you need to collect the souls of demons (specifically the bosses) throughout the game. Besides winning their souls, beating them also brings you out of phantom form, removing the restriction on your life bar, thus increasing your chance to survive enemy encounters. There really is zero difference between this form and being in a live body, except the hp bar part and dying in a world several times alive, among doing bad things such as killing live npcs, negatively affects its tendency. I really don't know much about it other than that so I won't comment on it.. Anyway, within the Nexus you can interact with a limited amount of npcs, ones that can be rescued from various sections in the game's levels (one of which will be rogue and kill others if freed) are valuable as they'll grant access to spells, assuming you have required materials (boss souls). There's nothing complicated really about battling enemies, it greatly comes down to timing attacks and dodging to best any foe in the game, but easier said than done for some players. Of course, if you have a low soul level, it is much easier to be whacked down by the stronger foes, and bosses, in the game. Luckily the souls of fallen enemies can be used to build up your stats (which vary depending on which character class you choose to play as), forge stronger weapons, and learn spells to help you on your journey. The downside of this system is if you die, these souls are all lost, but that adds to the challenge and definitely makes you think twice before running straight into an area full of enemies. If you do die, you're given a chance to recollect them wherever you met your fate, but should you die again, the currency is gone for good. Also beware of other players invading your game as Black Phantoms. With that in mind it is encouraged you upgrade often and put those souls to good use damnit. Finding souls is never a problem, but leveling up as you near the game's end can become pretty tedious if you are strong enough, even in the "harder" worlds. On to the worlds, I enjoyed running all over the place, the atmosphere was plenty gloomy, stern or dark for every area, more than fitting for the game. It was pretty cool running across the Boletaria 1-2 bridge as a dragon flew by looking to turn you into a hot dog. I liked ooing at the perilous fall below as I went across cliffs in the Shrine of Storms 4-1, coupled with those flying mantas was just an awesome sight to behold. I thought the background in the Tower of Latria 3-3 rocked, just looking at the silhouettes of other prisons, and the sky, really added to the atmosphere, and made me wish for just an entire world in that level alone. and I'd have to say the swamp was my least favorite, ugh c'mon running across and getting poisoned so much? It would have been pretty neat to see more magma and lava in Stonefang Tunnel 2-3 too. Boss fights at the end of these levels weren't really epic, nor that challenging, at times I could just take them out with a bow and arrow at a safe distance, a pretty cheap method yes but hey I'll exploit it if it means winning har har! I really didn't find myself enjoying any of the battles, rather just waiting to take them out to get on with exploring. Dragon God seemed surprisingly easy for it's size, I would have enjoyed hacking at it's hand at least, and maybe climbing here and there. and I have to say my fave Boss was the Storm King. That fight was pretty sweet. The last boss was a total letdown and unexpected given the game's overall difficulty. The ending was also pretty short and undramatic. Now that I'm on to complaining, another *minor*gripe was with character and story development, as there isn't much to be found, at least to me. You are a nameless protagonist, those npcs around you offer a few lines of speech but it didn't feel like enough root them deep into the game's story. I would have liked to hear Ostrava of Boletaria rant away for a good ten lines for example, as well as most other characters. There could have been more CGI scenes as well, more npcs, and I was kind of hoping the levels would be longer and more expanded, probably just for the sake of replay value. Based off personal estimates this game clocks in at least 30 hours worth of gameplay. Short? Yes. I don't feel that puts a noticeable dent in the playthrough though. I think Demon's Souls is *barely* good enough to warrant a sequel and address this issue as well as the others mentioned, but I won't hold my breath. The game was worth every penny regardless of any problems I came across. Perhaps Project Dark will be the Bioshock Infinite of Demon's Souls, that would be awesome. And thanks if you actually cared enough to go through my review.
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