Demon’s Souls PS5 Review

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The Bluepoint remake of Demon’s Souls was exactly what I wanted. It addressed most if not all the complaints that I had 11 years ago. Die hard fans may have qualms with things here and there, but I had zero complaints. As far as I’m concerned, Bluepoint took From Software’s effort and refined into a more palatable game while still retaining most of what I remembered.

The game runs a smooth 60 FPS (except during this one session that required me to restart the PS5). This kind of performance elevated the game to the point of enjoyable. It was playable on the PlayStation 3, but it got in the way of the gameplay. The level of performance was so smooth that I was even willing to start parrying. I wasn’t that proficient at it, but the fact that it was even a worthwhile option was revelatory to me.

Super fast load times meant I was zipping from archstone to archstone within a handful of seconds and dying was rendered a minor inconvenience rather than the 30 second timeout that it once was. I was right back into the thick of things and ready to seek revenge or run right into a reckless death.

I recalled bits and pieces of Demon’s Souls, so the entire game wasn’t a complete mystery to me. Even through the foggy memory, I still recognized the quality of life improvements that Bluepoint included. Not having to haul myself between storage and the blacksmith was once such convenience that got rid of something annoying. Also the ability to send loot and materials back to storage was welcomed as well. Some may say that these things added to the unforgiving premise of Demon’s Souls, but not me. They didn’t do anything, but elongate the game unnecessarily.

With many of the rough edges polished, I was just breezing my way through the game. Much of the original release’s annoyances and frustrations made way for satisfying progress. It didn’t take long before I realized I was at the last boss and seeing credits.

From Demon’s Souls to Bloodborne, I’ve always felt From Software’s ideas were bigger than what they could pull off. The idea behind Demon’s Souls was very sound, but the technical issues kept me from truly enjoying it. Bluepoint removed the ambiguity and friction between myself and the game; when I died, I knew it was wholly my fault. It wasn’t because there were input delays or unresponsive controls. Bloodborne was my favorite game of theirs primarily due to the fact that the framerate was relatively stable. Now, I think Demon’s Souls may be my favorite to play for similar reasons.

Verdict:
I liked it

Ratings Guide

LTTP: Demon’s Souls

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I read that From Software’s Demon’s Souls was “tough, but fair”. I’d have to disagree. I’d say that it’s “tough and mostly fair”. I had the misconception of believing that Demon’s Souls was more like another “tough, but fair” game, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, but it doesn’t have nearly the consistency. I’d like to understand the rules of a game and see those rules upheld as I progress though the game. Unfortunately Demon’s Souls didn’t do that.

My deaths in Demon’s Souls can be categorized as follows:

  • Due to recklessness
  • Due to unforeseen circumstances
  • Due to inconsistencies

Reckless deaths were my fault and mine alone. I either didn’t heed the warnings left by other travelers or I underestimated the relentlessness of the enemies. Sometimes I died without the warning from enemies or other players, so I attributed those uncommon deaths as “unforeseen circumstances”. That may seem frustrating, but it wasn’t for me — I considered it part of the learning process.

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Checkpoint: More CivIV Edition

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I won my first CivIV game via Space Victory yesterday. It’s my second CivIV victory and it was by far the most gratifying. And yet, I still can’t say I mastered anything. I’m flabbergasted by the amount of stuff I still don’t know or overlook.

For example, in my last game, I thought I had the game sealed, but I neglected to keep tabs on the Khmer civilization and its move towards a cultural victory. By the time I realized it, it had the three legendary cities required for the win. Oh well, live and learn.

In somewhat related news, I canceled my pre-order for StarCraft II. I’ve played the beta for a grand total of one time and that wasn’t a very long session either. I’ll either wait for a better deal (not $55) or I’ll just wait for all three games to be released and get the eventual battle chest. I just don’t have any interest in playing it any time soon. I’m content playing Civilization IV for the summer. That or Demon’s Souls.

I’ve chosen From Software’s sleeper hit as my summer game. Ironically, it’s another Atlus publish game — they’ve become my summer game publisher for the past couple of years with the Persona games and now Demon’s Souls.  I’ll also have my hands full with Alan Wake and Bayonetta. And those are just games in my possession. I have at least two more that I want to get.