What I’m Learning From Dark Souls

To begin with, let me start by saying that despite the number of hours clocked into my game, I’m only past the second boss. I’ve put 16.2 hours in it so far according to Steam. The ratio of hours played and actual progression is extremely lopsided. And disgusting.

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In case you were living under a rock (just as I was until 2 or so weeks ago), you might not know that Dark Souls is an extremely infuriating game. It is brutal, unforgiving, it rips your heart to shreds every 5 minutes and maybe, just maybe, it’ll force that one tear out of your eye. Maybe you’ll have a broken controller or just a broken heart. Realistically though, it’ll be both. Scratch that, it’s all of the above.

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For a game that is so extreme, it’s no wonder that it has such a huge following. Dark Souls really forces you to think about your options and not to rush into things like Leroy Jenkins. As the old saying goes, there are many ways to skin a cat. In this case, your soul and wellbeing is the cat.

But really, there are a lot of tactics and strategies that need to be considered when going into a new area. Yea, if you’re a newbie like me, you’re going to die continuously. 15.5 of those 16.2 hours you spent in that game will literally be the screen that says you died and then about 5-10 minutes of ugly face crying and pleading to all deities that have ever been known for just a little fucking help. (Do they listen? No.)

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Luckily for players like me, there are other players that are actually good at this game. They have numerous walkthrough videos on YouTube and if you’re streaming your play through on Twitch, I bet you’ll have at least one or two players helping you out. I do and I wouldn’t be nearly as far as I am without them. Honestly, if it wasn’t for them, I’d have given up long ago. There’s a certain kind of camaraderie among the players of Dark Souls. Everyone knows your pain and frustration and have been in your shoes at least 20 times on that one level or boss.

Dark Souls is about perseverance and thinking your way through tough situations. It’s all about critical thinking and getting your timing down, especially when attacking and blocking. And for god’s sake, watch where you’re walking. Ledges, man…they will literally ruin your day.

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Ultimately, the Dark Souls series is a tough sonuvabitch. It will make you rage like no other, but it will also make you feel so happy. Yes, you died in that exact spot so many times that you lost count. But after the 23rd or 50th time of attempting it, you get past it and reach that glorious bonfire. You get congratulated by those that are watching because they’re so happy that they don’t have to watch that same 10 minutes play out over and over again like Groundhog’s Day. You probably actually learned something new about the game which in itself is amazing considering that it’s nowhere near intuitive or player friendly.

Dark Souls is amazing. It’s a game that will provide that love-hate relationship that you’ve been longing for and you didn’t know it yet. I recommend this series to anyone and everyone that’s a gamer. It doesn’t matter if you’re casual or hardcore, these games will improve your abilities, and you might even make some friends.

If you ever want to watch me struggle and live the dream (nightmare), follow me on Twitch where I’ll be streaming the first Dark Souls for probably a long time.

http://www.twitch.tv/lilmongoose

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