So I've committed myself to playing Dark Souls with minimal interruption, and have found it just as satisfying and frustrating as before. The threat everything poses, the lack of real direction or linear feel, it tests you as a gamer.
Part of me, however, feels like I've broken the game.
There's a spot early in the game where you can farm 10,000 souls in a matter of a minute or two, souls being the currency in the world, used for both buying weapons, armor, etc. and leveling up.
It would take a great deal of time and effort to gather that many souls playing the game straight, and knowing that I can do it so easily means I'll neglect learning the finer points of combat, which will likely bite me in the ass later.
On top of that, I've apparently forgotten how to level up weapons and armor. I remember my first time playing, I just did whatever and had a pretty solid character build with a reasonably strong weapon and armor set.
I'm good with the longsword. I know the timing, I know the strikes. It is easy to wield.
I also feel like it is a bit of a cop out to use it throughout the game. I've always love the idea of the morningstar, I like the halberd, and even intrigued by the hand/fist upgrades.
No matter the interest, I end up being a sword and bow-wielding pyromancer. Sounds cool, but feels a bit basic.
Sometimes, this game makes me feel like less of a gamer. I've always been interested in RPGs and character building, but Dark Souls makes me feel like I'm awful at it. I apparently don't know how to learn better approaches to the process.
Dragon Age is a game that I enjoyed because the building was straightforward. That also had an actual story, which was nice.
Dark Souls is lacking in the story department, though I guess it is up to the player to interact with the NPCs and such to gather pieces of the story. It is a nice change of pace that I appreciate, but do not favor in my gaming.
As of now, I've rung the first bell, the Bells of Awakening being the first major goals in the game, followed by the arduous process of defeating four bosses holding pieces of the Lord Souls (each of whom are shown in the beginning trailer of the game).
Between the player and the bosses are treacherous areas that test skill and patience, much like the entire game makes a point of doing.
First, I have to venture into Blighttown, attempting to maintain the majority of my health, en route to Quelaag, who guards the second Bell of Awakening, which opens Sen's Fortress, which is a palace of punishment, a tower of torture...
A funhouse of f*cking frustration!!!
There are so many obstacles that stand between me and finishing this damned game...
And this damned games keeps me from playing other games I have yet to play. Assassin's Creed 2, Mass Effect 3, and Dragon Age 2 have never once seen the inside of my XBox.
AC2 is an easy thing to start playing because I've already beaten AC1. In order to player ME3 and DA2 (I hate abbreviating in such a way), I have to play the games that come before to completion.
So before I can play Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2, I have to beat Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age.
I'll be playing BioWare games for a year at my current rate...
I've tried to fit a half an hour or so per session of ME just to get the ball rolling. I just haven't been in the mood for gabbing with NPCs for long stretches of time between actual gameplay.
Completing the Mass Effect series is an exciting prospect, while the undertaking of Dragon Age 2 is less exciting since I know the gameplay change dramatically.
Gone is the character customization. They give you a character with a backstory and everything. Sort of feels like a step back, but whatever.
I'll probably get bogged down with other games and then Dragon Age 3 will come out, and I'll hate the world just a little bit more, and never play through the series.