Hey folks, Valkor here. This next review took some time to piece together, simply because when I thought I was finished with it, I found myself getting sucked back in. When I thought I had figured it out, well I hadn’t quite done so. With that in mind, I’d still recommend Atlus’s “Demon’s Souls” for the PS3 simply because it’s frustratingly refreshing.
The jist of Demon’s Souls is; you choose your character (knight, magician, royalty, etc) and enter the world of Boleteria where you will face off against all sorts of demon creatures as well as mind crazy humans, to save Boleteria from the evil dark fog that plagues the country. The game has a deep character customization process where you can customize your face completely from the shape of your nose, the roundness of your cheeks, even the hue of your skin; your only limited to body and hair. Once you’ve completed the character stage, you’ll go through the tutorial stage, where you’ll adjust to the controls, pitting you against a big boss that you don’t really have to defeat because honestly I don’t think you can. Then you are taken to “The Nexus” aka the afterlife. It is here you’ll meet other characters who reside there and they’ll aid you by either holding your stuff (so that you’re not burdened with too much), sell you new gear or repair what your weapons and equipment. To buy new gear, you collect souls from the monsters you drop as you progress through the game, and you can go back to the Nexus to buy new gear any time during gameplay. Even if you’re close to the boss, you can run back to where the Nexus portal is and go back. Once you’ve done what you need to do in the Nexus, you’re tossed back into the game. And everything seems simple enough… until you die. And be prepared, you will die a lot. A LOT! This game kicks your teeth in and doesn’t let up until you LEARN. Yes and you will learn because the characters all follow a certain pattern. And once you learn em, you’ll breeze through the next time you go through the game. And here is how the game is unforgiving; once you die, it tosses you back to the beginning with no souls. So if you’ve earned about 2000 souls, well they’re gone now. But the cool thing is when you die, you leave behind a bloodstain, which you can pick up, that contains all the souls you lost. Plus you don’t lose any items when you die.
Demon’s souls also has a nifty online feature where you’ll be able to see the bloodstains of other players and see how they died, play co-op, up to three players, and another cool feature is you’ll be able to force your way onto other players games, and be the bad guy. Now how’s that for screwin with your buddy? You’ll start out with the basic weapons and armor, but you’ll find more as you play through, like any RPG. And for weapons and armor, you’ll be able to upgrade them in The Nexus. Finally, while not going too deep into the game, you’ll face off against some huge ass boss monsters. And I’m talkin HUGE! But don’t despair because, you’ll learn.
And now on with the review.
Let’s start off with the graphics, which I love the hell outta of. From the opening CGI, to the huge monster bosses, even the beast that you fight up until you get to the boss are detailed nicely. I love the added touch of when you kill a creature, it sorta twitches on the ground. And what’s funny is how you can kick the body all over the place. You can also destroy barrels, flour carts, tables, and scatter debris all about. Nice touch. The level of details in how you fight is borderline realism, which can be good and bad. Since this is the good section, let’s stay in that area. I start the game as a warrior character and as such the char wears armor, and carries loads of items from swords, axes, and shields. All these items will burden your character so you have to limit what you bring with you or you’ll find it hard to move about, especially when you need to. You have a roll that looks like a real roll, not some lightning fast ninja roll, and your attacks look and feel more real than they would in most action/RPGs. The Online play works great and I can’t wait to try it out with tons of other players, looking at their bloodstains and seeing how they died. I love that little detail. Finally because you will die a lot, and you will die a lot, you might become frustrated, but I say to you, keep it cool, because the ends justify the means. I mean it feels kinda good when you finish off a stage after all that dying. So stick it out, you’ll be thankful you did.
First off are the controls; who thought it a good idea to put your attack buttons on the shoulders? Put my rolls there, my items use there, even my blocks, but my attack?? No, no, just no. I mean you’ll eventually get used to it, but in the heat of battle, the shoulders on the PS controllers don’t work so great. Second is the lag in attacks, item use, etc. It’s nothing serious, and again it’s all part of the realism in the game, but in the end it’s a game. But you can’t use a heal herb during a battle, you actually have to stop completely before you do, and if you’re down to one drop and surrounded by enemies, well prepare for The Nexus. Third is the brightness, which is more of a nitpick because in some areas it serves its purpose, but in other outdoor areas, it’s just way too dark. Fourth is all the senseless destruction, but reaping no rewards. Yea you can destroy barrels and such, but most of the time there’s nothing there. Finally the music… It sounds very 32bit, very synthesized and for a Blu Ray, well… I was hopin for full orchestration to match such great graphics.
Did I mention the music? Yea, it’s forgetabble.
In the end Atlus’s Demon’s souls will be a game I still save you gotta try. It’s a unique RPG, that’s ultimately a lot of fun and makes you really think before you dive headfirst into battle. Even with all it's faults, I still say "Own This Game!". Out of TOV 5 stars I give the game a 3.5 and it’s been Valkor tested and TOV approved.