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Sony Wasn't Able To "See The Value" In Demon's Souls

Demon's Souls turned out to be one of the most impressive PlayStation 3 exclusives of the generation. So why did Sony pass on the prospect of publishing it in North America?

Well, in short, because when they first saw it and played it, it was "crap." That's a direct quote from Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida is speaking to Game Informer. But when the interviewer said he felt one of Sony's biggest mistakes was not publishing Demon's Souls in NA and Europe, Yoshida replied- "Absolutely! Tell me about it! 100% agree!"

He then went on to talk about the differences in Japanese and Western game development. For instance, in Japan, he says game design is "made horizontally where all assets are made in parallel, so it's difficult to figure out what the final state of the game is going to be." This is in contrast to the Western style, which is "typically a vertical slice;" i.e., one can see what the end result will be like in the early goings. As for Atlus' RPG:

"For my personal experience with Demonís Souls, when it was close to final I spent close to two hours playing it and after two hours I was still standing at the beginning at the game. I said, 'This is crap. This is an unbelievably bad game.' So I put it aside."

Yoshida went on to say they "definitely dropped the ball from a publishing standpoint" because they weren't "able to see the value of the product." But it's all a learning process and sometimes, it's tough to know what game might end up winning the hearts of consumers and critics. As for the Demon's Souls IP, Yoshida said they don't sell their IPs and now that they love From Software's stuff, the future is wide open.

So what's next? "Evil Souls?" "Devil's Souls?"

Tags: demons souls, namco bandai, sony, atlus

2/11/2012 9:51:38 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (59 posts)

Clamedeus
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 10:22:42 AM
Reply

Sony probably can't, but the customers who bought the game definitely can.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Vivi_Gamer
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 10:23:09 AM
Reply

It is, I started playing my friends copy of the game. It gives you no indication on what class to choose your character at the begining, I chose the guy with the spear. When he would strike he if he was of the axis at a slight angle he's miss and then become defenceless due to the slow, sluggish lunge animation - The game is flawed, not difficult, which is a lousy sales tactic BTW.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 15 down Disagree with this comment

frostface
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 10:45:49 AM

It's not flawed just because you suck at the game.

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Oxvial
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 11:04:05 AM

Ultima use other character that weapon is the slow type.Seriously calling a game flawed just for that? now I respect you less.But maybe is this gen fault the games are so easy that something like the Souls franchise is now too much for them.

Last edited by Oxvial on 2/11/2012 11:09:58 AM

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Clamedeus
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 11:10:41 AM

I can use the Spear guy with no problem, I don't see why someone would complain about the Spear. It takes skill to use the spear effectively.

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Oxvial
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 11:15:01 AM

I think it wasn't the spear.But the halberd from the Temple Knight.He just didn't give much time to the game and barely remembers.Now! having problems with the spear from soldiers starting class?.Wow that would really suck.

Last edited by Oxvial on 2/11/2012 11:15:14 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 1:40:15 PM

Ultima is reiterating that the game is unbalanced, and it is.

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Oxvial
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 1:47:36 PM

Isn't.Souls has great combat is just too much hardcore for some like you and Ultima.flawed or unbalanced are games like Ghouls and Ghost.

Last edited by Oxvial on 2/11/2012 1:48:49 PM

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Clamedeus
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 2:16:19 PM

Demon's Souls isn't unbalanced, there is many ways you can build your character. You can upgrade weapons, and armor. You can also get spells to even the playing field.

The games also not cheap, if you don't pay attention to what you are doing you are going to die. You need patience to succeed, and strategy. Bad timing and poor execution = Death.

When people complain about Demon's Souls, it's because they aren't good, so they have to fall back on an excuse that it's the games fault.

Last edited by Clamedeus on 2/11/2012 2:18:53 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 3:13:57 PM

I dislike this "I'm so hardcore and you're not so you suck" vibe in this thread. It's so childish.

Demon's souls was great, and it's great that people still love a challenge. But as World says, it absolutely IS unbalanced. True fans should be able to accept the flaws of games they enjoy.

I explain exactly why it's unbalanced in my review. And it's hardly a bad review; flaws, however, do not get a free pass just because it's "hardcore."

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Oxvial
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 4:06:13 PM

Is more about this.

''It gives you no indication on what class to choose your character at the begining, I chose the guy with the spear. When he would strike he if he was of the axis at a slight angle he's miss and then become defenceless due to the slow, sluggish lunge animation - The game is flawed, not difficult, which is a lousy sales tactic BTW.''

If that's the only reason to call the game flawed or unbalanced I can't agree.I beat the game and the only unbalanced thing imo was the Old King Allant attack that drains one level from your character.

Last edited by Oxvial on 2/11/2012 4:09:38 PM

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SoulController
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 4:57:16 PM

Demon's Souls is unbalanced, Dark Souls isnt

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Neo_Aeon666
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 6:45:59 AM

*I dislike this "I'm so hardcore and you're not so you suck" vibe in this thread. It's so childish.*

Well in the end its the truth isn't it?

Most people who hate on Dark/Demon's Souls just hate on it because they are bad at it. (Or because they do not like the *genre* but that I have no problem with) And a game being Hard or Unbalanced at some point does not make it Flawed. If used correctly like in the Demon's/Dark Souls series, it makes it challenging.

To succeed in this game you need to learn *IT's way* and not apply the repetitive formula of other IPs out there. These games are GODS among all the other games :P

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 2/13/2012 6:47:07 AM

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Temjin001
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 11:24:21 AM
Reply

I sort of hope the game stays as a cult nitch franchise, where extravagant production values don't pressure it to lower it's hardcore playing identity for the accessible everybody's game Hollywood movie blockbuster appeal.

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DarthNemesis
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 11:37:55 AM

They can make some changes to accommodate those of us who do not have the time to replay the same section of the game over and over without lowering the challenge or taking away from the experience.Like I said they could give people like you the option to play without check points and people like me the option to have check points.You are coming off closed minded and refusing to allow others to enjoy a game by offering options that will not harm the experience for you.Offering options has nothing to do with changing it to Hollywood movie game. Thinking like that will just hinder the progress of the industry which is why japan is so far behind nowadays.Gaming is first and foremost entertainment and people seem to forget that.Think outside the box.

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Temjin001
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 11:44:01 AM

Are u responding to me because it sounds like your arguing against a good many points I never made?
As for Hollywood, I'm saying I don't want to see this franchises identity be made to accomadate a broader audience of interests because inflated production budgets pressure it to do so. I'm seeing hardcore games that Ive enjoyed over the years more and more succumb to this.

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Clamedeus
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 12:44:40 PM

@DarthNemesis

The games tailored to the hardcore RPG types, they shouldn't dumb down the experience because some can't put time into the game. If they do that, the experience is lost from what it sets out to do in the first place.

It takes a bit of time to get used to the game, once you figure out the enemies weakness and attack pattern, everything should flow for the user and should have no problems at all. And the game auto-saves as well.

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Oxvial
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 1:03:57 PM

@Clamedeus I agree with you.

They wanted to make a hardcore experience and almost nobody really expected success.Now turns the franchise did great in a casual/twitch gaming era of course they wouldn't stop.No wonder Dark Souls is still hard and the ads hype how much you gonna die.They did a game they enjoy and happened that at sales it did well.

Last edited by Oxvial on 2/11/2012 1:04:45 PM

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Clamedeus
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 1:21:08 PM

@Oxvial

Indeed.

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DarthNemesis
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 11:32:31 AM
Reply

Too be honest,I can see where he is coming from.I have had the same problem since I bought it about a month after it released.Die hard fans need to face the facts that the game is not challenging,just cheap.

I don't think it is flawed as the combat is very strategy based which I like.My problem is that there are no check points and should be when you make it to certain parts or at least you get 3 tries before they force you to start over.

I do not have the time or the patience to keep starting over from the beginning when i just made progress.That is not fun at all and games should be enjoyable number 1.Also it is cheap how they start you over,but do not give you back your health potions which makes the game frustrating.

It is also cheap how even though you block an attack you still take damage.The game should also have a difficulty level because everyone is not into insane difficulty.So the guy is right and the things I named would only improve the game itself and make it more marketable without taking away the challenge or style of game play.

At least give the option to turn on check points or keep them off for those who like playing without them.The problem with Japanese gaming is that there are no options to select how you prefer to play a game.Everyone plays games for different reasons and that is why I prefer Skyrim over Dark Souls ...the options.

It is also childish to say that you lost respect for a man because of his opinion.He actually made some valid points.

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Oxvial
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 11:43:58 AM

Dude the game saves some things you do like use a switch or unlocking a shortcut so you don't need to do all again.Also the sequel Dark Souls has checkpoints.

Childish? No dude there's different type of respect in this site I go with gaming knowledge respect.calling a game flawed for the use of a weapon?.Of course I would lose respect to his opinions.

Last edited by Oxvial on 2/11/2012 11:44:58 AM

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Rogueagent01
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 11:49:06 AM

The boards overall are fairly short and do not need the addition of checkpoints. It is like you said a game for the patient and tactical. You must be willing to look for the flaws in both yours and the enemies tactics. This game is exactly what was needed this generation as too many games have been way to easy to beat. There are a lot of gamers out there and some, especially old-school gamers love games like this, not to say that someone who is just starting to play games couldn't appreciate it either.

I am with you when it comes to options and though I wouldn't have liked to see the ones you spoke about in the game I could see them putting them in. It would make the game more accessible to more gamers bringing it out of the niche market.

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Teddie9
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 4:42:01 PM

Darth what others don't realize is that the game doesn't have multiple dificulty levels because it was never intended for people who weren't willing to struggle.

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Rogueagent01
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 11:37:03 AM
Reply

This just goes to show that you (Sony) should consider publishing just about everything you come across. The customers are what dictate whether a game is worthy of a purchase. My only suggestion would be that games like this where they thought it was crap is where you just release a smaller amount of copies and see if they sell or not. If they sell make more if not then cut your losses.

Many developers, publishers, and studios in genereal admit openly to playing very few games because of time constraints and just the fact that it is there job. So taking that into account let the players decide. With todays market you can even release it digital first to test the waters and then if it sells make the physical copies. There is no excuse for this, gamers want diversity and this game brought that to the table. It honestly should have been a no-brainer from where I stand.

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dmiitrie
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 12:25:31 PM

That's a terrible idea. Sony made a mistake on Demon Souls, but that doesn't mean they should just release every single game they're given. I'm
Willing to bet that Yoshida knows a thing or two about video games. So when he says that a game is crap, in the vast majority of cases, it's because the game was crap. Sure, the guy's judgement may be wrong on the rare occasion, but if he's wrong enough to warrant such a decision, then perhaps Sony aught to put someone else in charge.

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Oxvial
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 5:11:09 PM

He may judged the value taking into account what is mainstream these days.If I was Yoshida I would have a hard time judging if DS would be worth the publishing.I'm surprised(and happy) it did well enough for a sequel.

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Rogueagent01
Sunday, February 12, 2012 @ 1:50:00 AM

@dmiitrie

If you actually read my first sentence correctly you would have seen the two key words "just about". And I still stand by it. Look at the shovelware on all the systems, if developers are able to release that crap then yes I believe just about every game deserves a chance. It comes down to the developer and the publisher knowing what kind of game they are making. If they know it isn't going to be recieved well then I don't know, maybe keep your budget small. There is a market for just about any game you could imagine. Who would have thought that Katamari would make money?

How about all the App games on IOS and other devices, many are crap and many of them still make money. Sony started out this gen the right way supporting indie type development with Everday Shooter being made by one person I believe and it made money. There are always gonna be crap games so why filter them. Let the consumers take care of that. Like I said in the second paragraph you can always run a trial with a digital version before commiting to physical copies. I see no harm in releasing as many games as possible, you never know what the next sleeper hit is gonna be.

Last edited by Rogueagent01 on 2/12/2012 1:50:46 AM

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dmiitrie
Sunday, February 12, 2012 @ 12:52:18 PM

Seriously? "Just about?" Does the inclusion of those words change your point away from, "publishers should release games they know aren't very good on the off chance that someone, somewhere may like it"?

Assuming that it does not change your point and that you're just using semantic crap, it's still a bad idea and you should feel bad for having had it.

Yes, there is a lot of shovelware on the Wii and on smart phones, but is that really the business model you want Sony to take? Sony has always had higher standards for it's products. People know that when they get a first-party game that it's going to be a good game. Not everyone will like every game, but not because of quality issues. You may not think that's important, but I'd bet most gamers like being able to pick up any Sony exclusive and know that it won't suck.

Publishers have finite resources. Sure, digital may be cheaper, but that doesn't mean that it's free. I don't care how low a game's budget might be, it's still taking away resources that better games could be using. And if there are enough of those games, and since you want them to release JUST ABOUT any game, I'm sure there would be, then all of those small budgets would add up to a not insignificant portion of Sony's overall publishing budget.

At the end of the day, you're right about one thing: Sony needs to know what kind of games they're dealing with. Looking at the libray that they've built over the past 15ish years, I'd say they do. Obviously they're not perfect, they've let at least one good game get away from them, and probably a couple of others too. But if a game is really good, it'll probably find another publisher. I don't care that somebody, somewhere likes Rogue Warrior, I'm glad that Sony didn't publish it. And I'm glad that Sony only works with games that meet their high standards and that they truly believe in.

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SayWord
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 11:50:06 AM
Reply

It was a big mistake for sony to not publish this game in other regions. BUT I also have to thank them for giving the rights to atlus. This is one of the many reasons why I love sony, even if they don't see the potential they will still give the rights to another publisher. There could of been a chance that most would never even play this gem. This wasn't the first time sony has done this (example would be rule of rose which atlus published as well) and I hope sony continues this practice in the future.

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Nasty80
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 11:55:05 AM
Reply

I love action games, and RPG's, but i just couldn't get into this game. it just rubbed me the wrong way. i didnt know what to do, or where to go. and everywhere i went, i got my ass kicked, then had to start over. It was a very frustrating game for me.

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shadowscorpio
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 12:13:10 PM

It definitely tests you mentally. If you can except that fact that you're going to die a lot , then you've passed the first step to beating this game.

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shadowscorpio
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 12:10:50 PM
Reply

I absolutely understand both sides when it comes to Demon's Souls. I was right up there with Sony when I first place Demon's Souls. I couldn't see why so many gamers felt it was a good game.

I don't know if it was the hardcore gamer in me or what but I got so irrate with the game that I become dedicated to getting the best of the game. Little did I know that by playing it continuously, I would end up loving it as well as getting better at it.

While this game doesn't have constant check points, if you progress far enough you gradually open up short cuts. Even if you die those passages that you opened remain opened therefore taking you closer to the boss.

Its a game that takes mental discipline that's for sure. I could go on but I'd be going forever. I love the game and Darks souls is proving to be frustrating but because I know how to approach these "souls" games now, I know i'll get the hang of it in no time.

Anyway, yes I've been on both sides. I totally get why people hate it and why people love this game.

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pillz81
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 12:52:01 PM

Truly a fair and balanced comment in this "this games sucks, it's broken" to "dude the games not broken. you just suck" mentalities.

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Nasty80
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 12:40:01 PM
Reply

I wanted to love this game so bad, because it is a cool concept.

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Oxvial
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 4:17:25 PM

I feel you dude.I couldn't get into Skyrim or Mass Effect and sure must be great if you are into them.

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maxpontiac
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 12:45:57 PM
Reply

The way one of Sony's own handled this game is exactly how see some reviewers behave for other websites.

Two hours worth of play, not even giving the title a chance or considering how the die hard fanbase may treat it.

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BigBoss4ever
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 1:10:35 PM
Reply

too late and I do not feel sorry for them! you pay for your failure to see a real gem.

demon souls is the most addictive rpg on PS3 this gen, dark soul came close but not better.

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 2/11/2012 1:11:05 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 1:39:11 PM
Reply

I still don't see the value.

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Oxvial
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 1:52:45 PM

If you are worthless on the game no wonder.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 3:47:50 PM

Oxvial, stop insulting people. If you like it, great; stop pretending you're superior to everyone else because of personal preference.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/11/2012 3:48:02 PM

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Oxvial
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 4:02:05 PM

I'm not superior or pretend I just don't like the fact that people just couldn't with the game and as result flame on it.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 4:06:09 PM

That's not the reason. People have legitimate problems with the game that have nothing to do with difficulty. You'll just have to accept that.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/11/2012 4:06:19 PM

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Oxvial
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 4:12:58 PM

Agree Ben but the only one that comes with good legit points is DarthNemesis.That actually looks like took his time with the game.

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Teddie9
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 4:40:19 PM

@world

Their sales prove otherwise.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 8:10:17 PM

lol, I mean for me. No value for me. Oops, I know DS fans are rabid so yeah I guess I shouldn't tease em.

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Oxvial
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 9:37:27 PM

#WeSoulsFansAlwaysWhiteKnight.

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pillz81
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 2:31:05 PM

"If you are worthless on the game no wonder."

Flame on!

"I just don't like the fact that people just couldn't with the game and as result flame on it."

I resent that comment.

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Ludakriss
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 2:55:38 PM
Reply

Mmm. Great game. However, I do not see it as an RPG. For a simple fact that you do not exclusively level up and are able to BUY equipment.

You use same token for both, no towns as such...just a bit of a departure, is all. Still, love the mockery it makes of the player's inability of being cautious =)

I liked The Big Butcher Knife Swamp Warrior and the Black Skeleton.

Still. Even with being so action oriented AND apparently being an RPG (meaning, progress is involved) there's zero increase in player's LEVEL AWARENESS. I can increase the DEX all I like, still not swinging any faster.

This would've been one of those features that allows you to become very POWERFUL. Perhaps clashing with the game's intention of making you feel inferior.

I just want some... convenience, some sense in games, you know?

Last edited by Ludakriss on 2/11/2012 2:56:30 PM

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Robochic
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 2:57:09 PM
Reply

my hubby played it, it like it but he felt it just need the ability to pause the game, he liked the challenge but felt it was to time consuming especially if you have a family.
I didn't play it but liked the look of it

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Oxvial
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 4:15:13 PM

The monsters usually stay passive there are a lot of safe spots.Problem is when you are into a boss fight.I died a few times because of phone calls or surprise visits.:S

Last edited by Oxvial on 2/11/2012 4:19:43 PM

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Teddie9
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 4:37:37 PM
Reply

Both the Souls games (which I adore) are incredibly difficult adventures to see their end - and some battles can be deemed unfair, but they are no where near "crap".

They're just not targeted toward the average gamer.

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JLB1
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 6:32:53 PM
Reply

I've never touched the souls series, and am relatively new to the whole RPG genre. I'd be lying if I said that the whole difficulty thing didn't put me off in the slightest bit, but at the same time, I have a level of intrigue as far as the game goes too. Especially since, from friends on PSN, have nothing but great things to say about it. I'm not going to say right now that I'll be getting it, but sometime in the near future is a definite possibility.

Also, Sony may have dropped the ball, but the main place where they consistently fail is in the marketing department. For the most part, if you're not on gaming sites, you won't know about any of Playstations upcoming games unless they get Kevin Butler to shove the Move toy and said game in your face, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Anyway, with all the risks that Sony has taken, it's understandable that every now and then they'd pass up on something that'd actually turn out to be a hit. At least the Xbox community got to enjoy the game as well. Though, I'd imagine they'd be a little more cautious the second time around!

Last edited by JLB1 on 2/11/2012 6:34:01 PM

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mad pony
Saturday, February 11, 2012 @ 9:44:03 PM
Reply

One of the few games I was compelled to buy twice. SOTC, GT5, Skyrim, and MGS's the others I can remember.

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___________
Sunday, February 12, 2012 @ 1:31:48 AM
Reply

makes me wonder what made him think that.
i just wished the game gave you more info, thats why allot of people call it unbalanced.
your at a split road, one way is fairly easy and one way jesus f*cking christ could not do!
so you would think the game would tell you that, but it doesnt.
deamon souls is the type of game you have to play with a guide next to you.
its so poorly designed you dont know WTF your suppose to do!
im all for taking chances, but when im betting on something i kinda need to know what im betting on!

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Zen_Zarab
Sunday, February 12, 2012 @ 1:51:24 AM
Reply

My Second Plat. Had easily over 150 hours of playtime. A forever classic. <3

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Ludakriss
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 @ 5:00:02 AM

You know you're hard to the core, right?

I mean, all I have to say is the Chunk/Pure Bladestone & Pure/Chunk Moolight Stone.

You know? I just gave up, man.

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bentl78
Sunday, February 12, 2012 @ 9:53:31 PM
Reply

I read the article on game informer.
this is what i don't get, so, sony owns the IP demon's soul..
but dark souls was multi platform.. ?

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Clamedeus
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 4:20:52 PM

Dark Souls, is an entirely different game, same atmosphere and different story world/setting. It's a spiritual successor to Demon's Souls, not a sequel. That's why it's multiplatform.

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Ludakriss
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 @ 5:04:15 AM

It's a bit bold and cheeky anit it? You know, the move to call it DARK Souls. Not Demon's 2 and just say it's an entirely different game.

Even though xDDD all of you attentive enough, would recognize the dialogue between you and the first person you encounter in the Shrine of something, something.

Basically the first person you talk to when you'redropped off by the crow. It's the same!

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Rise of the Tomb Raider is a timed Xbox exclusive, and...
...I'm so pissed, I can't see straight.
...I'm annoyed, but I can be patient.
...I'm not caring much at all.
...I think it's actually a good thing.

Previous Poll Results