I’ve discovered Dark Souls

It’s hard not to notice that many people have their own idea of a golden era. It’s the time we are frozen in, obsessed with and comparing to. For games, for me, it was teenage years with my Xbox 360.

I had an original Xbox until Christmas 2008, and have managed to avoid upgrading since. Always being a generation behind means I always have something to look forward to, and always get the best deals.

I’m currently playing through campaign in unpatched versions of Dark Souls and Dark Souls II on Xbox 360.

Defeated first Dragonrider in Dark Souls II
Victory Achieved in the Cathedral of Blue boss fight in DSII

My advice? Mace, shield and rolling with no armour. Unstoppable.

I find both DS and DSII really enjoyable (and inspiring) – the difficulty makes it really rewarding to make progress, the aesthetic and story are seamless and the rich environments make great use of space.

The difficulty of the boss fights comes from the varying combinations of strengths, weaknesses and environments. I could tell that I was being forced to find new tactics on each attempt of each boss, and that was fun if not completely stressful. However, if you find a boss fight particularly difficult, you may find yourself walking 60 seconds each attempt just to get from the safety of a bonfire to the boss fight. It’s frustrating but the punishment adds extra relief and reward on completion – personally I’m not convinced the impact on usability is worth the frustration (especially in DSII where you may kill the enemies outside the boss fight so many times they stop respawing and you walk with nothing to do for a relentless 45 seconds – I counted).

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