Dark Souls II Review - The Rageaholic

Steaming your facesteam hub DARK SOULS™ II: SCHOLAR OF THE FIRST SIN review While reasonable minds may differ, I would characterize my prior statements on the Souls series as cautiously negative. And that was by design! After all, I only played about 5 hours of Demons Souls, and found it to be an occaisonally entertaining, and rarely exceptional, by the numbers dungeon crawler with a narrative that functions as the pine tree air freshener affixed... to the rear window of the game in question. Its not that I hate the game, its more that - given my indifference - I viewed its sudden explosion to prominence in much the same light as a dog that walks in on its owner fucking a Dirt Devil. Sure, I get the appeal... but does it really feel that good to jam your dick into the only object that sucks harder than the PS4s game library?! Before I even broach the subject of how well it functions, this is Dark Souls. So lets address the obvious: So is the game difficult? For my money, not prohibitively so. And certainly not to the Hannah-Barbara degree suggested, in all caps, by the series steadily proliferating fanboy contingent. Sure, I died enough times to pass as Tom Sellecks mustache, but I never experienced quite the same level of sublime, ego-demolishing frustration I experienced that fateful Sunday afternoon when a best friend and myself completed Double Dragon III at the ripe age of nine. In fact, what little frustration I did endure, was more often in reaction to malfunctioning game mechanics than forbidding difficulty. With Dark Souls II, its not really a question of if the game is difficult. Its a question of why the game is difficult. I have no issue whatsoever falling victim to an ingeniously-realized game level or a masterfully-designed boss fight scenario, where the only true adversary is my own lack of skill. Its when you consistently fall prey to less tangible adversaries like sluggish controls, hitboxes the consistency of Lou Reeds discography, and a cameraman with more nervous ticks than a Baghdad meter maid... that the pill becomes a chore to swallow. These controls are muddier than Louie Andersons ass at an all-you-can-eat Mongolian blow-out. Unencumbered and playing a Knight class, there was still nearly a two-second delay between when I depressed the run button... and actually began the act of running! And thats actually on the shorter end of the ubiquitous input delay spectrum! Jabbing an enemy with a rapier - theoretically one of the faster swords in the game - produced a delay of nearly 1 and a half seconds. In a game where enemies regularly dispense multi-hit flurries of murderous undead knifework with only fleeting pauses in-between! Were not talking a bastard sword, here, folks. Its a fucking rapier! Doing rapier damage! Itd be a fuckin treat if I could jab a bitch more than twice without collapsing into asthmatic fits! Your character has three categories devoted to magic, and a stamina meter that goes empty faster than Hasselhoffs hip flask... so hows about a fuckin cardio stat? But I really have to stress that these irritants are just that: Irritants. In a game that never once feels as difficult as I was assured it would be, slipshod controls or not. Not that I feel ripped off in the least. I can take or leave difficult games. Sometimes it works, other times it comes across as forced and gimmicky, and Dark Souls II features equal parts of both approaches. There are some gorgeous environments and unique enemy types employing unconventional defensive and offensive strategies, and I appreciate that. But on the latter front, its hard for Souls fanboys to disprove the popular contention that this series is quote-unquote Difficult for Difficultys Sake... especially when the achievement for dying the first time... is entitled This is Fucking DARK SOULS. And permit me to field the fuckin obvious, if I may: What discernible purpose is served by recording my playtime in a game that - even in offline mode - lacks a fucking pause feature?! What, is that for bragging rights?! If I get up and make a tuna sandwich, its logged as part of my playtime! If youre raised in a house with no toilets, you dont brag about how many times you shat in the woods! I cant. Pause! And we know how well that worked out for Resident Evil 6! Dark Souls IIs multiplayer is... Dark Souls multiplayer. Its P.K.-oriented, and within that context, its actually fairly standard P.K. fare. Some of the upgrades, like a ring that disguises what weapon your character is holding, could probably do with a bit of fine tuning for balance purposes, but the good news is that adjustments to this games online balance issues are taking place motherfucking perpetually, so by the time I complain about something pertaining to multiplayer, theres a good chance itll be holding a rip-roaring irrelevance party with MySpace and the music of Chris Brown. But what irks me where Dark Souls II is concerned are the double standards! Oh, whats that? Thief 4 mapped all the attacks to the shoulder and trigger buttons?! Unplayable abortion! Carbomb Eidos Montréal! Bake them a cyanide souflée! Oh, but From Software makes the exact same mistake - in a game predicated on ceaseless combat, no less - and its Christ come-again, regardless! Or what about the story!? When Final Fantasy XIII relegated 90% of its narrative to a glossary the size of Peter Molyneauxs pretense... off to the game design guillotine they went! But Dark Souls II deliberately engineers their pseudo-story to dart from view until the precise moment you engage an NPC and willfully subject yourself to some vapid shithead with an inscrutable accent, bludgeoning you to death with the wooden end of the acting stick... well fuck! Must be time to compare it to The Dark Project! No, motherfucker. Not in the most vivid, Chinese Brown Heroin-fueled hallucination is this games lore, story, or style of emergent narrative worthy of being mentioned in the same breath, reality, or motherfucking hemisphere as The Dark Project! That isnt to say a somewhat intriguing game world doesnt peek through the venetian blinds on the odd occasion, but voice actors I can only assume were hired from a Big Comfy Couch audition put a quick and decisive stop to any connection I may have conceivably felt with it. Readables do their damndest to pick up the slack... but theres a lot of slack to pick the fuck up, and a handful of notes lack the requisite muscle for the job. Where the game emerges from the mire of its narrative shortcomings, however, is in the awe-inspiring varieties of character and class customization options and an olympian arsenal of wildly divergent weapons and armor types, each with its own distinct look, feel, and statistical attributes. The depth of simulation on that front... is second to none, at least in a contemporary gaming market that hasnt embraced a pure, RPG dungeon crawler since the days of Ultima goddamn Underworld, and delivers the precise manner of nuance and subtext... lacking in virtually every other aspect of the game. Dark Souls II is a bizarre dichotomy for me. Because, in many ways, I didnt personally care for it. Yet I can honestly say that - despite the negligible technical flaws, an only occasionally intriguing game world, and the latent imprecision of the control scheme - whether intentional or not - I would recommend this game. At least if youre looking for a solid RPG dungeon crawler that you will cast appalling quantities of your time into. And that playtime only doubles with the return of a long-believed-dead gaming trope by the name of New Game +. Despite my grievances, and they are valid. Im not sure if youve poked your head up from the developmental morass recently... but these types of games arent exactly growin on fuckin trees, these days. Ill take a somewhat sloppy and imprecise plunge into a dungeon filled with pissed-off skeletons... over a first-person modern military incursion to fuckin BROWNISTAN any day! It aint perfect. And maybe it doesnt want to be. Welcome to my world, motherfucker. Im RazörFist. God - fuckin - SPEED! steam coils RazörFist breaks his long-held silence on the celebrated Souls series. can i play switch games on steam deck ocean of games steam top steam games players steam games new computer how to run a steam game as administrator windows 11