Archive for October 7th, 2011

October 7, 2011

Dark Souls: My First Impressions – JSixgun

About two weeks ago I had asked the owner of this site, Mr. Mortarnpistol himself, if he had looked into Dark Souls and if he had any thoughts. His response was what could be expected from an avid game lover who suffers from tourettes, he cussed a lot about the bean content in his chilli and never really answered the question. So I was left to fend for myself and went to the first logical place I could come up with to gather information, Encarta Encyclopedia. Considering the fact that I still run Window’s ME and continue to tout it as the single greatest operating system ever, my Encarta hadn’t been updated since 1999. So as you can guess, it was strangely absent of details on Dark Souls. I was finally forced to wade into the world of the internets. After stopping for five minutes and furiously debating with myself on whether or not I was ready and/or able for the likes of Google or the more basic AOL search engines, I made my decision. Yahoo it was.

Okay, okay none of the above is true. I’m sure most of you fell for it because you believe things the internet tells you, because you live by the belief that it benefits no one to anonymously lie to others for little or no personal gain at all. However, you’re wrong, and Facebook is about to start charging, so take all necessary precautions. Anyways, the true story is a little simpler. I wasn’t at all intending to buy this game originally, but I kept watching videos for it. Sooner rather than later I began to inch close and closer to giving in and buying it. Finally, I did. This is how it went down.

I usually buy all my games from Amazon. However, because I was coming to this game a day late I decided I would forgo my usual patronistic habits (Note: Patronage is one of those words with more than two syllables dumb people actually know the meaning of{kind of}so use vigorously in retail debates in an attempt to intellectually challenge the one they are debating about how the return policy clearly stated on the receipt isn’t applicable to themselves) and waded into Walmart. After picking it up and being mistaken for a Walmart employee, twice (I guess it’s a real novelty to wear a collared shirt in the place), I carried the game to the front registers because I could find no one working in the electronic department at 9:30 PM. As soon as I handed it to the nice, old, and semi-tootheless lady she wielded it with both hands and began to shake it while she said in growling voice, “Dark Sooooouls!” To which I immediately broke eye contact and acted like I was counting my cash. And no, none of the stuff in this paragraph is a lie- it really all happened just like that.

I think they were in on it.

I finally got home, and put the disk in only to hear a grinding noise while my Xbox blinked red at me. I quickly jumped up and got the optical drive tray open and found I had forgotten to take Gears of War 3 out of the tray before I put Dark Souls in. Please tell me I’m not the only one this has happened too? Anyways, once I got that all straightened out I began to create my character. I had heard that the warrior class is the best for beginners but because I like to be dominated I chose something else entirely. I chose the Wanderer. I mostly chose him because I thought he looked cool, and was banking on the fact that I would rather roll around a lot instead of wearing tons of armor, because what could be more fun than rolling around in the dirt all day?

This is a picture of the wanderer. He is the one I chose to lead me into valley of the shadow of death.

So I set off. I had never played Demon Souls, so Dark Souls was my first experience in the world. I must admit that I was immediately impressed by the beauty of the environment and the great detail put into the armors, shields, and weapons. The way the light gleams off of shields and armor is really cool and serves the theme of a serious and gritty fantasy game well. As I ventured into the prologue area I died a couple times before I realized I didn’t have to face this huge boss that swooped down on me out of no where without a weapon; I could actually just run away. So I ran. Furthermore, I ended up finding my sword and shield and began to learn the basics of combat.

At one point I found this knight that was dying, but still kind enough to fill me in before he croaked. Well, except I kind of actually killed him before he ended his speech. I didn’t do it on purpose, mind you, but I killed him nonetheless. Obviously, I looted his body and went on with my life. As I wound my way higher and higher into this cathedral I eventually found myself looking down on the Boss who had killed me numerous times before, except now I had a sword. At this point the game hinted quite bluntly I should jump down and stab with my sword at the same time, so me being the obedient chap I am did just that. To my surprise I leaped atop the beast and stabbed my sword into its spine alleviating it of almost 75% of its health. After that he was easy to beat and I learned my first lesson of Dark Souls, look for alternatives in the environment.

While I’ve barely just begun I can tell you I am looking forward to testing my might and sanity with this game and hope to bring you more stories about it in the future. At best its awesome, and I swear by it for a long time. At worst, it keeps me busy till Skyrim.