Demon's Souls

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  • Deleted user 8 October 2008 17:02:27
    Demon's Souls (Demonzu Souru) is a console role-playing game from From Software exclusively for the PlayStation 3. With a dark fantasy theme, the player will set off into the heart of Boletaria, a kingdom of warriors that was destroyed after the appearance of beasts and demons. The game was described as a spiritual successor to the King's Field games.

    Developer: FROM SOFTWARE
    Publisher: SCEJ and ATLUS
    Director: Hidetaka Miyzaki
    Composer: Shunsuke Kida
    Release date: Feb 5th 09 (JP) and Oct 6th 09 (US)

    Gameplay:
    Demon's Souls is an open-ended dark fantasy action RPG. Players are able to customize their own characters, setting the name, gender, hair style and other characteristics. Players face off against enormous beasts, making use of a variety of different weapons. The gameplay alters depending on what type of weapon the player wields. When utilizing the bow and arrow, the camera enters a close over-the-shoulder view. There are also various forms of magic that can be used in a defensive or offensive manner.

    Online features:
    -Players can find messages on the ground containing hints and advice that other players have left.
    -Players can find bloodstains where other players have died, and view how their deaths occurred.
    -Co-operative play allows three players to team up and play through different levels in the game.
    -In competitive play, a player can force themselves into another player's adventure and play as their opponent.

    /Thanks Wiki :)

    Reviews thus far:
    Edge: 9/10
    Famitsu: 9/7/7/6
    Dengeki: 95/85/85/85
    Eurogamer: 9/10
    RPGFan: 84%
    PSW: 9/10
    PixelVerdict: 5/5
    Gamerlimit.com: 9.1/10
    GamesRadar: 9/10

    Video Reviews:
    http://www.gametrailers.com/video/review-demons-souls/57297
    http://uk.gamespot.com/ps3/rpg/demonssoul/video/6232014/demons-souls-video-review?hd=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHymmFXyqnA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jlx_zgHHYk&feature=related (Part 1)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpvbLL8efaw&feature=related (Part 2)

    Picture Galleries:
    http://uk.ps3.ign.com/dor/objects/14242310/demons-souls/images/demons-souls-20090130100101595.html;jsessionid=33c95mglsc4vq?page=mediaFull
    http://uk.gamespot.com/ps3/rpg/demonssoul/images/0/3/
    http://www.rpgfan.com/pics/Demons_Souls/index.html
    http://g4tv.com/images/2830/Demons-Souls/49384/
    http://www.destructoid.com/elephant/photo-m.phtml?post_key=146538

    Official Websites:
    http://www.demons-souls.com/
    http://www.atlus.com/
    http://www.fromsoftware.jp/
    http://www.jp.playstation.com/

    Purchasing info: (All US editions)
    http://www.videogamesplus.ca/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=demons+souls&x=0&y=0
    http://www.movietyme.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=46260
    http://www.axelmusic.com/productDetails/730865001323
    (Will add more as new deals are found)
  • Deleted user 9 October 2008 12:31:42
    I saw some gameplay of this and I must say, while the screens hinted at awesome, it looks completely shit. : (
  • asha 25 Nov 2008 01:19:59 1,991 posts
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    Wow this looks really interesting, it seems like along with Valkyrie Chronicles and White Knight Story the PS3s finally starting to see some RPG love

    ( ͡ ͜ʖ ͡)

  • JediMasterMalik 25 Nov 2008 01:20:43 11,820 posts
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    I like what I can see of the concept, a bit unsure of the execution, but it still seems quite early.
  • JinTypeNoir 25 Nov 2008 02:18:18 4,383 posts
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    The developers have said this a spiritual update to King's Field! \o/ I can't wait, it's been way too long since I've been played one of From's gloomy, disheartening, depressing, open-ended, brutal RPGs.
  • Scimarad 25 Nov 2008 07:25:50 8,537 posts
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    I alway think From games look great but when I actually play them they somehow turn into the most boring, uninspriring crap ever...
  • Machetazo 31 Dec 2008 20:56:22 6,372 posts
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    Doesn't look bad, at all. I'm quietly enthusiastic about this.
  • Pirotic Moderator 31 Dec 2008 21:00:39 20,646 posts
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    Looks quite good, but appears to be far more like an action game than an RPG, or maybe clips of someone navigating stat menus for 20 minutes would just have ruined the trailers style.

    It's graphical style does seem like a rather nice mix of Oblivion with oversized swords, which is a good thing.
  • Ged42 1 Jan 2009 09:49:09 7,721 posts
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    Looks interesting, hopefully those boss battles will be as epic as they have potential to be. Hopefully its control system and camera won't let it down.
  • JinTypeNoir 1 Jan 2009 15:56:14 4,383 posts
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    It's ironic you mentioned the stat menus, Pirotic, if anything this game has waaaay too much stat porn. It's all actually a little confusing there's so much of it.
  • Ged42 23 Jan 2009 10:00:55 7,721 posts
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    I hope they remember to but some colour into the game, everything looks very grey at the moment.

    Pic 2 is interesting is it a dragon riding sequence and is the city in the background, a city that you can travel too in real time or just a painted backdrop?
  • Deleted user 23 January 2009 10:03:22
    Looks like Oblivion.
  • Cappy 23 Jan 2009 10:18:48 11,907 posts
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    I've been reading up on this and it's getting more and more interesting. The stats side of the game is absolutely crazy.

    I'll have to see if I can get hold of a King's Field game in English, it turns out I've got Shadow Tower, a related game somewhere but it's Japanese language which might make it too difficult to get any idea of what Demon's Soul might be like.
  • Deleted user 23 January 2009 10:27:09
    Screens look dull. Look like WKC, dull, flat colours. Not too impressed with Japanese devs so far this gen.
  • michaelius 23 Jan 2009 10:28:12 809 posts
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    I hope then it doesn't suck as badly as Oblivion when it comes to story and leveling then :)
  • Deleted user 23 January 2009 10:49:10
    I played a bit of Folklore, it was OK. Not interested in the rest, not my cup of tea. Yes, they are colourful but with the exception of maybe VC not standout games I'm rushing to buy. That is what I meant, there is little in the way of Japanese games that I'm blown away by and I think they are behind the curve narratively and graphically. VC is very niche. The game looks like WKC in that the colours are flat, there is little vibrancy or warmth or good lighting.
  • Cappy 23 Jan 2009 10:51:43 11,907 posts
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    And where would we find all these qualities you are talking about then?
  • Deleted user 23 January 2009 11:14:46
    In regards to the color scheme in my mind this kind of ties in with a game called 'Demon's Soul', can't say I'm surprised with the way it looks.
  • Deleted user 23 January 2009 11:19:35
    Cappy wrote:
    And where would we find all these qualities you are talking about then?

    Something like Uncharted I guess. Different genre I know but I think it's a decent benchmark of what a current gen game can be.
  • Cappy 23 Jan 2009 11:26:18 11,907 posts
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    It's swings and roundabouts really, the character models in Uncharted are inferior to the ones in Valkyria Chronicles, they're pretty damned ugly at times. A few lighting effects and filters can't hide that, well not from me anyway.
  • Deleted user 23 January 2009 11:30:16
    What? We will not have that blasphemy spoken in this thread.
  • JinTypeNoir 23 Jan 2009 11:42:32 4,383 posts
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    Well, they certainly look better. It doesn't really matter whether Drake and company have gazillions of animations and technology behind them. They look like douches, the lot of them. Especially the blond girl. I think it can also be easily argued that Valkyria Chronicles has a superior plot and draws its characters better than Uncharted. But making this kind of comparison is silly. For every Uncharted, there's a Bioshock. And for every Enchanted Arms, there's a Tales of Vesperia.

    Japanese developers have decided to throw their weight primarily behind games that either strongly appeal to the Japanese base (handhelds and arcades) or make games for a worldwide base, and right now the pendulum way farther to the former. If you haven't played a lot in that area, you won't have a good grasp in what's going on in development here. Similarly, as console development doesn't and never has told the entire story about the strong PC developers there.
  • Deleted user 23 January 2009 11:56:00
    That they look better is debatable. VC characters look like a 1000 other anime characters to me and I can't see how you can easily argue it has a better plot. I agree Japanese devs focus on the Japanese market and I think that is why they are slipping behind. The Japanese scene has stagnated, they are not pushing themes or tech. Even Jp devs (eg. Kojima) have come to this realisation.
  • JinTypeNoir 23 Jan 2009 12:22:55 4,383 posts
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    You can easily argue Valkyria has a better plot, because when you play both games, you find Valkyria has a lot of intricately drawn characters that go quite a bit beyond the usual ho-hum, a very interesting setting that is a great deal less tired than Uncharted and is not a stale "witty characters exchange Hollywood dialogue in a script stolen from a third-rate Indiana Jones rip off" plot.

    This is not a West vs. East thing. Just like the console war, there is no such thing. Some games from Japan are better than some games from England or Sweden or Canada or the US and the same is true, vice versa. Together, they build the industry. No one country or area pushes the industry in tech or themes, they all do.

    Nobody in the West developed a game recently where you were a pushy, hard-to-understand female private detective who investigates cheating spouses, nor one in which you journey through the imagination of Frederic Chopin as he lies dying, nor one in which you are one of the last surviving people out there searching for another survivor, nor one in which you trapped inside a city that will be destroyed in seven days and must forge a contract with demons to escape. Just like Fallout 3, Call of Duty 4 and Bioshock showcase themes you don't often see developed in Japan.

    As for technology, I dare you to take one look at Gundam: Senjo no Kizuna and not go, "Holy shit." But yes, most of Japan's technical achievements lie along making the weaker platforms sing because they're the most successful ones. Unfortunately you don't see a lot of Western developers trying as hard to makes games like Dragon Quest IX, Dissidia, Phantasy Star Zero or RIZ-ZOAWD on the DS or PSP.
  • Deleted user 23 January 2009 13:12:31
    disc wrote:
    Says you who admit not to playing them. Look Kenshin, what's the point of your argument?

    Is that important though? What is the point of posting screens of games we have not played if not to comment on how a game looks? I've seen enough vids and screens of VC to know while it looks good the characters are not unlike a 1000 other anime characters we've seen. My ultimate point was and is Japanese devs are stuck in their little bubble and are being greatly outpaced by western devs.

    @JinTypeNoir,

    You could distill VC's story into as just as simplistic fashion. Is it not just childishly voice acted characters acting out some third rate Miyazaki rip off?

    Of course it is a West vs. East thing since generally western games are leagues ahead graphically and the ones pushing tech. I was not impressed with what I saw of Gundam: Senjo no Kizuna, no. It looked like Armoured Core for Answer, poor textures and simplistic blocks, which was terrible. As for themes, you raised some good examples, though I was thinking more along the lines of moral choices which affect gameplay or address issues/conflicts. I guess forging a contract with a demon sort of fits that bill, but I don't see anything like the upcoming Heavy Rain appearing soon in Japan. Do you?
  • JinTypeNoir 23 Jan 2009 14:25:09 4,383 posts
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    Kenshin, Senjo no Kizuna is a technological breakthrough because it takes place all around you in screens that envelope you in 360 degrees and a cockpit that moves as if it were in a real robot flying and walking around. You need to know what you're talking about before you try to make a point. But again, the DS, PSP, and to a lesser extent, the arcades and the Wii are the popular machines in Japan. The PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 much, much less so. Therefore, the greater amount of technical-pushing teams exist on the popular platforms and you see them push games like Blood of Bahamut on the DS or Monster Hunter Portable on the PSP or Oboro Muramasa on the Wii.

    And besides, pushing technology is not the only way to measure the creative health of a part of the industry.

    Similarly, you have not played Valkyria Chronicles, so the only thing you can throw back to me is some statement that doesn't even match what the games. There is no Valkyria that remotely resembles a Miyazaki movie. I, on the other hand, have played Uncharted and can talk about how I think it doesn't really rise above the level of a third rate Hollywood blockbuster. At the same time, both Chronicles and Uncharted comform to elements of character design that have been around for ages. It just so happens that Valkyria is refined and well-presented, while Uncharted is kind of awkward and unmemorable. This is not an anime vs. Western character design debate. We can easily point to a game like Team Fortress that shows a better cartoony than a Japanese series like Yu-Gi-Oh, which is atrocious. However, there is no way to evaluate the games purely on their originality in character design as a whole, because there are precious few video games in the entire industry that have a design that isn't found somewhere else or hasn't been done. Even really interesting games like Bioshock and Ico are using similar designs that have been seen in past illustrations. There is no superiority of one style to the other in terms of originality, so we have to judge them solely on how their pulled off. On Valkyria's side, the whole thing is pulled off with a spark that is just not seen in Uncharted.

    For your information, the games you speak of where moral choices are supposed to effect gameplay, have long, long been developed in both parts of the world and in fact if you had a sliver of understanding of the history of that development, you would see how in fact something like Planescape Torment, or Ultima IV is a much more impressive example of moral choices than what you have these days, or in Japan's case, games like Ogre Battle or Shin Megami Tensei. Fallout 3 and Fable have nice pretensions about this, but unfortunately neither of them equals the type of things their predecessors have been able to achieve.

    Besides, moral themes, when they do appear in games, often get simplified into good and bad choices that are pretty easily broadcast. There isn't a whole lot that's appeared this generation that has showed advancement over what's been done before and in some cases, its regression (many of Bioware's newer titles, in particular).

    Furthermore, the idea that games are advancing because they are embracing aspects of the morality tale that became quite disliked and antiquated in literature after its heyday because of its inability to rise beyond dichotomies is really quite quaint. There are many other areas to advance in games: connection with the player, other themes expressed in different ways, aeshtetics and so on. One example on the Japanese side of that is No More Heroes, which actively criticizes and lambasts much of what is glorified in the game fan community. Meanwhile, on the Western side, World of Goo takes the now expected kind of cheery graphic template of platformer or puzzle games and uses it to make some points about modern life where many are organized by massive organizations not motivated by your best interest.

    Together, the various countries and such cooperate to advance gaming as a whole. Nobody mature should think of it in a way, as "My country/area is winning!" like sports. That many Japanese developers aren't interested in making games geared towards worldwide consumption is perfectly normal. Many Western developers aren't either, if you look at how many hardly do anything in Asia, whereas Asians enjoy each other's games quite a bit and Western countries do so too. This is just the way it is when countries have their own strong developer interest. The majority of their products will be aimed at a local market. In this global age, yes, there are lot of hits back and forth, but the idea that Japanese games need to compete with English games or American games or French games in order for one to have "won"is prepostorous. The local games producers if they are operating in a healthy market will almost always be able to cater to the needs of the locals moreso.

    Japan contributes developments to gaming and provides influences and models that don't happen anywhere else, much as the same as Western countries do. For instance, look at rhythm games. The vast majority of Western ones are based on a game style and model ripped right out of Japanese games that have been out for ages, but they do different things with that model that help diversify the genre, but then you also have things like Audiosurf that are really good as well. On the Japanese side you have innovative products like KORG DS-10, Rhythm Tengoku, Wii Music, Happy Dance Collection and Patapon continuing to develop the genre into different areas. Brought together, there isn't a side that's "winning." The worldwide gaming industry is contributing to the health of the genre.
  • Cappy 23 Jan 2009 15:04:28 11,907 posts
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    A parable for graphics whores. Non-gamers can walk right on by something like Uncharted because all the things that excite you don't mean anything at all to them.

    And then, I'm playing Persona 4 and they stop to look. "That looks nice." Why were they impressed by Persona 4 but not Uncharted? Possibly because that small chunk of world, a simple classroom with the rain hammering down outside felt 'right' to an unprejudiced eye. In it's own less technically ambitious way it works. Scrape away Uncharted's effects and you have lots of things that don't work. Your jungle isn't much like a jungle at all, your ancient ruins are just not hitting the right notes, things are missing, they don't add up. There is a lifelessness that may not be articulated by the casual viewer but they instinctively knew something was wrong.
  • JinTypeNoir 23 Jan 2009 15:08:18 4,383 posts
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    I think Uncharted suffers from technology masturbation syndrome. They're so in love with their realistic foliage that they haven't realized from a stage construction stand point, it's not a jungle that really entices you to explore it or really communicates the wildness of a jungle or how weird it is to be in one. It really feels like you could be walking amongst Mirror's Edge-like buildings in Uncharted's jungles.

    I think even the PSX Tomb Raiders built their atmosphere better than that on much less powerful hardware.
  • Deleted user 23 January 2009 15:47:00
    Jin, I've seen the pods in Akihabara. You are talking about some niche novelty arcade game which is kind of irrelevant. I'm talking about Jp devs working on current consoles. You can't tell me that game is graphically on par with the best of current gen games either.

    As for VC and Miyazaki, when asked which artists influenced him VC's director Shuntaro Tanaka said:

    "I respect and like Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki a lot. I believe that Miyazaki's anime style is fantastic -- the way that he takes something that is totally out of the norm and incorporates it into his world is amazing.

    On the other hand, it is more difficult for Miyazaki to really engulf the theme of war in his anime movies, and we were able to do that because we're creating a game. I hope that our team has encompassed and achieved more than what Miyazaki can do in his anime movies."

    Reading that how can you say there is no resemblence?!? Both artistically and thematically Tanaka has drawn from Miyazaki. The main character of Uncharted is synonymous with the game so I fail to see how it is unmemorable. Does anyone remember the main character of VC? No, it is generic anime character number 997.

    OK, so some game from years ago had some moral choices about siding with angels or demons. I don't think it had the same sort of breadth as Fallout 3 though which has hundreds of different scenarios, not the least nuking an entire town. What is the modern Jp equivalent?

    As for your other points it is not a matter of winning anything, it's a matter of keeping up. Patapon and Wii Fit are to my mind not good examples of keeping up narratively or graphically or advancing gaming. That many Japanese devs are not interested in making games geared towards western audiences is fine, but it is that insular attitude that has left them falling behind. The best Jp devs are the ones that have realised this, the Kojimas, the Takeuchis, the ones that realise they need to keep up.
  • JinTypeNoir 23 Jan 2009 16:15:24 4,383 posts
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    Kenshin001 wrote:
    Jin, I've seen the pods in Akihabara. You are talking about some niche novelty arcade game which is kind of irrelevant.

    A niche novelty game? You mean the line-creating, money-gobbling hit that has consistently for over a year been a huge draw? It's not a niche game at all. I mean, very few Gundam games are. It's freaking Gundam, the Star Wars of Japan.


    I'm talking about Jp devs working on current consoles. You can't tell me that game is graphically on par with the best of current gen games either.

    So? The technology is an impressive new feat. You obviously don't understand. If Japanese developers were interested in pushing new graphics tech on the PC, Xbox 360 or PS3, the vast majority of them would. It is hard to support those platforms though due to them selling so little and not being fertile ground to make profit on, so they make technologically ground-breaking games for the DS, PSP, arcades and Wii, the popular platforms.

    Even so, those that do make games do accomplish good-looking achievements or technological feats on them, ala Dead Rising or Tales of Vesperia, both of which accomplish what they're looking to do in an attractive, forward-pushing way.

    As for VC and Miyazaki, when asked which artists influenced him VC's director Shuntaro Tanaka said:

    "I respect and like Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki a lot. I believe that Miyazaki's anime style is fantastic -- the way that he takes something that is totally out of the norm and incorporates it into his world is amazing.

    On the other hand, it is more difficult for Miyazaki to really engulf the theme of war in his anime movies, and we were able to do that because we're creating a game. I hope that our team has encompassed and achieved more than what Miyazaki can do in his anime movies."

    Oh boy. He's basically saying he respects Miyazaki, but he wanted to go in a very different direction with Valkyria in this quote. And if you HAD PLAYED Valkyria, you would see that. Other than some simularities in their depiction of vintage European countries, the two artistic styles don't resemble each other a whole lot.

    They are going for different areas. The developer himself is trying to get that across in your quote. If you look at Howl's Moving Castle or Porco Rosso, it's a totally different atmosphere and look at war. Valkyria on the other hand, is more interested in combining imperial artistic tones and contrasting with pastoral ones. It does not even try to evoke the same kind of feel you get in a Miyazaki movie of wonderment from character animation alone.

    Does anyone remember the main character of VC? No, it is generic anime character number 997.

    Let me repeat this again. You have not played the game. You cannot make a judgement like this, because you have not played the game. You seem to think just because it resembles an anime, that means it lacks creativity.

    OK, so some game from years ago had some moral choices about siding with angels or demons. I don't think it had the same sort of breadth as Fallout 3 though which has hundreds of different scenarios, not the least nuking an entire town. What is the modern Jp equivalent?

    Again, you have not played these games. They were a great deal more impressive than that. Until you have played Ultima IV and gone through the dungeon of humility or been tempted to steal, don't knock them. Until you have played something like Ogre Battle and seen how damn hard it is to win a war in a moral fashion, don't knock it. Have you played the original two Fallouts? Are you even aware of how much of what Fallout 3 is doing is really old hat? Not that it's bad, there just isn't much that hasn't been done before on the moral level.

    The modern Japanese equivalent would be something like Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume, wherein you play a protagonist whose personality changes based on how much you're willing to please a goddess or use a weapon of war to kill your comrades. The difficulty in the game makes it so that unless you figure out something really clever, you'll have to make that choice sometimes. It's a fresh way of encountering the same problem. Avalon Code allows you to rewrite people's personalities and then get closer to them, at the same time as you make choices for how a new world will be reborn. And so on and so forth. These are interesting, because they are more advanced form of the concept rather than pick and choose between morally ambiguous choices, they incorporate them into the very difficulty of the game. Something like World Destruction is interesting because it takes on the perspective of the side that has motives in destroying the world you so often see in these games and actually brings to light some of the psychology and reasoning that hasn't been done a thousand times before. Kuzunoha Raidou 2 actually does a better job of making dialogue impact the plot and gameplay than Fallout 3 does. And it's a considerably more unique dilemma.

    That many Japanese devs are not interested in making games geared towards western audiences is fine, but it is that insular attitude that has left them falling behind. The best Jp devs are the ones that have realised this, the Kojimas, the Takeuchis, the ones that realise they need to keep up.

    There is nothing to fall behind in, as not everyone has the same priorities. Not all Japanese developers are interested in pursuing the same goals and that's a good thing. If you didn't have things like Quest deciding to do A2 or Nippon Ichi deciding not to play the graphic's game, the SRPG genre would have not have advanced as quickly as it is. If you had Square's top teams being put on more PS3 games, then you would have not have technologically stunning games like Revenant Wings and Final Fantasy IV on the DS or Dissidia and Crisis Core on the PSP.
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