It’s a national holiday and schools are closed. Thanks Obama!
Schools are not closed. That was a joke I stole from Chris Rock’s twitter. Every time a famous African American birthday occurs on the weekend, he says Obama closed down schools for their birthday, as though for a national holiday. This has nothing to do with my time playing Dark Souls 3.
I took a bit of time making my character. I always create a guy named Tarrentine, who is a character I hope all of you can meet some day in one of my novels. I usually play him as a knightly character, and in this game I choose a character with slightly balanced stats favoring quality and faith. Sometimes Tarrentine is a dragon slayer, other times he’s a paladin. In this game, he’s actually a cross between both. I’ll show you a picture of his face sometime, but he’s definitely more different in this game than ever before. I had to give him black hair because for some reason every color for hair in this game looks fucking disgusting except for black. I don’t know if that’s because I didn’t have the correct settings or what, but it was very strange to see awful hair textures as a result of changing the color off from black. So, this incarnation has dark hair.
He still looks sexy. You’ll see.
Controlling my character, I feel a bit sluggish. Dark Souls II Scholar of the First Sin ran at 60 frames on PS4, and this game runs at 30, which is absolutely no big deal. It is an adjustment having just spent time with that game, though. Otherwise, it feels just like a Souls game. A bit more like Bloodborne and Dark Souls One. I’d say: the game feels like the offspring of Bloodborne and DS1. That’s the best way it could have turned out, so I’m satisfied.
You get a little tutorial area teaching newbs the basics with developer messages on the ground. Very familiar. Then you get to a campfire and play through a small area leading to your first boss. Now, I’m not going to spoil the area, so I’ll just say it was fun to explore, and made me feel happy to be playing a new Souls game again. The level design of these games are so dense, you often feel lost, or wind up missing pathways entirely. And I love that. A game should reward you for exploration, not punish you by displaying the game’s true design as being a guided hallway. Am I in a world, or am I in an amusement park ride? It should be the former, and with Dark Souls it genuinely is MOST of the time.
The boss is fantastic. Doesn’t feel like a tutorial boss, like the Asylum Demon of Dark Souls One. While I did beat the boss my first try, I played extremely cautiously, heavily abusing the spears poke behind shield. Don’t worry, fascists–I switched to 2 hand when I could. I’m impatient! I gotta get that damage! The attack patterns are intense with this boss, and when it transforms it only gets more intense. I felt very proud of myself when I beat him my first try. I may have even flexed.
The spear moveset is good. Reminiscent of old, with the added bonus of a nice charge attack with the weapon arts. Weapon arts, if you didn’t know, are special attacks new with Dark Souls III. Two hand a weapon and press L2 (LT for Xbone Peasants) and you’ll commit a nice, big attack that is actually unique to your weapon. This uses up a new resource called FP (Focus Points) which acts like MP (Magic Points) would in any other game (or Demon’s Souls). Focus Points are for weapon arts, miracles, sorceries, pyromancies, etc. You can refill FP with a blue estus flask. My character at the moment has a weak healing spell. It’s nice, because when I run out of regular ol’ Sunny D estus I can heal with my miracle, refill FP with the blue estus, and keep using more miracles. More healing! Yay! N00b mode!
So after the boss fight I find Firelink shrine, which is amazing. It’s like the Nexus of Demon’s Souls got picked up, the floor detaching from the structure, and jammed onto Firelink Shrine from Dark Souls 1.
(except it’s not that at all)
You find NPCs there. They do stuff. You’ll see when you play, don’t worry, I won’t spoil it.
Actually I will you find Bill Clinton and he gives you a vial of Mountain Dew and tells you if you slam that shit down your urethra you’ll get colon cancer if you get colon cancer you’ll level up your sympathy stat then you can call make-a-wish organize a televised Skype call with John Cena where you tell him that you can see him and he says nah and then you have to worry about how for the rest of your life everyone will hate you because you lied about having cancer just so you can tell a terrible meme infested joke fuck you dude get a fucking hobby.
So when you leave Firelink Shrine you find this fucking guy with an Uchikatana and he kicks your shit in.
He’s naked but he takes a lot of punishment and that Uchi does a lot of damage. And bleed. He gave me my first real challenge of the game, and my first real death. The bastard. The second time I figured out how to defeat him–baiting him forward into charged 2 handed R2s. But he killed me because I took the above screenshot.
Killing him was a real effort, including a lot of backtracking and healing. I depleated all of my resources before I could kill him. It was really intense, and would be considered a boss in any other game. But that’s why I like Dark Souls. Any basic looking enemy can be a big dick OG. He dropped the Uchikatana, which I was surprised to get so early. I can’t use it yet, because it requires 16 dex, but I may check it out.
Eventually I figured out how to get to the next area. This one is full of enemies, yet most of them are not aggressive unless you attack them. You can’t even target them, so killing them was pretty difficult with the spear, which commands direct aim. The area looks like a medieval castle, bringing to mind the starting level of Demon’s Souls or Undead Berg in Dark Souls. Shit tier enemies are everywhere attempting to overwhelm you with numbers. I definitely had to heal too much. But I got my first parry!
Learning how to parry in a Souls game is one of the greatest things about them because it feels so fucking badass.
I was attemting parries on the much weaker enemies of the previous area, but I couldn’t get it. I don’t know if its the 30 FPS, if the shield my character’s got purposely has a slower parry animation, or if the parry window is very different in Dark Souls III, but I couldn’t nail the timing. It’s likely that third possibility, by the way, because each Souls game has a different parry mechanic. It’s mostly like 1, it just feels different.
I progressed through the area, again being happy to be playing a new souls game. Exploration is just so fun, so rewarding, in these games. It’s fun to read new item descriptions. It’s fun to find a fucking giant dragon corpse on the ground because you know at some point that fucking thing has got to get up and start attacking but it never did what in the hell? I’m sure I’m not far enough to have to fight it yet. I’m not sure at all actually. That’s what’s great. These games have mystery, and that mystery adds to the tension of the atmosphere the first time you play.
The last thing I did during my first session of Dark Souls III was get my rekt by this fucker.
Demon’s Souls had a particular kind of enemy that was much more challenging than other enemies, and they were separated by having blue eyes or red eyes. Think of the black knights that are standing around in the Undead Burg. Only instead of optional fights, these guys have to be fight. This guy seemed to be that. My spear did nothing (he’s got armor maybe that’s why) and his attacks did A FUCK LOT. I was out of healing resources. I was panicking a bit. He attacked aggressively and FAST. I got my shit ruined.
And it was great.
I ended not because I was triggered. Rage certainly exists when I play video games, but with Dark Souls there’s absolutely no reason to rage. JUST KIDDING there are a lot of reasons, but dying is a part of playing the game. Like NES and SNES games, dying serves as a teaching tool for the player. You don’t, or shouldn’t, treat every Mario death as a sign of incompetence. That would be short-sided. Ridiculous. Instead, you learn from your mistakes, and you succeed. It’s fun! I promise. Once you learn how to not take every loss as the end of the fucking world, you get better.
It’s kind of like life. Ya know?
So that was my first session with Dark Souls III. I will be posting more about my time with the game tomorrow, so be sure to check out what’s up. This post was more in depth than the others will be. It was my first session, Dad. You’re not my Dad! GET OUT OF MY HOUSE.
I’m gonna go play more kthxbye.
Disclaimer: Xbox owners are not peasants. I know some, are they are very classy. It was a harmless joke. Do not spam this blog with console war bullshit. I will invade your world and cut you.