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December 27th, 2012, 00:11
Originally Posted by Mr Smiley View Post
The renowned difficulty of Dark Souls is a cheap trick; a marketing ploy, really. As others have noted, it makes you "feel like a king" when you beat the game. But any game can be made difficult, or even impossible. It's not what makes the game good.
And this is exactly where you are *completely* wrong.
Everyone can make a game that is simply hard or frustrating, that's true. But what makes DS stand out compared to many games today is exactly how it achieves the goal to be mildly challenging (because let's face it, it's not even that hard, it has this reputation just because many gamers are spoiled sissies today) without ever being unfair or frustrating just for the sake of it.
I could list dozens of games that are more challenging than Dark Souls (virtually any coin op from the '90s, for a start) but very few that are so gratifying.

Here, read this: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/featur…gn_.php?page=1

That's where the good system design -and not the "cheap tricks", as you claim- shines.
The game punishes repeated mistakes, but it also gives to you all the tools to avoid them.
And it also gives you the tools to make even the most challenging parts trivially easy if you really want (a wonderfully integrated co-op: if you are lucky you can find a companion that can manage that boss you had a hard time with even alone).
Every time you die, you never feel like the game has cheated you, you have to admit you probably did something wrong.
Common enemies are all about learning the pattern and then they are hardly a problem. Bosses hit hard, but they also die very fast, with just few strikes, if properly handled. They aren't "hard" just because you need to hit them a million times.

The game also offers you hints before a challenge or danger and it also gives you a mechanic where no matter how dumbly and brutally you went toward you death, you will have a chance to pick up everything you lost in the process.
Unless, of course, you are not going to repeat the same mistake twice in a row, which -once again- at that point makes you the one in fault. Not the game.
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