Monday, July 6, 2015

Dark Souls 2 Look Back

Yes, I got this game a year and a half ago, but I only passed it this morning. So, had I passed it in the two weeks I originally intended to pass it, I would have posted a review. Instead, this is a look back at the game.

When I originally got Dark Souls 2, I had two weeks off and needed a video game to bide my time. I did not know what Dark Souls was, what Demon Souls was or what the King's Field was. I did, however, know of From Software. One of the first games I ever got for the PlayStation 2, Evergrace was by them. It was a fun game when I was little, it is kind of shit now. Yet, I figured that this game would not be like Evergrace because it was a legitimate sequel. I had no idea where the original was, so I just picked this up. When I started, I was glad I got to control a character whom I created. I was expecting maybe something like Mass Effect. In The Things Betwixt, I skipped all of the fog gates because I was unsure of what they meant and got straight into Majula. What a pretty and beautiful but sad town. The first thing I tried to do was kill Sweet Shalquoir, you know, the talking cat? Then I died by falling into that pit. I did not notice that my total life had taken a hit or that my guy was slightly ugly. So I decided to head for that tunnel by Shalquoir's house, after I totally pillaged the entire village. I did not kill any of the villagers throughout the entire game, though. Pretty soon I was in Heide's Tower of Flame and was getting massacred by the giant soldiers there. That was when I noticed that my guy had all of a sudden turned ugly. Dredging forth, I made it to the area's boss, the Dragonrider. He beat me very quickly the first time, the second time, however, I rolled out of his way and he fell into the abyss below. I had no idea what to do with the many souls I just got, all I knew was that I could rest at bonfires and such. So, when I lost all the boss souls gained, not the ones gained after using the Dragonrider's soul (which I did when I learned how to level up), I had no clue I had even lost them. Continuing in to No Man's Wharf, I could kill the enemies here and was finding it easy. I still had no clue about the game's mechanics, however. So I decided to check on YouTube and began to watch the playthrough of GhostRobo. That helped me a lot.

I learned from him how to level up, some weaknesses against opponents and the path I should have been taking. Going to the Forest of Fallen Giants, I began to notice that this game was almost exactly like Evergrace when I faced the Last Giant. I just looked it up on IGN, but the second boss of Evergrace was the Order Knight. The strategy against that boss was simple. Wait for him to attack and hit him in the ass. Looking at some videos of that game, against minor enemies, the tactic was just hit them first or wait for them to attack and hit them in the ass. In Dark Souls 2, I found myself using the same tactics I had used almost thirteen years prior. So I beat the Lost Giant and later, the Pursuer, in this fashion. This pathway took me to the Lost Bastille, and believe it or not, despite my relative inexperience, I had only died around 70 times thus far, but the Ruin Sentinels, oh my god. The Ruin Sentinels had to have killed me at least 400-500 times before I still did not beat them. I decided to go around a different way and returned to No Man's Wharf, I cleared the area and defeated the Flexile Sentry. So I began clearing the Lost Bastille from the other side. Now, the Ruin Sentinels had frustrated me so much that at this point I was willing to give up the game. With the Emerald Herald, I was putting all of my points into strength or dexterity just to get my attack up. I was using the Drangleic Sword, but the Varangian armour set from No Man's Wharf. This game me power and speed, necessary for met to avoid their attacks. I still could not win! It was my nerfed health, I knew it! I was not that good of a player, so I did not use Human Effigies to restore my health and I was scared of invasions, so I always played in offline mode. I did not learn until the very end the values of humanity in this game. There had to be a way to get my health up! I looked online and returned to the Heide's Tower of Flame. It took me a long ass time, but I beat those giant soldiers and opened of the Cathedral of Blue. The Old Dragonslayer was not that difficult of a boss, but he still beat me around thirty times. Yet then I got the Ring of Binding and my health was considerably up to the point that I completely stopped caring about being undead. So I decided to follow what GhostRobo was doing and headed to the Huntsman's Copse. I did not go to the Undead Purgatory because it was an optional area. Instead I marched on to the Skeleton Lords and had to have died less than ten times before I defeated them all. In Harvest Valley, I got the fragrant branch of yore and this area was easy. So I figured the Earthen Peak would be easy too. I was right, I did not even die against the Covetous Demon and did not die many times against Mytha. Now my two weeks break was almost over and I was at the Iron Keep, I decided to press forward until the last bonfire. My character was much stronger now, and I headed back to the Lost Bastille. Those Ruin Sentinels would tremble before me! They did not, I died at least a hundred times more until I finally beat them! My hands were shaking when I trumped them, my victory was at hand! Then, at the end of the two weeks break, I beat the Old Iron King within five deaths. My break was over, and so was my time with this game, or so I thought.

When E3 was about two weeks away, I think? GhostRobo posted a video about Project Beast or Beast Souls. Turned out, this was Bloodborne a PS4 exclusive. Now I was planning on getting a PlayStation 4 at the end of the Summer, so I decided to continue my quest to beat Dark Souls 2 to prove myself worthy. Using the fragrant branch of yore, I was able to get into the Shaded Woods, whose boss, the Scorpioness, was an easy boss yet again. I figured I had the hang of this game. Continuing on, I eventually made it to the Doors of Pharros, but did not continue down that route. Remembering the words of Creighton, I instead went down the Brightstone Cove Tseldora. This was a more difficult area, but more due to length than actual difficulty. The Duke's Dear Freja was not a difficult boss, but it was the spiders that she summoned that always killed me. In the end, though, I got her and the Body of Vengarl to kneel before the Drangleic Sword. Returning to the Lost Bastille, I went down to Sinner's Rise and faced the Lost Sinner. I just could not. She was too hard. Way too hard for me to beat and I could not handle it at all. I quit the game. I did not play at all until the spring that just passed, a year after I got the game. I kept on trying, kept on trying and I beat the Lost Sinner. I headed down to the Gutter and the Black Gulch, beat the Rotten easily and returned to head off to Drangleic Castle. The castle was even easier, as I beat the Twin Dragonriders and the Looking Glass Knight so easily. The Shrine of Amana was no different, although I got stuck on the Demon of Song because the witches would kill me on the way there. Once I beat it, though, I was good. I was practically unstoppable! Then I got to the Undead Crypt and Velstdadt destroyed me, over, and over, and over, and over, and over again! I mean, I would be kicking his ass, then he would use dark magic and with that power boost, just destroy me. I beat him too, though. I aggravated Vendrick, but found I could barely hurt him. Making my way through Aldia's Keep, I found the dragons to be the easiest bosses in the game and ranked up so many levels right there. The Memories were no different and once I got what I needed from them, I headed off to the Throne of Want. The Throne Watcher and Throne Defender were too good! I was at another freaking Lost Sinner. I stopped playing, until three days ago.

So once I started playing again, I kept trying against the Throne Watcher and Defender, but I knew that if I killed one, it would just come back at full health! There was no way I could do it! I needed to get ultra strong again! I started leveling myself up, I infused the Drangleic Sword with a raw stone, ugpraded my pyromancy and found a shit ton of Twinkling Titanite for the Drangleic Sword. I still could not do it! So I headed back to the Doors of Pharros and beat the Royal Rat Authority. Then I went and I killed Vendrick too, took so long to kill that one. With that in mind, I cashed in all of my boss souls and leveled up my health instead of my power. I figured, maybe it was durability, not power that I needed. Nope, it may have taken them longer to kill me, but they still killed me. Turning human for the first time in the game, I went to find Vendrick's Soul at the Shrine of Amana. I found it and used it and leveled up once more. I did not go to the Belfry Luna or the Undead Purgatory, but did clear the Belfry Sol to get the few souls needed for a clean level up. With this newfound power, I returned to the Throne Watcher and Defender, but noticed summon signs! I noticed YouTubers using those sometimes, but  thought I needed to be online for those to work and I had not even updated the game! So I summoned them, realizing after that all I needed to be was human. I had thirty human effigies. First three tries, I used Benhart of Jugo and got close, but still died. Next two tries, I used the Head of Vengarl and did not even come close. Next two tries I used both of them and at the end of the second trie, I killed the Throne Watcher and Defender. Then came the final boss: Nashandra.

I realized that I could beat Nashandra on my own. Yet literally two hours ago, I decided screw it, turned human and summoned those two to fight her. When she was nearly dead, she killed those two, but I was still standing. Six estus flask gulps still available, I slayed her. Took another effigy because her curses turned me undead and took the Throne of Want. I beat the game right there.

I love this game, but I also hate it and will not play it again. I will be getting Bloodborne, now though because this game has, as I said in a previous post, jumpstarted me into that series. With this victory I achieved today, I am glad, and happy. I would have been angry, though, if I had Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin because apparently the updates version of the game adds more bosses and locations, locations that allow no more hollowing. Yet I am not even going to touch that version of the game, it is onward to Bloodborne for me!

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