2013-2014 Archive Arts Slider — 25 April 2014
“Dark Souls 2,” frustration simulator of 2014

By Julie Cheam

You might think that Flappy Bird is one of the most frustrating games created, but wait until you play “Dark Souls 2.”  “Dark Souls” and “Demon’s Soul”, both created by Hidetaka Miyazaki have resulted in many frustrated players, who may have broken their controllers or even their entire system. It is, after all, an intense game.

“Dark Souls 2,” created by Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura, was released on March 11 in North America, while Japan received the game just two days later.  This game once again, has led many console players into another addictive frustration, yet excitement as well.

Starting from “Demon’s Soul,” released in 2009 with an IGN (Imagine Games Network) rating of 9.4/10, players shared a common frustration because the controls were very hard to adapt to and gameplay was extremely challenging. This frustration continued when Dark Souls was released in 2011, receiving an outstanding rating of 9/10 from IGN. Players were eager for a sequel to the following “Dark Souls” series and their expectations were met.

“Dark Souls 2,” receiving a rating of 9/10 from IGN as well, is yet another challenge that console players will vent about, just as I am at this very moment.

Unpredictable Challenges

One of the most frustrating parts of the game is high difficulty! You would think that in “Dark Souls 2”, you would be offered a choice of whether to play on an easy, normal, or hard level of difficulty, but that is absolutely incorrect. Because players aren’t aware of the starting difficulty, players are more challenged to try and survive whether the game seems easy or extremely hard.

As you begin the game, you are known as a “Hollow,” a zombie-like person who is dead yet who is living at the same time. As a Hollow, you eventually come across a hut where three hooded women will await so you can create your character and your name.

If I were you, names are the last thing you should worry about, so don’t throw a tantrum if your character’s name is Banana. He or she will be the toughest Banana in “Dark Souls 2”.

Character creation isn’t as great as other intense role playing games, but really, there is no point of creating a beautiful face if it’s going to be masked throughout the entire game (that’s if you choose to wear a helmet). Classes, however, will affect how you will survive. The classes all have their own pros and cons,  so you need to choose your classes well. The difficulty is unknown, as mentioned previously, so choosing a weak class will cost you your life if you aren’t cautious enough.

An exhausting challenge

In addition to the high level of difficulty, the next problem is the characters’ lack of stamina.  Keep in mind that the size of your character will not affect the amount of stamina you have. You want to try and be very strategic when it comes to fighting, running, or simply rolling around.

Your stamina is a very significant part of surviving in the game. The more stamina you have, the higher your chances are of being able to survive through the game longer. Still, who wouldn’t want to roll in a field of grass and run out of breath?

You wouldn’t.

Worth the frustration

Don’t feel discouraged by the harsh difficulty of the game or the not-so-great character creation! “Dark Souls 2” at least gives you the option to freely roam; you can roam around just about anywhere, but it would be best to stay away from the edges of cliffs.

Also, the online feature that “Dark Souls” and “Demon’s Soul”, now featured in “Dark Souls 2”,  gives players the ability to leave advice for other players in case the current player has no idea of what to do next. Advice is helpful if you choose to follow the right advice. If the advice bubble says, “Run down this cliff and fall into Oblivion,” you might not want to try it.

Overall, “Dark Souls 2” takes a unique path for both online as well as single-player gameplay. Easily-discouraged players may look upon “Dark Souls 2” as one of the most frustrating and aggravating games to exist, but if you are committed to taking your time with “Dark Souls 2,” it’ll be the best strategic experience ever!  

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