|Whoever designed this thing has serious issues.|
This is normally where I'd go into a basic description of the game's genre, mechanics, and basic plotline, but the topic that weighs most heavily on my mind is difficulty itself. Dark Souls' trial-by-fire mentality is certainly one way to go about establishing what the experience is all about, as a demon's hammer crushes your skull and the words 'YOU DIED' flash across the screen for the umpteenth time. Other games ease a player in so slowly, that the nuances of the gameplay mechanics are lost on them until a sudden difficulty spike forces them to reevaluate their tactics. I've rallied against games for punishing difficulty spikes, but let it be known that I am not opposed to a healthy challenge- I have just as much distaste for games that hold the player's hand to an insulting degree. In fact, one of my favorite video game franchises, Shin Megami Tensei, also has a reputation as being rather difficult.
What I'm getting at is, while the Souls games may not really be for me, I can certainly see their positive qualities. This, I think, represents an improvement in the way I view different game genres and their audiences, as I used to be very, very mired in a negative 'opposing camps' mentality when it came to gaming. The reason I admit to having once had this childish and unproductive viewpoint is because, in my attempts to branch out of my comfort zone, I've been able to see the enjoyable aspects of games I ordinarily wouldn't have tried, and appreciate what it is I do enjoy about gaming all the more. I may not ever touch Dark Souls again, or indeed any number of games I tried out of boredom or idle curiosity, but I'm really glad that I did give them a chance because they helped me to appreciate the value of an alternate perspective.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to pick out a new JRPG to play.