Simon Miller, Editor-In-Chief - Dark Souls, Xbox 360

Dark Souls screenshot

When I wrote about Dark Souls a few weeks ago, I was but a few hours into my journey. Now, after ploughing in significant more time, I can safely say this: I truly, honestly, with all my heart, hate Dark Souls.

I realise this will be the catalyst for a lot of disparaging comments and hate - and deservedly so - but I just cannot get my head around the idea that constant repetition and death is entertaining. I understand why it has grabbed people the way it has. In many ways it's the antithesis to the majority of games currently flooding the market: no hand holding, little guidance, and mind-numbingly difficult.

For all these reasons and more it's incredibly rewarding as you educate yourself to how it works, but it just isn't for me. I don't have the patience or willingness to plough through the same section over and over again. It really is the equivalent of maths: I get it, but I don't like it…

Tom Orry, Editorial Director - FIFA 14, PS4

FIFA 14 screenshot

Having not played a single game over the Christmas holiday, I finally turned on the PS4 again this week to play a bit of FIFA 14. I've got bored of playing Spurs v Arsenal, so thought I'd take on Stoke and knock in a few more goals than normal. Sadly, Soldado misses as many chances in the virtual world of FIFA 14 as he does in playing for Spurs in real life.

One day I'll play a game mode other than exhibition, but while I still struggle to score more than one goal a game, friendlies against lesser teams will do just fine.

Dave Scammell, Deputy News Editor – Call of Duty: Ghosts, Xbox One

Call of Duty: Ghosts screenshot

If you ever want to study children's online behaviour, there's no greater game to do it with than Call of Duty. Despite some of the things I said last year, Ghosts' multiplayer finally clicked with me over the winter break, where I spent many an hour listening in on the nonsense being squeaked down my online pipe by pre-teeners.

One of the first things I discovered is that, while in earshot of their mothers, kids replace the F word with 'Fire Truck'; their reasoning being that it still starts with an 'F' and ends with an 'uck'. Smart. There's also a rap song informing children about the risk of catching cafeteria diarrhoea during their first year of high school, something they relish singing down the earpiece of anyone else prepared to listen. They have a bizarre fascination with usernames, too, especially when the name isn't 'xXcOdSnIpEr69Xx' and something a little more relatable, like, I don't know, 'Dave'.

Most heartwarming of all though is that, despite all of this 'clever' bravado, whenever they encounter another person of similar age they revert back to being typical 8 year olds, 'strategising' amongst themselves and pretending to go on their own mini adventures in the big grown-up playpen of Ghost's post-apocalyptic universe. It's an adult's world, but sometimes, just sometimes, the kids are all right.

Brett Phipps, Staff Writer at Sportra.com - Don't Starve, PSPlus

dontstaee -

I've been looking forward to playing Don't Starve for a long time. As somebody who doesn't own a gaming PC, the chance to check out many indie titles that usually pass me by for free on PlayStation Plus is an exciting prospect, and it's more than lived up to expectations.

I love games that do nothing more than plunk you straight into the middle of a world and ask you to explore and survive. It is why I am so fascinated with Dark Souls and hold a strong passion for retro games. Don't Starve's basic premise is summed up in the title: forage off the land to craft weapons, fires and other gadgets to last as long as possible.

So far, so good. I've made it through my first couple of nights despite some bouts of terrible hunger and impaired cognitive function. I'm worried that my poor gentleman scientist is starting to show signs of fatigue, with noticeable bags under his eyes.

An expansive search for Wilson has so far proved unsuccessful, but the day is still young. The quest continues.

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CrashJones's Avatar

CrashJones@ IronMit

I agree with you IronMit. %100

I have only been playing Dark Souls for a little over a month, but it has become my favorite game...of all time.

What I don't understand, is people complaining about dying... maybe they are not old enough to remember playing Mario, or Zelda back in the day.

You die, but you learn. Same for Dark Souls.

Dark Souls, is like Chess. Once you learn the games rules, and have an understanding of each piece's move set... only then can you begin to "master" it.
Each area is like a fresh board.
Also, anyone who claims the game to be easy, is probably forgetting how slowly they crept around in their first play through.
The game is not for the faint of heart... but then again, neither was Mario, or Zelda.
Posted 17:26 on 13 January 2014
CharleSketch's Avatar

CharleSketch

I'm on Simon's side regarding Dark Souls; I understand why some people enjoy the game, but I just don't see any fun or entertainment in it. I'd dare to say that maybe with a different art style that appeals to me a bit more the game wouldn't be such a drag? But I'm not sure of that, really. It's mostly the gameplay what puts me off. Not that I don't like the game's art; but it gets a bit overwhelming for me after a while.

As for what I've been playing... I got a 3DS XL last month. Animal Crossing came shortly after that, so... yeah. Beetle-hunting and shark-fishing all day erry day. Also Senran Kagura; it's pretty fun and has a lot of content to go through.
Posted 12:43 on 12 January 2014
Woodfella's Avatar

Woodfella

The key to understanding/ enjoying dark souls to begin with is accepting that you are going to die, frequently. Don't see death as a punishment. Death is part of the game, and the tension created when making your way back to regain your souls is a hook. Most of the time when you die you will have learnt something whether it be an ennemies attack or a trap. To succeed you need patience, you need to be calm and you need to open your *****ing eyes and ears.

I am struggling to articulate it but it is my favourite game ever, along with Demon's Souls. I'd love to sit down and play it with Simon, point and say look this is why its mint. Perhaps I should apply for Matt's job.
Posted 17:32 on 11 January 2014
IronMit's Avatar

IronMit

I don't want to sound like a crazy fan boy and your opinion on Dark soul's (simon) is 100% valid but....

...I felt I needed to clarify the misconception of Dark souls enjoyment. Everyone likes games for different reasons ...so if the game just isn't for you... hearing 1-2 loud view points of why some people like it can be misleading and skew your opinion of it further;

I don't like Dark souls because it's the 'antithesis' to a majority of games. That's only 1 % of my reason

Dark souls for me is the closest I have got to a horror game.

It's not the difficultly and lack of hand holding that makes it good for me- it's the reasons and the way they are implemented. If fallout 3 for example killed you 40 times before you even left the vault it wouldn't make current dark souls players like it.

It's The tension and combination of

- planning how to take out foes and learning from your mistakes
-not wanting to die and lose your souls and precious humanity,
-definitely not wanting to die on the return trip to collect your souls stash,
-looking for the next damn bonfire
-not being sure where to go next - (are you under leveled for this area?- is this a shortcut or trap?)
-not knowing who or what is going to try and kill you next :s
-summoning and being invaded trade-off
-wondering what is going to be on the other side of a fog gate
-Trying to kill a boss that may seem impossible initially

The feeling of relief, accomplishment and bliss for getting past one of the milestones.

Combine that with an intricate combat mechanic, levelling system, play style options, and wildly varied areas.

Even the simple thing of using a shield is thought through- Do you want to use a shield? Do you have the stats to hold the shield? what's it's stability (stamina drain) and defences like? How much stamina do you have? - as you should combine that with the shields stability level to block hits... what armour are you wearing- as heavier armor will slow down your stamina regen and increase the likelihood of your shield being smacked away.

There, I am done. :)
Posted 16:23 on 11 January 2014
MrSmileyFace's Avatar

MrSmileyFace

Gotta say, I'm with Simon; although I did have a brief stint with Dark Souls I now find it too infuriating for its' own good. But I deffinately need to find where Dave is playing, never have I met a remotely amusing 8 year old on COD; never mind a pleasant one!
Posted 20:02 on 10 January 2014
BritishWolf's Avatar

BritishWolf

I'd have to agree with Simon. I don't particularly get the repetition based formula either but the game itself looks enjoyable.
Posted 18:07 on 10 January 2014

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