Monday: Game Review (Dark Souls)

Hello everyone!

I know, today’s post is late again! I really need to sit down tomorrow and make sure I have everything in order! Lots of stuff happened today, but I will share that tomorrow!!!!

Today I am going to review Dark Souls on XBOX 360.

Name: Dark Souls
Released : October 2011 (Though I got it around April of this year. I think)
Players: Single Player, Online Multi-player 2-4, Co-op 2-4
Rated: M

So – I am going to try and keep these shorter then the last one on Wednesday. Because suggestion.

Now – remember : I am reviewing the games from *my* perspective. Specifically from the viewpoint of someone with mental illness who uses games to deal. Categories are rated out of 10. 10 being super fucking awesome never want to put this game down… and 1 being hated it, made my life worse, and/OR had unexpected triggers in it.

Highest Level Character: Athelina
Class: Knight
Level: 16
Weapons of Choice: Sword and Shield. Occasional bow. 

First Impression

My first impression of the game, was one of great interest. Both my brothers were taking turns playing the game. They were both really addicted to it. I spent the first couple hours just watching them play. Which – amazingly enough – I really enjoy doing. Almost as much as I enjoy playing.

The game is a role-playing game where you have to reclaim your soul. You start off as undead, and have to battle for your humanity, and to reach the land of the living where you can become alive again (regain your humanity).

Graphics (9/10)

The graphics in the game are pretty good. There are some nice effects with bombs, fire, souls, etc.. The textures were in depth, there were amazing views, and great light reflection/refraction. The backgrounds loaded smoothly and seamlessly. You can also customize your character, down to the shape of specific facial features. Spent a lot of time doing that.

Sound Effects (7/10)

At first I was excited that there was no repetitive music. Then I looked and realized I had most of the different sounds turned down, or all the way off. Oops.

The sounds of the attack are great. You can hear the bow being drawn and fired, if you hit the wall with your sword – you get a huge clang and a bounce back, your armour clinks and clanks as you move (assuming you are wearing the metal stuff), and you can totally hear the sounds of your sword cutting through the undead. Awesome.

I loved the fact that instead of one master volume (like some older games), you can adjust the music, voice, and sound volume separately.

Gore (2/10)

The gore level is pretty standard. Nothing that I saw that was too graphic or intense. You do have the option to turn the blood off – which is a nice perk for those who don’t like the blood spray factor. Personally I love to see some blood as I murderize things.

Story (6/10)

There is a nice cut-scene when you first start a new game, that has good lore that gives a background to the world you are entering. It foreshadows some events, and allows for the detail needed to really get into your character. To know what their world would be like, etc. The cut-scene does have some parts though that reminded me of the LOTR movies. Then again – I can probably find many fantasy environments that remind me of another similar environment.

Multi-player (?/10)

I can’t really comment on the multi-player aspects of the game. I haven’t played co-op (mostly because I don’t seem to be able to find anyone to play with. Both my brothers are not around at the moment). I also haven’t tried to play online at all. I don’t know why.

What I do like is that you can buy an item in game (using souls you collect), that allows you to write messages that are able to be read by other players. So you can put warnings about things coming up, hints and tips, or you can totally troll. I found quite a few messages that say “Try Jumping” when you reach a ledge. Jumping would most certainly result in instant death- though with the views… it might be worth it sometimes.

The fact that you could come across other player’s blood stains is pretty nifty as well. If you click on where another person has died – you can watch their death happen via their “ghost” image. It makes for some pretty entertaining death scenes (though I would hate to see what mine look like!).

Adaptability (9/10)

The adaptability is functional. You can turn the subtitles on and off. The level of vibration is adjustable, as is the three areas of sound control. You can also change little things like brightness, camera speed, x/y axis controls, etc.. (I seem to type etc.. a lot. )

Stigmas (10/10)

I didn’t see any stigmas against people with mental illness. Then again – I didn’t get very far in the game.

Frustration levels (2/10)

My frustration levels with this game were extremely high. It is known for being a really hard game to play – and they aren’t joking. I die so often. I find I am getting so frustrated with the game, especially the part where all the mobs respawn as soon as you heal at a bonfire, that I am yelling at the TV. I have also rage quit the game on quite a few occasions. The frustration level has been so high that I have spent weeks avoiding the game because I was still angry at it.

Anxiety  (5/10)

I found high levels of anxiety within the game – usually when fighting the bosses. Things are fast paced, and confusing at first. It also doesn’t help that I get so frustrated when I die. It makes me anxious the next time I fight something, because I am concious of the fact that I failed the time before.

Phobias (7/10)

The only phobias I came across that might be an issue for some are: rats, undead, darkness… but again – I rage quit before I get to far.

Stress Relief (0/10)

This game does not provide me with ANY stress relief. I have such high levels of frustration – that I find it causes more stress then the killing-of-things relieves.


I love the graphics in the game as well as the attention to detail. I do actually enjoy that the game is a challenge – but I don’t like the fact that it is such a challenge for me.

I would not recommend this game for people who want an easy, relaxed gaming experience – but definitely would tell people who want a challenge, or that I just don’t really like – to play this game.




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