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Bloodborne & Dark Souls II – Not as good as Dark Souls 1

Waited to finish Bloodborne to make another write up since I felt DS2 alone wasn't worthy enough for a post on it's own. For some context I played DS1 looking up things as little as possible, and went into DS2 & Bloodborne completely blind and didn't look anything up. I didn't give a rating for DS1 on my last review here, I would give it a 9.5/10

 

Right off the bat I want to say that these three games so far have been very good, but none of them in my opinion were flawless.

 

Dark Souls 2

 

I took about a week break after finishing the first game, and my initial thoughts were that the game had some large improvements over the first game such as movement, explaining how to do / use things in a better way than it's predecessor, and a story that made a little bit more sense to the average player than the first. However, in the end the game really just felt worse than the original.

I felt the game almost dragged on too long, yet beating the final boss Nashandra was very unsatisfying since I didn't even realize that was going to be the end of the game. On the contrary, some of the DLC bosses such as the Burnt Ivory King and the Fume Knight were probably the best bosses I'd faced in all 3 of these games so far.

I'd also like to cover the level design between DS1 and 2. In Dark Souls bonfires were pretty rare but always had really cool shortcuts / paths so that many were not necessary. Adding on to that, most rooms in DS1 felt very fair in terms of enemy placement. They completely threw this out the window in DS2 (at least the base game), where they put bonfires pretty much everywhere in order to make the world wider. I always felt relieved when finding a bonfire in 1, while in 2 it felt more like a checkpoint in a Super Mario Level and nothing else.
I was playing the SOTFS edition of the game and when rewatching of someone else playing the original version, the enemy placement seemed so much more fair. SOTFS felt as if they were just trying to throw as many characters at you as possible for the hell of it.

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Overall, it has some good improvements to the first but sets itself back in many ways. 8/10

 


Bloodborne

 

I think this game was very fun, but honestly I felt like it isn't the best one by far like many make it out to be. I took about a week break after completing DS2, my cousin ended up loaning me her PS4 so I could play it with a 60FPS patch. It rarely hit that 60 mark but it definitely felt so much better than playing at a locked 30 even on the new Playstation.

First off the aesthetic of this game was definitely great, I'd say it even equals DS1 in that regard. I think the level design is amazing, and almost beats out the DS1. Maybe it's because DS1 was my first Soulsborne game or maybe I spent more time on it than Bloodborne, but DS1 had a much more memorable world design. If you asked me to draw a map of DS1 I know for a fact that it would be more accurate than if you asked me to draw out Bloodborne's. Also, I very much like that the lamps in this game are similar to DS1, but honestly I never felt super satisfied like I did in DS1, probably because the entire system of healing / leveling up is similar to how it is in DS2. Going back to the Hunter's Dream & Majula were honestly just such a pain for me. Lastly, in terms of fairness of enemies and their placement, it always felt pretty fair, not like DS2 where they throw as many enemies at you as possible.

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A big difference in this game is you get a gun in your left hand instead of a shield. It was much more forgiving when trying to stagger a basic enemy, but I found that trying to stagger the other hunter bosses proved to be very inconsistent, although it could have definitely been me doing it wrong the whole time. In the end I found myself using the gun here more than I ever used the shield in either Dark Souls games, but I find that using 2 handed weapons is much more my style :). I'll need to do more research but to me it looked like there weren't so many choices of clothes and weapons in this game compared to the other 2, that was a little disappointing.

I only did about 2 dungeons when I realized it was just all randomly generated. Had pretty much the exact same bosses the first and second time around so I just ended up ignoring that completely.

Lastly, I'll flat out say that the bosses in Bloodborne were probably my least favorite overall out of the 3 games (besides the multi-bosses in 2). However I can't really make a full judgement here since believe I missed a couple of bosses and didn't get to play the DLC since I killed Gehrman before I knew he was the final boss.

Overall, I enjoyed this game very much, but it definitely did not live up to the hype that I've seen for it. I'll definitely give this game another go once it's remastered for the new generation or comes out on PC. 8.5 / 10

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Probably will end up playing DS3 next, then Sekiro, then Demon's Souls Remake. I'd like to know which Soulsborne game is your favorite? Hoping one of these next games captures the feeling I had during DS1. I am getting more and more hyped for Elden Ring as I'm completing all of these 🙂

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