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From Software Games Ranked. #6

Hello Patient Gamers!

I recently did a series of in-depth reviews for the Resident Evil series and a lot of people seemed to really enjoy my rambling. So I thought I would make a habit of it. Batch's of similar games, once I have played them all. Obviously this means the reviews will come in clusters so I am not spamming this sub constantly, so once the series is done, I will do a daily review before going back to playing the games.

So I thought I would follow Resident Evil with my favorite games of all time. The Souls Games (Including Bloodborne, Sekiro etc)

So lets start with my least favorite souls game in sixth place… Dark Souls 2. Many people say 'it's a good game but a bad Dark Souls game' and I have mixed feelings about this statement.

When it was originally released I hated Dark Souls 2. I didn't think it was a good Dark Souls OR game at all. In fact, I stopped playing it half way through. I hated it. Dark Souls is supposed to pixel perfect hit boxes, so when an enemies axe swung over my head at the top of a stairs and damaged me, I was not happy at all. However they re-released the game as the 'Scholar of the First Sin' Edition (SotFS), which included fixes hit boxes, better enemy placements and all of the bits of DLC included. And this version is SO MUCH BETTER.

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So now that the actual issues have fixed, it comes down to nitpicking, as I love all of these games. so much. In fact the very quick takeaway is if you don't mind difficult games, play any off From Software's games. They have tight, pixel perfect combat. Rewarding exploration and fantastic atmosphere. The stories are told in a cryptic way that its hard to know what's going on without researching after (Shout out to Vaati Vidya for explaining to me what's going on)

So, why is DS2 the lowest? Firstly, the entire art direction just seems Off to me. Dark Souls 1 & 3's graphics are dark, grim and dripping with atmosphere, in contrast Dark Souls 2 graphics are more vibrant, but with a higher contrast that can lead to them looking a little washed out (If someone can know what I'm trying to say, but knows how to word this better, please feel free to leave a comment and I will change it up here)

My second issue is with the level layout itself. The rest of From Software games have these really tightly interconnected maps. If you have played them, you will know what I mean. If you haven't, but are a fan of Resident Evil. Think along the lines of RE2's world, but more. Dark Souls 2 is not like that. It has a hub area, with 5 branching paths, that rarely interconnect if at all. That not to say the map or level design is bad, its just very generic compared to the rest of the series, the same can be said for a lot of the boss fights, many of which are just not as memorable as the rest of the series.

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So even SotFS, clearly has some faults. But the redeeming features which saved the game from being a complete waste of time? The three pieces of DLC… The Broken Crown Trilogy.

Every single one of these DLC's are phenomenal. The tones have been muted, and the grim dark atmosphere returns with some truly memorable bosses.

The Crown of the Sunken King, takes place in an abandoned city, guarded by a sick dragon, the city twists and turns on itself, just as the I expected the main game too.

The Crown of the Iron King takes you to the mazelike brume tower, which ends in the one of the toughest final fight in the whole of Dark Souls 2 (And in my opinion the entire Dark Souls Trilogy) The Fume Knight.

Finally the Crown of the Ivory King take you to a Frozen city, with the two most unique bosses in the game. A invisible enemy to start with, followed by a final boss where you rally a small army to your side. Its incredibly unique and I just loved it.

What surprised me the most is how important the DLC's are to the main 'plot' As I said earlier, the plotlines of all of From Software games are pretty convoluted. But these are so important I can't imagine the story without them any more.

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Overall, the 'Base' copy of Dark Souls 2 was a poor attempt at a sequel, and I give a 4/10. But the SotFS Edition boost this to a great game, scoring a 7/10.

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