Nintendo’s Dastardly Scheme to Sell more Switch Units: Dark Souls

You ever get mad at a game and throw your controller? I bet you have. We’ve all done it once or twice. Well, i think i just figured out Nintendo’s plan in increase revenue for the foreseeable future: Dark Souls. With the announcement that the incredibly difficult game will be coming to Nintendo’s portable system, i can only imagination they are hoping people are going to throw the entire thing at a wall when playing in portable mode, forcing them to buy a new Switch console after every few bosses. It’s just the kind of evil genius we should have expected from the company that first leaned to weaponize nostalgia.

Okay, before Nintendo sues me into oblivion, no i don’t really think that’s their plan. But that headline was too good not to use and you know, you just know, that story’s like that will start popping up right after release. But if i’m being completely honest, i’m okay with this but i don’t really see the point as much as i do with other ports the Switch has been getting lately. The games that have done the best are the ones you can play portable, and i don’t think that’s true for Dark Souls. Boss fights can last for a while, and simply getting to them can take just as long. That kind of extended play session runs counter to the reasons portable gaming is a thing. I’ll be the first to say i could be wrong here, hell i’ll even go so far as to say i hope i am. But for right now that thought is hard to get rid of. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens in a few months.

Dark Souls Trilogy Box Set Announced. In other news, Heaven is Real

darksoulstrilogy

Something something ports of last gen games are bad something something….look, i’m biased here, ok. Dark Souls in my all time favorite game and this is a simply stunning collection. A Remastered Dark Souls 1, along with the other two games in the franchise, 6 CD set of the soundtrack, plus bookends art work and an item encyclopedia….yeah, i’m into it ok. What i’m not into is the saddening $450 price tag and the fact that this has only been announced in Japan for the moment. So even if i could afford it, there’s no grantee it’ll even be available to me. However, i’d be lying if i said i expect this to stay only in Japan. Dark Souls began life as a niche title for hardcore games who wanted a little more bite in their games, and then became a worldwide sensation. Simply look at how often Dark Souls is used as a point of comparison (for good or ill) and it’s hard not to say it’s the most influential game of the last generation. As such i’m sure From Software is going to ring as much as they can out of the franchise while they can. And so long as they are providing material as extravagant as this, i’m ok with that.

Dark Souls: The Board Games Boss Demo and Impressions

When i first heard about the Dark Souls board game was skeptical whether or not the people making the game could translate the Dark Souls experience properly. After seeing this demo, i have to say i’m pretty impressed. I think the best part was how they handled pattern recognition, which is such an important part of the games boss encounters. If nothing else this shows an awe inspiring amount of creativity that i personally think pairs well with the source material. I have to be honest, this has me wishing i had friends to play this with. I really thought this was going to be dumb, but i’m pretty well won over at this point.

There’s Value In The Struggle: How Dark Souls Made Me A Better Student

I began college in the fall of 2013 after a three year hiatus following high school. I failed three quarters in a row and lost financial aid and thus lost my ability to go back. As much as I’d like to say the main reason was that I’m one of those super-genius types that can’t be bothered with school, that wasn’t the case. No, I failed because I couldn’t deal with the work and a new found stress at home. For most of those three quarters I felt overwhelmed and I inevitably gave up hope and stopped trying.

Shortly after that I got a job working at a McDonald’s downtown and started my first review blog, Poor Man’s Geek and found the Souls series. So for the…..two of you……who don’t know about the Dark Souls series, let me talk about them for a bit before getting into how they helped me get where I am today. Dark Souls is hard. Very hard. Hard to the point of inaccessibility to most. Even after getting a few hours into the game enemies in the starting area’s can still fuck you up if you get careless. Dark Souls is a game where you will die a lot, and if you’re like me, you’ll give up hope of beating it and move on at some point. It’s also one of the most positive and reassuring experiences i’ve ever played.

The stories lore, while vague and cryptic makes one part of it’s story pretty clear from the outset. You are Undead, and like all Undead you will go Hollow should you lose the will to continue on. While the games does talk about “prophecies” and “chosen undead” who will become kings, it’s also made clear that you are nothing special. You are just another Undead taking up the same fools errand so many have gone Hollow trying to achieve. And like so many, at first I didn’t achieve it. I got to the dual bosses Ornstein and Smough, decided I wasn’t going to beat them and quit. I wrote my review and was ready to not play the game again. As much fun as I had, I was ready to be done with it if I couldn’t get any farther. But something kept nagging at me. I had that same thought before, several times. In fact, that was my same reaction to almost every boss in the game. But I beat them all. So I eventually whent back to the game and, in time, defeated not only Ornstein and Smough, but both Dark Souls 1 and 2. And it was then that I understood what the game was really about, what it was really saying: life is hard, so keep at it.

I’m currently in my third quarter back to school, and there’s a saying my Math teacher likes to throw out to those who are having issues, be it with homework or a test or whatever. He often says “there’s value in the struggle”. He says this to reassure his students that are having to spend hours with the online homework repeating concepts that ever time they fail, the get one step closer to figuring out how to solve the problems. He says this to reassure his class that yes, you will struggle, but you can make it through if you keep going. He tells them this for the same reason Dark Souls throws hulking monstrosities at you.

There are plenty of hard games out there that have taught me nothing but Dark Souls is not about being hard. It’s about overcoming hardship. It’s difficulty and it’s lore is about that core concept. You may only ever be crawling you’re way to victory, but you’re still making progress. And using that lesson, i’ve risen my GPA from nearly a 0.0 to just over a 2.5. There are certainly other aspects to my new found school success, like having a real passion and knowing what I want to study to just hunkering down and getting the work done. But I don’t think I can honestly say I’d be here if it wasn’t for From Soft’s epic series. Had I not made the conscious choice to pick the controller back up and take to hart what the game was trying to teach I don’t know if I would have been willing to keep fighting for my degree. I may very well have gone Hollow working a dead end job at my downtown Mcdonald’s.