You know when you go through an absolute gaming drought? So you pay one or two visits to your nearest game selling establishment throughout the week. Wondering if you'll find a hidden gem amongst the rubble of awfulness that gets produced today. When's that new innovative Call of Brilliance out anyway?
That's what happened when I found Dark Souls. At this point I had no idea of it's critical acclaim (I don't spend that much time on the internet for those reasons) and gave it a spin in my Xbox, continuing my quest of praying to the Aztec god Tlaloc for a glorious downpour that would quench that drought. I traded it in the next day....no sorry I sold it on Ebay. Have to be austere in this economic climate.
The thing was, I was too used to be a death-defying juggernaut in everything I play for this. Where was my initial feeling of 'I'm the underdog now, but I’ll work my way through this weary world and become ruler of the realms and all things, and when this happens all will bow, oh and peasant I enjoy plums... and truffles'. It plainly was not in plain sight, as much as anyone could question on what sort of game you start off already dead, You're in an asylum, with no memory of what vile crime you committed to be there after school closing hours on that fateful day (but that was just cause to you wasn't it?) there are also no truffles in sight.
My brother purchased this anomaly a few months later and persuasively told me to reconsider. I got my hands on a Prepare to Die Edition and gave it it's dues, one thing that instantly caught my attention was the music on the character selection/creation screen. It reminded me of old PC and 3DO (Those who can remember that) games I used to play like Escape from Monster Manor, because of it's old and haunting dark setting effect that falls upon one's ears.
Well, I say play these nostalgic personal treasures, I was very young and gleaming with innocence, sat on the sofa next to my brother who was venturing in this god forsaken 32-bit. Refusing to touch the control pad for fear of real death if that paper-ghost got closer to the screen. I received a similar notion from Dark Souls, watching my battered knight run as fast as he could in trifling armour from 12-foot bull men with mallets, military trained-skeletons and another player throwing electric decapitations at me.
For me Dark Souls touches on a more traditionalist way of RPG game design, you'll trawl through some hellish expanses, see some things that change who you are, and pick up some gruesomely awe-inspiring gear. You don't have to spend all your time comparing what is the best (Unless that's your sort of thing) and just subconsciously enjoy the violating waiting for you around every corner (Freud was right all along.) with a small cough massive serving of whiskey.
Bonfires are for fairies and treasonous usurpers of the throne.