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Opinion: Critical and Commercial Contradictions

James Bishop of TheGameReviews writes: "Unfortunately, two of the most spotlighted of this year's original IPs are marked by muddled game design and narrative. Though both certainly deserve to be considered critically and are not necessarily bad games, they aren't what they seem on the surface. On paper, both Demon's Souls and Scribblenauts offer interesting narratives and intriguing game design. In reality, the former pitches a learning curve straight from the NES era, while the latter masquerades as a game without boundaries." (Spoony Bard #8)

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cain1413127d ago

Haha I had this discussion with someone the other day... Good piece...

SlamVanderhuge3127d ago

I haven't yet played Demon's Souls, but am still not sure what to make of it. Everything that I've heard has sounded punishing in a not fun way, despite everyone saying that its great. One day.

cain1413127d ago

That's the gist of the game. It's almost unfun... But it flirts with the line and barely stays in playable territory...

reddevilyi3127d ago

I never found that game to be hard in way that isn't fun. There are few cheap deaths that are nearly impossible to avoid without fore knowledge but it's never unfair. I found Devil May Cry 3 and Far Cry 2 to be more punishing in a way that makes the game a chore to play.

bacon133127d ago (Edited 3127d ago )

Demon's Souls is both praised and berated by my friend who has played it saying it is very, very unforgiving one moment, but satisfying the next. I'm all for high difficulty in games but the line between difficult and frustrating is very fine. I agree with the above in that DMC 3 (not the special edition) is one of the toughest games I've had the pleasure of playing. Just thinking of fighting through all the bosses again in hell makes me shiver.

alphakennybody3127d ago

demon soul is the game that separates boy and man. your death are your mistakes of a bad lvl design or misplaced invisible walls, stop judging a game b4 playing it, I have it I love it, the more I die in it the more i want to keep playing perfect my playing. never has boos fight felt so rewarding than demos souls. dmc3 is a walk in the park compared to DS i've finished it on from easy to dante must die difficult. ppl who get frustrated by the death in demons souls shouldn't blame the game but only themselves for not thinking ahead.

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BetaChris3127d ago

I haven't played enough Scribblenauts to have any kind of compelling argument for or against it. As far as Demon Soul's goes, the "learning curve straight from the NES" observation is right on the money. That said, while many may regard this as a fault with the game, I found it a welcome change from the tutorial heavy, dumbed down, handing holding games as of late. Is it for everyone? Certainly not - but it is a much more rewarding experience as a result of its unforgiving difficulty level. Without it, Demon's Souls would've ended up being a generic, Dungeon Keeper style hack and slash Action/RPG. Personally, I would much rather have a deliberately hardcore experience than a distilled one. To put it another way (again, using the author's NES analogy) - how awful would Mega Man have been if Akira Kitamura decided to dumb it down to make it more "commercially viable"?

Omega Zues3127d ago

Demons Souls is freakin awesome, challenging at first but soon as you learn what to do its really simple and easy. Whats great about it is the sense of achievement once you accomplish something. The on-line play is where its at, theres no real simple way to describing the on-line play but with out a doubt its extremely original.

Demons Souls is a major success to Atlus and From Software, its close to 500k units and hasnt released in Europe yet. Funny thing is the game was originally Japan only but once they realized that so many people were importing it they decided to bring it over and hit gold, sold every copy upon release. True, DS didnt sell a bajjilion copies but for a small company as they are, selling 500k on a new IP is something to smile about.

I for one cant wait for more from them. Come on now, give me some DLC!

raztad3127d ago

Well 480K for a game released only on Japan/NA is no bad by any means. I'm pretty sure Atlus is damn happy with DS performance in NA.

A lot of amazing games never reached this kind of performance. Beyond Good and Evil, Okami, Psychonauts, and many more were utter commercial failures while, on the other hand, DS have found a totally unexpected success in a market dominated for casual games.

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