8 Things JRPGs Could Learn from Demon's Souls

Demon's Souls is by no means an easy game but only a month past its North American release, it's already gathered a huge fan following (and is a likely shoo-in for numerous best of the year awards). The game separates itself from other RPGs with a near-vertical difficulty curve that demands the respect of anyone who dares trespass in its cursed lands. It's also a very unorthodox RPG, and one that refuses to play by long-set JRPG precedents. Those differences make Demon's Souls a very unique game-one other role-playing titles could learn a thing or two from. Here's a list of possible new approaches Demon's Souls gives us for a genre some might say is in danger of becoming entirely stale.

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Chris3993673d ago

I'd also add:

"Do away with overly complex narratives." The story in DS is ever present in the atmosphere and through the occasional, subtle story tidbit.

It's not linear and driven from one cut-scene to the next. FF XIII will most likely be the WORST offender this gen. Most JRPGs are pretty bad in this sense.

WildArmed3673d ago

yeah, it really made you feel in control of everything you did in Demons Souls. It's amazing how different the game feels when you use a different weapon or play style then before. I r waiting for demons Souls 2 late '10/early'11.
(note: DS was finished in Late 08 by Software.. Atlus just published it in US)

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Dont be a b!tch.
It's okay to play with yourself.

Jaces3673d ago

One of the greater things about this game is the Black Phantom battles and duels.

I love that you can fight random people who invade your world, keeps you on your toes and always changes the pace so it's never stale. :D

Ravage273673d ago (Edited 3673d ago )

but in a post-DS world, my expectation for Action-RPG has been raised considerably.

All ARPG dev should:
1)Grow some balls. Don't stick so closely to tried-and-proven formula and don't hesitate to raise the difficulty. The stale ARPG genre has been revitalized, not by the 'mighty' SE, but thanks to the new king - FromSoftware

2)study what makes DS online works so well. Kudos to those geniuses at FromSoftware for coming up with an INTEGRATED online system that (a)didn't hinder the core gameplay and (b)WORKS!

The most exhilarating rush of adrenaline i've experienced from online gaming this gen DIDN'T come from a shooter, it was from Demon's Souls.
I'll never forget my first encounter with a Black Phantom...won't go into details,but it was a MEGA-EPIC encounter that left me with a F#$%ing sweet sense of satisfaction(was jumping up and down punching my hands in the air like a madman if i recalled correctly ^^) I didn't even know i could feel this way about games anymore

Noctis Aftermath3673d ago

If i were to give a 1 word description of what demon's souls does it would be "Freedom", if you have played it you will know what i mean.

@1.2: i'd like to agree with you but i've never been able to have a fair fight with another player, this is all due to my lat (living outside the US is superbad for this game).

rockleex3673d ago

Shadow of the Colossus and Demon's Souls challenging type of gameplay.

Not cheaply difficult like Call of Duty games on Veteran or Ninja Gaiden games.

But actual challenging games that require you to rethink your approach.

SaiyanFury3673d ago


I must disagree with you that Ninja Gaiden games are cheaply difficult. The whole point of the NG games is that they want you to learn the battle system and learn how to deal with each type of enemy with which weapon. It's very deliberate and takes a lot of strategy. I can finish any NG game with a relative lack of difficulty because I took the time to learn the battle system while experimenting with various weapons. NG doesn't have an open combat system like God of War games. Sure it's challenging, but the games want you to become a better gamer to overcome the perceived difficulty. In NG2 on the 360 I can easily get a third level Dragon Sword by the end of the first chapter simply because I know how to play the game. If you don't learn the combat/combo system you end up suffering in the end.

Reibooi3673d ago

I do have to say that this is a bit fail on some levels.

The vast Majority of J-RPG's coming out these days no longer have random battles. They are either entirely real time hack and slash or you can see the enemy on the field and choose to engage it or not.

The formula thing also is a bit off. While Demon's Souls doesn't really follow any J-RPG formula it does seemingly follow a more western RPG formula.

That said the rest of the list is pretty spot on and Demon's Souls is a incredible game. Looking forward to a sequel as they could step it up a bit and make a real masterpiece. Perhaps even with a cooler setting.

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Godmars2903673d ago

The only way JRPG makers are going to learn from Demon Souls is if JP gamers buy it. As far as I know while it did do well in Japan, it didn't do massively well. Which sadly is the quickest teacher in any market.

If we're lucky, at best some JP devs maybe listening to the reaction of the game in the West, but its not going to be many.

krouse933673d ago

They didnt ship enough copies of the game to retailers and they sold out of the game so it did really well...

Godmars2903673d ago

But like MW2, they weren't expecting it to do as well as it did.

dafonz3673d ago

This game is really difficult.

3673d ago
jack_burt0n3673d ago

I am also a bit confused about ps3 exclusive sales valkyria is hitting worldwide sales of 700k and demons souls is coming up to 400k only having been released in asia jp and NA. Are we at a point where if a title doesn't hit a million its a failure because if thats the case we are doomed to guitar hero and modern warfare and little else.

And sony would not publish DS outside of japan lol bet they are kicking themselves with it moving 120k in week 1.

And clearly they think WKC will be a total flop as its taken over a year. /end of off topic rant :P

DrWan3673d ago

but you know Sony had Uncharted 2 and Ratchet and Clank they needed to promote within the time frame, and I am sure other games too. I think sometimes it comes down to the publisher's ability to have enough budget to advertise so many games all at once. Their publishing side of the company may not have enough budget to do the publishing in the time frame, maybe that's why they handed it over? Idk.

Noctis Aftermath3673d ago

@above: if sony had published demons souls in the US they could of chosen the release date so you are incorrect.

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