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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 111: The podcast with Soul...s

Richard Naik's picture

Only 5 years late to the Souls party, Richard assembles four of our favorite guests and an old friend to talk about Demons, Darkness, Death, more Death, and Determination in From Software's Souls series, preceded by a brief watcha been playin. Featuring Richard Naik, Tim "Lego" Spaeth, Michael "Easy Street" Cunningham, Kristin "Covenant" Taylor, and Samantha "Tell Me Everything You Know" Allen.

0:00-0:07 Intro

0:07-0:23 Watcha been playin

0:23-0:50 At what point did you "get" your first Souls game?

0:50-1:15 What makes Souls challenging for you personally?

1:15-1:27 Invading-have you ever done it?

1:27-1:39 The future of Souls

1:39-1:43 Pitch a Souls game to someone unfamiliar with the series

1:43-close Thumbs

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Category Tags
Platform(s): Xbox One   Xbox 360   PS4   PS3   PC  
Developer(s): From Software  
Series: Dark Souls  
Articles: Podcasts  
Topic(s): Celebrity   Pop-culture   Humor   Game Design & Dev  

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I've been waiting for this

I've been waiting for this podcast for a long time. Great stuff, everyone. And props to Tim for always being able to provide me with a good Too Human laugh. At this point I should probably just give in and buy my own copy.

Dark Souls Podcast Update:

Dark Souls Podcast Update: "Where are they now?"

I'm happy to report my Dark Souls character is now rocking a Zwei +13, Havel's Ring, and some hot and heavy upgraded armor. Last night I returned the fire keeper guy to his fire keeper hole in the wall, and re-lit the Firelink Shrine bonfire. Estus +2, baby. I upgraded pyromancy per Mac's suggestion but I haven't used it yet. Turns out there are still a lot of people playing Dark on the 360; tonight I plan to summon some help and wipe out the Four Kings.

Papa Goulet is back, baby.

This definitely should be a

This definitely should be a great listen for me as both a fan of the Souls games and of the Spaeth, of course.

Even so - as I haven't listened yet - I do so hope one of you esteemed 'critics' highlights the obvious in regard to 'Where does Souls go next?'. Firstly, the graphics engine needs an overhaul. It's pumped out three games now and, wow, does it tell. The art-style is fantastic, but the technical limitations are apparent in every title. Also, the gameplay and UI need modernizing massively. It plays and looks like a PS1 game.

Don't get me wrong, I adore the ruthless, cerebral and methodical combat, but it looks and feels too archaic, and too stiff. Movement feels too rigid, yet my character can feel weightless at certain points. As an example, platforming in these games is beyond tedious, and has absolutely nothing to do with difficulty; it just sucks because the gameplay is poor.

I think three Souls titles that are roughly the same - bar different locations and minor improvements - is enough now. It's time to push the series forward and take advantage of modern technology in gaming design. I want to make a rogue that can move quickly, fight fast, and jump without looking like an idiot. I want to make a mage that can cast colourful and aesthetically pleasing spells without having to wrangle with a camera and a 1990's lock-on system. The Souls games are great if you only play hulking heavy armour tanks, but I want more than that now. I also want all of this in an engine that doesn't have to worry about overloading the screen with enemies and effects in case of framerate disasters.

And yes - I am actually a fan of these games, despite my criticisms. In fact, Dark Souls II on the PC is a surprisingly efficient port. I am just objective enough to separate my personal enjoyment from that of critical thinking. ;p


I'm not a fan of the souls series because... I have not tried them yet.

But Kirsten's energy and Tim's comeback alone make this episode worth listening a second time.

Nice take

Richard - if you keep pointing out good segueways then they are NOT good segueways :P

Nice take and a fresh approach to the Souls games. As Michael says, lots of people are labouring under the illusion that they are extremely hardcore, when it is in fact possible for everyone to futz their way through them and really enjoy the experience, due to the fact that they are such well designed and implemented games. The takeaway should be the quality, not the difficulty.

Enjoyable podcast, cheers.

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