Over 30 hours into Demon’s Souls and 2/5 of the worlds completely cleared… suffice it to say that this game is having no difficulty whatsoever keeping my attention, and I continue to be impressed with the levels, the design, the extra elements, the hidden stuff—pretty much everything. It's also worth noting that this game, pound for pound, has more genuine OMFG moments than anything else I've played in recent memory.
I hate to sound like a broken record by praising this game so repeatedly, but it's such a fantastic title and I'm more than a little concerned that it's going to be written off as "too hard" or simply ignored by the masses who are going to be flocking to the latest military FPS or sparkly driving game. I mean, I'm not totally naïve—regardless of what I say, there's no getting around the fact that Demon’s Souls is simply not a game suited for every player. However, if I can help get the word out to those players who are so inclined, then that's what I'll do.
It's not perfect and there are certainly a few things I'd change about it, but overall, I'm feeling like it's going to be a shoo-in for the top spot in my 2009 Game of the Year rankings. It's not a lock since there are one or two games that I think might have a chance of unseating it, but those titles would have to be pretty unbelievably fantastic to knock it out of first place.
In other game news, I started Mirror’s Edge as my "daytime" game.
(Since you can’t pause in Demon’s Souls, it can be pretty inconvenient to play during business hours or when the baby's awake. Thankfully, the start button works quite well in Mirror’s Edge.)
Anyway, I remember being inundated with the hype back when this title first hit the scene, and I couldn’t really wrap my head around what was supposed to make it so special. I mean, the entire premise of the game is that you do "acrobatic" maneuvering through levels in a first-person perspective. I made note of it on my list and decided to come back later after all the excitement had cooled off. I just wasn't buying it.
After picking up a deeply-discounted copy a weekend or two ago, I'm very glad that I waited. At this point, I'm a little less than halfway through the game, and it's already starting to feel stale. The controls don't come together as tightly as they should for a game that's all about navigation, and while it can be fun to build up some speed and pull off some scary jumps, the game comes to a screeching halt when indoors thanks to some confusing level design and other generally not-fun stuff.
Honestly, it reminds me a little bit of the first Assassin’s Creed. That game had one core mechanic driving it (the climb-anywhere navigation) and the developers struggled hard to create a game to go with it. It seems like much the same situation here… someone at DICE thought it would be pretty cool to do some ho-hum platforming from a non-standard viewpoint, but there doesn't seem to be much else to this title besides that. I'm down to doing one level per day at the moment… it's a little too dull to sit through more than that.
Finally, I haven't had a lot of time for gaming on the go, but I have been able to sneak in a few minutes of Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box here and there. Playing this title, it's become quite clear that my wife is the puzzle expert at our house.
She had first crack at it and blew through the game in a day or two. While I definitely agree that the puzzles seem easier this time around, I'm not getting through it anywhere near as quickly as she did. It's a bit humbling, perhaps, but at the same time it's pretty cool that my wife can pwn me now and again.
Read more on the Drinking Coffeecola blog.