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Why Demon's Souls isn't GOTY material and other strange tales

Demon's Souls Screenshot

Forgive this bit of Scroogery on Christmas (hey, it's not my holiday).  I'm mostly reacting to Gamespot picking Demon's Souls over Uncharted 2: Among Thieves as Game of the Year for 2009. It's a positive reaction to the action-RPG title that I've seen elsewhere, so I'm not entirely surprised. But I also feel it's the latest in a series of hyperbolic reactions calling the game "new" and "inventive," when what I really think people are reacting to—both positively and negatively—is the game's difficulty.

Modern Warfare 2 controversy, Demon's Souls Halloween goodness and Half-Minute Hero

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Screenshot

So the word is basically out, and the level that has been causing all the commotion has been revealed to be used as a scene-setting device—basically establishing some context for the player's actions in the rest of the game. That was pretty much what I expected, but… it was also relayed that wherever this scene appears in the final retail version, it will be preceded by a warning about "graphic content" and the option to simply skip it and jump right into the part where the player goes back to being a "good guy".

Demon's Souls... complete!

Demon's Souls Screenshot

For people who haven't played it yet or might not really care: It's a fantastic, superbly-designed game that has officially knocked my socks off. One of the best PS3 titles available, and at this point, my Game of the Year.

For those who have played it or who do care: My character was a level 80 Temple Knight focusing on Attack and Defense for melee combat. My endgame weapons were a +7 Halberd, a +4 Dragon Sword, and a Lava Bow. All told, it took me about 35 hours, give or take. Too bad there wasn't a death counter, I would've been curious to see how many times I was revived.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 23 Transcript

Transcript of GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 23: Aram Jabbari of Atlus on the Business of Localization, Ratings PR and Demon's Souls

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 23: Aram Jabbari of Atlus on the Business of Localization, Ratings PR and Demon's Souls

With Demon's Souls nearing release, it's all things Atlus! We welcome Atlus USA's Manager of PR Aram Jabbari to the show. Localization strategies, digital distribution, aggregate sites, and much more are covered, and we take our best shot at getting you some Persona scoop! The back half of the show brings some of the most in-depth Demon's Souls discussion around. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim "Tim Spaeth" Spaeth.

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Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

Demon's Souls launch announcement and The Deepening

Demon's Souls Screenshot

The impending October 6 launch date of Demon’s Souls is nearly upon us, but the good people at Atlus sent along a message that they wanted me to share—As a heads-up to everyone who intends to purchase the game, if you somehow manage to secure a copy before the official release, be aware that the US servers WILL NOT BE ACTIVE until October 6.

It seems fairly common for certain brick-and-mortar stores to get a jump on their competitors by breaking street dates, but in the case of Demon’s Souls, there's really no purpose to getting a copy before everyone else. In addition to having other real-life players join your game (as blue or black phantoms) the servers are required to take advantage of the "blood stain" replays that show you where other real players have died, as well as the message system which allows players to etch helpful hints and bits of information for others in the same level.

Demon's Souls (still), Mirror's Edge, and Professor Layton

Demon's Souls Screenshot

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.

Demon's still has my soul

Demon's Souls Screenshot

I had to put Demon's Souls aside for while to cover a couple of must-review titles, but I decided that I was going to take a break from reviewing for the weekend and just play for fun. Popping it back in my PS3, I was instantly sucked back in. Taking that short time away, I had forgotten how ridiculously awesome it is. The atmosphere, the feeling of exploration… everything. I totally love this game. That's not to say the game is flawless, though—it suffers from the same issue so common to many RPGs in that the developers want you to choose the type of character you play before you really know what your preferred play style will be.

Demon's Souls Review

The fruition of a dream three generations old

Demon's Souls Screenshot

HIGH Incredibly immersive sense of true role-playing.

LOW Might be intimidating to newer, less experienced players.

WTF Why is pausing not an option in the offline mode?

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