Discuss the latest Dark Souls Title!
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BobTheHollow

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#1
The following is an excerpt of a blog article.  Read Full Article

Bob the Hollow explores if the Dark Souls series ought to be thought of as a whole new genre, rather than an Action-RPG.

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TSMP

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#2
Excellent post, and I disagree on only one point.

I wouldn't say the player loses progress when they die. Kill a non-respawning enemy? That's progress, and it carries over when you die. Loot a fancy new sword? Progress, isn't lost on death. Pull one of two levers you needed to open the way forward? It'll still be pulled when you come back. Opened a shortcut, then got backstabbed by a hollow you didn't see? Come right back through the shortcut and return the favor. Find the next bonfire? That's permanent, dying won't take it away.

It can certainly feel like you're losing progress when you die and get kicked back to your last starting point, but anything you did to the level itself stays did.
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#3
Hi, TSMP. Thanks for the compliment.

Like you said, any "hard" progress that is made stays that way. What I had in mind was more along the lines of when you die TRYING to reach that lever, or that bonfire, or that shortcut... You die before actually getting to them, then you try to retrieve your souls and you die before retrieving your souls. You haven't made any "hard" progress and you've lost your souls in the process. I think that that, in itself, is a loss of progress.

Also, "It can certainly feel like you're losing progress" is very important for a horror game. In a horror game, what you feel is arguably more important than what is actually happening.
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#4
BobTheHollow wrote:Hi, TSMP. Thanks for the compliment.

Like you said, any "hard" progress that is made stays that way. What I had in mind was more along the lines of when you die TRYING to reach that lever, or that bonfire, or that shortcut... You die before actually getting to them, then you try to retrieve your souls and you die before retrieving your souls. You haven't made any "hard" progress and you've lost your souls in the process. I think that that, in itself, is a loss of progress.

Also, "It can certainly feel like you're losing progress" is very important for a horror game. In a horror game, what you feel is arguably more important than what is actually happening.

Alright, fair points.
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#5
I always thought of RPGs as story focused games where you select commands from a menu (Final Fantasy). DS is more like 3D Zelda games, which I guess would be adventure games. So DS3 would be a dark fantasy adventure/ dungeon buster imo. Every area is like busting a dungeon more than a calm overworld. TBH I never put much thought into genres as games can be wildly different within them.

I wouldn't call it horror though. The only place that scared me was the screaming corpse in Irithyll Dungeon. Bloodborne would be horror.
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#6
TSMP, glad you could understand my point of view.

Rizen, I don't think genres work that well, either. That's the whole point of this post (and my next one where I'll be talking about what, IMO, makes up the soulsian genre). That's why I think DkS games shouldn't be called action RPGs. About RPGs and horror games, role-playing basically means to act out a character and my personal opinion is that watching a story between fights doesn't really allow you to do that. Horror... I think horror is more about the effects it has on you, rather than the appearance that it takes on the surface. In this case, I was referring to the tension that comes during gameplay. And jump scares aren't either exclusive to or a good example of horror. Again, just my opinion.
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#7
Whatever you want to call it. It's not an MMO. It's Massive, it's Multiplayer, it's Online, but lacks the persistent open overworld of say RunEscape. (Arguably the oldest survivng proto-MMO)

Likewise, it's Action, not much else to do besides fight stuff. It's role-playable, it has a story, and character development/customization. It's not an Adventure Game.

Definitions like "Action RPG" are too personally definable. MMO means something. ARPG is more of a blanket category with sub-categories. It's an unique ARPG, so was Rogue. Then there were all the Roguelike games. Nethack, Angband... If it's it's own sub-Genre, then it doesn't have a name beyond "Soulslike." Until then, it's probably going to be under FRPG, and it's Action if the ONLY thing you can do is fight, and level up for more fighting.

I don't call it Horror. Okay, yeah you're surrounded by the dead, but you're dead. Twilight was (Bad) Romance (Oh la la!) but it wasn't horror just because (Kinda) fampires, and Werewolves. Underworld. It's dark, it's edgy, but it's an Action flick. With Vampires! Alien, that was Horror. Aliens... That was Action (And a Starship Troopers pre-boot. Hudson says "Bughunt." In fact, before he even started snarking, he called it a "Bughunt." Right out of the Mobile Infantry)

See what I mean? Personal definitions. Okay, jump scares. EVRYONE is Dead. They're all dead, Dave. That's not Horror, it's Post Apocalyptic, but the moral of the story is the afterlife isn't fair.

"Gives me conniptions." ~Harkwood the Deserter. It's not Comedy, it's Tragedy, but Horror? No, I wouldn't call it that.
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BobTheHollow

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#8
Hi, Psiberzerker.

I'm getting the feeling you're arguing against placing DkS under a horror genre. If that's the case, then I'd have to say that the post advocated for placing it under its own genre (soulsian) rather than action RPG. I didn't say that it should be called a horror game. Either way, what I did say about horror is that it has the components of one (even if it's not limited to or focused on it). The points I raised on the matter agree with your assessment of horror movies, since they focus more on psychologic effects than on aesthetics.
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#9
I know what I'm arguing. Someone mentioned Horror, I don't think it as you, but I personally wasn't horrified. Maybe some of the endings were disturbing, particularly Yuria's, but as a whole, it's a Fighting RPG, with some good Character Building.

Mostly I was arguing that "Soulsian" is becoming a sub-genre of Action and RPG, just like Country grew out of Folk. At one point there was just folk. Now you have pop with a twang, and neofolk electronic dance music.

Genres evolve. That's what I'm saying. Demon Souls was an Action RPG like none other before it, so it's Guiding the evolution, hopefully away from the hand-holding EZ mode that Elder Scrolls became in Skyrim. You remember what Morrowind was like?"

Dark Souls doesn't have a difficulty setting. From the start Dark Souls III gives you a handfull of hollows to familarize you with the controls, then Gundyr stands up and says "Get good." Then you can start progressing your character.

Which would you rather believe? That Souls is somehow it's own thing, despite being devoted to killing eachother with swords, and so forth or that it's Leading the Action RPGs in a new direction? Likewise that Captain America the Winter Soldier isn't a Superhero movie, because it's a spy thriller, or it's not a spy thriller because superheros.

That's what I'm arguing. It can set itself apart as an Exceptional, Exemplary FRPG, and that the Industry can be inspired to do better? It's a personal distinction, how you want to interpret what "Solsian" means to you, but I like to hope that the genre will learn from this experience. That FRPGs will Git Gud.
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Rizen

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#10
Psiberzerker wrote:
Likewise, it's Action, not much else to do besides fight stuff. It's role-playable, it has a story, and character development/customization. It's not an Adventure Game.

i disagree. it is adventure. you go on a quest to complete several filler objectives to ultimately save the world. you traverse dungeons, find loot.
in RPs you play through a story as if you were a character in it, like cloud strife, with dialog from your character. there's very little story; wake up, do several arbitrary tasks. it's not RP; you create an avatar who doesn't even talk. the closest ds3 gets to rp is the anri marriage side quest.
you can rp but that's just fashion souls stuff you make up.

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having continuing wrist problems, sorry for lack of caps.
Disposition shift has its benefits. If you can't hit play cause the button sticks, ignorance is bliss I can't say. There's a compass raised with familiar tone, a voice that needles you to the bone. You're left with chaos, static and delay.
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