Detectivefail's review of Demon's Souls | Backloggd (2024)

Back in my school days, a common game we would play was the Telephone game. The rules are simple. You say a phrase or word and pass it along to the next until the last person hears the supposed words and if it has changed from the original. Often I found the result to be different from the beginning. To put this in the category of remakes/remaster’s shoes. The Demon’s Soul’s remake by Bluepoint(BP) has shifted in ways I have extreme concerns over. The 2009 title was reworked into something entirely dissimilar in the end. And while the product didn’t have multiple remodels, the same principle of passing along the message applies in a similar vein. On the practice done within, what is the intent? Thus it is important to analyze what has changed. For the better or worse? Must play over the premier? Definitive edition or not? These are vital questions that never fail to pop up associating the revamp category. The action roleplaying game initially created by Fromsoftware now remade by Bluepoint deserves scrutinization.

What constitutes authentic reproduction? Is it the adherence to uncompromisingly making every facet recreated a hundred percent without blemishes? Does adding quality-of-life features whether small or great help in this instance? Does the soundtrack need to be redone again when the pioneer is serviceable? Perhaps minor tuning is needed? And yet at the crux of the matter consumers often deal with the rise of remasters and remakes of a poor job to a good job in varying degrees. So where does BP's Demon's Souls lie? For me, it lies smack dab in the middle teetering on the precipice of being unfaithful and disappointing for the aesthetics. With the gameplay an altogether improvement.

There’s quite a lot of good marred by plenty of mixed feelings proving to be troublesome. Certainly, I enjoyed the bits that were worth playing enough to complete multiple times. Making this my 3rd run-through if I include the foremost. But some truly baffling things arise upon closer inspection. Enclosed below are sizable factors I endured during my playthroughs I feel are worth nothing to varying degrees that are neither positive nor negative. I’ll discuss them before I head to the good stuff.

World 1 - Demon’s Souls Art - Why does this matter?

Underneath Bluepoint's attempt to transmute Demon Souls(DeS) is a clever illusion to hide the cracks within. The added photo mode includes filters you can toggle anytime in the menu to display the whole game in the original atmosphere. The music has taken a humongous backseat to become more bombastic, adding depth when it is unneeded. The unsanctioned artists taking liberties to deform and transfigure initial enemy/boss/level designs like the Fat Official, Adjudicator, Latria, Firelurker, etc. leaves me in a state of absolute confusion. Considering I praised the hell out of the Shadow of the Colossus varied versions, and yet now after experiencing everything the latest Demon Souls release had to offer I wonder if at this point in my life, my previous delight was a carefully induced dream!? Doesn’t help Advance Wars Reboot Camp shattered my expectations of a proper remodel so now I’m spiking my critical senses of witnessing the old and fresh adaptations. Regardless, I'll try to fairly judge this transformative product to determine if it's worth it for newcomers.

Before I delve into the specifics of why I have qualms on Bluepoints entry by Fromsoft I have to talk about Literalism vs. Lateralism. The former according to Merriam-Webster's definition calls this as “adherence to the explicit substance of an idea or expression.” Which I perceive as the most sensible, 1st thought if anyone utters an idea or expression. If I state dog or wraith. Immediately for dogs, I think of the basic characteristics of a dog. Barking, what kind of breed they are, man’s best friend. The wraith I’ve been Tolkienized so I imagine Nazghul wraiths as the insidious interpretations of a ghost. With malicious intent. The latter, lateralism according to Wiktionary pertaining to the distinct definition from Barry McCrea, in the Company of Strangers - "…a parenthetical vision in which any given account of reality is constantly revised and expanded to house ever more elements that have occluded or excised." In explain like I'm five format I observe this as moments someone is given a statement, then it could be analyzed from not just outside the box. But rather to change our approach to understanding. From preconceived notions. If I imagine a puzzle game from Portal and I’m not able to solve the obstacle, then in accordance with lateral thinking I have to approach the angle from a variant point of view in solving it. Another perspective from exhausting available options. Confused? Don’t worry a better explanation will be given soon.

This is vital because DeS is steeped in lateral design. And Bluepoints metamorphosing attempt has shifted the visual aesthetic identity from a Japanese origin into that of a Western viewpoint. Michael "Kayin" O'Reilly a developer dives into this issue quite readily. In their 2016 article Design Literalism vs. Lateralism OP(Kayin) gives awesome examples of literal such as McCree from Overwatch and spacecowboy and lateral. Bayonetta from Bayonetta, Sam from Metal Gear Rising, Johnny from Guilty Gear and many visually striking forms from the Megaten series. For those above PG-13 then you may know how they interpret Mara. Kayin describes lateralism as “Divergence from the expected interpretation.” A perfectly summed up statement to describe and I wholeheartedly agree with it. The above examples move away from the conventional characteristics we associate and therefore we are treated to an artist's interpretation. An essence they profess profusely is that a company has willingly revised and overhauled to varying effects that stray from the headmost vision. Considering they view “From Software excelling at "Lateral design", a fact I agree 100%. And critically offers a complementary statement on their feelings: “...designs like this leave me feeling nothing. This design does nothing to excite the imagination, or inspire curiosity.”

I’m not an art expert. But at its most basic, since coming around to my past exposure visiting art museums and behold plenty of wonderful pieces by talented individuals. Even I can feel art has to conjure something within the person’s mind to think differently. Subjective for everyone, yet ask a filled room what a Rorschach splat means to them or what image is conjured whilst tested by Doc Mitchell from Fallout New Vegas right at the very beginning. Then you will have a host of varied answers. Fromsoftware is no stranger to taking risks from being inspired by dark fantasy views or directly from the late Kentaro Miura’s Berserk manga. Yet ask any person who has played their works and I'm sure veterans or sprouts can immediately describe the experience/feeling from their catalog. From the Lovecraftian horror edge of Bloodborne to the dark fantasy of the Souls series inspiration and interpretations are everywhere.

Consequently, a Western brush altered the original Japanese formations. I am waist-deep in a tough dilemma arising from the blatant disregard to treat the predecessor with proper respect. Once I eye a miniboss changed from a sinister clown into a fatman I go no no. If I spot an early boss modified from goofy into nightmarish I go please stop. The mindflayers have reformed too! Becoming sinister-like instead of the weird otherworldly vibe they encompassed prior! Now I’m closing my eyes in distress! When I notice a shield shift from simple to complexly horrifying I’m shaking my head. Another boss has converted into a grotesque not slimy creature whereas the former had a slimy, ritualistic, along with markings adorning their body to evoke a mystical side. I don’t perceive the mysticism currently. Alternatively, I am throwing a bucket of ice-cold water on my eyes. By far scrutinizing an iconic adversary overhauled into an amalgamation from Diablo, Balrog, and lava. Now I’m throwing my hands in the air! These may seem harmless from a green perspective. But let me ask if YOU created a game. And a fella decided to meticulously tinker with your created works and revise them entirely distinct. Can YOU confidently announce you’re proud of the differences? Forgive me for not going the full nine yards into the exact differences in full list form. Rather, I'd point out how these revisions vary in quality. I simply chose the ones that stood out to me. The rest of the visual corrections differ and depend ultimately on the user. This isn’t to shout that distorted styles are a significant stain upon humanity, but to note going forward after studying the undocumented fluctuating mutations I've found thus far. Furthermore, these tweaks make me believe it was a conscious philosophy to undertake transfiguring initial blueprints into something else. As if I came across a subtly disparate telephone game from the first message, then resulting in a peculiarity in the end. Creative liberty was given priority instead of close examination to adhere back to the primal intent. Altering without respect and forcefully distorting the 2009 classic.

Let us slam the greatsword deeper. I have a massive quandary with a certain world. Where the addition of music has completely and tonally transformed distinguishable from their predecessor. In the preceding model, there are no soothing sounds to accompany this big zone, leaving it haunting, frustrating and most of all a harsh place to venture. Yet Bluepoint's executive decision decided hey. Let's add a music track. Just for the heck of it. Wowzers! This is equivalent to taking the Mona Lisa and slapping on a green or piss filter on top of it. Or redrawing using digital techniques in lieu of the previous methods used! Imagine if you formed a creation and someone decided to add their own markers and proclaim this is a remake! Thus, the fresh account has undoubtedly remade a divergent vision from which their audience will undertake. Now my ruminations as I run through the latest release are: soothing, not as scary, and not as unsettling and isolating. Glimpse the differences? It’s mind-blowing to me.

Let’s drive the sharp blade, so extra blood is gushing. Hydef Hyde dives further with an art critique of the product with comparisons to Dark Souls 3. These unnecessary changes in the environment are depicted as real than unnatural. This extends and reinforces what Richmond Lee opens a topic regarding eastern vs. western aesthetics. Tracing the origins we can catch a single foe is inspired not just by the god warrior from Nausicaa but also pre-90s Western fantasy art. Lee posits several reasons why the redesign is so. An influence is drawn akin to Nurgle from Warhammer. That may align better with another archenemy in the same zone. A statement I can get behind upon looking at the images. Yet another reason to sum up these differences is that Richmond states “The original Demon’s Souls team is hugely influenced by both Japanese and Western art of the 70s and 80s. Meanwhile, it looks like the team behind the remaster are more influenced by more recent Japanese and Western games.”

We reach the crux of the matter demonstrating further credence over the artist's liberties on a timeless classic for a PS5 piece. For better or worse. A multitude of reason/s why we don’t alter the classics. We look upon the genuine product with fresh unblemished eyes to descry into true nature and infer based on our findings anything that arises foremost. Consequently, a remake is supplanting and offering something I find distasteful in an aesthetically distorted eyeful from the primary. A grimace forms on my face when I see the top search engines compile the latest rendition and thumbnails blatantly giving focus on a BP fruit that has given rise to the new shiny toy on the market. Whereas the leadoff is a sensibly fair choice yet is not offered on current modern platforms. Only the last title. Such a change is unforgivable as if to erase our precious history as relics from the past should be delicately cared for and maintained with love and proper good faith. Therefore, I cannot in my fullest conscience call this faithful from an artistic perspective.

World 2 - Adding ‘Excess’ in the Musicscape Department is not Always Superior

Aside from the visuals. The music I think could be better. And I can’t believe I’m proclaiming this. Considering the prime composer Shunsuke Kida is back for a reimagining of the soundtrack. Usually, I'm on board with the soundscape if the previous composer returns. Yet the full range of each track leaves much to be desired. I’m no sound expert though. But the majority of the score misses the point of the pioneer in my opinion. Patrick Gann from RPGfan said it best: “1970’s sci-fi fantasy movie…excellent use of silence… non-lyrical and as a dirge…a ‘historical style’ and mesmerizing.” The latest installment doesn’t evoke these qualities completely. Rather…

The profound usage of orchestral equipment dampens everything. Fragmenting the whole. In the 1st track of BP's version the track “Demon’s Souls” the orchestration is on full blast, lessening the impact of the singers. As a result, we don’t hear much of their voices displaying a haunting choir. Now muddled by extra noise. The 2nd track “The Beginning” also goes through a dramatic modification. The accessory instruments in creating orchestration lose the simplicity, tone, and rhythm of haunting eeriness. Listen to the latest carefully. The spare vocals in the background ruin the simplicity while trying to add extra as premium-worthy upgrades when simple and clean worked wonders. “Tales of Old” also receives unnecessary vocals, higher keynotes, and a focus to make it ‘epic’ whilst the previous did fine without alterations. The somberness is matched by a melancholy tone. “Maiden in Black” perhaps is the most egregious example of the overhaul. The added vocals and orchestra in the foreground massively ruin the smooth pacing, and the silence between intervals of notes and add too much focus on etherealness to the extent of utterly massacring what the predecessor upheld. Simpleness in notes matched by pauses creates a tranquil vibe.

At present, I can barely listen to what it's trying to evoke beyond the orchestration. One last example using a favorite track of mine. You can already guess my feelings on how the result turned out. Poorly enhanced. The above examples are used constantly infusing unnecessary instruments such as drums. The vocals and orchestration wipe out the majestic tone and harmonious uniqueness in the 2009 account. The strings and piano reign supreme in a consistent rhythm. Here it’s all muddled with noise. Please take a look at the two interpretations. Lets shift equipment on the credits for each team. Please take a look at the contributors for the sound team of the past and latest. The former versus the latter. Immediately what springs to mind is the tremendous revamp to 'enhance' by adding an orchestral, pipe organ, along with unfamiliar fellas to help create a “modern reimagining.” This type of modern remodeling completely misses the vision. But I believe music if redone should at the very least stay true to the antecedent work. As closely as possible to keep their essence. A fan track I firmly believe offers a ‘what could’ve been’ yet retains the qualities unique to the prototype minus the egregious rework. A remix cover by Alex Roe. Presently. The current soundtrack is horrifying and incredibly painful for me to listen to. I could go on and blabber extras on each track, but I won’t mince words and repeat the examples I’ve given repeatedly. To those who love the ‘new’ soundscape, I am genuinely happy for you. And this isn't to besmirch Kida's work at all. Due to the fact it's not horrendous by itself. I simply prefer the original, thus I’m sadly shaking my entire body in distress at what’s offered. What’s extra damning is the reality I can’t even listen to the premier as an option in the 2020 release. I am left with a soulless rendition that doesn’t offer anything substantially fresh to the table. Only a pitiful hollow husk croaking at the heels of greatness.

A Small Interlude - A Case of Code & Constant Praise

If anything, considering they're running the same code. They should’ve offered a simple mode if you prefer the initial portrayals versus the remake. With a press of a single button. Comparable to how the Halo 1 Combat Evolved Anniversary did. A single press of a button allows the player to transform the depictions in the foremost graphical style. The fact Bluepoint doesn’t offer this leads me to believe they were not confident in proving to veteran Fromsoft fans that this is a faithful work. This leads me to wonder if the filter to transform the atmospheric perspective if entering the option in photo mode was tucked away and not activated from the get-go. It becomes clear the developers are asserting their own vision on top of the prime release. The 2009 title cannot be bought currently on modern platforms. It's stuck in the PS3 store/hard copies or employing emulation. To speak it plainly. Please play our modern, updated, version of an old classic! The store page from the Playstation store adds to this. By saying “Entirely rebuilt from the ground up and masterfully enhanced, this remake introduces the horrors of a fog-laden, dark fantasy land to a whole new generation of gamers. Those who’ve faced its trials and tribulations beforehand can challenge the darkness in stunning visual quality and incredible performance.” - keywords being stunning visual quality. It is indicative of a PR move to move eyes away from faithful. Nowhere does it state in the description of the word and it further adds evidence in my eyes the good is merely a showpiece proposal to “stun” and express the might of the PS5’s capabilities. An eye-candy element for those interested in graphics over content.

I find it discerning if we take every remaster/remake and irrevocably rework their aesthetic/music styles among other things. Come the next decade and we study another shot at modernizing/updating in the same category. What modifications are created then? Can we sincerely defend this a ‘smashing’ release once again!? These discussions, debates, and arguments always without fail pop up. It seems inevitable to appease every audience. However, it's important to witness these distinctions with fair critique. Lest we fill developers with clouds of praise.

World 3 - Genuine Warnings on the Brutal Nature of Demon’s Souls

Let's tread onto greener pastures from the artful & sound facet. I must discuss major warnings for anyone looking to eagerly try the remake or classic. And that is DeS is a pretty tough JRPG. Coming from me who is used to Fromsoft's genre-defining entries. Nevertheless, I am not an expert. I am not a big fan. I was beaten until I was knocked outa the ring, but I kept returning coming to the Demon's entry. And this applies to both versions due to the fact I still struggled. Consequently, I persevered because I desired to discern the entirety offered. Both the mixed feelings and the satisfying parts. If I could name a singular quality defining the ordeal it would be as Miyazaki articulates in 2010 “The strongest asset DeS has is experience, and that can only be experienced to be appreciated.” Hidetaka Miyazaki, the director of the aforementioned title states. It’s, to be honest, a weird statement. Yet at its core, the action role-playing release is steeped in offering a hardcore avenue for players to try. The difficulty was intentionally high. This presents a high barrier of entry for folks to try and I align with the barriers. And hey I’m not alone since the initial sales in the past garnered weak sales in the areas of 20-30k copies in the 1st week of Japan. Yet word of mouth and perseverance to overcome the initial hurdle in the beginning finally reached a goal of 100K. Such an outcome is evident in the gem being polished and exhibits consumers' appreciation as a whole rather than the harsh inception. Investment in double-digit hours unearthed a gratifying experience than an unfulfilling, sufferable, frustrating inception. See the difference? Heck, the president of Sony's Worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida at the time during 2012 called the 2009 model “This is crap. This is an unbelievably bad game.” So I put it aside.

It’s taken me years following 2016 to solidify my decisive thoughts on the game. Primarily because of two reasons. The reduction in health bar and world tendencys. The former is an unnecessary handicap to limit the player's full health bar. If you die once, you enter a ‘soul form’ where your maximum health is cut by 50%. If you’re a mage class struggling with health then guess what fella, you have less hp to live. And I loathe painful mechanics with a burning passion. Sure there is a ring called the “Cling Ring” you can retrieve very early on to mitigate the lessening of your precious life pool. But this hampers build diversity by taking up a single-ring slot. The game exclusively grants two. Methods are available to purify yourself of ‘soul form’ and return to 100% health. But they’re finite and not plentiful. Using an item to restore your body, defeating a boss, or engaging with the summoning system to help another player or invade. Sadly no simple mechanic to revert into human form freely. I have zero remorse for detailing this out the gate to newcomers. Because I feel it is important before starting the intro and wondering why my lifebar is shortened. Personally, it was an annoyance I suffered through as I played farther and added stat points into my vitality to increase my lifebar and thus survivability. I can look at why the developers would add this handicap to induce added difficulty. But in my opinion, it's needlessly punishing and purely serves to heighten a reliance on stat importance and less on build variety due to being handicapped.

The latter world/character tendency gives me horrible indigestion as my friend states. But I’ll try to give it a fair overview. Think of it akin to a karma system but lateralized. Good deeds are denoted by a white color and bad deeds a black color. Each level has separate world tendency meters. Everything is neutral in the baseline and defeating a major opponent transforms the corresponding area tendency to white causing: enemies to not be as difficult, HP at max potential and item drops from opponents are tiny. Dying countless times causes the aforementioned name in the environment to turn ebony. Therefore, mobs are tougher, you gain boosts in currency and improved drop item rates. General attacks are stronger and HP is lower. Furthermore, changing colors can cause different kinds of NPC’s to appear depending on the color. Character tendency is dealing with your protagonist's alignment. Help fellas, destroy evil, and be rewarded corresponding to a paladin way. Do the opposite and kill NPCs or invade and Bam! You’re a dastardly evildoer! Honestly, you’re fine not paying too much attention to the character part compared to the counterpart since this only affects attributes in a minor capacity for increasing/decreasing HP/Attack. There’s a surplus I could assert, in regards to the mechanic but I believe it's fine to give a sample than vomiting every little bit. So I'll refrain and spare y'all. A breakdown can be read on the wiki.

Try not to incur a headache...

My all-around feelings towards the tendency mechanic can be summed up as cool concept, and poor execution. To be frank I quite admire the changes you can make to shift the ‘karma/alignment’ in various ways while checking out unique events for NPCs during pure white/black sides. Don't often espy that in equivalents. But it's tedious and punishing if you die consistently. Making attackers brutal as you shift into the darker side of tendency. Any gamer worth their salt shouldn't have to be punished yonder for dying. Instead, we should help the struggling player to overcome challenges. Some do this as easily as the Trails series by offering a retry with a weaker enemy option and in the case of the Souls series, they do not provide layers of difficulty modes to switch at the press of a button. Forcing newcomers to engage with their systems and mechanics for better or worse. If it was up to me, I would’ve made the requirements to change the colors easier by offering souls to an NPC to modify it according to my currency on hand. A percent off the total for example. This would in effect lessen the tediousness and tougher darker angle. Or at the very least add in an option to stop the mechanic to drop to sable. Keeping it at a base neutral. Still despite my grievances. I think its wicked Demon’ Souls offered a personalized mechanic that adds to the unique identity.

Lastly, the runbacks are painful. When I mean runbacks I mean from the get-go point/return point(if you die) in levels to the boss. In the beginning of a zone, the start isn’t so linear to progress. Certainly, you can evade hostiles and push/click levers and switches to unlock shortcuts, clear obstacles, and evade mobs to reach your archfoe. Though, this presents a tedious if not monotonous travel time for players to endure. Punishing having to trek through a complete level again(Some areas are too egregious than others) just to face your fated enemy. No bonfires to light in the middle, no checkpoints to check, and no hidden save feature to save your character if they die during the run. Sure I persevered enough on my multiple playthroughs, but I dread the feeling of dying, losing my money, and having to return to the last depths of a dungeon to fight my mortal enemy. With re-spawned assailants spawning to terrorize, harass, and chase after you. Tolerable individuals don’t care towards these cause it's a minor issue, but I care a great deal considering the punishing approach. Thankfully later entries in the Souls series from then on are not as horrible as here. So I appreciate the prototype in a way to tweak runbacks in future titles.

World 4 - Enduring the unforgiving universe of Boletaria & Punishing Mechanics. What remains is a challenging yet very triumphant game

For starters, if we for the moment embrace these handicaps and obstacles early on then you can sort of become immersed in the universe of Boletaria and what it has to offer. In my case. I accepted the hurdles and pains early on because I knew other Souls handiwork following this entry. Can be steep for the difficulty yet players can break their limits to win against insurmountable odds and triumph. Where, cheesing if applicable becomes commonplace and grinding to be strong as hell, learning the ins and outs of enemy patterns and mastering my capabilities immensely gratifying to overcome a troublesome adversary or dungeon. Even without the above recommendations. It is a worthy feeling of achievement claiming a hard-earned victory. And this sentiment is replicated to varying degrees as you overcome numerous uphill bouts within DeS. If I can do it. So can you!

For me, I experienced similar thoughts, but as I continued my journey, I was struck by the feeling of accomplishment throughout. This was my third entry in the Fromsoftware library after DS1 and DS2. I was pleasantly satisfied by enduring the harsh circ*mstances pertaining to similar and dissimilar the predecessor to Dark Souls 1. For instance a short overview; there’s not an interconnected world. Instead, we operate on a hub and then choose archstones denoted by numbers as world 1-1, world 1-2. 2-1, 3-1. With each first numerical value equating to a distinct level. So 1-1 is diverse from world 2-1. Think fresh biomes if that helps. The next values after that are designated as the next. So if I’m in 1-1 and I defeat the last archenemy. Then I can move on to 1-2. Featuring unfamiliar connected sections and a novel hulking hostile at the final zone of the dungeon to defeat. The disconnecting choose your path paves dividends by adhering to freedom of choice. You are not barred into an underlying linear progression to face the next dungeon. The decision is ultimately yours.

The structure is kinda familiar to Zelda-like yet dissimilar. We have common switches, levers, and extremely minor puzzle methods to defeat the bosses. Multiple floors and shortcuts to unlock. The caveat is that dying makes you lose every ounce of money. And you have a single chance to travel to your previous death spot to retrieve them. Playing with vigilance is heavily advised and going Rambo, as I often do, is ill-advised. Every big dungeon is strikingly varied from the last. I’ve come across a ruined rampart leading to castles. I’ve ventured into caverns which oddly enough remind me of Moria from Lord of the Rings except steeped into a dark fantasy. I’ve stumbled upon a desolate place with roaring storms on an old outpost that connects to ominous ruins. And I’ve had the displeasure of cautiously exploring a prison that continues to give me the Heebie-jeebies. Suffice it to say it's not a fun place, and I always get chills on my spine whenever I muster enough courage to fight through a haunting zone. Levels are steeped in medium-length dungeons and it's delicately fabricated to take advantage of both verticality and horizontal arrangement to not become super confusing. Anyone who’s played a Zelda game will be instantly familiar with their structures will undergo and the devs have crafted careful placement to not confuse players to the nth degree. Granted this could be a YMMV for those unused ground plans.

Moreover, what separates this from similar RPGs is the familiarity of freedom to choose how to play and evolve your main star. By stats, equipment, or spells. Mostly found in Western RPGs, a wonderful freedom can be achieved early on to gallivant off the beaten path and travel on their path. Whilst a linear path to undertake the progression of dungeons exists underneath. You can mix and match your jumping of locations to fight and overcome numerous labors. Similar again to Zelda-like tendencies. Yet, the cool thing is that by defeating bosses/numerous enemies you can accrue a form of currency to upgrade your character in a variety of stats to choose from. Vitality, intelligence, endurance, strength, dexterity, magic, faith and luck. Keeping in mind your equipment load to prevent fat rolling! A handful of classes to choose from so you can have basic DND archetypes: paladin, knight, rogues, and bandits are available. Yet adhering to your class is up to the player. You can follow your class road or decide a mixed profession is your cup of tea. As long as you can pay the currency in the hub world by conversing with an NPC, the 'Maiden in Black.' You have absolute freedom to choose and match progression in a variety of studies. Always satisfying constructing progress stat-wise. I often become a paladin type. Big o’l shield, sword on the other hand. With switching buttons to change to a relic and cast miracles. Nothing is forbidden, the skies the limit on building your class or hopping onto the jack-of-all-trades train!

By far the boss engagements are a treat to fight against, and regardless of both my sound and artful dispositions, the feeling of engaging a major larger-than-life enemy is a hell of a rush. I never get disappointed entering 1v1 duels, all of which often contain some exploitable gimmick analogous to a Nintendo franchise I mentioned earlier. Not strictly a certain item to win, but to pick apart obvious signs of weaknesses in their patterns and visual indicators to surmise a critical blow. A crack, a pause, a relentless blow, switching to magic, etc....any approach your character can do is viable as long as you can summon enough power and not choke in the midst of furious combat.

From a technical perspective on the gameplay and combat it holds up to the premier. With smashing alterations to enhance rougher edges within. First, right off the bat, the jump in evolution from PS3 to PS5 is immediate. The fast SSD makes load times near nonexistent. Graphically speaking, it looks at a glance a AAA rendition of the current console generation. Boss fights are larger than life and there is a clearer audio-visual crunch as the dualsense controller makes use of sounds and haptic feedback. Attacks are visceral to the point of horrifying as is the uncanny valley of witnessing NPC mouths moving is surreal. Man, I didn’t remember this in the early days. The clean user interface is smooth, though I miss the visual distinction that makes the interface appealing in matching tones. The controls and updated omnidirectional movement make this a reasonably sound and impressive showcase for a PS5 starter case for newbies eying the trailblazing shiny console on the market with cool graphics & features!

Not a substantial amount of harmful elements to say on the gameplay side as a whole. The dev’s assembled improvements such as the drop rate of certain stones have increased, and faster ladder movement, if inventory is full while out pillaging, you can immediately send them to storage. Crystal lizards are easier to eliminate, and an item to permits users to teleport to distant zones forgoing returning to the hub.

Though the questionable limit of healing items I have contention with because it limits our healing capability. It was ultimately a minor blip. I didn't have many problems with healing. The haptic feedback is decent. Though I find it as just fluff. In conclusion, the positives of the console jump plus minor additions to the technical state are a welcome slice. I often groaned near some zones screen-tearing my eyeballs in years past. So I'm happy to report the smoother frames are a very welcome and appreciated feature.

World 5 - Two Significant Messages

Despite my mixed feelings and overall score, I genuinely hope my thoughts do not deter prospective buyers. I despise gatekeeping. And my rating shouldn't be a TL:DR consensus on what to buy or not. I simply try to inform to the best of my knowledge my experience and hope it helps a troubled confused and perhaps clueless soul wondering what’s the hubbub. When all is said and done, it’s your choice. Irrespective of what I said before and after. Playing the 2009 title on prime hardware is equally as valid as trying it out via emulation or through Bluepoints version. For what it's worth, I enjoyed the remake enough to replay. I simply have qualms on the disrespectful modifications done to be fine-tuned appealing to newcomers and not giving the maximum love and care veterans wish for. It’s disappointing to hear a production remade offering pre-order exclusivities, locking the online mode behind Playstation Plus whereas the previous didn’t need it as far as I know. Slapping sans remorse, a soundtrack with no soul. And altering certain artful purposes with a Westernized grasp. Brushing off the lateral in favor of literal. It reeks of sloppiness in the wake of a brutal world to contend with. The rigorous difficulty, health modifiers, and a tendency mechanic add to the unique identity presented. Boletaria does not match familiar chops I once had the pleasure of playing. And this saddens me greatly since I thoroughly enjoyed the gameplay from a technical perspective. Satisfying, achieving victory against many bosses I previously had trouble with. Grinning to the max I conquered multiple dungeons and evaded in ways identical to a cheeky Patchy fella who guards the secrets from ages ago.

Worthwhile perhaps to pick up a PS5 catch of a PS3 classic if mainly to experience it. Terrific if you could snag a copy on a sale. Dangerous to tour without research so check out this handy link. Always good to save money! Or if possible snagging the digital one currently available via the PS3 store is fair game. Sadly you need to go into your PSN store inside a PS3 to purchase it. Thankfully the listing is still up! Best make haste before the delistings come running! Ugh game preservation needs to stay afloat. But that’s a story for another day.

Moving on, heck the SSD load times and silky smooth 60 fps mode make areas I had trouble navigating in the past due to poor framerate an absolute pleasure undergoing this time with smoother frames and loading. Notwithstanding…

In the long run, I can generally call BP's 2020 piece not either passable, must-play, highly recommended, or decent. I have to gently utter it's situational. What separates this from absolute dogsh*te has to be everything being wrong. From graphics to gameplay to mechanics and yet to Bluepoint's credit it doesn’t delve into that territory. Merely the most some may assert would be the artistic reinterpretation in their means. And the complete overhaul of the classic soundtrack is unneeded. They did proclaim running the base code onto the top of their version. So the old code is largely unchanged. If this is a 100% loyal remake then from the ground up must be spotless, absent of blemishes. Bonus awards if finished by the prior studio instead with the identical director and same artists. Then and only then I would broadcast “Welp, this must be as true-blue as it can get right?” And possibly so! Sadly we are not in that particular timeline and so were left with Bluepoints Demon Soul’s adaptation in disguise. And sure, I have mixed reservations on the development, the foremost vision and tone having altered beyond the base formula. Up to you to decide as the credits roll how your final thoughts/feelings emerge. Reminiscent of the Telephone game. The end result presents an illusionary epic not truly a 1:1 designed to bait newcomers and veterans on a genre-defining launch title for the PlayStation 5. Albeit the predecessor evoked a mysterious, strange, and unsettling vibe. Now the current vibes are tarnished in favor of eye candy ‘upgrades’. I fear this essence will become lost to those who are unaware of the remake's undocumented changes. It is my hope the earlier texts grant you a delicate circ*mspect view of a Western interpretation of an otherwise Japanese product that unashamedly hides the best of what the original had to offer.

5.8/10 for BP’s release
7.7/10 for the original release

References & Additional Material:
Sources - Too many links. So I figured I’d slap them all in a pastebin link.
Before I play - Useful tips! Trust me you’ll need it.
World Tendency Wiki - Wiki to help explain since I think my explanation of it earlier could’ve been better.
Example of routes to take in DeS - Don’t have to follow this. Merely displaying it as an example.
OG Demon’s Souls on psprices - Link is busted on website. But I checked the PSN store in my region and it looks like the listing is still up. So you can buy the original for $20 if you have a ps3. If not, a hard copy or emulation will suffice.
'New' Demon’s Souls on psprices - a handy playstation deal website to keep track of deals. This one is set for the remake. Save some money and get it on a sale if you can! Why pay full MSRP when you can buy a copy cheaper eh?

Slight tangent since I barely covered game preservation above. But another game is about to be delisted. Forza Horizon 4 - on Dec. 15, 2024, from Steam and Microsoft stores
Edited 6-28-24 - Replacing wiki links with a better one. Big thanks to @ProudLittleSeal for the recommendation!
Edited 7-2-24 - Edited flow of sentence structure per Red's feedback. & Fixed some choice words in music section along with added clarification. Thanks for the constructive feedback @RedBackLoggd!
^ 98% of whole text still intact

Detectivefail's review of Demon's Souls | Backloggd (2024)


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