By the Skin of Your Rotten Teeth

Chances are high that before the invention of toothbrushes the mass majority of the human population had teeth like swiss cheese and breath like moldy cheese. I can not even begin the imagine rancid hell that is the breath of every boss monster that resides in the dungeons that have been around since the dawn of time. Now imagine dying then reviving from your grave countless times but each time you lose a little more of your humanity/sanity, and your teeth comes just a little bit more rotten. God, the Dark Souls’ universe must just smell like the worst parts of the collective butt sweats of every living being in the entire universe combined. But I digress.

Perfect timing. It is a measure of how long a player should wait before executing the right movements/actions to gain the best outcome for a dire situation. When your mother screams at you for not cleaning your room, the perfect timing would be to wait until your father comes home so that your mother’s mood alleviates before you start mouthing off. Chances are lower that your mother would lay the smack down on you for speaking out with your father around. Dark Souls is similar in that sense but with fewer uncountable variables that might change the situation. When a boss does a move set then a player, after experiencing it, should understand where it will move, swing, or grab next. These actions are premade therefore should not deviate from their original patterns. Grab. Dodge. Swing. Parry. Move. Attack. Simple, right?


The secret behind a well-crafted challenge in a game oriented around close encounter combat, like Dark Souls, is timing or more accurately the amount of room for error that is allowed for each player’s actions. Dark Souls takes these concepts to the max. Every action requires a nearly perfect reaction. Otherwise, the player would soon find themselves face first in the dirt. While the boss made cream cheese out of the player’s health bar. Creating these perfect scenarios requires the game to have hitboxes, areas where the game acknowledges the entity has been struck or not, where executing the perfect action grants the perfect reaction. These might leave little to no room for player error but Dark Souls is a game that wants its player base to learn. To breakthrough from their current skill level. Some interpret this as heartless or difficulty for the sake of hardship, but true satisfaction only peaks its glorious face from overcoming trials once thought impossible.


Timing is everything in Dark Souls. Unforgiving but fair. (Sometimes the game screws up but that is simply another story to tell your friends about) No other game does this better than Dark Souls. It dares to push the boundaries of how much a player seeks overwhelming challenges for a taste of that rush reserved solely for heroin addicts. Excuse me, I will not go attempt to experience the cheap thrills of Dark Souls once again.

Signing off,

John

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