I didn't know a lot about this game before January of this year. I had heard the name in passing but I hadn't seen it nor did I know what genre it was set in. Thankfully this forum educated me. Today the number of people playing MMO-rpg's probably outnumber the amount of people enjoying singleplayer rpg's. I enjoy both categories but the market today is very much black and white in this regard, there aren't many games that lay somewhere in between. I think Demon's Souls demonstrate the potential here greatly, actually I would say it hits a home run. A relatively hardcore rpg on the PS3 by From Software. Upon bootup, you are connected to the online server (you can only play totally offline if you force it). Let me lay it out for you.
• Multiverse gaming. As you are exploring, you will notice phantoms in your proximity from time to time. These are other human players in their alternate dimension. These are figments that only last for a few seconds before they disappear into the air again.
• The game divides between soul form and being alive. If you die in this game, all enemies respawn in the level and you are brought back to the start and you are now in soul form which means you can only have 50-75% of max health. This may sound harsh but it's actually a very well balanced system that makes adventuring interesting. There's three ways to resurrect to full potential again: Co-op quest completions, PVP victories and the use of rare (and expensive) items.
• In soul form you gain the option to invade another players dimension. You can only invade living players. When you arrive, they will receive a huge message that says 'Black Phantom 'username' has entered'. You are now both in PVP mode. Receiving that message as a living player is ultra-frightening since the above mentioned penalty for dying applies. What's also cool is that the black phantom player can walk among all the monsters and enemy creatures throughout the level as you're on their side. If you manage to kill the living player you regain your soul and resurrect to full strength.
• Co-op is also an option in this game. If you're in soul form you may place a marker on the ground that you're available. Living players will then in their dimension see these and they may call upon these blue phantom players to aid them. If you manage to kill a boss, the blue phantom player resurrects and returns to their dimension. What's cool about co-op markers on the ground is that they're always relative since they are location based. You will often find co-op markers in areas leading up to a boss for example.
• Location based Messages. This is another really interesting feature in this game. You may at all times choose to post a message on the ground, anywhere. These messages will show up in other players dimensions. 'Watch out, enemy surprise attack ahead', 'look up for clue', 'secret road ahead'..etc. Messages can be rated, also beware of false ones... It's like you painted a forum over the game. The thing is, you can only combine keywords so while they are very useful (it's a hard game), they don't describe the situation to the nth degree, you're still on your own. Like co-op marks, the messages are location based so they're always relevant. It's a really elegant system.
• Death replays. Whenever someone dies, they will leave a pool of blood (or soul aura) a few steps before it happened. If you click on this you may see how this player met his/her demise. You will see a transparent figment of that player for example walking along an edge and then fall off. You may also reveal enemy surprise attacks by looking at these sequences.
• World events. The game is divided into five different worlds with different themes (torture prison to coastal island to plague caverns..etc). Your black phantom activity (PVP), Co-op questing and general adventuring determine if the different worlds are aligned to white aura or black. Different events might come from this. There are certain wandering a.i characters in the game and determining on the world aura you may join them in raids or maybe face them in combat (they are super hard).
There's so much more to talk about in regards to this game. 10 classes to choose from. Item system is 95% forging vs 5% looting. Integrated leaderboards in the game in the form of player statues. The almost complete lack of music and focus on ambient sounds. The combat is really well done and fighting is very satisfying. The atmosphere is top notch and the game is really eerie for a rpg, there are full-on horror sections actually. The art is very consistent and realistic. The game is totally open ended and takes 50-100 hours to finish (you can skip two thirds of the content if you wish) but you can continue each time with a newgame+ option (it becomes harder and harder, you keep equipment and character). The voice acting is surprisingly good.
Demon's Souls is the best 'western' rpg I've played in years and it was developed in Japan.
Hopefully some western publisher will bring it over but right now you can import the Asian version (not Japanese) which offers a 100% English option.
Demon's Souls not only demonstrates how you can make a rpg in the grey area between mmo and singleplayer, it's a total home run on this concept. Can't recommend it enough.
Wow, I remember how ridiculous Twitch Plays Pokémon was... craziness ensued, can't believe they actually did beat it. Same could be said about ANY Twitch Plays X, really :lolTwitch Plays Pokemon is one of the coolest gaming experiences I've ever witnessed. Thousands of people struggling for control over an old Game Boy RPG? Absolutely brilliant.
I didn't really participate in the action, but I kept a close eye on the streams and the community. The original TPP OP was hilarious, and the strategy and fanart that people contributed to the subreddit were amazing. That lore. No stream that came after TPP Red could ever live up to the original experience.
The TPP thread was what pushed me to register for a forum account; the thread was archived which meant only members could reread it. It's been a fascinating journey ever since.
I could relate in so many ways, thanks for sharing!
We needed more FPS-stories in this thread!Was in college in the 90's. Quake deathmatch or the original C&C and Warcraft 1 where we would lug our PCs to a friends'place to play it all connected via LAN while eating pizza. Playing single player games like LucasArt adventures w/ 3-4 other people watching you and giving pointers was great fun too. Nothing can beat having people to play with or against in the same room. Good times.
I think Modern Warfare 2 was the "return" of the FPS on console, honestly. It brought so many good memories to the table...One of my favorite memories was playing call of duty modern warfare 2 with some friends on the PS3. We grew up together but were living in different parts of the country and stayed in contact occasionally. We all got the game and ended up spending weeks playing that. None of us were particularly any good but just spending hours chatting and playing the game and just having so much fun was something I’ll cherish for a long time.
Oh man, you're too kind to me! Thanks for being there for me during the hysteria pre-Era :lol
I'm currently at work so I can't read your story read but I truly appreciate the fact that you took your time to write this! I've noted that you don't want to be in the competition for a game! You're a great poster and an even better person <3Thanks for reading Yoshi (and anyone else), I just wanted to write this out as I don't think about it often anymore but this topic reminded me of it and just wanted to share. I love your offer for the games but I'd like to remove myself from consideration, just wanted to participate in sharing a fun story. Keep being cool man!
Not gonna lie, that was a lot of fun (for me) just watching the discord go crazy over various stuff. I know you had a lot going on with class and everything, glad that's all over with and we're all finally settling in here.