Apparently gaming in 2020 is the year of FromSoftware for me, as the first half which already included Bloodborne and Sekiro has now added 2016's Dark Souls 3 to the mix. Perhaps it was Soulsborne fatigue, or maybe it was all that's changed in the 4 years since it came out, but I found DS3 to be my least favorite of all the Soulsborne titles so far (still TBD on Dark Souls 2 and Demon Souls). Overall it was still a very solid game that provided plenty of fun smashing giant bosses with massive greatswords for 50 or so hours, but it played more like a refined Dark Souls than anything that had something new to say. Lacking the foreboding atmosphere and trick weapons of Bloodborne and the incredible precision of Sekiro, DS3 felt oddly dated and almost a little rough, while also lacking the sense of wonder and amazement that makes that first trek through the original Dark Souls so memorable. Fortunately, though, DS3 manages to pick itself up from some early game stumbles and really gets rolling around the halfway mark, maintaining a high level of consistency throughout the rest of the main game and two excellent DLC packs.
I had one major goal in mind this past weekend. After over 3 weeks and several hundred deaths, it was time to finally beat Dark Souls and earn my important and totally not made-up Badge of Gaming Courage that surviving the brutal punishment nets you.
Dying 10,000 times in Dark Souls is a gaming rite of passage that I somehow missed out on when it first came out 8 years ago, so I made sure to subject myself to its horrors with the recently released remaster. Despite having never set foot in the world of Dark Souls, there was one place that I was already well aware of thanks to its infamy, Blighttown. I had heard countless stories of how this was the area that broke people either forcing them to quit the game completely or smash a controller in frustration.