Top critical review
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Compared to the Demons Souls Guide
on October 31, 2011
First let me say this: This guide can be an invaluable resource to the game but it is definitely not without its flaws. And why I feel the need to add this review. Here are the pros and cons of this guide.
- Tons of information. From gameplay basics, to maps, to enemies lists and strats, to covenant and NPC story arcs, it's _mostly_ all here.
- Detailed maps. THE highlight of the guide. Don't miss an item or a shortcut (of which there are plenty of both.)
- Frustrating layout. It's easy to miss a key exchange with an NPC, too easy, based on how the guide is layed out.
- Poor weapon upgrade charting
- No overall game strategy/character build section.
This guide is an invaluable resource but it is also far from perfect. The beauty of the previous guide was that it had all the key information easily and smartly laid out. This guide is a hodgepodge of information with key NPC decisions not listed in the walkthrough and the weapon upgrade system broken out into three or more sections.
How do you plan on what weapon to make, when you have to look up what ember you need, what blacksmith requires it, and at what level it needs to be converted in 3 different sections, not to mention that boss soul upgrades if those are needed are in a whole other section. Ughhhhh....
I get that the authors didn't want to spoil story arcs by putting spoilers in the walkthrough, but there are just so many choices in this game that having a "spoiler" or "don't forget" box there would have been extremely handy. Not to say anything about the vast improvements needed in cleaning up the weapon upgrade information or the fact that zero information is giving on how to build competent PvP, melee, or magic casting chracters. Let alone informing us on which weapons or magic are truly overpowered in this game.
Anyway, I recommend this guide but am terrbibly disappointed in its layout. As with the Demon's Souls guide, sometimes less is more.
With patch 1.04 coming soon from From Software, a lot of info in this guide is now obsolete. Hopefully the guide will be edited to reflect these changes when it gets back into stock. Stay tuned.
Patch 1.05 is now live in Japan, with still no date when anything will be patched in NA and European markets. But as an FYI, little has changed in this new patch that would effect the guide compared to the massive rebalancing that was accomplished in 1.04, which was almost completely kept in 1.05.
Ok, patch 1.05 has dropped so what are the implications for the guide? Map wise not much. Strategy wise, its a bit of a different story. The main effect of the patch was to balance equipment and some spell effects. The spell effects and nerfing were not super detailed in the guide to begin with, but just knowing that the pyro glove, homing spells, iron fleshspell, and ring of fog have either been nerfed or balanced downward is important. This is to the benefit of PvP but does make the game somewhat harder in PvE, especially the Iron Flesh nerf.
Equipemt wise, light equipment and shields have been nerfed to make heavier equipment more useful/desirable. The guide won't reflect this properly unless revised, so basing a build on a magic bullet piece of eq like the Antiquated skirt or Crystal Ring Shield is no longer viable. The strong point of the guide, map and item locations and NPC arcs are basically unchanged.
Unfortunately, the entire effect of all this means that if you are looking to build a lightly outfitted character, you will now need to consult the internet before investing upgrades into certain light equipment. Heavy equipment seems to be mainly untouched. Also note that scaling weapons have received a buff to be more longterm competitive with elemental weapons. Long term means atttributes, like strength, faith, Int, etc, over 50.