I've been playing Dark Souls on the PS3. A lot.
So the thing was that I won this 100 europe voucher from a raffle in work and there was only about 2 places I could use it and I couldn't get change... so I bought Batman:Arkham City and Dark Souls. I don't want to disparage Batman at all. It's probably the game I looked forward to the most this year, its predecessor, Arkham Asylum is an absolutely amazing game of so much depth with the best combat system every developed and it follows that up in every way, but.... I got through the main story and started on the Riddler Challenges. Shortly into that, I put it down and will probably never go back to that game again. Damn, but those challenges are irritating. They're doable, I can see how to do them, but I can also see the hours of not-quite-getting-it-right-do-it-again that have to be sunk into it. So I rang out.
Ironically, I rang out to Dark Souls. The guys from Giant Bomb have me warned, and I saw enough of Demon Souls to know how it went down, but you die. A lot. You go in, you don't quite get it right, you die foolishly, you load it up and do it again. It's kind of the same flaw as Arkham, but it comes out as frustrating and challenging instead of irritating. I've now sunk 24 hours into my Female Thief and I've only just managed to ring that first bell in The Undead Parish. That means nothing to you if you haven't played it, but it's not very far in at all. :)
I'm not putting down the controller on this one though. It's so deep and so complex for a game that only has 2 attacks, 2 blocks and an item button. Combat is so rich - you have to gauge each new enemy and how they fight as well as each weapon and shield combo you try to use and how they work against the enemies fighting styles. The stats go on and on and on with only vague guidelines as to what they actually do.
These dudes will kill you.
I'm going to have more to say on Dark Souls if I remember to use this damn blog more often, but there is interesting elements in its depth and scope that remind me of playing Vagrant Story on the PS1 - a game whose experience I've been trying to find again for more than 10 years now. It's not the same, but its enough like it to catch my fancy. Dark Souls - a great, deep open world experience. A single-player MMO, as they say. 5 stars, if you like a challenge. Probably 0 stars if you don't.
Batman Arkham City - absolutely AMAZING during the story & most of the challenge modes - 5 stars. Once you're done with the story, 3 stars if your experience of the puzzles are like mine (and they probably will be).