A lot has been said about the popularity of Dark Souls. Somehow this extremely difficult and polarizing game has become a culture icon representing the gaming community. People put themselves into camps, those that have beaten Dark Souls and those that can’t. I just bought Dark Souls III from the Xbox Live Store and I do not know what I am in for.
Once upon a time I played Demon Souls in my sophomore dorm room. My two roommates said “But Jake you hate hard games.” True, I usually play most of my single player games on Easy, but something kept drawing me in to the Souls universe. I made my way through the labyrinthine corridors, slowly but surely. Eventually I came to a large dragon!… that killed me with a quick blast of fire.
I never finished Demon Souls.
However, I have a long history of difficult games. On the original Xbox I loved playing Ninja Gaiden Black. However, I only made it through the first few levels. I eventually purchased the game on Xbox 360 as a digital copy and made it a few levels further. Now that it is available on the Xbox One, I have rekindled my interest in slicing through ninjas and demons and find myself reacquainting myself with it’s difficulty.
On numerous occasions I have found myself with a PlayStation 4 in my Amazon cart along with a copy of Bloodborne. Ni-Oh would have been enough for me to finalize my purchase except for the recent acquisition of a Nintendo Switch. I just love the worlds that these games create. How the story is told through gameplay and how integral the gameplay is to the game as a whole. Video games shine brightest when they combine a great visual world with great gameplay. They do not necessarily have to have a great story, I believe books and movies shine brightest through great storytelling.
Mario games are fantastic and they only need to tell the player that Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach (again). Nintendo games as a whole epitomize the belief that gameplay is king and souls-like games follow this trend.
I am not a game developer, but if I were let me tell you my million dollar idea. Combine the gameplay elements of Dark Souls with the world of Metroid. I hope someone at Nintendo has already thought of this. Dark Souls is known for brutally hard combat and epic boss battles, along with a minimalist story. Metroid has a minimal story, usually something about needing to defeat the final boss and great boss encounters along the way. We could fight Kraid, Ripley, Mother Brain, and a host of space pirates and aliens along the way.
Nintendo has proven that it isn’t afraid the take risks with the Metroid series. Metroid Prime shifted the two-dimensional platformer into a first person three-dimensional shooter. They could do it again by adopting a third person view and focusing on melee combat. The recently released Metroid II: Samus Returns included an energy melee attack which could lay the foundation for more dodging and close quarters combat.
If you are at Nintendo and I got your creative juices flowing, just put me in the credits somewhere!
Jake “prettyboyplaid” Fredericks
Future creative director of Metroid Souls