Dark Souls Remastered for the Switch is out!
I could believe that you may not have ‘played’ a From Software title at this point. But in 2018, I very much doubt you haven’t heard about the developer’s selection of death-dealing, rage simulators.
These games are notoriously difficult and the fanbase has very little advice for a struggling adventurer outside of “Git gud.” If you don’t like a challenge, then why don’t you;
- Go load up Fallout 3 and stay in the vault you fucking sook
- Suck a basket of eggs like ya grandma taught ta
- Buy Cooking Mamma and make me a digital sandwich you bitch
- Rub Vaseline all over yourself and slide into the machinery at the back of a bowling alley cause you acting like a spare bitch
- Play Spore and design an alien that isn’t a bitch to play the game for you
Dark Souls Remastered Review Switch
Because of this, I’m going to review the game using references to lore and locations within the game without explaining them all. I’ll also probably be dropping spoilers like I’m a mechanic with too much grease on his hands.
I personally entered the series at Dark Souls on the PS3 and remember being hooked by the difficulty and the eerie, sombre setting. I’ll be honest, I am a scrub-tier trash man and it took me many, many attempts to beat this game.
Ornstein and Smough rekt me so hard I didn’t beat the game until around 2015 when I repurchased Dark Souls in a Steam sale. If you’re really struggling, just max out your strength and endurance and hide behind your shield. It’s for cowards but victory tastes better than honour when pride is on the line.
Off the bat, Dark Souls Remastered on Switch presents a massive challenge.
The button mapping drove me nuts before I’d cleared the character selection screen. Because this is Nintendo, the ‘A’ and the ‘B’ buttons are swapped from the Xbox controller and the ‘X’ is where the ‘Δ’ should be on a PS4 controller.
This is the nature of being a spoilt, multi console owning brat but this can usually be rectified with a quick tour of the options menu.
However, it’s not an option in Dark Souls Remastered.
You’ll use ‘B’ to confirm or interact with objects and other undead in Lordran whether you like it or not. Unfortunately, when you are prompted to enter text or if you need to dip back to the home menu, ‘A’ is confirmation and ‘B’ is cancel again.
If you get confused at the wrong time and tap ‘A’ you’ll jump back to your death. I know because I’m a victim of malicious button mapping and lost my souls. The game is hard enough without rigging the hardware against you. It’s like a shit Metal Gear Solid trick but there’s no solution.
Light My Fire
I was also concerned that the handheld setup would be a bit underpowered which wouldn’t cut it in the land of the undead. You need to be ‘on’ when you play this game.
You need dry hands and focus like a desert-skeleton with a Ritalin addiction. But the handheld was an absolute pleasure to use. I had no qualms with it at all. Undoubtedly, using a pro controller and my roommate’s big juicy TV while he’s in Japan is the superior method.
However, legging it flat stick to your bedroom when you hear him coming up the stairs a week early without pausing the game is a luxury I can get around.
The Switch performs better when docked, obviously. It looks and performs much better than I remember from the PS3, even with the bias of memory and nostalgia. I also suspect they fixed up lots of hitbox issues from back in the day. The platforming elements of the game don’t feel like cheap deaths anymore.
Rolling near a ledge isn’t a guaranteed death so I still advise against this because the improved code will only forgive your trash play for so long.
Even outside of the dock the Switch holds up well. I remember back in the olden days, anything flying around was super choppy to a comical level. There was also pretty bad stuttering when duelling with the larger bosses.
There is still some of this going on. When swarmed by a full room of low-level hollows, like in the undead church before the gargoyle boss, you’ll see the chop-chop pick up like a cheap tobacconist.
Overall, I’m happy to say game runs smoothly. Maybe not like butter, but like butter that’s a little bit cold. The kind that wrecks your bread, but not your sandwich.
There’s still a lot more to this game to see, even for me.
The lore is mysterious but expansive. Snippets of conversation with hard to reach NPCs are supplemented with item descriptions to build a world of disparity and overwhelming sadness. To exist in these lands is to be cursed, stuck betwixt the light and dark in an endless cycle of madness.
You are the chosen, to be the saviour or to start the cycle anew prolong the agony. The spread of characters is all over your alignment charts and you too can be a bastion of lawful-good purity or you can be a darkwraithe (see: huge jerk) and smash under-levelled scrubs as they beg for mercy.
There’s lots of freedom in the playstyle and the end goal isn’t set in stone.
What’s Your Sign?
Using greatswords is cumbersome and the timing is SO difficult. But if you land a blow, massive chunks of health peel off the enemy like the skin off my back in January when the boys go day drinking at the beach after a year of hiding inside with our video games.
You can opt for sorcery which I’ve never used because it looks really hard and I’m scraping by on two-handers. Sling blue bolts of arcana and watch your enemies fall before they even close the gap between you. Replayability is huge and you can clock massive hours in Dark Souls Remastered very easily.
Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick
Also, if you’re a super dud you can summon friends to engage in jolly cooperation. This ABSOLUTE legend called Solaire will hook you up with a summon stone so you and friends/strangers/NPCs can tackle the bigger challenges together.
I highly recommend you get around The Solar Sultan and start praising that grossly incandescent Sun because he’s a ‘real good bloke’ and he deserves your respect.
I attacked scrubs pretty hard in this piece but seriously there are heaps of resources and guides for starters. If you’ve been avoiding this game because of the difficulty curve, it’s a great time to jump in.
Dark Souls Remastered was reviewed on Switch using a digital code provided by Nintendo.
Game Title: Dark Souls Remastered
Inflexible Button Mapping - 6/10
Rich Lore in a Lawless Land - 10/10
Jolly Co-Op - 10/10
Blight Town - 6/10
Portable Dark Souls - 10/10
As good as it ever was, maybe even better - 10/10
Excellent docked or handheld - 10/10
Replayable forever - 10/10