My Adventures in Dark Souls III (So Far)

Athena ScalziOkay, so, I just started playing Dark Souls III last week, and let me tell you, that shit is hard. I’ve put in eighteen hours so far, and I feel like I’ve barely accomplished anything. In Dark Souls, it’s not a matter of if you’re going to die, it’s when. And how many times (probably a lot).

If you’re unfamiliar with the series, Dark Souls is a video game franchise that is very well known for being difficult. It’s like, a test to see if you’re really a pro gamer or not (obviously tests and gatekeeping are ridiculous though). It’s just widely known as THEE hard game of choice to test your skills. And for good reason! This series does not hold your hand at all. It gives you a shitty sword and a tiny health bar and tells you to go fuck some demons up. More often than not you get destroyed by the demons instead. Or at least, I do.

a book saying to get good at dark souls

This post isn’t a review or recommendation really, (though I guess I’m reviewing it a smidge but I won’t call it that because I haven’t finished it yet) this post is more about me coming to terms with my obscene levels of gamer rage and struggling with the learning curve of Dark Souls.

When I was younger, like thirteen or so, I had gamer rage so bad that I’d throw my PlayStation 3 controllers around the living room and quit in the middle of games if the bots were winning. Obviously I recognized this was super unhealthy and gross and have been actively combating such tendencies since then. And I really am a lot better about it now, I’m definitely super far from throwing shit now, anyways.

Dark Souls is all about perseverance. When you fail, you have to get right back in the saddle and try again. And again. And again. And this repetitiveness, seeing myself fail over and over, is disheartening. It makes me feel bad about myself to have to try to fight a boss fifteen times in a row before barely defeating them. Doing the same fight ten times is exhausting, and I just become ridiculously frustrated.

There are few games in which my anger outweighs my enjoyment, but this is one of them. It is not fun to play. It’s not really enjoyable at all and honestly I’d probably have a lot more fun doing literally anything else. So why bother with it? Why keep going? I’m not sure. Maybe I really am buying into the whole “rite of passage” thing, or maybe I’m doing out of spite, or to prove to myself that I can overcome my gamer rage and accomplish something for once. I can’t bring myself to quit. I won’t quit. I will beat this overrated, hard as fuck game, and maybe then I’ll feel the joy that I lack while actually playing.

a page from the game guide talking about how to deal with being frustrated

(sorry it’s blurry I totally ripped this off the internet)

But yeah, even the creators know you’re going to get mad at it. It’s just expected. I wish I could do as they say and just take a little break, cool down and do something else to alleviate my frustration, but more often than not I just yell “I’m done, I’m done, I’m so fucking done” and turn it off. But as I said, I’m working on it. It’s a process.

Anyway, I will let you all know when I finally beat this game. I beat the first Lord of Cinder last night so, pretty okay amount of progress so far, I guess. Oh, and if you’re curious about my specs, I am a warrior and I’m going for a strength build, so that’s currently my highest attribute right now at 26. Literally as soon as I finish writing this piece I’m going to go play it.

Let me know about your experiences with rage inducing video games in the comments! And if you’ve played Dark Souls III and have any wisdom to share with me, feel free! And have a great day!

-AMS

31 Comments on “My Adventures in Dark Souls III (So Far)”

  1. I found the game really hard, but I enjoyed the non-boss parts. I am not a boss person in general; so you can imagine my frustration with Da’ Souls in those phases. I played the bosses because I needed to see around the next corner.

    A lot of times the items they give you in the approach are a hint to what you might like to use on that area’s boss. But not always.

    Play it for you. For fun or for the sense of accomplishment. But if you don’t want to anymore, don’t let people give you shit for not liking it.

    Praise the Sun! (And fear the Old Blood..And fear Sister Friede as well.)

    Yours in Fromitude

    Lutrawydra

  2. I started off with Demon Souls, the original version of Dark Souls from the same creator. I LOVED it. I actually haven’t played any of the Dark Souls games, but am hoping to at some point. I own them all XD

    Really, it’s just different games for different people. The reason I loved Demon Souls is because I knew I was going to die one way or another. But, that game let me learn what it was going to do to me as well as let me get more powerful so I COULD beat it. Honestly, it took a lot of pressure off of the dieing for me.

  3. Good luck with the game :)!

    I come from the side of having zero desire to play frustrating games. I have finally accepted that I simply do not play video games to experience failure. Life is hard enough as it is, and it has plenty of scope for me to fail in things that have heavy consequences. I play games for the stories, for escapism, to feel like–even if not everything is going well in reality–I can definitely kill that digital dragon.

    That being said, I appreciate that Dark Souls exists and is so popular. It helps me to select my games, because I know I can skip all the ones that reviewers compare to Dark Souls!

  4. I mostly play games like World of Warships and World of Tanks; where the question begged is if this is “pay to win” how much do you (Wargaming that is) actually want?

  5. In order to understand why these games became so popular, you kind of have to know what video games were like when Demon Souls (the prototype of Dark Souls and the sleeper hit-to-end-all-sleeper hits) was originally released during the last days of the PS3.

    At that point, video games had become increasingly cinematic and heavily reliant on Quick Time Events (QTEs). Things like automatically refilling health bars and shields were common. Big epic actions could be taken by simply pressing a single button. Basically, for many gamers it felt like all of the challenge and strategy had been sucked out of video games.

    Then, out of nowhere, comes this weird little cult title where every single enemy is a challenge, where there is no automatic re-filling of health, where dodging and shielding were as important (if not more important) than attacking, and where death is absolutely inevitable. Where everything kind of feels like a group effort, because you have to rely on fellow players for advice on what may come next.

    Btw, if you’re looking for more Souls-like games but want something more 2D and with a less complication interface, I’d recommend Blasphemous. Imagine all of the dark and morbid parts of Roman Catholicism mixed with Lovecraftian Horror.

  6. I’m old enough to remember being a young’un playing the 1980s Nintendo Entertainment System.

    I could remember rage-quitting many games, and when I was an adult, I read about an article that I wasn’t alone. Turns out, there’s a concept behind the NES games called Nintendo hard. The early games were notoriously difficult for the purposes of longer replayability (and as it turned out, to boost rentals from video stores).

    The Nintendo hard games had a notoriously steep learning curve, and to add injury to insult, most games did not have the memory to save your progress. If you died, you’d start from the beginning of the stage. If you lost all of your lives, you’d start from the very beginning of the game.

    “Battletoads” is regarded as the hardest of the Nintendo hard games. Precisely because like Dark Souls, it’s easy to die and you have to start from stage 1 when you replay.

  7. We
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Are the crystal
    .
    .
    .
    gems.

    Sorry. Saw Steven and the theme song just popped in there.

    Never understood the games that were hardcore only. Maybe when i was younger, I would have the time to dedicate to getting good. But not these days.

    May the odds be ever in your favor.

  8. I definitely had an issue in my younger days with gamer rage, although not so much with controllers because a) back then most of them were corded and not cordless, b) unplugging a controller had very unpredictable results, most of them bad (this was the battery-powered save era), and c) most of the controllers were heavy as well as corded (I had the sticks for NES and Genesis with the weighted base) so throwing would actually have been BAD and not just bad. I still have it occasionally now, although it’s controlled more so that I mostly just close the game, not even really a ragequit since it’s after the game is over.

    But a lot of the change came from the difference in games between the ’90s and the ’20s, and from me usually playing games that are much easier or not that kind of difficulty (match-3 games) or games where I can choose a difficulty setting between “v v hard” and “let us explore as a god”. I tend to prefer a game like Diablo III, where it’s a bit less about difficulty and more about chewing up hundreds of demons a minute and sifting through the rubble to gear up and do it again.

    I guess the other thing is something it took me a while to learn – I actually don’t have to finish a (solo) game if I don’t want to! (I don’t have to finish online games either, but there are consequences to that, esp if you are playing with friends. Ranked play is different and I don’t do that stuff.) There was a time where I would play out a strategy game to the bitter end even if I knew I had lost 100 turns ago … now I just restart. Sometimes, depending on the game, it can be useful to play it out (the Dark Souls series strikes me that way, you have to learn what the bosses are doing to learn how to beat them), but other times, just go back to the beginning. More fun, less drudgery.

    Of course on top of all that, I did not go to college during a pandemic, and even with that aside I’m in a much better situation now than I was in my 20s, and I was pretty privileged then. I feel like that was maybe part of the cause of my gamer rage – because I could do it. I didn’t have society telling me that I was a dangerous person if I was angry, so I didn’t really try to control it much. I suspect people with less privilege would likely have been much better at controlling gamer rage, since they’d probably have much much more practice in other situations.

  9. Maybe you’re doing it already, but summoning NPCs right before a boss battle makes the game a bit easier.

  10. Whew, I hear ya! Although I haven’t played DSIII yet, I was finally able to start playing Dark Souls Remastered on my Nintendo Switch. I love/hate this game so much!

    I really do enjoy exploring the world, and there is some serious satisfaction when you finally win a fight that you’ve been banging your head against for ages (I can still, off the top of my head, give a move by move commentary of my journey from the Firelink Shrine to the Capra Demon and almost make that run blind-folded 😅)

    But it’s also a game that I’ve had to take some breaks on. I’m currently hitting the wall on one such boss fight (one of the main walls people hit in the first Dark Souls, apparently: the O&S fight). Every time I do the fight, I get a little better, but I still can’t manage to win yet, and the frustration is very real and the desire to smash my controller gets very strong.

    So, in the meantime, since I got stuck there, I have taken breaks to play other games, and to give some idea of how long I’ve been stuck, I’m mostly through a replay of Breath of the Wild, played the entirety of Ori and the Will of the Wisps, have done I don’t know how many Hades runs (though only 6 or so successful ones), played the entirety of Sayonara Wildhearts (though still going for gold scores on most levels), and started a replay of Bioshock, and am about to start Return of the Obra Dinn.

    Every time I go back into Dark Souls, whether it’s to run around and grind a bit to level up or to take another crack at the boss that’s preventing my progress, there are a few fumbling minutes to get back into the mindset and remind my hands of the controls for this game, but then I end up doing better, even if better simply means I’m more consistently able to get a little more than halfway through the fight, rather than dying in seconds like I used to. 😉

    I fear that, if I focused only on Dark Souls, I’d have grown too frustrated and full of rage, to the extent that I’d probably end up hating the game. Which would be a shame, because like I said, I really enjoy exploring that game world and finding out what it’s all about.

    You are right that Dark Souls is all about perseverance, but it doesn’t have to be continuous perseverance. Don’t feel you have to beat it to the exclusion of all other games. Take breaks to enjoy other games to give your mind a break from feeling frustrated. At least, that seems to be working for me.

    Good luck to as both, and GITGUDSCRUB! 😁👍🏼

  11. I don’t even attempt playing games that are considered “very hard” for one simple reason: They’re boring to me. If I have to do something more than a few times…bored now. And games should be fun, not boring.

    I think the most gamer rage I’ve had is with some of the puzzles/races in Lego superhero games (e.g., Lego Marvel Superheroes, Lego DC Supervillains, etc.) The games themselves are a lot of fun, but there are always one or two races or puzzles that are just annoyingly difficult. I’m thinking particularly of a race up the inside of the Oscorp building, put on by the Tinkerer, in Lego Marvel Superheroes 2. It was just maddening.

    I usually approach battles in games in general just as something that I have to get through to advance the story—which is why adventure games, e.g., Life Is Strange—are generally my favorite. But Horizon Zero Dawn strikes such a great balance, with multiple ways to approach and win any battle, that I’d actually find myself booting up the game just to go kill a Thunderjaw. However, the boss battle in the DLC was rage inducing.

  12. I am bad at video games. I didn’t have any growing up and lack basic video game motor skills as a result! Nonetheless, I tried playing a platformer game called Celeste–another very difficult game, sometimes reviewed as Dark Souls with feelings–because of its plot, and because its messaging was gentle–it explicitly said you should be proud of your death count!

    As an underachieving ex-gifted kid, this was better than therapy. I wish I’d played the game when I was much younger! The game taught me to notice when I was frustrated and feel *positive* about being challenged. To feel like struggles were a good thing! It helps that the feedback loop is fast and the soundtrack is fantastic (except for the hotel, it gets much harder at the hotel and I hate that song now).

    I may have had a five digit death count, but I made it to the end. I climbed the mountain! (I haven’t gotten through the epilogues–Core and Farewell–yet.)

    I wholeheartedly, possibly obnoxiously, endorse this game.

  13. The Dark Souls series is probably my favorite series of all time. But, you wouldn’t have known it from my first several dozen hours of the first game. I was BAD. I’d get murdered by single trash mobs. If an enemy had a shield, they’d probably kill me. I played ten or so hours, then put the game down for 6 months before coming back.

    When I came back, I was better. I’d gotten some direction on how to build a workable character, which helped a lot while I was getting my feet under me, I got better at dodging and blocking. I made it–just barely–through the first game, realizing WAY late in the game that spears aren’t actually a good build option, but felt I was too far in to change course. The final boss requires you to parry, which was hell because I hadn’t practiced parrying at ALL. But I did it.

    When it came to the second game, I actually spent a few hours researching how to make a good build, and what weapons to use. And I still messed up and didn’t put enough into adaptability, which made some of the boss fights incredibly difficult (looking at you, Fume Knight). I actually have some videos of my more embarrassing moments in Dark Souls II on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNX66IOxkEk&list=PL1v2N6DM53ax_9fIAGtRlUnVLbxcAHORx

    I then went back to the first game and did a second playthrough, because I’d missed the DLC the first time through and wanted to do it. I consider this to be my first “competent” playthrough of a Dark Souls game.

    Then I played Dark Souls III and crushed it. All of this to say, it took me literally two whole games before I felt even passably skilled at these games, and a lot of advice from the internet on how to make workable builds. I personally think it’s worth it because no other games do environmental storytelling as well as From Software, so I’m willing to pay the price of admission in terms of difficult gameplay, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

    Also, I would definitely look up some good starter builds and strategies. You can make these games impossibly hard on yourself if you build your character wrong, or decide you want to spec a weapon that’s not viable at later stages.

  14. It should be noted that I’m a professional video game designer (Crash Bandicoot, Jak & Daxter & more) and fellow novelist and Dark Souls and its evil brethren are some of my absolute favorite games of all time. But… they can be frustrating.

    To fully enjoy them and reduce the frustration, you kind of need to understand their design and not fight it. View death as part of the process and think about what can efficiently be achieved on each and every life without jeopardizing significant souls. Basically, make small forays from each bonfire with a limited objective in mind: collecting a particular pickup, opening a door, getting a new bonfire, etc. Don’t engage in actions that will likely get you killed if you have a lot of souls — instead spend them (usually on levels). Don’t face bosses with ANY souls. Farm for levels if you have difficulty. Make sure to get all the important powerups (like flask shards etc). DSIII is actually hardest at the start because at the very beginning you don’t yet have the shrine, and then during the next several areas you have very few flask hits. The game is however an utter masterpiece. Bloodborne is equally as good.

  15. The thing that appealed to me for the entirety of the Soulsborne stuff that From has put out is that they reward mastery and are unforgiving without being unfair. Compare them to the Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania games on the NES; the latter delighted in having enemy placements that would nail you if you foolishly do something like jump across a pit without carefully getting to the right pixel to spawn the enemy so it can walk away from the pit at the right moment. With Soulsborne you must always be on your guard, prepared for enemies, but if you are on your guard they are all manageable. And that’s the mechanical appeal of them to me (then there’s the incredibly well done aesthetics and environments).

    But they are absolutely rage inducing. And I don’t think measured rage is a bad thing. My most recent game is Ghostrunner, which is basically Mirror’s Edge with a ninja sword and everything is one-hit kills with instantaneous respawns at the well placed checkpoints. Many of the segments will require you to do a particular sequence of actions in order to manage hazards, and being off on your timing kills you. I am not shy about letting loose a Kiva Lagos-esque tirade after the fourth or fifth time failing a sequence; the cats don’t mind my foul language. The verbal expression of anger is cathartic. Similarly, in online multiplayer games that aren’t going well I’ll take the other players to task. But, I don’t do so through the in-game communication. Again, just venting to the cats, while in the actual interactions I maintain my focus.

    Since games have obstacles there is always going to be some level of adversarial relationship between you and the game. Sometimes it’s very light, like in a walking simulator. Other times it’s very heavy, like in the Soulsborne games. I think it’s good to play a variety of games across that spectrum; you can’t just spend your time playing kaizo-style romhacks, but surmounting challenge hits very deeply planted reward systems in our biology which are quite worthwhile.

  16. Praise the sun! \[T]/

    But for real, I hear ya on the difficulty. It’s my opinion that Dark Souls III is the toughest entry point into the series as a whole—both because of the difficulty (I think it’s harder than the previous two games; Bloodborne and Sekiro are perhaps harder, but have some decidedly different mechanics that makes it hard to compare the games) and because the story and world are so darn *weird*, and could be off-putting to newcomers who aren’t familiar with the elliptical, Gene-Wolfe-meets-Berserk style of storytelling, which (without getting too spoilery) gets pushed to the extremes of esotericism by the end.

    That being said, I encourage players who get frustrated not to focus on the rage when facing defeat yet again, but the exhilaration of victory when you finally win. I played the first Dark Souls as my first Soulsborne game, and was absolute magma-hot garbage at it to begin with. We’re talking pirouetting-over-cliffs, being-burned-alive-by-dragons, stumbling-into-boss-arenas-and-getting-flattened bad. But I started to improve, and the feeling I started to get when I finally came out victorious over a particularly challenging boss was like no other. It’s a rush that you can’t find anywhere else.

    But Dark Souls 2 can go fuck itself. I spite-completed that one for sure.

  17. I generally have no desire to play difficult games since I want to play for plot and artwork, and it’s difficult to enjoy those when you keep failing all the time. But I have to say, I kinda wanna try this one after reading this post!

  18. XCom (and XCom 2 to some extent) are probably the best examples of challenging games that don’t make me frustrated. Dwarf Fortress is something similar (their motto is “Failure is Fun”), though the UI is more of a challenge than anything in some respects.

    I think what helps reduce my frustration is 3rd person vs. 1st person (or close 3rd). I don’t take it quite as bad watching one of the characters miss a shot or fail in someway because of the distance and because some games are just a percentage / gamble rather than being all or nothing on every shot.

    But I also like to play games that are “fair” for some definition of that rather than being so stacked in favor of the computer that you basically have no chance without doing some “Edge of Tomorrow” decades of failure nonsense.

  19. In some ways it’s too bad that you’ve decided to persevere with Dark Souls 3 rather than the first Dark Souls, because the latter can be fairly easily cheesed with an overpowered magic build (I literally went back and beat Dark Souls Remastered again just a few months ago, and yeah, the sorcery route is still pretty easy). The third game doesn’t have any such obviously overpowered build to help you through the game (at least to my knowledge).

    I would certainly recommend calling in real players to help on boss fights when you can find them. There are idiots who will tell you that this means you didn’t actually beat the game yourself, but c’mon, it’s a thing that exists in the game, and it’s a thing the designers intend you to use. Just be aware that calling a helper for a boss (NPC or otherwise) will increase the boss’s base health to compensate. It’s usually a worthwhile trade-off, though.

    But really, frustrated as you might get, it sounds like you’re doing fine. You beat the Abyss Watchers, which is not easy. That tells me that you can ultimately beat this game! Slow and steady wins the race. If needed, don’t be afraid to stop once in a while to grind out a few levels to meet the requirements for some new piece of gear or spell, or just to increase your maximum health. Good luck! :-D

  20. Transcript of image from Dark Souls 3 Starter Guide

    The image has a black band across the top with the caption “Incredible Advice from the Dark Souls 3 Starter Guide”
    The relevant passage, with the header “IF YOU GET FRUSTRATED” is as follows:

    DARK SOULS is hard, make no mistake. But don’t despair. Dying is totally ok. The worse that can happen to you is losing some saved Souls and they can always be replenished. Equipment you find and upgrade, shortcuts you unlock and attributes you increase are all permanent, and most importantly, the knowledge you gain exploring and fighting improves your gameplay even as your character gains strength.

    If you’re having a really rough time, take a break, cool your head and come back refreshed. Think about what you’re having trouble with. Try a different approach or explore a different area entirely. Use your items, use you[r] spells, try different weapons or armour and experiment with new tactics. Do not hoard your consumables, use them!

    And, even though it isn’t necessary, remember you can always go monster hunting specifically to farm more Souls and gain levels. Sometimes a bit more HP or Stamina can tip the scales in a tough fight — opening up a new spell or weapon can improve your odds.

    There is a vibrant and thriving online community around DARK SOULS as well so any time you need a bit of encouragement, seek out some fellow fans and engage in “jolly cooperation”. Just be wary of spoilers if you'[re] new. Your first run through the game is a one-time experience!

    end transcript

  21. Pardon me, the caption at the top says INCREDIBLE ADVICE FROM THE OFFICIAL DARK SOULS 3 STARTER GUIDE

  22. I started to think that I Dark Souls doesn’t sound like my kind of game, especially with the hard difficulty level, but then I realized that it’s not that, but the genre in itself. I don’t like third-person action games that much, though I do play them occasionally, but I do enjoy challenging game. (Occasionally.)

    For example, I like roguelikes (and derivatives), and they are often surprisingly hard. It took me years of playing to ascend in NetHack, and I’ve only managed easy ones (Valkyrie, Barbarian, Samurai). The point is kind of the same as in Dark Souls: play and die, but get better on each iteration.

    More modern “influenced by roguelikes” games I’ve enjoyed with the same kind of “get better by dying” are FTL and Into The Breach. What all these have in common is turn-based (or real-time with a pause) mechanics, so it’s not so much about physical skill.

    I’ve also enjoyed Spelunky and Spelunky 2, though I’m far off from completing the second one.

    I think the Dark Souls concept is not a new one, but it’s a new implementation of the roguelike thing, in a new context of those quick-time-event interactive movies.

  23. I’d always run in and promptly get murdered over and over. Finally I’d decide to try to stay alive as long as possible. Don’t attack, just stay alive. You’ll see how the boss moves and fights. After beating it, I’d forget my own advice and go back to getting murdered.

    Mortal Shell is a similar game, but short, and a lot of fun if you “enjoy” Dark Souls.

  24. Strength build is a good choice for your first time through. Souls games are designed to beat the ever-living snot out of you until you learn the quirks of each monster/boss. But then there is the euphoria when you succeed. Calling in NPCs or other players for bosses is a good idea at first, but not more than one, as each add you bring greatly increases the health of the boss and some of them you just want to burn through as quickly as possible.

    I would recommend that you look up guides on where to find the estus flask shards, some of them are tricky. Also with your build, if you did not already find it get the butcher knife in the Road of Sacrifices. IMHO the best strength weapon you can find early on, as it’s one of the earliest A scale weapons you can get.

  25. I do have to say if you want a palate-cleanser, Ghost of Tsushima is incredibly fun and can mostly be done at your own pace and for as long or as short a time commitment as you want to make. It’s what every Assassin’s Creed game should have been.

    I also endorse doing DS One first. And to confess that I have not completely finished Bloodborne or even gotten to the middle of Sekiro.

    Andy Gavin: Jak & Daxter was the junior partner in my Ratchet & Clank obsession days. Thanks for whatever contributions you made to that wonderful game.

  26. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been playing the original Castlevania for NES, which feels to me like (sorry, I can’t help it) the Dark Souls of NES games.

    It’s frustrating and rage-inducing, too. In particular two design decisions give it that old-school tough feeling: you cannot redirect your jumps while in the air, and there’s a slight delay between pressing the button and your character using their whip (the primary weapon in the game).

    I spent an entire evening working on one section where you have to fight your way past two knights who throw axes (knights who take *eight* whips to kill) while there are relentless flying medusa heads coming at you in sine-wave patterns. It felt impossible all evening, and I got progressively more frustrated.

    But I came back a few days later, and didn’t have nearly as much trouble. This is a pattern with me: I get to a hard part, and over the course of that play session, get progressively worse at it, but all the while my brain is chewing away at it and internalizing the patterns. When I come back fresh later, I’m actually better at it.

    After beating the game, just for fun, I tried it on hard mode, and… I kinda breezed through it? Castlevania has this great quality of games that are hard but fair: once you’re good at it, you’re *really* good at it. That’s where the satisfaction comes in for me.

  27. I tried this game when it first came out thinking it was just a dark RPG. I think I returned it the same day cause I got so frustrated from the lack of instructions.

    Cuphead was another punishingly hard game, but that I never didn’t have fun. I’ve gotten to a point where if I’m not having fun within the first 10 hours of the game then I don’t finish. Same rule with books after 50–100 pages.

  28. I really liked all the Souls games, but it was only after playing Bloodborne and Sekiro that I realized I’m not actually that good at these super hard games. The trick in Souls games is if you’re getting stuck at a boss you can summon someone to help you. Also getting summoned will give you some practice and let you see strategies other people use. Sekiro doesn’t have anything like that so I got stuck and never finished that game.

  29. The first Dark Souls took a few tries for me to get into: I bounced off of it a few times, turned off by the obtuseness of the system and the difficulty. Then, I finally had a breakthrough:

    I used a strategy guide. Having just a map to help plan future moves helped a lot in letting me progress in the game. Granted, I never finished DS1 because I couldn’t bring myself to slay Best Girl Sif, but having outside resources ease my path allowed me to finally enjoy playing the game.

    Play however you want, using whatever methods best helps you enjoy a game (so long as you don’t inhibit another player’s enjoyment, like using cheats in an online game). If the frustration of the game is what drives you, then have at it, but if you are not enjoying the game then there’s absolutely zero problems with just letting the game go.