My first time playing Dungeon Souls, I couldn’t get my controller to connect. I restarted my game to fix the problem, only to realize the controller was horrible for the game. While exploring the menus, I triggered some text that was meant to explain the ‘forge.’ Said text remained behind when I backed out into the menus, laying over whatever I was doing.
Upon playing the game, I customized my controls as desired… which overwrote a potion button because that button was not remappable, nor on the customaizable controls list. I fought against enemies that did not telegraph their attacks. In the end of that run (and every run thereafter), I died randomly and instantly to something I could not see, predict, or comprehend due to the amount of visual bloat on screen.
On the bright side, I did get an achievement in my first archer attempt for beating boss one, the Skeleton King, in under 30 seconds without taking damage. This, of course, would have been more rewarding had I beaten the boss in 30 seconds, or at all, on that run.
Clearly, Dungeon Souls is a bit of a mess. And yet I played well over the hour I had given the game. The pixel art style of the game is charming, and the voice acting just adds to it. A steady stream of unlocks kept me interested, with interesting new characters I could play like the Warrior or Necromancer. And each run continually fed me a collection of powerful artifacts, leading me to think that I could outdo the cheap deaths that so often caught up with me.
This game so nearly hit that perfect addictive loop, its unlocks and collectibles even outdoing games like Enter the Gungeon or Wizard of Legend. It could have been an amazing game. But all other minor quibbles aside, 90% of my deaths did not feel like they were my fault. And for a roguelike, that is an unforgiveable sin.
Verdict: 6 runs played. Favorite character – Necromancer.