Demon's Souls (PS5)

Rattle

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I always approach souls games as a scratch run at first. Play a bit figure things out then start over. Discovery is part of the fun. I played all the other ones and did almost 3 playthrough on the same character to get platinum. So I guess I'm getting better. Some stuff I did look up but first playthrough was blind.
 

chameleoneel

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The one true flaw of Demon's Souls. Some of those core systems are not explained at all.

I'm also going to go ahead and say that when you eventually kill a boss called Flamelurker----do not consume his soul. Hold onto it! Its an incredibly important item ;)
Another major thing is that the weapon upgrade system is very obtuse.

However....researching it will undoubtedly uncover spoilers for other aspects of the game. I would tread lightly when researching upgrades. Maybe even try to find something which advertises itself as a spoiler free primer on the upgrade system.
 

zamardii12

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For what it's worth, it's probably worth watching one of those "10 things I wish I knew..." videos before starting your first Souls game. There's a lot of esoteric stuff in those games that you're very unlikely to figure out on your own. Some of those things can expand the games in major, major ways too. You don't even have to get into spoilers or anything like that - just a rundown on how the Souls world works goes a long way. You can win the games just plowing through and guessing, but you can miss a lot of cool stuff that way, too.
Yeah I wish I had watched a video, but being that this was my first Soul's game ever... and I just wanted to do what I usually do which is to learn the game organically, but such core things... like I beat Phalanx then I never returned to the Nexus. I literally didn't know that your character can even be upgraded. I mean you would think that's something SUPER important to tell players. The only reason I started Googling anything regarding this game was b/c a message popped up and said something about how my weapon is "damaged" or something so I started Googling how to fix weapons and that took me down a rabbit hole of things I didn't know about the game.
 

zamardii12

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I always approach souls games as a scratch run at first. Play a bit figure things out then start over. Discovery is part of the fun. I played all the other ones and did almost 3 playthrough on the same character to get platinum. So I guess I'm getting better. Some stuff I did look up but first playthrough was blind.
Well this is exactly how I did it. This was my first FromSoftware game... ever. So I just wanted to go into it organically, but there ARE things that should be mentioned in a game. Like mentioned above I only started researching anything on Google was b/c I had NO idea how to fix my weapon. Then I found out you can stash unused equipment to lighten your encumbrance, and you can upgrade your character's attributes, and you can fix weapons, and I had no idea. I also had no idea I could go back to the Nexus whenever I wanted by touching that sword thing in the ground in the beginning of each stage.

These mission-critical things should have been explained in the game. There is literally no reason not to explain HOW your game works.
 

chameleoneel

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Well this is exactly how I did it. This was my first FromSoftware game... ever. So I just wanted to go into it organically, but there ARE things that should be mentioned in a game. Like mentioned above I only started researching anything on Google was b/c I had NO idea how to fix my weapon. Then I found out you can stash unused equipment to lighten your encumbrance, and you can upgrade your character's attributes, and you can fix weapons, and I had no idea. I also had no idea I could go back to the Nexus whenever I wanted by touching that sword thing in the ground in the beginning of each stage.

These mission-critical things should have been explained in the game. There is literally no reason not to explain HOW your game works.
Its definitely one of the things Bluepoint could have and should have "fixed" with the remake. That said, don't be disheartened. Demon's Souls is one of the all time great games, despite a few flaws.
 

Domingo

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It's very much a Simon's Quest sort of situation, but luckily they don't make you do ridiculous things to proceed in the actual game story. It can be a hell of a challenge if you don't know what's going on with leveling up your stats, weapons, magic, etc. though. The trick is, all of the Souls games (Bloodborne, too) follow the same overall structure with items and gear. Once you understand how Demon's works, that knowledge carries over to the other games.
 

DPI

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These mission-critical things should have been explained in the game. There is literally no reason not to explain HOW your game works.
FWIW the lack of spoonfeeding, and having to figure this shit out on your own, is what fans actually like about it. I certainly do.

It goes smoother and starts grooving when you let go of being offended by the idea of trial and error.
 
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chameleoneel

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FWIW the lack of spoonfeeding, and having to figure this shit out on your own, is what fans actually like about it.
Well, to be clear, fans recognize some of these things as legit problems with Demon's Souls. On the whole, yes, we enjoy that the game doesn't constantly tell us about every little thing and highlight it on our screen for us. But I think most reasonable fans recognize that the upgrade system is needlessly obtuse (and likely due to inexperienced designers) and a couple of other things could have been communicated.

Like, there is a good reason to not return to the nexus after killing Phalanx. Which could be left for an experienced player to decide. But, you also could be told as a new player that if you do return, the Maiden in Black will trade you stats for your collected souls.

and the situation with Flamerlurker's soul is.....I dunno....pretty harsh.
 

polonyc2

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I remember my first time playing a Souls game- Dark Souls 1 (PC)...it pretty much took one entire playthrough to figure out all the mechanics and features of the game- weapon scaling, choosing armor/gear, leveling, pvp, etc...huge learning curve...but once you've mastered a Souls game all the other games become easier
 

DPI

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But I think most reasonable fans recognize that the upgrade system is needlessly obtuse (and likely due to inexperienced designers) and a couple of other things could have been communicated.
Subjective. There's a reason Bluepoint left all these mechanics as-is rather than trying to "fix" them to be more noobfriendly.

The gamedesign is also about multiple playthroughs, and as you learn, you apply to subsequent ones. IMO.
 

zamardii12

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FWIW the lack of spoonfeeding, and having to figure this shit out on your own, is what fans actually like about it. I certainly do.

It goes smoother and starts grooving when you let go of being offended by the idea of trial and error.
There's a big difference between spoon-feeding information like "Press X to... whatever" and providing essential information to play the game like "this is the location where you can upgrade your character, store your items, fix your weapons, etc. ,etc." ... very very basic shit that you can not play the game without knowing should be included in the instructions. Think about it... it literally would take nothing away from the game if it just very quickly said "You can store and repair your items as well as upgrade your character in the Nexus." THEN you can figure out on your own exactly where you need to do these things and with whom. So while I agree that it's satisfying to figure stuff out on your own, and frankly I did figure out a lot on my own through trial and error especially in the beginning with how the game works... I STILL think that these games could invite a lot more people in had they included a basic understanding of the game.

This amazing series will alienate a lot of people... myself included were one of the people who were like "oh those games just suck b/c they're unnecessarily hard." Like the Souls games are known as "the hard games." And speaking as someone who is a filthy casual gamer once I actually understood that not only can I fix my weapons, but I can store un-needed items, I can spend souls on upgrading my character (which I didn't know until I Googled something else), and many other things can be done at the Nexus it instantly made a game that felt unwelcoming to me feel like an amazing experience... it's ridiculous to think that had the game just very briefly said that those things even CAN be done that it would take away from the experience at all. I literally didn't know I could upgrade my character... I mean that should have been explained briefly... even vaguely. But it's not. At the very least could there have been the option for a better explanation of core game mechanics? I don't see why not.
 
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JadedFTW

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Sound like a lot of people didn't read the built in 'Help Menu'. Lots of stuff in there.
 
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harsaphes

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God. I really want to play this game, and I am, but man I suck so hard at these types of games. I can't even GET to the first boss. Sigh. Oh well.
 

repoman0

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Any tips for a souls games newbie who managed to get pure black in 4-1 and is stuck on phantom satsuki …

I didn’t understand the game mechanics well enough and died a few times in that world in human form to invasions. Beaten five other bosses, all the other first areas plus 1-2, and this guy seems far more difficult than any of them. Is this area just closed to me until I’m way stronger now?
 

Domingo

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If you've killed several bosses, you should ready for just about anything. At least assuming they were bosses and not just tough normal enemies.

Humanoid opponents are a different sort of challenge vs. most normal enemies. I usually charge at them but don't attack. Instead, circle to his left (your right) with your shield down. The goal is to get behind him and attack 1-2 times. You can even potentially get a backstab if you're fortunate. Demon's is a little more strict than Dark Souls with backstab placement, but they're still there. You want to be a little bit to the right of their spine and use a normal R1 attack.

Generally speaking, you want to keep your shield down as much as possible. You move faster and regain stamina with with your shield down and you can always put it up at the last second. Besides circling, you can also move forward and backward. You're attempting to bait an attack, back up, and then counter attack. I'm horrible with parries, so I won't even suggest trying. Some folks swear by them, though.

Here's a video that shows the general strategy for circling behind him:

They're even a little more reckless than you need to be.

EDIT: If you use a large weapon like a giant club and such, you can actually R2 smash a lot of humanoid foes while they're approaching. The goal is for the tip of your club/hammer/etc. to hit them when they're charging at you. If it lands, you're basically safe to back up and repeat and do it again. You can also circle around behind them while they're stunned from the hit and try for a backstab when they recover. Don't get greedy, though. Stick to individual hits and never more than 2.
 
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repoman0

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If you've killed several bosses, you should ready for just about anything. At least assuming they were bosses and not just tough normal enemies.

Humanoid opponents are a different sort of challenge vs. most normal enemies. I usually charge at them but don't attack. Instead, circle to his left (your right) with your shield down. The goal is to get behind him and attack 1-2 times. You can even potentially get a backstab if you're fortunate. Demon's is a little more strict than Dark Souls with backstab placement, but they're still there. You want to be a little bit to the right of their spine and use a normal R1 attack.

Generally speaking, you want to keep your shield down as much as possible. You move faster and regain stamina with with your shield down and you can always put it up at the last second. Besides circling, you can also move forward and backward. You're attempting to bait an attack, back up, and then counter attack. I'm horrible with parries, so I won't even suggest trying. Some folks swear by them, though.

Here's a video that shows the general strategy for circling behind him:

They're even a little more reckless than you need to be.

EDIT: If you use a large weapon like a giant club and such, you can actually R2 smash a lot of humanoid foes while they're approaching. The goal is for the tip of your club/hammer/etc. to hit them when they're charging at you. If it lands, you're basically safe to back up and repeat and do it again. You can also circle around behind them while they're stunned from the hit and try for a backstab when they recover. Don't get greedy, though. Stick to individual hits and never more than 2.


Thanks for the tips and video. This guy does far more damage than me though, I’m doing like 19 for a normal R1 attack so it’s going to take a looong time with no mistakes :)

Well, at least it’s in a good place to endlessly practice without worrying about world tendency or losing souls … right at the beginning, just don’t bring souls in, already pure black. Some of the runs to bosses have been rough so far, not many games withhold a checkpoint before a tough fight. It’s fun enough to run through that I don’t really mind for the most part.
 

Domingo

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If you aren't doing damage, you might want to grind some souls to boost your weapon or your stats. Depending on what type of weapon you're using, that'll be either your STR or DEX stat. Generally speaking, STR is for heavier weapons while DEX is for quicker ones. Those stats are universal, so they'll help with all weapons of that class.
You can also power up your weapon itself via the blacksmith in the nexus or (even further) via the one in the mines. Each boost increases damage a little and can also add additional bonuses to your damage based on your stats, too.
 

Domingo

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(I'm struggling with a work project right now, so I'll just full-on dive into Demon's until I can clear my writer's block)

If you're looking for a good weapon, I actually recommend the Broad Sword as a good default weapon in ALL of the Souls games. You can rock it beginning to end in all 4 games. It's rarely a great DPS weapon, but it has a good moveset that's quick, decently strong, and has a really versatile default attack. I always find it to be a weapon anyone can be comfortable with in a hurry.

Weapon-wise a lot of Souls veterans go full-on analytical when they talk about weapons. A lot of weapons that are amazing on paper aren't easy to find, upgrade, or (most importantly) actually use. I've seen some forums where they're recommending end-of-game weapons that need hyper-specific builds to new players. Those weapons are great for NG+, subsequent playthroughs, and PvP, but not for someone new.
 

repoman0

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I’m using the default Long Sword (now +4) that I got at the beginning .. looking it up, sounds like it’s essentially equivalent to the broad sword but biased toward strength rather than dex? It does seem solid, better than any loot I’ve gotten so far. I’ve got 20 str now, been putting a lot into endurance too. SL 34 or so.

Unfortunately 4-1 has been my soul farming area and now it’s closed until I get a lot better :p think I’ll try out some of the -2 worlds before going back to this guy. Maybe we’ll get a full white weekend and I can cheat my way past him!
 

Domingo

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Yup, the normal Long Sword is very, very similar so at least you're using a weapon that isn't super challenging to use. That's 1/2 the battle right there. You can potentially try out the claymore down the line, too. I find that as you get better at the game, you'll get more comfortable using the larger/slower weapons. Ditto with the faster ones that do less damage per hit, but multi-hit better.
You probably don't need to mess with endurance any more. Mine's at 34 and that's with a save at the beginning of NG++ (aka. I've beaten the game twice). I'd work on boosting your health, primary attack (STR in your case), and your weapon. You can dump the gear you aren't currently using in storage and use rings to keep your equipment burden down. I generally keep a single sword, bow, and shield on me (+ healing items) but not much else other than my armor.
 

repoman0

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Yup, the normal Long Sword is very, very similar so at least you're using a weapon that isn't super challenging to use. That's 1/2 the battle right there. You can potentially try out the claymore down the line, too. I find that as you get better at the game, you'll get more comfortable using the larger/slower weapons. Ditto with the faster ones that do less damage per hit, but multi-hit better.
You probably don't need to mess with endurance any more. Mine's at 34 and that's with a save at the beginning of NG++ (aka. I've beaten the game twice). I'd work on boosting your health, primary attack (STR in your case), and your weapon. You can dump the gear you aren't currently using in storage and use rings to keep your equipment burden down. I generally keep a single sword, bow, and shield on me (+ healing items) but not much else other than my armor.

Thanks! I meant overall SL 34, endurance is only 23. I got my long sword to +8 and boosted strength a few more levels today and am doing nearly twice the damage per hit now .. got him down by a quarter once which suggests to me that he’s killable now, maybe a little more damage (and skill) needed. Seems pretty easy to at least get to the 3-2 boss without any difficulty so the other -2 worlds might be within reach for more leveling and gear.

Hope the rest of the Souls games aren’t a let down after this because this is a pretty great intro.
 

Domingo

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Thanks! I meant overall SL 34, endurance is only 23. I got my long sword to +8 and boosted strength a few more levels today and am doing nearly twice the damage per hit now .. got him down by a quarter once which suggests to me that he’s killable now, maybe a little more damage (and skill) needed. Seems pretty easy to at least get to the 3-2 boss without any difficulty so the other -2 worlds might be within reach for more leveling and gear.

Hope the rest of the Souls games aren’t a let down after this because this is a pretty great intro.

I don't think you'll be disappointed by the other games at all. Plus, this game will have you ready for how they work. Demon's is probably my least favorite of the core Souls games, although the graphics for the remake are far and away the best in the series.
Everyone will have personal preferences, but my faves in order are Dark 1, Dark 3, Dark 2/Bloodborne (Tie), Demon's, and finally Sekiro if you want to count that as a Souls game.
 

harsaphes

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The biggest struggle for me is I'm not use to using the 'triggers' on the controller for a weapon. I keep hitting the 'x' button and getting killed.
 

Domingo

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The biggest struggle for me is I'm not use to using the 'triggers' on the controller for a weapon. I keep hitting the 'x' button and getting killed.

The funniest thing about this is that it goes both ways. Once you get used to the Souls control scheme of using the shoulder buttons, you'll never be able to play games that attack with the face buttons again. Luckily just about everything uses that scheme these days. From obvious games like Mortal Shell to God of War and Assassin's Creed. It threw me off initially, too, but it'll become second nature.
 

repoman0

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Argh! Four parry/ripostes in a row on black phantom Satsuki — one more would have done it but I missed it. I’ve been back and forth on that and fighting flamelurker. Keep getting the latter down pretty low but his aggressive state is rough. Thief Ring helps, he always seems confused about where I am .. tempted to go human form so I can also use flame resistance ring and have extra hp, but that’s a little risky as I found out in world 4 …

The game crashed on me for the first time while farming hardstone chunks .. probably telling me I’ve been playing too long / trying too hard

edit: flamelurker dead 😈 thief ring is way more key than flame resistance, he super easily loses track and you can spend half the battle behind him
 
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Domingo

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The Flamelurker is arguably the toughest fight in the game. If you can beat him, you can probably beat any other boss they throw at you. Level-wise, the swamp is a fucking slog, but there's no one enemy that's particularly tough. The key is to stack as many anti-poison and health regen items as possible so you aren't affected as much. Also, you can create a shortcut that quickly leads back to the beginning after the village area. Take that area VERY slowly as you can get turned around and surrounded.
 

repoman0

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Only took 20 tries and grinding like five levels and a sword upgrade, lol. I go to 1-3 and turn around to kill the two blue knights for 1000 souls, exit, rinse, repeat. They also always each drop 2x half or late moon grasses which is pretty helpful, don’t have to stress about running out of those. It’s now no big deal to lose a bunch of souls like it used to be knowing it’s only a few minutes of grinding them back.

I checked out the swamp yesterday, that place is miserable! Didn’t make it to the village before dying and not wanting to go back just yet.
 

repoman0

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Satsuki strat … I got to the point where he doesn’t quite one hit KO me, equipped clever rat ring (increased attack power with <30% hp) and all of a sudden fast attacks do 120 damage instead of 40. Easy fight after that with no need to do five perfect parries in a row or survive and chip away for way too long. Now I’m SL 53 and 4-1 is way too easy now that it’s neutral again.

Maneater in 3-2 was also easy compared to Flamelurker … in fact all of 3-2 was very easy, if beautifully crafted. Think I might be a bit over leveled in general tbh, that or I’m just getting the hang of things.
 

repoman0

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I did a couple others before 1-2, but 1-2 should be doable early on as well. I didn’t know about the benefits of being under 50% equip burden until I was talking to a coworker about the game and that helped make 1-2 possible for reasons that you will find out.
 

chameleoneel

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I did a couple others before 1-2, but 1-2 should be doable early on as well. I didn’t know about the benefits of being under 50% equip burden until I was talking to a coworker about the game and that helped make 1-2 possible for reasons that you will find out.
1-2 in full black world tendency, is a radical experience ;)
 

chameleoneel

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Satsuki strat … I got to the point where he doesn’t quite one hit KO me, equipped clever rat ring (increased attack power with <30% hp) and all of a sudden fast attacks do 120 damage instead of 40. Easy fight after that with no need to do five perfect parries in a row or survive and chip away for way too long. Now I’m SL 53 and 4-1 is way too easy now that it’s neutral again.

Maneater in 3-2 was also easy compared to Flamelurker … in fact all of 3-2 was very easy, if beautifully crafted. Think I might be a bit over leveled in general tbh, that or I’m just getting the hang of things.
Demon's Souls does have a bit of an issue there. Where people will grind out some levels and gear, to get over a hump----and then find themselves a bit overpowered for other parts. The grinding also tends to give them more experience with the game, so they are just plain better at it, by the time they have their levels and gear increased. and that's something great about souls games; if you know the game's mechanics, you don't need all the gear and stats.
 
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harsaphes

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I dont know, I'm about to give up. I actually LIKE the game but I find it incredibly frustrating to get to a boss, loose the battle and be transported back to the start. I mean how many times can you do that and still continue.
 

polonyc2

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I dont know, I'm about to give up. I actually LIKE the game but I find it incredibly frustrating to get to a boss, loose the battle and be transported back to the start. I mean how many times can you do that and still continue.

just run past the enemies...you don't have to fight each and every enemy each time...better yet, if there's a shortcut you can unlock which will make the trek quicker/easier
 

Comixbooks

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I dont know, I'm about to give up. I actually LIKE the game but I find it incredibly frustrating to get to a boss, loose the battle and be transported back to the start. I mean how many times can you do that and still continue.

Make sure you have the shortcuts leading to the Boss opened up which makes traversing to him easier.
I haven't played this game but the Original was a Bear even with help or glitching.
 

Rattle

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I dont know, I'm about to give up. I actually LIKE the game but I find it incredibly frustrating to get to a boss, loose the battle and be transported back to the start. I mean how many times can you do that and still continue.
Dont look at it like that, each time you go through an area there's a shortcut near the boss. This is actually your main goal IMO. Then the boss, it works better if you get the shortcut then go back to Nexus to upgrade anyway first. Spend all your souls. Each time you go through an area you get more everything including upgrade mats.
 

harsaphes

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Dont look at it like that, each time you go through an area there's a shortcut near the boss. This is actually your main goal IMO. Then the boss, it works better if you get the shortcut then go back to Nexus to upgrade anyway first. Spend all your souls. Each time you go through an area you get more everything including upgrade mats.
Ok, I'll keep trying.
 

repoman0

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There are only a few areas with annoying runs back to the boss. 2-2 is irritating because though it’s easy to get to, it still takes like five minutes and I ended up needing lots of tries. 5-1 would be annoying if the boss wasn’t cake to beat first try. 3-1 I did a handful of runs back but there's a shortcut, still takes a few minutes to get there. I would say it's never more than ~5 minutes of play time to get back to a boss, usually less. And surprisingly I've killed quite a few bosses first try .. the game is more difficult than average for sure, but really not that bad. Currently I've beaten everything but the final (?) boss and there's a nice shortcut there too that lets you avoid the fat officials. Killed both dragons too, but so far the old king is the most difficult boss for me. Either way I'll be going back for NG+ at some point for sure.

Hot take, Crash Bandicoot 4 is a harder game :) especially if you need all those gems like I do.
 
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