I couldn't disagree more--I'd call Demon's Souls the best thing on the PS3, easily.
It's not much of an RPG beyond the stat building and dark fantasy trappings, but that's not what it's going for. It's more an action game than anything. Combat is slow-paced and cautious, but it feels great; every hit, every dodge matters, and because just a couple of screw-ups can get you killed, it can get incredibly tense, especially against the bosses.
The levels are dead, sure, but that's the point--you're not exploring a lush, vibrant world but hacking your way through long-abandoned ruins. It's a bit of a buzzkill if you're looking for something more open and Bioware-esque. On its own terms, though, it's some great, thoughtful, atmospheric level design.
It's probably one of the most rewarding games I've ever played; it hammers you for the slightest mistake, but once you get it figured out and everything clicks, you feel like an absolute badass. Take the first level. During that opening stretch of the game, you can't level up--you have to get through on your starting stats. Which means, until you get everything figured out, you will die. A lot.
But on a second trip through, with a completely new character, you know all the ins and outs of combat, and you won't even die once. It doesn't even matter that you can't level up yet--you've leveled up outside the game, as it were. It doesn't get any more satisfying than that.
As for survival advice--the main thing to learn is that you can't charge in swinging. That'll drain your stamina in no time and leave you wide open. Wait for a good opening, get in a couple of good swings, and save enough stamina to dodge out of the way.
Also, halberds are a good, safe starting weapon.
Post edited May 04, 2010 by PaakType