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My mom is a dear, kind, and caring person, but she is not a gamer. Before, I discovered it was pretty hilarious to record her reactions to trailers for upcoming (and usually violent) games. But I think it’s time she graduated from previewing to reviewing.

And what better game for her first critique than Dark Souls II, a new title for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 that’s notorious for its punishing difficulty?

Below is an abbreviated transcript of my mother’s time playing Dark Souls II (the PlayStation 3 version). My words are in black, while hers are in red. Read on, and discover for yourself the epic tale of warrior the warrior.

[I hand my mom the controller.]

What’s all these buttons for?

[I laugh as she does a little counting.]

14 buttons!

You forgot start and select. And that one too. [I point to the PlayStation button in the middle of the controller.]

Oh, 17.

[We wait as the system updates the game.]

Have you played the first Dark Souls?

No. The only thing I’ve played is Mario.

[We wait a while longer for the update.]

The suspense is killing me.

[The update finishes downloading and then starts installing.]

Oh, lord.

It’s installing now.

It’s got a 125 milli-bars?


[We wait a bit as the update finishes installing and then start the game. A notification pops on the screen.]

This game uses an autosave feature. Is that OK?


Push X.

[My mom looks for the X button and pushes it. The game then starts a mandatory installation on the system.]

Oh, now that’s got to install.

Oh, lord. Why didn’t you call me when it was all ready?

I didn’t know there would be this much to it. Did you know that it takes this long to start a game?


What was it like when I was little? You just put the cartridge in, right?

Right. And started playing it.

This is technology now.

It was technology back then.

Yeah, but this technology is better … and it takes longer.

If it’s so much better than why does it take longer?

Is he carrying a flute or a bazooka?

Above: Is he carrying a flute or a bazooka?

Image Credit: Namco Bandai

[We wait for the install as we admire the artwork shown — the same as in the picture above but with most of the sides obscured in blackness.]

Do you think this is going to be a cheery game?

A cheery game?


No. I think we’re in hell. Is he carrying a bazooka or a flute?

I think it’s a sword.


How does it look like a bazooka?

There’s an opening on the end!

Have you ever seen a bazooka?


I can see a flute, maybe. Bazookas are huge! Maybe a pistol.


Bazookas shoot rockets!

Yeah, little rockets.

Also, he’s wearing medieval armor.

Well, the way kids dress today, who knows.

How kids dress today? Like evil knights with bazookas?

In the underground.

[We wait for the install again.]

I could have dried and folded a load of clothes already.

From Software definitely got the dark part down.

Above: From Software definitely got the dark part down.

Image Credit: Bandai Namco

[We keep waiting.]

Wake me up when this is ready.

[My mom shuts her eyes.]

Is it at 90 yet?

Yeah, it’s at 93. Almost there. OK, it’s done installing. Now it’s creating save data.

[My mom groans.]

That won’t take long.

I don’t think I’m going to have much data to save.

OK, press the start button.

Which one is that?

That’s the one that looks like play.

[My mom is about to push the PlayStation button.]

No, up to the right of it.


Yeah. The one that says start.

You said play.