If you aren't a big video game player, most of this post may be lost on you. If you have a Playstation 3 and don't know about the game I am about to talk about, you really need to get educated.
With that, let's talk about Demon's Souls.
Last year, while I was on a blogging hiatus, I spent most of my time working on my Senior Thesis (a massive project which detailed The concept of Identity in Mecha based Anime that ran almost over 100 pages in length). When I wasn't cramped in a library, I spent most of my time sleeping on my friends' futon, playing an occasional game of League of Legends (LOL), but for the most part, played Demon's Souls.
This game has one numerous awards and is now a Greatest Hits title for the PS3. If you haven't bought it yet, now is the time. I just picked it up on Amazon and will hopefully be giving it another run through in 2011.
There were a lot of things that made this game incredibly unique. First of all, it was brutally difficult and unforgiving. It had an amazing leveling system and the difficulty of the game scaled indefinitely, so you can literally play the game almost forever.
You start out as one over several classes, but, these classes are all essentially a simple starting package of stats and gear. As you level, you have the opportunity to literally change anything and everything about your character. It really makes character customization a fantastic experience. Gear in the game is simple. You don't really pick up a lot of different magic items throughout, but are more focused on getting yourself into some good armor.
However, probably the thing that made the game extremely entertaining to me was the death system. In some games the death system may be a simple time waster (aka WoW) or it may be incredibly brutal, causing you to start over from some save point that you forgot about an hour or 2 ago. In Demon's Souls, when you die, you are forced to restart the level as essentially a ghost; you must fight back towards your body and try to reclaim all the experience points that are attached to your corpse. If you can't, say goodbye to all your XP.
This system was unique, fun, and exciting.
I would really like to see Demon's Souls adapted into a Pen and Paper RPG. I think the leveling, gear mechanics, and the death system would all make for a very entertaining game. If you combine that with the way Demon' Souls is essentially a bunch of individual dungeon crawls, you have yourself a very, very interesting combat based RPG.
If someone doesn't come up with this sooner or later, I may just have to try and get the company to let me work on it myself.