I have forgotten a lot about this game. As I’m replaying it, I’m feeling the above sentiments. Especially now that I’m years removed from the graphics downgrades and marketing bait and switch. I love this series and that hurt me back then. SoTFS is a new coat of paint and I really like it. I had played a bit of it, when it released. But I didn’t finish SoTFS. And I haven’t ever done the DLC.
There are indeed a couple of lame areas. but I’ve also been through several good ones. Dark Souls 1 certainly had a few lame areas. Also, Dark Souls 2’s areas generally feel more intricate, if not larger.
And Dark Souls 1 gets all the credit for its interconnected world. Except, only about half of it is interconnected! The rest of it is linear spurs. Dark Souls 2 has plenty of connections. Indeed, they don’t feel as woven. But the game does have a sort of adventurous feel with many of the places and the lore. And I even think the slicker/brighter graphics in SoTFS lend to it feeling more adventurous.
And otherwise, NPCs are as good as anything in the series. Lore seems great to me. SoTFS edition added a whole bunch of NPC invaders. Mixed up enemies in many areas (I think for the better). I hear the DLC is pretty great (never played it. Will do, this time.). And on New Game pluses, extra/new enemy types are added to areas and even boss fights. Some other additions, too.
Yeah, this is a great game.