“I’ve been playing the same level all day and I’m no closer to beating it,” I exclaimed to my fiancée on day two of Demon’s Souls. But I wasn’t angry. It was a learning experience, one that everyone goes through in their first five hours of this oppressive, depressing game. Among those who stick it out, Demon’s Souls has earned a cult following, because it demands so much. If you die, you go back to the start of the level, and any currency you earned up to that point is lost. Elsewhere, I’ve written more about why Demon’s Souls is so flawlessly executed. In short, the game is not fun in the typical sense, but the more you play, the harder it is to give up. For video games, 2009 was a year of reducing risks and cutting losses, but Demon’s Souls took the plunge with a game that’s not for everyone, and it paid off.