I've had my hands on a copy now for 2 days (3 if you count the last 2 hours since it's 2am).. I'm enjoying it alot. Some of my observations though (remember, I'm a critic, just cuz I mention flaws doesn't mean that's all I see >=P).
1: While the game is often advertised as open world, it doesn't really feel that way. Yes, you can go wherever you want. But there are no open fields or whatever for you to wander on endlessly like with elder scrolls or whatever. Even Diablo 2 felt more open. The way it's open world, is it kinda plops you in the middle of a giant imaginary 'X', and your choices are to go up left, up right, etc.. But once you go in that direction, it's very linear. AS you reach the end of a route, you'll probably get a key or something, which may be an extension to another route, which in turn might have an extension to your original. They're all connected in the sense that there are no load times between them... There are no load times at all though.
2: Many so-called fans of demon's souls seem to QQ that this game is "cheaper" harder rather than harder. They say that it's not fair that it's harder because you regularly fight multiple bad guys at once right away, while demon's souls often allowed you to handle them one at a time for the most part. This is true, but I wouldn't say it's cheaper. You just have to deal with it, and play different than before is all. Think of it like those 3 red eye knights at the end of boletaria 3. The actual enemies are easier individually though IMO. Reason is it seems much easier to "stun" most of them for each hit. I seem to recall even the most ordinary of enemies in Demon's souls often did not flinch at all to all but ridiculously overlevel/geared hits.
3: Bosses/Minibosses galore! This is partially good, and partially lame. I personally love bosses and minibosses. However, the designers decided that they would still have random/rare drops. So once you kill one, and fail to get the goodies, you're basically screwed from ever getting it anytime soon (or possibly ever at all in that game?). I hate that. Seriously, whoever made permanent missables (short of New games) should be shot.
4: Despite the pretty linear nature of all the potential routes, the game really does make it hard to know wtf you're supposed to go at times.
5: The documentation for htis game is complete garbage. You know how instruction manuals always have a page with the user interface, and numbers next to every bar/number/object/symbol, and footnotes describing what they mean to you as the player? Well the manual has one of those too...without the numbers. You just magically have to know what they're talking about on the picture, they don't even say in the blah blah corner! But that's just an example, it's much worse. They completely fail to mention the purpose of some very important concepts in the game, such as what exactly humanity is for, how you can expect to get it, etc. It's not documentation, but it's also similar. Another problem is that in order to level up, you have to run/walk over to a bonfire which kinda acts as this game's savespots/heal spot things. They are spaced apart. This itself isn't a problem, but the game doesn't tell you how much experience you NEED to level up...Unless you have enough. I mean, say you have 20k and you need 21k and you goto the fire. You try to level up and it opens the menu, it'll say "Experience needed: *blank*" cuz you haven't "spent" your level ups.. But once you get 50k or whatever and you level up, THEN it'll say 21k. This is rather annoying when you are saving before a boss fight, but have too many souls that you don't want to lose, but not enough to level, so you keep heading back and forth to the damn fire until you CAN level. argh. Another example, there's tons of things in this game that makes you think "wtf can't it just tell me ____".
6: You can upgrade armor just like weapons now, yay. Unfortunately, upgrade options in general seem more limited than before. I hear they are not at all, but I haven't seen any kind of upgrade stones but 1 so far, just for basic overall upgrades, no life stealing options, or dexterity heavy options, or fire damage adding, etc. They might exist, maybe not. Hard to say, either way, you don't get that option very soon.
7: Equipment/weapons in general seems more...fun. In Demon's souls, I found that before long, you got a weapon that was top-tier, and you'll use it for the rest of the game, and every other weapon of hte same type is just a waste of bag space. Like it doesn't take long for you to get the lava bow, or a composite long bow to give spider stones to, or the meat cleaver (I never liked it myself but whatever, I just don't like 2-handers). I find this game has more balance, giving you more (real) choice. Black boots seem op though...The rest of the black set isn't, go figure.
8: Minor gripe but... Capra demon is a really stupid boss fight. The boss itself isn't cheap. The fact it comes with 2 dogs (which are even more annoying in this game than the first, basically they have like a 90% chance of dodging even fast attacks after a successful parry..and have just as sudden an attack) isn't cheap...The fact that it's behind a fog thing that makes you stand motionless for like 2 seconds before you get to move which inside a room about as big as a shoebox IS.. It took me 5 tries to beat that boss, the first 4 times I LITERALLY could not do anything, before I could even move I was cornered between the boss and the fog wall, and just got pummeled. The 5th time the boss decided to glower at me for a second before charging. Because of that delay I could roll behind and have a fighting chance, so I won. WTF would they design a boss like that?! ughh...
I agree with Vampko to an extent. I can't say it's most people, but it is DEFINATELY most of the VOCAL people who are like "lolol, you like this game with anime characters, you're a pedo.. zomg why are you looking at 12 year old panties? wtf?". What's worse is that these people troll you like that, and the seemingly normal people actually BELIEVE that shit. For example, one troll said that Atelier rorona was Lesbian Sex simulator featuring a 12 year old with huge breasts because he took a few aptly timed screenshots of panty shots using items and water girl's boobs (which are pretty ridiculous really). Then someone who I've seen make several posts enough to make me know they aren't a troll actually stated they were grateful for the REAL troll's opinion, and is glad they didn't waste money on such drivel. This is common, I see it all the time. *cries*.
Heck, I couldn't even get my copy of hypderdimension neptunia from gamestop without the salesperson (THE SALESPERSON, he's supposed to CONVINCE ME TO BUY) talking about how anything by IF is crap, and it should be called "Idea Fuck", because all they do is make pedo sims. Then the guy behind me was agreeing. I'm like "It's a game, there isn't a gross amount of pedo material unless you focus on it, if you don't like the game ok, but your reasons are not valid". Now I want to order Mk2 from NISA direction to avoid that BS, but I wont if UPS is still the only option, because they 'll give it to me like 1 year late with an extra 50 buck charge. screw that.