From Software are one of the leading game developers in the world right now, and that success has been built upon a pillar of player punishment that people just can't seem to get enough of.
From Soft games have become synonymous with difficulty, bringing back a new age of challenging games that push players to their very limits. There is no one out there that does this like From Soft.
The highs and lows of a From Software game are, for my money, unmatched in any other series of games. They are cripplingly punishing at times, forcing players to question the point in going on, and this is where they lose many potential fans who decide they'd rather move onto something else.
But it is those who persevere that "get it" - the point in all the pain. From Software titles deliver an ecstasy in victory that no other game can.
This overwhelming, hand-trembling feeling of success is felt most powerfully after some of their best in class boss battles. From Software's big bads are varied, mechanically innovative and most of all, gruellingly punishing.
Let us know down in the comments which bosses had you pummelling the wall, before finally pumping your fist in well-deserved victory.
Before From Software earned their stellar reputation for sadism with the Dark Souls franchise, they cut their teeth with the slightly lesser known Demon Souls. Although not as challenging overall as much of its predecessors, Demon Souls was nonetheless a tough oul' nut to crack. The pinnacle of this challenge was the Flamelurker.
This bellowing behemoth acts as a significant difficulty spike in an already challenging game. The Flamelurker is extremely aggressive, leaving players with little time to recover if they're forced onto the back-foot trying to heal or even just consider a strategy to take down the fiery fiend.
His flame fist attack has a huge area of effect that make dodging it extremely tricky and he deals out a vicious amount of damage on top of that.
Demon Souls slightly dated mechanics make the combat feel chunky at times, and this adds significantly to the challenge as the Flamelurker seems unaffected by this crutch the player must bear as he hunts you down consistently and swiftly.
He is extremely weak to magic which trivialises the fight somewhat, but in a straight duel the Flamelurker is an insanely fast, powerful opponent who is easily the hardest that Demon Souls has to offer.