For the past several days I've been playing Demon's Souls. At first I found myself caught in a rut grinding in Boeltaria (I actually restarted my game five hours in fearing that I'd simply spent too many souls trying to evenly level my character) but I restarted with a second Hunter and my progress has a been bit more steady since then. I did have some problems due to my fear of going to another world (I'd previously tried the Stonefang Tunnel and had my ass handed to me by the mages in the beginning) and that combined with my inability to progress beyond the end of the dragon bridge or kill the red-eyed knight frustrated me, in particular since I found everything up through the Phalanx pretty easy.
Fortunately, an online guide suggested that I head to 4-1 and off I went. The game immediately got very challenging and very fun. My initial reaction to the blue-eyed skeletons was hilarious, in retrospect. My thought pattern was something along the lines of "Okay, skeletons with big swords, they probably swing hard but move slo -- HOLY FUCK THEY MOVE LIKE NINJAS!" Speaking of ninjas, the red-eyed skeletons with the twin swords oddly don't give me as much trouble as the red-eyed knight, though they will certainly lay down an ass kicking if not careful. At this point in 4-1 I've explored killed the big grey demon, worked my way through most of area open to me (dying a few times in the process), explored some of the secret passages, found the merchant, and decided not to go up the ladder past the large demon after killing him. I decided that I'd done enough and it was time to return home with a large quantity of souls for leveling. By the way, the thief ring is awesome.