The claim that Souls combat is best suited to one on one seems quite popular, and even Yahtzee barfed it in his let it die video. ( http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/116981-Let-It-Die-Review ) What is the basis for this claim and how would you counter it?
Basis: When you lock onto an enemy, the camera points at them. You cannot lock onto multiple enemies at once.
Counterpoint: This is true in Bayonetta and Metal Gear Rising as well, Nier Automata too, and nobody would say this horseshit about those games, even though MGR shits the bed in multiple enemy encounters by having the camera slowly push you into the wall.
Double counterpoint: Ninja Gaiden doesn’t have lockon, you need to move the camera around as you fight enemies and carefully manage it. Nobody would be dumb enough to say this about Ninja Gaiden either. The big important difference between Souls and Ninja Gaiden is that in Souls, the attack buttons are on the shoulders instead of the face buttons, so you can easily reposition the camera and attack at the same time.
Triple Counterpoint: You can move around enemies more quickly when you’re not locked on, meaning even versus individual enemies it’s frequently beneficial to lock off. If you can keep the camera on point, it’s technically better to never lock on, except that it allows you to move backwards and attack forwards. So you have clear reasons to lock off in both single and multi enemy encounters.
Quad Counterpoint: Fighting multiple enemies is fun because of how they can combine their attack patterns, and you have a lot of tools for doing so efficiently, from wide sword swipes to long range moves, to invincible backstabs.
Final Counterpoint: People are stupid. They think it’s suited for 1 on 1 because they’re bad at video games. People come up with all sorts of excuses for how all sorts of forms of difficulty are “artificial” or illegitimate. Souls games have used multiple enemy encounters from the beginning, every time there’s a new one people complain about multiple enemies.