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I've been playing Dark Void Zero lately. I managed to find a use for my PS3 controller and mapped the buttons to keys on my keyboard so I could use it to play DVZ but gadzooks is it difficult! I've played it for 3 hours collectively and I still haven't got past the boss in the first area. The only achievement I've managed to unlock successfully is n00b!!.



This got me thinking. Is this game really as hard as I think it is or have games just gotten easier these days? I remember playing games like this and being able to fly them but now I can't beat the first level on easy. I suppose it's common knowledge that games have become collectively easier in recent years. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not but looking at the facts it seems like a good thing. Back during my Sega Mega Drive days, the ratio of games owned:completed was pretty bad. That was partly due to there being no built-in save function and partly due to the difficulty of games; even on easy.

What makes games so much easier these days? Well I think one of the biggest attributing factors is the unlimited retries. Since saving was introduced (and made even easier/streamlined with auto-saves), you'll find that if you keep trying you'll eventually beat that pain-in-the-ass boss. With these "old-school" games, if you can't beat the boss after X amount of lives and Y amount of continues, you're out of luck. You have to start again from scratch and that is really frustrating. DVZ captures this frustration perfectly but also gives you some leeway by way of checkpoints. Apparently there's also a save system after each level but since I can't beat the first friggin' boss I've yet to encounter it. One day you mech mother-fucker, one day.

I know DVZ is actually a recent game, so that kind of contradicts what I'm saying, but it's emulating an older platform and capturing the old style of gameplay so it still counts the same.

What do you think? Do you think games becoming easier to beat is a good thing or a bad thing?








Today's been interesting. It's been an unproductive, productive day which sounds counter-productive (stop saying productive, gosh!) but let me explain. I started the day at around 9am, watched some TV, ate cereal (I head coco pops they were great), then sat down with a coffee and did some work. After a few hours grafting on a website I'm working on for a client I decided to spend the rest of my day being as unproductive and lazy as I could. In other words I became your average video gamer.

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge has been sitting in my Steam Library since I pre-ordered it (in like, what, July was it?) and never played it. Don't ask why, I have no idea. I kept telling myself to make some time for it and then I had a few months hiatus from my PC (where I had like 70% more of a social life) and totally forgot about it. The point is that I'm back now and playing it and it's bloody great it is. I'm actually enjoying listening to the developer audio commentary just as much as playing the game, some of the stuff they discuss (Captain Dread for example) is pretty darn entertaining.

A light lunch followed (it wasn't light at all, there was a lot of bacon involved) and an episode of 24 then I was back to gaming and ignoring all my work e-mails. This time, Minecraft. I found a tutorial by Stardog on using Google SketchUp as a Minecraft building planner. So, in-between playing Team Fortress 2 and chatting to friends on Skype, I spent the rest of the day trying to work out how to use SketchUp and I came up with this:



Neat huh? I'll be making that tomorrow on the GTAForums Minecraft Server which unfortunately is whitelisted (sorry guys and gals).

What else? Oh, yeah! Just now a friend of mine told me that Alone in the Dark 1+2+3 are available on gog.com for just $5.99 (that's about 10 Sickles 3 Knuts if you're a Wizard like me). The games are definitely worth it even if it's just for a face full of warm, sticky nostalgia which I definitely understand since Alone in the Dark is the first PC game I played way back when.

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Thoughts / comments? I'd love to hear 'em!