I do not consider myself as a masochist. I like to play games for fun, and while I do like to play games on harder difficulties sometimes, most of the time it is not worth it. Very few games on the higher difficulty change the game considerably and make you rethink all you have learned from a past play through. Not a lot of games can be hard and fair at the same time. When a game is hard, it is for all the wrong reasons. Difficulty now a days rely on enemies having more health, while you have less. It is a false sense of difficulty that does not really change anything.
A few weeks ago, I played BioShock: Infinite on hard and for the most part it was even better than playing it on normal. The way you have to use your vigors and guns to make the most out of a situation was exciting and thrilling. For the most part BioShock Infinite on hard was great, that was until the final act. From the Lady Comstock sequence to the end, the game became less fun and more frustrating. I cannot imagine what 1999 mode is like.
Other games I ended up playing on hard was Uncharted 2. Playing that game on hard was also thrilling, but it suffered from the lazy design of stronger enemies, weak player. The last game I played that had an amazing hard difficulty level was Alan Wake. I played that game on Nightmare mode, the hardest difficulty the game has, and it was a much better experience. While they still do that lazy design on health, you could never tell. What made it great was the fact that batteries and ammo was more scarce than on normal mode. Running away whenever you can became the only option and it made each encounter more exciting.
THE ONES THAT WAS CLOSE
There were a couple of games that made me feel like I was becoming a gaming masochist. The first one was Super Meat Boy. Super Meat Boy is a platforming masterpiece. Every death is your fault and you will die a lot. To make matters worse is that after you complete a stage it will run through all your lives. It is possible that you can see hundreds of Meat Boys running the same stage repeatedly dying at every inch of the stage. I kept playing this hard game. I die and instantaneously get back to the start in a never-ending cycle. I even got most of the Dark World stages where it gets harder. I never completed Super Meat Boy because my Xbox 360 broke.
Another game that almost made me a gaming masochist was Bayonetta. Bayonetta is a hack and slash game in the vein of Devil May Cry. It is a challenging game that tests your reflexes and the situations you are put in are over the top ridiculous. Once you know most of the basic dodge move, the game can be a blast and chaotic experience. The one scene that still gets to me that I will never forget was the Space Harrier sequence. In the time up to this point in Bayonetta, the game had been a challenging blast. It was a flaw move in Bayonetta’s part and the only weak spot in the game.
A MASOCHIST BEST FRIEND
Then there is Dark Souls. The game is hard, sickening hard. I nearly quit a few times due to the rage that the game was bringing out on me. I kept on playing and my original plan was that after I beaten Dark Souls that I would quit. I knew that the game would only get harder from there and there was no reason for me to continue. Therefore, I downloaded Metro: Last Light to play, but Dark Souls was sitting there. I decided to play a bit of Dark Souls on New Game Plus and see how far I would go before it officially breaks me. I knew that Dark Souls would break me eventually, and it finally did during the Nito fight. When a game gets too hard, I stop and do it later or just quit all together. I wanted to quit Dark Souls, but the game has had a hold of me that very few games have. I had to get rid of it, and so I did. I did not want the risk of breaking a controller, TV, or the console. However, for some godforsaken reason, I love it.
Knowing that I beaten something in a game this hard gave me a feeling I never felt before, pride. When I beat a game on a harder difficulty, I am relieved that I will never play this mode again, and yet here I was playing Dark Souls on a harder difficulty mode. When I started to play Metro: Last Light I debated if I wanted to play the game on hard mode. I never did that before because most of the time I play games on normal. Sometimes, depending on the game, I play it on easy to enjoy the story. I ended up picking normal because if I wanted to play a hard game I would play Dark Souls, or continue my Hard Mode run on Max Payne 3.
My love\hate relationship with Dark Souls is something I never thought I would have in a game. I both love and hate the difficulty. After beating Dark Souls, my anticipation of Dark Souls 2 rose higher than before. I know it is going to be harder and I would not have wanted it any other way.
About BlinkingPixelsone of us since 5:51 PM on 12.01.2007
Hey. If you are reading this then that means you have found my blog. It's not hard to miss though, but it's nice to see that someone is reading it. Not much to go on than what I've written over there.
I also try not to spoil any game. No matter if it's old or new.
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