Really, this post should be called "The Case for Casuals", because that is why I am a little sad tonight. You see, I suck at Soulsborne games. Now, don't get me wrong; I enjoy them. But I have never gotten more than half way through one, despite buying literally every one that comes out. Tonight, that changes. Tonight I will not be buying The Surge 2, and I will skip Code:Vein, as well. I simply can no longer spend 50 to 60 bucks on games that aren't meant for filthy casuals like me.
I wasn't always a filthy casual. From about 22 to 33, all I did was play video games during my spare time. And for most of that 11 years (and my youth as well), there was no game too difficult. Hell, some of the games from the 80s and 90s that were well known for being "too hard" were just normal games to me. I didn't know Battletoads, some of the Mega Mans, The Lion King, the NES Ninja Gaidens, and a few others were considered super hard. With perserverance, I was able to play through the Ninja Gaiden that came out during the PS2/Xbox original era, and I mastered Morrowind despite it being my first RPG (I hilariously thought all RPGs were turn based until like 2005, not even kidding). And the first Demon Souls was hard, but I made it through about half way in a matter of a couple of days when I played it when my wife and I visited my brother in law for a week.
But something has happened to me! My skills are dwindling. I partly blame my late discovery of MMORPGs, in 2006. I played the snot out of Phantasy Star Universe until 2009. Then I dated a woman who played World of Warcraft, and Champions Online was set to come out later that year. So, those 2 games became my video game life for about 2 years. Then, I met my wife on Trion's criminally neglected MMO, "Rift". In short, from 2006 to about 2013, despite buying every game that caught my fancy, I was mostly hooked on MMORPGs.
I saw my skills dwindle in other genres, too. I went from being at or near the top in shooters (both 3rd and 1st person) to finishing between the middle of the pack or near the bottom. I simply no longer have the time to git gud and I don't have the talent to be out of practice and still be good. Therein lies the problem with the Soulsborne games.
I would care less if these games weren't so cool looking. The settings and atmoshpheres, the armors, the bosses; man, all of it. They are so good for the most part. Of course there were some misses, too. Lords of the fallen, for the 4 hours or so I spent with it, and the 10 or so hours spent with the first The Surge game, weren't that fun. The games certainly lacked polish; though both had cool atmospheres and ideas behind them. And then there are games like Nioh and Sekiro. Both Nioh and Sekiro were a blast to play. I got half way through Nioh, but Sekiro's first bosses were too much for me. Remnant from the Ashes actually didn't seem that difficult from the brief time I played it, but I know it gets harder as you progress. The shooting was just boring to me. It played like Gears of War if Gears of War was made by college students. And yes, I know it's actually a hit. (Also, giving PWI money? Really? Screw that terrible company)
So, before I continue, let me make it clear that I am not demanding these companies cater to me with regards to difficulty. Do I need to say that again? Because I guarantee someone will comment that I am being entitled and demanding a company cater to me. I am not. I am just humbly begging them to instead. But there is this odd push back from gamers over this issue. Why? Why do people feel like their sad lack of will power should be reason enough to take options from others? Whether we are talking DLC, loot boxes, customization options, skill bloat in MMORPGs, fast travel, or difficulty, entitled babies complain when people have options that the said entitled babies don't want. If you can't handle a game having easier difficulties instead of you just sucking it up and playing the harder modes while filthies like me play medium or easy, you shouldn't be gaming; you should be seeking help for your weak will power. And if you are demanding options be taken from others because you don't like the options, you are a narcissist and should be seeking help for that as well.
Look, I have a full time career and 4 kids all under the age of 7. I know that isn't any one's fault but my own, but us normies keep the world turning, whether people want to admit it or not. And before all the liars who say they have 2 jobs and 9 kids tell me how they manage to play games for 8 hours or more a day, please spare us all the cringey-ness of such pointless deceit. The bottom line is that there is an entire world of games out there that we, the biggest demographic of gamers, are being kept from playing because of real life.
I am not about to compare my healthy fortunate self to a handicapped individual in regards to why we can't play certain games, but I will make the comparison that there is a push to make games accessible to every one, and there is no reason to exclude people like me. Again, because I know someone will make the dishonest claim I am being entitled, I am not saying any company must cater to me, or any one else for that matter. Just being hopeful. And I am not alone.
I have this conversation with my fellow old fogeys all the time. I see it on other blogs, on gamefaqs.com posts, and in video game groups on social media. All we are asking for is an easier difficulty setting for those of us who don't have 8 to 20 hours a day to spend playing games. We want to experience these RPGs too. I applaud these companies for sticking to their belief in making these difficult, niche games and not bowing down to pressure to make them easier, but what is so damn bad about giving us the option? These companies are losing out on potential millions. I'm sure some will praise these companies for not selling their souls (pun intended) for money, but at the end of the day, I still suck at soulsborne games and would love to be able to enjoy them.
So maybe you, the loyal readers I don't have yet, can explain to me why we shouldn't have options. Is it compensation for real life failures? Revenge for being bullied? What is it that makes people believe that if you can't handle seeing an option and not selecting it, then I shouldn't be able to play Bloodborne on an easier setting?
Thank you for reading, and happy gaming!