Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Disgruntled Monkey's Thought Log: Video Game Difficulty

Being a married man i'm through with all the ranting, but I still have plenty of thoughts, idea's and other random stuff that needs to join the internet in all it's glory. So thankfully two games have come along that have gotten me thinking about game difficulty. Spelunky and GTA 5.

Of course at this time GTA 5 is the hot new thing that everyone is going on about. Personally I'm enjoying the crap out of it as the story is really clicking with me, unlike the fourth installment. I could never really get behind Niko Bellic. For all his bemoaning about wanting a fresh start, the man sure did some horrible shit. Anyway this isn't about story this is about difficulty.


You see missions in the newest Grand Theft Auto have a new mechanic. If you fail the mission three times; or in bigger missions a particular part 3 times, you can skip the mission and continue on your way. Some may think that this is a bad thing and is making video games even more 'casual', however it really allows people who are coming to the game for the story to enjoy it. You don't have to skip it but frustration levels can be avoided.

It just seems like a way to make gaming a much more enjoyable experience, and isn't that what gaming is supposed to be? Entertaining. For all the gamers who want to be 'hardcore' they can just try and get a gold medal for everything. Why can't everyone be a winner?

On the other hand I can understand the attraction to games with a steep difficulty setting. This is where Spelunky lives. I deceptively easy game to get to grips with but to get anywhere you really need to practice and build up some serious platforming skills. It reminds me of all the time I spent on the original Super Mario Brothers and how I always tried to push myself further and further.


This very day I managed to accomplish something in Spelunky that seemed impossible, but by putting the time in I finally accomplished it. My brain rewarded me with a wonderful hit of Joy Joy Feelings, and I was ready to tackle the next Spelunky task.

It really makes you realize that while having making some games easier for a wider audience to enjoy, you need the harder games to give a challenge for people to over come. The two need to exist hand in hand to make the world an entertaining place for people.

So where is all this going? Well I like all types of games and difficulties, I can see why there are different types of difficulties out there and I don't need difficulties to define myself as a gamer I just want to be entertained.

Thought Over.

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