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One-Liner: The Hard Way on Game and Player

One-Liner: The Hard Way

Alexandr Beran  //  March 21, 2010

Is gaming your escape from adversity, or your indulgence in it?


he worst crime a game can commit is making one feel as though they're going through the motions. RPGs like Blue Dragon and Magna Carta 2 introduce a plethora of items and spell-buffs but lack the challenge to necessitate anything but the attack option and X-button. If a complex system is in the game, make learning it fundamental to the experience. Offering a harder difficulty option also works (to be fair, Blue Dragon eventually did just that via DLC).

I love a fair challenge. I get excited over games that require a thoughtful strategy to making it out alive. Time is a valuable commodity, but if that's the sole commitment needed for passing levels then count me out. I prefer to be on the edge of my chair analyzing where I went wrong than to be rewarded for just showing up. When a non-interactive story unfolds, I set the controller down to enjoy it because, after all, I earned it and need time to dry my palms.

I understand that some folks get over-stimulated at their jobs and would rather enjoy a breezy experience with their games. Sadly, my day job does little for my competitive nature, so when I get home it's the opposite for me. What's it for you?

Michael Ubaldi // March 21, 2010 // 11:12 AM

I don't necessarily need competition as pure as a duel, but I enjoy team contests greatly. In FPS titles, especially, custom games with friends bore me. Against strangers, there is none of the deference or familiarity — yet a great potential for antagonism — that makes for a sincere match-up of skill and ambition.

Jessica Johnson // March 21, 2010 // 12:52 PM

While I love variety, I don't enjoy games that require very little in the way of effort. Even the simpler ones (i.e. Tetris or Centipede) can evoke my competitive nature.

If I don't want that to happen, I just watch television or read a book. :]

Jai // March 21, 2010 // 4:34 PM

Mere ease becomes boring, though becoming stuck can also be frustrating, especially in an RPG.

Given that I usually choose less optimal classes in such, I've occasionally tuned down the difficulty out of frustration. Or lack of skill. Perhaps both.

Alexandr Beran // March 21, 2010 // 5:18 PM

Great responses! The West has been fast to make switching difficulty options mid-game the norm, and I kinda miss the days when choosing Hard at the start of a new game carried a burdon-like weight to it.

Also of note are achievements/trophies and how they usually correspond to Hard difficulties netting the most reward. It's always nice to have that extra incentive when pushing yourself.

But, you're right, getting stuck is lame.

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