Monday, April 4, 2016

I don't get it

I played nothing all weekend. Saturday night was spent editing, which is done for you people, and Sunday night was spent drinking and watching Wrestlemania, which is done for me. A weekend well spent all around but no progress was made on getting good at fighting games or on shrinking the pile of discs sitting in front of my television.

And then there was the challenge that Chance leveled at me during the podcast.

He really wants me to give Salt and Sanctuary a try, to the point that he is willing to send the cash to fund this unwinnable endeavour. The list of compelling reasons is long and apt, but my caveat remains: what is the death penalty and why is it there? Better yet, why is it mandatory?

I would play Dark Souls or Bloodborne if there was an easy mode. The games have a lot to say but I am not convinced that their inane difficulty is integral to the experience. If I want to play the game as a walking simulator, too see the sights and be depressed by their brooding atmosphere, why not let me? Why is beating my head against a digital wall a requirement? Why are they gatekeeping their own content, content that a lot of time, effort and money was spent on?

The same is true for Salt and Sanctuary. Metroid-vania RPG sounds delightful. The closest we have gotten to that recently were Guacamelee and Ori, both of which were excellent. Ori was even on the more difficult side of things with platforming segments that rivaled the nastiest of Rayman's offerings, but the difference was that the only penalty for dying was being sent back to the beginning of the section.

Not hard core enough for a Souls game (or a Souls-like, goddamn, it's a genre now). No, you have to lose your accumulated macguffins on top of losing physical progress. This kind of draconian penalty made sense years ago when games could be completed in an hour. They were a way to disguise a lack of content. Lack of content is decidedly not a problem with Souls game, so why the arbitrary barrier?

The best I can come up with is that 'it's their thing.' It's their hook, the thing that makes them different from all the other gorgeous, dark, atmospheric adventure games that have Lovecraft running through their veins.

Oh wait, there aren't any? Hm.

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