Ever since Dark Souls went gold, I started to reflect on how I feel about extremely difficult games.

Obviously, if a game feels like a chore, then it's just not entertaining. That particular adventure isn't for you. At the same time, it won't be a chore for other people; they'll adore the challenge and embrace it.

But I'm talking about the gray area. Even those who love tough games will admit to often being frustrated when trying to conquer a super tough adventure. They'll break controllers, scream at the screen, and shake with rage. They will happily admit this because when it's all over, they'll bask in the glow of the reward. And that's what they play for: the end result. Part of the game was undoubtedly a chore and getting pissed off was part of the "fun."

I'm familiar with this philosophy. I just had to beat Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox. I just had to beat Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening , before they changed the Normal difficulty to NORMAL in the Special Edition. Yeah, if I had known I was actually playing on Hard, I probably wouldn't have killed myself doing it. But even so, I know what it's like; I know what it's like to have cramped fingers, white knuckles, and sweat on the brow. I know what it's like to throw your hands up in despair dozens of times when playing a game, only to revel in the finished production many hours later.

Thing is, I just can't do that anymore. These days, if a game even starts to feel like a chore, I stop playing. And it isn't because I don't like a challenge; it isn't because I don't have the patience or skill any longer, and it isn't because I don't have the time (although the latter comes into play more often these days). It's simply because I currently view gaming strictly as relaxing entertainment. I play games to enjoy the experience; to unwind and indulge. I just can't adopt the hardcore mentality; I've left it behind in favor of the warm, fuzzy feeling I get when playing a great game.

I don't need to put myself through hell to achieve a singular, rewarding sensation. I have no interest in going through hell anymore. I just don't see it as entertainment as I once did.

Related Game(s): Dark Souls

Subscribe
Notify of
82 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
PasteNuggs
PasteNuggs
9 years ago

I'll play certain games if they are chorish if they offer me something else I enjoy such as a great story. I just finished playing God Of War and some parts of that are chorish but the story is great and the puzzles are fun but sometimes I felt the combat got the best of me. So I would quit for a little bit and come back latter and it would seem I could get through it easier once I got calmed down.

Jdogtoocool
Jdogtoocool
9 years ago

I don't know about that because Gow was a rollercoaster ride from beginning to end but I think that what Ben is talking about has to do a lot with age and I'm using myself as an example.

I'll come back to this

fatelementality
fatelementality
9 years ago

For some reason, GTAIV felt like a chore to me. I played and beat 3, Vice City, and San Andreas, but when it came to IV with all of the cell phone calls and dying (ALOT), I just gave up after about two weeks with the game. This is coming from a person who has beaten Ninja Gaiden on Very Hard and all of the God of War games on their hardest difficulty levels. Guess it just depends on how bad you want to see the story develop. Personally, I traded in Demon's Souls after a month of dying and getting nowhere. Don't plan on buying Dark Souls either, not that it doesn't look gorgeous. I just don't have that kind of patience with games anymore. I used to love puzzle & strategy games, but now the amount of time it takes to build a base only to have it ripped apart just eats at me. Armored Core as well, used to love 'em. That was the original AC dammit 🙂

PasteNuggs
PasteNuggs
9 years ago

Ya I never finished GTAIV either. I was expecting more in the line of San Andreas/Vice City but was very disappointed. Still looking forward to GTAV though.

TheCanadianGuy
TheCanadianGuy
9 years ago

i never felt like IV was a "chore" i've finished it 4 times & plan on a fifth. but i can see why some people were disappointed. i was a little to at first but it ended up winning me over.


Last edited by TheCanadianGuy on 9/22/2011 10:15:17 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

GTAIV was too repetitive for me, that's a different kind of chore. "Go kill, then come back" okay.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

I beat it twice. =)

TrophyHunter
TrophyHunter
9 years ago

I beat it but in the last missions i were just rushing and ignoring those annoying calls

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

"Go kill, then come back"

Yeeeaaaaah…that sums up about 85% of the games on the shelf. 😉

TheCanadianGuy
TheCanadianGuy
9 years ago

i actually liked the story related calls i felt it really made it authentic & real. but all the calls from roman wanting to go bowling….. yea that got to me

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Play Saint's Row 2 or GTA San Andreas, there's a lot more variety to the missions than assassination. GTAIV relied on that for most of its missions.

TheCanadianGuy
TheCanadianGuy
9 years ago

i've played san andreas about 300 + hours of my life! GTA pretty much defined my teenage years. sad but true xD

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

Are you saying you're not enjoying Dark Souls?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Haven't played it yet.

OPHIDIAN
OPHIDIAN
9 years ago

what aspect of DS make you feel that way?

I completely agree with you though, but the first game that made me feel it will surprise you all: Uncharted 1.

[SPOILER] When you first fight with those zombie like smeagles. I really couldn't be bothered anymore, but still played to see the ending.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I've definitely come into the same category, though it's hard to admit that that part of my gaming identity is dead meat.

You never really know what's going to grab you and what's going to leave you frustrated though. I've made my discouragement at puzzle games known but I love Catherine no matter how many times I die. To me it's less a puzzle game and more of a critical thinking game. I suppose someone could see a Souls game the same way where I see it as gamer abuse.

TheAgingHipster
TheAgingHipster
9 years ago

Methinks Dark Souls might be taking Ben's lunch money….? 😉

I feel the same way most of the time. I play games for entertainment and story, and if the game is just soul-crushingly difficult, that can really detract from the fun factor. But, on the other hand, there's something about the D-Souls IP that makes me keep coming back for more abuse. Certain games just bring about the masochist in us all.

Warrior Poet
Warrior Poet
9 years ago

I really love a perplexing challenge as long as it's not repetitive and boring. I also don't like challenges that are too easy. Say, Uncharted 2 was an awesome game, but it wasn't hard in any way. I only died twice, I think – when a missile blindsided me and when I died to see the Game Over screen.

I think a lot of games should be harder and require strategy, timing, etc to beat. I'm fine with point and clicks as well as ridiculous dungeon crawling. A hard game that sucks is no good, but a hard game that's worth it is a different story. Valkyrie Profile 2 isn't hard most of the time but there are some real difficulty spikes in some of the boss fights…awesome.

Everyone here knows I love Final Fantasy, but I always thought it was lame that you can defeat every single enemy the same way: Attack, figure out gimmick if applicable, heal, attack some more. I'd love a hard mode.

I'm thinking of Alundra 1 right now, lol

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

FFXIII must have really bothered you, same gimmick for every single monster.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Played in Crushing mode, Uncharted 2 is quite difficult.

TrophyHunter
TrophyHunter
9 years ago

Uncharted 2 is difficult but not too much to get frustrated

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Alundra is one of my favorite games of all time. But I needed the guide for all 50 Gilded Falcons, and some of those puzzles were IMPOSSIBLE without help. LOL

BIGRED15
BIGRED15
9 years ago

I remember as a kid the original spyro felt like a chore lol. I don't want to sound like a punk but a majority of games don't really challenge me anymore. The original resistance had its moments. When it comes to challenge though, I gotta say, rpgs do it very well. That's kind of why I feel I need to give this dark souls a try. Of the 30+ games I own none have that knuckle breaking difficulty that other games tend to have.
That's why I play online I think. I'll do Sp for a more relaxing venture, but the true challenge is with the multiplayer for me

SmokeyPSD
SmokeyPSD
9 years ago

I love great challenges, it instantly makes me feel like I'm playing what games should be like. Engaging in a very direct way. Not in a FPS hard way though, strategic thinking, hard logic, unforgiving or realistic physics is my idea of great challanges and what I relish.

ZenChichiri
ZenChichiri
9 years ago

I still enjoy a good challenge. It actually sucks me into the game more if it has a decent enough challenge to it because if a game is too easy, it doesn't feel like your character is accomplishing anything. It doesn't feel like an experience. If the game's story is portraying the character as facing these tough challenges while you yourself are not utilizing your skills to the fullest, then the game feels flat. If I like the game, I like to be challenged in it. If I don't like the game, I won't care as much at being pulled into the world.

That being said if your skill level is low and easy mode feels like a challenge, well that's the perfect mode for you. If normal mode is a walk in the park, then enjoy the game on hard even if it gives you a little grief. Saving the world should not be an easy task!

That's my philosophy towards games anyways. I respect different opinions on this of course, but this is how I approach a game while playing it.

For example let's say we have a classic turn based RPG like Final Fantasy 6. I didn't want to spend time to level up my characters much because I wanted to feel challenged. When taking down Kefka, it feels like all of your characters have to contribute towards an act of taking down a God. With this style, you can't just get by with a couple powerful characters that will be finished with this tremendous task before dinner gets cold. I feel it brings me into the game more.

I know that was an old example, but it's the first that comes to mind.


Last edited by ZenChichiri on 9/22/2011 11:48:36 PM

Ignitus
Ignitus
9 years ago

Sounds reasonable. I would do that if it were the case.

I guess I still have a few years left of hardcore gaming then. 🙂

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
9 years ago

I've broken 3 controllers, and 2 playstations 2(Threw controllers which then causes playstation 2's to start making weird noises while turned on, but they still worked…) BUT…I would win right after…the playstation 2 learned it didn't like getting hit so it'd let me win 🙂

TrophyHunter
TrophyHunter
9 years ago

lol

I'm glad those PS2's learned who is the man in charge

BIGRED15
BIGRED15
9 years ago

Lol tough love…

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

Hmmmmm…..

(Note to self) Don't ever buy any used consoles & controllers from Legendary Wolfish.

MysteriousMagus
MysteriousMagus
9 years ago

I beaten DMC3(normal ed.) and DMC4 on all difficulty levels and I am proud. Though I sucked at Ninja Gaiden never even beat it once. >_<

Russell Burrows
Russell Burrows
9 years ago

But todays hard games are just a click away from an all telling guide or FAQ makeing things easy.

Much harder back in the day trying to do a game mission with no internet guides, no hints on internet since the internet had not yet reached my neck of the woods.

I.e. I remember Command and Conquer Covert Ops where I was trying to do a mission and the only "help" was to try the missions over and over for hours or days until at last!! I got the pattern on how to do the mission.

I do remember seeing ads in the back of game art that said "hints call 1-800-dumb fool" to get hints for "only" 2.99 a minute! no way!!! was I going to pay that when the solution was to retry a mission for the 99th time in the hope of getting it right.

I try to avoid any and all hints, tips or game guides in favor of just playing the game.

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

If a game feels like a chore it feels like a chore, and since games are supposed to be entertainment I've always, since day one, stopped playing a game when it's not fun anymore.

One consequence of that is that there's very few games in my life that I have beaten, compared to the total amount of games I've touched over the years.

Another consequence is that I find it so hard to start over again with a game that I've already beaten. Lately there's been quite a few games where I wanted to do that (in itself a sure sign of the quality of the games these days), but once started I found it so incredibly boring to know exactly what would happen next.

There are exceptions though: That bloody first boss in DE Human Revolution. God damn how many times I died there. Had it not been such a cool game I'd thrown it out of the window.
I did get past it though, although I am not proud as to how I did it: I cheated. I'm not proud of it, but so be it. I just had to get past it.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/23/2011 2:05:36 AM

Kevin555
Kevin555
9 years ago

I fist pumped the air like an uber leet nerd when i beat Ninja Gaiden II on Master Ninja mode. After a sh!t load of Game Over screens, man tears, enough filthy words that would make a priest turn in his grave, crushed controllers & a leaky pus orb on my thumb by the end of it.

But the sheer relief & gaming accomplishment was satisfying. I love a challenge & Tecmo's Ninja gave me just that. Pumped for NG3!

frylock25
frylock25
9 years ago

enslaved was a chore to play it and i never finished it because of that.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

You think so? I thought it was a pretty standard action/adventure model. It certainly wasn't difficult.

frylock25
frylock25
9 years ago

i didnt enjoy the combat at all and the controls felt to clunky. there were parts that were kind of fun but i felt like the combat ruined the game for me. i really tried to like the game but just could not get into it. i had it from gamefly for like 2 months and just never played it. id say i was like at least 60% through it but just could not finish it. maybe one day i will try to finish it but not high on the list.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I liked it, and it was over in like 5 hours so no biggie.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

@frylock
That's fair

@World
It took me a fair bit longer than 5 hours, but I tried to collect every single orb… the rpg completionist in me… I went through it a second time and managed to get everything I missed. But even then, it was all over in less than a week.

Gordo
Gordo
9 years ago

LA Noire was a chore for me. Drive somewhere, look around for some clues, run after someone and the drive back somewhere some more. Traded it in half way through when I thought "not again" all the time!

Demons Souls. Put 50 hours into it, got the cr*p kicked out of me and only got half way through it but loved it! Not game enough to get the sequel mind you!

Dead Island I'm just loving driving around running over zombies. Never gets old!

Final Fantasy XIII. Now that was a chore!!!

I think I'm too old for "grinding" anymore. My gameplaying attention span has decreased inversely in relation to my age, marital status, salary and number of kids!

___________
___________
9 years ago

hard games never have been a chore for me ive always enjoyed them.
some of the hardest games released, ninja gaiden, DMC, or even the more recent splatterhouse are some of my favourite games!
though some games just bore the f*ck out of me, R2, GOW3, socom 4 for example i cant be f*cked finishing them.
i always force myself to finish them in hopes they will change, or at least i can say i saw it through.

CrusaderForever
CrusaderForever
9 years ago

SPLATTERHOUSE!! Now that was a game! Demon's Souls was very hard but so was SPLATTERHOUSE! What a challenge that was. All I have to say is Challenge Shadow of the Wickerman! WOW! Very difficult but ultimately satisfying game. Look, I respect SPLATTERHOUSE so much that each time I type the name it's all in caps! 🙂

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Splatterhouse was challenging and very fun, people focused way too much on a couple of drawbacks that most other games get a pass on.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
9 years ago

I do not mind a challenge, but when games just thrive of being difficult like Ninja Gaiden or Deamon Souls, that don't impres me much.

Deamon Souls, I remember starting it, the game was just so bland, I chose my characters class and he had a spear, he would lunge forward to attack the enemy. However, if the angle was slightly off he would just strike to the side of the enemy and get ripped to bits. I know what I wanted to do an I am am sure the character too wanted to hit the enemy but due to the lousy controls and slow animation of my strike it became tedious. I know some calsses can let you strike horizontally with your sword, but how am I spose to know that justing the game fresh?

I find a lot of the trophies in games now just a chore, like GTAIV shoot 200 pigeons or Resistance 2, Kill 10'000 people online. But, it is really easy, you just have to be prepared to go out of your way to bother do it.

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

If I'm failing because I'm doing the wrong thing(s), then I consider the difficulty "fair". Splinter Cell is a perfect example of this sort of difficulty.

If I'm failing because I need to perform the exact same sequence of actions perfectly in order to succeed, then I consider the difficulty "cheap". Old-school quarter-eaters exhibit this sort of difficulty.

I stop playing games when they're cheap. Then again, I get no satisfaction from finally "beating" some cheap section of a game, just relief.

IMO it should take no more than 3 attempts to pass a certain challenge…certainly not over 100.

In fact, I think it's kind of ridiculous that characters in games can die multiple times over the course of a game, when they don't actually die within the story. Does Indy die dozens of times during Raiders?

In other words, I'm 100% in favor of easy games.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 9/23/2011 5:43:29 AM

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

I agree with your two fail definitions! To fail cause I did wrong is fine, to fail cause I did not follow a dictated chain of actions in perfect timing is different. That's what totally ruined Heavenly Sword for me.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

That's why I like Catherine, if I die because I made the wrong move then that's my fault, if I die because a game is too retarded to know what's up that's the game's fault.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Well, of course there's a difference between challenging and cheap. I don't even bother with the cheap ones. 🙂

friction
friction
9 years ago

Lets see broke two freaking controllers on demon souls…

Hopefully I'll be able to control myself, I don't want to have to spend 150 on new controllers.

Sigh I do love the aggravation every now and then, games have become so easy, respawning right where you were after you died.

NoSmokingBandit
NoSmokingBandit
9 years ago

I rather enjoy difficult games. I dont play a lot of games any more, but when i do i enjoy a good challenge. Ninja Gaiden is always a favorite of mine, and i logged more hours into Demon's Souls than any other game i've owned. If the game is too easy i feel like i'm just going through the motions instead of actually completing something.

The thing i loved about Demon's Souls is that its completely fair. If i died its because i wasnt good enough or wasnt paying close enough attention. It was never a cheap death and that kept me coming back for more.


Last edited by NoSmokingBandit on 9/23/2011 6:28:42 AM