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