This will be a quick-tangent post, because I’ve had nothing but weird nights of sleep all week and there’s apparently not enough coffee in the world. [UPDATE: There is plenty of coffee in the world, and I might’ve had too much, as it turns out.]
Yesterday’s post was about asking whether Dark Souls II would still be considered a fun game if everything about the game stayed the same but the difficulty was turned down a notch. It wasn’t necessarily meant to be rhetorical, but as this blog has little reach and nobody comments here, it might’ve come off that way. Still, I’d said that I intended to give it a second chance, and that I’d made a wee bit of progress, and that I intended to keep pushing on for a little bit – at least until Infamous Second Son became available to download.
Last night I popped the game in… and rage-quit about 15 minutes later, immediately sealing it up in the Gamefly envelope to prevent me from snapping the disc in half, and then, as I quietly seethed on the couch and engaged in some light retail therapy on the PS4 store*, I started to feel a little sad that it might very well have been the last new game I play on my Xbox360**.
There is clearly an audience for the sort of masochistic experience that Dark Souls II promises, and to them I say: go have at it. And to myself I say: you are not one of them, stop falling for it.
* There’s been a promotion on the PS store where if you spend $60, you get $10 in credit. Being that I’m probably going to do a bit more digital downloading on the PS4 in the coming months, I figured it was worth investing in. I wasn’t sure if my digital pre-order of Infamous counted or not, but in any event I was pissed off about Dark Souls and I had some extra cash, so I bought Strider, Rayman Legends, and Steamworld Dig. I’d played the demo of Strider and liked it; I’d already played Rayman Legends on 360 and PC, but figured why not play it again; and I’d heard lots of great things about Steamworld Dig, and that brought me up past the $60 threshold.
** I’ve already written my long goodbye to the Xbox 360, but at the time I was still somewhat invested in GTA V Online and making vague promises to see the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3. Point being, I hadn’t yet disconnected either of the last-gen consoles, nor had I acquired a new one. Now, though, I’m thoroughly invested in the PS4, and a quick glance of my Gamefly rental queue reveals zero 360 games on the list. This makes me sad; I wish I’d given it a fonder farewell. Again, I wasn’t necessarily expecting to fall madly in love with Dark Souls II, but I’d heard enough about it being more approachable for newcomers and so I didn’t expect to hate it so violently, so quickly. So I guess South Park will go down as the last 360 game I finish.
I may have to start doing a feature where I revisit all the 360 games I still own, if only to say goodbye to them one last time before tucking them back in to their bookshelves. (And it now occurs to me that, since we anticipate moving within the next year, it very well might be the last time those games are still within easy reach; our move to the suburbs might require my outdated games to hang out in boxes for a little while.)
Games are weird. One game is too short; another game takes 10 hours before you get to the good stuff.
— Jeremy Voss (@CouchShouts) March 19, 2014
This (poorly-written) tweet was inspired from a conversation I’d had earlier in the day with my buddy Gred. We’d been talking about Dark Souls and Final Fantasy XIII and other such games where the overall impressions we’d been hearing were “It starts out slow, but after 12 or 13 hours it starts getting really good.” And I just found it hilarious that gamers, as a whole, can freak out about Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes being beatable in 10 minutes, and also that Gone Home is only 2 hours long but costs $20; and yet we are also generally OK to waste a dozen hours of our life just to get to the good part of a game.
I’m really only posting this because I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention Gred’s fantastic Dark Souls comment (in response to my impressions):
“…i’ve always had the impression that the difficulty was barring my access to ingenious game design, when, apparently, it was apparently just a fancier flappy bird.”