Many people contend that more difficult games are necessary and that games are just meant to help you relax from a hard days work. Well, we have some thoughts on why harder games are better for the industry.
Gamers are no strangers to a good challenge, especially when you have a group as vast as ours. Because of how large our industry is, systems will come about to separate the wheat from the chaff. Everyone who knows anything about games is aware of games like Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Doom, Cuphead, and several others that are infamous for being challenging to downright brutal in terms of difficulty. But what if I told you that difficult games will keep the “Fakes” out of our communities. Those who come bringing dissent and seek to hold back the industry, those who demonize us.
I’m sure everyone remembers the E3 demo where a writer from Polygon couldn’t figure out Doom (it’s long… but it’s worth watching how terrible they are). Or the fiasco about the journalist who had massive trouble playing the Cuphead tutorial (it’s even worse than the Doom video). How about all those smug d-bags who shout “Git Gud” about Dark souls while they lounge in there hot pocket stained sweatpants.
We all know these games are hard at best, and a challenge at least. Which is why beating them is so satisfactory and rewarding. I’m sure everyone remembers the almost orgasmic feeling of the time we all beat Raam the Vacuous spider in the chalice dungeons. Or when we unlocked the monochrome mode in Cuphead. It was hard, it was fun, it was something most video game journalists can’t seem to do.
See when you write about video games, and especially reviews, you have two options.
- Take your time and clock in plenty of time to give a fair and balanced review.
- Speed run the fucker in a day to try and get clicks first.
The latter is typically preceded by the IGN and Polygon types. It’s also because of this dichotomy that review embargoes and Meta-Scores can be very helpful at times. Sadly, video games developers bonuses/royalties can even be based on these Metacritic scores. Which can become an issue when you look at look at the methods mentioned above.
However, if games started pandering to those sadistic tendencies true gamers have, well IGN might have to actually employ real gamers to do reviews.
Now, I know there are those casuals who play games for simplicity. A nice sit down relax and unwind game has they need… fortunately, there’s Nintendo and CoD for those of us who just want to let out some steam. But for those of us who want a game to break us down so we ask for more, there are the Souls games.
To be frank, games originated from a point of being inexcusably hard (think Kid Icarus and BattleToads, Ninja Gaiden and so on). It was only when gaming became “Mainstream” that we saw the slow retreat into a more “friendly gaming community”. Which is probably why so many people liked Dark Souls. It was the first time in almost 2 decades that a game made us really work for our candy. It separated the noobs and the childish from the hardcore try-hards. Finally a system to gauge skill that wasn’t based on spinning in a circle and killing a guy at point blank with a sniper rifle.
A big reason Coin-Drop got started was that Gaming Journalism was taken over by Candy-Colored yahoos, and weird Hot Topic rejects who equate Doom with CoD, and Mario Kart with… I don’t know, something worthy of note in this day and age. Now keep in mind, we’re not gaming journalists by any means, and we’re not trying to be. We just have a massive love for this industry, and we’re gamers first, so we’d like to bring you guys the honest news from the industry in a brutally honest way. You’ll never have to worry about one of us playing like the noobs above.
Now I’m sure you’re all asking me what the point of this is. Surely gamers know this. I mean who doesn’t know at least two people who have raged about From Software’s games at one point or another.
Well, there’s a method to my madness you see, I am but one schmuck. However, the people within our beloved industry are many. So since many of you may agree that harder is better, others yet will say that ease of play is better. These people are weak. So I like to think of it as sort of a litmus test. People who like games that challenge their skills are most likely true gamers, and people who are comfortable with the same stagnant shit… well they either think Polygon is a something of note, or they bought an NES last year on hype alone.
Gamers, it’s hard games that push us forward. It wasn’t until Demon’s Souls (yes, the REAL first DS game) came out that the industry really started to play with extra difficulty in games. You might throw games such as Ninja Gaiden 1, 2, and 3 on Xbox 360/PS3, or Catherine at me. And those are difficult games, but how many easy games were there at the time by comparison? Sure, games have harder difficulty options that ups the challenge, but that’s not the same thing, turning up the enemy Health while turning mine down is a crappy way to make a game harder. But that’s an article for another day (stay tuned).
In the end, it’s difficulty that drives our industry forward. So keep on working on the skills Coin-Droppers, you’ll need them where we’re going.
This opinion piece is written by Park Robinson and doesn’t necessarily represent those at Coin-Drop.com