Video Game Difficulty is a hot topic these days as a new barrage of games spotlighting difficulty as one of their core values continues to arrive. Whether we’re talking brutal platformers trying to emulate the success of ‘I Wanna Be the Boshy’ or the action adventure sub-genre known as ‘Soulsborne’… difficulty is being brought into the spotlight more than ever.
There are many different ways to make a difficult game. Both Souls and Boshy are among the first games mentioned if you ask people about challenging games, yet the two take a completely different approach to difficulty. What I want to do here is explain the way I look at a game’s difficulty, and touch on why I find some difficult games fun while others atrocious. So for those of you out there who keep asking me why I dislike Dark Souls… here’s your answer.
Let’s be honest… Tales of Zestiria was a huge let down. Bandai Namco (or Namco Bandai or whatever they’re calling themselves this week) had done a fantastic job on the series recently, making some of the best JRPGs I’d ever played and then Zestiria came out with its anticlimax of a finish, awkward combat, and disappointing core protagonists, reminding us all that what goes up must come down. Then I heard about Berseria, I saw trailers of it and it looked promising.
I kept hearing tidbits about the game that seemed good. It has a darker tone? Intriguing. The protagonist is female? Nice change of pace. But my hope wilted when I found out it took place in the distant past of Zestiria. I began to fear that we were in for another let-down. I still wanted to believe it would be good, that we would be going back to the greatness the last installments had featured… but I had my doubts. Now, the question then becomes: were my doubts realized?