So. The quest to find the One True Game* is not going well. I’ve reached the point in The Ringed City (Dark Souls III DLC) that I like the least. Hm. Well. I actually don’t like any of it, but the part that is the least enthusiastic for me to slog through. The end part, is what I’m saying. Despite me loving the last boss, Gael, even though I hate fighting him because of his hyper-defenses, but he’s a spectacular boss, I just find this part of the DLC tedious. It’s the part of running by Midir for the first time and fighting him on the bridge to the end.
I hate the Midir fight. I hate the Half Spears fight. I hate fighting the Gael fight (even though I love the fight itself and the lore). I just–hate everything about it. Yes, I could just skip it and go into NG+ because I have nothing to prove (have killed all the bosses in this game solo). Will I? No. The completionist in me won’t stand for it. I also have to kill the Champion’s Gravetender & Gravetender Greatwolf, which is not that hard as a Pyro, but I really loathe this boss fight. Mostly, I hate the Champion’s Gravetender because he’s bullshit, but anyway, I don’t want to do it. Nobody likes this fight, and I can never get any summons for it, so I’ve left it for now. It’s in the first DLC. There are ways to cheese it (which I’ve just looked up, and they all involve arrows). People are really smart and creative, I must say. I can’t even imagine how they thought up some of this cheese.
Anyhow, Dark Souls III is the most replayable of the Souls games to me, but I really don’t like the DLC. I’ve explained why in past posts so I’ll leave it at that. At any rate, it’s the reason I haven’t played the game in the past few days. I just don’t want to deal with the bullshit.
Side Note: I was talking to someone in a stream chat about The Surge because they asked if it ever got tedious, and I said candidly that the levels were very samesy and that it dragged on too long. I also said that the bosses weren’t that memorable and that it was hard to switch between weapon ‘classes’ because you gained proficiency when you used the weapon. Which, I hastened to add, I liked in general. You *should* get proficiency when you use a weapon. And, because I like to grind in games like this, I was able to get my second class (twin-rigged) nearly the same level as my first (single-rigged). In addition, there were implants that could bump up the proficiency of the different classes, so that helped.
Continuing the side note, the other person thanked me for being so honest, and I was taken by surprise. Why wouldn’t I be honest about a game? Stanning for…well, anything or anyone is beyond my ken. Liking something doesn’t mean thinking it’s perfect in my mind, and I don’t identify with anything or anyone as a core to my identity. I liked The Surge a great deal, much more than I thought I would because I hated Lords of the Fallen, but I am well aware that it is far from a perfect game. It’s too long and feels padded in the last third. The environments blend from one to the next. The main character is bland and boring. The shortcuts are too many and miss the point of being a shortcut. The enemies are not varied, and, for the most part, not that interesting (in and of themselves. Chopping off limbs never got old). The bosses save two are not memorable, and one of the memorable ones is memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Despite all that, I had a great time hacking my way through it. I liked the tension between carrying my tech scraps with me and banking them. I liked finding new weapons and testing them out. I liked how crunchy it felt to womp someone with, say, a heavy-duty Scrapglaive of the Cat v2.0 (which you get from killing the best boss in the game fulfilling a very specific condition). By the way, I like that you can have a special kill on bosses, but you still get the base weapon from them if you don’t fulfill it. I liked the DLC quite a lot. I liked figuring out my build and tweaking with it. I liked the combat, even though I did not do it well. It was a fun game, and I have heard that The Surge 2 is even better, so I’m hyped for that.
Back to finding another game. I tried Rogue Legacy again, and while I liked it well enough, it didn’t click for me. I hated that as a mage, I started with a fourth of my total maximum HP, and the increased MP didn’t compensate. There was no reason not to start as a tank, which took out a lot of the choice factor. The platforming was fidgety, which is not what you want in a platformer, needless to say. And the traits, while amusing at first, didn’t really change much. Several of them only had aesthetic value, and the ones that actually had impact on gameplay ranged from irritating to minimally useful. I played for maybe two hours before uninstalling. It just wasn’t scratching that itch for me.
I decided to try Resident Evil 4 because I had it in my pile of shame. I’ve never played a Resi game, and they are highly exalted in the world of gaming. Plus, Leon is easy on the eyes, so why not? I had a feeling I wouldn’t like it much, so I went in with very low expectations. How did it turn out? About what I expected. I don’t mind spoiling it for you because it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Anyway, first I had to fiddle with the options to make it fit my screen. This is an old game–checks Google–released in 2005. I have no nostalgia for it, and I have found that when I try to return to beloved old games (beloved for other people, obviously), they leave me cold.
So! Resi 4. Played it with the controller because that’s what it was made for when it was released. First thing I noticed (after a cutscene) was that tank controls/fixed camera is BOLLOCKS!** I just could not wrap my mind around the fact that I had to turn my character around before I could walk since I have never played a game with tank controls before.
Side Note II: Ian and I were talking about the Resi 2 remake, and I asked if there was an option for modern controls. He said yes, which was a relief. I’m intrigued with Resi 2, but no way in HELL would I play it if it only had tank controls.
In addition, aiming the gun was awkward. There’s a reason why FPS games are usually kb/m, and it’s because it’s hard to aim a gun with a controller. Full disclosure: I have spatial issues which means aiming a gun in general is not easy for me. It was just worse in this game.
I made it through the tutorial area and the first proper area (I think. Basically the first two farm areas) without being killed, which I’m proud of. I quit after that because this just wasn’t my jam. To be fair, I knew it wouldn’t be when I started the game, but I was hoping that it would be a good enough game for me to soldier through my own disinterest. It wasn’t, and I have no guilt about quitting where I did. I can see how it might have been a mind-blowing game at the time, but it hasn’t aged well with time. Or at least the game mechanics haven’t.
I understand being nostalgic for things from the past, but oftentimes, you need the context to appreciate the content. Some years ago, I was on a kick of experiencing things from my childhood. Most of them were not as great as I remembered them. I’ll give two examples. My favorite cereal as a kid was Cookie-Crisp. I think it was because it felt naughty to be having ‘cookies’ for breakfast, and my mother did not care for junk food at all. Whatever it is, I tried it again as an adult and was severely disappointed.
My other example was a ginger candy my mom would buy us whenever we went to an Asian grocery store. It came in a distinctive green and pink box, you could eat the rice paper it was wrapped in, and I looked forward to it eagerly. Trying it as an adult, I made a face and didn’t finish the box. Again, I think it had more to do with the fact that it was a treat my mother allowed us to have than the actual product, but it was something best left in my past.
I would say the same for some games like Resi 4. It was something that was groundbreaking at the time, but it’s not now. Since I don’t have the nostalgia for it, I have no desire to play it (at least until the inevitable remaster) and that is just fine with me.
*That is not and will not be (at least in the near future) Dark Souls.
**I have watched way too many British YouTubers for my own good.