Underneath my yellow skin

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What Elden Ring means to me

I love FromSoft games, but they don’t love me. Ian and I have a long-standing discussion about whether the games are meant for people like me or not. He thinks they are whereas I think they are not. He believes the struggle is the purpose and people who can beat bosses in one go are not going to get the full experience.

I see his point. There is nothing quite like struggling for hours against a boss and then finally beating that boss. I have never felt as exhilarated as I did when I beat Isshin, the Sword Saint of Sekiro. Normally, I swear and curse loudly as I beat a boss. With him, I set down the controller and had a little cry. I felt a sense of awe that I had done it, and I knew I would never feel it again.

Sadly, I knew i would never beat him again, either. Sekiro is so fucking hard. People keep saying once you click with the combat, it’s the easiest of the games. I never clicked with it because I was physically unable to deflect at the proper time. My reflexes are shit. I tried and tried and tried to get it right. I could not. My niece’s husband said, “I didn’t realize you could play the game without learning to deflect.” My response, “Oh, you can, but it’s not fun at all.”

I don’t think normies understand that I physically cannot do the deflect. Or rather, I can do it roughly 50% of the time and not on purpose. That meant I had to chip away at the health of every enemy instead of doing the deflects. I’m justifiably proud of myself for never parrying in any of the From games, but I would have if I could for that one.

It’s frustrating that people dismiss my experience with the game because they think it’s just a matter of ‘git gud’. “It’s a rhythm game!” Yeah, well, I suck at those, too. I love the game, Night in the Woods. It’s probably my favorite indie game of all time.  But I will never get the plat, and it’s in part because there is a rhythm game in it that you have to perfect, which I’ll never do.

Elden Ring was my anticipated game of 2022. I was hyped back when it was first announced–I think it was in 2019. Then, the pandemic happened. All hell broke loose. There was no more mention of Elden Ring. on Reddit, there was a really sweet thing where people made up their own areas of Elden Ring and made up enemies, weapons, etc. It was sustenance during a time when I doubted that Elden Ring would actually be released.


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