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MajorMitch

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MajorMitch • 

Nice list! Have you watched the Castlevania Netflix show? Excellent use of Bloody Tears in season 2!!

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MajorMitch

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MajorMitch • 

I used to love Smash Bros... but I'm not sure I do anymore!

Regardless, good list! I like the touch of adding music.

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MajorMitch

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Hmm, I probably need to play WarioWare don't I?

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MajorMitch

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I agree with a lot of what's said here, and that Giant Bomb is moving more towards a site focused on personalities streaming games, which I'm a bit mixed on. I still love the staff and I like a number of those streams, while other times I feel like I just don't care. Has that caused the community to engage and write less? Or I wonder if the community has gotten older and/or has less time to write, regardless of what Giant Bomb has become? Maybe a bit of both. I know for me as I've gotten older, I've had less time for playing games, writing about games, and reading what others have written about games and having discussions about it all. All of which I miss sometimes. But that time is also filled with other positive life developments, so it's definitely not a bad thing either. I wonder if many of the folks who used to dedicate more time to writing and engaging with the community here have similarly had less time as they grow older and have other life priorities. Giant Bomb's been around for 10 years, that's a lot of time for life changes. My life was so, so different in 2008 from what it was in 2013 and then from what it is now. I still write some when I can, but it's definitely less, and at least for me it's due to my life changes more than anything Giant Bomb has done.

Regardless, reading this made me feel a bit somber. I do miss reading everything people wrote, including you and everyone else mentioned and commenting here. Change is weird. I wish you all the best in whatever you get into, and hope that life treats you well! :)

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MajorMitch

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MajorMitch • 

@turboman: Thanks!! That hotel moment really was kind of magical at the time :) And I don't think it's crazy to hold this as your favorite SNES game. There are a couple I probably like slightly more than Mario RPG, but it's right up there for sure, the margins are slim.

@zombiepenguin9: Thank you! If you do get to play it, I'd be curious how it holds up for you!

@doctordonkey: It is kind of wild how turn-based RPGs have rarely used any timing based component, or otherwise tried to be more active. It's one of my favorite things about all the Mario RPG games (including Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi), and I think it goes a long way towards combating the stereotypical complaint that JRPGs are slow and boring. Agree it would have been cool to see Octopath Traveler try it!

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MajorMitch

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@johnseminario: I know I'm being a bit extreme :) That's kind of the point, and hopefully get people to think. Because you're totally right that we so quickly default to lazy language to describe things, and it bugs the living shit out of me. I know it's unrealistic, but I wish people would think about why they like or don't like games, instead of tossing out labels.

As for some of your other points, I kind of hit them in the post/other comments. I would argue that the tedium of going through sections you feel like you've already done (like in Hollow Knight) is more an indicator that you don't like the game, or at least parts of the game, than it's hard, which you also acknowledge to a degree. And where you mention patience and restraint being needed for Dark Souls but not Uncharted, I think that's again not a measure of difficulty. They're just different games, and you learn to play them differently, and that's going to click differently with different players. Again, all subjective. I have a hard time coming up with concrete definitions for any of this, which is why I think it largely is a mental/cultural thing.

But anyway, thanks for the response- this is a fun topic to discuss, I appreciate it!

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MajorMitch

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@arbitrarywater: Dark Souls , or really Demon's Souls, was (no surprise) one of the games that started getting me to think about this stuff, and how all of it is so subjective and based on our collective cultural definitions. At the time Demon's Souls was simply labelled as "the hard game", and Dark Souls was even marketed with the tagline "Prepare to Die." Nowadays we've come to appreciate the actual good parts of the game past the supposed difficulty, to the point where many other games use those same mechanics and we don't talk about them just being "hard."

And Dark Souls did come out at a time where most AAA games were meant to be as non-frustrating as possible for everyone. Dark Souls kind of showed how boring those games were getting for a lot of people, and pushed its players (and arguably the medium at large) to grow. The struggles that came with it simply spurred that growth, one of the themes I was talking about.

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MajorMitch

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@slag: Hey Slag! Lot to digest here, apologies in advance if I bounce around. It is a fun topic though :)

I definitely agree with you that some things are impossible given biological and physical limitations: hitting a 1,000,000 mph fastball is not possible for humans. I can't fly, or breathe underwater, etc. But I think there is a distinction between difficult and impossible, and I'll stay within the realm of things humans can do. I am operating under the assumption that most people engaging in conversations on game difficulty are physically and biologically capable of handling a controller and playing games. I recognize there are disabled people, and they do have real limitations that may prevent them from completing certain game tasks. So the broader blanket is that within things that are possible, difficulty doesn't exist.

I also think most players would agree with you that some games are just harder than others, that's the conventional wisdom. I know I'm going against the grain here, and that's kind of the point of this one ;) To take you're example, I could very much argue that TWD Season 1 is a harder game than Getting Over It (I almost made that argument in the original draft, but between Getting Over It and FF15). Despite how hard people claim Getting Over It is, it took me 6 hours to finish my first run of that game. It took me over twice that long to finish TWD Season 1. I think it's very reasonable to say I had an easier time beating Getting Over It than TWD Season 1.

Which all circles back around to subjectiveness and definitions. I think how long it takes to beat a game is as reasonable a definition of difficulty as anything else. Usually we talk about "skill" needed, but that's also hard to measure and varies between players. Or we talk about number of times you died, but that's going to vary drastically between players for any given game. And I also don't think deaths inherently mean anything about difficulty. If I learn a mechanic through dying, I don't think that's any harder than learning the mechanic and not dying. I may have to replay something that I already did, but is that "hard?" It may be annoying to you (I don't like old stealth games for this reason), but that goes back to the "I just don't like those games" bit.

I think this is why you see lower completion rates- generally speaking people don't like Getting Over It as much as TWD Season 1, so more people stopped playing it before they finished. Or maybe there are even other spins you could put on that stat- I don't think any of this proves any direct correlation, people stop playing games for any number of reasons.

Finally, one last thing about those 2 games, if I were to unravel my experience with Getting Over It, and lay out my 6 hour run as a series of linear events (which will look different for different players), I don't think that series of individual steps would look any more daunting than TWD Season 1. We often get wrapped up in "losing progress" and "dying" and "replaying sections", but as mentioned, that can just be part of the process. I was always moving towards the end in Getting Over It, along my line I just laid out, even when I "failed" in the traditional sense. It may not be as obvious while you're playing the game, since you kind of have to unravel that line in your head, but in retrospect games are almost always easier when I look back on them.

Which brings us back to why I think it is all mental and subjective, and we could probably debate those definitions until the end of time. I know that's still not going to be agreeable to most people, and I probably sound like some weirdo zen nut job to some, but there it is :)

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MajorMitch

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@notnert427: I think you hit a lot of what makes Paradise stand out to me, a lot of it is in the way it creates that fun attitude every second. Even the soundtrack like you say manages to be endearing even when it's cheesy. It's just extreme all the time in a goofy way you can pump your fist to, and of course plays extremely well the entire time. It swung for the fences, and if that clicks, it's going to really click. I think that's why the people that love it (myself included) are so passionate about it. There's nothing else like it (even the Forza Horizon games don't quite nail that rambunctious spirit, like you said).

It makes total sense to me that a lot of people like Burnout 3/Revenge better, as they are more focused and traditional experiences that still play amazingly well. But something about the way Paradise just goes for it is special to me :)

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MajorMitch

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@slag: Thanks Slag! I've been wanting to start these kinds of posts for a while, where I can sum up my favorites better than I can in a list ;)

I do wonder if it's more time and place for you and Burnout Paradise, or if maybe this is a kind of game that wouldn't have appealed to you even if you played it at the time. One of the most striking things about playing its remaster recently was just how apparent it made it that nothing else has done anything in the ballpark of Burnout over the past decade. So in a way it doesn't feel all that dated to me since nothing else has tried that stuff to surpass it. Or maybe that's just nostalgia speaking, idk. I certainly understand that this isn't a game for everyone though- you're right that there is a certain amount of aimlessness to it. But that's also part of the joy for me, having a chill driving game that controls so well, and full of a mess of fun things to engage with. If you can embrace that, it's pretty special :)