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December 27th, 2012, 01:30
I prefer the challenge to match the vision of the developers. Most developers put in several difficulty modes because they know they'll reach a wider audience, and not because they think the experience should differ based on who you are. A true visionary knows exactly what he wants - and he shouldn't compromise because of wanting applause from more people. Obviously, that's not how it works in the gaming industry - but it'd be nice.

So, if a game is supposed to be hard or they want me to pay attention - that's exactly what they should balance for.

That's what I like about Dark Souls. That's not to say the balance is perfect or that the game is anywhere close to perfect. Personally, I think it's rather barren and sparse - and I actually despise the focus on boss monster encounters. That makes me think of arcade games of the past more than a meaty RPG experience.

It's also a bit predictable and rigid in terms of the effect on exploration and the sensation of non-linearity. You're blocked by big bosses, and you know they have a pattern or some puzzle you have to figure out to proceed. That's artificial and dreary to me, but I recognise that most people seem to enjoy designs that focus on boss fights. I think it's an archaic practice that needs to go - and I especially despise "puzzly" boss fights that have nothing to do with an actual tactical battle or common sense.




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