Fun is where the checkpoint is

Ok, after trying Volgarr for a while and getting infuriated in roughly 20 minutes at its lack of checkpoints, here’s something I need to say: screw those old super-difficult games. Ghosts’ n’ Goblins? Battletoads? Frustrating design is not good design. Maybe I’m just growing old, but I can’t imagine anyone liking these kind of games.

Good thing Mario taught almost every videogame character how to change direction while jumping.
Good thing Mario taught almost every videogame character how to change direction mid-jump.

“But you played Super Meat Boy!” – yes, but SMB is level-based. And doesn’t have limited lives. So the frustration is very much partial. You don’t have to get A+ on every level, you can simply finish it at your own leisure if you want.

“But you like Dark Souls!” – oh, please. Dark Souls isn’t one tenth as hard as those old arcade games. Besides, I’ve always said that DS itself could use a bit streamlining in a few areas such as enemy respawning.

“But you play Serious Sam on the highest difficulty!” – quicksave spamming, that’s the keyword here.

Loom, before even Monkey Island, had no dead ends.
Old adventures had a lot of problems. But Loom, before even Monkey Island, had no dead ends.

I’m not saying I like the excessive simplification of modern games… no, wait. To be perfectly fair, there are a few things I like. The convenience of autosaving every few steps, checkpointing at bosses, quest markers and automatic tab-keeping, etc. is something that I would have trouble giving up today.

If this sounds like an apology of modern games, maybe it is.

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