On Difficulty and Quality in Games

A certain masochistic streak runs through the gaming community, one which judges the quality of a game purely on how hard it is.

Which is not to say that challenge cannot be fun. I’m a huge fan of Etrian Odyssey IV, a game which attempts to brutally shut down the player at every turn. But what makes the game fun is not just that it’s hard, but that overcoming this challenge is a fun experience. The battles are fun, the dungeon exploration is fun, and you get a strong sense of fulfillment from overcoming the challenges in it.

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The Pros and Cons of Created Characters

Video games are one of the few forms of media where the audience is able to have a meaningful impact on the appearance, personality, and overall feel of the main protagonist. The ability to create and redesign characters is one of the things that I always appreciate in games. Yet I still sometimes find myself wondering if something is perhaps lost when players are given this option.

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