To this day I still dread playing the original Megaman Series on the NES. Not because the games were bad, far from it. The games were amazing! It was the challenge that got to me. Those were some of the toughest games I had played at the time when I was a kid. When you popped any game into your NES or Sega Master System or Atari, you were thrown a gauntlet.
Games from our childhood were true challenges for the most part. Sure, some of them you could beat in a single sitting if you had the strategies of today but back then it wasn’t so simple. You didn’t simply sit and plow through Final Fantasy or Ghost n Goblins! You actually had to work for your victory. You didn’t simply walk into that base in Snake’s Revenge. You actually had a challenge when you went into this game. We have become soft, numb to challenges that games can provide.
In the games we have today we have padded our challenges. You can buy a power up, purchase all the character unlocks for your favorite fighting games, or look up a strategy guide online for your favorite RPG. We have lost our passion, our ability to tackle challenges. Games have become so simple it’s ridiculous. So when games like Dark Souls come out, I’m kind of thrilled. It means someone remembers the time when games didn’t hold your hand. They have brought back thinking and actual challenges. That also means they have brought back the true since of accomplishment when you actually beat a boss that took you all Saturday afternoon to handle.
Like I said before we have gotten soft. We are so used to games holding our hands now and days, we scream bloody murder when another game comes along and offers us an intense challenge. With the rise of rogue-likes, we have to bring back a level of skill we lost many years ago. Games like Rogue Legacy, Chance of rain, and the upcoming Galak-z. These games are amazing for the simple fact they don’t give you a way to lessen the impact of death or the actual difficulty presented in these titles. They instead give you one life, a set of tools, and tell you to pray for the best. To me, this is something that was a long time coming. Our softness is being challenged and honestly, it does the inner child in me proud to see so many people actually finding enjoyment in challenging themselves again.
If you read this and haven’t actually taken time to delve into some old school challenging games or some of the new challengers, do so! Stop reading and hit up steam or a game store. Pick up something that actually challenges you and makes you think. Trust me, you will thank me later.