I remember the first time I beat an NES game when we had rented the system, it was Monster in my Pocket and it was defeated the day we had to return it to the store. It was awesome. I also recall staying up later than my parents playing Mega Man 5, trying to beat it prior to having Dad bring it back to the store the next day. I am somewhat convinced that they let me stay up that late simply because it was a rental and they didn’t want me wasting their money in not beating the game. I also remember the disappointment that I could not beat it…I finally went to sleep with Wily’s hideous mocking laughter in my ears.
Time has changed since then, obviously. Now I’m grown up and I can no longer spend an inordinate amount of time playing video games. Something about growing up, responsibilities, and the fear of bill collectors. *shrug* Y’know, unimportant stuff.
I finally beat Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn again yesterday, and that fills out my need for Fire Emblem games for the time being. I’d still love a 3DS to play the newest one, but I’ve got that list to play through, so no new games for me.
This last play through was on “Easy” mode, so it was a good deal less irritating than the first time I played it when it came out. It is by far the most annoying implementation of the series. You start with one group, then to another, then to another…you don’t really get to play with a solid set of characters through the entire game like in the other games. Consequently, on Easy mode, it was still annoying, but it was manageable. I beat it without losing a character, unlike the last time I played it.
This whole “easy” mode thing is something that likely would have irritated me back in the day. I mean, I played Goldeneye on all three difficulty levels all the way through to unlock everything! I played Castlevania 3 through so I could see all endings with the different characters (this was an extremely challenging feat). Yet I am reduced to playing games on easy mode. I’m ok with it, though.
I made this realization back when I played Dragon Age: Origins when it came out. I like my games just challenging enough that I may die, and will die through carelessness (kind of like life). I don’t have the time or energy to get infuriated because I simply die because I’ve been ambushed by three lesser creatures. I don’t have the time to constantly repeat sections until I pass them. Part of it is because I get fed up with doing so, the other part is that most games make you sit through cinematics before you get to the challenging part again.
Compare this to Mega Man 2: facing the dragon or gutsman bosses at the end, you died…where did you start over? Right in front of the boss fight! You went straight back to it. Games like that I can still play ad infinitum (I play the mega man games A LOT) because if I fail, I can continue practicing until I finally beat it. There’s a sense of satisfaction to that skill improvement.
Compare to, say, Bioware games. You die, and where do you start? The last time you saved, which usually means since it’s a major boss fight, a few cinematics back. Or compare to Resident Evil 4 (the knife fight scene, amiright?)…you died there, you had to sit through the cinematic again to start punching randomly assigned buttons at specific moments in the cinematic. There’s no skill when it comes to situations like that, it’s a matter of simon says. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t.
And Fire Emblem is a lot like that, so as I said, I don’t really mind playing on Easy mode to make the game more enjoyable.