How hard is too hard?

I’m jealous of people who don’t get frustrated at games.

I’m playing Super Mario Galaxy 2 at the moment and I’ve hit a brick wall. This one level I need to beat to progress is smacking me down, time and again. I’ve perhaps only lost ten lives or so on it, but that’s enough for me. Perhaps I’m just getting old, or perhaps it’s my tastes as a gamer changing a bit. I like a challenge as much as the next man, but I don’t like repeating the same bit of game over and over and over and over and…

I watch YouTube videos of people losing lives at tough bits and they’ll happily accept the loss and keep playing, smiles still plastered across their faces. I really wish I could do this. Any more than about five repeat plays of the same section of any game and I feel the rage starting to build. If I lose more than five lives, that’s a hard bit to me. Others can take fifteen attempts and beat it and claim it’s easy. I suppose what represents a challenge is different for different people.

It must be really tricky for developers to nail the perfect difficulty curve, especially in a game like this which doesn’t have multiple difficulty settings. I certainly don’t envy them. While certain other games have noticeable difficulty spikes, the curve in Galaxy 2 seems to have been spot on so far: challenging, without crossing over the line into frustrating. This level has bucked that trend, but then I’m sure others will get the measure of it much quicker than me.

And if not, they probably won’t get so annoyed in trying and failing.


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