GamerSushi Asks: Gaming Difficulty?

Castlevania Lords of Shadow

The subject of difficulty in video games is a tricky one. On the one hand, video games in general seem to be too easy in a lot of ways, holding players’ hands from step 1 all the way until the final boss. On the other hand, it seems like many developers don’t know how to ramp the difficulty up in a way that is fair and organic, instead opting to throw completely ridiculous situations at you to frustrate you. It’s actually an odd trade off. The more I find myself grumbling about an easy game, there are just as many games that make me want to rage quit with unfair deaths, impossible sections, etc. This is one of the reasons I loved Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, because it kept ratcheting up the difficulty level without completely infuriating me.

Over at Gamasutra, Tim Keenan has posted a blog about this very subject called The Difficulty I Want. In it, he talks about how it’s often hard to know what you want in a game until you’ve had a chance to play the game yourself. He makes some great points about how many games just make you pick a difficulty and force you to stay with it to see the game through, rather than being able to switch down after dying multiple times or up after not dying enough. He also praises the difficulty sliders of Oblivion, which is one of my favorite games in this regard. It really is interesting to note that difficulty options haven’t changed much since the beginning of gaming. We still have the same generic options without much evolution.

So what do you guys think about gaming difficulty? Are games too easy? Is this an area where games can improve, and offer more dynamic ways to play that would make them more enjoyable? What games were unfair/too easy to you in recent memory? Go!

Source – Gamasutra

A Wishlist for Elder Scrolls V

Elder Scrolls 4I have recounted my experience with Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on many articles and comments on this site, as well as our renowned GamerSushi podcast. It was the first game I played on my XBox 360, and I was blown away with my first foray into the realm of HD gaming. Seeing the wide open world, the detail and the nice RPG mechanics was enough to make a nerd like me sweat, and I was in heaven. I did small bits of the main game, but I mostly spent the 30-40 hours of it I played robbing people’s houses. I’m a bit of a klepto at heart, it seems.

Anyway, Oblivion was much loved by many gamers, so naturally, Elder Scrolls V is high on the list for most anticipated sequels. While the last game was great, there are going to be a few things that people are hoping for in the next entry. That’s why GamesRadar has come up with a wishlist for Elder Scrolls V. I have to say, they make a few good points, including a bigger pool of NPC characters and voice actors, a better encumbrance system and a better scaling system for monsters.

That last one I definitely agree with. I’ve never been a huge fan of RPG’s where the monsters level up with you — it sort of defeats the whole purpose of leveling up, yes? Anyway, if you’re an Oblivion nut, I’d highly recommend checking out the article.

What’s on your wishlist for Elder Scrolls V? What do you think of this list? Go!

Source – GamesRadar

Who’s Playing Red Dead Redemption?

Red Dead RedemptionNormally, I would just ask this as a straight up “What Are You Playing” question, but I decided to do things a little differently this time. You see, lately, nearly 80 percent of my friends list on XBox Live is playing through the newest Rockstar outing, Red Dead Redemption.

If you listened to our awesome podcast, then you would know that a handful of us here at GamerSushi are deeply enthralled in this game’s clutches. I know that for me, personally, the game is head-and-shoulders above its spiritual brethren, the GTA series. It plays more like an Oblivion or Assassin’s Creed 2 in terms of its structure, and allows you to explore a rich open world with gorgeous western vistas and plenty of fun distractions. I’ve written additional thoughts over on my blog, but I wanted to raise this question here as well.

Who’s playing Red Dead Redemption, and what are your thoughts on the game? It’s looking like it could be a front runner for game of the year, and I’m nowhere near being finished. Where do you rank it? Go!

Time Well Spent

elder-scrolls-iv-oblivion-screenshot-_41I have a decent collection of games for the 360 – more than a dozen, if you count XBLA titles – but the game I’ve played far more than any other is Oblivion. At last count, I’ve put in somewhere in the neighborhood of 140 hours. I have a friend who has put in 200+ hours and he hasn’t even finished the main quest line. I think he just likes grinding in dungeons.

Now, I love the game, but I reached a point recently where I started wanting nothing more than to just beat the damn thing. That’s a bit of a herculean task when it comes to an open-world game like Oblivion. It’s not that I haven’t done my best. I’ve completed the main quest-line, as well as the quest-lines for almost all of the guilds and both the Knights of the Nine and the Shivering Isles expansion packs… but I’m not done yet because I don’t have all of the achievements.

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Cliches I Never Want To See In Game Reviews Again

idol_lVideo game reviews have a difficult existence. Some people use them to decide whether or not to buy games, others use them as ammunition in the Console Wars. Usually, very strong emotions are attached to these reviews. But one thing we seem to be missing that we should get mad about is the lazy and irritating cliches that constantly pop up in reviews, even from such esteemed sources as EGM.
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Review: Fallout 3

fallout-3-zombie Having been a great fan of Bethesda’s earlier RPG series, The Elder Scrolls, I was eagerly waiting for Fallout 3 and their decision to make it into a FPS/RPG hybrid. Not having played any of the previous Fallout games, I was not concerned with any drastic changes they might have made, so this review will come from the perspective of a Fallout noob.

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