I heard your call to action, Dark Souls. I heard the boasts that you shared, declaring yourself one of the most difficult games in history. I decided to take up arms against you and stop your reign of terror. I dimmed the lights, I consumed an unhealthy amount of caffeine; I even turned off my cell phone. But, alas, it is I who has been smitten by your merciless destruction. Today, the dragon has won, and he has roasted the princess to a golden brown.
I tried to prove that I was a capable gamer, one who could complete any game without a sweat. I’m currently stuck at a section that’s maybe an hour into the game’s lengthy quest. I feel like I’m having a gamer’s mid-life crisis; I can’t beat a game. I used to be able to take any amount of beating, only to finally complete a game after a mere couple of days. Yet it seems that I’m having a difficult a time completing games these days, and I’m only 20!
Most gamers will agree that games have gotten easier over time. This, I would assume, is so that the game will acquire a larger user base, which in turn will lead to an increase in sales. I remember playing Teenage Mutant Turtles II: The Arcade Game on NES (the earliest game I remember playing) and having quite a frustrating time playing through the game, yet I eventually bested my enemies by figuring out the patterns of the game. However, when I played The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, I don’t think I died more than twice, to be honest.
It’s no secret that games today are usually easier. Any gamer can tell you that without having to think. But I feel like, in all honesty, that I am losing my “mad skillz.” It’s not just Dark Souls that has evaded defeat; I recently purchased a game from my youth: Frogger, for the PlayStation. I remember being able to play this game with ease when I was younger. After recently replaying it, I found that I’m having a hard time not dying constantly in every level.
So, the question is: Have I lost my gaming skills somehow down the road? Have I just grown so accustomed to the difficulty of newer games that I’ve lost the ability to learn from my mistakes in a video game? I feel this may be because I’m so used to playing with little or no challenge present in the games that I’ve experienced in recent years.
Over the past couple of years, I have altogether stopped playing multiplayer games with friends. I feel that this might have dulled my reflexes since I’m so used to competing against dull AI bots. I just got Xbox Live a few months ago (I know what you’re thinking. I couldn’t get it due to my slow Internet connection), so I plan on putting my theory to the test. If my suspicions are correct, a gamer’s skill level might decrease by not getting enough of a challenge, similar to how a person’s muscles atrophy after not using them after a long period of time.
So what do you think? Do you think that playing competitive games are essential in sharpening your reflexes? Sound off in the comments below.