generally, i find the best test to see if a video game is meaningfully and compellingly challenging rather than poorly designed tedium is the following question: if i beat this game once, would it be non-trivially easier for me to beat it again? in other words, is there some form of required mastery over the systems that creates difficulty or is it merely bullet spongy enemies and/or, as you aptly put it, "time-wasting busywork" that makes it hard? in the former, once i beat the game, i have attained a level of skill that benefits me in subsequent playthroughs and makes its challenges easier to conquer. in the latter case, any sort of skill obtained from prior playthroughs will not matter in any substantive way as the player is forced to hit a bullet sponge X times until they die or collect fifty Y items or grind levels as the busy work required to beat it. moreover, in the case of a truly challenging title the interactivity of the medium is being fully tapped into as the players problem solving, reflexes, and overall skill is being tested and not just the amount of time they can sink into the game. with this mind, you can tell from two very difficult games which is a well designed one and which isn't.I've been playing Mordheim: City of the Damned. I loved this as a tabletop game and really wanted to like the game. Unfortunately, it's not only extremely difficult and unintuitive, but it killed most of my team in a completely arbitrary fashion, so I deleted it. A real shame.
I think there's an interesting point here. As it is, Mordheim isn't enjoyable. It's too difficult and much too arbitrary, but in ways that would have been obvious in playtesting. This could very easily have been rectified by the designers or, like Skyrim, options could have been included to make it easier in a few small ways and therefore less irritating. So I wonder if the hope was that, instead of concluding that it was an annoying waste of time, players would keep coming back. Or maybe there was a sort of prestige in making a very punishing game, a kind of notoriety?
That balance between interesting challenge and irritation is an interesting one. I've played a few games now that seem to deliberately make themselves less fun, either by punishing the player or introducing time-wasting busywork - almost as if people buy games to fill up time, rather than to be a pleasant experience.
I see the gameplay didn't age well for you. Well, the game is seventeen already, almost an adult. I'm sure they'll make it all better in the remake.Well I played Resident Evil 4 and all I can say is that I'm glad I bought it in a sale! It was absolutely terrible! Rubbish dialogue, wonky controls, uninteresting action, and the guy I was controlling moved as if he was trying to fight off sedatives. It was almost comically bad. Think I'll play something else. Anything else.
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