Recently, I did a playthrough of King’s Knight on the NES, and, to put it lightly, it was painful. The game started out pretty fun, but the final level was so harsh and unforgiving that it sucked all the fun out of the game. But was that shitty level solely responsible for my distaste for the game? I got to thinking about it, and my stance hasn’t changed: that final level is shit. It’s needlessly difficult mostly because of the forced added game mechanic and its poor execution. However, is there perhaps something wrong with me that made things worse? Was I doing something wrong? Absolutely not. I’m infallible.
Artist rendition of BygJuce.
Of course, if I was doing anything wrong, it was that I went in with zero knowledge about the game, and I didn’t do anything to remedy my ignorance. I didn’t know what the power ups did, and I didn’t know how to level up my character. These are probably pretty crucial things to know in order to beat the game. But, since I don’t own the box or manual and didn’t feel like looking the stuff up (For the love of crap! It’s a shooter! Why should there be any explanation needed beyond “Shoot shit” and “Don’t die”?), I stubbornly trudged forward until I eventually beat the game.
That’s right. I’m showing this pic again.
But my stubbornness isn’t what made this game suck for me. I’ve been like that with everything my whole life. After all, I am a guy, and, according to my wife, that means I’m stubborn and an asshole by nature. Also, annoying and impatient and immature.
Don’t forget awesome!
No. Being stubborn didn’t ruin King’s Knight for me, though I’m sure it didn’t help. There’s another character trait that makes playing video games rough for me, but I don’t know how to explain it, so I’ll do the best I can. Basically, I have a hard time enjoying a video game until I’ve beaten it.
Games, especially hard ones, are challenges, and I have to beat them regardless of how unfair or badly programmed they are. Mind you, the game has to be fun in order for me to care about beating it. This mastery-oriented approach to playing video games has its ups and downs. On the plus side, I always enjoy a second playthrough! Most good and less challenging games I replay immediately after I beat them, and they’re always more fun the second time around because I’m not worried about winning. On the other hand, if the game is fun but super difficult, beating it can be a chore. And until I beat it, I won’t have as much fun as I should because I just can’t. Until I’ve shown the game who’s boss, I just can’t enjoy it.
Oh, Internet! Not like that!
It’s weird, I know, and I can’t fully explain it. I guess that makes me kind of neurotic, but I’ve come to terms with it. I just hate how mad I can get if a game is just kicking my ass. There’s only been one time in my life where I got so frustrated and angry at a game that I absolutely had to shut it off before I had an aneurysm. And that game was R-Type on the TurboGrafx-16.
In Hell, they make you play this.
I’ve never beaten R-Type, and I’ve accepted the fact that I never will. Frankly, I don’t want to. I seriously can’t even play that game because it pisses me off so much. I even tried to cheat so I could beat the game, but the only cheat you can do is give yourself more continues, which is pointless because if you die once you lose all your power ups and you’re screwed. It used to be a blast to play, but now I can’t even look at it without Hulking up and leg dropping the closest jobber, which is whoever I damn well want it to be at that point!
I guess what I’m trying to do with this post is figure out if there’s anybody else out there like me who has to beat the game they’re playing before they can fully enjoy it, and not beating the game just pisses you the hell off! Is there anyone else who feels like they just can’t let that difficult game get the better of them, so much so that playing the game feels more like a chore than a fun hobby? I know I can’t be the only person who feels like this.
Sorry for spewing catharsis all over you and ruining your shoes. I’m sure that’ll come right off. While you’re busy cleaning up, I’ll just get back to focusing on Fantasy Shooter Month!
I’m also going to replay King’s Knight. Knowing myself, I’ll love it on my second go. But I still refuse to look up what to do in the game. If I can’t figure it out, it ain’t worth knowing. I use that philosophy in everything I do. I just wish my wife understood. Instead, she just rolls her eyes and doesn’t feed me dinner.
I’m so hungry…