The Horrible Gamer #017: The Only Way

I thought I had Spelunky and Rogue Legacy figured out. I’ve spent over a dozen hours with each game and always felt a bit limited in my exploration options in these roguelike games. After all there’s only so much time you can spend endlessly exploring nooks and crannies in levels that will be completely different the next time you play. I am still pretty content to continue to make progress through trial and error (lots of error) because both games are consistently unveiling new items/features in each of my play sessions. These discoveries are my favorite bits about these kind of games, but my enthusiasm for the games has waned as the grind to the end starts to set in.

Rogue Legacy

Guys? I’m scared.

Once the grind sets in in a single player game, I tend to play with my head down and never come up for air until it is over. After all, I don’t want spoilers or puzzle solutions to ruin my experience. The problem is, it’s hard to tell when you are stuck in a roguelike. Most of these games are lonely dungeon-crawler experiences after all. After all, you die a lot, that’s normal. Things will always seem slightly unfamiliar, so that’s normal. Seeking help never seemed like a necessity. Then, for the first time I watched one of my friends play Rogue Legacy with completely different tactics than I had ever used. It changed my perspective on the genre entirely. These games aren’t meant to be a solitary experience, players should embrace cooperation and talking through their strategies.

It was an odd moment. I realized how routine and predictable my tactics were in both Rogue Legacy and Spelunky. So I started actually asking questions from other Spelunky players and discovering uses for items that I had completely cast aside. Suddenly, I was excited to play both games all over again. The conversations actually brought me back to how I used to game as a kid. Gaming stories and strategies were daily conversations with my pals, and there was never a threat of spoilers or cheap tactics that ruined the game. After all there’s a huge difference between talking to a gaming buddy and reading a strategy guide or walkthrough.

There’s no reason to ever beat your head against your ignorance within a video game. I learned recently that trying to bulldoze your way through a game will only leave you to die alone while bleeding to death in a field surrounded by robot’s that are hunting you:

I understand the appeal of a good challenge, but even the hardest games have strong communities that are available to help its players overcome hurdles. Just don’t let the game suffer because you were too stubborn to ask for a little help.

Culture Break

Catch all of these and more gamer culture goodness as we find them on the just launched Horrible Night Inventory Tumblr.

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4 Comments The Horrible Gamer #017: The Only Way

  1. Justin Gifford

    As a single-player afficianado who plows obnoxious amounts of hours into games, GameFAQs is my friend. Dying/failing over and over (Super Meat Boy excepted) isn’t fun. If it’s not fun, why are you playing?

  2. Justin Lacey

    There’s a line though. Sharing stories of failure/discovery that eventually lead to victory is a blast. I can’t get that from the GameFAQs.

  3. Justin Gifford

    I think my words didn’t work right. I mean: Yes. Failing and then figuring out a new/THE way to do it is incredibly gratifying, even if it comes from talking to others or GameFAQs. I feel no shame at having a third party tell me the way or another way to get past a spot that has me hung up or baffled.

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