Have you ever played a game where you start out so wonderfully engrossed and immerssed that you can't imagine feeling any other way about it, only to end up finding yourself so frustrated or bored with it that everything that made the game wonderful doesn't even seem like it exists anymore?
I've been doing a lot of YouTube video watching lately. Clearly not as much sentence good writing, but me have whole blog post to fix that.
Anyway, most recently I've been watching some of Markiplier's videos. Yeah, I know I'm pretty late to the party. I didn't actually like the idea of seeing the LPer's face during the videos initially, so I put it off. That was late last year. Now, I can't watch Markiplier's own earliest videos because that charming devil's face isn't there to keep me company.
Among his videos are a series of them about a game that some of you may know called Vanish. I'd never heard of it prior to watching the videos (the first of which can be viewed here), but as previous blogs may have alluded to, I don't hear about a lot of things.
[A humorous picture was meant to go here showing someone not being able to hear something, but no matter how hard Zetta listened for it, he couldn't see it.]
For those of you who care about these sorts of things, I'm just going to let you know in advance that I'll be "spoiling" what happens in these videos, so if you're interested in watching them, back away! If you aren't but want some context, watch some of the first two and then skip to the last two.
Okay, you had your warning, let's move.
I'm going to be honest with you guys. Watching these videos was sad. I don't mean that it was sad that he couldn't do it until the game finally updated or that he had such a hard time, but that it was sad like... just sad to see it happen.
This kind of sad.
He starts out really drawn in. Everything scares him and he talks about how it's a special game that gets to him like few others can. He was completely and totally immersed, even to the point of near tears at one point. Compare that to the ending videos. He's played it many times off screen and made no progress and in turn deleted the footage over and over again. It's endless frustration with no progress and no clues and no nothing. That feeling he had before is gone, never to return. When he finishes the game, happy as he is, I don't think it would be a stretch to think that he'll never touch the game again.
And to see someone start out so immersed in a game, enjoying it so much, and really taken with it to end up someone just... completely dead to the things that really got them before? Someone who's frustrated with it all and completely unmoved by it all? I know there are some people out there who might argue that he was acting, but having seen as many videos of his at this point as I have and considering how many times he's played it? Think about if you would have left your webcam standing if you went through that.
Yeah, it was sad seeing that happen. I'd hate for that to happen to me.
Except... I realized it probably already has. In fact, to smaller extents and in different ways, it's happened to me in more ways than I realize. I'd never noticed before, but something similar has happened to me in more than a few ways. Here's just one example:
The first time I played Disgaea, everything was overwhelming, new, unique, and oh so exciting. The humor was fresh, the world was massive, and the challenge was unlike anything I'd experienced in an RPG before! It took me beating the third game on PS3 to finally have enough experience in the franchise to be able to go back and tackle the first one and finally beat it. Not even get the good ending or special ending or whatever, just get to any ending.
Then Disgaea 4 happened - then this exact stage (and the steps to get to it) happened - and I was ruined. I learned how to power level. I started picking up the tricks. When I played Disgaea 3 on my Vita, my levels were in the thousands before I had even progressed a few chapters in. The main story's last boss is about 100. I was probably at the max of 9999 by the time I finally fought it.
This isn't as obvious a comparison to Markiplier's experience, but it's the best way I can think of relating, but at least that doesn't make it (at least my experience) a bad thing. Thanks to Disgaea, I've learned to really enjoy grinding, as crazy as it sounds. It's become a lot of fun to mess around turning your characters into the strongest versions of themselves they can be, just for its own sake, and that goes for most games I play. In one respect, all I've really done is grow up and learn, which is hardly a bad thing. I came to enjoy something new too. In my case, all's well that ends well, right
Well... I don't know. The whimsy of those early times is gone, at least kind of. It's been replaced by a different sort of whimsy, just like the wonder, but it's definitely not the same anymore.
Then again... Maybe I'm just starting to get older. That was also shortly after the PS3 came out, looking back, which was a long time ago, and with age, perspective changes. I've learned how to better understand a game I barely scratched the surface of before. Is that really something so terrible?
And maybe... Maybe I just got used to it. Let's backtrack to Markiplier a little, then change the subject completely, shall we?
Let's talk spooky stuff.
I've noticed in recent years that people are complaining a lot about horror games not being scary anymore, and in particular, these complaints seem to come from horror fans. Being something of a wimp when it came to horror games until recently, to my unexperienced eyes, everything looked pretty scary. To longtime fans, not so much.
Isn't that the same sort of principle? If we look back to Markiplier's experience with Vanish, isn't that just a condensed version of the problem all horror fans are likely starting to face? What started out as what seemed like a lifelong journey through a genre of twists and turns has become routine. You can't scare someone that's seen it all.
I'm sure it's been said before, and I think I've said it before myself, but isn't that what the real problem with horror games is? From what I can see, the audience that wants them most is the one that has the most trouble enjoying them because they want to love it so much.
And that's... really sad. It's sad for the fans who want to enjoy the things they used to love, and it's sad for the developers, who are probably getting a lot of unfair criticism simply because they weren't the first horror game someone played, and it's sad for the games, who might be so much more loved in another world. Maybe I'm just feeling sad because it's snowing outside and I'm not as happy about it as I used to be only a couple of years ago, but darn it, it's just sad all around
So to lighten the mood a little, I'll ask you guys this:
Is that as sad as having watched so much Kamen Rider and Super Sentai that you recognize a lot of the sets they frequently use to film on? Because that's starting to become almost every week for me now!
Well that's all from me today. Be sure to keep firewood close and your best friend's creepy love doll closer this chilly season, everyone! You never know when you might need it.