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Suskie Susquatch

Title: I'm sick of being frustrated by games.
Posted: November 02, 2009 (05:02 PM)
I've been playing Heavenly Sword over the last day or so, and I've reached a point in the game that has infuriated me to no end. The main character, Nariko, is tasked with fighting through hordes of extremely strong, fully armored man-beasts called "orangumen." You must battle six of them at a time, and when you kill one, another one jumps in, and this goes on for God knows how long.

This isn't the first time I've fought them. Since they're so good at blocking your attacks, the key to killing them is to break their defense, which is alarmingly simple to do on a one-on-one basis. Thing is, I've never had to face this many at once. When you're surrounded by six of these assholes, it's impossible to focus on one without another one chiming in and interrupting. Even Nariko's ranged stance, the Kratos-like swirling chain attack that's supposed to drive off multiple enemies at once, is ineffective because one of them always manages to break through.

This has not been a difficult game so far. In fact, I've managed to get this far (I'm over halfway through) without ever dying. And now I don't know what to think. These orangumen can block about 90% of your attacks and sustain a ridiculous amount of damage, and on the rare occasion that you actually get close to killing one, another one steps in and kicks your ass because you had your back turned.

A lot of this is the game's own fault; Heavenly Sword's block system is unbelievably stupid (Nariko supposedly blocks automatically when she isn't attacking, except sometimes that doesn't work, and sometimes she'll successfully block when she is attacking) and Nariko herself is kind of an incompetent bitch. The orangumen attack incredibly slowly, so Nariko has plenty of opportunities to roll away while she's caught in a combo... but no matter how hard you try, you can't. She just fucking stands there, taking it.

My point is: Unfair odds, annoying controls, and no clear solution. I briefly considered that the orangumen would respawn indefinitely and that I was supposed to be doing something else, but nope. According to GameFAQs, you literally need to kill them until they stop coming.

I remember Yahtzee saying in one of his reviews that the very reason people play games is to unwind. He was talking about something else (the impracticality of motion sensing controls, to be specific) but it applies here, too: How is this supposed to be fun? The Phillies are losing the World Series, a couple of my classes are going very poorly at the moment, and I'm currently in the middle of a big and very nasty feud with a couple of my friends back home. I'm not having a good week. I came home and sat in front of the TV hoping to relax, but instead, this stupid fucking level put me in an even worse mood. And that makes you wonder: Doesn't this kind of thing completely defeat the purpose of gaming?

Just to clarify, I don't necessarily mean that games should be easier. I like a good challenge. I love it when I'm outsmarted by an intelligent enemy or stumped by a clever puzzle. And I certainly don't like it when a game is insultingly easy, like BioShock or the final boss of Gears of War 2. What I ask is that games be fair. There's a fine line between something that's legitimately challenging and something that just cheats the player. I'm led to believe Demon's Souls would be right up my alley in that regard.

I currently have no desire to continue playing Heavenly Sword. This game has blown its chance. After fighting Killzone 2's god awful final boss the other night and now this, I'm sick of playing unreasonably difficult games. I plan to play the living hell out of Dragon Age tomorrow and I hope it doesn't put me through the same stress.

zippdementiaUser: zippdementia
Posted: November 02, 2009 (05:57 PM)
The trick is that you have to let the game be totally be boring at that section. It's not hard to beat the guys if you spam the same moves over and over. It's just... boring. Definitely one of the low points in the game.

honestgamerUser: honestgamer
Posted: November 02, 2009 (11:37 PM)
I don't remember ever having trouble with those guys, but I was plenty willing to just move around spamming the same move. The main area where I did have trouble (besides the final boss, who did give me a bit of grief) was the siege machines, but my television was likely to blame for that. Heavenly Sword is a short enough and easy enough game that I'll probably play through it again now that I have a decent set. If I play through it and the guys you're talking about suddenly become difficult for me, I'm gonna be pissed...

SuskieUser: Suskie
Posted: November 02, 2009 (11:51 PM)
Well, they're embarrassingly easy to kill when you only have to fight one or two of them, because spamming them is exactly what you do. You switch to power stance and pound the triangle button over and over until they lose their guard. But there are so many of them here that it's impossible to spam without one of them sneaking up behind you and nailing you in the ass.

The Kratos ranged attack tends to hold them off for a little while, but like I said, one of them always seems to break through and screw me up.

zippdementiaUser: zippdementia
Posted: November 03, 2009 (12:39 AM)
There's some guard breaking move that I just kept using and then, when they started to dog pile me, I'd leave the group and move to a different corner.

Thanks for bringing up the final boss, Jason. I'm glad I'm not the only one who had trouble with him. Thank god for the lenient checkpoints.

darketernalUser: darketernal
Posted: November 03, 2009 (05:36 AM)
So, basically you are bitching that a game which was stupidly easy for over half of the game time just got somewhat challenging? Really...there's no pleasing you people.

Not that I want to defend that piece of crap game, but gaming in general.

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