Posts by Tag / GAME: Bayonetta (2)

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Bayonetta: The One That Got Away

To me, Bayonetta will always be the franchise that got away.

When I started using GameFly over a decade ago, I loaded up my queue with tons of games I was curious about. One of the games that made its way into my list early on was the original Bayonetta. It wasn’t my usual type of game - I’d never played Devil May Cry or Viewtiful Joe. But the game was very well received - it got “universal acclaim” according to Metacritic, and people were talking about the game a lot. About its “very easy automatic” mode (which I talked about too) and whether its portrayal of its title character was sexist or empowering.

In short - Bayonetta was clearly an Important game, and I wanted to be part of the cultural moment and contribute to the conversation. But I wasn’t impressed by the demo, and whenever I did try a “spectacle fighter” or “character action game” or whatever we’re calling them these days, I didn’t like it. So as much as I wanted to experience Bayonetta, I didn’t really want to play it. I put it in my queue, but it stayed there for years as I kept sliding it further down and the cultural moment passed.

Eventually, I had to admit to myself that even with GameFly, games were coming out much faster than I could play them. I had to prioritize. I had to admit to myself what games were in my queue just because I felt like they should be and take them out to make room for the games I actually wanted to play.

I have a tiny twinge of sadness any time I take a game off of my GameFly queue unplayed. It’s a small admission of defeat to the inevitable march of time and entropy. It’s an acknowledgment that we can never do all that we wish we could. And whenever I add a game to my queue, in the back of my head I wonder if I’ll just be removing it in a year or two.

But Bayonetta is always the game I think of. It’s the highest profile game that had been in my queue for the longest amount of time, before I admitted I was never going to play it or its sequels. It’s the one that got away.

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In Praise of Easy: Lowering the Barrier to Entry

Easy Button

The challenge/punishment confusion is a major source of disagreement about video game difficulty, but it’s not the only one. Even when we have set punishment aside and are very clearly discussing only challenge, we run into trouble. Let’s take a look at the question of how much “easy” there should be in games: