VGT – I’ve Lost My Gaming Skills

I can’t get past her!

I have lost my gaming skills.  I’m playing the first Mass Effect and I have encountered the matriarch Benezia.  She does something to paralyze me, then she sends her bodyguards and I’m dead within seconds.  It happens so fast I’m not sure I can do anything to overcome it.  I’ve tried two times now and it makes me want to stop playing the game.  Real life can be frustrating enough, do I really want to experience frustration virtually as well?

Remember the new item you just found? Don’t use it to defeat me or anything

But perhaps I never had the gaming skills in the first place.  I remember calling the Nintendo Hotline one time in the early nineties when I got stuck on The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past.  I was stuck on a boss monster called a Helmasaur.  It was basically a scorpion with a helmet.  The “Game Counselor” told me to try using bombs to shatter the helmet.  It worked.  That was kind of awesome now that I think about it.  However, In this more advanced electronic age, I wonder if there could ever be a service in which a person gets stuck on a game and calls for help.  Then the helpline person connects remotely and does the difficult part for you.  Now I’m REALLY getting lazy.  I won’t need a remote connection this weekend – I’m probably going to have my son get me past that difficult section of Mass Effect.

Now even a little kid can beat this game

I also noticed that as I was playing Super Mario 3D Land recently that I died a few times on my way to Bowser in World 6.  Then a magical block appeared at my starting point and I hit it.  Out popped a white tanooki suit that basically made me invincible to all enemies.  I discovered that even armed with this helpful super setting that I was still able to perish by falling in the lava.  Everyone knows that even a white raccoon suit can’t withstand the high temperatures of molten rock.  I finally beat the level with the help of this suit but I felt like I was cheating.  I was glad to be able to move forward though.

I read discussions about whether current games are too easy now.  Some people don’t like all of the extra help, but I kind of appreciate it.  I only have so much time that I can spend playing a game.  I don’t want to spend it feeling frustrated.  Besides, there are still plenty of extremely challenging games out there.  I’ve heard people on podcasts talking about a game called Dark Souls that is just brutally difficult – but they love it.  Hard games will never go out of style but  I like games that are a little easier.

What do you do when you get frustrated in real life?   What do you do when you fail?  It would be nice if we could just put on a magic suit and make everything right again.  Real life simply doesn’t work that way – although it would be pretty cool if it did!  We do have “game counselors” that we can go to.  A wise person isn’t above seeking counsel when help is needed.  Of course, even when one feels completely alone, a video game theologian can always trust in God.  Even when you’ve lost your gaming skills.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Psalms 73:26 (ESV)

3 thoughts on “VGT – I’ve Lost My Gaming Skills

  1. I completely agree. I’d much rather a game be too easy than too hard. If I keep dying over and over again at a single part, I tend to feel frustrated rather than challenged, and by that point I just want to get it over with and continue. Whenever I play Mass Effect, I always find myself wishing the combat sequences would just hurry up and finish so that I could progress the story.

    Benezia can be difficult because of her asari commandos. I usually try to take them out first (I hide behind the railings so Benezia can’t blast me, then I have my biotic Lift the commandos from their cover so I can Assault Rifle them in midair), then I march up to Benezia and shotgun her from close range. She is definitely tough.

  2. Its not cheating if they give you special powers in the game. Its there because they KNOW it is a hard level and not everyone wants to die 50 times and still not beat the level. If you found the secret, I say flaunt it. The whole point of playing video games is “to me” having fun and getting a sense of accomplishment. If you dont want to use the secret stuff then thats up to you, but no one else cares if you beat it with our without “so called” cheats. You cant say being invincible is just as fun running through everyone as the fast paced music plays and your character has a strange glow.

    • I didn’t say I was cheating, I merely said I felt like I was cheating when I was given the super tanooki suit. Believe me, I appreciated getting it! The game is very generous with extra lives too. It really is a fantastic game. There’s something about it that makes me go back to the levels and look for every star coin. I respect your opinion, but then again I respect almost anyone who owns a Sega 32X AND a Sega CD attachment. Sell it to me Squiggly!!

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