That is especially true when the difficulty has a meaning, a reason, a point to the madness. But when a game is just plain ridiculously hard for the sake of being hard, I have a hard time accepting it. When a game is hard to cover up missing aspects of the game, like depth, graphics, game play or the fun factor, then I just plain and simple don't want to anything to do with something like that.
I say that provisionally and conditionally, as one of the fondest games of my childhood and a game I still hold near and dear to my heart falls under this category of games I usually won't touch with a 10 foot pole.
Adventures of Dino Riki, for the original NES, almost ruined my childhood memories for video games, but looking back, it is one of the games I remember the most. I was rage quitting video games before "rage quitting" was a thing. It was a game that I dumped several, several hours in, all in hopes of one day beating it. It wasn't a long game, it wasn't a great game, and it was barely considered a fun game, but damn, was it a hard game.
I honestly can't even remember how long it took me to finally beat the game (all 6 levels of it), but I remember that moment when I finally did. I had played it all morning, lost several times over and over again, until finally - FINALLY - I had the PERFECT run. And a perfect run is exactly what is needed to beat this frustrating game, as once you lose your lives and continues, it's all back to square one. And that can happen in a blink of an eye. Once I beat the final boss, I expected a huge celebration and the best end-game cut scene EVER. Instead, the game simply starts over from the first level, only at an elevated difficulty, as if the game wasn't hard enough. This pattern, apparently, just continues forever. I have never even come close to beating the game a second time through, and I don't even remember getting past the first or second level of the second play through.
A second play through, just harder? Really? That's all I get for throwing hours of my precious childhood away? I hate you, Dino Riki. But I love you oh so much, for reasons I'll never be able to explain.
I randomly thought about this game today, as I do from time to time, for no apparent reason whatsoever. And thus, I played it for my blog tonight. I didn't play it to try and beat it, because after not touching it for so long (I play it once every few years or so), there is no way to regain "perfect run form" just in a couple of tries. I played it to remind myself why I hate stupidly hard games with no purpose. I played it to remember my childhood, and how this game almost broke me of my love for video games before it ever was fully established. And I played it to try to understand what the hell it is that makes me love this game so much.
Guess what? I didn't beat it, it's still harder than it should be, I'm glad it didn't make me hate video games forever, and I still have no idea why I love the game. I don't even remember why I originally got the game in the first place back in the day, and now, I don't have idea why I love it. I honestly don't. Maybe I am a glutton for punishment? Maybe I just played the game so much that I fell in love with it based solely on quantity of quality.
No, I didn't beat it tonight. Not even close. I suppose I could have fired up the Game Genie and dispatched the game quickly and painlessly, but that is the equivalent of getting a henna tattoo instead of the real thing. It's painless and anyone can do it, but in the end, the excitement wears off quicker than you would hope, and there is no long-lasting satisfaction. A real tattoo, however, hurts, but you can always show it off as a symbol of whatever you want it to mean - a badge of honor, if you will.
Dino Riki is my tattoo. I may not have full sleeves, but I have a couple that I am proud to say I got the hard way.
I can't quit you, Dino Riki. I love you, and always will ... you hard SOB, you.