I'll eventually get back to Friday's topic, but I want to throw this out there instead today. Over at the CrosuS forums, RedOctober and I disagreed about the worth of a particular game. At one point in the discussion, I had this to say:
"You're wrong, though, if you think the only reason gamers like me don't enjoy games like this is difficulty. It's not about it being hard, but how it is hard. I'm not an achievement-oriented gamer. I focus much more on the moment than the goal during gameplay. Accomplishing something doesn't get me as excited as doing something really cool and fresh. So I don't mind games being hard, but I expect them to be hard in dynamic and engaging ways.
When an FPS game offers a high diffulty mode by making the AI smarter or limiting ammo, that's fun for gamers like me. But the difficulty in Exolon DX is hardly dynamic, and restarting from the beginning over and over to get a little further is a type of gameplay that lost its appeal for me when games became capable of more. When I was a kid, I loved games like Contra and Ghosts 'n' Goblins, but games have evolved and I have different expectations now. "
So my question now is: Is that sort of gameplay still viable? Are games like Ghosts 'n' Goblins, based on trial-and-error and near-perfect performance to complete linear adventures, relics of the past? Or will that sort of gameplay continue to have a niche in the industry beyond the generation of gamers who grew up with it?