Episode 162: Not Ashamed of Playing On Easy Mode


Last week, I talked about some of the upcoming games that are scheduled to be coming out within the year. However, while I’m thoroughly delighted there are still going to be some incredible games coming out, I’m still wary about them. Why? Well, because I’m hoping that they’ll make it easy for people like me who enjoy video games but aren’t that good at playing them. Yes, I’m one of those gamers that have no shame of choosing Easy Mode if the option is available.

Okay, so most of the time, I do try to play most of the video games I get on the normal difficulty setting just to try it out. But, more often than not, I do find myself switching over to the Easy difficulty a lot of times. I don’t do it all the time, though. I’m totally fine with fighting games most of the time since the controls are usually very uncomplicated since you do just push buttons to hit your opponent. So, like with Marvel vs. Capcom 3, I appreciate that Capcom included a Simple Mode for newbies to get into the game but I only used it once and never, ever touched it after that. Oh, I still suck at Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Simple Mode or not because that game is just insane! But I never found Simple Mode as a fun way to play that fighting game so I never bothered with it.

I’ll be the first one to admit, however, that I’m not a skilled gamer. I’ve written a lot on this very blog at how sometimes I would crack under pressure and forget which buttons do what, leading to some really stupid things. It would lead me to uncontrollably jump all over the place or fire into the air for no reason at all. It’s not that I’m terrible… although the way I’m describing myself make it seem like I am. Honest, I’m not bad at them! But I just don’t do well under stressful situations. Have been that way even as a child and I guess it transferred to the way I play games. So there are going to be games that I play on Easy mode.

However, I do feel there is a stigma when it comes to playing on Easy mode. Why? Actually, I don’t know. When I do tell some of my gamer friends that I will switch to Easy mode when a game is kicking my butt, they all look at me and snicker. And even game developers who do add in an easy mode can’t help to make fun of gamers that do resort to playing on this difficulty setting. Sometimes they’ll cut the experience short so that you can’t watch the game’s ending or, in a weird way of making you feel less of a person, like berating you from choosing Easy mode… which they actually decided to put in the game? Like I said, I don’t really understand the discrimination behind it all.

I know a lot of people have different reasons for playing video games. Some love the challenge of matching wits with the developers on how they can beat the game. Others play video games because the love the spirit of competition it can foster among others and the thrill of winning or losing against someone else. There are also going to also be those who enjoy games because they want to be transferred to different worlds and listen and witness wondrous stories that movies and television can’t really convey. And I belong to that last demographic mentioned.

Over the course of my gaming life, I realized most of the games I like are the ones with really compelling stories. These are the ones that tell complex stories, have really memorable characters and strong emotional moments. In fact, there are some games that I’ve never played yet I still have incredibly fond memories of them. Take the Final Fantasy games. My favorite game in the series is Final Fantasy VIII. I know it’s not as popular as Final Fantasy VII but VIII has a definite place in my heart. When I saw the ballroom scene where Rinoa dragged Squall onto the dance floor, I knew I was going to love the game.

There was something about Rinoa’s straightforward attitude and Squall’s rather stoic mannerism that felt just right. To be frank, Final Fantasy VIII’s story is kind of a mess and not particularly memorable. Without looking it up, all I can tell you about the plot of the game is that there’s this school that’s tasked to defeat some witch who’s been alive for eons. But, if you ask me about the characters in the game, I can recall them instantly. I remember Zell’s zeal for hotdogs, the whip wielding Quistis and the rest of the cast.

However, it were the touching scenes between Squall and Rinoa that I have so many fond memories of. I remember the shock of seeing Squall get pierced through the heart by an icicle and his apparent death. I also recall the aforementioned ballroom scene as one of my fondest memories. Oh, and if you want me to sing Eyes on Me, I still remember all the lyrics, Engrish and all!

Yet, I have never played Final Fanatsy VIII. I just watched my brother play it a long time ago and I enjoyed watching the story unfold and it was an eye opener for me. It showed me that video games were more than just pushing buttons. There were touching tales of struggle and love. There were stories of overcoming weakness or helping the less fortunate. They were telling stories of love and fantasy and great battles. This is what drew me to video games and this is still why I love video games even up to now.

So, most of the time, I play video game to witness a story. Oh, there are some games that I enjoy playing because they’re just plain addicting and fun. One of my favorite video games of all time has to be The Sims and that game series doesn’t have a lick of an official story. However, The Sims does allow you to make up your own tale. At least, that’s how I play The Sims!

This is why I get miffed when I see they lock out the endings on Easy mode. I may be a small minority but I do play video games to get a good story and witness characters that draw me in. And, since I’m actually more focused on getting the story, I don’t really focus too much on the gameplay. I do enjoy playing games but I also don’t want to be locked out of the story just because I couldn’t pass a difficult boss or make an impossible jump because my skills aren’t up to par with most gamers.

Besides, if I enjoy playing on Easy mode, why should it bother anyone? We all play games to enjoy ourselves, right?

Anyway, speaking of The Sims 4, I’m actually thinking about going back to it again. And I’ll be talking more about my experience with my return to it next time!

Do you ever mess around with Easy mode? Let me know in the comments section below!

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