New Year’s Schmresolutions: Commitments
Did you know that I am a masochist? Not in any creepy sexual way, no, sheesh, but in my gaming tastes. My favorite game of 2013 was Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, the latest entry in a series of games known for being brutally hard, dense, and unforgiving to new players. I spent the last few weeks playing Etrian Odyssey IV, a rogue-like that punishes players for getting overly arrogant and not understanding just how deep they’ve walked into the shit. Uh, that pun didn’t really work. Was it even a pun? Whatever, the point is that I spent most of last year and the start of this year punishing myself with endlessly difficult games. And I loved it so much, so, so much! Not just because of the challenge, but because I beat those games.
Except for one.
Dark Souls. Mother. Fucking. Dark Souls.
With all the challenges in games I overcame this year, Dark Souls still managed to keep me down. I couldn’t even make it halfway through the game, Dark Souls has a hell of an ability to make you never want to play it again- not because it’s unfair but because it loves pointing out just how much you’re actually really bad at this game. Combine that with how unrelentingly depressing the world of Dark Souls is and just how much you want to destroy everything you come across. Which just feeds into you being worse at the game, because you insist on beating a particular monster and slam your face into the wall until you slam your controller into the wall. And then you stop playing it for six months.
But there’s so much to Dark Souls, so much lore and challenge and beauty and deep gameplay that it’s worth beating. It’s worth investing the time and effort into- for every hour I spent on Monster Hunter it felt like it converted into half an hour of Dark Souls skills. And still, one hundred hours of pseudo-Dark Souls skills from Monster Hunter wasn’t enough to keep me going. But isn’t that fascinating? I played Dark Souls for 20 hours this year, and gained relevant experience for over 200 via Monster Hunter, and I still couldn’t penetrate the game’s depths. That probably says something about my skill as a gamer, but whatever.
To jump to a tangent, I’ve already resolved to spend this year becoming better at Magic: The Gathering. Attending tournaments, stepping up my tournament play, and so on. Part of expanding these skills is mental focus, the ability to not get distracted by outside things and actually put in the time and effort to make my Magic game better. And this probably also means this is the year to beat Dark Souls. It’s a year for discipline and effort, not pissing the days away pretending to be the Witcher.
I know it isn’t an exciting resolution, but I don’t care. This year is going to be the year of Dark Souls. The year that I plumb the secrets of Lordran and become champion! And when that happens I can look back on my life and say “Yes, I have accomplished-”
Oh god damn it. It’s going to be a long year.
Happy New Year, Schmamers!