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    benign masochism

    My sole accomplishment over the long weekend was beating the PS2 game Shadow of the Colossus. If you're not familiar with this game, you might want to read this lengthy review, a splendid piece of game journalism from Insert Credit's Tim Rogers. (The discussion at the end of Zonbi tai kyuukyuusha, a game whose title translates to Zombie Vs. Ambulance, is an added plus.)

    Shadow of the Colossus is only the second game for the PS2 that I've managed to defeat, the first being the hyperchromatic confection Katamari Damacy (also nicely reviewed by Tim Rogers). The differences between the two games will be evident to even the most casual observer, but I should also mention that Shadow is a lot harder, and took me probably four times as long to complete.

    This experience, which required an enormous amount of trial and error, wasn't always pleasurable: after the thirtieth time that I fell off that final colossus I think it's safe to describe my mood as "frustrated."

    In any case, now that that game is defeated and returned to its spot on the shelf, and now that my clarity of mind is gradually returning, I have time to consider more theoretical questions, like: do games have to be hard? And, if so, why? Those of you interested in delving into such questions might enjoy the fourth Ludus Novus podcast, "Hurt Me Plenty," which discusses exactly this topic.

    As for me, I'm going to turn my attention now to beating We Love Katamari (the sequel to Damacy) and then I'm thinking about picking up a horror game, probably Resident Evil or Silent Hill. Too bad I don't have an XBox 360, because Dead Rising ("not developed, approved, or licensed by the owners or creators of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead") looks like it's a hoot...

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    Wednesday, September 06, 2006
    1:47 PM

     

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