Like father like son

I have vivid memories of my father getting upset while watching a football game on TV. He would jump out of his seat, yell, curse, and on occasion throw pillows at the screen. As a child I didn’t understand why he got so upset. I think in some ways that’s why I veered away from being a spectator of sports some time ago. I didn’t want to get myself into situations where I would get that worked up over anything.

Fast forward too many years and here I sit in front of my computer playing Risen, a single player fantasy RPG. I’ve yet to throw anything at my monitor, but the swear words under my breath and the clinching of fists have become all too common occurrences while playing the game.

Combat is my undoing. It is at once exciting, challenging, and at times infuriating. There is no locking on a particular target, and as I would imagine melee combat in real life to be, you are constantly moving around. If you find yourself confronted by more than one enemy, you are often flanked and attacked from different directions simultaneously. During most fights I find myself moving around in my chair (as if that’s going to make a difference) which in turn has elicited some strange looks from my wife.

I try my best to stop my gaming sessions on a positive note, but there have been many situations I’ve found myself in where I’ve encountered an enemy I simply haven’t been able to beat–even after 5 or so reloads. So in these instances I have left the game frustrated and stomped out of our computer room in a huff. My wife has been picking up on these mood swings, by the way. And it was while explaining to her why I was so frustrated that I remembered my father.

I guess I should be thankful he wasn’t into video games back then. I’d probably be the one throwing things at the TV now.

Posted on March 9, 2010, in General. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Ha! That reminds me a bit of my experience with Demon’s Souls.

    Is there a payoff though? Are there other times when you take down an enemy and it just feels so rewarding that you can’t help but through a fist in the air in celebration?

    Reminds me a bit of myself playing Tribes, too. That was the only game my girlfriend at the time asked me to quit playing. I’d get so caught up in it that I’d become borderline (verbally) abusive if she asked me a question at the wrong moment. (“DON’T BUG ME NOW I’M ABOUT TO GRAB A FLAG!!!” in the midst of a match).

  2. Randolph Carter

    I’m afraid my post really didn’t do the game justice. I’m finding Risen to be a very rewarding experience. Yes the combat is challenging and at times frustrating, but when you do bring down that difficult monster after watching the way it attacks and learning from your mistakes, it can be very rewarding indeed. It definitely adds to the immersion.

    I just think my wife would prefer I played solitaire on the computer.

  3. Risen is a good example of how RPGs are made here in Germany. They are rather rough in many aspects, they miss the streamlining of american and canadian productions and are often very frustrating.
    On the other hand, they offer a lot of freedom to explore a rich and beautiful world the way you like and the world itself is more “medieval with some orcs and mages thrown in for good measure” in contrast to your everyday fantasy setting.
    But in the beginning you really are just some guy with a stick (if you’re lucky to find one!) and a wolf or something like that WILL kill you. You will never get as powerful as in Oblivion for example, where you can kill almost everything with one or two hits after a while. Combat gets easier but never really easy.
    While this may be somewhat realistic and while I don’t mind a challenge, it can really be to much sometimes.
    I haven’t played Risen yet, but I have played its predecessors, the Gothic Series, which are very similar. I know exactly what you talk about!
    And, to be honest, I’m more of a Bioware/Bethesda/Obsidian-Person …

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