The Story Matters More Than the Difficulty Setting

Waking up at 2am Monday thru Friday for work; getting home at noon, running any errands that need to be taken care of, cleaning the house, picking up my son from school at 3pm, helping him with any homework, getting dinner started, cleaning up after dinner, making sure my son takes his shower, brushes his teeth, then I make my lunch for work, take my shower, brush my teeth, then its around 6:30pm and I’m exhausted and just straight up done! Thats a normal week for me and you might wonder where does this guy find the time to play games? Sometimes I’m lucky and I don’t have errands to run after work or I stay up late on Friday nights (till 8:00pm, I’m wild and dangerous I know!). Some Saturdays I don’t have plans with my family, and after I finish the laundry on Sunday I can sneak some time in.

With my unique gaming schedule, I’ve discovered that I like the stories in games more than most gamers do. At times, even more so than graphics or gameplay. So when a game presents me with an “Easy Mode” I am all about it! Easy Mode respects my time way more than anything else in my life if we’re being honest. It let’s me get though levels without frustration or aggravation. It allows me time to have more time outside of gaming where I don’t feel as if I’m missing out on family milestones. Easy Mode let’s me level up faster, one-hit kill, upgrade gear quicker, and most importantly let’s me take in the story that’s being presented to me.

Suck it, water level.

Now, I’m not saying it’s for everyone because I know quite a few people that like hard or challenging games. They’re just not for me, or at least not for what my life is now. Back when games were harder and there was no way to change the difficulty you would just roll with it and if you beat it – great! If not? Well then the game sat incomplete for the most part. For the record I did beat the water level in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. I’m proud of that. Back then I had the time and not a care in the world – just play the games that I liked as they came out, never thinking about anything else. It really wasn’t until I had my son that I noticed my play habits change and I no longer wanted to even play a game if I got a hint that a level was tough or grinding was necessary. I would pass on it right away and I found myself playing less and less.

I had an interaction with someone on Twitter recently where they called me out for not “really playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses” because I logged 300 hours but never played with perma-death or anything higher than casual. I completed all 4 paths as well as the DLC and upgraded every single weapon and got A+/S rank on all my relationships. Yet it wasn’t good enough to for that person to say “good job” or “awesome” – we couldn’t bond over our love of the game cause I didn’t play it right or hard enough for their approval. We got the same story at the end no matter the difficulty and I thought “Why did it bother them?”. Maybe they had the time but I didn’t. Easy Mode let me have the time, it respected my time, and treated me to an amazing story told from different points of view.

In closing I just want to point out that having an Easy Mode is EFNcool and anyone who wants to play on that difficulty I understand and appreciate you. Anyone who wants to play games on Hard Mode I feel the same way. Gaming at the end of the day is and should be for everyone.