©2022 Michael Raven
I discovered tonight why I never finished Last of Us Part II. My recollection was that I always quit relatively early in the game for one reason or another, and was constantly surprised this weekend by those, “oh yeah, I remember this” moments as the game went on and on.
I got wondering if my memory was playing tricks on me and I had finished the game, but forgot the ending.
There are certain things I really hate about game level design. One of them is the “boss” level that almost every game feels compelled to include. It makes no sense to me that you have a bunch of trash minions under a boss minion. You go through a level and kill off the trash over and over (or, occasionally just a few times, which is sometimes worse) before you come across a bullet-sponge “boss” who is very much like the minions with the exception that it has a devastating attack mode. It’s the mutie of the harem.
And then, you beat yourself silly trying to find a strategy for a weakness you haven’t been informed of and you die. And die. And die. Until you either get lucky or figure out the weakness. Or look it up online. Boss encounters make little logical sense in most games, but have become the standard trope for nearly every game.
Well, I ran into my nemesis tonight. I haven’t tried to beat this boss this time, but I know for a fact that this is the point of the game where I threw my controlled down in disgust.
Good god, I hate stalkers.
First off, the game puts you at a significant disadvantage so that you are battling them in utter blackness with only a flashlight strapped to your torso. A flashlight, I light add, that is almost useless with all of the particle effects of the cordyceps spores. Besides, these infected can still see and the flashlight is like a lighthouse for them.
That’s fine and groovy, but I always make it through that part of the level purely by luck. It’s the boss level that coming after that whole heart-attack inducing trauma of fighting the normal stalkers (which are fuckers as far as I am concerned). The Rat-Stalker with acid bloat is next. A bullet sponge that throws acid and can see in the dark but you can’t.
Fucking boss monsters. At least give me a little light or a companion as an assist.
A couple things: I love playing games, but I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t need the stress of boss monsters, or even the normal to murderous difficulty to feel like I’ve “earned” it. I’ve done that and “earning it” is not nearly as much fun as just playing. I play games to escape, not go to work after leaving work. Easy or difficult, boss monsters are sometimes just too much like work rather than escape.
So, maybe I’ll just watch a play-through for the rest of the game. I’m not in the mood tonight to get frustrated. I mostly loved the first game, but this one seems to frustrate me more than it’s predecessor…