Sekiro - Are You Enjoying This Game?
"Are you enjoying this game?"
I'm fighting a Sekiro mini boss. An unimposing foe who has already killed me a dozen times and wasted a good half hour of my precious time. Time that would've been better spent studying Japanese, doing the washing up, or going to bed early.
"Are you enjoying this game?"
My wife is asking. She's seen me playing Sekiro on and off for the last month. Me, Games King, as I've asked her to call me, slowly chipping away at a game that refuses to respect my time or lack of hand-eye coordination.
Every time she glances at the screen, I'm dying. Trampled by an over-sized bull; cut down by a rooftop samurai; outwitted by an ape without a head; bested by a cliff. Fucked by a regular monkey. I can understand why she might question my enjoyment of Sekiro.
This particular mini boss is completely optional. However, now that I've engaged with her once, I feel bound to keep at it until I finally figure out a way to defeat her. I think I know what I need to do, but I lack the patience to see it through. Eventually, I'm going to lower my guard in an attempt to cheap shot her, and that's when she'll slaughter me.
I don't have the patience to do what needs to be done.
I don't have the skill to pursue a more exciting path to victory.
I don't have the imagination to figure out a way to cheese her.
I do, however, have the internet. I will eventually find a method suited to my level of skill and patience. Then she'll die.
Perhaps not immediately though. It'll probably take me a few more attempts after that.
"Are you enjoying this game, Games King?"
What constitutes enjoyment?
I enjoy traversing this world. Moving stealthily from ledge to hedge, emerging from the shadows to do massive murder before slinking away. I like discovering, through trial and error, the optimal way of clearing a path. I love that feeling when you time your parries just right or when you nail that back stab; when you remember a newly-acquired combat technique just in time to put it to good use. That feeling of satisfaction when you open a locked door and create a time-saving short cut, or when you backtrack to a previous location and make mincemeat of foes that carved you up 300 lives ago.
But the bosses are an unbearable slog. They are a rude and unwelcome interruption - a disruption so complete that they make me forget about the rest of the game. My heart sinks each time I sniff out a boss arena. They are punitive, ludicrously difficult and at times disappointingly unimaginative.
What's harder than one giant ape? Two giant apes, obviously. Now get on with it, shinobi.
When a boss dies, my sense of relief far outweighs any sense of accomplishment. Chances are I've achieved victory either by playing it very safe, keeping my guard up and chipping away at their health or posture very slowly, or I've followed the advice of some YouTube prick and cheated my way to victory.
Does my wife appreciate the complexities of this question?
OK, I think I'm ready to answer.
Oh, she's fucked off.
I'll tell her tomorrow.