Got to the second… chapter(?) of The World Ends With You. After some initial frustration I had gotten a great handle on the initial combat system and was rather disappointed to see that it undergoes a big change in the second chapter.
It’s such a wild system - fundamentally it’s beyond what a normal human mind can do. Two different real-time encounters with different offensive combos and defensive strategies happening on the top and bottom screen simultaneously. People (mostly) can’t multitask. Even when I was “good” at it (setting myself to minimum level to amp up the challenge on Normal difficulty (because Hard was still locked)) I was mashing on one screen or the other. All I had done was figure out the optimal mashing strategy. But now I’m being asked to pay a lot more attention to the top screen and it seems beyond what I can do.
I cannot decide if making the combat more or less impossible for the human mind is good or bad design. On one hand it’s frustrating to not be a chameleon capable of stringing together sick combos on two screens. On the other the game is always frantic and high-energy in combat. So much so that I sought out lots of normal battles I didn’t need to fight. It was challenging enough to be fun. But now with this new nuance (I need to dodge attacks more frequently on the top screen) it feels like the thin line between “impossible and fun” and “just impossible” has been crossed. I’ll probably push through, but it really stinks to go from getting Star or A ratings after every battle to getting Cs and Ds.
Also ducked back in to Gravity Rush: Remastered after about 2.5 years of putting it down. The game has a lot more story stuff going on than I remembered, but mechanically I was able to pick it right back up. People talk about the flying in this game often - and it’s great - but I wish it got more hype for also being a wildly creative and bizarre piece of fiction. It’s got everything: Gods, ghosts, time-schenanigans, a big clown. Just got through an MC Escher-esque sequence that reminded me of Monument Valley. I do wish there was more platforming stuff like that in here because the longer combat sequences sometimes test my endurance.