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Open Letter to Dylan Cuthbert

pain, everlasting

TO: [email protected]
FROM: [email protected]
SUBJECT: cores, soft and hard

Dear Dylan,

You are killing me slowly and ruining my relationship. Ok, maybe that’s a bit harsh. You are slightly maiming my psyche and irritating my fiancée.

The problem is your core. It is too hard. You take this core of hardness and apply it to whatever strange collection of superhip Japanese elves that you have within your employ. This results in fairly amazing games that are priced very low, and churned out within an extremely reasonable amount of time on the PSN. And I love you for it. But, you must realize that not all of us contain such a hard core; perhaps it is a firm core, or merely a non-squishy core. Surely you would like to cater to those who’s core is not a triple-latticed carbon arrangement, yes? I speak of PixelJunk Monsters and Eden.

You see, the aforementioned fiancée (oh how I hate that word – but you try and work the term “betrothed” into casual conversation, and see what looks it gets you) is quite hooked on Monsters. She still picks it up like a relay runner grabbing a baton in lap 5. Problem is, I’ve seen her try and conquer the same level, several dozen times, only to hear the now-familiar shriek of anguish quickly followed by that cute xylophonic arpeggio that accompanies abject failure. And then I have to go and console (no pun) her, and assure her that she is not stupid, but rather that the game is very hard, everyone says so, and she shouldn’t take it personally. I point out the word “hard” on-screen, which is the area she’s in, on the island - Toki or Tiki or whatever, I forget – but this is cold comfort. It’s just crushing her.

Another example. Eden. This game is rad. Yes, rad, totally radical gnarly awesomeness. It’s like a physical manifestation of what a graphic designer dreams about in the tub after popping a Xanax. But goddam, it’s also really hard! Betrothed won’t even go near it. When I mentioned that there was a new PixelJunk that had recently come out, she bolted from the room, panic-stricken, the way a horse does after hearing a gunshot. Such is the mental pain that has been inflicted.

Sure, Eden starts off nice and easy. You swing your weird little grimpy critter around on a tether and collect techno-pollen, sprout techno-plants, and acrobat your way higher to grab the techno-trophy. All fine and good. Things are explained in helpful little tooltips for the first one or two techno-gardens. But just when you feel like you’ve got a grimp on things, out comes an evil hexagon to cut your rope and send you plummeting 12 screens. Or an evil octagon with heatseeking missiles. Or a plant that fires you into the stratosphere. And the timer! Crikey! (Sorry, oscillator.) It makes sense on the levels with no enemies but, great ceaser’s ghost, that shit gets downright stressful later on.

All I’m saying is, there’s this feature I want you to look into. You may have seen it in other games. It goes like this:

CHOOSE DIFFICULTY

EASY
MEDIUM
HARD

Or in your case, you might consider something like:

EASY
MEDIUM
HARD
CUTHBERT

I’m not one to typically pick Easy. Like, at all. Being a longtime player of games with the video, choosing Easy is a shameful path that would haunt me to my grave. I’ll take my lumps. But Betrothed, she just wants to see the next island after a mild challenge, not be repeatedly crushed beneath the iron jackboot of your insidious notions of balanced and even gameplay. And I have to live with the consequences! After 15 stabs at Paku Paku, shit goes down. That’s all I’m saying. Just think about it.

Cordial postscript,
Nerfgun

p.s. I would encourage you to take advantage of the sixaxis motion sensing capabilities, and automatically enable a lower difficulty mode, should the game detect that the controller has in fact been hurled across the room shortly after losing.

what

16 responses to “Open Letter to Dylan Cuthbert”

  1. Ha ha ha…this is easily the most truthful piece I’ve ever read on the Internet. Well done, couldn’t agree more!

  2. [...] wrote a slightly (ok, totally) rantish “open letter” to Dylan Cuthbert last night, bemoaning the difficulty levels in PixelJunk Monsters and [...]

  3. [...] the swell guy that he is, Dylan replied to my email (in the previous post) about the difficulty levels of his games: Hello [...]

  4. “I would encourage you to take advantage of the sixaxis motion sensing capabilities, and automatically enable a lower difficulty mode, should the game detect that the controller has in fact been hurled across the room shortly after losing.”

    Hahaha!! This mad me laugh out loud as I didn’t see it coming at first. XD

    Thanks for taking the time to submit this to him, and I agree as my sis loves the game but she simply sucks are it so she quit. :( Can’t wait for this.

  5. [...] It’s kind of hard. So hard, in fact, that Ryan Hewson at Citizen Game decided to write an open letter to Q-games founder Dylan Cuthbert, clamoring for a patch with more difficulty options. PixelJunk [...]

  6. [...] have been complaints that Pixel Junk’s Monsters and Eden are too damn hard. The games aren’t forgiving for [...]

  7. [...] over at Citizen Game wrote an email to Dylan Cuthbert, founder of Q-Games,  explaining the difficulty him and his fiancee are having [...]

  8. [...] equally as bad at videogaming as myself has written a rather amusing letter to Dylan Cuthbert, of Q-Games, where he bemoans the hardness of their [...]

  9. [...] hat übrigens ein Schreiber von thebbps.com aus Dylan Cuthbert herausgelockt. Einmal gibt es einen offenen Brief an Dylan und einmal die Antwort von Q-Games. Durchaus lesenswert und noch ein Beweis dafür, dass [...]

  10. Some maps of the later levels in PixelJunk Eden to ease your pain.

    http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg157/OatmealMu/Random%20Crap/garden07.png

    http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg157/OatmealMu/Random%20Crap/garden08.png

  11. [...] writing an open letter explaining his fiancée’s frustrations with PixelJunk Monsters’ difficulty, BPPS writer Ryan Hewson received a response back from [...]

  12. [...] writing an open letter explaining his fiancée’s frustrations with PixelJunk Monsters’ difficulty, BPPS writer Ryan Hewson received a response back from [...]

  13. [...] thoughts on Braid, Eden, and other assorted nonsense. Also, you can hear the story that led to my open letter to Dylan [...]

  14. [...] writing an open letter explaining his fiancée’s frustrations with PixelJunk Monsters’ difficulty, BPPS writer Ryan Hewson received a response back from [...]

  15. [...] happens when you write a strongly worded letter to Q-Games’ Dylan Cuthbert? The man gets things done. After TheBBPS’s Ryan [...]

  16. Eden is wayyyyy too hard!

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