Once apon a time, long ago, games came with one mode of play or possibly 2 once you beat the game. It was either normal or hard mode. Easy or Story mode didn’t exist or the games that they did exist for were few and far between. One could also argue that maybe there was a special combination of codes you could input that could change some things in the game to make it easier to complete like infinite health or money. But without that, you played the game as is, no hand holding.
Fast forward a little ways into the future. I mainly play Rpgs so once you put the game in you start the story, the end. The first game that I remember seeing the easy/story mode option was Persona 3 FES. I was late to the party with this game anyway and I’m not even sure if this option existed in the original release but here it was right at the starting screen. This game was by no means the first game to do it but this was the first game that I actually contemplated not playing the game on the standard difficulty.
I looked at the choices before I picked an option. I had to make sure that if I chose the story option that the story or content I could get to wouldn’t change in any way. I had vaguely remembered seeing in some other games with this option that there were some endings you couldn’t get or options/gear/exp that would be changed and I would suffer through it if I had to for the experience I paid for. In this case however, it seemed like there would be no penalties so I could choose it if I wanted to.
But perhaps the penalty would be paid with my perception of myself as a gamer. If I chose the story option did that mean that I couldn’t hack it playing games? Should I unplug my controller now and give away my systems? Had I finally succumbed to adulthood and outgrown games? What did the fact that I wanted to click story mode so bad mean? I was having an almost epic existential narrative in my head about my gaming career. It was almost laughable.
When I calmed down and got back into reality I realized that none of those questions actually made sense except for the adulthood thing. I just didn’t have the time that I used to when I was even in college to facebash against harder than life bosses in a 40 plus hour game. Level grinding was always the unpleasant part of the RPG experience and that could be a whole day of gaming right there. And to make matters worse, because I was an adult with access to a bigger pool of money, I actually had the means to buy WAY more games than I could as a kid. Meaning that I have more games to play ALL the damn time. Bottomline was/is, TIME was the reason why story mode was calling my name.
So, for Persona 3 and a few other games here and there where I knew it may be a slog, I have chosen easy/story mode to make sure that I would be able to experience and finish the games that I love. I don’t feel bad about it and am no longer calling my gaming aptitude into question. I encourage many more gamers to do the same if the option makes sense for you. You aren’t alone and you will probably feel better for it.
Until Next Time,
Edited: due to new to Kinja reasons :p