Kenneth on Games: Difficulty in “Getting Over It”

People say that Getting Over It is just a cruel game, and a lot of its difficulty comes from how there are no checkpoints and you are always able to lose all of your progress. But that isn’t entirely true. The mountain is built with “soft checkpoints” where it may not be any easier to keep going forward, but at least it is much harder to go backwards. These soft checkpoints are juxtaposed against difficulty spikes which may not necessarily be the most difficult parts of the game, but they make it very easy to go backwards. These two axes of difficulty intersect to stabilize the player’s experience despite a complete absence of character progression.

Kenneth on Games: Level Patterns in “Dark Souls 3”

Levels in Dark Souls 3 seem to have a pattern where they establish a specific direction as a dead end, but then force the player through that direction at specific moments. This creates the sense that dead ends can be overcome through player skill. In the Cemetery of Ash, this direction is right, and the player’s experience with going right represents a miniature journey through the Soulsian emotional arc.