I completed Dead Space 2 last night. I liked it quite a bit but near the end I was pretty much ready for it to be over. I completed 14 of the 15 chapters on the "Zealot" difficulty setting (the most difficult) and there was this one part right before the endgame where I kept getting killed over and over again. It was annoying the hell out of me so even though I was very near the end I said screw it and changed the difficulty level to "Casual" so I could go ahead and get through and see how the story wrapped up. I won't throw out any spoilers but turns out chapter 15 is VERY short. So after I completed the game on Casual and saw how little I actually had left I went back to a previous save before I switched difficulty levels and went ahead and completed the game on Zealot. It actually wasn't that difficult after I was armed with the foreknowledge that there wasn't much left and I could really cut loose with my ammo and stasis.
But it made me think about my selection of difficulty levels on games. I used to always play my games on the normal or default difficulty level even when a more difficult choice was available. Then somewhere along the way I switched over to always selecting the most difficult level available. And although some games on the most difficult level did prove challenging - like God of War III if I recall - most were more or less doable without TOO much trouble. But there were a few parts in Dead Space 2 where I got killed quite a few times before I got through them and it started to interrupt the flow of the game. The emotions of frustration, anger, and impatience that I felt at those times were not really compatible with the fear, panic, and dread the game's story was supposed to be immersing me in.
A while back I finally got around to playing Kung-Fu Panda which came with my XBox 360. It's not a game I would have purchased and I didn't really take it too seriously so I played it on Easy mode to just blow through it. And what do you know I quite enjoyed that little game. The absence of any significant challenge did not impede my enjoyment of the game. Now I'm thinking I might switch back to Normal difficulty on my games for a while and see how that goes.
So I'm curious - when presented with the option of choosing a difficulty level, which do you typically select?
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