Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Ori and the difficulty curve

If you played Ori and the Blind Forest, I bet you've immediately recognized this place. If you haven't welcome to "how a simple puzzle can be as hard as beating a boss". It's not that the riddle is hard to figure out: there's a corner you'd like to reach locked with a door that you can only open by relaying some shot from the opposite corner of the room. You have the ability to redirect the shot, and there are corner-shaped things you've encountered before that redirect the shot as well.

Eh bien, elle m'aura donné du fil à retordre, cette salle de Ori and the Blind Forest!Pas tant que l'énigme soit difficile, mais l'exécution doit être impeccable. Si passer du premier au deuxième point de "rendez-vous" n'est pas trop tendu vu la vitesse (lente) du projectile qu'on relaie, le deuxième est déjà plus délicat: les sauts sont plus longs et s'attacher aux "lanternes" demande d'abord un double saut. Bref, il aura fallu que je maîtrise la nouvelle compétence du 'BASH' pour y parvenir. D'abord en prenant conscience que je n'étais pas obligé de me trouver au-dessus du projectile pour l'envoyer vers le haut. Je peux me positionner tout simplement au sol, là où il est possible de bien voir le moment où je dois dévier le projectile.

No, what makes it tricky is that it requires precise (perfect?) execution with proper timing despite that nothing in the level layout provides you grids or guides to time or aim things. And you've got to be quick because every time you move from one spot to another, you're racing against the same shot, all over the room. In other words, you enter the room with knowledge of how the BASH mechanics work, and you only leave the room when you have mastered the mechanics.

Through my quest to mastery, I discovered that (1) I wasn't required to be mid-air over the shot to throw it up, and (2) that I wasn't forced to use the analog stick to redirect the shot.. Standing still and pressing the BASH button with the right timing does the job. And the 'dpad' of the left joycon provides higher precision under stressful conditions (like re-doing it for the 20th time), when all you need to do is directing something vertically or horizontally. For the rest of the game, having an analog stick is precious, but puts too much stress on the dexterity of the player.

I was expecting some relief after such a boss-time but actually no! It's even getting worse: I got trapped in an escape event that requires full mastery of almost all the mechanics we've been taught so far. And I failed. A lot. Like 30 to 40 times, split along a whole week. I started believing that the BASH mechanics lacked proper tutorials and that I'd have preferred to face a "GAME OVER" and start the game afresh to find secrets that might bring me there better prepared.

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