Ben, thanks for this! I’ll definitely check out a bunch of these. It’s funny, some of your suggestions echo some gut feelings I had about them (My Friend Pedro looked… alright? But I never pulled the trigger on trying it out). Katana Zero has been on my list, happy to hear you liked it
I was also tempted by Sekiro, but it looked like it treated difficulty as almost fetishistic; like, I like a hard game, but I don’t think I’m that kind of masochist. I appreciate your write-up. And Bloodborne… lol I saw a speedrun of it, looked it up subsequently, and don’t think it’s something I’d put a lot of time into, for the very least that I’m not easily able to set up a console setup
And three cheers to save editors/trainers: I feel like there was a time when a lot of us collectively. realized time is pretty scarce and fetch quests suck, so we called out “padding” in games where we saw it. There’s something real similar about hard games like this. I love Celeste but part of it is because death/retries are fast and there’s little wasting your time to try again. When I complained about the deaths in Blasphemous it’s less about them costing a lot in-game, just a ton of time and patience more than anything else.
Thanks for all this, I’ll write up the next games I play, which will include some of these