Radical Bomb

The homepage for Steve Radabaugh

Thoughts on Video Game Difficulty

Playing games is something that I like to do to relax in the evenings. While there are games that I enjoy being challenged in and overcoming the challenge, as I get older I find myself wanting something a bit different out of games when I’m trying to relax. I get a healthy amount of stress from other areas of my life, so I’ve been turning the game difficulty down.

There’s definitely a sense of accomplishment that happens when you beat a difficult game or get through a difficult section. But, when I’m relaxing in the evening, that’s generally not the sort of thing I’m looking for. I enjoy playing through long story-driven games and I want to enjoy them similarly to the way that I enjoy a TV show or movie.

That’s not to say I never want a challenge. In education, there’s a concept called the Zone of Proximal Development. That’s where the educational content is just challenging enough that students can do it, but they have to develop their knowledge in order to do it. That certainly translates over to games as well. When I’m playing Beat Saber I play on Hard because that’s difficult enough that I have to work, but I can keep moving my whole body enough to get exercise out of it. Going easier is boring, but going to expert difficulty makes me just flick my wrists to hit the boxes and I don’t get as much exercise.

Other times when I want more challenge is if I’m playing online either against other people or cooperatively with people.

Uncategorized • January 25, 2022

The Pedestrian

I found myself with some free time this weekend due to everyone else being out of the house for a large chunk of Saturday. I had heard some good things about The Pedestrian, and since it just came out on Gamepass, I figured I’d give it a go.

On the surface, it’s a pretty normal 2D platforming puzzle game. However, it quickly adds complexity as it adds new functions to the puzzles. The gist of the game is that you are playing a character on signs, and you travel from sign to sign. After a bit, you’re re-arranging signs in order to play through the pieces of the level in the right order to get what you need.

The game originally came out on Play Station about a year ago. It came out on PC and Xbox on January 3rd and hit Gamepass on that same day. The game is fantastic, I ended up playing it the rest of the way through on Sunday. If you haven’t played it, then it’s worth checking out, and if you have Gamepass, then it’s a no-brainer.

Uncategorized • January 18, 2022

Thoughts on The Expanse

The final episode of the Expanse was released yesterday. I’ve been reading the books since I saw someone talking about the first one on Twitter back when the first book was the only one out. The 9th and final book was released in November. With the books and the show both wrapping up within a couple of months of each other, I feel like I’m saying goodbye to this series twice.

It’s been interesting to watch the internet fandom grow over the years. The show was originally on Sci-Fi channel and was canceled after the third season. Fans petitioned hard to get the show saved. I even pitched in $10 to fly an airplane over Amazon HQ with a banner that said: “Save the Expanse”. It was pretty well known that Jeff Bezos was a fan. I’m not sure if the plane helped, but Amazon did pick the show up for 3 more seasons.

Anyway, I’m a bit sad that there isn’t more to look forward to. (at least nothing announced). However, I’m quite glad that I got the shows and books that I did get.

Uncategorized • January 15, 2022

The Green Knight

I finally got around to watching “The Green Knight” the other evening. It’s been on my list of things to watch since it came out last July.

I told my wife that it was a really good movie, but she wouldn’t like it. It had a very surreal feeling to it, which I figured that it would after watching the trailers. The Story of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight is a 14th Century story and is one of the more well-known Arthurian tales. Much of the Arthurian legend comes from centuries of oral traditions that predate the first written account of Arthur which was in the 12th Century. Because oral traditions tend to evolve as they’re retold, there is no single canonical version of the Arthurian Legends which is true for much folklore and mythology.

The Story of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight exists as a text from its original author, who is unknown. It pulls influence from various existing folk-lore, but it does have a single canonical source. The movie definitely took some liberties, but it stayed fairly true to the original story.

The Cinematography was fantastic. I had to pause the movie several times to assist my children with bedtime routines, and each time I came back, I was impressed with whatever still image was on the TV.

The movie definitely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I enjoyed it.


I’m going to talk about the ending here a bit. The original story ends with the Green Knight giving sir Gawain just a nick on his neck, then he reveals himself to be the lord of the castle. Gawain then goes back to Camelot with the shame that he didn’t give the lord the green sash. The movie of course leaves that open to possibility. I think I prefer the movie ending where it left things open to interpretation. I wouldn’t mind seeing a deleted scene or something with the story’s ending in place, but I like the movie standing as is.

Uncategorized • January 14, 2022