video games

I Got Over It (with Bennett Foddy)

If you’re familiar with Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, it’s probably having watched a reaction video like this.
You only need to watch about 15 seconds to get the point. But you can watch the whole 48 seconds for the schadenfreude.

I’m not certain if he actually played this game for 12 hours: that seems a tad long (especially for how far he is), but I guess it’s possible.

On the other extreme, the current record speedrun for this game is only 1 minute and 12 seconds.
In the 48 seconds while the other guy was crying, this guy got through 2/3s of the game

To make that clear, this guy, without any cheats or glitches, beat the game in about .2% of the time that the other guy spent trying to beat it.

And if it went by too quickly, the premise of the game is that you’re a dude in a pot who has to climb a mountain using only a hammer (controlled only with your mouse) with no checkpoints and many places where a small mistake will send you back to the beginning of the game.

So you can imagine how frustrating this game is, but I really enjoyed it.

It wasn’t obvious that I would like it. I got the game as a freebie addition off a free coupon code off a bundle deal, so it would be a stretch to say that I bought it.

I also generally don’t play frustrating platformers like Super Meat Boy. In fact, I have toned back the difficulty on recent games because I can’t be bothered to figure it all out.

As video games have developed, they have progressed to incorporate more complex mechanics. In 1996 Quake, you could run, jump, and shoot. I recently played 2007’s Crysis with an entire upgrade system, multiple modes, cover systems, and special abilities. I get the depth with alien upgrades and mechanics, but I just wanted to run-and-gun. Similarly, I played Pillars of Eternity on easy since I didn’t want to bother learning the ruleset or optimizing gear and shopping for better armor.

I recently have heard of this idea of video games “respecting the player’s time.” By that, I think players are talking about games that don’t require repetitive gameplay just to get to the end. And you might think that Getting Over It doesn’t respect the player’s time because it’s so finicky to get right and punishing of mistakes.

But what I think I appreciated about this game is that everything felt earned, and there weren’t real setbacks.

Getting Over It is all about getting better with the hammer. Ostensibly, the progress that you’re making as a player is getting up to the top of the mountain, but the game is about wiggling the mouse around perfectly. Just as you have tests and grades in school to measure what you learned, Getting Over It has the mountain to measure your mouse manipulation.

I didn’t get angry or frustrated when I fell (okay, I was frustrated when I fell after the jump scare that I knew was coming). I knew I hadn’t wasted an hour by falling back to the same place I was previously: I had spent that hour getting better, and I was going to get up even faster.

Okay, maybe Bennett Foddy’s philosophical narration from the game got to me just a bit.

So I beat the game in about 8 hours. My #topofthemountain said about 5 hours, but I accidentally restarted the game a few hours in, and that time counts. I had fallen back to the beginning anyways.

I also had some help from YouTube to get through some tricky bits (such as the skip at the pool to reduce the risk of falling), but I still feel like I did it myself. Unlike, say, a puzzle game, knowing the solution is just a small part of beating the game.

I can’t say this game is for everyone, but this was a great game for it. You can’t luck your way through Getting Over It, and I haven’t been so proud to finish a game in a long time.

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