Ultionus: A Tale of Petty Revenge:
I was playing this because holy damn that pixel art:
But the game kind of sucks and this screenshot kind of illustrates why. A few points:
- The player and ground-based enemies move at about the same speed, so it's hard to outrun one if one gets up behind you.
- The ground based enemies take two shots to kill each. In Contra, basic enemies only take one shot to kill, which is kind of something you NEED when a game has randomized enemy spawns like this. You also have a really low rate of fire.
- You can jump and shoot at the same time, but you can't walk while shooting.
- Collision detection is either per-pixel or you have a huge hitbox, but basically you have no grace area in collision. If you try to jump over two enemies right next to eachother, like the snake and dude on the right, you are going to clip one of them and take damage.
- You have no control over your jump height.
So let's break down that screenshot above.
If the player decides to shoot at the enemies on the left, they could only take out the gun guy with 100% certainty before the snake on the left reached them.
But this is a moot point, because the snake on the right is closer, and would reach them first. If they decide to take out the snake on the right, again, they have to stop and stay in one place while shooting at it. Given the rate of fire it still might reach the player first.
But, again, this doesn't matte since the blue zubat looking thing is flying down and left, and would hit them before they could shoot anything.
The LAST possible option is jumping over the snake and the guy with the gun, but I don't think they can clear the jump.
And since enemy spawns are, afaik, random, the player is quite possibly in a situation where they have no options through no fault of their own.
This is /precisely/ what happens when you make a game without understanding how the genre works.
--- edit ---
I was trying to do the Depths in Dark Souls again, and I got cursed and one-hit KO'd by an enemy I couldn't see. That or the breath attack that cursed my guy was more or less identical looking to decorative fog. I don't know. I didn't even see the curse buildup meter ahead of time. Or hear any basilisks.
And then later I fell off a ledge because the camera spontaneously realigned. Also because I got stuck on world geometry that was JUST high enough that I couldn't walk over it for some reason.
Like, here's another thing with the basilisks -- to get down to the level they're at, you drop through a hole in the floor. It looks like you can cross this hole, because there's a rat right next to it and the rat can cross it and stand on top of it by... merit of having a bigger hit box I guess. So it looks like you can cross the gap, but you actually can't.
At which point if you're new in the game, you probably end up getting cursed, because you get dropped right next to a basilisk and it's not immediately apparent that you can curse you, or what curse does. You die, you get a message telling you to seek a healer in New Londo, and next to the healer you can also find a ring that boosts curse resistance a lot. And you can actually get through New Londo now since you need to be curses to fight ghosts.
And I guess maybe a lot of players find said ring and decide they figured something out on their own but really it's kind of contrived -- kind of backtracky stuff you can avoid if you know what you're doing ahead of time, but...
I maintain that the game's only difficult because it's entirely too clever about how it plays with what it's conveying to you and because none of the mechanics are adequately explained anywhere.
(Also I'm pretty sure the correct strategy right now would've been to grind for souls and buy them on pyro spells to spam at ghosts. Whee).
--- edit ---
Tried doing New Londo again. Got about halfway to where Ingward is, at which point I strafed into a wall which... ended up knocking me into a bottomless pit, and promptly uninstalled the game.