It wasn't Tim Rogers but it was sort of in that same style, but a lot more cynical.
Also I keep running into stuff like this:
"It's a good question and one we've often wondered as we've seen people play Dark Souls, or struggled through its hellish gauntlets ourselves. You play these games not because they're fun - although, when you're on a roll, there's nothing sweeter - but because the designer has just smacked you with a duelling glove."
I'm playing Dark Souls because it's fun! The combat system is detailed and hands on and the level design is really good! That's fun! It's not exceedingly difficult. wrt Dark Souls, though, I beat the
Bell Gargoyles though I didn't get the tail axe. Turns out they die in like five hits if you use a golden pine resin.
Not really sure where to go next. Either the graveyard or darkroot gardens. New Lando Ruins is definitely out and the Valley of Drakes sounds unhealthy.
Anyway though I'm pretty much done on La Mulana at this point.
To activate an elevator in the first area, you have to whip a block that's being held in some wall statue's mouth. There's a tablet nearby that says something like, "When one swallows, the other spits out." After you solve the puzzle, this makes sense, because the statue swallows the block after you hit it, and a statue in the next room over spits out another bock that turns into the elevator.
Except this is still really badly designed because:
A) Usually you push blocks, and whipping them doesn't do anything.
B) It's not really logical that whipping the block would cause it to go into the wall. Whipping things usually breaks them. Also just from a physics standpoint, if you apply force to an object along the X axis, you really don't expect it to move on the Z axis. So even if you look at whipping the block as a form of pushing it, it's not moving in the direction you're trying to push it.
C) You see the deactivated elevator in two places:
This is the room the clue is talking about.
However, you also see it in the room directly above it. So in the one room it's in front of the statue's mouth. In the other room, it's... just in the middle of the wall. Which is kind of confusing as fuck. It's also not clear if it's in the statue's mouth or just obscuring it. Or if the faded nature of the elevator sprite when it's deactivated is supposed to mean it's recessed or what.
Also more bizarre translation issues -- you get a hint referring to an invisible bridge you're supposed to cross. Except it calls it a hidden floor, which isn't exactly the same thing. Hidden implies that it's obscured by something. So it's more of an exercise in deciphering unspecific language than an actual puzzle which isn't really fun.
The hints also end up just acting like lock-and-key puzzles anyway. A lot of puzzles, afaik, aren't supposed to be solved by observing the puzzle itself -- you need to find the hint for it on some tablet/skeleton, and that's no always going to be near whatever room the hint's for, so it breaks down into... just being really systematic and thorough but without applying a lot of thought, in terms of acquiring the hints, and then when you figure out how to use them the puzzle's more in sorting through the way the language is used.
On the surface it looks either clever or frustrating, depending on your take of the game, but... really it's just kind of lazy. And banal.
Indie Metroidvanias, as a rule, sort of miss the point, though.