“Come on man, just mash it faster!”

Button Mash

The journey had come down to the final showdown between Kratos and Ares. Ares had bestowed Kratos with god-like powers but at a cost Kratos wasn’t willing to forgive. Each slain creature was another step closer towards his vengeance, each new weapon acting as a reminder of the pain endured and the threats conquered. Ares may have given him supreme power, but his determination and proficiency was his own. Their gargantuan swords clashed, sparks gushing from the steels’ friction and the strength behind them. It all came down to this moment and this moment alone.

Emily was no match for the god of war.

I watched my girlfriend labor over this final boss battle for over an hour. It’s not that she didn’t know how to defeat him, or that she wasn’t skilled enough to do so. When their swords crashed together, Emily was unable to press the attack button quick enough to win the duel. Near the beginning of the adventure a similar event occurred with a basilisk that could be killed more easily if Kratos stabbed it deep in its throat. When I noticed how difficult this was for her I thought, “I hope that doesn’t become an issue later.” Well, it did.

This shouldn’t be a required skill for any game. I’ve watched friends who don’t game frequently play Mario Party and one of those awful “Mash the A Button lolz!” mini-games inevitably pops up. Seeing how slow people are is actually hilarious, but why does it exist? During cinematic sword sequences, like in God of War, it evokes a sense of struggle that you otherwise wouldn’t feel. Remaining in control of the action is important, but this method reduces your control and simplifies the effort. It will leave a nasty taste in the mouths of those unfamiliar. Here’s actual advice on how to mash buttons effectively:

Button Mashing 2

In summation: do it faster!

Over the course of her journey, I heard Emily’s moans of frustration as she navigated Kratos across the thinnest beams while hoping over massive blades that would bring her back to the beginning if touched. I watched her defeat a three-headed hydra and a colossal minotaur covered in armor. This was not an easy game for her, but it was both challenging and rewarding enough for her to trudge onwards. Because of the hell she was put through, Emily needed to destroy Ares, but she was unable to; I defeated the god of war for her. This was not the ending she wanted.

I bought her the God of War Saga collection on the PS3 for Christmas, hoping she’d enjoy this series as much as I thought she would. She seems hesitant starting the sequel after being withheld the satisfaction she deserved.

Button mashing is the worst.

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