I recently made a post on MetaFilter about Blasphemous, a souls-like 2D metroidvania sidescroller. egypturnash made the following remark:
It looks very pretty but I do not think I am at a point in my life where I need a brutally difficult Metroidvania full of melancholy, sadness, and angst,
While I can respect this opinion, I think the last few years of my gaming life has actually pulled me towards more games like this. My favorite game is arguably one of the most frustrating bullet-hell rogue-lites of all time. I frequently find myself replaying Dark Souls II and other souls-like games where the difficulty is elevated and a part of the fun.
Stepping away from the actual game-play, the themes of these games are also pretty consistent. They are often set in grimdark worlds filled with monsters, demons, the undead. In Binding of Isaac, you literally battle Satan.
I could see why a game like this would depress someone. But for me, there’s a comfort in these games. Good and evil are clearly delineated. Also, battling demons with a sword is just fun. 🙂