• marcusirvingmarcus

Is 'Spelunky 2' TOO Difficult?

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

Spelunky launched near the end of the Xbox 360’s lifespan and it quickly became one of my very favorite games on the platform. I was absolutely addicted to it. I spent countless hours exploring those caves. But here’s the thing: Spelunky is fucking hard. The threat of death is always there, even one hundred runs deep it’s totally possible to still get tripped up by beginning enemies that you’ve encountered thousands of times. Every small bit of progress felt like a minor miracle, and it was almost always immediately followed by a crushing loss. There’s no actual progression in the game. Each run starts you completely fresh and the only thing you can bring with you is your memories of past runs. Get enough of those and you might be able to figure out how to deal with all of the game’s most dangerous enemies and beat the final boss. But there’s only so much punishment one man can take. I thought there was no way I’d ever finish the game so I put it down for what I thought would be forever.

Is 'Spelunky 2' TOO Difficult?

Fast forward to the beginning of the launch of the PS4. It was rough, to say the least. Outside of a few interesting-conceptually-but-not-totally-there indies like Compulsion Games’ Contrast, the place was a desert. One year after the PS4 launched I was still in desperate need of something to play, and that’s when Spelunky PS4 port launched. I was hesitant at first. Did I really want to put myself through that again? Against my better judgment, I bought the game again and I am so glad that I did. Picking up the game again was invigorating. My past knowledge of the earlier parts of the game held up and I was getting through them with ease, and my distance from the game felt as such that I had started the game anew. With these fresh eyes and half of the grind taken out, I gained a brand new appreciation for the game. I even managed to do what I thought was impossible, complete a whole run, and make it to the end and defeat Olmec. I know that defeating Olmec is only scratching the surface of the game’s myriad challenges and secrets, but I was satisfied with myself. I had beaten Spelunky.

That brings us to now. Once again we’re at the end of another console generation and once again I’m obsessed with a Spelunky game. I mistakingly thought that having as much knowledge of the first Spelunky as I had that I might be entering Spelunky 2 with some sort of advantage. Turns out that’s only half true. I may know how to deal with most of the basic enemies and traps, but things are just different enough. There’s a whole lot more of them now and a whole lot of new ones. Spelunky 2 is really, really freaking hard. After about a month of playing and with no significant progress made in a while, I think I’m hanging up Spelunky 2 for now. I’m just hoping that a little way into the PS5’s life cycle I find myself in a place where I can get back around to it and finish it.

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