I was thinking about my early experiences with the Super Robot Wars series when I remembered the first SRW game I bought, Super Robot Wars R for the Game Boy Advance. The animations at this point were still very much “paper cutouts sliding against a background,” but I was stoked whenever I could land a finishing move on a boss, especially one of the crossover attacks. However, I think what characterized my play experience for R more than anything else was the fact that I could not read Japanese too well at the time, and so for the first 70% of the game I did not realize that your units had the option to “defend” or to “dodge,” rather than just trading hits with the enemy.

I think it’s very possible that if that game were more difficult, I would have gotten fed up with it a lot more quickly, trying to wonder how I could overcome those seemingly insurmountable odds. Perhaps ignorance was bliss for just the right amount of time.