I feel like I should love roguelike games. I mean, like I'm supposed to. There's something about them that feels elemental and pure, like they are the distilled essence of a video game challenge. There's no coddling the player, no special dispensation for their ability or for their lack of ability, just a situation and the tools with which to address that situation. The tools may not always be sufficient, but is that not life? So, you fail? Poverty crushes you and what few breaks you had, you were not quite skilled enough to capitalize upon. There's always your next time through.
And yet, five hours later, I have not yet beaten the final boss. I got up to him once, but it turns out the final fight is a massive boss-rush and I was only able to beat half of them (this is partially my fault, because I accidentally used my healing item too early, but still). After that, it's back to square one. There's no sense of progress or advancement, just attempt after futile attempt in the hope that the random number generator will bless me in that narrow window of time between when I warm up at the start of the game and when my brain becomes useless mush after so many failures.
And my main thought is that I hate this. All the elegant simplicity of the roguelike concept, and yet here I am, bashing my head against a wall, trying to defeat this stupid boss with not enough resources and huge and unpredictable gaps between attempts. It doesn't help that the Dealer's level has the two most aggravating rules changes in the entire game - that I get a new Curse after each level transition, and that I can't have Blessings at all. Combined with the fact that there is now a card that hits me for 10hp per curse (and which has killed me from an otherwise "safe" hp total at least three times), and it's a recipe for frustration.
I really should give up and try Endless mode. I suspect I'd like it a lot more. However, I can't. I've still got five hours left to go, and only one stage left to defeat. I'm so close to final victory, it would be a shame to quit before I make it.
I suspect this stubbornness will cause me quite a bit more unnecessary grief before I'm done.