Do you ever look up what to do to progress in a game if you have no idea what to do? Or do you 100% figure it out yourself?
A bit of both. It depends on the game. Sometimes I try really hard to figure it out, because the reward is really sweet when I do, sometimes I brute force it or look up the answer. If a puzzle doesn’t really fit the tone of the rest of the game then I’ll sometimes bypass it by looking up what I’m supposed to do.
I had to look up where to use the basement key in dark souls for example.
Very recently I played Dishonored 2 and got stuck in the very first room, eventually had to ask a friend who did the exact same thing as me how to get out. There were two windows that I didn’t realize could be opened, they looked like a part of the wall.
I think I looked up one of the light redirection puzzles in DMC3, at least the first one, because I flat-out didn’t understand what I was supposed to do.
I remember being really ecstatic about figuring out the video puzzle in Phoenix Wright 1 where you need to notice that the evidence locker light is still on. I had no access to internet and had to figure it out myself.
I’ve cheesed the dice puzzle in DMC4 almost every time (use devil bringer right when the die faces the side you want).
I beat the first 3 days of majora’s mask on my own, then basically used a guide for everything up to the water temple because I couldn’t be bothered to figure out what inane connections there were between everything.
I came up to the windmill in Brothers, and thought I had to jump from the windmill onto the raised bridge, not the other windmill, so I looked up a lets play to figure out what to do there.
I remember looking up the fight for the final boss of Doom 4, because I didn’t really understand how to avoid the blue mist and getting skewered on top of the platforms. The videos I found seemingly just had the guy get lucky.
Recently I played Dishonored 2 and got stuck in the very first room where you have control. I tried interacting with literally everything in the entire room, but couldn’t determine what the fuck I was supposed to do. I went out the open window, but there didn’t seem to be any way forward there. I eventually asked a friend who had played the game before me, and he pointed out I could open the other two windows in the room. I thought they were just set-dressing, not interactable.
In Nioh, I played one level themed like a bathhouse called, Trail of the Master. In that level, you need to find 3 tiles to open a door to the boss encounter. I found the first two tiles by beating one time encounters around the level, and slowly cleared the level out. I found all the kodama, I found a secret wall, I found one of those wall demons, I found paths on the banisters into other rooms. I thought there must be something I’m missing. The last tile was on a corpse I thought I had already looted, because if you loot a corpse and it has consumable items when you’re at max capacity, the corpse stays active across resets instead of the item being lost like in dark souls. So I scoured the level up and down and eventually looked up a walkthrough.
My stance generally is that if just knowing what to do ruins a section, then it’s usually not a very good gameplay challenge to begin with. You can’t make a dark souls boss any easier with a tutorial video (unless it’s bed of chaos, and even then). I’m not proposing this as a hard and fast rule, it can be fun to figure things out for yourself, but I don’t really begrudge using guides or such when you’re stuck and there’s really no clear way forward. Though I’ll also say that if the challenge is presented fairly and you do have all the pieces to figure it out, you should try your best to figure it out before resorting to a guide.