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Games too easy?

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
I remember the days when games didn't have difficulty levels to choose from. There was only one difficulty level and it was hard. Game also didn't have so many checkpoints. Heck, you were lucky if the game even had a save system. Game over actually meant game over, or in other words, start over. Yeah, it could be frustrating, but it was also very rewarding to finish a game since only a skilled and dedicated player could get to the end.

Now it seems like most games either let you choose your own difficulty, or the one difficulty they give you is way too easy (newer Zelda games, for example). This isn't really such a bad thing. It makes games a lot more accessible to a wider audience. But at the same time, almost anyone can beat almost any game. It's hard to die on easy mode in Halo even if you try. Legendary is a good challenge, but the checkpoint system makes it an attainable goal for anyone.

So what do you think? Do you prefer to be challenged and have to earn everything? Do you prefer to be able to coast through games unscathed? Is this more evidence of the "wussification" of society?
 

Vincent_Valentine

Studley-Do-Right
Well since I tend to play a good number of games today for their stories, it really pisses me off when a game is so difficult that I can't continue said story (for example, I really like the game Valkyria Chronicles, but one of the last missions was so hard that it took me roughly 30 tries to beat it. I damn near gave up on the game). I definitely don't mind a challenge, but I also don't want to be throwing my controller in anger. A nice middle ground works for me in a majority of cases.

As for the "wussification" question, I'm gonna say that it is far more a result of game developers trying to make their games appeal to as large of an audience as possible. Back in the earlier days of video games, it was still essentially a niche market, so they didn't really have to worry as much about alienating a demographic as much. But with how widely consumed video games are today, they wanna make sure as many people as possible can enjoy it. At least thats how I see it anyway.
 

PretzelCorps

Registered Member
As I'm sure has been noted, I touch on the hand-holding in games all the time; that's not to say that good examples of modern difficulty don't exist, though:

  1. I'll never forget reading about Steel Battalion (the famous $200 xbox game with the ridiculous controller), where if you didn't hit the eject button right before your mech exploded, the game just went ahead and deleted all your save files. Because you died. Awesome.
  2. Hardcore mode on Diablo II, of course, is another well known example which worked much in the same way; if your character dies, they die.
  3. Hardcore mode in Fallout: New Vegas was described to me; the consequences of dying are the same, but the conditions for staying alive are much more complex - You must eat and drink and sleep regularly, and ammo has weight; it seems simple, but it really complicates things, and is pretty much exactly what I had wanted (and never got) from Fallout 3.
 

KSpiceFantastic

Haters gonna hate.
I like a challenge, but only for certain games. Some games I want to tone down the difficulty to normal to experience it first, then bring it up a notch for the difficulty factor. That's what I did with ME1 and ME2 the first times.
 

Impact

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
I agree that games where you can't set your difficulty are too easy. Like Fable...it is insanely easy to beat, you can't even die you just get knocked out. Everything in that game is handed to you on a plate (I still enjoy playing it though, just not for a challenge). I would prefer for default difficulties to be harder.

For games that actually have a difficulty setting i'll usually start it on hard, and if it's too much of a challenge the first time round set it down to normal. I almost always replay games on hard and insane difficulty though, because it's a challenge.

I don't think I would like games where if you died, you actually died and had to start over. I would get far to frustrated, and probably never finish a game.

So overall, games need to be harder, but not so hard that only an elite few can finish them.
 

Wade8813

Registered Member
I don't mind difficulty options - it allows people to do what they want. I don't expect some 3rd grader to necessarily have the time or patience (or ability) I had as a high schooler on summer vacation. If I wanted more bragging rights, I could just brag about how I beat it on a harder mode.

Another thing I hate about games that penalize you a lot for dying (whether or not you were allowed to save) is when you die and there was absolutely nothing you could do about it, like if a supposed teammate ganked you, or something.

A real penalty for dying certainly can make the game more challenging - on the other hand, there are limits to it. A game that lets you save right before fighting a boss can make the boss so tough that virtually nobody will figure it out until they've tried a few times.
 

Konshentz

Konshentz
I don't see a problem with having difficulty options. I think you should be able to control your gaming experience to a certain extent. I generally choose the normal option at first, then if it's required for a trophy or something, I'll go back through on the harder modes.

As for new gamers, I think the easy option is a good idea. Why should they have to play on hard mode, if they aren't very experienced?
 

KSpiceFantastic

Haters gonna hate.
As for new gamers, I think the easy option is a good idea. Why should they have to play on hard mode, if they aren't very experienced?
That's always the thought that goes through my mind all of the time.

Back in the day, games weren't for everyone. They had their own niche, and that is why they were quite difficult. *cough* Mega Man *cough*.

The old Mega Man games were TOUGH.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
I just remember how hard the old Zelda games were, even with the ability to save. It took me a good seven years (literally) to get past the second level in Zelda 2. That never stopped me from playing it though.

The original Ninja Gaiden was ridiculous, but I enjoyed that. I don't think I ever made it past the third level. I hear the new Ninja Gaiden games are still hard though.

I think having difficulty options is a good thing. I just think there need to be more rewards for beating the hardest ones. Earning a special five second ending or a picture gallery just doesn't seem worth it. It should unlock a new playable character or weapons or something useful.
 

Ivan

Registered Member
I don't think like that. I think that possibility to choose a difficulty level is a great thing because every gamer could customize the game in a way he wants.

Beginners could play on "easy" and more experienced gamers could play on "hard" to challenge themselves. The games are now good for more audience. I really don't see any problem in that.

But I think that new games have some more important problems. For example, very very short single play (campaign). The games are really more multiplayer based this days. And it's not so good for me, I like games which have some good scenarios. (for example, Max Payne & Max Payne 2 were games with great story and you just wanted to go further and found out what will happen next, it is so addictive)
 
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