View Full Version : Difficulty in video games
12-18-2007, 08:20 AM
If a game is too easy, I lose interest. If a game is too difficult, I get frustrated and don't play.
My brother is studying game design at a University. I told him he should find that magic line, where it's challenging, but ropes you in and keeps you coming back. Where skill and effort = rewards. Where luck can only help you so much.
The best example I can think of is RE3: Mercenaries mini-game, with Nicholai. I used to never be able to finish it. Now I can get 4 survivors, and I'm totally addicted. (I still can't get any with Carlos! I put him in the 'too hard' category).
What games should my brother look at? It doesn't have to be RE, but that's pretty much all I play now, so thats all I tell him to play (and I don't think he can pass mercenaries with Mikhail!)
And on the topic, when you get a game, what difficultly do you first play on?
Are games nowadays becoming too easy? (Am I the only one hearing this criticism alot?)
Talk about hard games, and easy games. Games you recommend for a challenge.
12-18-2007, 09:57 AM
I pretty much always play games on the hardest difficulty available from the start.
Games tend to be way too forgiving these days.
Games hold your hand at the most stupid moments and they often for some reason have the harder difficulties as unlockables, often being a total turn-off in my opinion. As I don't feel like playing through a game once and have it be a total boring walk in the park, to then knock it up a bit when I already know what is going on.
The only games I can think of that did this right was Goldeneye, Perfect Dark and Time Splitters series. When you played on the harder difficulties there, not only did the game in general get harder on your ass, but you had more tasks that you'd have to accomplish during each mission, thus expanding on the overall experience.
There is also one thing I think PC games in general have created that is slightly annoying. The quick save/load culture. There is just something I find incredibly stupid about someone saving and loading every 10th second. Those people could just as well play with some sort of infinite health cheat on or just knock down the difficulty to the lowest setting humanly possible.
If you want to see "frustratingly hard", you should try to play some of the later challenges in Contra 4 on the DS, they can get on your nerves as they contain things that're simply out of your hands. (Like, time trial stage that requires you to use grappling hook to climb up somewhere, just to have a randomly timed spawned enemy drop down on you while you're getting pulled up so you can't do shit about it)
BioShock and its infinite health vita chamber stuff was a bit annoying on Hard, as most stuff was just a long patience test.
I haven't tried playing it with the vita chambers off, but I think the general AI of quite a lot of things would have to be very different for a "vita chamber: off"-setting to work properly.
12-18-2007, 11:15 AM
Outbreak and Outbreak 2, as I recall, reward you with some extra scenes and such if you play on hard. Which is good. And I deffintely notice the difference in difficulty. If your brother can handle playing those they might be good. RE4 PAL also has some stuff missing if you play on Easy (you miss out a clock tower, don't have to fight the armored nights and such) and you can carry more ammo per slot.
Looking at Forbbiden Siren 1 and 2 is also interesting. Siren 1 is the better game to my mind but incredicly, stupidly hard. 2 is easier, and gives you the option (not automatically on) of having the game more or less guide you to each goal. However, it actually makes the game a bit worse. Part of the terror of Siren was being clueless and helpless.
12-19-2007, 06:43 PM
Dino Crisis 1 on hard mode...yea thats awesomely hard :D
12-21-2007, 09:38 PM
Easy picks. DMC1 on Dante Must Die is a good challenge, and so is the mode on DMC3.
NG Black's story mode CAN be very frustrating due to some design choices with enemy placements but the AI is legendary in the Xbox/PS3 games. The first Xbox version had some one overpowered move that was toned down later, and an intercept move that was taken out altogether.
Add various difficulties alongside mission modes and you've got possibly the most difficult games ever made. There were some cheesy cheap moments though. For example, you're low on health on a harder difficulty and found an item box that has a health boost in Normal that's replaced with a low HP but high damage enemy.
12-22-2007, 09:28 PM
Dino Crisis 1 on hard mode...yea thats awesomely hard :D
I'm going to have to agree with this. I frickin' loved playing that game in-between my endless summer days (and nights) playing various Resident Evil games.
Awesome times. :nervous:
01-03-2008, 03:58 PM
I'd agree full-heartedly with Carnivol in his opinion that most games aren't challenging enough nowadays. It's overwhelmingly apparent that the main goal game designers are tasked with when making games, is to make them as smooth, and non-aggravating as humanly possible. I think that this trend of making games ridiculously easy, is actually a direct symptom of video games becoming "mainstream".
The marketing strategy of the gaming industry has increasingly shifted from making games for people who grew up playing arcade games (which to make money were naturally hard), to making games for the "casual gamer". Those who fall into the category of the "casual gamer", are those that consider video games to be a relatively disposable form of entertainment. In other words, if a "casual gamer" must invest a lot of time and effort in a game to make any progress, they are likely to lose interest.
I've found this trend very sad, especially as it has taken metaphorical victims for me in the form of series and game characters I once knew and loved, being used as stock to sell very easy and lackluster games.
I once was a fan of the Mega Man series for example.
It's now been dead to me since Capcom added a hint system to Mega Man X6. :nervous:
01-06-2008, 04:52 PM
ok hard games, i would go for gears of war on insane mode, but talking about this game has made me relise that the hardest games to play are first person shooters on hard etc. This is because you can die within taking two to three hits and you don't get enough time to take out an enemy. The same can be said with halo, on normal and easy you can go right up to the bad guys and shoot them but on harder you can't and have to time your shot. So i think your bro should try shooting games. And on the other subject about games being easy, i would agree but is just because we've grown up playing games all our lives, so its more easy. Like i can play old playstation 1 games that i found hard but nowadays are easy. I would say that the mega drive games haven't changed as i can play streets of rage and still find it annoying to get past the big boss's.
01-07-2008, 04:47 PM
I like to start on normal, and work my way up to hard and whatever comes after that. Makes it all worth while when games do offer something extra when you do hard though, i hate doing a game on hard and finding that its exactly the same as when i did it on normal.
01-13-2008, 06:57 AM
i'm not as advanced as you guys : / i just play the game because i want to see the storyline. i always pick normal or easy mode because i don't know what i'd have to go up against. then when i'm comfortable enough i'll switch it to hard so i can get what i missed.
i guess because i'm not the type of gamer who's out for records or whatever. if there's special items though or different cut scenes i'll definitely try to get them.
i also don't like when a game is full of movies, like you hardly play and then you get a cut scene. i think the only exception to that was metal gear solid twin snakes. the cut scenes came really fast in my opinion, but i love that game so it was the only drawback.
01-13-2008, 10:59 AM
i only like cut scenes, when you've earned them. Like if you had to travel a long way and then you fight a boss and get a cut scene then you had to do the same thing to view another one. I first noticed this when i played Tomb Raider, i really wanted to finsh the level because that would be the only way of viewing more of the story.
01-20-2008, 05:45 PM
If anything, I think games nowadays are watered down compared to difficulties in older games.
Try beating an SNK boss from KOF like Omega Rugal in KOF95 on Maximum difficulty without using continues, thats tough.
I tend to play games on the Hardest Difficulty *if Available*.
Although it can get irritating at times theres more of a reward for finishing while using it, especially now Achievements are noted on the 360 and the PS3 nowadays.
On another note, Cutscenes should be rewarding, I hated how on games like MGS Twin Snakes they came too quickly, especially as 90% of cutscenes from that game involved Snake backflipping to solve his problems.
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