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Submitted by PureSophistry 686d ago | opinion piece

Is Gaming Too Hard? Examination of Difficulty Settings and Games

Excerpt: A game’s difficulty is a very interesting thing. Sometimes it defines a game, and sometimes it destroys a game. In some cases, people hail it as the thing that makes a game a hit, while other games live in infamy thanks to just how difficult they are. Difficulty is certainly a subjective measure, and certain people are going to find different thing more difficult than others, but when the majority of a community holds one opinion, It’s probably a fairly good measure of a games difficulty.
So what happens when a game, or part of a game is so mind-numbingly, pants-dirtyingly hard? (Culture, Dark Souls, Demon's Soul, Guild Wars 2, Industry, PS3, Retro, Xbox 360)

Cam977  +   687d ago
Absolutely not - if anything, I'd argue they're too easy.
Nitrowolf2  +   686d ago
ha with the addition of save where ever you want, checkpoints, and even difficulty settings, they have gotten easier. Heck even though KZ2 Radec boss was crazy hard, at least we didn't have start teh whole game over again after dieing like we did for old NES, and such.

God I remember trying to beat GTA: SA without a dam memory card XD. Left the console on for weeks lol
chobit_A5HL3Y  +   686d ago
play doa5 on the hardest difficulty.
Aghashie  +   686d ago
Play Virtua Fighter on the hardest difficulty.
Temporary  +   686d ago
I was gaming since the NES age...I KNOW what difficult is as well as everyone else who didnt just start gaming last gen haha.
isarai  +   686d ago
The fact that this comment has 0 dislikes on N4G speaks for itself
Knight_Crawler  +   686d ago
Play Hot Line Miami and tell me how many times you died before you actually pass the game.
vork77  +   686d ago
then you have not played darksouls lol
Cam977  +   686d ago
I have completed Demon's and Dark Souls.
Kalowest  +   687d ago
They're too damn easy.
smashcrashbash  +   687d ago
I agree. A perfect example is Super Mario Brothers. The first three were a serious challenge especially the second and third one.But now I beat them with almost no effort at all. I finished New Super Mario for the DS and thought 'wait, that's it? Are you kidding me?' Many games I can easily breeze through and even hard mode isn't hard anymore. Gaming has gotten so soft and most people don't even care. I sit and watch gaming degenerating before my eyes and most people don't even care.And now people are starting to say single player isn't important anymore. I really think the industry is trying to stop people from buying games or something. People are already buying less and less games and they just seem to be look for more ways to disrupt sales.
schlanz  +   686d ago
Nsmb was pretty darn easy, but 3d land and both galaxy games had some really challenging stuff. Either way, even when mario is easy its still a joy to play
PureSophistry  +   687d ago
The examples given are a little more unforgiving that the new Super Mario for DS.

Any individual who questions the fun of games like Dark Souls and Demons Souls and thinks they are easy games are lying to themselves.

Does the mere gimmick of being Hard = More fun?
smashcrashbash  +   686d ago
A game being hard is not a gimmick. The challenge of a game is what is fun. The fact that you feel like you accomplished something especially when someone else didn't. I was proud to tel people that I finished the original TMNT when they claimed it was to hard to do.But what fun is it to breeze through a game and it ends before you even get into it? So yes, challenge does equal fun. What is the point in playing the game if it has almost no challenge at all and you basically stroll through the game and everyone can finish the game in a half a day without breaking a sweat.

When you finished certain games long ago people were in awe that you did it and you felt a sense of accomplishment. In many modern games everyone beats it and you have no feeling of accomplishment at all. I beat New Super Mario for the DS and it was like I might have well not played it at all. I don't even remember any parts that challenged me in the least. In SMB3 I remember perfectly what levels challenged me and I kicked up my heels when I beat them. Now it's 'I beat this game. Whatever' and you just toss it aside and start on another.In NSMB I barely even died and didn't even need extra lives. While in SMB3 I needed every life I had just to survive certain stages. People may pretend that developers aren't purposefully dumbing down and making games too easy but any seasoned gamer can see it happening.
#4.1 (Edited 686d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
ShaunCameron  +   686d ago
Man, that's an old gimmick arcade developers used as a way to get gamers to waste more quarters trying to beat the stage back in the day. Talk about price-gouging!

<Does the mere gimmick of being Hard = More fun?>

If there's one good thing about today's games being easy, it's that you no longer need cheats to beat them unlike some 8 and 16-bit era games which required them and GameGenie/GameShark just to stand a fighting chance.
#4.2 (Edited 686d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
torchic  +   686d ago
I see your point.

one thing about games back in the day was that they were difficult, but in a stupid way. like a cheap boss with 50 arms and one hit K.O. and that definitely was a gimmick.

modern games like Killzone 2 for me present a better kind of difficulty
prototypeknuckles  +   686d ago
well back then yes, even ps2 games had a lot of challenge but nowadays these games are hella easy.
Hicken  +   686d ago
No, they're not too hard. Gamers(in general, and using the term somewhat loosely) are too spoiled, so things that test their skills or make them use their heads are "hard."
GREW50ME  +   686d ago
Using the term gamer loosely? What are you, a twu gamer?
SolidDuck  +   686d ago
Everyone wants there hand held now when they play a game, including the person who wrote this article. Games are way to easy nowadays.
Pintheshadows  +   686d ago
No. Games are getting progressively easier as they reach a larger market. Shame.

I remember playing Jungle and Urban Strike. Those games were beautifully challenging. Now, with copious checkpoints, regenerating health, a nannying hand, and in some cases no difficulty options, they are far to easy.
KwietStorm  +   686d ago
Damn you man, now I gotta go start up my emulator.
oakshin  +   686d ago
yea its developers appealing to casuals back in the day when we started gameing u had to have tenacity r u didnt game now it is common to blast past games on hard mode even if its just checkpoints that alow it like that game wet

i dusted off the old NES with my cuz a few weeks ago and tryed to play robin hood prince of thieves that came out in 1988 a rpg with no save system followed by swords and serpents a rpg that came out in 1990 compare them to a rpg that cameout 10 years later like star ocean and its alot easyer and the treads continues to this day and is y the demon soul series r so refreshing
Man-E-Faces  +   686d ago
I don't think it needs to be either hard or easy, games should be enjoyable experiences not hard where you waste hours of your life on 1 stage/boss because it's a sponge to your attacks and not easy to where you can button mash your way through a level with your eyes closed. The solution would be to have smarter AI that adapts to you in real time not canned animations AI that just absorbs & deals more damage as you put the game on harder difficulties.
KwietStorm  +   686d ago
The whole reason they started with the God Modes, the Insane difficulty, the Impossible, the Dante Must Die Mode, and Elite difficulty was because the bar had already been lowered. The whole reason people cried themselves to sleep with Demon's Souls was because the entire approach is old school. All these games today let you take a shotgun blast to the face, run around the corner, take a few breaths and go on a killing spree, catastrophe averted. Of course some games are harder than others, but across the board, the threat of actually losing was far greater generations ago. It's funny to think that young gamers today don't even know what a GAME OVER screen looks like.
MeatAbstract  +   686d ago
I get bored with games because they can be too easy. You find yourself just going from checkpoint to checkpoint. For this reason, I just turn away from some.

"Oh no I died. That's ok, I only lose 5 seconds of game time"

In some games you may not even die because it's so easy.

But like films, music and, to a lesser extent, books, people don't want to be challenged anymore. Fun has to come first apparently.

Most people don't want David Lynch or Lars Von Trier - they want Michael Bay.

People don't want bands like ISIS or labels like Hydra Head (that sadly will be gone very soon) or other artists that refused to be pigeon holed into genres.

Most people don't want to read American Psycho, some Hubert Selby Jr or George Orwell - They want 50 Shades of Grey.

Then look at gaming. Casual has been going up and up. Hardcore going down and down. People that complained Demon's Souls and Dark Souls were too hard was great. I enjoyed playing that game then seeing that there was people that couldn't complete them. I loved that! It shows that with enough skill and perseverance, you can overcome a challenge that others can't. Is that not a great feeling?

But people don't want to be challenged anymore. They don't want to think - they just want to be entertained.
#12 (Edited 686d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
Wigriff  +   686d ago
So... you want a really demanding, punishing, difficult game about social oppression through a total loss of both civil rights and privacy, by a government controlled by chainsaw-throwing, backwards-talking, dancing dwarfs who can do 1000 crunches and obsess over business cards, where the main protagonists are hopelessly addicted to heroin, and the soundtrack is done by Angelo Badalamenti?

... I can dig it.
byeGollum  +   686d ago
gaming is just fine. . .
GTRrocker666  +   686d ago
There are multiple game difficulties. If you think games are too hard play on easy. If you think games are too easy play on hard, then unlock the hardest difficulty and play that.

BTW not everyone wants to play Demon Souls. I like hard games, but not ones that punish you.

My one complaint about games being too easy are games without difficulty levels like the GTA games and some rpgs.To me that is a case where games are too easy. I think difficulty level option should be in all games. This would solve that issue. If I find out a game doesnt have difficulty levels, I wont buy the game. Because I am not going to buy a game I only play once. And I only play games without set difficulty levels once. No point in replaying them if you are just going to get better at the game and the game stays the same. And often the games that adjust the game to how you are playing do a bad job. It is either too hard or too easy.
#14 (Edited 686d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
byeGollum  +   686d ago
Difficulty settings are in most games nowadays. If games were set to be difficult by default, you'd have people moaning about that too. One cannot compare the games of the past to today's games.

Modern games are more complex than older games. There are plenty of other methods to convey difficulty, that depends on the developers.
smashcrashbash  +   686d ago
Even the hard modes are not hard. You talk as if it is so simple. Many times you play the easy mode and think that then hard mode will present more of a challenge but it doesn't. I don't mind multiple difficulties but make the hard mode HARD not a slightly more difficult cake walk.
GTRrocker666  +   686d ago
I guess it depends on the game and your skill level.

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