Editorial: Why "Too Easy" and "Too Hard" are BS

Eddie Inzauto of TheGameReviews writes: "I have come to accept that there are three primary critical perspectives on individual games' difficulty levels. These are: a) praise for a significantly challenging title; b) disapproval of a game's severe difficulty; and C) deridement for a lack of challenge. While the first of these, I agree, is a valid critique, I think the latter two can never be true when considering a game's objective quality. This may only matter if one considers the game review process to be something other than the publication of an individual's subjective opinion, but still, the distinction between these standpoints is important to understand."

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BetaChris3210d ago

First off, welcome back Eddie! Second, I agree with you 100% - far too often people will write off a game as "too hard" or "too easy" without addressing the underlying mechanics. It's a sad truth, and a reason why many, many fantastic games may end up getting overlooked.

shoinan3210d ago

But I don't think the task of a player learning the skills required to beat a game or understand its rules falls only on the shoulders of the player. If the game doesn't explain it well enough for example. There can be appreciable challenge to a game but one that's not accessible to all for reasons outside of their own lack of skill or whatever.

SlamVanderhuge3210d ago

It's also the player. I know plenty of "gamers" who give up on things after they have died 2-3 times. Heck, I know someone who gave up playing ARkham Asylum on Easy. Difficulty is such a subjective thing. I think the games that have really pushed it well--ie Shinobi, Demon's Souls, the first Xbox Ninja Gaiden game--do a great job, but there are far too many others who use cheap one-hit deaths and infrequent checkpoints in lieu of intelligent difficulty design

Great article, btw

mr durand pierre3210d ago

I mostly agree with this article, though there ae times when a game's difficulty level is too all-over-the-board, and that's a problem. I've known people to have given up on the third boss in No More Heroes because she's such a tough bugger, and missed out on seeing the rest of the game. I liked that particular boss, but felt that it was misplaced at that stage of the game and hurt the pacing (enough to turn off many gamers).

shoinan3210d ago

Inconsistent difficulty can be a nightmare, why is one level so much harder than the one before it and the one after it? Very odd.

Krud3209d ago

That was the problem I had with the game "Lionheart." It started out a reasonable challenge, and remained so for a significant portion of the game. And then suddenly WHAM! You get hit with an onslaught of deadly creatures en masse. While there's nothing wrong with gradually increasing the difficulty of a game as the player moves forward, there's never a valid reason to suddenly slam them with an overhwelming task that, while not impossible, is beyond the expectations of the player at that point.

gidzilla3209d ago

I actually gave up viewtiful joe because one of the bosses just did me. - There I said it.
I'm ashamed

Hakimy3209d ago

Damn,dude XD the only boos that gave me trouble was the last one in viewtiful joe 2 (Not sure if I should say who he was since it might be a spoiler) and that was because at first,you can't fight with your V powers,only as the normal joe until you lower his life to some certain point before gaining your V powers should try again cus this game was awesome ;)