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Challenge in today's games

This is a discussion on Challenge in today's games within the General PS3 Discussion forum, part of the Everything PlayStation; I had a conversation the other day with a friend about gaming. We both agreed that games in the past ...

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    Challenge in today's games

    I had a conversation the other day with a friend about gaming. We both agreed that games in the past (meaning in other gaming generations) seemed to have more difficulty associated with them. I remember games like Super Ghouls N Ghosts, Zombies ate my neighbors and Gradius III where it seemed like it was damn near impossible to beat them.

    Looking at today's games, there are some that still present quite a bit of difficulty (looking at you Demon/Dark Souls) but it seems most just give a fairly simple story without much difficulty. Anyone else have thoughts on this?
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    Depends what games you play TBH.
    I grew up on Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, Final Fantasy, Dynasty Warriors and Timesplitters; hardly challenging games.
    Resident Evil 4 was probably the most challenging game I played, mostly because i was about 13 and nearly shat my pants when El Salvador cut off my head with a chainsaw in the opening 10 minutes... (I threw my controller away and ran out of the room and didn't touch the game for another 3 years. Its now one of my favourite games of all time).

    I suppose you're referring to ye olde games.

    I'd posit that one element of the 'challenge' derived from the technical limitations; simplistic controls and controllers, 2D gameplay, and coding.

    Conversely, games have gotten 'easier' to cater to a wide variety of gamers, stretching from casual to hardcore. You just need to take a look at current-gen games Easy Mode descriptions - "for those who just want to experience the story", "for those new to RPGs/FPS" etc.

    Every time I start a new game I always choose the hardest available difficulty. Games like Dragon Age: Origins, Skyrim and Hitman offer genuine challenges at higher difficulties.

    Games like CoD try to, but generally fail - increasing the difficulty simply increases your opponents damage output, lowers your overall health, and limits helpful items and weapons - resulting in 'cheap' hard mode.

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    The golden age of gaming it was all about the HIGH SCORE! Who could claim the top spot. But now the challenge is to survive in the gaming industry with successful franchises and games. Every gamer has a type of game they like and vice versa, so the challenge each game presents is interpreted differently.

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    Some games today are really brutal like the recent Ninja Gaiden Series and combo challenges in games like Street Fighter IV and Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 are just as hard as games like Super Ghouls and Ghost but a lot those old popular games like the ghouls and ghost series, Contra, Gradius ect... are harder than today's popular games at least IMO.

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    It's not like this generation started the easy game concept. I would say that games have been easy since the PlayStation, Saturn, and Nintendo 64 were around the block, when developers realized that making games ridiculously frustrating isn't going to sell games, and that storytelling is going to require the player to advance. Another element that made games easier at this time was the standardization of game saves and memory cards becoming used in nearly every game. With saves, you didn't have to start all over when your lives or continues ran out, which was what made those older titles so difficult.

    I don't really miss those olden days too much, because some of the things that programmers included in their games were down right nasty in their implementation, and it's no wonder that companies like Galoob with the Game Genie or Datel's Action Replay were such huge sellers, because so many of those titles would have never had their levels showcased, or their endings (however lame they were) shown without those devices.

    The argument about video games now being easier, I don't think holds too much weight because I think games have been fairly easy and, for the most part, beatable for over 15+ years now, and little to nothing has changed in that department. I personally like my games to be more enjoyable and less stressful and don't feel that "grievance code" of forcing the player to die over and over is the way to implement the much argued "replay value" factor of video games. I personally love the fact that I can buy just about any game and know that I could play the game in it's entirety and see the majority of it's content without having to replay a level a hundred times to do so. People may wax nostalgic about that missed "feeling of accomplishment" from beating something, but coming from a person who wasted many months of his youth to beat titles like Silver Surfer and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles legit, it so was not worth the pain.

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    Faust, there is a character named El Salvador in RE 4?

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    The thing is a lot of the old school games were hard because they were designed poorly or unfairly.

    Bad controls, 1 hit and you are dead, no continues or passwords, too many enemies, too many pits etc.

    Does that make a game challenging, sure, does it make it fun, not always.

    For every Battletoads and Ninja Gaiden, there were Karate Kids and Terminators.

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    Games are easier these days but you've got to remember you were younger back playing those older games so of course they were/seemed harder as you weren't as skilled as you are now.


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    @ xEl_Cidx

    Chainsaw Man - Resident Evil Wiki - The Resident Evil encyclopedia

    El Salvador or Dr. Salvador were the two names for the Chainsaw guy in RE4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral View Post
    Games are easier these days but you've got to remember you were younger back playing those older games so of course they were/seemed harder as you weren't as skilled as you are now.
    This isn't accurate mate. My eldest Rachael is a better gamer then myself & she is only 9 & I have to agree with Jaggy, todays games are way too easy. There are alot of games out there that I would never get the platinum for but at least I could still finish the game & get the whole story from playing. But on the SNES things were different & way harder Castlevania & Pitfall I have never witnessed the end of those games because I was never good enough. Alex The Kidd the built in Sega Master System game, has anyone ever seen the end of that game?


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    Ask yourself, do you still enjoy playing games? The answer is likely yes unless you are a sadist.


    So it doesn't really matter how ' difficult ' they are, it's how much fun you get out of them.

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    Ghouls n Ghosts is the biggest troll of a game of all time. Go through the game, oh shit I forgot the key. Beat the game again lol



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    Quote Originally Posted by great_daze_tazer View Post
    This isn't accurate mate. My eldest Rachael is a better gamer then myself & she is only 9 & I have to agree with Jaggy, todays games are way too easy. There are alot of games out there that I would never get the platinum for but at least I could still finish the game & get the whole story from playing. But on the SNES things were different & way harder Castlevania & Pitfall I have never witnessed the end of those games because I was never good enough. Alex The Kidd the built in Sega Master System game, has anyone ever seen the end of that game?
    Also when you finally did beat those super tough games often times you got an ending like this



    Oh yeah that was worth the hours I put into that game. I will take my slightly easier games and actually get an ending worth watching.

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    There are still challenging games today, but games are getting easier and simplified. It's all to do with the cost of developing a game these days so companies now try to make games accessible to everyone. That means games have to be playable and enjoyable to people who normally wouldn't play such games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaggy2872 View Post
    I had a conversation the other day with a friend about gaming. We both agreed that games in the past (meaning in other gaming generations) seemed to have more difficulty associated with them. I remember games like Super Ghouls N Ghosts, Zombies ate my neighbors and Gradius III where it seemed like it was damn near impossible to beat them.

    Looking at today's games, there are some that still present quite a bit of difficulty (looking at you Demon/Dark Souls) but it seems most just give a fairly simple story without much difficulty. Anyone else have thoughts on this?
    I agree to an extent

    Most games now seem to have laxed on the challenging portions, although like some other users said, some games retain that impossible feel (world at war)

    I think the "challenge" has changed, from impossible parts of a game to better intellectual puzzles, better graphics, and just the same difficulty but everyone now has better skill levels.

    So to answer your post, i think some games maintain that impossible difficulty, while others are challenging in another way. With the 3d aspect still untouched, i cant wait to see what other milestones video games will surpass.



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    Games back in the day pretty much HAD to be hard because of hardware limitations. If they couldn't get a nice story with dialogue and cutscenes then they had to do something else for the game to last over an hour. What's that? Difficulty.
    Some games did it right, others are just poorly designed, and others are just a piece of shit.

    Over time when new, more powerful platforms were available the devs could now focus on the other aspects of gaming, story, innovation, visuals and sound, so difficulty was set aside to balance it out.
    Personally it doesn't bother me that today's games aren't as challenging, I'd rather have a nice experience playing Uncharted and enjoying a nice story than trying to beat Ghost n Goblins twice to get a shitty ending with spelling errors. And Uncharted on Crushing can be equally frustrating, but a lot better designed.

    I LOVED Demon's Souls (now about to jump into Dark Souls) but not because it was a hard game (it isn't even hard, just unforgiving, but it's so well designed you can't blame the game for your mistakes, only yourself), but because the story was really amazing and the game makes you speculate and think. If the Souls games were "easy" I think I'd still love the hell out of them (which doesn't mean I want Dark Souls II to be dumbed down, by the way).
    In the end it's about what the devs want to do with the game, the experience they want to share with the player, and it can be done through difficulty, the visuals, the story, the sound, or a combination of some or all parts. Games can be challenging but not really fun (Ghost n Goblins bored me to death I must admit, and I did beat it once), and games can have a huge story but not be good (Dragon Age Origins, I couldn't play for more than half an hour, it was just so boring). It depends on how you use the elements at your disposal.

    Of course this is my opinion, so I might as well be dead wrong, but in the end gaming is for everyone to enjoy and we all have different tastes.
    Though I must admit that harder games kinda feel more rewarding in the end (with the exception of stuff like RAGE which was a great game until the last mission which was a disappointment and made me feel like I wasted my time).

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    Every thing changes over time.

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    I can't imagine the frustration of playing some older games. I was born in 90', so hard for me as kid was beating Vectorman & Sonic. Not too bad at all compared to older games. Nowadays, real difficulty for me is BS kind of stuff like 100% on the ACB tank mission. That challenge isn't really present anywhere else in the game and its some random impossible thing to try for.

    I like a challenge and if a game pushes me a little but near impossible difficulty, restarting levels repeatedley, and just not enjoying the game because of a single roadblock is not fun. I like challeneges but the kind that make me explore or experience more of the game or level up a few more levels or find that special item.

    I understand why people like the games like Demon's/Dark Souls. It pushes to give you that classic difficulty.


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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_mayus View Post
    Also when you finally did beat those super tough games often times you got an ending like this



    Oh yeah that was worth the hours I put into that game. I will take my slightly easier games and actually get an ending worth watching.
    That end screen is a pretty pretentious thing to have in a game.

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    Games can still be brutal on the highest difficulty. Vanquish and World at War come to mind. Not to mention Ninja Gaiden and Dark Souls. It all depends on how you adapt to a genre. I love RPG's, so those come easily, but some people have a lot of trouble with them. I suck at fighting games, so combos are damn near impossible.

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