Jump to content
IGNORED

Difficult By Design


Preacher
 Share

Recommended Posts

Not enough games are difficult by design.

I never thought I'd say that but if it meant more Ninja Gaiden's and Devil May Cry 3's, I'd jump at the chance to play them.

I just finished mission 7 on DMC 3 and it felt like I'd finished the fucking game; exhausted, relieved and satisfied.

I hope the next gen isn't all wide-open spaces and vague mission objectives - that's the kind of difficult I could do without.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well on the flip side, I nope no future games are like Gaiden (haven't played DMC3) as I was completely unable to get past the first boss. After trying it enough times, I decided the game just wasn't for me.

Thing was that I think it's bad design. Ninja Gaiden up to the point of the first boss is enjoyable and not that tough, that boss is a spike and the difficultly should have been more progressive. If it was, and I'd got through a few levels before getting stuck, I'd have been more likely to stick with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well on the flip side, I nope no future games are like Gaiden (haven't played DMC3) as I was completely unable to get past the first boss.  After trying it enough times, I decided the game just wasn't for me.

Thing was that I think it's bad design.  Ninja Gaiden up to the point of the first boss is enjoyable and not that tough, that boss is a spike and the difficultly should have been more progressive.  If it was, and I'd got through a few levels before getting stuck, I'd have been more likely to stick with it.

I got about 2/3 of the way through Ninja Gaiden and, for reasons that I can't remember now, gave up on it. I have no problem with games being difficult as long as the game provides enough direction and feedback to show me if I'm on the right lines.

Sudden difficulty spikes - whether they're intentional or just bad design - are what I imagine stop most gamers in their tracks. Very few people will retry many times (hardcore gamers aside) unless they are clearly gettiing closer and closer to achieving the goal. If you don't understand why you're failing or how to solve the problem then why carry on? A game is supposed to be fun.

This is a hard problem to solve; if the first boss in Ninja Gaiden had said 'block next time, for God's sake!' after you died the first time it probably still wouldn't have been enough but it's crucial. I remember the interview with the God of War guy where he said that he wanted to make a game that people would actually finish. I thought that was a great attitude.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a lot of the old "difficult by design" thing came from the influence of the arcades. Make it hard, so the credits don't last too long, but not too hard, so people will feel like they can do better. Once you move away from that there is more reason to make the game a little easier so people might actually complete it and see all the story (if there is one).

I'm not sure DMC3 is especially hard in general, it just suffered from Ninja Gaiden boss syndrome - though to a lesser extent, and the couple of attempts you may require for a boss will pay dividends when you encounter one of the later missions. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with Preacher on this one. I want a challenge from my games. It makes me feel like an elite superbad mofo uberninja when I finally beat them.

Games were getting too easy during the N64/PS1 era (obviously there were exceptions, but it felt that way to me). The balance seems to have been redressed in this console era.

I certainly don't want all games to be super hard, but it's good to have the option.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Completely incorrect

It was "dull" becuase you aren't good enough at the game. This is where the "challenge" comes in.

it's dull because i'd be playing the game for 40 minutes without being able to save, die, and then have to do it all again, and the camera was awful, often i'd be attacked by enemies off screen which i had no chance of pre empting. you can make any game more difficult like this and then use the get out clause "you're just not good enough". that's poor design.

a challenging game is one that even when you lose you realise that it was your error and that you could have prevented it had you adopted different tactics/techniques rather than just trial and error.

Ninja Gaiden appears to aimed at the hardcore fringe of the hardcore fringe. what's the point in that ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here we go again... ;)

Overly hard games or those designed with poor difficulty curves, and no easy option, deserve a small audience and a niche status. If they make their money back and that niche (ninja skilled) audience wants more, then good luck to them.

Personally, I didn't get past the first boss in Ninja Gaiden, and failed after a dozen attempts at the second or third boss in Viewtiful Joe. I really wanted to like both games, but as a result I will never buy another game in either franchise. Their financial loss, my gain in being able to spend a much less frustrating time on games more deserving of my money and attention.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought the difficuly was fine in Ninja Gaiden. Pretty hard, but not impossible. Then I got to the boss in the church, realised the designers were just rubbish, turned it off and sold it.

I think she has been made easier with the Hurricane pack download. Whupped her on the second attempt (second time through admittedly).

I will concur that the save point just before is hardly player friendly though. Too far away....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

it's dull because i'd be playing the game for 40 minutes without being able to save, die, and then have to do it all again, and the camera was awful, often i'd be attacked by enemies off screen which i had no chance of pre empting. you can make any game more difficult like this and then use the get out clause "you're just not good enough". that's poor design.

http://www.ntsc-uk.com/feature.php?fea=TechniqueDMC3

Every single attack in this game is signposted from a mile off with audio and animation cues. It's up to the player to study these cues and learn when the parries need to come in. Using audio as the cue for parries allows you to deal with enemies from all angles, even if they are unseen and way out of the screen, with ease.

The game gives you the all information you need to be able to deal with a situation. This is especially true in boss fights, where you'll always get the visual cues because the camera will pretty much always show the boss since there's nothing else to focus on. After the travesty that was Gaidens camera the DMC3 one was superb. Yellow orbs meant that you didn't have to complete the entire level again, and they weren't overly expensive. Compared to Gaiden and God of War DMC is a paragon of fairness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you do realise i was referring to Ninja Gaiden ?  i never had a problem with DMC3's save points or difficulty, it's just a bit boring. they're worlds apart in terms of fairness though, in DMC3's favour.

Oops. ;) Sorry.

Edit: Yeah, it was Goemon's quote that threw me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wierd one really.

I was expecting a real, fuck you rock hard challenge in Viewtiful Joe with reading peoples opinions.

But it wasn't the case at all. The game got progressively easier the more you played* to the point were it was silly easy.

Ultra V rated though, that was very difficult challenge but i've seen it done by our Teodi.

So when people complain about difficulty i'm not entirely sure how difficult is difficult?

I havent played DMC3 [no PS2] but i've seen Saurian tear it apart. Alot of satisfaction in beating percieved difficult games comes from experimentation. Viewtiful Joe becomes a walk over once your familair with the system and exploiting it to your best advantage.

I suppose it depends how much time your ready to put into these things, because people who you percieve to be gods at the game [saurian] aren't any different from yourself, they just put the time in. And it certainly doesn't require a massive amount of time either, nothing compared to what people will put into WoW for instance.

*you playing more and not how further into the game you got is what I meant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to sound like a broken record on this one, but for you guys that love these sort of challenges: can someone magic up a capture card between you and grab the endings to all these hard games. I can't be arsed/don't have patience/skill to complete them but would like to see them.

I'm especailly after Ninja Gaiden and Veitiful Joe endings, but what the hey, all the DMC endings would be most welcome on my site.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I want a game where it has asides from the main plot or bonus bits that *are* rock hard. So you can both complete the game and get something that will nail your ass to the wall. Such as taking a set piece from the plot and removing those things that helped you through, or give you a score or time to beat. I love a challenge but when it gets in the way of your first go through a plot it's a major problem IMO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How are vague mission objectives and wide open spaces not difficult by design? Did they accidently get slipped into the game while no-one was looking? Were they intended to be really easy? Please elaborate.

Some games are difficult for all the wrong reasons.

Broken Sword 3 is difficult, not least because of the shit camera angles, shit controls and skewed "logic". Seeing as they're problems inherent in the genre BS3 is most closely associated with, doesn't that suggest a distinct lack of design in BS3?

Or were you just being pedantic?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some games are difficult for all the wrong reasons.

Yes, but they're still designed that way.

Broken Sword 3 is difficult, not least because of the shit camera angles, shit controls and skewed "logic". Seeing as they're problems inherent in the genre BS3 is most closely associated with, doesn't that suggest a distinct lack of design in BS3?

That's accidental difficulty, which is what I was questioning if you were referring to.

Or were you just being pedantic?

Always. ;)

But only because your "difficult by design" stance didn't seem to jive with the examples you gave (which I'd say were designed to be difficult, rather than being accidentally so).

Thanks for the clarification, at least.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.ntsc-uk.com/feature.php?fea=TechniqueDMC3
Every single attack in this game is signposted from a mile off with audio and animation cues. It's up to the player to study these cues and learn when the parries need to come in. Using audio as the cue for parries allows you to deal with enemies from all angles, even if they are unseen and way out of the screen, with ease.

God damn, I never got any good at parrying but I didn't know it worked for anything that can damage you. That clip where he's just standing parrying on the spinning wheels of death is insane!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

which I'd say were designed to be difficult, rather than being accidentally so.

You mean wide open spaces and vague mission objectives? It depends on the game.

I'm talking about games where the action grinds to a halt because

1) the signposting is shite

or

2) Your progress hinges on paying attention to poorly acted, unengaging cut scenes.

That's the kind of difficult I can do without.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.