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Easy Games


InsideOutBoy
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There is a saying:

“Take a look at your games shelf and find all the games you haven’t completed yet. Tell me how many of those you stopped playing because they were too easy. Now tell me how many you stopped playing because they were too difficult”.

I love easy games. They’re great. They are great because, shock horror, you can actually complete them without taking a few weeks off work. You can see everything you spent £30 to own. Heck, you might just even replay them because it is possible to do that and still have a life.

Nothing gives me more satisfaction from a game than seeing the end credits, and for most people I know - casual and hardcore alike – completing a game is a rarity nowadays.

I’d guess most people play games for pleasure. I gain pleasure from completing small and achievable tasks. It is possible to enjoy a game without replaying a single level of it.

What is the biggest reason why people switch off a game – they can’t get past a certain section in it. They don’t have time, they don’t have the patience, and they don’t have the skills.

Yes it is possible to make a bad, boring and easy game of course. But what are you most likely to complete – a bad but easy game – or a bad and very difficult game?

Should developers be making games for the lowest common denominator then? Definitely. A freaky hardcore gamer (like me) will get more enjoyment out of completing an easy game than a rookie gamer will from trying to beat a hard one, thereby not getting value for money out his product.

There is a misunderstanding that we only get the highest satisfaction from completing difficult challenges. This is a misunderstanding – satisfaction in fact comes from completing challenges that we find stimulating.

Prince of Persia, Beyond Good & Evil, and Knights of the Old Republic were my favourite games of 2003. In each one you can sit down and progress through the gamplay like you progress through a good novel.

And I bet your worst moments in those games were the bits where you died repeatedly.

I say: Make games that are fun and stimulating – not difficult. Long live easy games.

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“Take a look at your games shelf and find all the games you haven’t completed yet. Tell me how many of those you stopped playing because they were too easy. Now tell me how many you stopped playing because they were too difficult”.

Are we counting games that we stopped playing after we completed them, here? Because if we are then the games that I didn't replay due to the lack of an available challenge greatly, greatly outnumber the ones that I completed, then didn't replay due to being too challenging. In fact, I'm not sure that there are any of the latter sort of game in my collection. My ROM collection, possibly.

My point, of course, isn't that easy games are bad or that hard games are good. It's simply that Halo wouldn't have been as good a game if there wasn't anything harder to move on to after finishing the normal setting, and that I rarely bother replaying puzzle-based games like Zelda at all, because once you've finished them you know what to do and the challenge largely evaporates. There are games where you make the challenge for yourself, of course, but that's a seperate issue...

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I'd love it if the normal difficulty in an adventure game was just easy enough to jaunt through in about 14 hours, then the hard mode was a well thought out redesign of what came before, rather than than just enemies that take more fuckin damage.

I'd find replaying a game more appealing if the harder difficulty was constantly playing around with my expectations. I've not even bothered re-doing Metroid Prime...

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Halo would’ve been still been a huge critical and financial success without Legendary mode attached. I’d guess that at least half of the 4 million peeps who’ve bought it haven’t even touched that setting.

I completed Halo on ‘easy’ (first time). Playing on easy allowed me to complete the game quickly. I had a great time doing it, because it was very stimulating experience.

The game was done. The credits had rolled. I felt like I’d got my money’s worth out the game. The ‘Halo Experience’ could be crossed off my list. Only later did I replay it on hard.

If Halo had only come with Legendary (which some people claim is where the game comes alive), it’d still be on my shelf, unfinished and gathering dust.

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Define some recent easy games. The only one I can think of is Zelda WW, and I gave up with that as it was boring as fuck. No challenge - no play.

That's the thing - you gave up on Zelda because you found it boring: not just because it was easy.

The easiness of gameplay has nothing to with the quality of the gameplay.

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I loved halo, and finished it on all settings, but I enjoyed elite difficulty far more than I did legendary. I had more trouble with elite actually, but the fire fights were always tense and i was always immersed. On legendary, I spent too much time in cover recharging.

Actually, perhaps I'm just a coward.

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I'm with Sabreman - the only games I like to be difficult are those you can refine your performance at via repeated play - Wario Ware, Winning Eleven 6 and Soul Calibur II are a few recent examples for me.

Whereas story-driven games, such as Metal Gear Solid and Tales of Symponia, I much prefer to be at a level which doesn't bore because it's so easy, but conversely doesn't obscurely challenge you so much as to lull you into never playing the game again.

A hard balance to achieve, I know, but all the better for it when done properly: Pikmin 2 is slotting in there nicely right now.

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I love short games. Wario Ware is one (well, 200) of the best games I've ever played and I can complete it in an hour ad a bit.

Short like a stay in a coffin, yo. If you're talking about completing it and then never playing it again, then it's your loss. If you want to play something fun over and over again then you'll never get tired.

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The easiness of gameplay has nothing to with the quality of the gameplay.

For a given definition of "gameplay", at any rate. It's interesting that you cite Halo's legendary being, when taken in islation, offputting to the newcomer as an example of your argument. Are you going to ignore the fact that it's the learning curve, the steady increase of difficulty, that provides the major draw of Halo for an enormous number of players?

But the notion that finishing games is more fun than playing them continues to be one that baffles me, so perhaps I should leave the debate here.

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I agree with thread.

Well I need to make an important distinction:

Do I like easy games? Yes.

Do I like short games? No.

Case Study: Animal Crossing.

Vice City would be so much better if you could breeze though the missions without ever struggling too much...

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Vice City would be so much better if you could breeze though the missions without ever struggling too much...

I've always suggested this. For a game that completely typifies mass-market gaming I'm genuinely amazed that it's absolutely inpenetrable beyond the first 10 missions for the vast majority of people who purchase it.

Rockstar are implementing some kind of self adjusting difficulty for San Andreas, but I've little faith they'll pull it off. I'll be banging the cheats in within seconds of tearing the wrapper off it.

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I agree about Vice City - it's why I spend much more time just fooling around.

I like 'easyish' games, that don't require me to repeat frustrating sections or tasks over and over again. Short or long, I don't mind - just not ridiculously tricky to meet needed objectives.

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I've always suggested this. For a game that completely typifies mass-market gaming I'm genuinely amazed that it's absolutely inpenetrable beyond the first 10 missions for the vast majority of people who purchase it.

I gave up when it wanted me to fly a radio controlled helicopter. Totally ill-fitting to the scenario. And I couldn't do it.

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I gave up when it wanted me to fly a radio controlled helicopter. Totally ill-fitting to the scenario. And I couldn't do it.

The same as me then, and a few other ppl I know. The helicopter mission was utter crap and didn't fit the game at all. While the rest of the game has a certain Miami Vice feel to it, the helicopter mission reminded me of the rather dreadful MacGyver. <_<

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I gave up when it wanted me to fly a radio controlled helicopter. Totally ill-fitting to the scenario. And I couldn't do it.

I went back to demolition man after a short break and completed it first time.

Not that I've completed either GTA3 game <_<

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I'm playing Spy Fiction on easy because it has some rubbish shooty bits that last for ages and I kept dying.

Now I can take the bad guys down in one or two hits and carry on dressing up as different people and stealing highly classified intel from terrorists.

Easy games are ace.

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Not wanting to drag this topic completely over to Vice City, but it was what I (and, I'm assuming, everyone else) was thinking of when I started reading this...

I think the game's a lot of fun, and was really looking forward to getting the ice cream factory and such like. Then I came upon a mission where I had to save Lance from a hiding in a scrapyard. Bye bye Vice City, you've just gotten too hard for me.

I can accept it when it happens with the final boss, Rare style, at least you got to play the game and are only missing the end credits. Much as I'd like to see the credits to Conker's, at least I got all the gameplay. VC stops me from playing the frigging game!

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