Do Some Games Try So Hard To Be Challenging They Forget Games Are Supposed To Be Fun?
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 April 2011 09:46 Written by Daniel Thursday, 14 April 2011 09:45
Lately I can’t help but wonder if some games are so focused on being hard or challenging that they forget games are meant to be fun and enjoyable. Is it really that fun to be so frustrated at the difficulty of a game that your smashing your fist in to your controller repeatedly? So I’ve got anger issues back off. Think back how many times have you played a game and died 6 times in a row only to realize that the check point was 20 mins prior to where you died. Now think carefully in that exact moment did you think ‘Wow I’m having so much fun’ ? Or did you instead yell a lot of really obscene words and attempt to break something be it your controller or hand? Or maybe a middle ground you know whatever.
A major offender that has really brought this subject to light for me is the PS3 game Demon Souls. It’s a game with very few glitches, beautiful graphics and near flawless gameplay. It’s story is non existent though. However, none of those things are the problem with Demon Souls. It’s problem is that it’s just to difficult. It’s a game that prides it’s self on how hard it is. This is a game that you can play for nearly 25 minutes with out one single check point only to die and start all the way at the beginning of the level. This is a game that epically fails at explaining it’s classes well enough for you to understand fully what their uses and the difficulty of playing them will be. This is a game that progressively gets harder as you die. The logic in that is flawless right? You die because something is to hard so the game compensates for you by making things harder. It’s not a bad game, but it’s a frustrating one. Scratch that it’s a game that will infuriate you.
Now call me old fashioned but I have always believed games should be a fun and enjoyable hobby (or way of life depending on if your me or not) not an infuriating experience that makes you contemplate ending your existence. To Far? You clearly have not played Demon Souls. To make things even worse despite being considered one of the hardest games ever made they are making a spiritual sequel to this game and the plan is to make it even more difficult. Having arguably the hardest game ever made under your umbrella isn’t enough you have to go for the two hardest?
What makes things worse for us as gamers as how prejudice we all are. I mean all of us every single one. God forbid your girlfriend, boyfriend or mother just wants to have fun and play on easy mode. Instead of just letting it be we as gamers have to make fun of them for this. If it’s not the hardest setting than your a wimp? You do know this isn’t reality right? Maybe some people don’t like stressing out and working extremely hard for what is suppose to be a fun and enjoyable sometimes relaxing activity. I may not play on easy often, but I’m more than happy to admit that I’m a Normal difficulty player. Do I sometimes switch to hard and try to beat the game? Sure, but only if there is an achievement for it and you can bet your back side that I check before starting the game. If that achievement is not present I lock my gorgeous blue eyes on that normal setting and play til my little heart is content.
It’s frustrating to read a review for a game and see a reviewer ripping it apart for being to easy that they could walk through it, but not rip it apart for being so hard that they couldn’t finish it. I saw a reviewer who reviewed Demon Souls admitted he couldn’t even beat the game and gave it a glowing review. If you plan to tear in to it for one than the general rule should be blast it for the other as well. One extreme is not better than the other. This is why games should have difficulty settings. The Hard setting should almost always be hard and easy should be a cake walk and the player should have the right to choose what they want to play. No where on these games is there a warning saying “Warning if you spent 60$ on this game you will not be able to beat it and will pay large amounts of money for a new system after you throw yours out the window. “ Most game stores do not take returns lightly and with out letting the consumer know that they can’t choose the difficulty and may possibly not enjoy the game you’re only making them angry and chasing more people away from the industry we love so much.
What is the reason for me to write this? Two parts wanting to rant. One part me wanting to explain why choice is key for difficulty settings and one part me encouraging harmony between gamers. While normally 100% would be good enough I’m gonna throw in another part upping the total of this up to 125% saying one more part encouraging reviewers to stop the double standards on reviews. Either blast for being to easy and too hard or don’t blast the difficulty at all.
- [LOTRO] Dev blog on raid difficulty (spinksville.wordpress.com)
- First Details Emerge for Demon’s Souls Follow-Up (escapistmagazine.com)
- Dark Souls Harder Than Demon’s Souls? (cinemablend.com)