Am I getting old or are games getting stupid-hard?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Poehlman, Feb 12, 2003.

  1. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I was playing LOTR the other day on the PS2 and finally made it past the "breached wall" level (2nd from last) and took a whack at the final level. It's insane! If I'm not dying, I'm running out of time.

    It just reminds me of Colony Wars on the old PS1, I got the the final level to battle the Super Titan ship and there seems to be no possible way to beat that thing without cheating! It was frustrating to the point where I didn't want to play the game anymore.. which defeats the purpose of the game altogether. And I hate leaving a game unfinished.

    Is it just me or are these video game programmers becoming more sadistic?
     
  2. Romar Armas

    Romar Armas Second Unit

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    Actually, I think the games nowadays are much easier than before. People are getting more impatient and want to finish games quickly.

    I recall playing Battle Gear and getting frustrated everytime. When games do now allow saves in a stage, people complain. However, it was very common before. Precision jumps, precision kills, no saves, redo the stage everytime. It think that made older games a lot harder.
     
  3. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

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    Dave, I get frustrated with games also. I don't pass them as quickly or easily as most people. But I think it's largely due to my approach to gaming... play a little, put the game down, play some more a few weeks later... etc. I have such a ridiculously huge number of games that I get dazzled by everything and can't stick with one thing.

    I am also more impatient than I used to be. When I was younger, playing my NES, I would try and try until I got it right. I would work and work at a level until I passed it. Nowadays I'm an impatient perfectionist, and if I don't pass a level on the first try, I get frustrated. So I think mostly it's just a change in my attitude. My attention span in my older, more complicated life, is smaller. My tendancy towards 'Marathon Sessions' with games is almost extinct. Most gamers who pass games quickly still commonly do the 'Marathon Sessions.' My schedule only allows for short bursts of gameplay, and rarely do I get to sit down and play until I 'get it right.' When that happens, I usually surprise myself and get far.

    The really difficult parts in games are all about mathematics... that is, finding an equation, or 'pattern' that doesn't seem obvious at first. When you're facing down that huge, hulking Boss, for instance, just see it as a mathematical question that the developers have posed for you. Which maneuvers, and in which order, is the fastest and most effective way to beat the boss? And as with many more complicated mathematics, the answer is usually made up of several 'portions,' especially those infamous bosses that change into 5 or 6 different 'forms' before expiring.

    Learn a pattern. Make it second nature. And go with it. Find your zone and stay in it for a while. That's the best general video game advice one can give, and it's easier to achieve if you spend inordinate amounts of time with a game.

    ~j
     
  4. JoshF

    JoshF Supporting Actor

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    Very well said, Joseph. Sounds like you and I share a very similar videogaming existence.

    While I wish I had more time to play, I don't. I have so many other things going on that I'm lucky if I squeeze an hour in here or there. I also buy a lot of games, because the thrill of popping in a new game is half the fun for me in a weird sort of way.

    Because I often put down a game for a few weeks like you do, it also means that when I pick it back up I have to learn the controls all over again. Can be pretty daunting if you've left a game unattended for a while.
     
  5. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    The last few levels of LotR:TTT are pretty tough. Try going to the level with the "Wolves of Isengard" (I forget what it is) and play it a few times to level up and get more skills.

    Most games nowadays are usually at one end of the spectrum or the other. Either they're too tough, or they're too easy. That balance of both is pretty hard to reach.
     
  6. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    I was almost ready to make an S controller shaped hole in my drywall last night while playing Splinter Cell, then I realized I was going the wrong way. I think part of the problem with games being hard is that you have to do things very precisely and if you make one slight goof, you fail. That's my take on Splinter Cell at least
     
  7. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

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  8. JamesH

    JamesH Supporting Actor

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    I think games have gotten "stupid-easy" lately. Any time a game comes out that has a moderate difficulty level, like Gunvalkyrie, Dead to Rights Xbox, or Splinter Cell, people cry and complain that the games are too hard. These days, any time someone dies and has to repeat a level, "OMG!! it's teh trial and error based gameplay!!!!". Gamers won't accept the fact that they suck and need to improve, instead they'll either quit playing the game or become a Gamespot editor and write a nasty review.

    I have actually seen comments that Contra SS is too hard. I guess pattern based gameplay really is dying out. When I was younger, there were plenty of NES and SNES games that I simply wasn't good enough to beat. There isn't a single GC/PS2/Xbox game I haven't been able to finish. It's just a side effect of games going mass market.
     
  9. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Supporting Actor

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  10. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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  11. Allen_Appel

    Allen_Appel Second Unit

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    I recently found my Sega Genesis in the back of a closet and played Vectorman. I couldn't believe how hard it was. Only three lives, and no saves. No saves! I'd completely forgotten that's how it used to be. While games might not have necessarily gotten easier since then (Super Mario Sunshine has some insanely difficult levels, Contra: SS is as hard as the old school titles), with "save anywhere" and unlimited lives, the opportunites to complete the games are far greater.
     
  12. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    The ability to save games has certainly made it "easier" to complete them. However, I fall in the category of those who say that games in general have become much more difficult as of late. I would suspect that a game like Dead to Rights (Xbox version), wouldn't be consider "moderately difficult" (according to JamesH) if you only had three lives and three continues.
     
  13. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    The same thing happens to me. I like my games to be challenging but not so much that I have to get a study guide. Off the top of my head titles like Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil and HALO were perfect. There have always been titles that were either too easy or too hard. My most recent too hard title is Hitman II on the X Box. I'm too stubborned to download a walk thru yet i've gotten killed every time I've tried to sneak into that mansion for the past few months.
     
  14. Eric C. Mylonas

    Eric C. Mylonas Stunt Coordinator

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    Without question games are easier than they were back during the 8-bit and 16-bit days (and earlier still). As someone else noted, these games have been dumbed-down for the masses, though I concur to some degree with Jeffrey on people abusing continues and consider that as making the game "easier."

    Continuing is optional, after all.
     
  15. James T

    James T Screenwriter

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    I think games are getting harder compared to the NES days or the early PC gaming days. Before it was pretty straight forward side scrolling. Now you have a whole environment you have to deal with. Games like Resident Evil, where you have to look inside the statue to find the key make moving to the next level a lot harder than jumping on top of walking mushrooms.

    I remember playing Maximum Carnage for SNES. I think I spent so much money renting that game, that it would have been cheaper to buy it. In the end, I (sort of) cheated. For those who know the double web smash trick that gives a free continue, full health and an extra life trick, as well as any secrets I could find to get extra life. I guess now that I think of it, it's not really cheating since it is part of the game and didn't require any button sequence pressing...the memories...
     
  16. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    Carl,
    Regarding Hitman 2, same thing with me. I can't even get inside the damn mansion without getting spotted and thus killed. I'm now having a hell of a time trying to complete the 4th level of Splinter Cell. It's doable but I get extremely frustrated to the point where I either a)want to break something or b)sell the game and never touch it again. I hate having to rely on a walkthrough but it seems that Splinter Cell is very dependent on one(atleast in my case). Frankly I'm amazed my older brother finished the entire game, and especially amazed that he did it only looking at a walkthrough once.
     
  17. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Some of you have raised a good point: Maybe it's not so much that I find games harder.. but I have less time to play them now that I am a responsible adult with child. Therefore, I want to get through faster.

    Also, games aren't just about completing them, there's also alternate endings you can open by achieving something like finding 100% of the secrets.. etc..

    So, a game may be easy to complete but it may be difficult to find all of the secrets. Tomb Raider comes to mind (yes, I'm one of 4 people who actually like the TR games)... the game itself wasn't too hard to get through... but some of the secrets are hidden in ridiculously hard places.
     
  18. James T

    James T Screenwriter

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  19. GlenHaag

    GlenHaag Supporting Actor

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    I know that I've found some games so difficult right off the start that it was a total turn off to me.

    Contra was one example, the game just seemed cheap in the way that it was making it more difficult for you, so I played it for a bit at a friends house and decided that I wanted nothing to do with the game.

    I guess my time is pretty limited for games, and if I'm not having fun, it's not worth it to me. After all, they are supposed to be games. [​IMG]

    Glen
     
  20. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

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