• CitizenWolfie - January 21, 2012 2:11 p.m.

    Totally agree with this article in that I'll absolutely power through "Normal" setting or get completely frustrated with huge difficulty spikes on "Hard." For all its faults, I do find Call of Duty to be pretty much perfect for me on Hardened. If anything I find Beat em Ups to be one of the worst culprits. Play (for example) SSFIV on the hardest setting and you'll find the AI isn't necessarily better, it just spams the blocks. Nintendo are pretty much spot on for getting it right. Games should get harder as you progress through the game, not make you all powerful by the time the final boss rolls around. Zelda games in particular always get it right and I'd say the learning curve for Skyward Sword is perfect.
  • talleyXIV - January 21, 2012 11:47 a.m.

    It is supposed to be a challenge. There are reasons that Zelda doesn't have difficulties. You may face the boss 10 times but each time you battle it, you get just a little bit better and learn how to do it. This is the case with other games, you learn and get better at it. This High Horse stuff sounds like a lot of whining honestly. You talked about gaming in the old days. Stuff was way harder than the 'hard' stuff today. You will die at least 100 times in Super Mario World but will it bother you to not being able to play it? No. If you want to be challenged play hard and stop complaining. If you want it all to be easy, play normal and stop complaining. THERE IS A REASON IT IS CALLED HARD. BECAUSE IT IS HARD.
  • LordEvan88 - January 21, 2012 3:16 p.m.

    The issue is not difficulty, but rather consistency of difficulty. The game is supposed to be designed to refine your skills over time. Like a slope. But when a game spikes up randomly it makes it imbalanced and thus a poor game. Clearly you did not read the article.
  • talleyXIV - January 22, 2012 10:09 a.m.

    I read the whole article and I get it. They don't like when you can play a game pretty easily and then it gets hard all of a sudden. I think games should work like this. If you want to walk through a game play on normal.
  • Manguy17 - January 22, 2012 4 a.m.

    Wow, I dont think you understood this article at all...
  • talleyXIV - January 22, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    No I understood it and it came down to... this is me paraphrasing the article. "The game was really easy then it got too hard and it made me mad. However normal was too easy."
  • birdman1041 - January 22, 2012 4:20 p.m.

    Typing in all caps doesn't make your point more accurate or insightful.
  • Bloodstorm - January 21, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    Good article. My biggest problem with difficulty ratings is more that it always seems like there is a drastic jump between what can be classified as the casual difficulties and the hardcore difficulties. This is especially true in games with 3-tier difficulty, but even holds for the 4-tier games. I feel that by the time you get to the end of the game on one difficulty you should be ready enough for the next highest one. This isn't the case though. Call of Duty 4 is a good example of this. The ramp up from the second hardest to hardest difficulty was immense. It ended up is a campaign grind, where it felt like I unfairly dies over and over again because it was more than just a harder challenge. Ideally difficulty should come from varying AI smartness levels, or upping the amount of enemies. Where it is done wrong is when they have impossible awareness levels, or when the developer cranks up the enemies health, and to me the worst is when they give enemies a rate of fire and accuracy that you could never match with the same weapon. On the other hands, there is easy difficulty. Easy has a problem of not actually making the player learn how to play the game. An example of this would be Halo 2. You can literally bead that entire game on easy just punching enemies with a depleted energy sword (It is rather fun, but still, easy shouldn't be that easy).
  • aberkromby - January 21, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    How on earth is "3 Mistakes Women Make in the Bedroom" a related article?
  • CitizenWolfie - January 21, 2012 1:52 p.m.

    "Hard" mode being an problem.
  • raidramon0 - January 21, 2012 6:49 a.m.

    Games have gotten so easy these past few years that cheat devices like GameGenie and Action Replay are no longer needeed. Not that we can actually create one with today's console technology.
  • mothbanquet - January 21, 2012 5:22 a.m.

    An excellent article, Mr Keast. I rarely bother play on higher difficulties unless the game is designed well enough to do so (by that I mean your deaths are doing to flaws in your own actions as opposed to ludicrous enemy abilities/cheap deaths) but for achievement purposes I've started doing this more often. Some case of good difficulty balances recently include the Arkham games and Mass Effect. Though it was a bitch in parts, Arkham (both AA and AC) gave you everything you needed to pull it off and any deaths I suffered were simply because I didn't vault over that one guy or I tried to be cheeky and sneak in an extra punch. Then again, the game just gave you enough health to come back from a mistake or two and sometimes that's the key - some games see harder difficulties as just a way to pound you into the dirt for every little mistake and that shouldn't be the case. Mass Effect 1 and 2 struck me as quite enjoyable on Insanity, though I think that was purely down to class choices. Soldiers with fully upgraded Adrenaline Rush and a Mattock could beat God himself on Insanity.
  • HeavyTank - January 21, 2012 4:41 a.m.

    There's also another issue with difficulty: what actually gets harder if you crank it up? Most of the time, the answer would be that you have less health/ammo and that your enemies can take more damage...but is that REALLY harder or does it just take longer? Personally, I think that the AI should also get smarter if you raise the difficulty. Take CoD games for example..the enemies have the tactical knowledge of a frog, no matter how high the difficulty is. With all the billions that IW/Activision have, can they really not afford to spend some more time into making the enemies do something as basic as TAKING COVER?
  • mothbanquet - January 21, 2012 5:26 a.m.

    Battlefield 3 suffered the same problem. Add to those games the fact that you're a bullet magnet as it is (the enemy will bafflingly ignore your allies as they squat only a few feet away) and Hard/Veteran runs merely become battles of patience and stamina. Sadly, I lack both.
  • aberkromby - January 21, 2012 7:51 a.m.

    I have yet to find a game other than Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway that actually increases alters AI behavior with the difficulty level. Because of this, BIA:HH is one of my favorite games. Anyone who calls it lackluster is bullshitting you (yes GR, you too).
  • mothbanquet - January 24, 2012 8:14 a.m.

    I loved all the BIA games, though it was always just hard enough for me on Normal so I never tried Hard. It wouldn't surprise me though, HH is one of the most underrated games ever IMO.
  • jackthemenace - January 21, 2012 4:22 a.m.

    After reading an article on Radar AGES ago, I've always gone directly to Hard mode, mostly just to try and prove myself to myself.
  • GamesRadarMatthewKeast - January 23, 2012 10:39 a.m.

    And that was also one of my articles. It was in fact Gears of War 2 that was my first game I played on Hard mode on the initial playthrough.
  • jackthemenace - January 23, 2012 1:15 p.m.

    ... I'm also certain gears 2 was mine too :D Well, thank you, you've introduced me to an entirely new way of playing games :)
  • RyoonZ - January 21, 2012 3:19 a.m.

    True , but I always play on normal mode or below that unless it's required to unlock achievement. Mostly , I play to enjoy the game and not to be punished but there were still games that were made for challenge like Souls series and Ninja Gaiden.

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