olds games dificulties vs new games dificulties

nio kasgami

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did you ever play a old game and say ? : damn  this is really hard!

and 

after play a new type of game and say ? : damn this game s**k this is to much easy!

so for ask : why old game seem so much more harder then the new one's? 

the answer is easy ! 

In the begin of the video games,  old games like Mario , Zelda or Metroid don't had the concept of ''difficulty adjustment''

In simple they are all based on a one singular level of ''difficulty'' who can make not everyone can play the game without have problem.

+ it was the begin of the video game era.. so people begin to discover what games are due the fact game seem so much hard to play 

but after a lot of complain of people who not love  play hard game the companies begin to settle a ''law'' of the 3 difficulty where born 

  • easy
  • medium
  • hard
sadly with the time the game's become to be to much easy so the companies add a  ''hardcore'' for really extra challenges

but the fact now when the child born in the video games...make ''challenging and balanced  game''  more hard to do 

so where occur the sensation the game seem ''to much easy'' 

I hope you enjoyed to read this :)

I am open to see what you think of my observation ;)

all regards

Nio Kasgami
 
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Sato1999

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I agree with you.

Also the old games were kinda harder b'cause of programation.

\that was kinda hard before.(its still hard but its lesser than before.)

example.You wanted mario to kill goombas by stomping on them.

you just added

"if vspeed>0{vspeed=-5

instance_destroy(other)}

(these programation code is in gml as its the only language im master.)

(dont try it on rpg maker it i'll of course dont work)
 

kerbonklin

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Even as a highly experienced gamer of both old and new age, some old games are just legitimately extremely hard by design, making the player pull off moments of absolute perfection to do simple things or actions.
 

nio kasgami

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I agree with you.

Also the old games were kinda harder b'cause of programation.

\that was kinda hard before.(its still hard but its lesser than before.)

example.You wanted mario to kill goombas by stomping on them.

you just added

"if vspeed>0{vspeed=-5

instance_destroy(other)}

(these programation code is in gml as its the only language im master.)

(dont try it on rpg maker it i'll of course dont work)
yes the programation  was really messy in these time but I don't know it was the GML they use in the past D:! 

Even as a highly experienced gamer of both old and new age, some old games are just legitimately extremely hard by design, making the player pull off moments of absolute perfection to do simple things or actions.
Yes this was not also a lack of experience in gaming conception? I mean they begin in game making so they do a lot of mistake like use amator game maker we do. Like the fact some old game are not balanced in the good way for make the game playable.

also the fact of the lack of Introduction in the story like the first legend of zelda they don't introduce nothings...
 
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Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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It happens to me all the time, back then I was like "How do I even get past thru this point", then after sometime grow tired and skip to the next game. But now, I could let's say finish an RPG without going thru any point like that
 

nio kasgami

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It happens to me all the time, back then I was like "How do I even get past thru this point", then after sometime grow tired and skip to the next game. But now, I could let's say finish an RPG without going thru any point like that
yeah just make a game playable by everyone is really HARD to do xD  this require a lot of patience ._.
 

BoluBolu

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Yeah I agree, old games, kinda difficult, especially platform jumping game, I remember when I little and play such game, I scream like crazy whenever my character jump from platform to platform and when almost at the end of level, I'm fell down and die, thus need to start again from the whole level, sigh..

Then PS1 comes out, blast it that I found Megaman series, the game is really hard, it was like a hell, you know when mario stomping upon enemy, the enemy will destroyed, NOT for Megaman, megaboy will pushed backward if he touched the enemy(including stomping it), thus if there's narrow behind mega, then you know the rest eh? Yes fell down and dead, and back to the chekpoint again.. Not mention various traps and timer trap, you name it.

I definetely tell that game like Prince of Persia or Assasin's Creed is way more easy than those crazy platfomer old games, even though they have jumping obstacle too.
 

Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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I probably played Megaman X4 around 10+ times over and over before I even got to reach sigma.
 

CrazyCrab

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Hmm, I guess that yes, in general, older games are somewhat harder, but I wouldn't say that it's always the case and sometimes the difficulty is based on different things.

Lets take a really old game that I was playing recently as an example:

Fallout 2.

I'm a huge fan of Fallout. I love exploring post-apocalyptic environments, I love the freedom of choice and in general, the setting is just perfect for me. Having played both New Vegas and Fallout 3 I've decided to try the older ones and, oh god, it was like hitting a brick wall.

That game does mess around with the player. I got killed by everyone, everywhere. The tutorial itself killed me numerous times. One time I got killed just because I said ''so what'' to a guy on the street. The other time I got beaten up in a friendly boxing match to the point of no return. Dead, dead, dead. 

Now, where does the difficulty come from?

Sadly, it has little to do with skill - the game is extremely random.

In one bunker, a bandit fires his SMG at me. Normal hit for 80 damage. One hit kill. I reload. Same attack for 10 dmg. I survive and fire back, I win.

The same applies to the player, so there is a lot of reloading and trying again, just hoping that you'll get lucky. 

Don't get me wrong, the game is still fun, but the difficulty comes from it's randomness and the fact that you never know what to do next. Once I randomly stumbled into a military base and got me some fancy power armor and energy rifles I was steamrolling everything, even though all I did was just getting somewhere at the right time.

Now, let's take a look at a modern game:

Hitman Absolution

Many people criticize the game for being too easy, with all your ''instinct powers'' and stuff. I beg to differ. Yes, if you go all berserk and try to kill everyone, it's pretty easy as long as your aim is acceptable. That said, getting the ''silent assassin'' rating on every level is ridiculously difficult, even on normal. You have to kill the target without being even spotted by anyone. Anyone. That one policeman that looked at you funny when you were disguised as one? Nope, restart. Even your victim may not realize what's coming or you can say bye to the rating. I managed to pull if off on some levels, but it takes a ridiculous amount of practice and planning. If that's too easy for you, there is always the ''purist'' mode, where you have no hints, no instinct, no interface. Yup, no interface. I don't know how anyone would manage to pull that off.

In the end, I know that these are different genres, etc, but the main principle still applies most of the time. The old school RPGs often had a lot of randomness in them, which made it somewhat more exciting whenever you pulled off that head shot, yet were also more annoying when you have to reload over and over because you just got one hit killed. Modern games usually focus more on the action or planning, be it being able to aim in the countless Action RPGs and shooters or predicting enemy moves in strategy games. 

I haven't played too many modern platformers so I can't really comment on that. I did play the 1st Mario on the Game Boy though and, I have to say, that game was pretty hard - but again, mainly because you didn't know what coming next. Once you figured it out, it was doable most of the time. Getting through the whole game without checkpoints though, that's a different story entirely.
 

Nuclear Mosquito

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So I'll throw in my 5 cents here. This video fits perfectly for this discussion. I'm not going to say anything else as the video says what I want to say.
 

whitesphere

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There is an entire Trope over at tvtropes.org dedicated to this concept --- Nintendo Hard.

When the NES came out, there were these stores called "arcades," which, in large cabinets, housed games which had high quality (for the time) sound and graphics.   At the time, the then Holy Grail of home gaming was to make games which were as good as the arcade ones.  Since home systems at the time were, well, anemic in comparison, it was an interesting creative efforts.

But, arcades existed to rake in quarters, so arcade games were designed to be as difficult as possible, so players would often die and need to put in another quarter to continue (or play again).

Therefore, home games also tended to emulate this difficulty.  Also, for home games, that was one way to improve game longevity --- a "40 hour" game might only take 2 hours if the payer could get all the way through without restarting or continuing.

I know in Japan and other countries, arcades are still going strong, but they seem to have faded out of the Northeastern US as I can't find many and those which persist don't focus as much on arcade video games as much as, say, mini golf and bowling.

Newer games, in comparison, don't really need to care about longevity as much as focusing on high quality graphics and sound.  It doesn't hurt the sales of a game if it only takes, say, 12 hours to finish.  So there's no need to artificially pad the length of newer games to increase or retain sales.  If anything, having the game too hard can decrease sales, depending on the fanbase for that game, so there is a strong incentive to make the game easier than harder.

That's why newer games can be easier than older games.
 

TheRiotInside

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Yeah, it's been kind of mentioned already, but games back then had terrible data limitations. Since you couldn't stuff a whole lot of content into a 128-384 kB (on average) cartridge, games were made difficult to extend play time. Now that these limitations aren't as much of a problem anymore, games can be made easier and more expansive.

I know that there are exceptions to this, like most AAA modern FPS games, but they are the way they are for many other reasons that aren't related to this discussion.
 

Ralpf

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Yeah, I was wondering when someone would hit that.

That was the main reason, you (the developer) want people to get good value out of purchasing your game, the technology was at a point where you couldn't make a long game (in terms of time it would take in a single play through from beginning to end), so the easy and obvious solution is to make the game difficult so the player has to spend a lot of time figuring out how to beat it. And that worked as long as it was done well.

Another reason came from games being arcade ports (as someone already mentioned, arcade games are hard because they want you to lose and insert more money), or from developers whose experience was with arcade games.
 
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Seacliff

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I never beaten a Mario game before Mario World on the SNES... Besides Super Mario Land

However, Zelda 1 wasn't that hard, Zelda 2 is a living Hell though.

Final Fantasy 1 is extremely easy if you get your classes right.

So overall, I am pretty mixed with the above statement, older games were meant to be difficult for the illusion that they are longer than what they really are, but if you play a lot of older games you get used to the difficulty.
 

bgillisp

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Granted, older games are usually harder, but if we look back at them, some of them have total sadistic design. Remember the level on TMNT on the NES where you had to dive underwater and defuse the bombs? Or what about the first Ninja Gaiden....I still hate those *$%@^ birds to this day...get hit by one at the wrong time and it was fall to your death.

Also, some of the older games had limited continues, which added to the difficulty. the TMNT game on the NES had only 2 continues...you use all of those up, start the game over. I played Castlevania on the PC, it had no continues whatsoever, you run out of lives its start at stage 1 (the NES version had continues...no idea why PC games were cheated like that). In order to beat that game I had to get from start to finish on only 3 lives. Needless to say *that* took forever to get that good at the game. Nowadays, most games let you have unlimited continues or retries until you get past it, which, honestly, I prefer that. If you are going to limit the continues, let me turn the feature off at least in case I need a practice mode or something.
 

Samsonite

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Older video games have a higher difficutly, and that is a fact. A lot of people won't play newer video games these days if they are difficult. Instant gratification has ruined our patience and our want for challange. An example of this is how they remade the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest/Warrior games for the Nintendo DS. Those games became extremely easy because they lowered the difficulty and modified certain aspects of game play.

Independently made games are starting to reverse the trend, though.
 

Touchfuzzy

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Older video games have a higher difficutly, and that is a fact. A lot of people won't play newer video games these days if they are difficult. Instant gratification has ruined our patience and our want for challange. An example of this is how they remade the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest/Warrior games for the Nintendo DS. Those games became extremely easy because they lowered the difficulty and modified certain aspects of game play.

Independently made games are starting to reverse the trend, though.
The only difficulty of the original FF or DQ games was patience, how long will you grind. And honestly, the DS remakes of the Dragon Quest games were NOT any easier, though they may have been faster. Changes that affect difficulty:

Higher possible numbers of enemies per battle. Led to somewhat increased xp per battle, but also made some of the random encounters harder.

The Bag: Didn't really change difficulty much other than being able to carry more medical herbs (that no one ever uses anyway. Seriously, other than chapter 1 and 3, no one uses medical herbs, and both those chapters are a breeze anyway), and a few abusable tricks for money (Torneko Chapter, end with 99x Swords of Malice).

World Map 33% smaller: Changes difficulty slightly, as you take less time to get from place to place. Honestly, not really a big deal imo.

Dungeons facelifted, tend to be slightly smaller. Same as with the world map. A few less encounters per dungeon, but not enough to make a huge difference.

Bosses stats changed: A lot of bosses had their stats raised in the game. DS versions of some bosses are much harder.

6th Chapter: Additional post game content that is MUCH harder than the main game, with much more challenging bosses than the original had.

Control of party: You no longer have to rely on the AI not being an idiot in chapter 5. For the love of god Cristo casting beat on a boss 80 times in a fight wasn't difficulty, it was stupidity. AI only control never should have been a thing in the game to begin with.

Yes, the game is a bit easier, but not by much. Its a FASTER game. In both of them, if you grind enough, you have no challenge anyway, the only difference is that its faster to do in the DS version.

Patience =/= Skill. If the only thing I need to beat a game is to repeatedly do the same thing over and over again with no actual thinking or skill, the game was never hard to begin with.

And I say this as someone who loved the DQ series. Just none of them are legitimately difficult (DQIX postgame being the exception, even maxed out some of them can give be a real challenge).
 

NPC

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I wonder if the reason that these new games can sometimes seem much easier than older games is possible the evolution of game-making material, and the non-progression of the game-making strategies.

Take a game that hasn't really changed over the years (say Pokemon, or maybe Mario). In the old days of gaming, these games might have needed huge hints to give the player an idea of where to go (thanks to limitations of graphics), or needed to make something a little more linear (thanks to limitations of the machine/memory)...but now in the future, barely experiment even when they have all these new materials and abilities, thanks to "the formula" always having worked.

Another factor may be the blown up modern version of the "polygon wars". Games are trying so hard to make their games pretty, the gameplay can often take a backseat, or be very repetitive/simple because the creator wants you to see the pretty glowing things that are better than everyone else's pretty glowing things.

The last factor I believe makes these things even more true is 'thoughtfulness'. The game creator doesn't want you to rage quit (unless he happens to be the creator of Super Meat Boy), so he adds loads of incentives to keep playing, like excessive grinding for levels and gear to have an easier time with a boss, or increasing rewards for small tasks so you can buy your way past the game. By allowing too much for the player, it can become super easy (and then people start creating nuzlockes with excessive rules)
 

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An often overlooked fact is that difficulty was artificially inflated due to the lack of quality-of-life features that we take for granted today.

For instance, look at the early dungeon crawlers that pioneered the RPG genre. Those games lacked basic features like an automap, which meant you had to physically draw layouts on a piece of paper to prevent yourself from getting lost. Autosaves didn't exist either; in Wizardry, the only way to save your progress was to backtrack through the entire dungeon and return to the surface. If your characters died at any point in the journey, they were dead PERMANENTLY.

When you play an Elder Scrolls game today (or any modern game, really), it's impossible to get lost unless you're deliberately ignoring your compass/quest markers. Even when you fail horribly, the game compensates for your mistakes through predetermined checkpoints. It's a night and day difference.
 

hian

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An often overlooked fact is that difficulty was artificially inflated due to the lack of quality-of-life features that we take for granted today.
Although I agree to an extent, I'm going to play the devil's advocate here and say that many of the feature we've gotten over the time don't have quality of life either, they're just annoying abstractions that exist almost entirely for the sake of the more inept players, who're more interested in simply advancing the plot then actually playing a game.

Example, the mini-map feature is, in a way, the bane of exploration in RPGs in my opinion. I'd much rather play a game that would require me to draw my own map, take my own notes etc in order to make sense of the game-world.

Then again, I didn't grow up in an age where the "internet can provide me everything"-mindset had yet been normalized. I don't expect kids born after the late 80's to ever enjoy playing a game that doesn't hold their hands 99% of the time.

@topic in general -

Like another here said - the difficulty of old games was a remnant of arcade game-design.

It's based around a concept of retrying until you learn the patterns of the game, and then succeeding.

The way I see it, difficulties really only exist in two forms - you've got the experience-based difficulty (the one based around learning patterns and retrying), and you've got the adaptation-based difficulty (how well a player manages to use his/her current set of skills to solve a problem, but where experience cannot be used because the problem changes with each play).

Puzzle-based Visual Novel games, Many NES arcade style games etc, fall clearly into the first category. Many FPS shooters, fighting games and games that spawn random levels/enemies fall into the latter.

Neither of these are bad approaches in and of themselves, and many games exists in a spectrum using a little bit of both.

Most RPG's for instance, have set bosses with set attack patterns, but also have random encounters.

Max Payne is a shooter/action game, but all the scenarios and shoot-outs are made up of completely predetermined enemy positions, but there is some room for variation.

There is a problem though - the experience approach usually requires some patience, and the adaptation approach requires the development of skills.

So what happens? Well, if you set the experience bar high, then you get a game where you have to repeat the same levels tons of times to succeed, and most modern kids don't have that kind of patience.

If you set the adaptation bar high, then you're looking at games demanding pro-gamer level reaction-times and eye-hand-coordination and that's just beyond most people anyways.

So what do modern game designers do? They do neither. They make ****-loads of auto-saves, so you don't have to replay long sections, but they retain a simple game-play with low adaptation difficulty, so everyone including your grandmother can clear the game in a day or two.

I don't think that's any better than old-school arcade-style design - in fact it's just another form of the same factor influencing development. You know what that factor is? It's greed.

Old school difficulty was made to keep players locked to the arcade cabinet, spending money.

New game design is easy and accessible to everyone so nobody feels like a loser, with bright flashes and "rail-roading" to keep the attention-deficit youth of today glued to the screen, and finally the experience is coated with "incentives" for continued play by following what the industry has learned from online-gaming business models (e-cred, social media link-up, trophies and mini-transaction).

If old-school games are like alcohol, modern AAA games are like crack-cocain.
 

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