Games with backwards difficulty curves

#52
Metroidvania type games tend to be like this.

You start out with a peashooter or a knife and next to no health, and you just get more and more powerful. They try to scale enemies up along with you, but at some point you're just an unstoppable death machine who can kill everything with a couple hits and just tank everything enemies throw at you.

Metroid Prime 2 and 3 are particularly good examples of this.

At the beginning of Echoes, the dark world drains your health like crazy. Combine this with the low health you start with, and you can last literally seconds outside of a safety bubble. And they force you to make your way through the dark world several times despite this, which turned many people off of the game early on.

But about a third of the way in, you get the Dark Suit, which makes the dark world drain your health at a far more manageable pace.

In Corruption, you have Hypermode, which makes your beam crazy powerful but drains an energy tank to use. At the beginning, when you have like 3 or 4 energy tanks, it's something you use very sparingly. This makes the first major boss, Mogenar, arguably the hardest part of the game. The parts you have to shoot to expose his weak point take so much damage, and they'd go so fast if you could just switch on Hypermode. But once you expose that weak point, you have to shoot it with Hypermode to do damage. It's not just tough, it's tedious.

At some point later in the game, though, you realize, "Oh, hey, I have like ten energy tanks. I don't need to be so conservative with my Hypermode use." And then you just start whipping it out every time something needs to die.
 
#55
Metroidvania type games tend to be like this.

You start out with a peashooter or a knife and next to no health, and you just get more and more powerful. They try to scale enemies up along with you, but at some point you're just an unstoppable death machine who can kill everything with a couple hits and just tank everything enemies throw at you.

Metroid Prime 2 and 3 are particularly good examples of this.

At the beginning of Echoes, the dark world drains your health like crazy. Combine this with the low health you start with, and you can last literally seconds outside of a safety bubble. And they force you to make your way through the dark world several times despite this, which turned many people off of the game early on.

But about a third of the way in, you get the Dark Suit, which makes the dark world drain your health at a far more manageable pace.

In Corruption, you have Hypermode, which makes your beam crazy powerful but drains an energy tank to use. At the beginning, when you have like 3 or 4 energy tanks, it's something you use very sparingly. This makes the first major boss, Mogenar, arguably the hardest part of the game. The parts you have to shoot to expose his weak point take so much damage, and they'd go so fast if you could just switch on Hypermode. But once you expose that weak point, you have to shoot it with Hypermode to do damage. It's not just tough, it's tedious.

At some point later in the game, though, you realize, "Oh, hey, I have like ten energy tanks. I don't need to be so conservative with my Hypermode use." And then you just start whipping it out every time something needs to die.
The world itself becomes less threatening, but the bosses keep getting harder and harder IMO.
 
#57
The NES Megaman games were like that if you didn't know the optimal level path. A new player starting out in one of those might try, as a Megaman 3 example, to take on the Gemini Man stage first (wrong move) instead of Magnet Man (right move) and make life hard on himself. Once a player had a few stages under his belt, it simply became a matter of which weapons worked best on which bosses, and things got a whole lot simpler.
 
#58
FFVIII stands out, because you start with only a few GFs and little magic. Once the game opens up a bit, it's easy to become overpowered.
I tried not grinding by not drawing lots of magic but I still ended up overpowered, due to the ridiculous amount of magic you can get from refining. As soon as you can refine healing magic from items, tents > curaga makes your max HP go through the roof for most of the game.

A shame, because I feel like if they had balanced the stats differently, it could have been a great system.
 
#60
Bit.Trip.Runner has this ... Odissey is one of the hardest levels and is on the first world, also the first boss is MUCH harder than the second, for example
 
#61
Definitely pre-patch Witcher 2, though I wasn't having it quite as badly as others.
I think for me it was the fact that I didn't understand the mechanics of the game as I've never played an RPG like it before. That damn dragon part at the very beginning tore me up. ESPECIALLY as that was the very first thing I picked to do when being interviewed by Roche. Though with the EE they changed it quite a bit, still think I prefered the difficulty though as it made it that much more rewarding when I figured all the nuances out.
 

luka

Loves Robotech S1
#63
Persona 4. Shadow Yukiko, the first major boss, is probably the hardest unless you fuse a very specific persona. After that point you have so many options on how to deal with stuff that it's much easier to find a strategy that works for your particular play style.
i had a lot more trouble with the "king of contradictions" you can fight after yukiko, but yeah, every boss in that first dungeon is a real trial by fire
 
#64
They seem to be pretty worried about this sort of thing. Having run a server, I got constant requests to disable creeper damage. I want the opposite for a survival server. Give me a giant creature that we absolutely have to fight off, lest it destroy entire buildings.
This is the only reason I haven't picked up Minecraft yet. This will probably sound ridiculous, but I want to be living in constant fear. It just makes surviving and building that much more satisfying when you can successfully protect your stuff.
 
#65
Witcher 2. The first chapter and prologue can be brutal because it takes a while for you to understand how fragile/vulnerable you really are when swinging a big ass sword. By chapter two though, i am kicking ass, and by chapter 3 i am simply slaughtering.
 
#66
I think for me it was the fact that I didn't understand the mechanics of the game as I've never played an RPG like it before. That damn dragon part at the very beginning tore me up. ESPECIALLY as that was the very first thing I picked to do when being interviewed by Roche. Though with the EE they changed it quite a bit, still think I prefered the difficulty though as it made it that much more rewarding when I figured all the nuances out.
My problem was that it simply wasn't as reactive as most actions games I'd played, and wasn't as slow-paced as most RPGs I've played. I ended up cheesing my way through combat for most of the first act until I finally got to grips with the system.
 
#68
ninja gaiden black/sigma,getting to the first checkpoint is the hardest part of the game

dead space 2 too,even on hardcore mode,after getting the plasma cutter and surviving the stasis qte it's smooth sailing
 
#72
I feel like most games are like this, if only because it's easier to balance a game when the player has relatively few abilities at their disposal.
 
#73
Some good ones mentioned already.

Fallout 3 - as soon as I got out of the vault I wandered across 3 raiders that kicked my ass in no time but by the end I was annihilating them without breaking a sweat.

The Witcher 2 - I got owned a few times in chapter 1 by nekkers and wraiths but was slicing and dicing anything in my way by the end.

Resident Evil 4 - the village, even if you know how to not trigger the chainsaw guy is quite a shock.

I know some will disagree but I enjoy, especially in games like the ones I mentioned, the reverse difficulty because it signifies me getting both better and more powerful as I progress. Not saying the back half of games should be piss-easy but getting more difficult is, in a way, slightly antithetical to getting more powerful.
 

Dusk Golem

A 21st Century Rockefeller
#74
I'm not sure if I completely agree with RE4. Yes, the beginning is hard the first time through and the game gets a tad bit easier after that for a bit, but I would argue that RE4 has plenty of challenging moments and moments that are more challenging than the beginning sprinkled all throughout and later into the game.

I'm also getting flashbacks to fighting Krauser on Pro. That boss fight was a bitch to beat.
 
#75
Ninja Gaiden: Black.

I really think the second half of the game is a virtual cakewalk on normal. Unless you're being dumb and running in and not blocking - I don't really see what's so hard about the second part at all.
 

Kyouji

Haman Discharged... she smells nice
#79
Bard's Tale.

Enjoy being party-wiped whenever you run into a random group of Barbarians on the streets of Skara Brae, all the way until your party is at least level 5. Then it's smooth coasting for a while until you run into Blue Dragons in the Catacombs. I hope you've got Mind Blade for your Wizards by then!
 
#82
I thought a lot of games does this, adventure games that doesn't offer much variation in enemies generally gets easier and easier until it becomes boring, since all you're doing is unlock more and more stuff that helps you kill easier.

Muramasa, Assassin's creed 2, basically it gets easier as soon as you get used to the controls which is usually an hour or two into the game.

Persona 4, took me a while to beat the first boss on expert, or was it second, I don't remember, then it got easy

Dragon age origins, easier as soon as you get the right spells/gears/abilities to set up your character roles properly and becomes a joke once your characters are beefed up.

Skyrim, the hardest part was the first bear I fought and the first few tombs/quests, then it gets easier
 

ZealousD

Makes world leading predictions like "The sun will rise tomorrow"
#83
Ninja Gaiden: Black.

I really think the second half of the game is a virtual cakewalk on normal. Unless you're being dumb and running in and not blocking - I don't really see what's so hard about the second part at all.
Yeah, I agree with this one. I felt like Chapter 4 was the hardest chapter by far.
 
#84
Ninja Gaiden: Black.

I really think the second half of the game is a virtual cakewalk on normal. Unless you're being dumb and running in and not blocking - I don't really see what's so hard about the second part at all.


not just the first half, but the first checkpoint on very hard feels like a major accomplishment, if you don't rush past the trap door room to save and lose out on the time bonus from the fight. for those who haven't played it, this is like the 5 fights or about 5 minutes into the game!
 
#85
Witcher 2 as mentioned, and perhaps STALKER before you get any decent equipment. Trying to win the first couple of fights with just a crappy pistol or shotgun is scary. Games like Fallout 3 might fall into that category as well if you run into the wrong area.
 
#86
Witcher 2 as mentioned, and perhaps STALKER before you get any decent equipment. Trying to win the first couple of fights with just a crappy pistol or shotgun is scary. Games like Fallout 3 might fall into that category as well if you run into the wrong area.

the first couple hours of fallout 3 are so great because of this.
 

Man God

Non-Canon Member
#87
Especially Radiant Dawn because the Dawn Brigade is underpowered, and that really doesnt change throughout the game.
RD actually is one of the few recent FE games to buck this trend because of part iv.

Sure, your army is filled with ultra badasses but when the goddess blessed gold pimp troops get rolled out they can put some serious dents in your forces.
 

Dusk Golem

A 21st Century Rockefeller
#88
Used the knife, I knew that when you fight him on normal, but on pro almost every single one of his attacks is a one-hit kill and he attacks more ferociously. Just getting to him is a challenge, and once there you basically have to knife him without getting hit once. It also doesn't help Krauser happens almost immediately after another boss fight and a few gameplay sections such as the part where you ride a vehicle defending yourself and the molting factory and a few regenerators and iron maidens so running low on health items by that point as well.
 
#90
Ninja Gaiden Sigma (I'm currently playing Plus).

Sure, I've been getting better, but each new difficulty mixes things up so much that I tend to start from square one each time.
 
K

kittens

Unconfirmed Member
#91
Not when you have that bullshit final boss. But I agree, Cairo Station is something.
I somehow never had a problem with that guy. It wasn't till years later that I discovered it he was an issue for so many people.
 
#93
Some notable ones off the top of my head are the Fire Emblem and the Castlevania series.

Some RPGs start like this, too. There's also the original Kid Icarus...
 
#94
Demon's Souls/Dark Souls.

Those first few hours are the toughest by far. After that it's plain sailing.
Demon's Souls especially deserves mention. Granted, depending on order progression the end game's still a bitch but the very last boss is, ironically enough, one of the easiest I've ever faced. Perhaps THE easiest of those that weren't rigged to make YOU unbeatable, you didn't even have to use any tricks or exploits to make him a joke, just hit a few times and YOU DEFEATED.
 
#95
The Witcher 2 was the fisrt game I've ever played that made me /realise/ that it was getting easier. I can't complain though, I'm currently in love :)
 
R

Retro_

Unconfirmed Member
#98
Scott Pilgrim. Game is super tedious in the beginning since you have no moves.(not even quick recover. making getting hit even more of a pain as it take forever to get up)

By the end of the game you're way too strong for anything in the game to deal with you.

Game design at its worse. BUT HEY ITS 4 PLAYER

Resident Evil 4. The village is specifically designed to kick a new player's ass.
Yeah. Almost everyone who I've heard complain about the controls and not playing it has stopped at that section.

Something similar has occurred with Vanquish 1-3 in my circle of friends as well. So many of them can't even beat the boss in the demo.
 
#99
Fallout 2 more than Fallout 1 imo, the cave is easy to just run through, but the temple of trials you're kind of forced into fighting a billion scorpions and then blowing yourself up with c4.

Surprised at FFT, I never thought anything was hard in that game except for THAT BATTLE. The beginning is trivial even with stupid npcs.
 
Every Piranha Bytes' title ever. Sure, most RPGs take some cues from that kind of backwards curve, but Piranha Bytes is the only developer that executes it so straight if you ask me. You start as an absolute wimp and by the end of the game you're rolling over everything and anything. And it's extremely satisfying.