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God of War creator (David Scott Jaffe) criticizes the high difficulty of games like Metroid Dread, Kena and Returnal

Jigsaah

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If a game isn't difficult I tend to get bored. I play games for the challenge and competition. I don't have many games that don't require critical thinking, planning or quick reflexes.

I am from the NES generation so maybe that's why. Ninja Gaiden, Mario, Double Dragon, Double Dribble, Gradius, Contra. Those were my favorite NES games. Then I got into fighting games. Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat mainly til Killer Instinct came out. Tekken. Then came the shooters. Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Timesplitters, Call of Duty. You get the point. Souls games. Even puzzlers. Tetris, Legacy of Kain, Resident Evil. Card based games. MTG and Phantom Dust.

I was always about the challenge. Losing in games or having to take 20 or 30 tries to beat a boss like in Sekiro's final boss was awesome to me. Not saying it's for everybody but yeah some gamers do it for the same reasons I do.
 

MasterDerico

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This generation is so weak...
if that was the case in the past (80/90's), every game cover had to have a warning;

"VERY DIFFICULT GAME"



Gimme a break, people who need watch their steps and know what their are buying...
 
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Dec 12, 2018
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Games that require precise platforming and quick reflexes should also give the player tools and control needed to master them.
Metroid Dread is an example how to do it perfectly.
 
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tommib

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If a game isn't difficult I tend to get bored. I play games for the challenge and competition. I don't have many games that don't require critical thinking, planning or quick reflexes.

I am from the NES generation so maybe that's why. Ninja Gaiden, Mario, Double Dragon, Double Dribble, Gradius, Contra. Those were my favorite NES games. Then I got into fighting games. Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat mainly til Killer Instinct came out. Tekken. Then came the shooters. Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Timesplitters, Call of Duty. You get the point. Souls games. Even puzzlers. Tetris, Legacy of Kain, Resident Evil. Card based games. MTG and Phantom Dust.

I was always about the challenge. Losing in games or having to take 20 or 30 tries to beat a boss like in Sekiro's final boss was awesome to me. Not saying it's for everybody but yeah some gamers do it for the same reasons I do.
Same here. The more challenge the better. Back in the NES days, the thrill of the games was their difficulty. That never changed for me and it's why I tend to put everything on hard if the game allows me from the start. I find it much more rewarding to see what's next on a game after a challenge. I really don't sympathise with gamers who just want to be tourists and look at pretty graphics. I want the pretty graphics but I want to feel that I fought for them, if that makes any sense.
 
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Spaceman292

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I don't find Metroid too difficult, I'm talking generally here.

Unless we're talking souls, difficulty is rarely well communicated, so your point is completely moot.
It's not hard to find out if there's difficulty settings. If someone buys something and regrets it because of something that they could have researched beforehand, then that's on them.
 

Majukun

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The play something else response is so fucking idiotic.

You don't see other people up in arms that normal games have hard (and usually super hard!) modes. Should that be an outrage to me?

"Hey! This is MY game! How dare you play it on hard and mess up the designer's vision!"
if the game has a super hard mode is because the developer decided to put it in.
completely different concept from "this game doesn't have an easy mode, make it because i want it"
if a develper decides on his own accord to put an easy mode, or made directly a really easy game, be my guest..the "problem" is with people nagging and complaining just because a game doesn't decide to cater to them.

also, suuper hard modes are usually not challenging in the right way anyway..they usually just resort to give the player less Hp or make the enemies hit harder..which is not what people that want a challenge are looking for anyway, they want that finese in execution is required, not that you take an extra 20 minutes to finish a boss.
 
Aug 24, 2012
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I love challenging games. They're the only ones I gravitate towards these days. I couldn't beat Spelunky though, so after the fun journey I put it down 🙂
 
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kiphalfton

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Neil Patrick Harris
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
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David Scott Jaffe

A little behind the ball there, including your middle name to sound trendy, by like 30 years.
 

Old_and_Slow

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The play something else response is so fucking idiotic.

You don't see other people up in arms that normal games have hard (and usually super hard!) modes. Should that be an outrage to me?

"Hey! This is MY game! How dare you play it on hard and mess up the designer's vision!"

A game designed with a difficulty setting is made to be played in any of those settings.

A game designed with no difficulty setting is fundamentally changed by forcing one in.

Want an easier difficulty? Play something that has a choice built into it.
 

Kimahri

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It's not hard to find out if there's difficulty settings. If someone buys something and regrets it because of something that they could have researched beforehand, then that's on them.
It's like you're not even reading what I'm saying.
 

Hunnybun

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A game designed with a difficulty setting is made to be played in any of those settings.

A game designed with no difficulty setting is fundamentally changed by forcing one in.

Want an easier difficulty? Play something that has a choice built into it.


But if they put an easy mode in, then the game would therefore have been made with difficulty settings and would have been made to play with those settings.

Wouldn't it?

Problem solved - at least by your logic.
 

Old_and_Slow

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But if they put an easy mode in, then the game would therefore have been made with difficulty settings and would have been made to play with those settings.

Wouldn't it?

Problem solved - at least by your logic.

If they had done that then this thread would not exist.

These games that have the experience tied to a set difficulty is a genre unto itself. Either learn how to play the game as intended or miss out entirely. I skip my fair share of games because I don't feel like learning whatever system the dev created.

In the future, will some company make a Demon Souls or Blodbourne clone that includes such an easy setting? Maybe with threads like these a dev decides to go for it. Until then we got what we got and they deserve to be released the way they are.
 

RafterXL

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I love all the clowns that think adding difficulty settings is so simple. Do you even play games with difficulty settings on hard mode? Of course you dont, because if you did you'd understand why most of them suck. Nine times out of ten the "hard" mode is just the "I wanna turn my brain off" mode with higher damage or some other dumb shit. Games that a single difficulty are universally better because they are specifically designed for that exact experience.
 

Hunnybun

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If they had done that then this thread would not exist.

These games that have the experience tied to a set difficulty is a genre unto itself. Either learn how to play the game as intended or miss out entirely. I skip my fair share of games because I don't feel like learning whatever system the dev created.

In the future, will some company make a Demon Souls or Blodbourne clone that includes such an easy setting? Maybe with threads like these a dev decides to go for it. Until then we got what we got and they deserve to be released the way they are.

Translation: git gud
 

Hunnybun

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I love all the clowns that think adding difficulty settings is so simple. Do you even play games with difficulty settings on hard mode? Of course you dont, because if you did you'd understand why most of them suck. Nine times out of ten the "hard" mode is just the "I wanna turn my brain off" mode with higher damage or some other dumb shit. Games that a single difficulty are universally better because they are specifically designed for that exact experience.

So what you're actually saying is that the hard modes probably are easy to make, because they're shit.

So if that's the acceptable standard of alternative difficulty modes, doesn't it stand to reason that developers of hard games could easily include easy modes for those that want them, without tramsgressing any kind of industry standard?

And that the main objection to such a reality is the irrational aversion of some players to the idea of other players having an experience with their favourite game that they consider "impure"?
 

RafterXL

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So what you're actually saying is that the hard modes probably are easy to make, because they're shit.

So if that's the acceptable standard of alternative difficulty modes, doesn't it stand to reason that developers of hard games could easily include easy modes for those that want them, without tramsgressing any kind of industry standard?

And that the main objection to such a reality is the irrational aversion of some players to the idea of other players having an experience with their favourite game that they consider "impure"?

What I'm saying is get over it. Games designed around a single difficulty are significantly better than games designed with sliders. You can try and twist that into whatever bullshit argument you want, but you'll be wrong. If you're too stupid to understand why a carefully curated experience is better than a catch all that's your problem, but it doesn't surprise me in the slightest that someone who wants to play their games on hold my hand mode wouldn't understand the difference.
 

Hunnybun

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What I'm saying is get over it. Games designed around a single difficulty are significantly better than games designed with sliders. You can try and twist that into whatever bullshit argument you want, but you'll be wrong. If you're too stupid to understand why a carefully curated experience is better than a catch all that's your problem, but it doesn't surprise me in the slightest that someone who wants to play their games on hold my hand mode wouldn't understand the difference.

Translation: git gud, cunt.
 
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Mar 16, 2021
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So he's gone from 'I'm right and you're wrong' to 'it's just my opinion' in just a few short days



I feel like this is over-analysed almost to the point of satire, but yeah, it's not hard to figure out. Even the one shortly after, which is way more of an obscure filter, still makes sense because you're essentially funneled into figuring it out.
Like I said I haven’t played it yet and I found this on another site, but yeah I started playing Metroid when I was like 12 and never really had much of a problem getting stuck. It just takes some patience.

Ive heard people saying Dread is hard, but anyone who played Samus Returns would know that Mercury Steam were big fans of Fusion and decided to make the bosses on the more challenging side. Anyone who’s played Metroid would know that Fusion and Metroid 2 are more linear games that focus more on challenging fights to compensate, and even then less challenging games like Zero Mission and Super that have more freedom aren’t exactly easy either.

The Prime games aren’t easy either, and I would even say Prime 2 is a hard game. Metroid games just aren’t a walk in the park nor should they be.
I like you, a lot
 

Lognor

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Regarding Metroid Dread, I just started playing it, and yeah, Jaffe is an idiot. That part in the game is still very early and still linear. You just get the charge beam and this room is the one option at that point that requires a charge beam so it's pretty clear that is where you're supposed to go. It must be his first Metroid game. Absolute clown.
 
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If Jaffe thinks Dread is a difficult game, he is absolutely wrong. Games should be challenging and you should feel like you accomplished something after you finally beat that difficult boss or sequence. Dread even respawns you near the last door you entered after you die. How is that not player friendly?

I think there is a place for challenging games and a place for hand-holding, but the "MetroidVania" style of gameplay is unique for its exploration aspect and its tight controls. Neither would complement a game like Dread if there weren't a challenging boss to test your control of the character or if there weren't a section of the map that made you really stare at the map to figure out where that hidden door might be. I'm enjoying the hell out of Dread and I haven't seen any "walkthrough" videos since I think it would take away from the experience. I'm having a blast.
 
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well keep making dumbed down games then? you literally have the opportunity to make a change. what do you want? other studios to dumb their games down too? i mean, it's not like those are even difficult games.
 
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Neff

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Ive heard people saying Dread is hard

I don't think it's hard. It's extremely reliant on pattern learning, and bosses can murder you in seconds when you face them for the first time, but the reactions and skill required is more than fair. The last boss took me a couple of hours to figure it out, and at first it seemed overwhelming, but I'm pretty sure I could do it right now quite easily. It's just good, old-fashioned pattern learning.
 
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CGiRanger

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I'm still trying to figure out why this guy has TWO separate threads about this same topic?
 

Fredrik

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If Jaffe thinks Dread is a difficult game, he is absolutely wrong. Games should be challenging and you should feel like you accomplished something after you finally beat that difficult boss or sequence. Dread even respawns you near the last door you entered after you die. How is that not player friendly?

I think there is a place for challenging games and a place for hand-holding, but the "MetroidVania" style of gameplay is unique for its exploration aspect and its tight controls. Neither would complement a game like Dread if there weren't a challenging boss to test your control of the character or if there weren't a section of the map that made you really stare at the map to figure out where that hidden door might be. I'm enjoying the hell out of Dread and I haven't seen any "walkthrough" videos since I think it would take away from the experience. I'm having a blast.
It is definitely challenging as far as I’m concerned, but as you say they’re making it fair since you don’t have to backtrack for 15 minutes for another try like in some other hard games. As it is I’m actually enjoying the challenge even though I’m really not the git gud type of gamer. It’s pretty much perfectly balanced. (Haven’t finished it yet though so if the end boss break this balance then I take it back)
 
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Neff

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I'm still trying to figure out why this guy has TWO separate threads about this same topic?

It's fascinating. Here we have a successful game designer not only shitting on a tried-and-tested formula older than his career, but also calling for games in general to conform to a homogenised model of relaxed difficulty and reduced agency. And even more bizarrely, you have many backing him up. It's a sad sign of the times. People seem to be far less willing to invest in games mentally than they were when Metroid first established its ilk.

This generation is so weak...
if that was the case in the past (80/90's), every game cover had to have a warning;

"VERY DIFFICULT GAME"

Many gamers today have a low tolerance for failure, they take it very personally, almost like an insult. The idea of applying oneself and attempting to improve doesn't even register, because in their eyes the game is beneath them due to being 'badly designed', 'artificially difficult', or 'archaic'. The fact that human beings are able to get better at something by practicing and being observant is a notion firmly stuck in gaming's past as far as they're concerned.
 
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jufonuk

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Jim.
... ”Kena, Metroid, Returnal; all leading the way towards super challenging games. Maybe it’s the NES generation becoming designers, but I HATE THIS. And it is not a question of age; I NEVER liked it, but it wasn’t that rampant. It’s as if the developers want to alienate players
"Quoting his own words, Jaffe believes that the high difficulty of some current games is pushing the players away, and that almost seems to be done on purpose. Do you agree with their opinion?..."

https://planetsmarts.com/2021/10/12...f-games-like-metroid-dread-kena-and-returnal/

gonna cry tobey maguire GIF
 

Sosokrates

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Yes. Yes.

There were games released before Half Life. Shocking, I know.
I had an n64, and before that a gameboy and a amiga 500. I played mainly shooters and platformers though. The only older puzzle game i played was thief. But I can imagine older games being harder then 12mins.
My attention span and patience is really worse now, probably because of smartphones.
 

bender

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I had an n64, and before that a gameboy and a amiga 500. I played mainly shooters and platformers though. The only older puzzle game i played was thief. But I can imagine older games being harder then 12mins.
My attention span and patience is really worse now, probably because of smartphones.

Sierra's adventure games were often cruel. You could miss an item in the first few screens of a game that would prevent you from finishing the game hours and hours later.
 
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Sosokrates

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Sierra's adventure games were often cruel. You could miss an item in the first few screens of a game that would prevent you from finishing the game hours and hours later.

I wonder if angery video game nerd did any episodes on them.
 

bender

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I wonder if angery video game nerd did any episodes on them.

Doubtful for a few reasons. Partly the platform the typically appeared on and they aren't bad games, most are beloved. They can be obtuse, frustrating and the opposite of user friendly, but Roger Wilco and the like will always hold a special place in my heart.
 
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tygertrip

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I didn't say that adding balanced difficulty modes is trivial, I said that adding unbalanced modes would be trivial and for many players even unbalanced modes would be preferable to not being able to play the game.

You can't really be serious with this idea that watching the game on YouTube is equivalent to playing a game that isn't punishingly hard. That's just silly. Something like Spiderman on the PS4 is basically never hard - I think you could probably beat the game just by spamming the square button, tbh - but it still obviously offers a level of interactivity that millions of people prefer to watching a video.

As for the reputation - yes, finally we come to the ACTUAL reason. These game have appeal to certain people BECAUSE they lock other people out; because they're hardcore; because they're "pure". That's exactly my point. Some people clearly love that, but I just think it's bullshit.
well, quit crying about it, and go make your own game. OR… just play the tons and tons of games that have difficulty settings. Instead, you focus on the occasional game that doesn’t and cry, cry, cry about it. Are you 12 or something? You are not entitled to have every game in the world give you your preferred options. That takes resources that a dev may want to spend elsewhere. Good god, grow up. There is no lack of games, lol.
 

tygertrip

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No, I did bother, and and I did complete the game.

You're the one who admitted you'd have ducked the challenge if you could have, and needed a game to stop you making that decision.

I think it's a shame that people with less skill or less time should be prevented from playing a good game, and I don't think the reason you gave (that in that scenario people prone to giving up on hard challenges might be likely to miss out on a rewarding experience) is sufficient justification for that.
It’s a fucking video game. They’ll live. Talk about first world problems. “Nooooooo! I can’t experience this one game because it doesn’t have muh easy mode!”.
 

Fredrik

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Doubtful for a few reasons. Partly the platform the typically appeared on and they aren't bad games, most are beloved. They can be obtuse, frustrating and the opposite of user friendly, but Roger Wilco and the like will always hold a special place in my heart.
I love the Space Quest games, at least up til 3, brilliant script, lots of humor 👌
 

HF2014

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Havent watch the video, but yeah really, this game is Souls like level for difficulty, which i was not expecting at all. Died like 500 time maybe? Learning the EMMI and multiple bosses and mini bosses patterns by dying a lot make it for me not a so memorable experience. Still a very good game, but enjoyed more Samus Returns. Im not even sure i want to give this game a second try because it was mentally and physicaly draining. Can you just imagine this game if everytime we died we start back at our last saving point? God...
 
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Neff

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Can you just imagine this game if everytime we died we start back at our last saving point? God...

I wouldn't mind it actually (no I'm not a Übergamer), it would make the game nice and tense, and there are plenty of save points around, more than usual for a 2D Metroid in fact. I can see how it would make some throw their hands up in resignation and exclaim 'fuck this' though.
 
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