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

tygertrip

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To be fair, every thread here at least leans toward your stance, saying otherwise would be playing the victim.
Jaffe's opinion is not at all the reflection of this community if this kind of threads are any indication.
Good to hear. I didn’t mean to imply the majority did, my apologies. I admit, I do like to be hyperbolic on forums.
 
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tygertrip

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Completely agree with him.
I don’t think there’s any god given right for games to have options and an easy mode.

All I can say is I would have finished Returnal if there was an easier game mode.

I cheesed most of demons souls bosses and enjoyed it, I just want to enjoy games and media I don’t need to be challenged to play something, my job is challenging enough.

I’d appreciate it if there was some sort of AI scaling in these games , surely that’s possible , gets more difficult for the pros and easier for the guys along for a normal challenge.
Some games do have that. Play those games, if that is what you prefer.
 

Keihart

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Completely agree with him.
I don’t think there’s any god given right for games to have options and an easy mode.

All I can say is I would have finished Returnal if there was an easier game mode.

I cheesed most of demons souls bosses and enjoyed it, I just want to enjoy games and media I don’t need to be challenged to play something, my job is challenging enough.

I’d appreciate it if there was some sort of AI scaling in these games , surely that’s possible , gets more difficult for the pros and easier for the guys along for a normal challenge.
So you still want a challenge, you see, that's where the tricky part is.
 

Hunnybun

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What is fun for you? pressing some random buttons without a second thoughts and watch pretty pictures and colors play out on the TV?
I'm being reductive with that sentence, but dismissing the intent behind skill gaps in a video game is just as reductive. There is an experience crafted by the developer that asks from the player to engage with it, if you as a player don't wish to engage in what the developer asks, then you don't like the game, you don't like what the game offers.

Getting through a "zone" dozens of times is not cheap, maybe it's challenging but cheap is not a given. If you don't find challenge in a game to be something worth your time than you probably should save yourself the trouble and play the games that cater to that same opinion. If you want to criticize the difficulty of a game, then you have be a little more nuanced and be specific about what feels unfair to you and why, if not, the there is nothing of valued gained from that "opinion".

Jaffe is wrong because what he perceived as "cheap" or bad design, is the complete opposite and blatantly obvious to most players. There is intent in the design and it works as proven by the hilarious montage, i've watched some of Jaffe's playthrough, he is not the sharpest tool in the box when he streams and he usually says that it's because he is reading chat, but you would be surprised how often he doesn't understand basic mechanics even when reading a tutorial.

Just as a side note, difficulty being something that keeps players away from games is the biggest lie in the industry regarding game design, people chose to play difficult games all the time, the real barrier is making the game appealing enough for someone to try it and stick with it.

Just look at the most successful games on the market, LoL and CSGO are not simple, both games have a really high barrier of mechanical and planning skill, most fighting games keep you at the entrance on the kids table until you learn basic motion inputs, yet all of this games have incredibly big player bases that stick to them for years, because getting better is fun, and nobody gets better without engaging with the gameplay first.


My point about the cheapness is mainly that requiring players to replay sections - not difficult sections, necessarily, but still requiring significant patience - they've already beaten dozens of times, just so they can get to the next enemy whose patterns are new and difficult and take time to figure out is hard in just a tedious, laborious, pointless way.

It's weird to me that anyone defends that shit. Those kind of filler sections in the Souls games aren't even difficult, they just take ages to plod through. It's not testing anything but the player's patience. The argument for making players repeat sections endlessly is equally as strong as having a 5 minute loading screen after a death. It's just annoying and gratuitously punishing.

It was different with old arcade games They were an hour long so they kind of had to be arbitrarily difficult. Modern games are like 20 times the size, so there was a point where everyone just agreed that checkpoints are necessary and a fair concession.

There are other things wrong with the Souls games in terms of the reasonableness of their difficulty, but that's my main beef. It's why I'll probably never complete one, along with the incredibly complicated and opaque statistics etc, but I suppose that one's more on me.
 
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AREYOUOKAY?

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Nope, no new game compares on difficulty like beating those dam eagles on Ninja Gaiden 2 NES.




Games today are more easier and have more savepoints than ever...


What about the other Ninja Gaiden 2?
 

TrebleShot

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Some games do have that. Play those games, if that is what you prefer.
Which ones?

Also I love Returnal I think it’s a brilliant game with a great atmosphere and interesting gameplay loop I just want to be able to play through it in a weekend or a few days without having to seriously grind it out, or at least if there is a degree of that it has scaled to my perceived ability. It could even be a separate mode for the campaign so those that like it as is can play the original version.

I don’t want the current experience for people to be changed or ruined I would just appreciate accessibility for those of us who want to play something of average challenge and for that to be determined by the game itself, not by an easy or casual/story toggle. It’s 2021 we have incredibly powerful consoles with decent CPUs surely it’s possible.
 

tygertrip

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Agree with everything you said except auto aim. Auto aim is absolutely necessary for console aiming. The nature of an analogies stick means without auto aim even a good player would struggle with aiming. There's a reason why it's in every shooter.
I think they meant excessive auto-aim. Or they might be one of those weirdos that insist thumbsticks are more precise than a mouse.
 

Hoppa

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I've noticed it increasing since the 'Souls games are hard' narrative started. I remember it being brought up when Cuphead came out too. I'm generally not very good at games so I'm ok to miss a few
 

Nico_D

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Playing Metroid Dread, couple of hours in. I wouldn't say it has been too hard this far. It is challenging and I've died a lot already but it's not frustating like in some other game. Just gotta learn the boss pattern.

Naturally, if you wanted to put in difficulty settings, you could widen the timing windows or make the bosses less aggressive. The developer didn't want to do that, their choice.
 
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nkarafo

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I've noticed it increasing since the 'Souls games are hard' narrative started. I remember it being brought up when Cuphead came out too. I'm generally not very good at games so I'm ok to miss a few
I couldn't beat Cuphead. I suck at bullet hell games. But i still wanted to enjoy the graphics and animations (which is what the game is mostly about). So, since i played it on PC, i used cheat engine. Or, i could watch a raw video of it in high quality.

The last thing i would do would be to record myself complaining how the game is hard and how i want an easy mode.
 
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I don’t understand why people give a shit that Jaffe rage quit early on in Metroid because he’s bad at it.

If you die at a boss, and then you retry a bunch of times and beat it, that’s not hard. I really don’t understand what people want? Do you want to sleepwalk every single game you play? Metroid is in no way top tier hard. It’s moderately challenging, and it’s always fair.
 
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mekes

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I'm on the other side of the fence to David. I see those as games that push their gameplay to the forefront before anything else and I tend to really like that. Not for everyone of course and that's fine. I don't think anybody should discount somebodies preferences when it comes to the video games that they prefer. I mean the last part very generally, I don't think David did that.

I actually really like games at both ends of the spectrum. I love a walking sim and I love games like Sekiro, Bloodborne etc. I love racers, fighting games and survival horror.

Open world games tend to be the type of game I'm most likely to dislike. You can get a great game like Ghost of Tsushima, which is obviously a spectacular game. But I quit out of that after 5-10 hours. Not for me unfortunately. Same with Days Gone.

It's just preferences.
 
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tommib

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I don’t understand why people give a shit that Jaffe rage quit early on in Metroid because he’s bad at it.

If you die at a boss, and then you retry a bunch of times and beat it, that’s not hard. I really don’t understand what people want? Do you want to sleepwalk every single game you play? Metroid is in no way top tier hard. It’s moderately challenging, and it’s always fair.
People are giving a shit because he called us morons for thinking that it’s not poor game design.
 

Kimahri

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It's very easy to forget that games are expensive when you fish out the useledd "play something else" retort.

Gaging difficulty for you is very difficult without having played the game. So you play it, too hard, now what? Refunds aren't always possible.

I totally get why people are annoyed and want an easy mode in a game they already paid 60 for. It looked cool, fun and gorgeous. That it would kick their asd wasn't necessarily obvious.
 

Hunnybun

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It's very easy to forget that games are expensive when you fish out the useledd "play something else" retort.

Gaging difficulty for you is very difficult without having played the game. So you play it, too hard, now what? Refunds aren't always possible.

I totally get why people are annoyed and want an easy mode in a game they already paid 60 for. It looked cool, fun and gorgeous. That it would kick their asd wasn't necessarily obvious.

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!"
 

Fredrik

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If you die at a boss, and then you retry a bunch of times and beat it, that’s not hard. I really don’t understand what people want? Do you want to sleepwalk every single game you play? Metroid is in no way top tier hard. It’s moderately challenging, and it’s always fair.
Yeah. I probably died 20 times at the frozen map Cataris boss last night, but you’re back in seconds so I didn’t feel frustrated, it was more about testing different strategies to find out where and when I should attack and when I should focus on dodging, once the puzzle was solved it was relatively easy.


Regarding the exploration, hidden blocks has been a thing for a long time, for someone gaming in the 80s it’s inprinted in the DNA by now to attack or interact in whatever way possible with an area that looks suspiscious. To me that’s what makes these games fun, bombing an area and find a hidden big area feels rewarding. If the blocks were colored white or whatever it wouldn’t be the same thing. ”I see that something is there but I don’t know how to get there, yet” is a key element in the metroidvania genre.

But Shadow of the Tomb Raider experimented with having an options menu for visual hints on the map and for lighting up climbable ledges etc. Maybe that’s a good approach to help those who don’t have any experience from the earlier era when devs weren’t afraid to have gamers scratching their head? Easy exploration mode. The action can be the same.
 
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Kimahri

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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!"
Haha, that's a great point actually
 

Spaceman292

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It's very easy to forget that games are expensive when you fish out the useledd "play something else" retort.

Gaging difficulty for you is very difficult without having played the game. So you play it, too hard, now what? Refunds aren't always possible.

I totally get why people are annoyed and want an easy mode in a game they already paid 60 for. It looked cool, fun and gorgeous. That it would kick their asd wasn't necessarily obvious.
If people are so sensitive that they throw out a game if it's too difficult maybe they should do more research before they buy it. That's their fault, not the games.
 
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zokie

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i think he did not play the previous metroid games or retro castlevania games by Mr IGA
 
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Kimahri

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If people are so sensitive that they throw out a game if it's too difficult maybe they should do more research before they buy it. That's their fault, not the games.
Christ. Drop the elitist attitude, why don't ya? There are plenty of games mass marketed to the masses that say nothing about how hard it is. And believe it or not, the vast majority of people who buy games don't spend their time on places like neogaf, or watching let's plays to know everything there is to know about a game in advance. I know it's crazy, but most people just buy a game cause it looks cool, and in the videos it looks manageable.

Look. I'm not saying I personally think games are too hard, I just think it's a moronic attitude to not think games wouldn't benefit from actually welcoming new people into the hobby without making them eat pavement first. Personally I have less patience for it now. I have enough money to play whatever I want. What I don't have is limitless amounts of time, and games are much longer now than they used to be. A very difficult game where you die and retry a lot is fine when it's a shorter game. On SNES, with many games not even having any save options, you had to restart every time, get good, and finish in one sitting. But many games were just a couple of hours long if you breezed through them. It's the difficulty that put meat on their bones. But if it's a big 20-30-50+ hour game even without much time spent on combat? Get the fuck out. I don't have time nor patience to sit there and do that for a month. Then I go elsewhere. And incidently, that's what a lot of other people also end up doing.

And they wouldn't have, if devs just allowed them an easier difficulty or something. Hell, even Bayonetta had an "it plays itself" mode (or mommy mode, according to Kamiya), and guess what? Didn't bother me at all. I could still play it the way it was meant to be played.
 
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Fredrik

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i think he did not play the previous metroid games or retro castlevania games by Mr IGA
Apparently he did, said the last Metroid he played was Super Metroid. I wonder how far he played though… Super has the same shoot/bomb/run/walk/jump-through-block-to-proceed throughout the whole game. 🤷‍♂️
 
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Neff

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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

Haven’t played the game yet but if this is what he’s talking about then I think he should’ve taken a break from the game and come back to it later with a clearer mind. That’s what I do if I’m stuck on a boss or something.


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.
 
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WitchHunter

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Games are hard because people are lazy as fuck thanks to our modern lifestyle. It's hard for a purpose. It should ignite your inner flame to face the challenge and tame that fucking beast/inner demons. And convert that experience into real life and profit from it. Partly that's why WoW had economy, and you had ample options to customize you character, with trinkets, different gems whatever.

Good F2P games give you the option to progress without serious investment, reward you for delayed gratification and gives shortcuts if you decide to think a few minutes.

Watch the patterns and realize that not every game is one sided, meaning it takes your time and money and doesn't give back anything.
 
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JumpMan1981

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When people have this conversation it seems that they should make a distinction between "challenge", "game", "story" and "experience".

A lot of times it feels like someone who wants a story has actually bought a game. Someone who wants an experience has actually bought something that provides a challenge. Obviously these can be blended but it's really the developers call on what they want the balance to be.

Metroid is a videogame. It's not trying to be Dune or Hyperion. It's a game with Sci-fi elements but fundamentally the "game" part is about exploration and shooting enemies.

So the designer of the game puts in the EMMI robots and the idea is that these can hunt you down etc. If the players doesn't "die" to these robots a whole lot of times then what's the point of that element in the game? Same with the exploration, if it's just easy then what's the point?

Could "easy mode" players not just be shown a few of the best curated screenshots from the game alongside a synopsis of the games story? I see no point in "playing" a game where you just push right to win.

I feel kind of sorry for developers who genuinely care about their craft. There's someone out there who designs a boss battle and tries to make it so that the boss can defeat most players at first but over time the players can learn the intricacies of the bosses and then come out on top. Then they present the boss battle to the audience and there's a significant percentage who just shout "I don't have time for this, is there a button to just skip the boss battle maybe"?

It kind of sucks. Like going to see a play and halfway through just shouting out "hey, can you just simplify this and get to the end, my girlfriend wants me back home by 10 o'clock, some of us have a life you know!" Like the people involved in making this thing aren't really artists at all. Just seen as the videogame equivalent of burger flippers. Fuck all that challenge and shit, I just want to see the graphics and the story!

Why is this so specific to videogames?

Nobody is going to accuse directors of movies that are pretty complex or challenging of pushing audiences away because look at the Avengers making billions over there. Same way nobody is accusing artists who do experimental music of deliberately pushing listeners away.

If games are art then the consumers of games maybe need to accept that art can be challenging?
Maybe art should be challenging?

Thing is we would normally see games that have stories that challenge social conventions as a very positive thing. More and more LGBTQ+ representation in games is praised for challenging the status quo. So people definitely do want to see challenging content in their games. Just not challenging levels or boss battles? That's the wrong type of challenge?
 

NeoIkaruGAF

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Dread is super challenging??

stoned puppet GIF


It has some fights that ramp up the challenge quickly and brutally, yeah, but it’s got nothing on true action games like Platinum’s.
 
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Haven’t played the game yet but if this is what he’s talking about then I think he should’ve taken a break from the game and come back to it later with a clearer mind. That’s what I do if I’m stuck on a boss or something.

I am not the type of person to tell others that they shouldn't smoke one, but maybe he is better off playing Metroid without it.
 
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Although I love challenging games, as a father you just don’t have much time anymore for games and in the little time you have you want to see some progress and want to be entertained and not frustrated. Even as a father there are certain games which I want to enjoy while being challenged (e.g. dark souls…), but other games I play to enjoy the story and don’t want to spend my precious time on the same section over and over again.

So I think developers should include different difficulty levels to let each player choose for themselves the difficulty. I also don’t think that it takes much time to implement, so I don’t understand developers who don’t implement it.
 

Ev1L AuRoN

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What? Difficult? I can argue about Returnal but Kena and Metroid aren't that hard, if anything, they are a bit more challenge than the average games today.
 

Spaceman292

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Christ. Drop the elitist attitude, why don't ya? There are plenty of games mass marketed to the masses that say nothing about how hard it is. And believe it or not, the vast majority of people who buy games don't spend their time on places like neogaf, or watching let's plays to know everything there is to know about a game in advance. I know it's crazy, but most people just buy a game cause it looks cool, and in the videos it looks manageable.

Look. I'm not saying I personally think games are too hard, I just think it's a moronic attitude to not think games wouldn't benefit from actually welcoming new people into the hobby without making them eat pavement first. Personally I have less patience for it now. I have enough money to play whatever I want. What I don't have is limitless amounts of time, and games are much longer now than they used to be. A very difficult game where you die and retry a lot is fine when it's a shorter game. On SNES, with many games not even having any save options, you had to restart every time, get good, and finish in one sitting. But many games were just a couple of hours long if you breezed through them. It's the difficulty that put meat on their bones. But if it's a big 20-30-50+ hour game even without much time spent on combat? Get the fuck out. I don't have time nor patience to sit there and do that for a month. Then I go elsewhere. And incidently, that's what a lot of other people also end up doing.

And they wouldn't have, if devs just allowed them an easier difficulty or something. Hell, even Bayonetta had an "it plays itself" mode (or mommy mode, according to Kamiya), and guess what? Didn't bother me at all. I could still play it the way it was meant to be played.
If anyone considers super fun happy Metroid Dread as 'eating pavement' then they're beyond help really.

If someone knows that they're likely to drip a game because they find it too hard, all they need to do is read one or two reviews. It's not difficult.
 

Yoshichan

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Haven’t played the game yet but if this is what he’s talking about then I think he should’ve taken a break from the game and come back to it later with a clearer mind. That’s what I do if I’m stuck on a boss or something.

I like you, a lot
 
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Kimahri

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If anyone considers super fun happy Metroid Dread as 'eating pavement' then they're beyond help really.

If someone knows that they're likely to drip a game because they find it too hard, all they need to do is read one or two reviews. It's not difficult.
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.