Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 29th Jun 2013 20:18 UTC
Games "In recent years, an odd consensus has arisen where many believe that games are easier than they used to be. In many cases it's true, and it isn't surprising, as extreme competition between titles has created the need for games to be immediately entertaining as soon as you press the start button. As a consequence, many older - and potentially newer - players consider these games of yesteryear much more difficult. The immense challenge Wii U owners have experienced with virtual console games is evidence of that. Are these newer adventures really easier? Or has the design philosophy for video games improved instead?" Interesting take. I will tell you this, though - take a game like Dragon Age (the only one that matters, so the first one). It's immediately accessible to newcomers at the easy and normal setting, but try stepping it up to nightmare mode, and you're suddenly back in old-fashioned hardcore territory where you'll need to apply every little bit there is to know about the game to be able to finish it (tip for DA fanatics: finish the game without a single character going down in combat, on nightmare. I did it. It's hell). My point is: sometimes, you have to up the difficulty or create your own challenges to find the rewarding difficulty of gaming yore.
Permalink for comment 565935
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Comment by gan17
by gan17 on Sun 30th Jun 2013 03:16 UTC
Member since:

I honestly don't know.

At first glance, I'd say yes, simply because I've yet to see any modern game ship with a manual as thick as those I got with Falcon 3.0 or 4.0, but flight sims aren't really that popular these days, and those that are generally come with on-screen help or tutorials in place of manuals. Maybe that doesn't equal better design, but it's definitely a better integrated experience.

I suppose it all depends on the genre and type of game. Mario Kart, to me, is just as accessible and well designed as it always was. Some of the old Contra-style games were insanely difficult, but most people seemed to be able to pick them up and figure out what needed doing (kill everything... duuh). Now you have LSD-filled colourful stuff that's overwhelming at first (I need to collect seedlings to build a kite.. huhwhat?), but quickly gets easy the more you play.

When I compare a modern first-person RPG to something like the old Ultima Underworld, it's 50-50. In the new RPGs the lands are richer, there's generally more stuff to do, more quests or whatever, some not at all obvious to a RPG newbie, but in the old Ultima Underworld, you had to find flour, find wood, start a fire and make bread, just to get something to eat that would restore HP (yeah, totally wtf, right?). But then again you still get newer offerings, albeit old-skool natured, like The Dark Spire (Nintendo DS) that are pretty difficult to get to grips with, even for seasoned RPG'ers. I don't even know how one could start debating design with comparisons like this.

Edited 2013-06-30 03:24 UTC

Reply Score: 5