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.
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I was never able to beat prince of persia. The gameplay was somewhat challenging, but the problem was always with the timer taking away your ability to freely explore the maps, without having access to a walkthrough to cheat, the puzzles required a great deal of exploring but when you actually took the time to do so you'd have to restart from the beginning of the whole damn game, effectively making every level exponentially more annoying due to the restarts.

While the problem you mention (having to restart every time, and beating a the first levels the hundredth time) is definitely there, I've never had that problem in Prince of Persia. Actually, I found it quite easy, but then again, that was one of my first PC games, and having come from the C=64, everything just felt so easy and comfy. ;)

RPG like king's quest series were difficult because when you got stuck ever so often, there was nothing left to do but try every item in the inventory on every pixel/screen in the game - the combinations were generally clever, the element of guessing for too long became tedious.

You mean adventure games, right? Then you are right, I was never very good in them -- solved Space Quest 4 and Kyrandia, for example, but could never finish Maniac Mansion (although it's true I was much younger at the time).

RPG is a completely different genre, though there you were also sometime faced with the big "what do I do now" question. But that was usually the case with older RPGs like the Ultimas before Underworld or, say, Magic Candle. Basically, if you had the manual, you could not really go wrong -- unless there was a time limit, like in Magic Candle.

I played more too, I don't really know if the games today are easier, but when I've gone back to replay older skill games I often seem to find them easier than I did originally, maybe because the old AIs are more predictable to the trained eye?

That definitely happens sometime. I think most of the difficulty from older games arise from three factors:
- bad design: guesswork; no real testing by someone other than the author; or just the fact that the game was originally an arcade and it was made difficult deliberately, so the player would have to throw more coins in to keep playing; etc.
- crappy controls: only some of them have actually stood the test of time
- we were younger when we played them ;)

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