Do difficult games put you off buying them?

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#1 Edited by Worlds_Apart (195 posts) -

The main culprits are the Dark Souls games. I've flirted with the idea of buying them for so long but I just can't bring myself to do it because of all the horror stories I've heard about their difficulty! Also Ninja Gaiden Black is a game I actually own but I've been to scared to play in fear of frustration. I've seen some streamers on Twitch play these types of games, Souls, Nioh, Ninja Gaiden etc and repeatedly die to the same bosses time and time again, yet they seem to love the challenge! I don't understand how they can enjoy dying over and over again but I'm jealous cos it's a quality I wish I had.

This all dates back to the NES and SNES days. There were certain games I never finished due to the difficulty and constantly dying. Now that I'm older I might actually have more patience with difficult games (I won't know until I try) but at the same time I might have less patience as I don't have the same amount of time to play games as I did back then. I'm not a very skilled gamer, and sad to say it but it sounds like I like easier games which is something I'm not proud of:(

What about you guys? Do you like a good challenege or prefer an easier time with games? And my original question, do difficult games put you off buying them?

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#2 Posted by osan0 (15456 posts) -

i'm the same as you TC. i can somewhat appreciate the appeal of the souls philosophy (which is much older than souls and more rooted in arcades....but im just going to call it the souls philosophy) but its not for me.

i think the big problem with me and souls is that i dont get that release, that joy, of finally overcoming a challenge if it takes loads of attempts. i think i was scarred by marble madness on the nes. if its taking 20-30 attempts, after a certain point the frustration will remain even if i eventually beat them. as far as i would be concerned i still lost. a pyrrhic victory at best. i could go back and beat them a 100 times in a row without taking a hit because i know them so well....and i would still chalk it up to a loss. i lost to that boss. i was beaten out the door. this may be an unhealthy mindset but it makes someone like me completely incompatible with the souls approach (FU marble madness).

but difficulty is an ongoing problem in games....how do you pitch it? i dont like a game to be a complete push over either. i mean i could play F1 2017 on the easiest setting and just go and win every race in a mclaren but that would also be quite boring. some of my most enjoyable races i didnt even win (came 4th in hungary in the wet in a Mclaren against Ai where i would usually finish mid field....that was a great race for me. felt like a win). its a really tricky balancing act.

as for souls: as someone who doesnt like them, i still recommend playing them. they do what they do very well (well i do have issues with some of the mechanics but thats a long rant and i wont put it here).the stuff outside the combat: the way it presents its lore, the scenery and so on is all very elegant. its all in, on the surface, nonsensical riddles and the items have discriptions which add to the sense of history and the story also and you can, if you wish to, spend time piecing it together. its very elegant...its telling a story in a way only a game can tell a story.

the ones i have played (demon souls and DS2) werent a complete nightmare from the start. the ones to get apparently are DS1, 3 and/or bloodborne. i certainly recommend trying at least one of them. they are difficult but their difficulty may be a fun kind of difficulty for you though and if you do like them there are loads of hours of good gaming in the series.

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#3 Posted by GNS (336 posts) -

Yeah, I'll never buy a game, which I will not finish. So, Dark Souls, Bloodborne etc. is out of the question.

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#4 Edited by RSM-HQ (8606 posts) -

@worlds_apart: Think Dark Souls difficulty has been widely over-exaggerated for the longest time. Many who claim they're the hardest games around state it as bragging rights because they didn't dip into anything with more bite.

Dark Souls is a really good Action RPG series (not as good as Monster Hunter) that I think many would really like, so it's a shame to be so misrepresented by a vocal some.

Ninja Gaiden Black is without question a harder game, however would state you get all the tools to beat the game, on the higher difficulties the game could come across as provokingly unfair, but on normal, it more than gives enough_

I could name quite a few more that would be more challenging than Soul games, but I'm getting off track so let's get back to the question-

It's not really a yes or no question to me. I play a lot of hard games, sure. But I also wouldn't play a game with forced difficulty due to bad design.

You get games with difficulty spikes, this is the normal way to set players up for the next challenge. Yet what happens when the challenge is off-screen? overly-spongy health pool? And uncanny auto-aim with quick recovery? These are commonly dubbed as forced difficulty, and viewed as bad game design. And I do not like games that focus around that.

Challenge is fine, both DkS and NG:B don't have any of these issues. Well telegraphed, wind-up frames, and can usually be downed with a few well placed hits assuming you came prepared. So as such. Games should work around mechanics given to the player, and give realistic obstacles set around them with an upwards curve, not throw poorly designed challenge for the sake of extending a games length. In older games this was common because they're ports of Arcade experiences, and developers had the incentive to take as much money from the player as possible.

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#5 Posted by Worlds_Apart (195 posts) -

@osan0 said:

the ones i have played (demon souls and DS2) werent a complete nightmare from the start. the ones to get apparently are DS1, 3 and/or bloodborne. i certainly recommend trying at least one of them. they are difficult but their difficulty may be a fun kind of difficulty for you though and if you do like them there are loads of hours of good gaming in the series.

Yeah you make a great point, I could be missing out on a lot of fun especially if it's a fun kind of difficulty. I'll consider DS3 but knowing me I like to start from the beginning which probably means Demon Souls. Time to ponder about Dark Souls :)

@RSM-HQ said:

@worlds_apart: Think Dark Souls difficulty has been widely over-exaggerated for the longest time. Many who claim they're the hardest games around state it as bragging rights because they didn't dip into anything with more bite.

Dark Souls is a really good Action RPG series that I think many would really like, so it's a shame to be so misrepresented by a vocal some.

Very true, I never considered this point about Dark Souls which is why I've stayed away. I hoped and am happy to know this is really the case.

@RSM-HQ said:

Ninja Gaiden Black is without question a harder game, however would state you get all the tools to beat the game, on the higher difficulties the game could come across as provokingly unfair, but on normal, it more than gives enough_

I could name quite a few more that would be more challenging than Soul games, but I'm getting off track so let's get back to the question-

Interesting to hear that Ninja Gaiden is harder. I've also remember reading on here (maybe from you) that Devil May Cry 3 was also harder than Dark Souls?

@RSM-HQ said:

It's not really a yes or no question to me. I play a lot of hard games, sure. But I also wouldn't play a game with forced difficulty due to bad design.

You get games with difficulty spikes, this is the normal way to set players up for the next challenge. Yet what happens when the challenge is off-screen? overly-spongy health pool? And uncanny auto-aim with quick recovery? These are commonly dubbed as forced difficulty, and viewed as bad game design. And I do not like games that focus around that.

Challenge is fine, both DkS and NG:B don't have any of these issues. Well telegraphed, wind-up frames, and can usually be downed with a few well placed hits assuming you came prepared. So as such. Games should work around mechanics given to the player, and give realistic obstacles set around them with an upwards curve, not throw poorly designed challenge for the shake of extending a games length. In older games this was common because they're ports of Arcade experiences, and developers had the incentive to take as much money from the player as possible.

Yep glad to know about forced difficulty that affected games back in the NES days. So I'm not the only one that gets p*ssed off about dying unfairly:) I'm actually now eager to give Dark Souls a try after reading you guy's replies. Maybe since I have Ninja Gaiden I might give that a try 1st since I already own it. I'm not promising anything though, knowing myself I might quit halfway through if it seems impossible:(

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#6 Edited by SoNin360 (7104 posts) -

I'm pretty much the same way. I've flirted with the idea of playing Dark Souls/Demon Souls/Bloodborne, but I think it would just be more frustrating than fun to me. I don't like getting stuck in games, I'm more interesting in the experience rather than the challenge. That said, too easy can get too boring for me as well. Thankfully most games have difficulty settings to adjust the game to how you want to play it.

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#7 Posted by mandzilla (4193 posts) -

I don't mind hard games so long as they don't kick you right back to the start of the level, or make it even more difficult each time you die. That's not so fun imo. I'd have never beaten Contra without the cheat code for example.

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#8 Posted by robert_sparkes (3314 posts) -

I don't like games that force you to level up that's my biggest gripe with assassins creed. Games like dark souls are skill based and learning from mistakes which I'm fine with.

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#9 Posted by Valgaav_219 (2521 posts) -

I don't have as much time that I used to when I was younger so I'm not really into the idea of dying over and over and over again. That's why I bought Demon's Souls a few years back and ended up taking it back a few days later. I may try again one day but not anytime soon tbh

And also: Monster Hunter > Souls

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#10 Posted by pyro1245 (5264 posts) -

I could play Dark Souls forever.

I value my time, but if I'm enjoying myself it's all good. As soon as I feel like I'm not enjoying myself I stop playing. I don't care how much I spent.

Dark Souls difficulty always seemed fair to me, and I usually have something to take away from a death. Ninja Gaiden too. Both top-notch.

I like the Dark Souls formula waaay better than Monster Hunter. I really like them both but I consider them very different types of games.

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#11 Posted by Jacanuk (18895 posts) -

@worlds_apart said:

The main culprits are the Dark Souls games. I've flirted with the idea of buying them for so long but I just can't bring myself to do it because of all the horror stories I've heard about their difficulty! Also Ninja Gaiden Black is a game I actually own but I've been to scared to play in fear of frustration. I've seen some streamers on Twitch play these types of games, Souls, Nioh, Ninja Gaiden etc and repeatedly die to the same bosses time and time again, yet they seem to love the challenge! I don't understand how they can enjoy dying over and over again but I'm jealous cos it's a quality I wish I had.

This all dates back to the NES and SNES days. There were certain games I never finished due to the difficulty and constantly dying. Now that I'm older I might actually have more patience with difficult games (I won't know until I try) but at the same time I might have less patience as I don't have the same amount of time to play games as I did back then. I'm not a very skilled gamer, and sad to say it but it sounds like I like easier games which is something I'm not proud of:(

What about you guys? Do you like a good challenege or prefer an easier time with games? And my original question, do difficult games put you off buying them?

I game because i want a challenge, i have no need for carebear games that hold your hand and wipe your behind.

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#12 Posted by Worlds_Apart (195 posts) -

@mandzilla said:

I'd have never beaten Contra without the cheat code for example.

Was it the one for 30 lives? up down up down left right left right B A start. something like that? I did it too :)

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#13 Edited by Worlds_Apart (195 posts) -

@robert_sparkes said:

Games like dark souls are skill based and learning from mistakes which I'm fine with.

That doesn't sound too bad, I'm good at adapting from mistakes.

@valgaav_219 said:

I don't have as much time that I used to when I was younger so I'm not really into the idea of dying over and over and over again.

Yep, that's my main fear. I will give Ninja Gaiden a try but if I keep dying unfairly I'll probably try something easier.

@Jacanuk said:

I game because i want a challenge, i have no need for carebear games that hold your hand and wipe your behind.

Fair enough :)

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#14 Edited by hrt_rulz01 (19276 posts) -

Yeah, definitely. I have little interest in games like Dark Souls... I'd just become too frustrated. I kinda get the appeal of them in a way, but they're not for me.

I'm currently playing Ashen, and I'll be very surprised if I get into it since it's a lot like Dark Souls apparently.

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#15 Edited by RSM-HQ (8606 posts) -

@worlds_apart: Yeah Devil May Cry games are known to be pretty hard minus the two many have issues with (DMC2, and NinTheoryDmC). DMC3 is the toughest of the bunch, but also the most rewarding if you ask me. Would however put it on par with Ninja Gaiden: Black/ Sigma. They're both great games_

I'm not promising anything though, knowing myself I might quit halfway through if it seems impossible

I'm a strong believer that people should play the games they want to play. We can all shout recommendations, but only you know what kind of experiences you find enjoyment in. I'm very much a nitty-gritty fan of systems and game design; that favors options to tackle situations. But I'm aware that's not for everyone as well.

@valgaav_219 said:

And also: Monster Hunter > Souls

This in every way, shape, and form

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#16 Posted by mandzilla (4193 posts) -

@worlds_apart: Yup! That's the one :D

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#17 Posted by Robbie23 (388 posts) -

The more difficult the better in my opinion.

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#18 Posted by salimd83 (28 posts) -

I enjoy challenging or Hard games, but i do get frustrated when i die a lot and it always happens, it angers me and i feel like turning into a werewolf :P

When game is challenging each new weapon, armor or a leveling up is a god send and you feel excited, i tend to spend tremendous time on character updates and customization. But if the game is easy i just don't care much about best armor and weapons or leveling up it's not that exciting anymore, and usually get bored and won't complete the game.

But there's a lot of pro gamers who enjoys a smooth ride, plus nowadays, where your boss, teacher or your dad could be a gamer, that's why there lots of easy games today. Example the franchise assassin's creeds which is successor to Prince of Persia, it's way more easier. And i noticed each release of assassin's creed get less challenging with easy combat (less tactics) being the first one the hardest.

Many like to watch games instead of playing especial the one they couldn't finish or they don't want to play because they are difficult. That's why there's many YouTube channel covering these games. And i find it an interesting idea so i created my own channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR5WvxccFzdEe30Wkg5MPQQ

currently im post a walkthrough for the hardest game in 2018 Celeste.

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#19 Edited by mrbojangles25 (44396 posts) -

@gns said:

Yeah, I'll never buy a game, which I will not finish. So, Dark Souls, Bloodborne etc. is out of the question.

Ditto.

I find the challenge in games like that to be artificial, disingenuous. In fights against AI opponents, the player should lose because they made a mistake.

As others have said, I find dying a lot and having to start over to be tedious. I don't mind struggling through a game if it's fun and genuinely challenging, I just don't appreciate the frustration that goes along with this in large amounts.

@salimd83 said:

I enjoy challenging or Hard games, but i do get frustrated when i die a lot and it always happens, it angers me and i feel like turning into a werewolf :P

When game is challenging each new weapon, armor or a leveling up is a god send and you feel excited, i tend to spend tremendous time on character updates and customization. But if the game is easy i just don't care much about best armor and weapons or leveling up it's not that exciting anymore, and usually get bored and won't complete the game.

But there's a lot of pro gamers who enjoys a smooth ride, plus nowadays, where your boss, teacher or your dad could be a gamer, that's why there lots of easy games today. Example the franchise assassin's creeds which is successor to Prince of Persia, it's way more easier. And i noticed each release of assassin's creed get less challenging with easy combat (less tactics) being the first one the hardest.

Many like to watch games instead of playing especial the one they couldn't finish or they don't want to play because they are difficult. That's why there's many YouTube channel covering these games. And i find it an interesting idea so i created my own channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR5WvxccFzdEe30Wkg5MPQQ

currently im post a walkthrough for the hardest game in 2018 Celeste.

Have you played Dead Cells? How hard is that?

I meant to purchase it a while ago, but forgot, and the game awards reminded me about it.

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#20 Posted by YammiReckorrdSan (615 posts) -

Yes, they put me off. I did bought Dark Souls just to see how hard it really is... and I couldn't pass the first level... So I've never bought Nioh despite it looks extremely good.

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#21 Posted by Speeny (1971 posts) -

If I enjoy the game initially , then no. But it is a shame having to put a game on the back burner because it's too hard.

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#22 Posted by henrythefifth (2502 posts) -

I'm put off by easy games. Which is most of the mainstream games of today, unfortunately.

All games should be as tough as Soulsborne.

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#23 Posted by robert_sparkes (3314 posts) -

I'm terrible at metroidvania style games the backtracking just gets tedious can see the quality in them but it's not for me.

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#24 Posted by RonThallsBalls (332 posts) -

I don’t play hard games. Read somewhere that when you “lose” your body stops producing testosterone in order to protect itself from “losing” again so I avoid tough games cuz I don’t want to have a shrinky dink. That happen to you guys? You lose at Dark souls like 20 times in a row and you can’t please your woman?

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#25 Posted by RSM-HQ (8606 posts) -
@ronthallsballs said:

I don’t play hard games. Read somewhere that when you “lose” your body stops producing testosterone in order to protect itself from “losing” again so I avoid tough games cuz I don’t want to have a shrinky dink. That happen to you guys? You lose at Dark souls like 20 times in a row and you can’t please your woman?

I beat DkS III with only eight deaths in total on my first playthrough.

By your calculations anyone learning a fighting game has a fallen off-penis. Despite many EVO and other professional gamers clearly being happily married.

Regardless that's not how the body works and mental stability varies from person to person.

Losing to me is an acceptance of growth and inspires me to look at my flaws, I also don't take losing in a game very personally, as the system mechanics are the place I get my kicks, not game progression.

If what you state has any truth, it would be a rare case of people with narcissistic qualities, having mental barriers for protection denying reality. A famous book on this mental disability called 'Truthiness' by Stephen Colbert exists if you want more details. And even then, it's wildly theoretical. Case-and-point don't believe everything you read on the internet_

Overall I think that's perhaps the most overcompensating post I've ever read in GD in all my years here (and your user name backs up the stupidity of the post). And I've read posts from quite a few bigots over the years.

As a result just seems to me you have issues. Seeing as you insist because you don't like difficult games, that anyone who does must be lacking physically.

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#26 Posted by Clefdefa (750 posts) -

I remember the original Devil May Cry 3 was stupid hard no matter the difficulty level. Then they did release another version of that game with Vergil as a playable caracter and tone down the difficulty quite a lot.

I never enjoyed Dark Souls, I'm just not into medival stuff that much but Bloodborne with its victorian/gothic/horror style and the fact that it is more agressive interested me enough that I did get the game. While very difficult especially at the beggining when you don't know what to expect it was a journey that I did love a lot and even got the platinum for it.

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#27 Edited by xantufrog (11697 posts) -

These days, yes. Definitely. I'm really really busy, and when I game I 1) just want to relax and 2) don't have 40 hours a week to get gudenuff to progress. It's sad, because a lot of intense 2D sidescrollers that remind me of my childhood... are basically out of the question for me now. And I'm totally not in the mood for Souls these days.

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#28 Posted by RonThallsBalls (332 posts) -

@RSM-HQ: Not really suprised someone who plays hard games would get the “vapors” from my post, kinda backs up what I read on the internet https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2606468

Pfffft. Ignorant, overcompensating scientists. This decades upsurge in outrage culture and soy boys can most likely be attributed to the popularity of Dark Souls and their clones, given what a scientifically verifiable effect losing has on testosterone.

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#29 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (25254 posts) -

I think it all boils down to interest. Any game can be beat if the player has real interest in it.

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#30 Posted by RSM-HQ (8606 posts) -
@ronthallsballs said:

@RSM-HQ: Not really suprised someone who plays hard games would get the “vapors” from my post, kinda backs up what I read on the internet https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2606468

Pfffft. Ignorant, overcompensating scientists. This decades upsurge in outrage culture and soy boys can most likely be attributed to the popularity of Dark Souls and their clones, given what a scientifically verifiable effect losing has on testosterone.

This is gold. .

To start, seems you/ yourself have insecurities about the size of your pants maggot ಠﭛಠ

Yeah. . you pulled up a physiological theory from 1989 and the article even states as such. Even has links to the counter cases. . Maybe read the trash you Google when put on the spot. Anyway, most of what you just stated is countered by the Truthiness from 2005, which is far more recent. And even then both cases are theoretical because the way the human-mind works cannot be valued as the same, far to many variables to consider. Most who study and take on clients with mental disorders know this, that's why it's a one-on-one system in 2018.

Believing such outdated sources however, seems you're stuck in the past believing the Earth is flat, women who know maths are witches, Pluto is a planet, and violent games make people psychopaths.

You'll just have to live with your insecurities and be in denial for a little longer_

"Soy Boys"

Whaw McTroII you have a lot of Alts. Speaking of denial and mental disorders. . But even for you this is a new low.

"I suck at hard games so you all must have small penises, waah"

Grow up boi

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#31 Posted by pook99 (890 posts) -

I seek out hard games but they have to be mechanically solid, fun, and have really tight controls. Wings of vii is an indie 2d platformer that took me roughly 2400 deaths to complete and I loved every second of it.

I never played any of the souls series despite owning DS1, 3, and bloodborne. I did complete lords of the fallen and really enjoyed it. I tried Nioh, enoyed it for about 18 hours ish and then just got completely bored of it, I just felt like the game was way too repetitive and could not motivate myself to keep playing it.

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#32 Edited by Blaze787 (534 posts) -

I definitely prefer easier games. I don't mind if a game has the option to choose very high difficulty levels for those who enjoy the challenge, but I also want the game to have very easy modes for people like me who care more for story or just mindlessly slaughtering critters. If I hear that a game is difficult, I don't care if it has a very high rating on game review sites. I just won't buy it. I may, however, check out walkthroughs on YouTube (like with the Dark Souls series).

I also appreciate the ability to activate God Mode via a developer console, like I did with DOOM 2016. I played that entire game in God Mode on a high difficulty setting, and had an absolute blast doing so. My "challenge" was to find and use the right weapon depending on the situation. Upon activating God Mode, the game warned me that doing so would permanently disable my ability to gain achievements with that save file, but I didn't care about that one bit.

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#34 Edited by DDMA200 (6 posts) -

It depends, games that are too easy can be annoying a good balance is nice

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#35 Posted by Sevenizz (4071 posts) -

I thought they’d put me off after not liking Dark Souls, but then I remember enjoying Ninja Gaiden on the OG Xbox and that is considered a difficult game.

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#37 Posted by Gamerno6666 (6900 posts) -

Died to artorias over 50 times in new game+. That's the most frustrating thing ever happened to me in a souls type game.

To answer your question, no. I seek out more difficult games to play as i find them more rewarding than other type of games.

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#38 Posted by GettingonwithGamingLife (255 posts) -

No I brought Bloodborne and I want to try Dark Souls. I was put off from buying it for quite a long time but I realized there was no harm in a giving a shot. As much as Bloodborne is horribly difficult for me the feeling of actually getting those bosses is rewarding and the enviroments are addicting to explore. I would say that if you like to overcome harsh challenges then go for it.

I have died a shitton so far, but I am nearly mid game now.

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#39 Posted by ArchoNils2 (10430 posts) -

I rarely enjoy "action" games that are just "hard" for being hard. Usually hard just means nothing more than you have to remember patterns to progress and/or penaulties are big (as in there is a lot you need to repeat to get to where you actually made the error). In the end it's just bad game design. I also put in "action" because there are Games that are hard but not by just having you remember patterns. If you take the Witness for example: You are very open where you want to solve what puzzles, but some of them (many optional) can be very hard.

Just let us chose our difficulty. I'd rather have something where I can increase the difficulty as I progress instead of having this huge wall at the beginning. Rythm games tend to do this well. They allow you to play on easy which pretty much everyone manages but then go up to a difficulty that even needs a lot of concentration from Pros.

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#40 Posted by Yams1980 (3605 posts) -

I stay away from games that are excessively difficult. I don't play games to get frustrated and waste time.

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#41 Posted by Byshop (19608 posts) -

It doesn't dissuade me from buying a particular game. Just because a game is regarded as difficult, that doesn't mean it's not fun. Some of the most rewarding games I've ever played are hard AF. Also, just because the game is generally considered hard that doesn't necessarily mean it'll be hard for you when you try it.

Of course it's a balance, and a game can verge from difficult but rewarding into annoying and frustrating. Rogue-likes can get into this territory. There was the IGN review fiasco with Dead Cells where the reviewer plagiarized his review from a Youtube review and was immediately fired. While what he did warranted firing and there's no excuse for it, I also don't envy anyone who has to review a Rogue-like because you can put hours and hours into a game like that and make no progress if you're not good enough.

-Byshop

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#42 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (25254 posts) -

I used to play platformers, both top-down and sidescrollers. To me, they were the hardest games until I figured out the pattern of enemies. It's all about patterns.

Nowadays, I don't think I've played a truly hard SP game. The closest would be the STALKER games and they don't really seem that hard to me (mods aside). I think my character died more in Far Cry 5 due to the sheer volume of enemy fire.

Historically, if I'm interested in the game, I'll eventually figure it out. So, no. I'm not put off by difficult games.

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#43 Posted by Rustarios (8 posts) -

I have never thought about difficulty when buying a game, so in my case the answer would be no.

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#44 Posted by robert_sparkes (3314 posts) -

I've always hated the flying sections in games not necessarily difficult just frustrating. I hate it when the game just throws endless amounts of enemies at you.

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#45 Posted by Megavideogamer (6511 posts) -

Sometimes a Tough as nails game is just what you want. I give myself 40 tries to get defeat a boss. I only really get mad when I die with the boss at the end of the level. But sometimes you do win. Only to die later in the game.

I like various types of games so move onto something else if I get stuck in another game.