What's the quintessential example of "hard but fair"?

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#1 Edited by uninspiredcup (32737 posts) -

What for you, as per title suggests is the quintessential example of "hard but fair".

I was playing Revenge Of The Shinobi today, and the game purposefully sets it up so you jump into enemies or get hit by unpredictable projectiles or enemies that bum rush you from nowhere. Basically alot of "you have to play it multiple times to know", the worst kind of difficulty. It would be incredibly frustrating without the rewind feature.

Then After booting up Shinobi 3 (both of these are labeled as 3) the difference was night and a day, a hard, but generally fair game.

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#2 Posted by deactivated-5cad308c20fc4 (51 posts) -

DKC Series

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#3 Edited by Sevenizz (3593 posts) -

PUBG. The immersion is brilliant. There’s no music in game and the ambiance keeps you on the edge of your seat.

But to win - is friggin’ hard. I haven’t won a match yet after casually playing since the Xbox One launch (I’ve come in second many times), but I don’t regret my time with it at all. It’s insanely fun! I’ll get a win...some day.

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#4 Posted by Renegade_Fury (20500 posts) -

Basically any Mega Man.

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#5 Posted by warmblur (2128 posts) -

Battlefield 2

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#6 Edited by RSM-HQ (8210 posts) -

Could name a few examples. The issue is I've seen a few be deemed 'cheap' here on GD. Because some players don't enjoy making mistakes and getting killed for it with that mental sense of deceit, many Gamers commonly blame games before themselves. Despite game-overs being a common aspect in gaming.

In my view, if a game gives one the ability to respond correctly, has visual awareness of threat, doesn't suffer from RNG, or discreet progression; that is good game design towards a challenging experience 'tough, but fair'

Can't always blame the Leeroy Jenkins for your own mistakes. Sometimes a game is challenging and the player came ill prepared.

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#7 Posted by Mandzilla (4021 posts) -

F-Zero. It's hard af, but rewards players who learn the track layouts. Not many humans can handle it though, kinda like pod racing.

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#8 Posted by Archangel3371 (27553 posts) -

Well Ninja Gaiden Black would definitely be one that I’d mention.

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#9 Posted by K-Real (31 posts) -

Possibly the most common answer for today's age would be Dark Souls... I only played the 3rd one, but despite its difficulty, you will become better at knowing when to dodge, what to interact with and other niches in the game.

Battle Brothers is also a great choice, but you can argue that RNG components in this game can be "unfair". Yet, the fun is to improve your character's stats, their equipment and so forth.

Crash Bandicoot Insane Trilogy also offers good platforming challenges that start off easy, but progressively get harder, but still fair in my view. I love the game for its style of "show, don't tell" when it comes down to show new mechanics, interactions and challenges.

Divinity Origin Sin 2 is a difficult game, but damn is it fun to learn it. I played on normal difficulty and will have to admit that there are good challenging, but rewarding fights. However, if you are not fan of exploring a wide range of mechanics, spells, and interactions then I wouldn't recommend it.

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#10 Posted by turtlethetaffer (18780 posts) -

Hotline Miami 1 leaps to mind. Once you learn the level layouts and adopt a more reckless play style, you'll wonder how you ever died playing it.

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#11 Posted by xantufrog (11157 posts) -

I think Into the Breach is a good example from another genre. It can be tough as nails, but there's always a way to minimize losses if you think hard enough. And every team plays so differently that there is a ton to master

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#12 Posted by Ish_basic (4970 posts) -

Have to concede that sometimes dev limitations lead to experiences that can feel unfair but are more a result of working within financial or technical boundaries. Like old Street Fighter games where M. Bison would be walking right at you, then suddenly rip off a psycho-crusher...sure, it's BS, but not a lot you can do to really keep the sp challenging in the SNES days, so it's more an idiosyncrasy of the era that I just shrug off if i'm playing or thinking back to those games.

So intent and capability are really the central factors to me with respect to what is fair. For example, I remember in Gears of War 2, this boss with these pillars that would collapse, and I couldn't figure out how they kept hitting. Then I decided to just look straight up as one was falling and I watched as it, acted on by no other force, violated basic laws of physics and changed direction in mid-air to match my movement. Awesome. It wasn't a hard fight, but I feel it's a great example of something that's not fair. You know human beings will expect the physics within a game to react in a fashion that is basically consistent with real world experience, and here you are, Epic, hoping no one will look up, pulling some shit like that to make your boss fight a little harder.

An example of capability is if you're playing a game by, say Ubisoft, that you know has millions of dollars to invest into a product, and they pull some NES era BS on you like enemies that are immune to damage/control effects or have unblockable attacks. Lame shortcuts to create difficulty by a company that has more than enough money to do better.

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#13 Posted by XVision84 (15782 posts) -

Every Souls game

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#14 Posted by MarkoftheSivak (252 posts) -

Yes. Ninja Gaiden Black.

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#15 Posted by Baconstrip78 (1358 posts) -

Soulsborne games

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#16 Posted by Clefdefa (717 posts) -

Resident Evil 1 and 2 (the original on PSOne)

Mega Man series

Crash Bandicoot

Dark Souls



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#17 Posted by KuroMath (9 posts) -

Rance 10, a turn based game, is goddamn well balanced. Changing little things can make you win a battle you kept losing.

Monster Hunter is the best boss based game I know.

Other than that, I guess pretty much any game with some bullet hell mechanics, like Furi or touhou.

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#18 Edited by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

@uninspiredcup: the answer is boarding school.

PS. The replay feature should not have been included. Being annoyed is what separates the men from the boys. You dig deep and start again or admit that game > you.

If it's shoddily programmed or designed then there's no shame in moving on.

The other answer is Super Crate Box.

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#19 Edited by hrt_rulz01 (18672 posts) -

Ori comes to mind for me... challenging enough without ever being frustrating.

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#20 Posted by Speeny (1502 posts) -

I was going to say the New Super Mario Bros. games but naah...

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#26 Posted by Raining51 (804 posts) -

genesis did have a few of these probably more than any other console in some ways....

I think Metroid games are sorta tending to be in this arena a bit.