The Problem With Difficulty In Video Games - Reboot Episode 16

Mike and Jake explore the ways Cuphead might be too difficult for some players, how Middle-earth: Shadow of War handles difficulty in a clever manner, and the questions spawned from challenging games.

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Reboot
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Jonatas

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Whiles theaters don't block viewers from watching movies one could say that not everyone will be able to grasp it's plot or understand fully it's intricacies. Still you're allowed to watch it.

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TazmanianD

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The biggest thing I find missing from this video is a discussion on user selected difficulty levels. Trying to balance the difficulty of a game for everyone can be a very difficult challenge. I would hate knowing that the game was ramping up or ramping down the difficulty as a result of my skill level. I play games because I want to feel like I'm defeating some challenge that is external to myself. If the game auto-adjusts then it feels less real. If you give users a choice, then that lets you adjust to what users want.

This is why I appreciate choosing difficulty settings. Years ago I started making it a habit to play games on the "Hard" difficulty or whatever was a step above "Normal". But I would avoid any "Extra Hard" difficulty at least on the first play through. I found I enjoyed games a lot more because of the extra challenge I got and because I'm willing to have the patience to get through a harder game. Some players don't have the patience, so let them choose a normal experience.

I remember playing StarCraft 2 for the first time on their Brutal difficulty setting and was very pleasantly surprised that they didn't just add multipliers to everything but they actually crafted slightly different experiences. On Brutal, there could be a siege tank where previously was just a regular solider before.

I tend to get irritated by games that I find too easy or too fast and that don't provide any kind of difficulty slider.

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Swampthing

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The problem is they sabotage your own game by making it too difficult. This will turn off a large number of players who won’t even bother to buy it.

But a bigger issue, is that most of the people who have a difficult time with the game will not even see anything beyond a certain portion. All the time and effort that went into developing those later levels was for naught.

Give us the difficulty level that allows all players to see everything. Hard-core gamers don’t have to choose it. But those who need to do so, will have that option, and be able to see all of the creative effort put forth through the entire game.

As noted in all the other games presented in this video, there should be some accessability. If other games can do it, why can’t a game that took four years to develop do it?

Cuphead is an incredibly beautiful game. It’s just too bad many people won’t ever get to see much of it. Is that a win for the developer, or loss?

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Louis

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Interesting topic. On the whole I play a game to unwind and for enjoyment. If a game has a story I'd like to experience it.

On the topic of difficulty I'd like it to be controllable by me if the developer's didn't bother to have the game adjust on the fly for my lack of skill. Currently I'm playing Mass Effect 3 on Normal. On a few boss battles I'll drop down to casual just to get through the level. (If I lose 8 times in a row, it's me... I'm happy that an option is provided to get around the hump.)

If the game is strong in story, I want a way to get to the end. Even a "dummy" level of difficulty is fine. But if the game is just level after level, sure ramp it up. Fun arcade shooters are just that, shooters to enjoy and to see how far you get.

I had to stop XCOM 1 midway through as I triggered some base invasion mission that I just can't win. In watching YouTube videos all those that state "it's really easy..." have better weapons than me. I blew it somewhere...

I hate the design that the game allowed me to hit this mission without the proper weapons. I'm stuck, I just quit. One option for winning I could see was maybe to lose every soldier I had. While that can be dramatic, again I would then enter the next mission with only rookies. A bit frustrating to me.

I bought XCOM 2 knowing that it's hard. I've already decided I will play that game to experience it for a bit, but won't try and win it. Because of that I waited for a sale to save money.

Lastly, the only game where I've still enjoyed the story I placed on it while losing is the Civilization series. I may lose the space race, but I still have my civilization. I select "One More Turn..." to continue the game and just have fun.

That game allowed me to ignore winning. In the few cases where I've been conquered there was a fun-factor to me as I lost city after city and knew my Civ would be absorbed and lost to the the pages of history... ;-)

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PCsama

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good episode..

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Gelugon_baat

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Considering the content of the video, that's a terrible choice of a title. No wonder you are getting so many "Git Gud" jabs on your YouTube version of this.

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