I am not very good at video games. That’s not why I haven’t started that let’s play show, those are the fault of technical issues that continue to plague me. I love video games, but I’m not very good at them. My hand/eye coordination isn’t very good and I distract easy at times, plus I don’t get to play all the time since I’m working on other projects or before that actually working at a paying job (which I haven’t been able to do since 2013 for various reasons). However, they are fun to play…on easy mode, which is where the problem begins for some games. It’s one thing to put something behind the “hard mode” barrier to encourage improvement, it’s another to mock someone for only being able to play and get anywhere on an easier mode. I hate when games do that just to show how tough they are. If you didn’t want me to play on easy mode THEN WHY THE #@#$$ DID YOU INCLUDE IT, MORON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That said, is hard mode really as hard as you think? The addition of an easy mode for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has caused a controversy on the internet, and if that surprises you this is the internet. There are controversies over cake frosting! (I’ll even bet that’s true.) While most of us would say “if you don’t like easy mode, don’t play it”, could the real comment be “there is no hard mode”? In a recent video MatPat of Game Theory makes the case that maybe it isn’t. Listen to his reasoning and see if you agree. Or at least just get off of my case if I don’t use “brutal nightmare” mode.

More Game Theory is available on their YouTube channel.

Why don’t we also watch that Game Maker’s Toolkit episode MatPat mentioned for more on this Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment process. This one contains some violent footage–obviously since it’s focused on Resident Evil 4 plus includes footage from Left 4 Dead–so viewer discretion advised but you can listen to it and miss little.

If you liked that check out their YouTube channel for more.

A good point made is that if a game is too hard players may put it down and may not be interested in sequels or other games from the company. They may even warn their friends not to play it because it’s too hard, and drive away more potential customers, especially nowadays when “friends” can include people in other states or countries thanks to social media connecting us all. So if a game company opts to include easier modes for less experienced players (like myself) or used Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment to balance the game out a bit (who knows, you may well beat an area before the difficulty shifts too low and if done right also makes the challenge more difficult if it’s too easy for you, thus not giving you a challenge) are they really in the wrong? The challenge comes from working with DDA, not against it. In the end everyone gets a chance to enjoy a game. If a designer decides to make it a straight challenge all the way through, that’s okay too as long as it’s a fair challenge that rewards better gamers. However, an easier game isn’t “for babies”, it’s for someone who doesn’t play as often but still want a good gaming experience or an interesting interactive story. So can we stop treating Easy Mode as something for “losers”?

Or just keep it out of the game if you want to trash anyone who uses it? Insulting your audience is not a good thing. You don’t look like tough guys, you look like jackasses.


About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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