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Have you ever found a game too hard?

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Have you ever come across a game, that despite all your best efforts you lack the necessary skills to play? 

 

Until now I've always thought that with a bit of practise, no game would be too hard eventually, I've played through a lot of games on Normal and then played through them again on their hardest settings, never really having a problem.... 

 

That was until this week when I started playing Cuphead. I can't get passed the first level, it's so unforgiving. I'm sure with hours and hours of repetitive play I'll remember where stuff is, but I've spent a good few hours on the first level and havent even come close to finishing it, maybe the 15 year old equivilant of me may have been able too, but the mid thirtys me with ever slowing hands can't hack it. 

 

Has there ever been a game you've come up against that you've totally dismissed as too hard for you? 

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Demon’s Souls

Dark Souls

 

Dark Souls fell (with co-op) years later, but still haven’t beaten the last boss in Demon’s (and likely won’t unless they turn the servers back on/release a remaster).

 

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Last of Us. And many other story based games.

 

i have zero issue with knocking games down to easy these days if I want to progress the story.

 

Bloodborne. Just too hard for me and not something I will play as it’s just not fun.

 

im 46 and my reactions are definitely slowing down, no question. So story based games are my sweet spot now, twitch gaming is just too difficult

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Dark Souls, having recently played for the first time on Switch, it's just too hard, which leads to repeating things over and over, and, whilst I didn't find it frustrating, and really enjoyed the atmosphere created in the game, I craved a different / new experience and gave up, which is probably all down to not having so much time to game nowadays, and the availability of so many games I want to experience.

 

Probably Enter the Gungeon too.  I loved Binding of Isaac and thought something similar was a good plan.  I didn't settle with it, and it felt too hard from the start.

Actually Rogue Aces on Switch too.  It's not that it's so much too hard, more, too hard for what I wanted it to be.  I want to feel progression in a game and progression was too limited by the difficulty.  15 year old me would have adored it, and played it until I was perfect at it.  Modern me will just put it down and move onto the next thing.

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Ikaruga. I could get to the 3rd level reasonably efficiently, but only saw the rest of it due to the infinite continues. Perhaps I could've got slightly further if I'd played it loads more, but I just don't think it's possible that I could ever beat it in a single credit.

 

The same goes for most of the shmups from the last 20 years as well. It's a genre I always enjoyed in the 80s and 90s, and thought I was quite good at, but the modern bullet hell stuff had taken it to a level that I can barely understand.

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Bloodborne. Bought the game on release. Even bought a quide

 

I;d love to be able to play it. I just don't have the patience; I should have learned with Demon Souls.

 

Hence I have never played any opf the Dark Souls series.

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Shadow Dancer on the Master System - I found lots of 8-bit games hard, because of my age at the time, and because as @Mr Cochese said, games from that era had loads of bugs that added to the difficulty. But there weren't many I got stuck on as early as this one! I remember the first level being really easy, but then the first boss, who threw bouncing bombs towards you, was a brick wall.

 

Guilty Gear X2 #Reload on PS2 - the first and only GG game I've played. Playing solo, I went through the early missions then got stuck on one of the early ones with restrictive damage criteria (IIRC normal attacks wouldn't hurt your opponent, I think you had to do a long combo in order to do any damage). Not really understanding the combat system, I gave up there. (Probably my fault for treating it as a tutorial mode instead of as a challenge mode.)

Meanwhile, the Arcade mode was good fun - but that final boss, the red guitar witch character, was rock hard! I think I later heard that she's one of the most infamously hard final bosses in any fighting game, which makes me slightly less ashamed.

 

Eternal Champions on the Mega Drive - Another fighting game. The default arcade/story/tournament mode against the CPU was challenging enough in the first fight, but by about the third round, it became just a brick wall. Made worse by the fact that losing would send you back to the previous fight (or was it back to the start?), with no continue option. Maybe I'd have better luck with it now, with a 6-button pad and knowing more about fighting game elements like frame advantage, and being more willing to find exploitable moves to cheese my way to victory. But I doubt I'll ever get to face the Eternal Champion.

 

Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future on Dreamcast - Some infamously obscure puzzles that wouldn't be out of place in a "use everything on everything" point and click adventure. Even with a guide to the puzzles, the navigation and movement were awkward. I got fairly far in with the help of a guide, but still nowhere near the end.

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I was playing home computer games back in the 80s and early 90s, so yes.

 

If we're restricting ourselves to modern titles, though, nothing really springs to mind. Plenty of games I've not finished, but none I can think of whose difficulty prevented me from enjoying them!

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I was thoroughly enjoying Axiom Verge and planned to complete it, but encountered a wasp boss that I just couldn't beat despite having no problem with difficulty at any other point in the game. Was very disappointed, in both the game and myself.

 

Also pretty much any RTS. I love the concept, and am fully aware they are some amazing games, but I can't play them at all.

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Spelunky, I love the game but I've never got past the jungle level and I am in awe of the people who can complete it and get all the really cool secrets.

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Outside of the odd boss here and there - Bloodborne and the Souls games really aren't that hard. They just require you to be cautious, take in your environment and pick your fights carefully. Once you figure this out you hardly die. As soon as you go charging in carelessly you're done, regardless of how experienced you are. 

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1 hour ago, PeteBrant said:

Bloodborne. Bought the game on release. Even bought a quide

 

I;d love to be able to play it. I just don't have the patience; I should have learned with Demon Souls.

 

Hence I have never played any opf the Dark Souls series.

See Dark Souls I loved. When I beat the Chuckle Brothers it was a huge high. But that seemed to be end of the game for me.

 

someone mentioned Ikaruga as well. Wanted to love that but it was too hard. 

 

in the past it it annoyed me. Now I can say those games aren’t for me. Like certain films and books aren’t.

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Another for Bloodborne. I got about 70% through Demon's Souls and finished Dark Souls but just couldn't muster the enthusiasm or patience to better myself for the PS4 debut.

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I've given up on so many games because I can't be bothered repeatedly trying the same shit over and over again. I'm sure I'm terrible at gaming (I have the coordination of a jelly with Parkinsons and fuck all time to practise), but I think there's a large section of developers who just can't play test for shit, and they cover it up with ego-stroking "we're for the hardcore gamers" wank. Just add an Easy mode for people like me ffs.

 

It's a shame because some developers are amazing at game balancing. Rockstar are a great example - most missions in Red Dead 2 are completable by the even worst gamer, and there's the medals to push you if you're actually good, and there's the mission skip option if you've failed a few times. You'll never get stuck and give up in a Rockstar game, so it's always good value. There's a ton of titles that are interesting and probably have a decent story, effort put in to the design, and great graphics, but I'll never see any of it because it's all hidden away behind a pixel-perfect jump or a boss that requires learning 10 minutes of bullet storm patterns. Fuck that.

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Driver

 

There's always a point in fighting games where I can't get my fingers to input the commands with the correct timing so I can't get past a couple of hit combos. This invariably means I never complete training modes.

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Thing is, it’s part of our DNA to complete it. I 100% dk64, banjo and conker

 

but games like Bloodborne take it to a new level. I get it, 100%, but it’s not for me

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Yes, lots back in the day of infrequent checkpoints and no difficulty slider. Nnow I just avoid games I'm hopeless at - platforms, schmupps etc, and you can always look up a puzzle solution if you are stuck, so I don't think there is any game I've given up for difficulty for some time, usually just boredom or ennui or lack of player agency issues .

 

MDK2 

Enclave 

That one where the bod runs around in his underpants if he loses health

 

are 3 I recall in particular.  

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I love a challenge, so there's actually very few in the last 20 years or so that have made me throw in the towel. The ones that stick in my mind:

 

Jedi Knight 2 on PC

A terrible, terrible PC FPS action game from the dark pre-Halo period where quick-save scumming was assumed and thus the game was made artificially difficult, relying on rote learning to get through. Contributed to my move away from PC gaming to MS's lovely Xbox.

 

Trials HD

Obviously it's supposed to be punishing but I found the difficulty curve to be ridiculous. It went from fun to no fun in the space of a couple of courses. The sublime sequel, Trials Evolution, threw the awful difficulty calibration of Trials HD into sharp relief.

 

Ninja Gaiden 2

Despite overcoming all the obstacles NG1 threw at me and loving most of it, I couldn't face doing the same in NG2. It tipped me over the edge and I never got past a tedious sewer encounter right near the start (level 2?). Pretty much put me off hardcore brawlers for life.

 

Amazingly I can't think of any since then, though it should be said I've never attempted Dark Souls or Bloodborne.

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2 hours ago, Wiper said:

I was playing home computer games back in the 80s and early 90s, so yes.

 

Yeah, this was my first thought too. Not knowing that you could manipulate the force pod in R-Type was a good one. Probably loads of arcade games too if not one-crediting them counts as finding them too hard.

 

Home console/PC type games from the past 25 or so years though.. I can't remember sacking something off specifically because it was too difficult, I think I can get through most things if I have a mind to (like Cuphead) but sometimes I'll run out of steam or realise I'm not particularly having fun anymore. Contra: Shattered Soldier back in the PS2 days springs to mind, I was making solid progress on the one credit run but lost motivation and got bored of repeating the early stages. Something like Cuphead is way more forgiving to me since it's all broken up into pretty small chunks.

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9 minutes ago, Vorgot said:

Thing is, it’s part of our DNA to complete it. I 100% dk64, banjo and conker

 

Personally, I used to 100% games back in days of the SNES and the N64 because I didn't have that many games. They were things I got for birthdays and Christmas, and things I'd save up for. When the Playstation came along I'd started working so I bought more but they were still expensive. I played games to death because I couldn't just ditch one and move on to the next. Those days are long behind me. Between Games with Gold, Gamepass, sales and just having more money now I can afford to buy pretty much whatever titles I really want (within reason..). All this means the bar for a game to actually be worth playing is whether it's worth my time rather than my money now. I don't want to waste money obviously, but I really don't want to waste my time. If a game isn't fun then I move on immediately. Games that fail to ramp their difficulty properly, and chuck in a hard section at the start, go to the metaphorical bin pretty much immediately. I'll stick with something for a few days if it feels worthwhile, but beyond that a game just isn't worth it when there's so many other things to play.

 

The practical manifestation of this for developers is that I tend to buy much more DLC for things I can complete...

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As others have said, mainly 80s stuff.

Today's games are a case of "Have you completed it yet?" rather than "Can you complete it?".

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Gremlins 2 on Game Boy. The second level was fucking impossible. I plugged away at for what felt like half my childhood and only got to the third level once. Even for the time, where games were far harder than they are now, it was exceptionally hard. I am pretty sure I still have the cart somewhere to torture myself with. 

 

Bloodborne, Super Meat Boy, Celeste are all a piece of piss in comparison. 

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Not really, but I'm prety masochistic when it comes to games. I like dificult games and I'm 40. I like that they require focus, which means I'm not zoning out, which I tend to do when I play more forgiving games. I also feel that playing diffucult games keeps your reflexes in shape. I didn't have too much trouble with Cuphead for example (not that I didn't die a lot).

I'm basically like Michael Caine's character in Interstellar, raging against the dying of the light. ;)

Sekiro is by far my most anticipated game and From's approach to game design is my main reason why.

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