Welcome to our weekly feature, “Question Of The Week.” As you can tell from that entirely original title each week we pose a question to our panel and they chime in with their opinions. No one sees one another’s responses until the story is posted, so each contributors thoughts are their own. Responses are posted in no particular order.
And remember, as with all editorials, the views expressed in this editorial are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Cliqist.com.
The question of the week for the week of 6/29/14 is :
What’s your opinion of difficulty as a selling point?
l already touched on this in my recent editorial, but it seems like I’ve been misinterpreted by a few people who’ve talked to me about the article. I wasn’t demanding games be easier. That’s ridiculous, and it takes away from the huge culture of difficulty junkies. I just want options. Long article short, when I pay $60 for a game, I want to be able to experience all of the content there. I want a gradual, fair difficulty curve, and I’m not asking that it replace the hardcore mode. Bury it in the options for all I care, but give us an option. We’re giving you money. Give us something in return.
Difficulty seems to be something that a lot of gamers really missed and, as such, has been coming back with serious intensity over the past few years. I never really felt that video games had become too easy, but providing titles specifically for that difficulty-driven audience is fine by me! With that said, if all you have to show for a game is the difficulty, well, that’s a tad worrisome. What else is there to your game that makes it worth trying out? It might be the specific tactics being unique which lends to their difficulty, a cool mix of genres, a very in depth world to explore/master, or something else, but difficulty in and of itself doesn’t seem something that warrants excitement. That’s my take, anyhow.
Difficulty as a selling point is fine, but there should be more to your game than just difficulty. I love a hard game, sure, but only when the rewards are worth reaping. I wouldn’t have sat through Demon’s Souls, constantly dying and having to re-do huge chunks of levels over and over again, if it weren’t for the fact that I legitimately felt like I was making a difference in the game’s world. Sometimes it’s the storyline, other times it can be the bragging rights that come from the high score list–whatever it is, there needs to be something else there that’s compelling enough to make your horrendous challenge worth toughing out. If I’m going to spend hours dying against your boss battle, then he better be guarding something worthwhile.
I’m not a fan of hard games, they just frustrate me. Maybe it because I’m an old man without much free time anymore, or maybe it’s because I like playing games to experience the story rather than process of playing. Either way, games like Dark Souls just don’t do it for me because I completely lose sight of the what the game is trying to tell me, and can only focus on having to constantly reload.
With that being said, I think it’s great to make the games’ difficulty a selling point, provided it’s still enjoyable for those not looking to invest so heavily. Old school games like Falcon 4.0, Grand Prix Legends, and Hitman are all considered extremely difficult games; but they were only as difficult as you wanted them to be. Give players a choice about how much hair they want to pull out.
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