WillRock

Parts in games so difficult they made you stop playing

85 posts in this topic

On 2017-05-14 at 1:14 PM, SystemsReady said:

Apparently the Boost Guardian was so difficult that one of the QA testers had to turn on debug to beat it! 8O 

I think maybe the biggest problem is miscommunication? A lot of people I've mentioned the boss to were shocked that you can bomb it while it's in puddle mode to force it back to solid mode. I've actually beaten the entirety of Prime 2 on Hard...

Huh. I can't quite remember the battle any more, but knowing that probably helps. :) I think it was a battle early in the game when you don't have many energy tanks. Can't afford getting hit that much, so average players have a hard time.

 

Ninja Gaiden? AGH! XD The music is great, but I barely got anywhere in that series. Never knew anyone who passed even one game.

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21 minutes ago, TillyFun said:

Ninja Gaiden? AGH! XD The music is great, but I barely got anywhere in that series. Never knew anyone who passed even one game.

*Raises hand*

The second one was much, much easier than the first.  I never did beat the first game, although I did get to the end, because a friend of mine showed me how he did it: use Jump & Slash on the third-to-last boss, die, repeat the whole last world to bring Jump & Slash to the second-to-last boss, repeat.  I never played the third, but apparently the two different localizations are vastly different in difficulty, with one being the easiest of the three games and the other being on par with the first one.

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23 minutes ago, MindWanderer said:

*Raises hand*

The second one was much, much easier than the first.

Yup, it's definitely easier than the first, but it's still pretty ridiculously hard. I managed to beat it once years ago (on the console, no less), but I never managed to beat the first or third one. Great games and soundtrack, though.

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I never beat any of the Ninja Gaiden games playing on the NES, but I did beat them using a emulator.:-(

And lets not forget...bs.PNG.cfa77ffe22ccf05648a0236a6de91511.PNG

I only got past this stage once in my life, then I died immediately afterwards.  I got a SNES the next day and never attempted this game again.  Maybe I should do a "let's play" series one day...

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7 hours ago, noTuX said:

I never beat any of the Ninja Gaiden games playing on the NES, but I did beat them using a emulator.:-(

And lets not forget...bs.PNG.cfa77ffe22ccf05648a0236a6de91511.PNG

I only got past this stage once in my life, then I died immediately afterwards.  I got a SNES the next day and never attempted this game again.  Maybe I should do a "let's play" series one day...

There are parts in games where I'm sure the developers just wanted you to die and the whole game is the good example of that. Not only you HAD to take loads of damage to get through this one, there is a part in one of the latest levels where you literally had to walk on spikes through an ENTIRE hallway -- like they totally assumed their sadism and did not even try to hide it ^^'

I never beat the game, but at least I also got through the dam multiple times -- I feel like I proved my worth :D

I don't know if they were released outside of Europe or just weren't popular enough there, but both the NES and SNES/MegaDrive/Mega-CD versions of "The Smurfs" have the reputation of being quite hard (like pretty much every Infogrames games of that era) -- though not as much as others listed in this thread. They still are great games despite that and also had good music -- especially the 8-bits version :)

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9 hours ago, classic_gamer_76 said:

There are parts in games where I'm sure the developers just wanted you to die and the whole game is the good example of that. Not only you HAD to take loads of damage to get through this one, there is a part in one of the latest levels where you literally had to walk on spikes through an ENTIRE hallway -- like they totally assumed their sadism and did not even try to hide it ^^'

Most of the ultra-hard classic Nintendo games like Ninja Gaiden are difficult because if you cast aside your nostalgia, you'll realize they're generally tough because of poor and unfair design. It's actually why I'm not big on a lot of "classic" games.

The part that kills just about everyone in Ninja Gaiden is that toward the last stage of the game, there is this one bat that, unless you have the spin attack, you cannot simply jump and slash it and avoiding it is not possible since enemies respawn if you backtrack in the slightest. The most common strategy is to run back and forth on the ledge and hope that the game glitches out and fails to spawn the bat; that's the only way I've seen people pass that section if they lost the spin.

In Castlevania, you jump toward the nearest hole when you get hit, you can only whip horizontally while enemies attack from any direction; Silver Surfer makes it unclear as to what objects you can and cannot fly over; In Mega Man, you slide; etc... 

 

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Yeah, many of those games rely on players dying once to various obstacles, remembering where they are and what their patterns are, and anticipating their movements the next time they get there.  Castlevania is the classic example, since Simon moves slowly, attacks slowly, is super vulnerable on stairs, and can't alter his momentum in mid-air at all.  Mega Man 1 isn't the worst of them, with several notable exceptions (Yellow Devil).  Battletoads is virtually nothing but memorization.

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36 minutes ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

poor and unfair design

I disagree on this point. The 'fairness' of a video game is totally subjective; the developers were simply doing the best they could with the mechanics and physics the consoles allowed them to use and as @MindWanderer said, most of it is simply memorizing the obstacles or patterns to overcome them, with some added hand/eye coordination to manage the exceptions. The same is true for the earlier Mario and Sonic games of 8 and 16 bit generations; in fact, for these titles, lots of levels have timing aspects to them so that you could go through them at top speed without slowing down, so long as you knew the route and where the enemies/obstacles were.  I mean, I've questioned the fairness myself of certain situations in gaming - Megaman's mercilessness at failed jumps comes to mind - but these unfair moments are part and parcel with gameplay. The concept of 'unfair' lends itself to forcing our perception of physics onto the game, which frankly, is silly even with today's games.

Besides - 'poor and unfair design' is part of what makes these old games what they are. Training one's self to overcome these challenges is what gaming is all about, isn't it?

And if they were simple and easy, how could we complain about them a thread like this? ;)

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3 hours ago, The Nikanoru said:

I disagree on this point. The 'fairness' of a video game is totally subjective; the developers were simply doing the best they could with the mechanics and physics the consoles allowed them to use and as @MindWanderer said, most of it is simply memorizing the obstacles or patterns to overcome them, with some added hand/eye coordination to manage the exceptions. The same is true for the earlier Mario and Sonic games of 8 and 16 bit generations; in fact, for these titles, lots of levels have timing aspects to them so that you could go through them at top speed without slowing down, so long as you knew the route and where the enemies/obstacles were.  I mean, I've questioned the fairness myself of certain situations in gaming - Megaman's mercilessness at failed jumps comes to mind - but these unfair moments are part and parcel with gameplay. The concept of 'unfair' lends itself to forcing our perception of physics onto the game, which frankly, is silly even with today's games.

Besides - 'poor and unfair design' is part of what makes these old games what they are. Training one's self to overcome these challenges is what gaming is all about, isn't it?

And if they were simple and easy, how could we complain about them a thread like this? ;)

What you say is true of Mario and Sonic

It's not true of Ninja Gaiden (with the aforementioned bat problem) or Castlevania and many other classic games. These games are difficult because the player is arbitrarily handicapped or the level design (bat issue again) flatout requires a game-breaking work around if you didn't keep a particular ability and there is no possible way to know this until you discover it.

I suspect these handicaps were intentionally made because the game is, as you suggest, little without it in a time where AI really didn't exist. Can you imagine how pitifully easy Castlevania would seem to be if Simon didn't jump back 30 feet when he was hit and if you could whip in 8 directions like Harmony Of Dissonance? In reality, it's just logical and fair.

A great example of games becoming more fair (and I argue more fun) over time is Symphony of the Night or the 2008 Prince of Persia. In the former game, the only reason it becomes "easy" late game is because Alucard is once again adequately-equipped to deal with the threat you face; I.e, the handicap is progressively eliminated. In the latter game, it's no more difficult than any PoP that came before it, it just removes the scene of dying, pressing X and going back to a checkpoint and replaces it with just going straight back to the checkpoint. Not to mention, PoP does some very clever things with this mechanic; one boss battle puzzle requires you to jump to your death to solve it.

I always found it interesting that these games received criticism for being "easy" when all they really do is eliminate unnecessary tedium and makes the player's character inherently up to task unlike their predecessors.

The best example of a hard, modern game that is so without handicapping the player is the 2004 Ninja Gaiden: There is nothing in the game that inherently stacks the deck against the player, it's just very demanding and has a high skill ceiling. 

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On ‎16‎/‎05‎/‎2017 at 3:23 PM, AngelCityOutlaw said:

What you say is true of Mario and Sonic

It's not true of Ninja Gaiden (with the aforementioned bat problem) or Castlevania and many other classic games. These games are difficult because the player is arbitrarily handicapped or the level design (bat issue again) flatout requires a game-breaking work around if you didn't keep a particular ability and there is no possible way to know this until you discover it.

I get where you are coming from with limited controls/attack zones/movement making for unrealistic situations and clumsy combat, but further to my point, I argue that this is not inherently 'unfair' or 'poor design' - just limiting (and in all cases, irritating). I also get that there are situations like the bats in NG where we go 'how the **** am I supposed to deal with this?!' - there's examples in almost every NES game, some of which I'm sure were unintentional designs - but whenever I'm in that state, I always think to myself 'someone in QA testing beat the game, so that means I should be able to as well.'

Taking Castlevania as an example, yes, Simon can only whip in one direction and gets knocked back 30 ft. by enemies that weigh less than his head, but the secret to overcoming this is to have the correct sub-weapon to be able to hit those gaps in your attack zone, getting hit in a way that saves you or puts you in a position to continue, and/or not getting hit at all. That's not unfair - it just takes a level of skill that you have to build yourself to. To your example, yes, it's logical that 8 directions would be more useful, but too bad, you don't get to in the first game - so now what? Turn it off because it's unfair? I mean, Simon doesn't get a BFG or a rocket launcher to use on Dracula either ...

I guess I'm coming from the standpoint of 'value what you've got' instead of 'great until the next best thing comes along,' so I tend to really try to appreciate a game for what it is. You're going to find things like redundancy, tedium, and some form of bad design in almost every game you play, whether it be that awful part no one likes to do or sitting through a tutorial you've seen a thousand times that you can't skip - it's all about balancing the good with the bad.

To keep on topic, that does not mean that I don't shut off or stop playing games that frustrate me - to this day, I've never beaten TMNT - but I don't blame it on the game, just the player. :) 

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I beat TMNT on the console once when I was like 16. I was messing around in game with my cousin watching and eventually got to the point where I was like... hey I could actually do this.

I actually went through it again about 2 hours ago, and got past the room with the spikes for 3 scroll-screens. It's ridiculous, but I only got hurt (a new record of) only 4 health squares. It's a good day when you get past that room and only lose half your life.

The stupidest part about that game is if you lose a turtle after that room, you essentially cannot win because your remaining turtles don't have enough life to get past it. You HAVE to game over and start fresh at the beginning of the level, and when you do that you lose your consumable ranged items (I.E wave scroll thingies) and lose nearly any opportunity to beat the last hallway with the flying white jetpack lazer-beam guys (which is the room I just died in 2 hours ago and turned it off with 3 turtles remaining). The only way around them is to plow through them with wave scrolls, or to manipulate their spawn in a certain pattern where they fly in at an angle, fly backwards so they move off the screen and despawn (which you have to do roughly 8 times in the long hallway) which really is not easy to do (and is how I beat it as a teenager). Shredder himself is a joke.

I know way more about that game than any human should and still only beat the game around 5-10% of the time I decide to try to run through it again. There is a certain satisfaction that comes with finally overcoming awful design that you just don't get with modern games though. 

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18 minutes ago, Sumie said:

...There is a certain satisfaction that comes with finally overcoming awful design that you just don't get with modern games though. 

This.

This is the reason I have had such an addiction to Outrun 2019 for the past few years.  

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8 hours ago, The Nikanoru said:

I get where you are coming from with limited controls/attack zones/movement making for unrealistic situations and clumsy combat, but further to my point, I argue that this is not inherently 'unfair' or 'poor design' - just limiting (and in all cases, irritating). I also get that there are situations like the bats in NG where we go 'how the **** am I supposed to deal with this?!' - there's examples in almost every NES game, some of which I'm sure were unintentional designs - but whenever I'm in that state, I always think to myself 'someone in QA testing beat the game, so that means I should be able to as well.'

Taking Castlevania as an example, yes, Simon can only whip in one direction and gets knocked back 30 ft. by enemies that weigh less than his head, but the secret to overcoming this is to have the correct sub-weapon to be able to hit those gaps in your attack zone, getting hit in a way that saves you or puts you in a position to continue, and/or not getting hit at all. That's not unfair - it just takes a level of skill that you have to build yourself to. To your example, yes, it's logical that 8 directions would be more useful, but too bad, you don't get to in the first game - so now what? Turn it off because it's unfair? I mean, Simon doesn't get a BFG or a rocket launcher to use on Dracula either ...

I guess I'm coming from the standpoint of 'value what you've got' instead of 'great until the next best thing comes along,' so I tend to really try to appreciate a game for what it is. You're going to find things like redundancy, tedium, and some form of bad design in almost every game you play, whether it be that awful part no one likes to do or sitting through a tutorial you've seen a thousand times that you can't skip - it's all about balancing the good with the bad.

To keep on topic, that does not mean that I don't shut off or stop playing games that frustrate me - to this day, I've never beaten TMNT - but I don't blame it on the game, just the player. :) 

Yeah, but someone in QA was paid to do it; I don't have that kind of incentive and to me, that doesn't really excuse oversights in design.

It's not that I don't get your point either about the playing the game on its terms, but I still say the terms of a lot of old games were stupid and since we've come so far since then and I'm getting too old for that kind of thing, it's hard for me to justify playing such a game because I'd just quit.

In a nutshell: I find beating (and just playing) a game more satisfying when the only unequal footing between me and the game is me just simply not being good at it rather than trying to overcome some arbitrary/unnecessary limitation placed on my character.

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11 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

Yeah, but someone in QA was paid to do it

I think you overestimate the people involved in making games back in the mid 80s. Most games had 20 or less people involved in the whole game making process from start to finish, and some as low as 5. Most of the games were impressive just in how much content there was with how few people there were involved. I don't think QA was a huge focus back then honestly.

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2 hours ago, Sumie said:

I think you overestimate the people involved in making games back in the mid 80s. Most games had 20 or less people involved in the whole game making process from start to finish, and some as low as 5. Most of the games were impressive just in how much content there was with how few people there were involved. I don't think QA was a huge focus back then honestly.

Probably, but the part of my post you quoted is still true all the same — they had an actual stake in it.

There's also the fact that since the QA was likely also done by the same people making the game, they knew the game inside and out beforehand.

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I also lived the 8bit era, I perfectly agree with most people about bad design issues and so on.
Although nothing got even close to how bad competitive online gaming (no matter what genre) had me flipping out on several occasions :L

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7 hours ago, niowiad said:

I also lived the 8bit era, I perfectly agree with most people about bad design issues and so on.
Although nothing got even close to how bad competitive online gaming (no matter what genre) had me flipping out on several occasions :L

For one thing, I never had to worry about lag or disconnects in the 8-bit era. ;)

However, I did have to worry about someone breathing on the NES wrong. That thing was the most sensitive machine in the history of gaming.

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On 5/21/2017 at 7:54 AM, Sumie said:

However, I did have to worry about someone breathing on the NES wrong. That thing was the most sensitive machine in the history of gaming.

Clearly you have never played any games that had to be loaded from cassette tape.

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I've been stucking in games at this generation like no other. I never payed too much attention to it but right now it is getting me nervous.

I don't remind me being stucked on racing games but this last NFS was one I get to it. There is a race where cars drive far much faster than the car I have and I don't think it was a matter of leveling up.

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6 hours ago, Esker said:

I've been stucking in games at this generation like no other. I never payed too much attention to it but right now it is getting me nervous.

I don't remind me being stucked on racing games but this last NFS was one I get to it. There is a race where cars drive far much faster than the car I have and I don't think it was a matter of leveling up.

You ever play Jet Moto 2?

The CPU are all playbacks of the best players they could find. As such, most of the CPU opponents have a near-perfect run.

Screw up even once and you're almost guaranteed to come in last.

Arguably one of the best, forgotten soundtracks in video games, though.

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the gameboy color.  That was a really oddly balanced RPG, with the possibility of getting through most of the game rather easily, then suddenly hitting a boss that was absurdly harder than the other bosses up to that point.

Then you get to the final area, and you had better hope you were strong enough, or the random encounters would be too much for you, you would run out of items really quickly, and you would have to grind REALLY slowly to be able to beat the game.  Worst part was once you got to the final area there was no going back at all, so you couldn't grind on slightly easier enemies.  Then the last battle was disproportionately more difficult than every battle before it.

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On 5/21/2017 at 7:54 AM, Sumie said:

However, I did have to worry about someone breathing on the NES wrong. That thing was the most sensitive machine in the history of gaming.

I've personally had NES systems that have survived drops to the ground from a table, and have played a Contra cartridge that was literally run over by a car. I heavily object to this notion.

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13 hours ago, Gario said:

I've personally had NES systems that have survived drops to the ground from a table, and have played a Contra cartridge that was literally run over by a car. I heavily object to this notion.

I meant it was sensitive while the system was running. 

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