blog, thoughts

easy mode


Can I talk about DuckTales Remastered for a minute?

I’m not going to cite any specific examples, but I’ve read more than a handful of reviews that knocked Remastered down for being a bit too “classic” in the difficulty department. Some people had such a rough time that it actually soured their opinion of the original — I guess DuckTales was just more flawed than we dared to admit, and it took this remake to finally bring the truth to light.

I am very disappointed in those people.

It’s f*cking DuckTales, one of the easier games in the NES library! Are you so spoiled by modern design leniency that you spout tired labels like “cheap” and “unfair” whenever a game punishes you for your failure to learn and adapt? Or is it that you\’ll only accept above-average challenge when offset by a safety net — like checkpoints seemingly every two steps — to spare you the horror of having to exercise caution and restraint? Heaven forbid a game asks you to plan ahead before plunging headlong into uncharted territory.

If that’s you, you need to play Volgarr the Viking and gain some goddamn perspective.

via Review: Volgarr the Viking – Destructoid. -Tony Ponce


Couldn’t agree more with Tony. I suppose we’re both of the generation that grew up with Atari 2600, NES and the arcade. Definitely remember noting DuckTales, as well as the other Disney NES games as being on the easy side-They were made for the younger kids so there should be no surprise at their level of difficulty. And yet players today, I’m guessing the kids that grew up playing N64 and PS1-They’re having difficulty getting through a simple game like DuckTales.

I have definitely noticed how modern Triple-A titles and their developers have included easy modes. From the beginning of the game to the end it’s no sweat-Whereas when I was growing up as a gamer it was one mode, and depending on the game, it ranged from easy as pie to hard as fek!  As you progressed, the gameplay got more insane, more frenetic. You had to memorize patterns and get good” as the kids these days say.

I do think it’s funny how casual gaming and hardcore gaming are defined at times. The hardcore games seem to be the Triple-AAA titles from big name companies with large investments in developing the graphics, sound/music, and narrative/story; While the casual games are far less graphic intense and cost a small fraction of the big titles and are often developed by small independent/indie game studios.

Gameplay-wise, I think most of the AAA titles with their epic narratives are generally easier and lead to more boredom; whereas the casual games with often arcadey or simplified gameplay tend to cause me more frustration, but oftentimes keeps me coming back due to their addictive nature.

If it wasn’t for the human vs human factor (see: competitive arsehole jockeying) in the multi-player portions of these Tripe-AAA shooter games like Call of Duty, or fighting games like Street Fighter, I can imagine the Triple-AAA games may not be known as hardcore.

Since we humans have to label and categorize everything, I propose the following base category prenomen:

  • Narrative – Solo with story
  • Arcade – Solo with little to no story
  • Competitive – Multi-player, player versus player
  • MMO – Massively Multi-Player On-line (still works)

From these base categories you can tack on the genres:

Narrative Shooter, Arcade Platformer, Competitive Fighter, MMORPG etc. etc.

Sounds pretty straightforward and less malicious than the ego driven hardcore! and the (sounding less involved) casual.

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