Were older games more difficult/unforgiving?

I was thinking about this while playing Alone in the Dark: New Nightmare a few months ago. I was pretty far into the first level and started wondering why I hadn't found any weapons, as my starting pistol wasn't cutting it against all the zombies in the manor and I kept running out of ammo. I looked up a walkthrough and realized I completely missed the shotgun and I had to start the level over to get it.

It made me think about how I've never encountered similar situations in any modern vidya I've played. Item placements like new weapons are always impossible to miss and even if you do it's usually no biggie. Then New Nightmare is like "Oh, you forgot to pick up the shotgun? Tough shit, bitch.". It just got me thinking how old games seem to be harsher on the player. What do you think, Ganker?

  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Yes. I thought that was a known fact.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I thought it was another one of those "new bad, old good" things but after delving into old vidya I think it's true.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        So you thought that without even playing older games in the first place. Nice job retard

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Try harder.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        How young are you? Seriously.

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    that game is laughably easy, kiddo.

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    All depends upon the game. Sure there will be games with limited lives and continues that'll send you to the title screen, but anyone competent at the game will beat those games within 15~60 minutes. Compare it to modern games which tries to offer a long experience, often times around 10 hours. If you game over 8 hours in and have to play from the beginning then that would be a frustrating thing to do. People already do this with multi hour speed runs, but that is the super minority, no average person can tolerate restarting a multi houred game and needing to play 8 hours to get back where they were.

    You have to realize many action based games length are much longer now than the average 8 and 16 bit era action games. Anyway it wouldn't be fun for most people if current games experienced something like Gradius syndrome with the game getting much more difficult to play due to loss of power-ups/items upon death.

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Games tend to try to cover a wider range of players. Newer games that CAN be difficult usually have Easy and Normal options built in because it's a really, really low-effort thing to do to satisfy journos without compromising the real mode.

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    no
    I beat this game with no walkthrough when I was 12yo
    people are getting dumber

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    In general, yes. New games intentionally avoid inconveniencing the player or letting them get the game into a nearly unfinishable state in a way old games wouldn’t.

    Old games expected you to take a couple of tries, most newer games just want to give you something to do in between cutscenes.

    That’s not universal, of course. Even back in the day you had plenty of super easy games like Ecco Jr. or whatever, and some modern games are willing to give the player the finger but those are generally indie fare these days because people will rate a game poorly of they can’t easily get through it

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >New games intentionally avoid inconveniencing the player or letting them get the game into a nearly unfinishable state in a way old games wouldn’t.
      Agreed. I think this makes old vidya much more rewarding as you have to pay attention otherwise you'll fuck yourself over.

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Death in Rondo Of Blood has been kicking my fuckin ass.
    NES games in particular are notoriously obtuse, the throw mechanic when you get hit in Castlevania is pretty bullshit

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      During his first phase, Death itself doesn't hurt you, only his scythes. Use that to your advantage and stick close to him, attacking non-stop (cross sub-weapon helps). His second phase is probably easier, just hit and run, making sure to observe his body for a signal that he will attack.

  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    depends. 4th gen and earlier I would say games were definitely much harder, 5th gen is a gray area, games were more obscure and more willing to allow players to get lost or do busy work but I wouldn't say the average game was particurally harder. By that point games had settled on the notion that progress should basically be guaranteed, you will beat this game if you don't quit.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      It was because game designers were still in the mindset of arcade game design where they wanted you to spend as many quarters as possible. 5th gen was when this mindset began to properly disappear and it was arguably completely gone by 6th gen.

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Kids love permadeth games and gambling. the most popular game of all time sends you to the beginning if you die.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >the most popular game of all time sends you to the beginning if you die.
      you can die in tetris?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I said the most popular game of all time, the one that will have its post deleted because it's not retro

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Kids love permadeth games and gambling. the most popular game of all time sends you to the beginning if you die.

          1: Stop being a fucking cunt
          2: Stop being a fucking cunt
          3: Stop being a fucking cunt
          4: Minecraft has hardcore as an option, not a mandate

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            That other popular genre also has permadeth and gambling mechanics

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          huh
          well i stand corrected
          surprised gta 5 is that high too

          [...]
          1: Stop being a fucking cunt
          2: Stop being a fucking cunt
          3: Stop being a fucking cunt
          4: Minecraft has hardcore as an option, not a mandate

          you do get sent back to your bed though
          the real problem is losing your items underground, like that may as well be dying permanently early on if there's piss all in your chests

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Obviously when you lose. Don't be daft.

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    is the alone in the dark saga worth it? I've been thinking of trying more horror games but most seem crap

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I've only played New Nightmare but I really enjoyed it. It's a very classic homage to horror with some great camera angles.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      First one's a classic, then they gradually get worse. They have neat settings though.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I just played Illumination, and I wanted to love it, but it's awful. Not even because the idea behind the game was so bad, it's just that the gameplay is repetitive, either too easy or too hard on single player (good luck getting into a lobby), characters have to walk at a turtle's pace 80% of the time and then can run at a slightly less annoying speed for 20 seconds or so, the story doesn't go anywhere, everything about the game and its gameplay and its characters are derivative (mostly of Left 4 Dead, Alan Wake, and the Cthulhu mythos), and then, to top it all off, it's filled with game-breaking bugs, including one which wouldn't allow me to finish the second fucking map despite multiple attempts.

      If that one goes on sale for $1.99 (which is what I bought it for), it might amuse you some rainy afternoon if you're a big enough horror buff to find it interesting, but charging $20 for it should be a crime.

      As far as the retro games go, I haven't played all of them, but general consensus is that the first one is good but tedious due to the fact that you have to open a menu to do basic things like fight or examine items and the controls are clunky, the second and third are corny and not anywhere as scary or interesting as the first, and then New Nightmare was good, reboot was just okay, and everyone hated Illumination.

  11. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    You usually had to read the whole manual before playing the game.

    Another example: in Jagged Alliance 1, your first mission on Day 1 is to recover the Micro-Purifier. Without it, you can't harvest the trees, and your game is doomed to fail.
    The game doesn't tell you where this item is (first enemy sector you enter), doesn't tell you one of the random enemies has it, and even if you know all this, you have to either pay attention to every killed enemy or use the top-down mode (INS or PGUP) to find items on the ground. And lastly, the game doesn't tell you straight away what to do with the item (you have to finish the day with it in the inventory).

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >You usually had to read the whole manual before playing the game.
      The other day I was trying out some PS1 JRPG where you could interact with NPCs for some short dialog. One NPC gave you a gameplay tip when interacted with, then added "but you'd know that if you read the manual". I thought it was pretty funny.

  12. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I've had AITD4 in the back of my mind for the past few months, I really need to sit down and play it once and for all.

  13. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If you mean compared to the NES/Early Genesis then yes but to be real games got a lot easier when the SNES came out and you can miss the Shotgun in RE7 so it all depends on the game now.

  14. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Yes, but not in a good way for the most part. 90's games were light on content (not a lot of storage in older mediums) and so they had to compensate with, at times, punishing difficulty (particularly platformers in the 16bit era) to add longevity to games that were the equivalent to $80 or $90 when you account for inflation.

    Even early adventure games had hard-lock, dead end mechanics where if you didn't pick up the widget in chapter 1 you couldn't get past a puzzle in chapter 7 so you literally had to reload a save from 5 hours prior and replay a huge chunk of the game needlessly.

    That being said I do miss the era before entire websites had dedicated guides and videos walking you through every aspect of a game, 90's//early aught gaming felt a lot more mysterious than games today that are mini maxed day one.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      That just sounds painful lol

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >That being said I do miss the era before entire websites had dedicated guides and videos walking you through every aspect of a game, 90's//early aught gaming felt a lot more mysterious than games today that are mini maxed day one.
      Indeed, that's the only thing I miss.

      That just sounds painful lol

      It was. As it has been mentioned they were all workaround to either have people put more money in the arcade, or mask the short length of the game. That's also why it's more prevalent on console games.
      As soon as they could developers got rid of this bullshit.

  15. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Yeah, basically old games didn't expect the player to be a mouthbreathing retard.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      It hurts because it's true.

  16. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It's funny the sentiments I read in here, whereas most competitive games these days, the boomers in here would get slapped around and cope about some reason other than difficulty.

    There's plenty of hard games these days as well as easy, just as there always have been. All these games that are retro were beat by 12 year olds, difficult is entirely subjective and whatever goal post moving people try to do to say "x" Era games are hardest is the saddest and most pathetic thing ever. The only people you'll get in here nodding their head in agreement are absolute fucking losers that solely cling to the same games they've played for the last 20 years.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I believe OP kind of framed the whole thing wrong with the "difficulty", and it's more about some kind of mechanics - arguably frustrating for most - that disappeared with time from the majority of games.
      Then of course you still have difficult games, but we can't say that most of them give you three lives and than it's game over and you have to restart all over.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The old games were often time sinks and memorization more than anything, with some trial and error for good measure. It was a different type of difficulty. Most people these days would not be able to handle them without a guide and even then it'd test their patience because there can be periods with no action while you backtrack for 30 minutes trying to find something.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Zoomer logic: hard means 16 hours daily grind like my favorite twitch eceleb does, but if it's another game that requires basic common sense and the zoomzoom feels lost: bullshit game design.

      That's why zoomzooms get made fun of. You only know how to sink your life in some pile of dung multiplayer game, but if it comes to cleaning your filthy keyboard, dusting off the computer, soldering a circuit board, or replacing a pipe, you fall apart like the little babies you are.

  17. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It really depends on the era. A lot of older games, especially DOS games, arcade games, text games, and NES/SNES-era games are significantly more difficult than some modern games. Games from the N64/PS1-era were much easier, to the point where the difficulty was somewhat fair in most cases. Then most games from the 2000s until the early 2010s were just way too easy, to the point where you could complete just about any level or section on your first try and any boss on your second or third attempt. It wasn't until the mid-to-late 2010s and the rise of soulslikes and indie gaming (not to mention overhyped nostalgia for pseudo-retro gaming) that games made a point of being difficult again.

  18. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    i finished tr1 without ever getting my guns back in that one level where they get taken away.

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