Is it OK to Criticize Difficulty?

Are Games too Hard?

Nope, nope, and nope. I touched on this subject in my previous post which you can read here. Where a common criticism of Bomber Crew was that it was too hard, that players didn’t have enough time to make decisions when playing the game.

Recently, they changed a lot of the game to make it easier for players who complained about this, but I really don’t think the devs should have. Difficulty does not inherently make a bad game. My own personal opinion on this game particularly, is that bomber crews in WW2 couldn’t magically slow down time to make critical decisions and things would go wrong.

But aside from that, there is the famous and well-regarded Souls franchise. Known for its difficulty and being “alienating” to less skilled players (from other players taunting them in PvP.) I really don’t see what the big deal is if you don’t want to play with other people you can disable it. If you can’t beat the AI enemy that’s a problem with the player, not the game, by the metric that tons of people have beaten these games and will continue to beat them.

Cuphead is the Souls of Platformers

This has been a meme going around since the release of the extremely praised Cuphead, a love-letter to difficult platformers and early 20th century cartoons at the same time. The intuitive of you probably know where this is headed but I’m going to save it for later.

The game caused controversy simply for being too hard. And in all honesty, if you’re a consumer and a game is too hard you, IT’S COMPLETELY OK. It is ok to find a game too hard, but that doesn’t make it a bad game because it’s a subjective opinion based on anecdotal conclusions.

I could use the same method of argumentation saying: I know a good personal friend who has beaten Cuphead and therefore it’s a good game. Which is true, he really enjoys the game and is trying to 100% it. But as an argument, it makes no sense.

Should “Authorities” on Games be Good?

Yup, yup, and super yup. This is really the crux of the Cuphead controversy. Known Games “Journalist” Dean Takahashi came under fire for uploading his first experience with the game… and he’s really bad, like really really bad. And while he did upload it under the pretense of self-deprecation there’s a bit more to it.

If he was your average gamer there’d really be nothing wrong with it. However, this is the same person that will tell you he has 25 years of gaming experience, and he can’t even do basic platformer actions.

What this controversy continues to show is that Games “Journalists” (and I use these words sarcastically because a vast majority of them are like Dean Takahashi here) are not Gamers and cannot understand the primary demographic they are supposed to cater to. Once called it on it, they get defensive and widen the divide between the two groups, and is why people like me create their own independent content.

But hey, if you don’t want to listen to me, I can let some video do the talking for me and you can draw your own conclusion. Can you figure out what Dean Takahashi is supposed to do before this pigeon can get the peanut?

 

Not convinced? Good I’m glad, because here’s Polygon absolutely blowing it at DOOM followed immediately by Nvidia showing you how it’s done.

I Rest My Case…

 

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