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Kaynil

Cheap Difficulty

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There are some games that have the reputation to have artificial or fake difficulty. For many people real difficulty is challenging and rewarding, because it feels you are in control, many times you understand the theory but the practice requires you to build skill and you know that when you fail it is because a mistake you did.

When you die and feel the game is being unfair to you, it might be a fluke of bad programming in a part, but if you often feel like the game wasn't being fair then it could be relying a bit too much into artificial difficulty.

Some examples of cheap difficulty:
- A game deliberately spaces more than expected save points in order to force you go through a hard portion of it again.
- Missions that depend on luck.
- An article that you can only get the first time and otherwise is missable.
- Being forced to beat a level with an specific character for not other reason than increase the difficulty.
- The boss has a wipe-everyone movement activated by luck.
- Changing genres in the middle of the game.
- False edges to jump onto, depth perception tricks.
- Only being able to pass a zone by trial an error (in essence you'll have to die to uncover the right answer little by little)
- Extreme Rubber-band where the AI has to do things that are not possible in order to catch up with you.
- Different physics for you and AI characters (for example your attacks won't pass through an asset but theirs will)

Do you guys can think of any games with artificial difficulty? Maybe there's a moment that has stuck with you. Or maybe tehre is a game that you know is pretty much known to be difficult through cheap difficulty.

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I think this applies to games like Serious Sam a lot. Those games tend to have the issues of the random physics bending. And each time you try something normal, then AI goes even more berserk with physics. 

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Ghouls 'N Ghosts has unrealistic difficulty. You take one hit and you're dead. If you're lucky enough to make it 10 seconds in wearing armor, then it's 2 hits and then you're dead. And there are no continues either. You die and it's game over. As the AVGN said: "It's games like this that the Game Genie was made for."

Edited by The Blackangel

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On 11/7/2019 at 2:26 AM, StaceyPowers said:

Unreal Tournament 2004's unnaturally smart bots.

Good point. It was harder due to those reasons too. Which at some point was fun. 

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On 11/9/2019 at 6:05 AM, skyfire said:

Good point. It was harder due to those reasons too. Which at some point was fun. 

Eh, I kind of prefer when things are harder in a way that makes sense. I mean, having them be omniscient rather defeated the sense of accomplishment I would have gotten from finding an obscure sniper nest which actually went unnoticed for a little bit. Although, if I could actually survive their shots and climb to the very highest point on the map, I suppose that was a small kind of accomplishment?

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