Classic v. Modern

Classic v. Modern

Classic v. Modern

by Steve Napierski to Comics

Update: Just wanted to mention: “WOW!” I will be honest, I did not expect today’s comic to resonate with as many people as it has nor to reach the level of visibility/popularity that it garnered on the net either. I just wanted to say, “Thank you.” I really appreciate it.

I personally think The Regular Show is awesome. When I was planning this strip, I knew that Mordecai and Rigby would be perfect for it.

As far as the comic goes, I will keep my argument simple: I personally don’t find most modern games challenging. What I do find challenging are the real life opponents I take on while playing said games. There are exceptions, but very, very few. And as always, you’re opinions are welcome below.

Creating this comic reminds me of a certain video series on YouTube. First part after the bump.

Discussion (61)¬

  1. Lax
    Lax says:
    October 7, 2010 at 12:13 am #

    You indeed have a point here. I remember when we still had our very first Sega Mega Drive 2 and my favorite game was Contra! You had a few lives and some bonuses here and there, that’s about all the help you’ll get. It was hard getting through even the first level in the beginning. It may seem easier with today’s games, but Halo:Reach was a bit more difficult at points, even with the checkpoints. One grenade too close or a blast from the tank and it’s all over. Plus, on “Heroic” you don’t get any checkpoints, so you can try that for challenges. And indeed, real opponents can be harder than you’re usual AI.

  2. awesome66
    awesome66 says:
    October 7, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    Hah. So true. Most games now really aren’t challenging, but more less somthing to do when your bored. The “second to the last level” part reminds me of when me and my friend would stay up all night playing through mega man 1-6. That shit is hard. Gahh…. and those damned red and blue password dots. Oh man… the day we beat Contra (which was about a month ago) that was awesome. What did we do?… we played it again =)

    • Anon
      Anon says:
      October 8, 2010 at 12:31 am #

      Maybe – and this is just a theory here – the reason why games used to be “challenging” was that you were a kid. And the reason people were fine with having to replay games continually after dying 3 or so times was that you were a kid and kids are fine with doing repetitive tasks (as long as they’re the ones who choose to do so). In other words, while games have certainly changed in the last 15 or so years, you, the player, have also changed. And nostalgia is a wonderful drug.

      • gen
        gen says:
        October 12, 2010 at 4:22 am #

        nah a lot of those games are still a pain in the ass now >.<

      • Justin
        Justin says:
        October 12, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

        Nah, 15 years later I’ve sat down to try and beat Contra 3 on Hard and Battletoads, still can’t do it.

  3. SaCul
    SaCul says:
    October 7, 2010 at 1:17 am #

    sure those classic games seemed challenging at the time, but now I go back and beat NES games in hours, when as a kid they took days. (star tropics I’m looking at you)

    • Steve Napierski
      Steve Napierski says:
      October 7, 2010 at 2:31 am #

      What about Battletoads?

      • SaCul
        SaCul says:
        October 7, 2010 at 2:46 am #

        I assumed we were talking about challenging games, not nigh unbeatable.

  4. David Herbert
    David Herbert says:
    October 7, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    I prefer my N64 games, especially the ones where you can save whenever you want.

  5. Jesse
    Jesse says:
    October 7, 2010 at 2:41 am #

    I think there’s a good reason for this, which is that games had to be smaller back then. In order to make games last longer they had to be harder.

    As storage became cheaper, games shifted away from pure arcade/difficulty mechanics towards storytelling and art direction.

    • Chrome
      Chrome says:
      October 7, 2010 at 11:15 am #

      ^ Bleeding Heart Liberal.

      • Alex
        Alex says:
        October 9, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

        Thou that can be a pretty good factor.

        • Dzamie
          Dzamie says:
          October 10, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

          *’though/although

  6. Doc Lithius
    Doc Lithius says:
    October 7, 2010 at 3:14 am #

    This comic right here is the honest-to-God truth. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten subtly better at games, or maybe newer games are genuinely easier. I dunno.

  7. Starayo
    Starayo says:
    October 7, 2010 at 3:29 am #

    There’s rarely cheat codes anymore. They’ve died off because of achievements.

    • Phaelin
      Phaelin says:
      October 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

      I like games that include cheats, yet turn off achievements if you use them. Half-Life 2 for example.

  8. Jarrett
    Jarrett says:
    October 7, 2010 at 4:44 am #

    Very nice comic, I love regular show. I would say there’s also a point in there that’s middle ground to the classic and modern hard core gaming. I remember the first time I bought ninja gaiden. I had no idea what the game was like, I just saw it in the used XBOX games bin and thought “cool ninjas!” The guy at the counter said to me “have you ever played this before?” and I said “no, never heard of it” and then he laughed at me. Anyways, trying to beat the first boss was, to put it lightly, rough. Eventually, I had to perfect how I progressed through the entire level to make sure I kept all my potions and survive that first boss fight. I was both annoyed and humored at the fact that so much effort had to go into it so that was kind of a middle ground.

    Hamboning will save your life someday!!

  9. Ryu
    Ryu says:
    October 7, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    “I don’t get it, I’m a gamer, but I hate the idea of ‘hardcore gaming’. I can’t stand most gamers these days, both the old school and the new school, because nothing meets my true standards of what makes a quality game. Even if I lower them to give a little leeway for what is reasonable to give up, I come down to a handful of games that really scream quality at me. It’s kinda like the way I look at sports… I could never see myself playing a game that stopped offering me something new. People who can play games, then play New Game+, and New Game++ Insane Mode, are just extensions of the idea that memorization is the key to learning, instead of innovation and exploration.”

    “Even moreso, I hate being on the bottom rung of the ladder, then being laughed at because I want more out of life than to be the best WoW/Halo/Team Fortress/Magic Online, etc. player, and I just want to be able to play a game with other players where I didn’t have to waste away half my life practicing or grinding to get to their level. Or this mockery that is, ‘I can beat blah blah Nintendo Hard game in 2 hours, I’m awesome!’ No… You’re really not, you’re a tool, because you think that your accomplishment in discovering the patterns in a computer program makes you impressive. If that’s what makes you happy, I’m happy for you, but keep it to yourself, and if you can’t be happy without lording it over people, you’re a miserable bastard.”

    “Not all hardcore gamers are like that, I understand, but enough are, and that’s just pathetic. Pathetic is honestly not strong enough of a word for how weak-minded people like that are, and how much they deserve to be pistol whipped in the face a couple of times (or a number of other punishments, but I liked the way ‘pistol whipped’ sounded there).”

    “So, please, give a cheer if you don’t play every game on Hard Mode or care about achievements, and you’ve maybe once finished a game on New Game+, and all you want to do is enjoy a quality game with a quality story.”

    • ZeroBudgetGamer
      ZeroBudgetGamer says:
      October 7, 2010 at 6:07 am #

      Amen, brother. Being an RPG-er by trade, I’m always on the lookout for story and lore most of all. When I played WoW, I was far more interested in learning the lore of the land – the who, what, why, when, and how for all the bosses and all the zones – instead of just getting to level 70/80 and raiding week-in, week-out like some brainless oaf. I actually have serious trouble playing any shooting/fighting games, specifically because it always seems the developers are more focused on the “Shooting/Bashing the Brains out of Anything in Front of You” aspects of the game and not really focusing on any real aspect of story. Now, yeah, Halo fanatics will try and retort “Halo haz storeez!” to which I will simply respond “Oh, really? So is that why you bought it, was to be immersed in a world vastly different from your own, to experience the legend of the man whom you are controlling?” “Hellz naw, I bawts it to blowz peeplz’s breens out!”

      I’m probably being a bit harsh, but that’s how most shooting and fighting games turn out. The predetermined focus of the games is on Competitive Multiplayer Play. Single Player and Co-op take a back seat to Multiplayer just about every stinking time. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but what about those of us who either don’t or can’t play with multiple people? I’m not paying $60 – or even $40 for that matter – for a game that’s only going to give me 8-10 hours of gameplay and a story that’s almost identical to every other in its genre.

      • Caine Collin
        Caine Collin says:
        October 7, 2010 at 7:48 am #

        For a shooter with a story, the Resistance series is great. Details on all the different … well everything in the game from weapons to buildings to enemies etc. have stories and major details (and amazing cut scenes)

      • Skiggz
        Skiggz says:
        October 10, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

        Actually, I do buy and play Halo games for the story, and the lore and fan fiction for Halo can rival that of the star wars universe. And I seriously mean that.

        Do you know a thing about Harvest? Or Onyx? Probably not, and they aren’t, save for maybe a passing dialog snippet here or there, emphasized or detailed in the games. And then there is the cultural background of all of the covenant races, the prophets quest for glory and the learning of a horrid truth, the creation of the Orion, Spartan II and Spartan III soldiers, the causes of this massive war. The forerunner. All of this backstory, largely, I’m assuming here, un-noticed by you.

        Now I play my fair share of RPGs, and I must say I love them, but you bash Halo too easily. It has a story, and I by the game for the story AND the gameplay. You’re probably someone who either A. Has never played the games, or B. Played through them and didn’t pay attention to the small details.

        As an RPG player, the small details are practically spoonfed to you for the most part, and don’t require TOO much research or attention span to notice. So to make such a bold statement about the people who play Halo or other games is wrong.

        And why am I allowed to do so? Because I play all sorts of games “hardcore” INCLUDING Halo, RPGs, and although I’m terrible at them, sports games and RTS. So show some insight and do some research and get to know something before you bash something or someone, or some group of people.

      • Werd Smyth
        Werd Smyth says:
        October 12, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

        What disappoints me is that all of the gamers at my high school can be divided into categories based on what game genres they prefer to play the most. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but they all have so much zeal for their particular games that they don’t see what a more open style of playing can offer them.
        The FPS crowd is high-strung and pompous, picking a single or pair of shooter series to follow, while bashing and insulting everything else indiscriminately despite never having played the games.
        The MMO fans only care about, as you mentioned, attaining high-ranking characters with which to lord over one another. They’ll spend any computer time available to them doing this, or finding cheats and exploits to aid them to these ends.
        To use an example, many of my fellow RPG ‘fans’, always skip through cut scenes in the newer Final Fantasy games, which pretty much defeats the purpose of playing an RPG.
        I see games as the most evolved form of entertainment. In books, we have something pretty basic; they shape the world, but allow the reader to, in most cases, paint their own picture of how it looks in the specific. Artwork typically shows the audience a piece, but what it actually means is left up to interpretation. Music can provide a unique blend of both sides, following a story, but exactly what the story means, if anything, is variable. Cinema converges all three, sometimes it does so exceptionally, other times not so much. Video games add a fourth factor that make them truly special; the ability to physically draw the player into the game setting, more commonly referred to as ‘gameplay’.
        This alone doesn’t make it a ‘good’ game, just as having a plot, a musical score, and mooveeng pitchers doesn’t automatically make a ‘good’ movie. It’s the blend of those factors which does. A lot of people really don’t see that when they play a game, or for that matter, when watching a movie.

    • cico34
      cico34 says:
      October 7, 2010 at 6:48 am #

      There are some games that seem to easy to me.
      So, i restart it at the highest difficulty.

      I get my butt kicked, and take a LONG break.

      • Ryu
        Ryu says:
        October 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

        “Nothing wrong with it, if you’re just looking for a little more challenge. Like I said, to each his own, as long as you aren’t throwing it in people’s faces.”

    • faust
      faust says:
      October 8, 2010 at 1:23 am #

      braggarts and sore winners are lame, but don’t forget that sore losers are just as lame.

    • zip0186
      zip0186 says:
      October 8, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

      While I do agree that some people really need to get a life I will say this. Some games are genuinely hard and while those that lord their “greatness” over someone else are just well worthless excuses for gamers (the gamers I know don’t do that or if they do they are being sarcastic or messing around) and mentioning or being glad that you finally beat a part of a game that was giving you trouble and being happy about it doesn’t have anything wrong with it. It seems trivial to casual gamers but it’s a sense of accomplisment that means something to them. If someone is being an ahole about it then yes ask them to be quiet and stfu but please don’t belittle something that someone else cares about. Also most of those gamers that do the lording are twelve year olds who have no life and are annoying as well little twelve year olds.

      P.S- Anyone who wants a challenging game I’d suggest any D&D based game simply because of the fact that one these games have it made so you have to pay attention to what you are doing with your character, you can screw it up, and the enemies on hard mode are rather intelligent. These will be top down rpgs for the most part, thankfully still hard. Also any old rpg game for the pc, like wizardry 8 or the elder scrolls series could pose a challenge. Some of the newer rts’s are rather hard and then in the end there is always touhou for those that like impossible games.

      • Dan
        Dan says:
        October 11, 2010 at 5:01 am #

        I remember getting to the asylum in BG2 and realizing that I was too damn weak, starting over, and finding by accident a whole set of side quests that could be completed before traveling to the island that gave enough experience and quality rewards that I was able to fairly well breeze through the asylum including the boss fight (it did help that the second time around I knew that bastard Yoshimo was a traitor).

  10. lulz
    lulz says:
    October 7, 2010 at 5:53 am #

    consolegames are never ever hardcore only pcgames are, moron.

  11. ZeroBudgetGamer
    ZeroBudgetGamer says:
    October 7, 2010 at 6:17 am #

    I started playing games around the SNES, and I think that was some of the best middle-ground in terms of difficulty and save points. I remember my first time playing Donkey Kong Country, every time I’d enter a new zone I’d either commit myself to playing through until I found a save point, or resigning myself to shutting the game down and picking it up the next day. Because of that, in many of the games I play I end up skimming past save point after save point, playing for hours on end until I finally reach a point where I think deserves saving; for the record, even in the last few months I still lose hours of gameplay because I neglect to save at every opportunity. BUT, instead of whining, I take it like a man, go to sleep (it’s usually around 2-3am when I end up losing progress) and resume in the morning.

    Though, to be honest, if I had to change anything between Classic vs. Modern, it would definitely have to be the accessibility of guides more than anything else. Even though there aren’t many games with “codes” anymore, I find myself searching GameFAQs for guides almost far too often lately. I kind of miss that time when I was a kid and I had to learn everything on my own. Sure I’d miss a lot of decent stuff because of it, but the game was always incredibly enjoyable when I didn’t know what was coming.

  12. Charle
    Charle says:
    October 7, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    Accurate except for the demeanor of the first one.Getting to the second to last level, then dying, then having to start all over again because that game didn’t have a saving password made me very, very angry. Although those passwords probably took just as long to put in as it would to play through to the level you were at.

    • cico34
      cico34 says:
      October 7, 2010 at 7:17 am #

      Its even better with the games that save like some Mega Man games did.

      You beat Cut Man. save pass: Cutter
      You then beat Typhoon Man. save pass: Windcut

      Tell your friend, he types in those passwords on his own game, and gets Cut Man and Typhoon Man powers, and has “apparently” already beaten both of them.

  13. Eric
    Eric says:
    October 7, 2010 at 6:30 am #

    The only reason older games are more difficult is because they were intentionally designed to be black holes for quarters. The more pants-shittingly difficult, the more lucrative.

    The arcade model died off once games were established on consoles. Then, game developers decided to actually make games fun as primary function, and reward players for progress.

  14. viralviralpictures.com
    viralviralpictures.com says:
    October 7, 2010 at 8:16 am #

    oh young kids these days. nothing can compare to classic platformers.

    • FrozenPhoenix
      FrozenPhoenix says:
      October 8, 2010 at 2:12 am #

      yeah, kids these days are spoiled on current games, like that video (which I hadn’t seen til now). give a kid an old school game and they say they dont like it cause of the graphics and cause it’s too hard.

  15. prime_pm
    prime_pm says:
    October 7, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    you know, this is what I loved about Dead Rising 1 so much: replay value. Once you are dead, your ass gets sent back to the beginning of the game. Only with the modifier that you get to keep your stats from when you died. Beautiful system.

    I barely used the new function in DR2 because of how much I love it. It’s just too much damn fun to come to a certain psychopath, die, then replay the whole game again, learning from everything you did before. So glad to finally have this game. And the Terror Is Reality multi feature is a fun side-game bonus as well.

    Load times are another story…

  16. Lokhai
    Lokhai says:
    October 7, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    I would have to agree Steve; the games back on the NES and even Sega Genesis were challenging. I suck at video games but still enjoy playing the hell out of them, and on the older systems I almost never beat a game. Now it seems designers think challenge comes from “throwing as much crap at you as possible.” Take Halo 2 for example, when you are on that damn elevator and get swarmed by raid after raid of flood.

    I’m at the point now to where I want a mental challenge which is why I enjoy the Assassin’s Creed games. Especially in the first one you had to plan your moves, plan your attack points, timing etc etc. You could do it without doing all of that (for the kick in the door style of gamer) but the strategy was fun. Looking at Divinity 2, for me it’s just the right amount of “throw crap at you” and planning out you character. Same with the Fallout Series.

    Also has anyone noticed how short games are? Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy (take your pick), Sukioden 1 and 2; yeah I’m an RPG nut, but these games were AWESOMELY long. I enjoyed Fable 2 but once I beat it I kinda felt robbed. Even the Fallouts of old were nice long games that you could sit and enjoy for well over 20 hours.

    It seems designers are more into “Look how pretty we can make a game” as opposed to playability, replay value, and story (just b/c I can I’ll toss in the example of FFXIII… if I wanted Liner gaming I’d go play Mario Bros.)
    Oh well, that’s just one persons opinion, thanks for reading/listening :)

    • Kitala
      Kitala says:
      October 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

      I’m with you on game length. I’m also and RPGer, so I generally expect to invest long periods of time into my games. Even games that I like that aren’t RPGs, I usually put a good heft in. But if I don’t have at least 15 hrs clocked in a game, I feel like I paid too much for too little.
      And I definitely hate this trend of visuals over a good story. I can’t remember the last time I played a really great story. There have been some that have been good, and some that have been generic but worked well with the gameplay of the system, but few that have had me sitting there going..wow, that’s brilliant.

    • RebelsDawn
      RebelsDawn says:
      October 10, 2010 at 3:12 am #

      Playing RPGs for so long has definitely jaded my view on how long a game should be. I know of people that are able to blow past some games in no time flat. While that has it’s benefits, I’ll say this, I finally got Res Evil Code Veronica X for the playstation2 and I’m still trying to get the frakking plane started. I’ve sunk 20 hours in (with restarts) and am roughly out of decent ammo. It’s frustrating and I love it, Was beating Reach on Legendary yesterday and while I loved the storyline, it just felt way too short. There’s gems of games out there one just has to find them right?

  17. AddieCat
    AddieCat says:
    October 7, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    I remember when I was a kid playing Super Mario Bros, Sonic the Hedgehog, and a lot of NES, SNES and SEGA games and you had three lives and had to start a level from the start. I remember being like 6-7 years old and finding those games easy. I try to play them now, and they aren’t a cake walk for me anymore. I’ve probably gotten spoiled with video games where it’s more ‘select ‘x’ and that’s my action’ then actually putting effort into the game. Yes I play a lot of MMO’s and RPG’s now but they’re still easy in comparison to say, the Felix the Cat game I had on NES as a child growing up. I never was able to beat that game though I did get to the boss and died epically……

    We’ve gotten spoiled with short and easy games as we’ve gotten older. Super Mario Brothers held my entertainment for like two or three years, maybe more. Now, I’m lucky if a game holds my attention for a week.

  18. ChiroStudent
    ChiroStudent says:
    October 7, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    Has no one here played a little game called Demon’s Souls? If you want challenging in the true sense of older generation games, pick it up. Super fun and feels rewarding. Just a little suggestion.

  19. Organous
    Organous says:
    October 7, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    I prefer competitive gaming against other people, but not for any fault of single player games. For those games, I always go for the hardest difficulty, but I think the real issue here is that “hardcore” gamers are experienced. We’ve been playing games for decades. We’re familiar with how they’re designed, we’ve trained ourselves to have the proper reaction speed. Once you get into 3D games too, the only way to make them as difficult as the 2D games you would cite would be to make them repetitive grinds, because the difficulty in said games IS their repetitive grinding.
    You cannot deny though, if the game technology of today (in terms of design, not power) existed back then, we’d all be welcoming it. I would’ve loved to be able to save in the Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Mario without having to rebuild myself. Save stations, rest areas, even immunity to death (thinking Prince of Persia here), this stuff is to save time and make the game more interesting. If you had to micromanage everything about yourself the whole way through (as many of today’s games would without them), these games would be far less interesting because you have less motivation to use your replenishable resources. I think Half-Life would be significantly less interesting for me if I was forced to memorize everything to play through it. Come to think of it, this was probably a big reason why level skipping codes were so popular. The people have always wanted this stuff, and designers are simply allowing it. As a compromise though, I think harder difficulty levels could accomodate by making these elements less common or nonexistent. Splinter Cell: Double Agent even has a difficulty without any lethal ammunition whatsoever, definitely a challenge.

  20. Jedah
    Jedah says:
    October 7, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    I’m proud to say Im a Classic Hardcore Gamer, still got my original NES and play alot

  21. LinkTheFirst
    LinkTheFirst says:
    October 7, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    i liked the comic, its as true as: cake=lie

    i liked old school games a lot, but also like the new games, the direction taken by actual “mainstream” videogames is not what i expected, but one can enjoy it on a different way, the point is that the competitive gaming has overtaken the solo gaming, inducing “new” players to play against humans makes them evolve different than old gamers did….

    i consider myself more of a classic hardcore gamer than a modern one when it comes to playing solo…. when multiplaying with friends i just see myself as a casual gamer…. i like to enjoy challenges in games but i beat games for the whole experience of it, not for bragging to others…..

    just try to beat metroid other m on hard and you´ll remember what is “nintendo hard”

  22. randomgamerdude
    randomgamerdude says:
    October 7, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    Spectrobes: Origins is a perfect example of the modern one…I swear they only put save points at the beginning and end of a planet, never in between. Plus if you lose against a boss you go back to where you saved last, and most of the times they put it about 3 puzzles before the boss!

  23. corpsegirly
    corpsegirly says:
    October 7, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    if a game is too hard I won’t play it. If its too easy I get bored. I don’t like having to give myself handicaps to make a game challenging.

  24. Foreverbadass
    Foreverbadass says:
    October 8, 2010 at 3:36 am #

    You hit the nail right on the head with this one. I can’t stand when people try to rationalize with ‘the games seemed hard because you were young’. Battletoads…nuff said, I still play it to this very day for a fun challenge (I’ve taken VERY good care of my NES and NES cartridges) and I’ve beaten it maybe once, yet it still never gets old.

  25. Awesome66
    Awesome66 says:
    October 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    I agree as well with Lokhai’s statement of how short games are now. Its sad. And I think more RPGs need more length. Though, I will say, Tales of symphonia was amazing for me. I loved the story and characters.

  26. Nubosalol
    Nubosalol says:
    October 8, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    Im happy that I finished both Modern Warfare’s in Veteran and I enjoyed it, but I dont brag about it. That’s all. And Im glad that I replayed them in lower difficulties to kill them with knife, or not killing them at all… And I dont brag about it…

  27. Tery153
    Tery153 says:
    October 9, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    To start with, I really don’t know how anyone can call themselves a “hardcore” gamer without laughing. You sit in front of a screen and press buttons. You want hardcore, sign up for active duty. L337 skills aren’t anything until your doing something real with them.

    That being said, gaming is a large part of my life, and I have to say that I know this comic is accurate. Looking through tomb raider, it went from “oh my god I just ran through miles of jungle to get to a save point and- OH MY GOD there’s a tiger!” to “Well, i just climbed up this cliff, I think I’ll save. I’m bored, so i think I’ll do dives off it.” Sad. But I go back and play megaman, and I do worse than i did as a kid. I really can’t even beat cut man’s level.

    Maybe it’s the fact that I’m used to newer games.

    Oblivion, I think, had a nice balance. I would often go through, do a whole bunch of amazing things, then forget to save and die. Sure I could save if I wanted to, but there’s something over there. I’m going to check it out. And starting out, and even mid to late game, it can be pretty hard.

  28. deathdragon
    deathdragon says:
    October 10, 2010 at 2:16 am #

    I don’t know, Demon’s Souls is pretty hard. It can be even more difficult online if people keep invading your world. But i know what you mean, there are games i’ve bought or borrowed that i went “…this is even considered a game? There was a checkpoint around the last corner! There were no enemies! what do people just RUN off the edge so you need a freaking checkpoint!” or “that boss was easier than the group of enemies i fought not 3 minutes ago. This is expert?! I’m not even at 75% health!” ok well Final Fantasy 12 isn’t exactly “modern” but the bosses were still ridiculously easy if you followed the story, the marks were the hard part and pretty much the only reason i play.

  29. EvilCensor
    EvilCensor says:
    October 10, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    This is true – though the gampad in the “Hardcore Gaming” column really should have been a joystick.. console gamers aren’t far removed from the nu-wave gamer :op

  30. Sword
    Sword says:
    October 10, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    Well truthfully there were alot of dibilitating factors to gaming back then. You could only do so much with the NES or Sega and had to work with what you had. Games that were long had password or save features, while other games were made short where you could beat them within a reasonable timespan of a few hours.

    Part of the challenge, of older games was stiffer controls and limited mobility. If you played any Castlevania or Ninja Gaiden from back then, you always had that annoying hawk or medusa head that would precariously interrupt you mid-jump EVERY FREAKIN TIME into a pit of death. Each attempt you have to perfectly time and plan your jump to kill or move around it, sometimes just being one pixel off meant life or death.

    Another part, was the difficulty curve in older games. Often you did not grow in power with the enemies as the levels get harder, if you did you could only power/level up so much. So even if you hit the maximum level, enemies were still challenging and were considered a threat. If you ever played Final Fantasy 1 or Crystalis your level only goes up to 50 and 16. Yes your awsome at those levels, but you can still easily get your ass kicked if your careless.

    To add to the difficulty curve, you often had limited power-ups and bonuses. Sometimes you could go an entire level and not be lucky enough to get a weapon upgrade or a new piece of armor. If you did, often if you died you lost ALL power-ups and had to learn to do without or work for them again.

    Now I’m not saying there are not exceptions in new games, but for the most part I do agree that many are not as challenging as older ones. I can understand why though, video games are a business. They’re in it to not only provide entertainment, but also make money. Since video games are easier to produce these days, there is more and more competition. There is also the matter of piracy and people who think they have the inheret right to illegaly reproduce, download, and play these games for free. Due to these factors, game producers have to try and reach out to as many people as possible in order to turn a profit even if they have to “dumb” down the difficulty to appeal more casual gamers.

  31. Poidrac
    Poidrac says:
    October 11, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    My nostalgia for this comic is/was Hellfire on the MegaDrive.

    Me and my friend played through that game for hours on end and dying over and over and over.
    One time we got to probably the 3rd or 2nd to last level before finally succumbing to our fate. Still an achievement I look back on fondly, for it is still one of the few games I played that I have never defeated.

    As of today, I find similar. I’m a RPGnut as well, but seeing savepoints within 10 metres of each other with little or nothing between them seems silly to me… (FF13, I’m looking at you, as the most recent and pointless example.)

  32. SuperStingray
    SuperStingray says:
    October 11, 2010 at 2:46 am #

    You may be right, but I see it as an improvement in most cases. Space Invaders or Tetris, it works because you are challenging yourself until you inevitably fail. But Super Mario Bros? Contra? Forcing you to lose all of your progress because you did something wrong an arbitrary number of times is just forcing replay value.

  33. Meliai
    Meliai says:
    October 11, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    As a girl, the first video game I ever beat by myself withought help from my brothers was super Mario rpg. I’m 23 and can now just sort of button mash my way through games now, where we invent little challenges to make the game hard. I remember my dad trying to beat Doom 2 on nightmare mode, and he is at the final level and it took him months to get that far, and he is running for the door where you have one chance to make the jump and *bam* missed and game over. We had a lot of fun as a family trying to oust each others high scores.

  34. mikemosh511
    mikemosh511 says:
    October 11, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    I think that save points do not make the game necessarily easier. Sure, there is the rare time when you go “wtf did I just do?” and make it through a tough part, but not often enough that it raises concern. The difference between Modern and Classic as far as difficulty is concerned is the time. It doesn’t make it “hard” to have to play through the game straight through, it just makes it more annoying.

    This is coming from a long time gamer that played the classics, but also did things like a Naked Big Boss Run and completing Ninja Gaiden on Master….

    Super Mario beatable in 8 minutes has nothing on those.

  35. ss
    ss says:
    October 12, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    … This would be more accurate if the panels were swapped.

  36. beavinator
    beavinator says:
    October 13, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    When I was a kid I must have tried to beat the Grim Reaper in Castlevania literally hundreds of times, and I was never able to. I played it again a couple years ago and beat him on the FIRST TRY. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve had many years of practice gaming in general since then, or because I read about strategies online first, or I just got lucky, but I found it amusing. (I still couldn’t beat Dracula though…)

  37. Matt Reed
    Matt Reed says:
    October 25, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    so true, and I'm just as bad as any, and I beat Little Nemo!

  38. Felix Fernando
    Felix Fernando says:
    May 19, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    I didn't! D: