The Problem With Difficulty In Video Games – Reboot Episode 16


Mike and Jake explore the ways Cuphead might be too difficult for some players, how Middle-earth: Shadow of War handles difficulty in a clever manner, and the questions spawned from challenging…



  1. Look at the dislikes! This video is proof that this fucking gaming journalist have no idea what gamers want and even less of what the media stands for… then they wonder why we don't give a shit about their opinions anymore

  2. Game developers should not have a rule that says, everyone must be able to beat and enjoy your game. If every game was supposed to be accessible to everybody, than all games would be the same thing with no creativity.

  3. Saying you are excluding people who don't have the time to practice and improve by making a difficult game is like saying you are excluding people who don't have the time to go through a long story driven game by making a long story driven game. These people don't seem to realise that dying over and over until you are good enough to win IS the game, it IS the intended experience. Games don't have to let you skip the intended experience just to let you see all the content, that would be like a story driven game letting you skip straight to the final boss just in case you don't have time to do everything else. I mean if you want to do that you can, just download a mod or someone else's save file or something, but there's no reason why games should let you do that by default.

  4. Whoah the false analogies are truly amazing here. "A museum doesn't test you before each exhibit" -> but true art is itself a challenge to the viewer. If you don't engage with it, dialogue with it, try to comprehend it and get into it, you'll never access what it has to offer. You may pass by superficially, but you didn't really access the art. It's like playing the first few minutes of a game. Your analogy doesn't work.
    "You can skip to the final page of the book you read" It's not about accessing pages. You can also watch any game on youtube. It's about accessing its content. You didn't really read a book until you took what it has to offer you. Passing through all the pages is merely being introduced to it, in the case of hard and rewarding books. Not even doing that, but actually skipping it all, is far less. It's being a turist, that wasn't even properly introduced.

    Btw false analogy is a type of fallacy. You fail as journalists, and you fail at basic logic.

  5. I think Cuphead should have that simple option for all game, I found it super weird to have only some bosses on simple, and then having to beat last 2 bosses on normal mode. I beat all in normal though, no clue why simple exists in the first place if it's not for all of the game. It was cool, but I didn't have too much fun beating it as other games.

  6. One of the things that I don't think that devs yet take into account is the older segment of the market. I'm in a bracket of gamers that cut their teeth with original games in the 1980s. We're now a segment that unfortunately has poorer reflexes, but a lot of disposable income. I ended up buying the Cuphead soundtrack, but not the game. And I have plenty of friends that also look at new games and say "looks fab, but I know I can't play it with my reflex level now". So games that give you alternates, like sliding scale diffficulty, or sneaking rather than just straight shump, can exploit this market.

  7. Pshhhhhh people think difficulty is the problem with video games? What about that feeling after playing a video game for the first time, never being able to feel that again. Sure, it might be fun to replay games, but it never feels the same. Take Super mario Odyssey. Fantastic game, but it doesn't have the same charm as you did the first time playing it. Now if there was only some memory erasing ray that could get me all those feelings back.

  8. "Allow me to introduce an argument with an inflammatory clickbait title, then go ahead to imply the very same thing the title states without explicitly saying it, masquerading it with a facade of neutrality"

    Youtube is full to the brim with these cowardly opinion pieces, just put a shitty clickbait title to make your arguments seem highly reasonable in comparison, that way useful idiots will disregard the predictable negative reaction as people not waching the video, why not just man up and say up front that you dont like how Cuphead manages difficulty?, this is the actual problem with gaming journalists, you cant stand by yourselves, you always need to paint yourselves as "the voice of the people" before making an argument, forver afraid of facing backlash and ironically getting more because of it

  9. It's interesting how you say that if you want, you can turn to the final page of a book. I want you to think about it. If you do it, do you feel accomplished? Was the experience fun? Its likely that the answer to these questions is no.

  10. Hold on, you have a problem with Cuphead being challenging but not Dark Souls or Bloodborne? To beat any of those games, you have to PRACTICE! If you can't get good at a game, play a different game! If you're a games journalist who's begging and pleading for a skip button so YOU don't have to suffer through a difficult boss fight or whatever, get the fuck out. If you can't reliably report of a game's content, fuck off somewhere else because you're not doing your job.

  11. in the nes era, getting to the end of a game was great you would know people and ask them, did you finish this one, this you finish crystalis, did you finish startropics, and nobody finished every single game. thats why you would buy games magazines to find tricks and tips, now every game has infinite lives, checkpoints and either you finish it or you abandon it and play something else.

  12. "A sufficiently skilled player, what does he mean?"

    Um, a player who can beat the game? Cuphead excludes no one. Anyone can play Cuphead, not everyone can beat it. Most people who put in the time and practice will beat it though and if that's not fun for someone then they shouldn't buy a hard game. It's a video game journalist's job to inform people a game is hard or easy so they can make an informed purchase. Not everyone can comprehend every book or movie. Not everyone can handle mature content in films either. Not every piece of media is for everyone in any medium. Saying all games should be beatable by all people (which is impossible you can never have 100% inclusiveness in an interactive medium) is like saying all movies should be general audience appropriate.

  13. The point of a lot of games is difficulty. How is it a problem, as you say in the beginning, that games require you to beat them? That's kindof the reason for playing them. They're an interactive medium, that's what defines them. If you don't have any interaction, then you just have a movie. Sure, some games can be great without major challenge, or any challenge, focusing on other things. Other games are great BECAUSE they challenge you, and such challenge can be in a variety of different ways, from timing, to speed, to reaction, to strategy to problem solving.

  14. No. You are flat-out wrong. Difficult games are supposed to be difficult. If you suck at games, those aren't for you. That is okay. Not everything is for everyone.

    Fishing isn't for me. Sitting in a boat waiting for some stupid fish to bite is boring for me.

    But you don't see me telling fishing to change to suit me. I don't belong to fishing. Fishing doesn't belong to me.

    Leave games alone.

    Don't you have some reviewers to fire for giving bad scores to games made by advertisers?

  15. Why so many downvotes on this vid its put together well, and doesn't really say anyone is right or wrong it puts out a point of view that both sides can agree on. Although it never really comes to a huge conclusion and things are left amiss it leaves it to you to decide.

  16. I have seen this time and time again. How can you call yourself a game journalist when you don't even understand the games you are talking about? Also, WTF do you mean that ranged classes and helpful npcs makes dark souls a game the requires less skill. Those things don't negate the fact that dark souls is still a difficult game requiring skill. The skill is what makes the game enjoyable. What's the point if you have everything handed to you. The challenge is the allure of the game. I remember the most challenging boss fight I ever played: Ornstein and Smough. It took me three days. Constantly dying over and over and over again. It was the maddest I have even been at a video game, but when I finally saw that VICTORY ACHIEVED. It was the best moment I have ever had in a video game. Also, probably gonna get called scrub for taking that long, but that is the point of video games. Overcoming obstacles, overcoming adversary, learning from your mistakes. If you don't want to do that, if you just want everything handed to you, then your in the wrong fucking business.

  17. everyother media mentioned requires certain skills or ability.reading requires reading sill. audio requires ear and the comprehension skills to understand it. visual requires the ability to hear or see. games are just the same

  18. Shut up. Just. No. You are not entitled to everything because you bought the game. The main thing about playing games like this is to get over the hurdles and hardship that comes with harder difficulty games. And the satisfaction that comes with achieving that goal. If your just given everything at the start of the game then whats the point of buying the game in the first place. Just practice and retry until you can finish it. Seriously. Just get good at the game.

  19. In my opinion, it's not a problem if a game is to hard for most player.
    Many movies and many book are way to hard for alot of people and that's fine, if a movie is too hard for you, you can stop watching it and find another movie that will not shock you.

  20. There is nothing wrong with a difficult video game. There is nothing wrong with difficult video games with no difficulty slider, either. If you look at the simple mode, after you beat a boss it tells you to go back to normal mode in order to retrieve the contracts needed to continue. In a sense, Simple mode is made to be a practice mode of sorts.

    If someone bought the game even though they were bad at platformers, that is their fault. If they looked around at the reviews and the youtube videos that reviewed the game, then they would have seen that it IS a difficult game.

    I'm not the best at platformers. I completely own up to that. I still want to buy cuphead so I can improve my skills, and be able to have a difficult game under my belt.

    Also, if you want a game that has all those great mechanics to adapt to the player's skill level, YOU make a game. No one here will stop you. I certainly won't.

  21. After you buy your way into university, are you entitled to a spot in its sport team regardless of your skill? No, you are entitled to try out but your skill determines how far you go. Casualization and mass market focus testing bs is the worst to happen to gaming after microtransactions.

  22. difficulty is a very tough thing to get right. I like games that are difficult, but you can still beat in one or two tries. After that, the butt clenching moments just become boring because you've seen it 10 or 20 times before. It can't be intense anymore if you've played through it that many times, it just becomes muscle memory. That's just what I like though. Cuphead might be different because it seems the attack patterns keep you guessing and can still be "butt clenching." I did not enjoy super meat boy though because there is no variety there. The level doesn't change what it throws at you like cuphead does. Mind you, I haven't played cuphead yet, but it looks ight.