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Thread: The Easy Button

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    Exclamation The Easy Button



    Click it, it leads to a video that sums up the topic. Now nobody should cares what Mr. Internet-star has to say, I want your opinion on the matter not a counterargument towards the video. My opinion? I'm just going to leave quoting Satoru Iwata and head back into the shadows...

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    I don't see anything wrong having an easy mode enabler for the sake of allowing the less skilled to complete a game, particularly if the game requires you to go without it if you actually want to get 100% completion.

    I'm not really a fan of when there's absolutely no downsides to utilizing it, though, as it removes some of the incentive towards improving at the game.

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    Hm I honesttly think the guy in the video is over reacting a little to the golden tooniki suit,, It is optional and screws up hundred percent completion. Games are becoming less difficult but think about this, extreme difficulty was never a thing in game because people in general loved it, in arcades it was because they wanted to force you to put in quarters in the machine, be a unprofitable machine if you can beat the game a single credit, This sort of transfered to console gaming partially out of habbit from the arcade devopment and partially because difficulty pads the game, one can usually be able to beat the games in like 30 minutes or less if you know what your doing but when you don't it could take awhile to complete. these days we have a lot of space for data and can have longer games without the need to make it artifically larger with extreme difficulty.

    I think this will ultimently be a cyclindical problem, the people complaining about easy games will someday dominate the industry and make games more difficult.

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    I honestly feel that the White Tanooki Suit is fine for the games. Sure, it's like getting a permanent Star man which allows you to grind through all of the enemies in the level, but I think he's disregarding the fact that there are pitfalls in the game, as with any SMB game, and the suit doesn't save you from that.

    At least the developers threw that in the game for a more general audience, that way if someone completely inexperienced plays the game, the suit is there to make it all easier, and eventually the player would recognize his/her own mistakes regardless if the White Tanooki suit were implemented or not.
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    At first I was gonna say "Yeah it's fine" but then I remembered Dark Souls. Adding an easy button for a game like that would ruin the experience. So it depends on what you're playing.

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    Hm I have grown tired of the small section of people who dismiss easy games as insults to video games. I not against their being difficult games, but is that really all that their should be? Going by the nes for every game that was difficult yet fun, like contra or ninja gaiden, their were ten of the games usually reviewed by avgn where the difficulty was from factors outside the player control. I think their room for all difficulties, an easy game isn't bad if the game is fun to play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charizard Champion#06 View Post
    At first I was gonna say "Yeah it's fine" but then I remembered Dark Souls. Adding an easy button for a game like that would ruin the experience. So it depends on what you're playing.
    I agree with this. It really depends on the game. A game like Dark Souls, where the intense difficulty is an integral part of the experience, an easy mode would really ruin it. But in a game like Super Mario 3D World, it really doesn't matter. 3D World is a simple game purely about having fun times and good laughs, and little more, so an easy button, in my opinion, really wouldn't hamper the game at its core.

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    back in my day, we didn't have regenerating health

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    Video games have become easier to accept a wider audience. You don't have to be male, nerdy or even good with a controller to play one nowadays, which, I guess is good but I am digressing a little.
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    I don't think there's much wrong with it - as long as it is implemented smartly/appropriately, like it is in Mario world. It's optional, and if you want to 100% complete things, you can't make use of it...which really goes against that video (I know this isn't what the thread is about, but when the biggest loudest point is seemingly kids like to boast about beating it, well... there you go).

    Some games would feel out of place with easier options like this, certainly, and arguably they do too (e.g. Fire Emblem, Awakening), but when the aim is to appeal to more people and make the game more accessible, as opposed to risking the franchise dying in that case, I think I prefer stuff like casual mode, or an 'easy button' to exist.

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    To be honest I sort of agree with the guy in the vid. But it didn't ruin the game, they also did a similiar invincibility thing with new super Mario bros for the nintendo DS
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    I am reminded of Super Mario Bros 3 or Super Mario World (the two best games in the franchise, as voted by gamers). You don't get an automatic pass for dying 5 times in a stage. If you died, too bad. You had to play it and play it until you learned the layout of the stage and could finish it. We used to call that 'getting better at the game'. Alas, that idea is dying off.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobandbill View Post
    I don't think there's much wrong with it - as long as it is implemented smartly/appropriately, like it is in Mario world. It's optional, and if you want to 100% complete things, you can't make use of it...which really goes against that video (I know this isn't what the thread is about, but when the biggest loudest point is seemingly kids like to boast about beating it, well... there you go).

    Some games would feel out of place with easier options like this, certainly, and arguably they do too (e.g. Fire Emblem, Awakening), but when the aim is to appeal to more people and make the game more accessible, as opposed to risking the franchise dying in that case, I think I prefer stuff like casual mode, or an 'easy button' to exist.
    In the abstract, there isn't really anything wrong with it, other than the fact that it really treats gamers like they're idiots. Likely this was unintentional, but it is difficult to overlook. That's what Mike was getting at in the video. He sees that box and it's like the game is telling him 'you're so bad at this, that we're giving you this so you can see the rest of the game'.

    Also, the word 'accessible' really needs to stop being used by the mainstream gaming industry, because I don't think it means the same thing that game companies think it means. Not to mention, kids don't need to be talked down to by a company. Kids are more clever and skilled than most people give them credit for. Give them a challenging Mario game, and they might surprise you.

    Plus, that word is the reason why older gamers feel isolated (and in a few rare cases, betrayed and insulted) by Nintendo. They feel that Nintendo left them behind for younger audiences. And it's easy to see why, with no new Metroid or Zelda games on the console after over a year. You might argue that it's Nintendo. Kids are always their main target demographic. Fair enough, but what you forget though, is that we were those kids at one point. And now those kids are OUR kids. And WE'RE the ones paying to buy them the new consoles, ones that we can play games with them on. And in this economy, we have to make some decisions. Do we buy a console that has nothing but 'kiddie games' on it? Or do we buy a console that also has more mature games that we can enjoy, as well as the third-party games we've come to love?

    Finally, Mario isn't going anywhere. It's the one franchise that will still be around, no matter what Nintendo does to change it, even if the games get harder from here. Mario games could be punishingly difficult and the franchise wouldn't suffer from it, because it would still have that charm and appeal that's known for Mario. Making Mario games easier isn't going to 'save Mario', because Mario was never really in need of saving.
    Last edited by SBaby; 13th December 2013 at 1:14 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBaby View Post
    And in this economy, we have to make some decisions. Do we buy a console that has nothing but 'kiddie games' on it? Or do we buy a console that also has more mature games that we can enjoy, as well as the third-party games we've come to love?
    lol im buying the console with bayonetta 2

    woop woop

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    itv vidya gaemz r srs bsns.

    You still have to beat the level without the white tanooki suit to 100% the game, all it does is basically let you skip the level but doesn't actually count as you beating it. This guy is blowing things way out of proportion. Think I'm laughing harder at the comments using natural selection as a reason as to why this is wrong, stay classy YouTube.

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    To be honest? I can sympathize with the sentiment of the guy in this video, but my actual take on the problem is sort of the opposite. I support the existence of an Easy mode. In fact, I'll take it a step further and say that Easy mode players should generally be allowed to get the full story rather than have to run into the 'your difficulty must be this high to pass' roadblock. (Extra bosses or challenges that aren't really story proper and exist specifically to give you a higher difficulty nothwithstanding, since Easy mode would kind of undermine their point) Easy mode was where I got my start in gaming, back when I was still a little kid and couldn't even read the English text, let alone really comprehend the mechanics, but I always took it as a challenge to come back on Normal and then Hard, regardless of whether the game blocked off content based on difficulty or not. To put it simply, I think the extent to which you get competitive about your gaming (console or otherwise) is just a facet of a larger part of your personality. Consequently, I'd say anyone who has it in them to go 'hardcore', as some people like to call it, isn't going to be deterred from it by the option to make the game easier, while anyone who only moves up from Easy because part of the content is walled off from them is more likely to go right back to easy mode - or, more likely, cheat their way through on the difficulty level in the first place - rather than actually make an effort to improve their level of play.

    The problem I've had with difficulty settings in more recent games is not that an easy mode exists, but rather the increasingly common trend of trying to marginalize or cut out hard difficulty mode altogether. I might have a skewed perspective on this from accumulated gaming experience, but I've increasingly seen things that I'd class as Easy mode features (shackled AI, player resource bonuses, etc.) sneaking their way under the Normal heading while Easy is effectively redacted to Very Easy and Hard either becomes the new Normal and the for-reals-Hard mode I want either isn't on offer at all or is gated away until I clear countless hours of gameplay on one of the tediously easy difficulty settings. This gets particularly egregious in long, bulky, story-driven RPGs, especially ones with multiple 'hard' difficulties. When even a single run can easily be 60 hours if you're even kind of thorough, I really don't appreciate being forced to clear it not once but often twice, giving me plenty of time to grow bored with the story content, just so I can enjoy the gameplay on the difficulty level I like. This is also why I'm generally against gating away content for 'new game+' type deals. A game like, say, pokémon where the storyline opens up into a bunch of optional postgame side content? Cool, I love that stuff. Forcing me to replay the whole thing from square one just so I can run a couple of extra side quests and maybe get a bonus boss if I'm lucky? Yeeeeah, let me get back to you on that. <_<

    Long story short: Easy mode is a force for good and doesn't deserve the crap it gets. Easy mode offers options, can easily act as a gateway difficulty for new players to get them to push further, and just generally gives you more choice, and I like having choice, even if it's a choice I usually wouldn't even consider. What's not cool is games barring away harder difficulty from people who want to give it a try and trying to railroad players into Easy mode when they don't want to be there, just because they're terrified of players getting frustrated.

    Oh, and as for Mario World in particular? Haven't played; couldn't say much about it. An option to disable the tanuki suit popping up would be thoughtful, and a more limited bonus for struggling players instead of straight-up god mode might not have been uncalled for, but it's not like they shove it in your face straight away either, so eh...seems innocuous enough. Straight-up cheat codes have been around for ages, and it's not like there's ever been serious difficulty telling the people who actually play a game well from those who use cheats and shortcuts.
    Last edited by Creepychu; 14th December 2013 at 4:58 AM.

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    I think a variety of difficulty levels is essential really.

    It helps encourage/entice 'casuals' (a term I really don't like but will use for this thread) to get into gaming more if they find they can actually play through a game thanks to a low difficulty mode. I remember when I started playing again seriously just over 2 years ago the fact I could actually play through Halo 3 helped me decide that yes I wanted to really spend a lot more of time playing video games in addition to the great game it was.

    But there's also a wide range of skill levels in the gaming community, heck the same gamer may be amazing in games of one genre but lousy in another (the biggest example that rises to mind for me is Ray from AH who is a very good shooter player but lousy at games like AC), so it helps developers' sales to take that into account and adapt their game to it.

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    Also, the word 'accessible' really needs to stop being used by the mainstream gaming industry, because I don't think it means the same thing that game companies think it means. Not to mention, kids don't need to be talked down to by a company. Kids are more clever and skilled than most people give them credit for. Give them a challenging Mario game, and they might surprise you.
    But... how are options like these - which prevent 100% completion if they are used in place of beating the level properly - being the company 'talking down to kids'?
    Straight-up cheat codes have been around for ages, and it's not like there's ever been serious difficulty telling the people who actually play a game well from those who use cheats and shortcuts.
    That slipped my mind tbh, cheat codes. Nothing too new in this sense, beyond it being far more visible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobandbill View Post
    But... how are options like these - which prevent 100% completion if they are used in place of beating the level properly - being the company 'talking down to kids'?
    Because they're assuming that kids can't handle the difficulty of the game. If they didn't have this viewpoint, it wouldn't be in the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobandbill View Post
    That slipped my mind tbh, cheat codes. Nothing too new in this sense, beyond it being far more visible.
    Most cheat codes didn't make you outright invincible though (in fact, name one time in an NES or SNES-era kid's game where a cheat code made you invincible). They might give you 30 lives or let you select a stage, but you still had to be good enough to get through the game under those conditions. And plus, most of us stopped using them anyway. With this, it might not be required to use it, but the fact that it's showing up is literally the game telling you that you're so bad at the game that they're going to help you. Do you think you'd get this kind of help in Donkey Kong Country? How about in the older Final Fantasy games? What about Zelda? No. You die, you go back. That's how it works. Then the kids learn from their mistakes, and they get better at the game because of it.

    Back to the 'easy button' point. Here's a question to those of you that don't mind it. How would you feel if in Pokémon when you lost enough times, the game just automatically leveled all your Pokémon to 100, or gave you an item that could instantly one-shot every Pokémon on the opponent's team? Sounds kind of lame when I say it, right? Well, this is the direction game companies are heading, if they keep doing this.
    Last edited by SBaby; 21st December 2013 at 8:16 AM.
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    You should be able to turn it off if you want, but why shouldn't a game be able to be explored fully by those who want to?

    Quote Originally Posted by SBaby View Post
    Back to the 'easy button' point. Here's a question to those of you that don't mind it. How would you feel if in Pokémon when you lost enough times, the game just automatically leveled all your Pokémon to 100, or gave you an item that could instantly one-shot every Pokémon on the opponent's team? Sounds kind of lame when I say it, right? Well, this is the direction game companies are heading, if they keep doing this.
    I believe this is a false equivalence. Platforming games require dexterity and skill. Level grinding... er, less so. Yeah, okay, pretty much all you need with level grinding is a shitload of patience. You never have to develop skill, which you do for platforming games -- even rote memorizing alone won't get you through Donkey Kong Country. When have you truly needed to put your reflexes and dexterity to the test while level grinding in a Pokemon game?
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    I play my video games for storytelling for the most part so I'm not really into really hard dynamics? Shin Megami Tensei games in particular are insanely frustrating and sometimes I just end up giving up because of the difficulty. What I really enjoyed about Mass Effect for instance (and I suppose this would extend to most games similar) is the difficult level. I'm not going to spend all my time trying to beat "Insane mode" or whatever because... I have a lot of things I need to do with my time. Another good way to implement it is the way Fire Emblem: Awakening did and make that part of the gameplay entirely optional.

    Then again we could get instances like Valkyrie Profile where the "easy mode" actually ends up being a lot harder than the Hard Mode.

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    Because they're assuming that kids can't handle the difficulty of the game. If they didn't have this viewpoint, it wouldn't be in the game.
    In this case, arguably they are having trouble if it takes a number of deaths in a level to have the option appear. And again, to be able to fully beat it, they still have to learn to handle the difficulty of the game, in the end.
    Most cheat codes didn't make you outright invincible though (in fact, name one time in an NES or SNES-era kid's game where a cheat code made you invincible).
    Megaman 3 has a lot of passwords
    Kid Icarus has a few passwords that let you start with invincibility
    Silver Surfer
    Metroid

    Same for SNES, e.g. Super Star Wars, Toy Story

    It's not really usual. Sure, most cheat codes didn't make you invincible, but that's just because there's a lot of different cheats out there, e.g. level select, having items, etc. And some of those titles aren't small, either.

    And plus, most of us stopped using them anyway.
    One could assume that kids today will tend to stop using them later, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SBaby View Post
    Back to the 'easy button' point. Here's a question to those of you that don't mind it. How would you feel if in Pokémon when you lost enough times, the game just automatically leveled all your Pokémon to 100, or gave you an item that could instantly one-shot every Pokémon on the opponent's team? Sounds kind of lame when I say it, right? Well, this is the direction game companies are heading, if they keep doing this.
    You're presenting two very different scenarios here. A mechanic that automatically levels your party up is a permanent and involuntary shift in game difficulty (not to mention inherently problematic given the way pokemon evolution works), a mechanic where you get a cheaty item to get you through a battle is both temporary (affecting only that battle) and optional (you can toss it out if you feel like it).

    Like I said in my post above, I think the player should have a choice in how much difficulty they want out of their game, so naturally I would be opposed to the former. However, it's also kind of a red herring, since nobody here has said that they're in favor of forcefully enabling cheats on people just for failing a stage a couple of times.

    As for the latter, I'd be mildly annoyed to encounter such a thing and inconvenienced for about a minute as I dig up the item from my bag, select it and discard it. A bit obnoxious and something I'd want a way to never hear from again, sure, but at the end of the day it would just be a trainer battle version of the Master Ball, which already has that same effect on encounters with anything in the wild.

    In fact, expanding on that thought, isn't Pokémon already giving you your very own tanuki suit in the form of event legendaries? You know, those high-stat pokemon with high-end moves, often handed out at high levels, that any kid can get into their party at pretty much any point of the game and then use to plow through the entire story on sheer brute force alone? Both those and the master ball are well-established staples of the series, both are used extensively by kids who don't have the patience to train an effective party or nail the harder captures, yet neither of them have ever ruined the gameplay experience for me in any way. I just stash the Master Ball in my bag and the legendaries in my PC box and don't give them a second thought.

    And that's the thing for me. This direction you say companies are heading? They aren't just heading there, they already went there. Decades ago. They've just gotten more comfortable with admitting they went there. What I'm concerned with is my ability to not go there, and that's best protected by adding options to the top of the scale rather than removing them from the bottom.
    Last edited by Creepychu; 23rd December 2013 at 12:02 AM.

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    There is a reason I refused to use the Super Guide in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, despite failing spectacularly at certain parts of the game.

    I would say that an easy win feature like the White Tanooki in the video would be useful for any Mario game harder than Kaizo Mario World (call me crazy, I would love it if Nintendo made a game with all levels that were Kaizo hard). Yes I have heard of the Impossible Pack (NSMB2 Coin Rush DLC), but I am talking about what could be a whole $60 dollar game with many levels that make you wish you did not spend the money. Such a game would be a bit harder to sell...
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    Easy mode is fine when it's not shoved down your throat, it's when it ruins the experience for veteran players when it becomes a problem. Pokemon has become a good example of this, where recent games have killed the exploration and the difficulty in the name of making the gameplay more accessible to little kids (and frankly, I don't think those steps were necessary in order to accomplish that).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bolt the Cat View Post
    Easy mode is fine when it's not shoved down your throat, it's when it ruins the experience for veteran players when it becomes a problem. Pokemon has become a good example of this, where recent games have killed the exploration and the difficulty in the name of making the gameplay more accessible to little kids (and frankly, I don't think those steps were necessary in order to accomplish that).
    The pokemon thing isn't so much a problem of difficulty. The in your face tutorials are pretty common in modern games in general and I think are their own problem. And the other parts are more raildroading than handholding in some cases. In White 2 I found that it made the game more frustrating and less intuitive, since I couldn't figure out what.

    I don't really think any of those things make it that much more accessible to kids however. I mean the games are already text heavy, so you need to be old enough to read well. And at that point I think it's safe to assume you know how to figure a good chunk of how the game works and what to do by yourself.


    But anyway, I loves me some difficulty levels. (or level select) I bought the game and I want to see all the content of it regardless of whether I am a pro at the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by 49ersgiantsfan View Post
    There is a reason I refused to use the Super Guide in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, despite failing spectacularly at certain parts of the game.

    I would say that an easy win feature like the White Tanooki in the video would be useful for any Mario game harder than Kaizo Mario World (call me crazy, I would love it if Nintendo made a game with all levels that were Kaizo hard). Yes I have heard of the Impossible Pack (NSMB2 Coin Rush DLC), but I am talking about what could be a whole $60 dollar game with many levels that make you wish you did not spend the money. Such a game would be a bit harder to sell...
    The "Lost Levels" (aka the real Super Mario Brothers 2) was sort of like that. I don't recall it doing as well as Nintendo hoped.
    Last edited by Zazie; 24th December 2013 at 3:06 PM.

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