GWJ Conference Call Episode 113

Conference Call

Prince of Persia, Resident Evil 5, Fallout 3: For The Masses, Word Flow, Bread Crumbs And Game Difficulty, Your Emails and more!

This week's Conference Call has been produced specifically for the masses. I'm not sure what that means, but I'm given to understand we'll be rich soon. Rich!

To contact us, email [email protected]! Send us your thoughts on the show, pressing issues you want to talk about or whatever else is on your mind. You can even send a 30 second audio question or comment (MP3 format please) if you're so inclined.

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"Anxious Tedium" - Ouranos OST (Tom Quinn) - www.citadel-studios.com - 0:45:43
"MMM Cowbell" (Greg Decker) - 1:09:07

Comments

Hi guys - love the podcast.

In regards to Fallout 3, I enjoyed the game overall, but it certainly should not be considered for game of the year. The game is unplayable in third person and the animation is atrocious. Did any of you hire Fawkes as your companion? Did you see the way he runs? It is unforgivably bad. Dogmeat was stiff and often times he was walking on air. I enjoyed the scope of Fallout 3, but I think the vastness really effected the final product in that it felt really unpolished.

I know it sounds like I hate the game, but I assure I don't. In fact, I know I will play it again. I just don't think it deserves to be put on such a high pedestal. The high scores (9 out of 10 -10 out 10) have me scratching my head.

-Laurance

I totally get what he's saying about Fallout 3. It just feels like it's been softened a bit.

In addition to being anti-climactic, the ending was about the 3rd easiest quest of the entire game. There's almost no action for you to take, your choices have largely been taken away from you, and frankly it's a bit dumb.

For a "Mature" game it really skirted some issues. Namely, the invulnerable children and glossing over of sex. F2 had a "Childslayer" rep. That's pretty edgy. Instead we're stuck with a kids movie at Lamplight Caverns. Sex was hinted at, but only just. Almost anything would have been better than the bare hints they left. They should have put something a little more complete in or just left it out entirely.

The VATS system had Action Points but it was really just an aided targetting sytem. The different actions all took the same number of AP. You never even saw the exact amount of points just just a bunch of bars. No tradeoff of accuracy for points spent. No switching weapons instead of reloading. No single fire vs. burst fire. These all could have been added without making the system too complicated with defaults and letting people choose the more sophisticated options.

I think that's what it boils down too. Overall the game was great, but it just didn't offer the sophisticated gameplay and mature options that I want from a Fallout title.

In the podcast, Elysium says the following:

Quote:

I don't want to have to die in any part of a game before I understand how to get past it.

Based on this, I have two questions:

1) Do the rest of you agree with this?

2) If so, how do you get any sense of accomplishment from games?

What I understood from his comment is that without dying there is just no way to tell how to get through a section of the game without blind luck. I mentioned the blind jumps you sometimes find in the Tomb Raider series. A lot of times it's just because of poor camera control. Either way it sucks. I should at least be able to see where I need to go at all times.

Another example I can think of are bosses that switch tactics so fast there is no way to react to what they are about to do without knowing in advance what it is you need to do in order to counteract the move. Thus dying multiple times as you fight the boss over and over again, slowly getting them closer and closer to death. This used to be a staple in most video games and I am glad I don't see it as often as I used to.

As for the second question. Just getting through a game now a days give me that sense of a accomplishment, for a few reasons. First it means the story was interesting enough that I cared to find out what happens, and second the game mechanics didn't become monotonous and kept me engaged. I'll give you an example. The game mechanics in Mirror's Edge, at least the Parcour part kept me engaged throughout the game. It was just the right amount of challenge vs fun for me. The game wasn't perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but it did enough right to keep me going.

By the way, I'd like to thank the Goodjer crew for keeping the WoW content light this week. I really appreciate it.

Zelos wrote:

The Valkyria Chronicles example in the podcast would have had me pulling the disk out of the drive in frustration: requiring foreknowledge of the level in order to win is stupid, especially in a strategy game. Final Fantasy Tactics did that a lot as well, IIRC.

I haven't played Valkyria Chronicles but from what I understand of tactics, I'm not sure you'd need to know that tank was going to pop up to be prepared for it. In the real world, you don't send in a tank without giving it support (we re-learned that the hard way during the invasion of Iraq). While obviously Valkyria Chronicles is not the real world, I tend to apply real world tactics to TRPGs until I've learned what actually works and does not. For instance, I don't think it's unfair for enemy melee units to slaughter your archers if you stick them out front, or even for enemy units to spawn in and flank you if you're not guarding your flank.

LobsterMobster wrote:

I haven't played Valkyria Chronicles but from what I understand of tactics, I'm not sure you'd need to know that tank was going to pop up to be prepared for it. In the real world, you don't send in a tank without giving it support (we re-learned that the hard way during the invasion of Iraq). While obviously Valkyria Chronicles is not the real world, I tend to apply real world tactics to TRPGs until I've learned what actually works and does not.

Possibly: from the way the I understood it from the podcast it sounded worse than that, like the emergence of a second unexpected boss after killing the first one. I guess if it's been established that units can appear on the field with no warning then it's acceptable.

I'm planning on buying the game anyway, so I guess I'll see for myself soon enough

Just got to the part about Lara emerging from the water and was rather relieved to find you all were not talking about poor Katerin that way.

Zelos wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

I haven't played Valkyria Chronicles but from what I understand of tactics, I'm not sure you'd need to know that tank was going to pop up to be prepared for it. In the real world, you don't send in a tank without giving it support (we re-learned that the hard way during the invasion of Iraq). While obviously Valkyria Chronicles is not the real world, I tend to apply real world tactics to TRPGs until I've learned what actually works and does not.

Possibly: from the way the I understood it from the podcast it sounded worse than that, like the emergence of a second unexpected boss after killing the first one. I guess if it's been established that units can appear on the field with no warning then it's acceptable.

I'm planning on buying the game anyway, so I guess I'll see for myself soon enough :-)

Yeah, next time there's a PS3 price drop I'll be getting it too.

Certis wrote:
Guy Who Sings Stuff wrote:

Regarding PoP - wait, wait, wait.... You're saying that getting a scar and instantly reviving (thus no game over or death) in Fable 2 is harder than the mechanic in Prince of Persia? That seems like an arbitrary decision on what is easier when both are basically the same. It wouldn't make sense to have scarring in Prince of Persia... and you don't 'improve'r your character like you do in an RPG so what would you have to take away? It's exactly the same mechanic.

Of course it's harder, but you can't look at that one game mechanic in a vacuum. Fable 2 is a (relatively) harder game because death means you lose experience and gain more scars. You're also placed in combat situations where there can be a wide variety of ways to kill your enemies, and not all of them effective. There were times when I was overwhelmed and got dropped a number of times before I could beat my way through. It's not simply a question of whether or not there's a fail state upon "death."

In Prince of Persia you end up back where you started as if nothing happened. Combat is a process of figuring out which order you press the buttons to slip past the bad guy's defense, and holding the block button between attempts. I'm not even arguing that this is a bad thing, but it's definitely a cake walk.

I couldn't disagree more. Prince of Persia is not a terribly hard game, but your criticism is off the mark. Instead of implementing a checkpoint prompt when you die, they went for Elika pulling you from inevitable death. This was a great decision by the designers, because it never takes you out of the world by throwing a lame menu screen in your face. Having Elika take you to the last solid piece of ground was a great decision as well. I don't know what other people think, but I hate playing through a platforming section only to die toward the end and have to repeat long sections over and over till I get that one stupid poorly designed jump right. They have eliminated that frustration almost entirely. This is a good thing. I am being rewarded for the sections I nailed and only punished for segments I didn't quite master.

The combat follows the same philosophy. Instead of killing you, sending you to a menu screen, and rebooting the boss section, it has Elika save you and some health is returned to the boss. I still got "killed" (knocked down enough to have the bosses health restored) quite a bit in this game, but I was never jacked out of the experience to a menu screen and forced to restart the fight or load a previous save. I have found the combat to be hard. I have nailed my timing with the platforming, but I still cannot string good combos together regularly in battles. If it wasn't for Elika, I would be seeing that dreaded retry screen over and over and over.

I will concede that Prince of Persia is designed to be easier than its predecessors, but the Elika guardian system is not the reason. It is simply a way to keep the player in the world without have to hit start/retry over and over. It is the sort of thing we should be applauding them for doing. You may have issues with the games difficulty, but your criticism is focused on the wrong game element.

Elika is simply a checkpoint/autosave system, but embodied in an actual game character that also functions as a ranged attack and double jump. It is bloody genius. I hope all games follow a similar philosophy. Anything developers can dream up to keep me in the world and out of menus is welcome.

Have we lived with retry, save, and menu screens for so long that we feel cheated when they are not there?

C'mon. Shake the cobwebs off the ol' gamer brain and embrace the "immersion." Games like Dead Space, Far Cry 2, Fable 2, and now Prince of Persia are trying to devise logical conceits that keep the gamer from seeing the wizard behind the curtain. None of the games does it completely, but they all have incorporated elements of that philosophy, from bread crumb trials, to buddies pulling you out of harms way, to powersuits with health meters and built in projectors. All of those things are designed to make your experience more natural and less old school arcadey. Play more? Insert 2 tokens please?

Regarding breadcrumb trails, someone on the show (I can tell you apart, but I need to take notes if I'm going to comment on something that happens at the forty-five minute mark of a two hour show) used Half-Life 2 and BioShock as examples of games whose levels had been designed in such a way that breadcrumbs weren't necessary. In what way is BioShock's compass different from Fable 2's breadcrumbs or Dead Space's glowing line?

I haven't played Fable 2, so I can't comment on the always-on golden trail, but as a player I was grateful for BioShock's compass and Dead Space's glowing line. Both games had murky environments without a great deal of variation in the areas you were passing through, and I appreciated not having to spend a good deal of time wandering around lost while trying to remember which of the six or seven rooms with pipes and blood was McMillicancuddy's Storage Room.

Gaald wrote:

Another example I can think of are bosses that switch tactics so fast there is no way to react to what they are about to do without knowing in advance what it is you need to do in order to counteract the move. Thus dying multiple times as you fight the boss over and over again, slowly getting them closer and closer to death. This used to be a staple in most video games and I am glad I don't see it as often as I used to.

I think the worst of these types of bosses that I've encountered was Meta-Ridley in the first Metroid Prime. That was one of the most insanely difficult bosses that I've ever fought, and the only real strategy for defeating him was to learn his attack patterns to the second and respond accordingly.

Gaald wrote:

We tend to record on the weekend usually Saturday, which gives gives me plenty of oh sh*t time if something goes wrong, that isn't always the case but certainly most of the time. Unlike a lot of other shows I spend a lot of time editing ours. I'd like to think it makes a difference, and I will continue to think so.

You ought to continue to think so. The show is fantastically produced and very well edited. You do a very good job of taking what must be a rambling, digressive conversation and turning it into a nicely paced conversation that still feels spontaneous. I've done a decent amount of audio editing and have always had a problem striking a good balance between conversations sounding too loose or too scripted, so I know how hard that can be at times. Great job.

Boo on Rob for trying to redefine the term "co-op game" which has been used for years to mean humans working together versus the computer. I'm glad he was overruled!

That's a lot of words to rebut a point I didn't actually make, Heavyfuel. Read my post again, I clearly said it's not a bad thing, but it is an easy game.

You do a very good job of taking what must be a rambling, digressive conversation and turning it into a nicely paced conversation that still feels spontaneous.

I have been very lucky in that the chemistry between us has always been pretty good and continues to get better, that includes Cory and Michael. A lot of the editing I find has to do with that fact that we are not all in the same room and VOIP isn't a perfect solution.

heavyfeul wrote:

Games like Dead Space, Far Cry 2, Fable 2, and now Prince of Persia are trying to devise logical conceits that keep the gamer from seeing the wizard behind the curtain. None of the games does it completely, but they all have incorporated elements of that philosophy, from bread crumb trials, to buddies pulling you out of harms way, to powersuits with health meters and built in projectors. All of those things are designed to make your experience more natural and less old school arcadey. Play more? Insert 2 tokens please?

Who invited Mr. Rational?

(Excellently put.)

Gaald wrote:

I have been very lucky in that the chemistry between us has always been pretty good and continues to get better, that includes Cory and Michael.

I'm choosing the 1663 definition:

Chymistry (1663) – a scientific art, by which one learns to dissolve bodies.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Yeah, next time there's a PS3 price drop I'll be getting it too.

I'll start considering the PS3 then, and of course, Valkyria will be on my list of games to get.

As for some old co-op fun, Secret of Mana was probably the highlight of my SNES co-op gaming. It had 3 player drop in / out at any time gameplay with 3 distinct characters. I think I played through the whole game with a friend, which for that game, is no easy task.

Then again this was the same friend that would study with me while playing the original Final Fantasy. We would take turns leveling up our party and the one while not playing would ask qustions about the material. It worked out fantastically since the combat was that easy when just fighting in the hall of giants or whatever it was.

Certis wrote:

That's a lot of words to rebut a point I didn't actually make, Heavyfuel. Read my post again, I clearly said it's not a bad thing, but it is an easy game.

I'll be more succinct. You said the Elika saves make the game easy, but, Elika's saves, in combat and in platforming, have absolutely no effect on game difficulty. She is simply a save/retry menu embodied in a game character. I guarantee if you had to restart, via a menu, from a previous save every time you failed/died in the game, you would have a far different perspective on the game's difficulty level.

That being said, I found the platforming timing to be forgiving and quick to master, but the combat timing (linking combos and blocking) to be a lot more difficult to pin down. You may find the game to be easy, but it is not because of Elika. I feel they have taken that old school somewhat punishing game play and masked it so well that people think the game is a cake walk. But it really isn't.

Let's see how many people get this achievement:

Be Gentle with Her - Elika saves you fewer than 100 times in the whole game.

How many times did you die in Fallout 3? Gears of War 2? Is the number for either game even close to 100? I have died maybe six or seven times in Fallout 3 through 8-10 hours of game play. Using my new Fallout 3 character, I have yet to die even once. On the other hand, I don't think I will get that, "Be Gentle with Her," achievement in Prince of Persia.

Certis wrote:

It's not simply a question of whether or not there's a fail state upon "death."
...
In Prince of Persia you end up back where you started as if nothing happened.<--These two statement are related to combat, not jumping and exploring. My bad.--> Combat is a process of figuring out which order you press the buttons to slip past the bad guy's defense.
...
You'll notice I haven't talked about missing jumps and being saved all the time. I don't have a problem with that because as you say, it's really not much different than what's out there already. The combat itself just feels like a quicktime event without the button flashing on the screen to me. If it's near-Soul Calibur to you, I can respect that.

heavyfuel wrote:

I'll be more succinct. You said the Elika saves make the game easy, but, Elika's saves, in combat and in platforming, have absolutely no effect on game difficulty. She is simply a save/retry menu embodied in a game character. I guarantee if you had to restart, via a menu, from a previous save every time you failed/died in the game, you would have a far different perspective on the game's difficulty level.

Tell me how I'll feel about tonight's dinner while you're at it. Prince of Persia is easy because it has removed the concern of timing jumps and button presses with any accuracy in the meat of the game -- exploration. That's it. They do not give the player very much room to screw up, and I'm not talking about how they handle "death" through an in-game cutscene moment. The only time you need to really rely on precision is when you need to parry something in combat.

This was not the case in the first Prince of Persia game, which made time reversal a resource you had to manage rather than a guaranteed catch-all for every situation. It also let the player "fail" by jumping too early (or late) rather than just queue up the button press and make the Prince automatically jump off the wall at the proper time.

Your points about how they represent death and quick-loads are good and I agree with you. They have NOTHING to do with why I think the new Prince of Persia is about as easy as Lobster's mom on bingo night.

To reiterate: I don't think this being an easy game is a bad thing. It's just different than usual and worth noting when you're discussing it with people who may plan to drop $60 on it.

Certis wrote:

Tell me how I'll feel about tonight's dinner while you're at it.

It will be chicken. You will love it. But, it will be so tender and juicy, you will feel it was too easy to chew;)

NMA forever argued to make Fallout 3 a Fallout game, because Fallout was special.
When it came out, and even today, its a great game. I can forever see that glimpse of awesome that was in it.
Fallout 3 misses that glimpse. It is a good game, but seems more of an Ikea furniture set rather than a craftsman table that was carved from a single piece of wood.
This is the only way I can describe how I feel about Fallout 3, a game which is good, but not good enough.

Oh for the love of he that has no name. I did not know that thing about the flag in little big planet. No wonder no one ever joined my game.

Someone mentioned this post - http://www.escapistmagazine.com/arti...

Forgetting two things:

1) PoP's mechanics and controls are not nearly as tight or demanding as Mirror's Edge, there is arguably an order of magnitude of difference between the two. This is the real reason behind the complaints about PoP being "too easy" or giving the player very little sense of reward. But most players don't know why they feel the way they do and instinctively blame the checkpoint mechanic. PoP would be nicely balanced if it had the mechanics and controls of Sands of Time and the Elika checkpoints.

2) It's a video game. Both of these games involve doing things that are unrealistic for 99.9999999999% of the population. Games are such a amazing medium because they allow you to do things that you otherwise couldn't do. Dying 50 times also isn't very realistic but if the player buys into the experience of the world they will also buy into the consequences of the world.

As far as the "for the masses" thing... Now that videogames have become such a huge money-making enterprise, is it that surprising that games like FO3 are going to go more vanilla (as delightful of a flavor as that can be) by filing down the edges a bit? In an industry where big games are splashed all over glossy magazines and discussed ad nauseum on the internet years before release, the developers don't want to turn off The Masses by making things too ... unpalatable, for lack of a better term. They are designing to reach the largest possible audience/market, so they'll dumb down the sex and the child killing and the pimping of the wife, etc. to be sure that they can make the most money possible.

That's not to say that I don't think FO3 is an excellent game, for what it is. Not having played FO1 or FO2, I was really taken with the environment and had a blast exploring the wasteland, crappy ending aside. But I do agree that there is something being lost — opportunities are missed — by having to appeal to those damned Masses.

Certis wrote:

Well, Duoae, I just don't think we're on the same page with this difficulty thing. You'll notice I haven't talked about missing jumps and being saved all the time. I don't have a problem with that because as you say, it's really not much different than what's out there already. The combat itself just feels like a quicktime event without the button flashing on the screen to me. If it's near-Soul Calibur to you, I can respect that.

I might suggest Lego Starwars as your next game, it's nearly God of War when it comes to fighting action! :nicekiss:

LoL... i did play Lego Starwars and Indy but they were too boring and simple for me and had no challenge or punishment for failing

rabbit wrote:
heavyfeul wrote:

Games like Dead Space, Far Cry 2, Fable 2, and now Prince of Persia are trying to devise logical conceits that keep the gamer from seeing the wizard behind the curtain. None of the games does it completely, but they all have incorporated elements of that philosophy, from bread crumb trials, to buddies pulling you out of harms way, to powersuits with health meters and built in projectors. All of those things are designed to make your experience more natural and less old school arcadey. Play more? Insert 2 tokens please?

Who invited Mr. Rational?

(Excellently put.)

Wait... isn't this what i said? Just worded slightly differently.... i need to work on my American because i seem to not be being understood...

But yeah, Certis i can certainly see that you think the game is very easy - i think it is too. I was just picking up on a preponderance of people seeming to say that the amount of times you fail seems to indicate difficulty. Perhaps we are on different pages and forever will be star mis-crossed 'lovers' on this issue....

I'm kinda surprised that people feel Fallout 3 is "for the masses." I've put several hours into the game now and while I'm still not all that far in I'm amazed at how challenging it is! Ammo is scarce, enemies are tough and healing is limited. Maybe I'm just playing in such a way that I find it more challenging but it is tough. I'm saving a lot and barely getting through areas. To me, that level of difficulty is not something that aims for the masses.

Regarding the bleak atmosphere, I'm amazed at how much more interesting I find this game than something like Oblivion. I love high fantasy, don't get me wrong, but this completely gutted world is just very cool. I get excited when I find ammo or a stimpack because they are somewhat rare. Again, I haven't dug too deep into the game yet but the world feels much more hand-crafted. Oblivion felt like a lot of pre-generated terrain and forests/foliage. Fallout 3 feels like a world that someone has put together very carefully, which is amazing for something of its scope. It is interesting to explore and I find the loneliness really adds to the experience. Rarely do I pick the "evil" choices in a RPG my first time through but in Fallout 3 being mean feels so very appropriate in this setting. I don't care about people, I just want to survive. No other RPG has really made me feel that way.

I do think that it is an easy game to put down and forget about, though. There's no single aspect of it that completely hooks you. Oblivion was that way for me. Great game, lots to do and some really cool moments but eventually I put it down, played other stuff and never thought about going back. It is quite possible I'll hit that point in Fallout 3 but right now the conversations and the wasteland survival feeling really has me hooked.

Duoae wrote:

But yeah, Certis i can certainly see that you think the game is very easy - i think it is too. I was just picking up on a preponderance of people seeming to say that the amount of times you fail seems to indicate difficulty. Perhaps we are on different pages and forever will be star mis-crossed 'lovers' on this issue.... :nicekiss:

I would say the game is difficult if there is an achievement to avoid being saved 100 times during the course of a game. It may not be Ghost and Goblins, but the failure rate in this game is very akin to the old school die, die, die, till you get it perfect mentality of a lot of classic games of the past.

If you do not think that the number of failures you experience through the course of a game has any bearing on the difficulty, if we can't all agree on that, then it becomes hard to argue since we are operating from different perspectives altogether. I would contend that because you fail so often in the game, that it is difficult. The Elika saves simply keep your brain from realizing how bad you really are at the game.

It was a great decision to design the game in this fashion and I hope all action games of this type do a similar thing. Ubisoft made a lame attempt at this in Assassin's Creed with the "resyncing" when you die, but they missed the mark completely; it still felt like a retry screen in my head. Designing Far Cry 2 and Prince of Persia they must have read up on their psychology, b/c they got a lot smarter about it. They did it so well that they have created a mass delusion of easy as pie game play in Prince of Persia. If Elika was not there it would be a very frustrating and un-fun experience. That is the genius of it. Same game play, totally different mentality by keeping the player in the world through restarts. This is the sort of next-gen. design intelligence I like to see.

Is it easier than the other Prince of Persia games? Probably, but the failure rate is still pretty high and inline with other similar 3rd-person action games.

heavyfeul wrote:
Duoae wrote:

But yeah, Certis i can certainly see that you think the game is very easy - i think it is too. I was just picking up on a preponderance of people seeming to say that the amount of times you fail seems to indicate difficulty. Perhaps we are on different pages and forever will be star mis-crossed 'lovers' on this issue.... :nicekiss:

If you do not think that the number of failures you experience through the course of a game has any bearing on the difficulty, if we can't all agree on that, then it becomes hard to argue since we are operating from different perspectives altogether. I would contend that because you fail so often in the game, that it is difficult. The Elika saves simply keep your brain from realizing how bad you really are at the game.

Sorry heavyfuel, i seem to have mistyped in my haste to rib Certis. What i meant to say was more along the lines of, "I was just picking up on a preponderance of people seeming to say that the amount you are punished seems to indicate difficulty". I obviously got a little bit confused what with all the *nicekissing* going on.

Please see my other posts for how i was making my argument very similar to what you just posted there

[edit] Just to help prove my point:

Duoae wrote:

Also, i think you guys need a redefinition of easy. Easy means that you don't need the game's help or that you don't ever fail or die in the game. Easy isn't when you fail but there's little to no punishment for failing. I can't count the number of times i 'died' (failed) but was helped (saved) by Elika. Are we now equating a difficulty of a game with lack of punishment? There's the same misconception in the thread in the gaming forum too.

Thanks for readying my e-mail guys. Nice warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Switchbreak wrote:

I always read "datyedyeguy" as "the tie-dye guy." Like maybe he's a big hippie or something.

Yay, somebody figured it out! ( I was the school hippie back in the day also )

I think a problem that we all have when we start talking about difficulty is our own definition of difficult. I realized this while listening to the podcast and 'the group' talked about difficult things in games that I never thought were difficult. I'm not saying that I'm a great gamer, but I'm saying that these things I thought were flaws in the game design and execution. Now, I haven't played Fable 2, but it doesn't seem like to me finding yourself around in a world makes the game difficult. If you need to rely on your breadcrumbs to find your way around without being tedious about it, it's bad game design, not difficulty. In a JRPG, you don't know which town to go to because the townspeople didn't tell you and you have to explore and find it on your own? Bad game design. In Portal, where the game is a puzzle, having to find your way from one end of the room to another is difficulty. Having to memorize enemy patterns and coming up with proper strategies to defeat said enemy, that's difficulty. Having to make a series of jumps/leaps/swings/etc that require timing/precision and planning ahead, that's difficulty. Beating No Mercy on Expert, that's difficulty. Once people agree on the terms and what the terms mean, then we can have a solid discussion about it. Then again, it's all up to opinion, so to each their own. I'll be waiting for Mega Man 10 for my next 'challenge'.

Certis, I look forward to the review of Reader Rabbit.

Great show as usual guys!

Duoae wrote:

Please see my other posts for how i was making my argument very similar to what you just posted there :)

Oops. It can be hard for me to keep the whole thread and all involved in my head. My mistake.

heavyfeul wrote:
Duoae wrote:

Please see my other posts for how i was making my argument very similar to what you just posted there :)

Oops. It can be hard for me to keep the whole thread and all involved in my head. My mistake.

Nah, i'm the one at fault. Was too busy playing 'gay chicken' with Certis.

Datyedyeguy wrote:

I think a problem that we all have when we start talking about difficulty is our own definition of difficult.

Good point. Based on your definition, which I agree with, I would say that PoP is a difficult game that is very well designed. It is so well designed that it is able to remove the frustration from its difficulty almost completely. Having a generous checkpoint system (every stable platform, including enemy platforms) makes the game easier though. I think that is root of the complaints. The checkpoint system, which Elika is the go-between for, is forgiving and makes the game less difficult. Maybe I am just splitting hairs...maybe not.