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Any difficult modern games?
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Author:  Espozo [ Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Any difficult modern games?

Well, Splatoon 2 is coming out in a couple of days and once I actually get a Switch just for this game, I figured I would complete the story mode first before doing anything else. The story mode in the original game was piss-easy, but I got to thinking, what games from the 7th console generation and beyond even remotely qualify as difficult? Only Dark Souls? (What even makes that game difficult anyway? I've never played it.) I'd almost make the same case for the sixth console generation if it weren't for Super Monkey Ball 1 and 2, and especially F-Zero GX, which because of story mode is, without a doubt, the hardest game I've ever played. God damn, Chapters 5-8 on Very Hard make even R-Type II look easy in comparison, which is already far ahead of any Castlevania game.

Author:  93143 [ Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Any difficult modern games?

For Switch specifically, I'd say Zelda on hard mode (it comes with the paid DLC for some reason). Reportedly the Trial of the Sword (also part of the DLC) can be quite a gauntlet in hard mode.

ARMS has been described as having a "crushing difficulty curve" even in the single-player mode (and Ranked mode is locked until you beat the single-player Grand Prix at a certain difficulty level, meaning everyone you face online in Ranked is guaranteed to be at least that good). I know you've expressed strong disinterest in it, but by all accounts it qualifies.

I have no direct personal experience with either game - the only current-gen hardware I own is the 3DS, and I have very little time for it lately. Hopefully somebody else who knows more will show up and give you a better answer...

Author:  Shonumi [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Any difficult modern games?

You should check out some of the newer Wipeout games or at least their remastered versions. Specifically, I picked up Wipeout Omega Collection last weekend, and even some of the lower class races get pretty intense. I think a lot of people have the impression that F-Zero GX was the pinnacle of futuristic racing games, and that nothing compares to its level of difficulty, but I'd say otherwise.

Also, Horizon Zero Dawn came out with a patch for a New Game+ mode that unlocks the Ultra Hard mode. Currently giving that a go. Enemy AI is on steroids now. Even the least harmful enemies on normal difficulty will kill you in two hits. I've only died once so far, but it's fairly brutal, even with maxed out HP.

Author:  rainwarrior [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Any difficult modern games?

I really loved Wipeout HD / Fury on the PS3. Every increase in difficulty seemed impossible at first,

Odin Sphere and Volgarr were both quite difficult in a fair and satisfying way.

Super Meat Boy was pretty difficult, though a lot of the more difficult stuff is in a split-second-twitch way that I don't find very fun, so I only finished main campaign and character unlocks etc., but didn't do many of the "hell" levels.

Dark Souls was a great game, "what makes is difficult" is a complicated question that I'm not going to attempt to cover, but what makes it good to me is that it's difficulty is generally quite fair. When I die in Dark Souls (and I die often) I know why. I saw that I was taking a risk, and I failed. This structure reminded me a lot of Super R-Type, trying the same gauntlet over and over until you find a good path through it, until you get to the next checkpoint.

I'd also say a lot of fighting games are kind of inscrutably difficult, but that's just how the genre works these days. In a similar way, Starcraft 2 online takes a lot of focused training to get even a basic level of skill.

Author:  Myask [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Any difficult modern games?

^^^that's always been a problem. Standard play and competitive in those are basically not the same game. (Fun fact about Dark Souls: vagrants, those weird, so-rare-as-to-seem-never-happens crabs that provide items someone else dropped, are In The Manual.)

DKCR was hard, I guess? (well, sure, not if you spam buyable items, but…) Especially on Mirror Mode where you don't get the mercies of jetpack, etc.

Author:  Jayden Garrison [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Any difficult modern games?

I heard Dark Soul is hard.

Author:  Sumez [ Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Any difficult modern games?

I think it's really difficult for me to both judge and compare the difficulty of games designed around head-to-head competitive gameplay, such as fighting games, racing, or even real time strategy.

For pure single player experiences there's not so much of this any more, and even when something is difficult, it can be kind of difficult to compare it to, say, an arcade game, due to different standards for progression through the game. Dark Souls, for example, while an extremely challenging game, is also absurdly lenient, and never punishes you for failing, instead it just instantly respawns you with everything you had (except your souls, which you'd be better off not getting too attached to anyway). So you can fail over and over and over again and not really care. In this case, it's much easier to brute force your way through compared to, say, Bubble Bobble, where the game just ends when you run out of live (not counting continues, of course).
Overall I would say Dark Souls is definitely difficult due to the challenge in overcoming each individual challenge or bossfight, ie. every trek from one checkpoint to the next. And what makes it difficult is that you need to always be on your toes, pick the correct moves, and time them well. Making just a single mistake could easily mean instant death (and a return to the checkpoint).

It's not absurdly difficult in itself, but it's definitely a design philosophy closer to the classic action games of a few decades ago, than the typical modern single player game.


If "retro" styled indie games count, I'd say anything by Locomalito (Cursed Castilla EX) or Astro Port (Gigantic Army) is worth looking into. Those games are pretty challenging.

Author:  Dwedit [ Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Any difficult modern games?

Play some Rabi Ribi, it's a bullet-hell metroidvania platformer.

Author:  Oziphantom [ Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Any difficult modern games?

On Switch Sine Mora EX (not sure if it is out yet or not ) does/will go from mostly easy to insanely hard with its difficulty settings.

Author:  Sumez [ Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Any difficult modern games?

There are a billion other shoot'em ups out there, and most are harder than Sine Mora. More importantly, almost every one of them is a better purchase. Sine Mora is really bad, unfortunately. :(

A few good suggestions among more or less recent shooters could be Dariusburst, Crimzon Clover, or Hydorah.

Author:  Jayden Garrison [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Any difficult modern games?

Oh yeah and Dota2. It is hard for me cuz I generally play league of legends and Dota2 is kinda similar to League but a lot harder.

Author:  spookgoblin [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Any difficult modern games?

I don't think it's been said yet, but Furi is bloody difficult and an absolute blast to play. It fuses together all my favorite genres and sports a really rockin' soundtrack with some songs by one of my favorite synthwave artists!

Helldivers is a great one, too. It borrows a bit from Arrowhead's previous Magicka games but focuses really heavily on the twin-stick shooter aspect. Not to mention it's got a very Starship Troopers vibe (which is always a plus).

Would it be too easy to say Shovel Knight? I've been playing through some of the newly-released DLC and it's proving just as fun and just as challenging as the core campaign.

Author:  never-obsolete [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Any difficult modern games?

Super Cyborg has been challenging.

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