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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:17 pm 
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I just came to think of one thing that i think i'd file in the "don't do this" cabinet regarding difficulty:

In SMB2 (u/e), a continue is worth as many extra lives as you can get, which in turn is closely related to
1)finding as many coins as possible
2)using those coins in the one-armed bandit.

The potental sum of that outweighs finding 1ups in the wild. Because this is the most common form of getting extra lives, it effectively means that the difficulty of the game is a factor of how good you are at winning on the one armed bandit after each stage. The skill of a fun but redundant mini game shouldn't really be able to be so influential.

This is also very unlike secret 1up mushrooms. These make getting through the game easier as a reward for thoroughly exploring and getting to know the levels.

It's not the only game to have a mini-game reward you with extra lives, but it's a game where the outcome of the minigame is so significant in terms of 1ups. Even SMB3 which has a number of such minigames has tons of varying mechanisms which all spam 1ups, so roulettes/bandits matter somewhat less and if one of them isn't your strong suit, maybe some other is.

On the other hand, collecting secret coins and using them is part of the fun, so i'm not really sure... i just think it's a bit too influential, in hindsight.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:16 pm 
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Bonus levels/minigames is a part of games that I've always loved though. It's a nice and fresh feeling to take a break from the normal mechanics, with a game where losing usually only means that you miss out on the bonus. And getting good at it and winning as much as possible may be a fun challenge in itself (who doesn't try to get all the coins in the coin heavens?).

But yeah Mario games are quite generous with dishing out 1UPs left and right from SMUSA and onwards . SMB1 and SMB2j have better balanced bonus levels that only gives coins or some power up (the coins are especially appreciated in SMB2j). But I have to say I love the bandit in SMUSA and the variety of the bonus minigames in SMB3, even if they shower you in 1UPs and items.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:35 pm 
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Oh, i'm not against mini-games and bonus games, they can be great! Definitely agree that they can help complement a game a lot.

That one struck me as being a bit off-balance speaking strictly in terms of different difficulties. But i guess you can argue it may potentially help players with less platforming experience get through the game easier if they happen to be good at timing slots instead. It's a random scenario, but it's there.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:32 pm 
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Yes I used to be good at getting the cherries in the slots (not anymore though), and I was definitely a much worse platform game player back then than I am now, so I probably needed the 1UPs a lot more. It's a much more skill-dependant machine than real one-armed bandits are, it's not for gambling after all. I used to get as much coins as possible so I could play it more. Nowdays I think it's a bit tedious and might even skip out on coins so I don't have to play so much slots.

The SMB3 minigames also had their tricks. For example I noticed that the lower left card in the memory game was always a star. This was long before I knew that they use fixed patterns.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:42 pm 
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Really good point about the minigames/slot machines. As much as SMB2 is a great game, that's definitely a flawed mechanic, and skews the perspective of the game's challenge towards how well you'll get perfect 1up-rewards in that minigame (which is really easy too, as far as I remember). Of course, this does assume the approach I suggested where any time you use a continue, it counts towards the game's difficulty. Otherwise 1ups are meaningless. :P

Pokun wrote:
3 is much easier than 1 and 2, and the spawn points are even less aggressive (you have to go quite far to make an enemy respawn), and there's almost no memorization at all. The bosses are also much easier. I used tons on continues on this one too but I have played this game much less than the first two as this is my least favourite out of them. It's the most polished one though, with best graphics, effects and controls.

3 is indeed a much more "polished" game than the first two. It loses a lot of the unique charm that defines them, and 1 is still my favourite partly due to how lean and unique it is in what it does, but 3 is a much more stereotypical, classic NES sidescrolling action platformer. As such, though it's an absolutely perfect example of those games, a subgenre that kind of died with the NES, too. I regret that it is as easy as it is, as despite being fun, it outlives its potential after a few hours, compared to the first two games which remain being fun years after beating them the first time.
Fortunately they remedied that in the US release, with a much higher damage scale and more thought out and challenging bonus item placements. The result is a game that's infamous for perhaps going too much in the opposite direction though. It's certainly been too daunting for me to pick up so far, but one day I know I will defeat it. It's a game that deserves it.

Myask wrote:
Infinite continues means the highest/longest continuous performance is limited to "between any two checkpoints". You only need to play "at least yea good" for any segment once.
Without continues, you need to play "at least yea good" for the entire run; which means you need to become consistent at playing well, or raise exponentially with length your number of tries to just happen upon the right move.

Exactly... :)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:37 pm 
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Yes and the story in 3 is also less exciting, although I honestly think it was the best approach or they would have to repeat the same basic story as the first two games a third time. It also has many improvements in controls and such, so it's a shame it lost so much charm. You don't have to remember what ninjutsu you get from what container anymore because the containers are see-through.

I really recommend the OVA though, it takes place after all three games (some time after Ninja Gaiden 2). It's story is good and could very well have been used in a fourth game, and you even get to know what happened with Robert which wasn't clear in the second game. It really feels like a cannon part of the series (which it probably also is) and not some cheap anime filler episode.

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this does assume the approach I suggested where any time you use a continue, it counts towards the game's difficulty. Otherwise 1ups are meaningless.
Super Mario USA has limited continues if I remember correctly.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:33 pm 
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Pokun wrote:
you even get to know what happened with Robert which wasn't clear in the second game.

I thought Robert died. Didn't the game make it clear he sacrificed himself? :?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:04 am 
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Bregalad wrote:
Am I the only one who find SMB difficult ? I mean there's only a single hit point, and the movement control is so erratic, I hate it. I prefer heroes running at constant speed, I hate how Mario accelerate and decelerates so slowly. I probably didn't get much further than world 2-4 or something. However in SMB3 it's much more easier for some reason, this is the only Mario game where I really went far (although I don't think I've beaten it).

Oh, I'm right there with you. (Although I've beaten SMB3 several times.) The mechanics in SMB are a bit frustrating sometimes (but also in a way more realistic; a real person isn't going to suddenly face the other direction in midair), while 3 is smooth if not ideal in motion control.

One of the difficulties that make me shy away from completing SMB1, however, are the pattern/path areas (e.g., 7-4), where I basically have to commit minutes of trial and error for one stage.

Sumez wrote:
2. Battletoads - one of the games you'll see mentioned most often when people talk about difficult NES games. And yeah, this game is really difficult.

Now this is a seriously difficult game. I mean, I managed to complete it through state saving, but it took days to complete. No matter how hard I tried, I found the Clinger Winger (Buzzball) level impossible; I could only get to a later stage by skipping it.

DRW wrote:
Even "Vice - Project Doom"? I was under the assumption that this will not be one of those Nintendo-hard games, but more in the average difficulty category.

Vice - Project Doom was ridiculous. Not only do you seem to get infinite weapons (wait a few seconds, you mysteriously have two more grenades on you), but Game Over only sets you back a little ways. (Maybe this is only the case in the English language version?)

tepples wrote:
You know, like the infinite spin and other "world" rules that The Tetris Company has been enforcing on most products since 2001.

Ugh. Lol. I didn't and wouldn't know since I play only the original Gameboy version (even if it is in grayscale) or Tetris Max. :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:12 am 
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S..story in Ninja Gaiden? There's a story? :P


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:07 am 
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ap9 wrote:
Now this is a seriously difficult game. I mean, I managed to complete it through state saving, but it took days to complete. No matter how hard I tried, I found the Clinger Winger (Buzzball) level impossible; I could only get to a later stage by skipping it.

I think you're misremembering because I don't think the clinger winger is skipable. Did you mean the volkmire inferno ?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:13 am 
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Yeah, there's no warp past the clinger winger level. You could game genie past it though?

I also thought the clinger winger was impossible, at first. It's really just down to learning where to time the change and getting used to that. You can sorta make it easier by hitting pause at every corner, change your direction then unpause, but that's a bit annoying to do for the whole level. I also found it helped to lift the thumb right off the d-pad for the changes rather than sliding between directions.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:40 am 
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Quote:
S..story in Ninja Gaiden? There's a story? :P
Yes of course! One of the best parts of the series is the movie-like cut-scenes between acts with cool characters like Ryu and Robert or scumbags like Foster and Jakiou. Don't tell me you skip these!

Jedi QuestMaster wrote:
Pokun wrote:
you even get to know what happened with Robert which wasn't clear in the second game.

I thought Robert died. Didn't the game make it clear he sacrificed himself? :?
Yes he used his last strength to buy time for Ryu and was in a really bad pinch. But you never saw him dying nor did you hear about him surviving so anything could have happened. I'm not going to spoil it.

Quote:
he mechanics in SMB are a bit frustrating sometimes (but also in a way more realistic; a real person isn't going to suddenly face the other direction in midair), while 3 is smooth if not ideal in motion control.

One of the difficulties that make me shy away from completing SMB1, however, are the pattern/path areas (e.g., 7-4), where I basically have to commit minutes of trial and error for one stage.
The challenge in Mario games is to get a feeling for the physics so that you are able to make the correct decision in jumps and know when to break. It's totally different from games like Megaman that has almost unlimited acceleration (I think Megaman reaches full speed within 8 frames) or games with fixed jumps like Castlevania. This difficulty peaked in SMB2j although SMW also has a few very hard levels in the special world. The path patterns can easily be memorized, there is only about two levels that has paths in SMB (most of us probably have them memorized since we were kids), in SMB2j however there are more of them (not only castle levels) and they are more difficult, for not mentioning having to learn to avoid negative warp zones.

For 3D Mario games I guess the difficulty peaks in Super Mario Sunshine that has some challenging levels where you can't use FLUDD. You really need to master the 3D Mario physics here, I loved it. The Galaxy games never gets any difficult and the 3D Land/World games doesn't seem hard at all (I have 3D Land and it's very easy). Not only are you bathing in 1UPs, but you are given cheat items if you die too many times on a level. They are ridiculous and I'd never use them. I think Nintendo must have become afraid of getting calls from monster parents or something.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:45 am 
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Pokun wrote:
One of the best parts of the series is the movie-like cut-scenes between acts with cool characters like Ryu and Robert or scumbags like Foster and Jakiou. Don't tell me you skip these!

I watch them the first time, and then skip them. They are very well made, and the story is surprisingly well put together, even if it's kinda throwaway. It even manages to completely avoid engrish in the translations.

But after watching them once, I skip them. They are very long and ruin the incredible flow of the game. I only watch the endings, and the obligatory intermissions of Ryu gazing at a fortress.


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