RPGCast – Episode 489: “Fulfilling Their Destiny”
Before the rush of releases at the end of January, we talk about your feedback, our briefs turn into longer discussions, and we get really confused about a new…farming…eSport?!
Question of the Week
What difficulty do you play games on? Has it changed over time?
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QOTY – The difficulty mode I select typically depends on the game I am playing. My default option is usually “Normal” as I assume that is the mode the developers designed the game to be experienced in.
There are other games, however, like Radiant Historia Perfect Chronology where I strongly recommend “Hard” mode to people. (In the original DS version of RH, it was easy to overpower characters like Eruca and Aht allowing you to steamroll your way through later chapters of the game. Playing the game on “Hard” largely prevents that as it enhances the strategic aspects of gameplay and forces players to give thought to the actions they are taking.)
Eternia isn’t only not the best, it’s one of the worst. It’s way too hard for one thing, which dovetails with the QOTW (this game is easily like a hard mode version of Destiny, and probably even harder than that). It was hard enough that I even ended up cheating and still couldn’t beat the final boss because there’s some lame timed input sequence. Also, the characters and story are uninteresting. Destiny was at least a full order of magnitude better. I haven’t finished Berseria, but I’m inclined to choose that as the best entry I’ve played. It’s that or Destiny.
QOTW: I usually start off on Normal, but switch to Easy if it becomes too much of a pain. The only way this has changed is that I used to default to Easy on non-RPGs and now default to Normal on everything. I can think of a couple major reasons for the change. First, games have gotten either overall easier or at least better at not excessively punishing for failure. It’s not too terrible to die if it doesn’t send you too far back. Second, more games allow for switching difficulty level during the course of the game. This makes it easier to avoid choosing the easiest difficulty out of an overabundance of caution.
QOTW – I typically have always done whatever the default setting is. I have nothing to prove to myself or anyone going hard mode. Real life is hard mode, games are for relaxation, not so much solving problems/puzzles for me. I’d say it’s changed a bit in more recent years as life/work/family take more time from gaming I’ll dip down into easier difficulties or spend 99 cents or something on DLC to make life easier (looking at you Etrian games). While it feels good every now and again to overcome a challenge, I’m not actively seeking that out in my gaming.
I used to play all action games on Easy, and turn-based RPGs on Normal or Hard. That has changed since I no longer trust “Normal” or “Hard” in a turn-based RPG to mean anything other than “hours of extra grinding”.
Now, I play everything on Easy the first time through, unless I know and trust the series well enough to start with Normal. Hard and above are exclusively for the rare cases when I want to replay a game for the sake of its challenge.
It’s so weird hearing the Vesperia criticisms on the cast. Every week that goes by, and I’m still playing it, I’m continuously reminded of why I love the game, and get all excited over checking out the new content. It blew my mind hearing it referred to as having one of the worst combats in Tales. I actually made that meme Jackie Chan wtf face. As far as best Tales games go, my list is still 5) Eternia 4) Symphonia 3) Abyss 2) Berseria, and 1) Vesperia. Graces use to be on the list, but Berseria knocked it off.
QOTW: 99% of the time I play games on Normal. Normal difficulty all day, every day. This usually provides me with a decent challenge while keeping me from getting rage quit levels of frustrated. That other 1% of the time I bump it up only if the game on Normal is proving too easy. For instance, I played the majority of Tales of Berseria on Hard and above because combat was so stupid easy on Normal for most of that game. I think my greatest difficulty achievement was during Mass Effect I played a new Lv 1 Adept on Insanity and beat it for the achievement.
… I swore never to put myself through that frustration again.
I still tend to play a game on normal or the default difficulty. I expect a game to be beast balanced at normal. I may play a game on a harder difficult for a repeat run, though this is rare nowadays.