Difficulty in games is something that people often debate. Some like games that are soul – crushingly hard and others like games that can be beat using only one hand. I personally like games that offer several difficulty settings and can be beat by a large number of players of various skill sets.What infuriates me the most about games is when they start out at just the right amount of difficulty and then shift into an almost unfair level of controller breaking chaos.
What originally made me think about this subject is the game I have been playing over the past week, The Bigs 2. The Bigs 2 is a baseball game that I was at first interested in, but upon playing the demo my interest waned. The demo is a short three inning game between the National and American League All Star teams. I picked the American League and began the game.
Leading off was Ichiro Suzuki, a speedy rightfielder with a "legendary" contact rating. Ichiro hit a laser down the first base line that would have been impossible to catch by any human being, but Albert Pujols jumped twenty feet in the air and brought it down. I was a little irritated that my hit was robbed, but continued to play. Eventually slugger Josh Hamilton came to the plate. He hit a would – be homer, but it was stolen right out of the air by Alfonso Soriano in the outfield.
Then it was my turn to take the field. My pitcher was Cleveland Indians ace Cliff Lee. The pitching was so hit or miss that I never really knew if I would strike a batter out or give up a home run. Once I gave up one hit, the other team was relentless in their bashing of every pitch I threw. I did, however, manage to get out of the inning shortly after giving up a three run homer to Pujols. At the beginning of the second inning the score was 4-0.
I eventually got a hang of the hitting and managed to tie up the game. I was happy with my come back and brought in Joe Nathan to keep the game close. I managed to get out of the inning unscathed. When I got back up for the top of the third inning I managed to score three runs, bringing the score to 7-4.
To close out the game I called Jonathan Papelbon to the hill. I managed to get two quick outs and then my nemesis Albert Pujols came up once again. Pujols activated something called " Big Slam" and he proceeded to somehow hit a grand slam with no one on base, causing me to lose the game.
I understand that The Bigs 2 is an arcade style baseball game. I like the majestic home runs and some of the flashy catches, but this is too much. Almost every single one of my home runs are caught. I lost a game because of a bases empty grand slam! The Bigs 2 isn’t really hard, but it is simply unfair at times.
The Bigs 2 didn’t cause me to break a controller, but it did cause me to change my mind about purchasing it. When I think about the most frustrated I have been while playing a game, I think of Call of Duty 4 and Grand Theft Auto 4. Both games are spectacular, however both games caused me to throw a controller against a wall. The final level of Call of Duty is the hardest thing in the world on Veteran difficulty setting.
I spent hours trying to get the Mile High Club achievement and I never succeeded. I made it to the very end four straight times and after shooting the hostage again, I chucked my controller against my wall. The same thing happened on GTA 4, similarly on the final level. The last mission in GTA 4 is very long and upon failing, the player must restart from the beginning. After reaching the end three straight times and failing, another controller was destroyed.
I enjoyed GTA 4 and Call Of Duty 4 both tremendously, but those tedious last levels definitely impacted the way I felt about the overall experience. The games were both amazing even with the challenging last levels. I felt compelled to complete the games, no matter how much frustration they had caused me. I am not, however, compelled to complete or even purchase The Bigs 2. So, how difficult is too difficult and what games have you found yourself quitting or close to quitting due to utter frustration?