Where is Normal?

#1 Posted by TobbRobb (4581 posts) -

Okay, I've been playing a bit of Catherine since it was released on EU 360s. And I have one, giant complaint.

Normal, is not normal. It's really fucking hard. Don't get me wrong, it's fun and I feel like I need to utilize my full array of skills and out of the box thinking, but at the end it's just too hard and relentless.

So I tried to play on easy. And eh, it's easy. They removed pretty much every single puzzle from the climbing, the early levels are just pull a block and climb. I got gold on a level I literally couldn't finish on Normal.

How does this even happen? I just want a difficulty that demands SOMETHING from me, I can handle the puzzles of normal if I just had a little more time, just a little.

So now I end up with the choice, do I play on easy for the story and get kind of bored with the actual game, or do I bash my head against the wall until it fucking finally breaks?

Anyone feel the same about this? Maybe you've had this experience in another game, it's so frustrating since I actually think the gameplay is fun.

#2 Posted by Village_Guy (2507 posts) -

I haven't really had a case with other games where the difficulty was either too hard or too easy. But Catherine is a clear offender with easy being to easy and normal being to hard at times, personally I think the question is more in line of whether you should play it on easy or not play it at all.

Also I think the game gets fairly challenging later on even on easy (I don't really know since I didn't play much of the game, it just didn't grab me so I returned it...)

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#3 Posted by Nasar7 (2610 posts) -

Play it on normal, but if you're getting stuck take a break. The later puzzles get fiendishly difficult and like you said really demand you use all your techniques, skills, spatial awareness, planning ahead, and out of the box thinking. That said, when you get a good streak going you feel like a total boss and reaching the end is such a feeling of relief and accomplishment. Kinda like Dark Souls, actually. And that right there will either be a huge incentive for you or a major turn off. Also, you can always cheat with YouTube vids as the story is quite enjoyable.

#4 Posted by Pezen (1567 posts) -

The "Do you want to temporarily lower the difficulty?" feature that popped up during a fight in Yakuza 4 I was not entirely equipped to handle due to poor choices on my part; is an awesome feature I've come to realize. Sometimes you just want to get past something but keep that difficulty otherwise.

I see myself playing Catherine on easy, if only because what I've heard of the story is the only thing that really intrigues me about that game.

#5 Posted by Roland_D11 (188 posts) -

The later puzzles get pretty hard on easy, I had a very hard time on the final three nights and I breezed through the first few. There is a secret 'Very Easy'-difficulty as well...

#6 Posted by TobbRobb (4581 posts) -

@Nasar7: Yeah that is exactly what I think, though I think some of the later stuff might just be too much...

Also, Dark Souls isn't that hard ^^, I get the same feeling out of it though.

#7 Posted by Morrow (1828 posts) -

@TobbRobb:

They are rather "hard" on normal to prepare you for the bonus content like Babel ^^

If you're used to the easy mode, Babel will be very frustrating. But if you don't go for platinum and only play Catherine for the story, easy mode is fine ^^

#8 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

Wait, what? I thought Catherine's normal difficulty was pretty spot on, I only ran into one stage where I actually had problems.

Maybe I'm just a puzzle wizard without realizing it.

#9 Posted by Neurotic (632 posts) -

I've had a hard time on Easy a couple times but then the solution suddenly comes when I don't think too hard about it. I'm being a content tourist at the moment since I like the story and the bits in the bar better than the puzzle stuff and it makes it quicker to get all the endings, but I intend to go through on Normal for at least one playthrough. I agree that Normal is very hard on a first time player and especially for someone who doesn't play a lot of puzzle games.

#10 Edited by Make_Me_Mad (3023 posts) -

I thought Normal was pretty alright. I mean, I got destroyed on the Torture Chamber nightmare- totally stonewalled and lost like, 30 lives in one night. Gave it a rest, came back and retried later, had the same experience, but couldn't even make it as far as I had on my first attempts- was getting super frustrated... and then something clicked the next time I played, and I started planning my moves a little further ahead, panicking less quickly, and most importantly abusing the Spider technique to easily get out of a few spots that had condemned me to death in the nights before.

Basically, Normal made me actually start playing the game seriously, and the puzzles made me think. That seems like what the Normal setting in a puzzle game should do- if you want it easy, there's a mode for that.

Edit: That sounded more dickish in retrospect than it did as I was writing it. I just mean that for a puzzle game, I fully expect and would be disappointed if it didn't make me buckle down and pay attention, especially approaching the end. After I got through the Torture Chamber I ended up not dying again for several nights, just by logically jumping from the things I did in the last stage to new techniques for the harder areas. It was a really rewarding experience, without the feeling that the game was just letting me through for nothing, and wouldn't allow me to turn my brain off and coast through it. For a puzzle game, that is exactly what I was after.

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#11 Posted by TobbRobb (4581 posts) -

@Make_Me_Mad: That is exactly what I think and why I don't think easy is the way to go, but some of the stuff towards the end... Just UGH.

#12 Posted by FateOfNever (1816 posts) -

I could probably say something, but, I have a feeling it would come off sounding a lot harsher and more rude than I would want.

So all I'll say is, as far as I'm concerned, there's nothing wrong with a video game challenging you when you play it.

#13 Edited by TobbRobb (4581 posts) -

@FateOfNever: I get the feeling I'm misunderstood... I like a challenge, but this isn't my main type of game. I'm not good at it so it's hard but rewarding on normal. But easy feel so dumbed down it's just not fun anymore. My complaint isn't that I dislike being challenged, it's that there is no level of challenge, you can only choose between a lot and none.

I intend to pull through on normal, out of pure bullheadedness.

#14 Posted by TobbRobb (4581 posts) -

I just realised that actually suffering a bit during the nightmare scenes might make the game a bit more immersive. :D

I'll go with that as motivation.

#15 Posted by Bocam (3681 posts) -

I really don't get why people say Catherine's puzzles are hard.

#16 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Bocam said:

I really don't get why people say Catherine's puzzles are hard.

I don't get it too. Okay, i used the "Undo" button a lot, but the game's not hard. It isn't easy, but not BALLZHARDWORSTTHANDARKSOULSUGH.
#17 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

I played it on normal and very rarely thought it to be much of a challenge, it was more of a "oops" thing when I died than it actually being that difficult.
 
Catherine was my first puzzle game too.

#18 Posted by Rehtayne (127 posts) -

I found the difficulty at Normal to be just right for what I wanted from the puzzles, so I really never changed it in my one playthrough. I might have given Hard a go, if I hadn't rented it. Don't think I'll be buying it either.

#19 Posted by Commisar123 (1790 posts) -

That game is just hard, I certainly had a lot of trouble with it.

#20 Posted by N7 (3574 posts) -

Easy is only easy for a few levels. It ranks up in difficulty like you wouldn't believe. I had more problems on Easy than anything ever on Hard..

#21 Posted by Hosstile17 (763 posts) -

I have a sealed copy of this game that I need to get cracking on..... Just a little more Skyrim.

#22 Edited by biggiedubs (493 posts) -

I think normal is pretty reasonable. I like my puzzles games, but I'm a bit out of practice of late so I think I'm doing about as well as I should (it's because they took the puzzles out of horror games, oh the days of the Resident Evil crate puzzles). That being said, I am now stuck on the second of the FUCKING ICE LEVELS. FUCK YOU ICE, and FUCK YOU ASSHOLE SHEEP, JUST WALKING AROUND GETTING IN MY WAY. The difficulty is fine, it's just that sometimes the traps can make it seem cheap and unfair.

#23 Posted by Tsoglani (583 posts) -

I am playing on Easy for now to just enjoy the story but even then some of the levels are pretty difficult, but I have noticed the deeper you get the more fluid the moves get because of getting used to it. 
 
I have all intentions to finish easy mode, and then straight into Normal. So basically I am using Easy mode in preparation to get the hang of the mechanics etc, for Normal. I am looking forward to play the Babel levels too.

#24 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@biggiedubs said:

I think normal is pretty reasonable. I like my puzzles games, but I'm a bit out of practice of late so I think I'm doing about as well as I should (it's because they took the puzzles out of horror games, oh the days of the Resident Evil crate puzzles). That being said, I am now stuck on the second of the FUCKING ICE LEVELS. FUCK YOU ICE, and FUCK YOU ASSHOLE SHEEP, JUST WALKING AROUND GETTING IN MY WAY. The difficulty is fine, it's just that sometimes the traps can make it seem cheap and unfair.

lol.. to be honest, after as much playing of this game as I have, I fucking love the ice level.. i finished normal and easy, but hard.. yeah.. still preparing myself for that. (planning to gold all of them again.)
#25 Posted by Pixelationist (42 posts) -

Just got this and am near the end on normal, this game is definitely one cruel mistress, but kinda unforgettable because of it.

The sheer joy and relief when reaching the top is quite something, definitely a unique experience for better or worst.

#26 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

I don't understand how you can complain about the difficulty but then say you still want the game to be challenging.

What is accomplished in surmounting a puzzle just difficult enough to keep your attention.

#27 Posted by jjnen (660 posts) -

@LordXavierBritish said:

I don't understand how you can complain about the difficulty but then say you still want the game to be challenging.

What is accomplished in surmounting a puzzle just difficult enough to keep your attention.

I don't understand your latter sentence. As I see it game is not fun if it's too hard or too easy, you have to balance the difficulty levels so that there aren't giant leaps between them. Like if in COD you'd get shot to the face repeatedly and when you switch the difficulty to one lower you can walk through the level with no problem. Either of them is no fun (for most people).

#28 Edited by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

@Rappelsiini said:

@LordXavierBritish said:

I don't understand how you can complain about the difficulty but then say you still want the game to be challenging.

What is accomplished in surmounting a puzzle just difficult enough to keep your attention.

I don't understand your latter sentence. As I see it game is not fun if it's too hard or too easy, you have to balance the difficulty levels so that there aren't giant leaps between them. Like if in COD you'd get shot to the face repeatedly and when you switch the difficulty to one lower you can walk through the level with no problem. Either of them is no fun (for most people).

This is the problem with a lot of games today. They aren't actually difficult or challenging, people just think they are because they require you to pay attention to succeed.

I can't even count the number of games I've played in the last year where I didn't fail an objective once.

Fun is subjective, some of us want a little more bite in our games. Catherine is a game that challenges you and it isn't going to hold your hand if you can't get past something. If you want to say it's too difficult, fine that's your opinion. However saying Normal isn't easy enough is just asinine, Catherine isn't that game. If you want to see the story play easy, if you want to play the video game suck it up and play the god damn video game.

Anyone who has played any of Atlus's recent releases that aren't Persona is well aware of how they operate. They are incredibly old school in terms of game design and difficulty, and in that way Catherine is one of the most SMT-y releases they've had this gen despite it not being an RPG.

#29 Posted by benspyda (2030 posts) -

Seems similar to how I feel about the Uncharted series. Normal should be a reasonable challenge but no frustratingly painful. I only want to play a game on hard if I am in love with the combat. Uncharted is not one of those games. A puzzle game like Catherine isn't really either and I probably won't ever play it. I can hold out for Person 5.

#30 Posted by Jedted (2328 posts) -

I played on Easy for the story and i struggled a lot with the boss levels. My main problem i think was not remembering all the basic techniques for climbing. Replaying on Normal right now and i feel like understand how to tackle the puzzles better which makes it a little easier.

#31 Posted by TobbRobb (4581 posts) -

Woah I guess I made threads at some point. Weird.

I suppose since this is necroed anyways, I can just update and say I beat it on Normal but still stand by that there should have been another difficulty between Easy and Normal.

And for the record, to answer a thing 2 years later. I can't just "suck it up and enjoy the challenge you asked for" because I enjoyed the puzzles and not the INTENSE time pressure. Easy doesn't have puzzles or pressure, so its boring. Normal has good enjoyable puzzles but it was way too fast. That was my issue.

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