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#1 Posted by pyrodactyl (1970 posts) -

I know the consensus in video game journalism is to play every game on the normal or default difficulty level because ''that's how most people will experience it''.

But since, nowadays, the default difficulty is the ''push the button to win'' mode, I often hear the complain from reviewers that this or that game wasn't deep or that the combat wasn't tactical enough.

The best example of this is certainly dragon age 2. If you think they striped down the combat system from origin, then you've obviously played it on a difficulty that only requires you to press the A button to win every encounter except boss fights.

Same thing applies to Gears of War 3 and many others...

So, do you think this is a stupid policy and should it be revised?

#2 Posted by hidys (1029 posts) -

How would a reviewer, prior to starting the game know just how difficult normal difficulty is going to be, unless you are suggesting that they play all game on hard?

#3 Edited by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

I think the only game I can remember that had a "Just push this button to win" mode was Bayonetta(that's probably why it was so popular.. and the boobs)  
But I think keeping it on Normal is fine since they might as well keep it on the default. 
 
Easy, people will bitch 
Normal, people will bitch 
Hard, people will bitch 
Expert, people will bitch 
Ultimate Super Hardcore Gamer Elite 420 retard EXTREME!! X-TREME!! mode, people will bitch 
 
the "people will bitch" is not directed at you Mr. Topic creator!

#4 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

They play the game how they personally would play the game, then write up their own opinions, and give full disclosure about the manner in which they played it. It is then up to the reader to decide how relevant this is to their own situation and tastes.

Reviewers are not arbiters of quality, they are human beings. Give them a break.

#5 Posted by phantomzxro (1571 posts) -

well i would think journalists play the game on normal and beat it and go back and play some hours on hard to see what changes it has. i would say that is fair, because it called normal for a reason and if a games too easy on normal i think its on the game devs.

Now some will let you know that playing normal will be a cake walk for an experienced gamer so jump to hard. All an all i still think its fair to judge a game by its normal setting as long as the hard mode is tested and proven to be nothing super different. Also i don't think dragon age 2 is a fair example for you to make because it only makes the mobs stronger and you weaker, in which the game already has some weird difficulty spikes already that you may get passed on normal but struggle on a harder setting.

#6 Posted by Sarkhan (1196 posts) -

They play what they like. And then give a score. But several times awsome things happens when you bumt the DIF to a higher lvl.

#7 Posted by Village_Guy (2544 posts) -

I think the majority of reviewers are starting games on the default setting, and then maybe changing it if it is too hard or easy.

But I do think that reviewers at least should try out the other difficulties so they can comment on the breath of difficulty the game offers.

#8 Posted by SexyToad (2760 posts) -

Or they should play whatever difficulty they feel like, start with hard, too hard? Then go in too normal, to hard? Then to easy. Then they could say how hard is challenging and how they couldn't do it so they had to change the difficulty.

#9 Posted by Hockeymask27 (3683 posts) -

I think reviewing a game on normal is completely fair thing to do. I mean that is the way the game is meant to be be played for the consumer. Maybe I'm the minority but I don't usually start a game off on the hardest setting.

#10 Posted by cyraxible (687 posts) -

@Village_Guy said:

I think the majority of reviewers are starting games on the default setting, and then maybe changing it if it is too hard or easy.

But I do think that reviewers at least should try out the other difficulties so they can comment on the breath of difficulty the game offers.

Definitely something worth mentioning in my opinion. Especially when it comes to difficulty modes that do nothing more than multiply enemy hp and damage numbers.

Online
#11 Posted by FinalDasa (1604 posts) -

You play a game how a reviewer intends you to play it.

If a game starts up and already has Normal selected, then you play on Normal.

Simple really.

Moderator
#12 Posted by wemibelec90 (1621 posts) -

As long as a reviewer qualifies their thoughts about the difficulty of the game (too easy, too hard, etc.) with what difficulty level they put it on, I'm fine with it. They have to play a lot of games and for most games, hard mode just means bullet sponge enemies.

#13 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@pyrodactyl said:

I know the consensus in video game journalism is to play every game on the normal or default difficulty level because ''that's how most people will experience it''.

But since, nowadays, the default difficulty is the ''push the button to win'' mode, I often hear the complain from reviewers that this or that game wasn't deep or that the combat wasn't tactical enough.

The best example of this is certainly dragon age 2. If you think they striped down the combat system from origin, then you've obviously played it on a difficulty that only requires you to press the A button to win every encounter except boss fights.

Same thing applies to Gears of War 3 and many others...

So, do you think this is a stupid policy and should it be revised?

I think this is honestly a real problem. The idea that one can change the difficulty and still properly appreciate a game the way it was intended is, to a degree, to say that the combat has nothing to do with the enjoyment of the game.

For a lot of new games that's very much the case. But it hasn't always been this way and the majority of games that I have liked in my time playing videogames have been the ones where challenge is THE key element. I can't enjoy a game that is so easy that I don't have to think about what I'm doing.

If a game can has combat that nobody really cares about or is just a distraction, is it actually relevant? Would the game be better if it was taken out entirely? Or is it just there as some kind of evolutionary nub that doesn't do anything but still exists due to it's heritage?

#14 Edited by pyrodactyl (1970 posts) -

@phantomzxro said:

Also i don't think dragon age 2 is a fair example for you to make because it only makes the mobs stronger and you weaker, in which the game already has some weird difficulty spikes already that you may get passed on normal but struggle on a harder setting.

yes, boss battles and even some random encounters were pretty fucked up on hard but have you heard how vinny discribed what most of the game was like on normal?

It went something like this: ''For all the fights I get to the first ennemy, press the A button a bunch, than maybe X. The ennemy explodes. I turn around. The rest of the opposing force is already a mist of blood in the air.''

At least you have to use tactics and pause the game a lot on hard which make the experience more cerebral and deeper. Not everyone is looking for cerebral but when I hear a reviewer or game journalist saying they were looking for that and didn't find it because they were playing ''how it's meant to be played'' I get angry.

@SexyToad said:

Or they should play whatever difficulty they feel like, start with hard, too hard? Then go in too normal, to hard? Then to easy. Then they could say how hard is challenging and how they couldn't do it so they had to change the difficulty.

So that's more reasonable in my opinion

#15 Posted by Sarkhan (1196 posts) -

The DIF is that we have hours on hours to spend. They have a copy that they need(NEED!!!) to burn through. As i'v said before. several times i'v enjoyed the hard settings on a game as they changed it. But these guys have gaming for a living(I sure as hell don't want to change my job with one of you) and they need to finish it.

#16 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

Difficulty is very personal.
 
I like a challenge but I dislike beefed up health bars or attacks.
Dragon Age 2 is a very bad example of that because the game is pretty random (its still a RPG, dices are being rolled behind the scenes) and the higher settings only give things more HP and damage.
It will make the game longer and harder but not in a challenging way and for such games I usually just go with normal and hope the story itself entertains me enough for me to forget about the simplicity of combat.
 
Dragon Age 2's story however did not succeed in that.

#17 Posted by Tesla (1918 posts) -

I usually combat this by not paying attention to a reviewer's complaints/praise about the difficulty level. It is a personal preference, and one that can be altered on a whim in all games. I do think a lot of gamers will jump to the internet to gripe about a game being too easy or hard, before thinking to change the difficulty and other settings to their liking. People are weird.

#18 Posted by DonutFever (3550 posts) -

Difficulty doesn't make games deeper or more tactical. It almost always just effects how much damage you/enemies do or health you/enemies have.

#19 Posted by Sarkhan (1196 posts) -

@DonutFever said:

Difficulty doesn't make games deeper or more tactical. It almost always just effects how much damage you/enemies do or health you/enemies have.

This is true. But a few games makes it better.

#20 Posted by CounterShock (420 posts) -

I do hate the difficulty HP/Attack damage boost. I think with higher difficulties they should take less damage. You would too though, making it more realistic.

#21 Posted by eroticfishcake (7783 posts) -

I think how games handle difficulty is pretty important rather then how difficult they are. For example, if they simply up the numbers then it's not particularly noteworthy, maybe even more harmful. Diablo 3 being a very recent example whereupon it was statistically difficult to play since it didn't become challenging in an interesting way but they simply just upped the damage numbers. Leading to many, many deaths and it just feels cheap and badly designed. Furthermore the game forced to play normal difficulty in order to unlock the next difficulty and so fourth. Overall it was extremely poor.

On the other side of the spectrum you've got games like, off the top of my head, the Metal Gear series that made difficulty really interesting. While the core gameplay was the same and familiar they change things around to keep you on your toes, such as changing the guard placements/behaviour or just giving bosses new abilities at certain points. Dark Souls is another game worth mentioning since it is challenging but it's always (for the most part) fair.

So essentially I think journalists and reviewers should play the games on Normal since that's how the developers intend you to play the game but it's always worth mentioning how they handle difficulty if it's interesting because games are made to be played again and again. Seems really obvious but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

#22 Posted by pyrodactyl (1970 posts) -

@Sarkhan said:

@DonutFever said:

Difficulty doesn't make games deeper or more tactical. It almost always just effects how much damage you/enemies do or health you/enemies have.

This is true. But a few games makes it better.

If the ennemies have more health and hit harder you have to

  • get into the upgrade system and make important decision on what ability to get
  • position your team properly and use the right skill at the right time
  • Think more about all the aspects of gameplay

If the ennemies have less health and can't kill you then you press A or RT until you win.

You might be into ''press a button to win: the game'' but most are not and I'm tired of people assuming games don't have any dept because they pressed a button and won

#23 Posted by SomeJerk (3212 posts) -

Perfectly fine playing on normal. It gives you what was intended.
 
But turning a game down on easy for a review and not taking into consideration that maybe you didn't get the right experience, and maybe you shouldn't complain about the game being too quick to finish or easy?

#24 Posted by DonutFever (3550 posts) -
@pyrodactyl said:

@Sarkhan said:

@DonutFever said:

Difficulty doesn't make games deeper or more tactical. It almost always just effects how much damage you/enemies do or health you/enemies have.

This is true. But a few games makes it better.

If the ennemies have more health and hit harder you have to

  • get into the upgrade system and make important decision on what ability to get
  • position your team properly and use the right skill at the right time
  • Think more about all the aspects of gameplay

If the ennemies have less health and can't kill you then you press A or RT until you win.

You might be into ''press a button to win: the game'' but most are not and I'm tired of people assuming games don't have any dept because they pressed a button and won

Are we talking about DA2, or games in general? 
 
Because most game's upgrade systems aren't that deep, don't have teams and skills that run on timers, and my point is that you don't have to think more when you have less health/enemies do more damage. 
 
And I fail to see how what I said points to me liking "press a button to win" games.
#25 Posted by Jimbo (9799 posts) -

I believe it should be Default / Normal, UNLESS the game gives advice as to which difficulty certain players should choose (I always appreciate when games explain their difficulty settings), in which case they should follow those instructions as best they can.

It's the game dev's responsibility if they give no advice on which difficulty to choose and normal turns out to give a shitty experience, and they should be judged accordingly for that. It's not really the dev's fault if the reviewer arbitrarily decides to pick a non-normal setting and the experience suffers as a result.

This is probably an issue which deserves more attention in both reviews and the games themselves, because in a lot of cases it can completely change the whole experience of playing the game. It is still left to guesswork on the part of the player far too often.

#26 Posted by Sarkhan (1196 posts) -

@DonutFever said:

@pyrodactyl said:

@Sarkhan said:

@DonutFever said:

Difficulty doesn't make games deeper or more tactical. It almost always just effects how much damage you/enemies do or health you/enemies have.

This is true. But a few games makes it better.

If the ennemies have more health and hit harder you have to

  • get into the upgrade system and make important decision on what ability to get
  • position your team properly and use the right skill at the right time
  • Think more about all the aspects of gameplay

If the ennemies have less health and can't kill you then you press A or RT until you win.

You might be into ''press a button to win: the game'' but most are not and I'm tired of people assuming games don't have any dept because they pressed a button and won

Are we talking about DA2, or games in general?

Because most game's upgrade systems aren't that deep, don't have teams and skills that run on timers, and my point is that you don't have to think more when you have less health/enemies do more damage. And I fail to see how what I said points to me liking "press a button to win" games.

I fail to see how i got a pm on respond for this. Please run it by me again.

#27 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

i play most games on normal, some i boost up higher (never lower). but i dont see ANY problem with them playing on the default setting. thats what a majority of people play on, its the best representation of what the game will be for most people.

people who always play games on hard are pretty hardcore gamers i'd say, they're more into the news and stuff about games. so i dont even think reviews are that useful for people like us. i cant remember the last time a review has effected my decision to purchase a game or not. i still read reviews and watch reviews cus im interested in other peoples opinions, but it never effects what i buy. i look into games before i buy them, check out trailers and gameplay video to see if its something i'd like.

so if you're into video games enough to ask "should they play on harder difficulties for reviews?" then you should probably realize, reviews arent really for you. reviews are for the uninformed consumer. not the well informed enthusiast.

Online
#28 Posted by DonutFever (3550 posts) -
@Sarkhan said:

@DonutFever said:

@pyrodactyl said:

@Sarkhan said:

@DonutFever said:

Difficulty doesn't make games deeper or more tactical. It almost always just effects how much damage you/enemies do or health you/enemies have.

This is true. But a few games makes it better.

If the ennemies have more health and hit harder you have to

  • get into the upgrade system and make important decision on what ability to get
  • position your team properly and use the right skill at the right time
  • Think more about all the aspects of gameplay

If the ennemies have less health and can't kill you then you press A or RT until you win.

You might be into ''press a button to win: the game'' but most are not and I'm tired of people assuming games don't have any dept because they pressed a button and won

Are we talking about DA2, or games in general?

Because most game's upgrade systems aren't that deep, don't have teams and skills that run on timers, and my point is that you don't have to think more when you have less health/enemies do more damage. And I fail to see how what I said points to me liking "press a button to win" games.

I fail to see how i got a pm on respond for this. Please run it by me again.

The site sends you PMs for everytime somebody responds to you.
#29 Posted by pyrodactyl (1970 posts) -

@DonutFever: DA2 is a good exemple but it's easy to go through GoW3 on normal without using cover.

If a reviewer said that GoW3 was as shallow as Brute Force because he played it on normal would you find that acceptable?

I'm going a little bit over bord here but you get my point

#30 Posted by Sarkhan (1196 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

i play most games on normal, some i boost up higher (never lower). but i dont see ANY problem with them playing on the default setting. thats what a majority of people play on, its the best representation of what the game will be for most people.

people who always play games on hard are pretty hardcore gamers i'd say, they're more into the news and stuff about games. so i dont even think reviews are that useful for people like us. i cant remember the last time a review has effected my decision to purchase a game or not. i still read reviews and watch reviews cus im interested in other peoples opinions, but it never effects what i buy. i look into games before i buy them, check out trailers and gameplay video to see if its something i'd like.

so if you're into video games enough to ask "should they play on harder difficulties for reviews?" then you should probably realize, reviews arent really for you. reviews are for the uninformed consumer. not the well informed enthusiast.

Well said. Im not a HC ploayer. But i opt for Harder option. I'v quit several games cause of to hard. But in my mind, thats what they should be played on.

#31 Posted by Sarkhan (1196 posts) -

@DonutFever said:

@Sarkhan said:

@DonutFever said:

@pyrodactyl said:

@Sarkhan said:

@DonutFever said:

Difficulty doesn't make games deeper or more tactical. It almost always just effects how much damage you/enemies do or health you/enemies have.

This is true. But a few games makes it better.

If the ennemies have more health and hit harder you have to

  • get into the upgrade system and make important decision on what ability to get
  • position your team properly and use the right skill at the right time
  • Think more about all the aspects of gameplay

If the ennemies have less health and can't kill you then you press A or RT until you win.

You might be into ''press a button to win: the game'' but most are not and I'm tired of people assuming games don't have any dept because they pressed a button and won

Are we talking about DA2, or games in general?

Because most game's upgrade systems aren't that deep, don't have teams and skills that run on timers, and my point is that you don't have to think more when you have less health/enemies do more damage. And I fail to see how what I said points to me liking "press a button to win" games.

I fail to see how i got a pm on respond for this. Please run it by me again.

The site sends you PMs for everytime somebody responds to you.

Thank you. Just noticed:)

#32 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

Now and then I've seen reviews that comment about variances in difficulty, so it happens with glances at other settings...but for default, they should play on normal.

#33 Posted by DonutFever (3550 posts) -
@pyrodactyl said:

@DonutFever: DA2 is a good exemple but it's easy to go through GoW3 on normal without using cover.

If a reviewer said that GoW3 was as shallow as Brute Force because he played it on normal would you find that acceptable?

I'm going a little bit over bord here but you get my point

I'd say Gears is a special case. Most "Normal" difficulties aren't that easy and that much easier than the "Hard" option.
#34 Edited by pyrodactyl (1970 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

I believe it should be Default / Normal, UNLESS the game gives advice as to which difficulty certain players should choose (I always appreciate when games explain their difficulty settings), in which case they should follow those instructions as best they can.

It's the game dev's responsibility if they give no advice on which difficulty to choose and normal turns out to give a shitty experience, and they should be judged accordingly for that. It's not really the dev's fault if the reviewer arbitrarily decides to pick a non-normal setting and the experience suffers as a result.

This is probably an issue which deserves more attention in both reviews and the games themselves, because in a lot of cases it can completely change the whole experience of playing the game. It is still left to guesswork on the part of the player far too often.

well said

guess it falls on the devs to better describe their difficulty settings

#35 Posted by CornBREDX (5094 posts) -

No. I think it makes sense.  
If the default difficulty is too easy the developer is to blame, not the reviewers. 
A game being too easy is not really that much of a slant on the game anyway, imo. There are more important qualities to a game. If the game is one that works around it's difficulty it will be set appropriately (A good example of what I mean is super meat boy).

#36 Posted by AlianthaBerries (142 posts) -
@CounterShock Never played DMC I take it
#37 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -

They should play on whatever difficulty suits them. Any flaws in the game's mechanics/AI will show itself regardless of difficulty setting. 

#38 Edited by Xymox (2082 posts) -

I think it's a stupid policy and should be revised. I'd rather read a review where a reviewer plays the game like said reviewer would normally play it. When I was young, I had no issues playing games on hard, or impossible while using only melee weapons, or stuff like that. Today, there's nothing new for me to experience in terms of gameplay mechanics in that sense. I've had my fair share of "hard" gameplay. It's practically the same across the board. I'm only still playing games for the story, hence, I play it on the only setting that makes sense: easiest. If you think it's fun to reload the same passage 50 times, good for you. I have other games to play and other stories to experience. I stroked my ego well enough beating games in the days we didn't have save-slots and shit killed you in 1 shot. So I'm done. One of the few "newer" games that does higher difficulty *right* is probably American McGees Alice, which actually changed the layout of levels when you made it harder, which is an all-around neat idea that no one really has improved upon since it was released. "We made the enemies hit you harder and be harder to kill" doesn't mean it's hard. It's just tedious and annoying. But I could see how it could create a sense of accomplishment for people who want a challenge as I was in the same position many a year ago.

#39 Posted by adam1808 (1448 posts) -

The majority of consumers will probably pick the default setting. If the difficulty screen has the cursor on Normal right off the bat then that's the one most people will choose. If you like your games hard then fine, but most people (including me) play it through on the default difficulty before doing a hard run. As journalists are advising me on a game, then I expect them to pick the difficulty that the devs intend you to play first. So what if games are getting easier? Journalists are providing consumer information.

#40 Posted by Humanity (9048 posts) -

@ZeForgotten said:
I think the only game I can remember that had a "Just pust this button to win" mode was Bayonetta(that's probably why it was so popular.. and the boobs)

What are you talking about? Bayonetta had one of those most intricate combat systems in beat 'em ups to date. It was more involved than Devil May Cry. How was it "push button to win" ? The entire game was quite challenging.

#41 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

I think reviewers should play all games on the hardest available setting initially available - since that difficulty should represent the game's best foot forward in the challenge department (and if hard difficulty is broken, people need to know).

#42 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@DonutFever: Not in Dragon Age (at least Origins, I've not played enough of DA2 to say anything beyond fuckthat game). It has a significant effect. Things like friendly fire, among other things, change a lot based on the difficulty. Playing that game on the hardest difficult also required you to play more tactically, without changing the mechanics to increase your ability to be tactical. It was just really hard so you had to micromanage constantly and be very smart about your actions. The hardest difficulty is what makes DA:O's combat so fuckin amazingly enjoyable, but also super frustrating at times.

#43 Posted by Humanity (9048 posts) -

@Seppli said:

I think reviewers should play all games on the hardest available setting initially available - since that difficulty should represent the game's best foot forward in the challenge department (and if hard difficulty is broken, people need to know).

The hardest difficulty is not intended for the main audience. Not to shock you or anything but on average the majority of people that play games tend to do so on normal. Just like most people don't 100% their games or grind out all achievements. The normal difficulty is the most apt representation of the game while harder modes, especially as you would like the hardest modes, usually skew the game in such disfavor for the player that you're often forced to play in a completely unintended manner just to progress forward.

I consider myself a pretty huge gamer and I'm pretty good at most games I play but I hardly ever play anything on hard because I don't want my enemies to be bullet sponges and I don't want to constantly reload some sections because a stray shot killed me. One of the exceptions was the Bombcast talking about how the Gears 3 normal difficulty got bumped down and playing on Hardcore was like normal which I appreciated because Hardcore did in fact feel pretty "normal." That was a good case of a reviewer playing a game, figuring it too easy and only then bumping it up.

#44 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -
@Humanity said:

@ZeForgotten said:
I think the only game I can remember that had a "Just pust this button to win" mode was Bayonetta(that's probably why it was so popular.. and the boobs)

What are you talking about? Bayonetta had one of those most intricate combat systems in beat 'em ups to date. It was more involved than Devil May Cry. How was it "push button to win" ? The entire game was quite challenging.

Try reading it again. Bayonetta has a "Just push one button" mode. 
Not saying it's not harder on the higher difficulty levels, it's called like "Very Easy Automatic" or something. 
#45 Posted by Humanity (9048 posts) -

@ZeForgotten said:

@Humanity said:

@ZeForgotten said:
I think the only game I can remember that had a "Just pust this button to win" mode was Bayonetta(that's probably why it was so popular.. and the boobs)

What are you talking about? Bayonetta had one of those most intricate combat systems in beat 'em ups to date. It was more involved than Devil May Cry. How was it "push button to win" ? The entire game was quite challenging.

Try reading it again. Bayonetta has a "Just push one button" mode. Not saying it's not harder on the higher difficulty levels, it's called like "Very Easy Automatic" or something.

I don't remember that but you didn't phrase it quite clearly and the neither here nor there comment about the boobs just made it seem like you're slamming the game, which is great, for no good reason.

I recently played Vanquish and that game has a super easy mode that apparently locks on for you and everything. I didn't try it but the description in the menu was literally something along the lines of "Automatic Mode" - although this sort of thing is certainly not very prevalent in games as I can't really think of other titles that do anything beyond an "easy" mode.

#46 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

they should play every game on every difficulty level twice just to make sure nobody is upset

#47 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -
@Humanity said:

@ZeForgotten said:

@Humanity said:

@ZeForgotten said:
I think the only game I can remember that had a "Just pust this button to win" mode was Bayonetta(that's probably why it was so popular.. and the boobs)

What are you talking about? Bayonetta had one of those most intricate combat systems in beat 'em ups to date. It was more involved than Devil May Cry. How was it "push button to win" ? The entire game was quite challenging.

Try reading it again. Bayonetta has a "Just push one button" mode. Not saying it's not harder on the higher difficulty levels, it's called like "Very Easy Automatic" or something.

I don't remember that but you didn't phrase it quite clearly and the neither here nor there comment about the boobs just made it seem like you're slamming the game, which is great, for no good reason.

I recently played Vanquish and that game has a super easy mode that apparently locks on for you and everything. I didn't try it but the description in the menu was literally something along the lines of "Automatic Mode" - although this sort of thing is certainly not very prevalent in games as I can't really think of other titles that do anything beyond an "easy" mode.

Nah, that boobs part was just a joke. 
But for Bayonetta it's really just you mashing the Y/Triangle button over and over again and then she does whatever fancy combo she feels like doing. So it really is a mode where you just hit one button. 
It's fun to watch it being played out on screen but not at all a challenge. 
#48 Posted by mrpandaman (864 posts) -

@Seppli said:

I think reviewers should play all games on the hardest available setting initially available - since that difficulty should represent the game's best foot forward in the challenge department (and if hard difficulty is broken, people need to know).

Playing on the hardest difficulty only can potentially skew a review. The reviewer can get frustrated and then proceed to say the game is needlessly hard or vice versa they can play the game on the easiest difficulty and say that the game is way too easy. Reviewers should take the middle difficulty, because from that they can surmise how the difficulty ramps up or ramps down. They'll state whether the normal is too easy or too hard or just right. Difficulty rarely changes the way the game goes about, they still usually go through the same areas that others difficulties would take you.

Reviewers, in my opinion, should just give an honest assessment of how their experience was regardless of what difficulty they play.

@Humanity said:

@Seppli said:

I think reviewers should play all games on the hardest available setting initially available - since that difficulty should represent the game's best foot forward in the challenge department (and if hard difficulty is broken, people need to know).

The hardest difficulty is not intended for the main audience. Not to shock you or anything but on average the majority of people that play games tend to do so on normal. Just like most people don't 100% their games or grind out all achievements. The normal difficulty is the most apt representation of the game while harder modes, especially as you would like the hardest modes, usually skew the game in such disfavor for the player that you're often forced to play in a completely unintended manner just to progress forward.

I consider myself a pretty huge gamer and I'm pretty good at most games I play but I hardly ever play anything on hard because I don't want my enemies to be bullet sponges and I don't want to constantly reload some sections because a stray shot killed me. One of the exceptions was the Bombcast talking about how the Gears 3 normal difficulty got bumped down and playing on Hardcore was like normal which I appreciated because Hardcore did in fact feel pretty "normal." That was a good case of a reviewer playing a game, figuring it too easy and only then bumping it up.

Also this. I agree with this. And that.

#49 Posted by pekarn (86 posts) -

@Tylea002 said:

They play the game how they personally would play the game, then write up their own opinions, and give full disclosure about the manner in which they played it. It is then up to the reader to decide how relevant this is to their own situation and tastes.

Reviewers are not arbiters of quality, they are human beings. Give them a break.

Agree 100%.

#50 Posted by JCrichton (55 posts) -

I am ok with them playing it on normal only because i will admit i love playing games, but I am not the best gamer in the world. I want to know what the "normal" experience would be like and then if I feel I am able to I will try it on a harder difficulty. I want to know at least from their POV, what I will enjoy or not enjoy about a game starting at normal.