I don't get annoyed by the gimmicky names when they don't hinder my choice in any way. So, it's pretty obvious that if "Brutal" is at the bottom of the list and "Amateur" is at the top they're the polar opposites. But I just don't see the need for gimmicky names. A lot of the time it seems like developers are trying too hard to be funny, or unique, or, god forbid, classy. And sometimes gimmicky names legitimately get in the way. It's always sports games for me. I never know the difference between "Rookie" and "Amateur". It feels like 2K has six or seven difficulty levels for each of their sports games. And I remember when Namco used to shoehorn in just as many difficulty levels in their old arcade games. I'm happy with just Easy/Medium/Hard/"Extreme" or "Very Hard" or whatever.
It's never been a problem for me. It's fairly obvious that they go from easiest at the top to hardest at the bottom. I
I do hate it when games tell me to play on hard when I've finished it on a lower difficulty. Some games even go so far as to deny me the real ending if I'm not playing on hard, like No More Heroes. That's bullshit.
It's called polish and when a developer bothers to come up with clever names it generally (unless we're talking about the Matt Retard..sorry Hazard games) means the developer has taken the time to treat every aspect of their title with some proper context.
" Why is there no C: I don't care either way "Quoted for truth. I don't see how it's that much of an issue, as long as it's clear what they mean. And besides, aren't they always ranked top to bottom anyway? It seems common sense to assume that the one at the top is the easiest, and the one at the bottom the hardest. Maybe I'll be a prick and someday make a game that has a difficulty menu that's wordy AND jumbled, like:
I think they're cute, but sometimes they can get a little too crazy. Like when there's a "hardcore" mode, then a "Super Hardcore" and then an "Ultra Super Hardcore." Left 4 Dead 2 is kinda like that with "Advance," "Expert," and "Realism." You got three levels of hard difficulty? Do you really need that many?
I like the normal terms, sometimes it just gets too confusing when they have weird names. It can be hard to judge how much of a leap the different settings are with gimmicky names. However, I don't mind them too much if they come with an explanation, bonus points if its funny (like in Rogue Warrior: This difficulty is for pussies).
I like the gimmicky ones because they're usually followed by an informative yet hilarious description. Something like "Bitch Mode- The enemies cower in fear of your presence and you will murder all of their faces." Or "We Hate You Mode- You'll die... a lot."
I'm a traditionalist, I like them clear and straight to the point. The last thing I want to worry about before I start a game is what the hell is the difference between "seasoned" and "professional". I am willing to fudge this rule on games where you can unlock a bonus difficulty. If at that point the developers want to name it something asinine like "hyper-mega-death-extreme" then I am okay with that.
Gimmicky names are fine so long as it obvious which ones are harder relative to each other. Even if you use normal terms such as in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, but you screw up the order of the terms, it can be confusing as to which level is harder.
The only time I like gimmicky is when it is funny, like Wolfenstein's
- Can I play, Daddy?- Very Easy. Knock Nazis over with a feather.
- Don't hurt me- Still pretty easy, but the guards aren't quite as dumb.
- Bring 'em on- The default difficulty. Those soldiers are gunning for you now.
- I am Death Incarnate!- Extremely difficult! Only the best of the best should attempt this challenge.