Difficulty rant

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#1 Posted by KawaiiInbou (42 posts) -

So far I've been really enjoying SC5. I've really liked pretty much all of the changes they've made. And yet still, I am once again disappointed by the arcade mode in a fighting game, or, more specifically, in the final boss.

I'm playing on normal difficulty, and I'm playing as Pyrrha. At that difficulty, I'm pretty comfortable going through most of the mode. the enemies aren't ridiculously hard for me, but they certainly aren't pushovers either. But I reach Nightmare at the end, and well shit, fighting developers did it again. I can't even come close. The first time I just thought 'fuck it', restarted as Nightmare and, upon reaching the end again, I managed to finish it after about 7 or 8 retries. Mitsurugi wasn't too much of an issue, 3rd or 4th go. So now I'm going through as Pyrrha, with a few more hours of experience under my belt, and I still can't fucking touch Nightmare. It's a bad match-up for me as is (as far as I can tell, anyway), and that's on top of the ridiculous AI they've given him. I can understand making the last boss more difficult, but this is just absurd, and fighting game devs do it all the time.

I really don't understand what they see in it at all. It's not even a challenge; it's a brick wall. If I'd wanted to, I could have done it on a harder difficulty level. I would understand then, but as is, there's no difficulty curve at all. The same happened with Seth in SF4, and of course with countless other bosses in the past. It's not a competent development strategy. I understand why they do it in actual arcades (as despicable as the practise is), but, guys, come on.

Anyway, as I said, great game otherwise. Particularly love the new customisation options. But I'm just worried this is going to leave a bitter taste.

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#2 Posted by huntad (2348 posts) -

Hmm, I've been able to beat the arcade mode on normal difficulty twice now on my first try. Maybe I just got lucky. I found some hard parts in the story mode, though.

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#3 Posted by KawaiiInbou (42 posts) -

I found a few parts of the story a little tough, but never more than two retry tough. Like I said, Pyrrha vs Nightmare does seem that a pretty tough match-up to begin with. But I swear it's doing the old SNK input reading 'trick'; there's too many times where I would have caught him out if it weren't for it. A number of times he'll be running right at me, so I guard impact in anticipation. Instead of attacking as he clearly intended to do, he'll run straight into me and wait until the impact is done before actually attacking. Things like that and a few other things.

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#4 Posted by KawaiiInbou (42 posts) -

Oh, thank Jesus. Finally beat him with Pyrrha, by trapping him in a corner and spamming her jumping unblockable thing. My best time so far was my Mitsurugi run at 12 minutes and 45 seconds, which is pretty slow anyway. This newest time: 43 minutes and 55 seconds. That's fucking ridiculous. 34 minutes on Nightmare alone.

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#5 Posted by IBurningStar (2275 posts) -

Ramping up the difficulty to absurd levels on the final boss is nothing new for fighting games, and the only reason they started doing it was because it was a way to bleed extra quarters out of people at the arcades. Why they continue to do this is a big baffling seeing as how the fighting game arcade scene has all but died out. Yeah, I know it is still going strong in Japan, but I have always been under the impression that no one gives a fuck about playing against the computer over there. I still find it annoying to have abrupt swings in difficulty.

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#6 Edited by KawaiiInbou (42 posts) -

Yeah, I know it's a fighting game 'tradition'; doesn't make it any more palatable when they insist on continuing it in modern day games.

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#7 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

The difficulty I've had with Nightmare really relates to the character I'm using. I've had trouble with him with some characters like Patroklos, but other characters like Natsu just obliterated him on the normal difficulty.

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#8 Posted by Troglodyte (3 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

The difficulty I've had with Nightmare really relates to the character I'm using. I've had trouble with him with some characters like Patroklos, but other characters like Natsu just obliterated him on the normal difficulty.

It all comes down to finding a lightning-quick hit to break up his half-your-health-in-three-hits chains. I struggled to beat him with Yoshimitsu until I learned to guard all his attacks and only break my guard with my absolute fastest moves, get a combo off, and then guard again. If he lands two combos on you, you've lost.

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#9 Posted by VengefulGiblets (15 posts) -

I agree that the button reading in these games is absurd, and needlessly inflates the frustration level. Fighting game devs can't seem to tell the difference between "difficulty" and "frustration", although that can probably be said about most genres these days.

I've thought about this and I've come to the conclusion that not only is it a good method to squeeze more money into arcade machines (which I agree with completely), but it's also a quick & simple way to "add difficulty". There is no real AI to speak of, so no coding goes into creating AI or even logic. It appears to be completely binary, in that the CPU either does or does not react to button presses. Sometimes they stand around waiting to get hit or will throw out a pointless attack, and other times they read your inputs and react perfectly.

This isn't limited to Soul Calibur 5, of course, and it makes the concept of "unlockable" characters all the more frivolous.

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