Why does more difficulty equal higher quality to so many people?

#1gundam911Posted 6/15/2013 6:13:36 AM
I currently have 116 stars.

But man, to get some of those stars, I really had to die countless times! And right now, I'm trying to complete extremely hard stages that have extremely strict time limits. And to be honest, I don't think my fortitude will hold up well...

Just trying them makes me wonder why this game is so extremely highly rated and considered superior to the original. So I've got to ask: Why does greater difficulty equal higher quality to so many people when the result is frequent frustration?
#2Sparx555Posted 6/15/2013 10:43:19 AM
Challenge can be fun, and none of it's that frustrating. Plus the first game, while also great, was really easy overall...
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#3friendlydudePosted 6/16/2013 3:45:02 PM
It's because more difficulty + higher quality = replay value. We want to play this game over and over! The only way to do that... alright alright, the *main* way to do that, is to make at least a small portion of the levels reasonably challenging. Let us know which stages you're stuck on. We can help you out! We're the beautiful ones on gamefaqs :p
#4GoGoatPosted 6/17/2013 8:27:28 AM
I could have lived with the difficulty if this game didn't handle the barriers so badly compared to the first one. It sucks out any sense of progression when you're forced to go back and track through old ground every few levels.

Collecting hidden stuff is something I prefer to leave until the post game to do at my leisure, not be forced to seek it out when I'm just trying to complete the main damn game.
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#5Rocky2418Posted 6/18/2013 12:29:02 AM
Sparx555 posted...
Challenge can be fun, and none of it's that frustrating.


It may not be to you, but it can be to others - such as myself. How challenges make us feel is completely subjective.

Plus the first game, while also great, was really easy overall...


All relative. Compared to SMG2 - after factoring in The Perfect Run and some other levels - it was really easy. But actually, it's not that SMG1 was really easy and SMG2 was normal. It's more that SMG1 was normal and SMG2 was really hard. That's my opinion, at least, based on the average gamer skill level as I've observed it in my life.

gundam911 posted...
So I've got to ask: Why does greater difficulty equal higher quality to so many people when the result is frequent frustration?


Good news, TC - I'm with you on this one. I've never understood it either. For me, a game can have tons of replay value by just being fun, even without crazy challenges. [My favorite game is Chrono Trigger. And although I don't think it's "pathetically easy," as many do at this point, it's a medium difficulty (for the first-time player, mind you) without any bonus super hard challenges. Still, I love the story, the characters, and the gameplay, and that has given me enough replay value to play it through innumerable times over the last 17 years.] My guess is that games aren't just games anymore, to most people. They're tests to overcome, challenges to thwart. And if that's the way they like it, that's fine. For me, I still prefer my games, for the most part, to be just games - things that are fun, engaging, and not stressful or frustrating. Hence, one of the reasons I prefer Twilight Princess to Skyward Sword is that SS has the Silent Realms and TP does not. I find those areas tense and stressful, even though I can get through it fine when I have to.

On that note, I should say that I do consider myself a very skilled gamer - at least when it comes to Mario- and Zelda-type games. In my first attempt at playing this game solo, I unexpectedly beat The Perfect Run on my 6th try. And earlier today, I tried the full 12-battle "Lightning Round" in Hero Mode of Skyward Sword for the first time, and beat it (though I'd practiced a fair amount on each boss individually, and used the potion trick). When a game includes such challenges, I can bring myself to face and beat them when I feel compelled to. But that's the point - I don't enjoy doing them, I feel obligated; like it's a chore.

Alas, most people yearn for harder and harder challenges, so game designers make these for them. I understand. And those of us who find them frustrating or stressful can always just choose to ignore them if we want. Unfortunately, I'm a completionist, and usually can't do that... Oh well, that's my own problem. :-)
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"Why is it so hard? ... Why can't you just take me? ... I don't have much to go... before... I fade completely..." - Kelly Clarkson
#6friendlydudePosted 6/21/2013 11:27:46 AM
I'm surprised you think the Silent Realms are more stressful than the Lightning Round. Then again I shouldn't even speak- I'm too much of a stinky wuss to even TRY the Lightning Round :p
#7Rocky2418Posted 6/21/2013 6:34:42 PM
As a matter of fact, I alluded to the fact that there were several reasons I liked TP more than SS. The Silent Realms were one reason. The Lightning Round is another. The Silent Realms are certainly easier to do, but just the atmosphere and stealth mechanic make them more stressful for me I guess. But I prefer games that have neither of those sorts of challenges - whether or not I can get good enough to surmount them.

And I assure you, I would never think of you or anyone else as a wuss for not wanting to try things like the Lightning Round. On the contrary, I myself don't even want to try them. I envy those who lack the compulsive-completionist gene and just ignore such challenges. :-) Must be nice...
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"Why is it so hard? ... Why can't you just take me? ... I don't have much to go... before... I fade completely..." - Kelly Clarkson
#8friendlydudePosted 6/22/2013 7:31:58 AM
Those Silent Realms give me the freaking creeps! Everything feels like I'm caught in a beautiful dream until... time runs out, and the bell sounds as the monsters awaken. It's like the scariest thing I've ever played in a Nintendo game! Reminds me of a horror movie such as Poltergeist or the Ring. I wouldn't be able to play this stuff as a kid. Good thing I've grown up and become... a grown kid, lol. A mature grown kid!

I've never had any completist urges so I must not be the type that has to get everything a game has to offer. A good challenge will usually put a sudden stop to that urge :)

Oh and that clown on that one island SUCKS! You have to go through the rings and land on a colorful platform below to get the heart piece. I'd have to play the game again to freshen up my memory on how it's supposed to be done but needless to say, I've never been able to do it.
#9Rocky2418Posted 6/22/2013 7:06:04 PM
friendlydude posted...
Good thing I've grown up and become... a grown kid, lol.


Same here. :-)

You have to go through the rings and land on a colorful platform below to get the heart piece... I've never been able to do it.


Well then, I imagine you'll be surprised to hear that I actually love that game. (Of course, it's easy to love something once you've mastered it.) It's actually one of my all-time favorite Zelda mini-games. I use it to amass ridiculous amounts of rupees, as the jackpot gets you 500 (in addition to the heart piece, the first time). At my brother's house, when I was playing SS with my niece, I was trying to max out the biggest wallet. At one point, I won the jackpot 3 times in a row; a short while later, 4 times in a row; and soon after that, 3 in a row again. When I later was doing my own slot on my Wii, I won the jackpot - and I'm not exaggerating - 8 times in a row.

I follow a simple formula (simple, but I'm not saying it's necessarily easy to do or master). There's no formula for the going-through-the-rings portion. That's just a matter of getting good at tilting just the right amount in the desired direction while skydiving. Well, for each ring that you successfully go through, the board spins slower at the bottom. (I don't actually know if hitting a balloon speeds the board back up to full speed, or if that only resets the multiplier.) So if you go through all 5 rings and don't hit any balloons, the board will be spinning considerably slower than at the start - and this slowest speed will always be the same, on every run. So then, look to see where on the board the jackpot space is at the moment you go through the last ring. If you skydive at normal speed the rest of the way (as in, don't nosedive at all), the jackpot space will be on the opposite side of the board - plus a little further - by the time you land. So if it's in the 9 o'clock position as you pass through the final ring, look to the 3 o'clock position, then a little further counterclockwise (as that's the direction the board is spinning). It'll end up at about the 2 or 1 o'clock position, so that's where you should aim to land (being careful not to nosedive, as that will throw off the timing). If it's at 12 o'clock as you pass through the ring, aim for the 7 or 8 o'clock area.

It's not an exact science - I'll frequently go through stretches where I just can't hit the spot. The main thing is, if you can ascertain where it'll end up (based on that formula) as early as possible (right as or right after you go through the ring), you'll have time to glide into position, trusting that the target space will get there as you do. And hopefully, it'll work out at least one time. I know this isn't the Zelda board, but I hope that helps.

I also just found this video while doing a search, which actually shows - for the most part - what I was describing, toward the end of the video. It even freezes the frame just after he goes through the 5th ring:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP23mKrEku8
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"Why is it so hard? ... Why can't you just take me? ... I don't have much to go... before... I fade completely..." - Kelly Clarkson
#10friendlydudePosted 6/22/2013 10:21:14 PM
Interesting advice. I remember after an hour finally making it through all 5 rings. For some reason I find just getting through the rings challenging enough since Link seems to veer quickly at the slightest tilt of the Wii remote. Of course when I finally feel confident I'll complete the rings, yeah, you can probably guess what happens- I hit one of those purple balls or whatever they are.

When I discovered I was supposed to land in one specific color on the wheel, I immediately got discouraged and never really bothered with it again. However your advice seems pretty good, though the youtube video doesn't seem very confident. When I play SS again (probably late next year- I have Twilight Princess as my next adventure coming up soon) I'll give it another try.