Retro games you wish were harder to beat?
from to on 10 Jun 03:43

Retro games are often known for being more difficult than their modern brethren. Every now and then though you run into a game that is actually too easy. Which game would you prefer to have more of a challenge?


threaded - newest on 10 Jun 03:55 next collapse

Not an unpopular opinion but all of the early Pokémon games could have used a hard mode.

Obscure game but I beat Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout with more then 30 lives without even trying. Though that’s only one of several issues with that game. on 10 Jun 10:58 collapse

Is that the one where Bugs has a giant hammer? I remember renting that as a kid for the weekend and I beat it Friday night. on 10 Jun 12:16 collapse

Could be bugs bunny and Taz time busters. I Had that game as a kid and I remember a wooden mallet in it. on 10 Jun 04:04 next collapse

Like Pokémon, I would say most games with RNG. They’re basically fake and also limited by the lack of computation for RNG at the time. You can’t make them hard; there’s basically a ratio where they’re enjoyable or not, and that’s the same ratio as playable or not.

Platformers resist this—they’re exactly as hard as they are. They’re the original physics based game. Pure skill. on 10 Jun 05:26 collapse

There are different skills than just physical execution. Pokemon isn’t easy because RNG or because it’s turn based, it’s easy because the NPC team compositions are awful, the AI sucks, and the game only has very lenient soft caps on grinding. A mod like Radical Red solves these things, and I’ve played other turn based games with plenty of RNG which require lots of skill. on 10 Jun 13:40 next collapse

Was about to suggest radical red. Makes for such a great experience. on 10 Jun 20:29 collapse

Thanks for informing me about Radical Red! on 10 Jun 04:26 next collapse

Uhhhhhh…none? I’m 40, and suck at video games. Not because I’m old (shut up), but because I’ve always sucked at video games. I still haven’t beaten Super Mario Bros 3. I was there as it happened. That was my generation.

What’s wrong with letting us terrible gamers enjoy a game??? Kirby and Yoshi games are the BEST!!! on 10 Jun 16:28 collapse

I’m older (49) and suckier, but I beat Super Mario Bros 1 to 3. I played Kirby and I don’t know… I don’t wish it was harder. Part of the fun was that it was easy I think. on 10 Jun 04:51 next collapse

Most games can so easily be minmaxxed to death by reading wikis to figure out the exact mechanics. This wasn’t a thing back in the day but all those samegames retroactively now have wikis.

I find it difficult to stop myself learning tips of how to complete the game smoothly but most of the time I’m very happy I didn’t spoil it for myself. on 10 Jun 05:01 next collapse

The Punch-Out thread from yesterday just has me wishing Super Punch-Out was a bit harder. It was tough as hell getting through that last championship when I was a kid; but I can easily breeze through the entire game in like an hour or two now because I know the patterns necessary to beat every dude as fast as I possibly can, and they don’t really randomize what they throw at you. It’s like watching a movie you’ve seen a million times. on 10 Jun 05:02 next collapse

I'll also generally say 'none'. I'm generally playing a game to explore its world or be part of its story and having difficulty for the sake of difficulty (which resulted in grinding in old RPGs, for example) is just not welcome. on 10 Jun 05:18 next collapse

I think most retro games were hard enough as it is, considering limited disc/cartridge space and because you were generally expected to spend more time with a single game back then. But I agree with the people here saying Pokemon lol, romhacks are better. on 10 Jun 06:08 next collapse

Super Mario World

It had by far the best tech and it finally opened up the format to the real potential and then the actual gameplay was for the first time in the series basically just a guided walking tour of all these different areas you could visit and then you got handed a trophy. Pure crap

Super Mario 64 had somewhat the same problem although with somewhat of a challenge from time to time, and with the added excuse that they were breaking new ground on the format and so it made sense for the difficulty curve not to be perfectly tuned and polished. SMW had no such reasons on 10 Jun 06:16 next collapse

Mario World probably was a bit too easy, but I think SM64 difficulty was good especially if you wanted to get all 120 stars on 10 Jun 06:34 collapse

Yeah. SM64 you could say was just a normal game, after the exercise in deliberate punishment that was a lot of the NES library.

I greatly enjoyed James and Mike Mondays showing Metroid; in part 2 around 9:00 in, you can see the part where the real NES begins to set in. It’s a kind of unapologetic unbalanced hardness you don’t really see in mainstream games anymore; now it’s like a niche phenomenon if the game is just deliberately un-fun in sections to help you build character. on 10 Jun 06:35 collapse

Here is an alternative Piped link(s):

James and Mike Mondays

Piped is a privacy-respecting open-source alternative frontend to YouTube.

I’m open-source; check me out at GitHub. on 10 Jun 06:36 next collapse

I played a randomized version of World a couple years ago and it kicked my ass lol. I don’t know if I can ever recover from it. on 10 Jun 12:59 next collapse

On Super Mario World, did you go through the Star Road and find the alternate exits for every level with a red dot? I feel like that’s the hard mode. on 10 Jun 13:10 collapse

Super Mario World is my fave video game ever, but I agree it would be awesome to have a slightly harder version. I explored several challenging ROM hacks of it a few years ago and they were impossible to play, like I had to use save states to get through the first level. Celeste is basically my favorite difficult platformer now on 10 Jun 13:21 collapse

Haha I had exactly the same result. I tried kaizo Mario and couldn't make it past the first 10-15 seconds.

This GDC talk about the level design for Celeste is a pretty fascinating look at how were the nuts and bolts of making it come out so polished + good on 10 Jun 13:22 collapse

Here is an alternative Piped link(s):

This GDC talk

Piped is a privacy-respecting open-source alternative frontend to YouTube.

I’m open-source; check me out at GitHub. on 10 Jun 06:38 next collapse

The Fight Night games. 3 is probably the best, but once you play it for a little while every fight is a challenge to not KO the opponent within two rounds. on 10 Jun 07:08 next collapse

I remember games being really hard (or I’m just crap) back in the home micro 8bit days. Then I watch play throughs on YouTube and discover if you figured out what to do, the game could be completed in under an hour! on 10 Jun 11:15 next collapse

I’d say maybe Kirby’s Dreamland and Kirby’s Dreamland 2 for gameboy, but I actually really enjoyed the mindless simplicity of the whole experience. on 10 Jun 11:49 next collapse

I considered the early Kirby’s but I think youre right. Their low-difficulty is their charm. on 10 Jun 13:50 next collapse

Battletoads for Gameboy. I just wanted to hear more of that slamming soundtrack, but the flying level beat me…

EDIT Oh snipes I misread the post, I thought they were asking for games that were too hard

I would have loved for Pokemon Red/Blue to have had some infinite endgame. It was already a big game so no harm done, bu I would have loved to have more use for my overpowered pokemon on 10 Jun 20:20 collapse

<img alt="oh snipes" src=""> on 10 Jun 20:30 collapse

Not sure about the second game, but when you beat the first one it would tell you how to unlock hard mode. And if you beat that, it would tell you how to adjust your max health and starting lives so you could give yourself even more of a challenge. on 10 Jun 16:25 collapse

Super Mario Bros 1 to 3. I was such a platforming nerd in the 80s and 90s. Sonic was so much more fun because it was harder than Super Mario. on 10 Jun 18:27 collapse

Yes, I agree. Especially 3. Still love them though. on 10 Jun 18:32 collapse

I replay and beat Super Mario Bros once a year just to remember summer, 1989: best friend who lived down the street used to come over to my house when I was home alone to play Super Mario Bros 3 with me because he couldn’t have a nintendo. We beat that one together and we were rewarded with kudos from my gamer mom. Best day ever.