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RPG Index: Single player Role Playing Games

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The advantages of playing a roleplaying game on hard difficulty. Challenge yourself.

I've often stated that playing any game on hard is the best and only way to play. An RPG is no exception to this rule, these titles are often far more rewarding and satisfying on a harder difficulty.

I am absolutely ashamed at all the gamers I know for choosing normal or easy difficulty. Unless the game is something really Korean and therefore impossible to complete unless you are Asian, then you should always try setting the game on hard mode to see what it is like.

If you play games on lower difficulties, not only are you not challenging yourself to become a better gamer, but you're also never going to be any good at any games, period.

A funny meme about hard mode being too hard and normal difficulty being too easy

What do you mean by play games on hard difficulty?

It's simple. When you have the option to choose a difficulty on your RPG or any video game, opt for the higher level of challenge. There are countless benefits to playing on a challenging difficulty, which I shall try to cover throughout this article.

When you start a new video game you are often prompted to choose a difficulty. If not, you can usually find a difficulty selection in the menu options somewhere. The most common difficulties include:
  • Easy: Easy is the difficulty level that you choose the first time you ever touched a video game. Picking easymode after this point is pathetic, and a bad gaming practice.
  • Normal/Casual: Normal is probably the most common difficulty for gamers. Most RPGs are terribly easy on normal, 
  • Hard: Hard is usually the difficulty I start with, this is definitely the best way to go.
  • Very Hard/Nightmare: Very hard is usually a crazy challenge bordering on masochistic. I will usually put it on this difficulty if hard is a cakewalk.
Bear in mind that sometimes games will use various different names for difficulty, like casual for normal mode or veteran for hard. Nightmare mode is definitely one you might of heard of or suffered through.

Why should I play on hard?

The purpose of playing games depends on the person. You could be playing for story, fun, or just out of boredom. However, if you are playing games, you are completely devaluing the price of your purchase and the quality of the game if you do not select a difficulty level that provides you with a decent challenge. If I'm not connected with the game over screen once in a while, I will get bored. So should you!

Boss battles are meant to be tough. How are you supposed to remember a boss if he didn't kill you and all of your characters 5 times over?

I have played many RPG titles such as Final Fantasy and completed the entire game with barely a single member in my party ever getting KO'd. The most prevalent thing I remember from these playthroughs was that they were easy and boring because of it. The best RPGs are the ones that you struggle against.

Baldur's Gate wouldn't be an epic iconic and classic RPG without the constant wiping and repeatedly getting killed by enemies. It wouldn't be a cult hit, because people loved it because it was brutally challenging and all about perfecting your characters and playstyle.

Playing on hard difficulty makes you exponentially more skilled at games

This is an incredibly accurate statement. When I start a new game with my friends, they all choose normal. Because I pick hard, when we do a multiplayer versus match I win every single time. Why? Because I am naturally used to playing at a higher level. Playing on normal not only sets a lower level precedent for your skill of play, but it also allows you to use redundant mechanics to win battles that you wouldn't be able to get away with on a higher difficulty.

Modern games are increasingly easy

As video games have trended towards mainstream culture, developers have continued to make easier and easier titles. This is for the filthy stinking casuals who rarely purchase and play games. I finished Dragon Age inquisition on hard without dying once, because EA think their games cater better to a wider audience.

I am disgusted with how easy games have become. I don't mind video game developers making a game accessible to noobs, but on a harder difficulty it should always be a challenge. Nowadays, whenever I want a good hearty game to play with lots of losing and increasingly difficult battles, I have to go shopping in the retro market. Even new games notorious for being challenging like Dark Souls just turn to putty in my hands.

Playing RPGs on hard difficulty

Because of my experience on JRPGs and other RPG games, even when I select a harder difficulty I usually make it through the game with minimal deaths. This is less due to skill and more down to pure experience. Check out my beating and breaking RPGs guide to see how I do it.

Don't be intimidated by the higher difficulty levels on games. They are there to encourage you to better your gaming skills. Once you get accustomed to playing games on hard you will benefit from it in several key ways:

  • You will learn much more about the RPG by playing it on hard.
  • Hard mode will increase your problem solving skills.
  • Normal mode is always too easy, it never really issues you a challenge in modern games.
  • You will become better at gaming in general.
  • Often on RPGs, there is additional content to be found by selecting challenging levels.
Ultimately advantages of playing video games on hard or extreme can be many or few. I personally do it because I do not want to get into bad habits by playing the RPG on easy in the first place.


Conclusion: Almost all RPG titles are better games on hard

If you want to be better at games, if you want to better yourself, play on hard. Relish the opportunity to be challenged, take every game over screen as a lesson. If you have that competitive spirit in you, remember to hold your skills to a higher standard!

If you want to literally decrease your gaming skills, go ahead and pick easy mode. Just remember, if you ever play against me or any other nightmare difficulty gamer online, we will always win. Are you okay with that? Or would you rather put up a fight?

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