Difficulty in Videogames

July 31, 2019 posted by


There are so many games that struggle to find that perfect balance between baby mode, challenging, and frustrating. Ideally, your game should land right in the middle there, next to Donkey Kong. But where this all gets muddled up is with the addition of multiple difficulties, scaling difficulties, overpowered techniques, exploits, ranking systems. It gets really messy when you start examining what’s fair, what’s bullshit, what should be easier, what should be harder… There’s so many variables and it’s largely subjective to each player’s skill level that I don’t even know where to begin with this video. How about Halo 1? One of my favorite single player shooters. It offers you four difficulties. Which, if you’re a grown-ass man still playin’ video games, still playin’ Halo 1, you need to cross these two off right now, let’s be real. Now, playin’ on PC with a mouse and a keyboard, I could just barely, after about 700 deaths, just barely squeeze my way through this game on legendary. It was fucked up. Halo 1 on legendary changes a man. Then I went back through on heroic and whooped the game’s ass. But, this is my problem: which difficulty did I enjoy more? Legendary was more challenging, but guns like the assault rifle became obsolete. Most of the time, you’re forced to use the plasma pistol, which is… Is… I hate the plasma pistol! This shit is stupid! On heroic, however, you have much more freedom in how you approach the game, but after playing on legendary, it just feels like a cakewalk. “The Covenant are putting up a real fight.” And a lot of games have that irritating gap between “kind of hard” and “fucking annoying.” You want the game to push you to your absolute limit, and force you to experiment and find out what works and what sucks is when you find out what actually works just isn’t that fun. Variety and options are sucked out of the game. You have these severe difficulty spikes that feel overlooked by the developers. And what happens is the player starts pushing back. You notice the cracks in the game’s design. You abuse the AI. You learn how to stop enemies from spawning. And when you push the game to its limit, sometimes, it cracks, and your enjoyment is ruined. Mario. Mega Man. Shovel Knight. These games have one fixed difficulty, so you know the experience is entirely tailored around what you’re playing. Without a doubt, it’s the way the game is meant to be played. It doesn’t always result in a perfectly tuned game. But it does lend a huge sense of legitimacy to what you’re doing. Players should have options in how they approach a game, but letting you pick how difficult the game is maybe is just a step too far. It’s like my man Tupac says: “No one man, should have all that power.” Bioshock 1 on hard, Uncharted 2 remake on crushing, Mass Effect 2 on insane, these difficulties just nailed it for me. I think they’re perfect. But then you have all these other supplementary difficulties that end up being inferior ways to experience the game. What’s really smart, are games that are easy to pick up, but difficult to master. Let the player get a hang on what’s going on, and then continually ramp that shit up until it gets sadistic. Take Mario 64. Uh, not the hardest game ever made, but people just go nuts on this game, man. Far beyond what is actually expected of you. You want that depth, that margin for improvement. It keeps the game alive. You don’t want just a static cap where you don’t feel like you can’t get any better at the game. When you encounter a poorly designed difficulty, you start second guessing yourself. “Is this all Lyric has to offer?” “A challenge would be nice.” “It’s over? Huh. It’s over.” “…whatever that was.” “I never wanna go through it again.” You say, “well if I can’t lose, why isn’t this just a movie?” Or “why am I wasting so many hours just trying to beat this one bullshit part?” “What the fuck?” Why am I wasting my time playing this shitty game? Why do I even play video games? Why do I even exist? Now, when Kirby’s Epic Yarn is causing you to have an existential meltdown, that’s when you need to take a break and say, “this game is too easy.” “I need to go play some Donkey Kong Country.” Now, in this game, all I’m thinkin’ about is “man, I gotta fuckin’ kick this beaver’s ass.” Basically, guys, what I’m tryin’ to say with this video is that LEAGUE OF LEGENDS SUCKS DICK. IT FUCKIN’ SUCKS

100 Comments

100 Replies to “Difficulty in Videogames”

  1. user of username says:

    3:37 well..that's about right on how league makes me feel.

  2. CRZ 1021 says:

    Gow 1 on god mode is what changes a man. The Aires boss fight took me months to beat. I went through 3 controllers on that one.

  3. Wilbur E says:

    I have heard ”YAHOOO” in Mario 64 so many times it’s engraved into my brain.

  4. AlexLun says:

    Had the weird feeling with the last of us… I went full leeroy Jenkins and tried to play it my first time at its highest (grounded) difficulty… After that, I didn't even had the mood to play Hard. I just kept playing 2 or 3 more times in grounded. Luckily they still gave me the trophys for easy normal hard difficulties even though I never actually played on those (thank you system). Grounded just feels great to me because it doesn't feel like a shooter game like the other difficulties, it feels like an actual survival where I don't know if I'm full health, where I'm trying to save as many ammunition as I can. Trying to use my materials wisely. My adrenaline just pumps up everytime I'm being chased by a bloater and I feel like my own life is in danger.

  5. Dawg Wood says:

    The best way to have multiple difficulties is with just 2 difficulties, but the very best is just 1 difficulty.

  6. TheFreshEnd says:

    whats the music in the background at 1:05

  7. David Pendleton says:

    you are the motha flippin king of saying of saying it like it is. i can so relate. liked. fo shizzle

  8. Mewshrew 12 says:

    Mortal Kombats "Choose your Destiny" is just an illusion of difficulty, it really just gives you the power to choose how many enemies you want to fight. It's still fucking disgusting no matter what you chose.

  9. The Dude says:

    To save you some time; he just wanne say: ''LoL sucks dick''

  10. casey is a massive legend says:

    If league of legends suck dic your gay

  11. George says:

    This fucking guy is great! I just stumbled on this..

  12. Dalek sec says:

    What about… KNACK 2, BAAAYBEEEEEE!!!

  13. Glitchy Glitches says:

    ”The covenant are putting up a real fight” 😂👌

  14. C-Sec Officer 123 says:

    Man.. I forgot how awesome the Donkey Kong theme is

  15. Jo says:

    Lu Bu difficulty is the hardest for me 🙁

  16. Nigel Baker says:

    I took the effort to 100% Rayman Legends. That final level was complete and utter cancer for me and to almost 50 attempts most of them involved rage quit. I literally memorized every button press to the point where If I wasn't paying attention I'd still make it. And when I finally beat it I collapsed on the floor in pure Ecstasy and stopped playing games for about a day altogether. It was that insane. Btw I was 15 when I did this

  17. Nicolae Cojocaru says:

    When ever he's talking shit about games league of legends game play pops on

  18. Williams Figueroa says:

    unpopular opinion: league of legends is good but it fucking sucks

  19. The fan of Kirby says:

    Shovel knight is not hard
    + mode is hard

  20. Warframe Addict says:

    Mgs5s diffulty is determined by how much you care about the mission your doing,

    And rnd team level

  21. Kawaii Doggo says:

    Why do u keep mentioning league of legends when…. oh

  22. The Dark Knight Productions says:

    4:03

  23. KOZER KOG says:

    Saying 2pac showing jay z

  24. Descendant of Kraff says:

    From Software are the only dev that are good at difficulty.

  25. Gewish Worm says:

    Uncharted 2 on crushing is a challenge till the boss battle where I had to abuse the ai in order to have a fighting chance. I played it on hard the first time around and thought it the best difficulty to play on.

  26. My_Dixie_Rekt says:

    He thought that halo 1 on legendary was difficult?

    Just wait till he plays halo 2 on legendary

  27. JagoKote says:

    Im jagokote, and i like this video

  28. Aristocrom 12 says:

    You right…

    Not to lol

  29. Kaffohrt says:

    Borderlands 2 with OP10 be like : So you like getting beaten

  30. Veemo * says:

    you should be able to customize difficulty, not by a preset option, but by what content you go after.. take Mario Odyssey for example.. some moons are shit easy and some are not . but if you do come across a stupidly hard moon, you can just ignore it and find a different one… if ones too easy, then there's always other options you can choose to challenge yourself! Heck, they don't even lock off the dark/darker side to 100% completion so you can just ignore the moons you don't like for the entire game

  31. Tanner Cruse says:

    I love the fact that Dunkey shits on League of Legends every time there's an opportunity to do so.
    Fuck Riot.
    <3 Dunkey

  32. NambayMayCry says:

    0:08 you say dmc3 is harder than dark souls?

  33. Captain Campion says:

    always coming back to see these videos

  34. ExtraSwede says:

    Please dunky, you can clearly tell that it wasn't tupac, it was p-diddy, get your pics straight!

  35. Sir Billius says:

    So dark souls 3 is the perfect difficulty.

  36. Tiller 514 says:

    Man, I gotta kick this fucking beavers ass

  37. Auto Glass Ron says:

    2:52 Why quote Pac and show J?

  38. Praise the sun says:

    Dark souls

    Difficulty: no hope

  39. kiancavella says:

    At 0:07 what's the game on the right?

  40. Rodney Hinton says:

    It fuckin sucks

  41. Toad Howard says:

    I’ve never played over watch

  42. Raid_Arsenal says:

    dont worry dunkey ill play lol so you dont have to

  43. David Lu says:

    Agreed

  44. Alasdair Hunt says:

    halo 1 potato aim simulator

  45. brandon jerome says:

    whydoievenexist

  46. TES - Randy says:

    dunkey: LEAGUE OF LEGENDS SUCKS DICK!!
    Ads: >:(

  47. Bobert 03 says:

    Sekiro did it well

  48. Nick D says:

    "Existiential" is not a word. Its existential.

  49. klose king says:

    Easiest game ever dark souls , never play it

  50. Just Some Guy says:

    I'mma be honest, I couldn't beat halo 1 remastered on heroic. At least when I gotta deal with those stupid parts with bridges. It's like I'm set to be insta-killed

  51. Lord Dhani Official says:

    lol sucks dick?
    no
    moba sucks dick :3

  52. WaCk-A-dUdE says:

    Re-watched this after watching it used by Emp in what is currently a new video.
    This is a comment, and it exists.

  53. RNCheesus says:

    1:43, for those coming from the EmpLemon video.

  54. Creeps says:

    found the video that emp lemon had parts from

  55. fyggy says:

    the game with the best difficulty scaling is btd6. by cranking the difficulty, it forces you to come up with new strategies, because it doesn't just make the bloons harder, but instead the skill ceiling required to pass

  56. Nafi Napkin says:

    2:20 Mario, megaman, shovel Knight, nuclear warfare

  57. Camilo Pianzola says:

    EmpLemon sampled this perfectly. Lets be real, you also thought he edited in those gunshots and music onto a Dunkey voice clip.

  58. 0 subscribers with no videos challenge says:

    "it's over? huh, it's over! whatever that was, I never wanna go through it again"

    when I complete veteran difficulty cod

  59. Witted Acrobat19 says:

    I love your videos where you are serious and make videos focusing on certain Video Game topics

  60. えすててぃっく says:

    why did emp use this audio.

  61. Plastic says:

    This made me realize how much i suck at all video games

  62. Aska2468 says:

    Come on, Kirby isn't meant to be challenging. It's supposed to be relaxing and good for kids.

  63. Zach Templeman says:

    FURI is an amazing game difficulty wise

  64. AleK says:

    bruh donkey kong country 2's difficulty is akin to being raped with a chainsaw no lube

  65. Dante's Inferno says:

    Devil may cry 3 on the extreme right lol 0:08

    I know, I know it's difficult but only at Dante must die and above.

  66. PJ6300gaming says:

    3:55 – 4:11 I have depression so this literally, word for word, actually happens to me when I get demoralized by a game.

  67. Seratha Evistille says:

    Mass Effect 1 and 2 on Hardcore/Insanity are actually pretty fun, more so Mass Effect 2 though. ME1's suicidal charging A.I can cause many a death and many a reload.

  68. Ivan Cerecer says:

    Nothing beats the satisfaction of beating a hard game…only to forget how to play easy games causing me to die in Mario 2 over and over again

  69. Will Best says:

    2:37 I’m so glad I never knew this trick. 6 week road trip at the age of thirteen with a game boy. Boom! Git gud I did indeed

  70. Dead Rising 4 Is A Joke says:

    I saw spelunky in the beginning honestly spelunky is really easy

  71. Georg Friedrich Hendl says:

    Quake 3 Arena, last enemy, "Xaero" on hardest difficulty "Nightmare".

  72. Power says:

    Really good emplemon sample

  73. Joe Simoneau says:

    Greatest experience I ever had gaming was playing MGS2 on Extreme. Could never get Big Boss rank, though…

  74. Your Friendly Neighborhood Аруг says:

    Donkey Kong Country and Country Returns is the peak of perfection

  75. Leona Connelly says:

    "Excielsential crisis" dis guy an intellectual or sutin?

  76. Pinocchio the real boy says:

    Legue of legands does Indeed suck dick

  77. John-Simon Nahas says:

    Devil may cry was easy. Why is it on the what the fuck side? Toughest thing was virgil but you get used to the pattern

  78. Channel says:

    Am I qualified to talk? Eh I'll say anyway. I played halo 4 on legendary. Horrible experience. You'll constantly switch weapons because of halo 4s extreme lack of ammo. You best keep needlers and ranged weapons.

  79. Nobuu ! says:

    Someone please kill me and erase my thousands of hours of league of legends from my history

  80. ohdeadboi says:

    "It was fucked up, halo 1 on legendary changes a man…" – videogamedunkey

    God I felt that one, and sure it does. I never saw halo the same ever again.

  81. B. Is. Fly says:

    Wow people that have a opinion that every game needs difficulty are very annoying in my opinion . This is why they are wrong for one if every game had a easy mode it would create balancing issues such as for example Dark Souls . If Dark souls had a easy mode then people that want to play the game the way it was meant to be played will have a unfair dis advantage when fighting a easy mode player for pvp see my point? because they could breeze threw the game and collect all of the good stuff easily and not experience the game at its base core. The opinion that every video game needs difficulty makes no sense as it greatly depends on the game , If every single game had a easy mode then what is the point in playing specific games because many people are using the easy mode and stuff. Why cant people just except games that are meant to be hard because they are the way they are if you like it or not so stop trying to wreck games that are hard for the love of god it it so annoying yes you are entitled to your own opinion yes but how is it fair to try to change all games because of your opinion , because not all agrees with you. i do not agree with difficulties to be selected on all games for a reason because not all games are the same . if you are going to complain about a game that is too hard like dark souls well then why are you playing it. If you take a game so serous to a point that you are getting very angry what is your life? If a game is meant to be hard then let it be for god sake and please stop trying to wreck games do your minority of opinions .

  82. TorpitGrunt2006 says:

    wtf?

  83. William Sinclair says:

    I hate when increased difficulty means the ai cheats. I.e gaining more resources

  84. B. Is. Fly says:

    they are trying to say that hard games need a easy mode for mentally disabled players which is wrong they are saying because someone has a mental disorder that they need to play easy mode

    yup makes sense my friend has autism and yet he is good at hard games

  85. Kristi Foley says:

    I don't care about a game being super difficult. Did I tell you about the time I beat God of War 3 on Titan mode? It's like, the hardest difficulty ever

  86. Antoine Batallas says:

    smh when youre hardstuck bronze 3

  87. shmootube5000 says:

    ohmygod battletoads…. that game… that game shaped me as a man and made me play any new game i buy on hardest difficulty, hardcore mode if available. anything less doesn't fill me with adrenaline and rage like it should.

  88. Lysander Hinojosa says:

    Air knight is the worst knight in shovel knight

  89. The Molten Gamer says:

    Everyone: Fire emblem awakening is easy!
    Me: I can't beat it on easy guys help me

  90. Pips2000 says:

    yeah that's how it isLOL sucks dick and Dota is for the real pro's out thereEveryone telling me now LOL is harder than Dota has no fucken idea lul

  91. Alberto González Bollaín says:

    i dont get this debate…
    Games that are too easy, where you win no matter how you play, tend to become boring very fast.
    Games that are too difficult, that represent a challenge way greater than you expected, tend to become bothersome very fast.
    In the end, it's all a matter of choice, instead of a matter of 'good' vs 'bad'.
    The BEST solution is to allow the player to SELECT THE DIFFICULTY they want… so the game fits in the right spot for them.
    If you dont allow that selection, the developers would be selfish with the game, trying to make you play it exactly the way they want you to play it, regardless of its difficulty… that's not ideal.

  92. Jeff Milam says:

    exis-tea-enshal… I love this guy… for real legit… true. Slamdunkey… truly the best, and I love turn-based combat.

  93. fenafeses says:

    my dad struggles to pass the first level in kirby's ebic yarn

  94. Ravi Manne says:

    Halo 2 on legendary leads to PTSD

  95. TyPhenirW0LF says:

    League of Legends is everything I hated about RTS games condensed into one click managed nightmare.

    And I loved RTS games, so they dug deep.

  96. Mathew Akad says:

    DKC is the best 🌴

  97. Georgi Matanski says:

    League is good

  98. Sunquad says:

    "You want the game to push you to your absolute limit and force you to experiment and figure out what works and what sucks
    is that what you find that actually works is just not that fun, variety and options get sucked out of the game you have these severe difficulty spikes that feel overlooked by the devs, and what happens, the player starts pushing back you notice the cracks in the games design
    you abuse the AI, you learn to stop enemys from spawning, and when push the game to its limit, your enjoyment is entirely destroyed"
    -Dunkey 2016

  99. smooth fire says:

    you suck dick

  100. Lucius Calingin says:

    Man wish there was a game where the diffuculty alters the level design AND enemies

    like a world war 2 game

    easy- british vs italy

    medium- japan vs MUrica

    hard as fuckin hell- Russia and germany

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