Remember how hard arcade games used to be in the 80s? The difficulty levels between modern games and retro arcade games

Remember how hard arcade games used to be in the 80s? The difficulty levels between modern games and retro arcade games

Remember how hard arcade games used to be in the 80s? The difficulty levels between modern games and retro arcade games

When it comes to the level of difficulty, there exists a notable contrast between modern games and their retro arcade counterparts. Many gaming enthusiasts argue that contemporary games simply cannot compare to the challenging nature of those classic arcade experiences. Most of us couldn't even last 2 minutes into the game and to enjoy some gaming you had to have a pocket full of quarters. Several factors contribute to this distinction, highlighting why retro arcade games are often perceived as more demanding and unforgiving. 

One significant aspect to consider is the design philosophy prevalent in retro arcade games. These games were created during an era when developers prioritized a high level of difficulty to prolong gameplay and maximize revenue. The limited processing power and memory of older arcade machines necessitated concise and focused gameplay experiences, often emphasizing skill and precision. As a result, retro arcade games were notorious for their unforgiving mechanics, relentless enemies and intricate level design.

Furthermore, retro arcade games were primarily designed to be played within a specific time frame, aiming to extract as many quarters as possible from eager players. The difficulty curve was deliberately steep, enticing gamers to continue investing coins to progress further. This economic model incentivized challenging gameplay that demanded perseverance, quick reflexes, and extensive practice to master.

In contrast, modern games have undergone a paradigm shift in game design philosophy. The widespread adoption of home consoles and personal computers, accompanied by technological advancements, has allowed for more intricate and immersive game experiences. With the advent of save systems, checkpoints, and adjustable difficulty settings, developers now have the freedom to cater to a broader audience, accommodating players of varying skill levels and preferences. Modern gaming consoles try to keep the player entertained longer periods without making it too hard to play. While this may be ok for some people, those of us who grew up in the 80s-90s don't find it challenging enough.

Contemporary games often prioritize providing a balanced and enjoyable experience for players, which includes ensuring a reasonable level of difficulty accessible to a wider range of individuals. This approach aims to enhance player engagement, encourage progression, and accommodate different playstyles. While challenging games still exist in the modern era, they are often considered niche or intentionally designed to cater to hardcore gaming enthusiasts seeking a demanding experience.

Another contributing factor is the evolution of game mechanics and technologies. Retro arcade games relied on simple controls and limited input options, often requiring precise timing and quick reflexes. In contrast, modern games offer a broader range of control options, including complex button combinations, analog joysticks and sophisticated motion controls. These advancements have opened up new gameplay possibilities but have also allowed for more forgiving mechanics, reducing the inherent difficulty associated with older arcade games.

Additionally, the shift toward narrative-driven experiences in modern games has influenced the way difficulty is implemented. Many contemporary games prioritize storytelling and immersive worlds, aiming to provide players with engaging narratives and emotional experiences. While challenge and difficulty still play a role in modern games, they are often intertwined with the overall narrative and are balanced to ensure players can progress through the story without excessive frustration.

In summary, the disparity in difficulty between modern games and retro arcade games can be attributed to several factors:

- The design philosophy of retro arcade games, driven by the limitations and economic model of the time, emphasized high difficulty levels to prolong gameplay and maximize revenue. In contrast, modern games strive to provide a balanced and enjoyable experience for a wider audience, accommodating different skill levels and playstyles.

- Technological advancements, evolving game mechanics, and the rise of narrative-driven experiences have all contributed to the perceived discrepancy in difficulty.

Ultimately, both types of games offer unique experiences and cater to different preferences within the gaming community. Arcade retro gaming seems to be the winner when it comes to difficulty and those of you who's like to challenge themselves should look into one of the custom arcade cabinets offered online or simply go to your local arcade.