After reading this, I’m not sure if I should grumble or snortle for a number of reasons. But when I remember the difficulty of video games from my era, I kinda picture children today in tears.
My theory still is time oriented.
Big dollar games come out all the time. You play them. You move on. That’s what the industry wants. Games these days begging easier, some of that is good design and some of that reflects that we won’t be playing it very long.
By contrast the games I had as a child, all had long shelf lives. When I got my SNES, I played Super Mario World and Super Mario All Stars pretty often. Those were new, cool things when I was a little kid. When my SNES finally was retired, closer to the PlayStation 2 era than the N64, I still played them.
I remember a card game that I played around middle school age, called Yu-Gi-Oh. My Game Boy cartridge is sitting in the closet somewhere next to Pokemon Blue and Gold. You see, I used to play that Yu-Gi-Oh cartridge a lot. One day I figured out how the really simple A.I. worked. No matter what the long game looked like, the A.I. would calculate the best response to your move. Knowing this, it didn’t take much crunching to decide how to manipulate the A.I. and defeat it. Always.
Why did I stop playing that cartridge? Was it because I lost my interest in the card game? Nope. In fact, I still enjoyed the trading card game for a number of years after that. I stopped playing the video game version because it was too damned easy. It went from passing time with some fun to wasting time with no fun. Thanks to removing the challenge.
By contrast, the only thing that really changed about how I play Super Mario Bros is the words I shout at the screen 🤣. When I revisited the game in my twenties, I wondered how I didn’t smash it, and then remembered how hard it was to get new video games back then. Hehe.