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Thread: I don't know how I feel about this...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Esperahol's Avatar
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    I don't know how I feel about this...

    Is Nintendo Hard really so hard - or is skynet a thing? Seriously though Thomas Murphy IV from Google recently created a simple AI that can play NES games like no one's business. It has two modes - LearnFun and PlayFun. It is also a complete and utter cheat when it comes to gaming. I personally find that hilarious considering certain sites about tropes. Anyway the one game this thing doesn't seem capable of is Zelda so I don't think we need to start worrying about computing Pi all day just yet.

  2. #2
    RPG Ambassador OniBlackMage's Avatar
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    Most old school game were based on pre-made designed levels that acted in a static way. There was little or no AI. That's why you have a blind kid who can play Mike Tyson's Punch Out and win. Part of the meaning of 'Nintendo Hard' was the fact that most games were linear, obstacle courses with a very specific challenge, no forgiveness for errors, and very few ways to win.

    Success through attrition was the common tactic. These days, as games became much more dynamic with complex options for the player and AI both, its much harder for a machine to find a win pattern among any game, especially as they become more open. It also means that the less options players have towards victory, then the perceived 'challenge' seems to rise (noted most in the Darks Souls family).

  3. #3
    Member jardantuan's Avatar
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    I don't think it is a thing - the problem is that games had less room for errors which, when combined with how punishing 'losing' actually was, makes it seem harder.

    When you compare the original Super Mario for the NES to the NSMB series, you'll see that lives were scarce back then. Moreover, when you actually lost a life, you'd worry - chances are you had 3 or 4 lives at that point (whereas now having 100+ lives is commonplace). Lose all your lives, that's it. Game Over. Incidentally, seeing 'Game Over' doesn't mean the same thing it used to - these days you go back to the last save point, which was probably ten minutes ago.

    I think the difficulty of the games themselves probably wasn't much harder; it's just the lack of lives and saving that make mistakes far more punishing than they are now.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dame6089's Avatar
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    I can see how this would work. As someone mentioned, NES games are typically linear, besides Zelda of course. A lot of the challenge was memorizing where enemies were and how to defeat them. A computer could easily do this consistently every time.

  5. #5
    Master Member SpaceTiger's Avatar
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    Also the thing about Nintendo Hard was that the controls were stiffer compared to controls now or even when the SNES-Genesis generation kicked off. You had that with the obstacle course feel, bullet storms, flamegasms, linear stages with only one way to go, the Konami jump back, screen scrolling, and some games that were just dodgy in design, you definitely get Nintendo Hard.

    ...it was really the shoddily designed games. With games now, there is usually more than one way to win, controls move like butter (and even bad games have controls that worked better than NES...just look at Mega Man's jumping then compared to double and triple jumping now). Personally I feel the NES and Master System era of games (and some of the Genesis and SNES titles) were as difficult as the technical skill (reflexes) of the player (with some hopes that there was a platform below) as opposed to now where you can pretty much see everything coming up outside of soldiers and monsters jumping out of nowhere and difficultly mainly coming from 100% completion.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jardantuan View Post
    I don't think it is a thing - the problem is that games had less room for errors which, when combined with how punishing 'losing' actually was, makes it seem harder.

    When you compare the original Super Mario for the NES to the NSMB series, you'll see that lives were scarce back then. Moreover, when you actually lost a life, you'd worry - chances are you had 3 or 4 lives at that point (whereas now having 100+ lives is commonplace). Lose all your lives, that's it. Game Over. Incidentally, seeing 'Game Over' doesn't mean the same thing it used to - these days you go back to the last save point, which was probably ten minutes ago.

    I think the difficulty of the games themselves probably wasn't much harder; it's just the lack of lives and saving that make mistakes far more punishing than they are now.
    I cant remember the last time i saw "Game Over" either.

    heck the first time i got in over my head on Skyrim I got myself killed and said "SH******" out loud. I though i was going to end up back in town (a LONG walk away) with none of my weapons or armor, with low health or something like that. Nope, I spawned at the door that lead to the cave i had gotten myself killed in.

    I was like "oh, ok!" and was then more reckless because i felt death wasnt even a big deal anymore.
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  7. #7
    Master Member SpaceTiger's Avatar
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    Nintendo Hard really doesn't exist anymore. I forgot to mention--but noticed it in a comment in the "Have you every broken anything" thread--but difficulty today also comes from dealing with bugs that can hinder gameplay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by themarting View Post
    I cant remember the last time i saw "Game Over" either.

    heck the first time i got in over my head on Skyrim I got myself killed and said "SH******" out loud. I though i was going to end up back in town (a LONG walk away) with none of my weapons or armor, with low health or something like that. Nope, I spawned at the door that lead to the cave i had gotten myself killed in.

    I was like "oh, ok!" and was then more reckless because i felt death wasnt even a big deal anymore.
    This more than anything. Remember the good old days when you'd die in Contra and go all the way back to the first level? That thing could make people rage like nothing else.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Esperahol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiralArchitect View Post
    This more than anything. Remember the good old days when you'd die in Contra and go all the way back to the first level? That thing could make people rage like nothing else.
    How is that good? I mean I played back then and there was nothing I hated more then having to start from the beginning, but then again while I do enjoy marathon sessions I don't enjoy doing so because of loss progress. I was so very happy when save became a serious thing... and autosave is nice as well - because I tend to forget when I'm serious about progression. There was nothing worse then dying in Skyrim and losing literal hours of effort.

  10. #10
    Master Member SpaceTiger's Avatar
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    I do miss game over screens. They were the game's way of saying "Either you're gonna get it done right here or you're gonna start from the beginning with your shit house skills." Outside of school it was the time you probably wrote the most because of those long 10-20 character codes prior to saving. The "Load From Last Save?" screen is basically the Game Over screen of now, but it isn't the same.


    Quote Originally Posted by corporatenoun View Post
    That's $2 per level. Not for a normal video game level, but an Angry Birds level. Might as well go to Newgrounds at that point.

  11. #11
    Senior Member jbepp's Avatar
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    Games used to be very simple. The AI was pretty much nonexistent, and the gameplay was a lot more linear. That's why it's so easy for a modern AI to play old games.
    SpaceTiger likes this.

 

 

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