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Ghosts ‘n Goblins producer explains why ‘easy mode’ was added to one of gaming’s hardest series

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

Yoshiaki Hirabayashi led the development of Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection, which was released on Switch in February and is coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC on June 1.

The Ghosts ‘n Goblins series is notable for being extremely difficult, but Resurrection includes four difficulty levels that can make things a bit easier for players, including the ability to take multiple hits, reduce the number of enemies or even respawn instantly upon death.

VGC asked Hirabayashi about this decision, especially given the recent discourse around games like Returnal and whether they should offer more accessible difficulty levels to players.

“Both myself and the director felt strongly that the foundation of this series is in the sense of achievement players feel when they take on the game’s challenges and through their efforts are able to overcome them,” Hirabayashi told us.

“But we know that people’s level of dedication to the series varies and there’s nothing we can do to change that, but we can set challenges at levels appropriate for various players that will let them reach that sense of achievement before they are overcome with frustration. This is why we included difficulty options in the game.”
 

Ikutachi

Member
 

NeoIkaruGAF

Gold Member
It was a very, very clever decision, one that shows that Capcom still understands gaming and gamers very well and it's more in line with the times than people sometimes give them credit for.

GnGR would've been trashed into oblivion by the modern gaming press if it didn't have a noob mode. Its "Legend" difficulty mode is Japanese evilness in its purest, most distilled form - absolutely beyond the patience and skill of many dedicated players. "Knight" felt easy in comparison, easier than the old GnG games, but reading around it seems even that isn't affordable enough for many. Having easier modes available allows more people to experience some of what GnG is all about without giving up before having finished a single level, because yep, the game is that hard on Legend.

Brilliant decision on Capcom's side. From Software could take some notes, but gamers will make sure to gatekeep From games against the evil noobs for a long, long time.
 

NeoIkaruGAF

Gold Member
Says the guy who made Demon's Souls, a game where even basic stats are represented by meaningless, undecipherable symbols and there's a ton of completely unexplained stuff.

I'm not fond of Kojima's games and stopped playing them a long time ago (while I played all the Souls games and Sekiro), but giving credit where it's due, he understands that affordability is an important feature.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
I dont know if there's any recent GG games but I played Ghost n Goblins and the Genesis Ghouls n Ghosts back in the day. Not hard at all. And it was artificially made longer by needing to beat the game twice.

Only thing that was hard was the unpredictable demon dude who would fly fast. Aside from that it was a typical action platforming game.

The key was getting used to controlling Arthur as he runs slow (despite his animation looking like he's a sprinter), and that jumps arent very long and totally canned. You cant do mid-jumps (from what I remember) or control your jumps mid air. So once you jumped, you had to make sure it's good.
 
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yurinka

Member
Very nice to see. Difficult games must be more inclusive and accesible for unskilled players, handicapped people, kids and certain game journalists. Or well, people who is just lazy and has a life and finds boring to keep repeating the same portion of a game again and again.
 
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Part of gaming growing up was getting better at the hard games.

I guess with cutscenes being the focus of so many new games instead of challenging gameplay due to the influx of casual gamers it was bound to happen.

It's not like it's impossible to find a hard game anymore though, but I think going forward easy modes will only be made easier.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Part of gaming growing up was getting better at the hard games.

I guess with cutscenes being the focus of so many new games instead of challenging gameplay due to the influx of casual gamers it was bound to happen.

It's not like it's impossible to find a hard game anymore though, but I think going forward easy modes will only be made easier.
I always viewed cutscenes as a canned way for the dev team to brag about production values, the strive for Hollywood and cater to people who love movies.

But perhaps it's more about filler to give casual gamers who don't get through a game to feel like they got their money's worth by at least sitting through 2 hrs of cut scenes.
 
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Soodanim

Gold Member
I don’t see why it’s necessary to compare to Dark Souls. It’s a series known for its difficulty, but it’s popular because its difficulty is fair and you can customise everything to suit you. You get a shield. You get a choice of weapons and armours. You get to choose your stats. You get to summon help if you are having trouble.

GnG is one of the most notoriously difficult games ever made, and you don’t get any of the above design considerations. You’re never a mis-timed jump or surprise enemy trap away from death, and you have to finish the whole thing twice to get to the final boss.

So no, Dark Souls doesn’t have anything to learn from this. This is a smart decision to make an incredibly difficult game more accessible to more than the eight people on the planet that finished the original. Dark Souls is nothing like that.
 

Tomeru

Member
Says the guy who made Demon's Souls, a game where even basic stats are represented by meaningless, undecipherable symbols and there's a ton of completely unexplained stuff.

I'm not fond of Kojima's games and stopped playing them a long time ago (while I played all the Souls games and Sekiro), but giving credit where it's due, he understands that affordability is an important feature.
Unless you are living in a vaccum, souls series has an easy mode for you. Its called a community, and it can help you decipher meaningless symbols so you know what to do.
 

Yoshiaki Hirabayashi led the development of Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection, which was released on Switch in February and is coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC on June 1.

The Ghosts ‘n Goblins series is notable for being extremely difficult, but Resurrection includes four difficulty levels that can make things a bit easier for players, including the ability to take multiple hits, reduce the number of enemies or even respawn instantly upon death.

VGC asked Hirabayashi about this decision, especially given the recent discourse around games like Returnal and whether they should offer more accessible difficulty levels to players.

“Both myself and the director felt strongly that the foundation of this series is in the sense of achievement players feel when they take on the game’s challenges and through their efforts are able to overcome them,” Hirabayashi told us.

“But we know that people’s level of dedication to the series varies and there’s nothing we can do to change that, but we can set challenges at levels appropriate for various players that will let them reach that sense of achievement before they are overcome with frustration. This is why we included difficulty options in the game.”
You can boil it down to "The game was originally a coin operated arcade title. Now it is a console game"
When it was in arcades, the point is to kill players as often as you can so they can put more coins in. Selling it as a console game changed that, and now it is about customer enjoyment for the money they spent.

How you earn money, determine how a game is designed.
 
<--TFW when Legend Mode was basically the classic game difficulty. Game was piss easy either way and would have been more enjoyable if it didn't remind me of adobe flash.
7/10 Music from SNES GnG is still superior, all these years later.
 
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