Bad Game Design – (Some) NES Games


It always cracks me up when I hear people
say they love games that are “NES Hard”. I know what they’re trying to say – it harkens
back to an era of brutal difficulty and actually puts your skills to the test; none of this
hand-holding stuff we have today. But the thing is…like, have you sat down
and played NES games lately? They kinda suck. Welcome to another Bad Game Design, let’s
talk about it, but first an important announcement: Thanks to Squarespace sponsoring today’s
video, I’m officially launching the Snoman Gaming website – stick around ‘til the end
for details on how you helped in designing it, and if you’re interested in building
a site or domain for yourself, you can go to Squarespace.com/snoman and use the offer
code SNOMAN to get 10% off your first purchase. Alright let’s dive in. Right off the bat, I feel like 50% of you
are thinking “Now hold on there Buster BaconBuns, there are some good NES games! What about the Castlevania’s and Ninja Guy-Dans?” And yes, absolutely! In fact I’m gonna talk about ‘em so don’t
steal my thunder okay? But the other 50% are thinking “Yeah of
course these games are bad, they’re over 30 years old! Game design wasn’t even really a thing yet,
why would you expect them to be on the same level as masterpieces today, like Fortnite?” And this is very true, so let me state my
thesis up front – I want to analyze exactly where NES games and others from that era fail
and how they could improve SO THAT we can implement better principles in titles today,
but while still retaining the good aspects that people seem to look back on so fondly. There’s a reason some gamers are yearning
for “the good ol’ days”, and while we are really good at putting on rose tinted
glasses to block out the negatives, there certainly was some sort of magic to them,
otherwise they wouldn’t be held in such high regard. Let’s break this down a little bit – first
we’ll discuss the good and the bad of NES games in their heyday, and then we’ll talk
about how games in the modern era are nailing homage while also advancing the formula we
hold so dear. So what’s the big deal with NES games? Well, at their worst, they essentially replicate
the arcade experience in your home, which was designed to be overly difficult on purpose
in an effort to steal your quarters, but now since no money is involved the only thing
it wastes is your time. “Op, you ran outta lives, sorry, guess you
have to start the whole game over now!” Lives are the bane of my existence – their
sole purpose is to push back your progress as punishment for losing them. And I think this is the main reason people
say that NES games were so hard, but this my friends is what we call “artificial difficulty”. It’s not hard because it tests your skill
to get past a certain hurdle, it’s hard because it removes your resources so that
you can’t attempt the hurdle as often as you’d like. Instead you have to execute a perfect run
of a level to even get back and try your hand at the obstacle that took you down. There’s a reason things like the Konami
Code giving a ton of extra lives came into existence – if developers needed it for testing,
how could they expect regular players to get through it unscathed? Now you could make the argument that as a
kid you had more time on your hands so replaying the same levels over and over wasn’t as
brutal as it is now for adults, since our time is more precious and we have to schedule
out our commitments. But you know the old adage my grandma used
to say “a lot of time to waste does not a Good Game Design make”. Inherently it’s less fun to go through the
same section you’ve already beaten countless times before. Of course you get better with each attempt
and can complete it faster or without losing as many lives. But when you fill your later levels with insane
reflex challenges and cheap deaths or wear the player down without any respite, it piles
a walk of shame on top of your failure, making you go back through the easy peasy levels
you’ve already conquered so many times. When you reach a certain checkpoint knowing
there won’t be any way your progress will be reset, it makes that checkpoint so much
more rewarding, like a bonfire in Dark Souls – this is your new starting place. It builds on your previous accomplishments
and just adds more, no 1 step forward 2 steps back nonsense. Conversely, checkpoints can also feel meaningless
if they are too close together or there isn’t any punishment for death. A lot of modern games suffer from this, by
simply not challenging the player and becoming boring in a different way. So it’s a fine balance, but I do like to
think that saving progress is better than losing it. To give an analogy from content creation,
it would be like putting together a perfect video, and then losing all your footage and
edits due to a power outage with no backups – I may lose my motivation and not even bother
starting the same video again. I’ve been watching my wife play the new
Spyro remakes, which are some of the few games she ever played as a kid, and cracking up
at her worry of starting the whole game over if she dies at zero lives, because I have
to keep telling her games don’t really do that anymore. And I know without a doubt that if it did
reboot her at the beginning with no collectibles, she would have quit and never came back. Now some games fix this issue by having a
game over only set you back to the start of the stage instead of the entire game. There’s still some punishment because you
lose your checkpoints of the current level, but you don’t have to start from scratch,
which at the very least saves time and lets your accomplishments still be worth something. Some games also utilize a password system
which is definitely a step in the right direction. I beat Super Mario Bros 3 for the first time
on stream the other night, and man, it was super rewarding! I warped straight to world 8 and yeah, it
was hard, but still felt beatable. I remember thinking there’s no way you would
see stages like these in Mario games today, it really puts your skills to the test. That Bowser fight was top notch! But they also did a decent job of balancing
punishment and leniency. Upon a game over, you start at the beginning
of the world, but any airships or tanks are destroyed for good so you don’t have to
play those levels again. And while you can randomly get sucked into
the abyss by these omniscient hands, they actually are more helpful than harmful since
the stages are very short and reward you with a valuable leaf powerup. The only parts you’d have to play again
after restarting are level 1 and 2, but after completing the fortress it sets a new permanent
checkpoint leading straight toward Bowser’s castle. But even then, I found myself using savestates
after finishing certain stages because in the interest of time, I didn’t want to keep
playing the same challenges I had already overcome. I probably would have stopped before finishing
if I had to keep fighting through level 1 and 2 so many times, not out of lack of ability,
but boredom or annoyance. I think this is why most virtual consoles
have a savestate function built in nowadays. But there’s more at work here causing such
frustrating experiences. If purely restarting from further back was
the issue games like Bloodborne would not be as popular as they are. I think it comes down to enemy placement and
level layouts. Developers used to be a lot more carefree
with incorporating random elements into their games than they are now. Look at how the zombies pop up out of the
ground in Ghosts and Goblins, it’s like “hey, sorry you got hit that’s the nature
of the game baby, sometimes they’ll randomly chomp your legs off”. So many NES games feel like gauntlets just
littered with enemies, no rhyme or reason to their placement. Telegraphing incoming danger is so vital to
how a player feels when encountering obstacles. It’s the difference between feeling clever
and like you read the enemy’s mind and feeling blindsided, like you were cheated out of a
life. Now without a doubt, limited technology affected
how much animation an enemy could show before attacking, but the level design often doesn’t
help the situation either. Bottomless pits and one-hit KOs are all over
8-bit titles and most of the time they’re combined with annoying enemies to make it
even harder to avoid your demise. Add in faulty physics or committed jump arcs
and sometimes your strategy feels more like luck than actual planning. Everything else can be just right, but if
you don’t feel confident in your knowledge of how to tackle a barrier, it can ruin the
entire experience. And finally, this is less of a big deal, but
visually speaking NES games look old and gross and…what is that supposed to be? It’s pretty hilarious when you realize games
used to just release with this little polish – glitching pixels and tons of lag were par
for the course. Bethesda ain’t got nothing on this! Obviously games have come a long way since
then and creators had to work with the tech of the time, but this is why the best games
that pay homage to the classics don’t exactly play by the rules, and others that do use
the same hardware…look like 30 year old games. Let’s look at Shovel Knight, perhaps the
prime example of what a tribute to the NES era should look like. Yes it’s still 8-bit inspired pixel art,
but they didn’t limit themselves to tiny color palettes, and utilizing a 16:9 aspect
ratio allows them to show so much more on screen. I actually think that’s a big difference
from old games that’s overlooked – it was harder to see what was coming because of the
lack of widescreen. But Shovel Knight does so much more than look
pretty – it perfectly shows us that you can still have a challenging adventure while also
feeling fair. Enemies will always give you enough time to
react to their behavior and often are introduced in a safe environment the first time you see
them. Telegraphs are aplenty, especially for the
big baddies and bosses, though obstacles are the same way, there’s almost never a time
where you’ll be caught off guard or killed cheaply as long as you’re paying attention. See while there ARE flying medusa heads here
too, they don’t appear if you’re close enough to the edge of the screen – great safety
buffer. And while nasty one-hit KO spikes are bountiful,
there’s forgiving invincibility frames, so even if you accidentally fall, you have
enough time to recover and even skip past a few obstacles if you’re handy. Cycles match up pretty well too so you can
sail through a stage at a normal pace and be fine, and if you do mess up in vertically
focused levels, most of the time you’ll fall back down to safety and be able to try
again right away. Most importantly, you learn how items, objects
and enemies work before it builds in difficulty. The powerups are tucked away in single room
puzzles so you know how to use them before you exit, and it prepares you to do some super
gratifying tricks later in the stage. The first time you see this puking statue,
it lines up with the gaps perfectly so you won’t get frustrated trying to fit it through. You’ll fall on snow or bounce on a dragon
before you have any time to react, and in the process learn a new mechanic without even
realizing it. Seriously, a master class in teaching without
teaching. But perhaps coolest of all, is how Shovel
Knight deals with death and checkpoints. Instead of lives and game overs restarting
your progress, you simply lose some of your gold which can be reclaimed if you make it
back to where you previously failed. But if you die again, it’s gone for good
– a system many other titles have adopted in today’s gaming climate. This encourages you to improve without causing
a HUGE detriment to your progress; you only lose roughly 25% of your total money, and
makes way more sense than arbitrary lives that serve little to no purpose. Now there are several different checkpoints
throughout a stage and you have infinite attempts to beat each challenging section, but even
better, you can BREAK those checkpoints to gain an extra batch of treasure, but this
causes you to restart at an earlier lantern if you die. This introduces an incredible amount of risk
vs reward, do I take more money and trust that I’ll reach the next goal unscathed? Do I break every checkpoint and risk going
back to the very beginning if I screw up? The reason this works so well is that the
player CHOOSES this increase in difficulty. Death is way more punishing, similar to NES
games of year past, but you have to opt in to this adjustment, so you have no one to
blame but yourself. Shovel Knight doesn’t have a difficulty
setting, but it builds one in naturally to the world by allowing this choice, and you’re
really only increasing the amount of time investment required to win, each stage is
still saved after completion no matter what. It’s incredible. But so many other games have incorporated
stuff like this to improve on the outdated philosophy from the 80’s. The first Good Game Design I ever did was
on Volgarr the Viking and how it utilized the isolation principle to teach you about
its variety of enemies, and color coded the strength of your foes so you know how many
hits they’ll take and be able to plan out your strategy accordingly. While bosses are intimidating they all have
recognizable patterns so you can learn and adapt every single fight, nothing random or
unpredictable here. It has pretty unforgiving checkpoints, but
infinite lives to try again, and once you reach the next level, you’ll always be able
to warp right to it by walking left when you boot up a new game. But there also IS reward for playing well
– if you don’t take damage and collect the valkyrie orbs, you can try your hand at extra
tough alternate stages in order to get the true ending, but this time you do have limited
lives, so make every action count. Again, the player chooses this mode if they’re
ready for the challenge, and not by a simple menu option, but by playing the game in a
different way. The End is Nigh, while not visually similar
to NES games, does have huge influence from their difficulty. Much like Super Meat Boy it’s all about
shorter increments of platforming, lowering the punishment for failure but raising the
overall brutality. But once you reach the first ending, it kicks
things up a notch. Not only do you find yourself in much harder
versions of the previous levels, but now you have a certain number of attempts based on
how many tumors you’ve collected along the way. If you run out of tumors, you restart the
current area, but you can also go back and explore the rest of the game to try and gather
more tumors which will increase the number of tries you have in the endgame. You see, the player gets to adjust the amount
of difficulty they want by how much their willing to collect, from none to simply beat
the normal game to 450 of them to unlock a final insanely hard area called Nevermore. Oh and if you really do want to relive the
glory days, there are secret carts you can find to play 8-bit style levels, which are
easily the hardest in the game due to their limited lives mechanic. As you might guess, I didn’t bother completing
them. So what have we learned today? Let’s recap. Yes there are good elements in NES games,
mainly being able to challenge the player as long as the stages and enemy placement
are well-designed and the punishment for death isn’t too exhaustive. A game over doesn’t have to mean starting
from stage 1, you could allow the player to continue or show a password to return to their
furthest accomplishment. But it can go further than that in today’s
games – if lives don’t make sense, try out a different penalty that may still sting,
but not cause a player to ragequit in anger, such as a loss of currency, highscore, or
powerups. Make your level designs purposeful and allow
the player to learn about an enemy, item or obstacle before throwing them into the fray. Random elements are obviously allowed but
should be implemented with caution, and tested thoroughly to make sure unjustified deaths
are nonexistent. And finally, if you want to really elevate
the experience, offer an added final test that the player can opt into, at which point
you can start throwing in nastier elements as long as you’re sure they’ll be skilled
enough to handle it. At the end of the day it’s about making
sure the player feels capable by providing a fair and clear challenge, then driving home
the accomplishment by ensuring the player used their own wit and ability to overcome. You want to work with the player, not against
them, to create as fun and meaningful of an experience as possible. Can you think of a modern game that wears
the true essence of “NES Hard” on its sleeve? One that’s difficult but not in a cheap
or fabricated way? Or maybe there’s another old-school title
I didn’t mention that really does implement fair challenge and picks the player back up
from their mistakes, tell me about them in the comments below and let’s talk about
it. So the next time you hear of a game that claims
to have the insanity of the NES days, make sure it has more to offer than frustratingly
unavoidable obstacles and artificial difficulty curves. Although I guess that’s better than just
saying everything is like Dark Souls. Thanks for watching another episode of Bad
Game Design, I’ll see you guys next time. Stay frosty my friends! Alright everybody, it’s officially here:
snomangaming.com! Thanks to your input about what you’d like
to see, I was able to put together something through Squarespace that I’m really proud
of! The site building tools were extremely easy
to use and practically did all the hard work for me. I was able to create beautiful layouts super
quick and intuitively, and my favorite part was that it just worked from the get go – no
updates, installers or add-ons needed. The options are super versatile making it
great for any type of website – musicians, artists, selling a product, you name it! So if you’re in the market for a great site-building
tool, I can’t recommend Squarespace enough, and if you go to squarespace.com/snoman and
use the code SNOMAN, you’ll get 10% off your starting month! I’ll see you next time, bye! This month’s Patreon shoutout goes to Marcus
Ebensteiner, whom I love with all my heart and I can’t rhyme with Ebensteiner.

63 comments

  • Snoman Gaming

    Did people think I was actually serious about Fortnite? C'mon…

    Reply
  • Jason Higgins

    Ugh…

    Reply
  • Cameron Harding

    When he mentioned Mario Bros 3 I cringed while remembering how Nintendo handles the true final levels in modern Mario Bros games.

    Reply
  • Roxas darkrath

    In my opinion the actual era of challenging difficulty that actually fun and not infuriating started in the snes era , few snes games had the same problems it's predecessor had

    Reply
  • Sakura Matou

    No offense but listening to your video you are more of a gamer that enjoys hand holding..and imo..anyone who uses save states didn't truly beat a game.

    Reply
  • Roan Slingerland

    Megaman… like the things you said about shovel knight is almost like megaman games…

    Reply
  • Robert Anderson

    Nobody's going to see this comment but, I think this video proves why clarifying your intent is so important. The video begins with this really smug sounding statement. "Like, have you sat down and played NES games lately? They kinda suck." (insert grin here) Of course people are gonna think you're trying to shit on the system when you say something like that in that way. If someone immediately acts all smug about their hot take it makes me less inclined to listen to them.

    Reply
  • OmikronWeapon

    it's obviously true that a lot of NES era games leaned on the arcade style, but most of the games you've put in the background don't support that. Battletoads, Turtles, Contra, aren't difficult just because you run out of lives, they're difficult because they're brutal in timing, speed and damage taken.
    In games like Megaman, even as a kid, I could get to the boss with enough lives plenty of times. I simply didn't know about the weakness to certain weapons. Mostly because the bosses are almost impossible to beat with just the buster. At least for a kid. Has very little to do with "Limited lives is bullshit".
    Also: I'm pretty sure the zombies in Ghosts and Goblins are fixed. At least in their first appeances. Maybe play it more than once before slapping it in a video for being unfair?
    The sewer swim level in Turtles gets used as an example of super hard (bad) level design. I beat that thing as a kid regularly. Just takes practice (a lot of it, granted)
    Personally I think the NES graphic style is great. It ties with SNES for me. Of course there's poorly 'draw' games as well as ones that are done very well, but the style itself certainly isn't "gross". At the very least, it's down to personal preference.
    Calling it out for being gross isn't just trying to state an opinion as fact, but also a dumb move, as it's kicking a good deal of your viewers in the balls. You dont have to suck up to viewers, but to put in a random, unneeded thing like that, it's just gonna piss people off. Very weird move…

    Reply
  • aarron dias

    Why are there so many salty people here? We get it, you're looking through rose-tinted glasses. No one cares.

    Reply
  • DEAD WOOPER

    I still can’t believe people got this mad at this video. Like, he’s right. These games aren’t fun. Sorry you grew up with them so you’re blinded to that

    Reply
  • ZeldaFreak

    Whats interesting is how Dev Studios change a game, when remaking it.

    For example the Zelda Remakes are quite interesting in that. With OOT they implemented the Videos, tho show how you can progress. That allows casual players to keep track what to do next, to see what they done and give them a hint how you can progress. Also they did some minor tweeks, for example with the iron boots. With Majoras Mask they even made more adjustments. With Links Awakening they even done more. Sure Grezzo now how to do remakes and I hope Nintendo lets them do more remakes. With Links awakening it even doesn't feel artificial. Sure you can't compare it to the GB Gamestyle but when you do, you see how a lot of stuff is basically still the same.

    I hope Grezzo does a remake of the both NES Zeldas, because they do need a modern style and difficulty.

    Reply
  • Jimmy Jon

    This is my favorite part of the video! 16:51

    Reply
  • Jimmy Jon

    "Old and gross" that's called SPRITE LIMITATIONS YOU ABSOLUTE WALNUT

    Reply
  • John

    "have you played NES games lately?". well i havent played the ones that were released this past year

    Reply
  • Antiiilluminatisquad

    Someone a little butthurt because its too hard?

    Reply
  • OmegaChase1002

    *Most NES Games.

    Reply
  • Matthew Poff

    Strongly disagree even with the first point. The limited lives required you to get really good at each step. Modern games with unlimited lives / checkpoints allow you to just bruteforce your way through a challenge and grab the next checkpoint without actually getting good at it.

    Reply
  • Zeldagigafan

    Some people clearly thought you were talking about ALL NES games. These people are safely ignored.

    Reply
  • Comungus

    Da fuck, nobody plays videogames to "save time", we play them exactly to waste precious time with meaningless achievements. The extreme difficulty was a way to make your expensive game last longer, by extreme repetition and brainwashy tasks.

    Reply
  • Ender Uzhumaki

    14:05 What is this game?

    Reply
  • SqualidsargeStudios

    Oi, screw that shite show fortnit aka fortshite

    Reply
  • Not Spoiler At All

    I love how Celeste has insanely dificult parts to beat which but it also has a lot of ways to save your progress to overcome the challenge whenever you like. It´s not only the fact that every beaten chapter will be there so you come back anytime to get those strawberries, but there are checkpoints in some points where you can just start from there and avoid repeating the whole level if isn´t necesary.
    What´s more, anytime you want you can just leave the game in any screen of any chapter and when you come back to action the game will save the progress at that point so you can resume at your own pace.

    And oh boy, that´s DELIGHTFUL

    Reply
  • BadBeliever

    It's honestly amazing how well so many NES games hold up. Sure, limitations like data read/write speeds meant things like modern checkpointing were typically impossible, but it seems odd to compare new games to old ones while ignoring how new tech (emulation, save states, etc) renders so much of the complaints about those older games moot. A more fair comparison would be if you equalized the failure state for both the new and old titles (ex: die 3 times and you have to restart from scratch for both).

    Reply
  • Cyber Console wolf

    Shantae on the ds / 3ds does the retro nes games right

    Reply
  • rocky the penguin

    This comment section is a sh** show

    Reply
  • Dominic Yeomans

    Dude, fortnite is the best game

    Reply
  • Ben Link

    “(Some)” nice attempt at a save there

    Reply
  • Divvu

    I agree, what were the Lumière brothers thinking? Movies of a train? A man running? Who would waste his or her time to watch those boring shots with no fx??!? They should have started with the avengers!

    Reply
  • Hammer Man

    Cuphead is incredibly difficult

    Reply
  • Kalnareff

    This video is painful to watch..

    Reply
  • RLJswag

    "I warped straight to world 8"

    "It was hard"

    Reply
  • Justin Y.

    7:50 Stopped watching.

    Reply
  • Curratum

    NES games are hard and cheap, but Shovel Knight's Specter Knight is not overtuned, cheap, annoying bullshit? Sure, bro!

    Reply
  • ssjup81

    Until Super Mario All Stats, I could never beat SMB, SMB2, or SMB3 and the only reason is because you could save. The NES was too hard for me back then.

    Reply
  • DnD Dude

    Risk Rainment from Spectre of Torment

    Reply
  • James

    git gud

    Reply
  • PkGam

    Thank you! Whenever I point out an aspect of a NES game that was unfairly designed, there always seems to be "someone" who jumps on it and says the player is just not skilled enough (git gud) even though it has nothing to do with skill. Like Heat Man's last block segments in Mega Man 2. It's about guessing, then memorization. Unless you happen to have item 2 of course, but you have to know you need item 2 and know where to get it (Air Man's) before attempting the stage. I don't mind blisteringly hard games at all, just as long as they have "genuine" difficulty. Ones that give you a chance to beat them through observation and skill in execution alone. But a good chunk NES games just don't have that. I think the reason why people jump to that conclusion is due to nostalgia glasses as they just don't want to believe the games they held in such high regard just aren't as well designed as they thought.

    Reply
  • Mike Tate

    sigh You made nice video but…
    You need to git good and get off my lawn!
    Dang kids and their chest-high walls…

    Reply
  • Michael Wilson

    ZELDA 1 IS SO GOOD! I did not beat the game yet because level 8 is way too hard.

    Reply
  • MapleMilk

    Yeah this is definitely Snoman's Kanye moment
    I love his channel but he definitely said some things…less than optimally

    Reply
  • Kroq Gar

    I feel like both sides of this argument have amazing points to be honest, and yet both sides have their own share of arrogance, especially the NES defenders side.

    The NES era fans/hard game fans have such a bloated ego it hurts. Not all of your precious NES challenges were fair, many of them, even the good games, were archaic at best. Like the dark souls fandom, instead of giving ACTUAL advice and RESPECTING people who dont get it as fast as you do, you have to join this toxic "git gud" culture. I know that git gud is TECHNICALLY more of a meme than a serious roast, but even still. Not everyone who doesnt have the skill to beat or get good at hard-ass games immediately and quickly like YOU do is bad or "in need of hand holding", everyone learns games at their own pace, and my pace for something like Dark Souls is slow as ass, that doesnt mean I rely too much on hand holding in modern games, I dont need to "git gud", I need valid advice and practice. Im sick and tired of you elitists prancing around with your prodigious skillset, and mocking anyone who cant be as good as you and for "Daring" to get even a little mad at a games difficulty, even when they acknowledge its fair and valid.

    But they do also have a point with some sections of the modern gaming community being too soft. I myself am around the medium level skill, not the common low skill dummy (I say dummy as a joke btw, dont get your pants in a twist), and not the hardcore gaming vet. I can NOT get past the first boss in Dark Souls 3 without TONS of luck, and even then, I still cant get much farther, especially with those slime worm things in the levels that burst out of the zombie things. However, alot of gamers, sadly, ARE wimpy with games and expect a participation award. Dont even get me started on mobile gamers who arent even real gamers to begin with (which isnt a bad thing mind you!).

    Both sides are valid, and both sides can stop stroking their ego or whining respectively.

    Reply
  • user1point0

    Just started watching your videos and I'm glad I got your worst video out of the way.

    Reply
  • Emo to the Extremo

    Damn the dislike bar lol. Nostalgia glasses strike back

    Reply
  • TewiInaba Chan

    NES gsmes suck?! Blaarghughuh… just kidding, love the vid

    Reply
  • Kadajliger100

    i skipped to the end of your video and i watched it all..
    it was bad

    lmfao

    Reply
  • Heater123

    Man this is controversial.

    Reply
  • MrHappy

    Honestly, it’s most NES games. They’re almost all pretty awful.

    Reply
  • Cookie Skoon

    NES games don't inherently look "gross". That one was actually legit insulting. Megaman 5 and 6, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy III, Castlevania III, Super Mario Bros. 3, Willow, Crystalis, Kirby's Adventure, etc. All spectacular looking games on the NES. Just because YOU can't appreciate it doesn't make it "gross".

    I'd argue that modern gaming's "realistic lighting" and over-designed hyper detailed everything is hard to look at. It all runs together, prompts and text are microscopic, and the lighting is just UGLY. How's that for ya?

    Also, PLENTY of old games on the NES taught the player in clever ways. Shovel Knight did not invent that.

    Reply
  • Luke Schneider

    megaman and bass has challenge but it is near impossible without savestates

    Reply
  • BillXCIII

    When I hear the term "NES Hard", the first thing that comes to mind is that it's hard because the controls or game mechanics are janky.

    Reply
  • Павел Корешков

    I hate the coins management in Shovel Knight. It doesn't make any sense.
    If you really need to preserve the money bags after falling on spikes or into a pit – you can always restart the level! The game does not continuously save your current money count (like in rogue-likes), so you retrieve all of them if you quit! There is no way you can loose them, unless you decide to.

    Basically you're given the choice:
    1) ignore the money loss to save some time (and not replay the level from the beginning);
    2) or play scroodgy and restart the level.
    Personally, I feel miserably in both cases:
    1) for being lazy, lame and casual;
    2) or for being greedy and exploiting.
    A very, very, very, very bad design in such a great game. I get upset each time no matter what I choose.

    The design choice should had been between:
    1) save any money count changes permanently for a real punishment;
    2) or not dropping them at all (for easy mod),

    P.S. Also, where is the boss rush option??? Seriously, I got sick very quickly going through all the levels to get to Battle Royale.

    Reply
  • antonio garavo

    1:20 CALL 911 NOW !!!

    Reply
  • Donald Duck

    It really pisses me off how many white knight NES defenders are in this comment section spewing "gut gud" or "ur bad" everywhere. Get over the fact that the game you played 20 years ago isn't as good as you thought it was. Games are meant to be fun, but have some challenge in them, not brutally difficult or downright unfair like darksouls

    Also, stop complaining over this guy having to skip some parts of Mario 3. The warp whistle was designed to be used to skip hard parts or to get back to where you left off (no save feature). It isn't like he is using a glitch to beat the game.

    Reply
  • Rick Rickman

    10:30 shovel knight didn't invent that, the souls series did (or so i think it did it first, there might be some obscure game but its the first popular game with it in)

    Reply
  • Archie Webb

    Dying at 0 lives in spyro sends you back to your last save not the beginning

    Reply
  • Isaac Helt

    Don't know why this video is so unpopular. I agree with most of his opinions here.

    Reply
  • Beerforce

    Mario 3 is the only game I can think of where it actually benefits from the lives system. World 8 isn't the best example, although getting a game over there does let you get the feathers from the hand levels again to better equip you for the challenges ahead, and both normal levels have their secrets.

    Where it really shakes things up is in the other worlds. Levels are short and sweet, and full of hidden bonuses, and fortresses that permanently unlock overworked shortcuts are never too far apart. Getting a game over resets any normal levels cleared, but also any toad houses and roulette squares. There's an interesting strategic element to this. Do you take the shortcut and go straight ahead, or revisit a previously cleared level to get to the toad house again? Maybe you'll find a tanooki suit in that level, or a stock of 1-ups, or get that star card you needed for a 5-up. The punishment is tempered with opportunity, and changes how you view the world map. Additionally, having to chase down the airship at the end of each world can be tricky if you got a game over and used shortcuts, as you try to plot a course to it. Perhaps you could go straight ahead, or use a shortcut to a later part of the world and work backwards. Is one path longer? Tougher? Will this path make things easier if it escapes again? Are any of these levels hiding useful powerups or blocking a toad house?

    Haven't really seen anything like that before or since.

    Reply
  • Zackary Hill

    Yeah…….the whole “It’s a classic” thing is stupid.Sure it’s great that the book or video game did something ground breaking.But the fact that majority of modern things are just straight up better,in most ways not all. Like Romeo and Juliet, now don’t get me wrong his writing is amazing.But everything else in my opinion is just worse than a lot of other modern books.The characters aren’t bad but they aren’t complex at all.Both Romeo and Juliet are just idiots who fall in love and commit suicide.And the story itself while once again not bad, but not near as good.

    Reply
  • ParrotPlays

    Oh that 1/2 ratio

    Reply
  • Harry Toeface

    If you sucked at nes games it's your skill level

    Reply
  • It's elfsucc

    Thank you so much for this video; people needed to hear this lol. And I loved what you said about opting into challenges through gameplay

    Reply
  • K&T GTKfamily

    a youtube video isn't a discussion… it's just you pushing your opinion as if it were fact

    Reply
  • Marcus Alaniz

    Zelda 2 while hard as fuck doesn't reset your progress

    Reply

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