Created By: DragonQuestZ on August 7, 2010 Last Edited By: DragonQuestZ on August 7, 2010

Sequel Difficulty Drop

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Needs a Better Title.

Anytime the next video game (or perhaps another medium) in a series is either easier overall, or includes at least one difficulty mode that's easier than those in the previous game(s).

Perhaps the most common reason is that the developers and/or publisher of this sequel feel that the difficulty of the previous game was too high, and hurt sales. But it doesn't often lead to an extreme drop in difficulty, just enough to ease new players in. So Easy-Mode Mockery is largely averted with these. It also doesn't preclude Sequel Escalation in elements other than difficulty.

I'm not sure if this should include dropping the Fake Difficulty elements in the sequel. I'd like to discuss that in the replies.

Some argue that most games became this in the mid 90s, when games became more cinematic. Whether this is looking at games through a Nostalgia Filter or not depends on if you think more cinematic games is a good thing.

Compare Easier Than Easy, Lighter and Softer.

Contrast Sequel Difficulty Spike, Surprise Difficulty.
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • August 4, 2010
  • August 4, 2010
    ^^ Should we count if if the different gameplay changes the difficulty?
  • August 4, 2010
    Even by platforming standards, Super Paper Mario is pretty easy. "gameplay changes" is a pretty broad term anyways, if the sequel had no gameplay changes, it would play exactly the same, and wouldn't be an example of this trope anyways. "Radical gameplay changes" and the other hand, is a bit of a gray area.
  • August 4, 2010
    Guitar Hero: World Tour added a "Beginner" difficulty level in addition to the usual Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert levels.
  • August 5, 2010
    I'm not sure if it counts as a sequel, but Yoshis Story had similar gameplay to Yoshis Island.

    • Some of the levels in Yoshis Story were fairly difficult, but in order to finish the game, you only had to beat one from each world, for a total of six. This is contrasted with the 48 levels that had to be finished in Yoshis Island, making Yoshis Story ridiculously easy to beat by comparison.
  • August 5, 2010
    Tokimeki Memorial 2 was made easier than its predecessor, most notably by dramatically lowering the bombing rate. This was done in order to focus in a character storyline-specific challenge instead of a mostly stat-based challenge, and that succeeded.
  • August 5, 2010
    Discworld 2 was made much easier than the first one, although this was mostly due to the fact that the puzzles went from being totally obscure non-sequiturs to proper Moon Logic Puzzles.
  • August 5, 2010
    To balance out the previous game's Sequel Difficulty Spike, Jak 3 had its difficulty level toned down signifigantly, striking a decent balance between the original Jak And Daxter, which was said to be too wasy, and Jak 2, which went in exactly the opposite direction.
  • August 5, 2010
    Rayman. The sequels were much simpler due to them no longer requiring players to make a Leap Of Faith to find the Macguffins needed to progress in the game.
  • August 6, 2010
    Yeah, how about Legend of Zelda? The difficulty of boss fights seemed to drop drastically from Wind Waker to Twilight Princess.
  • August 6, 2010
    Since you are mentioning the addition of easier difficulty modes, you might want to consider mentioning the trope Easier Than Easy.

    • Rock Band's easiest difficulty level is "Easy", but Lego Rock Band added a "Super Easy" difficulty. No fret-work on guitar, no worrying about what drum you're hitting on drums, and no pitch detection on vocals (i.e. sing or say anything and you'll pass the song).
  • August 6, 2010
    "Yeah, how about Legend of Zelda? The difficulty of boss fights seemed to drop drastically from Wind Waker to Twilight Princess."

    Just most of the games, or the list would be too big, and too subjective.

    "Since you are mentioning the addition of easier difficulty modes, you might want to consider mentioning the trope Easier Than Easy."

    Editing that in.
  • August 6, 2010
    Was it Rock Band or Rock Band 2 that introduced No Fail mode?

    Zelda 3: A Link to the Past is a clear example of this trope when compared to Zeldas 1 and 2. (A direct comparison is easier compared to 1 due to the more similar play styles: you could actually find dungeons without resorting to the manual, your life didn't reset to 3 when you reloaded a save, etc.)

    Mega Man 10 added an easy mode after franchise revival Mega Man 9 proved too old-school Nintendo Hard for some players.
  • August 6, 2010
    • Far Cry, Crysis and Far Cry 2: Far Cry, the first game is the FPS equivalent of Nintendo Hard on it's highest difficulty and massively challenging for even experienced gamers. Both the sequel set in the African jungle, and 'spin off' Crysis are hard enough on the highest difficulties, but don't provide anywhere near the challenge that the first game did.
  • August 7, 2010
    kingdom hearts 2. even in the highest difficulty the game is pretty much a cakewalk (thanks to the drive forms and bonus level-ups) ,and the game is pretty obvious with its directions while in the first game in the hardest difficulty would make any level That One Level