"People don't spend sixty bucks on a game they know they can beat."Sometimes a gamer plays a new game only to find the level of challenge is less than what he expected — sometimes considerably so. To some gamers, this shall not stand! Video Games are about overcoming challenge! No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction, after all, and without challenge, a game is little more than a pointless exercise. Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with an "easy" game. Some people prefer them that way. Further, depending on the individual, the genre and the game playing setting, the reasons for gaming vary greatly from "overcoming challenge for a sense of accomplishment" to "distracting one from the mundane minutia of life" and everything in between. This trope is the reaction fans have when a game, particularly one from a franchise known for challenging games, presents itself as less challenging than its predecessors or than what one would normally expect from games of a similar genre. This is not a page to complain about easy games. Only add examples where the sentiment has been expressed by reviewers or a sizable number of fans when comparing a game to previous installments in a franchise or similar games of that genre. Be aware with adding examples where people mention about how once they found a Game Breaker, learned to exploit a Good Bad Bug, caught the hang of it, learned the way the game mechanics worked, then that they found the game trivial afterwards. Many of those examples can be attributed to merely being Genre Savvy. It's also rather weird when people complain about features in a game that make it easier and said features are actually completely optional. You'll notice several examples are about features in-game that you don't have to use. This type of complaint can happen if the game's predecessor was more difficult. This also becomes incredibly annoying for developers if people complained about the previous game being too hard, or if it was hard but for all the wrong reasons. It really makes for the perpetual Unpleasable Fanbase. It's Short, so It Sucks is a Sister Trope, with several points overlapping with this. The opposite is It's Hard, so It Sucks. Also see They Changed It, Now It Sucks. True Art Is Incomprehensible is mildly related, in the sense that something can't be considered quality art if most people can easily understand it. When people try to force the way they play the game (which generally has to do with difficulty) onto other people, you have a Scrub or a "Stop Having Fun" Guy. When you have both It's Easy, so It Sucks and It's Hard, so It Sucks, you wind up with an Unpleasable Fanbase.
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- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night angered many fans of the series' incredible challenge factor. The Metroidvania installments of the series tend towards easier difficulty in general. There are so many possible Game Breakers found through normal means that by the end of the game, the only challenge most players will face is purely Self Imposed. Despite this, though, Symphony of the Night is still widely considered the best game in the entire series.
- Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance gets flack for being the easiest game in the series, among other things.
- Many The Legend of Zelda fans complain how the games have steadily gotten easier over the course of the series. Especially after going into 3D. The series added more and more interesting puzzles but included easier combat, fewer traps, and less dangerous Boss Battles as part of the deal. The original Wizzrobes could deal four hearts of damage if they hit you with a beam attack, but it is rather hard to find any enemy that can do anything close to that in the 3D games except for the instant-kill trains in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.
- La-Mulana is a Take That against newer generations of games; the manual calls anyone used to playing newer games a wuss. Ironically, NIGORO (the developers of La-Mulana) is toning down the difficulty (at least of certain elements, like the save system) for the WiiWare remake, citing the need to make the game more accessible for most WiiWare customers. They're also aware that this trope is going to be a potential reaction from some players.
- This was a complaint leveled at Ōkami a lot, and it was an easy game: The items were cheap and powerful, and a plentiful Auto-Revive was built into your abilities. It was still critically acclaimed, but sold poorly.
- Sword combat in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag was widely criticised for being too easy and lacking nuance. This was addressed by developers for the game's sequel, Assassin's Creed: Unity, where combat is harder and has consequences when done openly.
- Devil May Cry:
- Devil May Cry 2 was criticized for a lot of design choices, the too-easy fights being just one of many. And then came the sequel.
- Devil May Cry 4 is being criticised by long-time fans of the series due its significantly lower difficulty compared to the third game.
- The US version of Devil May Cry 3 had to be released twice because the original version was unplayably hard. This is probably the only instance in the series where this trope was not invoked by fans.
- Dm C Devil May Cry was accused of this as well, especially in regards to how the revamped style meter makes it painfully easy to go from D to SSS with just a few of the right moves. The boss fights in general have been criticized for being much less difficult than those of past games as well.
- Gungrave and Nightshade got this, as their challenge was mainly based around getting a high score or equivalent, and they were fairly easy if you wanted to just charge through to the end. Oddly, the more traditionally difficult Gungrave: Overdose and Shinobi instead get complaints about being too hard. In Nightshade's case, it managed to feel more like a traditional Shinobi game due to easy levels, but relatively hard bosses. Of course, ditching the health-draining sword mechanic of PS2 Shinobi made fans of that game find Nightshade to be too easy, so it's really a case of Broken Base.
- The Freddi Fish series arcade styled spinoff Freddi Fish and Luther's Water Worries gets a lot of this. Being a children's game, you shouldn't expect much to begin with, but it's very hard to actually lose in it at all, even if you're in the game's target audience. Unless you stand perfectly still and do nothing, trying at all will grant you a win.
- The Ninja Gaiden series prided itself on being some of the hardest games around. This changed in the reboot version of Ninja Gaiden 3. Critics and fans hated the game for taking the strategic fighting elements from the first two and toning them down to a simple one button hack & slash. One common complaint being that you can close your eyes and still kill all the enemies.
- This was a major complaint levelled at Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does A Little Undercover Work: The designer's intention was to make the game play more like an interactive cartoon rather than a complicated adventure game, and make sure as many people as possible finish the game, therefore removing old Sierra adventure game standards such as death or Unwinnable situations. Despite Larry 5 being, for these reasons alone, significantly better than the games that preceded it, adventure game fans cried foul as their beloved genre was being dumbed down for the masses.
- Hardcore Sierra enthusiasts and LucasArts adventure gamers whined and whined about how games after Zak McKraken were programmed so that it would be impossible to lose (Unless you were absolutely trying) or make the game unwinnable, therefore "Dumbing it down for the masses". Nevermind that people to this day whine about how Sierra Adventure games ruined them by having the realistic scenarios of characters using the wrong item and dying.
- And even when another Sierra adventure game called Torin's Passage came around and featured an in-game hint feature at the cost of points, people whined about how that hint feature was too easy. The minmaxing, powergaming types are compelled to use every tool at their disposal to their advantage for maximum gaming efficiency: Game Breaker weapons, physics glitches, you name it. Those people did have to use the in-game hint feature, simply because it was available to be used, but they don't have to like it.
- The Telltale game Back to the Future has been called this by many gamers. The puzzles are very simplistic and the games short, however, the dialogue and story were written by Bob Gale, the writer of the films, and the voice talent is top-notch. This results in a Broken Base between fans of the film and hardcore gamers who want a challenge.
- Mario Kart
- The Wii game is accused of being dumbed down. Not just because snaking is useless now, but the fact that in order to gain mini turbos, you have to drift on corners and maintain it, which is easier than wiggling the analog stick left to right and getting many turbos in a row while drifting.
- Mario Kart 7 more so, since not only is the drifting like Mario Kart Wii, but the star rankings have been made much easier to get and things like wheelies, bikes and much of single player mode have been removed as well.
- The Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune series had its Story Mode toned down in difficulty for its third installment. The more hardcore players complained that getting undefeated status in Story Mode is too easy now.
- The Forza series after Motorsport 3 gets this because of its unlimited rewind feature, which is optional, not available in multiplayer, and a detriment for your leaderboard standings.
- Many fans of Street Fighter derided Virtua Fighter, and later, Tekken, as being too easy because characters had full limb movement and the game didn't require you to learn combos to win. Never mind that 3D games have a far larger variety of moves and thus less of a need to stick to a strategy, old school players still deride it as 'button mashing'.
- A common criticism with newer fighting games, particularly those by Capcom, is their alleged simplicity compared to older titles. Particularly, fans of Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes commonly cite this trope as a reason they dislike Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl was accused of being dumbed down for casuals due to the reworked physics and overall game speed being slower compared to the previous game. Word of God stated that Brawl was made the way it was to allow new players to jump into the series without being totally clobbered by experienced players.
- A major complaint about Fighting Masters is its basic gameplay, and the fact that, for a fighting game, it lacks combos and strategy, even for a game from the 90s. No matter which character you pick, or which character you're up against, you end up doing the same thing over and over again: All you have to do is stun your enemy, grab him and slam him hard into the ground; rinse and repeat till he's down for the count.
First Person Shooter
- BioShock gets criticised a lot for the Vita-Chambers. Whenever you die, you respawn nearby without penalty, so even a tough enemy like a Big Daddy can be worn down over several "lives", removing almost all challenge and a lot of scariness from the game. A patch added the option to disable the chambers, making it much harder. (Granted, you could have always chosen to simply reload the game and wipe your progress instead of letting the Vita-Chambers revive you. Same end result.)
- While System Shock 2, which Bioshock is the Spiritual Successor of, had resurrection chambers, the difference was that there was only one on each level and you had to find and activate it first. And it costs you- no nanites; you stay dead! There was no penalty for the original System Shock, but in that game, you didn't just die if the machines weren't activated, SHODAN turned your corpse into one of her cyborgs. This same money-costing principle from System Shock 2 was carried over to Bioshock Infinite, although played from a strange angle. If you died while Elizabeth was present, she would revive you with some kind of hypo. If you were alone, you'd emerge from Booker DeWitt's office...somehow.
- Halo 3:
- When the game isn't being bashed for gameplay modifications or whatever, it's being bashed because it's too easy. The developers have freely admitted that Easy difficulty is purposely developed so that "my grandma can complete the game if she wants". However, try it on Legendary.
- While still being a challenge, Legendary in Halo 3 in itself is still toned down compared to Legendary in Halo 2. There are only, at best, a handful of Sniper Jackals in the entire game of Halo 3 (likely because they were Demonic Spiders in Halo 2), and while the Brutes are significantly improved from 2 to 3, the Brutes are not even close to being a replacement for how fierce and challenging the Elites could be. More importantly, the Sniper Jackals who are still in the game don't pull off the "I can kill you in one shot if you are driving a vehicle" thing anymore.
- Left 4 Dead 2 is usually blasted for being too easy due to the inclusion of the Magnum (one hit kill on common infected, regardless of game mode) and melee weapons (same as the Magnum in terms of killing power).
- Regenerating Health is usually looked down upon as making modern FPSs too easy in comparison to the traditional health system in older ones. Sure, the concept was to help to remove nigh-Unwinnable situations in which your character is dangerously low on health and there are plenty of enemies in sight, but not enough (or even any) health packs available. The observed problem is that many games regenerate your health to FULL, so no matter how bad the situation is or how bad you mess up, hiding in cover meant no consequences short of lost ammo. Compromises tend to be more favorably met like an energy shield system (where only some of your "hp" regenerates, not all), or having health regenerate much slower.
- In Doom 3, the monsters are slow, deal surprisingly little damage (no common mook save for the Hell Knight deals more than 20 damage per hit), attack in too small groups to make up for the non-lethality, and medkits and armor are scattered everywhere, to the point where they often end up ignored. A remedy for this would be to ramp up the difficulty, but Veteran (Hard) still falls short and the Harder Than Hard Nightmare mode revolves around the Fake Difficulty of your health dropping constantly, instead of actually making the demons a credible threat. Skilled players have to resort to values-altering Game Mods to make the game legitimately challenging.
- In the MMORPG genre, a vocal minority loathe World of Warcraft because, compared to other MMORPGs of the time, it was too easy to grind to max level, the penalties for dying were a pittance, it was too easy to gain gear (via PVP), etc. And then the Wrath of the Lich King expansion introduced entirely new levels of complaining to the existing Unpleasable Fanbase:
- Starting raids were too easy. Epics were too easy to get. ("Purples are the new blues!") Stats were simplified too much. Never mind that Blizzard wants more players to get into raids, citing as examples the 2% or less of the player base that ever entered Naxxramas at level 60, or Sunwell Plateau at level 70. Never mind that all raids since 3.1 have featured "hard modes" that award better gear and Achievements.
- In many cases raid bosses will be released harder than intended, either because of Game Breaking Bugs or insufficient real world testing. In these cases, the raiders who do manage to kill the boss prior to its inevitable nerf will cry foul.
- The developers responded to complaints that raiding was "too easy" by adding Algalon "the Raid Destroyer" the Observer, who took over a month for players to first kill, and is generally considered one of the hardest bosses (for deliberate reasons, not because of a bug or because the boss was temporarily overpowered because the next one wasn't ready yet) ever introduced in the game. (It should be noted, also, that you need to beat the hard mode of the "final" boss of the dungeon Algalon appears in in order to reach Algalon - and the toggle resets weekly - and that that hard mode is also considered one of the legitimately hardest fights in the game.)
- There have also been complaints, of all things, about Blizzard's attempts to simplify the stat system, under the premise that players shouldn't have to consult a strategy guide, develop spreadsheets, or run third-party simulation programs to figure out if a piece of gear is an upgrade for them or not. (As well as removing stats that were redundant and making Intellect work the same way as Strength and Agility did for DPS classes.)
- Even the user interface isn't exempt from this trope, as there's a vocal minority who complain that Blizzard "hates mods" despite: directly supporting and advocating their use, deliberately keeping the core UI simple to encourage people to develop addons, and incorporating the best user-developed addon features into their own UI. Oh, and making sure that any addons that do provide an unfair or unacceptable advantage will no longer work.
- As a rare aversion to this trope, the addition of the Dungeon Finder feature in patch 3.3 was met with near universal praise, despite a few grumbles that it made traveling to dungeons unnecessary.
- Ten man raids are turned for people wearing ten man gear. What happens when a group goes in wearing twenty-five man gear? Yep, it's too easy.
- A rather hilarious example... people apparently have short memories when it comes to difficulties in Wo W. Heroics were just "Zerging" in Wrath and were complained about for being "too easy"... by people decked out in top-of-the-line raiding gear and alts used to being carried through by people wearing said gear. What happened about a year later in Cataclysm when people began to get geared out again? They once again found themselves way too over-geared for the heroics and thought they were too easy. Groups of fresh 85s who're at the bare minimum gear requirement for heroics are rare in 2012, since almost all the time there's at least one person who's (sometimes drastically) overgeared who carries a group through.
- The death penalties for City of Heroes are considered to be even easier than Wo W's, except that their players liked it that way. Lately there have been complaints that the game is getting too easy as the already weak penalties have been reduced to near irrelevance; however, with the introduction of the mission editor in issue 14, players who like a challenge will be able to play (and create) missions as difficult as they like, to the point of creating new enemy groups which make Malta and Knives of Artemis look like wimps.
- There's a vocal part of the zOMG! fanbase that insists any nerfing of any quest or enemy is ruining the game by making it easy. This includes the parts of the game that were honestly too difficult for the CL it was meant for. And the game is still in beta. There's also the update in the first half of December 2009. Enemies (including bosses) were universally weakened, and many buff rings had their duration increased and/or recharge time drastically shortened as well as given an area of effect that reached all players visible on the screen without using any Rage Ranks. The tutorial has also been stripped out, which gives veteran players the impression that newcomers aren't bothering to learn basic mechanics of the game such as swapping rings or leveling up. Oh, and gold rewards have been increased, but it's still a pittance compared to what other methods on the site can earn.
- Final Fantasy XI sometimes has its veteran players complain that new expansions have made the game too easy. Of course, they have only brought the game somewhat into line with modern MMO standards for ease of play and soloability, and the game is still an epic time sink for grinding and camping Notorious Monsters, among other things. And these kinds of things are what people consider difficulty in an MMOG....
- An upcoming (as of June 2010) update is set to remove the level caps from the Chains of Promathia expansion, widely regarded as the hardest series of missions in the game mostly because it's impossible to find help for them since most players cleared the missions five years ago and never looked back. Once the announcement of the cap removal was made, cue throngs of whining elitists who will literally not be affected by the change in the slightest because it "takes away from the game's difficulty".
- This happened quite a bit with Guild Wars...Even Factions received this complaint when it was new! Nevermind the amounts of missions declared as "Newbie Traps" that happen very early in the game compared to even Prophecies's annoying levels.
- And a lot of things in the game catch hell for precisely this reason. Heroes, PVE Skills, inscriptions for weapons (never mind that the previous system sucked ass), specific weapons becoming more common, etc etc...
- Final Fantasy XIV is hit with this on all fronts from the hardcore players. Compared to the original game, the reboot A Realm Reborn is significantly easy and the game was redesigned with casual and new players in mind since defeat carries a small penalty and retrying certain quests or trials gives you an extra boost so that you can have a better shot at winning. Because the game was made with ease of difficulty, a lot of hardcore players (especially those who grew up on Final Fantasy XI) feel that the game is only catering to the lowest common denominator and that the game will suffer a quick death if it doesn't challenge its players to push their limits. The same players will also complain about old content getting nerfed, even after they're no longer relevant or would be a roadblock for new/returning players that want to catch up to their friends.
- League of Legends is often considered by Heroes of Newerth and Dota fans to be a "noob game" due to its lower skill cap and newbie-friendly features at the expense of player skill and the competitive scene. True to this trope, LoL went on to become one of the most successful online games in the West while HoN experienced very limited growth in it's playerbase after the open beta and was forced to adapt the same free-to-play model as LoL a year after it launched. The hostility of the community towards new players was likely one of the key reasons for this(though having a price tag for over a year compared to LoL being free-to-play the whole time didn't help matters).
- "Noob champion" is a common insult by players who pick difficult champions for its own sake and then get destroyed by players with easy or stronger champions. You'd think if you lose as a direct result of not picking the best champion then you are the noob...
- Heroes of the Storm gets it even worse than LoL for its simplified mechanics design ("No gold? No items? All farm shared by the entire team? Maps where gimmicks will win the battle for you? Bah, casuals!"), multiple different maps each with their own unique primary objective rather than a focus on the traditional "3 lanes and jungle" design, much shorter matches, and large number of really bizarrely-designed "gimmicky" heroes (such as Cho'Gall, a single two-headed ogre hero controlled cooperatively by two players). To be fair, a large part of this is just hatred of Blizzard in general for their fairly open attempts to appeal to the widest market possible (as they do with World of Warcraft and Hearthstone), mixed with players simply being unwilling to accept such wild deviation from the MOBA formula.
- The Mega Man franchise to an extent.
- Despite its still-present challenge, people don't like the new abilities that give a better chance of beating bosses. The Mega Man X series gets more flak because of the dash jump and other such abilities. Especially so for the first Mega Man Xnote , which is considered to be the easiest game in the francise.
- To this day, Mega Man 3 still takes a huge amount of flak for introducing the slide move. This is odd, since 3 is still considerably harder than the previous entry (at least on the Western "Normal" difficulty mode), and Mega Man 4 is downright ridiculous in places.
- Subversively 9 is a throwback to the Nintendo Hard era. It's short, but very difficult. And then along came 10, with the addition of an Easy Mode. Cue rage from the "Stop Having Fun" Guys (Never mind the fact that Mega Man 2 also had an easy mode, even if it wasn't called that...).
- The Zero series calls players' bluff. The stages are fairly easy, but the ranking system is aggressively demanding. You have to get at least an A rank to receive EX Techs. Zero 4 toned this down, refreshing for a lot of the Zero fanbase. (However, try the Self Imposed Challenges in the ZX subseries.)
- Mega Man Rock Force's old version was criticized for being way too easy. The newer version is harder.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- Super Mario Galaxy is often bashed for being too easy, people saying how getting 60 stars to fight Bowser in the finale is a cakewalk compared to how Super Mario 64 did it. They tend to ignore that the extra stars (like the green star challenges or the purple coin ones) were borderline hair pulling. Super Mario Galaxy 2 seems to have taken the "easy so it sucks" complaints to heart and made the majority of the game more challenging (except according to some who played the game, like Josh Scorcher), though there are still some complaints because of its Cosmic Guide.
- Miyamoto himself has stated that he regrets making New Super Mario Bros. 1 for DS too easy.
- Yoshi's Story traded in large, imaginative, dangerous levels for short, boring, easy ones. The Final Boss even has invincibility powerups in the same room as him.
- A lot of people hated Metroid: Fusion for giving you the location of your next destination and closing off alternate routes, claiming that it destroyed the series's emphasis on exploration.
- Gamespot famously deducted points from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption because the controls were too good and thus the game was "too easy".
- People complained about Super Metroid back in the day, saying the inclusion of an automap feature was a travesty against everything Metroid was about.
- Old fans in particular often blame Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider games of being too easy and straight-forward in comparison to the often expansive and difficult Core Design games.
- Prince of Persia (2008) has also been criticized for being very easy, as the companion saves you from any death while platforming or fighting, though you're brought back at the beginning of whatever platforming, or after the enemy regains a good chunk of health. For all intents and purposes, this means that the game establishes checkpoints at every safe platform, rather than forcing you to go back to some arbitrary checkpoint and waste time redoing five minutes or so of platforming just to get back to where you were before.
- Another complaint about the 2008 Prince of Persia has to do with the changes to the series platform running, climbing, and jumping. It feels much more hand-held than before, and things like direction and distance and timing feel less important. As long as the buttons are pressed in the correct order, it is difficult to screw up a maneuver. As this review comments, it has been reduced to a quick-time-event.
- Wario Land and WarioWare games often fall into this gap as well as It's Short, so It Sucks, due to being generally short games that reward 100% completion more than a main mode. In the case of WarioWare, this is likely because the gameplay is deliberately kept simple as part of the series premise, and due to the fact the first run through only requires you to play through the first micro game set difficulty level to move on to another. For Wario Land, it's probably because of the health set up being extremely generous towards the player (aka about ten heart points to complete invincibility). Which completely ignores that both series have some quite difficult bonus challenges and secrets.
- Nintendo Power's only complaint about Klonoa was that it was a bit easier... because Klonoa had one more heart than in the original version. They gave it a 9.0 anyway.
- In Donkey Kong Country, visits to Cranky's Cabin are accompanied by Cranky ranting about how newer games have been dumbed down for new players.
- Kirby games generally tend to avert this - they were actually designed to be very easy (as the first game was developed at a time when Nintendo had a trope-naming reputation for publishing difficult titles) yet nobody seems to have any problem. This becomes quite weird when you hear this trope being invoked elsewhere, since how many other games allow you to fly over most of the stage without even having to find a power-up? There have, however, been a few exceptions:
- Kirby's Epic Yarn received a lot of complaints from reviewers about how easy it was, with many of them citing the fact that you can't die—there are no bottomless pits or health. However, the developers have stated that for experienced gamers, they designed the gameplay to be "shame-based": The focus is not on completing each stage, but on completing each stage with a high bead count, and any misstep you make will cause Kirby to start bleeding beads like it's nobody's business. To beat the game (especially the bosses) with all gold medals (with the bosses' secret patches being one level above gold) is a much taller order than simply finishing the levels.
- Kirby: Triple Deluxe was criticized by reviewers for its easiness. The fans still love it, though, and tend to look down on the reviews very harshly for their apparent stance on the nature of the game.
- This was the main complaint against the first Jak and Daxter game. Jak II: Renegade fixed that.
- Fans of the later Spyro the Dragon games (especially The Legend of Spyro) are prone to saying this about the original series. The second game introduced the ability to save anywhere in the level. This, coupled with the lack of dragon statues, changed the game into somewhat of a standard platformer.
- Jett Rocket received some flack for this—despite being just about the only 3D Platformer on WiiWare, reviewers wanted something Nintendo Hard.
- Jumper fans usually criticize lack of Difficulty Spike in Jumper Three and its lack of length.
- One of the main criticisms leveled against Sonic Colors is that it, especially bosses, are too easy.
- Super Princess Peach got this criticism on feminist grounds, with some commentators arguing that its relative easiness compared to the main Mario games was (indirectly or otherwise) insulting to the abilities of female gamers.
- A common complaint about Azure Striker Gunvolt is that the Prevasion mechanic (basically a Mana Shield, allowing you to automatically dodge attacks as long as you have EP, which can be easily recharged anytime) and Joule's Anthem (when you run out of health, there is a chance that you will be revived with several power-ups, including infinite mid-air jumps) make in practically impossible to die. Of course, these complaints no longer apply when you're trying to get a high rank, as Prevasion reduces your Kudos to zero when it activates and the Anthem massively hurts your rank.
- A common complaint about the LittleBigPlanet games. Game Informer complained that the Vita game in particular has infinite checkpoints for every level except boss battles.
- Part of the backlash for newer Tetris games comes from infinite spin, then there's the purists of older versions of Tetris (especially the iconic 1989 Game Boy version) that denounce the piece generator in later versions, saying that surviving a wave of S and Z pieces and going 50 pieces without an I piece is what Tetris is all about. Other complaints include hard drop making the game go too fast, ghost pieces making low-gravity too easy, and hold pieces upending the premise of the game.
- Tetris: The Grand Master 3 implements floor kicks, which allow an I block on a flat surface to rotate upright, allowing it to more easily slip into holes one block wide.Elaboration This feature was not in TGM3's predecessors, which has led some players to believe that this ruins the challenge of the TGM series.
- There were complaints about the introduction of 'Super Hints' in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future. In the previous two games there were three hints that you could unlock via hint coins. Super Hints more or less solve the puzzle for you and cost an extra two coins.
- Super Monkey Ball 3D gets a lot of hate for this. Considering how hard the originals were.
Real Time Strategy
- Starcraft 2 fixed many of the problems posed by the limitations of the original game's design and mechanics. This significantly lowered the amount of micromanagement needed to get even basic tasks done (typical of SC1's era) and freed up more Actions Per Minute for actual strategy, a change that saw many Brood War B-listers skyrocket to the top of ladders and tournaments and old pros bring out stunning new plays. However, to this day there are still large numbers of fans demanding a return to BW mechanics, both for individual units and for larger portions of the game.
- When Guitar Hero: World Tour's track list was announced, fans complained that there was no song on par with "Through The Fire and The Flames". Fan backlash and flame wars are expected as those fans realize that "Satch Boogie" is not on that level, and that's the only really hard song in the game.
- The Beatles: Rock Band earned its fair share of this before it was even out; players who cut their teeth on Guitar Hero III's "Through the Fire and Flames" decried TB:RB as "just a bunch of tier 1 songs." One muses that perhaps those fans are missing the point of having a Beatles game...
- Rock Band has had a no-fail cheat available since its first installment, for those who play for fun rather than score. With Rock Band 3, however, no-fail mode no longer disabled a player from saving their top score or registering it on the leaderboards. Some complaints arose from the more hardcore competitive fans, despite the fact that anyone needing no-fail mode to pass a song would never maintain a multiplier long enough to even approach a leaderboard-topping score.
- DJMAX Portable 2 reuses a few songs from the original DJMAX Portable such as "Blythe" and "NB Ranger", and gives them new, usually-easier charts. Fans complained about the new charts.
- Some players don't like the new Fever system in DJMAX Portable Clazziquai Edition and Black Square, because they lack the distracting tinting of the playfield when you get a x3 Fever or more going, the x5 Fever mode in both games doesn't cause your speed multiplier to increase, and the x7 Fever mode only causes it to do so when you hit x7. Some even go as far as to wish that the x7 Fever feature had two increases in speed multiplier. It Doesn't Have Fake Difficulty, So It Sucks.
- Dance Dance Revolution:
- Mario Mix was blasted by fans and critics for being easier than the other DDR games in the franchise, including the highest difficulty level. Some believed the lowered difficulty was to appeal to the younger Nintendo fan audience.
- DanceDanceRevolution (2013) introduces a major change to the combo system: Goods now increment combo instead of breaking it. Many players were unhappy as it devalued Full Combos. Ironically, it's casual, low-to-mid-level players who complain about this, as a lot of top-ranking players, particularly those who get Perfect Full Combos (or at least close to them) on a regular basis, argue that since it doesn't affect score, it's not a particularly game-breaking change, and the game still recognizes what are now called "Great Full Combos" (a Full Combo with no judgements below Great).
- Across the series, boss songs such as the MAX series tend to get a disproportionate amount of play.
- If you indulge in the In the Groove scene, get used to some players declaring that any chart below double-digit difficulty sucks, and most other players declaring that any chart under 9 sucks.
- Cytus was criticized for its exceptionally lenient window for a "Perfect" judgement. The devleopers responded by adding two different kinds of Perfects: A perfect-Perfect and a slightly-off Perfect, with the former being used for a harder scoring system referred to as TP.
- Popn Music Lapistoria rebalances the scoring system so that GREAT and GOOD judgements are now worth more pointsnote . This has made many players exceptionally unhappy. Some feel that the change in scoring ratios would've been bad regardless of whether they were made stricter or looser, as it completely skewers the scoring scale and makes it very hard to compare scores from older games with scores made on Lapistoria.
- Some players of beatmania IIDX dismiss other rhythm games for having too low of a skill ceiling.
- One of the more recurring criticisms of Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX is the lack of an Extreme difficulty level outside of a small group of songs, meaning that the game is much easier than other Project Diva titles.
Role Playing Game
- Ar tonelico was panned by fans on both sides of the pond for being way, way too easy. It still proved popular enough to spawn a sequel, which upped the difficulty slightly, but not so much as to alienate those who liked the fact that it was easy.
- Though the Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights series weren't ever really seen as presenting killer difficulty compared to other companies' RPGs, later Bioware franchises like Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire and Mass Effect have vastly "streamlined" combat and shorter, much more linear (and repetitive) campaigns that older fans complain are a cash-in on the genre and give less bang for the buck.
- This criticism happened to Dragon Age: Origins, despite having difficulty settings; and several bosses are still difficult on Easy Mode.
- The console version in particular got flak for this, because the "Normal" difficulty mode on consoles is actually the "Easy" difficulty on the PC. This is because of Friendly Fire: it's a lot harder to manage your party's exact location to avoid them getting caught in your own AOE with a controller instead of a mouse.
- Dragon Age II is criticised for being easier than the first one.
- Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was specifically designed for newcomers to the roleplaying-game genre. General concensus, especially among the hardcore Final Fantasy fans, was that they went too far with that goal (it doesn't help that the game was A) short, and B) bundled with its strategy guide).
- Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles was bashed for, among other things, ease of play, which contrasted directly the much-hyped difficulty of use. It's not a hard game by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not supposed to be.
- Kingdom Hearts II got this type of criticism because of its simple reaction commands and the addition of Drive forms, and the almost total removal of any platforming or puzzles whatsoever. Which was why Square Enix decided to program Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep as it was. One troper's response to the whining about the difficulty of the Mysterious Figure optional boss:
"Guys? PLEASE don't complain about how 'easy' Kingdom Hearts games are...because then we get bosses like Vanitas Sentiment and the Mysterious Figure."
- Persona 3 Portable. It removes the Tired feature (a feature where your party members would grow tired as you climbed Tartarus during the Dark Hour, and they'd leave the party when they became tired) so you can proceed as far as you can in one night. It adds a Save option at your desk in school, so you can save before hanging out with Social Links during the day and reload if you make a mistake and do not need to restart from the previous night. Money is extremely easy to get, so you can abuse the healing clock in the Tartarus' ground floor. Approaching the entrance of the Tartarus floor allows you to start from your latest floor and not just the beginning. The Jealousy mechanic was removed if you choose to play as the male character, meaning you can date multiple of the girls at once without worrying of Social Links reversing. And it took over the battle mechanics of Persona 4, so you also can choose to have direct control of your party members as well. Whether all these changes were good or bad is debated among fans.
- Grandia II got flak for this, with some players going as far as beating the game for the first time without losing a single winnable battle (there were some uniwnnable ones, Millenia and Melfice).
- Hype Backlash aside, a common complaint against Fable I was that it was extremely easy. This was largely due to you being able to carry an infinite number of health potions (which instantly restore your health to full), and health potions being really cheap to buy, resulting in it being virtually impossible for anything (even the major bosses) to kill you as long as you just kept mashing that "drink potion" key.
- This was extended even further with Fable II. It is completely impossible to die. Losing all of your health merely results in scarring. And of course, you can carry an infinite number of health potions and resurrection phials (still very cheap).
- The remakes of Final Fantasy I had purists complaining about hits being redirected to live enemies if they targeted enemies that had just died; in the original, they would have automatically missed, which is considered Fake Difficulty nowadays. Later remakes were stuck in "easy mode" (the PSX version had to option for "old-school" difficulty or easy mode). In addition to making level ups easier to achieve (level 2 takes 12 XP instead of 40, for example), it replaced the "x spells per level" mechanic with a straight MP mechanic. This ended up seriously unbalancing the game towards the player, who could now cast NUKE (Flare) many, many times per dungeon, as opposed to two or three times. However, the developers DID realize how devastatingly powerful this is: all enemies have increased magic resistance, and bosses are almost entirely immune to attack magic (except Lich with Dia. Go. Fucking. Nuts).
- Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories has been criticized for being somewhat easy, as on many boss fights against enemies with decks (for example, the Organization members), the player can repeatedly dodge the boss's sleights (which remove one card from the deck) to drain the boss' card reserves. Eventually, the boss will be unable to make more than a few attacks without reloading, will hardly ever use any of the sleights, and most likely will have used up its Enemy Cards, so it will be relatively easy pickings. And your deck was never shuffled, this is because you can stack it so that you only have to mash the buttons to pull out sleight after sleight, during some of which you are invincible, then once your deck is badly depleted via sleight depletion, reload it with an Elixir (which reloads used cards as well).
- Pokémon Gold and Silver had become the target of harsh criticism from fans for being too easy. Gym Leaders (aside from Whitney) were often simple to defeat and the Elite Four provided almost no challenge compared to the other 4 regional Elite Fours in other games (although this was done so Kanto would have reasonably leveled Pokémon).
- The remakes HeartGold and SoulSilver copped flack for not really bumping up the initial difficulty all that much, and because Whitney's Pokémon dropped one level. Never mind that everything after the Elite Four got a boost, many of the Gym Leaders received a level boost as well, rematch battles against Gym Leaders and Elite Four reach into the 70s, Red's team almost hits 90s, Ghost Pokémon no longer work against Whitney and the AI in general has been greatly improved from the original games.
- The main games in general get this accusation from more competitive players who have every last bit of the system memorized. Most fans seem to forget that the series tries to appeal to all ages, and that contrary to their beliefs, not everybody plays the game the same way they do.
- In Pokémon Black and White some complained about Poison becoming like Burn; you couldn't take damage anymore while walking on the overworld. Also, Burn halves your attack, so Poison lost its own unique disadvantage. You could find a lot more places that sell Lemonades, or NPCs who were medical trainers, so people complained about it being too easy to get from town to town without fainting.
- There's also Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. Quite a few of the claims are that no opponents throughout the story on Normal Mode are a challenge, especially the important battles. Gym Leaders still only have three Pokémon, Ghetsis' Hydreigon goes from being able to sweep your entire team if you lack an answer to it in six turns to being laughably easy if you have a Steel-type in your party, the Elite Four have basically the same teams they had in the original games (and they're not much higher-leveled than the trainers you fight in Victory Road to get to them), and finally, Iris can be seen as a rather Anti-Climax Boss due to falling to type coverage that's relatively simple to obtain. While there are some who claim it does step things up, these games have overall taken it pretty badly to this one.
- Pokémon X and Y are already looking like major offenders. There's the revised, more generous Experience system, where all Pokémon that take part in battle get full EXP; the fact that your mons get EXP when you catch a wild Pokémon (and there are plenty of them to catch); the first Gym Leader, Viola, has level 10-12 mons that can easily be dealt with (and she's one of the harder Gym Leaders); and you get the Exp. Share immediately after (which gives EXP to all your party, much like Gen. I, but with the aforementioned full EXP for everyone). By the time you reach Lumiose City, which is not much after, you get False Swipe as a TM, which is great to catch wild Pokémon (somewhat mitigated by the fact that, among mons you could find before that point, Beedrill and Farfetch'd are pretty much the only ones that can learn it). All of this is compounded by the fact that the game hands you good Pokémon on a regular basis; if you picked up the game soon after the release date you could download a Torchic with its Hidden Ability and Mega Stone (and it has a typing that makes it useful against the first few Gyms), the professor gives you a Gen. I starter when you reach Lumiose City, you can get both Lapras and Lucario for free, and the game forces you to capture the version legendary to beat the game. It's entirely possible to reach the endgame with a decent team without ever having to catch anything. This easiness seems justified by the huge number of mons, as it makes it easier to catch and train them.
- This game can also still provide an incredibly difficult challenge, as the EXP share is completely optional and can be turned off at any time. While the amount of EXP you earn is still very generous, the game still assumes that you have the EXP Share turned on, making the levels of wild pokemon, enemy trainers and gym leaders all higher than in previous games.
- One of several complaints against Mana-Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy is how easy the game is compared to its predecessor, even in Hard Mode.
- Gaiden Game Suikoden Tierkreis is often bashed by a portion of Suikoden fans for being much easier than the main games. And that's just one of the reasons why they refuse to support this game...
- Lunar: Silver Star Harmony has gotten shit for being easy than previous versions of Lunar. The limit-breaks have also been criticized. Never mind that one, they're actually optional, two, unless you unleash them all at once, only trivialize trash mob fights (With the exception of Mia's Mist Barrier. A Challenge Gamer doing a low level run's wet dream), and, notably, the fact that Luna was actually useful when you had her with you. (She wasn't that useful in the Playstation&Saturn versions, and was absent in the Sega CD)
- Chrono Trigger is frequently lauded as an excellent classic-style RPG, but old school Final Fantasy fans are sometimes dismayed by its apparently low difficulty level. This often changes once they've seen the later bosses, though, especially in the Nintendo DS remake.
- The later bosses in Chrono Trigger are easier than most Final Fantasy games. The difference is that your level is much more controlled in Chrono Trigger, so you can't just over level to steam roll bosses as easily.
- Also surprisingly, many people don't have an issue of the game being easy; sometimes people cite it as a good way to introduce people to the genre.
- Chrono Cross also gets some flack for being pretty easy. Your main character, Serge, is easily the most powerful character available and can't be removed from the party until New Game+. There's a few bosses that can be tough, but for the most part you can just plow through everything with little trouble. That being said, it is harder than Trigger, especially considering you can't grind in Cross.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has players complaining about a lot of things, but one of them is that the (optional) travel system makes the game too easy, since you can evade random encounters after you first found a location.
- Avadon is an interesting case in that it's not much easier than most other recent western RPGs, but the default difficulty is significantly easier than the game it's been repeatedly compared to. The complaint goes something like this—RPGs that are such obvious '90s throwbacks are hardly ever made nowadays, so it's disappointing to fans of the genre not to get a challenge out of this particular game. (For what it's worth, the highest difficulty level is painfully hard—it's just streamlined, lacking a lot of challenges that the creator considers Fake Difficulty.)
- The main complaint against Heroes of Ruin, otherwise a good hack'n'slash game in vein of Diablo, was a ridiculously easy difficulty - you can find health potions everywhere in the dungeon, it's easy to reach the game's gold piece cap of 99,999 before two thirds of the way through, and many enemies can be killed just by mashing the attack button.
- One of the biggest complaints fans have with Fairy Fencer F is that it is the easiest Compile Heart game to date. This is from the same company who gave us Nintendo Hard games like Hyperdimension Neptunia V, Record Of Agarest War Zero and Cross Edge.
- Shin Megami Tensei:
- There are players who feel that the way fusion is handled in Devil Survivor, Devil Survivor 2, Persona 4 Golden, and Shin Megami Tensei IV—namely, in that the player is allowed to choose what skills the resulting demon can inherit instead of the RNG doing it for them—takes a lot of challenge out of the game, believing that the best way to play is to just deal with whatever skills the RNG spits out.
- While players accustomed to Persona 3 and 4 decry Shin Megami Tensei IV as "the Dark Souls of Persona", mainline series veterans feel the opposite about IV, citing the aforementioned fusion inheritance options, boss battles ending in about five turns, Game Over being met with an offer to be revived rather than booting the player straight back to the title screen, lack of puzzle dungeons, and overall comparative ease of bosses as turn-offs to the game.
Shoot Em Up
- Gunstar Super Heroes got criticized for this by fans of the original Gunstar Heroes, since the original gun mix system was swapped for having three types of ammo from the start and the option of using a huge cannon whenever. Oh, and some bosses were seriously toned down, one barely even attacking anymore.
- Thunder Force VI received this reaction from many fans.
- DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu ver. 1.5 gets this from a lot of players, due to forced auto-bomb (the game automaticlaly fires a bomb to protect you if you get hit). Many players, particularly those playing to simply complete the game, feel that this cheapens the value of completing the game on one credit, as auto-bombs effectively turn bombs into spare lives. On the other hand, those playing for score disregrd it, because bombs are just as detrimental to score as dying is. DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu BLACK LABEL addresses this issue by granting the option to turn it off, although score attackers were displeased by how easy it is to maintain combo in BLACK LABEL.
- When DoDonPachi Saidaioujou was revealed, some players feared it would end up being too easy due to players being able to clear the location test's 3 stages, never mind the inclusion of an Expert mode. Of course, come the game's actual release and this died away, with many players considering it a Sequel Difficulty Spike.
- Some Hellsinker players argue that using Kagura's Infernal Sabbath setup, which consists of only three weapons (a variable-width Spread Shot, two close-range orbs, and the very traditional Smart Bomb), to be too simple for a Mind Screw game where most other playable characters do not follow the established conventions of the Shoot 'em Up genre.
- This is one of the most common complains of Touhou 13 ~ Ten Desires as, especially when compared to Touhou 12, it was considered way too easy due to less bullets, simpler scoring system and a system which effectively made players completely invincible without having to use a bomb, as well as the first final boss in the series to not be immune to bombs during her last attack, players also often complain of dying less to bullets and more to enemies bumping into them. Of course, comes Touhou 14, and the fans complain it's too hard.
- After several games which gradually raised the difficulty and complexity, culminating with the Nintendo Hard SimCity 4, SimCity Societies toned down the difficulty, removed the zoning system, and instead replaced it with a social influence system that would determine whether your city will be made of slums or crystal spires. Here's a hint: SimCity 4 was the highest ranked game of the entire series. Now figure out the rest.
- X3: Terran Conflict got this complaint from some veteran X players, due largely to the fact that making your first million credits now took much less time. (The first million is always the hardest, then you can buy a factory and your profitsss multiply.)
- A common complaint with Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is that decorating has no challenge as you're given a very generous minimal standard for each job and with the removal of the real-time system from past Animal Crossing games, there are no deadlines to anything in-game. You play the game at your pace.
- The Backyard Sports series, to IGN at least. The scores just get lower and lower because the games get easier and easier (and cheesier).
- An interesting example is the Tony Hawk series.
- The first game's goals are much easier than later games, but it is harder to score more points due to the lack of mechanics available. In later games, it is easier to score more points but the goals are harder. Unsurprisingly, the highest rated game in the series is Tony Hawks 2, which is easily the hardest.
- The remade classic levels in Tony Hawk's Underground 2 and American Wasteland are good examples. In the original Tony Hawks Pro Skater, it is quite hard to get up the mountain in Downhill Jam, in Underground 2, it is possible to just get off your board and climb up there. Similarly, in American Wasteland, the Downtown level is made easier with the ability to just climb the raised areas at the beginning of the level rather than having to go up the ramp to get to them. The mall level in American Wasteland features an steep ramp to the left of the fountain, that would have been almost impossible to get up to in the original game. But in this, it is possible to get up there and get off your board.
Stealth Based Game
- Metal Gear:
- The Japanese version of Metal Gear Solid frequently had this criticism lobbied at it. To counter this, the American version was given adjustable difficulty... with the Japanese version being the Easy difficulty.
- One third of the complaints about The Twin Snakes were that the addition of the tranquilizer gun and first-person aiming made the game too easy. The other two-thirds were about the voice acting and cutscene changes.
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots received flack for including a silenced pistol from the get-go. In previous games, the tranq gun was stealthy but only temporarily incapacitated the enemy, while the standard handgun was lethal but loud. Combining the two removes much of the challenge, as you can just shoot enemies with wilful abandon.
- Many longtime fans of the Rainbow Six series complain about the series' shift from hardcore "one-shot kill" tactical shooters to standard First-Person Shooter action games, starting with Rainbow Six: Lockdown and solidified in Rainbow Six: Vegas.
- When Resident Evil 4 was ported to the Wii, aiming became much easier due to motion controls. While much of the fanbase was pleased with easier controls, purists went on ranting about how the game was ruined because it was too easy to shoot things.
- A common complaint about Silent Hill: Homecoming was that its updated controls made combat less threatening, since you could actually dodge. In an interesting twist for this trope, many also suggested that making it easier to fight things made the game less scary, since traditionally fighting enemies just led to you dying, so it was smarter to run.
Turn Based Strategy
- A lot of people complained about Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword being easier than the previous games. The Sacred Stones was even easier than its predecessor. Then came Radiant Dawn, which brought back the difficulty in full force.
- Fire Emblem Awakening, has the option of "Casual" mode, where the player can save at any time, even mid-battle, and defeated characters regenerate after battle (in previous games, death was permanent).note While there hasn't been a particularly large outcry against the casual option, there are still vocal groups who insists you're not experiencing the "real" game if you're not willing to face potential permadeath.
- Fire Emblem Fates seems to make a conscious effort to address the criticism leveled at its predecessor by having two different story paths. One is similar to Awakening in that it has a world map, allowing free Level Grinding, and mostly requires you to defeat all foes or the boss to clear maps. The other, however, harkens back to the earlier entries of the series with a linear campaign that offers limited experience, and more complex victory conditions like seizing thrones and such. Even still, the announcement that this would be the second Fire Emblem game to completely do away with Breakable Weapons, as well as the introduction of Phoenix Mode, which revives units after each turn, not just after each battle, have been met with significant ire. note
- The Advance Wars series (part of the Nintendo Wars series) has become much easier across all four games. The first game's campaign was moderate, but the hard campaign was nigh impossible. Advance Wars 2 reduced the difficulty in both game modes, and Advance Wars: Dual Strike...well, thanks to skills, the hard campaign was easier than the normal one. Even though Advance Wars: Days of Ruin increased the difficulty a bit, it is nothing compared to the first game's difficulty.
- Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. A widespread criticism from fans of the Playstation FF Tactics was that the game felt so toned down by comparison. In the original Tactics, no matter what map you were on, if a unit died, there was the risk of their spirit turning into a crystal/chest and being lost forever. In Tactics Advance, that was only possible on one or two specifics areas. The Playstation Tactics had quite a share of ball-buster encounters. Tactics Advance? Not so much.
- Modern Super Robot Wars games, especially the ones for Nintendo DS (W, K, L) are criticized because they are easy. This is mainly because your units are godly powerful when you've fully upgraded their weapon power and the uses of support attacks make the battles even easier. Even final bosses can be killed in a single turn with little effort.
- Ace Attorney Investigations was far easier then the previous games, which was one of the complaints fans had with the game. In fact, the game is so easy that it's almost impossible to get a game over unless you're purposely failing or stuck on a certain section and blindly guessing, mainly due to penalties being very small; the standard is 10% while the highest in the game is only 20%. By contrast, in the first game you could only make five mistakes, of varying severity, and in Justice For All, Trials and Tribulations, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies 20% was the minimum, and in special circumstances, you could lose 40%-100%. The sequel to Investigations, Gyakuten Kenji 2 (Ace Attorney Investigations 2), upped the difficulty however. 10% still being the standard penalty, it raises to 50% for an important moment in case 4, standard penalties raise to 30% in the final portion of case 5 and during the final rebuttal of the game, penalties for incorrect objections are raised to 50%. There's also a particular moment during one logic chess section where picking a bad option as to what to say results in a 100% penalty, completely emptying the time-bar and resulting in an instant failure. The raise in difficulty likely occurred due to this trope being in effect for the first Investigations.
- Every entry in the Ace Attorney series has been hit with this complaint at one point or another: the introduction of profiles, the removal of profiles as "presentable" evidence, the introduction of "perceive" abilities, changes in gameplay structure, and the occasional That One Level where it's possible to lose anywhere from half to the entirety of your lifebar. Depending on what the player considers difficult and whether or not they want to live life in the shadow of a game over tends to invoke this trope.
Unsorted Video Games
- Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a simplified version of the now-defunct World of Warcraft TCG, which in turn uses somewhat similar but different rules than Magic: The Gathering. Among other things, Hearthstone gives players mana for free every turn (while WoW TCG requires you to specifically choose what card to sacrifice for mana), doesn't allow players to play out of turn (Secret cards can be activated out of turn, but the one who plays those secrets can't quite control when it fires), there is no card whose activation you can manually choose (all activations are triggered) etc. And because of that, many veteran card game players complain Hearthstone sucks.
- A few Nintendo games include a feature called the Super Guide. Its purpose is to offer inexperienced players a chance to skip a level if they struggle to beat it, but some have derided it for defeating the point of offering a challenge, discouraging effort and making the player feel like the game is disgracing them when it appears. Never mind that you aren't being forced to use it no matter how much the game coaxes you into using it. Similar features such as special assist powerups have also received flak.
Non-video game examples:
- One of the main reasons why tropes like True Art Is Incomprehensible or Le Film Artistique exist is because some intellectuals consider that if some kind of art is easy to understand, then there's no more analysis to be done and it should be discredited for appealing to bigger audiences. This is, however, very debatable as many works of art are praised for being both simple and yet deep.
- One person analyzed ratings on Board game geek and posted his results. He noted that the "easy" games, War, Tic-Tac-Toe, Snakes and Ladders and others have a lot of ratings and are rated poorly - with them being notable outliers on the graph. These games have easy mechanics, but are purely games of chance.
Collectible Card Game
- Magic: The Gathering started a practice of printing italicized rules text on cards when space permitted, making it slightly easier to actually play the game without having a rulebook handy. Of course, hardcores who already know all the rules hate it. Wizards of the Coast even poked fun at its fanbase in a joke set: Duh
- The removal of Manaburn means that the odds of dying to one's own manaramp deck have been all but nullified. Naturally, this takes a good chunk of the fun out of playing said decks.
- Ironically, this practice makes it amazingly easy to tell exactly how long individual players have been playing. By taking the point of what they felt was the downfall of "challenging" Magic and the going back two years to the last Standard format before that set/block's release, you usually get the entrance point. This leads to hilarious conversations between players about how the latest sets are too dumbed down and have too many cash grab rares, without either realising that the "good old days" that they both think they are discussing are actually fifteen years apart.
- It also doesn't help opinions when a lead designer goes on record with, "The real question isn't "Are we dumbing down the game too fast?" It's "Are we dumbing down the game fast enough?" "
- In a metagame example, the color Green often gets this treatment. All the other colors have cool spells and flashy effects to throw at you (Kill It with Fire, Power Nullifier, Mind Rape, The Sacred Darkness, Phlebotinum Breakdown, and more), but Green just has... Mooks. The fact that it's the easiest color to start with, and the color most likely to appeal to Timmy players, doesn't help.
- Some programmers look down on Visual Basic because it's easier for beginners to create working programs in compared to the likes of C, C++, and Java. This is sometimes extended to other languages (notably Python and Lisp) as well.note
- A related complaint is that it makes it easier to make a "badly written" program that still "works". That becomes a problem when another programmer has to modify said program.
- A more recent example would be the advent of App Inventor. Many long time programmers turn their noses up at it, arguing it is too simplified and coddles its users. Never mind the fact that it is very useful in beginning level classes, and can get people interested into programming that would never have considered it if all they had to jump into was traditional languages.
- Ubuntu is looked down upon by most "serious" Linux users due to its design being more geared for general use.
- Ubuntu's new Unity interface is getting this from longtime users. There is also the fact that it is designed with touchscreens in mind, which still at the time of writing (2013), still have not replaced keyboard and mouse controls on traditional desktops and laptops.
- Unix/Linux/DOS users tend to look down on GUIs for this reason. From a performance and power issue, this does make sense, as GUIs eat up a lot of resources in a computer, and GUIs tend to make things so abstract that getting under the hood can be a pain in the ass. However, for people just trying to do basic computer work, GUIs are a Godsend, and kept them from languishing in the realms of laboratories, businesses, and hobbyists.
- The Man with the Golden Gun: Scaramanga's entire reason for saving Bond's life and bringing him to the island. He wants a challenge, and doesn't want to spoil it by shooting the only man who can match him while he's unconscious.
- At one point of Torque, the heroes assess their situation. One comments that what they have to do won't be easy. Leader Cary Ford quips "Wouldn't be fun if it were easy." Later, the situation worsens and one guy says "I know you said it wouldn't be fun if it were easy, but does it have to be this much fun?"
- Some longtime fans of Jeopardy! criticized the show for seemingly getting easier over time, particularly in the early 2000s. While it's very much subjective in this case, the purported "easiness" may just be the result of learning more material by watching the show for an extended period of time.
- Similarly, when the current version debuted in 1984, there was criticism (mostly, by fans of the NBC series) about the show's material during the first season, especially during the first few months. The producers admitted such was the case, deliberately so so as to acquaint new viewers with the show's concept and to allow time for the question writers to come up with more challenging material.
- The "Kids' Week" games that started in the early 2000s are widely loathed for featuring questions that are too easy even for that demographic (in addition to making the "Teen Tournament" feel redundant).
- Similar criticism is held against sister show Wheel of Fortune, which has gradually introduced more and more specific categories over time (for instance, something that would've previously been just a Thing might now be Around the House, Living Thing, Food & Drink, etc.). What's more, the daily Prize Puzzles are often themed to vacations or beaches in some way.
- Fans criticized the American version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? during its original ABC run when the game was easy enough that a Millionaire was crowned in a matter of months, or even weeks or days. The show upped the difficulty of questions when the show moved to syndication (although this was the result of a lower budget) yet the fans still complained about the difficulty which results in droughts of million-dollar wins that can last for years and fans are screaming that difficulty should be lowered. All we can say is Be Careful What You Wish For.
- In Patrick Süskind's novella The Story of Mr Sommer, the narrator's sister comments that the Diabelli pieces he has to play on the piano are so easy that even people who can't play anything else can play them.
Live Action TV
- Put to good use for the episode "Fair Haven" on Star Trek: Voyager, in which Captain Janeway expresses some serious concerns to The Doctor at realizing she's falling in love with a holographic character. He—at first—fails to see the problem with this kind of one-sided relationship.
Janeway: "...and if there's something I don't like, I can simply change it."Doctor: "I've noticed that Humans usually try to change the people they fall in love with; what's the difference?"Janeway: "In this case, it works!"
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Fistful of Datas", Worf reluctantly joins his son in a holodeck reproduction of a Western town called Deadwood. When Worf easily dispatches some outlaws in a saloon brawl, Alexander complains that it shouldn't be easy to be the good guy. He has the computer increase the difficulty level a little bit, and the next time Worf faces these outlaws in a brawl, it's more of a challenge.
Worf: I'm beginning to see the appeal of this program.
- One episode of The Big Bang Theory has Leonard, Raj, Amy, and Emily try out an escape room. However, it proves disappointing due to being too easy for them. (They complete it in just over six minutes.) As they leave, they reason it was easy for them since they're two physicists, a biologist, and a medical doctor.
- This is a common criticism of Junk Yard, as everything in the game is pretty straightforward, even its Wizard Mode - nothing in the game requires more than 5 shots (even the Super Jackpot only needs 2), everything is spelled out directly for the player, and it is pretty linear for a pinball table, leading to experts often growing bored of it if they play it for too long. Often forgotten is the fact that pinball tables are just as meant to be out in public for people to drop coins in to play, which is what Junk Yard is almost certainly meant for.
- Some longtime pinball players use this as a criticism against more modern games, which try to entertain casual players by lowering the difficulty of starting the first multiball mode or jackpot bonus, with some games even starting multiball automatically on the last ball if the player hasn't triggered it on his own. The criticism is usually limited to the early part of the game, however; most modern pins have ridiculously complicated endgames to satisfy home collectors looking for years of challenge from their tables.
- Often, many sports teams at the high school and college levels – most commonly, football and basketball – will schedule at least one non-conference game where there is great disparity in talent levels between the two teams. For the "superior" team, it often becomes an exercise in rote gameplay, particularly since the game is expected to be one-sided; however, the winning coach's objectives may be to allow their team to perfect certain plays and assess talent in an actual game situation, and virtually guarantee younger players (those who will likely make up the junior varsity for most of the season) playing time once the expected one-sided score is established. While sometimes players of the supposedly better team will complain about the game's easy difficulty level, the trope is more often applied by fans and the media (i.e., sportswriters and broadcasting), disparaging the winning team for their choice of (their hapless) non-conference opponent.
- Good golfers, particularly longer hitters, can get bored when they have to play more forward tees than they usually do in order to play the same tees as their less skilled/athletic playing partners. They didn't spend $300+ dollars on a driver to hit 3-iron off every tee.
- Formula One gets lynched for being too easy to drive, so easy a seventeen years old with merely two-year autosport experiences can drive. The conspiracy is so huge the FIA invokes the car to be harder to access to call back fans. In addition, with the exceptions of the pre-2000s "legends", when a driver gains a series of "easy" wins via dominations, people complain. This has happened with Schumacher, Vettel, and Mercedes AMG's 2014 duo.
- Some people have this attitude even in Tabletop Roleplaying games. If a Game Master refuses to have Player Characters die, then they (and the players) are wusses. The derisive term "Monty Haul Campaign" originates here as well for games that award too much loot.
- This is one of the main complaints about the Space Marines and their variants in Warhammer 40,000. The 5th Edition Space Marine Codex and its variants are all full of viable units that can be easily mixed and matched to create powerful lists. Because of this, many people (especially those who play armies one or two editions behind) see people who play Space Marines as being less talented at playing the game than others.
- Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition took many measures to make itself "newbie friendly" and in turn drew vicious ire from fans of the third edition who actually enjoyed the complexity in 3ed and find the "simplicity" in 4ed makes the game boring.
- Tabletop games as a rule are divided between players who enjoy them for their strategy aspects (and think everyone else should as well) and players who view strategy as a barrier to "roleplaying." The former group is likely to despise almost anything the latter enjoys for this reason.
- An updated version of Operation has received a low reception due to Hasbro making the openings so large, a child could very easily grab the pieces without setting off the buzzer.
- This video on how Quake might be done if it was released in the current day is a stab at modern shooter games seemingly becoming like this, combined with Downloadable Content and Railroading.
- The Irate Gamer invokes this trope in The Frollo Show after Frollo and Stocking easily kill Jafar in the Frollo Beats Up Evil Residents saga. The Game Genie grants his wish. Jafar is revived into a snake and chomps off the Bores' head in response.
Frollo: YOU IDIOT!!!
- Different type example: LARP (mainly, fantasy). Many old-school larpers whine a lot about modern games to be "tamed", because organizers don't take the risk to allow some props or actions. While it's not a real problem (it is easy to find a small, hardcore group that plays with hard weapons and allows full contact), the difference between old players and new players is big.
- How many times do you hear your parents complaining that you have it "easy"?
- Flame wars can frequently erupt between car enthusiasts with one side insisting that you're not truly driving a car if it is equipped with an automatic transmission, has stability control, features anti-lock brakes, etc.
There's just no pleasing people, is there?