THE BACKGROUND: The director of the upcoming game "Bayonetta" is quoted at Joystiq as hoping the game will be "sadistically hard". Comments as to the pros and cons of hard games ensued and my 1/50th of a dollar:
The original Ninja Gaiden was miserably hard; absolutely no fun at all; and the way it was structured where you'd have to fight a dozen minions to get to the mini-boss fights, only to die and have to rinse and repeat over and over made "playing" take more effort than my day job.BTW, doesn't she look a little like Moose-Slayer?
Early on, Ryu finds his family village pillaged. He (you) fights 12-20 enemies and then faces a mini-boss on horseback. Common sense would dictate that if the mounted warrior kills you, you should reset to the beginning of that area, but the a-holes at Team Ninja dictated that you re-battle the whole village before getting a crack at the boss. Not. Fun. It wasn't until they put out Ninja Gaiden Black with the "Ninja Dog" mode (read: "You suck. We'll take it easy on you.") that I was able to actually play the game I paid for. I struggled in spots, but it didn't feel like I was being laughed at by sadistic developers.
However, 1337 g4m3r kidz whined loud and often that Ninja Gaiden was too easy(!!) for their awesome skillz. They filled their diapers over Bioshock's Vita-Chambers because it removed the penalty for death. Yeah, gawd forbid players be able to finish the game. How many devs slave over the end levels of their games to have their work go unseen because players give up? I was so annoyed at their crying, I posted, "You want hardcore? Take a loaded pistol and put it on the desk in front of you and then play the game. When you die in the game, pick up the gun, put it to your head, and PULL THE #$%&ing TRIGGER!!! HARDCORE ENOUGH FOR YOU?!?!? ENOUGH RISK FOR YOU?!?!?" Sheesh...
If I were Bayonetta's publisher, I'd be on the phone telling Kamiya to STFU and not cripple my investment stroking his dom urges and pandering to tubby loser virgins who have nothing better to do than memorize 16-button combo sequences. Making games playable - and ENJOYABLE - for a majority of gamers isn't "dumbing down" or "selling out to casual gamers"; it's good business. Go ahead and put in a "PWNZ J00!!11!" mode for the hardcore llamas, er, 1337s, but give the rest of us a freaking break. kthxbai!