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"Therefore, it's the game's fault that I suck at it!"

Over time, games in general have gone from Nintendo Hard to more accessible to today's gamers. Still, every once in a while, a game comes along that provides a challenge reminiscent of the Trope Namers of Nintendo Hard. To some gamers, this shall not stand! Video games are about fun, and frustration isn't fun! They're like black and white!...right?

There's nothing inherently wrong with a "hard" game. While a large number of gamers find easier games to be more enjoyable than ones that may make them Rage Quit, some gamers like having a challenge in their games. People play games for different reasons; some play to chill out and escape the trials and tribulations of daily life, while others seek such trials within video games.

Bear in mind that difficulty can occasionally be a legitimate complaint, depending on what kind of difficulty. Some games are legitimately hard and can provide a great and potentially fun challenge. Or maybe the difficulty is a tad too inconsistent and throws too much at the player at once and there's a huge difficulty spike. Other games are difficult for the wrong reasons, which can be quite legit. (And commonly, when discussing the latter, it's best to keep discussion to that page. But it can still lead to justifiable entries on this series where people criticise the game as being too hard due to Fake Difficulty.)

This is not a page on which to complain about hard games -- this is for when a fanbase in general or reviewers complain about difficulty.

This type of complaint can happen if the preceding game in the series was significantly easier.

The polar opposite of It's Easy, So It Sucks. 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 a or "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.

Examples of It's Hard, So It Sucks include:

Action Adventure Games

  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. Up until OoE, Metroidvanias were particularly easy compared to their more linear and difficult ancestors, so OoE's challenge came off as a shock to many players who started with Symphony of the Night or later.
  • While "suck" might be a strong word, many critics complained about how difficult Metroid Prime 2 was, especially in comparison to its predecessor.
  • This was the main criticisms of In Name Only Digimon World 4 RPG, considering that the one of the hero characters only has about four times the health of the games goombas and only a slightly faster attack, the pack of four enemies near the very beginning could easily kill a solo player. And for any newbies that encountered a Crowned Enemy in the second section...
  • This is half the reason why Robo Warrior is not liked by many, the other half being a huge amount of Guide Dang It.
  • The difficulty of Tomb Raider III was the most common complaints among fans and reviewers due to the fact that the game had a huge amount of death traps that could kill you if you weren't careful. Even if you were trying to be careful, some areas forced you to rush blindly to avoid a trap you triggered, which was accompanied by some Camera Screw that was trying to make the sequence of escaping the trap look cool. Most of the game was also extremely dark, which made the death traps even more difficult to spot and it did not help that flares barely lasted.

Beat Em Ups

First Person Shooter

  • The original FEAR gets this reaction from a lot of people because it was a legitimately tough game which could kill you quickly if you were careless. It wasn't derided for being too hard at the time of its release, but the reactions of newer fans brought in from the much easier 2'nd and 3'rd games are very much along the lines of this trope, and are often very shocked to discover that they can go from full health and armor to dead in a few seconds against normal enemies.




  • The Irate Gamer has a very low tolerance of hard games, even if the game is good. Hard games make him "fustrated" [sic].
    • He's also known to invert this. In his review of Kirby's Epic Yarn, he bashed the game for being too easy. Contradicting the many times he's complained about a game being too hard.


  • Mega Man Zero sometimes gets this from some people.
    • To the point where the DS Updated Rerelease of the entire series includes an "Easy Scenario". The game's English-language version promotes this on the box as being "so anyone can jump right in!" In practice, the Easy Scenario simply starts the game with most non-plot powerups (maximum life, all Cyber Elves, etc.) without actually changing the difficulty. You can (and probably will) still die even on Easy Scenario.
  • Many Platform Hell games such as Kaizo Mario World and I Wanna Be the Guy. They tend to be more interesting watched than played.
    • Many platform hells tend to be viewed as sucky mainly because of their Fake Difficulty. Trial and Error Gameplay is pretty common in these types of games, especially in IWBTG and ROM hacks of Super Mario World trying to be like Kaizo.
  • La-Mulana spits in the face of gamers of this mentality, saying in the manual that it's only for those hardcore players who feel the same way.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4s first level is fine. The rest are more difficult than most of the classic games it was trying to emulate, thus some fans unfairly don't think it is a worthy part of the main series.
  • Mirror's Edge got this a lot from its detractors, with the argument being that the game's first-person perspective was unsuited to its gameplay style.
  • Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure was a critical darling, but got a substantial amount of flak for the fact that it's essentially a rare licensed example of Platform Hell.

Puzzle Games

  • Tetris: The Grand Master 2 (PLUS), for those who started with TGM3. TGM3 introduced a subtle change in the signature TGM rotation system that makes I-pieces easier to handle with, a feature necessitated by TGM3's extreme speeds, as well as the introduction of the Hold Piece feature to TGM. So when a TGM3 player tries to play TGM2, especially at maximum drop speed...

Racing Games

  • While the Jet Moto series was quite popular in its time (up until 3 at least), those who didn't like it often cited insanely aggressive CPU opponents and confusing course design (with sharp turns and plenty of bottomless pits later on), with Glenn Rubenstein of Game Spot even calling the first installment "an evil, difficult game."

Rhythm Games

  • Fans and critics both cite the absurd increase in chart density in Guitar Hero III as one of the reasons the series Jumped the Shark with that installment.
  • Loco Roco - Midnight Carnival got lower scores since many complained about its difficulty. Only a few of them complained about the control scheme not matching with the more challenging level design.

Role Playing Games

  • Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep now has people complaining that Vanitas's Lingering Spirit and Mysterious Figure are "too hard", as well as some other required bosses like Master Eraqus, Braig (with Aqua), and the Mad Treant are too hard. This is from the same fanbase that complained about how Easy Sephiroth was in the first two games. Someone responded to this rather creatively:

 "Fandom of Kingdom Hearts, PLEASE don't complain about how 'easy' Sephiroth is, or how 'button mashery' several bosses are. Because then, we get stuff like Vanitas's Lingering Spirit or the Mysterious Figure."


  • Most newcomers say this about roguelikes in general.

Shoot Em Ups

Turn-Based Strategy

  • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn got a low review from Gamespot for being too hard and being too similar to the previous games. Although the same review flacks the game for lacking Mii support, most do agree that Radiant Dawn is much harder than it needs to be; even the first chapter, typically a "get into the flow of things" segment of Fire Emblem games, is hard to surpass. It doesn't help that all the difficulty settings for the American release are one-notch higher than in Japan, making normal to hard, etc.
    • Radiant Dawn' isn't really any harder than the earlier games (Especially the Japan-only ones), it's just that its difficulty spikes are oddly placed: most agree the game's first act out of 4 is the hardest, with things getting much easier in part 3, when you control Ike's party... and then run into a brick wall when you switch back to Micaiah.
    • It also suffers from a lesser version of the same issue Streets of Rage 3 above as: The Japanese Normal is American and European Easy, while Japanese Hard is Normal outside Japan and Maniac is just "Hard". However, the previous game kept the Japanese Normal and Hard, and added an Easy mode istead of Maniac that was indeed easier, thus creating the illusion Radiant Dawn got harder. It didn't.
  • The classic X-COM originally had a bug that meant the game was permanently stuck on the easiest difficulty. It was and is an awesome game, but the main complaint was that it was too easy. Developers (who hadn't yet discovered the bug) listened to the feedback, and Terror From The Deep was much harder. As in, insanely hard: the game's easiest setting was as hard as the original's hardest setting.
    • It should be noted that the reason the bug took so long to discover was that the original X-COM was already insanely hard.
    • To clarify; TFTD is shunned because it's exactly the same as the original (same engine and all) except with more bugs, an insanely high difficulty (much of it fake), and a worse colour scheme and soundtrack.
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