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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) (even if the game still is Nintendo Hard on the higher settings).

Developers and publishers receive a lot of feedback from their customers, and when a lot of that feedback refers to the perceived difficulty (and possible aversion to spending money on a hair-pulling experience), they have incentive to tweak that feature in the sequel. The developers will try to make not 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.

This can even include dropping Fake Difficulty elements from the previous game(s). It can also include the addition of new gameplay elements such as regenerating health or special abilities that make survival easier than in the previous game.

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.

Typically, this results in certain gamers thinking the new game is too easy.

Compare Easier Than Easy, Lighter and Softer.

Contrast Sequel Difficulty Spike, Surprise Difficulty.


Video Games Examples:

Action Adventure

Action Game

  • The Devil May Cry series seems to have zig-zagged. The first was Nintendo Hard, the second dialed back the difficulty to the point of many considering it It's Easy, So It Sucks, the third was a bit more difficult than the first, and the fourth was much easier.

Adventure Game

  • Discworld 2 was made much easier than the first game, although this was mostly due to the fact that the puzzles went from being totally obscure non-sequiturs to proper Moon Logic Puzzles.
  • King's Quest VII and Space Quest 6 changed the engine, and had eliminated the Unwinnable scenarios that tended to really annoy beginning adventure game players. The difficulty and tone didn't change much for Space Quest. Roger was still none-too-bright "semi-hero" players knew and loved. The King's Quest entry was markedly different from previous entries, going Lighter and Softer along with the Sequel Difficulty Drop. This accounts for the mixed reception it has on the fanbase.

Beat'Em Up

Dating Sim

  • 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.

Fighting Game

  • Street Fighter Alpha. While far from easy, and still having very good AI, it is noticeably easier than the old Street Fighter games. Maybe because the AI cheats less.
  • In the first Power Stone arcade mode was pretty difficult, especially after beating the first boss. However, in the sequel arcade mode can easily be finished in no time at all even by new players after getting to know how to play better.

First-Person Shooter

  • Far Cry, Crysis and Far Cry 2: Far Cry, the first game, is the FPS equivalent of Nintendo Hard on its 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. A good part of this is due to having access to regenerating health, unlike the original Far Cry with its reliance on (somewhat rare) health kits and armor pickups.
  • Descent II is a definite step down from the brutal difficulty of the first game. Even with the more advanced robot A.I. and nastier bosses, the game is noticeably easier thanks to the addition of accessories like the afterburners, energy converter and ammo rack. The difficulty went back up with the third game.
  • Halo 2 is an interesting case in that the normal difficulty is noticeably easier than in the original game (faster regeneration, not having to worry about health, enemies die noticeably more quickly and don't dodge as much, much easier to score instant-kill headshots, a wider selection of better weaponry, vastly improved friendly A.I.), while the heroic and legendary difficulty are much harder than their equivalents in the original game, due to factors such as much weaker shields, Jackal Snipers, level design that makes it much easier to get surrounded and plasma-raped, etc.
  • In Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, you can survive much more damage than in the first Modern Warfare game. This is balanced out somewhat by the Sequel Escalation that results in you often fighting more enemies at once, sometimes in open environments where it's very easy to get flanked from all sides.
    • Modern Warfare 3, in contrast, is insane on Veteran difficulty, as you have drastically less health than in the second game, combined with psychic enemies that are given superhuman reflexes and perfect aim.
  • Red Faction 2 is noticeably easier than the first Red Faction, due to the addition of inventory medikits and regenerating health, as well as the lack of enemies with one-hit-kill attacks like the Mercs with railguns in the first game. Red Faction Guerilla goes the other direction, often being downright Nintendo Hard due to frequent escort or timed missions as well as often having to fight huge hordes of enemies at the same time using a character who's actually not particularly durable.
  • F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin is noticeably easier than the original F.E.A.R.; enemies can survive noticeably less damage, health and armor pickups now restore stats by 100% rather than by small amounts, and enemy aim has been Nerfed to offset the fact you can no longer lean around corners to shoot. The level design is also such that enemies have much fewer opportunities to flank and surprise you compared to the original game. In developer interviews, Monolith has admitted that the A.I. enemies were made slower and less mobile to compensate for the reduced sensitivity of controllers vs mouse and keyboard, as the sequel was made with consoles in mind unlike the first game.
    • And FEAR 3 was even easier than the Project Origin. The developers decided to drop armor and health kits; just a conventional regenerating health scheme now and the enemies because even dumber, weaker, and inaccurate. The enemy AI is now rather unaggressive, preferring to hang back and let you regenerate. Even the boss fights against the phase commanders are not that difficult.
  • The original 1999 Aliens vs. Predator for the PC was pure Nightmare Fuel, especially in the Marine campaign, as Aliens were crazy-fast and would constantly respawn, so that you could never actually clear an area of hostiles and had to keep progressing to stay alive. The sequels, which rely almost entirely on scripted enemy spawns, are still scary and atmospheric, but not as insanely tense as the original.
  • The original Call of Juarez game had limited, non-regenerating health (and health pickups could be dangerously rare in some areas) as well as several annoying stealth and platforming segments. The sequel, Bound in Blood, did away with the stealth and platforming, as well as adding regenerating health and a competent A.I. partner who follows you for most of the game.
  • The first three Rainbow Six games (excluding the console version of 3) had multiple teams of agents, complicated pre-mission planning, easy one hit kills by enemies, and perma-death. Starting with Lockdown, the series became a more forgiving fast-paced single squad-based shooter.

Light Gun Game

Platform Game

  • Blinx the Time Sweeper 2: Masters of Time and Space to the original game.
  • Super Mario Bros 3 was a huge drop compared to Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, although still harder than Super Mario Bros.
  • Some of the levels in Yoshis Story were fairly difficult, but in order to finish the game, you had to beat only one from each world, for a total of six. This is contrasted with the 48 levels that had to be finished in Yoshis Island.
  • Super Mario 3D Land could be this to Super Mario Galaxy 2, but still on the same level as Super Mario Galaxy. And then you have the eight bonus worlds.
  • To balance out the previous game's Sequel Difficulty Spike, Jak 3 had its difficulty level toned down significantly, striking a decent balance between the original Jak and Daxter, which was said to be too easy, and Jak II Renegade, which went in exactly the opposite direction.
    • In the official strategy guide for Jak 3, there was a section at the back explaining various things, like how the game was made, random bits of twoddle, oh, and there was an apology for making Jak II Renegade too difficult.
  • 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. Not to mention that certain Macguffins required you to be in certain spots for them to even appear.
  • Mega Man 10 added an easy mode after franchise revival Mega Man 9 proved too old-school Nintendo Hard for some players. And before that, Mega Man 2 added a "Normal" mode for its North American release that was really an "easy" mode, especially when compared the Nintendo Hard original game and the Japanese version (retained as the NA "Difficult" mode.)
  • The original Crash Bandicoot trilogy; the first game was undeniably the hardest to get all the gems in. Warped is arguably the easiest game, but adds a challenging time trial mode to give vets something to chew on.
  • The first Spyro the Dragon game is quite difficult, especially if you are going for One Hundred Percent Completion. While the other two games aren't exactly a walk in the park to achieve One Hundred Percent Completion, they were far easier than the first one.
  • That happens in Adventure Island series on the NES.
  • Of the original four games, Sonic the Hedgehog 1 was by far the most difficult. Later games added the Spindash, which helped Sonic get out of pits and sticky situations. In Sonic 1, you actually had to build up momentum to progress past obstacles. Sonic 1 also did not have an unlockable Super Sonic Mode.
    • In Sonic 3 and Knuckles, Tails was given the ability to fly, essentially making him the Easy Mode Character compared to the more difficult Sonic.
    • Exception to that being the Marble Garden Zone boss.
  • Metroid II adds a saving feature, some gameplay tweaks (such as shooting kneeled) and has a less open-ended world; Super Metroid returns to the original game's formula, but with II's improvements and a map (and a few improvements of its own, such as finally adding a diagonal attack). For the Metroid Prime series, after the Sequel Difficulty Spike that was Echoes, came the much easier Corruption, whose difficulty was probably lowered because of the new control system for the Wii (which was adapted to the other games when Trilogy packed them together).
  • Banjo-Tooie to Banjo-Kazooie. For starters, the first game started you out with pretty much nothing and then had to gradually find and learn the new moves in order to advance. Notes had to be collected one at a time and you had to collect damn near a thousand of them to be able to make it to the end. Aiming the eggs was impossible, late-game enemies took multiple hard hits to kill, and your egg and feather stocks had to be replenished one at a time in a manner similar to enemies (you have to leave the level first before they come back). And there were extra lives and if you ran out of them, game over. The quiz at the end could seriously kick your ass in no time flat if you didn't pay attention and learn all the secrets. Also, with regards to the note collecting, your total number of notes you had on hand to use in the Lair was the sum of your Best Note Scores for each level. If you were to collect 50 notes on a level and then leave or die, all of the notes would respawn and you would have a Best Note Score of 50 for that level. In order to raise it higher and have more notes to use in the Lair you would need to collect at least 51 notes. Each level had 100 notes to its name, some of them in spots that made for an easy plummet into a bottomless pit of death. The second game and the Xbox Live Arcade re-release of the first had notes stay collected for good. Presumably many players viewed the Best Note Score as a Scrappy Mechanic.
  • Jumper Three has been made considerably easier in comparision to previous two Jumper games, probably for the sake of entering Yoyo Games competition.
  • Frogger 2: Swampy's Revenge, a sequel to the 1997 Frogger, was much, much, much easier than its predecessor. The first game is popular for being so Nintendo Hard, while the sequel is often called a prequel due to its major drop in difficulty.
  • Exit Path 2 is a bit easier than the first due to a smoother control scheme, an ability to double jump, and bounce pads having a fixed height.

Puzzle Game

  • Puzzle Quest 2 was far easier than any of its predecessors in the series. Outside of the occasional Boss in Mook Clothing (*coughvampirescough*), enemies were rarely a challenge - especially if you're playing as a Barbarian (who has access to the strongest weapons in the game and power boosting spells).

Racing Game

  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 2's story mode is a bitch to complete without losing at all (an accomplishment known as "unshaded status" after the stage clear marks that are hollow if you haven't lost and filled if you have). Maximum Tune 3 and 3 DX, on the other hand? As long as you don't crash in the last 2-3 kilometers any given stage, unshaded status is very possible.
  • Super Mario Kart is probably still the hardest game in the series,even if Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart Wii give it a run for it's money. Otherwise the series has gotten easier and easier over the years in comparison.
  • SSX Tricky is an example of this working in the game's favor. The controls are much tighter and smoother, you are overall faster, and the introduction of Uber tricks allowed players to easily rack up the kinds of scores that only would have been possible in the original if you were playing at maxed-out stats. This allowed you to unlock new characters faster, so if you wanted to get to a certain character you could reach that character faster.

Rhythm Game

  • We Cheer 2 has an easier difficulty for the songs, and even includes testing for the lag calibration.
  • Guitar Hero: World Tour added a "Beginner" difficulty level in addition to the usual Easy, Medium, Hard and Expert levels.
    • Guitar Hero 2, while featuring harder songs, made hammer-ons and pull-offs mercifully easier by not forcing the player to hold both frets before shifting, and the Xbox 360 port widened the allowable gap between those frets just enough to make a difference, as well as tweaking the order to more accurately reflect the difficulty curve.
  • 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).
    • Rock Band 3 automatically turns on no failure mode when playing on easy, and allows it on all difficulties without penalty; Scoring Points is still as much of a challenge as always.

Role Playing Game

  • Kingdom Hearts II compared to the first Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, except for a couple of the bosses.
  • The difficulty levels of Dragon Age II were adjusted so that they were equivalent to the level below the level of the same name in Dragon Age: Origins
    • Also somewhat averts it since Mages no longer become essentially invincible, like in the first game, which significantly increases the difficulty for Genre Savvy players in comparison.
  • Shadow Hearts Covenant, then played inverted for From The New World.
  • While the Legends remake for Skies of Arcadia is unchanged gameplay-wise, some tweaks were significant enough to make it much easier: far lower encounter rates (the most common complaint for the original Dreamcast game), several sidequests that allow for more experience points (and extra items if you do the Moonfish Sidequest), a "Wanted List" and more Discoveries for monetary rewards (the latter allowing you to recruit a particular member for your ship's crew earlier in the game), and a shiny new Infinity+1 Sword for the main character.
  • Guild Wars Nightfall, although one can argue that rather than a difficulty drop, it was actually making it fair. One of the criticisms of Factions was that a lot of people started period or paying attention to Player Versus Environment on it because it was quite literally way easier to start and get a character leveled up in Factions than it was in Prophecies. (Factions missions give thousands of experience; Prophecies gives hundreds.) Unfortunately, Factions' PvE mode was designed with thinking everyone had already played Prophecies first, even if you did not need to have Prophecies to play Factions, and threw you right on into the hard missions. Nightfall actually lets you ease more into the missions as its difficulty spikes come in far later than in Factions.
  • Golden Sun Dark Dawn has this. The random encounters, puzzles (except for the Capricorn puzzle) and bosses are all substantially easier than the first two games, which alienated a lot of the fans. That being said, the Bonus Boss fights somehow got even harder than they were in The Lost Age.
  • Return to Krondor is much easier than it's predecessor, Betrayal at Krondor. This is largely due to the Genre Shift from a traditional dungeon-crawler to an adventure game with non-random RPG combat encounters.
  • Tales of Symphonia Dawn of the New World is significantly easier than the original Tales of Symphonia, Self Imposed Challenges may not be withstanding.
  • Dark Cloud 2 does away with a LOT of the aggravations from the previous game: weapons are no longer permanently lost if broken, the characters no longer have a thirst meter, enemies drop a lot more money, and the inventory window is not only much larger, but items stack--you can carry 20 of each healing item without taking up 20 individual slots in your inventory.


Shoot'Em Up

  • Double Spoiler compared to Shoot The Bullet. Mainly by greatly lowering the number of scenes cleared needed to unlock a level, but most of the more bullshit pattern types (photograph exactly the right part of the pattern, survive before the boss appears, etc.) are absent as well. Unfortunately for players, the hardest spellcard in Shoot the Bullet (if not the entire series) carried over to Double Spoiler - though the bullet size DID get reduced, and it's only 3 photos needed. And fitting for the character that uses it too...
  • Do Don Pachi Dai-Fukkatsu. Its bullet count would put it above dai ou jou, however, if you're playing on Bomb or Strong Style, you get a very game-breaking feature not found in prior games: Auto-bomb. Getting hit with a bomb remaining causes you to fire a bomb instead of dying, and with each successive life your bomb capacity (which starts at 3) increases by 1, all the way up to 6 after 3 lives lost. This essentially means you start with 15 lives, and gain 1 more when you get a bomb item (at least 1 on each stage from stage 2 to 5) 7 more with each One Up (3 of which you can get in one loop, although 1 of which requires a very high score), for a total of at least 34 chances to get hit before seeing the Continue screen. Thus, you never have to worry about determining the right time to fire a bomb.
    • Even on Power Style, it's still possible to get very far, because the gauge for your Hyper Counter, a Super Mode that lets you cancel bullets, charges up very quickly. It is very possible to fully charge up another gauge while you are still in Hyper Counter mode.
  • Thunder Force III, the successor to the somewhat challenging Thunder Force II (or Nintendo Hard if you're going by the original X68000 version).
  • Gradius Gaiden came some time after the absolutely Nintendo Hard (if you're going by the arcade version) Gradius III, and is much easier. Somewhat justified in that it's a console and handheld game, not an arcade one, so it would make sense to develop a game that players wouldn't Rage Quit over as easily. It's also an aversion of ~It's Easy, So It Sucks~, being hailed by many fans as the best game in the series.
  • Battle Bakraid, the Spiritual Successor to Armed Police Batrider and 2nd-degree successor to Battle Garegga, can be completed on one credit without regard to rank; contrast Garegga where not managing rank properly makes Stage 6 near-Unwinnable.
  • Touhou has been bouncing back and forth between this trope and its opposite. Mountain of Faith was rather easier than its predecessors, then Subterranean Animism was possibly the hardest Touhou ever made. Undefined Fantastic Object was easier, but then Fairy Wars shot straight back up... time will only tell where Ten Desires will fall.
    • Imperishable Night is one of the if not THE easiest game in the series. What it does differently to the other games is that it gives you roughtly a second to deathbomb after getting hit - Sure, it costs twice the bombs, but it's far more forgiving this way.
  • Radiant Silvergun is vicious. Long stages with at least a dozen bosses throughout the game, Malevolent Architecture up the ass, and a chaining system that not only requires leaving roughly 2/3 of enemies intact, but is essential to powering up weapons and making later stages managable. Ikaruga dials down the complexity, allowing the player to absorb bullets without using a weapon, and not requiring playing for chain to have enough firepower for the later stages.

Simulation Game

  • Trauma Team is easier compared to previous installments. However, trying to get the XS rank is a lot harder.
  • Papyrus' NASCAR Racing 2002 Season was perceived as Slower So It Sucks after cars in the predecessor, NASCAR Racing 4 had noticeably higher speeds than in reality.

Stealth Based Game

  • It is nigh-impossible to die in Assassin's Creed II, unless you either leave the game alone in combat (good job, by the way,) or the streamlined freerunning controls cause you to accidentally jump off a building. Even then you can just drink a potion (you can carry 15). Beyond that, the guards will no longer follow you to the rooftops, which means escape is an utter cakewalk. Still a better game than the first, though.
  • Another Ubisoft example: Splinter Cell: Conviction is much easier than its far more complex predeccesors.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty added the silenced tranquilizer pistol, which could make staying undetected a lot easier. It also added "Very Easy" difficulty, in which this pistol gave Instant Sedation. On the other hand, it also added "Extreme" and later "European Extreme" difficulty settings.
  • The original Hitman: Codename 47 had no save states OR checkpoints. If you screwed up just once you were likely to end up being riddled with bullets and sent back to the beginning of the mission; some of the more elaborate missions could be 30-50 minutes or more in length. Later games let you save in the middle of a mission, and (on the regular difficulty) allowed 47 to sustain much more damage before dying.

Survival Horror

  • Silent Hill games have gone up and down over the years. Silent Hill 2 was considerably less intense and dangerous than Silent Hill 1, yet Silent Hill 3 ramped up the challenge to the point where there were ten difficulty modes above Hard. The next three games had a single, set difficulty which was rather high overall, and then Silent Hill: Shattered Memories came along and is without a doubt the easiest game in the series.
  • House of the Dead: Overkill fits this trope, especially with unlimited continues.
  • STALKER: Call of Pripyat did away with many Fake Difficulty gameplay elements introduced in STALKER: Clear Sky, including magical homing enemy frag grenades, and a hit detection system where only some of the shots you managed to land on an enemy would actually count even if you were 100% accurate. In Call of Pripyat it's also much easier to avoid pissing off certain factions (most noticeably the Bandits), and thus go through the game with them being neutral, resulting in much fewer firefights while free-roaming.
  • Dead Rising 2's only known concessions to the complaints about the difficulty of the first game is that it has three save game slots instead of only one, and more save points. This was still enough to send the Dead Rising 1 fans into screaming rants about pandering to the whiny crybabies.
    • The thing to note about Dead Rising 2 is that, while the timer is every bit as unforgiving as the first game if you're trying to go for 100% completion (save all survivors, defeat all psychopaths, etc), the survivor A.I. has been vastly improved, making escort runs much more tolerable and removing the first game's primary source of Fake Difficulty.
  • Compared to the original, Resident Evil 2 swamps the player with ammunition and healing items and has much easier monsters (no "fast" zombies, overall low-damaging Lickers instead of Hunters, and so on). Furthermore, certain coding errors make it so that certain areas with enemies are clear after a scripted event. An average player can complete a blind run without dying once. Further games, however, are another story entirely.
    • Part 2 also fixed two bugs in the original that made it harder: Pushing away one zombie will knock down the others close to it (as opposed to each one getting a turn at your neck until you either got a lucky break or got dead), and monsters making a Deadly Lunge-type attack could be shot out of it (whereas in the original, a Hunter leaping at you was garanteed to score a hit unless you dodged it).
    • Resident Evil 3 Nemesis let you make your own ammo, 4 had Dynamic Difficulty, and in 5 dying via anything other than a One-Hit Kill is difficult thanks to the partner system. Code Veronica is still pretty hard as balls, though.

Third-Person Shooter

  • Gears of War 2 adds a new difficulty, normal. It is roughly equivalent to the casual difficulty setting of the first one, which was the lowest. This makes Gears of War 2's casual difficulty equivalent to an easy mode. The developers have claimed that they hadn't intended for Gears of War to be as hard as it was on the lowest difficulty. The Dragon of Gears of War 2 is also considerably easier than the Angrish inducing General RAAM from the the first. Gears of War 2 is also easier due to being much more balanced / developed than the first game; friendly A.I. squadmates are vastly more intelligent and helpful, the Locust assault rifle has been changed to a semi-auto sniping weapon which gives you a viable long-range combat solution which was sorely lacking in the first game, and enemy Locust drones and Boomers take slightly less bullets to kill than in the first game in addition to hitting you less frequently.
    • Gears of War 3 is much easier than the second game, to the point that many sections can be beaten by simply hanging back and letting the AI squadmates kill all of the enemies. This is on the second highest difficulty setting. Hell, on normal, you can win >80% of the fights by bayonet charging and using melee attacks. Even using the cover system becomes close to optional most of the time. Enemies are even less damaging, less accurate, and less durable.
    • In the original game, AI squadmates wouldn't revive down-but-not-out characters, and DBNO characters couldn't move. This meant that in order to revive a fallen teammate, another player would have to run into the (presumably dangerous) area his friend had been downed in, before he bled out. It also meant that if all the human players in a game dropped, the missions was failed and had to be restarted from the last checkpoint, which was especially frustrating when playing solo. In Gears of War 2 and 3, downed players can slowly crawl and AI squaddies are able to revive them. The "down=dead" rule returned in the highest difficulty of Gears of War 3, but Arcade mode swaps out mission failure for a 25 second respawn counter as long as at least 1 human player stays alive.
  • Max Payne 2, while still a challenging game, is no longer as Nintendo Hard as the first game. Max can now survive a reasonable amount of damage (compared to the first game where a handful of 9mm bullets or a single shotgun blast would spell instant game over), bullet-time now regenerates slowly over time (so you no longer can get stuck because you ran out), shootdodges no longer cost bullet-time at all to perform, and late-game enemies are no longer inexplicably Made of Iron.

Visual Novel

  • The 'Phoenix arc' of the Ace Attorney games got progressively harder. However, Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice and Ace Attorney Investigations were criticized for being too easy.
    • In Ace Attorney Investigations, unlike in the first Ace Attorney, after pressing all a witness' statements and reflecting before going back to the first one, Edgeworth tends to provide players with a hint as to which part of the testimony contains the contradiction. Additionally, all penalties take off 10% of the truth bar, with the exception of one rebuttal sequence later on, in which even pressing the wrong testimony incurs a 20% penalty.

Wide Open Sandbox

  • Grand Theft Auto II is a minor Sequel Difficulty Drop over Grand Theft Auto due to the advent of the save feature, and each city containing only one level as opposed to two, including That One Level Rasta Blasta.
  • All the main game starts in the X-Universe series have gotten progressively easier with every sequel - the first game starts you off in a pathetic and painfully slow ship with no shields, while the latest gives you a 16 million credit high end corvette within the first hour. However, the games all offer game starts with much more difficult starting equipment, like starting off in a tiny scout ship with a mere 1000 credits (barely enough to buy more than a few trading goods), or a start that will delete your save file when you die.
  • Compared to the original Prototype, the sequel is almost disappointingly easy. The enemies are overall much weaker, even the bosses tend more toward Elite Mooks than true bosses. The Final Boss battle in the first game was a brutal Timed Mission, the sequel instead gives you mid-battle Check Points that fully heal you. The game rounds this up by marking all the collectibles on the map and providing a pop-up notice when you're near one. Even the Nintendo Hard Event challenges have been moved to optional Downloadable Content, and you now only need Bronze to unlock the rewards.

Non-Video Games Examples:

Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons and Dragons 4e is generally more forgiving than any of its previous incarnations. The design paradigm shifted from simulation-ism into game-ism: you can't have a character that's entirely unplayable, unless you deliberately aim for that.
  • Up through the Ravnica block, Magic: The Gathering deliberately included terrible, unplayable cards to tighten the card pool in Limited (games where a small, randomized pool of cards is used to built decks on the spot, instead of bringing pre-made decks to the event) and give good drafters a leg up. For the next block, Time Spiral, they decided to include dramatically fewer universally-unplayable cards. It was decided that this worked better over all, and got a lot less complaints than when deliberately useless cards were garbaging up booster pack space.

Reality TV

  • The Amazing Race American edition:
    • Season 8 featured watered-down Roadblocks that could be completed by a child, and was just one big loop around North America, with a small detour in Central America, instead of a trip around the world. This was because it was the Family Edition, and they had children as young as eight, which limited the international travel.
    • Season 11 was really easy, despite being an all-star season. Fans complained that it was too easy, and even non-experienced teams could have handled most of the challenges with no problem.
    • Season 15 was significantly easier than previous few races, despite recycling the infamous hay bale challenge from one of the hardest seasons ever.
  • Certain seasons of Survivor had a difficulty drop in regards to the survival aspect:
    • Cook Islands, wherein the contestants started off with a bunch of supplies, and one tribe was given a firemaking kit for winning the first immunity challenge.
    • While not intended, this happened to the Moto tribe in Fiji, even when compared to Cook Islands. An experiment made a "have" tribe and a "have not" tribe. Unfortunately, it basically worked the "have not" tribe, Ravu, into a Can't Catch Up situation. The Motos would lounge around in their camp with all the food from reward challenges, the shelter that was built by 19 people, with a hammock, and a freaking couch. As it was mentioned by one Moto member, "This isn't Survival - it's thrival,"
    • Nicaragua didn't feature any heavily physical challenges that often result in people getting hurt, like in previous seasons. Justified, in that the gimmick of the season was "Young vs. old", and dueling challenges would have been a disaster. Not to mention, the producers had offered more food reward challenges and gave them the choice to give more rice due to the shelter burning down.

Real Life

  • Cars tend to become progressively easier to drive as they go through more designs and generations, and cars have gotten progressively easier overall to drive every decade. Compare driving a Ford Model T which has a huge array of weird driving instruments, to a modern car which can park itself, changes its gears automatically, warns you when you're drifting out of your lane, et cetera. The Porsche 911 was infamous for fishtailing when it came out, but is now far more controllable than the first generation.
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