YMMV Charted for your convenience. The game isn't always hard. It isn't always easy. It just can't seem to make up its mind. There are even portions that seem to be the perfect difficulty, but you never know when one will turn up. Maybe there's an element of the game design that does not work particularly well. Maybe the developers were trying to make the game feel realistic.
Maybe they just had no clue what they were doing. Whatever the case, you've run into Schizophrenic Difficulty. Often occurs when major elements of gameplay are left to the Random Number God. Random dungeon layouts can put important equipment on the bottom floor. Random stat growth can rob your tank of vital Hit Points. A Crutch Character or Exclusive Enemy Equipment that is only available on a few scattered levels can also make portions of the game much easier than others.
And sometimes, it is the level design itself that makes things too difficult. Compare Difficulty Spike or That One Level , when a single level is much harder than its preceding levels, and Breather Level which is its inverse. Non-Indicative Difficulty is an extreme case where, for example, playing on "Normal" is harder than playing on "Hard", at least in some way.
The very first level is an example of the former, but one of the two levels it unlocks falls into the latter. Battle City and somewhat its sequel Tank Force has this syndrome too.
For an example, stages 20 and 34 in Battle City are the hardest ones in the game while stage 35 is a breather level. After this the average difficulty stays more or less the same until the end of the game, but with occasional shockingly hard phases dropped in at random. Devil May Cry 3 is a fairly classic example using Difficulty Spikes. Cerberus and the Twins are incredibly difficult bosses, and yet Cerberus is the second boss you face and the twins are not much further along.
While the game itself doesn't get easier per se after that point, the difficulty of those bosses is so ridiculously high that once you develop the skill to beat the bosses likely by dying on them a dozen times each , you have become good enough at the game that nothing ends up challenging you nearly as much - they aren't the hardest bosses in the game, but they're the hardest bosses for the skill level you're at when you first face them, so nothing else seems nearly as bad.
The Adventure of Link also gets criticised often on this aspect, with Death Mountain an early-game area is seen as ludicrously difficult, even by the game's standard. Ni GHTS Journey Of Dreams has Fluffy Catch, the third stage in the game, as a stopping point for people because the player has to keep Nightopians from drifting upwards into a vortex, requiring the player to scramble back and forth and keep a sharp eye at a point when the game's unusual mechanics are not yet clear especially if the player has never played the first game.
After that, the stages themselves vary a bunch, with the mid-game Crystal Castle levels being pretty hard overall because of the high obstacle density, cramped space, branching paths, and mirror puzzles; and its follow-up, Memory Forest, being relatively empty, open, and straightforward, allowing you to see any enemies and other setbacks far in advance.
Crimes in Progress in Batman: Arkham Origins can be anything from half a dozen guys with sticks, a fight that Bats could probably win in his sleep, to a massive brawl involving heavily armoured goons, corrupt cops, assault rifles and - if the area is open and the fight sufficiently free-range - a number of thugs from a completely different mob that get pulled into the fight.
Guardian of the Realms are a breeze in contrast to the bosses except for a few scattered levels that are intensely and inexplicably difficult the hardest probably being the fifth. Difficult levels don't seem to get any more or less frequent as you near the end, either. All the levels in Battletoads are hard, but not sequentially so.
Level 3 has the racers, which are virtually impossible, while level 5 has the surfboards, which, while difficult, aren't as bad. In some levels, every obstacle is instant death, while in some other, later levels, all obstacles take one or two units of health.
The World combines this trope with Boss Dissonance. The first level is both fairly simple and ends with Matthew Patel, who is an utter clown in all versions of the story. The second level is slightly harder The third level doesn't change any, difficulty-wise, but ends with a tough mid-boss fight, followed by the demonically hard Todd Ingram.
Then there's the fourth level, notorious for being one of the most frustrating levels in the game, ending with Roxie Richter The fifth level splits in two; you can skip most of the first half, which ends with a fairly simple mid-boss, but you have to slog through a grueling platforming sequence with no chance to heal in the second half.
The Katanayagi Twins, the easiest boss in the game. Finally, the difficulty stabilizes. Fighting Game A lot of fighting games in general have random characters whose AI seems to vacillate between brilliant and stupid for no discernible reason. Some SNK Bosses even throw in an entire "stupid round" where attacks just seem to work and a "smart round" where they play a Perfect-Play A. Considering that it was almost entirely random when, or even if, you fought Jade in single player mode, she was a single-handed example of this trope.
Soul Blade 's Edge Master Mode has several points where the challenge you have to accomplish is much harder than the one after it. Examples being those that require you to use a certain move especially hit your opponent in the air , those that require you to defeat your opponent against a time limit or with limited health, and the Colosseum matches. Tekken 2 has a point around Stage 5 where the difficult level suddenly hikes, especially if you are fighting against Law.
After this, it usually isn't too difficult. This is because the fifth level forms the mid-boss, even though at this stage it wasn't mentioned. The last room in the third level raises the difficulty, then it goes down again. Metropolis, on the other hand, raises the difficulty again a lot, which won't let down until the end of Karnak and afterwards the difficulty starts to jump up and down very frequently.
So much of the game's difficulty comes from scattered War Sequences and other game design death traps that the series might as well be the trope codifier for " That One Part Of That One Level ".
The difficulty yo-yos up and down the whole game, with a plague of Demonic Spiders near the beginning followed by a single, supposedly more fearsome specimen — built up as a major Boss Fight — who goes down almost instantly.
Or compare the warp core level, where you have to shoot dozens of targets without hitting the Destroyable Items within a merciless time limit, with the endgame, where there's a single monster you need to kill, a gun that can do so in a handful of shots, no time limit, and infinite health and ammo rechargers.
The final mission of Call of Duty 2, Crossing the Rhine, is much easier than the previous two brutally difficult missions D-Day and Hill The difficulty also drops from Stalingrad to Africa, then shoots back up for Caen and the aforementioned two missions.
The Halo games tend to be schizophrenic with their difficulty. The first two maps of the original game's fourth episode are considered to be insanely difficult in comparison to the ones that follow, while the last two are generally regarded as the easiest in the episode. Then again megawads , that aren't Platform Hell in the first place, can have wildly varying levels when it comes to difficulty.
The Community Chest mapsets are big examples of this. The Alpha Labs are probably the hardest area in Doom 3 , mostly because you don't have many good weapons and it's filled with hitscanning zombie soldiers. The game gets much easier from thereon until it spikes again in Hell, and then the difficulty starts jumping all over the place.
Divine Cybermancy 's difficultly bounces up and down to a hilarious degree, mostly due to the randomly generated missions and enemy types encountered. One mission in New Eden may have the player's party just fighting against low-level Looters and Federal Police, while the next city level may throw Interceptors and Special Forces Infiltrators at the party. The only level which is almost always difficult is the Noctis Labyrinth, which sics copious amounts of Deus Ex s and Interceptors at the party — though by this point, someone will probably have the.
The first two games are designed to have each campaign be an enjoyable standalone experience, but it's likely that players will play them in order from start to finish at least the first time they play. Both games' second campaigns were DLC not available at launch, and as such have slightly more gimmicky, and difficult play than the base game ones in order to give a fresh challenge for veterans, as well as containing less but longer maps to provide short but challenging game options for versus players.
Left 4 Dead 2's Campaign 3, Dark Carnival, has the longest maps, with 3 of them having punishing crescendo events at the very end that are easy to fail on more than once if you don't know exactly what you're doing.
Campaigns 4 and 5 - Swamp Fever and Hard Rain - settle the difficulty briefly, but the former has one of the toughest finales with a long trek from the safe room to try again, and the latter has the polar opposite - a short finale that takes place right next to the safe room. After all these ups and downs, the final campaign, The Parish, re-settles back on being a very fair and balanced difficulty despite a gimmicky moment here and there. At least until you hit the final stretch to reach the escape heli, then all hell breaks loose.
Having no Iron or Copper means you're stuck using archers and longbowmen until gunpowder is invented. This, coupled with an aggressive enemy AI, can cause all sorts of pain for the player. On the other hand, you can get a "double gold riverside corn copper" start and then receive free technologies from huts, which makes the game a cakewalk.
You'll need extra luck if you don't have a source of oil in the late game; Riflemen seem to have a greater difficulty dealing with Tanks than Spearmen. It's a lot easier to win a non-military victory in IV, though. Playing one-city-challenge can be entirely dependent on what resources are near wherever you build your one single city.
Crusader Kings gets outright chaotic quite often, especially the second game. In general, a lord's effective power is usually dependent on their vassals' loyalty, and the moment a king dies, his successor will usually have to deal with several magnate lords pushing their own agendas; the likelihood of this goes up as the king's realm grows bigger and more powerful. On the other hand, a long-ruling king can more-or-less expect full obedience as he expands his realm into infidel lands.
The difficulty rankings on starting characters do not take this into account, meaning that some of the best starting characters for newbies, minor Irish nobles with no large organized enemies or complex internal politics, are labeled "hard". However, the actual difficulty of each is kinda messed up. Normal can be tedious or very difficult depending on your build. Many characters are stuck with a pathetically weak attack as they wait for the higher level ones they actually want to put points into to open up.
Nightmare is a complete joke — by now you have your strongest attacks maxed out, while enemies are only slightly stronger than in Normal. Hell is true to its name. All enemies are completely invulnerable to at least one element, randomly spawned unique monsters gain 3 boss-modifiers which can give them more elemental immunities , and your own elemental resistances are all dropped by one hundred.
There's another layer of Schizophrenic Difficulty inside Hell difficulty. While in Normal difficulty the enemies have their stats completely fixed, in Nightmare and Hell each zone has an "area level" and enemies scale their stats based on that area level. Hell difficulty makes some strange leaps in area levels, and sometimes zones have a much higher level than the previous area, meaning the enemies there are much stronger.
This usually happens with optional areas, but there are a few cases with mandatory areas: A similar thing can be said about act bosses. The first boss, Andariel, has quite an adequate low difficulty considering she's the first boss, but the second boss, Duriel, is one of the toughest enemies of the game. Then, the fourth boss, Diablo, is clearly the toughest enemy of the game which makes sense, considering he was originally the Final Boss prior to the expansion.
By contrast, the added Final Boss in Lord of Destruction Baal is similar to Mephisto in being disappointingly easy compared to prior bosses and his "Minions of Destruction" that you are forced to defeat right before. Diablo III had this in spades before the 2. Certain zones can be unplayable due to ganking and quest difficulty can frequently fluctuate depending on how enemies differ between areas. Low-level players first encountering Gnomeregan may notice a surprising leap in difficulty compared to earlier dungeons.
Zones made before any of the expansions Levels are somewhat more difficult than higher-level zones introduced in the expansions Levels