Difficulty

Originally posted on tumbler March 13, 2012. Final Fantasy Type-0 is not an easy game.

Game balance seems like it would be an easy thing to do, but having started working on games of my own, the challenge has become more apparent.

RPGs introduce some interesting kinks into the gaming mix because the player's stats can be reflected by pure time put into the game. Someone who spends twice as much time leveling their characters will often find themselves with an easier time playing the game.

This of course was the basic method of progression in older RPGs. Fight more, get more levels, the game gets easier. Some games (see Final Fantasy 8) mix this up by scaling the enemies with you. These games can become harder the more the player raises the levels of their characters.

This results in many RPGs either being labeled too hard or too easy, essentially based on how easy it is to raise the character levels. What makes an RPG good, however, is the balance between needing to level and being able to make it through with lower levels.

It makes for an interesting difficulty slider that is controlled by the player themselves. To actually control the slider requires raw time, however, and it can only be moved in one direction.

Type-0 actually notes the recommended level for each of its missions. I've generally been a bit below them. This has resulted in some intense gameplay where I generally barely make it out alive.

Knowing that if the challenge ever rises to high, however, I have another way to proceed rather than pure player skill allows this challenge to exist without ever being too intimidating.