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Atlus: “We’ll Make Catherine Easier For You!”

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Complaints about Catherine being “too hardcore” have not fallen on deaf ears – Atlus promises a patch to make the game easier for the mewling weaklings they are saddled with as customers.

The game’s developers say they are preparing a patch to make the game easier, apologising as “the staff may have become too used to the game.”

Just why such matters never came up in the game’s QA testing stages is something of a mystery, particularly considering it has proven a near universal complaint about the game from everyone who bought it…

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  • Hardcore gamers love to blame casual gamers for the dilution of their games, but to tell you the truth, game companies LOVE the casual gamers because that’s where their money lies.

    For every hardcore gamer that buys a game and spends 20 hours of his day playing games in his mom’s basement without a care in the world, there are 10 casual gamers that just want a short diversion from their busy lives. And that’s why game companies cater to the casual gamer, because there are MORE of them to sell to. No industry can survive and become profitable on just the support of the hardcores.

    Elitist hardcore gamers have to live with this, because frankly without the casuals, most companies including Atlus would go under. Game production is incredibly expensive these days. These aren’t the simple ol days of Atari and NES development.

    Atlus HAS to make sure their games are accessible to a majority of gamers or their games will sit on the shelves, and well, they’ll be throwing their money out the window and the company too. They KNOW this.

  • **from a position of actually having worked with game testing**
    as far as game testers are concerned, its actually ironically somewhat difficult to test game difficulty with game testers.

    why?

    because game testers themselves generally end up playing the game over and over again.

    so in many ways they become just as “too familiar” with the game as the developers themselves, so difficulty becomes a hard thing to gauge because they end up having played the game so much they figured out all the tricks to playing it, no matter the difficulty, anyway.

  • Seriously, puzzle games like these should only be allowed to be sold as downloadgame. But full price/box game?? wtf.
    And no, just putting something like this on cover won’t do it. Just don’t buy this crap.

  • What the heck??? Easing the game would kill it! True, I was frustrated when I played it for the first time but now I finished playing it on normal mode, playing easy mode is a walk in a park.

    Plus, I even put up a playthrough on my youtube channel to help those who stuck.

    Nevertheless, horray Atlus for responding to feedback.

  • Some of the people all the time. All the people some of the time. But not all the people all the time…

    Big companies have to cast as wide a net as possible, so they indeed end up often “Dumbing Down” things. By that alone I wouldn’t mind, except that big companies dominate the markets, seemingly forcing everything mainstream.

    Note that these game systems owners fight to control “Their” markets, going nuts on “Jailbreaker” hackers not so much for fear of already mass-pirated games (IMO the same Chinese manufacturers…) but for fear 3rd parties could make their own games for those consoles without having to be approved and pay whatever fees they decide to charge.

    As far as this particular game goes, well it’s interesting and something I might pick up a year or two from the $5 bin if I see it, but it’s not worth getting a console earlier and obsessing over it… I mean, do you go through such a hellish, punishing maze for the promise of a woman or cause she’s got you into that trouble?

  • Wow, have gamers really gotten this pathetic? Screw the casual crowd. Don’t like hard games? Then don’t play it.

    I love playing stuff like Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins and Contra games because of the incredible difficulty. I love insanely hard games. If they lower the difficulty, its less incentive for me to buy it.

  • I loudly complained in the last post about the excessive difficulty some of these Japanese games have and how they’re ruining otherwise potentially good games, so I’m glad to see they’re not the usual elitist “just play better” assholes you usually get when you complain about that kind of thing.

    That said, I hope it’s just an added difficulty mode and not changing the entire game. I don’t want the people who actually enjoy that kind of masochistic experience to get excluded after they already bought the game, after all.

    • Excessive difficulty? Excessive difficulty is a gift. People who play games that are excessively difficult and get better deserve to complete a game. When anyone can easily breeze through a game in a single day without needing skill, game developers have a major problem on their hand. “Gamers who actually enjoy that masochistic experience” feel superior over most people because they worked hard to get there when others didn’t, not because they’re elitist assholes. I wouldn’t mind an added difficulty mode either, though, making a game more accessible is the only way developers make money, and we wouldn’t want Atlus to die, would we?

      Personally, i’d liken Catherine to Super Meat Boy in terms of difficulty, despite not having played Catherine. I’ve heard no complaints about Super Meat Boy’s difficulty (aside from shitty reviewers), why should Catherine be treated any different? That being said, I would be curious to see the 100% completion rate on the original difficulty of Catherine, supposedly being “devilishly hard” and all.

      • Difficulty was something I might have wanted in a game before I could download any game I wanted for free. If you’re stuck with playing a game again just because you can’t afford a new one, the difficulty is cool.

        These days I don’t even play single player games in the hardest mode even though I could probably complete them, because what’s the point? Nobody cares if you completed in a harder mode and if you actually go out of your way to compare your performance with the rest of the world, you’ll see that there are thousands of people that did it even better.

        Multiplayer is for a real challenge, single player is just for fun. Completing anything single player at any difficulty isn’t something I would be proud of.

        • No one gives a shit about your opinion if you just pirate everything. You will eventually amass a giant library of games you play once to completion and then never touch again, until one day you look back at your life and realize that easy access just enabled you to waste your valuable years away. And then you will understand.

  • Japanese are none for making their easy mode stupid hard for Japanese players. It’s retarded that they keep doing this to the japanese as if they want their own people to hate gaming.

    Balance the fucking games. shit gets old.

    • “As long as they keep the original difficulty and just had an easier mode then its all good”

      I agree…Definitely keep the original difficulty~

      Same thing happened with “Lost Planet 2” …

      People were complaining about how hard it is and how certain gigantic bosses can kill them in one hit, and how they have to restart a stage every time they die…

      CapCom released a patch that made every single thing easy as hell, and made every enemy weak and nerfed some weapons…

      Now, noobs think their the hottest sh*t because they can blast everyone on Normal Mode…

      *scoffs angrily*

      They would be crying pre-patch because even Easy Mode is like playing on Hard Mode if CapCom didn’t listen to their b*tchy complaints…

      Now even Hard Mode is a joke…

      Hopefully, the patch will still keep the original difficulty unlike what happened to CapCom’s Lost Planet 2…

      I can’t wait for Catherine to hit western shores…

      -Azure Xuchilbara
      (account suspended)

    • If you’d actually played the game, you would know that easy mode actually is damn easy, the game has a learning curve in that you actually have to take the time to figure out how to play it and learn wtf you are doing. It’s not like Halo where any 12 year old can instantly jump in and point the cursor at aliens to kill them, but that doesn’t mean it’s some ultra difficult broken game that needs a super easy mode for pussies.

  • Wow… Atlus listened to their customers and decided to do something about it. Honestly, I’m surprised… Just count how many companies would do that… I don’t know what it takes to make Catherine easier, but I think everyone should give Atlus “thumbs up” for this response and how they care for their customers

    • PoisonFacecamo says:

      I’m not surprised at all.. Atlus knows its a give and take relationship with their fans.. Atlus fans are some of the most diehard fanboys/girls out there. there’s a reason why their fanbase is called the “Atlus Faithful”

      • I am so glad that they listened to the consumer feedback as the game was said to have multiple endings & a game with multiple endings to achieve should not be as frustrating as the customers said it was universally…

        I hope they just don’t make the complete game easier or it is not the right move, they need to either adjust just easy & maybe normal if they feel like it or simply create an easier difficulty for people to play, simple as that…

        Atlus, good call…

      • Capcom certainly listens to their customers nowadays. And Blizzard seems to listen to their fans too much (especially the stupid trolls). And EA actually does that a lot nowadays. Game companies that don’t listen to the fans like Namco suffered a lot saleswise because of it.

        • Anonymous
          08:22

          we wanted it to go back to 2d LONG before than, its just they finally got the what… 6 years of fans telling them “JUST GIVE US A FUCKING SIDE SCROLLER” they waited till they damn near killed the franchise before they gave us what we want… kind of… wansn’t the game split into multipul parts?

          Shippoyasha
          03:38

          i believe the one thing all capcom fans want is to not be sold, on fucking disc dlc, and not get fucked over by needing to buy alturnative costumes that were previously made 6 months prior to game launch…

          they dont fucking listen. OOO and if you try to get answers, they threaten to sue you, some people called them up and inquired about this, and got told to fuck off, and they would be sued if they continued.

        • ow wait. We live in the era of downlodable content, where game producers release incomplete games to sell the updates. This is what capcom is doing. This is what arc system is doing. This is what atlus will do. The news says they are preparing a patch to make the game easier, but it don’t say this pack will be free.

      • It sounded like the game play was fine, but players were frustrated that they had to replay when they ran out of lives. Could easy mode be as simple as inputting a code and getting 30 lives, or infinite continues? I remember as a kid thinking that playing Contra with the code was natural, but now I don’t consider it beating Contra unless you do it with just the 3 lives.
        This way, the game is still just as challenging, it’s just a lot less frustrating.

        • My company did that as well. In general we listened as much as we could to fix everything with our small team, and interacted with many people on the forums and such. I loved it while it lasted.

          Making a hard game isn’t a bad thing, in fact I enjoy it sometimes, but the hard mode should be a choice. I don’t want to be stressed, I want to see plot personally. I don’t play on hard mode anymore (depending on the game) because I no longer have time to play all these RPGs and get pissed for hours on end until I beat a puzzle on hard modes. That’s why the mode exists, so people who wish to challenge themselves or have endless time on their hands can feel proud of themselves, and that’s fine.

          For those of us who want to play for reasons such as atmosphere, story, characters and just enjoy gameplay with a reasonable challenge for a general audience, it’s not about being a pussy so much as some of us are EMPLOYED and our time is spent in places other than playing. I can play a game one night a week now since I’m so busy. In fact that night is tonight, and every hour counts when it comes to getting through an RPG. So I don’t want to have to reload constantly, it does nothing for me but waste my time.

        • i wold have called everyone calling the game hard pussies, thats probably the reason i dont work in pr.

          Tomonobu Itagaki has allot of respect form me, he said that he makes the game he wants to play, and fuck the gamers, if they want an easier game, their are tons of them.

          all i see this as is a company that cant make a mistake, made a BIG FUCKING MISTAKE (making a puzzle game instead of an rpg), and is trying to get people to not leave their fan base.

        • Game is not hard at all, its just challenging, sort of Vanquish challenging on hard mode, the problem here lies on the demographic that bought the game, since they are the same that went ahead and bought previously P3 and P4, games that in all the SMT universe are in the most easiest pat in the back games.             In short Casual gamers shouldn’t have bought a puzzle game that goes in the vein of IQ or IQ+.

  • I have heard (in context of PC game beta testing) that many testers are simply afraid to say anything negative.

    Beta testing is a chance for hard core gamers to access the games before anybody else.

    Reporting problems is a chance to get on the black list (and there is strong evidence that publishers do have such black lists for beta testers).

    P.S. Loong time ago, I also heard about other cases. (1st; obvious) Tester’s feedback was blatantly ignored. (2nd) Beta testers on forums found a way how to play the game and tested it by playing it only this way.

      • Actually, speaking from experience, it IS their job to act as a stand in for the end user during the development cycle. Programmers often lose sight of how an end user might perceive their product because they become to accustomed to it, which is one of the reasons why QA exists – to find bugs AND to comment on gameplay from the perspective of the end user, be it casual or hardcore gamer.

        So YES, they should tell the developers and producers if the game is too difficult.

        Now here’s where you are partly correct – once they tell the developer or producer, it is the developer’s or producer’s responsibility to address it or not.

        In this case, it is totally possible the QA team did write it up as a bug, and were totally ignored by the developer or producers. It happens all the time in games and regular software dev.

      • Which brings to mind the only aspect of the “difficulty” I have issue with, and that is the controls. The distance and speed Vincent moves is so twitchy that if you press too long he moves over 2 squares but if you don’t press long enough he runs back to where he was because he didn’t move out of his square enough. This is not normally an issue UNLESS THERE ARE SPIKES GOD DAMN IT!

        Other than said example of finicky and frustrating controls and I suppose the pillow system I actually hope they leave the rest of the game as is.

    • This is actually not too uncommon. Several MMORPGs continually adjust the game so a majority can continue the storylines; with the advent of online updates via PS3 or Xbox, I have had several games add more stuff or adjust things so game play becomes easier. Recently Gran Turismo 5 did an update so EXP would be easier to gain plus the dualshock controllers work better.

      This is all a good thing to keep the game going; nobody wants to buy a game if its too difficult and/or doesn’t deliver the goods as promised.

    • Shit… Im fine with that. If it really was as hardcore as everyone said, then there is no reason why there shouldn’t be an easier version to keep people interested. Im sure a lot of people decided not to buy the game when they found out how hardcore it really is.

  • Obviously if they only used theyr own devs for testing its easy to lose track of how the difficulty will be experienced by new hands

    theyr “normal mode” is probably balanced around bringing a healthy challenge to someone that already has 20 hours+ worth of experience,

  • Instead of doing this, they should be fixing the gameplay.

    Seriously, when people get bored watching a video of one gameplay section after a couple minutes, the difficulty is the last thing that should be on Atlus’ mind.

    At least if the gameplay is easier people will be able to speed past it.

    • Even game reviewers complained about it, unless they switched everyone in the industry for their mothers or something i think this is a genuine complaint and one that would be easily solved with minor tweaking, it’s not like we’ve never heard of something like this happening before, Devil May Cry 3 anyone?

      • People who complained about DMC3 or probably this game are the same people who want to win quickly. Almost every hard game that has been released in the past decade has been difficult, but fair. DMC3 was challenging, but it never cheated you. It’s not like this game is NES Batteltoads. Atlus should add a new super easy difficulty and leave the rest alone.