Are Mario games getting easier?

Mr. Blue

Feb 28, 2013
After much debate, it has been said that the Mario franchise is lowering the difficulty level of its games. Do you all agree with this statement? I myself do belive that to a degree.

When I look at the older games I notice the cut and dry difficulty it has. I think back then it was just much more ambitious to try to beat those levels. Nowadays people can breeze through the levels, but what about all the extras? There are plenty of collectibles and puzzles in the modern day games. Considering in games like New Super Mario Bros. 2 where you can collect the 3 rare coins in every level, that is a difficult challenge to meet.

How about you guys?
I think a lot of games have adopted this new "tier" difficulty level.

What I mean is.... the base game is easier. The average noob person can complete the levels without a lot of difficulty, especially kids. For more advanced gamers, though, they offer other ways to challenge the player, such as achievements, collectibles, puzzles, and other sorts of challenges that will keep users engaged and coming back for more.
Compared to the old games? Yes. I feel games today in general are way easier then they used to be back in the day. Really some crazy stuff how easy certain games are today. I rented a few from gamefly and blasted through them within a few hours. Hitman Absolution comes to mind. Yet i'm having serious difficulties with the HD trilogy which includes Hitman games from 10 years ago. :p
I completely disagree that the Mario franchise is lowering its difficulty level. I've been following Mario games for years, on all sorts of different gaming Platforums, and the Wii Mario games, for me, have to be the hardest. Some of the levels are almost impossible and you have to keep trying to complete certain levels over and over again, before luck strikes you and you're able to complete them. The Gameboy Mario games are probably the easiest for me, but I have to say that the Wii games are very hard to complete.
I would say that the mario games are getting alittle bit easier today than they were in the past. I believe nintendo is marketing towards children and don't want to make the games adult level difficult ,so kids will want to play them. Either way I still love playing new mario games that come out even if they are getting easier to beat.
Whenever I see this kind of question I have to wonder... what games are you actually playing? For instance, Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii isn't easy at all nevermind the multiple runthroughs of a particular planet or star. That's plenty of difficulty without the fake!difficulty of the very old games. Then again look at something like say - the N64. The N64 had Mario 64 but it also had Mario Sunshine. I found Sunshine to be stupidly easy, but had actual challenges with 64. Every game is different and what is easy for some is difficult for others. Eh. I don't know, maybe it's because I play so many different kinds of games that I don't see a downward trend.
Until New Super Mario Bros Wii U, I'd have agreed. But I think they've really upped the challenge level in this recent outing. But yes, virtually all of the "ports" of legacy titles have been reworked to be laughably generous with power ups. ALl of the "New" series has been entirely too generous with lives. I rarely leave the first world with any less than 40 extra plumbers at my disposal. Saving has had a lot to do with this as well. Now that you cans ave, the concept of "dying" is almost irrelevant. Having said that, I'm not sure I'd want to have to go back to the days of one session play.
I feel one of the reasons they feel easier is age. When I was 6 beating Mario 3 wasn't going to happen! I could play that darn game all day and I wouldn't finish it. If someone grew up playing Mario games I feel they would have an easier time now than a young child, or an adult who has never played a Mario game. Sometimes they seem a little easier, then there are levels that are impossible to get through without dying 10 times. That may just be me though. I love video games but I am no good at them.
I think it depends on who's playing the game. They may be getting a bit easier, because they've always appealed to younger kids. That said, I wish that each game had a difficulty setting of some kind so that it didn't alienate parts of the fanbase. I've never been good at Mario games, though. The first time I played on Wii, I got absolutely destroyed by enemies--but that was because I'm no good, not because it was necessarily too difficult.
I agree to an extent. I have not played all the Mario games personally, but I have played a lot of them. The first Super Mario game was pretty hard. I remember having a hard time with level 8. I only beat the game a few times without warping. The thing that often killed me was the timer.
Super Mario 2, in my opinion, was easier then the first game. I liked the fact you could select different characters to fit the level you were on, but in a way, this eased the difficulty. In my prime, I could beat the game all the way through and still have 30 lives left (I love the slot machines).
Super Mario 3 reversed the trend. This was the hardest of all the Mario games I played frequently. The final world was pretty darn hard, especially those ghost ships. I also think 3 was the best of the games.
Super Mario World was pretty difficult in some areas. The upper star level worlds were hard and the levels leading up to the final castle were somewhat challenging. The problem with this game, was the ability to go into the forest area (can't remember the name of the level) and rack up extra lives like crazy. Essentially, you could play the hard levels as many times as you wanted by going back and getting more lives.
After Super Mario World, I really didn't play much Mario, but I loved all the games that I played.
I think they are, I think super mario bros U was the easiest 2D mario ever, and galaxy 2 was the easiest 3D one. Super mario bros 3 was the height of the 2D marios, and there hasn't been another to come close to it in difficulty. I think it is a result of Nintendo bending to the knees of their casual audience :(
I think you're right in your assestment. When the Nintendo was hot, they didn't care much for limiting the difficulty. The NES has some of the most difficult games I have ever played, half of which I could never beat. Super Mario 3 was super hard, but that's what made deafeating the game so satisfying. I wish modern games would get back to the old way of thinking when it comes to difficulty.
I think the games are getting easier. Proof is when you go back to play Mario 1, 2, 3, etc, and notice that they didn't necessarily get 100% easier. Sure, as we're older we can be more responsive, but there are certain aspects in games that are just *hard*. With newer games like Mario and Zelda, you can always fall back on asking in the game, or some other type of in game help. That didn't exist back with the first Zelda.... if you picked the game up after a month or two of absents, and didn't know where to go, you were in big trouble, unless you have a walk through of some type.
So I went back to play some older games and... yeah I stand by what I said. I don't think they're getting easier - they just aren't relying on fake!difficulty in order to extend the play time of a game. That's the joy of new technology - bigger worlds, the ability to save, to pause to avoid linearity, to have challenges that weren't originally possible. That said I have to admit that considering my love of many games and multiple platforms I just don't see a downward trend overall.
The games are getting difficult but it's not just the Mario games, it's the entire gaming industry. If you look at games from old consoles like the Atari 2600, the NES , Genesis and so on they were all difficult. But now most games are useful and the Mario games are just following along. I can't really blame them because that is what the new demographic demands, but as someone that remembers and cherishes the golden days, I do with that they would be harder.
As an aside... what games are you guys playing? Some games come with adaptable difficulty which means they get harder or easier depending on how you play. There are other games that allow you to set the difficulty anywhere from super easy to very hard. I mean they are trying to work with people generally, but at the end of the day it's a business and limiting the play value of a game for certain people isn't a sound decision.
You know, when I was playing Super Mario 3D land, I was thinking, "Man, this game is really easy. Kids these days are such slackers." However, once you beat the game and unlock the version 2 of the game, it hits a MASSIVE difficulty spike. All those lives they were just giving out on a silver platter in the main game melt away like a snowball in summer. It was actually really refreshing to see that, if they really want to, they can make Mario kick just as much butt as anyone else out there. Long live 'Nintendo Hard.'
Yeah, the last levels in 3D world got brutal, when you were timed, had a cosmic mario chasing you, and you had to focus on difficult platforming. It was a really fun game for me. I got all 5 stars on the profile page!
In my opinion, I would have to agree that they are getting easier, but doesn't it sort've feel like they have to in order to keep their 'family game' options open? They seem to primarily target families with their consoles and all so I think it's the only way to go about it with the younger crowd and casual gamers. At least they do add in collectibles as a challenge.
Hmm, I think they just realize there are better ways of building games then making Fake!Difficulty levels. On top of that many gamers these days are older - they don't have time or generally energy to spend being pointlessly frustrated. Many gamers just want to relax with their systems and Nintendo has realized that fairly well. The games are difficult enough for most people to feel a system of achievement, while at the same time it doesn't turn off as many people. I mean a good example is that while some people love Darksiders... most people either hate it or never heard of it. Another issue to be considered is that with a system like say the Wii or the WiiU you have to realize limitations of the hardware and construct a game accordingly.