From the start of their creation, video games have given gamers a tough mental challenge. Video games have also evolved into several different genres, such as action, puzzles, and role-playing games. For gamers who dislike action games, there are also interactive story games such as Telltale Games The Walking Dead and Life is Strange. You may be a gamer who loves a tough opponent in Street Fighter V or heart-pumping match in Overwatch. When things get too tough, or you just want to take a break, you may be tempted to switch from hardcore mode to an easier difficulty mode.
Easy difficulty modes have their set of challenges. Some claim that an easy mode is a necessity for some players facing daily stressors. You may find the action gameplay in Mass Effect too hard and only want to focus on the story or romances. Developers like BioWare are aware of this and have battled criticism over this addition. They offer you an option that focuses more on the story and decreases the rate of battles. PC gamers can take it a step further with console commands. With a few simple keystrokes, all enemies on the screen are defeated and you can get back to the story.
It wasn't always this easy. Not all developers welcomed an easy mode for players, but felt it was a necessity alongside normal and hard difficulty levels. This list will show you some games that will heartlessly taunt and tease you for playing at an easier difficulty level.
15 Ninja Gaiden Black
The Ninja Gaiden series is unapologetically hard. You might want to take the easy way out. Ninja Gaiden Black offers you five difficulty settings: Ninja Dog, Normal, Hard, Very Hard, and Master Ninja.
Ninja Dog might sound like a fun mode where you play as an adorable puppy. Instead, you gain access to this hidden difficulty by dying three times in the first chapter of the game. The game will ask "Do you wish to abandon the way of the Ninja?" If you choose "No" you can keep trying, but choose "Yes" twice and you will trigger a cutscene. Your young partner, Ayane, will express her disappointment in you but will encourage you to complete your mission. When you respawn in the Tatami Room of the Ninja Fortress, your save game's difficulty level will state Ninja Dog. If you can deal with the embarrassing title, this mode will grant you more items, higher damage, and weaker enemies.
14 Postal 2
Postal 2 is a dark first-person shooter with a high level of violence. The game was so controversial that it was banned in New Zealand, Australia, and Malaysia. Well, Postal 2's easy difficulty mode was as twisted as the game.
The easiest mode, “Liebermode,” is named after former Senator Joe Lieberman, who fought against violence in video games. Your enemies are less aggressive and use tasers when attacking you. If you end up wanted by the police, you will also find that your police meter takes longer to disappear. If you draw enough attention to yourself, you might spend less time having fun and more time shaking the cops from your tail.
Postal 2 doesn't just mock players for choosing easy mode. Playing anything below average mode would restrict access to the higher difficulty modes, where most of the content is available.
13 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand brings hip-hop artist 50 Cent and the G-Unit into the Middle East. He is on a quest to recover a crystal skull stolen during one of his performances. The game was action packed with shootouts, hand-to-hand combat, and explosive helicopter battles.
If you didn't feel that you were tough enough to join 50 Cent and his G-Unit friends, you could choose Easy in the difficulty selection. 50 Cent would be slightly more bulletproof and enemies would be easier to take down. Dying in Easy mode would grant you the Not Bulletproof achievement/trophy. Even worse, trophies/achievements are not removable from your PlayStation and Xbox accounts. The Not Bulletproof achievement was proof to everyone that visited your gamer profile that you were not quite gangster enough to hang with the G-Unit.
12 Streets Of Rage 3
Streets of Rage 3's difficulty levels changed for American audiences. The Easy mode in America was originally Normal mode in Japan. This mode was changed to make the game easier for Japanese players, while making it harder for American players.
Robot X, the end boss of stage 5, would taunt you by saying "You play this game like a beginner." To further torment you, Streets of Rage 3 ended at level 5. The game would then reset and you would have to restart the game, preferably at a higher difficulty. Only after playing on Normal difficulty would you be able to see the last two levels of the game.
Though the game was technically on a Normal difficulty, Streets of Rage 3 was also messing with your head. It wanted you to think you were failing as a player and forces you to pick a higher difficulty if you want to see the ending.
Civilization may require a history book in order to understand its Easy mode mockery. When you first start a new campaign, you will be able to choose your difficulty level. Some may use Easy mode to try out the game, while others want a less stressful political challenge.
After hours of battling over land, creating new cities, and strategizing on how to make the strongest country, your performance will be judged. Every decision you made and every war won will be tallied into a final score. No matter how well you performed in Easy mode, you will end up with the rank "Warren G. Harding." At first, you might have no idea who this is. After some research, you will learn that he was an American President, but Harding was one of the worst Presidents in American history. Civilization takes their embarrassment a step further by also making you feel intellectually inferior.
10 Superman 64
Superman is a popular superhero and loved by many young and old. His video game on the Nintendo 64 is based off the cartoon. Sadly, it is considered one of the worst games of all time. Despite that, like most games, Superman 64 offered you an Easy, Normal, and Hard mode.
Easy mode would remove the challenge of the ring-based levels. In these levels, you fly through rings before the timer hits zero. The time limit would remain, but the rings would be missing, removing any challenge. The game would also end at the second-to-last level. If for some reason, you wanted to keep playing, you would have to increase your difficulty. Normal mode still ended early after completing the game, as your game would end before the last stage. The only way to reach the last stage and finally finish the game was to play on Hard mode. Honestly though, finishing the game on any difficulty mode may be considered to be embarrassing, as it was really that bad.
9 Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order is the newest entry to the Wolfenstein series. You take control of William "B.J." Blazkowicz, a war veteran, living in a darker alternative time when Nazis won World War II. You must stop Nazis from taking over the world.
The easy mode mocking originally began with Wolfenstein 3D, which was released in the early 1990s. The teasing continues in Wolfenstein: The New Order, as you're given a handful of difficulty options. Scrolling through each difficulty changes the image of Blazkowicz on the right of the screen. If you feel you can't handle an all-out Nazi attack, you can choose easier modes such as "Don't Hurt Me" and "Can I Play, Daddy?" The easiest option, "Can I Play, Daddy?," shows an image of Blazkowicz, usually a tough, grizzled older man, wearing a baby's bonnet and sucking a pacifier.
8 Contra 4
Contra 4 is a classic, action-packed, side-scroller adventure. The Contra series is known for giving gamers a challenging experience and Contra 4 is no exception. Your screen becomes cluttered with shooting and enemies, which may prove too overwhelming for some players.
If you feel that the game is too hard, even while playing co-op with a friend, you can tone it down to an easier mode. You'll have an easier playthrough, but with a devastating punishment. After investing your time into seven brutal stages, you will not be able to continue beyond that point. On easy mode, the game ends at level seven. It then tells you that you will never see the ending on Easy. If you feel motivated to see Contra 4's ending, you'll have to step it up and challenge yourself to a more difficult setting.
7 Serious Sam HD
The Serious Sam series thrives on creating a difficult experience for players. Serious Sam HD continues that tradition as a remaster of the original game, where you take on waves of enemies and kill them in gory ways.
Serious Sam HD first gives users a list of difficulty settings to scroll through. But after playing for awhile, it may prove too challenging for you. After getting killed by enemies relentlessly instead doing the killing yourself, you may feel tempted to lower the difficulty. The easiest difficulty setting is called "Tourist." Now when you kill enemies, they explode, but not with the gore you saw before. The game is easier, but enemies will explode with bursts of lovely flowers and sparkles after being defeated. It's an obvious indicator that you're playing on Easy mode and even the enemies won't take you seriously.
6 Twisted Metal 2
Twisted Metal 2 was a challenging demolition derby game where various vehicles battled against one another. The objective is to be the last surviving player in the stage. Playing against your friends was a blast, but playing against the computer AI could be a frustrating experience.
For beginners of the series or players who just wanted less of a challenge, there was an easy difficulty option when starting story mode. Unfortunately, the Easy difficulty mode only offered one level with one boss to defeat. After defeating the boss, a stop sign appeared with the message: “No losers allowed beyond this point.” You were not allowed to continue until you chose a higher difficulty level.
This was a less embarrassing punishment because it was only the first level. You could go back and choose a harder difficulty level without having invested a lot of time beforehand.
5 Earthworm Jim
Earthworm Jim was one of the most challenging platformers when it was originally released on the Sega Genesis. It has a whimsical art style and adds in humor, so it doesn't take itself too seriously. The game also has no problem poking fun at you for choosing an easier difficulty mode.
When you reach the end, you will receive something extra. The series creator Doug TenNapel will treat you to a voice over. Not only will he mock you by saying "What a worm. Playing on Practice, eh?," but he will also challenge you to play at a higher difficulty to see the real ending. The teasing does not end there. TenNapel will also add "in the meantime though, what are worms?" and display a long list of facts about worms. Perhaps TenNapel felt if you knew more about worms, you would feel more comfortable controlling one in the game.
4 The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile
The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile was released on the Xbox Live Arcade. It soon became well-known for its dark atmosphere and punishing gameplay. You help the Dishwasher's sister, Yuki, escape prison after being wrongfully imprisoned. After dying repeatedly, you could unlock an easier difficulty mode entitled "Pretty Princess Difficulty."
In "Pretty Princess Difficulty" mode, enemies would give almost zero damage. Defeating them would also take much less effort. However, the enemies now bleed neon-pink hearts. After chopping up enemies with your guillotine scissors, rainbows and hearts would now take the place of the blood that normally exploded from enemies. A pink cloud and sparkly hearts would also replace the dark environment.
Unlocking this Easy mode also granted you the achievement "Unlock Pretty Princess Difficulty." Now your Xbox friends and profile visitors will know you died so much the game had to offer you an easier difficulty mode.
The DOOM series has a long tradition of writing creative names for their difficulty modes. The hardest modes include "Ultra-Violence" and "Nightmare!" If you decide to choose an easier difficulty mode, you must choose from embarrassing modes like "Hey, Not So Rough!" or "I'm Too Young to Die."
Fortunately for you, switching to an easier difficulty mode has no effect on collectibles, upgrades, or secrets. You will still be able to complete the game, it's just much easier than other modes, while some of the items will be in different locations depending on the difficulty level. You will also have the added benefit of receiving double the amount of ammo throughout the game. The number of enemies on your path will slightly decrease, giving you less of a challenge, and you will take half of the normal damage.
2 God Hand
God Hand is an action game created by Shinji Mikami, who is best known for the Resident Evil and Devil May Cry series. In God Hand, you take control of Gene, an outspoken but kind-hearted young fighter. God Hand's action is fast-paced and can be very challenging for those unfamiliar with these brawler-style games.
If you decide that God Hand's Normal or Hard is too difficult for you, you can choose Easy mode. When choosing this easier difficulty, Gene will mock you by saying "What, you want me to hold your hand or something?" Your Level Bar, which will increase or decrease according to your performance, will cap at Level 2. Enemies will not attack you unless you attack first. If you can deal with the insult, the game does not remove content for playing on an easier difficulty.
1 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, if you frequently fail missions, the game will give you a unique item: a chicken hat. When Venom Snake wears this badge of shame, you become almost invisible to enemies, making sneaking around much easier. Sneaking has always been a challenging aspect of the Metal Gear series, but that's not the case anymore if you choose to wear this hat. If you do get attacked, you'll find your health regenerates much faster. The number of items you find, such as ammo, will also increase.
The chicken hat is a completely optional item. Remove it from Venom Snake's head and your easy difficulty mode will become normal mode once again.