Kranser raises some good points, but one thing that has been not discussed is DEMAND. If only a couple of people want special rules for a specific hard course, then why bother?
I agree that demand would play a factor if for example we were adding many splits, but for adding one extra split for hard mode (and that split could even just be on the parent (Euro region?) of the game if demand was really an issue) I wouldn't consider demand to be an issue, as there are some unknown factors:
A) Would the -hard versions (with added "challenge" factor) attract more players (old players coming out of the woodwork and brand new players wanting a challenge!)
B) Current demand has no bearing on possible future demand!
My initial reaction is that the pbobble programmers blew it. They created more difficult routes but did not increase the points awarded for completing those stages.
I'd agree with you there - especially as the levels appear to be laid out in a logical order of difficulty (easier on the left and harder on the right). Well - seeing that having a different high score table for each route would be very confusing - so Taito couldn't have done that, I'd agree that extra points for completing the difficult levels would certainly change the challenge factor of the Puzzle Bobble games.
Part of gaming has always been for players to figure out which methods give you maximum points -- there is no better measure -- unless you want to independently challenge yourself, which in turn improves your skills on the pre-determined "best path".
True - however for Puzzle Bobble and for Popnpop especially, the best path for points is always straight down the left-hand side! So not much to figure out really!
I think a good compromise would be to have only ONE additional course, in effect an "easy" course which already exists, and the suggested "hard" solution. However, as Phil had mentioned, these would extend to several games beyond the pbobble series.
Agreed. So what games should MARP consider adding a -hard mode for? pbobble2, pbobble3, pbobble4, spuzbobl, popnpop, puzznic?
Well, no-one else has added any further games that suffer from this problem - so Puzzle Bobble, Puzznic and Pop'n'Pop seem to be the ones people are concerned about.
I would consider this to be both a split and a regulation change (seeing that the 'hard' splits would need special rules explaining which difficulty and route need to be played), so does that mean that I need to open a vote thread on this, or Pat, does the decision lie entirely in your court?
What still needs to be considered is:
A) The demand on this - and whether splits are required irrespective of demand.
B) Whether all clones (regions) of the games would need splits - or just the main region (probably related to A - demand).