Yeah, I have to agree that the game isn't broken. Harder, perhaps.
But consider this: now that we live in the age of Youtube, we have a lot more easily accessible help for how to beat the hardest of the HTA. We have multiple different people's successful runs to study and learn from. On balance, I think the added challenge may be appropriate (though I am just taking everyone's word for it that it's actually harder... it's been too long since I played my PS2 copy for me to tell).
After finally beating #15 and #3 on HTA and getting the platinum, I felt like I had honed some advanced skill. Now I feel like it wouldn't be too crazy for me to take on Demon/Dark Souls after all. I think it's good that there are some games that truly make you sweat for your platinum.