Jump to content
WittyUsername

Elements/Tropes You Hate in Video Games

Recommended Posts

So, maybe this is weird... but for the first time in my life, I'm playing the Half-Life series. Iconic as it is, and despite owning it in my Steam library for about a year, I'm just now getting to play it. Judging by the chapters, I'm almost done with the first game. I'm at chapter 13/18. And it's kinda fun -- obviously, I'm pretty spoiled, but I completely understand a lot of the features of Half-Life were a lot more ambitious at the time. I see the appeal.

Now, what do I hate about it? Probably what I hate in a lot of games that have underwater segments. I'm talking about the big water based enemies. Or just large water based creatures in general. Half-Life's got its own in these speedy carnivores. Honestly, I can probably track my anxiety of them to the eel from Super Mario 64 (as a lot of kids playing it in the day probably could) but there's also Wind Waker's Big-Octo which, while nowhere near as uneasy certainly got me by surprise the first time and actually scared the crap out of me. It did, however, encourage my specific dislike of giant squid in games -- I mean, I dislike big sea creatures in any game, but squids specifically? Eesh. Though, weirdly, it also made me fascinated in the mythological beast, the kraken.

Anyway, despite these moments where I go "I'm REALLY hating this right  now!" I still dive in and try to continue... with my headphones off because no. I want to get past this part and continue.

Soooooooo, SSMBers, any parts of games that just make you curl up? Groan? Or is it so bad you just say "Nope, not playing this?" Of course, it doesn't have to be anxiety inducing as mine. Maybe something you hate is because you think it's distasteful, bad design, or just overplayed.

I'm gonna go shoot at more of these nightmare inducing speedy fishes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Avatars/silent protagonists and player customisation in a game where your character is a blank slate. I hate it. Nothing breaks my immersion more than playing as an avatar character that does nothing worthy of immersing myself into the story.

Take the Pokémon games for example. It's not so bad at all in Gen 1 or 2 where the story is little more in-depth "win against the bad guys". But looking at Gen 6 and 7 where you make all these friends and none of the NPCs can stop harping on about the bond between you and your Pokémon... It's so irritating. You don't get to make any choices in those games whatsoever (beyond cosmetic and still very limited clothing choices), but apparently you're pivotal to the story? No. The story just happens to the avatar character, and NPCs talk at you rather than to you. Zelda games mitigate the issue by making Link a character with motives and relationships that count. He's still a silent protagonist and "destined hero", but the story isn't skimped out by making him just that. He's not railroaded on a linear path where he's just witnessing events but instead is actually a tangible part of the story. It's handled better in some games (TP, BotW, WW) than in others (ALTTP, MC), but overall Link is still more of a character than he is an avatar that's just slapped into every scene.

I would much rather play a game and experience the story from the perspective of am actual character than try to inject myself into it if my involvement in the plot is limited to doing and feeling exactly what I'm told to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about some examples where your choices are text based? For example, Fallout 1 and 2. But more so on 3 and NV since you're literally the only character without a voice in those games. Fallout 4, your character speaks but choices appear to have even less significance than Mass Effect which appears to be what they were trying to emulate. Your character does indeed speak there, but your choices can vary and can even be contradictory depending on your choice.

Back to Mass Effect, Shepard seems to have maybe 2 or 3 defined personalities (Renegade and Paragon) but his/her intentions are about the same, just different methods to go about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, WittyUsername said:

What about some examples where your choices are text based? For example, Fallout 1 and 2. But more so on 3 and NV since you're literally the only character without a voice in those games. Fallout 4, your character speaks but choices appear to have even less significance than Mass Effect which appears to be what they were trying to emulate. Your character does indeed speak there, but your choices can vary and can even be contradictory depending on your choice.

Back to Mass Effect, Shepard seems to have maybe 2 or 3 defined personalities (Renegade and Paragon) but his/her intentions are about the same, just different methods to go about it.

I've never played Fallout or Mass Effect. But to clarify, being a silent protagonist isn't the issue. If its something like Skyrim, wherein you have make choices either through text or just through actions, that's dandy. I'll generally prefer a voice over text only (Fable 3 is much better than Fable 2 in that regard), but ultimately what's important to me is that the player character is involved in the games events and not a blank-slate perfect-hero who doesn't reflect the player in any meaningful way. 

With Pokémon, I'm obviously not looking for dialogue trees, morality systems and deep stories with multiple endings. That's not what Pokémon is and isn't what it's supposed to be. But every time you play the games, your character actually does nothing except level up and win battles. And if you lose any story-related battles, the story will just pause until you can win. There's no actual involvement.  There is none of the bonding and friendship that the games will contestantly tell you that you're experiencing. Somehow the player character manages to inspire Lillie into becoming a stronger person in Sun/Moon despite you just standing there looking gormless all the time, and all the friend characters in X/Y want to hang out with you and give you gifts purely because you exist.

Just make the player less of an avatar and more of a character. Involve them, give them a personality and a motive, otherwise get rid of as many story elements as possible (ala Gen 1, but not Let's Go which hammers in a lot of additional fake character interaction). And if the total player avatar route is being taken, there's got to be some kind of player choice involved in the game to make it reflect the player. Maybe rather than having the games tell you who your friends and rivals are, you make that choice by interacting with NPCs. There's no reason that it can't all be spun in a positive, friendly and light-hearted manner. You beat Youngster Joey with with your own Rattata? That inspires him to become a better Rattata trainer and the two of you can do various Rattata related side quests, or maybe he can pops up as the champion with a level 100 Rattata in the end game. Things like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate the "unwinnable boss fight," where no matter how well you play it's actually a scripted cutscene. Like the first encounter with Vile in Mega Man X, and Ridley in Super Metroid. I'd much prefer if there were alternative scenes that occur depending on whether you win or lose. That said I also despise when the cutscene after a boss fight ends with your character being defeated regardless.

4 hours ago, WittyUsername said:

What about some examples where your choices are text based? For example, Fallout 1 and 2. But more so on 3 and NV since you're literally the only character without a voice in those games. Fallout 4, your character speaks but choices appear to have even less significance than Mass Effect which appears to be what they were trying to emulate. Your character does indeed speak there, but your choices can vary and can even be contradictory depending on your choice.

Back to Mass Effect, Shepard seems to have maybe 2 or 3 defined personalities (Renegade and Paragon) but his/her intentions are about the same, just different methods to go about it.

You're not a silent protagonist in the Fallout games, you just get to choose what dialogue your character says, unless it's Fallout 4 where your "character" pretty much decides what to say for you based on vague speech options. Mass Effect is fairly superficial with how it handles character morality due to how black and white it all is, which you acknowledged with Renegade and Paragon. In the grand scheme of the game's story it really doesn't matter what you choose, only some character interactions and Shepard's appearance are affected by the decision, whereas entire outcomes of questlines and the game's ending depend on what you say and how you go about doing things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To sorta add to the above comment, I hate the "You lost even though you kicked their ass/won." I mean you are owning the battle and then sike, cutscene says you lose. I mean I don't mind an unwinnable battle honestly. Like take Tales of Symphonia. You have an tough as fuck battle around the 1/3 mark and if you manage to win you then fight the overleveled obvious final boss guy who you are way too weak to fight. You're rewarded too if you get passed the first wall. The second wall is beatable too...but unfortunately does fall to cutscene loss...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't mind impossible boss fights so long as the developers aren't putting their fingers on the scales.  They're a lot easier to pull off in RPGs, where it's not hard to make an enemy vastly more powerful than your playable characters but who nonetheless can be fairly beaten later in the narrative; the example I always remember is Saturos and Menardi in Golden Sun.  In other systems it would be much harder to accomplish...

Now what is disappointing is when the end of a game clearly received less budget and attention than the rest.  It's a tragedy when your final impression of a game is of how rushed the ending was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unskippable cutscenes. I otherwise really like the Alola Pokemon games for their variety and challenge when nuzlocking but god damn those dialogue boxes go on for fucking ever. Metroid: Other M also had this problem, but was also a worse game. At least Other M let you skip the cutscenes on replays though, no such luck in Pokemon. I didn't really mind it during Gen 5 because you can mash the fuck out of the button to skip dialogue but since they added all those padding animations, it's become really tedious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cave Story+ has made me really hate power-loss sections.

18 hours ago, Scape said:

I hate it when characters who were playable in previous games become NPCs who are still able-bodied but don't do shit

this entire thread could just be sonic the hedgehog examples

Amy in Adventure 2. What makes it even more. What makes it more egregious is that she did way much more than Knuckles in that game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've ranted about this before, but I still feel like the vast majority of EXP/leveling systems are just lazy design. Or if they're not lazy about it, it seems like a bunch of work for basically no payoff. They essentially leave maintaining the game's balance in the hands of the player, but in a way that's really limited and time-consuming to manipulate. Skip too many battles and you're underleveled, can't beat the next boss, and have to go grind to catch up. Fight too many battles and you're overleveled, you trivialize the game's combat, and likely can't do shit to change that until the game's difficulty catches back up. Why not design a system that ensures that the player and the enemies are properly balanced against each other by default, and have an explicit difficulty setting for players who are struggling or who want more of a challenge?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate how stories are presented in most games. I'll be frank, I just want to play the game. Fuck off with your unskippable cutscenes, mandatory character interaction, etc. Not every game can present its story like Dark Souls, but I really feel like its the best way to handle lore and story in a video game. Give us opening animation that sets the stage and leave it to the player to piece together the rest of it with item descriptions, option character interactions, etc. Frankly, if a game is fun, I'm going to play it regardless of whatever incentive is provided by the story and characters. Making the story optional lets the players who don't care about it have a good time without any unnecessary interruptions that may break immersion by reminding you that you're playing a video game once you start nodding off at something you just don't give a shit about and are forced to experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Video games are an art form so to be annoyed about story and character interraction being in or getting a important presence kinda just admits you put it at a lower level as a art medium and would prefer it to be limited in what it can do. It also shits on narrative/story centered games that rely on that character interaction, in which MANY people DO enjoy. While gameplay is important, it’s not always the drive of the game nor is it always the players drive to continue. It ultimately falls on the creators artistic visions on the project. It gives more life to many games to see characters talk and live among eachother, that’s something to me personally  story driven games have over games which use a more “optional plot” method, as those stories and characters are usually dull or inexpressive with how they talk to eachother outside the voice acting. Like, looking at Skyrim, while I love it, it honestly took me out of it and the world going through the main quest and having hollow and expressive faces talking to me, or missing certain important dialogue cause they walked too far away from me only to continue the conversation as if I was there the whole time.

 

like idk I for the life of me can’t see things like jrpg ‘s doing what they do bar traditional story elements when that’s like 50% of the games typically and why fans of those type of games play them. I’d be kinda miffed for example if Kingdom Hearts did away entirely with cutscenes save for maybe the opening and end and left it in more of a “piece the story together yourself” kinda way. Or he’ll, if they did the story structure in a Bethesda open world type way. Not all games are best suited for traditional story structure but that doesn’t mean some can’t benefit from them either, they can’t all be BotW which can break tradition and put the story on the back burner and still be and feel like what it always has been.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really hate it when video games rely way too heavily on microtransactions. Not only does this show how little confidence the developers have on the game, it also means that they would focus less on actually making the game good enough for players to keep their focus on without too much microtransactions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Bloxxerboy said:

I really hate it when video games rely way too heavily on microtransactions. Not only does this show how little confidence the developers have on the game, it also means that they would focus less on actually making the game good enough for players to keep their focus on without too much microtransactions.

This, so much this.

The other hated tropes here i think we can all agree do have some games that do it right.

Silent protagonists? Yup plenty of good games with those, Zelda, Undertale, early Sonic and Mario games etc.

Unbeatable bosses? Well Metroid often does this right, the first battle with Ridley in Super metroid is a good example of how to do this trope right.

Backtracking? Again there are times where backtracking isnt so bad.

Escort missions? we have the last of us where almost the entire game is a escort mission and it does it brilliantly.

Underwater levels? Yeah most of the time they are hated with reason but I have seen a few cases where its been done in a good way.

Unskippable cut-scenes? Annoying but in a good game it is overlooked

XP/ Levelling systems? again depends on the game, I do feel most of the mid 90's JRPG's get this right though it has become an issue thanks to artificial grinding in modern games and MMO's

But microtranactions and looboxes the bane of all games these days.

On mobile free games I am more forgiving on it, but a $60 game with added lootboxes and micro transactions is totally bogus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Random one I've thought of - I hate when DLC isn't seamlessly inserted into a game.  I feel DLC content, once installed, should be designed to detect whether a player has reached a point in the game where they'd need to know about it immediately or whether to just... put it in without making a big to-do.

Using Zelda Breath of the Wild as an example, it makes sense for an already existing file to bombard you with Quest Start prompts to give you a hint on where to find the newly added content (usually pointing you towards the stables containing the newly added rumour mill books).  On my second playthrough though, I was disappointed to see you get this same bombardment the after loading up a save game for the first time after entering Hyrule Kingdom proper.  All the DLC quests are marked with "EX" to remind you that it's DLC and was not always there in the game.  I feel for a new file/player, this stuff should just be inserted without comment - let players find these quest start points by themselves like all the quests in the base game do, rather than giving them a torrent of hints towards very unimportant, optional stuff.

Another favourite game bothered me in this regard too - Sonic Unleashed.  I wish they had increased the medal count, added more concept art books to find, and put entrances to find for the DLC stages into the hub worlds.  Instead we end up with a weird situation where once you've cleared Act 1 in the story, you suddenly have access to Acts 1-2, 4 and 5, which contain absolutely nothing of any worth other than the experience of playing a level for the fun of it - meanwhile Acts 2 and 3 have to be manually found and unlocked.

Basically, I feel the ideal DLC, if it isn't an entirely seperate mode/campaign that's accessed seperately from the main menu etc, it should be inserted into a game as if it's always been there from the very start.  Prompt players with existing save files towards it, because naturally you can't expect someone to scour the whole of Hyrule for 5 books in order to find the newly added armor when they've been all over already and have no idea where to start, but on new saves, it should just be there to discover when you discover it, as part of the game, like the base game's content.

 

Related: Whenever I played Smash 3DS and wanted to use a DLC character/stage I got chest pains every time I flicked over to the 2nd page with its 6 GIANT icons to choose from compared to the vanilla selection screen(s).  Hideous...

 

 

(All of the above is sort of an off-shoot for a sort of vague desire I have for order and consistency with how a game divides and presents up it's content though.  For example Sonic & Knuckles' Sky Sanctuary and Sonic Mania's Angel Island drive me mad for saying I've cleared Act 1 when the zone is considered a standalone Act with no numbers on the title card at the beginning of the stage.  I also hate how Half-Life 2 uses numbers for all it's chapters but then has Chapter 9 - Nova Prospekt be followed by Chapter 9a - Entanglement.  I get that Entanglement is sort of just an extension of Nova Prospekt in terms of theming but the same could be said for Highway 17/Sandtraps or Anticitzen One/Follow Freeman and those all just use regular progressing numbers so... whyyyy.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, JezMM said:

Basically, I feel the ideal DLC, if it isn't an entirely seperate mode/campaign that's accessed seperately from the main menu etc, it should be inserted into a game as if it's always been there from the very start.  Prompt players with existing save files towards it, because naturally you can't expect someone to scour the whole of Hyrule for 5 books in order to find the newly added armor when they've been all over already and have no idea where to start, but on new saves, it should just be there to discover when you discover it, as part of the game, like the base game's content.

The only issue here is that this can make the DLC feel tacked on as it does in Batman Arkham Knight, me i dont have an issue with separate DLC but at least make it worth it or charge a low price for it (this is why I like mania plus as while its not a complete DLC its cheap enough as DLC)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Plasme said:

Backtracking through an underwater escort mission.

That's not just a joke either, you have to do that in Metal Gear Solid 2 😛 

Backtracking in general can become tedious. 

7 hours ago, MadmanRB said:

Escort missions? we have the last of us where almost the entire game is a escort mission and it does it brilliantly.

Also, didn't the Prince of Persian and Ico do Escort missions well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/8/2018 at 11:40 AM, Diogenes said:

 Why not design a system that ensures that the player and the enemies are properly balanced against each other by default, and have an explicit difficulty setting for players who are struggling or who want more of a challenge? 

Like level scaling? Opinions about them can vary a bit. I wrote a topic about it, once. Actually, looks like you posted in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, WittyUsername said:

Like level scaling? Opinions about them can vary a bit. I wrote a topic about it, once. Actually, looks like you posted in it.

Well like I said in that thread, why not just not have levels? The monsters have fixed stats, the player's party has fixed stats. You get stronger not by just grinding fights to make your numbers go up, but by gaining new abilities, choosing the right equipment, and learning the ins and outs of the combat system.

Or if you decide the game really needs "numbers go up", have level-ups at fixed points in the game. Beat the first boss, go from level 1 to level 2. Beat the second boss, go from level 2 to level 3. Your characters get to become numerically stronger over the course of the game, but in a way that the developers can plan around directly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.