Author Topic: Frustrating Gaming  (Read 1987 times)

AsparagusTrevor

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Frustrating Gaming
« on: November 08, 2010, 10:11:25 AM »
Now, I don't mind hard games. In fact I want to play games with some challenge involved, but I want this to be achieved through clever methods, not repetition, scummy spamming of annoying attacks, bad or padded-out design, cheap kills, filler content or even rubbish UIs.

I was playing Dead Rising 2 at the weekend. I played for a good two hours on the same section. I've got an unavoidable boss fight, and the nearest save-room is 5 minutes away. So it went like this: I'd be killed by the boss without even managing to inflict a decent amount of damage, then I'd have to reload from the save-room, spend 5 minutes (give or take) fighting through double-figures of zombies, trying not to lose any health as my patience wears thin. After a couple of hours, I was bored, frustrated, pissed off.

It got me thinking about frustrating games. It's easy to see right away what DR2 does wrong. Difficult boss, save-room too far away, the boss itself is frustrating because it doesn't recoil when you hit it, it continues to go through its attack motion. I gave up in the end, too bored to care.

I've been playing Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 as well, admittedly not a brilliant game but fun enough most of the time. Currently I'm on a really annoying boss where you have to disable its shields by putting power cells into their slots. While you're trying to use the force to do this, one of many infinitely respawning spider things jumps on you, you drop the power cell and you have to wiggle the analogue stick to get free. Repeatedly. Very irritating. I know eventually with patience I will beat this thing, but my patience was already in short supply by that point.

Games can wear down patience in different ways. A game might have an unskippable cutscene showing the dangerous path ahead. It will probably take a few attempts to jump over the chasms and avoid the traps before you learn the best way. But they've put the fucking checkpoint before the cutscene, meaning you have to keep watching it, and the reattempts have extra unnecessary minutes added to them.

When games prove to be a chore to play, that's when we've got a problem. Replayability value should be part of the gaming experience and frustration can kill that.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2010, 10:36:56 AM »
I have no aptitude whatsoever for team shooters. Hidden & Dangerous, Ghost Recon, Conflict, Full Spectrum Warrior, whatever it is. I find those games immensely frustrating, and wonder how the hell people manage? How can I control two teams well if I have to flick from one to the other. Bah. All my men end up dead.

However I find it perfectly possible to order thousands of men around at will on real time games like Total War. I suppose it's with having most of the action in plain sight, it's just easy.

mcbpete

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Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2010, 11:28:08 AM »

bitesize

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Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2010, 01:10:42 PM »
can't believe designers are still making mistakes like this in this day + age, putting checkpoints before unskippable cutscenes and too far away from bosses. there's no excuses for it, it's just bad design. it's the reason i never got to finish Metroid Prime despite it being one of my favourite games last gen - the last checkpoint was way before the final boss, through a room of ultra-hard fighting, so that by the time i got the the boss i was nearly dead...

Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2010, 01:28:30 PM »
unskippable cutscenes

Sums up the thread title for me.

AsparagusTrevor

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Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2010, 01:36:31 PM »
Yep, add to that unskippable logos (like Dead Rising 2 which actually had a patch that added the Dolby Surround logo to the other 4 or 5 already on there), especially those stupid elaborate ones (like SW: Force Unleashed 2 again, which has the LucasArts logo fannying about for about half an hour).

Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2010, 02:19:34 PM »
At the risk of steering the thread towards 'little things that piss you off' rather than detailed descriptions of narrative issues etc....I'll add being unable to pause (on older consoles)! Or even the inability to save your game! Madness.

Niall Quim

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Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2010, 02:22:08 PM »
I was playing Dead Rising 2 at the weekend. I played for a good two hours on the same section. I've got an unavoidable boss fight, and the nearest save-room is 5 minutes away. So it went like this: I'd be killed by the boss without even managing to inflict a decent amount of damage, then I'd have to reload from the save-room, spend 5 minutes (give or take) fighting through double-figures of zombies, trying not to lose any health as my patience wears thin. After a couple of hours, I was bored, frustrated, pissed off.

Which boss are you stuck on? I had a lot of trouble with some of the Psychos, especially while my health bar was still titchy. I realised you could run away and scavenge for food and weapons, then return to the fight as long as you hadn't reached the deadline. Maybe that's not an option with the story bosses though... Reload an earlier save and stock up on gear/do some level grinding?

As much as I like the Dead Rising games, it's obvious the combat was specifically designed for fighting zombie hordes and doesn't translate well to human enemies, with the utterly random ways they take damage and how they don't react to your attacks, but one hit from them knocks you down.

Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2010, 02:29:09 PM »
I don't mind fetch quests, especially if they are designed to get you exploring areas of the game you wouldn't visit normally, but bouncing me between the same two distant locations is a complete and utter cunt move.

AsparagusTrevor

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Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2010, 02:58:17 PM »
Which boss are you stuck on? I had a lot of trouble with some of the Psychos, especially while my health bar was still titchy. I realised you could run away and scavenge for food and weapons, then return to the fight as long as you hadn't reached the deadline. Maybe that's not an option with the story bosses though... Reload an earlier save and stock up on gear/do some level grinding?

The two women with swords (case 4.1). Aye, the scavenging isn't an option here with these two because the door is locked for the battle, but that's exactly how I beat the psycho C.U.R.E. hippie dude in the bathroom. There's lots of alcohol in the room, but to heal the beating I take means I usually end up puking, which doesn't help either! I haven't unlocked any dodging techniques yet which I don't think is helping either. They can kill me in about 4-5 hits, and when they both attack from either side I'm dead in seconds.

Zetetic

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Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2010, 03:02:49 PM »
However I find it perfectly possible to order thousands of men around at will on real time games like Total War. I suppose it's with having most of the action in plain sight, it's just easy.
I think it's more to do with Total War not having a great of deal choice (point men here, point men there, move men here and move men there.) And the AI being rubbish.

Men of War can certainly get frustrating, either when the single-player's expecting horrendous amounts of micro-management from you (usually against ridiculous odds, but again the AI tends to be pretty simple) or when you're playing against someone terrifying better than you. You end up with a complete sense of helplessness, and in the case of singleplayer it's not always easy to tell if you're taking advantage of a failure of AI/map design or that it's a genuinely reasonable strategy you've adopted.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2010, 04:17:20 PM »
Quote
I think it's more to do with Total War not having a great of deal choice (point men here, point men there, move men here and move men there.) And the AI being rubbish.

On a basic level you're controlling a dozen or more units at once in comparison to two on Squad shooters. But I find squad shooters nigh on impossible to play, and worse still: no fun. Constantly worrying about alpha team or beta team rather than either leading or being led by others is not a fun gaming experience, it's a trial and a chore.

The AI might be dodgy on Total War but some of the level of strategy in terms of placings and timing makes more of a subtle difference than you think. I've defended against seemingly insurmountable odds (2000 vs 300? very Sparta) by deploying troops carefully. Likewise I've had the computer absolutely fucking school me with a numerical disadvantage. That's all great fun though, win or lose.

Niall Quim

  • I feel like a fucking idiot
Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2010, 04:47:21 PM »
The two women with swords (case 4.1). Aye, the scavenging isn't an option here with these two because the door is locked for the battle, but that's exactly how I beat the psycho C.U.R.E. hippie dude in the bathroom. There's lots of alcohol in the room, but to heal the beating I take means I usually end up puking, which doesn't help either! I haven't unlocked any dodging techniques yet which I don't think is helping either. They can kill me in about 4-5 hits, and when they both attack from either side I'm dead in seconds.

I seem to remember beating them by constantly chasing one around with a shotgun, though I'm sure it took a lot of trial and error brawling too. [spoiler]Mercifully, you only have to kill one to win the fight.[/spoiler] Oh, and there's a book tucked away somewhere that lets you drink as much as you like without getting sick, which should help!

VegaLA

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Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2010, 05:29:34 PM »
I've resigned myself to the fact that DR2 isn't as fun the first time around then the second. You really have to boost up your Character in order to beat the Psychos as it makes the game incredibly hard to play. I got a leg up as I played Case 0 before the main game and managed to get some leveling up and carried that into the main game. It helped but i'm also Co-oping with Sinbad on his campaign and I can feel his frustration when we take on the Psychos in the side mission. I managed to beat the Chef once but did not save the game so on my next session I gave him and Slappy a miss. Not worth the agro. I'm just concentrating on helping the easier survivors* and case missions until I go around a second time.
Also you really need to mix those drinks for Energizers and whatnot, again, you need enough inventory slots to be able to carry these boost-ups, a couple of weapons, preferably Nine inch nailed Baseball bats and the occasional magazine/book that helps you out. First tiem aroudn its just not possible to get souped up like that.

*[spoiler]Sorry, if you are taken captive by some Loon Chef during a Zombie outbreak don't look to me for assistance. Chances are i'm raiding the cash machines or getting it on with the Reporter. [/spoiler]

Barberism

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Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2010, 04:11:45 PM »
Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

A brilliant game buuutttt... I haven't finished it yet. I usually cane a new Zelda a game until I have completed it. This one has taken me almost a year now. I'm near the end. But I keep hitting these brick walls. Pan pipe shaped brick walls.

In order to unlock new areas to explore you have to meet sages and learn new songs. You use the stylus to move the pan pipes and you blow into the microphone like you would with real pan pipes. The mic on my old DS broke and so I couldn't play the game! That's frustrating! Can't progress in the game because you can't blow into a mic.

But these sections are stupidly hard. Not something that can be overcome with patience and timing. I did one song over 100 times and I knew I had nailed it. Yet it kept saying I was off. The detection is buggy. The controls are fiddly. I finally did it though. But somehow by leaning across the desk to pick up my phone I pressed the soft reset button on my DSi. Do I have iron man boobs or something? I don't even remember touching the DSi. I didn't feel anything.

I nearly smashed the bloody thing. 2 weeks stuck on a stupid song and then when I finally do it a random glitch from my DS means I have to do it again. The first Zelda game I have never finished because of a stupid gimmick.

Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2010, 10:26:02 PM »
Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

A brilliant game buuutttt... I haven't finished it yet. I usually cane a new Zelda a game until I have completed it. This one has taken me almost a year now. I'm near the end. But I keep hitting these brick walls. Pan pipe shaped brick walls.

In order to unlock new areas to explore you have to meet sages and learn new songs. You use the stylus to move the pan pipes and you blow into the microphone like you would with real pan pipes. The mic on my old DS broke and so I couldn't play the game! That's frustrating! Can't progress in the game because you can't blow into a mic.

But these sections are stupidly hard. Not something that can be overcome with patience and timing. I did one song over 100 times and I knew I had nailed it. Yet it kept saying I was off. The detection is buggy. The controls are fiddly. I finally did it though. But somehow by leaning across the desk to pick up my phone I pressed the soft reset button on my DSi. Do I have iron man boobs or something? I don't even remember touching the DSi. I didn't feel anything.

I nearly smashed the bloody thing. 2 weeks stuck on a stupid song and then when I finally do it a random glitch from my DS means I have to do it again. The first Zelda game I have never finished because of a stupid gimmick.

Hmm, that's odd. I haven't really had any trouble with those at all, once I realised the mic is sensitive enough that you don't have to blow very hard. I feel your pain, though. I had similar problems with the baton in Wind Waker, especially early on when it basically forces you to do the same bit over until you get it right.

Little Hoover

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Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2010, 10:49:47 PM »
God the amount of time I wasted because I didn't understand that phantom hourglass literally wanted me to blow on the fire. Such a silly reality-breaking idea.

Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2010, 06:53:43 PM »
Nah, it's awesome, as is the close-and-reopen mirror image print 'puzzle'.

Exactly why Nintendo are the GREATEST FIGHTING ROBOTS IN THE WORRRRRLD.

falafel

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Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2010, 12:16:55 AM »
God of War is now ruined for me because of a bit near the end where you have to drag a box over a timed spiky floor in about ten seconds so you can use it to jump to a ledge. I keep JUST not making it and it's such a fucking hideous waste of time. Fucking poor design if you ask me, poor and lazy. I wonder if the level was even playtested. If a part of a game forces you to die repeatedly with no useful development in skills or otherwise, that is something that really gets my back up. Maybe some people like that stuff, fucking idiots if you ask me.

Puffin Chunks

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Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2010, 03:04:11 AM »
Mirror's Edge took me back to a type of gaming frustration I don't think I've experience since my Amstrad CPC days.

There are some parts which are just sooo damn frustrating. Particularly if you're doing the speed runs, or one particular level when you're trying to get the 'complete the game without firing a bullet' achievement. You can do the same button presses every time and sometimes it seems to work and sometimes it doesn't.

In particular there is a level on a boat where you have to run through some car park decks through a load of heavily armed guards. Without firing your gun this is extremely frustrating as the button presses to stun and disarm the guards just DO NO WORK half the time, leading to the type of rage that could potentially see your controller fly through your tv screen. The amount of times I have restarted that level must easily be in the 100s.

The speed runs are equally frustrating, trying to shave seconds off to hit the target time only to get unstuck by missing a jump, or the context sensitive button presses doing an incorrect action can screw everything up.

Still a good game. Given up on the speed runs though. My blood pressure just can't take it.

Big Jack McBastard

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Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2010, 08:36:46 AM »
I sort of hit a wall with Mirrors Edge too I was doing quite well but it got lost in a mire of other games at the time I got it and never really resurfaced for long. I end up having to relearn it and then do the first missions again to get a feel of it, get to where I was previously, and chuck it back in it's box.

Though seeing the odd Youtube vid of a level done perfectly is pretty fly.

Resonance of Fate is a turn-based Final Fantasy-type-game (I forget the term) which is pretty harsh and unforgiving without a significant bit of grind, I'll get back into it one day but it looks like a marathon run on iced piss from where I am at the moment.

DMC 4 broke my arse, it wore me down so early on that I was glad to be shot of it, fiddly, confusing and the fight music was both repetitive and constant. 

Oh also anyone attempting Earth Defence Force 2017 on Inferno (without absolutely everything you can get from playing it through in Easy then Medium then Hard then Hardest, oh yeah just try skipping a difficulty) is in for possibly the greatest, most singular example of a clusterfuck I have ever borne witness to in a game.

If you've got this one under your belt you're a masochist with infinite patience and bemused respect is due.

I finished it on Easy got most of the way through Medium, was repeatedly owned, left it at that.

Earth Defense Force 2017 Final Boss
-Someone doing it right with about 60x the health I had..
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 08:55:26 AM by Big Jack McBastard »

unky herb

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Re: Frustrating Gaming
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2010, 10:16:02 AM »
I've resigned myself to the fact that DR2 isn't as fun the first time around then the second.

#More then a woman... more then a woman to me.

Since playing all of the GTA (3d) series on PS2, I found a few really annoying elements in them. If you die on a mission, you lose all of your weapons and armour. Fair enough. But then you have to go to at least one Ammu-nation to buy suitable kit to retry the mission. In some cities, this is a real pain in the butt. So of course, you end up just saving after every mission and reloading the save with all your weapons. It can make the tough missions a real grind.

The only game where this didn't need to be done was Vice City Stories. When you died or got busted there were icons outside the hospital or police station where you could quickly rebuy your last weapons for a price. Much quicker, stops you having to keep driving to a safe house and saving.

At least GTA doesn't have unskippable cutscenes, although unskippable 'drive to the various preliminary mission areas' bits come close.

My other main frustrating gaming gripe is with fan-made Doom wads. It is really annoying when you have an otherwise incredible megawad which you are working through and then you are running around looking for the exit after having killed all the monsters and collected everything. Even with no-clip on it can be a cunt to find the exit. Or, you find the exit but it's meant to be teleported to so to do it properly you still need to find the teleport pad. I won't ever skip the level or actually noclip to the exit, just use it to help get my bearings.

Of course, these things are made by a lone coder in their spare time so you can't really go and have a go at them.