Author Topic: Universally shit things in games  (Read 5228 times)

Universally shit things in games
« on: January 06, 2013, 10:36:58 PM »
Aren't there just some things that games make you do in the name of fun which are actually just shit and tedious?  And even if there is someone out there who enjoys it, you just know that it is actually objectively shit?  Even good games are guilty of it. 

As I'm currently in the process of replaying 'LA Noire' (out of masochism, probablY), one that sticks out for me is any mission which makes you search an area for clues.  Never been done well, to my knowledge, it's always just an exercise in tedium with an inevitable outcome which doesn't pay off.  It should really be relegated to cutscenes.  It was even a lowpoint in the otherwise excellent 'Heavy Rain' (which, let's not forget, has you controlling your character shaving and brushing their teeth).  Just shit.

Also, I don't like anything where you have to buy items and keep an eye on your supplies/wallet.  Fuck that.  It's the one advantage 'Assassin's Creed 3' has over its predecessors.  Yeah, I know it's "like in real life", but what's the point?  It's as challenging (and annoying) as realising you've run out of toilet roll at the crucial moment and having to use a page from 'Empire' magazine instead.  Get rid of it.

I'm done with this bit.

Zetetic

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Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 10:41:11 PM »
Also, I don't like anything where you have to buy items and keep an eye on your supplies/wallet.  Fuck that.
Yeah, I know it's "like in real life", but what's the point? 
To introduce meaningful choice when it's done well.

Having said that Dishonored also felt like it didn't profit much from supply management (outside of missions, where I thought having limitations were fine).



But on the other hand, I've enjoyed Quick-Time Events ("Hit A NOW to avoid falling to your death!") fairly recently (Sleeping Dogs integrates them well enough with the context of the fighting controls I suppose) [spoiler]and fake choices without any game/mechanical consequences (Spec Ops: The Line)[/spoiler] so it's not impossible that I'm becoming a drooling idiot.

Otherwise, yeah, Quick-Time Events.

KLG-7B

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Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 10:49:42 PM »
Loading times, or worse: long, unskippable transitions that aren't there for a technical reason. Any period of me waiting for a game is bad times.

Solid terrain features, e.g. a fence in a GTA game that is mysteriously unmovable and causes your car to come crashing to a halt. It's a double-edged sword, because even with unlimited computing power that let us simulate every atom of a material, we'd still need the environment to constrain the player to the human-created content (levelling the entire game map would scupper the storyline of most games). Ditching infinite mass objects also means switching to procedurally generated content for all games, which I'm not up for (I only want that in some games) - unless we start surrounding game areas with forcefields and moats. Of course, all games can do a better job of signalling which terrain is going to be infinite mass, and GTA can only get better at doing that. Crashing into a chain link fence in the middle of the map that stops me dead? Fuckorf.

Similarly, crashing a plane into a building never damages the building. Of course not - that might be a building that the game story has to interact with. That's where we really must have to start using procedurally generated stories to get around the limitation.

Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 10:50:00 PM »
But on the other hand, I've enjoyed Quick-Time Events ("Hit A NOW to avoid falling to your death!") fairly recently (Sleeping Dogs integrates them well enough with the context of the fighting controls I suppose) [spoiler]and fake choices without any game/mechanical consequences (Spec Ops: The Line)[/spoiler] so it's not impossible that I'm becoming a drooling idiot.

Otherwise, yeah, Quick-Time Events.

I may have said that a few months ago (and it still applies to those who just throw one in to make sure you're still paying attention during a long cutscene), but 'Heavy Rain' showed me that you can make a game work basically just using this technique (is that even the right word?)

"Fake choices without any game/mechanical consequences" is something 'LA Noire' is shockingly guilty of.

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 10:52:29 PM »
In fairness to my example, I think it does justify the presentation of those choices.

Edit: I imagine that L.A. Noire suffers from the problem that a detective game that takes itself at all seriously has to struggle with whether it should let the player not be able to solve a case.

Rolf Lundgren

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Re: Universally poo things in games
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 11:12:41 PM »
Nowadays I'd say games that don't offer you the chance to make your own choices. It's so much better to know there's about five different endings and knowing what I decide to do affects the outcome. Similarly I like to decide the personality of the main character myself rather than just control them in situations.

In LA Noire the looking for clues thing is annoying the second time you play where you know where everything is but you can't make Phelps run to look for them to do it as soon as possible. You are forced to casually stroll over to the blood covered wrench in the bedroom rather than run straight to it.

Also on the choices things, in LA Noire you can go through the whole game without finding a single clue and failing every interrogation question and you still get the same outcome.

Glad to hear you like Heavy Rain too Noodle Lizard. I used to think it was a below average B-movie but then I played it a second time six months later and now it's one of my favourite games in recent memory.

Subtle Mocking

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Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2013, 11:16:12 PM »
Fucking rescue missions, man. Not only having to shoot your way through wave after wave of enemies, but having to defend some dimwitted thundercunt in the process. They seem to be in tons of games, too.

KLG-7B

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Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2013, 11:20:55 PM »
Oh yeah, dumbfuck AI that fails the mission for you when it dies is bad. It's okay if the "AI" is just a simple mechanism that follows patterns you can easily influence, but that bank raid mission in GTA 3 is a motherfucker.

Most gaming sins have been committed by GTA.

KLG-7B

  • ...even if you're just Danson and the dog.
Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2013, 11:22:01 PM »
Not this one though: story text that expects you to read it at its pace.

I can read as fast as I can focus. I don't want to have to wait because the text is paced for thickos. Let me press a button.

Subtle Mocking

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Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2013, 11:22:27 PM »
Oh yeah, dumbfuck AI that fails the mission for you when it dies is bad. It's okay if the "AI" is just a simple mechanism that follows patterns you can easily influence, but that bank raid mission in GTA 3 is a motherfucker.

One particular nightmare I can remember is from Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas. The AI hostage was such a blithering idiot that I eventually just gave up and traded the game in.

Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2013, 11:28:35 PM »
Not this one though: story text that expects you to read it at its pace.

I can read as fast as I can focus. I don't want to have to wait because the text is paced for thickos. Let me press a button.

Thisssssssssssssssssssssssss.

Also, I'd like to nominate motion controls.

KLG-7B

  • ...even if you're just Danson and the dog.
Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2013, 11:34:01 PM »
Yeah, and even standard controls that try to replicate the real motions of the action you're performing on screen (e.g. having to rotate a stick to rotate an on-screen wheel). There's fuck-all joy from that. Motion controls only really work in a party setting as a novelty, but when you're playing a proper game you want to reduce the conscious connection between your body and the on-screen action. Controls should be forgotten about, as if you were controlling the action with your mind.

Blumf

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Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2013, 11:34:48 PM »
I just want a quick play on this simple, fun game. Oh, gotta wait for a million production logos, because everybody really wants to see them don't they... now can I play... no, got to explicitly select the ONLY storage device on the system, can I play now?... No, I have to wait for the pointless logo/intro animation to get to the skippable point, now can I play?... No, the single play menu is buried under several other menus...

Do you remember when games were about fun?

KLG-7B

  • ...even if you're just Danson and the dog.
Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2013, 11:37:31 PM »
no, got to explicitly select the ONLY storage device on the system, can I play now?
I don't agree with that one. I want that to be explicit, because it also communicates to the user that any devices (including networked ones) aren't available when they might be expecting them to. Making it automatic could lead to saving to a disk when you thought it was the cloud, and then finding your save is unavailable when you go to Terry's house.

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Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2013, 11:45:45 PM »
Unskippable cut scenes. I've been playing Yakuza 5 recently, and there's a couple of really tough fights which I hadn't prepared for, so had to restart, and they all have 2+ minute cut scenes before you get back to business. I think I've seen enough men dramtically remove their tops to show their fighting muscles to last me a life time, thanks. Mortal Kombat on the Vita is another offender, you have to go through the last long and boring story scene if quit and go back in. I've dropped it, thanks to that.

Also, poorly implemented mini-games. Sandboxes are bad offenders for this, but it's usually ok, if you are not forced to play them. Sadly there are occasions when you are.

Blumf

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Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2013, 11:49:11 PM »
I don't agree with that one. I want that to be explicit, because it also communicates to the user that any devices (including networked ones) aren't available when they might be expecting them to. Making it automatic could lead to saving to a disk when you thought it was the cloud, and then finding your save is unavailable when you go to Terry's house.

Humm... nah. On current gen there's always the internal storage, so if that's just present, and nothing else, why present a selection screen? If there are other storage options available then present the selection screen.

If you're expecting to use something other than the internal storage, then the lack of selection is your clue that you're going to have to fiddle about first.

Re: Universally poo things in games
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2013, 11:50:42 PM »
Also on the choices things, in LA Noire you can go through the whole game without finding a single clue and failing every interrogation question and you still get the same outcome.

Yeah, that's probably what annoyed me the most, and I could tell that's where it was going after about three missions (making it seem like it was affected by how you played, when really just being painfully linear).  It was made particularly annoying by the swathes of internet folk who started going:  "Ohh you just don't want to play a game where you actually have to think, go back to Call of Duty".  Fuck off, you could beat 'LA Noire' in a coma.

Quote
Glad to hear you like Heavy Rain too Noodle Lizard. I used to think it was a below average B-movie but then I played it a second time six months later and now it's one of my favourite games in recent memory.

I really thought I'd been burned after playing it for an hour or two.  Then, at some point (I don't know when), it suddenly got really good.  I don't know what the fuck happened, but I was proper into it and finished it off in one four or five hour stretch before going back and experimenting with keeping characters alive/killing them off in order to change the story's progression.  It's not perfect, and the plot/writing itself is fairly mediocre, but in terms of gameplay and the system whereby you have a fair amount of control over the narrative goes, it's incredible and probably deserves more attention than it got.  If this style of game continues to be expanded upon, we could have some seriously great stuff in the future.

Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2013, 11:53:05 PM »
Fucking rescue missions, man. Not only having to shoot your way through wave after wave of enemies, but having to defend some dimwitted thundercunt in the process. They seem to be in tons of games, too.

Yes.  I'd even expand on that and nominate anything where you have to protect someone or something else.  There was an insanely tedious bit in the first 'Dead Space' I think where you essentially have to play Tetris to defend the ship from asteroids with a big gun whilst some idiot on the other end of the line rambles about fixing a forcefield supershield or somesuch shite.  Rubbish and annoying.

Cerys

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Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2013, 11:54:54 PM »
Unskippable cut scenes.

Oh, yes, by all the hells.  Wait ten minutes to then die within fifteen seconds of the action restarting - and get sent back to a point before the sodding cut scene.  Games have been left unfinished because of this.

And my own number one hatred - timed buttons/doors/whatever.  If I manage to focus long enough I'll eventually beat them - but I gave up on Tomb Raider Anniversary because of the bloody disappearing poles in The Great Pyramid.  Sometimes the frustration just isn't worth enduring.

KLG-7B

  • ...even if you're just Danson and the dog.
Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2013, 11:57:37 PM »
Humm... nah. On current gen there's always the internal storage, so if that's just present, and nothing else, why present a selection screen? If there are other storage options available then present the selection screen.
But as I said, some storage is unexpectedly unavailable, in which case the correct action is not to default to the one that is there. Don't automatically choose something that might be wrong. Maybe there should be an option in a system menu that marks internal storage as default for people who do want that, but I definitely don't want my XBox to silently start writing stuff to the hard disk because I haven't noticed that my Internet connection is down.

Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2013, 12:00:52 AM »
The faffing about with signing people in on guest accounts when you just want a quick local multiplayer game of something. Some games make this particularly confusing and complicated such as Guitar Hero, Tiger Woods and Halo.

Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2013, 12:13:17 AM »
C:\Users\Acceptable\Documents\My Games

Any single player game requiring me to be on-line at any point after getting the game out of the box.

The term: """""""FREE""""""" to play.

Big Jack McBastard

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Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2013, 12:13:29 AM »
Being presented with a lush interesting looking environment and being held back from exploring by invisible barriers because there's really nothing there, or shitty characters who can't roll or jump/climb over the terrain.

Ladders, or more accurately the number of times you fall straight to the bloody floor below them because of their wanky rules.

Do I have to be looking at it to go up it? Do I have to press some special ladder button? Getting down is the pig though, do I need to facing it like you'd think? But that means approaching it backwards which sticks my legs over the hole... surely that's right though... oh never mind I've crashed to the floor and died for the third time.

Water, though it's getting better cosmetically at least.

Not being able to see your own feet is, occasionally, a right bastard.

Hangthebuggers

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Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2013, 12:29:34 AM »
Patronising 'tutorial' levels. Press 'A' to jump (no shit Sherlock, it was probably the first button I was going to fucking well press). Dumbing down bullshit. A good tutorial level should not be obvious and should drop you more or less straight into the action or at least be as exciting as the main game.

Unskippable tutorial levels.

Bad dialogue that sounds utterly scripted without emotion and / or dialogue that is repeated too often. Lately games have alternative dialogue and bigger budgets for sound departments so it's less of an issue.

Games that change format. Resident evil is an example of this. I loved the creepy, horror aspect of the originals, nowadays they're action / arcade bullshit.

Shitty AI or clunky mechanics - nothing worse than trying to get skillful at a game but having the experience ruined by something out of your control.

Probably lots more.

Big Jack McBastard

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Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2013, 12:38:22 AM »
Patronising 'tutorial' levels. Press 'A' to jump (no shit Sherlock, it was probably the first button I was going to fucking well press). Dumbing down bullshit. A good tutorial level should not be obvious and should drop you more or less straight into the action or at least be as exciting as the main game.


Bad dialogue

Oh I've got one, When in-game characters talk to the player rather than the character and say stuff like "Press the B button to <whatever>".

No NPC should be chatting about the controller in my hand. That's hardly immersing me in the world is it?

Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2013, 12:42:42 AM »
Ooh oh, I know!  Fading corpses.  Not quite as common now as it was, but it's still out there.  I understand them not hanging about forever in an open-world game or somesuch shit, but there's really no excuse to have them fade right in front of you anymore (unless it's something magical like 'God Of War' I suppose).  Oh yeah, and a lack of entry wounds.  That's annoying. 

I suppose what I'm really saying is that any game involving physical violence should use the same corpse mechanics as 'Soldier Of Fortune'.

Big Jack McBastard

  • Dancing on unicorn bones.
Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2013, 12:47:18 AM »
Shooting a clip into a wall or window and seeing the damage decals hit their maximum number and then they start vanishing/replacing themselves with each new hit.

Makes it hard to whimsically draw a big pair of tits on a wall with a machine gun in the middle of WW2 if the nipples disappear as you're signing it.

Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2013, 12:50:57 AM »
Shooting a clip into a wall or window and seeing the damage decals hit their maximum number and then they start vanishing/replacing themselves with each new hit.

Makes it hard to whimsically draw a big pair of tits on a wall with a machine gun in the middle of WW2 if the nipples disappear as you're signing it.

There I was thinking I was the only one ever to try that.  Yes, it is annoying.

Big Jack McBastard

  • Dancing on unicorn bones.
Re: Universally shit things in games
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2013, 12:56:20 AM »
Invincibles you have any opportunity to attempt to harm.

Either take my ability to strike or make them mortal, don't have some unkillable swine I can aggro with a few wallops.

Re: Universally poo things in games
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2013, 01:09:30 AM »
No jumping animation. You just levitate and propel through the air as if you're standing still on the ground, looks unbelievably shit.