Most annoying level themes

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

Moderators: SecondTalon, Moderators General, Prelates

Klapaucius
Posts: 712
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:00 pm UTC

Most annoying level themes

Postby Klapaucius » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:47 pm UTC

Just about every game has at least one That One Level--you know, that one level that sticks out in your memory for the sheer mindbending frustration it inflicted upon you. And in games like Mario and Zelda, where levels can typically be summarized in one, usually elemental, word--'fire', 'water', 'ice', etc.--the levels which annoy people often fall within certain themes.

I hate water levels. Swimming, drowning, nasty puzzles, annoying enemies... there's nothing to like.
500%!

User avatar
SecondTalon
SexyTalon
Posts: 26518
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:50 pm UTC

Further discussion of any game's water level(s) being shitty is forbidden. Because every water level is shitty. Feel free to refute this, but I'll go ahead and say right now - you're wrong.

The acid-trip level of Max Payne. Turning a goofy little time-slowing run&gun game into a platformer. Bleh. That level alone made me quit playing the game.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

Klapaucius
Posts: 712
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:00 pm UTC

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Klapaucius » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:53 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Further discussion of any game's water level(s) being shitty is forbidden. Because every water level is shitty. Feel free to refute this, but I'll go ahead and say right now - you're wrong.

The acid-trip level of Max Payne. Turning a goofy little time-slowing run&gun game into a platformer. Bleh. That level alone made me quit playing the game.


Thanks, that will save quite a bit of time.

Can we discuss ice levels? Because they are essentially frozen water.
500%!

User avatar
SecondTalon
SexyTalon
Posts: 26518
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:55 pm UTC

And sometimes ice levels are done well. I've never seen a water component to an otherwise surface-based game done well.

Outside of Spore. And that was the only fun part of the game. And I'd have just rather played flOw instead.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

User avatar
Cheese
and spam. (Euggh)
Posts: 3909
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:04 pm UTC
Location: ¿burning you?

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Cheese » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:29 pm UTC

Some of the water stuff in Tomb Raider was well done, actually - the original one had a decent air meter, and there were a few satisfying secrets to be found. However, there were no mainly water levels, only a few puzzles in a couple of different levels.

And I'm another one who says that ice levels should be banned. Nintendo put them into every fucking game (since SMB2, I believe), and they just piss me off.

Oh, there's also the indoor level with lots of platform-jumping and a difficult camera - lots of games have this. Tick Tock Clock in Mario 64 is the first thing that springs to mind, because I was playing it recently - the camera can't view from outside the clock (a problem which seems to have been fixed in many modern games, at least), and there are a lot of strange jump angles necessary to complete the level.
hermaj wrote:No-one. Will. Be. Taking. Cheese's. Spot.
Spoiler:
LE4dGOLEM wrote:Cheese is utterly correct on all fronts.
SecondTalon wrote:That thing that Cheese just said. Do that.
Meaux_Pas wrote:I hereby disagree and declare Cheese to be brilliant.
Image

Klapaucius
Posts: 712
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:00 pm UTC

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Klapaucius » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:40 pm UTC

Cheese wrote:Some of the water stuff in Tomb Raider was well done, actually - the original one had a decent air meter, and there were a few satisfying secrets to be found. However, there were no mainly water levels, only a few puzzles in a couple of different levels.

And I'm another one who says that ice levels should be banned. Nintendo put them into every fucking game (since SMB2, I believe), and they just piss me off.

Oh, there's also the indoor level with lots of platform-jumping and a difficult camera - lots of games have this. Tick Tock Clock in Mario 64 is the first thing that springs to mind, because I was playing it recently - the camera can't view from outside the clock (a problem which seems to have been fixed in many modern games, at least), and there are a lot of strange jump angles necessary to complete the level.


Ice levels usually involve: A) slippery surfaces, B)enemies and hazards that can freeze you, and C) puzzles, usually involving A.
Twilight Princess, for example, had all three, resulting in the only true frustrating enemies, and the one puzzle (besides the flooded staircase, naturally) that actually required thought. The thing is, all the puzzles in TP didn't require much thought, so the usual sourse of frustration ended up being the one point of friendly challenge in the entire game.
500%!

Joeldi
Posts: 1055
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:49 am UTC
Location: Central Queensland, Australia
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Joeldi » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:56 pm UTC

Any level where you're being chased by something, especially if it's one with many collectibles that you have to watch zoom past.

Also timed base explosions. It's true, there's usually plenty of time to escape, but if they start right after an arduous boss fight without a chance to save, I do not want to even think about having to kill it again because of some arbitrary god damned clock.

<EDIT> Just want to clarify that I was also referring to scrolling levels mentioned below when I spoke of being chased by things. Like giant saws...and the side of the screen, yes.</EDIT>
Last edited by Joeldi on Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:16 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
I already have a hate thread. Necromancy > redundancy here, so post there.

roc314 wrote:America is a police state that communicates in txt speak...

"i hav teh dissentors brb""¡This cheese is burning me! u pwnd them bff""thx ur cool 2"

User avatar
Amnesiasoft
Posts: 2573
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 4:28 am UTC
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Amnesiasoft » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:57 pm UTC

Does Ecco the Dolphin count as a well done water level (well, that game is still immensely difficult, but I can't say they did a poor job on the levels...). I also feel I'm the only person in the world that found the water temple to be easy.

As for level themes I hate, I'd have to pick "moving screen edge of death" levels. Those levels suck.

User avatar
GhostWolfe
Broken wings and scattered feathers
Posts: 3892
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:56 am UTC
Location: Brisbane, Aust
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby GhostWolfe » Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:13 pm UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:As for level themes I hate, I'd have to pick "moving screen edge of death" levels. Those levels suck.
I call those scrolling levels - where the camera pans across the landscape and you have to keep up or die. But instead you miss all the fiddly bits on the first few tries and keep falling down pits, mistiming various doors and crunchers, or otherwise being sent back to the start over and over again, and when you finally beat the level you find out Important Artifact was hidden in this really awkward jump-jump bit that leaves you doing the level another twenty times before finally deciding you'll just finish the damn game without it.

/angell
Linguistic Anarchist
Hawknc: ANGELL IS SERIOUS BUSINESS :-[
lesliesage: Animals dunked in crude oil: sad. Animals dunked in boiling oil: tasty.
Belial: I was in your mom's room all night committing to a series of extended military actions.

ParanoidDrone
Posts: 514
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:38 am UTC
Location: idk ask my bff jill

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby ParanoidDrone » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:25 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Further discussion of any game's water level(s) being shitty is forbidden. Because every water level is shitty. Feel free to refute this, but I'll go ahead and say right now - you're wrong.

I'll try to refute it. <_<

My only issue with the Water Temple was that Link was so damn slow in the Iron Boots and couldn't use anything but the Hookshot while underwater. Constantly switching boots was a huge pain and defending yourself was a chore. Great Bay Temple and Lakebed Temple were much better in this regard, and I actually enjoyed the underwater sections of said temples. This apparently makes me a minority.
Insert witty phrase here.

User avatar
segmentation fault
Posts: 1770
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:10 pm UTC
Location: Nu Jersey
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby segmentation fault » Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:08 pm UTC

any level inside the body of another creature. they have obviously never read a single book dealing with any anatomy whatsoever. :)
people are like LDL cholesterol for the internet

User avatar
lexprod
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:09 am UTC
Location: SoCal
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby lexprod » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:07 pm UTC

segmentation fault wrote:any level inside the body of another creature. they have obviously never read a single book dealing with any anatomy whatsoever. :)


I didn't mind Ape Escape's take on this. Then again every level of Ape Escape was fun for me except when the goal was not catching monkeys: see the boss fights (especially the obnoxious ones in 2) and that tank-navigation maze. I got so many callouses from driving a tank or using the hoop or rafting...
People seem to think you can't be called the Cap'm
Unless you drive a boat
Well, I don't
I don't

User avatar
SecondTalon
SexyTalon
Posts: 26518
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:49 pm UTC

ParanoidDrone wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:Further discussion of any game's water level(s) being shitty is forbidden. Because every water level is shitty. Feel free to refute this, but I'll go ahead and say right now - you're wrong.
My only issue with the Water Temple was that Link was so damn slow in the Iron Boots and couldn't use anything but the Hookshot while underwater. Constantly switching boots was a huge pain and defending yourself was a chore. Great Bay Temple and Lakebed Temple were much better in this regard, and I actually enjoyed the underwater sections of said temples. This apparently makes me a minority.
The problem with water levels (and why Ecco the Dolphin doesn't count) is .. well, let me define what a Water Level is, and what a Water Level is not.

A Water Level is not a game that takes place in the water (Ecco the Dolphin) because.. well, it's more of a water game. And if they fucked up the water game, that's just terrible right there. Usually water games get it right or do it well enough that it doesn't really matter. Ecco the Dolphin could have been Jacko the Crow for it's controls, and it would have worked out pretty well.

A Water Level is also not a boat-based game or boat section of a game (GTA3 series, I'm looking at you here).. usually the boat will handle not unlike a car, and often you could switch the water for ice and the boats for cars, and get similar gameplay to the rest of the game. It's also not the water component of Beyond Good and Evil, or games like that where the action takes place on land, but large sections of travel are done on the water - the travel sections are usually unimportant enough to not really matter, or the controls are as such that.. again, it might as well be a car on ice.

A Water Level is a section of an otherwise land-based game (That is, a game where you run around on land, in an essentially 2-dimensional environment with hills) that, for some reason, decides to shove you in a three-dimensional world. Take the Zelda games. For the entire game up to and after the Water levels, you might as well be running around on a flat world. Sure, there's hills, and there's bridges over the hills, and so on.. and yes, you do climbing sections.. but even a part that has you spiderman'ing back and forth between sections of wall could be represented two dimensionally. The number of 3 dimensional problems (aside from flying enemies...) are limited.

So what this usually means is that the game's controls do not take the freedom of movement under consideration. Up until then, you're given the option between forward, backwards, left, right, or some combination of the two that don't oppose each other (forward and left, back and right, etc). Shoved in water, while your left and right usually stay the same, the control mechanism that makes you go forward now also makes you go up, and the one that makes you go down is often coupled with the one that makes you go backwards. This, of course, leads to AWKWARD CONTROLLING until you figure out a few tricks (Z-targeting to assist in up and down swimming in Twilight Princess, for example) as what often happens is during your swimming up time, the camera decides to violently spin around you, meaning you go from swimming Up to swimming Backwards, usually while there are fish-type creatures trying to rip your head off.

So you're trying to fight monsters at the same time you're fighting the controls.

The alternative to that is to have underwater action work just like above water action, only different. Super Mario Bros gives us one example, with the Jump key becoming the Swim Up And Faster key. Due to the game-logic being wacky, in the early games hitting water in a non-water level was lethal, and in the early and later ones, you *sink* in water rather than floating, which is what a body does. The other way is what I'd call the Sonic The Hedgehog method - your controls are identical to the surface controls, only you move like you're suspended in honey. Or molasses. Take your pick. So you now have super-slowmo jumps that are either crippled or go the same height..nevermind that you'd probably jump higher, what with water helping to support your weight and all and the body's desire to float..except you sink, not float.

The other problem that plagues underwater levels is one of level design. As usually the character cannot fly and usually cannot climb very well, or for very large distances.. or climbing is so slow as to be painful to do.. the game's design up to that point has essentially been flat. You learn how the level makers think and start predicting what to do and where to go next based on previous levels. The underwater level suddenly has you doubling back on yourself, subtlety moving up and down in the underwater cave or whatever, and accessing ceiling areas as easily as you do the floor areas. Often times, the floor is ignored in favor of high tunnel connections.

In short, you're not only re-learning how to control your character, but how to fight monsters AND how the levels are put together. All of which would be important if there were multiple water levels in a game... but outside of the Mario series, this really is seldom the case. Usually you go through the water stage or dungeon or level or whatever you want to call it, and once you're done, you never need those fancy water moving tricks you picked up, outside of the occasional nod to it maybe once in the last dungeon.

And FUCK games that shove you in water levels without some method of breathing and choose that point to get all realistic. At least the Mario games had the good sense to just say "Fuck it, he's a magic plumber. I mean, dude eats a mushroom and doubles in height, eats a flower and can shoot fire. OF COURSE he can breath underwater with no problem!"

Basically, the only way to have a good underwater level is if the game also has an excellent flying element. The underwater element is close enough to flight so that the developers should simply mimic that, only changing the physics. Cameras should stay locked behind the player, shifting only when the player moves to, basically, stay behind the character as they swim.. if the character starts to swim down, I want the camera to move up, and vice versa. And give me a goddamn scuba tank or something, I mean damn.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

User avatar
headprogrammingczar
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:28 pm UTC
Location: Beaming you up

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby headprogrammingczar » Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:18 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
Spoiler:
ParanoidDrone wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:Further discussion of any game's water level(s) being shitty is forbidden. Because every water level is shitty. Feel free to refute this, but I'll go ahead and say right now - you're wrong.
My only issue with the Water Temple was that Link was so damn slow in the Iron Boots and couldn't use anything but the Hookshot while underwater. Constantly switching boots was a huge pain and defending yourself was a chore. Great Bay Temple and Lakebed Temple were much better in this regard, and I actually enjoyed the underwater sections of said temples. This apparently makes me a minority.
The problem with water levels (and why Ecco the Dolphin doesn't count) is .. well, let me define what a Water Level is, and what a Water Level is not.

A Water Level is not a game that takes place in the water (Ecco the Dolphin) because.. well, it's more of a water game. And if they fucked up the water game, that's just terrible right there. Usually water games get it right or do it well enough that it doesn't really matter. Ecco the Dolphin could have been Jacko the Crow for it's controls, and it would have worked out pretty well.

A Water Level is also not a boat-based game or boat section of a game (GTA3 series, I'm looking at you here).. usually the boat will handle not unlike a car, and often you could switch the water for ice and the boats for cars, and get similar gameplay to the rest of the game. It's also not the water component of Beyond Good and Evil, or games like that where the action takes place on land, but large sections of travel are done on the water - the travel sections are usually unimportant enough to not really matter, or the controls are as such that.. again, it might as well be a car on ice.

A Water Level is a section of an otherwise land-based game (That is, a game where you run around on land, in an essentially 2-dimensional environment with hills) that, for some reason, decides to shove you in a three-dimensional world. Take the Zelda games. For the entire game up to and after the Water levels, you might as well be running around on a flat world. Sure, there's hills, and there's bridges over the hills, and so on.. and yes, you do climbing sections.. but even a part that has you spiderman'ing back and forth between sections of wall could be represented two dimensionally. The number of 3 dimensional problems (aside from flying enemies...) are limited.

So what this usually means is that the game's controls do not take the freedom of movement under consideration. Up until then, you're given the option between forward, backwards, left, right, or some combination of the two that don't oppose each other (forward and left, back and right, etc). Shoved in water, while your left and right usually stay the same, the control mechanism that makes you go forward now also makes you go up, and the one that makes you go down is often coupled with the one that makes you go backwards. This, of course, leads to AWKWARD CONTROLLING until you figure out a few tricks (Z-targeting to assist in up and down swimming in Twilight Princess, for example) as what often happens is during your swimming up time, the camera decides to violently spin around you, meaning you go from swimming Up to swimming Backwards, usually while there are fish-type creatures trying to rip your head off.

So you're trying to fight monsters at the same time you're fighting the controls.

The alternative to that is to have underwater action work just like above water action, only different. Super Mario Bros gives us one example, with the Jump key becoming the Swim Up And Faster key. Due to the game-logic being wacky, in the early games hitting water in a non-water level was lethal, and in the early and later ones, you *sink* in water rather than floating, which is what a body does. The other way is what I'd call the Sonic The Hedgehog method - your controls are identical to the surface controls, only you move like you're suspended in honey. Or molasses. Take your pick. So you now have super-slowmo jumps that are either crippled or go the same height..nevermind that you'd probably jump higher, what with water helping to support your weight and all and the body's desire to float..except you sink, not float.

The other problem that plagues underwater levels is one of level design. As usually the character cannot fly and usually cannot climb very well, or for very large distances.. or climbing is so slow as to be painful to do.. the game's design up to that point has essentially been flat. You learn how the level makers think and start predicting what to do and where to go next based on previous levels. The underwater level suddenly has you doubling back on yourself, subtlety moving up and down in the underwater cave or whatever, and accessing ceiling areas as easily as you do the floor areas. Often times, the floor is ignored in favor of high tunnel connections.

In short, you're not only re-learning how to control your character, but how to fight monsters AND how the levels are put together. All of which would be important if there were multiple water levels in a game... but outside of the Mario series, this really is seldom the case. Usually you go through the water stage or dungeon or level or whatever you want to call it, and once you're done, you never need those fancy water moving tricks you picked up, outside of the occasional nod to it maybe once in the last dungeon.

And FUCK games that shove you in water levels without some method of breathing and choose that point to get all realistic. At least the Mario games had the good sense to just say "Fuck it, he's a magic plumber. I mean, dude eats a mushroom and doubles in height, eats a flower and can shoot fire. OF COURSE he can breath underwater with no problem!"

Basically, the only way to have a good underwater level is if the game also has an excellent flying element. The underwater element is close enough to flight so that the developers should simply mimic that, only changing the physics. Cameras should stay locked behind the player, shifting only when the player moves to, basically, stay behind the character as they swim.. if the character starts to swim down, I want the camera to move up, and vice versa. And give me a goddamn scuba tank or something, I mean damn.

The 007: Nightfire game had a good "water" section where you were in space. What they did was changed the looking behavior so you were not rotating about an axis, then they made jump move you upwards, and crouch move you downwards. The level itself was small, so you did not have enough room to get lost. The enemies were fairly easy too, so the only major difficulty of the level was getting used to the new movement behavior and figuring out that up is a direction too.
<quintopia> You're not crazy. you're the goddamn headprogrammingspock!
<Weeks> You're the goddamn headprogrammingspock!
<Cheese> I love you

User avatar
Jessica
Jessica, you're a ...
Posts: 8337
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:57 pm UTC
Location: Soviet Canuckistan

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Jessica » Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:43 pm UTC

I'm going to double plus everything ST said.
Hmm, what other levels are a pain... Actually, pretty much any level where the controls change randomly bug me (like in Galaxy when you have the rolling on balls level).
doogly wrote:On a scale of Mr Rogers to Fascism, how mean do you think we're being?
Belial wrote:My goal is to be the best brain infection any of you have ever had.

User avatar
Clumpy
Posts: 1883
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:48 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Clumpy » Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:32 pm UTC

I liked the water "levels" in Shadow of the Colossus. Your character swims too slowly but fighting a giant creature in a plane like that is fun. I'd cite the first Viewtiful Joe as having some fun water levels (the sequel screwed things up), but they probably don't count as it's just a floatier version of the main game.

To avoid contributing further to the water level controversy, I'll posit the following:

The "Invisible" and "Obstacle" levels of Super Monkey Ball 2, satisfying as they are when you finally figure it out.

Any level with too many enemies or obstacles that do one thing to you - freezing, poisoning, setting you on fire, forcing you to find places to breathe or throwing spikes in places for no reason. An enemy whose sole consequence is to force you to either open a menu to heal or watch your life tick down as you rush to a save point is a poorly-designed enemy.

That part with the mirrors near the end of Sands of Time (You know what I mean. It's an emotional moment and they throw you into the most annoying, vaguely-explained puzzle you've ever seen.) Heck - the "move the levers" puzzle near the beginning isn't fun either. Some people would cite the elevator section but those people suck at combat.

Fighting Nevan in Devil May Cry 3 (before you "get" it).

The "Burning Lap" levels in Burnout. Racing one lap perfectly to an unnaturally-low time limit isn't fun.

"Serial Gaps" in F-Zero GX. Fun but frustrating if you're trying to finish a master grand prix.

Hacking computers in Ratchet and Clank.

The part with the landmines in Half-Life.

Fighting Duriel in Diablo 2. Going through all of those tombs and then getting killed by a boss whose domain is a 10'x10' square and chases you down in a quarter of a second is not fun. Having to repeatedly re-enter that tomb to grab your old stuff and bring in mercenaries to distract the boss is not fun.

Oh, and I forgot - Act 3 of Diablo 2.

The "underground waterway" (not an underwater level) of Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. Freezing enemies, slow switches and maybe even poison.

Grandia II. Eyeballs. "Delta Storm."

User avatar
JayDee
Posts: 3620
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:13 am UTC
Location: Most livable city in the world.
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby JayDee » Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:45 pm UTC

Metroid 3: Corruption has destroyed the last of my patience for 'City in the Sky' levels. Small areas separated by somewhat cast distance and connected by some form of bridge.
The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:I believe that everything can and must be joked about.
Hawknc wrote:I like to think that he hasn't left, he's just finally completed his foe list.

User avatar
Endless Mike
Posts: 3204
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:04 pm UTC

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:23 pm UTC

Frankly, I'm just annoyed with the horribly generic fire, ice, earth, grass levels that EVERY PLATFORMER EVER shoves in their games. We've seen it already. Think up something new.

User avatar
Clumpy
Posts: 1883
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:48 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Clumpy » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:22 pm UTC

Well, a "fire" level comes with its own predetermined puzzles and even an easy boss design (having something rise out of lava and attack you is a hell of a lot easier than having something walk around). Lazy games (I'll only mention Zelda indirectly here) don't really have anything else to do. They'll sell even if they're unmemorable (in fact some games stand only to lose their audience by innovating), so Nintendo often plays it safe during the design phase.

I mean, think of everything they could have done with the new Animal Crossing! Lazy, lazy bastids.

User avatar
Endless Mike
Posts: 3204
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:04 pm UTC

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:39 pm UTC

Who's talking about Zelda? I said every. Zelda is certainly guilty, but they're far from the only one. Although the fire AND ice levels in Mario Galaxy were fun, but that's largely because it shoved them both in there.

Numzane
Posts: 447
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:25 pm UTC
Location: South Africa

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Numzane » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:55 pm UTC

Related to water levels, but sewer levels are almost always terrible. Always dark and look like crap.
*Often edits posts as soon as they're posted*

James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher.

Klapaucius
Posts: 712
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:00 pm UTC

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Klapaucius » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:48 pm UTC

Numzane wrote:Related to water levels, but sewer levels are almost always terrible. Always dark and look like crap.


FFXII had a waterway which consisted of a section which you traverse when you're level 2, one you go through when you're level 15 or so, one for level 35, and one for, like, level 70 (IIRC). The problem was that they all combined into one mega-labyrinth, and the connections between the four areas were difficult to figure out, because they required deft handling on those damned drain switches. If you weren't careful, you might bring a party of level 17 nubs to fight rats in exchange for a Bangle of Slight Empowerment, and wander north-northeast instread of east-northeast, and suddenly a level 64 Marlboro with a fucking MOUSTACHE pops up and kills your entire party.
500%!

User avatar
Narsil
Ask me about my junk!
Posts: 2995
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:59 pm UTC
Location: Columbus.

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Narsil » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:47 am UTC

Let's see...

I absolutely hate Desert levels. I've never seen a good one and they almost always make me want to put the game down. I totally loved Super Mario Galaxy's Dessert levels, however. That's a theme that should be used more often.

Enemies that kill you when they touch you without any sort of justification for this are annoying. Not a theme, but I need to get that off my chest. There's no reason running into a turtle should cause your demise.

Escort missions. No. Not ever. Even Half-Life 2 was lame because yes, Alyx didn't die and make you restart, but that's because she's invincible. It's a cheap way around making actual intelligent AI.

And on the subject of water levels: I really liked how majora's mask gives you the zora costume that allows more natural movement in water. That was a good idea.

But Zelda games, and as a whole Nintendo games are beginning to bug me. It seems like each game is recycling content. How many games use a "light world' and "dark world" idea? Metroid Prime 2. Twilight Princess.
Spoiler:
EsotericWombat wrote:MORE JUNK THAN YOUR BODY HAS ROOM FOR

Mother Superior wrote:What's he got that I dont?
*sees Narsil's sig*
Oh... that.

User avatar
Amnesiasoft
Posts: 2573
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 4:28 am UTC
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Amnesiasoft » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:11 am UTC

Alyx is not invincible, she just had 18 hojillion hit points.

Klapaucius
Posts: 712
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:00 pm UTC

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Klapaucius » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:16 am UTC

Narsil wrote:But Zelda games, and as a whole Nintendo games are beginning to bug me. It seems like each game is recycling content. How many games use a "light world' and "dark world" idea? Metroid Prime 2. Twilight Princess.


And light and dark forms for your characters, in the Jak trilogy, Kingdom Hearts, Fable, etc., etc... But that's not a level, just a game mechanic, which is another thread entirely.
500%!

User avatar
Poochy
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:07 am UTC

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Poochy » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:38 am UTC

I personally tend to dislike fire-themed levels. Not for the layout/controls/puzzles that usually go with the theme, but rather the massive amount of bright red and orange on the screen that gets uncomfortable to look at after a while. And by "a while", I mean "about 1/10th the amount of time it takes to complete the level."

Also, boss battle cameras that always have to keep the boss, your position, and the camera collinear so that both your character and the boss are in the shot, when the boss itself moves around in the same area where you can move around. Doubly so when the directional controls are relative to the camera angle (which is almost always). And triply so when you have to get near the boss to attack it.
clintonius wrote:"You like that, RIAA? Yeah, the law burns, doesn't it?"
GENERATION 63,728,127: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and divide the generation number by 2 if it's even, or multiply it by 3 then add 1 if it's odd. Social experiment.

User avatar
EdgarJPublius
Official Propagandi.... Nifty Poster Guy
Posts: 3715
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:56 am UTC
Location: where the wind takes me

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby EdgarJPublius » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:36 am UTC

no mention of stealth levels in shooter's yet?

The worst offender IMO is Rainbow Six 3 for consoles where there's pretty much no stealth functionality at all, so 'stealth' consists of crouching, moving as slowly as you can through the level without letting anyone spot you and not being able to shoot anyone even with a silencer, the only weapons you can equip are pistols and you don't get a squad.

And then, halfway through the level (after you've painstakingly memorized the patrol routes throughout the villa you're infiltrating and exactly what order to take care of the objectives and how long you have for each) all of a sudden, you are inescapably compromised (up until then, any alarm is instant death) and have to fight your way out with crappy weapons and no squad.

on PC IIRC you could at least equip whatever weapons you want and position your team ont he roof ready to come in and get you if anything goes wrong.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

Aeronaut
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:22 am UTC

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Aeronaut » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:53 am UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:no mention of stealth levels in shooter's yet?

The worst offender IMO is Rainbow Six 3 for consoles where there's pretty much no stealth functionality at all, so 'stealth' consists of crouching, moving as slowly as you can through the level without letting anyone spot you and not being able to shoot anyone even with a silencer, the only weapons you can equip are pistols and you don't get a squad.

And then, halfway through the level (after you've painstakingly memorized the patrol routes throughout the villa you're infiltrating and exactly what order to take care of the objectives and how long you have for each) all of a sudden, you are inescapably compromised (up until then, any alarm is instant death) and have to fight your way out with crappy weapons and no squad.

on PC IIRC you could at least equip whatever weapons you want and position your team ont he roof ready to come in and get you if anything goes wrong.

To be honest, I rather enjoy stealth levels when they're done well. Beyond Good & Evil (pretty much the entire game) comes to mind, as does the "sneak through the fortress in a barrel" level of Wind Waker... and of course, the "Cloak" dungeon (Lunpa Fortress?) in Golden Sun, as short as that was.
Of course, that doesn't mean that what you're saying is wrong by any means. Some "stealth" levels are extremely frustrating, and while I can't think of any right off the bat, I can empathize with you in that getting to the point where you're inescapably caught and then having to fight your way out is not exactly the most fun experience.

...Here come the memories of seeing pretty much any Metroid-holding tanks in the Metroid Prime games. >_>;

User avatar
Zak
Posts: 2230
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:25 am UTC
Location: In the making.

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Zak » Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:05 am UTC

Poochy wrote:I personally tend to dislike fire-themed levels. Not for the layout/controls/puzzles that usually go with the theme, but rather the massive amount of bright red and orange on the screen that gets uncomfortable to look at after a while. And by "a while", I mean "about 1/10th the amount of time it takes to complete the level."

Also, boss battle cameras that always have to keep the boss, your position, and the camera collinear so that both your character and the boss are in the shot, when the boss itself moves around in the same area where you can move around. Doubly so when the directional controls are relative to the camera angle (which is almost always). And triply so when you have to get near the boss to attack it.

Oblivion is guilty of this. Very guilty.

All of the 20 something oblivion gates that you had to close were just a mass of red.
*waggles eyebrows*

Jack Saladin
X is kiss
Posts: 4445
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 8:22 am UTC
Location: Aotearoa

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Jack Saladin » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:07 am UTC

I think a lot of this belongs in "Nitpicky design failures".

User avatar
SecondTalon
SexyTalon
Posts: 26518
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:25 am UTC

Indeed. Merge'd them over with the Nitpicky thread.

For further reference, if you can say "The stealth level" or "the water-skiing level" and describe a 10+ minute section of gameplay, it counts. If you're just bitching that the control scheme for the boss fight where the screen kept advancing and you had to stay ahead of the boss for five minutes before you actually got a chance to fight it, that's a design flaw for the Nitpick thread. The in-between area is kinda hard to define, I know, but let's try not to discuss the number of encounters between objectives here.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

User avatar
EdgarJPublius
Official Propagandi.... Nifty Poster Guy
Posts: 3715
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:56 am UTC
Location: where the wind takes me

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby EdgarJPublius » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:32 am UTC

Aeronaut wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:no mention of stealth levels in shooter's yet?

The worst offender IMO is Rainbow Six 3 for consoles where there's pretty much no stealth functionality at all, so 'stealth' consists of crouching, moving as slowly as you can through the level without letting anyone spot you and not being able to shoot anyone even with a silencer, the only weapons you can equip are pistols and you don't get a squad.

And then, halfway through the level (after you've painstakingly memorized the patrol routes throughout the villa you're infiltrating and exactly what order to take care of the objectives and how long you have for each) all of a sudden, you are inescapably compromised (up until then, any alarm is instant death) and have to fight your way out with crappy weapons and no squad.

on PC IIRC you could at least equip whatever weapons you want and position your team ont he roof ready to come in and get you if anything goes wrong.

To be honest, I rather enjoy stealth levels when they're done well. Beyond Good & Evil (pretty much the entire game) comes to mind, as does the "sneak through the fortress in a barrel" level of Wind Waker... and of course, the "Cloak" dungeon (Lunpa Fortress?) in Golden Sun, as short as that was.
Of course, that doesn't mean that what you're saying is wrong by any means. Some "stealth" levels are extremely frustrating, and while I can't think of any right off the bat, I can empathize with you in that getting to the point where you're inescapably caught and then having to fight your way out is not exactly the most fun experience.

...Here come the memories of seeing pretty much any Metroid-holding tanks in the Metroid Prime games. >_>;


No doubt stealth levels can be well done and enjoyable, but in FPS games, that's rarely the case unless it's a stealth fps.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

guyy
Posts: 610
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 3:02 am UTC

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby guyy » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:42 am UTC

Half-Life 2 and its first Episode had a couple that drove me up the wall:

Spoiler:
In Nova Prospekt, in the scene where you're alone in a big room with 3 turrets, and 7,846,276 Combine come at you in waves. And about half of them have shotguns, and they constantly knock down your turrets with grenades, shotgun blasts, and their fists. And then they kill you. Again, and again, and again. It's mainly annoying because they intentionally give you 3 turrets for 4 Combine entrances, to force you to defend one yourself; the problem is the turrets constantly get knocked over, and every time one does, you either don't notice and get shotgunned from behind, or you do notice and get shotgunned from behind while trying to put it back up. Or one of the endless grenades blows you up. Or one of any number of other humiliating deaths occurs. I've found the trick to this level is to bring a fourth turret from the control room you defended not long before this scene; with enough turrets to cover every direction, this level's not that hard. But I died about 50 times the first time I played it.

And, the giant glass elevator scene in Episode 1, in which increasingly gigantic hunks of metal fall from the ceiling, and you must somehow knock them aside with energy balls. The first one is easy to block; the second two are not. About 50% of the time I missed it completely and died; about 45% of the time I hit it but it didn't go far enough to the side and killed me anyway; and usually in the 5% of the time that I survived, I was immediately killed by the even bigger one right after it. That segment still kills me many times every time I try it; the first time, I had to save between each death-object deflection just to make it through. That level is just...stupid.

User avatar
Toeofdoom
The (Male) Skeleton Guitarist
Posts: 3446
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:06 am UTC
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Toeofdoom » Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:52 pm UTC

Crysis - The alien level?

Although they were more "chapters" than "levels" that part sucked ass. Even the parts where you werent swimming, you were forced into a linear environment. Atleast up until then even in caves you could approach from all different directions inside the cave and such, but this was just... a path and crap.

Also UT (any version) - Facing worlds.

Woo, CTF + 2 sniper towers and a large expanse with no cover. It's like 2fort except it takes 5 times as long to get from one end to the other, has zero cover and twice as much space for snipers, plus the flag returns instantly, not after 20 seconds.

Okay, I suppose it had translocators, but they dont work when carrying the flag.
Hawknc wrote:Gotta love our political choices here - you can pick the unionised socially conservative party, or the free-market even more socially conservative party. Oh who to vote for…I don't know, I think I'll just flip a coin and hope it explodes and kills me.

Website

User avatar
BumpInTheNight
Posts: 556
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:52 am UTC
Location: Yer pants

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby BumpInTheNight » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:41 pm UTC

Rainbow road from each and every damn mariokart that has even been made :P Actually all of the 150cc racing from the Wii's mariokart, its now more about luck of which items you get attacked with by the NPCs then driving skill as to whether you finish first or 12th. At least the original's enemies' attacks were dodge-able and with enough skill you could keep ahead of the pack.

User avatar
Cheese
and spam. (Euggh)
Posts: 3909
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:04 pm UTC
Location: ¿burning you?

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Cheese » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:01 pm UTC

JayDee wrote:Metroid 3: Corruption has destroyed the last of my patience for 'City in the Sky' levels. Small areas separated by somewhat cast distance and connected by some form of bridge.
THIS
I can't stand sky levels... there is no logical reason for 90% of them to be suspended in the sky instead of the usual "ground with tiny little fence you can't get past", yet entire games are often based around them. And I fall off.
This is one of the reasons I never got anywhere in Glover. You die if you lose your ball, and there are plenty of stupid places at which your ball is happy to roll down and enjoy the gravity.
hermaj wrote:No-one. Will. Be. Taking. Cheese's. Spot.
Spoiler:
LE4dGOLEM wrote:Cheese is utterly correct on all fronts.
SecondTalon wrote:That thing that Cheese just said. Do that.
Meaux_Pas wrote:I hereby disagree and declare Cheese to be brilliant.
Image

Xaddak
Posts: 1158
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:28 pm UTC

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Xaddak » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:41 pm UTC

guyy wrote:Half-Life 2 and its first Episode had a couple that drove me up the wall:

Spoiler:
In Nova Prospekt, in the scene where you're alone in a big room with 3 turrets, and 7,846,276 Combine come at you in waves. And about half of them have shotguns, and they constantly knock down your turrets with grenades, shotgun blasts, and their fists. And then they kill you. Again, and again, and again. It's mainly annoying because they intentionally give you 3 turrets for 4 Combine entrances, to force you to defend one yourself; the problem is the turrets constantly get knocked over, and every time one does, you either don't notice and get shotgunned from behind, or you do notice and get shotgunned from behind while trying to put it back up. Or one of the endless grenades blows you up. Or one of any number of other humiliating deaths occurs. I've found the trick to this level is to bring a fourth turret from the control room you defended not long before this scene; with enough turrets to cover every direction, this level's not that hard. But I died about 50 times the first time I played it.

And, the giant glass elevator scene in Episode 1, in which increasingly gigantic hunks of metal fall from the ceiling, and you must somehow knock them aside with energy balls. The first one is easy to block; the second two are not. About 50% of the time I missed it completely and died; about 45% of the time I hit it but it didn't go far enough to the side and killed me anyway; and usually in the 5% of the time that I survived, I was immediately killed by the even bigger one right after it. That segment still kills me many times every time I try it; the first time, I had to save between each death-object deflection just to make it through. That level is just...stupid.


In HL2, I found the bits with getting swamped by the waves of baddies fairly easy - there is usually some kind of corner you can back you and your turrets into to in order to defend yourself quite handily.

The elevator scene I didn't have any problems with either. Maybe you were just having trouble aiming the energy balls?
Are you on this forum? Do you play EVE? Then join the xkcd channel! In your chat window, click on the speech bubble in the upper right corner. In the window that opens, type in xkcd and hit join.

-X

User avatar
Clumpy
Posts: 1883
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:48 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Clumpy » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:04 pm UTC

Man, how did I forget the end of Half-Life? Dumb platforming, dumb gameplay and a couple capital-d Dumb bosses.

User avatar
Indon
Posts: 4433
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:21 pm UTC
Location: Alabama :(
Contact:

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Indon » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:29 pm UTC

The Vanishing-block-series levels in the original Mega Man games. You know the ones - where a block appears, you jump on it, another block appears, you jump to it, and so on. Normally frustrating but not too bad, except where Mega Man decided to take it.

-Mega Man VBS levels sometimes decided to give you options about which block to jump on next. Needless to say, if you made the wrong split-second decision, there would then be nowhere to jump to, so you were dead. Have fun memorizing the right order over 10 attempts!

-Sometimes, even, the Mega Man block puzzles would involve no delay between one block vanishing and another block appearing. I only vaguely recall a few times in which I encountered this, but each time was cause for endless frustration.
So, I like talking. So if you want to talk about something with me, feel free to send me a PM.

My blog, now rarely updated.

Image

Klapaucius
Posts: 712
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:00 pm UTC

Re: Most annoying level themes

Postby Klapaucius » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:34 pm UTC

Indon wrote:The Vanishing-block-series levels in the original Mega Man games. You know the ones - where a block appears, you jump on it, another block appears, you jump to it, and so on. Normally frustrating but not too bad, except where Mega Man decided to take it.

-Mega Man VBS levels sometimes decided to give you options about which block to jump on next. Needless to say, if you made the wrong split-second decision, there would then be nowhere to jump to, so you were dead. Have fun memorizing the right order over 10 attempts!

-Sometimes, even, the Mega Man block puzzles would involve no delay between one block vanishing and another block appearing. I only vaguely recall a few times in which I encountered this, but each time was cause for endless frustration.


That reminds me: the final castle in the original Mario Bros. game. The path would split into three different paths, and you had to pick the right one, or else the path just led back to where it split off in the first place. The problem is that the branches came right back into the main path, and often had other branches right after, so you had many permutations of ways to go, and there was a timer ticking down the entire time...

And they had several of those in the Japanese sequel.
500%!


Return to “Gaming”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests