Nitpicky design failure (Merge'd Game Mechanics)

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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:16 pm UTC

Maybe it's just my playstyle.. the slowly advancing wall, where the longest distance my guys walk is when they get off the plane for the first time. After that, they're speeding around if I have them move three steps before assuming the position again.
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby ArchangelShrike » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:39 pm UTC

Maybe I speed too fast. A couple of guys to hide behind landing gears, check around for first contact, and if it seems okay on the next turn rush a couple to cover while having the first wave take shots at any aliens. Always enough time for a snap shot at least unless he's a spotter, in which case he'll run back around the corner so the sharpshooters can move up and take down the targets. Still - it does not excuse piss poor aiming by any special forces in any tactical/strategical game (Rainbow Six, looking at you on those hostage missions). I'd rather prefer a up-and-up battle, where all units have a decent chance to hit (x>70%) rather than missing wildly.

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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Yuri2356 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:38 pm UTC

Indeed. Having high lethality on both sides would add to the intensity of the fight.

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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

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

Sorta. Part of the charm of the X-Com games is that you're supposed to keep your team alive throughout the game, grow attached to them, etc. Mostly because they get better the longer they hang around, so the skilled troops are the ones you've been using a lot. And lets face it - when Captain Luiz, veteran of twelve missions and hero of the Battle of Tokyo gets blasted in the back of the head by Private Smith, you get a little pissed off that your fresh recruit is so horrible of a shot that he killed his commanding officer rather than the alien he was aiming at... despite having a completely clear line of fire.

Now, a high lethality in the later missions.. maybe, but only if the replacement troops didn't suck. As is, they do.
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby JayDee » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:50 pm UTC

ArchangelShrike wrote:Fallout: Its rough to remember sometimes, but the F5 key for quicksaving is pretty handy.
I don't know about hard to remember, F5 is one of the most common quicksave buttons. I'd normally guess F7 for quickload (quick5save quick7load I think is the logic.) Deus Ex would be F11 and F12 I assume, same as Thief / System Shock 2.
SecondTalon wrote:I don't recall monsters in System Shock 1 respawning all that often, outside of maybe some creature generators at one part that you could shut down.. but I may be mistaken about that. I think creatures respawned when you switched levels.
There was respawning, but I'm pretty sure it was variable. Some places had higher rates than others (and higher combat difficulty probably had higher respawning.) Level 3 with those damn invisible mutants was the worst, but it was certainly noticeable with the mutants on the first level.

Someone mentioned unskippable cutscenes earlier, which pretty much invariably suck, but the ones that shit me the most are transition movies. Twilight Princes was pretty good about skipping some movies, but from memory you could skip the warp animation or the transformation one. And game that involves backtracking between distant locations should let you skip the movie that shows you getting there. I don't want to see this shot of a ship leaving atmosphere over and over again.
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby ArchangelShrike » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:14 am UTC

JayDee wrote:
Jebobek wrote:Fallout: Its rough to remember sometimes, but the F5 key for quicksaving is pretty handy.
I don't know about hard to remember, F5 is one of the most common quicksave buttons. I'd normally guess F7 for quickload (quick5save quick7load I think is the logic.) Deus Ex would be F11 and F12 I assume, same as Thief / System Shock 2.


Really? I remember F9 for loading, and F5 for saving I think. Maybe it's different for every genre, those quick buttons.

Early game X-Com was fine enough, but it really was the psy that I hated. It's when I learned to stop loading up on Heavy Plasma and grenades and start packing some Laser Weaponry. And the psy "robot" battles - where I'd spend turns reconverting a single captain back because he was one of the best shooters I had, psy power be damned. Any game where mind control can continuously happen, making an infinite loop as teams continue to switch a single unit back and forth needs to be checked.

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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby JayDee » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:16 am UTC

ArchangelShrike wrote:Really? I remember F9 for loading, and F5 for saving I think. Maybe it's different for every genre, those quick buttons.
F9 is probably more common than I remember. It would match with F5, both being the first key in their group of four?
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby ArchangelShrike » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:20 am UTC

Guess so. Kinda wish there was a option to make the quicksave/load button pull up a prompt asking if you really want to do that after a certain time, as there have been many sleepless nights where I've pressed the wrong button.

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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Isaac Hill » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:04 am UTC

Aikanaro wrote:Thing in Zelda games that is REALLY driving me nuts lately:

The fact that EVERY damn shop of COURSE sells bombs and arrows, but the devices needed to USE this ammo can only be found in deep, dark dungeons of doom. How the hell do the bomb/arrow makers stay in business? Now, I'm fine if there's a PLOT event in town where supplies for making bows, etc., are running low....but if a BOW is such a legendary item that only ONE of it exists in the world, why is it so common for people to sell arrows? I know, I know, suspension of disbelief....but this is REALLY getting old....


There's more than one bow in the land since enemies have them. Maybe the shops stay in business because they're mercenaries selling to both sides? That would also explain a previous poster's complaint that you have to run errands for these people while in the middle of saving the world. The NPCs have no loyalty to the Zelda theocracy, and would just as soon live under the demon pig man if he can keep the rupees flowing.
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Clumpy » Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:13 am UTC

It's not just that so much as the fact that the plot doesn't generally hold in the NPC towns. Each NPC usually has only one thing to think about at any time. Zelda games don't really have "plots", just things to do until the game is over.

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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Plasma Man » Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:35 pm UTC

I've given up on Twilight Princess because I've got fed up of coming to a locked door and not having the key, then having to wander aimlessly around the dungeon trying to find it. I want to get on and play this game, not conduct a forensic search of the place.

I'd also like to nominate games where you start a mission that sends you right the way across the game world, but if you fail in the middle of it you have to go all the way back to where you started to try again. Why not let me just have a "mission retry" button?

Oh, and giving multiple save slots, but only allowing you to load the most recent one is pretty bad. Sometimes I want to go back and enjoy the awesome bits again.

And finally, I really hate it when you complete the game, watch the credits and then you get an end screen where it freezes and you have to reset your machine if you want to play any more. There's no excuse for it.
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Yuri2356 » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:24 pm UTC

Plasma Man wrote:And finally, I really hate it when you complete the game, watch the credits and then you get an end screen where it freezes and you have to reset your machine if you want to play any more. There's no excuse for it.

Oh god, I hate this one. Especially if the final screen doesn't tell you it's the final screen. I'm the sort who likes to wait around for any post-credit stuff that may have been slipped in, so I'll end up second-guessing myself over weather or not something really is the end.

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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby jerdak » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:26 pm UTC

Plasma Man wrote:I've given up on Twilight Princess because I've got fed up of coming to a locked door and not having the key, then having to wander aimlessly around the dungeon trying to find it. I want to get on and play this game, not conduct a forensic search of the place.


CSI: Hyrule?
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:49 pm UTC

"Going by the evidence, it's becoming clear as to why the residents of this castle all perished. While the armory was fully stocked and they had plenty of troops on hand to combat the invaders, it would appear that the only key to get in to the armory is located on top of this chandelier, requiring a grappling hook or similar tool to climb up and get it. We can only guess at the mind-numbing idiocy of such a method of securing the armory."
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby ArchangelShrike » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:52 pm UTC

Ceiling Cat thought it was a good idea at the time, you know to protect it from spies...

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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Clumpy » Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:03 pm UTC

Not to mention the fact that the big bosses all lived in locked caverns and wouldn't have been so darn angry if they had just gotten some food from time to time.

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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:04 pm UTC

Or, you know.. a bathroom.
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Jebobek » Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:09 pm UTC

ArchangelShrike wrote:Ceiling Cat thought it was a good idea at the time, you know to protect it from spies...
Spoiler:
ceiling cat hookshot.JPG
ceiling cat hookshot.JPG (14.55 KiB) Viewed 3277 times
EDIT: Ok so resizing in Paint sucks so:
Spoiler:
ceiling cat skyroof.JPG
ceiling cat skyroof.JPG (15.4 KiB) Viewed 3266 times
Ceiling Cat with godmode cheat
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Xaddak » Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:57 pm UTC

It must be god mode, because that's the sky...
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Jebobek » Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:17 pm UTC

It sure is! All hail ceiling cat, protector of the keys.

Back on topic: MissingNO on pokemon, and Buffing-Item duping. Whoops, there goes any chance of balance when playing someone that abuses it.
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Jack Saladin » Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:31 pm UTC

I've given up on Twilight Princess because I've got fed up of coming to a locked door and not having the key, then having to wander aimlessly around the dungeon trying to find it. I want to get on and play this game, not conduct a forensic search of the place.

I could never finish Phantom Hourglass because of that horrible fucking timed dungeon you had to play through like literally a dozen times. What the FUCK was that? I really don't get how people can call Zelda games such masterpieces - that was my first one, and while I really liked the rest of it, having to play through that exact same dungeon so many damn times was absolutely one of the worst, most amateur-ish, absolutely game-ruining design failures I have seen any developer make, ever. I feel sick just thinking about doing that three stone puzzle again.

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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Xanthir » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:57 am UTC

Jack Saladin wrote:
I've given up on Twilight Princess because I've got fed up of coming to a locked door and not having the key, then having to wander aimlessly around the dungeon trying to find it. I want to get on and play this game, not conduct a forensic search of the place.

I could never finish Phantom Hourglass because of that horrible fucking timed dungeon you had to play through like literally a dozen times. What the FUCK was that? I really don't get how people can call Zelda games such masterpieces - that was my first one, and while I really liked the rest of it, having to play through that exact same dungeon so many damn times was absolutely one of the worst, most amateur-ish, absolutely game-ruining design failures I have seen any developer make, ever. I feel sick just thinking about doing that three stone puzzle again.

See, I *liked* that. And I've always liked the key-finding. It's a big mystery you have to unravel to solve the dungeon. After all, outside of boss battles it's not like Zelda *combat* was ever that interesting.
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Jack Saladin » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:31 am UTC

... You liked playing the same thing like 10 times? How can you possibly like that?

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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby JayDee » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:55 am UTC

Basically every time you need to go back to that timed dungeon you have at least one new item, and there are plenty of shortcuts. I was expecting far more repetition, myself.

But then I've fired the game up every now and then to run through that dungeon and see if I can do it faster. That sort of enjoyment is fairly common in video games, with time trials and what not.
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Aikanaro » Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:41 am UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:
Aikanaro wrote:Thing in Zelda games that is REALLY driving me nuts lately:

The fact that EVERY damn shop of COURSE sells bombs and arrows, but the devices needed to USE this ammo can only be found in deep, dark dungeons of doom. How the hell do the bomb/arrow makers stay in business? Now, I'm fine if there's a PLOT event in town where supplies for making bows, etc., are running low....but if a BOW is such a legendary item that only ONE of it exists in the world, why is it so common for people to sell arrows? I know, I know, suspension of disbelief....but this is REALLY getting old....


There's more than one bow in the land since enemies have them. Maybe the shops stay in business because they're mercenaries selling to both sides? That would also explain a previous poster's complaint that you have to run errands for these people while in the middle of saving the world. The NPCs have no loyalty to the Zelda theocracy, and would just as soon live under the demon pig man if he can keep the rupees flowing.


This would be fine, too....if you could steal the damn bows from enemies that are using them! If anything, the fact that enemies you KILL have bows before you get one makes it WORSE!
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:19 am UTC

*throws together a post while reading the whole thread*

Before you diss Zelda, play Link to the Past, and then Ocarina of Time. The first Zelda is also highly recommended. You'll then be asking "how the fuck does this shit Did you accidentally a coca-cola bottle? -ST

SUPER MARIO RPG'S INVENTORY SYSTEM. >8^( You can only carry 29 items. Not 29 different items. 29, period. Epic game, craptacular inventory. Similarly, Pokemon Red/Blue, where all the important key items that you basically have to have all the time, and the ones that you only use once, take up space in your inventory instead of being separate flags. (G/S did an awesome job fixing this.)

One thing that annoyed me in Twilight Princess. There's this bird running a shop in the middle of the forest. So I go in and take some stuff and nothing happens. So I figure he'll charge me once I leave. Nope, he calls me a thief and now attacks me any time I go near. Way to jump to conclusions. :roll: I was trying to pay, honest!

Environmental hazards, such as wildlife, that are only a threat to you. Enemies aren't harmed by them or are ignored. Or, enemies/AI players that are supposedly not working together, but never attack eachother. (Ahem, Mario Party.)

Games that are supposed to encourage exploration, but cripple it with time limits, shitty cameras, etc.

When the background music suddenly switches from "let's kick ass and chew gum" to ambient animal noises or similar boring stuff and just kills the mood. (Hello, Metroid 2.)

Games that try to keep things "fair" by giving the enemies a power boost (or worse, crippling you) when you're way ahead or ridiculously powered up. Dammit, I worked hard to get there, let me enjoy it and totally whoop these jerks!

Shitty spoken dialogue without the option to turn it off and just have subtitles. Gold standard is the option to turn it off or switch it to the original Japanese.

AI that plays by different rules. Example, Super Mario Kart where they have an infinite supply of whatever item (including invincibility stars) and can simply jump over items left on the track. Or Pokemon Stadium, where the AI Pokemon will use any move that they could have by that level, instead of being limited to 4.

In Mario Kart: Double Dash, 64, etc, only being able to select a cup to play, not a specific track. It's annoying when I only want to play the last track in the cup and have to go through the other three first. Quick Run mode plz, the GBA version had it, so why not? Better yet, custom track arrangement.

Sparse save points and/or lack of quick save function. I understand some games would be ruined by the ability to save before the hard spots and redo from there as often as you want (though I feel it should be up to the player whether they want to ruin the game or not), but why not let us save, and when we resume, erase that save, so hitting reset brings us back to the last actual save point?
Similarly, when you have to do a fuckton of difficult things between save points, and it's too far or there are too many strong enemies to go back to the previous one. When you have to leave but you still have to play for another 20 minutes to reach a save point, or when you have to redo a ton of stuff when you get killed/power goes out/etc, that defeats the point of saving.

A button that does something you often don't want to do (e.g. quickload) right next to a button that does something you do (e.g. quicksave). Or when the buttons switch tasks every now and then, or are inconsistent between multiple games in a series, making it difficult to remember which to push.

Also, Nintendo and their third-party developers: ENOUGH WITH THE FUCKING LOW HEALTH ALARMS ARGH FUCK STAB DIE I HATE YOU BURN IN HELL SHUT UP.

And most of what Clumpy said.

phlip wrote:I'm not sure why people keep bringing up Zelda... the topic clearly says "awesome games"... :P
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Jack Saladin » Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:25 am UTC

You'll then be asking "how the fuck does this shit

... I will? Uhh, ok.

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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Yuri2356 » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:53 pm UTC

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:One thing that annoyed me in Twilight Princess. There's this bird running a shop in the middle of the forest. So I go in and take some stuff and nothing happens. So I figure he'll charge me once I leave. Nope, he calls me a thief and now attacks me any time I go near. Way to jump to conclusions. :roll: I was trying to pay, honest!

Why didn't you read the sign?

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What are you sick of seeing in video games?

Postby Deals » Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:24 am UTC

What design choices do you detest in video games? What gimmicks, glitches, features just plain annoy you, and seem to serve no purpose in making the game fun?

The biggest offenders for me are:

- Really common random encounters. I have no problem with random encounters, but when they occur every five seconds, one after the other, then there's a problem.

- Pretty much every escort mission ever made.

- Unskippable cutscenes. No excuse as to why these are still around.

- Rubberband AI. I don't think anyone likes it when they're overtaken in the last turn by some guy who's been a mile behind them for the whole race.

- Luck that favors the computer, and not the player.

Those are my pet peeves. What are yours?

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Re: What are you sick of seeing in video games?

Postby Spuddly » Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:34 am UTC

Computers that cheat, rather than actually being programmed to play well. In RTSs, computers are often given a resource advantage, rather than playing smarter.

Also, RPGs where the enemies level up with you.
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Re: What are you sick of seeing in video games?

Postby JayDee » Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:40 am UTC

Tutorials (or equivalent) being built into the game. If there has to be one, make it optional or skipable.
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Re: What are you sick of seeing in video games?

Postby Rippy » Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:01 am UTC

JayDee wrote:Tutorials (or equivalent) being built into the game. If there has to be one, make it optional or skipable.

Really? In-game tutorials are pretty much mandatory considering the complexity of modern games. I personally haven't read a game manual in years, because it''s standard now that you learn how to play in-game.

But when you can't skip over it the next time you play? That I can't stand.

Anyway, I'm sick of seeing derivative shooters. A few recent FPS games have been good and also different enough to stand out (Crysis and Far Cry 2 for example), but the one that comes to mind is CoD 5: World at War. Yes, it's a good game. The problem is, CoD 4 was too. They're not creating anything particularly new, just recreating the same game but with different environments and weapons. I can't count how many hours I've logged in CoD 4, but I've grown tired of the same semi-realistic multiplayer combat game.

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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Mo0man » Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:30 am UTC

Deals wrote:- Really common random encounters. I have no problem with random encounters, but when they occur every five seconds, one after the other, then there's a problem.

This. So much. GODDAMNED ZUBATS
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:41 am UTC

Yuri2356 wrote:
'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:One thing that annoyed me in Twilight Princess. There's this bird running a shop in the middle of the forest. So I go in and take some stuff and nothing happens. So I figure he'll charge me once I leave. Nope, he calls me a thief and now attacks me any time I go near. Way to jump to conclusions. :roll: I was trying to pay, honest!

Why didn't you read the sign?
IIRC it just said something like "leave the correct amount of money", didn't really explain how or where.
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Re: What are you sick of seeing in video games?

Postby JayDee » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:31 am UTC

Rippy wrote:
JayDee wrote:Tutorials (or equivalent) being built into the game. If there has to be one, make it optional or skipable.
Really? In-game tutorials are pretty much mandatory considering the complexity of modern games. I personally haven't read a game manual in years, because it''s standard now that you learn how to play in-game.

But when you can't skip over it the next time you play? That I can't stand.
It's the being mandatory that really bugs me. I like to replay games, but often don't bother because of the thought of playing through the start again.

I think games (or commercial games at least) are tending towards easier and less complex, personally. The level of hand-holding-ness in some tutorials is a joke. Explaining things that are easy as toothpicks. I'd half expect a tutorial level on a two button game like Super Mario Bros these days.
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Kag
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Kag » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:34 am UTC

Hey, you better watch out!
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Clumpy
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Clumpy » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:26 am UTC

I actually don't mind this, but Grandia II essentially allows you to break the whole game by giving you scrolls which can be upgraded to grant all of your party members an extra 800 hitpoints plus other attributes. Early in the game this easily doubles your HP, plus the upgrade cost is relatively inexpensive. Since every character can learn powerful healing magic this prevents you from having to protect particular party members.

Other upgrades will enhance elemental spells by up to 50%, which also affects healing spells which happen to be water elemental. You basically have free rein to give these characters ridiculous upgrades, a feature I enjoy but will disappoint people looking for a more difficult experience.

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Endless Mike
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Re: What are you sick of seeing in video games?

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:06 pm UTC

JayDee wrote:
Rippy wrote:
JayDee wrote:Tutorials (or equivalent) being built into the game. If there has to be one, make it optional or skipable.
Really? In-game tutorials are pretty much mandatory considering the complexity of modern games. I personally haven't read a game manual in years, because it''s standard now that you learn how to play in-game.

But when you can't skip over it the next time you play? That I can't stand.
It's the being mandatory that really bugs me. I like to replay games, but often don't bother because of the thought of playing through the start again.

I think games (or commercial games at least) are tending towards easier and less complex, personally. The level of hand-holding-ness in some tutorials is a joke. Explaining things that are easy as toothpicks. I'd half expect a tutorial level on a two button game like Super Mario Bros these days.

I wholeheartedly agree. I'll never, ever play Kingdom Hearts 2 again since I don't want to deal with the 4 HOUR TUTORIAL THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE REST OF THE STORY again. Conversely, Mass Effect REALLY needed a tutorial and it would have been exceptionally easy to make it skippable.

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Jebobek
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Jebobek » Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:02 pm UTC

Achievements in online games. Too many people go off the normal behavior of, say, helping out the team, in order to farm points towards an achievement. I won't dismiss the unexplainable fun fascination of achievements, but in the online setting this is a big downside.
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Koboldskind
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Re: Nitpicky design failures in awesome games

Postby Koboldskind » Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:53 pm UTC

Not being able to say "Yeah, I did that, Mr. Questgiver Guy" in MMORPGs.

In WoW, from level 1 to level 80, about 1 in 20 quests is

"Kill 37 gazillion Pink Butterfly Soldiers" with a followup of "Kill Fairy Mary, the Queen of the Pink Butterflies" ... only that I came across her many many times while killing her underlings, and she never survived those meetings. Why can't I tell Mr. Questy McQuestgiver "Oh yeah, I met 'er, 'ere's 'er 'ead, where's mah monay?"

The same applies to killing tons of Pink Butterflies, only to get a quest ten minutes later that has you collect [Sparkling Fairy Dust] from Pink Butterflies, and you go there and think "Funny, they didn't have Fairy Dust the last time i was here".

I never played any MMORPGs besides WoW extensively, but I guess the problem is not unique there ...


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