Things I'm sick of games making me do


A firm favorite of many Japanese RPGs such as the Atelier series, Lost Odyssey, Dragon Quest, the Tales games and countless others, alchemy is another of those ideas that were quite cool to begin with, but have become very old and very overdone.

It's also become a very lazy way for JRPGs to extend gameplay by making the cooking of rare, pain-in-the-ass to find items the only way to get important or incredibly useful equipment. Time was, you'd get the ultimate weapon by undertaking a challenging and cool sidequest. Nowadays, it's a case of digging around in the corner of the map for a random item drop and then mixing it up with another five random items drops you got from the four corners of the world map.

Hammering a button to open doors and boxes

This one is loosely connected to lockpicking and hacking, in that it's all part of the "simply opening a door isn't good enough" series of grievances. Action games absolutely love this, as if perhaps gamers feel more mighty when they have to mash a button over and over again to do something as nondescript as opening a door.

Whether I'm Kratos or Conan, I don't want to feel like I've exerted a superhuman effort just to walk from one room to another. That doesn't make you feel like a hulking behemoth of Godlike strength. It makes you think Kratos sucks at opening doors.

Babysitting some stupid bitch

How could you have a rant on tedious, repetitive bullshit without tossing in that most delightful of overused nasties, the escort mission? Having to drag some lackwit mental patient around a map full of aggressive enemies who are all gunning for the frail, defenseless, slow moving target you've been charged with protecting is nobody's idea of fun.

The classic escort mission has no place in the modern gaming scene, where there are more sophisticated methods of switching up the gameplay without having to resort to this cheap, lazy, needlessly exasperating load of old swan's cum.

Granted, there have been games that do the escort thing well - Resident Evil 4 ... and maybe one or two others. But then you have things like Spartan: Total Warrior, which currently holds the trophy for the worst escort mission ever developed by sadistic, small-minded little bastards.

Also, and I hate to do this because it's apparently the most sacred game in the world, but screw ICO, and screw Yorda, the bedraggled, moth-brained, slack-jawed tartlet that she is! Terry Schiavo would have been a more effective ally than that ridiculous bitch. I'm sorry, but that entire game was a frustrating escort mission that most people only pretend to love because they're afraid of looking stupid for not "getting" how beautiful it is. It's not beautiful. It's miserable. Being unable to travel anywhere on your own because a bunch of shadows will drag off this mute mongoloid at a moment's notice. Where's the option to just say "f*ck it" and let the shadows pull her away? Chances are the shadows will throw her back anyway once they realize what an awful slag she truly is.

So yeah ... down with that sort of thing!

Sep 22, 2010

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  • Skitter - April 13, 2011 8:09 a.m.

    As for the second page- -Alchemy It really depends on how easy the things are to find. In Oblivion, all you need is to join up with the mage's guild (talk to someone in the mage's guild, it's easy) and then find some alchemy equipment and pick it up. Equipment, done. As for ingredients, practically every plant can be harvested from. Fly aminata and cairn bolete are everywhere. It's just matching them up that takes time. -Hammering buttons to open things Waste of time. Lockpicking is something realistic, but hammering a door down isn't really at all like lockpicking. -Escorting I hate that too. You have to do it in Oblivion too, but at least they are smart enough to follow you, but they are so dumb they will just walk into a wall instead of going around it, and you have to go back and make them walk in the right direction again. Things I would add: -Traps. You get yourself hurt because you were walking and didn't stare at the ground all the time. WTF?! -Idiots. In Oblivion, sometimes they give you a quest, and immediatly afterward ask you if you have whatever they wanted or have found whoever, or whatever they asked you to do. I HAVEN'T EVEN STOPPED TALKING TO YOU!!! They should make people smarter. That's all :) Nice ideas.
  • Skitter - April 13, 2011 7:57 a.m.

    I agree with some, I don't agree with others. Lockpicking. I am a big fan of Oblivion, personally. I don't think lockpicking is that much of a waste of time, because just walking in and grabbing something in the middle of the night isn't realistic. It's realistic that people would have locks on their house doors. As long as there isn't a lock on every door and they aren't to hard to pick, it's fine by me. They should make it eaiser to get lockpicks, though. Hacking. I've never really played much games with hacking, but if it's like lockpicking, I think the same. Stealth. I don't really get what you mean by "non-stealth game", so I can;'t really have an opinion. Climbing. I agree it's annoying, having to climb all the time. Why can't people think of a better way up? It's getting old. Nice ideas, though. :)
  • JosefMotley - September 26, 2010 12:28 p.m.

    totally agree about lockpicking and hacking. HOWEVER... "Games both good and bad have tried to randomly inset stealth into their decidedly non-stealthy games - Beyond Good & Evil, Wind Waker, Uncharted... you could compile an entire list column out of games with pointless stealth." last time i played beyond good & evil it was approximately 80% stealth and 20% photographing things. so really it was a stealth game. there was nothing else to do in it's surpisingly tiny game map beyond that. i'm so, so sick of people hyping what was a best forgotten clunker. just like ico, which should be rightfully reviled as a terrible terrible escort mission spun out into a whole pointless and actually quite ugly looking game. ico is like one long irritating puzzle that you'd barely tolerate if it was one room in a zelda dungeon - yet turn that awful idea into a whole game and for the next dull ten years people will be calling you an auteur. PAH
  • Shuuvuia - September 25, 2010 1:49 p.m.

    Ico may have been frustrating at times, but the difference was that I actually really cared about Yorda. It made the whole thing go down a lot easier (considering it is a huge escort mission). I think that's why the game is so beloved. It's the experience much more than the actual, occasionally frustrating gameplay. Don't get me started on Resident Evil 4. I HATED Ashley. Hated her with every being of my soul. It made what probably was a better escort setup than Ico much, much more frustrating and un-fun. In other news, I think the two words that I have to type to post this message are "The crapperoff".
  • elpurplemonkey - September 25, 2010 8:27 a.m.

    I agree with everything on the list except Ico. Its inclusion just seems misguided to me. It reminds me of that old penny arcade comic-
  • Skywalker007 - September 24, 2010 6:09 p.m.

    Is it really necessary to bash ICO? There are much more worst escort mission.
  • sepirothpk - September 24, 2010 7 a.m.

    This article came across as whiney and while making a few good points was overloaded with rubbish comments and rude remarks attempting humour via the potty kind. I mean, what the heck, does this guy need an enema?
  • Zepaw - September 24, 2010 4:58 a.m.

    Several nails all hit directly on the head. Great article.
  • Nolidusk - September 24, 2010 4:31 a.m.

    ico super stupid overrated game
  • FamousAnonymous - September 24, 2010 3:41 a.m.

    Put a lot of that silly stuff in the iPhone version and sync up with my xbox.
  • QWERTYCommander - September 24, 2010 3:16 a.m.

    I liked the climbing in Uncarted 2. the places you could climb were clearly marked (with colored ledges, bricks jutting out, etc.) so you didn't have to look for any "beautifully rendered ledges"
  • Sleuth - September 24, 2010 1:35 a.m.

    Totally agree about Prototype, it's a great game.
  • Helios - September 24, 2010 12:19 a.m.

    Hey, I liked the hacking in Bioshock. I though it was fun. I also kinda sorta a little tiny bit liked the lock picking in Oblivion.
  • gopikmin - September 23, 2010 11:26 p.m.

    i hated climbing (not wall jumping) in Metroid:the other M. you couldn't mash 2. Instead you had to time it and then press 2. i prefer games with jetpacks, grappling hooks or high jumping
  • Abe504 - September 23, 2010 9:19 p.m.

    That is one of the reasons i can't play God of War for more than 30 mins, too many button mashing sequences, annoys the crap out of me, and its such a good game. Just needs less button mashing and qte
  • oryandymackie - September 23, 2010 8:15 p.m.

    I don't think you should be playing games if this sort of thing annoys you...
  • Moe77 - September 23, 2010 8:03 p.m.

    this guy needs fired
  • metalgatesolid - September 23, 2010 7:25 p.m.

    Wow kinda turned into a ICO hate mission at the end there. I agree with the escourting, does my head in. Prototype had that stupid poxy "protect the drill" mission that was hard as nails (its the same thing!!!!). I like Alchemy in games, Dragon Quests are great.
  • billybobbyjoe - September 23, 2010 7:06 p.m.

    I'd forgotten all about that mission in spartan total war!!!! The game was good but my god was that frustrating!
  • foxyexplosion - September 23, 2010 6:42 p.m.

    well oblivion lockpicking could be used to get you something of a higher level with skill. I mean using 20 skill to break into a very hard is impressive shit. I mean i agree with the rest but oblivion lockpicking i think is an exception. I also liked how you tried to bring up 3 examples for each. except for the hammering buttons to open doors. God of war, Arkham Asylum and what....

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