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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  • Redeater - September 22, 2010 9:46 p.m.

    Bioshock 2 was so much improved without the tube puzzles.
  • FrozenImplosion - September 22, 2010 9:51 p.m.

    So agree with the last one, only thing is: sometimes the stupid b*tch is your damn partner! COUGH COUGH SHEVA.
  • Redeater - September 22, 2010 9:53 p.m.

    Alright I will say it. Nice job on the Ico rant. I never understood the whole love for that game because I hated the whole escort thing. So you at least have one person who will agree with you. (Just wanted to put that in before the flood of hate comes in.)
  • OnyxOblivion - September 22, 2010 9:55 p.m.

    @FrozenImplosion Sheva is great...when YOU equip her right. Give her a Sniper Rifle and she'll be deadly as hell. On topic... Fuck Ico! I spent $40 on that over-rated game! SotC was great, Ico is not!
  • FNG - September 22, 2010 10 p.m.

    Fallout wouldn't be the same without hacking and lockpicking.
  • Radagast107 - September 22, 2010 10:02 p.m.

    the lock picking in oblivion was pretty sweet, given it did take time, but it was your skill not the computers on weather you got through that door!
  • Felixthecat - September 22, 2010 10:05 p.m.

    Agreed with almost all of these. I despise hacking/lock picking unless it's done well and I certainly hate games where you have to look after a character you don't control. Climbing, for me however, is fun. It slows the game and usually makes it fairly more visceral. I also enjoy stealth, it doesn't matter if it isn't a stealth game, because being stealthy in any game is enjoyable for me. But of course, it kind of boils down to how it's done. If it's boring, crappy, slows the pace of the game completely and, overall, ruins the experience, then it's a problem. If any of the things you listed are even remotely enjoyable though, then I don't see a problem.
  • ThePurpleDragon - September 22, 2010 10:09 p.m.

    I liked the stealth sections in Uncharted :P I have to agree with the rest, though. Lock picking in Fallout in Oblivion could have been done better.
  • musashi1596 - September 22, 2010 10:11 p.m.

    Careful now.
  • NightCrawler_358 - September 22, 2010 10:16 p.m.

    I absolutely hate escort missions in games, especially if the person is yelling at you for help. If i wanted to hear an annoying woman in my ear all the time, i would be playing Ocarina of Time.(not saying it isn't a great game)
  • Jacko415 - September 22, 2010 10:18 p.m.

    FUCK GOD DAMN ESCORT MISSIONS! but the lockpicking in Fallout 3 wasn't so bad if you could just FIND SOME FUCKING BOBBY PINS! WHY WERE THERE CLOSE TO NO BOBBY PINS AND SO MANY DOORS!?!?
  • bradmillow0 - September 22, 2010 10:26 p.m.

    I don't really mind lock picking. I don't like it, but I don't think its that bad.
  • garnsr - September 22, 2010 10:31 p.m.

    This sounds like you mostly just want to run down corridors, blowing things away. I'd like to see an article about the things you like games making you do.
  • Rojoco - September 22, 2010 10:32 p.m.

    Leave ICO alone! >:(
  • reverandglass - September 22, 2010 10:33 p.m.

    I would argue that Uncharted was set up well for stealth and climbing is cool too in the right context. As for the Ico criticisms you're all souless. Before the game came out I was sent a postcard of Ico wrapped in bubble wrap with a note telling my to look after her and you know what I still do, not one bubble has been burst. I cannot wait for the HD collection.
  • Triplzer0 - September 22, 2010 10:37 p.m.

    I hate stealth portions! If I wanted a stealth game I'd get one...and there's a reason why I haven't yet. I don't like them. Stop shoe-horning these sections into my action games or my FPS games.
  • Imgema - September 22, 2010 10:41 p.m.

    Stealth in non-stealth games is annoying and boring as hell. And i always hated that mission in Goldeneye where you had to protect that lady (i forgot her name).
  • ultimatepunchrod - September 22, 2010 10:53 p.m.

    yea the climbing in all the games mentioned was good. and ubisoft made Assassins creed as well as PoP and the new PoP used the same engine as Assassins creed 2
  • Gameguy94 - September 22, 2010 11:02 p.m.

    I must disagree with lockpicking, hacking, and climbing I slightly enjoy climbing in games and the few hacking games I don't like are Bioshock's. Fallout 3's lockpicking actually feels pretty natural if you ask me.
  • TruckThunders - September 22, 2010 11:04 p.m.

    While I don't hate every game element in this article, I'll agree that all of them are getting old and overused. Good article, Mr. Sterling.

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