Siliconera Speaks Up: What’s Your Gaming Pet Peeve?

By Louise Yang . January 11, 2009 . 8:01am

Gaming has come a long way since two paddles and a ball. With so many different aspects to gaming, there’s bound to be favorites and not-so-favorites. What is your biggest gaming pet peeve?

 

Jenni: I’m tired of companies that go overboard, trying to add in motion controls to every Wii game just because they can. I can understand that the Wii remote and nunchuk are unique, and can understand that developers would want to create control schemes that utilize the motion sensing capabilities, but it isn’t always necessary. Take Family Party: 30 Great Games – had it had a normal control scheme, it would have been fun. Since it relied on overcomplicated motion controls, it isn’t. Even the Wii Cooking Mama games could get frustrating, due to the over-reliance on sometimes fickle motion controls.

 

If a game with exaggerated motion controls is released and doesn’t add in optional standard controls, then I’m really hesitant to play it.

 

Spencer: Overextending games. It’s nice to have long games, but not every needs to be a 100+ hour journey. I think developers feel obligated to make a $50 or $60 game at least twenty hours long so they end up throwing in fetch quests or have players backtrack to far away places. Padding a game to make it longer makes it weaker. This is bad for the developers since players never get the full experience if they put the game down in the middle due to unnecessary repetition. In the case of many games the best stuff like plot twists, tough boss battles, the things you remember and share on message boards climax near the end.

 

I understand why developers have to stuff boring missions in retail games, though. If a game is too short people will rent it or sell it back to Gamestop quickly. Speaking from a business perspective it’s best to keep the game in people’s hands or on their shelves as long as possible to avoid cannibalizing sales. This is one reason why downloadable games are a nice option most of them short and sweet.

 

Louise: Time limits! I hated them in the 80s with Super Mario Brothers, and I still hate them now. I like exploring levels and taking my leisurely time before getting to the exit. Life already has too many deadlines; I don’t need them in my games too. It’s just too stressful to play a game with a countdown timer reminding you how close you are to ‘Game Over.’

 

I was reminded of this pet peeve recently when playing Spelunker! I was having a blast exploring every corner of the first floor when the music started getting fast and strange. A few seconds later, a ghost appeared on the left side of my screen and started coming after my spelunker. Next thing I knew, I was staring at the main menu.

 

Speeding through a level leaves behind so many undiscovered treasures that I always have to dock points from a game with time limits. It seems like a lazy developer’s way of adding challenge to the game. I wish that games with time limits would just get rid of the limits or put them as a separate option for players who enjoy speed-runs and time-trials. I just want to mosey along the level at my own pace.


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  • http://www.thetanooki.com/ Roto13

    Cooking Mama would have been terrible without motion controls. And Family Party is shovelware and would have been terrible no matter what the control scheme.

  • daizyujin

    Mine is simple, dlc that is not true dlc, but is instead just some section of the game that the publisher decides to cut out just to resell at a later date for an absolutely rediculous price.

  • http://ocremix.org/remixer/anothersoundscape/ Mattias

    I’m with Spencer here.. Not every game has to be 100+ hours, even if it’s an RPG!

    my other pet peeve is more about the gaming press and reviews and how they generally suck :)

  • kyrth

    Slow text speed. Okami, an otherwise nearly-perfect game had the slowest text speed.

  • jeffx

    Pay DLC. Especially the one that’s already on the disc and that you have to pay for. Not that I’ve done this (and ever will). Worst “next-gen” gaming trend EVER.

  • Joanna

    I have to agree on the time limits, it’s rather annoying to be forced to finish something in a given time, whenever I play video games, it’s to relax and time limits really stress me out. I also like to take my time ;)

    Unnecessary motion controls are becoming a pet peeve of mine too, but since I don’t play the Wii all that much, it isn’t too bad.

    I don’t mind really long games, as long as there are still shorter one too, which isn’t a problem for the DS, my main gaming device ;)

    As for DLC, I usually don’t bother with it unless it’s free. I stay away from MMO with DLC, or expansion cds. If it’s free then I don’t mind if it’s already programed in and the DLC just unlocks it.

  • Nekobo

    Not being able to pause and skip long cutscenes.

  • thaKingRocka

    not sure if i said it here, but it bears repeating. rpgs were best when they had sprites and clocked in at around 25 hours. i’d rather have great replay value than artificially and/or poorly extended single play.

    another pet peeve has to do with time. i feel there is no reason that any game should be without disposable saves. i simply can’t put in the time every time to make it to the next save point. playing through lost odyssey, i got turned around in some of the more mundane environments, and couldn’t make my way to a save point as i was practically falling asleep in my chair. if i could have simply made a temporary save like you sometimes see in ds titles, i would have enjoyed the game a great deal more.

    and here’s the grand-daddy of pet peeves for me: boss battles that completely change the rules. if i spend x number of hours honing my skills in a game, why would you suddenly ask me to ignore everything i’ve learned in favor of some new ridiculous gameplay approach? you should be requiring that i implement intelligently all the skills the game has required of me thus far.

  • Little Kid

    One: Videogamers don’t have any patience anymore.
    Two: 30-something gamers and gamers in their 40′s.
    Three: Too much hand holding in videogames.
    Four: Games are becoming too f**king short! What’s next? A videogame that cost a developer 250 million dollars to create, it’s only 2 hours long and it cost $90 dollars at retail. If that s**t happens, I’ll quit gaming forever.

  • http://twitter.com/iidxgold scott

    Two words:

    Shitty. Localization.

    (see Infinite Undiscovery, Chaos Wars, Shining Force 3, Castle Shikigami)

  • K

    My gaming pet peeve is short life cycles for hardware.

  • Aoshi00

    My main one is unnecessary fetch quest as well. Mandatory side quests make an otherwise enjoyable experience into something you have to put up w/ in order to get to the meaty parts, like Naruto Ninja Storm, I want to play games to have fun and not feel like a chore. They should strike a balance btwn game length and repetitiveness, which is a problem for Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia. Many complain Heavenly Sword is too short (6-7 hours), but I felt it was just right.

    Time Limit is another deterring factor. The extreme one is Dead Rising. I want to play that game, but I heard if you go over it’s game over and you need to start the game from the beginning again.

    Other than that, region-lock or lack of Jpn tracks, which don’t have anything to do w/ gameplay per se. I don’t know if an additional track really wouldn’t fit on the DVDs or a Blu-rays sometimes it’s understandable like MGS4 or Operation Darkness where the games are actually different in terms of time syncing. I really don’t want to buy the same game twice if I don’t have to.

  • Aoshi00

    Oh, another one, consecutive boss fights w/o the choice to save in btwn, Last Remnant why? You have to be lucky in some of those boss battles, do they think it’s fun to make you attempt a difficult boss fights that take 45 mins to 1 hr? Frustrating and discouraging.

  • Leafpanda

    Slow loading times, slow text speeds not being able to skip text, long ass uninteresting cinematics. Also, consecutive boss fights

  • Louise

    Ah I’m glad I’m not the only one annoyed by time limits. I was afraid I was being a pansy about them.

    @Mattias: Was that direct at Siliconera or me? Haha we try not to write reviews that suck.

    @Kyrth & @Nikobo: Slow text speed and not able to skip cut-scenes are up there in my list too. I feel paranoid about skipping cut-scenes but sometimes they’re just SO boring.

    @Aoshi00: That was the main reason I didn’t pick up Dead Rising. Zombies in a mall sounds great, but I’m too scared of time limits to play it.

  • Chris

    I hate it when companies make a game that has a flatly characterized, boring main quest, throw in a lot of side quests, give you a choice between ‘I am good’ and ‘I am evil’, then say “Look, it’s nonlinear!”

    No, having a lot of pointless side quests that only reward me with exp and items does not count as nonlinearity if I have no control over the direction of the main quest. Giving me the choice between good and evil does not constitute actual player freedom. The worst is their excuse for having no main character dialog. “The main character is YOU.” No. If the main character was me, I could make actual decisions that affect every part of the main plot, not just the ability to choose one of two endings. Western RPGs are equally linear as Japanese ones. They just mostly have boring as hell plots (Or eye rollingly macho ones), more pointless side quests, and mostly copy Tolkien and D&D for all their creative inspiration.

  • Kuronoa

    hmm…

    1. Missions. I don’t mind optional stuff but I prefer a game without a focus on missions.
    2. Long loading.
    3. non-pause/non-skip cutscenes. It can be annoying when your needed something and cannot pause, and it is also annoying to watch cutscenes you don’t need to watch again after dying.
    4. Enemies that are just recolors or same enemies the whole game. I don’t care if it is in the game but it just feels boring fighting the same thing all the time.

    As for game communities..
    Rely too much on reviews. I cannot stand people who base thier opinion on reviews. Even then people don’t realize 5 = average. Ugh.

    As for companies in general:
    Lack of advertising. Then they wonder why a game doesn’t sell.
    Poor localization. Aside from the voice acting problem, I want the same game Japan gets but in a different language.

  • http://www.tatsusoft.net Tatsu

    My #1 is blatant grinding for rare item drops. It was bad enough before when we had to kill Monster X 200 times before it would drop a rare item, but nowadays it’s not unusual to have to also kill Monster Y 200 times and then use both items together in some alchemy pot in order to get an item that’s actually useful.

    The Castlevania games since SotN are a prime example of the abuse of rare item drops in order to supposedly extend the game’s playability. Rewarding players for repeating the same thing over and over and over is not adding value.

  • http://veryimmature.blogspot.com Geoff

    Games being too short (length or content-wise) is one of mine. I know the idea is that those 6 hours are the best they can be without any filler but really if I’m paying $90 AU for a game it should keep me entertained for a while AND be high quality the whole way through.
    RE4 is a good example of developers getting it right, lengthy campaign, the robust Mercenaries mode and a bunch of other options.

  • EvilAkito

    I’m sick of games that make you sit through boring stuff before you can have fun. Some games get it right, like Suikoden II, for example. In Suikoden II, you get an action-packed intro sequence that lets you get a feel for game and even enter a few battles. The opening credits don’t start until afterward. But too many RPGs like to throw in credits, character dialog, boring (and extremely confusing) tutorials, and fetch quests before the real meat of the game even begins. First impressions are important, so do you really want to lose interest in a game before it even begins?

  • Strike Man

    Quickie pet peeves:

    1) Region coding. I realize why it is in place, but I’m very thankful that at least some of the systems do not utilize it. I am far from the type of gamer who imports games on any sort of a regular basis, but there are a few DS, PSP, and PS3 games that I’ve picked up that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise play.

    2) Console flame wars. Seriously. If “gamers” are ever going to escape the stereotype of being bitter 12-year olds, then they need to stop acting like them. And yes, I do realize that Gabe’s Internet Dickwad Theory is a factor too.

    3) Forced PS3 firmware updates. Do I really need to wait half an hour, after multiple download attempts and errors (which is a problem on its own), to update my entire system’s firmware just to simply add upgraded support for Korean keyboards? Save the mandatory updates for major firmware updates.

    4) While I’m on the PS3 side, I’ll once again mention that whole scaler chip issue. Yes, it only affects a very small percentage of PS3 owners, but it is forcing me to buy most or all of my multiplatform titles on the 360. It’s not my loss, it’s Sony’s.

    5) Both Microsoft and Sony could use some upgrades to their media software if they want wider adoption of their consoles as media centers. They have taken some good steps, but more must be done to satisfy us cranky videophiles.

    6) Those who offer piss-poor DLC. You know who you are, and I need to say nothing further on this topic.

    7) XBOX Live needs to do more to combat cheaters, griefers, and the like. If people are being expected to pay for a “superior” online service, I don’t want to see game characters flying through the air or screaming homophobic and racial slurs at their entire team when I can get the exact same service, for free, through any PC game while using teamspeak.

    @Aoshi00 & Louise (semi-off topic): Dead Rising’s save system is a little funky, but I’ll try to quickly break it down without rambling too much.

    If you save your game and tell it that you’d like to quit, it DOES send you back to the beginning of the game, with little more than your levelled up character. However, if you simply save your game and tell it that you’d like to continue playing, you’ll be able to pick up right where you left off.

    If you’re referring to the time limit in the sense that, you won’t be able to accomplish everything in a single playthrough, that is due to the nature of the game. By spending time on a particular event, you WILL miss other events that are taking place at the same time.

    One other wonky thing about the game is, when it is over (ie, after the credits have already rolled), the game is NOT over. There are still a few HOURS of gameplay left after “The End”. Just something to keep in mind if you do ever get around to playing the game. I honestly had no interest in it before it came out, but after giving it a shot, I ended up playing it for a solid month. I hope neither of you two will be disappointed if you check it out.

  • SomeDude

    1) Escort missions.

    By far the LAMEST thing you can ever put in a video game when it is done by an average developer. Once in several blue moons, you get something like Ico. For the most part, though, you’ll get a mission where you get to defend a capital ship, which, because you are defending it, has a hull made of tissue paper. The AI which had previously been set to, “Exclusively Attack Player” is not set to “Exclusively Attack AI unit.” Your friendly AI is set to this setting, as well.

    2) Platforming sections in FPS games.

    These were made for games in *2D* they don’t work in 3D because you have to look down to see if you’re on the edge before you jump. This is a hallmark of game designers who are too pathetic to adapt. When the industry went to 3D, they just designed the levels they would have if they were designing the level in 2D.

    3) Lame Endings/Ending Dungeons.

    See Suikoden IV. The ending dungeon is basically 10 rooms of grey stairways. The ending itself isn’t any more interesting. Too many times it’s very, VERY obvious that the developer worked on the game in sequence, and the last part they made was the ending and the ending dungeon. This was also the same time they discovered they were behind schedule, and that they wouldn’t be getting paid if the game was late. So you’ve gone through 90% of the buildup, and then your last 10% of the game is a half-assed rush job. Uber-lame.

    My least favorite endings are the ones where if your character would have decided to stay home at the beginning of the game, they’d actually be better off than they were after fighting through their journey. Wow. I just sat through 20-40 hours for no emotional payoff? Thanks a freaking lot.

    4) Region locking.

    For me, it’s simply annoying. For Europeans and Australians, it’s gotta be headbangingly annoying. Not only do they get their games later, they get them later and for $20 more than I do. Region locking is nothing more than a manifestation of corporate greed.

  • Aoshi00

    @Strike Man – Thanks for the tip. I have been interested in Dead Rising for a long time, I liked the demo and some of the things I read like the unique bosses.

    Ditto on region coding. I import quite a lot, so I got a Jpn 360 because most US games are region-free, but I still had to be careful on a game-to-game basis. Now I just got an US arcade bundle for cheap, so that took care of the problem. Wii is still the worst on that issue.. but you get the idea, I need to get 2 systems.

    One more, limited saves like RE’s typewriter ribbons, that’s a killer like time limit.

  • Mr_Saturn

    Unavoidable attacks/Attacks that come from offscreen: Ninja gaiden 2 had this bad (the ninja dogs that barked EXPLODING SHURIKENS AT YOU NON STOP) if you got hit by a shuriken, there was NO WAY to get it off before it exploded

    Region encoding.

    unskippable cutscenes before difficult bosses: WHOOPS YOU LOST, HAVE FUN WATCHING THIS CUTSCENE AGAIN AND AGAIN UNTIL YOU BEAT THIS GUY.

    Lack of ammo for fun weapons.

    Terrible voice acting.

  • em

    The “release now, fix later” mentality that has crept into console gaming and the fact we accept it as part of gaming life.

  • http://www.gameunboxing.com Christian

    Man, I hate infrequent save opportunities in RPGs. I’m 26 – have a job, have a wife, I don’t have like 2 hour blocks of time to play during save points.

    Even if Enchanted Arms was a subpar RPG, at least they did something right: a save anywhere system.

    I also dislike unskippable cutscenes. Dissidia does it right by allowing me to skip right past the “moon language” and get right into battling baddies during the story modes.

  • Rciwws

    Game developers are you taking notes out there?

  • Capn Spank

    Shovelware… I am sick of shovelware, and I am also tired of people who have to hack/cheat in online games to win. I have played against some people who were godly without cheating (haveing kill to death ratios of 10:1). If they can do it, anyone can.

    That and the before mentioned release now fix later mentality.

    Also to pick on a particular game. FABLE II really pissed me off. It was a joke of a game riddled with bugs and problems and really didn’t feel like a game at all. Peter Molyneux raped my wallet.

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