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Game Breakers 130

Posted by Zonk
from the thinking-things-through dept.
1up is running a feature looking at some not-so-fun design decisions that have been made in games over the years. "Innovations" like pits, spawn points, and long FMV sequences are just some of the choices they take to task here. From the article: "Rumor has it that videogames are not, in fact, movies. This might seem obvious to anyone who plays them, but the entertainment industry — and even a few game designers — have yet to comprehend this. Developers like Metal Gear's Hideo Kojima insist on cramming their games with cut-scenes that are often inscrutable, occasionally entertaining, and almost never interactive. Sometimes, you can't even press the Start button to skip them."
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Game Breakers

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  • I think the article has much of this spot-on, especially regarding interactive cut-scenes. I have thought for a while that cut-scenes should be more interactive, ala Jade Empire. However, this is a primary theme of Jade Empire. Games need not be so focused on this aspect, but it certainly does not have to be as linear as it is today. Inability to skip past these (or worse - having to wait for them to load even if you *can* skip past them!) is completely unacceptable.

    While I am not a huge fan of "spawn p
    • I don't understand why you're complaining that Metroid Prime didn't have enough spawn points. I had no problem completing the game (even on Hard difficulty) with the amount of save points it had. Perhaps you just suck at it? (Just kidding) Mostly I just got in the habit of saving when I was near a save point, whether I really needed to or not. Perhaps I'm just more patient?

      At any rate, I wouldn't use Metroid Prime as an example of insufficient spawn/save points. I'd go more with something like Zelda: Majora
      • by duerra (684053) *
        I'm sure that I suck at the game, and you are indeed probably more patient than I am (I seem to wander around endlessly before figuring things out in that game - maybe I'm just not in the right "mindset" for the game), but I'm not the only one that has been frustrated with the amount of save points in Metroid Prime: http://www.google.com/search?q=metroid+prime+save+ points [google.com]
        • It's been a while since I've played, so maybe I'm just forgetting any frustrations I had with the save points. I do remember them being more of a pain in Echoes than the original. However, IIRC, in both games no matter where you were going there was always a save point a few rooms away. Though, in Echoes, because of the Ing just phasing in whenever the hell they wanted, some of the save points were more of a pain to get to than they were worth. I don't know, I just don't see the Metroid Prime games as examp
        • I dunno.... Metroid didn't seem to troublesome for me although on Hard I died probably a dozen times (each) on the Omega Pirate, Meta Ridley (sp?), and Metroid Prime (or whatever the final boss is called).

          However, if you want to talk about save points being few and far between, always point to Turok 2. That game was fucking ridiculous like that.
          • by steveo777 (183629)
            I think the lack of save points in a game can make it more challenging and fun. The rush and the feeling of hope failing while you desperatly use every trick you know to stay alive long enough can be nerve racking. Praying that the next kill drops a health up or some ammo. I feel the same way about Metroid Prime and Zelda. If you could save whenever you wanted, it would take away from the game, or the need for a longer life meter.

            A game loses significant amounts of challenge and enjoyability if you can

            • It all kinda depends on the person and the game now, doesn't it? Eternal Darkness let you save anywhere (provided there was no enemies in the room) but I still would end up playing on and on without saving only to die and lose all that progress. If someone wants to ruin their experience by saving every 3 minutes, who cares? It's the same with cheat codes.

              Is there anything wrong with letting players play the game at their own level even if it does mean spoiling the gameplay experience? Can't we stop with all
              • by steveo777 (183629)
                Is there anything wrong with letting players play the game at their own level even if it does mean spoiling the gameplay experience?

                Inherintly, no. But like I said. I think the feel of a game like Metroid Prime required you to have long periods between saves. It has a lot to do with the energy recharge, but it really adds suspence to a game where you're on your own, no way out, and what you've got is what you've got. Basically, 'You're on your own, please don't die.' Metroid and Turok can be put in th

                • I think the feel of a game like Metroid Prime required you to have long periods between saves. It has a lot to do with the energy recharge, but it really adds suspence to a game where you're on your own, no way out, and what you've got is what you've got.

                  Oh? I got two game series that say otherwise: System Shock and Thief. If there's any games that really took the whole "you're on your own, no way out, and what you've got is what you've got" and ran with it, it's System Shock 1 and 2. Thief does it to a deg

                  • by steveo777 (183629)
                    Ah.. forgot about System Shock. Know where I can find a copy of either? I totatly know what you mean about battling back to a save point. It pisses me off too. I was thinking more along the lines of battling your way through the research facility in Phendrana Drifts on Prime. Creepy music, everything is dark, and you can't turn back. Heck, even when the lights turn back on, that part scares the crap out of me. Can't wait for Prime 3!!!

                    Another save system I've been fond of (and extremely frusterated wi

                    • Can't help with the sequel but System Shock has been packaged up [strangebedfellows.de] nicely to work with XP. There's a thread about it here. [ttlg.com]

                      Mind you, I'm running just the CDSHOCK.EXE and not !START.EXE. The mouse cursor is a little slow but it works great. If you have issues, try both. More trouble? Check the thread.

                      Can't say I understand the Fire Emblem saves (never played). You get a main save at the start/end of each chapter and, basically, a save anywhere so long as you quit which, upon loading, gets wiped? Sounds like it
                    • by steveo777 (183629)
                      Thanks for the link.

                      Okay, Fire Embelem: The way it works is you can save the game in-between combat. At any time you can choose to restart a chapter (each fight). This allows you to go back and buy weapons/items if you had problems in a fight or get different charecters (you can have 30+ chars, but only bring 8-14 into any fight, once a charecter dies, it's gone forever unless you restart the chapter or the game). It helps to know that this is a turn based strategy.

                      On the GBA the game saves EVERY MOVE

      • The Idea behind Majora's Mask, like many other games, is that you only save when you want to stop playing. Dieing only made you start from the last door you entered. Same goes for OOT. Saving was only a waste of time.
    • by Southpaw018 (793465) * on Thursday November 02, 2006 @03:19PM (#16692771) Journal
      If you want to see how cutscenes should be done, play through Half Life 2 and HL2: Episode One. Pay attention to the commentary in EP1. They addresss how they specifically create "live" cutscenes at several commentary points.

      One example is early in EP1. As you approach a T intersection from the south, they have a lone soldier firing at you far off to the right. You can easily pick him off, but then your attention is forced to the right side hallway and a realtime event: a gunship in its final throes, banging into the walls and crashing before exploding. Bam, there's your cutscene, entirely done without even removing control from the player.
      • If you'd like to check out an old school game with great story line and cinematics try Legend of Dragoon for the PS2. To this day it is still on of my favorite games.
        • PS2 is "old school" now?
          • You didn't get the memo?

            Someone forward him the memo.

            • by kmhebert (586931)
              PS2 is not old school.
              • Or, you could stop to actually read my comment and realize I said 'old school game' and was, in fact, not referencing the PS2 as 'old school'.

                Is it too much to ask you actually read what I type before you flame?

                • Is it too much to ask you actually read what I type before you flame?

                  You're new around these parts, ain't ya?

                  I'd rather light a candle than complain about the dark.

                  Yeah, you're a gringo. Well, welcome to Slashdot.
                • by kmhebert (586931)
                  That wasn't a flame. I was responding to your second comment. Don't get all upset.
          • No, but Legend of Dragoon is. It was released for the PSX.
    • ... unless there is a need for utterly perfect execution for you to be able to complete the game.

      Yeah. I never beat Battletoads either...

    • I would still prefer to be able to save at any time that I like
      Seconded!

      Yeah, it can be abused but it's such a chore saving every 2-5 minutes and saving to multiple slots just in case you've worked yourself into a that's impossible to get out of. I don't know about you but I have trouble with this save system because I'll load a game, play for an hour, DIE, and realize I haven't save my progress at all.
    • by Tom (822)
      While I am not a huge fan of "spawn points", I definitely see why they may be somewhat necessary.

      Not so sure about that. Remember the old Larry games? Ok, they were adventures and not FPSs - but one thing that was great about them was that it was very, very hard to get a GAME OVER result. If you made a Big And Horrible Mistake, you were ridiculed, punched and abused - and put back in the game about where you left off, so you could continue and try again.

      • Leisure Suit Larry!? They were renowned for letting you play on for hours in unwinnable situations, simply because you didn't (IIRC) get the jar of pickled eggs from the bar on the third floor of the cruise liner. Sure, they weren't as kill-happy as the Space Quest games, where any false move got you killed immediately, but you still died all the time.

        Nothing compared to the Secret of Monkey Island where there's only *one* way to die in the whole game, and it's very obscure (bonus points for guessing it). T
        • by Tom (822)
          Good point, I all but forgot about Monkey Island. Yes, that should serve as a better "see, it can be done" example.
    • by revlayle (964221)
      The Metroid Prime re-spawn-every-time-you-enter-a-room effect was simply taking the concept from ALL the OTHER Metroid games before. In every single Metroid game the enemies re-spawn when you enter any room.
      • by duerra (684053) *
        Was talking about the lack of/distance between save points, not enemy spawning.
  • Cut-scenes were the best. Interactive. Live Acting. Hilarious.

    Another good example is Dark Forces: Jedi Knight.

    I get that hiring actors, filming, putting it onto removable media is expensive, difficult and time consuming. But it really adds to the game, and if you are going to be spending money on a high end game, you should make it so the cut-scenes flow well with the gameplay and if you are going to have a lot of cinematics, make them interesting and interactive. Make sure you get the player interest
    • by Saige (53303)
      Bah. WC3 was worse than both WC1 and WC2. And part of that was the live actors.

      Of course, the other part was the horrible scripted missions. I sat on that last mission for like a half hour, destroying wave after wave of Kilrathi ships, before I finally got the point that you had to let your wingmen die to continue. Like, WTF?
      • Idunno man, I was pretty young when I played it, but I thought WC3 was pretty awesome, and the fact that there was video in it completely blew my mind. Another game I can remember that was like this was Gabriel Knight 2. After the series switched over to 3d it just wasn't the same. I've always sort of liked video in my games. I think it goes back to the old adventure games I used to play where if you solved a puzzle you'd be rewarded with a cool video sequence (The one that comes immediately to mind is
        • by Saige (53303)
          Did you ever play the first Gabriel Knight? If not, you should try and hunt it down and play it. No actual actors or video - all animated, and it was a wonderful and interesting game. Much, much better than the second - I never finished the second, since it just wasn't anywhere close to as good.
    • The original release had a few unobtrusive FMVs (at the very beginning and very end of each species' campaign), and a whole lot of in-game FMVs that actually made some sense - they were videophones in the game and sometimes told you important information, sometimes were just for atmosphere. The in-game ones were done with actual actors.

      In the "Gold" edition the programmers got to indulge their vanity and re-record the in-game FMVs themselves. An excellent example of why you should hire actors to do acti

  • Seriously - it's a great game and all, but apparently the solution to ALL of these problems can be found in The Elder Scrolls III: Oblivion? Is it a coincidence that their (evil) intelliTXT is underlining "The Elder Scrolls III" everywhere...
    • While not a perfect 10/10 game, Oblivion is an amazing game simply because it does so much right that games over the last 10 years or more have manager to do wrong over and over and over again.

      PS: if you wanna get rid of intellitext, get firefox and get adblocker plus :)
      • by misleb (129952)

        While not a perfect 10/10 game, Oblivion is an amazing game simply because it does so much right that games over the last 10 years or more have manager to do wrong over and over and over again.

        Of course then they went and created a messed up leveling/skill system.

        "Hey, that's funny, every time i level, so does every other creature/person in the world. What is the point of leveling again?"

        I must say that is quite strange to dread the next character level... I give 'em points for being different, if nothing

        • I've played through all the way once and found it to be entertaining throughout even with the leveling. I never dreaded a bandit, although I suppose I could have dreaded some of the bigger beasties more (since it seems they were leveled down) but it was a fun experience nonetheless.
          • by misleb (129952)

            I've played through all the way once and found it to be entertaining throughout even with the leveling. I never dreaded a bandit, although I suppose I could have dreaded some of the bigger beasties more (since it seems they were leveled down) but it was a fun experience nonetheless.

            I gave up about half way though. The game seemed very uniform and homogeneous. There was little sense that there were places/quests that I should absolutely avoid until I got a better character. But maybe that is what they were

            • Yup, Oblivion was a very wierd game.

              Deep and shallow at the same time.

              Starting to play it, you get that 'wow' effect as you see the graphics and what, at first, seems to be awesome gameplay. Then it starts to dawn on you that the graphics are pure bling and the game has nothing more to offer than bling.

              For me it was sneaking through the forest and coming across a band of brigands up to no good.
              They hadn't noticed me and were engaged in the sort of conversation that you get... what I realised
              was that these g
              • I gave up on the Oblivion leveling game when I had this happen to me:

                I restarted my character because by level 20, my character couldn't keep up with the "scaled" enemies. People told me the "tricks," and insisted I should be able to pull-off 4-5 skill-points per category each level-up. I had been averaging three, so I said what the hell.

                So I'm looking to level, and I sleep, and the level is 4 Int, 4 Wis and 2 Str. I figure with some work I can bump up the Str to 3, and the Int or Wis to 5, so I reload t
    • Morrowind is Elder Scrolls III. Oblivion is IV.
  • by American AC in Paris (230456) on Thursday November 02, 2006 @03:33PM (#16693045) Homepage
    Does anybody else find it just a tad rich that 1-up.com is dissing bad design decisions in a six-page, rollover popup ad-laden, narrow-column, cluttered article?

    ...I mean, the actual content of page one occupies maybe 10% of the page. The other 90% of the page is devoted to big, flashy ads, stripey backgrounds, a rat's nests of irrelevant links, and other stuff that really just doesn't add much to the experience of reading an article.

    • Difference between a game and an article on website, is that you pay 60 bucks for a game and still get adverts, and reading the article is free but there are a bunch of adverts.
    • I noticed that too. Not a print option in sight. Plus it was really wordy. There were some where I wasn't sure which game and what the flaw was they were talking about until I read it a second time.

      They also failed to mention the bad design decision of having "urban themed" games. Gah! What is wrong with people? Sure the science fiction and the fantasy and some other genres are cliched and all, but at least your fighting for a worthy cause (save the world/princess or something). But these gangster
      • Don't knock the theme just because you don't get it or enjoy it. While I'm not going to pretend most of those games aren't total shit, some (like GTA:SA) are pretty good, and the "urban" theme is shared with some excellent and thought provoking films. To carry that further, I'm willing to bet you don't have the same disgust for The Godfather or The Sopranos. Both are well-written, well-directed, and well-acted. Do you have the same problem with those that you apparently do for movies like Boyz in the Hood (
      • by blackcoot (124938)
        completely o/t, but are you still interested in getting into robotics?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by XO (250276)
      Hmm, I didn't notice any of that. Looked fine for me.

      Oh, yeah, I use Opera.

      And I have a script that removes a ton of advertising elements automagically.
    • Ah, thanks for letting me know.

      I'd never have noticed that, seeing how all these damn pop-ups, ads, etc are all quietly eaten by my Adblock config...
  • "that have been made in games over the years. 'Innovations' like pits, spawn points, and long FMV sequences are just some of the choices they take to task here. From the article"

    Yes, games would be so much easier without pits, walls, terrain obstacles, bad guys, and ammo limits. Oh, and they should ship them with godmode defaulted to "on".
  • This article has touched a sore spot for me, so I'll post an article I wrote a while back that discusses this very issue, but focuses mainly on First Person Shooters. Unfortunately, it's just as applicable as when I first wrote it...

    I'm a fan of good first person shooters, rare as they may be. One of my favorite video game pastimes right now is playing James Bond: Nightfire for the GameCube. I just set myself up in multiplayer mode with six bots (all Snow Guards) on the Skyrail level and blast away in 'p

    • by XO (250276)
      Any thoughts on a zombie game? Players vs. Zombies, specifically.

      I like your points, except since I'm working on a huge mod to an existing game (Land of the Dead), something definitely to point out, is that building 20 to 30 to 40 high-quality weapons, models, animations, textures, would take a few people working full time several weeks, if they are experts in the field. For me and the 2 other people on my team, doing something like that would probably take years, considering we have other things to do wi
    • I think you missed the part where first person shooters get released for computers. Many of your suggestions are good, but they're entirely oriented for a very certain style of FPS and a very certain platform. On top of that, it seems that you're thinking exclusively of the subset of (formerly RARE) EA branded games. I think the only Bond game that EA handled that wasn't complete garbage was Nightfire, and even then that's a huge stretch to call Nightfire good. For the most part EA doesn't publish good game
    • I'm sorry to say this dude, but you missed the boat. With the exception of a few games, the truly great FPSs are on the PC, not on a console, which is what your post seems to be directed towards.

      Despite it's weaknesses, there's a reason Counterstrike alone generates more server traffic than the entire country of Italy.

      If you consider yourself a true fan of the the FPS genre, you should worry less about a less than optimal platform and control scheme - consoles, and play FPSs on the PC, where your points ha
      • by tepples (727027)
        you should worry less about a less than optimal platform and control scheme - consoles, and play FPSs on the PC

        Which PC first-person shooters support split screen on a television, so that I don't have to spend $3,000 on four low-end gaming PCs and four monitors to allow four players to play?

    • The 215000 people that are playing counter-strike right now would disagree with you. Same with the millions who bought half-life 2, not to mention halo. Games with dozens of unbalanced guns are a minority. Timesplitters did this well; it had a lot of guns, but you only play with a couple at a time depending on the time period of the level, so it balanced pretty well.
    • Okay do all that, then make sure it has a simple and intuitive UI and menu system. Bonus points if you can make it workable on a console.

      "Can we start the game yet?"
      "No, I've got 6 pages of multiplayer options to set before we're ready."
    • The best would be if each button were customizable. Players should be able to change controls in the middle of a game.

      And just stand there while the other human players shoot him, right?

      If a player nabs the Kill-o-matic 3000, he should not be punished by receiving the walking speed of a small snail. If this is going to be included in a game, make it an option.

      Of course it's an option to drop the weapon. You complain about lack of fixed gun emplacements, but then you complain that the heavy guns are sl

    • "One of my favorite video game pastimes right now is playing James Bond: Nightfire for the GameCube."

      Your complaining about games in excruciating detail, and yet your not using a mouse and keyboard to play FPS?!?!

      Its like spending fifty grand, or at least putting the thought in to spend it, to pimp out your 1987 ford festiva. When you have such a basic problem (owning a ford festiva - playing fps on a gamecube), don't you think you should solve that before dealing with the other issues?

      In other words, pick

    • I would much rather have a decent FPS that gets most of the basics right (headshots should count, for instance -- Quake 3 fails it) than one with EVERYTHING.

      You're talking about a game which implements every single thing you like about every single game that exists, and then saying "That's a good game, a great game is that and more."

      Sorry, no. Spend five years implementing ridiculous customizable options, 20 DIFFERENT weapons (as a "bare minimum"), and all of your other demands? I'd rather have them spend f
  • HL2 cutscenes are fairly nice. Well acted and interactive. BUT they take FOREVER and there's no way to skip through them when you're playing through for the seventh time to get ready for the release of Episode 1+2.

    Guild Wars does a nice job on the "Skip>>>" button, but everyone in your party has to hit it in order to skip. The scenes are important to the plot and just plain beautiful. An addition to that with NightFall is that characters' mouths move. Alas, they are cinematic and not intereac
    • by snuf23 (182335)
      I usually pass the time by beaning the characters in the head with whatever objects are around.
      I tried doing this in Dark Messiah of Might and Magic but you lose the game if you hurl things at your "friends".
      • Yeah.. in HL2 (like when you meet up with Alyx and Dogg the first time.. Thats not too fun except for playing with the mini teleporter and breaking crates. All the same, it is some form of interactivity- at the expense of being a 1/2 hour long.
  • As a guy building an FPS game, I'm curious as to what sorts of things should/shouldn't be done in an FPS.. any thoughts on that?

    I've already virtually eliminated the HUD, it only shows things briefly when they change, unless you hit a button to bring it up, except for ammo holdings, which since we're using realistic weaponry, I really haven't come up with any other way (we could make that disappear too if you haven't fired in a while, but I see that leading to a lot more complaints).

    • by Tom (822)
      I'm curious as to what sorts of things should/shouldn't be done in an FPS.. any thoughts on that?

      Just one right of the top of my head: Know when to stop with the realism.

      Yes, in real life I have no crosshairs, and in real life I have no ammo counter. But in the reality of your storyline, I'm not a computer dude sitting at his desk with things on his mind, either - I'm a trained special forces whatever. My 10-year sniper veteran character doesn't need a crosshair, I 2-hours game-experience player do.
      • by XO (250276)
        Right, I hate games that give you no crosshairs at all.

        Someone has been making modified weapons for the game that have no crosshair but have you staring down the barrel of the weapon, which also drives me freaking nuts. And more so that the weapons move along with your moving animations.

        My thought is to leave the weapons in the normal FPS position, while making crosshairs that are individual for each weapon, although I really haven't made any progress in this since developing the first crosshair for our ro
        • I play UT2k4 nearly every day, and one of my favorite parts about it is the hud. I used to play quake 3, but having to switch weapons only to see that I don't have a specific gun was a pain. I also like being able to see all my ammo levels at once. Flag info is great and a must. Team overlay is also handy quite often. Time is absolutely necessary for timing powerups. I have to manually enable net and fps meters, but they're handy. Besides, if you don't like the hud, you can always turn it off. You can even
    • by grumbel (592662)

      As a guy building an FPS game, I'm curious as to what sorts of things should/shouldn't be done in an FPS.. any thoughts on that?

      The thing that annoys me by far the most with virtually every FPS is the total lack of body simulation. In FPS you are for most part a pair of flying arms that control like a cylinder on ice, not exactly the thing I expect when I want to control a human. So give the player a body, use the arms when climbing a ladder and don't climb 'free-hand' like in HL2, let that body have hit-

      • by XO (250276)
        We can always (in theory) take existing features and improve upon them. I'm hoping to find some new or not-very implemented ideas, that can change how things work.. Since I'm part of a 3-person game mod team, doing a mod to an existing game, we do have certain limits, like we need to work within the capabilities of the Unreal engine, and there's a limit to the amount of model and/or animation data that we can turn out. I can turn out the code to do some pretty amazing things, but getting the animation an
    • A key to making an enjoyable game is to watch other people playing your game. You and your development team should already be playing constantly, obviously, but you need unbiased feedback to see the real effect of the changes you're trying.

      When you have a playtester, watch them play, but don't teach them, answer questions, or comment on what they do. Let them struggle their way through the game like a player would if they bought the game. While they play, take notes on what they do. Do they appear confu
    • Game fun formula is easy

      CRATES are proportional to FUN
  • by writermike (57327)
    Rumor has it that videogames are not, in fact, movies.

    What? You don't recall that three-hour Yar's Revenge? It won't, like, seven Oscars, dude.
  • In the sequel, Content Breakers, they explore ways of making your website innavigable.

    It includes such design decisions as: splitting your content onto 8 seperate pages when one would have one.
  • One of the main things I liked about RE4 was the interaction during the cutscenes. You had to press certain buttons in the middle of cutscenes in order to affect the character either way. Really good for late night playing. Otherwise you pass out during a lengthy cutscene.
    • by freeweed (309734)
      Actually, at first that really ticked me off!

      I've been so trained to pretty much ignore cutscenes, or just turn my brain off as they show some flashy pre-rendered crap, that I died at least once on nearly every cutscene in RE4. You actually have to pay attention in this one!

      Then again, I've pretty much always hated cutscenes. They're supposed to advance the plot and add some sort of "story" to the game, but they end up being the literary equivalent of Dick and Jane. "Your mission is to shoot the aliens. The
    • by Reapy (688651)
      I really enjoyed the knife fight sequence in re4. You had to first fight the urge to put the controller down as the cinimatic plays, but also, as you are listening to the plot being revieled as the other character talks to you, he'd all of a sudden lash out with his knife, and you'd have to dodge the attack by pushing the correct buttons. It was really immersiver as you were on edge the whole time, just as the character would be in that sequence.

      Granted, a whole game of instant death via this manner would b
  • by Tom (822)
    Finally! An article that explains how I felt when I played the expansion of Incubation. I loved Incubation itself, so I was looking forward to the expansion... turned out that they changed gameplay so dramatically that I hated it after the first level, tried to force myself to continue, remembering how great the first part was, but I just couldn't. To this day, I never played it beyond level 3 or so.

    What was the change? In Incubation, you could always react to the enemies and single mistakes, while painful
  • Hey asshole (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by StocDred (691816)
    Developers like Metal Gear's Hideo Kojima insist on cramming their games with cut-scenes that are often inscrutable, occasionally entertaining, and almost never interactive. Sometimes, you can't even press the Start button to skip them."

    Hey asshole, how about you go buy games that don't have cutscenes. There's enough to go around. I hear Lumines is pretty cool.

    Anyone who picked up a Metal Gear game in the last decade and was surprised to find lots of lengthy cutscenes, obviously doesn't know very much a

    • I love how the article complains about the tired old stories and plot retreads, before complaining about the in-game cutscenes you pretty much need for anything more involved than "are you a bad enough dude to rescue the president?"

      In a story-heavy game, you need cutscenes. I for one would find it difficult to concentrate on a level boss' monologue if I have to worry about getting killed at the same time. If you push it far enough it actually becomes its own genre, and I for one really liked many of the
    • While I agree that cutscenes have a place in a good story driven game I have to agree with the article to a point: Having cutscenes that can not be skipped is a poor design.

      The first time you play the game the cut scenes are needed for the telling of the story. This adds to the games immersiveness and that adds to the games value... but if you find yourself playing a game because the gameplay is that good having to deal with the same 5-10 minute cutscene over and over again can be fairly tedious.

      Take Undy
    • by mgblst (80109)
      Maybe the should put a warning on the box - WARNING: half of the game is cutscenes.
  • Man, I forgot about that game. That was fun; it was all about the amputations! :D
  • While these encompass more than just the actual game itself, they do contribute to the gaming experience...heres a list of starters:

    1. In-game ads that detract from gameplay. Acceptable game for placement: Gran Turismo Unacceptable: City of Heroes

    2. Microtransactions. Don't nickle and dime us to death and don't scrape content that should have been in there initially *cough*horsearmorlumines*cough*

    3. Grind. See WoW, EQ, and BF2142 as perfect examples of why grind sucks.

    4. Limited custimization of control

    • 1. In-game ads that detract from gameplay. Acceptable game for placement: Gran Turismo Unacceptable: City of Heroes

      City of Heroes? Do you mean the fake company ads, like the law firm that offered to get you money if you got caught in superhero crossfire? Those are mostly jokes, like the game's restaurant name choices (Hero Hoagies and things like that). I'd think those don't detract from gameplay, and if anything add some relevant humor.

      NOTE: I haven't played CoH in about 5 months, so if those funny l
      • by Hillgiant (916436)
        I think he was referring to BF2142
        http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/10/19 [penny-arcade.com]
      • by XO (250276)
        I would actually be amused even more so, if amongst the ads that were totally within the game, there were some ads for real companies, especially if they had a brunt that made them fit the game world. That would be impressive, and potentially amusing, and potentially useful for the advertiser.
    • by steveo777 (183629)
      I completley agree with point #5. If your game has a 'safe mode' odds are, it's far too buggy to release (EA, EA, EA, EA...). It dang well better work out of the box.
    • by slim (1652)
      Grind. See WoW, EQ, and BF2142 as perfect examples of why grind sucks.

      I've basically given up on all RPGs because of grind.
      However, I've come to believe there's a large chunk of people out there who actively enjoy the countless random battles in (for example) Final Fantasy.

      I don't mind that there are games for people who like that kind of thing. I can let them get on with it.
      • You might want to try Fable if you haven't already. While not online and not an MMO, the pacing of the story is excellent and there's is little to no grind in it. Just as I think I've played too much for a night...another cliffhanger pops up that I HAVE to complete.

    • See the new Zelda on the Wii as a perfect example. I'm left handed...they just totally lost me as a customer.

      Even I'm mildly annoyed. I'm right handed, but Link isn't. Even in the NES original, while facing in three of four directions he was left handed. And the manual to Zelda II specifically said that he holds the sword in his left hand.

      I'd have put up with holding the wiimote in the wrong hand - it's only a matter of training, dammit! - if it meant playing the game the way Din, Farore and Nayru inten

  • The beef that I have (I'm looking at you EA) is at the end of the Op's statement: Sometimes, you can't even press the Start button to skip them. Why God, can I not simply press a key to skip the scene?! Nothing infuriates me more than having to wait through a scene that I've seen repeatedly (oh, I died and have to continue this level for the 8th time but first must spend the three minutes watching teh same thing) and not doing what I bought the game for: playing.

    Sure, I love cut-scenes and movies in gam

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