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Author Topic: Horrible design choices in otherwise great games  (Read 4109 times)
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USMC Kato
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« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2008, 10:47:55 PM »

Any game that will not allow you to skip cutscenes. 
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« Reply #41 on: April 08, 2008, 11:20:06 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on April 08, 2008, 09:38:22 PM

Quote from: Caine on April 08, 2008, 09:15:55 PM

peterock, i urge you to try the xbox version of double agent and chaos theory.  both are much better than the 360 version of DA.  no headquarters missions to worry about.  the core gameplay is both challenging and rewarding.

But do they still have similar trial-and-error gameplay elements?  Many situations have only one ideal solution, and all other attempts end in sorrow.  You are forced to play the same situation over and over again until you get it "right".  There are rarely, if ever, any opportunites to find a different solution.  There's one "right" answer, and all other choices result in death and a reload screen.  Being forced to replay the same damn situation over and over again is like experiencing your own version of the film Groundhog Day, but without the humor.  After numerous attempts the game just stops being fun and instead falls into an exercise in frustration.

While playing through Assassin's Creed I found it to be refreshing to not have to replay sections over and over again because the game didn't like my particular solution to the situation.  I really like Splinter Cell and wish it wasn't such a difficult, frustrating game full of trial-and-error used to artificially extend game length, but each and every time I try to go back I quickly learn why I stopped playing in the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth place.  And not only is the game full of trial-and-error, but it's hella tough, force-feeding you the trial-and-error experience whether you like it or not. 

I'm not sure I can bring myself to buy two more games in the Splinter Cell series if they involve further variations of what I've come to despise about the series.     

it's been a while since i played chaos theory, but i don't remember getting overly frustrated with it.  it's not as puzzle like as the first two and even a botched attempt can be salvaged.  it's not "you have been spotted 3 times, game over" as much as it is "you have been spotted, expect patrols". 

i guess a better question to ask you is: did you play and enjoy the thief games?  SC is similar enough in that you are not intended to be able to take on the whole base of alerted soldiers, but with careful planning, you can empty out a base one soldier at a time.  in small groups, you can survive just fine, and you aren't going in bare handed either.

too bad i only have the pc version (with it's unfortunate use of starforce copy protection) as i would send it to you.  i enjoyed it a lot. 
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« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2008, 11:38:31 PM »

Quote from: Caine on April 08, 2008, 11:20:06 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on April 08, 2008, 09:38:22 PM

Quote from: Caine on April 08, 2008, 09:15:55 PM

peterock, i urge you to try the xbox version of double agent and chaos theory.  both are much better than the 360 version of DA.  no headquarters missions to worry about.  the core gameplay is both challenging and rewarding.

But do they still have similar trial-and-error gameplay elements?  Many situations have only one ideal solution, and all other attempts end in sorrow.  You are forced to play the same situation over and over again until you get it "right".  There are rarely, if ever, any opportunites to find a different solution.  There's one "right" answer, and all other choices result in death and a reload screen.  Being forced to replay the same damn situation over and over again is like experiencing your own version of the film Groundhog Day, but without the humor.  After numerous attempts the game just stops being fun and instead falls into an exercise in frustration.

While playing through Assassin's Creed I found it to be refreshing to not have to replay sections over and over again because the game didn't like my particular solution to the situation.  I really like Splinter Cell and wish it wasn't such a difficult, frustrating game full of trial-and-error used to artificially extend game length, but each and every time I try to go back I quickly learn why I stopped playing in the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth place.  And not only is the game full of trial-and-error, but it's hella tough, force-feeding you the trial-and-error experience whether you like it or not. 

I'm not sure I can bring myself to buy two more games in the Splinter Cell series if they involve further variations of what I've come to despise about the series.     

it's been a while since i played chaos theory, but i don't remember getting overly frustrated with it.  it's not as puzzle like as the first two and even a botched attempt can be salvaged.  it's not "you have been spotted 3 times, game over" as much as it is "you have been spotted, expect patrols". 

i guess a better question to ask you is: did you play and enjoy the thief games?  SC is similar enough in that you are not intended to be able to take on the whole base of alerted soldiers, but with careful planning, you can empty out a base one soldier at a time.  in small groups, you can survive just fine, and you aren't going in bare handed either.

too bad i only have the pc version (with it's unfortunate use of starforce copy protection) as i would send it to you.  i enjoyed it a lot. 

Chaos Theory definitely  has multiple approaches to lots of different things.  They often aren't explicit though.  Personally I enjoy that sense of discovery but maybe they should have made it more obvious because I noticed that most people on the internets totally missed a lot of the alternative approaches and then complained about the game being way too linear.

Chaos Theory is absolutely one of the finest games of last generation. 
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« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2008, 11:46:49 PM »

i've enjoyed all of the Splinter Cell games, especially Chaos Theory, but Double Agent frustrated me quite a bit at times.  i'll never understand why they thought it was a good idea for you to spend such a big chunk of the game without all the gadgets and weapons that make SC uniquely fun in the first place.  the whole reason i like SC so much is using technology and stealth to outsmart the enemy on my own terms.  the time-limited, linear, terrorist headquarters levels where you lose all your weapons and gadgets were enjoyable at times, but they aren't what i wanted from Spinter Cell.  unfortunately, Ubisoft looks to be straying even farther from the original formula with the next SC game...
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« Reply #44 on: April 09, 2008, 12:32:53 AM »

Quote from: Caine on April 08, 2008, 09:15:55 PM

peterock, i urge you to try the xbox version of double agent and chaos theory.  both are much better than the 360 version of DA.  no headquarters missions to worry about.  the core gameplay is both challenging and rewarding

I've often wondered about the XBox version of DA, since friends I know who played that version liked it a lot. I personally haven't tried any version of DA but I've thought about renting the Xbox game a few times. And before anyone passes judgement on Chaos Theory, I highly recommend you try it in co-op mode 1st. I just started playing that mode on the weekend and it's got to be one of the most original and best co-op gameplay experiences I've ever had.
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« Reply #45 on: April 09, 2008, 02:26:51 PM »

The beginning dungeon in Baldur's Gate II was just awful.

A lot of annoying parts mentioned in here.

Quote from: EddieA
With Mass Effect, the very first sidequest you get requires you to either have an almost-maxed out Charm/Intimidate stat or fight your way through a building full of powerful biotics

If it's what I'm thinking of, it's just a side quest.  You don't have to do it...

Much more troublesome in that game is that they give you 3 planets to explore after you get your space ship.  Yet, one of the planets is far more difficult than the others.
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« Reply #46 on: April 09, 2008, 03:01:31 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on April 09, 2008, 12:32:53 AM

Quote from: Caine on April 08, 2008, 09:15:55 PM

peterock, i urge you to try the xbox version of double agent and chaos theory.  both are much better than the 360 version of DA.  no headquarters missions to worry about.  the core gameplay is both challenging and rewarding

I've often wondered about the XBox version of DA, since friends I know who played that version liked it a lot. I personally haven't tried any version of DA but I've thought about renting the Xbox game a few times. And before anyone passes judgement on Chaos Theory, I highly recommend you try it in co-op mode 1st. I just started playing that mode on the weekend and it's got to be one of the most original and best co-op gameplay experiences I've ever had.

Xbox version of Double Agent is far superior to the 360 version.  They are completely different games that just use a common plot inspiration.  Xbox version was developed by Ubi Montreal (makers of Splinter Cell 1 and Chaos Theory plus lots of other relatively high quality Ubisoft games) while 360 Double Agent was made by Ubi Shanghai, devs of the lackluster Pandora Tomorrow. 
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« Reply #47 on: April 09, 2008, 06:23:48 PM »

Quote from: Eightball on April 09, 2008, 02:26:51 PM

Quote from: EddieA
With Mass Effect, the very first sidequest you get requires you to either have an almost-maxed out Charm/Intimidate stat or fight your way through a building full of powerful biotics

If it's what I'm thinking of, it's just a side quest.  You don't have to do it...

Much more troublesome in that game is that they give you 3 planets to explore after you get your space ship.  Yet, one of the planets is far more difficult than the others.

I don't think you have to do any of the sidequests, but given the fact that there's probably more gameplay in the sidequests than in the main game, you'd think they'd have done better with them.  The difficulty curve is also compeletely out of whack.  Some of the sidequests are hideously difficult, even ones you receive early on in the game.  Some also require almost-maxed out Charm/Intimidate stats, so you fight your way to the end only to find out that you have to come back and finish it later if you don't want to accept the bad ending to the quest.  Also, even though there are only twenty or so small buildings they had to create for sidequests, they reuse the exact same buildings on different planets. 
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« Reply #48 on: April 09, 2008, 06:32:11 PM »

Quote from: EddieA on April 09, 2008, 06:23:48 PM

Also, even though there are only twenty or so small buildings they had to create for sidequests, they reuse the exact same buildings on different planets. 

Other than the Mako driving, that was probably my only other complaint about Mass Effect.  All of the caves and buildings on the side quest planets were EXACTLY the same, except for a crate here and there.  After you realized that, most side quests became pretty easy since you knew going in where everyone was going to be.
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« Reply #49 on: April 09, 2008, 06:32:21 PM »

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on April 08, 2008, 08:19:16 PM


Also the Mako in Mass Effect.  There was just nothing fun about driving that thing around.

I loved driving the mako. *shrug*
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« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2008, 06:34:29 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on April 09, 2008, 06:32:21 PM

I loved driving the mako. *shrug*

Driving the mako just got OLD after a while though.  And the shooting levels on the third planet were, at times, ridiculously difficult due to the shoddy aiming, IMO
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« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2008, 06:48:47 PM »

I should rephrase.  The actual driving of the mako wasn't so bad.  Shooting stuff from the Mako wasn't so bad.  Driving around planets, having to take long circuitous routes around mountains, etc. only to find another useless mineral deposit, or yet another crappy upgrade, sucked.  I know, you didn't actually have to do any of that.  But why put it in?  I don't have to play videogames in the first place.  Putting crappy optional parts in videogames is, I suppose, better than putting crappy mandatory parts in.  Better to leave them out though.

I guess the problem is that the loot in general in ME sucked for an RPG.  If you're going to have the player do something tedious and unenjoyable, at least give him a cool reason to do so.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 06:50:43 PM by IkeVandergraaf » Logged

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« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2008, 07:34:31 PM »

Super Mario 64.  I've recently replayed the game and had a much better time of it, but something tells me there were some major differences in between the 64 edition and the DS edition.  I think they turned the difficulty down on the DS edition in some parts.  For instance:

There's that ice mountain level, where you have to get up the mountain and cross a thin icy bridge while hiding behind a penguin.  The penguin doesn't just walk forward, he stops, turns around and just generally misbehaves.  If you don't follow him exactly, you fall off the mountain and lose your hat, which makes you take double damage.  Fun.  So then, in order to try again, you have to get your hat back, climb up the mountain, and do the whole thing all over again.

On the 64, I did this repeatedly without getting it done right.  On the DS, I did it on the first try.  I wonder what happened.

Anyway, I had big problems with Mario 64.  It kept getting in its own way with idiotic decisions.  If you died, there generally weren't midpoints on the levels.  No, you had to go through the whole thing all over again, and there were some levels where you could die very easily, especially toward the end of certain levels.  It was like they forgot all the good design principles that they learned in every previous Mario game.

Am I the only one who thought this?
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« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2008, 07:58:55 PM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on April 09, 2008, 07:34:31 PM

On the 64, I did this repeatedly without getting it done right.  On the DS, I did it on the first try.  I wonder what happened.

My guess?  You're a better gamer now than you were whenever you first played it.  Happens to me all of the time- I dread sections that gave me fits five or ten years ago only to breeze through them now. 
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« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2008, 08:04:36 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on April 09, 2008, 07:58:55 PM

Quote from: Eel Snave on April 09, 2008, 07:34:31 PM

On the 64, I did this repeatedly without getting it done right.  On the DS, I did it on the first try.  I wonder what happened.

My guess?  You're a better gamer now than you were whenever you first played it.  Happens to me all of the time- I dread sections that gave me fits five or ten years ago only to breeze through them now. 

Better developed wrist muscles.
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« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2008, 08:07:52 PM »

Quote from: Purge on April 09, 2008, 08:04:36 PM

Better developed wrist muscles.

Did they develop due to gaming or other activities?  ninja
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« Reply #56 on: April 09, 2008, 08:29:22 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on April 09, 2008, 06:32:21 PM

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on April 08, 2008, 08:19:16 PM


Also the Mako in Mass Effect.  There was just nothing fun about driving that thing around.

I loved driving the mako. *shrug*

So did I. And I had no problems with any of the side quest planets, except for the one on the Moon, so I'm not sure what you mean about "accepting the bad ending".
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 08:31:52 PM by godhugh » Logged
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« Reply #57 on: April 09, 2008, 08:51:00 PM »

Any game that makes the last level completely different from the rest of the game or makes you use entirely different skills. Half-Life 1&2, I'm looking at you. Although the last level in Half-Life 2 was pretty fun, it still annoyed me. The Golden Cock Monkey moment falls into this too.
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« Reply #58 on: April 09, 2008, 08:59:57 PM »

Quote from: Koz on April 09, 2008, 08:51:00 PM

The Golden Cock Monkey moment falls into this too.

Will someone tell me of this Golden Cock Monkey?  Is he as awesome as I?
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« Reply #59 on: April 09, 2008, 09:02:12 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on April 09, 2008, 08:59:57 PM

Quote from: Koz on April 09, 2008, 08:51:00 PM

The Golden Cock Monkey moment falls into this too.

Will someone tell me of this Golden Cock Monkey?  Is he as awesome as I?

While the actual Golden Cock Monkey post happened on OO, you can get the gist of it here:

http://www.gamingtrend.com/forums/index.php/topic,6277.0.html
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« Reply #60 on: April 09, 2008, 09:08:48 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on April 09, 2008, 09:02:12 PM


While the actual Golden Cock Monkey post happened on OO, you can get the gist of it here:

http://www.gamingtrend.com/forums/index.php/topic,6277.0.html

oh, I think...
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« Reply #61 on: April 09, 2008, 10:30:01 PM »

Quote from: godhugh on April 09, 2008, 08:29:22 PM

Quote from: Misguided on April 09, 2008, 06:32:21 PM

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on April 08, 2008, 08:19:16 PM


Also the Mako in Mass Effect.  There was just nothing fun about driving that thing around.

I loved driving the mako. *shrug*

So did I. And I had no problems with any of the side quest planets, except for the one on the Moon, so I'm not sure what you mean about "accepting the bad ending".

In some of the sidequests, having a very high Charm/Intimidate stat opens up dialogue options that allow you to get the "good" ending, i.e. you talk your way out of the situation so everyone survives.  If they aren't high enough, you have to fight your way out or pick one side over the other.  I can understand making this difficult to do, but the requirements are out of whack with the placement of the sidequests, i.e. early sidequests require stats that you are more in line with a high-level character.
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« Reply #62 on: April 10, 2008, 12:40:11 AM »

I agree with the Jak 2 stuff whole heartedly. I recently finished 1 and then went through 2 & 3 in quick succession. Mainly cause my bro was leaning over my shoulder the whole time bothering me to finish them for the story. The first had some anger inducing moments. The second one I nearly gave up on since it was pissing me off so much. The third was a very good game and nearly made up for the other two.

Another is the end of God of War. Nothing like sticking you with something that you would never use normally. And then it froze.  icon_cry
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« Reply #63 on: April 10, 2008, 12:43:30 AM »

Quote from: rickfc on April 09, 2008, 09:08:48 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on April 09, 2008, 09:02:12 PM


While the actual Golden Cock Monkey post happened on OO, you can get the gist of it here:

http://www.gamingtrend.com/forums/index.php/topic,6277.0.html

oh, I think...

you really need to read the OO thread.  Once OO is back up that is.
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« Reply #64 on: April 10, 2008, 01:45:31 AM »

Quote from: EddieA on April 09, 2008, 10:30:01 PM

Quote from: godhugh on April 09, 2008, 08:29:22 PM

Quote from: Misguided on April 09, 2008, 06:32:21 PM

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on April 08, 2008, 08:19:16 PM


Also the Mako in Mass Effect.  There was just nothing fun about driving that thing around.

I loved driving the mako. *shrug*

So did I. And I had no problems with any of the side quest planets, except for the one on the Moon, so I'm not sure what you mean about "accepting the bad ending".

In some of the sidequests, having a very high Charm/Intimidate stat opens up dialogue options that allow you to get the "good" ending, i.e. you talk your way out of the situation so everyone survives.  If they aren't high enough, you have to fight your way out or pick one side over the other.  I can understand making this difficult to do, but the requirements are out of whack with the placement of the sidequests, i.e. early sidequests require stats that you are more in line with a high-level character.

This is true, but there really isn't any such thing as an early sidequest in Mass Effect. You can explore those planets right after leaving the Citadel or anytime before starting the last story planet. Also, you typically don't get anything extra for finishing a mission with Charm/Intimidate, so other then for roleplaying there's no extra benefit to those endings (and if that's the case, then just roleplay that you're not experienced enough to talk your way out of the situation).
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« Reply #65 on: April 10, 2008, 02:14:17 AM »

By "early", I meant ones that you hear about early on.  For instance, one of the ones that require a high Charm stat is a quest you get from reading a computer in the room where you enter the Citadel for the first time.  You'd think this would be an easy sidequest and a good place to start doing them, but it's not.  It just seems like Bioware put very little effort into the sidequests, even though they take up a large portion of gametime if you choose to do them.
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« Reply #66 on: April 10, 2008, 08:35:55 AM »

Quote from: PeteRock on April 08, 2008, 05:48:40 PM

2)  The final boss battle with Ares in God of War - No other boss fight has ever summoned the Golden Cock Monkey with such vigor.  I've never had a game make me so angry. 

i didnt mind the ares battle.. oddly. it was climbing that fricking cliff that made me damn near kill my friends who were watching.

Oh wait, this was on hard mode, lol.  Yeah, I accepted defeat on that one.

- The Sephiroth Battle in FFX on the cliff.  It may have been one of the only times in recent history I had to look online for a guide on how to beat it after playing it nonstop for like 2 days, and then realised I had nothing they reccomended for the fight.   When I played it through the second time, I prepared my ass off before that fight and downed him in 3 or 4 tries, minimum.


« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 08:53:03 AM by Semaj » Logged

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« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2008, 09:54:00 AM »

Quote from: Semaj on April 10, 2008, 08:35:55 AM

- The Sephiroth Battle in FFX on the cliff.

Sephiroth was in FFX?  I must have missed that  Tongue icon_biggrin
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« Reply #68 on: April 10, 2008, 02:54:57 PM »

FFXI - After level 14, no solo for you. (unless beastmaster, and even that wasn't great XP).
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« Reply #69 on: April 10, 2008, 07:36:09 PM »

Quote from: Purge on April 10, 2008, 02:54:57 PM

FFXI - After level 14, no solo for you. (unless beastmaster, and even that wasn't great XP).

Why I absolutely hated FFXI. While that was 'acceptable' before the 100 ton beast that was WoW, it doesn't cut it nowadays.
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« Reply #70 on: April 11, 2008, 02:25:54 AM »

Quote from: EddieA on April 10, 2008, 02:14:17 AM

By "early", I meant ones that you hear about early on.  For instance, one of the ones that require a high Charm stat is a quest you get from reading a computer in the room where you enter the Citadel for the first time.  You'd think this would be an easy sidequest and a good place to start doing them, but it's not.  It just seems like Bioware put very little effort into the sidequests, even though they take up a large portion of gametime if you choose to do them.

If it makes you feel any better, there's very little tangible difference between a "good" and "bad" ending in those non-plot critical quests.  You may get an extra pat on the back from the quest giver, and some extra experience for finishing the quest through dialogue, but you also miss out on the exp you get from slaughtering everyone.  Shrug.

I did that hostage situation both ways, and there was basically no difference.  Except you got to talk your way out, or shoot your way out.
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« Reply #71 on: April 11, 2008, 03:40:22 AM »

Quote from: Eightball on April 11, 2008, 02:25:54 AM

I did that hostage situation both ways, and there was basically no difference.  Except you got to talk your way out, or shoot your way out.

Diplomacy is a warm pistol barrel.
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« Reply #72 on: April 11, 2008, 07:34:12 AM »

Quote from: USMC Kato on April 08, 2008, 10:47:55 PM

Any game that will not allow you to skip cutscenes. 
Especially the ones that decide to put a restart point right before a cut-scene  mad

Any PS3 game that forces you to use the motion-sensor thingie. It's a completlety useless feature and it seems
Sony forces developers to at least use it for mini-games, dunno, but it's the only reason I can think of why anyone would use it.
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