Favorite Teeny Tiny Detail In A Video Game


#1

What is your favorite little detail in a game that just elevates it to a new level?

For me it is the sound tokens make as they land in the bowl in Hand of Fate. It sends shivers down my spine every time.


#2

As strange as it sounds, the menus in Nier: Automata really sold me on the game before the story eventually hooked me. Especially when the game contextualizes the menus and hud as a GUI for the androids in the game as well as the player.


#3

Being able to mess with the camera in the menus for smash bros melee by using the c-stick. Completely pointless, but I appreciate it as a thing to do.


#4

Nier: Automata just bringing in the hacking mechanic and accompanying alternate soundtrack in the middle of a boss fight was wild.

Oh, and the tiny detail about being able to pet the pods.


#5

Wait… what? You can pet the pods?!


#6

I’ve never played it, but I still love Galak-Z’s VHS-styled menus.


#7

On the PS4, if you rub the touchpad you can pet the pods.


#8

the little string bass notes when you’re sneaking around in the sly cooper games


#9

YUP! For the PS4 you can rub the touchpad to do it.
And, uh, on PC you have to very lightly move the mouse/camera in circles.

So A2/2B pet their pod the same way; 9S actually fist bumps his pod so that’s an extra tiny detail that I thought was awesome.


#10

In Persona 5, the dialogue boxes pulsate like a heart beat. It’s very small and very on brand.


#11

Maybe this doesn’t fit the mold, but something in The Talos Principle comes to mind. I have never seen a game, at least not of that scope, give you the ability to fast forward with the push of a button. I don’t know that I can fully articulate why it delights me so much. It’s also incredibly useful, though never actually necessary.

Might be partly novelty, if I’m being honest, but look how fast this is!

I only wish it would speed up the audio, but I’m sure that’d require a much more involved process.


#12

Oh, another one. For whatever reason I just really appreciated that the character’s model changes whenever they go into trance mode in FFIX. Has absolutely no mechanical purpose other than to indicate that the mode is active, which could have been with just the flashing color on the model and been just as effective. Just always thought that was neat.


#13

Yeah. I always appreciate when a game goes through the trouble of making basic UI elements and menus diegetic. Would love to see more games do that.


#14

The way that game uses extremely subtle textile-esque… textures (can’t think of the right way to describe it) for all the the white-space in the menus is my favorite thing that happened this year in any game. That GUI is “rethink my entire aesthetic as a designer” levels of good in it’s details


#15

i’ve been playing super mario 3d world and captain toad and they both have occasional platformer mechanics when you blow on the gamepad mic, but also when you blow on the mic like, the coins all spin around? it’s such a tiny thing but it makes the world feel way more real, i love it


#16

If you move the cursor up and down in the ilomilo menus, it plays in tune to the theme song.


#17

The environmental effects for the visor in Metroid Prime. The way water droplets roll down it, the way jets of steam and gas will fog it up, and especially how bright flashes will make Samus’s reflection show up for a second. The best part is Retro knew it was cool, so they started the game by blasting you with steam from broken pipes on a space station, then dropped you into heavy drizzle as soon as you landed on the planet. It blew my mind when I first played it, and it’s amazing how well it stands up even today.


#18

especially when it records you’re first playthrough “menu tutorial” and plays it back to you on your second


#19

a lot of the guard interactions throughout the MGS series are great, especially in V. It gives them so much personality outside of normal video game guards.

Most unexpected satisfying surprise I can recall recently was in Kingdom: New Lands. When your coins pile up in your sack too much they can slip out and plonk in the water. It’s great.


#20

The trigger discipline (and then the lack of it later in the game) in Spec Ops: The Line is great. I didn’t notice it at all in my first few playthroughs.