Games ruined by an otherwise minor aspect

Let me start with mine: Control. It hits almost all the aspects of a great game, but the navigation is frigging terrible and made my time with it an slog.

The game has a mission structure, and gives you just general directions of where to go in the mission briefing. However, the combination of vague directions, a very puzzling building layout and a insufficient 3D map made finding out where I was supposed to go a much bigger challenge than all the other game mechanics. I found myself looking at youtube to find out where I was supposed too go until I realized I wasn’t having fun with the game, so I stopped.

What’s yours?

Ha, well, speaking of Control, the last half of it would have been a lot better if they did not spawn random encounters every other minute. The game has some really well designed fight sequences that I still remember – none of them were spawned randomly to bother me while moving to the, you know, interesting parts of the game.

Still liked the game quite a bit though, on its other strengths. None of which were the map :wink: Though I like the idea of the Oldest House not fitting into a readable map.

4 Likes

Everyone’s praising Blasphemous right now, so I may as well throw out that I stopped playing that game because the Penitent One’s jump sucks

4 Likes

I stopped playing Fromsoft games halfway through Bloodborne not because they’re hard but having to run thru a level just reattempt a difficult boss ate into my patience real fast.

4 Likes

I have a huge aversion to fast travelling in games as I feel it breaks the immersion but ignoring that was a huge part of me completing that game.

A consistent minor feature that ruins FPS games for me is navigating ladders. I have died so many times in Warzone etc from accidentally clinging to ladders or just falling down them. Just make it a button press!

3 Likes

The colon in Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a mistake.

5 Likes

RPGs where too many low-stakes/unimportant scenes have full voice acting to sit through. Also localized RPGs where the in-combat dialogue doesn’t have subtitles. Tokyo Mirage Sessions ticks both these boxes.

5 Likes

I really bounced off Signs of the Sojourner because of the way replaying it worked. Run-based mechanics aren’t my favourite, but I adore some games with them - Caves of Qud, Dead Cells - but something about doing it with a narrative game just took a game I was enjoying and made me bounce hard.

Both the ‘boy I sure have had to run through this conversation 18 times now’ and ‘since this is my first time going to this town I had no idea what symbols I should prep for so I’ll have to replay it, hope the RNG gives me an event that lets me go here again, and this time make sure I ditch my triangles’.

1 Like

Can it be a combination of environments being too large and your movement speed being too slow? Risk of Rain stage sizes really dont need to be that big. I also dont like games being on a timer.

FPS games have been ruined for me by an underpowered, unsatisfying gun that they have clearly included make the other guns feel better by comparison.

Every Call of Duty pistol feels like I’m shooting a cap gun and I’m convinced they’re included to offset the minimal recoil profile of the rest of the guns in the game.

The world map in Griftlands totally ruined the gamefeel for me. I wrote about it a bit on my blog and compared it to to some other roguelikes, but the fact that you’re just kind of wandering back and forth across town from job to job doesn’t give you the satisfaction that something like Slay the Spire does by using a single direction as a measurement of progress.

Stellaris changed their UI and now I find it to be incomprehensible and can no longer play a game I had loved and put 300 hours into. Though, I don’t know how minor that is given it’s the entire way one interacts with the game.

Actual minor might be something like Ironcast. For people who haven’t heard of it, think FTL but instead you’re in a mech and the combat is fought by playing Bejeweled. Should be great, but everything is tuned just slightly too far on the random/difficult side, which adds up to the game being functionally impossible to win. It’s random mechanic on top of random mechanic, all fun on their own but coming together to be insurmountable.

I think Final Fantasy: The Crystal Bearers on the Wii might actually have been a decent B-game if only a few stupid things hadn’t happened.

  1. There’s no map, at all. Navigating is mostly impossible. Back tracking therefore never can happen.

  2. All non-story combat is timed. So if you’re just walking around and run into some enemies, you have only minutes to clear them out and get the EXP. This is a game built around experimenting with your Psychokenesis powers and learning how to solve the puzzles that are the enemies. So unless you know how to solve them, you can’t win.

So basically you never do the regular battles. No point.

TBF, in Call of Duty’s case, knowing when to quick switch to the pistol instead of reloading is a major part of that game’s combat loop.

Audio mixes: Like, just in a billion little ways an audio mix can bum me out, even if it’s just the design of sounds being technically competent but lacking in personality it can flatten a vibe entirely. Diegetically, clothes shuffles either being mixed too low or absent or generic/not correspondent to action onscreen feels like the most common issue, and nondiegetically, i think i’m over menu sounds going the Rick Berman “sonic wallpaper” route and want a return to weird synth bloops that make me feel good just to hear, like a good Silent Hill menu confirm boop and decline EEGH.

Crummy AI in easy modes: Big problem for fighting games, which i only like playing on the easiest difficulty but do genuinely dig them at that level if done well, but modern MK is the only thing in recent memory that’s done that without just having the AI stand there and sap all the momentum out of the fight. Same with shooters that have dudes just stand there and doofily whiff shots. I want to get flanked and dodged and have to think to complete the task given to me, i just don’t want my ass easily whooped into a restart. Hopefully accessibility becoming important even to terrible companies like ND and Ubi means we’ll get more of this soon.

Yep, not having checkpoints at bosses is what I was going to post. Fromsoft is particularly guilty of this, but it’s also why I quit playing Control. There were other tech problems that werr bumming me out, but continually having to slog back to bosses that could insta kill me was the breaking point.

1 Like

The patch that came out with AWE added closer checkpoints for most of the boss fights in the base game, BTW. Might be worth checking out again.

1 Like

Good to hear !
I still own a base ps4 copy somewhere, have to check it out sometime.