Terrible Moments in Great Games


I thought all of Oil Ocean Zone was bad. It was one of the worst levels in Sonic 2 and I could have done without it in the game.

I love Dark Souls, but I swear that the first encounter with Seath the Scaleless is garbage. Not only do you just have to die, but if you don’t wear curse resist items, you get cursed and then dropped into the next area where you cannot return to Firelink Shrine to buy a Purging Stone if you don’t just happen to have one.

There are a couple of other moments in Dark Souls that are also kinda garbage (Covenant of Artorias, the first mimic, Pinwheel boss). Still, it’s probably in my top 10 games of all time and I love it dearly.


The first Krauser fight in Resident Evil 4. As a whole I’m not sure how I feel about it having instant-death QTEs, sure it fits the mood of danger, but in a game with such a tightly-balanced difficulty, they’re such an annoying curveball to deal with. Especially so in the Krauser fight since you have to do about 7 of them in a row, and after that, the laser grid hallway with even more lame QTEs.

By that same token, the cutscene QTEs in the first Bayonetta. As a whole I think it’s a better game than 2 in terms of enemy design, combat balance, etc. But since you get docked points for dying, it’s so incredibly deflating to get blindsided by the instant-death QTEs which give you way too little time to react.

Basically, unless you’re doing them like Metal Gear Rising, don’t do QTEs.


for the entire ending sequence of Dying Light you are forced to play it singleplayer, even if you’re in a co-op game with other people. it just spits you out into an instanced thing. while not a terrible gameplay sequence, it kinda bummed me out that i wasn’t really able to finish the game alongside the friends i played the rest of it with.

Lost Izalith in Dark Souls 1 was such a bummer area. like you can kinda see how cool it could have been and you can definitely see the exact moment when the money ran out and they were like “fuck it, let’s add 20 pairs of dragon legs in a giant red room and call that a fight”

and it’s been a while since i’ve played it, but as far as i remember KotOR 2 starts with the most mind-numbingly boring part of the game right up front, which was a real power move on Obsidian’s part.


All fans of Psychonauts know what I’m about to say: the meat circus. So much terribly designed platforming without any good checkpoints.

Likewise, the part at the end of God of War where you have to walk across ceiling beams. I remember both of these sequences have been condemned by their creators.


I don’t know exactly when but towards the end of Gravity Rush 2, the camera becomes so freaking crazy and kills much of the joy of the game.

God, that game. If they fixed a handful of issues, it would be undeniably great. For now, it’s great but I can’t recommend it.


I actually really liked that part a lot, while hating it at the same time. Gonna spoiler the rest of this post for ppl who haven’t played Nier Automata yet.

That part was thoroughly unpleasant to play, it was incredibly frustrating – getting knocked into the pit over and over, being unable to climb out. Running from enemies only to lose your ability to run and get knocked around for a while until you recover, and not knowing how long it would let you run before you were once again helpless. It was not a good time. But I thought it was incredible, it’s the only time a game has evoked feelings of frustration, rage, despair in me as a player through making my experience unpleasant in a way that attempts to evoke what the character I am playing feels. It could also really only work in a game. I don’t think I want this to be something that is done often but for me it felt very affecting. I also really hated it, but I’m also very glad it was as frustrating as it was.

e: also, actually just saw the post above about Gravity Rush 2. I liked that game but there were a number of sidequests that involved doing some kind of platforming, asking for precise control, and the game is not good at that, so it was an exercise in frustration. Especially the series of sidequests that involved doing some platforming without using your powers. uhhhgghh


Assassin’s Creed has a lot of these. It often feels like Ubisoft doesn’t understand what makes those games fun. The classic example is the first present day scene in Black Flag. The world finally opens up and you’re looking forward swashing and buckling across the Caribbean but no, first you have to be a mid level employee at a video game developer in Montreal. I don’t understand how anyone thought that was a good idea.


The part in hearthstone where you end up spending hundreds of dollars on fictional cards that don’t even fucking exist but you want that fucking Aya Blackpaw, but you don’t get Aya Blackpaw, because you only get mayor fucking NOGGENFOGGER AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN and you torpedo your budget and you have to live on noodles with ketchup, bread with ketchup, pasta with ketchup, just ketchup and sometimes water, and you cry and cry and cry.

It’s the best game ever.


I feel like every open world game like GTA has to have an obligatory mission that is terrible. It usually is the mission that add the game mechanic that you use once and never use again.


When you had to race cars. I love driving cars, but I hate racing (probably something about the time limit). But yeah, any time you had to race cars in GTA was always frustrating.


I have still never beaten the Royal Rat Authority because I just can’t fucking stand it. I once spent like two hours banging my head against that particular wall before calling it a day - of course, a friend of mine felt the need to tell me that he’d had no trouble with it and beaten it first try. The fucking asshole.


For me, one of the worst parts of San Andreas and Vice City were the required RC vehicle segments.


Oh, I secretly liked those. Growing up, I always wanted RC cars and copters and never had one. But yeah, I remember those were super frustrating.


I love Bioshock up until you get past the famous Andrew Ryan sequence. The whole last arc is some of the most clunky game design mechanically and narratively I’ve seen in a game. Felt so rushed and underdeveloped.


The forced-stealth heist section of Uncharted 2. That game as a whole blew me away (as it did most people), but that sequence can be incredibly frustrating and is a pretty bad first impression.


Shantae and The Pirate’s Curse really dragged on at the end. No spoilers for story or boss, but the stage itself is a super long obstacle course filled with spiked walls, spiked ceilings and bottomless pits. It reminded me of Meatboy but without the extremely tight controls and instant restart.

The rest of the game was great though!