The Best Way to Ruin a Good Game


Something that is increasingly driving me away from games is spiders. I’m quite arachnophobic and there are quite a few games where I’ve reached certain points and been unable to continue. Probably the most disappointing is Bloodborne, which I dumped dozens of hours into before getting to Nightmare of Mensis and being kind of unable to proceed. I was recently tempted by Nioh before seeing some of the spider enemies there.

There have been a couple of spider heavy games which I’m OK with (mainly Diablo 3, which has not especially realistic spiders, and Path of Exile, which has spiders which don’t always trigger my arachnophobia). On the other hand there have been quite a few games where I have insta-noped (such as Torchlight 2) even though the spiders aren’t necessarily that realistic.


Stealth games are both my favorite games, and the bane of my existence. Take Dishonored. That series gives you so many great tools to creatively get out of situations gone bad. But I want to do it perfectly. I NEED to do it perfectly. So I will quick save and quick load my way through it to make damn sure that I am not seen, don’t kill anyone, and don’t set off a single solitary alarm. The Clockwork Mansion in Dishonored 2 took me HOURS, just with how tough it was to circumvent/take down the clockwork soldiers without being seen.


I feel like Dishonored 2 gave you better options for stealth, but I know what you mean. Having a game that allows you to do both always feels like half a game to me, only because I will rarely if ever play through a full game twice. Give me the option to be unseen and I’ll play through the whole game like that, never touching your fancy combat tools. They look amazing in Dishonored 2, but I’ll never know.


This is absolutely my experience with most boss fights in Dark Souls before I learned to summon help after trying to solo bosses clearly not designed to be solo’d. There’s an overlap here with the article about off-putting fan-communities wherein people fetishize the “git gud” mentality that demands you to defeat all bosses on your own, but at some level there’s not enough time or energy in my day to enjoy that form of self-flagellation. In fact, I’d feel fine if not for my one friend who insists boss patterns are “EZ” and it’s “giving up” to summon help. Fie on that. Summoning help in Souls games is completely within their ethos and should be done freely and without judgment. Praise the sun, y’all


Echoing what a lot of people have said here, the post-mission report cards are something I really can’t stand. It’s one thing to put those in for supplemental playthroughs where players want to challenge themselves, but to have them in there demeaning the player during their fist runthrough of a game just feels disheartening. Like, yeah, I know I’m not gonna get through the game perfectly on my first try. Just let me enjoy the thing you made and stop telling me how much better someone else could have played it.


While I agree with the idea behind the article, my most fun times with the Forza series have been the constant fights with friends in the hot-lap mode. I love the idea of optimizing my route, learning the best lines, really starting to know a track like a real racer might.


Devs trying to make you play in ways you personally do not find fun (See Xcom 2 and turn timers). Players don’t always need protecting from themselves. If players want to be cautious, that’s their prerogative. Instead, Devs should be looking towards rewarding different styles of play and thinking of rewarding players who come up with crazy, out of the box thinking as well as those who go the well-trodden road.


kinda ruined No Man’s Sky for myself earlier this year by deciding it’d be fun to pick survival difficulty for my initial run. my reasoning was if there’s additional mechanics like having to account for weather it’d make the planets feel more unique and “real” in the sense that they’d each have their own environmental challenges that i’d have to deal with.

i wasn’t expecting the severity of all the mechanics that i had to deal with, and after 8 hours of constantly dying on- or off-world i realised i wasn’t having any fun, so i started a new game on normal. i played around on that for a bit, but found the setting too easy and forgiving. exploring planets became really boring with basically no gameplay challenge (not that i think exploration by itself is boring, just something about NMS’ art direction didn’t have the evocative mysterious feeling of something like Noctis) so i just stopped playing and never came back.


I tried a Hard mode mod of Pokemon Sun and even though it let me catch a ton more mons it just sapped all the fun outta the game by making every trainer be this 5-6 team slog to fight.


The sequel to Cook, Serve, Delicious (aptly named Cook, Serve, Delicious 2) missed out on a lot of mechanics and story potential that the original had offered in spades; one of the most galling was a total lack of progression in making your recipes more advanced as you played further in the story, which really soured me on a game that’s… Essentially so fast-paced that if you don’t learn how to get your footing, you’re kind of screwed!

I went back to playing the original game, willing to give the dev time to actually address some of these problems, and I was much happier for it. (Plus, he is actually going to fix things to make them more fun for the player, so, you know! It can happen!)


Oh wow, kudos to you, I know that must’ve been crazy. I actually have a sorta similar Mirror’s Edge story.

For some reason that I can’t comprehend, I decided to try my hand at the “Test of Faith” trophy and simultaneously the “Pro Runner” trophy (beat the game on the hardest difficulty) in the same playthrough. Again, I’m not sure what possessed me to want to undertake such a challenge, but I actually did manage to get it done.

Whatever possessed me then must’ve came back for seconds, because interestingly enough, I did a very similar thing with Dead Space a couple months later–going for the “One Gun” trophy (beat the game using only the starting weapon), while also again going for the trophy for beating it on the hardest difficulty. Managed to do this one too, and somehow managed to not hate the game afterwards haha.


Unskippable cutscenes


Put a lot of climbing in it. With a stamina bar.

Item durability.

Inventory limits.


Put in a time-wasting challenge that doesn’t value the player’s time. The prime example off the top of my head is at least one of the boss battles in Guitar Hero III where the AI made mistakes randomly via an algorithm. Which means you could play the song perfectly but the AI could too, and it was a draw.

Other examples include how some campaigns in turn-based strategy games would allow the AI to cheat as part of a story beat, and you would usually have to replay the mission because you did not properly prepare for a battle that you could not have anticipated based on standard rules.

Being forced to replay something over and over again until I get it right is frustrating enough. Being forced to replay it even though I made no mistakes at all makes me consider giving up on the game for good.


this sounds like a really specific game, but I can’t put my finger on it…


I can’t pinpoint an exact title but collect-a-thons were a bane of mine that thankfully didn’t last as long as it could have. I quickly learned what those types of games (or aspects tacked on to games that didn’t need them) meant to me and just said NO to them, full stop.

As a Forza nerd who enjoyed Rivals in 5 and 6, I can definitely see how that mode can be frustrating to people depending on how they looked at it. For me, I didn’t care about randos beating my time, going back and trying to beat theirs, etc etc. I pretty much just focused on the ‘friends’ leaderboard for any given track and treated it as a friendly competition. If I felt I did well enough or did the best I could, I’d enjoy what place I got in the overall leaderboard too and leave it at that.

But I 100% understand your feeling here, and I have a couple other friends in the same predicament. Another poster’s mention of Trackmania is a good recommendation!


A great way to ruin a good game for me is to have a save system that doesn’t let me save anywhere or a bad checkpoint system so I lose significant amounts of progress. Its 2017, save anywhere at anytime should be the default state of games and yet we still get mega releases like Persona 5 that have save systems from the 90s. I’ve quit playing games after losing progress and not wanting to do the same thing again from bad save systems.