Your nitpickiest nitpick

Take a step back from all the times you’ve criticized something in a game—what’s the nitpickiest, pettiest, just couldn’t-get-over-it criticism you’ve levied over something that everyone else seemed to gloss over or give a pass? Or was it something that other people agreed with, and you feel totally vindicated over?

Kind of a hard question. What’s coming to mind for me was the lack of iron sights in Fallout 3. I love that game, but I remember picking it up and being flabbergasted it had shipped without that mechanic. A game where you shoot guns but can’t aim them. Huh?

That’s less nitpicky than what I’m asking for here, though, so forgive me for the weak example.

You can technically aim a gun without looking through its sight.

I really don’t think I’ve nitpicked someone else’s nitpick before, so I think this qualifies.


I’m a reporter for a newspaper so frequently I get mildly aggravated in video games when the articles in the newspapers don’t fit AP style or are written in a way that no newspaper would ever write.


Yes! This thing entirely. I wrote just enough AP in high school that I can tell bad fake news articles and I just want to tell the fictional author to cut that emotional reaction shit out (they usually break objectivity at the snap of a finger). If the Onion can consistently write fake AP then so can you.

Also as a cross-dominant shooter @Hyetal’s thing also rings true.

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There’s a bit in Valiant Hearts: the Great War that bugs me way more than it should. There’s a couple of puzzles where you have to crawl under clouds of chlorine gas. But chlorine gas is… heavier than air. If you’re going to put chemical weapons in your game, which you probably shouldn’t do, at least take them seriously.

It really really bugs me that the geography of Hyrule is so utterly inconsistent in different games. This is stupid. I know its stupid. But the position of Lake Hylia and Death Mountain and the Lost Woods can be literally on opposite sides of the map. There’s mythological geography and then there’s “I dunno is the big volcano to the north or the east of the magic woods?”

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You’re totally right, but my history with shooters started with the advent of iron sights, so the omission was real frustrating at the time. I was also younger and less in the know. Looking back, it’s not that wacky for it to be the way it is.

But at the time I couldn’t get how people forgave it, which i suppose is my point.

Every single game didn’t adopt the thing from Chrono Trigger where you can walk around while talking to someone.

There is another timeline where that mechanic is just part of the expected tableau of rpg systems.

Though there are at least a few games that not only do this, but NPCs will remark if you walk away while they’re speaking.

If anything we have the opposite now where you can walk away from conversations in skyrim and games like it in pretty rude and abrupt ways and people merely shrug and get on with their lives.

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Even setting aside Doom and Half-Life, my hours in the various versions of Counter-Strike means I’ll never balk at the notion, but I can definitely understand where you’re coming from.

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I wish 2B’s skirt disintegrating in Neir: Automata was an option you could actually toggle, rather than one you had to spend in-game currency to get an item for to turn in off. Like I’m all for horny, but I’d like to be able to utilize all the mechanics of the game and not have to explain to anyone who walks in why my PC’s perfectly sculpted ass is on the screen for all to see.

For your consideration:

In Super Smash Brothers Brawl, a held item (such as a bomb) can be neutral-dropped (not thrown, basically has no animation) when airborne with the Grab button (Z); the same is true in Smash 4, HOWEVER, if your character has an aerial grab attack (such as Link’s airborne Clawshot) that attack will also be triggered by the Z input. There’s no input to neutral-drop a bomb that doesn’t also do this attack, so aside from some animation canceling techniques (eg dropping into a landing animation, which gets you grounded bombs) you can’t avoid the (lengthy) animation of a Z-attack (or a throw animation).

Additionally, changes to the jump animation and landing lag properties make short jumps near-impossible to use multiple moves within, limiting practical applications.

A salty former competitive Brawl Toon Link main


i could not have hoped for a better response

sincerely, a bad melee falco main

I hate that Portal 2 has the player character’s act independently of the player’s control. My nitpick has to do with the expectations I had for Valve’s first person storytelling at the time of its release. Half Life 2 was one of the first games I loved and one of the first stories I felt emotionally part of, which I attributed to the game’s lack of cutscenes and commitment to letting the player remain in control of Gordon throughout. So man did I find the brief moments where Portal 2 had Chell do something beyond my control, like in the moon-set climax or in its very finale scene, a personal betrayal. It’s a pretty ridiculous reaction, I know.

I probably won’t have the same reaction if I replayed Portal 2 now given the other first person narrative games I’ve played since that have done similar things. Oh, except I’ll probably still hate not being able to futz with miscellaneous objects in Portal 2 like I could in Half Life 2. What a loss.

I really, really feel this for some reason. I remember -more or less- the exact reaction I felt when control was taken from me on the moon, and it was… weird.

Just trying to clarify my understanding of your nitpick—the moon climax is a frustrating example because it was a decision made by the game of being something that Chell WILL do, not something you had decided to choose as a player? Am I misreading you?

If I’m reading you correctly, that seems totally valid, not ridiculous.

My memory of the game is pretty foggy, but I think that’s what I meant, yeah. I’m just struck now by how much having a few seconds of agency taken away from me affected my memory of a game that is probably totally fine.