I just quoted myself up there in the title, because I can't think of a better title. But more importantly, I said that in the forums the other day in regards to Sonic Unleashed, which I refuse to play any further. I wish I didn't have to, but I feel that I do.
I'm human. We're all human here, I hope. As forgiving (if you want evidence of that, note that I suffered through 3 solid days of nothing but grinding in Final Fantasy XIII and lived to finish the game) and open as I am to many games, I can't finish every one. As a human, I have nerves. Things get on them. They may cause me to play through the rest of it with a much more negative outlook on the game, or even put down the game, permanently.
But that's not to say that all of my pet peeves are the fault of the game. Oh, no, there are plenty of things that irritate me to no end that can be/are caused by the player, like a careless death or two that sets you way back.
Time to vent a little (although I'm not really "angry" right now). So, here are my pet peeves in video games.
My number one pet peeve is repetition. There are different forms of repetition in games. The one I really can't stand is redoing something. Going through 30 minutes worth of game-play only to die and have to redo the whole thing? My willingness to play a game just took a massive hit.
Zack and Wiki suffered from this issue because of a lack of checkpoints. That's another pet peeve of mine: a lack of/poorly placed checkpoints. I won't get into that one beyond mentioning it, though. Back to the subject of Zack and Wiki...This is a game that has no checkpoints in its levels. Some of these levels are 10-30 minutes long.
You're supposed to think about your actions and their consequences so you don't make a fatal error in solving each level, but that's a load of crap. There are consequences in Zack and Wiki that no normal player would foresee (just look around on the web and see how many people complain about how much they die in the game, if you want proof).
So, not having the miraculous powers of foresight that the developers seem to think that I could possess, I died a lot and failed levels plenty of times. In particular, I failed on a 10 minute long level at least 6 times. Right near the end. That's over and hour it took me to complete a level that should have taken me 10 minutes. And I had to go through the same motions each time. I mean, come on. Don't tell me that you wouldn't be annoyed by that.
But there's another kind of repetition I can't stand. This one's in vast quantities. That's right, I'm talking about grinding. The joy of grinding. Who doesn't love waking up to endless hours of fighting the same enemies over and over again? Me.
This one's kind of weird, because over the years, I've built up a sort of resistance to grinding. Grinding in most RPGs doesn't even faze me, anymore. Shin Megami Tensei IV has grinding? I'd say: "What grinding?" It's just naturally become a part of how I play RPGs, so I don't even notice it, sometimes.
But even then, there are certain ones that just cross the line. I return to the subject of my experience with Final Fantasy XIII, which I referenced earlier. I can't even clearly recall the three days I spent grinding on Gran Pulse in that. It was bad. VERY bad.
To put into perspective how much I felt that I had to grind, I'll first state that many times when I have to grind in RPGs for a while I tend to watch something as I do it, to distract me and to help me through it. I watched the first four seasons of Futurama from beginning to end, Hercules, and this one documentary Jiro: Dreams of Sushi while grinding, and that wasn't all of it. I spent quite a few hours simply pacing back and forth while grinding, staring at the screen and trying to keep my mind from collapsing on itself.
Now, it can be said that I didn't need to grind that much, but Final Fantasy XIII is not an easy game. Even after all that grinding, I had no easy time getting through the final bosses. That much grinding is unacceptable. Another game that stepped over the line of acceptable grinding was Shin Megami Tensei: Soul Hackers, although not nearly to the extent of FFXIII (and at least I still enjoyed Soul Hackers, in the end).
Now, we come to the one that made me quit Sonic Unleashed. Level requirements. Sonic Unleashed requires that you collect sun/moon medals to unlock new levels and proceed in the game. These medals are scattered throughout levels, mainly. As soon as I heard that, I decided to give up on Sonic Unleashed.
I don't think that a game like Sonic Unleashed should enforce level requirements. Maybe for optional levels, but for mandatory ones? Seriously? It might have been bearable if all of the levels were fast-paced day levels, but the werehog levels are some of the longest, most drawn out bore-fests in recent memory. (And would it have killed them to at least tell me sometime about there being level requirements, rather than for me to find out for myself via Google?)
Of course, level requirements aren't always bad. The 3D Mario games pull the requirements off quite well. Then again, the objective of the levels in those games are to find the sprite/star/whatever, in the first place. So, fulfilling the requirement in those games comes naturally. In Sonic Unleashed it does not. It is an unnecessary impediment that disrupts the flow of a game that's already out of whack due to the conflicting paces of the day/night levels.
Even then, there are some games with unnecessary level requirements that I'll cut some slack. No More Heroes is one. Gathering the money needed to enter ranked matches by completing various tasks around town is absurd. Heck, the protagonist, Travis Touchdown, thought it was crazy when he was first told that he needed to pay. But it works. He's an assassin. He completes assassination gigs to get money. Mind blowing. Well, he can also do various side jobs like garbage collecting, but those are kind of funny, knowing Travis' personality and the fact that he's putting up with it.
What's Sonic's excuse? He's a hedgehog that runs fast and fights Dr. Robotnik (I refuse to call him Eggman). He collects medals. It makes no sense. What a stupid level requirement.
You all know that feeling, I bet. Getting lost. Bet you wish the game had a map, huh? Oh wait, some of them do. But what's this? The maps suck. Magnificent.
Shin Megami Tensei IV suffers heavily from its lack of navigational assistance. If I go out onto the world map in SMTIV I couldn't tell you what any of the places are just from looking at it. It has a map, but nothing is labeled on it. On top of that, when people in the game tell you to go somewhere, they don't really point you in any specific direction. They say "go here". Not "go here, which is a bit to the east". You get no hints.
Needless to say, it's easy to get lost, and very frustrated. I know you're supposed to explore and whatnot, but that's no excuse for not labeling areas on the map that you've already been to and at least pointing you east or north or whatever, when you need to go somewhere.
But SMTIV is a great game, otherwise, so I'll still play it happily. But this gets on my nerves. Big time. Heck, I'm using a walk through right now just because it gives me directions, and for a game with a map as complex as SMTIV's, I need it.
Now, I'm being general here in saying deaths, because deaths, in general, are pretty frustrating. I think we can all agree on that. But there are certain kinds that I find particularly annoying, beyond the fact that they make you lose progress.
One kind is the death is "cheap deaths". Deaths that aren't necessarily your fault as a player. My experience with cheap deaths mainly deals with poor physics/controls and object collision. For example, trying to maneuver Yoshi in Rico Harbor in Super Mario Sunshine and repeatedly falling and having to spend 5 minutes climbing back up only to where I need to be (only to fall again) caused me to put down the game and never pick it back up. Sonic Adventure caused me some cheap deaths, too. Sometimes, when Sonic clearly should have snapped onto a railing (to grind on it), it didn't pick up on the collision, and I fell to my death. Great stuff.
The other kind of death that sticks out in my mind is the "I'm one hit from killing this boss and I die" death. I'm sure many Demons Souls/Dark Souls players know the feeling you get from suffering this kind of death all too well. I just died in Wario Land: Shake It's final boss the other day as I was one hit away from killing him. I was angry, to put it lightly.
Yeah, despite all these pet peeves and the anger they bring, it gives me no pleasure to put down a game like Sonic Unleashed. Even though I've put Sonic Unleashed down, I'll still be feeling pangs of guilt for not having finished it. I hate not finishing a game, but sometimes you just have to admit that you'd be better off not playing it.
That doesn't make it any easier, though.
So, there you have it. I feel that I have adequately vented, and I really need to go to school right now. I did not think that this would take me as long as it did to write, and I don't want to be late. I'm not going to leave it off there, though, so I'll just ask the obvious question: "What are some of your pet peeves in video games?"
That's all for now. Until next time.
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