What makes video games so great to players all around the world is the amount of variety and freedom given to them to decide how to play. There isn’t always one set way to play a game unless explicitly stated in the game.
Where these games can go wrong is with the overdependence on certain clichéd mechanics that are meant to mix up the gameplay or artificially make things more interesting. This is often where players see cracks and negative points against a game begin to get brought up. Yet, despite how much players seem to hate these ideas, they just keep cropping back up.
10 No One Likes Babysitting Their Escorts
One cliché that most gamers agree is annoying is escort missions. These typically involve bringing another character or item from one place to the other. By nature, this means that the player is stuck dragging something else along with them, and usually, these escort missions come with other annoying limitations.
These limitations can come in the form of not being able to execute certain actions. In some especially terrible cases, not being able to make any level advancements until the escort catches up is the limitation, which slows down the pace of the whole game for no good reason. There are rarely ever cases where this mechanic is good.
9 Timed Levels Drive Anxiety Up For No Good Reason
Plenty of gamers play their video games to ease up the stresses they normally feel from real life. One such stress comes in the form of having to meet deadlines or being limited in time for anything. It just so happens that video games also love to put a deadline on the player to win.
The Super Mario Bros games are some immediate examples that come to mind when it comes to being forced to do things under a constraint of time. All this does is give the player less time to appreciate the work and artistry put into the game.
8 Not Having Continues Artificially Extends The Game’s Play Time
This is something that’s only been a problem in older games, yet plenty of retro-style games also implement this obnoxious gimmick. The gimmick in question is when a game doesn’t have a dedicated continue system. This is amplified more when games have a limited number of continues, almost like they’re taunting the player to show how few attempts they have to continue before being reset back to the start.
Older games do have ways around the lack of continues with password screens. Even then, if they’re gonna bother implementing a password screen, why don’t they just give the player unlimited continues instead of making it tedious to pick up where they left off?
7 Most Underwater Mechanics Are Horrid
While this doesn’t apply to every game, plenty of games have this issue with underwater levels. What’ll often happen is that to account for the new dimension of underwater, they’ll either make the character floatier and harder to steer or they’ll do something like in the Donkey Kong Country games and have it so that the character needs to be floated precisely between spikes and narrow gaps.
In First-person games, this mechanic’s disorientation is amplified more by making it foggier to see underwater. But the worst aspect to underwater gameplay is if the player needs to come up for air. Suddenly it’s less about making progress and more about finding air pockets or air bubbles to get a quick breath. Sonic The Hedgehog is the worst offender by including that anxiety-inducing drowning music.
6 Inverted Flying Controls Are Just A Painfully Bad Idea
This offense can be fixed depending on the game in question, but most games with this often don’t allow it to be fixed. Inverted flying controls are meant to somewhat simulate how it when flying in real life, and while some players can learn, others just can’t figure out how to properly steer themselves.
When starting a new game, players without any prior experience might expect that pressing the up button on their controllers will bring their plane up. They’re in for a rude surprise when that action sends their plane crashing down. Games with inverted controls should always have the option to adjust them for better accessibility.
5 Not Having A Quicksave Feature These Days Is A Serious Offense
Most games in this modern era offer a quicksave feature to ensure progress isn’t lost, even if the game is shut off for any reason. It makes sense for every newly released game to have this feature, yet some don’t, resulting in potentially hours of lost progress if a player forgets to manually save their progress.
This feature is essential for modern games that want to have a seamless experience with little interruption from menu browsing. While the lack of this feature isn’t common, plenty of games are still guilty of refusing to add this feature, and in some cases, it’s by design.
4 Unskippable Tutorials Make Repeat Playthroughs Tedious
Tutorials are helpful guides for new players who want to get into a game and teach them all they need to know to succeed. The concept of tutorials in practice is fine for first playthroughs, where they quickly fall apart is in repeated playthroughs.
Any player who’s wanting to start a new game+ run of a game already knows how to play it, so why then is the tutorial still mandatory to complete? The best workaround a game can have for this annoying feature is to allow players with pre-existing save data of this game to skip the tutorial, or to just have a simple skip option from the start.
3 Fetch Quests Are Just Boring Chores
This is a cliche that only usually applies to one genre of games, that being RPGs. Plenty of RPGs will assign the player many fetch quests as a means of padding out the game artificially. What makes this even more annoying is how mundane these tasks are to accomplish regardless of the game.
This can be as mundane as clearing out a field of enemies or venturing around to gather some materials for an NPC to pay the player very little money. The good fetch quests at least give decent drops, but the worst of these quests are completely pointless and worth skipping.
2 Not All Backtracking Is Equal
In games that have progression based on power-ups and special items, the player inevitably has to go back to get some treasure they couldn’t get before. This form of progression isn’t terrible at all, and it is what games like Metroid: Dread feel more rewarding.
Where this cliche falls apart is when this backtracking is forced and players suddenly are forced to go back through an entire area just to reach one point they need to for progression. One of the greatest offenders of this is the temples in the Legend of Zelda series.
1 Jumpscares Just Aren’t That Scary
Horror games are a mixed bag when it comes to just how effective they are at scaring players. The best horror tropes in games often stem more from atmospheric buildup in unsettling places or learning more disturbing facts about the world being explored.
A great example of atmospheric horror is the Silent Hill series that isn’t overly dependent on jumpscares for effective horror storytelling. Jumpscares are purely cheap shock that doesn’t linger on the player, no matter how disturbing the scare may be. Even worse is when these jumpscares have the potential to harm those faint of heart.
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About The Author
Alexander Giller (17 Articles Published)
Alexander Giller is an experienced writer who’s assisted in writing articles for TheOffBeatLife. He first picked up a game controller at the age of 3 and hasn’t been able to put it down since, immersing himself in the worlds of Kingdom Hearts, Xenoblade, and many others. He’s passionate about video games, anime, currently trending movies, and animated shows(and a few live-action ones). He now works with Valnet as a Freelance writer, producing informative lists content on the CBR website. You can best reach out to him on his email: [email protected]