Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Re: QotW: Worst Things About Favorite Games, Vice Versa
In no particular order here are the top 10 things that bugged me about games I liked to play...
1) Quake 3, areas in a map that were inaccessable but could be seen. If I can see a ledge/window opening/etc., and I can physically reach it, I should be able to stand/be there. Invisible walls suck.
(Another "little" thing about this game was that wall decorations used the same amount of texture as the entire walls in some levels. This made the decorations stand out (in a cartoony way) from the wall they were on in those cases.)
2) DooM 3, the lighting. Yes, I'm gonna say it, I thought the lighting in DooM 3 was anything but realistic. Not EVERY light in the world produces sharp edged shadows. Light (and the shadows it produces) diffuses, fades and smoothes out over distance. While the lighting was able to move (ala real-time), I found it to be less "realistic" than many other games that came before with static lighting.
3) Take your pick of a game with in game physics. Okay, it's not that I don't like in game physics. I think they are great. However...I have yet to see a game that didn't have "floaty" objects that didn't react like their real world counterparts. Walking into a crate (made of wood) or a barrel (made of metal) shouldn't send it "slowly" falling to the ground where it proceeds to tumble as if it had the mass of a dead helium baloon. Yeah, I know, it's a "gameplay" thing and a bit of artistic license. But, with games reaching for "realism" that just doesn't work for that.
4) SiN, no SiN 2. (Somebody had to say it). :}
5) Burnout 3: Takedown (XBOX), 2X and 4X icons in Crash Mode. Having played Burnout 2, I LOVED Crash Mode. In fact, I don't think we played more than 1 or 2 of the Race Mode levels because Crash Mode was so fun. For those that don't know, Crash Mode allows the player to drive a car down a street into an intersection (or oncoming traffic) and cause an accident (think Hollywood movie style with LOTS of "car"nage). The damage costs would then be totaled up and the player would see if they caused enough damage to reach a Bronze, Silver or Gold score. The fun part was figuring out where you could hit to cause the most damage.
However, in Burnout 3: Takedown they instituted some "icons" into Crash Mode. The player could cause the crash and then "steer" their crashed car (while it was flying thru the air) towards one of these icons. The icons consisted of 2X (twice the damage total), 4X (four times the damage total), Heartbreaker (1/2 the damage total), Crashbreaker (an explosion to throw surrounding cars and cause more damage). Those sound neat and fun until you learn that many of the Crash Mode tracks REQUIRE the player to steer their car into one of the 2X or 4X icons JUST to be able to cause enough damage to even place (Bronze, Silver, Gold). This took the control out of the player's hands by being able to figure out a sweet spot in which to cause the crash and made them more of a monkey going thru the paces.
Crash Mode in Burnout 3: Takedown was prettier than in Burnout 2. Gameplay wise, it would be like taking a good FPS and turning it into a rail shooter. The player's control was removed since the developers forced you to do a certain thing a certain way to be able to score high enough to place. Oh yeah, there was also the little fact that in Burnout 2 the damage scores were in the millions of dollars, while those in Burnout 3: Takedown were lowered into the hundreds of thousands (I only broke into the one or two million range a handful of times). It just didn't have the same impact as seeing MILLIONS of dollars in damage (even if that was exaggerated).
6) UT2003/2004, double jumping. While it was a "gameplay" choice, it was SO gimmicky. Actually, there were a LOT of things I didn't find fun in UT2003/2004 after having enjoyed playing UT for FOUR YEARS. However, I saw some of those as more bugs/mistakes (some of which were fixed from UT2003 to UT2004) than the double jumping thing. There just wasn't a "reason" for it other than to try and "freshen up" the gameplay.
7) Battlefield 1942, wonky AI. Sometimes the AI would be SO one sided against you. Other times, your side would kick the crap out of the enemy AI. It was like some random lottery drawing. Also, if you were in an airplane, the AI was a DEAD ON AIM with ground based guns to take your plane down.
8) ANY driving game that does this, AI with superglue tires and/or ability to race faster than your car can (ex. around corners). I enjoy playing driving games (both on the PC and consoles). However, there is something I have noticed a LOT of in some newer racing titles. The AI in these games can go around the tracks at top speeds and NEVER seem to lose traction. This wouldn't be a problem if the player was able to do the same thing. However, 9 times out of 10, the player's car is handicapped with loss of traction to the point where you must slow down so much that the AI can simply pull around you (and at a much higher speed). Challenging AI is fine, but "cheap" AI such as this is just stupid game development (imho).
9) Fighting games with sluggish controls. I also enjoy playing a fighting game now and again on consoles. But, there seems to be a bit of a problem with some newer fighting games that just don't react the way the older ones did. Mortal Kombat Deception got a lot of good reviews so I was looking forward to giving it a try. Unfortunately, I found the game to be a lagged out mess when it came to the controls. My wife and I both felt like we were having to play thru molasses with the controls of the game. (Personally, I don't think there has been a decent MK game since MK II thou, so perhaps I'm a bit biased). Bascially, if I push a button, I want the character on the screen to do something...right then.
10) Any FPS with repetative levels. I enjoy playing FPS games, but, I want a variety of gameplay with the game. If every level feels like a slight variation of the level before it (coff DooM 3 coff), then I get bored. I agree with what someone said earlier about how SiN did things well with playing in one type of evironment and then moving on to another as a good way of keeping the game fresh. Deus Ex sort of did that a bit too.
In no particular order here are the top 5 things that I liked about some bad/poor/less popular games...
1) Laser Arena, the laser grenade. This game, by 2015, developed using the Q1 engine, was basically a non-violent FPS game of laser tag. There were only 2 weapons in the game...the laser rifle every player was equipped with, and, a laser grenade as a pickup item. The laser grenade would be thrown by a player, then, it would raise into the air (about 3 feet or so) and a stream of lasers to blast out of this thing from random points. Any player hit by one of the beams would lose one "tag". It was just a cool weapon that had a bit of randomness to it with the beams shooting out in the random pattern from the surface of the grenade.
2) Powerslide, car control. For a game where the cars were basically out of control the entire time, it was up to the player to keep them on the track and going in the right direction. This was a game that just did a lot of things right imho. It was one of those games that I played so much of the demo that I probably wore out the demo disc...lol. However, once you learned how the cars were controlled, it was a BLAST to play. It probably did okay for the time, but I would loved to have seen a sequal (rather than many other dirt track type games from the developer (RatBag Games) using slightly upgraded versions of the same game engine). At the very least, the release of a level editor/creator would have been good.
3) Warrior, a vector graphics game from the arcade days. As the grandfather of 3D fighters, I got a chance to play this little known game with my father once in an arcade. It was a top down perspective of 2 knights sword fighting. You could knock your opponent into a bottomless pit to score a win which was kul. If you don't know about it, look it up, it's a part of fighting game history. It was just a fun game to play that was little known. :}
4) SiN, without it, there could be no SiN II (fingers crossed). I mention this because there are a LOT of gamers out there that really don't know about SiN. The part I find the biggest bummer is that SiN doesn't often get the credit it deserves for some of the innovative (first time ever seen) features within it's gameplay that many other games since have used. Sure, it's nice to see that feature in another game, but people should know SiN was the first to offer it. Of course, I have not problem extolling the greatness of the game to those that are not in the know. :}
5) Blood 2, weapons. While Blood had some good humor, along the lines of Duke Nukem and Shadow Warrior, Blood 2 took a more serious route. This seemed to hurt the popularity of the game in some respects. However, in terms of weapon layout, this game offered a good deal of fun weapons to use. The Orb, the minigun (wall o' lead = instant death), Singularity Generator, etc. I've mentioned these in the weapons discussion, but, I felt they should be mentioned again as Blood 2 wasn't that big of a title (by comparison to top ones), but, it had some of the best weapons I've ever enjoyed playing with in a FPS.