litany against fear

coding with spice ¤ by nick quaranto

5 Things That Video Games Do That Really Make Me Angry

published 13 Mar 2008

I’m sure that this list could be a lot longer, but I’m going to focus on six issues that really piss me off when I’m playing video games. If games happen to have more than 2 or 3 of these traits they tend to collect dust in my game cases very quickly, or they will do the same at your local game store. So, without further adieu:

Not being able to skip cut scenes

Sometimes, gamers just want to jump into the action. Yes, I know that designers have spent grueling hours working in their wonderful plot into the game, and skipping cut scenes may mean that the gamer will miss out on crucial story elements and possibly even essential game hints. Well, that’s just too bad, and sometimes I don’t mind taking that kind of chance. Perhaps I just need to vent a bit by blowing up some aliens or lighting a few people on fire. Another gripe I have with this is that some games don’t make the option apparent if it is available at all during a cut scene. Please make them optional. I beg you. One game I played recently that either I couldn’t skip or couldn’t figure out how to skip was Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. It’s now collecting dust in my cd case.

Bad artificial intelligence

This one is probably hated by most gamers, and we’ve all seen it. The AI runs enemy monsters or units into a wall, they can’t figure out how to path correctly to follow you, or perhaps the designer of the game just didn’t test the AI in the way that you think it should work. Well, it pretty much sucks when this happens. Rarely though is it a reason to stop playing a game, but when the AI is good it’s easy to tell, and in some cases it’s actually frightening.

Hard to use menus

This is a killer when you’re trying to get things done fast. One might think that this kind of behavior is a no brainer and should be somewhat of an industry standard by now, but sometimes game designers absolutely fail at the 2D portions of the UI. One example I love is simple and definitely proven are any of Valve’s game menus. They are somewhat of a convention in Valve’s games and they present easy options first for beginner users while also allowing more experienced users to easily whip through menu choices. Crappy menus and other UI options are very easy to spot. One of the worse things you can do is slow down a user as they’re going through the menus. Warcraft 3 does this with the stupid chain menu system, which I’ve grown to loathe. Sometimes games can fail completely in both usability and readability, the biggest example of this I can think of is Dead Rising. I couldn’t even read the menus since the text was horrible and it was laid out poorly. Ugh.


When I was 10, I used be able to stand running around various platformer worlds gathering every last bit that games could offer me. Hell, I even got 101% in Donkey Kong 64, but I wasn’t hardcore enough to get all the stars in Super Mario 64 or all of the golden skulltulas in Ocarina of Time. Now however, I absolutely can’t stand it. Games can get by without them just fine, but for some reason developers continue to inject these endless quests. World of Warcraft could even be considered one giant collect-a-thon. I guess that this mentality appeals to some gamers, but I’m over it. And yes, I did beat Super Mario Galaxy, just with the minimum amount of stars.

Voice chat

Ah, the bane and boon of online gaming. I’ve become somewhat jaded to this miracle of modern technology, and now I’m absolutely sick of it. If I’m playing an FPS, I’m there to snipe someone’s head off or lay a trap to waste them with, and not to listen how their day went or who in pop culture is ridiculously hot and said nerd doesn’t have a chance with. I don’t want to hear about how someone is cheating, hacking, or just being a bag of douche in the game. Get over yourself, and shut up. One of the first things I’ll do with games that have voice chat embedded is turn it off immediately. I’d rather leave voice chat to external programs that can be dedicated to the sole purpose of transmitting voice instead of having to build all of that extra functionality into the game.

What things tick you off about video games? I’m sure there’s irksome moments that occur on a daily basis for any gamer, and here’s your chance to rant about it.

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