Video games use to be frustrating affairs.
10. There are many excellent games based on backtracking puzzles. Braid comes to mind.
9. Endless respawning enemies is actually a classically great mechanic that just doesn’t really work for the shooting genre (unless the game is built specifically for this). For example, JRPGs like Pokemon and Final Fantasies have endless respawning enemies.
8. Instant death has always been the classic mechanic that works well in pretty much every genre excluding arcade shooters. For example: Super Meatboy, Mario, Sonic, etc.
7. Grinding has 2 elements: grinding for points or grinding for skill. Grinding for points is like in old school RPGs, which is deeply rooted in Dungeon and Dragons, and works as a stat-mechanic. Grinding for skill is actually one of the most important and best sought-after mechanic in that the player keep playing a mechanic over and over again and the player becomes better at the game, not just the character. Super Meatboy and Demon’s Souls come to mind.
6. “Crappy platforming” is not a mechanic.
5. The frustration from the stealing mechanic is actually a very interesting mechanic if it is converted to a challenge of different people stealing things from others. Calling All Cars comes to mind.
4. “Terrible Checkpoints” is not a mechanic.
3. “Forced minigames” is not a mechanic. Minigames can work well in games. Wario games and Mario Party comes to mind.
2. Escorts don’t always suck. Teams who are lazy when doing escorts misuse this mechanic so that it sucks. Ico is a fantastic escort game. Papo & Yo looks very interesting as well.
1. Save points is an essential mechanic to games. Of course, it sounds like you’re complaining about “bad save points”, which is not a mechanic.
The point I’m trying to make, I guess, is that there is almost no game mechanic that is inherently bad. Pretty much all mechanics can be great, but bad games really come from misuse of great mechanics.
Robert, please lighten up. This article is meant to be a funny rant, not some science based research thesis! And whats with the “not a mechanic” comment? How does that contribute to the conversation at all?!?! If the use of checkpoints and the like are not “game mechanics” then what would you call them? Honestly, what would you call them? Guess what… they’re game mechanics!
Warioware – no. No.
The entire game is a minigame. That isn’t a gameplay mechanic – they tried to make it one, like Mario Party. As we all know though (Except the confused Nintendtards that are for some reason clinging to a children’s toy – Nintendo died as a video game maker when the Wii came out. Their market is entirely in handhelds now. Sorry, read it and weep, it’s the truth – their sales come entirely from Virtual Console purchases of games that we all beat 20 years ago (probably by kids who never heard of Chrono Trigger until 2007) and from Pokemon purchases for DS. The DS, 3d or not, is the only thing keeping them in business.)k these games are both pure garbage. Mario Party 1 through 17 all have sucked and will always suck, even if you’re drunk – And Wario Ware is just not fun, whether you experience all the minigames it has to offer or not.
Crappy platforming is actually a mechanic – it’s called platforming. Platform games are almost always terrible, with the exception of maybe Braid. We all enjoyed Wario and Mario when we were kids but its been 20 years or more, guys, it’s not fun and we probably all have lost the ability to not suck at it in our old age. The only game where this isn’t stupid, is Bubble Bobble, because you don’t die, and you are looking at static platforms (Maybe Joust as well). I will also say Battletoads – one of the hardest games ever made, especially in co-op mode – but the platforming in that game isnt so much hard as it is extremely frustrating and requires perfection.
Mario Party 2 was a great game to me. Wario Ware Smooth Moves is perhaps the only game for the Wii I have spent some serious hours on. That being said, mini-games that are forced on people do piss me off. For example, the infamous Mass Effect 2 resource gathering mini-game (lovingly pictured above) was required of the player if he/she wanted the best ending. That is an example of mini-games done wrong, A good place to look for mini-games done RIGHT is The Saboteur where you can head out to the countryside to shoot down birds duck-hunt style. Your success or failure has no bearing on the end of the game. I don’t think you even get rewarded. It is there just to be there when the player feels like it. Much like bowling or darts in GTA4. No ‘Game Over’ screen slaps you across the face and shouts “DO IT AGAIN, LOSER!”. You just get lightly taunted by a “friend” you can bash in the head with a baseball bat and refuse to pick him up at the hospital. The more secluded a mini-game is from the story, the better.
While I agree with thearticle, I also agree with the rebuttals. These mechanics are all pretty much the only game mechanics in games, for the past at least 20 years, and there are no new mechanics to introduce. Imagine if you played a game where there weren’t save points, there weren’t puzzles, there weren’t enemies to shoot, there weren’t obligatory and retarded environmental challenges to solve (like trying to climb up a mountain in russia with ice picks and having to do it with perfect timing or you fall to your death – this shit was immensely harder on PC than it was on the Xbox, funny considering FPSes came FROM THE PC – Good job, Infinity Tard), enemies didn’t steal your shit, and you didn’t have to escort mentally retarded AI partners (whether they had guns or not). It would be a bleedingly linear game (most are even with all the extra crap) that did not entertain you AT ALL, like Final Fantasy 13 (save points are especially bad in this).
It seems the author has played a bit too much Resident Evil (Real, old, Resident Evil, not this new garbage, circa 2005). though he/she can’t be blamed. There’s a good reason for playing so much Resident Evil – the games were the shit, even with the obnoxiously obvious flaws in game mechanics.
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