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Awful parts of awesome games *POTENTIAL SPOILERS*


Jax Mandrake
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We can't deny this truth. Sometimes you are really enjoying a game of whatever style. Suddenly, a point comes up that screws up all the fun you were having. There are several reasons this may happen. Most often, in my experience, is that the game you were enjoying has insensibly changed to another style. The change can be so frustrating that you give up playing the game entirely, or you somehow power through and hope that the real game goes on, and you pray that you never have to do it again. You may even reach the point that if you do get through it and finish the game, you swear off ever playing that particular game again in your natural life.

I'll give two examples from recent memory. I will not deny that I loved The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. There were two instances in LoZ:SS that *bleep*ed me off to no end. The first was when Link loses all of his items in the volcano, and all of a sudden it's a stealth sequence. I'm no good at this kind of crap, so I dread when it happens. Worse, though, are the Silent Realms, for a similar reason. You've been given the first half of the game to get used to the motion controls and swordfighting and all that, and then you take it away and make me dodge ghosts with no way to defend itself? I call that a douche move, Nintendo.

The other is from a game that, due mainly to

, I've decided to try playing through again:
. I hadn't played it in several years because I got to one point, couldn't get past it, and gave up. I do recall having some fun for as long as I had played, so I thought Jon was too harsh on it for the same reason so many others are so harsh on Star Fox Adventures: it was a Zelda clone with Fox's name on it and nobody wanted that.

Anyway, I just got back to the point where I last gave up. The LightFoot village has two challenges that I dislike, but that happens just before my worst part: the Krazoa Test of Fear. I simply CANNOT win this *series of bleeps*. I may give it a few more tries, but if I smash my WaveBird, I'm never playing SFA again.

I turn it over to you, dear friends. Have you similar experiences?

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The top down levels in Contra 3. Unfortunately they are so frequent they killed the whole game for me, dragging it down to the lower tier of Contras. The controls were awkward, the whole screen rotating was just confusing, and needing to wander around the map and kill everything to move on set the pace apart too much from the rest of the game.

Konami had a nasty habit of shoehorning technological gimmicks into the gameplay for their early SNES titles, but none suffered from it as much as Contra.

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I just finished Majora's mask yesterday, and there's one part at the very end when you're trying to get the Fierce Deity mask that requires you to do a Goron roll at exactly a 90 degree angle and hope that you bounce off all the turns correctly.

So frustrating.

Actually a lot of the Goron roll parts were really annoying.

On a side note, I didn't realize just how easy the final boss is with the fierce deity mask. Makes the game pretty anti climactic...

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Hah, was going to post that one but you beat me to it. I'm doing a FFX playthrough and I cringe at the terrible dub. It's tolerable if I pretend Yuna's lines are being said by Lumpy Space Princess.

Besides FFX, I hated the "shit your suit done got stolen" sequence in Metroid Zero Mission. You sneak around avoiding spotlights and can only defend yourself with a peashooter. Sneaking is just...not Samus' thing. It's especially jarring after you had gathered all the powerups you could at the point and were pretty badass, and had even managed to blow up Mother Brain. The only high point of the endgame sequence is Samus steals a pirate ship that looks like a sperm, because lol sperm.

Also, the card tournament in Treno in FFIX. It was painfully obvious that they wanted to force their shitty card game on you, since they probably figured that you wouldn't have bothered playing it otherwise. It's no wonder, since they took what appeared to be a stat-based card game and made it a random-roll-element card game, which meant that skill had little to do with it and blind luck was everything. It's also at a point in the game where you had just watched Kuja kill Brahne and Garnet become queen while having had her summons stolen, so it's after a major plot point where you really want to get out into the world and continue on with the story. Nope, time for crap minigames instead.

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The Dissidia games were fun but they reduced all the characters to

"why am i fighting?"

"I have no idea"

"Guess i'll keep fighting until i figure it out." (stories in fighters are pointless anyway but at least they tried)

Galaxy Force II- Shooting through an awesome looking level then going into one of those butt ugly caves for no reason.

Soul Calibur V- Mitsurugi and Nightmare.

Some parts to games i thought were torture to play through but added to the overall enjoyment. (The good kind of awful in this case)

Resident Evil 2- Basement

Skies of Arcadia- Deep Sky

Sonic 2 Hilltop Zone- That part where the ground caves in on you :<

Final Fantasy VII- The underwater sub part

Ecco the Dolphin(DC)- Anything bigger than me. I guess i have a thing with water.

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A very very minor example of this is in Chrono Trigger, when you're trying to revive Crono. The first area of Death Peak consists of winds that will blow you out of the area if you don't get behind a tree quick enough, and for some reason it was decidedly difficult to position yourself correctly. Somewhat frustrating compared to not having to do that for pretty much any other part of the game.

Apparently that part of the game was hard to near impossible to do on an ipad.

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You know, I may catch some flak for this, but I kind of liked the silent realm parts. They reminded me a lot of the Dark World from "Link to the Past" a lot more than the geometric, abstract weirdness that was the Twilight Realm in "Twilight Princess". The whole thing had a cool, surreal tone to it that made it feel fairly distinct and I liked that it challenged you to explore in new ways rather than steam roll through with your items. The stealth part was stupid in the volcano though, I'll give you that. It just made no sense that they had no interest at any time in killing you, after trying desperately to do just that for the entire rest of the game. Silly tropes...

Other memorable moments:

Mirror's Edge: Hey, you don't have to shoot anyone in this game, but we're going to put you on a rooftop with a bunch of snipers and guys with vehicle grade machine guns. Enjoy.

Kingdom Hearts 2: Two words: Sing Along

Crysis: (Admittedly a stretch, because it was only okay instead of awesome) Forced vehicle section at the end of the game, because the vehicles controlled like a bar of soap sliding down a ramp and you didn't use them ever before that point.

FF12: Hey, you guys remember all that really interesting political intrigue and the undertones of exploring the consequences of unquestioning nationalism? And remember that we had a cool cast of characters haunted by a variety of personal demons from their past? Screw that, it was all alien gods.

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FF12: Hey, you guys remember all that really interesting political intrigue and the undertones of exploring the consequences of unquestioning nationalism? And remember that we had a cool cast of characters haunted by a variety of personal demons from their past? Screw that, it was all alien gods.

12 had just about the worst story of any game I've ever played. At least the gameplay makes up for it :).

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Screw the haters, FF12 is my favorite rpg. My first playthrough took 120 hours while my second took 160.

I don't see why people don't like the story. It's different from a normal FF game where the main focus is on character development but that doesn't mean that it's worse. I personally thought that the ending was one of the greatest finales ever.

The Lady Ashe stands at the source of magic with 2 swords in her hands. She is tasked by the gods themselves to cut new magic shards powerful enough to kill every last man, woman, and child in the empire. And Ashe has every reason to do this because the empire killed her newlywed husband, murdered her father:the king, and stole her country away from her and enforced martial law. She can do this, or use the other sword she carries. One with the power to destroy the source of magic and leave the empire without their greatest weapon. With magic destroyed, the empire would be forced to negotiate peace treaties with the Rosarian empire and the resistance fleet. The choice is such an incredibly heavy moment that I thought it would be an absolute perfect opportunity to choose your own ending. If only they would have done this instead. It wouldn't have taken much effort to put in a different ending anyway.

But if you really want character conflict, look at Basch who has to feel the burden of failing Landus, and then failing to protect the king from his twin brother who killed the king and blamed it on him.

Look at Ashe torn between revenge or peace negotiations.

Look at Fran who left her people and became an outcast, no longer able to return ever again.

Look at Balthier and his connections with Dr. Cid.

Look at Larsa who is torn between his devotion to his older brother and trying to do what is right for both kingdoms.

Look at Reddas, a man who under orders from Dr. Cid, obliterated Nabudis. Then, overcome with guilt, ran from the mantle of judge magister Zecht to eventually give his own life to ensure it would never happen again. Reddas is awesome! Now, about those pink shorts.

Reddas, when speaking to judge Grabranth:

"A Judge Magister there was… Two years past, he took the Midlight Shard and used it not knowing what he did…and Nabudis was blown away. Cid ordered this of him to learn the Nethicite’s true power. That man swore never to let such terrible power be used again. He forsook his Judicer's plate, and his name."

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Screw the haters, FF12 is my favorite rpg. My first playthrough took 120 hours while my second took 160.

I don't see why people don't like the story. It's different from a normal FF game where the main focus is on character development but that doesn't mean that it's worse. I personally thought that the ending was one of the greatest finales ever.

The Lady Ashe stands at the source of magic with 2 swords in her hands. She is tasked by the gods themselves to cut new magic shards powerful enough to kill every last man, woman, and child in the empire. And Ashe has every reason to do this because the empire killed her newlywed husband, murdered her father:the king, and stole her country away from her and enforced martial law. She can do this, or use the other sword she carries. One with the power to destroy the source of magic and leave the empire without their greatest weapon. With magic destroyed, the empire would be forced to negotiate peace treaties with the Rosarian empire and the resistance fleet. The choice is such an incredibly heavy moment that I thought it would be an absolute perfect opportunity to choose your own ending. If only they would have done this instead. It wouldn't have taken much effort to put in a different ending anyway.

But if you really want character conflict, look at Basch who has to feel the burden of failing Landus, and then failing to protect the king from his twin brother who killed the king and blamed it on him.

Look at Ashe torn between revenge or peace negotiations.

Look at Fran who left her people and became an outcast, no longer able to return ever again.

Look at Balthier and his connections with Dr. Cid.

Look at Larsa who is torn between his devotion to his older brother and trying to do what is right for both kingdoms.

Look at Reddas, a man who under orders from Dr. Cid, obliterated Nabudis. Then, overcome with guilt, ran from the mantle of judge magister Zecht to eventually give his own life to ensure it would never happen again. Reddas is awesome! Now, about those pink shorts.

All of that's fine, but the way it's presented is awful. First of all the "main character" is Vaan who literally has no impact on the story after the first few chapters (Same with Penelo really, and Balthier and Fran are only connected to the story superficially). Apart from Basch and Ashe, everyone else is tagging along for basically no reason.

The reason I really don't like it though is that it quickly becomes a fetch quest that basically feels like a Zelda game (Go here, get this, go there, get that). Not that there's anything wrong with Zelda, just that collecting items shouldn't be the basis for a plot.

I don't really remember the ending...I think it might have actually been okay. I do remember Balthier being pretty epic at one point :).

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I have to disagree with you Kuolema on the point of the characterization, but I will agree that the fetch quest/grind these baddies nature of the game did bring it down a little for me.

Vaan and Penelo in that game are, I won't argue, the least interesting characters if only because they are completely overshadowed by the bigger players in the larger story arc. I think like Tidus in X and Lightening in XII (Don't know about the second one though), they are sort of the lynch-pin connectors that keep a reason for the telling of the story present even if they only have a cursory investment in it themselves. I mean, sure they're orphans from a big city thrust into a continent dividing power struggle which will change the face of all they have ever known. But there's no development there, just "Hey, I still just want to be a sky pirate guys. I kind of miss my brother who ties me into this but about whom you'll hear almost nothing."

That being said, everyone else in that game was really well developed as a complex character. As Thin Crust already pointed out, most of them have very interesting ties to the national politics and are forced to make meaningful choices and to live with the consequences of past mistakes. I liked that Balthier was more than a show boat pirate in it for the money and fame. I liked that Basch bore the shame of what his brother had done first by hiding away, but later confronts and bests his regrets and his shame by fighting to protect the son of an emperor that cost him everything. Ashe bears the scars of losing not only her love but also her country, and even though she's imbued with a power that no one had wielded since the great kings of old, she's still uncertain and wary of the consequences of it.

All of this stuff was damn compelling to me, because they were all tied together in complex ways up until the writers apparently realized that there was no clean way to resolve all these issues in a happy ending. So then aliens are brought in to explain the mess, take the power out of the hands of everyone, and to transform Eddie Veder into a weird, evil machine man because there needed to be a final boss big enough to take up the screen.

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the part in Fallout 3 where you have to go to that weird black and white town from the past and punch little kids in the face and kill that lady with a chandelier. I didn't like that. I have a hard time keeping focused with most games these days but I gave up on Fallout completely after about an hour of that.

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All of this stuff was damn compelling to me, because they were all tied together in complex ways up until the writers apparently realized that there was no clean way to resolve all these issues in a happy ending. So then aliens are brought in to explain the mess, take the power out of the hands of everyone, and to transform Eddie Veder into a weird, evil machine man because there needed to be a final boss big enough to take up the screen.

The Occurian are the gods, not aliens.

The Occuria (オキューリア Okyūria?) are a small group of immortal beings, often called (by both themselves and others) the Undying (不滅なる神 Fumetsunaru Kami?). Referred to as gods by some, but unknown to the major religions in Ivalice, the Occuria race played a vital role in the history of Ivalice such as the creation of the Espers and granting power to King Raithwall to conquer the countries of Ivalice with the Dawn, Dusk, and Midlight shards of nethicite.[78] The Occuria were first designed to be a race of Mindflayers, a type of enemy monster in the game. Earlier concept artwork portrayed these "Mindflayers" as wearing luxurious robes and turbans and lounging in a bar and smoking pipes. The design was changed during development and the Mindflayer was placed as a special monster, retaining the initial design; the Occuria were then given a different design of glowing eyes in a mist-like form.[77]

They were always the ones to write history and gave the power of the Sun Cryst (Source of Magic) to those who they thought would most likely carry out their ideals. King Wraithwall in the past and Lady Ashe in the present. Though Ashe rejected her destiny and said that man should be able to write their own destinies.

Occuria: You are our saint, Ashelia B'nargin you must be the one to straighten history's weave.

Ashe: I am no false saint for you to use!

Ironically, this is exactly what Cid, Vayne, and Venat wanted all along.

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The Lady Ashe stands at the source of magic with 2 swords in her hands. She is tasked by the gods themselves to cut new magic shards powerful enough to kill every last man, woman, and child in the empire. And Ashe has every reason to do this because the empire killed her newlywed husband, murdered her father:the king, and stole her country away from her and enforced martial law.

Actually there is no justification for her to kill the citizens that reside in the empire, no matter what its leaders and military have done. It's not part of the character's personality to kill innocents, even if she does want some form of revenge.

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The Occurian are the gods, not aliens.

The Occuria (オキューリア Okyūria?) are a small group of immortal beings, often called (by both themselves and others) the Undying (不滅なる神 Fumetsunaru Kami?). Referred to as gods by some, but unknown to the major religions in Ivalice, the Occuria race played a vital role in the history of Ivalice such as the creation of the Espers and granting power to King Raithwall to conquer the countries of Ivalice with the Dawn, Dusk, and Midlight shards of nethicite.[78]

They were always the ones to write history and gave the power of the Sun Cryst (Source of Magic) to those who they thought would most likely carry out their ideals. King Wraithwall in the past and Lady Ashe in the present.

But there's the problem right there. Up until the point in which Cid's madness is revealed to be the rogue Occuria, everything was the ambitions, politics, and mistakes of people in power both in the present and in the past. Sure they had the help of magic stones and powerful creatures(later understood to have been created by the Occuria) that rebelled against the "gods" but still at the whim of human behaviors, for better or worse. History is made by people, in short. Then all the sudden, right at the height of tensions within the game, the player is suddenly treated to this "Small group of immortal beings" (who are also invisible, powerful psychics, and capable of instantaneous teleportation) who take all of that history and lineage and simplify it into what basically comes out as "Eh, we did it because we wanted to and you didn't know about it. Deal with it, yo."

It's weird and jarring, coming in so late in the game and with no other hints up until that point. And although the story then does it's best to deal with the plot twist and tries to stay true to the characters, everything that was intriguing and powerful about what the characters had done up until that point feels cheapened. And worse, it robs the rich and in depth history explored throughout the game of any real bite, because in the background, there were always these invisible ghosts that did what they wanted all along. No one is responsible for their actions any more, because they had no real control over where their life was going to end up or what was going to happen. Mistakes are no longer mistakes, and redemption is no longer redemption, for all has been within the plans of these creatures from beyond our understanding who are not gods, just immortal and powerful enough to pull the strings. And who conveniently provide an enemy which everyone can band together against and defeat in triumph.

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There's lots

Xenosaga - All the cinematics. Jesus christ, I thought I was playing a game.

All PS1 Tomb Raiders - Controls were a constant nightmare.

Ninja Gaiden II - The last three bosses of the game; you have to fight them all in a row and can't save. I'm sorry, the game was quite fun for the first half, but its difficulty is one of the few where it is needlessly high, cheap and actually killed my interest in ever playing through it again.

Uncharted 2 - All the god damn gunfights. Apparently, Naughty Dog's idea of "adventure" is "massacre a russian dude's army." Other than that, I loved the game.

Street Fighter IV - Whenever you have to fight any new character that isn't Juri. All the others just proved to me that Capcom is out of ideas for new characters.

The Darkness - All the parts where Jackie goes to WWII hell and how his grandpa was the first to wield the darkness. Pointless bullshit. I didn't play it, but I did find out that Jenny becomes Angelus in the second Darkness game....wtf?

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I just finished Majora's mask yesterday, and there's one part at the very end when you're trying to get the Fierce Deity mask that requires you to do a Goron roll at exactly a 90 degree angle and hope that you bounce off all the turns correctly.

So frustrating.

Actually a lot of the Goron roll parts were really annoying.

In that part you just need to go forward and all bumps will be perfectly directed. You have to do almost nothing!

(I didn't know that the first time I played that section and it was so frustrating)

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In that part you just need to go forward and all bumps will be perfectly directed. You have to do almost nothing!

(I didn't know that the first time I played that section and it was so frustrating)

I know, but it didn't work :(

Maybe my analog stick is a little bit off or something, but even when I thought I did it perfectly (which was almost every time), I would still be a little bit off.

That being said, I was pretty bad at doing the rolling in the goron temple too, so maybe I just suck at it XD.

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