What are your game pet peeves

So, I picked up this game Super Magbot, and it‘s an indie platformer that picked up Celeste’s aesthetic from Big Lots. The cool thing about it is that you don't jump, you just repel away from or pull towards two different colored magnets. I love this in theory

However, after about an hourish of digging into it, I'm finding myself really frustrated by the aiming of the magnet gun thing. It uses the right stick, and the direction that you "jump" is seemingly directly opposite the direction that you aim. The aiming feels way too finicky to get through the precise aspects of the levels.

So, I guess my pet peeve here is having nebulous and unpredictable directional controls in a 2d platformer, OR simply relying on an analog stick for precise sections (like if the dash in Celeste had full circular rotation)

My other pet peeves is (literally) just in Hades where the visuals feel far too unclear to me. I understand that there are games where visual noise is part of the style, but for hard action games, I just want to be able to perceive what is happening onscreen at all times. My favorite counterexample to this is Dead Cells (which had primed me to really expect to enjoy Hades) where I almost never question what is actually hitting/killing me. I think this is something that a lot of Konami scrolling shooters really get right.

So what are things that annoy you about games that you feel like shouldn't bother you? What can you NOT stop thinking about in spite of any determination you have to avoid being negative?

Staying on Hades, meta progression in run based games. If there‘s a pick up and play game I want to be able to have all my options available from the jump. I don’t want to have to play a game for hundreds of hours in order to unlock basic functionality like weapon types or boons/relics. This becomes especially annoying when you are playing on a different system than normal or god forbid, you lose a save, or when it seems incredibly tacked on. I relearned when Slay the Spire came out on mobile just how many cards never show up for a character until you‘ve played them 5 times or so, and I have no idea why that’s a thing.

@“MichaelDMcGrath”#p40311 I wholeheartedly agree with you on this for a lot of games. Oddly enough, the game that made me realize this was Smash Melee.

I think the only minor disagreement I would have with your point is in run based games that are much more skill centric. Going back to my favorite game (Dead Cells), I feel pretty confident that I could fairly quickly get to a comparable point of progress. Granted, that is largely why I consider it an action game over being a Roguelite or Metroidvania or anything else

@“dylanfills”#p40312 Dead Cells is the one example of this that I actually appreciate

@“MichaelDMcGrath”#p40314 [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/SnM1plO.jpeg]

  • - Busywork in games that is plainly just filler content hastily assembled from assets used elsewhere in the game, with only the thinnest veneer of story painted over the top. Feel like this is basically endemic to modern 3D action/adventure games. Kill 5 monsters for me to get the bracelet etc. Open the 5 water valves
  • - Games going out of their way to jerk the player off and tell them how great they are. You really did it! You're the best! You're so strong dude. You're well on your way to being a real mercenary, Cloud. Kill me bro
  • - Bad mouth animations
  • - Tasks that should be a breeze (find the switch in the room you're already in) that have too much friction. When I'm running around the room and I can't fuckin find it it becomes super clear that you're basically just asking me to stand in the right place and press X
  • Eh not original or interesting but relationship mechanics always give me the heebies especially when they’re required to unlock certain content or see certain endings. When I start having to feed people tokens to get them to like me I feel pretty put off. It might be in part that I never feel that the interactions with characters in those situations feel any way meaningful (to me), and any romance feels shallow and unpleasant.

    Also, in universe card games. Appreciate there is craft there but I just immediately disengage.

    Maybe I should just stop playing RPGs

    @“Auberji”#p40322 I'm just imagine the game where you have to force-feed NPCs coins and play cards with them to win their love

    @"tapevulture"#p40318 I agree with the over-congratulatory tone of games, and I would also say that we're beginning to see the edgelord reverse of that where a game will just mock you in a real mean-spirited way.

    In Dead Cells mention number 3, I feel that game hits the perfect tone of kind of hating you and mocking you for sucking while being very tongue and cheek and endearing. My theory is that, perhaps, the attitude of that game is just _sightly_ more healthy toward me than my own self talk.

    overbearing dumb colors like

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    The first thing that comes to mind for me is when a game says that it autosaves but it isn't clear just what sort of state is being saved, and when. If I try to quit the game and a dialogue comes up saying “all your unsaved progress will be lost!” but it is unclear if that just means “the last 10 seconds since you touched the controller” or “the last two hours since you first entered this huge zone” I get anxious.

    As such, I usually end up juggling manual saves if it lets me, and the autosave then just becomes useless and perhaps even a hassle.

    I really dislike “puzzles” that are just “hey, you had to do the boring/unintuitive thing, sorry!”

    Let me explain. This is something I noticed a lot in Limbo and Inside, so here's an example.


    As a first time player, you would very likely jump over the box because you know what it does, pushing it is slow and you'd rather want to see the stuff on the right. However, pulling the lever that raises the water level will kill you if the box is not in the right place. The rising water just got introduced by the way so good luck predicting that. After you die you'll immediately know what to do so it's just a waste of time. Also, deaths always break the flow in games like these.

    Another one from Inside:
    This not a puzzle but a chase sequence, it's practically the same thing. If you don't do that brief pause behind the cover at 3:58, you die. You got me, game! And again, 99% will die the first time. (you are being chased, why would you stop?) You'll eventually figure it out... after some immersion breaking deaths, of course.
    For me, the ideal experience for a game like this is to come very close to death but almost never actually die. The times you do, you should immediately know what went wrong. I don't see what these "gotcha" moments do for the game.

    Lack of windowed mode in PC games is the big one for me, simply because I have a very particular way of playing and engaging with games that requires windowed mode to work. Beyond that, I‘m not a big fan of worklike play styles where success hinges on feeding the game a series of optimal, almost pre-determined inputs, with no room for expression on your or the game’s part. Rhythm Heaven, Chu Chu Rocket, and Cave Noire are the three examples that come to mind for me, and this may be similar to @“Snowdecahedron”#p40330 's comment above mine?

    great idea for a topic!

    i've got a couple of boring _but important_ pet peeves.

    one is: games that don't let me remap the controls at all, or sometimes even worse, games that let me remap the controls to some extent, but not to the extent that i'd like. case in point: the Zero Gunner 2 port on the Switch. great game! super fun! but imagine how much more fun it would be if i could just map the aiming controls to the right stick.

    number two is: Switch games with fonts that are too small to read in handheld mode. this is one of the reasons i still prefer the 3DS overall, because there, every game was designed to be a handheld experience, and the fonts were always legible as a result! if you want to prioritize tv mode in your game, cool, but at least give me the option to switch on BIG FONT MODE. i don't even have bad eyesight, but games like Fire Emblem Three Houses ("but that game's better if you _can't_ read the text lol") force me to squint. Xenobalde 2 is a trash pile, but at least it has the decency to use comically large fonts everywhere - and you never hear anyone complaining about that (because there are many legitimate things to complain about in that game, i guess).

    Mine is a much more general pet peeve, & one that will (of course) have numerous exceptions. But more & more as time goes on, I get pretty peeved when a game asks me to repeat a significant slice of content that I have already successfully completed over & over & over again ad nauseum just to have one more (often very brief) swing at the much tinier slice of content that I am actually stuck on (for example, having to traverse a bunch of enemies/obstacles that I‘ve already cleared on my way to repeat a boss that keeps beating me). Largely, I feel like this is a holdover from the arcade &, by extension, the NES-era games that came straight from the arcade & were still designed with the notion that games should be cheaply difficult-ized so that they’d last players (i.e. mostly kids) a long time. I lived through that & I thought it sucked then; I still think it sucks now.

    While there are many games that are joyful through just the tactile (& sometimes innately repetitive) act of playing, lots of my motivation for playing games is to see the art, to hear the music, to witness the Next Cool Thing the creators have to show me. I think it's lame to be told that I'm not good enough to see The Next Cool Thing, but it stings even more when the game makes me do The Last Cool Thing so many times that it becomes The Thing I Never Want to See Again. For me, Hollow Knight committed this sin so fervently (putting huge gauntlets between save points & difficult bosses) that I put it down forever about 25+ hours in, despite liking a whole lot of other things about it.

    So I guess you could say that it's a pet peeve when modern games don't have good accessibility options -- I get enough pushback from the world at large & I don't really need pushback in my got-darn video games, thank you -- but I understand that not every developer can implement that much work; I can ultimately make peace with the fact that difficult games are not for me, though they might be for someone else. So I'll narrow it down to this specific type of kinda rote, repetitive design relic.

    (though I also understand that I'm basically asking developers to create a well-paced, well-balanced drip of new content through the whole experience, which is a tall & maybe unreasonable order, but I'd personally rather have a 3-hour version of that than a 20-hour version of the other; which is why it's a pet peeve, I guess).

    @“tokucowboy”#p40346 ironically I think MAME has the ideal solution to this issue, even if the titles it emulates created the issue in the first place: make the player hit an “i know I fucked up, let me continue playing anyway” button. It preserves the “true victory” goal of being able to not have to hit that button without making you replay that bit you already completed. (Well, usually….R Type and the like still hold dearly to those checkpoints even with infinite credits in the machine, but most post-Toaplan shmups and virtually all beat em ups just send you back in immediately with some iFrames and maybe even a power up to boot)

    My biggest pet peeve is anything that wastes my time. A specific example of this is when you reach a locked door and have to go backtrack and find a key from a specific enemy, or room guarded by a strong enemy. I‘m currently playing through Code Vein and some of those maps are frustrating mazes that give you zero indication if you’re going the right way - even just outright giving you a several locked doors that require you to unlock a specific power that you gain later in the game but with no indication at the time that you have to wait to unlock it.

    @“MichaelDMcGrath”#p40361 Yep, absolutely. Playing arcade games with infinite credits (&, to a lesser extent, older console games with save states or – much better – rewind functionality) is a wonderful thing. It has allowed for a sort of “gamer-as-tourist” type of play style that I really enjoy – I love to sit down with an arcade game & just go from title screen to staff roll in 20 minutes or so, & this practice has really ignited a latter-day love of shmups & beat ‘em ups in me. You’re bang-on with the checkpoints thing, it‘s almost always a disappointment when surfing MAME & an arcade game insists on checkpointing rather than throwing me back in uninterrupted, & I’m exponentially more liable to bounce off the game much more quickly when that's the case.

    (slightly related, Capcom Arcade Stadium recently added an invincibility toggle & I'm all for it, I got nothin to prove over here)

    @“MichaelDMcGrath”#p40311 This is one of mine in recent years, but I know that in general you and I are howling into the wind. The average player of “run” based games loves meta-progression. I usually hear them say things like “What‘s the point if you lose and don’t get anything for that run?”

    As if 1. Playing a game for its own enjoyment isn't fine, and 2. The meta-progression system doesn't simply render the early runs tedious as you know it's impossible to win!

    @“Winckle”#p40397 this tweet from the Jupiter Hell dev was the thing that made it finally sink in that this is a war I've already lost:


    @“rejj”#p40329 my favorite fix for this is when a game says “progress saved x minutes ago” like (ironically) Hades and Hyper Light Drifter. I almost dislike the constant save more, like in Dark Souls. I understand it's to impress upon the player the consequence of choices and dying, but there are just moments that I would like to take back mundane mistakes. My favorite example is that I accidentally killed the first merchant in DS1 by putting the controller down to get up and ended up hitting the right trigger on my couch cushion.

    @"Snowdecahedron"#p40330 I was ready to chime in with an example of counterintuitivity playing such a big role in old school adventure games, but I watched that limbo clip and wanted to rage quit vicariously