10 Small Features That Made Video Games Worse

It’s hard to get all aspects of a fair game. Especially as games get bigger, there’s so much that goes into even the simplest games. That’s why even the best games can get a minor feature wrong.

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Almost everyone has played a game that would have been great if it hadn’t been for one annoying detail. That doesn’t mean the game is bad, in fact most of the time they’re still pretty good, but are dragged down by one small thing. While these features are far from ruining their games, they do harm them just enough to be noticeable.

Recharges without interruption, DOOM 3

Doom 3 Flashlight

DOOM 3 was a huge shift for the franchise, moving away from explosive action towards more claustrophobic survival horror. There are a few details that keep it from reaching the prestige of other games, including a ridiculous close-range shotgun, but the most noticeable is when it reloads.

It is common knowledge that swapping weapons is faster than reloading, but DOOM 3 removes this trick by making reload animations completely uninterrupted. Once a weapon begins to reload or runs out of ammo, players must witness all of the animation before firing or even switching weapons. While this can add tension, it’s also an irritating feature for gamers.

Fixed-term assignments, Red Dead Redemption

John Marston at night in Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption and its sequels are undoubtedly masterpieces and some of the most immersive gaming experiences around. There is a case where it goes a bit too far but certain missions are only available at certain times of the day.

While it’s understandable that NPCs aren’t waiting for the player 24/7, it can be annoying to reach a distant objective marker only to find that the mission won’t be available for a few hours. There’s definitely plenty to do in the game’s massive open world and a rest option that can pass the time quickly, but it can be tedious to wait for a specific time when the mission will open.

The liquidation of the bubble bowl, Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for the Bikini Bottom

SpongeBob is chased by robots through fields of jellyfish in SpongeBob SquarePants Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated

For a game for children, Spongebob: Battle for the Bikini Bottom was surprisingly difficult in its later stages. One thing that made things even harder was using one of Spongebob’s signature abilities. Bubble Bowl is learned early on and allows Spongebob to launch a large bubble bowling ball, destroying enemies and obstacles in his path.

What makes the bubble bowl irritating is that SpongeBob is tiptoeing around as players aim for it. Often this can cause them to slip into a range of enemies or out of key buttons they must stand on to solve puzzles. Overall, the game is still a great licensed game worth playing, but it does have its annoying moments.

From save points, Control

A screenshot from the video game Control.

Control is a great game that combines awesome telekinetic powers with enigmatic mystery. Throughout the game, players will encounter many save points where they can take respite from the many eldritch monstrosities they encounter. If a player dies, they revert to the most recent save point.

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Unfortunately they will only start from the most recent save point, which could be anywhere on their current position. This is especially annoying during boss fights, because instead of just restarting the fight, players have to wander through hallways to get back to where they were and sit again during its introduction. This is a very minor inconvenience, but an inconvenience nonetheless.

In-flight lock on, Star Wars bounty hunter

One of the most underrated star wars securities, Star Wars bounty hunter puts players in the shoes of Jango Fett as he pursues the galaxy’s most wanted. Players are given a jetpack and a huge array of weapons to complete their objectives, most of which lock onto targets when firing.

Where it fails is when players try to lock on while using the jetpack. Since enemies can be anywhere around Jango, the camera will automatically rotate to face them when locked, which is used in the air and can completely throw off the flight direction and send Jango into the opposite direction it is trying to go. If players aren’t careful, they’re very likely to lose a few lives by being thrown off a ledge when the controls suddenly reverse.

Unskippable cutscenes, way too many games

final fantasy x cutscene

Cutscenes are an integral part of the narrative in most games, advancing the story or giving much-needed exposition. Sometimes, however, people just want to be able to ignore them. Maybe they’ve already played the game or just want to get in on the action. Some games refuse to make this an option, however, forcing players to sit down every minute of a cutscene.

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Whether it’s an inescapable intro to a difficult boss, a tedious conversation with an NPC, or an uncomfortably long and complex exposition dump, far too many games of Pokemon for Final Fantasy have fallen into this practice. A lot of hard work goes into cutscenes, but sometimes people just want to play the game.

Weapon Degradation, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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Yes, most weapons and tools do indeed wear out as they are used. Blades need to be honed to retain their sharpness and armor needs to be repaired to retain its integrity, but in a video game, that’s a level of realism that sometimes goes a bit too far.

The phenomenal Witcher 3 is a perfect example, with Geralt’s weapons wearing out with every swing. Luckily, the weapons don’t break like in some other games, but they do lose a lot of their effectiveness. Weapon degradation is a love or hate mechanic, but you’d think in a world full of magic there would be ways to keep a sword sharp.

Oddjob’s odd size, Tourniquet 007

In the film as in the original book, golden finger the notorious henchman Oddjob is a tall and imposing enemy. That’s why it’s even weirder than for the legendary N64 game golden eyethe developers decided to make Oddjob much smaller than any other character in the game.

He’s small enough that he can’t be auto-aimed like all the other characters, which means he has to be manually aimed to hit. This gave Oddjob such an edge that players still consider playing with him to be cheating to this day. golden eye was one of the best games to play at a party, as long as no one chose Oddjob.

fall damage, Far Cry 3

One of the first things gamers will likely do in a lot of games is test whether or not that game suffered fall damage. More often than not, the answer is yes, and they’ll end up in comical heaps on the floor. While it’s a necessary part of many games, some take it a bit too far.

Concrete example, Far Cry 3 and even 4. It’s understandable in a game focused on realism that players take damage from falling from heights, but it seems that Far cry the protagonists have some of the weakest ankles in the game. Taking massive damage or instantly dying from a fall that would be inconsequential in most games is irritating every time. Luckily, games are still great fun.

Horrible checkpoints, Mass Effect

Departed fight in Mass Effect

There is so much to see and do in the Mass Effect series that players will likely spend dozens of hours traveling the galaxy or chatting with teammates. With so much to do and even the smallest choices having potentially huge consequence, players won’t want to lose any progress.

Unfortunately, the first game’s checkpoint system means they’re almost guaranteed. Checkpoints are rare and widely spaced, which means that if players haven’t saved manually, they’re very likely to lose literally hours of progress, from combat encounters to conversations to all the items picked up in road course. Horrible checkpoints are a frustrating part of an otherwise phenomenal game.

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