First of, let me say that I LOVE this game. It's honestly GOTY for me, so don't say that I'm just hating on this game just for the sake of hating on it.
Now, on to the matter at hand: why the favorites menu fails.
The favorite's menu is completely pointless. To access it, you must pause the action, scroll down the list to get to the sword/spell you want to equip, then exit out of the menu to get back into the action. What ever happened to just pressing a direction on the D-Pad to instantly equip whatever spell or weapon you favorited? Why pause the action when you can just switch spells or weapons on the fly?
With this new format, you might as well just access the normal menu and pick from any of the stuff you're carrying with you.
This problem is exacerbated by the fact that I'm playing as a spell-sword. When I run out of magicka, I want to get rid of the spell in my left hand and replace it with a shield. Or sometimes I want to switch between spells in the heat of battle. Having to constantly pause the action to switch between spells is not only an annoyance, it takes me out of the game. One minute I'm completely immersed in the game and am having a grand 'ol time exploring dungeons, and the next I'm flipping up and down the favorites menu to switch between different spells. You don't know how convenient it would be to just press one button and replace the spell in my left hand without having to pause the action.
And I know that you can "hot key" two spells/weapons to the left and right D-Pad buttons, but that's not enough. Oblivion had 8 slots, and I used them all. In this game, there's only 2 hot key slots. For people playing as pure warriors, this is obviously a non-issue, but what if you decide to play as a pure mage? Having only 2 hot key slots will not suffice. You would have to open the favorites menu constantly to switch between your spells. This is, without a doubt, very annoying.
I know that I'm nitpicking, and that I should just "suck it up and deal with it", but I'm just disappointed with how Bethesda ruined something that used to be so simple, and yet so convenient.
Speaking of inconveniences, where is the oxygen bar when you're swimming underwater? Where is the little icon that used to pop up in Oblivion to tell you how long a buffing spell will last?
It's little things like this that I miss from Oblivion, but, again, they don't make me hate Skyrim. I have almost 70 hours in this game and I want to keep playing, but there are some bad design choices that Bethesda made to made the HUD as clutter-free as possible. --- So why isn't Black Ops getting a beta? Because MW2 was the beta.
Favorites menu is better than the Oblivion hotkeys for one reason: 360 Dpad sucks, especially when trying to hit diagonals. That's all. --- Of course she flew through the air! You can see it right there! Whooooooooosh! - Phoenix Wright
open your favorites menu, highlight what you want and hold either the left or right d-pad button to map it --- Slaughter is the best medicine. http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/7944/argylegargoyle.jpg - artwork by masterpug53