Top 10 Lists : The Top 10 Things That Are Supposed To Be Challenging But Are Just Annoying
Games are supposed to be challenging. Few people (if any) would play a game if all you had to do is push a button and get a "You Win!" message. There are always people who think that a game is too darned easy and won't play it. Knowing this, game publishers try to make a game challenging.
Unfortunately, they sometimes succeed a little too well. Everyone gets frustrated at games every now and then. My younger brother once got so angry with a game he even hurled his Game Boy across the room. According to a number of reports out there, this was one of the lesser reactions games have gotten.
Games tend to have something about them that's supposed to add to the challenge, but after running into it too often and too long, it becomes annoying. This is a list of my top ten things that are supposed to be challenging but are just annoying linked to the games that first come to my mind when thinking of these.
#10: Limited Ammo
This one is actually true to life. There really is no such thing as an unlimited supply of ammunition. However, most games that have this kind of thing going on aren't true to life any further than that. Even with prison escape games the idea that one person will be able to shoot his way out of an entire prison filled with armed guards who were probably trained to deal with just this sort of thing is pretty much impossible. Even the "true to life" war games usually have only one individual fighting the entire war by himself. The term "one man army" doesn't exactly mean that literally.
However, any game that has shooting also has the real to life possibility that you can miss your target. Miss your target too many times and suddenly you find yourself without ammo. This ALWAYS leads to a problem. Even if you have an "ammo free" weapon like a knife or a sword or even a chainsaw you have to get real close to your enemies to use them, not an easy task when they can hit you from afar.
Not having some kind of projectile weapon that has a limitless supply of ammo can get REALLY annoying when you run out. Only the fact that most games have a lot of ammo reloads helps this one stay so low on the chart.
This one has been around since jumping became an ability on video games. Platforms have always been around and they will be around till the end of video games I'm sure. However, some of the earlier games had platforms that were so narrow even the character's feet were wider than the platform. What made things worse was that these usually came is several rows over a pit of spikes or bottomless pits. Since the platforms were so tiny, you had to have spot on precision when navigating them and they usually had enemies around to make things even harder than they had to be. What made it worse was that getting hit by an enemy usually caused your character to fall back and you'd fall off.
So how do you make that harder? Make the platforms MOVE! Now you can have platforms that are not only pretty small they move up and down or left to right. Sometimes you'd have to ride a platform all the way across the screen only to see the next one leaving the screen when you reach it. Even if you could suppress the instinct to jump for the next platform, you'd have to sit there and wait to go back to the previous side of the screen and all the way back again! Pretty annoying.
But that wasn't enough, they also had to have some platforms appear and disappear. So you could be standing on a platform and it will disappear out from under you. The most annoying part of it was that these sequences could have lasted well past your visible part of the screen so not dying while trying to figure out the pattern was next to impossible.
#8: Homing Attacks
Okay, we've all been there. You're dealing with a number of enemies that just fire in a straight line, so you figure out the timing and pattern and they can be dodged with ease. Then what do you run into? Some kind of attack that FOLLOWS you everywhere you go!
These are the kinds of attacks that you just HATE because if you don't have a block ability it seems there's no way to deal with them. Even if you can somehow manage to dodge them it normally forces you to run way off your course and now you have to backtrack just to get back to where you had started in the first place.
This kind of thing is terrible in just about any time: when your health is low but you're almost at the health restoration and can dodge everything except for that homing attack, you just want to beat the boss but can't get time to attack because you're too busy dodging his attacks, when enemies are so far away that you can't counterattack. The list goes on.
The worst time, of course, is when you find yourself in a situation with multiple enemies with this kind of attack. If you run into this you just KNOW you're dead. You can't escape all of those attacks at once! It's over! It's all over!
Anyone who plays rail shooters knows this one. How many a time have you been firing away at the screen blasting so many enemies and inanimate objects that you just got it into your system to blast everything and then, some fool innocent jumps out in front of you for no apparent reason and you lose energy because you shot him/her?
Most games don't really give you any good reason or explanation for why these people are there. They jump out, look scared, then jump away to who knows where. Sheesh, if you're not in any immediate danger, just stay out of the way!
What makes it worse is the whole idea that you're supposed to shoot out things like windows and barrels (why you'd be encouraged to do that I don't know) so not only do you get the rush of shooting in your blood, but the innocents often jump out right in front of them so you often shoot them by mistake. What, do they WANT to get killed?
This one is one of those things that's so annoying that it's been immortalized in the movie "TOYS."
#6: Timed Sequences
This can be found in almost every genre for just about any situation. You can be some superhero who is trying to save an innocent but he/she is injured and you have to get this person to a hospital right away. It could also be that you have just pushed a switch and you have to make it to the other side of the room to make it to whatever that button opened or deactivated.
So you charge over to that area and if you make it, then it's a breeze. If you don't… it's a hurricane of swearing and shouting. Maybe you can take it a time or two but some of these sequences are next to impossible and there is nothing more annoying than getting only an inch or two (game space) away from the goal and then it fails so you have to start over from the beginning!
Lack of patience isn't the only thing that causes this to be annoying. Sometimes, the sequence isn't really necessary to win but you can get that prize it offers. So you go for it and what do you discover? It was a lousy, useless item that just wasn't worth it! Call in the disaster squad!
Few games have these and those that do only SOMETIMES have a reason for them. Either way these characters can get annoying. Games where you can't defeat any enemies whatsoever aren't really the most popular ones out there and levels where stealth is the only way through have also made top ten lists elsewhere.
This being said, the enemies are invincible. So now you have the invincible enemy problem going on. Few things are more satisfying in video games than defeating those enemies. So when you have ones that can't be defeated it's annoying. What makes it annoying is that when they hurt or kill your character, you can't get back at them!
Probably even worse than when you have to just avoid these enemies through stealth is when you run into these enemies who are EVERYWHERE and will follow after you so you can't just hide from them but you have to run from them or just try to delay them long enough for you to escape. Many a time this has led to gamers giving up on that game.
Maybe this one deserves a higher place on the list, but it's here. There are many games where the character's main defense is shooting in a straight line. If you're dealing with enemies that are higher up than your character, this isn't a problem, you just jump and shoot. Usually, if the enemy doesn't move, you can just dodge the attacks.
But what happens when you run into a character who's SHORTER than your character's line of fire? You can't attack! Again and again, you wish that your character could just crouch down and fire. The enemy is just there in front of you! "Shoot down!" you shout, "Duck!" It just doesn't happen. Sometimes, this inability to shoot lower causes you to die in this spot over and over which could easily have been avoided if you could just shoot lower.
The other side of this is when you have dodge incoming attacks but jumping will only get you hit or killed. The only way to avoid damage is to duck under the attack. But you can't duck down! You're doomed to get damaged or even lose the game because of this.
Both defensive and offensive, this inability is just annoying because it seems so simple and it would make things so much easier if you could just do it.
Okay, this one may just be an oversight by the makers but it happens often enough that it seems to be deliberate. There are times when you have to find your way through a maze or a dungeon and to get there you have to walk through a wall that isn't a wall. Or perhaps you have to walk over a platform that is so well hidden it's invisible. Now, a good game would have some kind of clue that this is there. Most often, it's a character who tells you or you can see an enemy use that passage.
But then, there are those that don't give you any clue whatsoever that this is what you were supposed to do. Most players don't have their characters walking around hugging the walls or trying to attack them. This is an even stronger case when you have to find an invisible platform because you're not likely to try every single empty space out there and even if you did, you're more likely to fail to find it than to actually find it.
This is okay if it's supposed to lead to a secret somewhere but when it is required to move on, it's annoying. You get frustrated thinking that you're at a dead end and then you just end up shutting it off. Sure, we have the internet these days, but imagine what it was like before those days.
These last two are actually what make so many of the previous ones annoying. Re-spawning enemies is the bane of any player who has to deal with limited ammo, enemy attacks that home in, platforms, timed sequences and the inability to duck or crouch. They all have their reasons for making this so blasted annoying.
When you destroy an enemy, you'd like for that enemy to stay destroyed. It doesn't matter when they come back either. Some games have it to where the enemies will just come back a few seconds after you defeat them, and then there are those that you have to leave view of the enemies spawn point. Either way, this gets annoying.
So many times, you find you can't backtrack because the enemy that you could attack only from the other side of the screen because you can't crouch down is there. Too often players get upset that they keep having to dodge that endless stream of flying enemies that come after them on the platforms. It's so awful to return to a screen that you cleared of homing attack enemies just to find that they're all back and ready to destroy you. And boy can it get frustrating when you run out of ammo because there is an endless army of monsters after you.
Re-spawning enemies is one of the worst things that a player has to deal with. You are so limited on health, but have no shortage of those who want to take it.
#1: Instant Deaths
Without a doubt, the most annoying thing in video games. It's supposed to be challenging to have something that can kill you right off, but it gets way too annoying if you keep dying ONLY by the instant deaths! This can be in the form of an invincible enemy, a water trap, a pit trap, spikes, a timed sequence, an overly-powerful enemy move… you name it.
Games are notorious for having instant death situations. Players learn to deal with them but they are what make the games so irritating. They combine with everything too. How many times have you been pushed off a platform to your death by that re-spawning enemy? How many times have you run out of the right kind of ammo on that invincible enemy that can only be stunned by that one specific weapon? How many times has that timed sequence killed you right off because you can't find the hidden passage? Well… you get the idea.
These situations get worse the further back you go from these deaths. Then there's the ever unpopular, "you get PAST the instant death scenario after a hundred or so tries, then you die AFTER the scenario, and you end up in an area BEFORE the scenario." How many of you out there just smashed something out of frustration and annoyance from having to deal with this?
It is because of the instant death situations that so many games are called overly-difficult.
Don't get me wrong. I like video games just as much as the next person. I also love a good amount of challenge, but I've gotten overly frustrated and annoyed when I see these things. I'm sure all of you have too.
I'm more than willing to be you feel there are other games out there that should've represented these annoying things and there are probably some other things that are annoying to you in games. Well... visit the forum and share! A healthy discussion may help you to vent out those feelings of annoyance!
List by Xoneris (01/07/2013)
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