I have a list of favorite games. I think most of us that enjoy the hobby have one. It’s a great way to tell people what you like at a glance, and if they ask we can always support out answers with a large amount of praise. But that’s not what this is about. No, for this we’re going to be extremely negative. I’m going to take some of my favorite games and tell you all my least favorite parts about them. Now naturally this doesn’t make them bad, but as I feel there is no such thing as a perfect game I think it’s only fair to lay some gripes on the games that I usually will praise to anyone willing to listen.
The final “choice”
I definitely know I’m not alone in this one, but the ending of Fallout 3 is just bad. In the vanilla version of the game you are tasked with entering a code in a highly irradiated chamber, saving everyone but sacrificing yourself while finishing your late father’s work. Which is peach and all…if the game hadn’t given you quite the diverse roster of companions a robot, a ghoul, and a super mutant. If you ask any of them to do it for you their responses amount to little more than “Fuck off, no”. It’s frustrating that your attempt to think outside of the box ever so slightly is shut down for no good reason.
Of course Broken Steel was later released. This DLC adds post-ending gameplay to Fallout 3 and actually fixes this by allowing you to send in any of the previously listed companions, all is well. Except for the narrator carving you to shreds during the ending slideshow. He calls you a coward and praises whoever you sent in as a true hero. That’s right, by using your brain and avoiding an unnecessarily early death for yourself and sending in a character immune to radiation (Fawkes the super mutant or RL-3 the robot) or even healed by it (Charon the ghoul) you aren’t smart, you’re a coward. Shame on you.
Becoming a Big Daddy
Bioshock is an amazing game, if there was a gun to my head and I had to make the best argument I could to which game I think is nearest to perfection I think I’d choose Bioshock. And while I think all of it was great, if I had to choose a part I liked least it’s probably becoming a Big Daddy. It still played mostly the same but the helmet cut out some of your field of vision and took a little getting used to. I know it’s a petty complaint, but between that and slower movement speed (if I recall correctly) being a Big Daddy took away just a little bit of the fun I was having.
I know a few people have complained about the final boss fight being unnecessary, only being there because “it’s a game so of course we need a final boss”. And while I don’t disagree I also don’t find it as big a deal.
This is another one that I feel is almost complaining for the sake of complaining, but I definitely feel like as far as gameplay mechanics in Portal 2 go, conversion gel is the odd man out. The main reason for that is the reaction to it. With almost anything else: lasers, turrets, momentum, excursion funnels, light bridges, speed gel, and bouncing gel you kind of plan in ahead what it does and how to use it to solve the puzzle. With conversion gel, however, my first step was always spraying it everywhere to get as much coverage as possible. From there most tests with it were pretty simple, just get as high as you can with it and you’re done. It just felt a lot less “puzzly” than the others.
Now I understand rainy days. I know they’re relevant to the plot. I know it’d be odd to play a day-to-day life sim without any rainy days, but still, I can’t help but dread them. In Persona 4 on normal days after school (or during the summer) you’re able to do a lot, but the big two would be dungeon crawling or spending time with any number of Social Links, who are characters you get to know. However on rainy days only a very small amount of social links are available, leaving you to either level (which unless you’re on a harder difficulty, grinding isn’t really needed) or spend your time with only a handful of social links you can interact with (by memory it’s only the drama/music club and the fox, but it’s been a while so I could be wrong). For me most of my rainy days were spent eating bottomless beef bowls for stat-ups. Not bad, but not as fun as the social links.
I feel like each of the Danganronpa games are special in their own ways but also have their own major downfalls. Danganronpa 2 is my favorite for so many reasons, but the motives are certainly not one of them. Unlike the first game where the motives were small nudges and part of the tension was seeing which character would ultimately succumb to them, the motives in Danganronpa either seem way too pushy or way too targeted at a small group of people.
Chapter 2’s motive is really only relevant to 6 of the 14 students that were alive at the time (granted we’re lead to believe it’s 5 before some revelations regarding backstories). Chapter 3’s motive threw everything out of the window and the murderer was more or less random, serving only as foreshadowing. Chapter 4 had one of the worst motives in my opinion that forced the killer’s hand moreso than any before. So in 3 of the 5 murder cases I feel the motive was underwhelming.
I do understand the circumstances around the killings are different in 2 compared to 1 and V3 (without venturing into spoiler territory), but I still think that the motives could have been handled better.
Pokemon Heart Gold/Soul Silver
Gym Leaders refusing to do their jobs
I love the Gen 2 Pokemon games. They have some of my favorite Pokemon, and returning to Kanto to earn 8 more badges and battle Red was great. What was less great was some of the Johto Gym Leaders: Whitney and Claire. How either of them got their job, I don’t know, because they’re downright bad at it. Neither will give you their badge for beating them. First the player would beat Whitney (and her Miltank, which would probably top many similar lists, but I never found it that hard after trading for Machop nearby) and after defeating her she starts crying and… that’s it. Any attempt to get your badge results in her crying and calling you mean. A professional Gym Leader refusing to accept defeat. It’s not until you accept your fate and try to leave that one of her trainers talks her down and you finally get your badge and TM.
And then there’s the final Gym Leader (in Johto): Claire. Instead of crying Claire just flat out refuses to give you your hard earned badge. That is until you run an errand for her. That’s simplifying it a little, she actually sends you around back to fetch an item (that you keep if memory serves) to prove that you’ve earned the badge. Y’know, the thing that whole battle was for.
Whether it’s Whitney sobbing or Clair refusing your victory, Johto’s biggest downfall is its incompetent Gym Leaders.
Final Fantasy XV
I loved Final Fantasy XV. I know it got some mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed the experience. I loved the roadtrip theme and the brotherhood between the characters. Where it fell completely flat was the combat.
This wasn’t my first Final Fantasy, previously playing VII, X, and XII (and having since played IX, with VI, X-2, and all the XIII’s in my backlog), but all those games had combat that was leaps and bounds better than XV’s in my opinion. While each different (VII and IX are pretty much classic turn based combat, X having a turn based with a swap out feature, and XII being more of a live action/turn based mix) I feel they all offered something that made combat enjoyable, even if only slightly. Meanwhile combat in XV was little more than “hold down the attack button”. Eventually you had your super move, or your teammate’s, and the elemental “spells” but that was pretty much it. Combat changed very little from the first enemy to the last.
Well that’s it for mine, how about yours. Are there any parts of your favorite games that just fall short to the rest of them?