In an effort to prepare for Metal Gear Solid 4, I've recently been playing some of the earlier Metal Gear Solid (MGS) games. And while it's been really fun for the most part, it's also brought to mind some of my gaming pet peeves, not just related to MGS but to games in general.
What triggered this for me was being reminded that MGS doesn't allow the player to pause during cut scenes. I was at the end of MGS2 when I suddenly found the need to pause the game. I think I knew at that point that I couldn't actually pause, but I had no choice but to try. So I hit the start button and suddenly the game fast forwarded to another section, apparently bypassing a whole bunch of end-game exposition. As a result, I had to reset the game, load my most recent save, and fight a whole bunch of enemies and go through a long boss fight just to get back to the cut scene that I missed. It was absolutely maddening, and it baffles me that the developers wouldn't include such an obvious feature, or why any developer wouldn't include that feature, especially in a game that is so heavy in cut scenes.
MGS isn't the only offender of course, and lot's of games do this. I'm almost certain that there have been times where I found this out in a game the hard way (i.e., by complete accident). Imagine being half way through a movie, hearing the phone ring, then hitting the "pause" button on the remote only to see that instead of pausing the movie has skipped 20 minutes ahead. Then imagine that the only way to see what was skipped is to go back to the beginning of the movie and re-watch everything up to that point. If DVDs worked this way, it would be considered absurd. But gamers put up with this kind of crap all the time in games. It's stupid, it's ridiculous, and no game should ever be released without offering the ability to pause during cut scenes. End of story.
At any rate, thinking about this whole cut scene issue in MGS has reminded me that there are all sorts of ridiculous things that gamers have accepted over the years, maybe just because we were used to it, or that's how it had always been, or it seemed cool at the time, or nobody knew any better. Some of these things have come and gone, some have decreased or disappeared, some have gotten worse, and some are still here. I'm talking about stuff like save points, lame stories, crappy translations, grainy full motion video, unrealistic body movement, long load times, disc drives that sound like jet engines, bad voice acting, and needlessly overcomplicated menus. The list could go on.
So what are other people's biggest gaming pet peeves, present or past?