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Gaming pet peeves

Brandon Erickson's picture
Solidus Snake

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?

Category Tags
Platform(s): PS3   PS2   GameCube  
Series: Metal Gear  
Articles: Editorials  

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Actually, MGS4 allows you to

Actually, MGS4 allows you to pause all the cutscenes, or just skip them altogether. It's one of the redeeming qualities of the game.

For me, it's the awful tutorials. Remember Super Mario 1? No tutorial. Just world 1-1, go. I miss that in games. I spend the first 25 minutes of any given game being led by the hand trying to wrap my brain around its control scheme.

i've cursed at this in too

i've cursed at this in too many games. videogames are a more interactive medium than video, yet during cutscenes they give you less control than a DVD or a youtube video! there's no reason why they couldn't give you pause, rewind, fast-forward and seek.

Yeah, considering the MGS

Yeah, considering the MGS series was at least 50% movie, the fact that you couldn't pause the cutscenes was absolutely maddening. The same thing had happened to me - I hit start to pause it and skipped it entirely. That's just stupid.

Fortunately most major games seem to be including this painfully obvious feature now.

Customizable Controls

I have a pet peeve with games that don't allow customizable controls. Why can't I select which button controls which action in a game? If I want to jump using A instead of B, I should be able to. While allowing me to choose which button controls which action may not always be feasible, the developer should at least include multiple control schemes to choose from.

My pet peeve with video

My pet peeve with video games is now and ever shall be stupid limitations in the name of "natural" blocks. For example, in MGS 4 you can take down supernatural bosses, but you can't climb over a box that's chin high? You wear camo that can sense and adjust to its surroundings, but you can't break apart a stack of wooden crates blocking a hallway? A tiny detail, but it annoys the hell out of me.

Re: Start button confusion

I think the Start button should be replaced with a Pause button and a Play button, where each is represented by the universally-understood symbols for Pause and Play. (That would be confusing on PlayStation given that there's already a triangle button, but on any other console it's a good idea.) The pause button would always pause, the play button would always let you start playing. I don't understand why there's still all this ambiguity of what the most basic buttons do.

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