Unrealistic and bad video games

12.01.2023 0 By admin

[Falcon] Video games are sometimes

about being a power fantasy.

And in that, when a game
does unrealistic stuff,

it’s kind of expected and okay.

But what about when it’s not so good?

Hi, folks, it’s Falcon,
and today, on Gameranx,

10 unrealistic game
mechanics that actually suck.

Starting off with number
10, rare random drops.

If you’ve ever played an RPG or an MMO,

then you’ve experienced this scenario.

Someone in town tells you
to get 10 wolf spleens

or cow pies or I don’t know,
like, elixirs. (laughs)

So you go out and kill a wolf
or a cow, or a potion seller?

Although be careful with that last one,

they can be pretty shifty.

Also, be careful with the
elixir, it might be too strong.

Anyway, you kill that
stuff and you loot it,

and hey, no spleen, no cow pie, no elixir.

In a rational world,

that’s exactly what would happen, right?

Hey, you kill a wolf and you
get all the internal organs.

You kill a cow and I guess it
poops its final time. (laughs)

That’s not how it works
in video games though.

I mean this sort of thing
makes a little more sense

when you’re talking about equipment

that, like, an enemy might
or might not have on them.

But for the most part,

a lot of the randomness of loot drops

makes little to no sense.

It’s 100% just a gameplay
contrivance to keep you playing.

Like, the “Monster Hunter”
series, fantastic series,

but it can be pretty
lousy with the rare carves

and loot that you get from monsters,

which by all accounts,

should always drop after
killing and carving up a beast.

Like, oh, I don’t know, kill a monster,

maybe you should have
the ability to walk away

with a monster pelt or whatever, you know?

But it appears randomly.

Like, why is it so hard
to get some dragon claws?

I keep killing these
dragons and for some reason,

I don’t get any of their claws,

despite every one of them having claws.

That’s one of the more egregious examples,

but pretty much every
RPG has this mechanic

to some degree or another.

And no matter how you slice
it, it doesn’t make sense.

It’s unrealistic and it sucks.

Simple as that.

Like, those games are
long as hell anyways.

Why not just, you know, not
make me fight six battles

to take the wing of a pigeon or something?

At number nine, rubber banding.

Whoa! This is just infuriating.

So if you played a lot of racing games,

you know exactly what rubber
banding is, and you hate it.

It’s basically keep the
race more interesting.

Like rubber-banding is when
an AI car gets unnatural speed

when you have a dominating lead in a race.

In theory, it’s supposed to
work the other way as well.

Like cars will slow down

so you can catch up and stay in the race.

But that part’s okay, you’re the player,

and I understand that kind of,

well, there’s no point in playing
this if I’m going to lose.

But, like, when you’re really
far ahead, that feels great.

Just let me keep this, you know?

And it certainly just doesn’t matter

how good a driver you are,
you’d be racing perfectly,

hitting every turn at
the exact right angle,

carefully maximizing your speed

for most of the race to
dominate your opponents,

and last minute, some
otherwise useless AI racer

becomes Dale Earnhardt
and Batman combined.

When it feels like you
don’t have any control,

whether you win or lose a race,

that’s when the rubber banding
just gets out of control.

Like, certain “Mario Kart”
games are really bad about this,

especially when you combine
it with the powerful weapons

that racers in the back position get.

It’s not uncommon for
the first-place racers

to just be bombarded with
blue shells, lightning,

and just about everything else,

the final stretch of the race.

Some games barely even try
to hide the rubber banding.

Some of them will literally just teleport

an AI racer up a few positions,

just to make things more of a challenge.

When it comes to racing games,

like, a fair challenge is
really what you want, right?

It’s just more satisfying
when you win a race

when the AI plays by the rules,

rather than when it cheats
the minute you’re not looking.

Yes, rubber banding, when used well,

can keep races interesting

while still rewarding skilled players,

but developers often go overboard with it

and it can be a really disheartening
and miserable mechanic.

At number eight, collision damage.

Seriously, someone explained to me

how touch in a Goomba can hurt Mario.

They don’t bite him,

they don’t, like, spray
Goomba juice on him,

and when they touch
each other nobody dies.

So what is it?

Like, the amount of damage
these guys deal to Mario

is equal to that of a spinning
turtle shell or a fireball

or a spike trap or any,
like, real threat to Mario.

Doesn’t make any sense.

But that’s collision
damage for you, right?

In games with collision damage,
anytime you touch an enemy,

no matter how unthreatening they look,

even if they’re just a walking
mushroom, you take damage.

Make sense that a cactus
might do this, right?

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But most of the time it’s not a cactus,

it’s like a walking mushroom, you know?

Some of the most infamous enemies

in old games are, like, birds.

Not ninjas, not undead warriors,
or armor nights or dragons,

birds.

They just kind of fly around,

and would tickle you at best in real life

if they were doing the same
thing they did in the game.

But they’re deadly killers in the game.

Touching them doesn’t just hurt
you, sends you flying back.

Look at the damage some
characters take in old games.

You’d think a stiff breeze would be enough

to take some of these chumps down.

When games transition into 3D,

they mostly dumped this mechanic,

but that doesn’t mean
it still doesn’t pop up

from time to time.

It’s one of those old-school mechanics

that’s been around so long
we just kind of accept it,

even though, like, it’s
more annoying than fun

pretty much all the time.

At number seven is time limits.

When it comes to time
limits in video games,

there’s some realistic
examples to pick from.

Like in a military game where you’re

trying to do a mission
that’s time sensitive

or in a “Metroid” game
where the base is exploding.

Like, those things make sense,

but, elsewhere, it’s just
a gameplay contrivance.

It’s arbitrary.

In those specific
examples, it makes sense,

but why can’t I spend more than
10 minutes in a Sonic zone?

I don’t get that.

And that’s what we’re talking about here,

the time limits just don’t make any sense

within the context of the game.

A lot of platformers have
time limits for their stages

and if you don’t get to the
end before time runs out,

you do the death pose and
fall into oblivion downward.

Pretty much no in-game explanation.

Like Mario doesn’t reach
the end of the level,

he just dies and does that thing.

One second, he’s alive,
the next, he is dead.

I mentioned Sonic, it’s true there.

Plenty of platformer protagonists.

They just live by this honor code

that, I guess, it’s only honorable

if you don’t, you know, get
all the way to the right

in a certain amount of time.

It just, it doesn’t
serve a purpose anymore.

It’s just so old school,

it’s something people just think is there.

It has its roots in arcade games

because, like, that way
you to put more money

in the arcade game.

And I guess it makes sense there.

You’re not exactly playing

in an arcade for endless
immersion, you know?

They want to cycle
people through the game.

The longer you’re on the game,

the less money you’re putting in it.

But, like, that doesn’t exist anymore.

And it wasn’t realistic
then and it wasn’t fun then.

And it’s not like we liked
giving up the arcade cabinet.

But it makes even less sense now.

At number six is rail shooting segments

where you can die really easy.

The concept of getting on a mounted gun

and blasting away at a swarm of enemies

isn’t unrealistic on its
own, but a lot of games,

these are not handled in
a way that’s realistic.

Depending on the game, these
sequences can be super long,

really simplistic, and even boring.

If that’s the worst a rail
shooting segment could get

that maybe we wouldn’t
put it on this list.

But they suddenly start
getting really hard sometimes

and that’s where the real
fakeness of these things

really starts to stand out.

Just look at your standard
on-rails shooting sequence.

Usually, you’re on a
machine gun emplacement

with zero cover.

You’re standing out in the
open like a sitting duck.

You know what I’m saying.

When you’re just shooting fish in a barrel

it’s not that noticeable,

but when an enemy starts
shooting you to pieces,

but your dude is just standing
there like a dumb-ass,

that’s when they start to suck, you know?

Is it that hard for your guy

to just get off the gun for
a second and, you know, duck?

Certain games do let you take cover

while manning a machine gun,

but most of them, I’m gonna say,

just have your guy standing
a place, not reacting at all,

while they get, like,
drizzled with bullets.

Depending on who you ask the whole concept

of the rail shooter segment is outdated

and just shouldn’t be in games anymore.

But I don’t really mind
these parts in short bursts.

They can be a lot of brainless fun.

They just start getting difficult or long

and then they suck.

At number five is random encounters.

Look, I love old-school RPGs.

I play the hell out of old-school RPGs.

But I also play the updated versions

where I can turn the random
encounters on and off

as I please.

Why? Because a lot of the time
I don’t wanna deal with it.

It’s not what I am at the game for.

When I need to grind, yes,
turn it back on, I’ll do it.

When I’m headed for the
next part of the story,

like when I’m walking
from Midgar to Nibelheim,

I don’t need that crap
in my life right now.

Except for back then,
you couldn’t turn it off,

it was just standard.

Like, every time you were
in an area that wasn’t safe,

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you were a few steps away
from a random encounter.

And to call it annoying

would be a massive,
massive understatement.

It was probably the number
one thing keeping people

from getting into role-playing
games back in the day.

Instead of letting you explore the world

and coming with some natural
way to deal with enemies,

the game just left it up to
a random number generator.

“Chrono Trigger” was
the first instance of it

I ever experienced that
handled enemy encounters

in a way that felt like it makes sense.

Like, they were in the map,

and you could even sneak by some of them.

But that wasn’t how it
went most of the time.

And do I need to explain
why it’s unrealistic?

Like, you’re just strolling
along minding your own business

and suddenly, a bunny rabbit or a frog,

or a strangely positioned
cactus man would attack you.

Like, you’d think you’d
be able to see that coming

and either avoid it or charge
it with all of your might.

But, like, even when they’re strong enough

to take on literal gods,

these random critters will
still get the drop on them.

Like, it’s one of those things that RPGs

just had to have for a while

because they didn’t really
have another solution,

except for, you know,

the one that they had in
“Chrono Trigger” in 1995.

And it’s pretty rare
you see random battles

in RPGs these days.

Even, like, when you have
them, you can shut them off,

and that’s really all that matters.

Like, if I want to do
battles, if I want to grind,

I’ll turn them on, and then
that’s exactly what I wanna do.

But when you force me to walk a few steps

and get in a battle

and walk a few steps and get in a battle,

that slows down the pace badly.

It’s not a gaming loop
anymore, it’s just annoying.

And number four is auto-scrolling levels!

Ooh!

Now, I will say, before I really express

how much I hate an auto-scrolling level,

I will say that some people
have levels of tolerance

where these sorts of stages
aren’t always terrible.

And I’m not gonna say

I hate every single one
that’s ever existed.

There are actually some pretty fun ones.

But when they start to
get hard or annoying,

they really, really suck.

Especially in a lot of old platformers,

there’s usually a level or two

where the screen’s just constantly moving

and you can’t control it.

In these stages, it’s more
about avoiding enemies

and obstacles, than moving forward.

Rarely does the game give
an explanation as to why,

it just sorta happens,

and if you’re too slow or too fast,

it can mean instant death.

If I’m completely honest,

that’s actually the thing
that annoyed me the most

with auto-scroll levels, is
they were often scrolling

much slower than I wanted to go.

Falcon over here, yeah, he gotta go fast.

There’s a reason why I’m the one

that did the before you
buy on “Sonic Frontiers.”

That’s how I like my platforming

But forget preferences,

it just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

I mean, look at this.

You’re caught between this wall
and the side of the screen.

Now you’re dead!

There wasn’t anything deadly there,

just the edge of the screen.

Doesn’t matter if you
touch it anywhere else,

but on an auto-scrolling level,

this invisible wall of death kills you.

Hmm, whatever.

And number three is lives and game overs.

I (laughs) hate to break it to you

but, in real life, you don’t
live more than one time.

In the world of video games,

you can die as many times
as you want and restart

but for a long time,

nearly every game had this
weird artificial limitation

of lives to stand in your way.

You know the drill,
there’s a number on top

or on the bottom of the screen.

Every time you die, numbers go down.

If it hits zero, you can game over.

Then it sends you back to
the start of the level,

your last save, or even back
to the start of the game.

This entire concept’s 100%
just really video gamey.

Doesn’t make any rational sense.

Why can Mega Man find pickups
of his own head? I don’t know.

Because they’re lives.

You know, lives. Video
games just have those.

It’s, I mean, no more or less unrealistic

than just being able to
respawn after you die,

but it’s way more annoying

because it doesn’t make any sense anymore.

Again, to go back to arcades,
lives make perfect sense.

They need to have a
reason to alternate people

through the arcade cabinet.

But once again, we aren’t
playing games in arcades anymore.

It’s one of those systems

that always feels like
it’s totally ignorable

because the game showers you with lives

or just incredibly annoying

’cause the game’s really stingy with them,

and there’s not really any in between.

Like I said, it’s not the 1980s anymore.

And even Sonic, with “Sonic
Origins,” changed this.

And changed it for the better
with the whole coin thing.

‘Cause it’s ridiculous.

It’s ridiculous to go back to the games

and be stuck with this mechanic.

You should be able to shut it off

on any re-release of any old platformer.

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At number two, block puzzles.

Hey, how many puzzles do you encounter

during your day-to-day life?

And no, you don’t get to claim

that, like, life’s challenges
are little puzzles.

I mean, like, video game puzzles.

Video game protagonists, yeah,
they deal with a lot of that.

And what’s weird is they’re
usually the first person there.

Like, I mean, I guess I get
it in a game like “Uncharted,”

where the places that you’re visiting

hadn’t been charted before.

But, like, I’m sorry,

it’s weird you’re the
first one there generally.

And they’re kind of a cornerstone
of game design, puzzles,

and one of the most common

and nonsensical are block puzzles.

Like in a game where
you come upon something

that’s blocking your
way and it’s in a grid,

it’s a block puzzle.

Or probably is. Like,
if it’s not I’m shocked.

So to get around them,
you gotta push, pull

and change the orientation of the blocks

so you create a passage or
solve some kind of puzzle.

Like make a bird out of the blocks

or something, I don’t know.

Few things in games generate

as many questions as a block puzzle.

Like, who made these?

Why and how can I only push
them in a specific direction

that makes a grid formation?

Also, why can’t I pull them?

How does it reset after I leave the room

and come back because I failed?

Why can’t I just squeeze
through them or climb over them?

Like, a lot of the time it seems like

my character could if I wanted to,

but it’s a no, you can’t do that.

Like, these can be the worst element

of what is an otherwise good dungeon.

Like, I’m looking at you “Zelda.”

Block pushing can be
slow and very tedious,

but can also be fiddly

and awkward depending
on the control scheme.

Obviously, it’s not realistic.

There’s a bunch of perfect square blocks

that you can only push
into specific positions,

that’s just silly.

And finally, at number one,

escort missions with instant fail states.

So most escort missions.

I guess, like, it’s kind of realistic,

but it’s also really
unrealistic at the same time.

The realistic part is that, obviously,

if you have a companion and they die,

like they get shot or
something, that they die.

Like, that’s the end of the mission.

That makes sense. But
everything else does not.

A lot of the time, a game throws
you into an escort mission

when you gotta defend some reign of dude

who wanders around like an absolute moron.

Stands in front of you, does
nothing to avoid enemies.

Basically walks up to them

and says “Please, random
monster, eat my face.”

Like, they have the survival instincts

of an eight-year-old child
who has never left the house

because tablets are such a
big part of American life now.

And I’m gonna say I can’t say for certain

what I would do in a
life-or-death situation,

but it wouldn’t be casually stand

in the middle of a firefight.

And you gotta know that
the programmers know.

They probably know better than anyone.

So why is it like that?

What’s even worse

is the ones where literally
any mistake is instant failure.

And this is really where my
irritation begins to skyrocket.

It’s especially nonsensical
when there’s no reason

you need to keep the person alive.

You don’t need them to open a door,

you’re basically just doing
it because you’re good,

and then they die,

you know, because you walked
around the corner too early

or something like that.

So that’s it.

I walked three steps ahead of
where I was supposed to be,

so that means it’s over
’cause my guy’s dead now.

That makes sense.

Restart the simulation!

Like, by far the worst
in most nonsensical ones

are where they immediately
killed the person

you’re protecting at
the end of the mission.

Like, just a second ago
this guy had to live,

but now, in the cut scene, he dies,

and everything keeps going.

Life continues.

Why could that not have happened

as I was walking through the corridor?

Why? Nobody likes escort
missions and for good reason.

I’m not saying there’s no good ones ever.

Most are not.

And if they’re so unrealistic anyways,

like, again, the guy you’re
protecting doesn’t realize

that bullets kill you
or something like that,

why not just make him invincible?

Yeah, that would be too
easy. I understand that.

But why?

Realistically speaking, what changes?

It’s dumb.

And that’s all for today.

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I’m Falcon. You can follow me
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