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Gripe about What You're Playing 2: Bellyache-tric Boogaloo

I forgot how incredibly tedious the inverted castle in SotN is! What a pain! Enemies just perform their attack patterns indefinitely once they've seen you, often rendering some passages... impassable! There's very little in the way of strategy for dealing with many areas- its often best to just turn into the bat and hope for the best... ugh
 

4-So

Spicy
Inverted Castle is where I go fix myself a drink, grab a light snack, and settle in for Crissaegrim farming. And then when I have such ridiculousness, I just LOL my way through.
 

Issun

Avarice
Mega Man 8 is not very good. I thought it was just because of JUMP JUMP SLIDE SLIDE but this time through I'm realizing that there are multiple points that are so poorly designed. 7 was rushed through development and, final boss aside, it turned out more playable than 8.
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
I marvel at the sheer lack of charm and compelling gameplay in Gunpey. Even Q?'s attempts to mask the boredom with its usual sensory overload fail miserably. This game was supposed to be a tribute to the late Gunpey Yokoi, but with play mechanics so dull they may have been devised by an android star ship officer with no understanding of the concept of "fun," it feels more like Bandai emptied its bladder on Yokoi's headstone.
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
Hey, I'm starting to remember why I hated Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy so much! It ticks all the boxes of design flaws that were annoying about games from its console generation. The levels are just simple enough to feel empty and boring, yet just complicated enough to make you wonder what the hell you're supposed to do to get to the next checkpoint. Progress leans toward the process oriented and counterintuitive, with your character using an ill-defined power-up to ride geysers and run across lava to reach key items. A lava monster appears, and you're supposed to feed yourself to it before it explains to you that it prefers coconuts, eventually letting you use it to reach higher platforms. Health is scarce, and if you lose the game, you don't get it back when you continue. Checkpoints are stretched way the hell apart, so if you DO die, you'll be robbed of a lot of progress, as well as important items like the blade that lets you strike enemies. (Your only means of defense early on is throwing rocks... if you can find rocks, and if the rocks actually hit their targets, which is unlikely.)

I understand Sphinx broadens after the torturous prologue, but it's definitely not putting its best foot forward with this introduction.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
Echochrome is one of the all-time great game concepts, but it is super janky. At first I was kind of enjoying the jank, and how things would happen seemingly randomly that might be in my favour or might go against me, but I’ve reached the point where it’s just frustrating to have the character walk through a wall and fall into nothingness or reach what appears to be an unobstructed path forwards and turn back around because the ground is slightly out of alignment even though the game has redrawn itself to look like it isn’t. And it’s annoying that the character will always turn left given the opportunity, unless that’s what you really need them to do in which case they won’t.

The real killer though is the time limit. I think it’s five minutes, but I don’t actually know because it doesn’t display a timer, you’ll just be plugging away at a stage and it suddenly ends. Usually when I’m about ten seconds away from finishing. What does this add? Nothing good.

I might keep going and stick to the solo and pair play modes, which are less frustrating than others mode.
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
So I started playing Spiritfarer last night, and I was kind of reminded of this failed Kickstarter project that was like an open world fishing game with really charming looking sprite art. I didn't back it, but it looked interesting. Anyone remember the name of that game?

Edit: Oops, thought this was the gripe about what your NOT playing thread...
 
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Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
I've been enjoying most of Doom Eternal except as I get close to what I can only assume is the end the jumping sections become ridiculous. And I'm currently stuck on the fight with
Khan Maykr
which is an exercise in frustration.
 

Beta Metroid

At peace
(he/him)
^That's where I gave in to the power of homing rockets. I had grown really attached to remote detonating rockets in 2016, and generally still favored them in Eternal even though they don't seem to be quite as good. But switching to homing was the only thing that got me through that fight.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I was using Homing Rockets for most rougher enemies and they’re tailor made for that fight; wasn’t even a speed bump for me with them.

But I also played Eternal on a lower difficulty
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
^That's where I gave in to the power of homing rockets. I had grown really attached to remote detonating rockets in 2016, and generally still favored them in Eternal even though they don't seem to be quite as good. But switching to homing was the only thing that got me through that fight.

I was using Homing Rockets for most rougher enemies and they’re tailor made for that fight; wasn’t even a speed bump for me with them.

But I also played Eternal on a lower difficulty

I took this advice and the cake became a real cake-walk! Thank you both!
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
Going Under is both unpalatable as a game, and as a depiction of Seattle's parasitic tech job market. You're surrounded by sociopaths with a plasticky, 21st century sheen, puffing you up with talk of a bright, financially stable future, while exploiting you for free labor and anything else they can squeeze out of you. When their ridiculous pipe dreams (in this case, Fizzle, a carbonated meal replacement with bizarre flavors like Apricot Szechuan) go down in flames, you're cut loose and forced to either recognize that you got played, or repeat the process, hoping that next time, the elusive ticket to success will finally be within your grasp.

In that respect, the setting pairs well with the rogue-like gameplay... you put in a whole lot of effort, get nothing for your hard work, then return to the cycle of abuse, hoping that the next time will be different. Or the next time. Or the time after that.
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
I just got a new tablet, and saw that Genshin Impact lets you adjust the world level now, so I thought I'd give it another go. Unfortunately, you have to have world level 5 first, so I'm still stuck in world level 3 with my little predicament of my characters being capped at level 40 still, but the materials needed to up their level caps come from level 50+ boss monsters.

There isn't a new hotness trash open world gacha game yet is there?
 
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Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
Playing through Panzer Dragoon Saga, I can see what makes it a lost gem of the Saturn library, but MAN does it need some quality of life updates.

The awkward on foot controls. The fussy UI (especially when trying to configure the dragons stats). The excessive encounter rate...

...Edge's weird face texture.
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
It's ooooogly. Probably more so than people realize, or willingly acknowledge. I can't think of a game that needs a next-generation update more than Saga.
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
Addendum: The draw distance is butt too. Not a big deal in the on foot sections or more enclosed dragon section, but there have been several big open areas that the Saturn just doesn't handle well, and trying to find all the treasure chests there sucks.
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
Steel Assault blows. Its graphics and sound are great; pretty much exactly what you want from a retro throwback, with a futuristic sheen, big explosions, and screaming guitar riffs. But where it fails is that it's a dumb arcade game that's as frustrating and counterintuitive as the designers could possibly make it. There's too much trial and error for a game like this, whether you're trying (and failing) to climb up a skyscraper as enemies on either side take potshots at you, or battling an airship that covers the entire ground with electricity while offering no apparent respite from the high voltage, or trying to climb trees with fragile limbs and waterfalls with platforms that fall apart under your feet... as pesky creatures apparently borrowed from Street Fighter 2010 hone in on your position. The zipline offered as a replacement for the grappling hook in Bionic Commando isn't nearly as reliable... while the bionic arm only releases when and where you want it, I've had instances where the zipline won't stick, or sticks until you're almost done climbing it, at which point you fall to the platform below, or possibly to your death.

Yes, there are multiple difficulty settings, including the insultingly named "very easy." They're all lies. Instead of hard, normal, easy, and very easy, they should be ultra cheap, very cheap, more cheap than average, and less cheap in some ways but still cheap in others. Very easy gives you a double health bar and enemy reflexes tend to be a little duller in that mode, BUT! The entire ground is still covered with electricity in that airship fight, the waterfall in the second stage is still damn near impossible to climb, and the zipline still sucks as a means of conveyance. Steel Assault may actually be worse than an ordinary bad game, because they lure you in with this great 1990s-style pixel artwork, then take the stick they were hanging that carrot from and gleefully beat you senseless with it. Any way I can get this game without the shitty gameplay?
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
I liked it? To me at least it felt fairer than a lot of its inspirations, given infinite continues and saves at check points.
 

Violentvixen

(She/Her)
I really wanted to like Niche, I've had it on my wishlist for years. Got it on sale and played for a bit and it just didn't click for me. Repetitive, really unclear what exactly is happening, etc. Oh well, glad I finally got to try it.
 

q 3

here to eat fish and erase the universe
(they/them)
Sega Genesis Picross suffers from slowdown. hahaha, what the fuck?
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
Dragon Quest Builders 2 has very satisfying gameplay but holy hell there's about four times as much dialogue as there needs to be. Not only does it constantly repeat the plot point (yes, this is the fifth time you specifically have talked about how this town used to have this industry, but then all that changed and the children of hargon blamed it on builders and now you want to restore the town to its former glory), it constantly repeats your current mission objectives as well.

Also the second island's... concept is really off putting and uncomfortable! Stop having all these grown ass men talk about how they've known the only girl on the island since she was a child and now they all want to date her!!!
During the Switch Online freeplay session I made it as far as about 1/3rd of the way through this one before it ended. Definitely not thrilled by how this entire town is horny for a girl most of 'em are old enough to be the father of. And the way this particular super deformed style makes everyone look like giant toddlers just makes things worse.

It's a shame, 'cuz I liked the general idea of fixing up the mine to more efficiently mine metals and restore a golem to his former golden glory.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
There's a lot to love about Final Fantasy VII Remake, and I do love it, but boy howdy does the game have some padding. Why do something once when you can do it four times? I think I'm nearing the end, and of the 35 hours I've played to date, about 10 of them felt very unnecessary. Still a great game despite that, but just imagine how good it would have been with a bit more editing.
 

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
They were very afraid of reviewers complaining it was too short.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
They were very afraid of reviewers complaining it was too short.
I get that, but they made their game worse to avoid those complaints and generated new complaints instead! I have so much respect when a game developer does what's best for their game, as opposed to what people expect them to do. And the budget for a game like FFVIIR probably makes no sense when you imagine it as a 20-hour experience, but holy shit what a great 20 hours it would have been.
 

Issun

Avarice
DKC 3 is still a good game and has a few neat ideas but I also see why it's largely considered the worst of the 5. Bad hitboxes, slippery physics and a mostly rote rehash of the first two games.
 

Issun

Avarice
DKC 3 is still a good game and has a few neat ideas but I also see why it's largely considered the worst of the 5. Bad hitboxes, slippery physics and a mostly rote rehash of the first two games.
I rescind my argument that this is a good game. The mechanics in some of the last few levels are straight-up bad. Whoever thought an entire underwater level with reversed controls was a good idea is a goddamn idiot.
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
Whoa. Now I've reached the age where I have to acknowledge that not every game is tailored to my tastes... in fact, I'm lucky when even half of what's released is something I would want to play. But I'll tell you, when it comes to utterly repellant gaming experiences, the kind of software that makes me detest it from every conceivable angle, nothing tops Crysis 3. Are the graphics dark? Oh yes, they're dark. Everything looks like it takes place a hundred miles beneath the Earth's surface. Is the gameplay needlessly complicated? Oh yes, it's complicated. Buttons can either be pressed or held to expand their functionality (and your frustration), and there are so many abilities that you can't possibly keep track of them all in the middle of a fire fight. Look, giving me several weapons is fine, that's great. But don't give me several weapons AND several augments to those weapons AND several status effects for the weapons AND expect me to juggle all that shit in the middle of a battle with bullets flying everywhere, because I'm not going to be able to handle that. And I sure don't need cloaking and bullet reflection and hacking and enemy tracking and infrared vision and who the hell knows what other burdens you can throw on my shoulders. Now I know how the guy from Death Stranding feels.

But that ain't all, folks! Is the game full of enough try-hard futuristic machismo to make Halo look like The Smurfs? Oh yes indeed it is. It's like when Crytek made Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, they took all the grimdark "I'm literally the only guy bad-ass enough to save the universe because the Micro Machines from Galoob they used to enhance my already awesome abilities were so damn awesome they killed everybody else because they weren't nearly as awesome as me" crap they put in Crysis 3, and gave it the satirical puncturing it deserves. Some game had to do it, because I don't think Crysis 3 has the self-awareness to step back, examine itself from a distance (maybe with one of its seven thousand superfluous abilities), and realize that maybe it's way too far up its own ass.

Clearly, somebody liked Crysis 3. Judging from the reviews and the sales figures, a whole lot of somebodies liked Crysis 3, but for me, it's like Kryptonite in video game form. I'd like to stuff it in a burlap bag, set it on fire with a blowtorch, piss out the flames, then throw what's left off a cliff into a pit of broken glass.
 
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