Raidou Kuzunoha XIV

What are some of your favourite and least favourite tropes/clichés in games?

16 posts in this topic

Here's some examples of what I mean by game tropes/clichés:

 

  • Infinite backpack space
  • Ridiculously spacious sewers
  • Silent protagonists
  • Having to follow an NPC and they walk much slower than even your own character's walk speed
  • Fetch quests
  • The final boss is literally God (a JRPG trope if nothing else)
  • Bosses with multiple phases/forms
  • Unwinnable boss battles

 

Have any favourite ones? Any ones you can't stand? And why? Discuss and such.

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Secrets behind waterfalls are a personal favorite.

 

What I hate the absolute most is when the hardest boss of a game gives you the strongest weapon. The hell am I supposed to do now? Why do I need the strongest weapon if I've already overcome the hardest challenge?

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A cheatcode that is tied to big head mode or no gravity of some kind like that.

 

Not many games have it anymore but cheats like that made the game more fun

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I always get a laugh whenever one of my 2D scrollers hides a secret, just a few steps offscreen from the starting position.

 

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-what matters is the journey, not the destination mentality in stories

-empty self insert main characters in stories

-prequels

-make your own story/figure the story yourself (Souls)

-games need boss fights and those boss fights have to be revolutionary or they're a failure

-realism being confused for believability, a game can be unrealistic and believable at the same time

-RPG elements/loot systems in games that have no business having them

-the 3 amounts of everything, do this 3 times, kill that enemy 3 times, get 3 of this item etc.

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Posted (edited)

Least favorite of mine is a one-hit death. You start with a full life bar. Now the boss hits you with a particularly strong attack and you're going to drink a healing elixir, right? Normally yes, but in this case it's no. The bastard already killed you with that hit, even with you having been at 100% HP. I think the highest damage from one hit should be 80% of your max health- while still punishing, you get a chance to heal.

 

As for silent protagonists, I wouldn't mind seeing Falcom give Adol voiced dialogue in future Ys games. At least going forward from Ys Seven, he does have some spoken lines during combat.

Edited by RadiantFlamberge
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13 hours ago, RadiantFlamberge said:

As for silent protagonists, I wouldn't mind seeing Falcom give Adol voiced dialogue in future Ys games. At least going forward from Ys Seven, he does have some spoken lines during combat.

 

I've always been of two minds about silent protagonists. On one hand, I get they're silent because you're supposed to kind of self insert. On the other hand, the character is often supposed to actually have an established personality and history, and I can't help but find it laughable when other characters in the game will praise the protagonist on helping them through X personal difficulty, when all they ever said was one line that you picked between 2-3 different lines that all had the same outcome or something (I'm looking at you, Persona).

 

I definitely wouldn't mind characters that have already been established as silent protagonists for several years getting more voiced dialogue. It could result in disasters (*cough*MetroidOtherM*cough*), but it could also be a nice change of pace and give otherwise silent protags more personality, like with Adol as you mentioned.

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Never thought I'd say this, but I'm actually getting sick of the implicit narrative popularized by the Souls series. "Oh no, some ambiguous calamity has befallen the world! Listen to vague NPC dialogue and piece together clues from the environment to figure out what happened!" So many indie games mimic this. Just tell a damn story already.

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On 28/05/2022 at 4:02 PM, MercilessWaffle said:

Here's some examples of what I mean by game tropes/clichés:

 

  • Having to follow an NPC and they walk much slower than even your own character's walk speed
  • Unwinnable boss battles

 

I definitely agree with these two, but I disagree with silent protagonists as I love the Persona games and also otome/VNs where the protagonist is silent, I quite like the idea of it getting the player to feel more involved. I'm quite used to silent protags due to the sheer number of otome games that I have played and enjoyed, in fact I don't like it when the MC is voiced in VNs and otome games. For other games, I prefer voiced, so I think the silent protag only works for a specific type of game, particularly ones that involve dating like persona, rune factory and story of seasons. 

 

My dislikes are:

Games without skip scenes... like what the hell, this is the bare minimum nowadays (Life is strange games which was surprising with them not being super old like Tales of Symphonia and the sequel which also didn't have skip scenes) 

Magic as consumables that you have to farm like an item in RPGs rather than being skills or abilities that characters learn(FF15, FF8)

Trophies for defeating the last boss on the highest difficulty (It's often really hard, take a lot of skill or takes a lot of preparation.... KH games, many tales games particularly zestiria sticks out to me)

Mini games as part of the main story, these should be optional. (KH BBS made you do disney town mini games, KH3 also had many mini games... annoying)

Extremely low drop rates, like those 0.1% ones (FF13...)

Character level/strength caps until you progress the story to prevent players from overpowering (FF13). 

Fishing... sorry I hate fish and fishing, as much as Japan loves it and puts it in so many of their games (FF15, Persona 4 and 5, all pokemon games, harvest moon/story of seasons games, tales of arise....) 

Over complicated weapon system (Zestiria)

 

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One game where I felt that the silent protagonist was a big step back is Crysis 2. Nomad in the first one has a decent amount of dialogue. From that, you go to C2's Alcatraz not having any (though his being seriously injured in the prologue can explain that). You don't really get to know him like the protagonists of the other games in the series.

 

I don't like when the NPC you're guarding on an escort mission goes into Leeroy Jenkins mode. This can lead to an enemy (or you by accident) killing them a little too easily. At least the escort mission in Ys 8 doesn't have this. You can get your ally to wait while you clear the route of monsters. In Nioh, your NPC partners tend toward offensive tactics but can thankfully be saved after falling in combat. One flagrant LJ example is in Metal Gear Solid 2.

Spoiler

Late in MGS2, Raiden will stand in the open to cover you after you escort him to a certain point. The enemy will not attack just you, but Raiden as well. They can kill him, causing a mission failure.

 

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Having money that you cant really spend after the end of the game.(GTA IV)

 

Diamond-hard vegetation that can be flatted with a car (Perico Island GTA V)

 

 

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I love when this is included in game:
- expanded skill tree
- my language in subtitles and dubbing
- sports as minigames (pool, darts etc.)
- breaking the 4th wall/ refering to real life things, events (Conker)
- permadeath/completely outta my sight difficulty to choose (though I didn't play on it, I choose it after finishing game first, to check how long it took me to die for the first time)
- dialogue choices based on emotions you want your character to have (ass Effect)
 

I hate when this is included in game:
- unskippable cutscenes
- when the enemies are on the same level (or slightly higher) as your character, which makes leveling it pointless (Dead Island, Riptide)
- when you're pushed to have sidekicks (Dragon Age Inquisition)

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I like when modern games use the red/yellow/blue key mechanic as an homage to old games, but then I hate when developers feel the need to put some lines like "I hAtE thEsE cOMpLeX puZzLeS" spoken by the protagonist, as to reassure the players that difficult tasks like using the red key in the red door won't be the norm for the rest of the game.

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One thing I forgot to mention myself, that I absolutely detest, is enemy/player advantage in JRPGs with random encounters. It's just pure luck and annoying as hell getting into a random encounter and having one or more of your characters wipe because the enemies are insistently attacking them. Sure, it's nice being the one with the advantage when you get it, but I'd rather it just not be a thing period in games with random encounters.

 

I'm not a massive fan of random encounters in general, though I can appreciate them at times. In Pokemon for example, when I used to play the games, the random encounter areas were at least very obvious and could sometimes be avoided if so desired, and it was actually always a slight thrill finding a rare, or on very rare occasions, a shiny Pokemon, something that wouldn't quite feel the same if you could just see them in the overworld, like in Let's Go (I remember seeing a shiny Slowbro walking around in that game, and while I still got that "holy shit, shiny!" moment, it wasn't quite the same, if that makes sense. There wasn't that brief build-up and sudden reveal of what the Pokemon was).

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Posted (edited)

Favourite tropes:

 

- Bosses in general. One of the oldest tropes that still exists to this day. A platformer doesn't need to have bosses, but they make a game like Crash Bandicoot infinitely better. A stealth game doesn't need to have bosses, but they make Metal Gear Solid infinitely better.

 

- Secrets in general. When I was a kid and saw invisible blocks and area skips in Super Mario Bros for the first time, I thought secrets were the coolest thing. And I still think so now.

 

- Easter eggs. Also a smart thing that stuck and become a staple in videogames. It's like a secret, but much more rare, and usually has something 4th wall-breaking.

 

Least favourite (most of these are related to story):

 

- "You're the chosen one. The prophecy says a great hero will rise to save the world from evil, and it's clearly you". I get why it's popular, but I think this trope is boring and overdone.

 

- You have to "get rid of the darkness" or clear the "corruption" or something similar. Light vs dark stories are fine, but at least give the evil guys some character and personality as well as some motivation. Clearing out black or dark purple blobs, turning a dark area into a bright and colourful one, and fighting the pure manifestation of evil that wants to destroy the world and nothing else in the end - all of this is boring and overdone.

 

- Religious themes. Devil, demons, hell, satan, sins, etc. Can't stand them. Pick something else, or put a unique spin on it. Or even dig up some unused mythology, there are so many different cultures.

 

- The balancing on horizontal poles mechanic. Such a small thing, but so unfun. 

 

- The stamina limit for running. I understand the stamina limit for climbing and fighting gameplay-wise. But going out of breath and losing speed after 10 seconds of running rarely serves any purpose in a game, IMO.

 

On 28.05.2022 at 6:02 PM, MercilessWaffle said:

Ridiculously spacious sewers

 

For me, it's sewers in general. I remember a joke from Spy Kids 3D: "Why does every game have lava?". I have the same question but for sewers. I mean, I kinda know the answer. They are easy to make, and not demanding in terms of hardware power. But still, too many games have them.

Edited by Slava
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