Criticisms of video games you are tired of hearing

immortalfrieza

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We all have at least one, something that's brought up about a video game or games in general that we have heard all the time, that we find either annoying, petty, or just plain wrong. What is yours?

For me, it was hard to pick just one, but I'll go with "this plot doesn't make sense!" and the related "what this character did doesn't make sense!" This could applied to fiction in general really.

I've found that this criticism is outright wrong the vast majority of the time I hear it, and when it is right it's even more often deliberate. When somebody brings this up it usually means either A. the writers just respected the intelligence of it's audience (even though apparently they shouldn't have) and decided to use a little subtlety instead of spoon feeding the plot in the most blatantly obvious manner possible or B. they forget they are the audience not the participants in the game, or possibly both.

The first is very annoying. Most of the time the plot and what characters do makes plenty of sense if one thinks about it for more than 5 seconds. The whole thing might have been open to interpretation as well.

The second is just odd. What happens is they either forget that unlike the audience the characters are not mostly omniscient and don't know the things the audience does and thus can't act on them, or they go the other direction and forget that they are not really in fact in the situations the characters are in or live and grew up in the world the characters do, and thus can't really know the thought processes that go into what these characters are doing and/or thinking and why. The audience is the audience, not the characters, one way or another they miss that.
 

Pink Gregory

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Not so much a criticism, but how it's communicated: people seem to think that hyperbole actually improves the legitimacy of their criticism.

I see some folk try to go the whole 'cynical' angle without the self-deprecating elements which allow me to still appreciate Yahtzee (for example), and it just comes off as arrogance; which is just tiresome.

It doesn't necessarily invalidate the criticism, it just means that I'm less likely to listen to them, roll my eyes and say 'here we go again...'. That's why I'm forever seeking out things that are written/said with the intention of actually being positive. Surprisingly, people like TotalBiscuit, AngryJoe et al seem to do that quite well.

But an actual criticism? There's an odd dichotomy between people who complain about shorter game length (though I hold probably an unpopular opinion on that) and then people who complain about things being repetitive. Though these are probably different people.
 

Maximum Bert

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Its not realistic. I can get this criticism if the game is marketed as something like a realistic aircraft simulator but it boggles my mind when people complain about this in games that obviously arent going for slavish recreations of realism because they are more concerned with being a game and providing an enjoyable experience.

Most games arent going for realism just some facsimile of it unless they were going for ultra realism and the game demands it then I dont see its lack of realism as a criticism merely an observation similar to saying the sky is blue.
 

immortalfrieza

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Maximum Bert said:
Its not realistic. I can get this criticism if the game is marketed as something like a realistic aircraft simulator but it boggles my mind when people complain about this in games that obviously arent going for slavish recreations of realism because they are more concerned with being a game and providing an enjoyable experience.

Most games arent going for realism just some facsimile of it unless they were going for ultra realism and the game demands it then I dont see its lack of realism as a criticism merely an observation similar to saying the sky is blue.
This is another one that pisses me off pretty badly. It's majorly missing the point of FICTION to begin with, to show the viewers a world that's different than ours, that doesn't have the same rules. I suppose my initial post about people complaining about things in video games not making sense has to do with this as well.
 

Sack of Cheese

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Linearity.
A linear game is not necessary bad, it just means your experience is manually crafted by the developers. A well-crafted adventure can be just as fun as an open-world sandbox one.
 

Pink Gregory

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Sack of Cheese said:
Linearity.
A linear game is not necessary bad, it just means your experience is manually crafted by the developers. A well-crafted adventure can be just as fun as an open-world sandbox one.
Indeed, I can understand the appeal of things happening organically over scripted sequences; but very often there's little middle ground in how people express linearity.

Thing is about sandboxes is that the gameplay is very rarely focused enough to be consistently engaging. Although that's only a certain subset of games, rather than the entire design philosophy of a sandbox.
 

Casual Shinji

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Sack of Cheese said:
Linearity.
A linear game is not necessary bad, it just means your experience is manually crafted by the developers. A well-crafted adventure can be just as fun as an open-world sandbox one.
This one always leaves me very puzzled as well. Seeing as most of the best games ever made are linear.

And most if not all open-world games can be just as linear, with automatic fails if you wander off the beaten path during a mission. Grand Theft Auto, the king of sandbox, is especially guilty of this.
 

dragonet111

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Games difficulty. Yes games were harder before but it was because most games were arcade port on console and arcade games were designed to be hard to squeeze as much money as possible from our pockets. I never finished Super Ghouls and Ghost as a kid and I'm pretty sure I can't today, but without the crazy difficulty this game is what 1h long?

It's true sometime games are too easy (Right now I can only think of Infamous Second Son, I beat it on the hardest difficulty and it was never hard) but difficulty does not make a game good and sometime it kill the fun.
 

Elijin

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Framerate and resolution.

Obviously not the valid complaints like 'This game runs at 5 fps and is nigh unplayable.'

Im talking the high end stuff, with the same people coming back to tell us we should be offended by one framerate, and another perfectly playable framerate is unplayable, etc etc.

In fact, broaden this whole rant to anyone who argues about tech once it hits the higher ends. Go to a tech forums. Gamers in general probably dont care about the finer points of your debate, so long as the game is playable.
 

MeChaNiZ3D

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I'm showing my bias here a bit, but "artificial difficulty" where it doesn't apply - yes, I mean Dark Souls. I have had time and time again people tell me they're just not interested in a game with traps you can't forsee, hidden content and where you have to look up a guide to do well. That is not at all the case. In fact you can forsee the vast majority of the traps (the Seath fight and the first Mimic being the only ones I can think of), the hidden content is good because it means you are rewarded for exploring (and really doesn't affect you if you don't), and struggling through/figuring things out WITHOUT a guide beyond the restricted messages left by other players is the point.

And any kind of accusations of sexism/racism/animal abuse aimed at games set in historical periods/areas that were just being accurate OR games with settings that are inspired by those historical periods/areas. Prime examples being racism in Resident Evil (whatever number it was, I don't play them) and whaling in ACBF (Assassins Can't Be Fucked).
 

TreuloseTomate

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Elijin said:
Framerate and resolution.

Obviously not the valid complaints like 'This game runs at 5 fps and is nigh unplayable.'

Im talking the high end stuff, with the same people coming back to tell us we should be offended by one framerate, and another perfectly playable framerate is unplayable, etc etc.

In fact, broaden this whole rant to anyone who argues about tech once it hits the higher ends. Go to a tech forums. Gamers in general probably dont care about the finer points of your debate, so long as the game is playable.
Are you talking about games that are running at 30 fps? Because 30 fps or 60 fps can make a huge difference, especially with fast paced games.
 

Zhukov

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"It's trying to be like Call of Duty!"

When applied to games that have absolutely bloody nothing in common with Call of Duty other than perhaps having shooting.
 

Shiftygiant

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The graphics argument. You know, where people will say the game you like sucks because it was on the PS2 or in 16-bit, and not photo-realistic like Call Of Duty or Last of us, and that they can't enjoy a game with stylized graphics because it looks unrealistic. That and the whole PC vs Console argument. I'm sick of hearing about the 'PC Master Race and Dirty Console Scrubs' crap. It's depressing when I bring up a game like Silent Hill 2 and get verbally smacked down because it was on consoles.
 

AntiChri5

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"The developers were being lazy!"

No. No no no no no.

Just because there is something in the game that isn't to your satisfaction, or something not included you think should have been, doesn't mean that that is because the devs spent the time they were going to spend on it masturbating. Most of the time it simply wasn't a priority. Resources like time and manpower are finite. The devs have to choose what to focus on and what to sacrifice. Disagree with what they focus on all you like, but don't be so arrogant to assume that they were just wasting time or couldn't be bothered to do it right.
 

balladbird

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Tom Templeton said:
That and the whole PC vs Console argument. I'm sick of hearing about the 'PC Master Race and Dirty Console Scrubs' crap. It's depressing when I bring up a game like Silent Hill 2 and get verbally smacked down because it was on consoles.
Another point in this one for me. It kind of ties into what Pink Gregory was saying above, about how so many people try to share in Yahtzee's extreme cynicism with none of his self deprecation, and don't seem to realize that that just leaves them looking like arrogant putzes.

I get that it's a joke term, and most rational people don't use it seriously, but still. It'd be like going to the lunchroom every day at school, and having this one kid see what you've chosen for lunch, call you an unwashed Plebeian, and brag about his own hypo-allergenic meal. The fact that he immediately apologizes and says "just kidding, just kidding!" doesn't change the fact that this kid is quickly going to become someone you roll your eyes at when you see him approach, and dislike more and more.

It's self defeating of its original purpose, as well, since it doesn't make PC gaming more appetizing to anyone, and in some cases, certainly with me, it makes the platform look disgusting. I don't care if the PC performs gameplay on par with sexual release, I'd rather not experience it than have even one thing in common with people who spout their lazy "master race" crap.... though if one considers the purpose of the rhetoric to be dull, chest-thumping elitism, I guess that's a non-issue.

****

I'm also not fond of the whole "trying too hard to be a movie/doesn't remember it's a game/ too many cutscenes" line of reasoning. As if there's some arbitrary metric at which point the amount of story in a game becomes too much for it to still count as a game.

I'm not saying people should pretend to enjoy games they don't. A deal breaker for a player is a deal breaker for a player, whether it's a game-shattering bug, or just that they don't like the rendering of the main character's nose. The instant someone says the above, however, it's clear that their tastes and mine don't share enough in common for me to be swayed by their opinion. Story is the primary attraction to a game for me. No matter how well made the mechanics of a game are, I'll get bored with it in an hour or two, tops, without a narrative to keep me coming back.

Thus, I'll never personally be able to empathize with people who use "cinematic" as a pejorative.
 

MeChaNiZ3D

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AntiChri5 said:
"The developers were being lazy!"

No. No no no no no.

Just because there is something in the game that isn't to your satisfaction, or something not included you think should have been, doesn't mean that that is because the devs spent the time they were going to spend on it masturbating. Most of the time it simply wasn't a priority. Resources like time and manpower are finite. The devs have to choose what to focus on and what to sacrifice. Disagree with what they focus on all you like, but don't be so arrogant to assume that they were just wasting time or couldn't be bothered to do it right.
A mechanic can be lazy because a dev prioritised without the dev being lazy. Lazy storytelling comes about through lack of effort put into the delivery or structure of the story, but it doesn't mean the lack of effort wasn't valid. I think a lot of the time "The devs were being lazy" actually means "the devs didn't focus on this and as a result the thing itself is lazy". If that makes sense.