Saturday, September 20, 2008

Gaming pet peeves 2: The Peevening

I know that "Peevening" isn't a word, but bleh. Anywho, this is a sequel to February's Gaming Pet Peeves. Oh, and the image below? Pilfered from here. Remember, kids, stealing is cool!*

Ever find something in a game that just peeves you off? Something that just makes you ask "Why?"? Well, you aren't alone. I've seen many a thing that gets on my nerves during my gaming experience, and here are just a few more to expand on part one of this series.

Terrible voice acting

A game can have amazing dialog, but it's all ruined if the developers sprung for the cheaper voice actors in the agency. The worst offender I've seen in recent memory would have to be Elebits. Just... Watch this trailer. Do you hear that man? His patronizing, "You're an idiot" kind of talking? Well, the voice acting in the actual game is even worse. How much worse? Take how bad that trailer was, roll it up in manure and moldy old carpet, then multiply that by 73. That's how bad the voice acting in Elebits is. I'm just thankful that the cinematics can be skipped after hearing them once, but even a single time can be enough to forever stain one's eardrums.

Sadly, it seems that Disaster: Day of Crisis is going down the same ear bleed-inducing path. If you manage to get to the end of this video without cringing, you're a better man than I. "Their name is... STORM. They kidnapped... HER." God, it's like William Shatner, but without the awesome. Also, Ray's voice doesn't suit him at all. The game could sound a lot better, and I mean that in almost every meaning of the phrase.


If there's one thing that really bugs me about most Need For Speed games, it's the apparent invincibility of the player's car. No matter how many high-speed cartwheels, roadblock smashes and dizzying aerial maneuvers you pull off, your car will always emerge with no more than superficial damage. That sounds fine at first, but after destroying the thirtieth or so police cruiser, it begins to seem incredibly unfair. It's just way to easy to escape when your car seems to be made of solid diamond! Making this invincibility somewhat odd, however, is the fact that you car is quite often destroyed during a drag race. Hit an object too fast and you wipe out. Overheat your engine and you grind to a halt. Seriously now, selective invincibility? That's just bizarre. Also, your tires are susceptible to spike strips. Oh, so you can make a car out of invincible material, but you can't get tires that won't be shredded by spikes? Come on.

Need For Speed isn't the only offender, though. Halo's trademark Warthog is also a god's vehicle, impervious to explosions, falling from great heights, and even being submerged in water. All this technology protecting a jeep, and the gargantuan Pillar of Autumn gets taken down by a few dozen Covenant ships? Sorry, but you've lost me now.

Inevitable catastrophes

If there's one thing that just breaks my heart each time I play Half-Life 2, it's the poor, innocent people I see gunned down in front of my eyes. But, there's nothing I can do. The shooter is hidden behind a wall or other obstruction at the time, and there's no way I can possibly get in the way of the bullet before it hits the victim. So, no matter what, my trips through City 17 are always littered with the bodies of those that died metres in front of me because their assailant was just out of my range. It's heartbreaking. Damn you, Valve! Damn you and your awesome way of making me feel sympathy for virtual characters I've just seconds earlier made eye contact with! Gah, I'm such a sap.

Another inevitable catastrophe that really bugs me is a certain point in The Godfather: Blackhand Edition. I won't lay down any specifics, but I'll say that there's this one point where I know someone is going to die, but I can't do anything. I can't stop them from going where he/she is going, I can't prevent the goons from capturing him/her, and I can never get to his/her murder scene quick enough to save their life. It's terrible, too, since I got to know the person so well in the game beforehand. Every time I play through the game, I stall at that point. I go around and do odd jobs, constantly avoiding the one mission that will trigger this inevitable catastrophe. No matter what, though, the game cannot progress without this scene. They have to die for the story to advance, and it always hurts to see them go and their family grieve. Dammit, I really am a sap.

That's all for this edition of Gaming Pet Peeves. Feel free to discuss these pet peeves and more in either the comment section, or this forum thread.

*One Duck's Opinion does not in any way condone theft of any kind. Just joking around. Take a load off, Mr. Serious.

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