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What Spoils a Game For You? 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the spoiling-a-good-story-is-grounds-for-a-whoopin dept.
MTV's Multiplayer Blog is running an interesting piece about what constitutes a spoiler in video games. The interactivity of a video games, argues the author, often makes it necessary to spoil or reveal at least general characteristics of a game during a review or other informative article. He says, "I believe that writing about games is overly careful. I believe that game scripts, game plots and game endings have been given a pass because critics tend to avoid them or address them with the most ginger touch. I'd at least like the discussion about spoilers to cease being so binary. There is room between avoiding mentioning a plot event and reporting its main details. There is value to addressing anything and everything that is most interesting in a game, and value in doing it with words that express meaning rather than those designed to mask it." So, what do you consider a spoiler for a video game, and how do they affect your enjoyment of the game?
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What Spoils a Game For You?

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  • Easy. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Odin_Tiger (585113) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @03:36AM (#26770491) Journal
    Hacks
  • by derfy (172944) * on Sunday February 08, 2009 @03:37AM (#26770495) Homepage Journal

    Does it for me.

    • MTV and Spike (Score:4, Informative)

      by Malevolyn (776946) <signedlongint@nosPaM.gmail.com> on Sunday February 08, 2009 @05:09AM (#26770863) Homepage
      Them being in any way involved with the gaming industry makes me embarrassed to be a jobless shut-in.
    • by Valdrax (32670)

      Pretty much that's it, as far as I'm concerned. I think too many people posting in this article didn't even bother reading the summary where it was asking about "spoilers," not what makes the game itself unfun.

    • by Moraelin (679338) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @06:37AM (#26771229) Journal

      IMHO it's more complex than "don't write about plot twists", and as the summary notes, some games have gotten a free pass with some really bad ones just so the reviewer doesn't spoil it. Basically I'd propose the following distinction, and IMHO it's a major one:

      A) Telling me _what_ the plot twist is. Bad.

      B) Telling me about the quality of plot twists and their implementation. Good.

      Basically I don't want to know stuff like "it turns out you're the feared Sith Lord", but I do want to know if, say, the plot twists are cliches that you can see coming a whole disk before they actually happen.

      Also, I don't really mind examples if:

      A) They happen in the first half an hour of the game anyway, so it's not like it's such a major loss. The rest of a game _should_ still be enjoyable even if I know what happens in the tutorial. Or,

      B) Even the most cursory read of the manual would reveal the same information. I mean, seriously, e.g., in Persona 2 Eternal Punishment you only needed to have played the previous game or read the manual to know what's with Maia or the mysterious boy. But in game for your characters that comes very very late. So basically the manual itself spoils a major element of the plot. Obviously the designers didn't mind you knowing that.

      Should a reviewer really avoid it for those who can't be bothered to read the first 3 pages of the manual? (Then again, I doubt that _some_ people can read more than a paragraph;)

      • by mdarksbane (587589) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @12:02PM (#26772779)

        On other hand, even knowing that there *is* a major twist can completely change how you watch something.

        SPOILER WARNING (sortof)

        Before I watched Fight Club, someone had given me vague ideas that the twist was good, so I was watching the whole movie for the twist, and figured it out about a half hour before anyone else in the room did, and long before the movie actually presents it to you. Whereas when I watched the Sixth Sense, I knew nothing about the movie going in, and the twist caught me completely by surprise. You watch clues in a movie very differently when you know you should be looking for them.

        There's a scene in FEAR where the lights go out in an elevator, and suddenly the antagonist is standing right next to you in it, with nowhere to go and nothing you can do to save yourself. Some of my (admittedly, younger) friends literally fell out of their chairs during that scene, then talked about it incessantly for weeks. By the time I played the game and got there, my only reaction was "hey, this is that elevator scene they were talking about. Yeah, I can see this being a little creepy."

        What I'm saying is that little innocuous bits of knowledge can completely change how you approach something, because the way you have a good twist or surprise in a movie/video game is by leading up to it with other innocuous bits of information that you aren't supposed to know that you need to pay attention to. That way when it happens, everything "clicks" in your head, and the twist makes sense, but you don't come to the proper conclusion more than a couple seconds or minutes before it is revealed. Just knowing that you need to be paying attention to those details makes it a completely different experience.

        • Well, while I see how that might have made you think harder, but

          1. If it's possible to see it coming, then it's possible to see it coming. You could have started using the little grey cells (to paraphrase Hercules Poirot) for any other reason, or for just happening to be the kind of guy who thinks ahead.

          2. Did you really need that nudge? I mean, _the_ major spoiler of the century is everyone adhering to the same script called the Monomyth, a.k.a., the Hero's Journey.

          And I don't mean just the vague general i

          • The problem with the monomyth is that it is generic enough that you can find a way to fit nearly any story into its form. And you may even be right (it is disgustingly overused, I agree) but oftentimes that isn't the interesting part.

            You could argue Fight Club is a monomyth - the narrator goes through various trials with his mentor which he has to overcome and learn from, and eventually has to become separate from him and grow into his own person, sometime around rescuing the girl. But that isn't the part t

            • by Moraelin (679338)

              I'm not even against the monomyth per se, as an idea or study in constructing a story. What does bother me is the formulaic thing that Hollywood turned it into. It's not even just it being monomyth, it's that it's become one script that everyone reuses, and a total number of allowed variations that you can count on your fingers. You get scenario template #3, fill in some props and paraphrase the standard lines in your own words, and you have a movie script. But everything happens in the same order and in th

          • The problem with your comment is that it deals with hero stories and romances, whereas the GP dealt with Fight Club (wtf genre does "Fight Club" fall into anyway?) and horror games.

        • by Yakman (22964)

          I think I was the only one that, when watching The Sixth Sense, assumed he was dead from the beginning. Which meant the movie had no twist at all, but was still alright.

          • Maybe you were at my thanksgiving party the night I finally gave in and rented the movie to watch when someone shouted "I couldn't believe he was dead too!"

            My evaluation of the movie totally changed because I focused on how M. Night was concealing that fact from the audience.

        • by LihTox (754597)

          You watch clues in a movie very differently when you know you should be looking for them.

          And I think that can limit the benefits of reading a movie review. A professional critic has watched so many movies that he knows the tropes, he's expecting the twist, and so misses the thrill of the unknown. A casual moviegoer (like me) hasn't watched so many movies, and hasn't bothered to study the ones he has watched, and so more movies seem fresh and new and surprising. I don't think there's anything wrong with t

    • by Haoie (1277294)

      You mean like "_____ dies"?

      And we all know what the classic example of that'll be. So I won't repeat it here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by renegadesx (977007)
      Yeah plot twists piss me off too. Also if there is a game with a story that is good or important to the game, I dont want to know anything else past the first 1/3 of the story so I can engage in it myself.

      Another pet peeve which comes under spoilers is when something like a trailer or a video review shows you how to do a puzzle in a game where puzzles are part of the fun (Zelda, Braid, Prince of Persia etc) or showing a bosses weakness.
  • I don't mind when there is some repetition, but it can be really bad. What really terrible is when you don't feel like you accomplished anything cause you pretty much have to do it all over again for the next level. I usually play till I get bored, but then I don't get the whole story line.
  • by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @03:38AM (#26770499)

    The worst part about people spoiling a game for you is them telling you that Aeris dies.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The worst part about people spoiling a game for you is them telling you that Aeris dies.

      Dude, that game is 12 years old now. If you don't know that she dies, I have some bad news for you: The ship sinks at the end of Titanic.

      • by Animaether (411575) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @06:57AM (#26771295) Journal

        And time passed validates spoiling something for somebody.. how?

        Let's say MindlessAutomata never played the Final Fantasy games.. he'd heard about them in the past, heard they were pretty good, but really he was out and about playing... I don't know, baseball. Whatever. But he grows too old for the game and they kick him out. Too bad, so sad. So what's he to do.. books, sure.. maybe some TV.. but then he thinks back to those computer games and figures 'hell, why not' and gets a buddy to drag over his old PS1 and a bunch of games including Final Fantasy VII. So he sits there on the couch, playing the game for the first time ever, enjoying it (presumably) and getting quite captivated by it.

        Then YOU walk in and tell him "oh hey, fun game, eh? Yeah, Aeris dies."

        See how f'ed up that is?

        As far as Titanic goes.. that's not a spoiler. Even if you'd never heard of the Titanic, if you watch the movie for the first time, it becomes clear pretty early on that the damn thing will sink. But tell somebody who's never seen the movie that Jack dies, and I think they may be a bit miffed with you.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Kokuyo (549451)

          You're right, of course, but there are exceptions. For instance, I'm going to spoil the fact that the first three Star Wars Episodes suck donkey ass very early on for my own kids. I just can't imagine them being pissed at me over that. Well, at least not until they've actually seen them ;).

        • Spoilers below:
          As Regards Spoilification [penny-arcade.com]
    • Rosebud (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's his sled. It was his sled from when he was a kid. There. I just saved you two long, boobless hours.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kawolski (939414)
      The promise of cake is actually a lie. Instead of getting cake, you were to be incinerated in a fire pit.
      • by Chabo (880571)

        :/

        I think it's still too soon to go spoiling this one for people. The game's only been out a year.

  • by powerspike (729889) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @03:41AM (#26770507)
    I think one of the worse type's of spoilers, which has really come out on the wii (and some of the other console games), is with casual games, having to spend 10-20+ hours unlocking content for a game that is a "casual" game, that really spoils it. Seriously, if i'm only playing a game here and there like an hour a week, on some games it can take years to unlock it all.
    • by CSMatt (1175471)

      Back in the old days this was what cheat codes were for.

      Now the Action Replays and Game Sharks of our generation have been killed off by the game companies. Even PC mods are going to die off, thanks to the WoW Glider case.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Siridar (85255)

      yep, ditto. LittleBigPlanet was like that...I just wanted to get in and start making COOL STUFF! but no. Play through the levels we made, then you have to play through the tutorials for every. Single. Item.

      I've used a paint program before, so perhaps its not necessary for me to watch a tutorial on how to use one in the game?

      Or hey, devs, here's a better idea. Unlock everything, without forcing tutorials, and let players figure things out for themselves - maybe the players will make things out of your stuff

    • by LordKronos (470910) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @09:45AM (#26771933) Homepage

      Good point, and that is also applicable to party oriented games. Guitar Hero and Rock Band make you go through the career mode to unlock all the songs, which is annoying if you have a party and want people just to be able to play whatever songs they are interested in, rather than which songs are in the next unlocked group.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Hoho19 (529839)
        This is so true. We have a wii and it is expressly used for playing games with our friends. I have a wife and kid and job and house that take all my other free time. I hate the fact that content for games must be unlocked in single player mode. That is very frustrating.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by el3mentary (1349033)

        Yes but play Pachelbels Canon is the cheat entry screen on Guitar Hero 3 and unlock all songs.

    • by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Sunday February 08, 2009 @10:27AM (#26772141) Homepage Journal

      From another angle, that's a 'spoiler' I'd like the game reviewers to give me. For example:

      "In Singstar, all songs are unlocked and playable from the start, and even if one doesn't sing, the song will always complete."

      "In Brain Age, while the initial few games are fun, you won't get to play the more enticing games until you've ... which takes about ... days of playing."

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pla (258480)
      having to spend 10-20+ hours unlocking content for a game that is a "casual" game, that really spoils it.

      I don't think TFA meant "spoiler" in quite that sense, but following up on your point anyway...

      In most cases, you don't need to tediously grind to get all the "extra" content if you just want to "win" the game. You only need to do the side crap if you want to.

      RPGs make a good example - Most of them have a core plot that you can finish in 10-20 hours total, and with the perfectly normal equipment
  • by skreeech (221390) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @03:49AM (#26770545)

    For a video game story I would base the quality of a spoiler on the importance of the story in that game. So for almost all games what the writer suggests, "deals with death/love/groundhogs" is fine and writing exactly what happens would not hurt them.

    Late game twist should be more likely to be left out of the text unless they are for the worse. While an early game plot device should be free to cover.

    Spoiling actual gameplay surprises may be a trickier subject but I am short on examples.

  • DRM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 08, 2009 @03:51AM (#26770555)

    I won't even buy it if it is infected with DRM.

    • So you either pirate games, and/or only play a very limited selection of PC games? Good times.
      • by jo_ham (604554)

        Yep. I have stopped buying games for this reason pretty much.

        Thought about getting a console, decided against it. Now I just tend to play old games that have replay value (Starcraft, Transport Tycoon, Quake 3, UT etc)

        For me, the DRM situation has just stopped me from buying new games, full stop. And I don't obtain them illegally either, so at least in a tiny slice of the market, the industry really has lost a customer.

    • I don't think I'll be buying any more PC games myself, unless I know them to include no DRM. Just yesterday I had to remove SecuROM from my system after learning that certain executables (such as empty EXEs left over from failed downloads) could not be deleted. I remembered there being an issue with SecuROM preventing deletion of 16-bit EXEs, and that's how I discovered SecuROM was installed on my system. After removing it using Sony's own removal tool, I regained the ability to delete these executables.

      I h

  • Boss levels (Score:2, Insightful)

    "Boss" levels. Games are supposed to be fun. If you make them too difficult then they cease being fun.

  • This is about pre-cooked, semi-interactive movie-like game-substitutes. The games that I play cannot be 'spoiled'. This question is an insult.

  • wow, way to justify your job with a fluff piece and get it on slashdot no less.

  • by spiffmastercow (1001386) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @03:59AM (#26770593)
    When reading a review about a game, I want to know what the game is about, in a general sense. I don't need specific details, but I do want somebody to tell me if the end game isn't worth my time. Its certainly a grey area when deciding how much info is too much, but movie critics have been doing it for years.
  • Some reviewers will tell you the puzzle highlights but spoil the solution in the process, making the best puzzles trivial. Some will spoil surprises (like in Metroid Zero Mission). I don't mind plot spoilers if they're about the kind that's blindingly obvious anyway (e.g. that the big government/organization in any jRPG is evil).

    • by Pentagram (40862)

      Good call. I remember reading a review of Half-Life 2 Episode 2, where the reviewer described one puzzle where the objective is to get over the tilted bridge with the car. One of the coolest puzzles in the game, and the reviewer described the solution. Definitely an unwelcome spoiler for me.

      • by LingNoi (1066278)

        I don't even bother to read reviews anymore, all it does is raise expectations of the final game. See spore, most people followed every bit of information on that for years and look what a disappointment that turned out to be when it wasn't exactly as people imagined it to be.

  • by Kingrames (858416) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @04:06AM (#26770631)
    Characters named after people whose stories I know, like Merlin, Atlas, Midas, etc; Overdramatized situations (if I'm the last best hope of humanity, you're fucked.); Bad music; Bad graphics (this, seriously, does not take much, just make sure that what I look at is easily identifiable and consistent with the other graphics in the game); Really glaring inconsistencies (walk into a 5x5 house, and the indoors area is as big as a gymnasium); Any "race" that is basically just a renamed version of something from some other setting/game; Vampires (exception: when said vampires are killing nazis); Any futuristic game with melee weapons (use your fucking gun); Any game that thinks the attractiveness of a female is defined by her attire (hint: posture, voice, face, and attitude. Past that it could be a toaster and still be hot. Consult: Baltar.); Grinding through boredom to get to something new, and then being slapped in the face with something so trivially different it's insulting. (see: world of warcraft armor in northrend);

    I am tired; Semicolons should be enough to make this readable.
    • Offtopicness notwithstanding:

      Any futuristic game with melee weapons (use your fucking gun)

      Errr..FROM THE DICTIONARY:

      fun
      noun, verb, funned, funning, adjective
      -noun
      1. something that provides mirth or amusement: Mutilating zombies and chewing through imps with a chainsaw would be fun
      2. enjoyment or playfulness: She's full of fun.
      [snip]

      Games with chainsaws will also make you popular with girls, babysit your kids and clean your oven. Vote Chainsaws 2012.

    • by ultranova (717540)

      Overdramatized situations (if I'm the last best hope of humanity, you're fucked.);

      You might be the last hope for humanity, and we're all rooting for you, but that doesn't mean that we'll give you a discount on healing potions. Death is an acceptable alternative to communism.

  • by coppro (1143801) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @04:15AM (#26770665)
    Video games are a lot like books and, to a lesser extent, movies. I don't mind minor details. If you told me that in the next Zelda game, Ganon was in fact the one behind it all, I wouldn't be surprised (even if it wasn't immediately obvious, as in TP).

    Stuff you can tell me:
    • Minor details.
    • Plot details which I have deduced or otherwise expected by the time I'm given the spoiler.
    • Semi-believable information in a manner that leads me to doubt its veracity.
    • Minor plot twists (without context) that keep me wondering when they will occur - such as saying that some character will do X unexpected action (betrayals are a great example)

    The big nonos are the ending and any major plot twists. Also, subplots should count as full-on plots within themselves - they may be relatively minor, but don't give me the endings or twists to those either.

    The best spoilers are the ones that leave me wondering when and how (even if) they are happen - these have to be very vague, and just pique enough interest. As I said, betrayals are always good. But some other good ones include a pacifist character killing someone intentionally, or someone doing something else totally unexpectedly. This is the sort of thing that keeps me reading/playing/watching.

  • Stupid 12 year olds screaming incorrectly spelled, angry crap at random people and generally being annoying spoils games for me but obviously that only applies to online ones. That and cheaters that make it impossible for honest players to win. Both of those can be proven by looking at Halo 2.
  • DRM (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aerthling (796790) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @04:32AM (#26770717)

    Until recently I viewed the vitriol spewed by anti-DRM zealots with mild suprise. I'd never really felt it was all that bad. Then I bought and installed Bioshock. CD keys and mild disc protection I can live with, but those PLUS activation PLUS forcing a 10MB patch download every single time the game is installed took my breath away. After a few hours trying to install it under Wine I was ready to put my foot through my screen.

    THAT ruined Bioshock for me. Spoilers I don't really mind.

    • by ivan256 (17499)

      forcing a 10MB patch download every single time the game is installed

      Every time it's installed? Look at the current generation of HD consoles. Seems like every time I turn one of them on it wants to download a damned software update before I can play. I've reverted to detaching them from the internet.

  • by feepness (543479) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @04:37AM (#26770741) Homepage
    Won't bring me chocolate milk!!! [youtube.com]
  • by VinylRecords (1292374) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @04:42AM (#26770759)

    To be honest, what really spoils a game for me, is when every single publication and media outlet for video game reviews praises a game beyond belief for the most trivial of aspects but fails to mention the overarching and incredibly frustrating and ubiquitous downsides and shortcomings of a game.

    Obviously spoiling plot twists, game endings, or surprise moments and easter eggs, is a major fau paux. But game reviewers rarely ever engage in writing those revelations and leave them for the reader (or player) to discover.

    Video game reviews have been going on since video games have been around. The fact that one reviewer received one single complaint saying that the MTV.com writer spoiled Killzone 2 requires an entire discussion around it is a tad bit reactionary and absurd.

    The real way that game reviews spoil a game for me is when they review a game for being 'perfect' or 'near perfect' but when I get my copy of said game it's filled with bugs, glitches, bad writing, plot holes, lackluster story, bad endings, overpriced DLC, archaic or intrusive or disruptive DRM, the game costs more than its worth as you can beat it in two days making renting it a better option, or that the game is all around terrible but somehow managed a score in the eightieth to ninetieth percentile (with some even scoring perfect scores.

    Oddly I've yet to see a game score a perfect with the review mentioning only positives, there is always one negative. Wouldn't that negative imply a flaw hence negating the perfection that a game allegedly has?

    Yes spoiling plot elements or easter eggs is a terribly thing for reviewers to do, but they've been doing far worse things in the industry for years.

    • by lbbros (900904)

      To be honest, what really spoils a game for me, is when every single publication and media outlet for video game reviews praises a game beyond belief for the most trivial of aspects but fails to mention the overarching and incredibly frustrating and ubiquitous downsides and shortcomings of a game.

      I'd argue the opposite as well: the will to "destroy" a game just to look independent or to kill off the hype, regardless of merit/demerit. That's why, at least in the "current generation" (360, Wii, PS3) I hardl

  • I play the game for pleasure, not for torture
    • Yeah, that's about it, really. Games should be fun.

      I like FPS'es. A lot. But not when the user interface makes you jump through hoops to select the correct weapon, suitmode, healing-things and whatever before you can shoot at the enemy. (Yes, Crysis, I'm looking at you, you crap game while you could be so much more!).

      Give me a horde of easy to kill attackers over one giant 'over 9000 hitpoints' endboss anyday.

      A game should be fun, not masochism.
    • Well, I've played games that are rated as the most difficult ones and I can tell you, if you have to time sit a game, you will master it. Take a look at Super Contra or Megaman X. These ones are difficult like hell. At Super Contra, as a kid, I could see the end of it. Today, I die after few steps in level 1. :) I still cannot image how I've done it.

      Now I'm playing DDR Hottest Party a lot, because it's fun and I want to lose some weight ;)

      If this game(s) would be easy, I would not play it, because they are

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Haeleth (414428)

        Well, I've played games that are rated as the most difficult ones and I can tell you, if you have to time sit a game, you will master it.

        See that "if" there? That's the problem. Most of us don't have time to master games.

        The point is, if a game is not difficult, you don't need to play it. You don't have a challenge.

        Kindly use the first person when stating your personal opinions. You may see no point in playing a game that isn't difficult, but some of us enjoy playing them for the story, or for the explor

  • For me, I play games for the (and I know this will be a shocker) gameplay, not the storyline, so there isn't really much you can spoil in a review unless the knowledge you're granting me would change how I'd play the game.

    That being said, I mostly just play games that involve killing things.

    Sure, there might be some underlying "rescue the hostage" plotline, but usually that just means you kill things to get to a destination, walk up to the target and press "x" and pee while a cut-scene plays, then kill thin

  • So, what do you consider a spoiler for a video game

    Bugs and unfair sequences in the game that have to repeated very often to get through it.

    and how do they affect your enjoyment of the game?

    I personally have decidet that i will never buy a game on release date anymore. I'l wait a couple of months and see what other gamers say about it.

  • I find that I enjoy games more when they surprise me. They can surprise me in terms of story (Metal Gear Anything, I played MGS3 with intentionally avoiding spoilers, it was well worth it, I didn't do that for MGS2), or in terms of fun gameplay mechanics (Mario Galaxy, Katamari Damacy), or just by being a better game than I expected (Zack and Wiki, Okami, World of Goo). The surprises are in different ways, so having them spoiled comes in different ways. For a very story heavy game, like a Final Fantasy o
  • Seriously game makers, is it hurting your game at all if i am allowed to skip the cutscene. I your game involves half hour long cutscenes (metal gear solid) i expect to be able to skip them. The fact that i am forced to watch them on each play through means i will likely not ever play it again or even finish in some cases.
  • Attention dear readers, spoilers ahead as examples what constitutes as spoilers.

    To be able to spoil a game by a review, the joy of playing the game has to consist to a sizable part on the game having a story. This pretty much means that most multiplayer-heavy games cannot be spoiled by a review. How do you want to spoil Call of Duty? By telling me the Allied won the war? No duh, really? How do you want to spoil Left 4 Dead? L4D has no story to speak of. It's never explained what the disease is that turns pe

  • by dltaylor (7510) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @07:33AM (#26771395)

    Plus, of course, nearly all of the DRM out there.

    I'll buy native games, as I have done in the past, and NOT buy games because they don't play on it.

  • The difference between games and movies is that the former is replayed often. I would never bother buying a game that is designed to be played exactly once, if only because the plot in games is always so boring and poorly written, that it is not even worth knowing. If Fallout 3 were a book, I wouldn't buy it. If Bioshock were a book, I'd burn it. If Half-Life 2 were a book, well, it wouldn't be much of a book. With that in mind, it is obvious that knowing the plot is pretty much irrelevant, since most of th

  • they totally kill the game for me. let me give an example:

    there are many games coming out set in spanish main, bent on buccaneering, privateering, pirating and such, after the success of pirates of the caribbean movie and all that pirate hype.

    you get the game, its set in 1600s, there are huge towering carracks and all that galleonish piratish ships advertised in cover of the box. but you start playing, but you immediately notice 2 things :

    ships are not of 1600s, but 1700s. it matters a great deal, because w

  • So many things... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cowbutt (21077) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @08:46AM (#26771669) Journal

    ...but in roughly descending order

    1. Bugs that randomly result in lost progress; crashes, getting trapped in scenery, etc.
    2. Having to 'earn' saves. If I'm playing a game on my own system, in my own time, I should be able to save when I like. Maybe earnt saves are acceptable for younger gamers, but when you're an adult, you can't necessarily commit to spending upwards of 30 minutes in one chunk on a game without an opportunity to save.
    3. If the game has a single track, then not making it clear where the current barrier to be overcome is located. Leave it to me to figure out how, but at least let me know that I'm banging my head against the right brick wall.
    4. Making me repeat far too much tedious stuff in order to get to the point where I failed last time.
    5. Not allowing me to skip tutorials/intro/cutscenes.
    6. Inappropriate or clumsy use of 3D when 2D (or constrained 3D, at least) might well have made things more fun.
    7. To get back on-topic, reviews which reveal solutions to puzzles, or story endings. :-)
    • "Making me repeat far too much tedious stuff in order to get to the point where I failed last time."

      On the other hand it really ruins a game for me when, upon failing, I immediatly respawn right where I died last. This totally removes any challenge, death no longer has any meaning in the game, and it becomes a boring walk right to the end of the game.

  • Leavers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AttillaTheNun (618721) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @09:18AM (#26771801)
    As a frequent player of Warcraft and DoTA public games on Battle.net, I definitely have say leavers, especially DoTA leavers.

    Of course, we're all guilty of this from time to time (shit happens), but some make a sport of it (e.g. countdown leavers, solo-lane feeder leavers, etc).

    Warcraft and DoTA could use a slashdot-like karma system to rate players. Build karma by completing games to the end, lose karma by leaving anytime after countdown begin.s

  • 1. Overly complex control systems
    2. Pointless backstory that really adds nothing to the actual game.
  • First, the ontopic.

    I'd at least like the discussion about spoilers to cease being so binary.

    Who the fuck are you?

    There is room between avoiding mentioning a plot event and reporting its main details.

    Not really. I like to know absolutely nothing besides genre and whether my friends whose opinions have proven to be worthy will think I like it.

    Put another way, this is a matter of opinion. The simple truth is that any and all plot details (and yes, vague information is a detail of the plot; information about the plot point is detail on detail) are spoilers, but some people have higher thresholds of what spoilers annoy them.

    Okay, no more ontopic. A better question (IM

  • Story llines are cool and I enjoy some of them, however; game play is what it's all about. How about no cheat codes? How about no continues? Just raw 99% skill and a bit of luck during hard levels. Kids today can't play with as much skill as they used to. Perhaps that's why the military is going with full AI robots and drones.

    Peace

  • by EWAdams (953502) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @01:49PM (#26773737) Homepage

    Yeah, revealing spoilers about the plot or telling me how to solve puzzles "spoils" the game for me. But that's not a patch on what MMOG asshattery does to my game experience. The 13-year-olds don't just spoil the game, they rape it with a baseball bat, beat it unconscious, and leave bleeding to death.

    You want to REALLY ruin somebody's game? Make them play with arrogant, ignorant, sexist, homophobic, bigoted, inarticulate, semi-literate, foul-mouthed little punks.

    • by ivan256 (17499)

      In my experience playing MMOs for the last 10 years, I've learned one thing. Most people think that everybody who isn't part of their little circle of friends is (11|12|13)years old.

      (Alliance|Horde|The other faction) is full of 12 year olds.
      Damned punk-ass 11 year old ninja'd my loot!
      Some rude kid was being a racist in [chat channel].
      etc..

      • Unfortunately some people are stuck at that age even though their tree-rings reveal them to be as old as 35.

        I don't have a little circle of friends. I play alone... for a reason.

        • by ivan256 (17499)

          Oh, I agree. You may not be 12, but that may accurately reflect your maturity level.

          It becomes amusing to me, though, in two scenarios. When it gets applied to stereotypes, and when the person making the accusation does so in an immature fashion. Bonus points for when both occur. (I saw a news article once where it came out that a certain politician played WoW, horde side. The reporter explained this away as saying the Alliance was mostly played by pre-teens. I'm sure you have to be older than 12 to get thr

  • The grind in MMORPGs for example. Get a quest to bring back a dozen troll ears, go to turn in the quest and you are rewarded with another quest to kill stronger trolls, ad nauseum. Titan Quest was a single player game that just had too much repetition. I would have enjoyed the game more if it had been half the length.

    A few other peeves:
    Impossible end bosses. There have been several games I have got all the way to the end and just cannot kill the final boss.

    Not knowing that you needed an item until th
  • Boring parts

    For example, I used to put away Final Fantasy when I'd have to spend 10 hours earning experience just to fight some boss. That's just silly.

    Super Paper Mario had a stupid part where you had to hold a button down on the controller for 5 minutes. That was disrespectful to me, the paying customer. I looked up a cheat code on the internet.

    Zelda on the Wii has a silly part where you need to go fishing. It doesn't really do anything but kill 3 hours of the game when you just want to have fun.

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