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Forums - Gaming Discussion - The absolute worst game clichés


Jonathan Nolan likes game narratives the best. Do you agree?

No way! 3 37.50%
Nah 2 25.00%
I don't think so 3 37.50%

All games have flaws, yes, but some of them have more flaws than others, and some are prone to shove a lot of stupid and annoying stuff on your face that makes you ten times more likely to write ranty reviews and not recommend them to your peers. These are some of mine:

1. "Follow me, and watch me stroll halfway between your walking and running speed for five minutes." I don't think I need to say more than this.

Examples: most games with a quest system will have one of these gems

2. Emotionally manipulative prologues with no point besides making you feel sorry for the main character and explain his subsequent behavior. Bonus points if it involves an innocuous tutorial of things like walking and running, or if it's set multiple years before the actual game (since that's not relevant to the aforementioned emotional trauma: it'll always stay the same before the plot, no matter how many years pass or how many therapists the characters go through).

Examples: Heavy Rain, The Last of Us etc.

Counter-examples: God of War, Life Is Strange. You have an entire game to show how your characters came to be the way they are, don't you?

3. Inevitable marches into stupidity. Situations where the player can see as a blatantly obvious trap or a great betrayal from a hundred miles away, except your characters haven't, because apparently they left their brains at the previous level or something.

Examples: too many to count

4. Cutscenes where characters suddenly are depowered and easily tossed around for plot reasons. Often related to cliché above. Bonus points if it involves the plot item being stolen or someone getting kidnapped. That is surely bound to make you continue playing the game, yes?

Examples: very often in narrative-driven games such as RPGs, such as Final Fantasy

Counter-examples: most of the time, Resident Evil games have me largely buying how their protagonists and villains behave in cutscenes

5. Blatant wardrobe fails that completely ignore common sense and give even Yoshitaka Amano a run for his money. Thankfully, it seems to be getting less common these days, but sometimes female characters still decide to wear armor that expose their midriffs and thighs or wear high heels into combat.

Examples: Mass Effect 2, Bayonetta etc.

Counter-examples: Mass Effect 1, the RE remakes. It's not that hard, is it?

6. A relatively minor one: dialogue choices where all options are essentialy the same, or the negative choice inevitably leads back to answering again with the positive choice. For whatever reason, sometimes these appear in games where dialogue choices aren't even a thing. Why even do this, on the first place?

Examples: Zelda games

So, what are yours?






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One of the only true "game breaking glitches" I've ever encountered: Mine was in Tomb Raider 2013. There's a part where you had to pull a box off of a raised location using a new tool Lara Croft discovers. The box is supposed to smash the floor allowing Lara to proceed.

The box did not smash the floor. It went right through it.

At that point, the game was broken until they could patch it. Crazy thing was that I got the game AGAIN for PS4 and the exact same glitch happened.

This post really makes me want to replay Tomb Raider 2013, though...

*at this point, I've just realized that I read the word "Cliches" as "Glitches". I'll leave now. 😢

Twitter: @d21lewis

I actually love #5 from your list and I've purchased entire games because of it.

Twitter: @d21lewis

I really want to sum this up and just say Japanese games as a whole, but I guess I'll guess give an example.

Collect all 7 plot items to help seal the evil Demon King
When all 7 are collected the Evil Demon King is freed - The Demon King wasnt that bad if they cant even get the legend right.
Then the antagonist force does the whole "hahahaaa we knew that happend hahaha" - So whyd you spend the entire game trying to prevent me from getting them then?
Then antagonist force is killed or taken over by Demon King.

I dont see absolutely nothing wrong with #2 as it adds immediate dept to a character and it saves time for its development - since its not the focus of the game - and yet said character still is developed, as it happened to Joe in TLOU. Its a narrative tool, not a narrative flaw. And in that sense its a damn useful tool.
I also dont see an issue with #4 provided it leads to somewhere and its not just a waste of time to annoy the player, as it was presented in FFXV's chapter 13 when it first came out. I think it has being patched ever since.

In the same line of the ideas you are posting, my main issue - when it comes to narrative - is with supporting character that add nothing to you - as a player - to the overall story of the game, and to your character's experience. Case in point, most supportive characters in every Pokemon game. Ever since Gold/Silver they seem to have struggled to create a viable "rival" character to the point players consider "N" a well written character even tho its as basic as it can be.
It wasnt an issue because most Pokemon games have no story to speak of, but sun/moon shoved too many interactions with irrelevant characters that wasted so-much-time.

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Might be a little bit nit-picky, but when you say: "Examples: too many to count"... It means you couldn't think of any good examples on the spot, but wrote it off as though you could have named a ton. Sorry... like I said, nit-picky.

I keep trying to think of cliches to add to this post but I end up coming up with examples that aren't necessarily cliche. Like how in Jedi: Fallen Order, after beating a boss, the achievement pops up before the player knows that they've won yet (as a cutscene plays showing the player fighting some more and dealing the final blow), but that happens after the trophy.

Maybe I'll update this later.

I think the ultimate"glitch" would be Raider's of Lost Ark on Atari 2600. In order to get out of the title screen you had to have the switches on 2600 in certain positions. You can only imagine how many minutes/hours I spent staring at the balloon flying title screen. I actually was able to start the game a few times but we only had cartridge and no instruction manual so I was never aware of how I actually got it started. Oh and when I finally did get to play the game a fucking crocodile or snake would insta kill me.

Kids these days....  Have it too fucking easy.

Last edited by sethnintendo - on 13 December 2019

Win the fight in the game lose in the cut-scene or the opposite. Hate it !

Game cliches? Hot air balloons in racing games.

The most annoying is those fights you're not supposed to win and the game lets you use up all your special and healing items until you eventually die or a cut scene takes over. Just as insulting is when the enemy simply runs away when you almost have them, again and again.

haxxiy said:

6. A relatively minor one: dialogue choices where all options are essentialy the same, or the negative choice inevitably leads back to answering again with the positive choice. For whatever reason, sometimes these appear in games where dialogue choices aren't even a thing. Why even do this, on the first place?

Because the developers don't want to make it feel like the character is speaking for you. It's a simple way to create a better connection between the player and the character - if they show the character saying something you didn't choose to say, then it's creating a disconnect; and if they don't show the character saying anything, you end up with those awkward "......" dialogues that break the immersion hard. By giving you dialogue choices, even if they're both essentially the same thing, you feel more connected to the world and the character you're playing. Or, at least that's the idea of it, obviously not everyone's going to feel that way about it.

The worst gaming cliche is the escort mission. Man, fuck the escort mission.