Unpopular opinions about video games in general.

Redktan the Robeless

Happy liquid pool
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I don’t mind right now that they’re taking so long to reveal more about Breath of the Wild 2 because reason number one, I haven’t played much of Breath of the Wild so if it releases closer to when I’ve played more of it that will be fun, and reason number two, I don’t want Nintendo to rush anything at all.
 

Bluminescence

The Frenchiest French who has ever Frenched
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Ray Trace
I don't hate Chaos but they never really grabbed me because playing on the gem hunting stages was far too fun in of itself.
 

Shy Guy on Wheels

Dry Bowser
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There is no such thing as bad game design and it is exclusively used as a buzzword to complain about things people don't like, rather then anything objectively bad.
 

Googoogaga Spaghetti

Babies are better than grownups
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Bazooka Mario
Ride to Hell Retribution is like the existing cincher of Bad Game Design tho. "All enemies in the area are dead". EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING about this game was executed miserably.
 

Bluminescence

The Frenchiest French who has ever Frenched
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There is no such thing as bad game design and it is exclusively used as a buzzword to complain about things people don't like, rather then anything objectively bad.
Lootboxes and microtransactions in fully priced AAA games actively worsen the experience. The best example of how MTX completely fucks up things is how they were patched in Gran Turismo 7, and everything as a result has gotten more grindy and tedious in order to coax players to buy garbage to skip the grind. It actively discourages players to play the game and instead skip the game to get what they want, and the reason they are put there is to be bought. Lootboxes are much worse than MTX because of the gambling elements.

MTX in free-to-play games have a bit of an excuse (that's the price you pay for in a free-to-play game) but have no place in 60-70 priced games. There are no excuse for lootboxes.
 

Googoogaga Spaghetti

Babies are better than grownups
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Bazooka Mario
In addition, we're not even going for the "we players don't like MTX" angle, it's the angle of "game designers intentionally worsen and create problems for the game to make paying for solutions seem appealing". Microtransactions is bad design on purpose.
 

Fox McCloud

gay furries in space
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There is no such thing as bad game design and it is exclusively used as a buzzword to complain about things people don't like, rather then anything objectively bad.
Obviously the others made a case for the fact that there are things that are bad game design (on purpose, too), and I actually agree with them on this. I especially think gacha games in particular are... Really really bad. Specifically the ones that use real money. They prey upon the easy gambling addiction that almost always hurts people no matter who it is. People become super addicted and dependent upon the design of these games, and it's deliberate; they're made to do this. And this isn't a matter of "it's bad because it's not fun" to me, it's "it's bad because it's objectively harmful to the brain to engage with and it is designed deliberately to be addicting and prey upon those who are more susceptible to addiction". Perhaps an unpopular opinion itself, but there's a reason gambling references were taken out of children's games, and it's because gambling is predatory in its design, and I think censoring it and making it so that it's less accessible is a good thing, actually. It doesn't help that gambling machines (this includes arcade machines with an element of luck within arcade cabinets, by the way) are intentionally rigged so that you cannot possibly win them at certain time intervals that are unknown to the person forking over tokens or coins for.

That being said, I do see the point that you are making here — "bad game design" is often used in reviews to actually mean "this is design that I don't understand/don't find fun/am not personally interested in". I have seen reviews that criticize RPGs for their slow method of play, for instance, and like... That's kind of the point of the genre? It doesn't make it a bad genre. RPGs reward strategy over reflexes as a general rule, so of course they aren't going to play the same as, say, a fighting game. If you approach a game with the same mindset of a different game entirely you aren't going to enjoy it because you aren't approaching the game as it is; you're hoping it's going to be something it isn't, nor that it advertised itself to be.
 

PaperSplash

Goomba
Limited extra lives in video games are not outdated and can still serve a purpose. I'm fine with modern games choosing to do away with them if it fits their vision or giving the option to have infinite lives for accessibility, but I don't like how the popular opinion is shifting towards them being a completely obsolete relic of the arcade era that should be forgotten forever. Even if getting extra quarters for continues was a large reason why they used to be so commonplace back then, limited extra lives can still be used today to create extra tension for players and to encourage them to give it their all on every attempt. In my experience, when faced with a challenging part of a video game without a limited resource like lives to worry about, it's very easy to resort to mindless trial and error rather than actively devising strategies and learning to master them. That can dull the ultimate satisfaction of eventually succeeding despite the odds, and sometimes it can even make the entire experience less enjoyable. But again, this is all from my personal perspective; if other people find that taking away extra lives makes games more enjoyable for them, then all the more power to those people. At the end of the day, people can design and play games however they'd like; I just wish there was more understanding of the appeal limited extra lives have to some players.
 

Fox McCloud

gay furries in space
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Limited extra lives in video games are not outdated and can still serve a purpose. I'm fine with modern games choosing to do away with them if it fits their vision or giving the option to have infinite lives for accessibility, but I don't like how the popular opinion is shifting towards them being a completely obsolete relic of the arcade era that should be forgotten forever. Even if getting extra quarters for continues was a large reason why they used to be so commonplace back then, limited extra lives can still be used today to create extra tension for players and to encourage them to give it their all on every attempt. In my experience, when faced with a challenging part of a video game without a limited resource like lives to worry about, it's very easy to resort to mindless trial and error rather than actively devising strategies and learning to master them. That can dull the ultimate satisfaction of eventually succeeding despite the odds, and sometimes it can even make the entire experience less enjoyable. But again, this is all from my personal perspective; if other people find that taking away extra lives makes games more enjoyable for them, then all the more power to those people. At the end of the day, people can design and play games however they'd like; I just wish there was more understanding of the appeal limited extra lives have to some players.
I think part of the reason people view the life system as archaic is it's not implemented in the same way that it used to be. Before, losing lives would basically reset your progress in the game completely (much like it would in arcade cabinets, necessitating quarters to play again). Nowadays, getting a game over resets your progress in a particular level so you have to start from the beginning. There's a few problems with doing it that way:

  • Some levels are so short that losing your checkpoints doesn't actually feel like a major loss of progress at all. This will make levels feel rather lopsided; some levels checkpoints are negligible while others, checkpoints are important. On top of that, more difficult level design often entails making checkpoints sparser, at which point dying normally isn't very different from a game over.
  • Some games/levels straight up don't have checkpoints... In which case, a game over is no different than just losing a life.
  • Some games don't really have levels in the traditional sense, making it difficult to determine what would be considered a reasonable amount of losing your progress to game overs.

In the cases of checkpoints hardly mattering or no checkpoints at all, there's no point in having a limited amount of lives as you would lose the same amount of progress either way. In games that don't have levels, implementing limited lives would be difficult. Either way, the less arcade-y structure of modern games makes it difficult to justify having game overs in them because they don't serve a purpose that's any different from simply dying in the game. The only way that would make them distinct, to bring them back to their former glory of completely erasing your progress in a game, is an unpopular design choice and reasonably so — by doing it this way, players will have to go back through levels they already previously completed, which is frustrating and tedious rather than fun. Players put up with it in arcade machines because there simply wasn't getting around it, but now that games implement far less frustrating life systems it would stand out like a sore thumb in today's games.

This is also not to say anything of the fact that gaining extra lives in games that do still implement game overs is pretty trivial, and often players don't even experience them anymore. When a game is that forgiving, the game over is just extra fluff that is taking up time and space to program.

Simply put, games today are either too forgiving or too structurally incompatible for game overs to complement modern game design. Putting the game overs of old back into games isn't going to be a popular solution, either, because games have more consideration to accessibility these days, both in the amount of time people have available to play them as well as difficulty, and game overs of that nature fly in the face of that accessibility (not to mention are just... really, really tedious. seriously, why do I have to replay the level I already beat because this one is providing a hurdle?). You could probably try it with an indie project, but it's likely going to be niche among retro gamers rather than something the general populace is going to go for.

I also personally think trial and error isn't a bad way to play the game. A game is supposed to teach you how to play it, and if you feel you have to try again and try new things each time, then it is appropriately punishing you for making a mistake. In fact, if you get rid of game overs entirely, you can actually design harder levels that may take multiple attempts to figure out without creating needless frustration for the player upon losing progress. Without the looming threat of losing your progress, there's less of an impediment in experimentation, which in itself can be a fun way to play a game, especially since it invites you to try things in the game you wouldn't try if a game over was looming over your head. This in itself induces creativity.

Of course, that can be done wrong, and it's most notably done wrong when trying to guess, say, a numerical password. But for more complex puzzles, futzing around with it can be a perfectly valid way to play it.

I find if you're unable to get invested in a game because of the lack of game overs, I don't think the lack of inclusion of a game over is the reason for it, but rather that the game is not designed in a way that gets someone invested. Game overs can't fix weak puzzle or level design.
 

PaperSplash

Goomba
I think part of the reason people view the life system as archaic is it's not implemented in the same way that it used to be. Before, losing lives would basically reset your progress in the game completely (much like it would in arcade cabinets, necessitating quarters to play again). Nowadays, getting a game over resets your progress in a particular level so you have to start from the beginning. There's a few problems with doing it that way:

  • Some levels are so short that losing your checkpoints doesn't actually feel like a major loss of progress at all. This will make levels feel rather lopsided; some levels checkpoints are negligible while others, checkpoints are important. On top of that, more difficult level design often entails making checkpoints sparser, at which point dying normally isn't very different from a game over.
  • Some games/levels straight up don't have checkpoints... In which case, a game over is no different than just losing a life.
  • Some games don't really have levels in the traditional sense, making it difficult to determine what would be considered a reasonable amount of losing your progress to game overs.

In the cases of checkpoints hardly mattering or no checkpoints at all, there's no point in having a limited amount of lives as you would lose the same amount of progress either way. In games that don't have levels, implementing limited lives would be difficult. Either way, the less arcade-y structure of modern games makes it difficult to justify having game overs in them because they don't serve a purpose that's any different from simply dying in the game. The only way that would make them distinct, to bring them back to their former glory of completely erasing your progress in a game, is an unpopular design choice and reasonably so — by doing it this way, players will have to go back through levels they already previously completed, which is frustrating and tedious rather than fun. Players put up with it in arcade machines because there simply wasn't getting around it, but now that games implement far less frustrating life systems it would stand out like a sore thumb in today's games.

This is also not to say anything of the fact that gaining extra lives in games that do still implement game overs is pretty trivial, and often players don't even experience them anymore. When a game is that forgiving, the game over is just extra fluff that is taking up time and space to program.

Simply put, games today are either too forgiving or too structurally incompatible for game overs to complement modern game design. Putting the game overs of old back into games isn't going to be a popular solution, either, because games have more consideration to accessibility these days, both in the amount of time people have available to play them as well as difficulty, and game overs of that nature fly in the face of that accessibility (not to mention are just... really, really tedious. seriously, why do I have to replay the level I already beat because this one is providing a hurdle?). You could probably try it with an indie project, but it's likely going to be niche among retro gamers rather than something the general populace is going to go for.

I also personally think trial and error isn't a bad way to play the game. A game is supposed to teach you how to play it, and if you feel you have to try again and try new things each time, then it is appropriately punishing you for making a mistake. In fact, if you get rid of game overs entirely, you can actually design harder levels that may take multiple attempts to figure out without creating needless frustration for the player upon losing progress. Without the looming threat of losing your progress, there's less of an impediment in experimentation, which in itself can be a fun way to play a game, especially since it invites you to try things in the game you wouldn't try if a game over was looming over your head. This in itself induces creativity.

Of course, that can be done wrong, and it's most notably done wrong when trying to guess, say, a numerical password. But for more complex puzzles, futzing around with it can be a perfectly valid way to play it.

I find if you're unable to get invested in a game because of the lack of game overs, I don't think the lack of inclusion of a game over is the reason for it, but rather that the game is not designed in a way that gets someone invested. Game overs can't fix weak puzzle or level design.
These are all fair points. I still stand by what I said but your post has given me some food for thought on the matter.
 
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