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Poor Designs in Gaming posted by bichen

original content::gaming | Thursday, Nov 4th 2004, 09:22:35 PM

So playing Sword of Mana for the Gameboy Advance I came across one of the worst design problems I've seen in a game. So here's a question for you. What's some bad game designs you've seen or experienced?

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Sword of Mana Final Battle
Tuesday, Nov 2nd 2004, 01:01:00 PM

head dork
Posts: 4964
The problem I was talking about in Sword of Mana was the final battle. The final boss has 3 forms. The first two aren't too bad. The third isn't that hard either, but he has an attack that can pretty much kill you out right. Last time I found him, I had 190 hit points max. This particular attack did 46 damage and then 176 immediately after (double hit). Ok, so it's kind of annoying to have to fight through the first two forms after being one hit killed right?

To make matters worse there's a 10 minute cut scene that you have to go through each time you want to fight this final boss battle again. You CANNOT skip this cut scene. (If I'm wrong, please please please tell me how to skip it). And you have to hit buttons otherwise the cut scene will not progress. In fact that's a part 3/4 of the way through this cut scene which requires you to walk across a screen or two.
Sword of Mana Guardian Battle
Tuesday, Nov 2nd 2004, 01:04:58 PM

head dork
Posts: 4964
To get the Sword of Mana you need to fight a boss. He's pretty easy. He can do quite a bit of damage but it's not that hard to avoid and keep yourself full on life. The problem here is he has something like 500 hitpoints. All my weapons and magic does... 1 damage to him. If I'm lucky I can do 4 damage. 1 x 2 (for using a spell to double my damage) x 2 (if you get lucky and critical). He moves around too and hides so you can hit him only like 3-4 times every 20 seconds. I fought him for over an hour once to no avail.

Anyways, reading through the walk through again they suggested using a particular weapon (which does 1 damage) or a particular spell (which also did 1 damage). Now the thing is the spell levels up very quickly as you use it. So it goes from 1 damage to 2 damage after like 10 hits, to 4, to 5 to 7, etc. So eventually I was doing 20 damage and it wasn't so bad. Still though it was annoying.
Power Stone 2
Tuesday, Nov 2nd 2004, 06:39:15 PM

Role Player
Posts: 29
When you choose random character in battle, and then choose to retry from the after-battle sub-menu, it chooses the SAME random character as before, instead of a different random character.
yeah i've seen that in another fighting game too
Wednesday, Nov 3rd 2004, 12:51:27 AM

head dork
Posts: 4964
i can't remember which one but it was annoying.
Other game design issues
Wednesday, Nov 3rd 2004, 10:14:26 AM

Kwik-E-Mart Owner
Posts: 11
If you want to see a bunch of these, go to www.gamasutra.com and look at the Designer's Notebook column (free registration required). The guy talks about all sorts of game design issues, although sometimes I think he's a little idealistic. One of his pet peeves is that "Games have bad AI". I mean seriously, I agree that AI can often be improved, but it's not like the designer chose to have bad AI, it's just hard to do well.
oh that reminds me (Computer controlled Allies)
Wednesday, Nov 3rd 2004, 11:49:07 AM

head dork
Posts: 4964
Games which require you to "babysit" computer controlled characters that are critical are often really frustrating.

X-Men Legends and Zelda: Four Swords does this well though, but I think X-Men does it by having the computer controlled guys take less damage than normal because they don't seem to die that easily.

On the other hand there's some games that are pretty annoying. I heard Daikatana (which has been lamblasted as a horrible horrible game) had characters that you had to keep alive with horrible AI so you might as well ditch the characters, clear the level out, then come back and bring the character with you. For half of Silent Hill 4 you have a girl following you that if she dies, you lose. She doesn't die that easily but if she gets hurt too much I'm pretty sure it changes the ending you can get.
Thursday, Nov 4th 2004, 08:51:06 PM

Role Player
Posts: 29
You know what sucks? Loading times for exiting a game. Max Payne 2 comes to mind, but then again, that had loading times for everything.

Speaking of loading times...I'd rather have it load the entire game in one long period (like GTA: San Andreas) than have to wait for several areas.


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