Outdated game mechanics.

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Anonymous X

Member
Citizen
Boss encounters are something I honestly believe are one of the worst gaming conventions. So many games I really wish didn’t have bosses, because they instantly make the game devoid of fun, e.g. Shovel Knight.
 

Wing

Cursed Punweaver
Citizen
Boss encounters are something I honestly believe are one of the worst gaming conventions. So many games I really wish didn’t have bosses, because they instantly make the game devoid of fun, e.g. Shovel Knight.
On one hand, I can see this, since what holds me up more often than not in a lot of games is a particularly frustrating boss fight, but...

I feel Shovel Knight's an odd choice to want to remove them from, since they're so integral to the game's identity and gameplay loop. (That, and I know experiences differ for different people, but most of the bosses tended to be the easier parts of the games, barring end bosses - the platforming was much more troublesome than anything the Order of No Quarter ever threw at me.)
 

Sjogre

New member
Citizen
I tend to lean in the opposite direction: I think that a lot of games could stand to remove half or more of the non-boss encounters.
 

Videomaster21XX

This is how a unicorn comments
Citizen
Part of me is surprised it's not mentioned, but I suppose it's because it's so outdated to the point that it HAS been removed from pretty much any recent game.

Tank Controls.

Other then that though, I can't think of anything. Most game mechanics I want gone aren't really outdated, but more I just think it's a stupid concept to begin with.

Like the stupid stamina meter in 99% of souls like games. >_<
 

mx-01 archon

Member
Citizen
It's somewhat controversial, but I pretty much can't stand wholly menu-driven games anymore. I will tolerate old-school JRPGs for the nostalgia of the games themselves, but I really can't get into any new ones. They break down completely once I realized that they can all be beaten with a flow-chart. That is, if the menu options aren't so brain-dead lopsided that it becomes a purely binary/trinary choice instead.

Menu systems are a poor substitute for the multitude of creative options available to you in a proper tabletop RPG.

Absent that level of creativity, give me at least some real-time skill sequences to give me a modicum of challenge.
 

NovaSaber

Active member
Citizen
I say the opposite.
It's not as indefensible as tiny-ass font sizes or a lack of subtitles, but tacked-on action/skill elements in games that are primarily about story, exploration, or strategy stopped making sense when both the number of games being published and the number of gamers old enough to have declining reflexes became so much higher than they were when Chrono Trigger and FFVII were made.


Since Grandia proved way back on the PS1 that you can have full control over a party with everyone moving in real-time (just, you know, pause when it's time to enter a command; duh), I'm going to name "inability to control party members in any game that is primarily menu-controlled" as an outdated mechanic.
 

Copper Bezel

Feeling nutty.
Citizen
I say the opposite.
It's not as indefensible as tiny-ass font sizes or a lack of subtitles, but tacked-on action/skill elements in games that are primarily about story, exploration, or strategy stopped making sense when both the number of games being published and the number of gamers old enough to have declining reflexes became so much higher than they were when Chrono Trigger and FFVII were made.
Games that play like FF7 never appealed to me in the first place at any age, but they clearly have a following and people will clearly continue making them. Fundamentally I need a game to be fun to drive and menus aren't, and that's purely a matter of preference. I don't play TCGs either. Buuuuuut - TCGs also have a hell of a lot more depth, as do tactical RPGs, both of which put a lot more preparation choices on the player and then have a state of the board to consider once they're in play. When it's a game that's also "about the story" in the sense that it's about running around the world hitting monsters with swords but has a theme, I think it's reasonable to expect action mechanics to match action content. I can't have been the only person who played Tales of Symphonia and immediately asked, why the hell haven't they all been like this from the start?
 

mx-01 archon

Member
Citizen
I say the opposite.
It's not as indefensible as tiny-ass font sizes or a lack of subtitles, but tacked-on action/skill elements in games that are primarily about story, exploration, or strategy stopped making sense when both the number of games being published and the number of gamers old enough to have declining reflexes became so much higher than they were when Chrono Trigger and FFVII were made.


Since Grandia proved way back on the PS1 that you can have full control over a party with everyone moving in real-time (just, you know, pause when it's time to enter a command; duh), I'm going to name "inability to control party members in any game that is primarily menu-controlled" as an outdated mechanic.

I understand the desire for games that aren't necessarily mechanically demanding, but traditional turn-based, menu-driven games go too far in the opposite direction. Without a truly intelligent opponent to go up against, it's always going to be a pure numbers game.

Turn-based can work against a human opponent. I've seen Pokemon PVP before, and the amount of headgames that get played there can be frequently pretty insane.

But over the course of a game campaign, with preset "AI" opponents? You never see that level of engagement. Final Fantasy's "hold X to win" reputation exists for a reason. It's impossible to replicate the amount of creative decision making that goes into a tabletop game, so game decisions boil down to basic binary decisions for every circumstance. "Attack/Heal?", "Fire/Ice?", "Fight/Run?". Once you know the winning strategy, then there's no incentive to do anything different, and you just get yourself into repetitive loops. The game might throw a wrench into the basic formula by throwing in a gimmick battle every so often, but then that just becomes a matter of deciphering the trick. And once you know the trick, then any sense of challenge is immediately thrown out the window.

Once you boil the gameplay mechanics down to the flowchart level, then it stops being a "game". Then it's just a time sink until your next hit of story or whatever it is that's driving you to continue onwards.

The only way to expand such a system is to make the battles more complex, by requiring more actions. You can no longer directly attack. You have to break a shield. To break a shield, you have to repose for a moment to consolidate your strength. To do that, a party member has so bide time for you by defending, and so on, and so forth. The longer that train goes on, the more tedious the game becomes, if you're forced to deal with those mechanics for every encounter.

There's simply no way for such gameplay to ever be interesting to me anymore. All the glitz and glamour can't hide the repetition from me, and I can't help but recognize how "filler-y" the game becomes as a result.
 

NovaSaber

Active member
Citizen
I think the idea that badly implemented action elements is somehow better than no action elements is, itself, the type of thinking behind timed hits, minigames, and various misguided compromises that I consider outdated despite some of them being recent.
Also, if you just mean that you personally can't play them anymore, there's already a whole other thread for that: https://www.allspark.com/forums/threads/the-games-you-cant-play-anymore.326/

True action RPGs aren't really the issue, aside from the trend of some series changing genres in that direction. When I said "tacked on", I meant tacked on:

Minigames (the reason I named Chrono Trigger and FFVII as examples)
Having a system where all the good abilities are on the menu anyway, but to access the menu you have to button mash for a while first
Having one random tough platform sequence in the middle of a game
Adding a time limit for responses in the visual novel part of Sakura Wars V
And worst of all, having to just a button repeatedly and rapidly for no sane reason (Bravely Default); that's not even skill, it's just tedium that happens to involve moving your thumb at high speed
 

mx-01 archon

Member
Citizen
And that's why I maintain that menu-driven combat is a design "dead end". Variations on "timed hits" is pretty much the only thing they've been able to devise to introduce some modicum of skill, and stop combat from being merely a "pass/fail" check.

Usually those systems become so repetitive that it becomes a rote reflex instead. Instead of just hitting "X to attack", it becomes "hit X again 0.5 seconds later to do more damage".

One of the games that gets the most unwarranted praise for trying to mix things up this way is Legend of Dragoon. For its fans, I tend to see a lot of praise for its "combo" system. But all that does is turn basic attacking into a short rhythm game. The same rhythm game repeated hundreds and thousands of times. And somehow, it gets even worse during Dragoon combat, which is supposed to be the game's big flashy highlight. There, instead of the personalized rhythm sequence, everybody just follows the exact same "press X when the gauge is full" attack. It's a shitty, shallow game that managed to dupe a lot of rubes into praising it, simply because it was "different".
 
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