Another Internet List of Things Worth Hating

There are some things that bother me. It may be strange to complain so specifically about something that I love so dearly (video games, if you weren’t sure), but the following outlined "things," — for lack of a better term — must be dealt with. This is another internet list of things worth hating. And I hate them dearly.

Unskippable cutscenes

Basically an unskippable cut-scene.


Cutscenes, in general, are weak. The moment you drop the controller to watch a short movie, is the moment you remember that you are playing a game. Developers — you can trust us. We will watch your cutscene when we first come across it. We want to see everything the game has to offer, and we don’t want to miss anything important. The second time we see it though, we need to skip it. We didn’t sit down to play this game again to watch cutscenes; a seat was taken to play it. Plus, those scenes are probably on YouTube already, anyway.

Worse though, is when an unskippable cutscene occurs right before a difficult sequence and you are forced to watch the same cutscene over because you are terrible at video games. We are already being punished by dying, why are you making it worse?

Difficulty spikes

A difficult game can be an immensely rewarding experience. Each checkpoint is savored, every health item is rationed, and every victory is an engaging adrenaline boost. You don’t just progress — you win. Easier games can be incredibly rewarding as well, but for different reasons. Interesting stories, compelling design ideas, and most importantly, the impression that you are actually good at games. To arbitrarily mix the two causes many shattered bits of controller plastic to be strewn about your living room floor. And then you have to vacuum. If I wanted to clean, I would have played Chibi-Robo.

Shaved heads

Shaved Heads
You will be suprised to learn that these are all completely different characters.


Developers have a bit of an understandable conceit here. Characters with shaved heads are easier to model, and easier to animate. Hair is incredibly tricky from an animation and coloring standpoint. Hair is fickle, and reacts to everything. The problem though, is that hair is an incredibly defining feature, and when that aspect is shaved down to its brownish colored roots, you end up with a million space marines who all look indistinguishable. I have one plural word that could fix everything: Hats.

Completely irrelevant choices

Questions with no answers
Japanese RPGs are most guilty of this. There is no reason to offer me a choice if there is a wrong answer that creates a loop to take me back to the original choice. We can thank western RPG developers like BioWare and Bethesda for understanding that sometimes we do want to say no, but we still want to see what happens. Typical scenario:

Distressed princess: We need your help [name] to help us fight [some sort of evil]!
Spiky haired hero: No
Distressed princess: Oh, ok. Are you sure you won’t reconsider? We need your help [name] to help us fight [some sort of evil]!
Spikey haired hero: No
Distressed princess: Oh, ok. Are you sure you won’t reconsider? We need your help [name] to help us fight [some sort of evil]!

And so on and so forth. It’s totally unnecessary, and makes the player realize that they have absolutely no control, and that their wishes are insignificant.

Bizarre unflinching allegiance to a particular corporation

I am not saying I don’t have my preferences and biases regarding the big three console manufacturers. If a game releases on all three consoles, I know exactly what system I am buying it for, and I’m not telling you which one it is.

But this isn’t so much a hatred I have for these sad, misguided, corporate patriots, as it is an eyebrow-raising, headache-inducing confusion. Those who claim undying allegiance to one particular console are simply blinding themselves from other great games. Perhaps strangest of all, though, is that these fans are becoming free evangelists for a corporation. People forget that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are all companies created to make money. They have all created some wonderful products that we all cherish and adore, but ultimately, they are corporate entities, giant money-gobbling beasts who spit out cool electronics for us to quickly run in and grab before getting stomped by mighty corporate feet.

There is nothing wrong with that, of course. They have a business, we support them, and they give us cool stuff. It’s the tangential circle of consumerist life that wasn’t covered in The Lion King. You don’t worship these corporate beasts, though. You just do the best you can and try not to get stomped as they lumber around. The beasts all have different things to offer. Why are you resigning yourself to just one?


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Author: Kyle Hilliard View all posts by

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