I love certain kinds of DLC. I loved having a Halo game to play, and then 6-9 months later, get some new maps to purchase so I can revisit the game.
I do not like having to buy horse armor, new costumes for Batman, or any of the other hundreds examples of developers asking you to pay money for the most trivial of game content.
"Hey, pay a dollar to get some gems to upgrade your character. Listen, you pay a crapton of money on this iPhone as it is, kid, you might as well level up your avatar."
I get it. Games are expensive, so people spend money on what they know is safe. But man, we get a lot of sequels now. Yearly Call of Duties. Yearly sports games. Almost yearly Halo games. Mario out the wazoo. And if that isn't enough, when we don't get sequels, we get remakes. Sure, we get gems here and there like Bionic Commando Rearmed, but we also had to live through that God awful Turtles in Time remake on XBLA.
Too many Controllers
Some of you may have this problem. Several Wiimotes laying around. Maybe a Classic Controller. Maybe a Wii Wheel. A gun shell for your Wiimote. A Rock Band guitar/drums. The Kinect AND Wii IR sensor on top of your TV. A PS Move. A headset for each of your voice chat capable platforms. Maybe you have some Gamecube controllers around for playing Gamecube on the Wii.
And then add any batteries you have for all of these controllers, charging cradles, etc. MAKE IT STOPPPPPPPPPP.
You may have also found yourself uttering the following:
"Wait, which 360 controller was synced to my 360, and which was synced to my PC?" "Good thing these Wii controllers are all wirelessssaagggggh the nunchuck cord got tangled again." "Hmm, the Wii sensor bar fell behind the TV. Guess I'm not playing games today." "Okay, the Wavebird is out of batteries....so I'll just swap the Wiimote batteries there momentarily." "Okay, now my Wiimote doesn't have any batteries....so I'll just swap the batteries from my TV remote in there." "Okay, now my TV remote doesn't have batteries....so I guess I'm not playing games today."
Hey PS3 fans. I'm sorry, but we have this super awesome game coming out, but Microsoft gave us a shit load of money, so you won't have it for a year.
Feel free to swap various companies in place of the names above. I know this has been a thing for a while, but it felt more prevalent to me this generation.
Poorly Implemented Motion Control
I don't want to lump all motion control into this spot. We've had some fun games like Wii Sports/Resort, Metroid Prime 3, Boom Blox, and others. But by and large, motion control has been pretty awful this generation. I will give it some slack since it was a very new thing, but the thing is, developers never seemed to learn. Even in 2010's oft praised Donkey Kong Country Returns, there was a waggle implementation that prompted users to hack the game to remove it.
I also think that the shoehorning of motion controls into games that didn't need it was ridiculous. Why couldn't I just use a Classic Controller in New Super Mario Bros. Wii? I also wasn't a fan of the pointer controls in Super Mario Galaxy. It's enough that I'm watching the game to see if I'm on the floor or the ceiling, but I also have to point at Star Bits on the screen constantly? Did that really add anything to the game? And in other games, did it really add anything to the experience to have me shake the controller rather than mash a button? Why am I using a pointer for the menus in Punch-Out!! when I want to play the game 'retro' style?
I suppose you could argue that in some cases, waggle made sense because it kept your fingers on the buttons....but IMO, it just wasn't worth the hassle.
There were some cases where motion controls made things simpler, but most of the time, I feel like they just made things too complex.
People on XBox Live (or most games with voice chat)
Okay, I'll preface this by saying that yes, I know you can mute people. But man. Have you ever hopped online in an FPS, only to be bombarded by
a.) People playing their music in the background b.) People shouting racial slurs c.) Little kids that have no business talking to strangers online d.) Jerks that just screw with you
And on and on and on. It's awful. God bless you if you're a woman that actually tries to play one of these games online.
Retailer Specific DLC/Content
Hey, if you buy this game from Gamestop, you can have this armor that you'll never use. Spend that money wisely, kids.
Experience Progression in Multiplayer Games
Experience. EXP. XP. It goes by many names. And it's everywhere. In many games today, you can't hop online without being vastly overpowered and outgunned by other players. But don't worry. As long as you sink a huge amount of time into the game, you'll be there eventually. Sure, you'll suck at the beginning of this MMO, but as long as you kill a hundred rat beasts in the forest, you'll FINALLY be able to upgrade an inevitable block on your skill tree.
Notable games include various Call of Duty games, Blur, and Halo 4. I'll also add MMOs to this list, just because I think they're notorious for making you do tons of stupid crap before you can actually enjoy the game.
Come on developers. Reward us with a fun gameplay experience, and no more of this carrot and stick approach.
The "Point" system in online marketplaces
Good news everyone. It's 2005, and we'll no longer be charging you cash for your games....we'll be charging you points! Stock up on as many as you can, because you won't be able to simply buy games online. You'll have to pay for more than they cost, and you'll be left with a trivial amount of points that you can't use. That's okay though, you can just buy more points.
At the very least, Nintendo had a 1:100 ratio in regards to dollars:points (at least in the US). 800 points = $8. Okay. But Microsoft...what the hell? Why do 400 points = $5?
JUST LET ME GIVE YOU THE EXACT AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT YOUR GAME COSTS. I'm glad to see this going by the wayside. I'm even more glad that I ended the generation with a 0 point total on both my 360 and Wii, so I don't feel like I have wasted money on my systems.
Star Wars Games
Off the top of my head, here were the notable Star Wars games this generation:
The Force Unleashed The Force Unleashed 2 The Lego Star Wars series The Old Republic
Perhaps people latched onto the Lego games for family friendly fun. The Old Republic was a fun MMO for people who loved Star Wars (and was actually pretty awesome for a time). But let's face it. If you're a Star Wars fan, this generation was pretty awful. Battlefront 3 got canned, and we didn't have a single space combat game a la Rogue Squadron or TIE Fighter. The Jedi Knight series was nowhere to be seen, and it was 'replaced' by The Force Unleashed, which I think most people would agree was a clunky brawler at best. Some nifty eye candy, sure, but a far cry from what we had on the Gamecube, PS2, XBox, and PC around 10 years ago.
I'm hoping that Battlefront 3 will be super, super awesome, but man, I'm itching for a really good Star Wars game to come out. Hopefully Disney's acquisition of the franchise won't give us a lot of awful spin off games....but I'm cautiously optimistic that it'll be better than what we've had the past 7 years.
As much as I love Nintendo's wacky controllers, it's annoying transporting this stuff around. What I wish they would do is just make one, default "this will work for every single system we make moving forward" classic controller, and then they can do whatever they want with the wacky controllers.
Instead I have 4 WaveBirds that no longer work on Nintendo's latest system, despite the fact that the new classic controller doesn't really offer much that they don't. Blah.
@Mr_Mustache It does?? I don't know about you but I still have my Wiimotes and Classic Controller here.
Obviously that one is kind of silly, because we'll have more controllers every generation, but man, sometimes my controllers get so mixed up. I really need a better way of organizing them.
I'd love for the Wii U GamePad to become the best universal remote ever, but I don't think it's really up to the task. The battery life isn't the greatest, and I have my Wii U plugged into a receiver, so I can't really control the sound with it (unless I pair it with the receiver, in which case I can't turn off the TV with it). It has been good in a pinch, but I think in a few years the TVs will all just be able to have our phones control them. I can do that with my BD player at least.
I've ONLY used my Wiimote on Mario during multiplayer (EDIT- Forgot about Nintendo Land multiplayer). I don't own a classic. Turns on your TV. Changes channels. Doesn't have removable batteries. No sensor bar necessary. Pretty rad.
I let mind sit on the cradle all day, and I get a good 3-4 hours out of it before the light comes on, and then I've got another hour or so before it starts blinking. Before that point, I just plug it in directly and I'm good for the rest of the night (of course).
You can't control the sound? Thats a shame.. I don't run through anything wacky, just my cable box and the TV.
Don't you still need the sensor bar attached anyway? I guess few games use the IR pointer on the Wii U, but I'm sure many do. I'm pretty sure it's a control scheme in Pikmin 3 at least.
But yeah, for anyone who likes to have the different control schemes for the various games, it's a ton of controllers. I know some people prefer the Pro controller for stuff like Virtual Console due to comfort (and you don't need to charge it up as much), and I still have my Classic Controller laying around (which I believe does work with the VC as well).
The sensor bar: I'm not sure which games use it. The ones that you can play GamePad Only obviously don't need it. I'm rarely lined up directly with it anyways. Maybe some NintendoLand games use it? I really don't know..(since I don't play it).
Virtual Console: not using it on the Wii U yet. All of the games I downloaded are on my Wii still (and will be), and the ones I haven't downloaded are on their original systems to be played with the original controllers. I know not everyone can do this, but that is my setup.
I believe all of the menu navigation can be used with the sensor bar in NintendLand. And then obviously, if you're going to use WiiMode at all, the sensor bar is mandatory (unless, I believe, you have a Classic Controller set up).
Also, this isn't really just a Nintendo thing, but more of a comment on the industry as a whole. You have three major systems, and each of those has their own controllers, and each system might also have their own peripherals, etc. It certainly can be a huge investment if you want to play all of the best games, that's for sure.
Good list. I'd add excessive hand-holding, dumbing-down of game design, and existing genres being dropped in favor of more action and shooting. The combination of all three ruining a number of my favorite series/genres would be at #1.
Another thing that annoys me is the widening gap between linear/non-linear games.
Something like the original Zelda was pretty non-linear in a way, as you could basically go anywhere you wanted, and could practically go to the dungeons in any order. However, things still seemed very tightly designed.
When I see "open world" games now, I feel like the environment was just randomly generated using algorithms, favoring realism at the sake of any sort of world design. And then you look at games that have no exploration, and there really isn't any effort to create the illusion of exploration. I feel like you couldn't really run around and explore in, say, Other M, the same way you could in even Zero Mission. In Skyward Sword, you felt pretty locked down until you completed an area. I wish developers could find more of a balance. Let us run around and see what we can do. Sure, we might be limited because of where we're at in the game, but at least give us the freedom to explore the world, take in the sights, and see how far we can push things.
Hand holding is a huge one for me. I blame that on why I have so many games uncompleted. It feels like it takes way to long for a game to finally let the training wheels off, or in some cases it doesn't happen until right at the end. I don't want ever game to be Dark Souls calibur of just tossing the player out there, but having someone say FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD even before I get a glimpse of it just kills it for me.