Beyond the Mind's Eye - Thoughts & Insights from Marriott_GuyBeyond the Mind's Eye - Thoughts & Insights from Marriott_Guy

Posted on Feb 21st 2011 at 06:37:46 PM by (Marriott_Guy)
Posted under MGs Game Take, General Gaming

Most Hated Gaming Missions

This weekend I was blessed with the unthinkable - an absolutely blank calendar.

For the first time in nearly two months, the madness known as 'social obligations' had thankfully subsided for a couple of days.   My internal battery had been running on fumes for quite a while, so this break was more than welcomed.   I was not about to waste this momentary reprieve.   What better way to recharge than to bust out a new video game!

With my freedom firmly secured, I ripped open Two Worlds II with a passion that would rival even the best TV evangelist.  Within minutes, my Hero was once again dispatching the dark minions that foolishly chose to take up residence in the mythical world of Antaloor.  My melee warrior grew more powerful by the hour as he decimated the parasites that stood in his path.  Similar to his experience meter, I could actually feel myself being reenergized as my gaming night progressed; sort of like my soul 'leveling up'.  Life was once again in balance for me, or so it would seem until a ridiculous mission reared its ugly mug before my virtual GI - a stealth assignment!

Two Worlds II screenshot

This wasn't the part that stumped me in TW II, but it is completely applicable to my anguish.

Are you kidding me?  I had carefully crafted my Hero to be the super tank for all ages, but now he was obligated to complete some seemingly random, clandestine operation for the story to progress.  What's up with that nonsense?  The bliss enjoyed merely moments ago quickly vanished.  Necessitating this unnatural tactic upon my champion was the equivalent to a swift kick to my spiritual grill.  I love a good challenge and all, but sometimes jamming a square peg into a round hole just doesn't cut it.  

Frustrated to no end, I quickly hit the Save button and ended my gaming session.  I sat there thinking to myself how much I truly despised this type of Alter-Ego adventure.  If I were top dog overseeing this game project, after several failed attempts I would have allowed an "Annihilate All" gamer option of dealing with the problem at hand.  Sure, the rewards would not be as great as accomplishing the goal as originally instructed, but at least the player could proceed and continue to get their game on.

The following are other types of missions that truly tend to spike my blood pressure, and not in a good way.

Timed Missions
GTA III screenshot

The GTA series is known for their timed missions, and I respect that.  Too bad I suck at them.

Being a more casual gamer, I prefer to enjoy the gaming experience at a steady pace rather than always being in 5th gear. Timed Missions are my antithesis. Initially, I love the adrenaline flow that immediately occurs when that ticking clock unexpectedly pops up in the right hand corner of your display. But once the countdown begins in full earnest, I am singing a completely different tune - one of panic and stress. Don't get me wrong, I do like the pressure that accompanies missions of this sort. That being said, I don't want to put through the agony of attempting to complete a timed objective 30 consecutive times just to continue the story (I am looking at you GTA). Yeah, I know, this type may be targeted by me due to my gaming futility. But regardless if I stink, it wouldn't kill the developers to throw me a few outs, or workarounds, at the very least.

Bad Vehicle Missions
Mass Effect screenshot

Driving that Mako in the original Mass Effect was anything but enjoyable.

I love driving a rad car/boat/ship/etc. as much as the next guy, but it needs to be properly executed. There are very few things worse than sticking it to the man with a crappily controlled mode of transportation. It is frustrating as hell to maneuver a poorly engineered (programmed) POS, but on top of that to expect us to achieve any sort of objective is ludicrous. I don't care if it is a horse, hover craft, whatever, please triple the time you spend on QA testing in this area prior to incorporating into any game. Like my parents preached to me as an adolescent, just because you can do something son doesn't necessarily mean you should (a lesson Mass Effect 2 thankfully took to heart).

Escort Missions

Resident Evil 4 screenshot

Zombie killing machine one moment, protecting an innocent the next.  Shame on you RE 4.

You know the drill.  Deliver some random, computer controlled being/convoy from Point A to Point B, hoping they don't get massacred along the way.  I think developers want us to feel some type of emotional attachment to these NPC idiots.  First off, I really donít give a rat's ass if they get butchered - I am just doing this quest for the loot and experience points.  Secondly, if you are going to burden me with this dolt, at least program them properly.  It's bad enough that I have to protect someone who only has a sliver of HP/protection to begin with compared to our foes, but then you saddle them with programming afflictions as well.  All of them are either slow of foot, unfocused, confused or too brave for their own good.  Give them (and me) a fighting chance for goodness sake! 

I realize that I may be somewhat venting due to the cruel twist of fate that befell my gaming session this weekend.  Regardless, every gamer out there has certain types of missions that they absolutely hate.  I'd love to hear about yours, but I just found out that my lady friend scheduled a dinner party for this evening (without my knowledge) and I have to run.  I guess the internal recharging for this INTJ is coming to an end.

In all honesty, that 'stealth assignment' for my Two Worlds II warrior is looking pretty good to me right about now.  Smiley

What Gaming Missions Do You Completely Hate?

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I have always hated escort missions. I remember one in X-Wing and Command and Conquer from long ago. man that pissed me off.

I also hate any mission you need to get a gold or S rank. That usually means they are going to suck.
I've been playing Age of Empires II the Conquerors lately and their equivalent to escort missions, "so-and-so must survive", are the worst for me.  At least 2 or 3 times I lost focus on the hero unit for mere seconds and suddenly "YOU HAVE BEEN DEFEATED!" >.
GTA chase missions that require you to complete them in order to advance the story.

Now, this wouldn't be all that bad if you could restart from the spot that triggered the mission. But if you failed it and the "bad guy" got away, GTA made you start back from where your save point was prior to getting to the trigger point.

So you had to drive 5 minutes just to get to the trigger point. Attempt the mission...AGAIN. And if you failed...AGAIN...had to start all over to drive to the trigger point. I stopped playing GTA because I had 2 missions that were like this and it pissed me off that I didn't get enough time to catch these bastards.
As a fellow INTJ, you have echoed my feelings exactly. I completely avoid the GTA series now because of these things. Just tack on unskipable cutscenes to your list and every developer should be forced to abide by it.
My worst was the escort mission in Goldeneye on the 64. Keeping Natalya safe through most of the level was fairly easy. Then she stands at. A computer FOREVER and expects you to cover her from 6 different entry points for guys to shoot her from.  The speed time to unlock the cheat is 10 MINUTES!! So if you fail you get to start the entire level over and trudge through another 10 min.  Oh almost forgot the finale where you have to run with her past about 10 armed guards with no real cover points to get to the elevator and end the level. You usually have about 30 seconds left by this point if your trying to unlock the cheat.  I eventually got it but damnit this cemented my hatred for escort missions!
@ Wempster - seconded! As soon as I read the first paragraph of this writeup I thought about the Control Room. So frusterating.

I'll also second the Mako areas in Mass Effect. I've finished the game twice now and feel like I can almost drive that thing at an amateur level. Its really awful the first time through.

As much as I love Mega Man I could do without the disapearing blocks areas. I like moving at a good steady pace and when I have to slow down for a big baddie, I'm ok with that. But when I have to move at a crawl to wait for blocks to appear, it drives me crazy!!
Fetch quests (too many games to list use this)
catch up with missions (looking at you enslaved!)
Oh, and one more type I hate are conditional event quests that only appear if you got some stupid ring or flower at the start of the game (xenogears, Final Fantasy X)

As we cant edit responses to blogs, just got to make a second post.
I'm a big fan of the Gears of War games, at least the co-op campaigns and Horde modes.  (Normal multiplayer would be so awesome if it stayed as a team based, flanking strategy action game and didn't devolve into a who-can-shotgun/chainsaw a face contest, but that's a different gripe...)

Love cranking these up to Insane and blasting through the campaigns with a bud, until those wretched vehicle segments.  I'm all for variety in gameplay and the need to change the pace up, but these segments always tend to control poorly, feel forced, and punish anything but strict memorization or random luck.

I'd have played through those games far more often if I had the option to skip those parts or play an alternative role than 'drive the mega-truck/tank with two broken axles,' or 'man the turret and don't miss a single target, despite spotty feedback for hit detection and damage.'

And, does the opposite count?  I love the missions and races of Burnout Paradise, but the overall structure of the open world broke down the pacing so much I lost interest.  If I could just play from race to race instead of goofing around the gameworld so much, I'd have put the ton of hours into it I put into the other Burnout games.  Instead, I would lose interest after awhile, driving around just to find the stuff I actually wanted to do.

I generally dislike the stealth and timed missions the most. I can't remember for sure which game it was, but it was on GameCube (I think True Crime) and there was a part where you have to follow someone, but not let them know it. So it combined these two and it took me forever to get past it, I even quit playing the game for the longest time because of it.

I also hate when a 2D scroller moves at a constant pace, instead of moving with the character. There are several levels in Super Mario World that use this and it drives me insane every time.

I generally dislike escort missions, but as long as they don't last too long, I don't mind them. I just know its going to take a few tries, so I'm prepared to die a lot before I get past it.
I abhor the vehicle sections in Gears/Gears2. OMG MAN THE UV TURRET WHILE I CRASH INTO EVERYTHING AND WE DIE! It was horrific.

I believe GoldenEye was my first experience with an escort mission. I beat the game a few times on 007 difficulty and don't really remember that mission making me want to kill myself as much as the Statue level.

I hate escorts, place in first for X# of races, find X# of obscurely hidden items, or missions where the game forces you into a play style you clearly didn't "train" for.

Having to use a tank for stealth, or use your sniper/theif/other low atk/def character in face to face brawl.
@phoenix1967: I feel your pain phoenix!
@Duke.Togo: Good call Duke on the unskipable cut scenes  - especially having to endure them time after ti9me after a failed mission attempt.  Nice to see another INTJ out there - not a whole lot of us roaming the circuit.

Our friend Keith said it best - the very worst are the Timed Escort missions  Smiley
I think the type of mission that pisses me off the most are the stealth missions (the type that you loose if you are spotted). I'm going to have to blame Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood for most of the rage generated doing these kinds of missions. I mean seriously? It's complete utter bullshit.
@slackur: I never particularly cared for the vehicle segments in the LEGO platform games, for the two reasons that the control wasn't great, and that while it added variety to the game, it tended to break the flow of it at the same time.

I've also never cared for timed levels. The first LEGO Star Wars game had a few of these, and they were painful to get through.
There are probably a lot more INTJ people on the site than you know, Terry. You can toss me in the pile as well.

I hate any mission that involves something that's out of your control, such as escort missions. If I'm doing nothing wrong and I fail, it frustrates me.
This article is so true.

Escort missions - oh the horror.

The final part of Metal Gear Solid 3 where you need to escort the wounded chick (can't even remember her name - she was a blonde) through a forest/swamp-ish area with dozens of enemies was TERRIBLE.

Scarface: The World Is Yours is a game that I stopped playing just because of an escort mission. The mission isn't really an escort mission but you have to protect an AI character (a restaurant owner) during an attack on his restaurant. So a bunch of goons arrive in cars and vans and start shooting up the place. I'm not even worried about my own health in the slightest, but this idiot AI character walks into their line of fire everytime and has a tiny health bar. After about 20 attempts I gave up and took the disc out of my PS2 - forever.

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