Above: Captain Picard has just lost 20 minutes of his life due to spaced-out checkpoints on the Holodeck.
Yesterday I mentioned that one of my three biggest pet peeves is a bad game camera. In comments, Quinn wondered what some others were. In a bit more detail, here are the 3 things that drive me nuts in any game.
A bad camera. This problem has largely gone away in recent years, as most games let you control what you're looking at. And some games, like God of War, implement an external camera pretty well. But nothing's worse than when you're running along and the point of view suddenly shifts, completely throwing off your sense of direction. Well, maybe one thing's worse: staring at a giant wall between your eyes and the action.
Interminable opening cinematics. When I start a game, I want to do something, anything, right away. I don't want to sit there for 20 minutes watching a movie with the controller in my lap. I would be happy enough to walk my character across the room and then watch the cutscene. Better still would be for the game to tell a story through in-game actions. (An example of a great game that still bugged me for this reason: Okami.)
Sparse save points and checkpoints. It's not so much about the difficulty factor, although it does bug me to lose 10 minutes or more of progress because I've failed to reach a checkpoint. This stuff really bugs me because I want to be able to start and stop my gameplay session according to my own whims. I don't want to traipse across a level for 20 minutes looking for a save point. I don't want to have to keep slogging ahead, waiting for the little "checkpoint" message to appear, before I can go to bed.
That's not a comprehensive list by any means, but any time I come across any of these problems it's like hearing the needle scratch off the record, even in an otherwise good game. There's just no reason for any of them.
What about you? What in a game drives you absolutely batty?