A gameplay mechanic in an otherwise
fun/enjoyable game that generates a sizable hatedom. Perhaps it's out of character for the game, its quality is lower than the rest of the game, or it really exposes the problems in the game. Also related to Unexpected Gameplay Change
and Gameplay Roulette
. Gameplay tactics do not count unless it's the exploitation of glitches and hacks. Otherwise, that's just abuse of an otherwise fair and good mechanic that causes the game to be played in a way that it's not supposed to. That One Boss
is only related to this if a boss villain's status under that trope is solely because of a gameplay mechanic.
Compare to Disappointing Last Level
. Despite appearances
, this trope is not to be confused with a machinery technician who picks a lot of fights
, nor is it about Slippy Toad
, who is merely a Scrappy
who happens to be a mechanic
. Can also cross with Oddball in the Series
where that one game that differentiates itself from the others in the series may stand out due to the Scrappy Mechanics it uses.
For a sometimes overlapping Sister Trope
, see That One Rule
. Contrast Anti-Frustration Features
, which are mechanics intentionally designed to avoid this kind of feeling.
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- For a player with disability or using an emulator, any mechanic that utterly relies on a sense that they can't use is bound to become a scrappy mechanic for them, even if normal players would find it acceptable. This is typically an issue for the hearing impaired; video games inherently require at least passable vision to even view what is displayed on the screen, the senses of smell and taste is irrelevant to gaming (at present anyhow), and touch tends only to be used for vibration functions on rumble controllers (although emulators will struggle with not having a rumble-feature if an actual game mechanic relies on it). But sound is an expected aspect of video games, although the degree to which it is used varies from game to game. For games that only use sound to set the mood, a player with a hearing loss can manage to at least play the game from beginning to end without any unusual frustration. But for games which rely on sound for practical purposes like detection, pitch-based puzzles and the like will frustrate such a player who will have no legitimate options to continue but to find a guide, a friend with intact hearing who can communicate effectively what is happening, or engage in trial and error gameplay. Additionally, games without subtitles when players speak (especially during cut-scenes) will ruin the experience and possibly prevent such players from understanding the plot.
- Games like Evergrace II where all the characters you play have a shared life bar. This leads to frustrating moments, especially if some of the characters you control are played by the computer. In a similar vein, shared lives, especially if the life counter does not increase to accomodate the extra players. Monster Hunter and Dariusburst Another Chronicle are two such examples; you can quickly go from zero deaths to Game Over if you're playing with three other players and experience a Total Party Kill.
- Quitting PC Games. Games for the PC seldom have an "Exit Game" option in the pause menu. Typically you have to quit your current game, wait for it to load, go to the title screen, then hit "Exit Game" from there. Some games even force you to watch the intro cinematics again, prompting a lot of users to just use task manager to quit their game more quickly.
- Every console with motion sensing (PS2 with Eyetoy, PS3 with Sixaxis and the Wii's Remote to name some) seem to have developers who love to "utilize" it in an entirely half-assed way that's simply a less functional version of traditional controls than rely on it as their selling gimmick. First-party titles continue to shoehorn it in because it is a system feature and must be showcased.
- The analog buttons on the PS2's DualShock 2 had the same issue, such as in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty where pushing the look button hard in a locker caused you to bang Raiden's head into the locker door and alert any nearby guards. Incidentally, Metal Gear is probably the only non-flight sim series that actually takes advantage of the "analog" part of the analog buttons.
- Metal of Honor: Frontline. They made the dumb decision to make the fire button analog, so if you didn't press it hard enough your gun would not fire. Many players ran around the first level wondering if their controller was broken because this 'feature' was not mention anywhere.
- To some, Quick Time Events are a horrible implementation that interrupt the gameplay at the most inappropriate times just to activate a glorified cutscene. Yahtzee may have something to do with it, since it is one of his pet peeves.
- Tank Controls are severely divided by two factions. On one side, those who believe tank controls are a challenging feature; and on the other, people who believe tank controls are a lumbering dinosaur that should be long obsolete thanks to much more refined controls. The latter hates them for feeling clunky and making the character act all sluggish especially when trying to escape the thing that's trying to kill them.
- If you try to play the Blizzard Entertainment games Diablo III, StarCraft II or World of Warcraft in an internet cafe when the Internet at home is down, your Blizzard account will sometimes be locked due to different login sequence. You will have to answer the safety question or enter the serial number to unlock your account. This is made for safety reasons, but most other players find it extremely frustrating.
- Google has gotten in on this too, making it annoying at best and impossible at worst for people to access their e-mail or Google Docs at home after logging into it at school or work (or vice-versa).
- Shall I Repeat That? becomes a Scrappy Mechanic if the cursor defaults to "Yes, I do want to hear that again" after a long monologue conversation, as a player mashing the "A" button to skip the NPC's text as quickly as possible will accidentally make the NPC repeat himself/herself over and over and over again until they scroll down and select "No, I don't want to hear that again". Kaepora Gaebora from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is most notorious for this, since he actually varies between "Do you want to hear what I said again?" and "Do you understand?", and the cursor does always default to whichever one makes him repeat everything.
- Somes forms require you to fill out your zip/postal code, yet some countries do not use them.
- Friend Codes on Nintendo's consoles/games (Wii, 3DS, and any DS game with online play). Both people having to share a randomly generated combination of 12 numbers with each other before being allowed to play with each other kind of annoyed a lot of gamers... especially when they had to put in a new code for each and every game. Made slightly better with the 3DS, which shares one Friend Code for all games and the console itself. As of the Wii U, the friend codes are gone and replaced with adding your friend's usernames instead.
- Anything in a game that costs actual money to acquire, particularly outside of MMORPG games, especially in app games.
- Any game where the text scrolls slowly can get on the player's nerves pretty quickly, as it will take several seconds to get through each line of monologue/dialogue, unnecessarily wasting a lot of time. Examples include the aforementioned Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (though the 3DS remake has much quicker text speed) and Xenogears. See also Scrolling Text.
- Escort Missions. While these can be done well (Resident Evil 4 is considered one of the few ways to do this right), almost every escort mission sucks. They're often bogged down by the escort being controlled by an AI that is so mind-bogglingly stupid, you're left wondering if it's trying to get itself killed. The sections are often filled with some of the most powerful enemies in the game. The escort is often given no means of self-defense. Said escort usually has a frighteningly low amount of health, and you often have no way to restore it. Thankfully, developers seem to be getting wise to this, as escort missions began to steadily decline with games released in The New Tens, or at least given some way to mitigate some of the more annoying issues associated with this mechanic.
- Every game ever made that has a time-limit for no justifiable reason. Admittedly this is was a throw-back from arcade games (which the home versions were based on) intended to keep people feeding more quarters into the machine by forcing them to waste lives by not allowing them to take their time to plan out their actions and thus make more mistakes, park their character into a safe spot so that they could take a break or make use of Infinite One Up tricks, all of which could drive away other potential players due to having them get tired of waiting for their turn or alternatively giving the player a chance to get enough lives to beat the game on a single credit regardless of how recklessly they play, but there is still no valid reason whatsoever for Mario to just abruptly drop dead because you didn't get through World 8-1 fast enough.
- Stun mechanics, or crowd control in PVP environments. One or two isn't bad - but when there's no way to reduce the time spent stunned (or otherwise locked down), or the effects could be easily chained? Oh, and the only counter to them takes up a precious inventory space and isn't all that useful for the character you're playing? Cue keyboard breaking.
- Region Coding, particularly on video game systems. The idea is to prevent people from cheating their own markets out of revenue by buying a game available for their home region from a different region, especially if their home region receives the game later. But region locking quickly becomes a royal pain when you consider that thousands of games never leave their home regions. The only legal and safe option is to buy a system of the region of the game(s) you want. Modifying one's own system will violate warranties and can brick or physically damage it (and since you broke the warranty, your only options are third-party repairs), and piracy can not only cause serious trouble depending on where you live, but some games have measures to thwart it.
- When the Nintendo 3DS was revealed to have region locking, this caused a lot of uproar. With previous Nintendo handhelds, if you travel to another region (e.g. from North America to Japan or to Europe) and buy games there, you can play them on your system, no questions asked. Even Nintendo Power acknowledged the region-free and travel-friendly properties of the Game Boy Advance, which was released ten years prior to the 3DS, when a reader asked them about traveling and purchasing games. 3DS? No chance.
- Similar to region locking, IP checks that keep you from accessing online services outside your region and credit card address checks that don't allow you to pay with a credit card which is not for the same region as the online story you are trying to access. IP locks have forced players to take roundabout measures such as VPNs just to play region-exclusive games such as Phantasy Star Online 2 and Kantai Collection.
- Xbox Live introduced security proofs, which basically means adding an alternate email address and/or phone number to your Xbox Live account. However, this resulted in gamers being pestered by messages asking for their password as well as prompting them to add more proofs. Throw in security codes being emailed all over the place, and the process of signing into an Xbox Live account turns from something that took a few seconds at most into a giant hassle. God help anyone who attached their gamertag to an old Microsoft account whose password is long forgotten.
- A lot of modern commercial PC games do not accept game controllers that are not recognized as Xbox 360 controllers. In some cases, third-party tools such as x360ce will allow you to get a non-360 controller working, but in other cases, you're out of luck.
- Conversely, some doujin PC games do not natively recognize Xbox 360 controllers. Even if they do, they generally do not recognize the D-pad as directional input, as the directions on a D-pad are recognized as POV hats rather than directional control. If you're using an Xbox 360 arcade stick, for instance, you will need to either use tools like JoyToKey or set your stick to left stick mode, which is notorious for being laggy due to the way it is implemented.
- Nintendo's practice of tying your digital purchases to your console which means you need to send the console back to them if its broken if you want to move your games to a new one and that you lose your games forever if your console is stolen.
- Miiverse, the social network Nintendo made, has been given a new rule—it's now impossible to make multiple comments on ANY post outside the user's own for three minutes at a time. A patch later on reduced it down to two minutes. The entire rule was set to cut back on people spamming posts, though it did little to stop it anyway.
- Online passes for multiplayer or other features of games (e.g. DLC). People who buy new have their time wasted entering access codes (often on lousy console interfaces) and are denied the right to sell the spot on the servers they paid for to someone else. People who buy used have part of the content denied them unless they pony up for a new key (and accept the same inconvenience), screwing over all the people who buy used because they can't afford a new copy. All this assumes passes are available and servers are running properly, allowing them to be redeemed. If there's a problem (e.g. if servers can't handle the high demand just after release) you may not even be able to play a game you already paid for. The fact even single-player games sometimes require this also screws over any customers who can't easily access to an internet connection.
- Anytime a game which normally gives you free control over the camera angle suddenly decides to abruptly wrench the camera around because there's something the programmers decided there is really something over there you needed to see or figured they would make things easier. Often the gamer couldn't care less what the camera is trying to aim at or is busy trying to concentrate on something else, or would much rather set their own camera angle to line up their jump (which is kind of the point of giving camera control to the player to begin with).
- With the rise of games having more online connectivity, many games now require you to sign in to your account or connect to a server simply to play the game and it makes sense to do so if you are playing multiplayer. However, being forced to connect online just to play a single player mode can be incredibly annoying, especially if you don't play online to begin with. Unless the game is programmed to be able to work offline, then you're royally screwed if you have connection issues or if the servers are down. This gets doubly worse if you have games that require a separate log in on top of your typical account log in.
- Online games with crossplay capabilities (the ability to play the game with other players, regardless of the platform they use) is a good idea overall, though it also has its issues. PC gamers need to only connect to the servers that the game is hosting, but console games usually require the player to connect to the console account's sever and the game's server. If something happens to the servers that hosts your account on the console, you won't be able to play that game at all, even if the game's severs are perfectly fine.
- For some, there's automatic updating. Whether it's video games or software programs, everything has to be kept up to date to fix bugs or install new features. There can be occasions where the updates can happen at the most inopportune times and interrupt whatever you were doing. Sometimes you can adjust how updates are handled, but at other times, you'll have no control over it. Even if you don't want to update your stuff at all, the game or program may continue to nag you until you give in and update.
- Back-tracking: God-damned back-tracking. It has it's own song.
- The vegetable picking in Putt-Putt Enters the Race. First off, it's a puzzle designed like a gigantic maze. What makes it annoying is that some foods take ages just to get to, and once you make it to them, you have to retrace your steps, so that needlessly doubles the amount of time it takes. Even worse, you have to be right next to the vegetable in order to get it or get ready to be told you can't pick it over and over again. It doesn't help at all that the movements cannot be skipped at all, unlike the rest of the game.
- Instead of the classic wrong-choices-mean-death approach, Time Hollow makes Game Overs possible with a health meter. It can only be refilled by wandering the game looking for "chrons" and watching an unskippable cutscene each time you find one. But you're unlikely to even need this, as you only lose health for "digging" in the wrong place, and most of the digging puzzles are very simple — making the whole thing pointless.
- Despite being a point-and-clicker, Harvester has a real-time combat system. It is extremely clunky, hard to aim at a target, and it makes the main character walk in a goofy fashion while wielding a weapon.
- Streets of Rage 3 gives you a star every 40,000 points, up to 3 stars. Each star powers up your "blitz" attack. However, 40,000 points is a very non-trivial amount of points, and if you die, you lose a star. Expect to never see a single star if you can't last very long on each life. There's an alternative way to perform any level "blitz" attack with a specific input, but it requires a 6-button controller to do.
Card Battle Game
- The Flash web game Clash of the Dragons uses the combatant's deck as a life meter, depleting cards as they lose health. Several NPCs have the "Acid Flask" card, which when depleted immediately deals interrupting, unblockable damage equal to the damage that caused it to be dealt. This means that if you deal 10 damage and have an Acid Flask as one of the depleted cards, you instantly take 10 damage. If you are reduced to 0 health by this, you immediately lose, regardless of how much damage you just caused to the enemy. Some enemies have several Acid Flasks in their decks, meaning that if during that 10 damage you deplete two of them, the game will stop twice to deal your damage back to you twice over. There are enemies in the game that have up to four Acid Flask cards, stacked buffs that deal a set amount of unblockable damage every time you damage them at all (meaning that if you attack too slowly, you die, and if you attack too quickly, you die) and have attacks that cause the player to play random attacks and have no access to helpful items for three turns. Which they play every third turn. Often, you get to play your first card, then watch yourself lose with no input on the battle.
- Ringouts (knocking your opponent out of the arena and into an auto-DQ zone), or any other means of winning a round without actually zeroing out your opponent's health bar are pretty universally reviled. The Virtua Fighter and Soul Calibur series generally include ringouts on most if not all stages. Soul Calibur also heavily features juggling and several notably claustrophobic stages where accidental self-ringout is an actual possibility. Dead or Alive, on the other hand, put a more enjoyable spin on this, transforming most ringouts into events more to the order of 'you knocked him off the building and down through the flashy neon sign and into the pavement, but then you jump down after him and keep fighting down there.'
- For a lot of people who would otherwise play Tekken, juggling is exactly this. A large section of the fandom who thought 2 or 3 was the best in the series often find any game past 4 bordering on unplayable. One word - walls. Getting trapped by Eddy or Christie in the corner of the map has been known to break controllers.
- Super Smash Bros..:
- Tripping in Brawl. Whenever a player breaks into a run, they may, by completely random chance, trip over and leave themselves vulnerable. The mechanic doesn't go away in Sudden Death. Even though tripping gives you invincibility frames, you could pretty much do the same thing but better with sidestepping. It's supposed to be to limit overuse of dashing, but casual and competitive players alike agree that this mechanic has no good reason to exist. Fortunately, random tripping has been removed in the next installment.
- For the Pokémon Trainer, the stamina mechanic which punishes you for trying to rely on one of the Mons by reducing your stats when you use one specific one for too long (and to a lesser degree how the current mon automatically switches when you get KOed). You can tell when this happens when your Pokemon starts to act tired in their idle animation and move around more sluggishly. This despite the fact that Sheik/Zelda never needed any handicap on multiple forms besides lacking a Down-B move.
- The Pokemon Trainer's Pokemon are also affected by Type Effectiveness, meaning certain types of attacks do a bit more damage and knock a particular Pokemon further away than usual. This ends up making the Trainer's Ivysaur, a Grass-Type, susceptible to attacks from over half of Brawl's roster due to the abundance of characters that innately use fire-based attacks, making Ivysaur less durable than it should be. Squirtle and especially Charizard had an easier time with this. Both this and the stamina mechanic mentioned above were introduced to emulate the mechanics of the main Pokemon gamesnote , which only sounded good on paper in the end. It should be noted that only the Pokemon Trainer's team are affected by these mechanics, so the standalone Pokemon such as Pikachu play like the other characters in Brawl's roster.
- For a large group of players (read: those who don't play in tournaments), this applies to every kind of "dashing" (except running) and "canceling" technique in Melee, the previous game. The fact that they were nearly completely removed in Brawl was seen as a breath of fresh air for some of those who didn't base their playstyles on physics exploits nor intentional advanced techniques. On the other hand, their removal was a huge cause to the very Broken Base, especially since many already-nerfed characters were nerfed even more as a result.
- Brawl's random multiplayer. You're pitted against 1-3 anonymous opponents, and when someone quits, they're taken over by a CPU. Without notifying you. Most annoyingly, this feature was even touted on the official website. Unless you know the AI well enough, you'll never know whether your match was spent entirely with living, breathing humans or that awesome finish you pulled off in the final moments of the match was against the CPU.
- Brawl's Final Smashes have also contributed heavily to its Broken Base. If items are in play, there's a chance of a Smash Ball appearing, and if you break it, you can unleash a super attack that will pretty much knock out enemies instantly. The main problem is that while you can dodge the super moves in some way, most of the time, you won't be able to (especially if the level is tiny and hard to maneuver around) and thus the user practically gets a free kill or two. What's also worse are "Pity" Final Smashes that occur when a player is severely lagging behind in points and respawns with a Final Smash already in standby.
- In the games where you can play with a GameCube controller, mashing the C-stick is a very useful way to easily perform smash or aerial attacks, unless you're playing Melee's single-player modes, where the C-stick zooms the camera in and out. Since the default camera placement already gives you the best view of everything, this feature serves no purpose but to restrict your view and to make many techniques much harder.
- The Multi-Man modes in Melee and Brawl have items. While items like Poké Balls are helpful, many players view the biggest challenge of the modes is not trying to defeat all of the enemies (100-Man) or trying to survive (15-Minute), but hoping that a rogue Bob-omb or explosive doesn't spawn next to you and ruin that glorious victory. Alleviated in the fourth game, where items in the mode spawn on top of a floating platform that appears every couple seconds.
- Collecting custom attacks in the fourth game. It's a Luck-Based Mission, only available through single player modes or the rare chance of having a bag spawn in a Smash match. The problem lied in how custom moves are lumped in with general equipment like stat buffers or even Mii costumes, so even after getting a garuntee five custom parts after a Classic Mode match you have no idea if any of them are going to be full moves for your main or new hats for the Mii fighters until the match is over. Even worse is that it's possible to get repeats of both custom moves and other equipment, meaning that the item pool to draw from does not lower over time.
- In Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, when someone ragequits in an online match, it counts as a loss for the person who was still online, who likely would have been winning. And this even happens if the final hit was registered.
- SmackDown vs. Raw:
- Since the 2006 edition, gender restrictions have been placed (no more intergender matches). In SvR2K10, the Mixed Tag match was introduced, which pits two teams of one male and one female against each other. The problem with the match is that if a man and woman are legal in the ring, the ref starts a five count and the illegal partner has to make a tag or automatically gets disqualified. Worse still- and not just in this match but in any match- the men get disqualified for hitting the women, even if it's by accident while the women, on the other hand, are allowed to attack them as much as they please (If countered, they'll win automatically by DQ). Unfortunate indeed, but this is a reflection of the current "rules" in the WWE, which is sort of the point of Smackdown vs Raw. Thanks to PG and other things, men cannot hit women, and the five count is an accurate reflection of tag rules, as it has to be girl on girl and thus if the others tag it means that you also tagged.
- The grappling system in SVR2011, which removed the modifier for strong and weak grapples. Weak grapples could only be performed on non-groggy opponents, while heavy grapples were restricted to groggy opponents.
- The older GameCube title Day of Reckoning 2 introduced a new "stamina" system that left your wrestler completely helpless and at the mercy of an opponent if they ran too much or used too many moves in succession. You could also run out of stamina if you got beat up too badly, and while that normally only happens to characters with low stats, it makes comebacks difficult if it does. In one way, it added more strategy to matches, but it also made it harder to beat opponents with higher stats.
- Marvel vs. Capcom 3:
- X-Factor is this for some. It's a power-up that can be activated by any character in the game once per fight that increases in power as more characters of your team die off. The reason some say it is this trope is that the strength and speed boost it gives your character is so big that it breaks the game. Every character gets access to easy 100% combos upon using it and can easily decimate entire teams after one mistake, completely overturning the momentum of a match. And that's not even getting into the fact that activating it cancels instantly from ANY move.
- Even better; Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 now allows you to activate X-Factor midair.
- The inclusion of ground/wallbounces and really common OTGs in order to make combos as long as inhumanely possible is detrimental to the overall fun level for whoever isn't the winner. MvC3 is decidedly not a game that's fun at all if you're losing, if only because you have to watch completely helplessly for upwards of 20–30 seconds of pummeling that you have absolutely no control during if you make a mistake.
- The match-search system for online has become notorious for being utterly broken. In theory, setting "Player Rank" to "Same" should pair you against players similar in skill to you. In practice, nobody has any clue what formula the game uses, but it likes to pit Amateur (the second-lowest rank) against Lord (one of the highest) and other such blatantly-lopsided fights. Expect to get into a lot of fights you just can't win.
- Counters (or holds as they're properly known as) in the Dead or Alive series, especially in 4 where they're believed to have degenerated the game into pure guessing.
- Deadliest Warrior:
- The stamina bar embodied this trope to the max; even heavily armored warriors like Knights and Spartans could have their blocking ability momentarily disabled or their arm broken due to their shield being punched but not to being shot by a Blunderbuss.
- Most characters have ranged weapons. Only some characters, however, have ranged weapons that aim for the head by default, and it's a One-Hit Kill if they connect. Worse still, there's no restrictions on when you can and can't use them, which means a round can end in a single solitary second just from someone chucking a spear into your skull at the very start of the match.
- The tests of strength in the Fire Pro Wrestling series, which become impossible for a player to win above level 5, and occur with increasing frequency in the higher difficulty levels. Generally agreed by fans to be the worst aspect of the game.
- Arkanoid. Golden bricks. In a game that's all about destroying every last brick, the game suddenly throws indestructible ones at you... usually in the most inconvenient place possible. Almost every level which has them consists of walls of the things caging in all of the breakable bricks, making it so that you have to get the ball into a tiny little opening and hope it doesn't just bounce back out. Sure is fun bouncing the ball around for five whole minutes accomplishing nothing. Playing 2-player? Watch your friend fall asleep from boredom.
- The hunger system in Minecraft when it was introduced in beta 1.8. Before this, food instantly restored your health. Once hunger was introduced, food no longer were instant heals (Potions of Healing covered that), but instead, food takes about 3 seconds to fully consume and they restore hunger points instead. Keeping your hunger full gives slow health regeneration but letting the meter fall too low prevents you from sprinting and letting it go fully empty will damage you and even outright kill you if playing on Hard difficulty. What makes it worse is doing too much physical stuff (running, mining, etc) will make you hungry more quickly and every piece of food has different amount of saturation, which determines how full you stay until the hunger meter starts to drop again. Naturally, you aren't told of this.
- The entirely random terrain generation and explosive death-causing trap placements (and sometimes player positions) in any Worms game can screw players both skilled and unskilled. But mostly just the skilled players.
- In newer Tetris games (for example, Tetris DS) it is possible in single player for a player to keep a piece from locking in place by hammering at a rotation button, or nowadays, shortly delaying the lock. Yes, even the square. Tetris Worlds was the first to be criticized for it. The rationale is that it helps beginners, but doesn't affect more competitive players.
- Eliminator mode in the various games is almost universally imbalanced, requiring mostly luck to get the right weapons and not so much player skill. The weapons were balanced for regular racing, so many didn't even do damage or very little, and some were grossly overpowered in a game mode where you didn't have to bother with speed. Wip3out was the worst offender since almost nothing did any noticable damage except for Energy Drain and Plasma Bolt, both a one-hit kill. It got better in later titles, but then participating in this mode became required to beat the game.
- Shooting a competing ship in the first Wipeout game would cause it to stall and you to crash into it. This was changed in the sequel so that shooting a ship would flip it up, enabling you to pass underneath. The frustration factor was cranked up again in the degraded sequel Wip3out which reduced the flip duration so you would probably collide with the target anyway unless you fired at point blank range. And on a killing blow the disintegrating ship would stay at ground level and grind to a halt, bringing you to a very frustrating stop if you were unable to move out of the way quickly. And there was the Force Wall weapon which covered half of the track ahead of you and bounced opponents backwards... in your face, catapulting you back at high speed. Add to this the chance to blow yourself up if the target deployed a last second Reflector and it becomes clear that using weapons on opponents you don't particularly care about (ie. everyone but the opponent in first place) was more likely to hurt you than to help you.
- Initial D Arcade Stage 4 sets arbitrary "speed limits" on turns. If you go over this speed limit, depending on whether you're playing version 1.2 or 1.5, then either your steering will lock up, causing you to crash into the outer wall unless you execute a "brake cancel" technique, or you will oversteer like hell. And if you hit a wall or suffer said understeer, your acceleration is permanently gimped and can only be fixed with brake cancelling. Which is done on a straightaway. But that's not where the problems end. To get to the tuning shop, you have to eject your card three times. Not continue three times, you have to pick "NO" at the continue screen for it to count. This means that if you're playing several rounds in a row, then you'll be wasting chances to tune up your car if you continue each time—you have to spend about 2-3 minutes between sessions ejecting your card, putting it back in, and going through all the menus. These sorts of mechanics are contributing to the downfall of the IDAS scene.
- Burnout Revenge gave us "Traffic Checking". The idea being that your car can shunt small vehicles that are stationary/going the same way you are, out of the way. The problem however was that this also gave you boost. Normally boost was rewarded for risky driving, but Traffic Checking had no risk attached to it, unless you couldn't tell the back of a car from the back of a bus. Naturally smart players would change their strategy from trying to stay in oncoming where possible, to driving going the right way and shunting cars about in the process.
- Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing allows the race leader to get Missiles, which act like the Red Shell in the Mario Kart Series (homing attack against the racer ahead). However, not only are the missiles far more precise, when the leader gets one, he can shoot it backwards and it will lock on the second racer! That means if you are trying to reach the leader, you'll have to focus on the hazards of the track, avoid the mines dropped by the leader and pray that, if he gets a missile, the next item box gives you a shield, a KO Glove, or another missile. Oh, the leader will also get Speed Shoes every now and then.
- R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 gives you new cars during GP Mode, the cars you get depending on your performance in the last few races. If you place first in every race, you'll get the best cars for your team/sponsor combo, but winning every race in 1st only unlocks a fraction of the cars. To unlock the rest, you have to Do Well, but Not Perfect and place 2nd or 3rd to unlock the lower-tier cars, which is annoying because it means sandbagging races as well as getting some pretty disparaging remarks from your team for not finishing in first.
- The Rollcage Leader Missile would sometimes lock on to buildings (instead of opponents) and bring them down on your own head.
Real Time Strategy
- MOBA games like League of Legends and Defense Of The Ancients are full of mechanics that may or may not have originated as a bug or engine limitation. For one, a number of spells go through spell immunity for no reason other than the limited Warcraft 3 engine on which the original Dota is built. This flaw was faithfully ported to the standalone sequel and is frustrating to be on the receiving end of.
- Runes in League of Legends. Runes are stat bonuses for your ingame champion, which you can buy in the cash shop. Luckily, you can only buy them for Influence Points which are gained by playing matches, not for real money. Unluckily, you will spend about 150 matches worth of IP on runes before you are anywhere near competitive, and they are neither weak enough to not be mandatory in ranked games nor strong enough to make you feel good when you finally max out your runepages (which themselves also cost tons of IP or real money beyond the first two while there are five roles in the game). In short, expect to dedicate the next couple of months grinding IP for runepages instead of buying actual champions with that IP. Hope you enjoy the free champions or have a fat wallet to buy them for real money. To add some salt to the wound, Runes come in three tiers depending on your Summoner (account) level. Tiers one and two are worthless, and any experienced player will tell a newcomer to ignore them until Tier 3 runes become usable. And if you wasted some precious IP on some anyway? Well, you can convert them to a higher tier... at a horrifyingly inefficient 5-to-1 ratio, and you don't even pick what you get.
- Flash in League of Legends, which is basically a free short distance instant teleport on a long cooldown. The problem is that this ability can be used to foil ganks. To ensure the success of ganks. To escape from certain death. To chase enemies. To seize objectives. To dodge skillshots. To position for abilities. In fact, it's good for pretty much everything. Out of over a hundred champions, there's a scant handful who don't take Flash almost every match, and no one would blink if you took it on them too. The devs noticed this and toned Flash back a bit as of season 3. While still a staple (being a safe pick if one doesn't have a strategy for the other spells), it's not quite so universal anymore.
- In Dota 2, there are runes that spawn randomly in two spots every 2 minutes. This includes right at the start of the match. Guessing correctly and getting a free double damage or illusion rune before the game even starts is somewhat annoying for the enemy. On the other hand, proper teams tend to ward and prepare for the rune spawns, so acquiring the rune is less 'guessing' and more 'preparation'.
- A mechanic held over from the first Dota is gold loss upon death. This is either a fair reward for someone for taking out the opponent, or an unfair punishment that's Adding Insult to Injury, and lengthens the gap in what may already be an uneven match.
- For a series which has been around as long as it has, the Total War series has largely managed to avoid these. One particularly notable case, however, is the "Realm Divide" mechanic in Total War Shogun 2. Basically, once your clan controls about 15 provinces (out of 65,) every other clan will ally against you. You're given a severe diplomatic penalty, meaning your former allies will abandon you and you'll be unable to establish trade relations, killing your economy. Then, every clan that is against you will be given large stacks of veteran units every turn.
- Sins of a Solar Empire:
- The Open Rebellion event for Stellar Phenomena. If allegiance drops to less than 30% on planets, a sizable fleet of rebels, complete with their own Capital Ships, will attack the planet, destroy everything they can, and automatically destroy the colony regardless of health upgrades. Since planets more than 5 phase lanes away have a maximum of 35% loyalty, and Deliverance Engine signals guarantee at least a 10% drop, playing against an Advent player is an exercise in futility as the colonies are overthrown faster than you can restore them. Not even TEC Rebels, who are "assaulted" by fleets of non-combative forces, are immune to this.
- Culture can be this. You may be doing well militarily only to have your planets slip from your control. Especially bad if you're doing a military research only run for the Achievements or don't have enough slots to spare for Broadcast Centres.
- In general, combo-based scoring systems, due to how a single mistake can completely ruin one's score and force a restart if one is trying to get a high score. Ironically, combo-based scoring is found in rhythm games that tend to cater more towards "casual" players, while more challenging games like beatmania IIDX use more "flat" scoring systems that are based purely on accuracy and won't completely cripple a player's score over one miss.
- Guitar Hero III:
- A Boss Battle mode, where periodically through the main career mode, the player will have to guitar-duel famous guitarists such as Tom Morello, Slash and the Devil. It's exactly what you'd expect to happen when incorporating Mario Kart-esque powerups into a Rhythm Game: The AI opponents play flawlessly, and depending on the player, the difficulty of the matches ranges from trivial to absolutely impossible, thanks to being almost completely dependent on getting the right powerups and using them at the right time, and if the AI can do the same to you. It should already be telling that the first guitar duel is said to be the hardest, simply because your opponent's notechart simply doesn't have enough consecutive notes for you to reliably defeat him with anything but a specific powerup. Later installments in the franchise have eased this mechanic by making the guitar duels less dependent on random chance, but the damage was already done in Guitar Hero III.
- The Whammy Bar is annoying to players and observers alike. Not only is it required to max out points on some songs (darn that Star Power meter), but it ruins notes that were never meant to be whammied. That, and you have to take your hand off the strum bar to use it, so on shorter notes or staggered chords, it can be a nightmare.
- The PS1 port of Dance Dance Revolution 1st Mix brings us Arrange Mode, which is essentially the same as normal mode, with one key difference: if you step on a panel when you aren't supposed to, instead of nothing happening, you instead get an "OUCH!!" judgment, which drains your Life Meter even moreso than a Miss. So if you have a crappy pad, or you like freestyling, or you step on panels when nothing's happening to keep the beat...
- DDR X introduces shock arrows; if your foot is down when they reach the target zone, your combo breaks, your health takes a hit, and the whole chart goes invisible for about a second. Even worse is how they're placed: while mines in In The Groove / Pump It Up Pro // StepMania can be placed in one or two columns at a time if one wishes, shock arows ALWAYS fill all of the columns. This means you'll have to jump completely off the pad every time they come. And you'll be doing a LOT of said jumping, especially in "Horatio". They come back in X2, where every Challenge chart to contain them is EXACTLY THE SAME as Expert, only with the shock arrows replacing certain steps.
- Minigames in the Patapon series. The main gameplay uses player-entered rhythm based musical sequences that call for a variety of attacks, and then every single minigame is a call-repeat rhythm game that uses a single button (or TWO for a minigame in Patapon 2). These minigames are sometimes the only way to get top level weapons.
- Spinners in Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and Elite Beat Agents are what set the dedicated players apart. Partway or at the very end of a song, you're meant to stop tapping beats and instead draw really fast circles on your DS screen while a timer counts down. Do well and you'll gain tons of bonus points - do poorly and you'll lose a sizable portion of your health meter. Towards the end of the harder difficulties, the spinners get so demanding that no matter how flawless a player's rhythm is, they'll live or die based solely on the dexterity of their wrist. Naturally, those who fail to meet the expectations of the later spinners will quickly grow to hate them since they alone make the final songs near-unbeatable or at least impossible to score a Perfect on, putting the higher ranks out of reach.
- The scoring system is pretty frustrating. Each note has a base value of up to 300 points, depending on how well you time the note. Seems pretty standard for a rhythm game. Then comes the combo multiplier; by the end of the song, a single note can be worth tens of thousands of points. In other rhythm games, missing a note simply means you lose a few points. Here, missing just one note will completely botch your score, especially if said miss is in the middle of the song.
- And if you're playing the popular OTO/EBA clone osu!, you get all of the above, plus multipliers for using modifiers as well. One particular modifier doubles the speed of the song. This means to obtain a top-tier score on a song, you not only need to not miss a single note ever, you also need to double the song speed, which makes the chart much more difficult and will probably make the song sound terrible.
- DJMAX Technika's unlock system. On completing certain missions in Platinum Crew mode, you'll unlock a song (or in the case of one mission, a course)...but you can only use that unlocked song or course 3 times before you have to unlock it again. Thankfully, this is being revised for Technika 2 where you gain unlocks by simply going onto the Platinum Crew website and purchasing the unlocks once using your in-game currency. The one flipside to this is that unlocks are fairly expensive, especially for the more difficult songs.
- Beatmania IIDX 17 Sirius:
- Backspin Scratches, in which you continously spin the turntable in one direction until the end of the note, then spin it the other way at the very end. It's awkward to keep spinning the turntable, and even moreso to spin it back at the end, especially if there are key notes between the start and the end of the scratching.
- DJ Hero fans share your pain. Scratch up-up-up—up-up-up-up—up-up-up—up-up-up-up-up
- Rock Band:
- A bug in drumming called "squeezing", which is a scrappy for those anal about the scoring. If you hit the crash on a fill a little early, and then in the next split-second hit what would have been there if the fill wasn't in the way, you get the points for the hitting those notes. This means you have to memorize what to hit and finish fills a little awkwardly for extra points. Usually not enough to make a difference unless both players are doing perfect, but can cause a rift between Scrubs and “Stop Having Fun” Guys. Singing has a different version of squeezing; in some cases, for the absolute maximum points, you need to hit overdrive exactly as the overdrive zone ends, as opposed to doing so in the middle of the zone. If you're too late though, you'll fall out of the zone and not trigger overdrive at all, and the optimal point isn't on rhythm. This also encourages using the select button instead of shouting for overdrive, since it's more precise. Similarly, arrhythmic overdrive timing also applies to guitar\bass\keyboards, same as Guitar Hero.
- Drum fills in general are slightly controversial among Rock Band players, in that choosing not to trigger Overdrive can allow drummers to coast through parts of songs that might otherwise prove deviously hard. It does hurt your score to do this though, and it's basically a useless strategy in Rock Band 3, where no-fail mode does not disqualify.
- Project Diva:
- In the first game, scoring is greatly increased during a single section of each song called Chance time. A single perfect hit normally awards 500 points, with up to 250 points of combo bonus. In Chance Time, the combo bonus raises 20 times faster and caps 5000 points higher, meaning a single Chance Time commonly awards more points than the entire rest of the song, despite being less than twenty seconds long. This meant that unless you are gunning for a perfect score, 90% of the game is almost completely irrelevant.
- It works in reverse, too. There are some songs that are scored so harshly that missing even one note in chance time pretty much guarantees a rank of STANDARD. Frustrating if you're trying to unlock the extra models.
- The timing windows in both games in general are fairly harsh by typical Rhythm Game standards. This is compounded by any judgment below FINE (the second highest out of 5 possible note judgments) being a combo break; compare to IIDX where a GOOD (the 3rd highest out of 5 judgments) will maintain a combo, or Dance Dance Revolution where a GOOD (again, 3rd highest) will break a combo but the timing windows are looser. This wouldn't be much of a problem for those just wanting to beat songs, but you are required to hit a certain percentage of notes with combo-maintaining judgments to clear the song (80% in Diva 2nd, varying depending on difficulty level in Diva Arcade) on top of keeping your Life Meter above 0 during the song.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy kicks the difficulty of the already stylus-burning Dark Notes up a notch on the higher levels. Remember the slide triggers with arrows on them? On the higher levels, they rotate. Many Bads will ensue.
- jubeat saucer was infamous for its "song swap" system; every month through updates carried out via Konami's e-Amusement network, some songs were cut out while other songs are introduced or revived; this mechanic made many players unhappy, and was a source of memes for some players. This made it the first BEMANI game to delete songs through online updates. However, as of February 1, 2014, almost all previously-removed songsnote have been revived, and song swap DID NOT come back in jubeat saucer fulfill.
- In O2Jam:
- The same speed mod is applied to all players in a multiplayer room. This is a huge problem for players who have different preferences in speed modifiers for the same song.
- Several level up missions require the usage of modifiers such as Hidden and Sudden to complete. However—and this is where the game's Freemium aspect rears its ugly head—modifiers come in the form of "rings" that each only last for one song and must be purchased with in-game currency that is bought with real money, which is unfair to players who don't have a way to purchase rings. The problem can be mitigated somewhat in that the player does not need the ring themselves; if they are in a room hosted by another player, one who has the necessary ring, they can still complete the mission without having to pony up cash.
- Part of what turns away some people from playing Love Live!: School Idol Festival is that your score is based significantly on whatever idols you have on your team, not just your timing. Are you just starting to play and you decide to get into a score match? It is entirely possible to finish a song with all Perfects and still get fourth place even if your opponents miss some notes.
Shoot 'Em Ups
- Raiden Fighters has the Micluses, little blue critters that spit out medals and then explode to give you a point bonus. Not too bad at first, if it weren't for the fact that nearly all Micli are hidden in nondescript locations or require obscure conditions.
- In Mushihime Sama Futari, bombing takes 1,500-2,000 from your counter/multiplier, and dying takes off 1/3 of your current total, so it's in your best interest to bomb if you're in danger. But in Futari Black Label, it's roughly the other way around; dying takes off 1,500-2,000 and bombing takes off about 6,000-8,000. So if you wanna cash that huge 30,000 multiplier in God mode, but dying appears to be inevitable (which for inexperienced players is most of the time)...
- Want to score high in Ikaruga? Prepare to spend endless hours practicing and memorizing chains, giving yourself absolutely no freedom as to how to play.
- Its Spiritual Predecessor Radiant Silvergun is worse. Not only can a chain consist of only one color, forcing you to leave roughly 2/3 of enemies intact and allowed to attack you, but while scoring in Ikaruga is completely optional, in Radiant Silvergun it's mandatory. Why? Because your points are used to level up your weapons, and if you can't score well, your weapons will be underpowered and you'll be unable to rapidly damage later bosses, which can lead to a very quick Game Over.
- Parodius features a powerup roulette (called Blizzard in Europe),which is triggered by a random power capsule in the game.The mechanic wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the existence of the !?/OH (MY GOD)! "powerup" on the power meter, which nullifies every powerup you have. Woe the players who raged when they hit that so-called "powerup".
- Embodiment of Scarlet Devil's rank system, in which the longer you go without dying, the faster and denser the bullets get. Max-rank Patchouli is harder than the final boss.
- Perfect Cherry Blossom and Imperishable Night have non-spellcard patterns highly resistant to bombing. Less bad in IN, since relatively few of these patterns are difficult, and a Last Spellnote will still deal significant damage, but PCB has a number of very long, very difficult nonspells, and no way to deal with them other than toughing them out.
- Scoring systems in early Touhou games are generally a pain to figure out, but Imperishable Night in particular is pretty bad. To put it simply: Main body of stage? Don't focus, ever. Bosses? Don't un-focus, ever.
- The Faith system in Mountain of Faith, where scoring high means no deaths, and exclusively deathbombing (and even then, only at certain points). This wouldn't be too annoying, but extra lives are only given upon reaching high scores, essentially forcing players into a scorerun (in a fandom where the number of players who play for score can be counted on one hand) if they want more lives.
- The continue system introduced in this game in which continuing snaps you back to the beginning of the stage with a mere two lives, beside being incredibly frustrating to redo 4-5 minutes of gameplay, you also can only practice levels you've beaten making every difficult moment in the game a solid wall, and most Touhou players would be aiming for a continue-less run anyway without the momentum-killing snap-back. Thankfully, Ten Desires has fixed this particular mechanic, returning to the old continue system.
- The weather system in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody is generally okay, but Typhoon Weather eliminates hitstun and blocking for about 45 seconds. Spring Haze Weather prevents both players from using physical attacks. River Mist Weather moves the characters back and forth, screwing up tons of combos and attacks that require certain spacing. Amusingly enough, River Mist is representative of Komachi, the character who requires the most precise spacing to fight well, and whose in-canon power is defined as "manipulation of distance." Spring Haze was nerfed to near pointlessness in Hisoutensoku, thoughnote .
- Undefined Fantastic Object's UFO system is actually quite nice, but most of the UFOs change color periodically. It's not uncommon to need one more UFO in a sequence, then have it change color right before you get it, screwing up your whole plan. Trying to collect a quickly-moving token randomly floating around the screen in the short time frame that it's the correct color doesn't exactly mix well with Bullet Hell. To make things worse, it's the only way to gain lives or bombs.
- Ten Desires spirit system for gaining lives and bombs is moderately irritating on it's own, since they don't fall down the screen like regular items. The real scrappy mechanic, though, is the trance system. You build up a meter by collecting spirits (most of which don't act as bomb/life fragments), and when full can activate it for a Super Mode. Two problems: First, it also doubles the effect of bomb and life spirits, and, second, you automatically use it if you die. This essentially means that you're denied from using a powerful attack as an actual attack, you need to memorize the best places to use it, and dying generally throws off your rhythm for around a stage.
- Double Dealing Character and its system for gaining additional lives and bombs. Basically, you go to the Point of Collection to auto-grab every item on screen, and the game gives you a multiplier for the score from these items and drops a live/bomb fragment depending on how many of those items you grabbed. On one hand, it makes collecting lives simple and quick, on the other, trying to do so in Bullet Hell-heavy sections is almost impossible, and every time you do get to the top of the screen there is a chance of getting slammed into by surprise by something that just entered the screen.
- Battle Garegga's rank system. Want to keep the last two stages possible? Don't power up and don't trigger special option formations! The rank scale for enemy aggressiveness is capped in the last two stages to playable levels, in a rare show of mercy by the developers. However, if you raise the rank to extremely high levels beforehand, there is no such cap, and you are treated to literally undodgeable patterns, especially on the Stage 4 boss and Stage 5 midbosses.
- This is a trait seen in games programed by Shinobu Yagawa, resulting in a Broken Base (some love this, some don't). The association has rendered CAVE games with these traits black sheep.
- Darius Gaiden's rank doesn't get as retarded as Garegga's, but its implementation is worse. Each of the 7 tiers of stages has a "default rank", which the game sets to when you collect a powerup on that tier. And once you raise the rank, there is no way to decrease it. Ideally, you want to stop powering up after the 4th stage. Wait, what's that? You lost a couple lives on the last stage and took a big hit in shot power? Too bad! Either deal with it or face a Difficulty Spike!
- Dangun Feveron never shows your total score during gameplay; it's only shown at the end of each stage, as well as after getting a high score and ending your game, which wouldn't be as big of a problem if the lowest default high score of 1.2 million wasn't difficult to obtain for new players. This caused a huge problem at a shmup tournament where many players who couldn't get on the in-game high score table either manually calculated their scores by hand or simply didn't bother to submit scores.
- Guwange has you collect coins to raise your score, while shooting enemies to keep the coin collection timer from running out (at which point your coin count drops to 0). And the chain timer is more lenient than DoDonPachi's, so chaining in this game shouldn't be as big of a pain in the ass, right? Well, here's where the game kicks you in the face: your coin count carries over between stages, meaning that in order to obtain a very good score, you need to keep your coin timer from resetting at all throughout the entire game. Have it reset halfway through the game? Time to Rage Quit!
- Heavy Weapon for the PC. Your tank aims using the mouse cursor, that's fine. The problem is that it also moves towards the mouse cursor, making it annoying to dodge attacks while aiming. This makes facing enemies like Bulldozers (which move towards you and One-Hit Kill you if you brush against them) a complete pain. Thankfully, Pop Cap realized this mistake and made aiming and moving separate in the PS3 and Xbox360 releases.
- In RefleX, using a continue will let you keep your score, but it will be nullified afterwards. Now penalizing a player for using a continue is fine, but this means if you set a record score on your first credit, and you decide to continue (e.g. to practice or unlock later stages), then the game will invalidate your score. The worst part is, the developer knows this, as there is a line of text stating that your score will not be saved in such cases. This is in contrast to the other two games in The Tale Of ALLTYNEX series, where using a continue will still allow you to save the score you got on your first credit.
- In RefleX and ALLTYNEX Second, the stage select will only let you practice up to the highest stage you cleared. So that stage you're struggling to clear? To be allowed to practice it, you have to clear it in a full run in the first place!
- Like with RefleX above, using a continue in Ether Vapor also renders your score null and void.
- Sine Mora gives you a primary weapon, a secondary weapon, and a special Time Capsule skill that will do things such as activate Bullet Time, reverse time (even after you die, thereby allowing you to negate death), or reflect bullets, a feature well-touted by the game. However, if you are playing for score, your character (which determines your secondary weapon) and your choice of Time Capsule don't mean anything, because using either of these resets your multiplier, in a game that touts time manipulation as one of its primary gimmicks.
- Eschatos can be extremely annoying to play for score:
- In Original mode, your multiplier builds up as you destroy enemy waves. However, for each enemy that escapes, your multiplier decreases by one. If you die, you also suffer the same penalty...but during the time it takes for your ship to respawn, a whole wave of enemies may leave the screen, and depending on how high your multiplier is that means five to ten past minutes of hard work thrown completely out the window.
- In Advanced mode, the penalties for enemies escapting is more lenient, but there's a new Scrappy Mechanic in town: Collecting a bomb item immediately clears all enemies and turns bullets into purple tetrahedrons that boost your score...but it also reduces your multiplier and reduces your shot power by one level. Collecting multiple bombs in succession is a good way to damage your multiplier and severely weaken yourself. Therefore, Advanced turns into a game of avoiding not only bullets, but also items.
- Naval Ops: Warship Gunner, the first game in the series, forced the player to travel to the edge of the map after completing mission objectives. While this rarely takes more than a few minutes, that can be a very long time when damaged and under fire.
- Dwarf Fortress is very much a work in progress, so most of these examples are temporary. It's just that the development cycle is so long that they really don't feel temporary:
- The Dwarven Economy, not to put to fine a point on it, didn't work. It was generally accepted that it's best to turn it off, and failing that never mint any coins. If nothing else, keeping track of all those little objects will slow your computer to a crawl. It was Dummied Out completely with the update to v0.31 and will not be returning until all its issues have been resolved.
- Hospitals. Don't bother putting together a trauma team: your medical staff will take their sweet-ass time even if you assign no other duties and keep them strictly limited to their hospital area. This can be gotten around somewhat by making all dwarves capable of taking medical treatment jobs, as a dwarf will never fail to complete a job due to a lack of skill. All dwarves will plunder thread and cloth many times over the inventory maximum you set for the zone, and will even go far from the stockpiles sitting ready in the area, to grab the most expensive dyed silks. Meanwhile the gypsum powder, splints and crutches, of which there may be plenty, still aren't getting filled to the maximum because thread and cloth have a stranglehold on the inventory space of the numerous planted containers. If surgery and crutches aren't broken enough, many beast sicknesses will break the rest of the procedure. And without that, only one doctor can work on one patient at a time, and each stage of a multi-part procedure still takes way too long for having the necessary equipment within 20 tiles.
- The new military system in and after 0.31 is a considerable improvement in many ways but its interface is virtually impenetrable without reference to the wiki.
- Come to think of it, the user-interface in general is not especially consistent or accessible. A complete top-to-bottom overhaul is promised shortly after the game enters beta-testing... in another five years or so.
- Strange moods. They are often beneficial to the player, but that all depends on the whim of the Random Number God: the dwarf may be possessed, in which case he will not receive any experience. They may request some material that isn't available at the site, which results in certain death unless a trader happens to bring said material. And of course, more often than not, the resulting artifact has no practical use. There's an option to turn them off in the config files.
- Vampires. They are a cool concept, showing off how the game system and proliferate curses and the like and how a vampire can move from settlement to settlement to preserve themselves, and how dwarven justice now involves and investigation and accusation element on the part of the player. All interesting concepts, except the player is almost guaranteed to have a vampire join their fortress at some point, and attempts to prevent them from feeding unobserved (such as shared sleeping space and windows so that passers by might notice) rarely work. There are even instances of vampire's feeding in the middle of a crowded hall without anyone else noticing.
- The Commodore 64 game The America's Cup, included a game mechanic that was supposed to duplicate the real-life experience of rigging a sailboat. In practice, this meant wiggling the joystick from left and right until your hand was tired. Not only was this annoying, but a very good way of ruining your joystick. Some cynics suggest this might have been why the game came bundled with many C64s sold in the mid 80s.
- Blazing Angels includes the infamous "Desert reconnaissance" level, which consists of flying around in a sandstorm looking at an all-yellow screen and listening to Morse code beeps to find the enemy. Maybe the idea was to provide a break from just flying around and shooting at things — but if you don't like flying around and shooting at things why are you playing this game?
- Some of the disasters in SimCity can get this way, but even more so is when "Residents demand a stadium."
- Traffic congestion. There is no way around it. You can put in boulevards three spaces across everywhere, put in mass transit systems, and you will still have huge traffic issues. The game computes traffic according to how much road there is. They keep releasing SimCity games as if sorting out traffic issues was the most interesting and enjoyable part of the game. Then they make it more complicated by only letting you put in one-way streets and highway onramps with specific conditions.
- Bridges. In 3000 and SimCity 4 sometimes the game refused to put a bridge in unless the land surrounding the spot was perfect, and the game refused to auto-terraform the land around it, requiring you to micromanage the land around it.
- Water structure placement in general in SimCity 4. Some, like beaches, have lenient enough parameters that they're not so bad. Others, like marinas, require you to waste thousands on pinpoint terraforming, and even if you somehow get it right a minor glitch may cause the structure to appear submerged.
- SimTower has a requirement for reaching a 4 star rating: A VIP can randomly show up at any time, and in order for them to approve of your tower, they have to first be able to park in an open VIP parking space in the parking garage, then they had to stay in a clean hotel suite. To keep them cleaned, you have to put in a hotel service room, and the maids will do their job. The problem is: it's IMPOSSIBLE to remove these rooms after they've been placed (even the subway station, which takes up an entire level, can be destroyed and removed.) They serve no other purpose than to clean the rooms. You can increase your hotel's population and revenue far more with other room types you already have access to, rather than sticking with hotel rooms. At least the security guard stations (which also can't be removed) serve a purpose of protecting the tower against bomb attacks, which can destroy sections of multiple floors.
- Each of the Nintendo DS editions of the Harvest Moon series have had at least one of these:
- DS and DS Cute had the draconian penalties in friendship points for littering. You couldn't even throw stuff away on your own farm, with no one else around, without incurring a large loss of friendship points across the board. Even with villagers that technically weren't even in town at the time. There's also the frequently recurring animal care touch-screen mini-games that are virtually required to raise your livestock's love points and produce higher quality products in any sort of timely matter. The more animals you possessed, the more of a grind the mini-games became. DS Cute actually eased up on the frequency of the mini-games.
- Island of Happiness had both the Weather/Crop system (where too much rain or sun could kill crops with no recourse from you) and the cooking system, where every recipe had to be bartered for from the town diner or cafe (or gained from the Harvest Goddess at the bottom of the mine). The experimentation and enhancement aspects of previous games' cooking mechanics were gone. The sequel, Sunshine Islands, retained both mechanics, but eased up on the harshness (there was more leeway in what conditions would kill crops and the diner and cafe were there from the game's start).
- Grand Bazaar altered the series' tried and true storage system (One unit for tools & seeds, one for food, one for everything else, along with separate bins for building materials and animal feed) for an all-in-one unit that would quickly run short of space — especially if you were storing items to sell at the Bazaar. Also, if two of the same type items (say, gold ore) had a different quality ranking, each ranking got a separate storage slot, eating up the precious storage slots even faster. The game also got rid of the shipping bins, so you have to hold on items to sell them at the bazaar (again, eating up storage slots) or tediously sell them to Raul (usually at a loss for what you'd get for them at the bazaar).
- The Tale of Two Towns restored the shipping bins and the more experimental cooking system, as well as expanding the all-in-one storage system. But then it went and altered the farm expansion/upgrade system: You could only order one farm expansion and one tool upgrade per month. (In Grand Bazaar, it was once a week, and in earlier games, you could order every available upgrade, one after the other as long as you had the required resources). And the tunnel expansion request would override them, so that you couldn't get any more farm expansion until that particular tunnel expansion was completed. You also couldn't simply jump between the farms to complete the requests two at a time: you can only move at the end of the month and the new requests wouldn't appear until the beginning of the next. Getting 100% upgrades on both farms, plus opening the mines and the mountain hot springs takes at least twelve in-game years.
- A Wonderful Life had the animal barn. There was only one, and you couldn't buy any more. It had 8 slots for animals. In order to get milk from cows, they had to have given birth, requiring a free barn slot present at pregnancy to put the calf into. This meant you had to sell and rotate animals carefully to ensure you always had something producing something, but typically there'd always be some wasted slots that were either empty (awaiting future calves) or taken up by animals not producing anything (the calves). But the worst part was the goat. It produced milk for one year... and then nothing ever again. And you couldn't sell it. Essentially, you either had to let it waste one of your precious 8 barn slots, or... kill it.
- Spin off game Rune Factory allows you to cook food items that restore HP and RP (stamina) in addition to temporarily buffing your stats. The problem is that as long as you have a buff from eating, you cannot eat anymore until the buff ends. This makes restoring your RP (which is consumed whenever you attack, and starts draining your HP instead if empty) during battles annoying, as you must focus on dodging attacks for a long time until the buff ends. Fortunately, later games in the series allow you to eat multiple food items in a row, with only the buff from the latest item eaten applying.
- RollerCoaster Tycoon has the rather infamous (station) brake failure. Now, ride failures are nothing rare at all in the game, and for almost every case it's usually nothing horrible and if you have a decent number of mechanics, you just let them take care of it and everyone is happy again. Not so much with the brake failures — it happens on the roller coasters and is a failure where the brakes that slow down incoming coaster cars stop functioning. If your cars were coming in at high speeds and you didn't anticipate this failure, your cars are going to crash and kill whoever was in them, and nobody will want to ride your coaster anymore because it's now "unsafe." Even though there are ways around this, it's very frustrating to see a coaster you tested multiple times and were very sure was working blow up out of complete nowhere. Even worse, some of the game's prebuilt coasters were built without this in mind, most famously Agoraphobia. The second game added failproof block brakes at least, but all in all it's very easy to see why this mechanic was axed from the third game altogether.
- In the first Zoo Tycoon game, the excessive amount of time given to complete some scenarios. In some cases, it's so bad you will spend more time waiting for the time to pass than actually doing the stuff required to complete the scenario! Fortunately, you can make the game play in windowed mode so you can leave it running while you do other stuff, but it's still annoying and ridiculous.
- In Zoo Tycoon 2: The adoption system in Challenge Mode.
- In the Xbox One and Xbox 360 Zoo Tycoon reboot, the zoo limit. It's ridiculously low. They give you huge maps, and you can't even fill up 40 percent of them.
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater:
- The on-foot mechanics were widely reviled by fans and critics alike for giving players an extremely easy way to avoid bailing. Many will note that the first four games (no on-foot anything) happen to be the best reviewed of the series; games 5 to 9 on the other hand (which all feature the on-foot mechanics) have gotten middling to poor reviews.
- On foot was made worse for Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, with the addition of Parkour. In theory a good idea, in practice a bailproof way to add another 500 points and at least another three numbers to your multiplier.
- Tony Hawk's Underground allows you to drive cars. These vehicles had all the handling of a pinball in a table made of ice. Aside from the goals, use of them is redundant, as they reset back where they started in a level when you're done, meaning you can't even create a new combo line with them.
- Tony Hawk's Underground 2 then gave us more vehicles—not cars, vehicles you can do tricks with, such as a motorized skateboard, a tricycle, a go-kart, and a bucking bull on wheels. They all had about four tricks, and most of them were so very anti-intuitive to use due to not being able to stop. The last three examples were implemented so poorly they were removed from the sequels.
- Tony Hawk's Project 8 then gave us Nail the Trick, where the analogue sticks control your feet. It was an entirely alien control scheme that stuck around into Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, where it's only useful for the specific goals, and is otherwise unusable in a regular combo.
- Grinding in the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was incredibly difficult due to the hypersensitive controls that required you to mash left and right on the d-pad to balance yourself. It was quite a feat to be able to grind for more than a couple of seconds without falling on your ass.
- Lip tricks are by far the worst type of tricks on the first era of Tony Hawk's game (and the HD remake). They give little points, only works when you're straight as an arrow, and can ruin combos when they're accidentally performed. Until THPS3, it also had no way to balance it out and the skater would always bail if you kept holding for more than 4 seconds. It's less terrible in the modern games, but there's still some problems. For example, there's a goal on American Wasteland when you have to lip trick through an entire rotation of Santa Monica's Giant Wheel (thankfully only on Sick difficulty).
- NCAA Football has a despised system for making phone calls to recruits which basically spins a roulette wheel of topics, allowing you the option of pitching your school's merits on that topic or discrediting your rivals on that topic. It's obnoxious enough that you, the head coach, can't choose to pitch whatever you want. This can lead to the bizarre result that the coach of Stanford might never get to sell his school's academics or the coach of Miami can never sell the school's gorgeous campus. However the roulette wheel sometimes stops on topics that you know the player doesn't care about leaving you forced to try and pitch him anyway. This has been removed for NCAA 13.
- NHL Hockey has the goaltender controls which tend to not allow the free range of motion necessary to replicate real life goalie positioning. The worst offender being the hug post command which can frequently make you hug the wrong post and get stuck to it until you release the trigger, which will give the opposing player plenty of time to score on a wide open net.
- Besides the play mentioned above, Madden NFL has had a few:
- The mobile version of Madden 12 has a mechanic that makes an open receiver on a go route virtually impossible to tackle if you're playing man coverage. It can be especially annoying if your opponent keeps throwing 80 touchdown passes.
- Madden 06 had the infamous "QB cone". Basically, your quarterback had a vision cone extending outwards from their bodies, and they could only throw accurately to receivers in that cone. The size of the cone was determined by the QB's awareness stat: top-tier quarterbacks like Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady had huge cones, whereas backups had tiny slivers. It was frustrating to use and in some ways counterproductive, since a smaller vision cone could be used to fake defenders off of a receiver you actually wanted to pass to. The feature was gone by Madden 08.
- The QB cone made the game damn near unplayable on the PC version. Previous installments had the player aim with the mouse and throw by left clicking while using standard WSAD keys (and those directly around them) for moving the QB. However, once the vision cone was implemented, you still aimed with the mouse but needed to press a separate key on the keyboard in order to actually throw the pass to that receiver. Trying to do that while moving your QB away from pressure seemingly required a 3rd hand. It's little wonder that the PC version of the game stopped being made shortly thereafter...
- ESPN MLB 2K5 had a gimmick mechanic called Slam Zone; if a pitcher screwed up badly in delivering a pitch or a batter guessed location and pitch correctly, the game would break into a mini-game in which the pitcher and batter tapped the buttons as fast as possible, while the pitch was zoomed in on in slow motion. If the batter won the duel, he would uncork a home run. Not only did it break the immersive TV-like presentation, but was also very much un-sim for a baseball simulation. It wasn't brought back after the one-year experiment.
- NBA 2K14 giving you a technical foul for swearing when your X-Box One's Kinect or your Playstation 4's Camera recognizes the word or words said. This means that the game gives a free throw to the opponent for the player swearing in the comfort of their own home. Thankfully, it can be turned off by disabling voice commands. Youtube user randomfrankp does not take it well.
- From Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, there's the psyche gauge (due to how fast it depletes) and the stress meter (due to how fast it rises), both odd cases considering how well the stamina gauge from MGS3 was handled. Also, every single time a cutscene plays where Snake draws a gun it will be his Operator pistol. When gameplay resumes he'll still have it out regardless of what weapon you had equipped. If you didn't even have the Operator on you at the time, expect whatever weapon was in slot one to have been switched out for it. Given the sheer ammount of cutscenes in the game, this will infuriate players who simply don't want to use the blasted Operator and have to keep unequipping it every five seconds.
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, for many people, the CURE mechanic was highly annoying. The concept itself was alright; if Snake suffered a serious injury (broken limbs, burns, gunshot wounds, ect.) you would go into the CURE screen and select the appropriate items to heal your wound, or else face a lowered healthbar. This rapidly got annoying during the late game boss fights, who can usually do a serious injury to Snake in a single hit, forcing the player to constantly pause and go through the CURE screen if they wanted any chance in winning the fight.
- So too is the camouflage system, as you needed to constantly pause the game to change camo colors in order to max out your Camo Index and maintain your stealth. As you travel through a range of environments, this becomes tedious after awhile. In a reversal to the stamina/psyche gauge issue, MGS4 fixed this with its Octocamo - just press a button to automatically blend in.
- The sword gameplay in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Especially annoying since it was introduced very late in the game, giving you about one minute to practice before an hour of shooting giant robots/cutscene and then final boss swordfight.
- Mostly at the beginning of Resident Evil 6 (But still found throughout) the game will decide to disable certain actions of your character. For example, during a tense scene you'll lose the ability to open your inventory or make your character run, instead forcing you to walk ever so slowly across the wide sprawling room.
- The "Health Tablets" as well. When you pick up a herb you can't just use it, you have to convert it into a health tablet first then use a separate button to eat the tablet and restore health. Figuring this out is a major Guide Dang It for a lot of players, and many players never figure out how to use the First Aid sprays at all.
- Having to move around as a squad for the first few chapters of Chris' campaign amounts to one massive scrappy mechanic due to some very poorly coded AI. Your squad tends to just sort of clump around you most of the time and not only can you not push them out of the way at all, but they can push you around just by walking into you. Be prepared to take lots of otherwise easily avoidable hits from enemies thanks to a squad member awkwardly standing beside you.
- Towards the latter half of Fatal Frame 3, a door is opened that releases miasma into the rest of the house. In order to dispel it (and be able to see things more clearly), you must light purifying candles. So now, you not only have to worry about random ghost encounters while you're running around this mansion of horrors and trying to progress the storyline, but you've also got to keep an eye on your candle level, because once that candle runs out, the entire setting will change to a grainy black-and-white and Reika Kuze will show up to relentlessly chase you down until you find another candle and top up your light. Those candles are: a) rare (there are only three or four of them in the game, though they respawn during each new Night), b) spread out from each other, and c) finish very quickly. Oh, and that house you're wandering around in? Is enormous (easily the largest of any single one of the Fatal Frame houses) and very easy to get lost in.
- The item system in Parasite Eve 2. Parasite Eve 2 made it where only items attached to your armor is what you can access during a battle. So if you attached 4 healing items, used them all up in a fight and need to get more, you're out of luck. Attaching items to your armor didn't free up any space in your main inventory.
- Silent Hill: Downpour has several moments where you nearly fall to your death and lose all your items. All your items. Yes this includes the guns you got from the green lockers and from doing That One Sidequest, your ammo, and even your flashlight. You even lose the first-aid kits you were saving for that upcoming Void chase.
- The SaiMoe tournament has not one but two Scrappy Mechanics, and they make each other more Scrappy to boot. To sum it up:
- First, the seeding is completely random. So you can end with 3 very popular girls in the first match while an entire divison may be full of jobbers and C-List Fodder. Or worse, a division with Jobbers, C List Fodder and some popular girl, who then gets a free pass to quarters. The thing, there's a nomination process and a classification round before the final bracket, so they could use proper seeding if they wanted to.
- Second and worse, it's the rule to determine if a series is eligible to enter the contest or not. To summarize, at least 50% of your running time must have been between last year's July and the current year's June. In theory, it's to avoid having the same girls every year. However, in practice means girls from Twelve-Episode Anime with closed endings get only one shot, while Long Runners with several seasons or seasons placed in the middle of the year can get many, many chances (Hayate the Combat Butler and Higurashi Nonaku Koro Ni in particular have been in FOUR years in a row), making the rule worthless. Worse, with the Random rule from above, the girls from said 12 ep anime might end paired off against a bunch of strong girls and lose in the first or second round, while the one who has been doing well for 2-3 years already gets some easy fights and lands on the final rounds again. Of course, this could be avoided by simply not letting girls who got to the Top 8 or have been in for 2 years in a row enter the next year, just for the sake of having some variety. But that would be too hard.
- However, characters from Long Runners or shows with multiple seasons tend to fare worse than newcomers. Characters whose popularity doesn't significatly degrade with each year are rare, and the number of series they originate from is in the single digits.
- The Price Is Right has "$X+1" and "$1" bids, where you bet $1 (hence the name) or $1 over another bid. If you're not last, Laser-Guided Karma would dictate that the next person bid $X+2 or $2.