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Scrappy Mechanic

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"Blue Shells Ruin Everything"
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A gameplay mechanic in an otherwise fun/enjoyable game that generates a sizable hatedom. Perhaps it's out of character for the game, or the quality of its execution is lower than the rest of the game, or it really exposes the problems in the game.

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.

So why do these mechanics make it into games? Maybe the idea was fine, but executed poorly. Maybe Executive Meddling forced the developers to shoehorn in a mechanic the game didn't really benefit from. And sometimes the mechanic does have upsides that make the developers choose to put it in and keep it around.

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Compare to Disappointing Last Level, Gameplay Roulette, and Unexpected Gameplay Change. Despite appearances, this 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. Also nothing to do with a similarly named video game. 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 intentionally included to avoid this kind of feeling, and Underused Game Mechanic, for good game mechanics that don't get used as much as players hope.

Please keep in mind that this is based on opinions. What one player may consider something to be a Scrappy Mechanic, another may see it as an acceptable gameplay element, and vice versa. Don't take it personally if you see a mechanic you like here.

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Not to be confused with a mechanic who is The Scrappy. Or a mechanic who actually is Scrappy.


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Video Game

    Action RPG 
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor:
    • It can be a real irritant trying to gain Intel from an Uruk who is encountered in a large group, due to the way they can unintentionally be killed in melee. Even worse is watching the intel-bearing orc flee from you, into the jaws of a random caragor, which eats him before he can be interrogated. It would have been nice if the designers had followed Batman: Arkham Origins' lead and made it impossible to kill your informant. At least there are other ways to get Intel (finding it in the world or freeing slaves).
    • At least on the PS4, the same button (triangle) is used in stealth mode for "Attract" and "Brutalize". This can be a real pain, especially during stealth missions, when you're trying to lead an orc away for a discreet stealth kill using Attract, only for the button's function to suddenly switch to Brutalize, which makes for an intentionally loud and indiscreet kill. Similarly, the same button (circle) is used for dropping to hang off of ledges and Stealth Drain. You may simply be trying to better position yourself along a ledge for a Stealth Kill/Brutalize only for the function to change, leading to you attacking with a non-lethal Drain.
    • Branded Captains lose their immunity to instant death when being thrown over a ledge. This is extremely problematic and annoying for two major reasons: One, they have a tendency to run in and attempt to assist when you're fighting near them. If you happen to be near a ledge (which is often given the geology and structures of Mordor), it's entirely possible to knock your branded Captain off accidentally. Two, the act of branding them requires grabbing onto them. After branding them, Talion has a habit of releasing them by tossing them backward, which can be right off a ledge. It's quite frustrating to track a Captain down, kill all of his followers, get his health down enough so that he can be grabbed, and then actually brand him only to have him uncontrollably thrown off a ledge immediately after. Your only recourse is to try and grab/brand him away from any ledges, but this is hard to manage when you're in the heat of combat with Uruk reinforcements close by (as getting hit by one interrupts the brand attempt).
  • The ability to permanently lose 'hints' when talking to NPCs in Vampyr. This is based on specific incidences in conversations where an option of three dialogue choices has one that'll get the person to open up more and expand on their backstory, and two that'll make them refuse to ever tell you. There's also no indication whatsoever of which option is which, with there being no consistency about whether you should be nice or mean, blunt or subtle, etc. This would even be much less annoying if the game didn't automatically save as soon as you've made your choice, meaning the option for trial and error is eliminated. For a game whose strength is its story and worldbuilding, it's just all around irritating.

    Adventure 
  • 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 if you're playing through the game normally.
  • 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.
  • Lucasfilm loves to put fighting minigames in games that are otherwise almost entirely Point-and-Click. These include an aggravating fist-fighting system in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and tedious motorcycle jousting in Full Throttle. Indy lets you skip or cheat past certain fistfights, including a "sucker punch" key never mentioned in the game itself, but you can't even get close to 100% Completion that way. There's no way around Full Throttle's, and the Hint Book has the nerve to reassure you the section is "really quite fun"!
    • Escape from Monkey Island is possibly the worst offender in this regard thanks to the late-game introduction of "MONKEY KOMBAT". The idea is that, by chanting a certain combination of four different monkey sounds, the player adopts one of five different fighting stances, all of which have a 50/50 chance of either winning or losing, like an overly complicated game of Rock Paper Scissors. The Monkey Island series has had its fair share of game-halting "insult swordfighting" sections, but Monkey Kombat takes the cake for worst combat system in a Lucasarts game by virtue of it being entirely unclear which stances beat which, on top of it being a grind to even figure out the stances.
  • Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak has three minigames in Fun Land.
    • In-universe for DigDig It where you and your AI-controlled teammate match symbols to win a prize. You meet a hamster who wants to play but can't because the rules state only couples can play. He says the game can work just as fine with one player.
    • In Tic Tack-Q, you have a hamster on either side of you and all the balloons are in play for them too. They will sometimes beat you into popping the balloons you're waiting for or change the direction and speed of the balloons, throwing you off. The same hamster from the above example makes note of this.
    • Stickie Note has Hamtaro using the Stickie ham chat to catch falling pieces of paper. The chat animation only stops if Hamtaro catches one which means it will play through if he doesn't get any. Since you can't stop it yourself, you have to wait a few seconds to try it again.
  • Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King:
    • Unlike most games with RPG elements, NPCs in The Sleeping King don't have unique dialogue bound to them unless they're important to the story or want you to run an errand for them. Inconsequential NPCs, on the other hand, spout quotes randomly selected from a text bank assigned to that town. This can be irritating if you talk to everybody: multiple NPCs might say the exact same thing, or the player can simply cycle through all the possible dialogue by speaking to the same NPC repeatedly. Yet this tends to be little more than irritating, as the townsfolk that this applies to generally don't have anything particularly important or helpful to say.
    • The World Map is only useful for indicating the general area of your next objective, and your position relative to it. The map itself is so low-resolution and lacking in detail (even zoomed in!) that it's mostly useless for planning an actual path, or pinpointing the exact location of, well, almost anything.

    Card Battle Game 
  • Artifact: The original incarnation of "Cheating Death" was considered one of the worst-designed cards not only in the game, but in any card game ever made, as it basically turned the combat phase into a coin flip for both players. If an allied green hero was present in the lane where this improvement was built, all allied units would have a 50% chance to survive lethal damage with 1 HP. This effect could be triggered several times in a row for the same unit. Not only was it a huge Game-Breaker, but it was also very unfun: it was frustrating for the attacker when their opponent's units survived damage that should by all logic invoke the Chunky Salsa Rule, and frustrating for the defender when their strongest fighter failed to proc the effect, meaning that no matter what, frustration was guaranteed. This card's reception, among others, led to Valve changing their policy on balance patches and completely reworking the card, instead giving it the ability to grant a Death Shield to one unit per turn.
  • Bungo to Alchemist:
    • That many maps require to bring a specific writer or a certain number of writers in a certain class to advance to the boss. These maps are often at high difficulties and raising a writer to meet these levels is incredibly time-consuming, so if they call for writers you're not focused on raising or just plain don't have, you're stuck. Not only that, these requirements can sometimes get downright cruel, like a map filled with crit-only enemies and you're not allowed to bring any bows.
    • Any event with a card-flipping mechanic. It is a total Luck-Based Mission – your writers' strength and level are completely irrelevant, what matters is whether or not you don't end up flipping an enemy card. Doing so will fail the battle, wipe whatever streak bonus you have, and more often than not deplete your writers' HP to the point of damage. To top it off, entering this map and thus getting any event points at all requires a consumable pass, which randomly drops on normal maps.
    • Post-Jul 28, 2021: Costume leveling; it greatly affects a writer's performance, even if the writer has high real level or blossoming. Not only that, leveling up and limit breaking a costume requires resources, which are prone to running out.
  • 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.
  • Hearthstone:
    • RNG effects. Between Arcane Missile-like spells not hitting the right targets, random-summon minions or spells giving you catastrophically detrimental minions (like Doomsayer or Darnassus Aspirant), Tavern Brawl which features some random effects such as random draw or random casting cost, etc, expect lots of rage. The Discard mechanic from Warlock is a prime example of this because of the inconsistency the mechanic presents.
    • Silence is an ability that permanently removes all buffs and card text from a minion. The mechanic is incredibly unfun - it takes your minion and turns it into a lump of stats with no way to undo it. It's most commonly seen in Aggro decks, which use it to plow through strong Taunt minions and keeping Zerging down your hero. While it's rarely used in current sets, most of the Classic Silence cards still see play and only get more obnoxious as flashier effects are released.
    • Inspire and Joust, the headline mechanics for The Grand Tournament set. Inspire is a triggered effect that activates when you use your Hero Power, and Joust reveals a card from each deck and gains a bonus if yours costs more. They were touted as ways to slow the meta. That failed. Both mechanics were doomed from the start - Inspire requires you to pump 2 extra mana to trigger the effect. Since it's repeatable, the Inspire can't be too powerful, and since the minion can be played on-curve without Inspiring it, it needs to be statted like its base mana cost. This created cards that can only be safely played two turns ahead of their stats, all for a mediocre effect. Joust has more potential, but Blizzard was apparently afraid of the effect, since the cards were all hopelessly terrible if the Joust failed. Since no deck could possibly build for a 100% Joust success, they didn't pan out either. While Joust actually has made a few scattered returns, Inspire was never brought back.
    • Jade Golems, the signature mechanic for the Jade Lotus (Shamans, Rogues, and Druids) from Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. Every time you play a Jade card, you summon a Jade Golem. It starts as a 1/1, but makes each future Golem +1/+1 bigger. That sounds like a standard Magikarp Power mechanic, but it is stupidly easy to raise up. Each Jade card is above average on its own once you're at at least 3/3, meaning your deck is full of efficient cards that also summon a big minion. The worst offender is Jade Idol, a Druid card that lets you either summon a Jade Golem or shuffle three more Jade Idols into your deck. Your deck will never run out of cards, and late game you'll be drawing and playing a larger and larger man each turn. Worst of all, Jade Golems are parasitic, since they're pointless without other Jade support and require as much Jade as possible to work.
  • Legends of Runeterra's first expansion saw the addition of the pirate-themed Bilgewater region to the game, with their new mechanic Plunder and signature trick, pilfering (drawing cards from your opponent's deck instead of your own). While initially seen as fun, it rapidly became obvious that it was only fun for the Bilgewater player, as the pilfer cards were massively over-efficient, the requirement to trigger Plunder to get most of them to work properly ended up being absolutely trivial, and drawing your opponent's cards actually wasn't worse than drawing your own- it was usually better (even without deck synergy, nobody plays with bad cards, and you're depriving your opponent of resources they might desperately need). It regularly reached ridiculous levels in Bilgewater Mirror Matches where one player would start pilfering their opponent's cards, only to steal all their pilfer cards and end up drawing half their deck (particularly as the Black Market Merchant not only pilfered a card, but reduced the cost of all stolen cards by 1 for each Merchant, which combined with the absurdly low cost of pilfer cards allowed them to go on doing it for free).
  • Namu Amida Butsu! -UTENA- doesn't inherit the crafting mechanic of predecessor games for getting new characters, instead using a standard gem gacha which inspires much frustration over how much harder it is to get summoning material among non-paying players.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Heroes has plenty thanks to its RNG-based nature:
    • Super Block Meter. This mechanic charges by a variable amount and then blocks an attack, nullifying its damage. The main thing is that this mechanic is very well an RNG mechanic, and it does indeed does its job in screwing you over and favoring your opponent. It can charge your block meter by 1 consecutively until you lose without even getting a chance to block, or your opponent can keep rolling 3 and eventually use all of their blocks on your powerful units.
    • Untrickable is a trait that nullifies allies from the effects of traits. This trait incredibly screws you over thanks to the fact tricks does no effects to them and usually they are covered by another source that gives the allies Untrickable.
    • Yes, the notorious "There is a problem with your game" and "Please check internet connection and try again" disconnect error messages during a ranked match. Not only do these cost a loss, but you get absolutely no chance to recover your internet or reconnect to the server should this happen. It's meant to discourage people from Rage Quitting, but the game can't tell if someone intentionally disconnected or just suffered a bad connection. It's also likely that EA didn't provide a server fallback mechanic and forces a loss of a star if you happen to disconnect. What's worse is that it has been repeatedly reported that this occurs even with strong Wi-Fi and cellular data and EA will refuse to provide any help for these losses and will completely blame it on your internet, strong or not. And to add on the insult, you still lose a star if this happens on the mulligan before the battle can even start!
  • The main problem with Touken Ranbu's Underground Treasure Chest event is that it's incredibly boring, with its mechanics boiled down to clearing sets of identical dungeons over and over and lacking in gimmicks that make other events worth playing. Not only that, the point of this event – collecting coins – isn't terribly useful, since the coins are only used to buy backdrops and costumes.

    Compilations 
  • Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics gives you the option of motion controls or touchscreen controls for Darts and Bowling. Unfortunately, the motion controls assume you're a right-handed player and use the right Joy-Con. While Darts is workable by strapping the right Joy-Con to your left hand, Bowling will add a lot of awkward spin to the ball due to the intended swing motions being biased for a right-handed player.
  • Konami's 50th anniversary compilation ports initially did not have a region toggle for the games included, forcing you to play in whatever region that you bought the compilation in. This wasn't a big deal for, say, Gradius II, where the only major changes are retitling the game to Vulcan Venture and adding a continues option, but this was outright unacceptable (especially in 2019) when it comes to games with signficiant differences between regions, such as Thunder Crossnote  and Castlevania III: Dracula's Cursenote . Even more glaringly, some of these compilations were done by M2, a company known for Polished Ports that, among other things, include region toggles (particularly in their 3D Classics and SEGA Ages lineups of ports). This was soon fixed in patches that include the Japanese versions.
  • The Megaman Anniversary Collection on Gamecube inexplicably mapped A to shoot and B to jump, completely muddling up the people who grew up with these games and would effectively be their Target Demographic. As if those games weren't hard enough without Interface Screw. Adding insult to injury is that this version of the game was a port from the Playstation 2... which did have such an option meaning someone made the decision to remove that feature for whatever reason.

    Forum Game 
  • The MafiaScum.net wiki (which deals with Werewolf (1997) and its variants) considers several roles, modifiers and mechanics "bastard" or potentially bastard, as they tend to be more annoying than fun:
    • The Death Miller is pro-Town, but its alignment is shown as "Mafia" upon death. This is seen as an arguably overpowered form of misinformation and an unwelcome source of distrust in the moderator.
    • The Doomed Townie passively dies on Night 1 no matter what, which is very unfun and makes the player's participation borderline pointless unless they have a nice power to balance it out.
    • False roles amount to "your role PM is a lie", which is very annoying and might get you accused of lying about your role in a game where the Town eliminating people for lying is common.
    • The Hated modifier decreases the number of votes needed to eliminate a player, which is generally not fun to play as. Additionally, if the Hated player is a Townie, it hastens the situation where the Town has to make a correct elimination to avoid losing.
    • The Jester wins if eliminated, which is disliked because it's too easy to win with (even someone playing like an idiot can win on Day 1), and because it punishes the Town for eliminating someone who isn't of their alignment.
    • The Percentage modifier makes the player's role only work a certain percentage of the time. This is hated for adding a major, uncontrollable element of luck that might end up negating the player's skill.
    • The Usurper wins if it outlives its allied Mafia Godfather, which is a problem because it undermines the team aspect of the Mafia — the Usurper has to work towards the Mafia's win condition while also getting its Godfather eliminated at some point.
    • Alignment-changing roles share the issue of damaging the game integrity because of how they affect players' strategies to win. Two examples are Judas and Saulus: Judas is originally pro-Town, but pulls a Face–Heel Turn the first time it would die. This often leads to ugly situations. Saulus is the opposite: originally scum, but pulls a Heel–Face Turn the first time it would die. The problem is that if this happens, Saulus can simply tell everyone who their former scum allies were unless said allies are either hidden from Saulus or forcibly replaced after Saulus's conversion.
    • The Cult is a notorious mechanic for multiple reasons:
      • It relies on alignment changing, with all the game integrity issues that leads to: if a Townie gets recruited, it renders their previous pro-Town actions useless, and if the Cult gets out of control, players will try to get recruited to win with the cult rather than fight it.
      • It has balance and swing issues. The Cult Leader can often recruit new Cultists as fast as the Town can eliminate them, which means that the Cult can win even if Cultists are eliminated constantly. Additionally, the Cult can get an advantage by recruiting the Town's power roles.note  On the other hand, if the Cult Leader dies early, the cult becomes a non-issue because the small remainder of the Cult can't recruit more players and has to awkwardly survive to the end with no special abilities. Attempts to avoid this problem include killing all the Cultists if the leader dies (which can be frustrating for players who die early), allowing Cultists to recruit more players if the leader dies (which makes the Cult almost impossible to wipe out) or giving the Cultists a factional kill (which is also near-impossible to balance).
      • It interacts awkwardly with the Mafia, as a recruited Mafioso can simply tell the other Cultists who the other scum are. The most common method of avoiding this is to kill the Cult Leader if it tries to recruit a Mafioso, but this is frequently seen as annoying if it happens early. Making the Cult the only anti-Town faction isn't great either, as it makes the early game boring: hunting for scum is difficult to impossible because there are so few of them, and trying to identify pro-Town players is pointless because anyone can suddenly become scum.
    • The Mentor is a weaker Cult (it can only have one Mentee at a time, but they do have a factional kill), and is disliked for similar reasons: it's an alignment-changing role, and it's swingy because it depends on whether the Mentor survives (the Mentee dies if the Mentor dies).

    Hidden Object Game 
  • In Hidden City, whenever you complete a collection item from either the Upper/Lower City category, the game will forcibly transport you to the "appropriate" region. This is especially annoying since traveling between the two maps requires a not insignificant loading time. And since the player is most likely in the middle of doing a quest at the other location, this forces them to travel back to where they were before, thus wasting even more time with the completly unnecessary back-and-forth.

    Party/Casual 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.

  • One of the main reasons the sequel to Fuzion Frenzy failed was because it tried to implement a card system that could significantly alter the point rewards of a round significantly (using multiplier cards, multiplier steal cards, and others). This system was widely criticized by players as making winning a round far too luck-based, as even people who consistently did poorly in minigames could win a planet if they played their cards right.
  • Tetris:
    • In newer 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.
    • The Marathon mode in many modern games such as Tetris Friends, due to the way progression works (without going into Walkthrough Mode: clearing more lines at a time gives you a boost in progression towards the end of the game), actually awards more points for comboing single line clears than for making Tetrises. Later Tetris games junk this and go back to the more conventional and logical "clear 150 lines" format.
  • 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.

    Puzzle Game 
  • Angry Birds:
    • Hal the Toucan's boomerang mechanic, which is very difficult to predict and control. They even acknowledged its unpopularity in one Seasons cutscene.
    • The Marmosets' ability to regain their balance in Rio, even after severe force is used on them.
    • The "wait to replay or pay money" system in Angry Birds 2, and the even more unpleasant "wait six hours to play a Wall of Pigs level or pay money" mechanic in Stella.
  • Candy Crush Saga:
    • Spending your real money on powerups and life refills. If you don't have any lives, you have to wait 30 minutes to get another life, or 2 and-a-half hours to get all of your five lives back. You can't increase your max lives either.note  Unlocking later levels costs money too. 30 cents isn't too bad, though.
    • The Conveyor Belts, introduced in Sticky Savannah, are annoying and tricky, and the levels that usually feature them are littered with bombs that are hard enough to get rid of. And what's worse? The Bombs will explode before the Conveyor Belt moves—meaning that if the Bombs were to possibly be taken out by luck of the Conveyor Belt, it wouldn't happen. Not as hated as the Toffee Tornado, but still an annoying obstacle.
    • The moon scale in the Dreamworld levels. It forces you to get two different candy colours in equal quantities, or else you'll fail the level. It's entirely possible for a single unrelated combo to rapidly make several chains of one of them, resulting in Odus falling off and you losing the level due to pure dumb luck. The unpopularity of this mechanic may have contributed to the Dreamworld being discontinued in May 2015 and removed altogether two years later.
    • Despite only appearing in 27 levels in Reality and 18 in Dreamworld, Toffee Tornadoes were one of the most hated blockers in the game. In their original form, they couldn't be matched with anything, couldn't be removed — not even temporarily — in any way, moved to another random tile and destroyed the candy on it after each move, and left its original tile cracked (thus useless) for a move. They essentially only existed to screw you over by randomly denying you the chance to make certain matches, and made certain levels almost impossible unless you got very lucky. It didn't help that the candies they destroyed affected the moon scale in the web version of the game. Even three nerfs to make them more tolerable couldn't rescue them from the scrappy heap, and they were eventually removed entirely from the standard game with no one mourning them.
  • Puyo Puyo has had a number of these throughout the years. For a couple that appear in the Puyo battle portions...
    • Puyo Puyo Fever introduces Fever mode, which triggers when you fill a gauge by offsetting garbage Puyos and gives you preset arrangements of Puyos waiting to be popped to unleash a big attack on your opponent, also serving as a Comeback Mechanic in the process. What makes Fever mode hated by some is that it can cause long, drawn-out stalemates until RNG makes a player lose. The mode has its effectiveness nerfed in 20th Anniversary.
    • Puyo Puyo 7 introduces a battle mode called Transformation that's similar to Fever mode, but more extreme; you fill the gauge, and you enter either a Mini transformation that throws Fever presets with smaller Puyos at you, or a Mega transformation that has you playing with giant Puyos to slowly build up a chain. Not only is it overpowered even compared to Fever, but the timer for this mode caps at 99 seconds instead of Fever's 30 seconds, giving you way too much time to annihilate your opponent. On the bright side, people do like how this mode features canonical depictions of the characters as children (Mini) and adults (Mega).
  • The Turing Test: One common complaint is that the audio logs are muffled and are difficult to understand, with the additional hindrance that they have no subtitles. The developers have stated that it was an artistic decision, with the idea being that you are eavesdropping on conversations, so it is a deliberate challenge to hear them. Unfortunately, with the only available language being English, it locks out that content for non-English speakers as well as people with hearing or auditory-processing impairments.

  • The Witness:
    • The self-disabling panels. Many panels in the game are connected via wires that indicate the power flowing from one to another. A lot of these panels disable themselves when a wrong solution is entered, forcing you to return to the previous panel and reenter the correct solution. Theoretically, this serves to discourage the player from brute forcing puzzles, but there are two problems with this. The first is that this feature appears in more complex puzzles that have many possible solutions and are therefore unlikely to be brute forced; the self-disablement here just serves to unnecessarily punish players for making a mistake. The second is that with some of these puzzles, the previous panel still shows the right solution, making it easy to reenter; the self-disablement here doesn't discourage brute force so much as slightly prolong it.
    • The desert puzzles revolve around reflection of light on the panels to reveal the correct paths drawn on them. The basement of the desert temple contains puzzles based on water reflection — the principle is the same, but this time you have to arrange the water level of a pool below the panels to reflect at the right angles to see the solutions. While this puzzle is hard enough since the water reflects the solutions upside-down, the really annoying thing is that the water cannot be paused between its highest and lowest points; if you don't get the solution, you'll have to wait for the pool level to rise or lower completely before you can try again. This is especially bad because the speed at which the water level changes is super slow.

    Racing Game 
  • 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. Then some of that traffic would happen to bump into your rivals, whether you were trying to do that or not, rewarding you with even more boost. 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.
  • One of the biggest downgrades of Daytona Championship USA from past arcade versions is changing the series-traditional 4-position shifter to a simplified up/down shifter. Given that many powersliding techniques rely on shifting down two or three gears at once (and in fact many console ports allow the player to assign buttons for each gear), this is basically a screw-you to well-versed Daytona USA players.
  • 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.
  • The DX version of the King Of Route 66 arcade game has a nitro boost that, unlike the non-DX version where it's engaged by pressing the start button, is engaged through speech recognition: to activate it, you need to grab your CB radio mike and yell "Nitro!". If you're a native English speaker, you won't have any problems with it, because it's well implemented and reliable... but outside of the English speaking world, people tend to pronounce it as something more like "Neetroh!", and become frustrated as the nitro refuses to engage because they're not correctly pronouncing the word in proper English.
  • 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. And you have to unlock all of these cars to unlock the final car and BGM track.
  • The Rollcage Leader Missile would sometimes lock on to buildings (instead of opponents) and bring them down on your own head.
  • 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.
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune:
    • The randomized ramp selection system since 3DX. It is a Luck-Based Mission and some players used to manual ramp selection in 3 are irritated with this because they can't help them select their desired starting ramps. Unlucky players can get wrong starting ramps because of this.
    • Maximum Tune 4's card transfer service let you transfer cards from Maximum Tune 3DX+. Two problems: It ended in October 2013, and North America never got MT4, skipping straight to Maximum Tune 5; American and Canadian players have to start all over again.
    • Having to play 60, 80, or 100 credits of Story Mode for a full tune is reviled by players of all experience levels. Newbies don't like it because it's a case of Earn Your Fun mixed in with a dash of Crack is Cheaper, since the player has to insert a credit to continue after completing a Story Mode stage. Veterans don't like it because they have to repeat the entire process every time they make a new car, unless they use the "discard" system to get a car that has the first 20 stages completed, and even then it's still at least 40 credits of grinding to do.
    • A minor example for North American players of Maximum Tune 5: The North America superregion only has one region available: United States, unlike the Japan version (which uses the prefectures of Japan) or the Asia version (which uses countries, of which multiple are listed). This makes all region-based indicators and features (such as the "Select by region" option in Ghost Battle mode) rather redundant. Also, even if you play in Canada, your region is still listed as "USA".
  • Wipeout:
    • 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.

    Sports Game 
  • 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.
  • Besides the play mentioned above, Madden NFL has had a few:
    • Virtually every front office mechanic. Users cannot design their own contracts, and Madden assumes you want all deals to be backloaded. In some iterations, teams can only sign their players to extensions during the last year of their contract, and not every player is even available to speak to until just before free agency (where you have one shot to sign them or they get dumped in the FA pool). There are no collective scouting events such as college "pro days" or the NFL combine, forcing users to scout every attribute of every player they are interested in drafting. Users cannot create a draft board, forcing them to find the player they want to draft and compare him to other players on the fly while under the 2 minute clock. And so on and so on.
    • 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...(The PC version would make a comeback for Madden 19, long after the QB cone mechanic had been retired.)
    • 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.
  • NBA 2K14: The game 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. That's when it recognizes the word or words said, it can be a little spotty about it. 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.
    The Kinect or Eyetoy can be used in 2K15 to scan your face. At least it would, except it does not work period, full stop, that's it, finish, the end. You are supposed to have plenty of lighting but this causes the scan to go haywire, being too far away results in a poor scan, moving closer has it lose track, on the off chance the scan goes well the game will apparently decide it's not fair for everyone else struggling and say it cannot be used, if you do get to where the scan uploads the game will Rage Quit and crash, ect, ect, in short it's much easier to use the in game sliders and build a face from scratch than use the camera scan. 2K17 replaced this with a phone based program, however if you did not also get the newest phone on the market when the game was released you're out of luck as it will only work for smartphones that are iPhone or Samsung 8 and beyond.
  • 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.
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater:
    • A lot of critics and fans find the combo system to be insane. The first game rewarded you well for making one move in the air. When the later editions came, making 50-trick combos was practically a breeze, even required, and one mistake would spoil the entire combo.
    • 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.
    • While the on-foot mechanics is a divisive feature among fans and critics, Tony Hawk's American Wasteland added Parkour to it, which is universally disliked. 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 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. To top it off, there was no balance meter, so you have to look at how your skater is leaning to keep him upright. 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). The only saving grace of the lip trick was that leaning too far towards the ramp would cause you to land safely and end your combo without breaking it (unless, since 3, you linked a revert into it to keep going), but even that's a crapshoot if you're not doing it intentionally.
    • The Slam mechanic in THPS5, which allows you to immediately slam onto the ground if you're in the air. This was designed to be a combo ender, but for whatever reason the mechanic was assigned to the same button as grinding. If you are the type to hold the grind button before landing on a rail, you’ll slam down and land too soon, ruining your combo.

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • Assassin's Creed:
  • Dishonored, some of which were eventually addressed by third-party mods:
    • Unbelievably for a stealth action title that relies heavily on statistics for the player to know if they've voided a non-lethal run, collected all the gold or other information, there is no stats menu in the pause screen. As such, the player could miss a brief cue to know that they've broken stealth or killed someone without realizing it. A mod added the ability to check stats mid-mission, while the sequel would integrate a proper stat system.
    • There's no way to replay the missions with all of your bought powers; there's no New Game Plus (barring fanmade save games that hack in all of the powers and start you in the first mission proper), and the mission replay limits you to the powers you had when you first played it. While replaying the game to do things differently is kind of the point, not having the option to add Catharsis Factor to a mission you struggled in is kind of disappointing.
    • The Chaos system. Now, the Karma Meter in general tends to be a spotty thing in videogames, but the Chaos system is particularly grating for two reasons. Firstly, as the game boasts, the Chaos system directly affects the game-world... by making it become a Crapsack World. Even in the medium Chaos path, the game tries to hit the player with a serious You Bastard! effect. The darkness of the high Chaos path is so much that several of the loading screen tips actively warn players against pursuing that route. This would be bad enough, but then there's reason number two: the game's most interesting and innovative features are all combat based. And combat is how Chaos is raised, due to the player leaving dead opponents behind and their bodies getting eaten by plague rats. So, a player who doesn't want to get high Chaos has to forfeit playing around with all of the cool tricks that the game advertises, such as intricate sword duels, using traps, summoning rat swarms, etc. Add in some rather counter-intuitive aspects to Chaos (for example, killing the Weepers raises Chaos, despite that this is arguably a mercy and protects those who haven't been infected) and how strict it is (if the total of surviving humans drop below 80% at any point, your Chaos rises to medium level).
  • Hitman: Absolution: The Instinct mechanic. It allows you to see people through walls and identify usable objects. Problem is, unlike past games where disguises were effective as long as you don't get too close, Instinct is required to blend in now. While this might work if there were just a few cops in an area, here there are a few areas filled with nothing but cops. It is also limited, meaning once you run out, you're screwed. The only way to get more is to subdue or kill enemies. All in all, this mechanic makes wearing your regular suit less suspicious. Thankfully, in the World of Assassination Trilogy, this system was massively rebalanced, as it now allows you to just identify objects and people while allowing infinite use.
  • In Thief: Deadly Shadows:
    • The faction system. The game is coded to allow the player to ally with either the Hammerites or Pagans (factions who were previously hostile to Garrett in the prior two games) by doing a series of tasks for them. Aside from the rationale for this allying being very tenuous (the Pagans in particular call a functional truce with Garrett because it's what Viktoria would have wanted), the way to get into their good graces involves... shooting a couple of blocks with moss arrows and shooting a couple of scarab-like creatures throughout the city. Not only that, but the rewards you're given for completing 100% of these sidequests (bonus items in Garrett's apartment) come so late in the game, at a point where you're more than likely maxed out on supplies, to be functionally useless beyond a Cosmetic Award. There have been accusations by players that both sidequests were added in at the last minute of development, as they don't really factor into any part of the story (beyond maybe distracting the final boss for a bit longer in the final areas).
    • The beloved rope arrow was removed in favor of the "Climbing Gloves", a piece of equipment that is mission-critical at one point in the game (you need it to climb up a pipe into the Hammerite Clocktower)... but nigh-useless otherwise. Not only did it have limited utility in missions beyond nabbing a couple pieces of optimal loot, but it was extremely finicky and required constant adjustments to ensure the player didn't accidentally fall off a high roof and kill themselves instead of trying to maneuver into position to climb back down a wall.
    • The console-focused development meant that maps (unlike The Dark Project and The Metal Age) were drastically chopped up with loading zones, even in areas where it didn't seem like it would warrant such a thing (the tutorial mission is a big offender). It took several years, and development of the Sneaky Upgrade mod, for players to finally have a chance to deal with unimpeded maps — and the level design makes it clear that the maps were designed with these loading areas in mind, as they feature long, unimpressive hallways with no scenery whatsoever.
    • At the beginning of each "hub world" day, the player starts back in their apartment, and in several cases, has to traverse the same hub areas (and City Watch guards) all over again, even if they knocked out or killed the Watch members in previous missions. Not only did this have a deleterious effect on the game (players are even advised to rush through them if they don't have anything pressing to take care of), but it can actively harm the player if they need specific items which are only available in Black Alley or a far-away store.

    Survival Horror 
  • Alone in the Dark: The inventory system in the reboot. Trying to find the right items while being attacked? Have fun trying to navigate the unintuitive and difficult to use inventory system that will end with you never picking what you need.
    • Driving was flaky, hard to control, and added a lot of Fake Difficulty to the game.
    • The New Nightmare has Respawning Enemies that refill every room any time you leave and come back. This being a Survival Horror game, health and ammunition pickups never self replenish. Infinite bad guys, finite supplies; you do the math.
  • The boss battles of Clock Tower 3 relied on an auto-aim feature that works like this: When you charge an attack you abruptly lock onto the boss's current position but don't track them, while the odds of said boss still being in line with your shot by the time you fire is slim to none in a classic case of Stop Helping Me! Notably the battle with Scissorwoman Jemima disables this feature, making her battle the most genuinely satisfying moment in the game.
  • The Mash X To Not Die moments from Dino Crisis are the single most derided aspect of the game, since unlike Quick Time Events in other survival horror games they inflict damage even when you succeed (how fast you struggle away determines how much damage you take, but even with an auto fire controller you'll lose some health). Since they also happen to be completely unavoidable they feel more like an unfair toll you have to pay to continue the game rather than something to overcome with skill, and feel especially unfair as they occur in a game that has finite health pick-ups.
  • The third game in the Echo Night series allowed you to explore outside the moon base. Unfortunately, not only is moving outside tediously slow, but your jumping is locked to a single arc, making all platforming sections laborious.
  • Fatal Frame:
    • Towards the latter half of Fatal Frame III: The Tormented, 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.
    • Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse has the piano segments. When playing as Ruka, the player must sometimes play some notes on a piano by pointing the WiiMote at the correct, lit-up key and press said key, while also not being too fast or slow. The annoyance comes from the fact that it must be done as part of the Final Boss Battle and the keys are pretty narrow, with the WiiMote not being all that happy to comply with your trying to play the keys. And if you fail three times, you must fight Sakuya's ghost again and try the piano another time.
    • Fatal Frame 2: Deep Crimson Butterfly and Fatal Frame 4 have the player hold the A button, in order to pick up items. In itself not bad, but it includes a long, slow zoom-in on Mio picking the item up. And the same mechanic was added for investigating under things, inside cabinets or peeking into locations. A good hour or two of the game is spent watching this zoom-in, instead of simply letting the player pick up the item with a short press of the A button. And then you also have the ghost hands that have a random chance of attempting to grab Mio's wrist while trying to pick up an item. Overall, they don't do any damage (except for one fast, darker hand with slash marks on it, but can be easily shaken off) and it's actually minor. But put in conjunction with the entire mechanic and having to re-zoom after avoiding the ghost hand...
  • While Friday the 13th: The Game fairy decent for a licensed game, a few mechanics make it hard to enjoy for reasons:
    • Jason's ability to grab counselors is considered "unfair" and "overpowered" for a few reasons by players playing as Counselors:
      • The "break free" mechanic for the Counselor is considered to be virtually pointless by many, as a player controlling Jason is only required to press a single button to initiate an uninterruptible instant kill animation. Unless the Jason player is incompetent or Cherry Tapping by dragging the Counselor to an environmental kill location, the Counselor will never get a chance to break free.
      • Jason's ability to "Shift" allows him to disappear and quickly close in the gap between him and a fleeing counselor before reappearing. If Jason is close enough, the Jason player can cancel the "Shift" ability and immediately grab the Counselor from within range, which is almost guaranteed to work if the Jason player is skilled enough to abuse this technique. Shift would be a complete Game-Breaker if not for the fact that it requires a lot of practice to execute, and even then the most experienced gamer can get stuck on obstacles.
      • Jason can successfully grab a Counselor in the middle of their melee attacking animation regardless of their health, which already makes combat a bigger risk than usual, considering how slow on the draw counselors are when they swing their melee weapons.
      • Most controversially, the range of Jason's grab doesn't match his animation, as his range seems to allow him to grab any counselor, even if they're around five feet away from him and should logically be far away enough to avoid his grab.
    • Jason's Morph ability allows you to teleport across the map, but it often only puts you in the general vicinity of where you want to be, not the precise area. Nothing's more annoying than chasing down fleeing Counselors in their car, and you morph after them into woodland, a short distance away from the road.
    • Jason's ability to Block is also controversial, as it virtually makes Jason immune against nearly every attack in the game. A skilled Jason player can use the ability to walk over Counselors' bear traps and set them off without actually getting trapped in them, walk over firecrackers and avoid getting stunned by them, and most annoyingly, guard against all melee/flare gun attacks regardless of which direction Jason faces. The only weapon that bypasses Jason's Block ability is the shotgun, which is guaranteed to knock Jason to the ground.
    • Jason's ability to stack his own bear traps on top of each other is also poorly received, as it means that it is virtually impossible for a Counselor to fix a phone box or repair a car without risking the trap being set off and alerting the Jason player. Considering how uncommon pocket knives are, and since it's the only guaranteed method to break out of Jason's grab command, it makes disarming Jason's traps not worth the risk to sacrifice a get-out-of-jail-free card to disarm one trap sitting next to, or on top of another.
    • Counselors cannot carry vehicle parts and weapons at the same time. This leaves whoever decides to work on vehicles extremely vulnerable.
  • 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.
    • Compounding this is two problems. One, you're going to stumble across a lot of healing items, which take some stress off of your magic, but space is again limited; and Two, if you find the rare Medical Wheel item (or any of the four special items for that matter), they'll take up slots on your armor as well, significantly reducing how much you're going to carry unless you really don't mind running back and forth to item boxes repeatedly.
  • Silent Hill 4: The Room has the apartment hauntings. For the first half of the game the apartment is a safe zone where your health replenishes. Roughly halfway through the game the fan stops working which somehow not only negates the healing factor (meaning your only means of replenishing health are curative items), but ghosts begin invading the apartment which can block access to your item box and sap your health. The only way to rid yourself of them are the medallions and candles, which are not only limited in number but also given to you much earlier on as a means to defend yourself against the otherwise invincible victim ghosts that attack you in the otherworld. Keep in mind the game never tells you you'll need these items for your apartment, and you can render the game Unwinnable by Design if you use them too readily. The game also makes the two firearms you can find Too Awesome to Use by severely limiting the amount of ammunition you can can carry with them, forcing you to rely on the piss-poor melee combat system (which, aside from the addition of a charging meter, is just as awkward and sluggish as it was in the first three games) to get by most of the time.
  • Silent Hill: Shattered Memories took the "dark and disorienting" aspect that Silent Hill is famous for to such intensities that the creature chases became a classic case of this. Even knowing that running toward sources of light is how to escape (Which the game does not tell you at all), and even with a walkthrough, it's very difficult and counter-intuitive to figure out where to go while running desperately from the Rawshock Creatures (and you will die if you attempt to check your map).
  • 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 map system in Siren, since it doesn't show you where you or your follower are on it. Instead you have to match landmarks on the map (which are named), to your surroundings to locate yourself. Adding to the frustration of this is that every level is either dark or foggy, that the game borders on being a Stealth-Based Game where you can die in only a couple of hits, and that most levels are Escort Missions, meaning not only is getting your bearings difficult but also puts you and your very stupid AI partner in constant danger.
  • Vanish: The glow sticks. They're limited in number, last for only fifteen seconds, and only illuminate things in a three foot radius around you.

    Third Person Shooters 
  • Gears of War has had a few in each game, typically remedied in the following title.
    • The first had general Artificial Stupidity on the part of AI squadmates, the inability to move while downed (meaning that your teammates had to rush into whatever location was dangerous enough for you to be downed in the first place), and the fact that going down while playing solo meant instant death. Thankfully remedied in the sequel, which improved the AI pathing and gave them the ability to revive other squadmates, including you. However, it had its own set of problems, not the least of which being...
    • ...Shotgun charges, which became an epidemic in multiplayer due to the weapon's absurd reach. A "stopping power" mechanic was added that meant the game would resist the attempt to run straight into enemy fire, but it did little to weaken the sheer destructiveness of the Gnasher. Gears of War 3, thankfully, buffed the standard rifles so they did more damage.
    • In both games, co-op campaign had several portions where Dom and Marcus separated, meaning that if either dropped, there was no one to revive him and it was a game over. This was fixed in the third installment by the introduction of Arcade Mode, where dead players respawn after 25 seconds as long as at least one human player is alive.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising is generally considered a solid multi-player game, but some features are considered these to different parts of the player base, while others are fine with it due to the fact that it simply makes the game different from other shooting games.
    • An example would be the fact that unlike other shooters, the shots you fire aren't instant and actually travel through the air, and home in on the opponent. Some weapons have more homing than others, and you can use powers to make the shots invisible and pass through walls.
    • Others hate the weapon value system, forcing people to spend hours fusing weapons to do exactly what they want and nothing more, lest their weapon becomes more valuable and makes them a greater burden to their team when they lose. Others feel that the game is based much more on skill so a person with a higher value weapon is fine as long as they have the skill to match.
    • The game just isn't designed for left-handed players. You can map the four face buttons to movement, but this causes problems as the game differentiates between "flick" directional movements and slower tilt movements. You can use a Circle Pad Pro or a New Nintendo 3DS so that you have a Circle Pad on the right, but the former is an additional $20 investment and the latter's right pad isn't as precise as the left pad.
  • Star Fox Command's online multiplayer would terminate matches if a single player disconnected. Not just for the quitter, but everyone else in the match. As such, ragequitters became the collective target of murderous hatred for everyone who just wanted to have a complete match.
  • Splatoon showed its first-game syndrome signs by sporting a few of these.
    • The Splatfest Tee is considered by many to be a source of unnecessary grinding. You are given the shirt up to 1 week beforehand, but it is a three-star shirt with three empty slots — so it takes the most experience to max out — and you are expected to level it up from scratch. Granted, the extra abilities are weaker and affected by Diminishing Returns, but if you wanna be in top form in Splatfest, or even in Ranked Battle, which is the fastest way to level up the shirt (...if you win), then you might want the extra skills. Also, you are forced to use it in Splatfest, and you might not appreciate the Special Saver ability over the abilities on your other clothes. And finally, the shirt is taken away at the end of Splatfest, making all the effort seem wasted.
    • Splatfests region and team-lock you for the duration, meaning that the matchmaking pool is much smaller, and it can't shuffle teams if there is a significant imbalance.
    • Getting disconnected counts as a loss. Meaning you could be winning and suddenly, because of an unstable connection, lose the match and lose the rank you just acquired. It's supposed to discourage people from Rage Quitting, but the game can't tell if someone intentionally disconnected, or just suffered a bad connection.
    • Matchmaking in Squad Battles is set up in such a way that if you have even a single S-rank player on your squad, you'll regularly be put up against squads that are all S-ranks, even if your own team has only one S-rank player and the rest are B or C rank.
  • Splatoon 2 fixed some of the problems from the first game (ability chunks mean its worth grinding Splatfest Tees, and they arguably have a better main ability in Ability Doubler; disconnections no longer affect your multiplayer rank, etc.), but it has its own problems, too.
    • Salmon Run is a popular addition to the game, but it's not available all the time and players have no control over what weapons they get to use for each round.
    • Also, ragequits or disconnects in Salmon Run are treated as losses on wave one, no matter what wave you got tossed in. It is entirely possible to lose your rank all because your connection shat itself.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine multiplayer disables the text chat when one is dead and waiting for respawn. This despite the game being one of fast-paced action, when those moments are the only ones when you have, you know, time to type anything.

    Tower Defence 
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening: Fliers are so annoying, any cores they stole from the housing cannot be recovered if you shoot them down, making them lost forever) that they were removed from the sequel entirely- and absolutely nobody missed them! On a similar note, while usually not as disliked as flyers, stealth units aren't very popular either, for much the same reasons- they require the use of specific detector towers, upgrades or abilities to deal with which you would otherwise have no real reason to use and can feel like a waste of resources, unless they also have a secondary function.

    Vehicular Combat 
  • Twisted Metal:
    • Starting with Twisted Metal 2 and running until the fourth game, the games had Energy Attacks which could be used by tapping a button combination. While they were fairly useful to you (particularly the Game Breaking Freeze Missile), your enemies can use them too and have unlimited energy: expect to regularly get Stun Locked by the computer spamming Freeze Missiles and just draining most, if not all, of your health. Enjoy the Game Over you literally can not defend against! To add to the scrappiness, the button commands to unleash them change between games: Damn You, Muscle Memory! is in full effect and anyone familiar with one game will find themselves mashing in the wrong commands in the heat of the moment and taking a lot of damage that would have otherwise been dodged.
    • Earlier games giving the computer unlimited specials. Granted the computer technically has unlimited everythings, but that's hard to notice and the AI doesn't abuse it too much. It's particularly glaring with specials though as their whole purpose is to be overpowered and unique, which makes them outright overwhelming when unlimited, especially with Club Kid's (creates an inescapable vortex that sucks you in and explodes), and Axel's (sends out a shockwave that hurls you into the air) who will, without fail, hit you with two or three of them if you ever dare to come within range.

    Visual Novel 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • In cross-examinations, the player has the ability to "press" witnesses on certain bits of their testimony, which gives more information and may sometimes be necessary to advance the case. Unfortunately, in some cases, the player may be assigned penalties of varying severity, up to and including instantly losing the case, for pressing a wrong statement. This mechanic is one reason why "Turnabout Big Top" is considered the worst case in the series; if you press Moe while he's smiling, he'll make a bad joke and the judge will penalize Phoenix, and in Moe's last testimony, pressing the wrong statement will cause you to lose.
    • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney: The various "scientific investigation" segments were widely regarded as being boring and slowing down the game's story. As a result, the two Investigations games and Dual Destinies dialed it back to only having fingerprinting and luminol testing segments.
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice The fingerprinting in this game has gotten in some people's nerves. For starters, the player is required to examine a pretty large 3D object with white powder, but there's a limited amount and the action area is tiny compared to the object's surface. Not only that, but the player has to bear with a camera that's very zoomed in, requiring a lot of scrolling and rotating of the object. The blowing doesn't work sometimes, and to top it all off, the location of fingerprints is sometimes counterintuitive. Worse, you can't save during the fingerprinting sequence, thereby forcing you to finish if you want to put the game down without potentially losing progress.
  • Danganronpa has the "Hangman's Gambit" mini game and its variations. It's basically picking up letters that appear randomly on the screen and piecing them together as the answer to a question, but all games execute this idea poorly:
    • In general, one of the main flaws of this minigame is that even if you know the next letter, you have to wait until it appears, and you have a time limit to worry about, so you may fail without ever getting the chance to input the answer you knew. And on the highest difficulty level, you only get one or two letters as hints, so you're out of luck if you didn't already figure the answer out yourself.
    • In the first game, the letters move so fast they are hard to get, they require multiple clicks before being registered (and you can accidentally click the wrong letter if you click too fast), and if you don't already know the answer, you are not given time to think about it and have to just click random letters in hope for a tip.
    • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair changes the game a bit: instead of just shooting letters that appear and disappear, letters move across the screen in pairs, and you can pick one up and drop it elsewhere. If two different letters collide, you lose life. If two of the same letters collide, they fuse together, stop moving, and you can either destroy them or check if they're the next letter in the word. Once again, you need to wait a lot until the correct letter appears (if you even know what it is), and you can accidentally destroy it if you're not careful.
    • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony's version hides all the letters, with a wave of light randomly revealing them. You can also light up the center of the screen to reveal the letters there, but 1: this only lights up a small area that grows slowly, 2: this consumes your focus meter, which regenerates very slowly, so you can't rely on it, and 3: you can't use the cursor while using this light.
  • Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair, like many other visual novels, has more than a few dialogue choices, from inconsequential (telling Rie what you think of her costume) to dramatically changing the story (choosing the culprit). The Scrappy Mechanic in question is how once you come to one of those points, you can't save the game, review your evidence or reread the dialogue. By removing the ability to look at your information, making an informed decision becomes harder, and the inability to save in case you make the wrong choice forces players to save often.

Non-Video Game

    Pinball 
  • The hidden magnet in The Addams Family will pulse at certain timesnote , flinging the ball in unpredictable directions, sometimes right into an outlane or a drain. Not only has this mechanic never been put into a pinball machine since, but when an Addams Family machine is used for competition, the magnet is physically removed from the machine as there is an software bug where you can just hold the ball and time them out so it is done to speed things up.
  • A major reason why Stern's The Rolling Stones is widely hated is that there is a plastic cutout of Mick Jagger that moves left and right along an arc-shaped slot a few inches above the flippers, programmed to block whatever shot will be most important to you, forcing you to hit him and get him out of the way. Although Count Dracula in Monster Bash and the buck in Big Buck Hunter Pro run on similar mechanisms, they both have hiding spots they would stay in until activated and would move back shortly afterwards. What made Mick such a despised mechanic is that Mick, lacking a hiding spot, is always outside and always trying to block your shots. In addition, fans of The Rolling Stones, which this machine is aimed at, were confused why they were being asked to repeatedly whack Mick with the ball. This mechanic would gain the derisive nickname of "Mick on a Stick," and this machine's poor execution of it has effectively killed this mechanic.
  • The upper playfield in Popeye Saves the Earth is placed right on top of the regular playfield and prevents you from seeing its entire top half. Though when new, the upper playfield's surface is transparent plastic and won't inhibit your vision much, once it gets enough play, the plastic will eventually become scratched up and opaque, rendering the upper half impossible to see.
  • The Ring in WWE Wrestlemania, at least when the machine was first released, was a much-hated feature. There is nothing inherently annoying about a mini-playfield that simulates a wrestling ring, complete with rubber rings around the perimeter. What's annoying about it, however, is that the initial release's rules made it such that not only was the Ring always available, every mode worth a lot of points either began on the Ring or ended on the Ring, no exceptions. This meant that the more you spammed the Ring, the higher your score, and it made for terribly boring games. There was a patch and an update released later that blocked off access to the Ring sometimes and created non-Ring modes, but by then, the damage was already done, and the game was a total flop in sales and disliked by players of all skill levels.
  • Every pinball machine that provides unlimited balls but only allows you to play until time runs out—James Bond 007, Flipper Football, and Safe Cracker—have all bombed in sales and were unpopular with people passing by putting coins in to play. (A fourth one, Goin' Nuts, was scrapped before it could even be sold.) For all of these cases, the reason is the same: Newcomers get destroyed until they run out of time, whereas people dedicated to playing them well could learn to exploit time bonuses and play for way longer than it would remain interesting. Safe Cracker has since been Vindicated by History when individuals bought used machines for personal use and they didn't have to worry about paying per game, however.
  • Plunger lanes that lead to pop bumpers are a major cause of annoyance for a lot of players, especially if the pop bumpers do not have a fixed exit and can fly out in any direction. The reason is that there is a good chance that when you begin the ball, it goes to the bumpers and rockets into the drain, without any way of saving it. Even with a ball saver (a mechanic to return the ball to you with no penalty when the game begins), the ball could bounce around in the bumpers for so long that the ball saver runs out while the ball is still there. Machines where this has been an issue include Bram Stoker's Dracula and The Walking Dead Most newer games to freeze timers even ball save when the ball is in the bumpers.
  • Outlanes, particularly for beginners; it can seem unintuitive for the ball to slide into an outline, resulting in a drain that seems quite non-preventable. While experts argue that nudging the table can easily prevent an outlane drain, nudging requires knowing exactly when the ball is about to slam into the outlane as well as being delicate with the table; a nudge too weak is the same thing as doing nothing while a nudge too strong is a TILT. However, some tables have "kickbacks" that will eject the ball from an outlane (usually the left one), or other means of catching balls that are about to head into either outlane (such as the Shooting Star in Tales of the Arabian Nights); either way, anti-outlane measures often have limited activations so don't count on them saving you every time.
  • Skill Shots involving flashing lanes at the back of the table are often dismissed for being Luck Shots in practice; even Roger Sharpe admitted that his pinball-saving skill shot was a stroke of luck, i.e. he proved pinball wasn't about luck through sheer luck (pinball tables had been banned in some jurisdictions on accusations of being gambling machines). Even other kinds of plunger-based skill shots can still fall under this trope depending on how well-maintained the plunger is. Perhaps because of this, some tables use flipper-based skill shots instead, where the player has to hit the ball into a designated target with the flippers immediately after launch.
  • Video Modes are seen by some as interrupting the flow of a pinball game and being fairly out-of-place; after all, why play pinball and end up playing a video game?
  • Starting in The New '10s, several pinball games have a Context-Sensitive Button at the center of the lockdown bar at the front of the table. It can fall into this if it needs to be used while you're busy with the flippers: you have to take a hand off the flippers to slam the button and easily risk a drain, unless you're willing to Use Your Head or somehow have three arms. Particularly noticeable examples include Star Wars (Stern) (where it toggles which shots are affected by Score Multipliers, necessitating frequently using it during gameplay in order to maximize points), Black Knight: Sword of Rage (where it controls the Magna-Save, meaning that a feature that often requires quick reflexes to properly utilize now has a second-long delay caused by the need to move your hand), and Pirates of the Caribbean (Jersey Jack) (where it collects gold whenever it's available, requiring constant attention to button mash and make the most of the short window of opportunity).
  • Jersey Jack Pinball tables sometimes have a camera below the backglass that can take photos or show a live video feed of the player at unexpected moments, which can make them uncomfortable to play for players self-conscious of how they look or are concerned about their privacy. Fortunately there is an operator toggle to disable it, and some arcades even put tape over the camera as well out of respect for their customers.

    Reality TV 
  • There are three pre-determined (for legal reasons) non-elimination legs a season on The Amazing Race. For the first 4 seasons, there was no penalty for the spared team but the penalty from 5-9 is the most reviled aspect of the show’s almost two decades on the air. The last place team had to surrender all of their money and weren’t given any money for the next leg. This put teams in the awkward position of having to beg for things. Sometimes it wasn’t so bad because they were in rich countries like Australia and Japan (9) but sometimes it was painfully bad optics to have Americans competing in a show with a million dollar grand prize have to beg in poor countries like Egypt and The Philippines (5). In 6, there was one in Senegal and the spared team felt so bad about having to beg the locals that they just asked the other teams to help them without even trying. Even in a season with quite a few nasty teams, they all chipped in to help so they didn’t have to beg on the street. This mechanic was gone by 10 and another one has been used ever since 12. The only good thing to come of it is the double leg which came from them having planned an NEL in country where begging is illegal (Hungary) in 6 without realizing it.
  • The 12th season of Masterchef Australia introduced a "Twist Week" where the judges throws in curveballs in the middle of a challenge to make things extra hard for the contestants. These "twists" include: forcing the teams to switch kitchens (and, by extension, their menu and preparations) during a Service Challenge, taking away the recipes in the final hour of a Pressure Test and forcing the contestants to finish the rest of the dish from instincts and memory, or throwing in extra ingredients that contestants must use halfway through a mystery box challenge (causing several to have to redo their dishes from scratch). It's meant to be an extra hurdle for the aspiring chefs to push them beyond their limits and test their creativity and tenacity in working in the kitchen, but for most viewers, these curveballs come off as overly mean-spirited as they cause unnecessary stress, drama and meltdowns to the chefs, who struggle to adjust to these "twists".

    Web Tournaments 
  • 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 division 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 is, 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 it means that girls from 12-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: When They Cry 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-episode anime might end up 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 ends up in 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.

    Web Videos 
  • Game Grumps:
    • The nature of Scrappy Mechanics is discussed by Arin during their playthroughs of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword where he explains why he feels arbitrary Sprint Meters are this when implemented like Epona's stamina in Ocarina of Time or the Stamina Gauge of Skyward Sword as they don't actually accomplish anything other than annoying the player. Since all they do is force you to stop running every so often to catch your breath, they don't actually limit your ability to explore or provide an obstactle to overcome, but merely force you to wait a little longer to get to your destination or spend a little longer exploring. He then points out how any area where running is required they have placed Stamina Fruit to keep your gauge topped up, and asks why the developers even included it at all if they clearly understood that all it did was arbitrarily hold the player back. He feels that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and games like Monster Hunter are much better utilizations of a Stamina Meter as it's tied to mechanics like climbing and fighting, and thus it does add a strategic layer to its usage and limits your ability to explore until it's increased:
      I think it's useless if it doesn't play into something else. Like Monster Hunter for example you have a stamina bar but it includes a bunch of functions. It affects everything about your movement. It affects your running, it affects your attacks, everything, so when you use up stamina it has implications for everything else. So, if you're running at a monster that's a bad idea since you won't have stamina to fight it, and if you're fighting a monster it's hard to run away from it, among other things. And there are things that affect your stamina bar that make it shorter or smaller or whatever, and like songs you can play to make it shorter or smaller, so there's this whole management system you have to do and it's fun. But when it's just one fucking thing it's stupid, like what the hell's the point? It just makes it so you have to stop for a sec.
    • Similarly, he and Dan didn't like the "barfy zombies" from Dead Rising 2 as they don't find them any harder to fight, but simply more annoying since they have increased attack range and can send Chuck into a coughing fit that, in effect, is like taking your controller away for 5 seconds so a zombie can score a cheap shot. Arin explains how the entire appeal of the game is that zombies are easy to kill but attack in swarms, thus they constantly remain a threat even though you can tear through them like tissue paper, the game already had a better "harder zombies" mechanic in that zombies get stronger at night, and that the game also already had enemies that were dangerous as individuals in the form of looters, mercenaries and psychopaths, and thus asks what exactly was the point of adding the new zombies? He feels it's a pointless mechanic as the gas zombies are more annoying to fight than the regular zombies but aren't as hard to fight as looters or mercenaries, thus they simply make the game more irritating to play without adding to the difficulty in any way. When they start over again on a New Game Plus after beating the game on a stream, they actually spent a solid hour just running around fighting regular zombies noting just how much funner the game is without the gas zombies running around getting in their way.


 
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The StarTropics Letter

An infamous example in the old-school Nintendo days was a game called StarTropics. As explained by DidYouKnowGaming, the player had to dunk a physical letter into water to retrieve a code needed to progress.

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5 (11 votes)

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