Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Scrappy Mechanic

Go To

"Blue Shells Ruin Everything"

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.


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.


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


Individual Games:



    open/close all folders 

    Game Systems and Infrastructure 
  • Despite its iconic status in North America, the Nintendo Entertainment System is home to a few wonky issues that frustrated many kids back in the 80s:
    • First, in an attempt to distance themselves from The Great Video Game Crash of 1983, Nintendo of America ditched the traditional top-loading cartridge mechanism used by the NES's Japanese counterpart, the Family Computer, for a "zero insertion force" slot: The cartridge is slid into the front of the system and then pressed down, similar to a VCR. Unfortunately, this mechanism was infamous for being unreliable and constantly causing the infamous "flashing screen of death", as well as gradually bending the pins in the cartridge. It gets even worse today considering the system's been long out of production and many functioning NESes are in fairly worn states today, with all official repair services for them having been discontinued a long time agonote .
    • On games with battery-backed saves, when you power the system off, you must hold down the reset button while shutting the system off, or else your saved changes will be discarded. Presumably common practice back in the system's age, but nowadays, most players used to just turning the system off normally after saving their game may not know to do this or forget to do so. And, even if you do remember to perform this action, the game might just wipe itself out anyway.
    • Two pins used for hardware expansion in the Famicom's cartridge slot were removed from the cartridge slot of the NES, resulting in an inferior audiovisual game experience for some games compared to the Japanese version (such as Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse) and causing some games to just not get exports of any kind due to relying on cartridge-side expansion chips to run properly (such as the Famicom adaptation of Gradius II).
    • The CIC lockout chip was a cause of never-ending frustration owing to it being a little too eager to do its job. It was designed to send a signal to the game's chip, which would send a response signal, and if the console chip didn't receive one it would reset the console once a second to prevent play. That's right, any time you put a cartridge in and the console blinked was just this ornery little bastard not happy with the signal it got from the console, as it was very easy for dirt or corrosion to interfere with the signal. This thing was so infamously hated and problematic that the top-loading revision of the NES excluded it completely. Thankfully, pin 4 is what sends the reset signal, so all you have to do to put this little bugger in its place and circumvent it entirely is to crack your console open, find the 16 pin chip labeled "3193A", and cut pin 4 with a set of nail scissors. If only we knew this back in the 80's...
    • Even though the NES's Japan-region counterpart, the Famicom, is known for being more durable and more developer-friendly than the NES, it does have one noticable design choice: the controllers are hard-wired into the console, meaning there's no easy replacements if either controller gets damaged.
  • The Game Boy Advance's 240x160 screen was able to show amazing graphics for the time, but it created some problems when it came time to port games from the Nintendo Entertainment System's 256X240 and the Super Nintendo's 256X224 resolution. Particularly, as the GBA screen was wider it resulted in games having to be "trimmed" vertically to fit, which added Fake Difficulty to titles like Super Mario World and Mega Man & Bass: enemy and hazard placements that were visible on the SNES would be off-screen on the GBA, and it was very easy to ram into unseen hazards. Mario World made up for it by adding features that made other aspects of the game easier (saving wherever you wanted, keeping accumulated lives when you save and quit, and spawning colored Yoshis in levels), while games like Mega Man and Bass did not.
  • Nintendo 3DS:
    • With past Nintendo handhelds, there's no Region Coding, so if you're traveling abroad and you see a game you want to buy, or a game you want is not available in your region, you can grab it and immediately start playing it on your different-region device. The 3DS, however, is the first Nintendo handheld system to lock out games based on region, much to the ire of import collectors and fans, with no publicly-announced plans to address this. While there are hacks to disable the region-lock, these can cause problems with your 3DS, from voiding the warranty and disqualifying it from official repair services to outright bricking the system, and even if they don't Nintendo will more often than not patch them by the next system update.
    • There are two ways to add friends: Locally via local wireless, or via Internet by exchanging friend codes. For whatever reason, you can't provisionally add friend codes if your 3DS is not connected, unlike with Nintendo DS games, and there are many possible use cases where you can't meet with the other player locally but also cannot connect your 3DS to the Internet. You could use a smartphone as a mobile hotspot (aka "tethering"), but not every 3DS user owns a smartphone, and mobile providers can disable tethering unless you switch to one of their other plans that does offer it.
    • The microSD Card slot on the New 3DS requires using a screwdriver to gain access to, just so you can do things like access your photos and screenshots on your PC, unlike the non-New 3DS and both 2DS models where you simply pop off a tab with your finger to acceess the slot. There is an option in the Settings area to allow data on the microSD card to be sent over a network via SMB (Windows file sharing), thus sidestepping the entire screwdriver issue, but the location of this option is only intuitive in hindsight and is notoriously finicky regardless. To date, nobody has found a way to get a non-Windows computer to reliably connect to the New 3DS's variety of network sharing.
    • Anything that strictly relies on StreetPass becomes this if you do not live in Japan, due to the lack of population density coupled with relative popularity of handheld gaming in most other countries. You can stroll around even the busiest of metropolitan areas in the US and be lucky to StreetPass even one other player. Your only options for farming them in bulk will be to attend Fan Conventions and other events geared towards video game players, or to find a StreetPass Relay point that's somehow still functioning. And with the Switch in full swing and Nintendo quietly sidelining the 3DS at the end of the 2010s, even going to Japan or conventions is no guarantee when more and more people are leaving their 3DSes at home or selling them outright in favor of the Nintendo Switch.
    • The New 3DS's and New 2DS's C-stick is derided for having the feel of a pencil eraser or a laptop mouse nub compared to the full Circle Pad provided by the Circle Pad Pro, which is not compatible with these versions of the 3/2DS (partly because the ZL and ZR buttons on the system itself are in the way). Furthermore, it can wear down over time, particularly if you have long nails. Sure, the built-in C-stick means you don't have to carry a bulky accessory that runs on a separate battery if you want to play games that require that secondary analog input or at least play better with it, but it's just not as comfortable to use as a full-sized Circle Pad, especially for games that make heavy use of a secondary analog (such as all three 3DS Monster Hunter games and Kid Icarus: Uprising if you're left-handed).
  • While older Nintendo systems not having any sort of cloud backup for save data is obviously expected, this has become a glaring problem with their net-enabled platforms, particularly the Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch, despite their competitorsnote  offering such solutions (granted, you have to pay for Sony's, but at least it's there). Losing your save data to storage corruption or through losing the system outright and having to buy a new one is already harsh enough, but just to rub salt in the wound, if you have to send your system to Nintendo for repairs, they may have to erase your hard-earned saved data depending on the type of the problem. 3DS users can sometimes get around this by purchasing their games physically instead of on the eShop (and many players will boycott the eShop for this reason alone), as many games can save data to the Game Card, but some games only save some data to it (usually, the SD Card data created by the game is just StreetPass data, at the least), or just write all save data to the SD Card which leads back to this problem.

    While game purchases can be transferred from a lost or data-corrupted system to a new one by calling Nintendo and providing some details, those details do include the serial numbers of both devices (hope you keep track of your systems' serial numbers), and this does not transfer saves at all unlike the system-to-system transfer that the user does.

    Nintendo seems to have finally listened to this when it comes to the Nintendo Switch; cloud backup for save data rolled out as part of their subscription-based online service in September 2018. It helps, because all Switch games, even those on Game Cards, save data entirely to the Switch's internal memory. Unfortunately, not all games' save data are supported.
  • Every 3DS comes with an SD card and the "new" 3DS line comes with a microSD card, but they only offer a paltry 2 and 4 GB respectively. While this is usually no problem for small games like third party indie titles or Virtual Console games, big budget titles like a Pokémon game can eat up far more memory storage than the included SD card can hold. Even if you know this ahead of time and purchase an SD card, the 3DS has another issue regarding the storage size of said SD cards. Using any SD card that's bigger than 32 GB will not work due the 3DS only accepting SD cards in the FAT32 format (larger SD cards use the ExFAT format. While it is very easy to format larger SD cards to be in FAT32, most people that aren't tech savvy won't know about it.
  • Konami's eAMUSEMENT services goes down for maintenance on a daily basis, from 5 AM to 7 AM Japan time; during this time, players cannot log into the eAMUSEMENT network on games using it to access their personal data (including score records, unlocks, and the like); anyone attempting to play at the time will be forced into "guest" mode where only a subset of features will be available. This isn't a problem for players in Asia, as most arcades are closed at the time, but this becomes a hassle for players in the United States, as due to time zones maintenance happens in early to mid-afternoon over there as a result.
  • The PlayStation line as a whole has the "confirm" and "cancel" buttons traditionally be depending on what region console you have. For Japan-region consoles, O is to confirm and X is to cancel, derived from the idea that "O is yes, X is no". However, it's the other way around for Western-region consoles, referring to the concept of "X marks the spot" and because the O/X concept isn't really well-known internationally. Is your "home" region outside of Japan and you want to import Japanese games, or vice versa? Prepare for a lot of accidental menu mishaps.
  • Nintendo's "Friend Code" system. The idea is that players receive unique randomly-generated numbers instead of usernames, because of the idea that someone could come up with obscene usernames even if Nintendo implemented username-censoring, which would be bad for Nintendo's family-friendly image. It also has the advantage of allowing users to freely change their names, unlike on competitors' consoles where display name is also player ID and changing name costs a fee (Microsoft) or is not allowed (Sony). However, even by the standards of randomly-generated user IDs, it's had its share of problems, which have thankfully been recitified over time:
    • Players who want to add each other need to mutually add each other; if one player puts in the other's FC and the other doesn't reciprocate, they're not registered. This made the practice of putting one's FC in their forum signature, social media profile, etc. largely useless. The Nintendo Switch eliminated this issue, only requiring that one party disclose their friend code; in case parents are concerned about their children getting adds from unfamiliar players, there is the option to disable friend requests.
    • On the Nintendo DS, every single game uses its own FCs. Which means if you hadnote  a friend you played Mario Kart DS with, and you wanted to also play Tetris DS, Clubhouse Games, and Planet Puzzle League with them, for example, you had to repeat the adding process for each one of these games. This was thought to be fixed with the Wii with one FC for each system...only for Nintendo WFC-enabled games to continue to use the separate-FC-for-each-game system! This was finally eliminated with the Nintendo 3DS, with games using the system's existing friend list instead of requiring separate FCs.
  • The non-DSi Nintendo DS does not support wifi hotspots with WPA or WPA2 security, meaning that back when Nintendo WFC was in service, if you wanted to play games online you had to either spend money on a USB dongle that requires a PC running Windows XP or higher or downgrade the security of your router to WEP, which has been shown to be crackable even by someone with minimal hacking skills compared to WPA and especially WPA2 wireless security.
    • The 3DS and the Switch do support WPA2...but only the standard, "personal" variant of it that only asks for a password, not WPA2-Enterprise which requires a username along with a password, and the 3DS and Switch don't let you enter a username when trying to connect to wireless networks.note 
    • Worse, the 3DS's WPA2 support does not extend to its DS emulation. Even if the rest of the system is happily on a WPA2 router, the DS subsystem comes with its own wifi configuration screen, one which mimics the DS's to the point of only supporting WEP security. So if you picked up a 3DS with the hopes of getting in on the tail end of DS WFC without downgrading your router or using a dongle, you were out of luck.
  • The Atari 2600 controller has its sole button to the left of the joystick, making it unusable for left-handed players unless you open the controller up to mod it. Imagine being a kid in the 70s, going to your friend's house where said friend has multiple controllers for you and your friends to use, only to be unable to play effectively or competitively with them because you don't have the right-hand dexterity needed to use one of their controllers. Sure, you can just plug in a Sega Genesis controller now since it uses the same connector, but that wasn't an option in the 70's.
  • The "classic" model of the Xbox 360 is infamous for being the only console of its generation to require an adapter for Wi-Fi connectivity, which can be troublesome if your 360 is somewhere where an Ethernet cable can't reach easily. While Wi-Fi may not be as suitable for multiplayer gaming as a good old wired connection, this is still a glaring disadvantage for those who just want to receive game and system updates as well as purchase games digitally.
  • Nintendo's net-enabled consoles:
    • They suffer from the opposite problem the Xbox 360 has: While they come with Wi-Fi support, they don't innately come with Ethernet ports, requiring you to invest in a USB Ethernet adapter if you want optimal connection speeds and ping time. The OLED model of the Nintendo Switch is set to fix this, with an Ethernet port built into the dock, which is compatible with the "classic" Switch model as well. Unfortunately, by doing so the OLED dock now includes one fewer USB ports than the original version.
    • On the Wii, 3DS, and Wii U, you cannot go into the Home Menu while online in a game, not even to, say, adjust brightness options. The Switch has the opposite problem: You can go into the Home Menu, but if you stick around for more than about 5 seconds you will be abruptly disconnected in whatever game you're playing, almost like an unintentional example of Schmuck Bait. This leads to an irritatingly common problem for those not familiar with this: Player decides to open their island gate on Animal Crossing: New Horizons and friends decide to join, player gets a friend request and accepts it, the connection is lost so everyone is kicked off their island with all unsaved changes lost.
  • The Wii U allowed most games to be played on the gamepad so that no one can hog the TV while playing. While this sounds like a good idea in theory, the gamepad has to be within the same room as the console itself or it can't communicate with it due to the effective range being just a mere few feet. This means that you can't, for example, take the gamepad with you to the bathroom if nature calls. This flaw was addressed with the Wii U's successor, the Nintendo Switch, which can be played anywhere.
  • Nintendo has made their consoles with very limited storage space for the sake of keeping costs down, yet this caused more problems than it solves. The Wii came with a paltry 512MB of storage that would quickly fill up if you bought a lot of games on the Virtual Console or had games with large save files. Nintendo would eventually release a patch that would allow people to save their games onto an SD card and load from there, but that also had its issues; booting a game from the SD card would temporarily make a copy of the data onto the Wii itself before loading, which meant that you couldn't run the game if you had no room left.
    • The Wii U came in two versions when it came to storage. Nintendo offered an 8GB model (white) and a 32GB model (black). Since you could download games as an alternative to buying a physical copy, storage space could fill up pretty darn fast. The 8GB model sold poorly and was quietly discontinued shortly after launch. SD cards could be used, but only up to 32GB due to needing to be cross compatible with the storage system emulation for Wii Mode. The Wii U did allow external USB hard drives to be used (up to 2TB), but only certain drives were allowed while others were either risky to use or simply did not work. On top of that, the hard drive could only be used for Wii U applications.
    • The Nintendo Switch comes with 32GB of storage like the Wii U before it. SD cards up to 2TB can be used to for more storage. The game cards can hold between 1GB to 32GB of data, but the bigger ones cost more money. Because costs to produce a game for the Switch in a physical copy is more expensive, some developers have opted to using a smaller sized game card and having their customers download the rest from Nintendo's eShop to cut down the costs; DOOM (2016) only has single player mode in the physical copy version and you have to download the multiplayer modes if you want to play them. NBA 2K requires an SD card just to download the rest of the game if you're playing off a game card.
  • Both the Nintendo 64 and the GameCube unfortunately have analog sticks that are rather delicate and susceptible to wear and tear. This leads to the infamous "looseness" of the stick that can either make it less sensitive or unable to be pushed to its "full" position, and will eventually happen even after normal use. Some games like F-Zero GX allow the player to calibrate the stick's range of movement and deadzone, but these only apply to the games you calibrate the sticks on. Thankfully you can buy replacement analog sticks that are actually better than the original hardware and will last much longer, but installing them into a controller of course requires some knowledge and confidence doing such things that many consumers simply don't have.
  • The Nintendo Switch is widely regarded as the best Nintendo console since the Super NES, and its record sales numbers show, however that doesn’t mean it’s without its problems (in addition to the ones mentioned above):
    • The Switch's kickstand, while useful in a pinch if you want to play two-player games with someone in portable mode, only has one very upright position, making it uncomfortable to look at the screen unless whatever surface it's on is almost at eye-level, and if you're at a dining room or coffee shop table, it most certainly will not be. Also, since the charging/USB-C port is on the same side as the kickstand, you can't use the Switch in stand mode and charge at the same time, unless you invest in a third-party stand that allows access to the port.
    • If you hold down the Home button instead of pressing it, you'll get an abridged system menu where you can put the console into sleep mode, airplane mode (if the Switch is in portable mode rather than docked), and system volume. The last setting would be useful if you don't wanna fuddle with the volume buttons (especially since they're next to the power button, which can be easy to press by mistake in a dark environment), however the game volume is lowered while the system mini-menu is active, even as you adjust the volume from within it, so unless you're willing to call and hide the mini-menu repeatedly, you're better off just using the physical volume buttons.
    • Despite the fact that Twitter started allowing 280-character tweets in late 2017, when you share a screenshot to Twitter you are still limited to 140 characters. You'll have to copy the screenshot off of your SD Card and post it with some other device to get around this. This shortfall only stood out even more in a fall 2018 update that allows posting up to four photos in a single tweet...but still doesn't let you post more than 140 characters. This was somewhat remedied with the system version 11.0 update, where you can now transfer your photos and videos to a smart device and tweet with a 280-character limit.
    • You have no way of copying screenshots and videos off of your Switch except through social media posts (and you cannot change post privacy or easily switch between Twitter accounts; many Twitter users have more than one accountnote ) or powering down the entire system to safely remove the SD card. While it's still in a way better than using a screwdriver like on the New 3DS, at least that had some way of copying files off of your system onto your PC without powering the system down and removing the SD card. The system version 11.0 update gets around this by allowing you to plug your Switch directly into a PC to access the SD card's contents, as well as transferring photos and videos to your smart device.
    • Hori produced a special Joy-Con L that replaces the directional buttons with a proper D-pad, designed for games that strictly use 8-way digital directional movement. Unfortunately, because it doesn't connect wirelessly, it can only be used in Handheld Mode, not in TV or Tabletop modes.
    • The Switch counts two Joy-Cons as separate controllers even if used in tandem or put in a Joycon grip controller. While this is usually not an issue as most games only allow up to 4 players, in games that 8 players are a possibility like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, to allow 5 players or more means at least 2 players will need to either use the Joy Con stand alone (which can be uncomfortable with some players due to the controller's smaller size) or be forced to get Pro Controllers and/or GameCube controllers with the Adapter (which is a blow to the wallet).
    • The Switch's voice chat has been heavily criticized for requiring a smart device to use, a bit of a baffling decision considering that the Nintendo DS and Wii (until the shutdown of Nintendo WFC) did directly support voice chat, with the WiiSpeak accessory used for the latter. While the Switch's audio jack can support audio input in addition to output and thus some games such as Fortnite and Killer Queen Black allow simply plugging a headset into the jack for voice communication, very few games support it, none of which are first-party games. Many players instead just use a third-party voice chat app like Discord or Facebook Messenger since chances are they have those already.
    • The Switch prioritizes the microSD card for downloads if one is inserted. This by itself is a small if noticeable annoyance for those who prefer to use the internal storage for patches and DLC for their games, but what makes it even more tedious is that the console does not let the user move data between the two destinations in the settings. Instead, you have to first archive the software or game in question, turn off the console and remove the SD Card, then start it up again and redownload the necessary data. And if you forgot to archive, then re-insert the card after it's done and restarted? The console will promptly delete the downloaded data from the internal storage, forcing you to repeat it again. If it's a game that gets frequent patches or DLC, be prepared to repeat this plenty of times.
      • The 10.0.0 firmware update finally added this option, making moving data much quicker and convenient. Unfortunately, save data can still not be moved using this method.
  • Namco's GunCon peripheral series:
    • The main design flaw with the original GunCon for the PS1 is that the two side buttons are near the front of the barrel, necessitating a "one hand on the grip and the other on the barrel" grip for games that make heavy use of these side buttons, such as Time Crisis, making it harder to wail on the trigger whenever a high firing rate is needed. This would get addressed with the GunCon 2 for the PS2, where the auxilary buttons are in multiple places — right above the trigger and slightly behind it, on the back of the barrel, and where the magazine would eject on a real gun — allowing the player more ways to hold the gun.
    • The GunCon 3 has a half-gamepad on the side of the barrel with two trigger buttons and an analog stick, to be used in certain contexts like the console-exclusive mode of Time Crisis 4. Unfortunately, it's mounted on the left side of the barrel and you cannot change this. It's clear Namco did not have left-handed players in mind when designing this controller.
  • All of Nintendo's online-enabled systems use peer-to-peer connections instead of linking devices to a dedicated server, a design that creates problems particularly for those who try to play with those halfway across the planet, as well as those who play only to be bogged down with lag because one player out of four is using a low-quality connection, especially if it's a wifi connection. This makes Super Smash Bros. in particular absolutely intolerable online for competitive players unless all participants live close by and have near-perfect Internet connections, due to online Smash turning into a slideshow if anyone's connection is poor. Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics on Switch is known to lag even in turn-based games (you can spend literally a minute just watching the opening cutscene of a game if anyone's connection is particularly bad). The fact that the Switch requires a paid subscription for online play yet uses P2P anyway is a primary source of Broken Base for its users. The Switch does support dedicated servers, but so far the only games to do so are games that have cross-platform capability, such as Fortnite and Rocket League.
  • Almost nobody who runs an arcade or collects arcade hardware likes dealing with Konami's Bubble System hardware, used for some of their games, most notably Gradius and TwinBee. To make a long story short, it uses "bubble memory", an early attempt at memory hardware that doesn't use moving parts unlike floppy disks or hard drives. Unfortunately, the Bubble System imposes a waiting timer in order to warm the hardware up to operating temperature, and it is very fragile and vulnerable to electromagnetic fields, which are everywhere in your usual arcade due to how many other cabinets are present. Bubble System games ended up being ported to more traditional ROM chips for overseas releases.
  • On Steam, soundtracks were classified as DLC meaning you must purchase the base game in order to purchase them as well. It did not matter if you already purchased the game through another retailer or for another platform, or if you just wanted the soundtrack and not the game. While some publishers are kind enough to sell soundtracks through services that are independent of whether you bought the game or not (such as Bandcamp or, not every publisher does it. However, this was changed in January 2020 so that soundtracks can finally be bought as standalone purchases, without having to purchase the game.
  • Games (single-player games especially) that are dependent on a central server, which basically means that the game only functions as long as the publisher allows it, and as soon as they get tired enough of running these servers and shut them down it nobody can ever play the game again. Ross Scott in particular - a huge proponent of game preservation - considers this one of gaming's greatest sins, and has covered multiple games that have been "killed" by this method of DRM.
  • On the PlayStation 4, messaging was changed on the PS4, where it becomes more akin to the prior console's party chat mode. This can be fairly irritating when people randomly pull you into group chats where you know nobody in the room, but the only other option is restricting DMs to friends only, which deprives you of any mail you'd receive short of messages from Sony themselves.
  • The PlayStation and PlayStation 2 can have two of the same console linked up for certain multiplayer games, giving each player an entire screen to work with. This wouldn't be a Scrappy Mechanic in and of itself, but a lot of games, particularly PS1 games, have multiplayer that only supports linked consoles and not split-screen or online multiplayer (and PS1 has no online capability), meaning that one will need to have not only two controllers, but two of the same console, two of the same game, and two screens (one for each console), and space to have all of these set up. Other consoles can do this sort of setup too, but at least their games almost never make it mandatory to have this sort of multi-console setup and will have split-screen available, and online play lets you have your own screen for multiplayer but without needing the systems and screens next to each other or even in the same building.

    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.

  • 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.

    Beat-Em-Up/Hack and Slash 
  • Battle Toads:
    • The 2 player mode is cruel enough to force both players to restart a section if either one runs out of lives. Most of the time, the surviving player will be low on lives and be the one to run out next time. The Angry Video Game Nerd and Kyle Justin ranted about this long before reaching the eleventh stage, which has an out-and-out bug that makes it impossible in 2 player.
    • As if the game weren't hard enough already, you can't turn off the friendly fire in the game (though you could in later Battletoads games), making it extremely easy to punch/kick/headbutt your ally in co-op by accident. This really, really sucks in the descending level (level 2), where your toad will turn into a wrecking ball and instantly kill any enemy or friend who is even roughly parallel to him, simply because you pressed the attack button.
  • Bayonetta:
    • Out-of-body fights. They're tolerable in the story mode, where you're given tools to whale on angels with and Cereza isn't constantly in danger, but when they're made an Alfheim challenge, you have to leave your body behind to fight; that won't stop the angels from going after it anyway (which will hurt your regular lifebar), unless you waste one of your two accessory slots on an item that forces Angels to attack you... but also makes them stronger. That very mechanic forces you to use a lightpole to fight Affinities while protecting Cereza, since they are not in the same dimension. Not only is the "weapon" painfully slow, it slips out of your hands if you stop to dodge an attack. Granted, you can use Rodin to attack them directly but the thing is not exactly easy to get...
    • The mini-game to send Jubileus into the sun isn't so bad in Normal mode. In Hard and Climax mode however the planets are much harder to avoid, and failure is counted as a death, which can completely ruin an otherwise perfect score. Considering how long and difficult this fight can be, this is frustrating to say the least.
    • Insta-Death Quick Time Events in general, because it's sometimes damn near impossible to know exactly when to push the Square/X/B button, the game only gives you about half a second to react, and each death counts against your score. They were so hated that they were basically removed from the sequel, largely replaced with climax style button mashes that reward quick reflexes, but don't necessarily punish missing them.
  • Comix Zone had the rather infamous quirk that hitting inanimate objects removed a tiny sliver of your health bar...then forced you to break things this way to progress, unless you managed to figure out where every single hidden grenade or pack of dynamite is and use those instead.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • There is not much love for the underwater sections in Devil May Cry or 2. To elaborate, the first game had at least two first-person underwater sections. In these bits you controlled like a tank, can't use Devil Trigger, can only use the needle gun, and the enemies had way better movement than you did. It gets worse on Dante Must Die if you can't kill enemies fast enough. The second game had a lot of Lucia's missions underwater (in 3rd person this time) that played even worse, culminating in one of the missions having a boss battle that's underwater.
    • During the final battle with Arkham in 3, you are assisted by Vergil. You can cue Vergil to attack by pressing a button. The problem is that it's mapped to your Style button, meaning you can't use your Style moves at all during this fight. Also, for no good reason, Devil Trigger is disabled during the fight.
    • The Devil Bringer Nero uses in 4 annoys some fans of the series in that it is overpowered and that combat becomes more of a one-hit God of War button pressing sequence rather than dishing out the combos... but the problem with Nero is that his move list is limited, and he doesn't get new weapons like Dante, thus to deal major damage you usually have to use the Devil Bringer.
    • While revving Nero's sword up to power up his strikes has no downside and revving it in time with his attacks automatically powers up the next attack instead of having to rev it 3 times, it's a Scrappy Mechanic to a degree in case you're not a fan of hitting one of the shoulder buttons in time with every attack, especially since revved attacks have different timing and thus require you learn both of them if you wish to master EX-Acting and MAX-Acting all attacks. If you don't, your variety of attacks will be a lot more limited.
    • Although gold orbs are nothing new to the DMC series, the fifth game's design unfortunately showers the player with the things, whether they want them or not. Since gold orbs let you instantly revive once downed - with full health, devil trigger, and magazine no less - and leave bosses still just as injured.... and can be used infinitely, even on Dante Must Die difficulty... the player always has the option of simply brute-forcing their way through any fight effortlessly, which blunts the sense of accomplishment from winning a difficult battle. The player doesn't have to use gold orbs, but it's more or less impossible to run out, and the alternative involves sitting through several loading screens to restart the mission.
  • Dm C Devil May Cry:
    • The removal of certain iconic moves such as taunting and, most importantly, a hard lock-on function. The latter makes the aim for guns, grapples and dash attacks a bit dodgy. This also makes dash attacks like Stinger harder to execute, as you have to tap the left stick in a direction twice instead of simply holding it towards the enemy you're locked on.
    • Special weapons are split into two classes. Several enemy types are immune to one class or the other, which some players felt limited their weapon options in combat.
    • The rating system rewards you for the damage you make rather than the variety from your combos, although the length of time a style grade remained before disappearing or lowering was significantly shortened in a patch.
    • The Devil Trigger was significantly buffed, with some seeing it as a Game-Breaker, due its use of Bullet Time and a tendency to throw any non-boss enemy helplessly into the air. Others dislike it because it only serves a single function instead of adding variety to combat like in the previous games in form of additional attacks and because filling the gauge to use it takes so long that you can only use it 1-2 times per level at most.
    • The platforming sequences are sometimes seen as unnecessary or too easy, or Padding when replaying missions for points.
  • In the initial arcade release of Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone, items in the in-game shops cost real world money. Complaints about this feature caused it to be later removed from the Japanese version.
  • Dynasty Warriors 6:
    • It introduced a new combat engine, Renbu (which means "Endless Dance"), which no longer limited attacks to a simple string of striking attacks as they could go on infinitely at any time (Including the newly implemented string of charge attacks). As your Renbu level increased, more attacks (striking and charge) are added to your attack string. However, the only way to increase your Renbu level is by constantly attacking enemies (raising your chain counter), but that's not the worst of it. Your Renbu gauge can decrease by either not raising (or starting) your chain counter (Making this very frustrating in escort missions) or by taking heavy damage from enemy attacks.
    • With the right abilities, renbu gague loss was mitigated. The real problem with renbu was that it was a fine idea on paper but not in play on higher difficulties. On higher difficulty levels, it's not uncommon for one of the fifteen or twenty mooks to hit you during a combo, breaking your momentum. Some characters could easily recover; but other characters' movesets (such as Dian Wei and Xiahou Dun) felt so uncomfortable to play with on higher difficulty settings that they were outright unusable.
    • The reception for this was so bad Renbu was removed completely from the Empires Expansion Pack in favor of upgrading the weapons themselves to give more elaborate combos. Simplifying of the upgrade system is common for the Empires side games in order to allow more focus on the kingdom management aspects, but this is the first time a core battlefield mechanic was completely excised between a numbered release and the expansion.
    • Dynasty Warriors 2 had some enemy generals gaining powerups after standing back up from being knocked down. The battles were still winnable, but this really dragged some of them out, particularly when Liu Bei or Cao Cao was the commander. He could literally be the last man standing, with hostile forces swarming around him, and it'd still take 6 minutes to finish him off. No surprise Koei dropped this like a bad habit.
  • Hyrule Warriors:
    • Any level where a Cucco will appear and follow the player around, as it seems to exist solely to discourage the use of wide attacks. Or, for that matter, any attacks if you don't know exactly where the chicken last moved to. The general consensus is that it's not a question of if you'll hit it enough to trigger its rage, but when. Some of the other Cucco events (guiding a baby Cucco to its mother and two Cuccos fighting in a keep) are also hated, but the one that follows the player is particularly hated.
    • To a lesser extent, the missions that don't have an Element Affinity, as it means all the defense badges you've grinded for are now completely useless (making getting an A-Rank all that more difficult).
    • During co-op play, enemy groups are severely cut to make up for the strain of having two characters in the same mission. This can make racking up KOs exceptionally difficult due to enemies not spawning fast enough; in fact, you could be only halfway through claiming a keep and have it completely devoid of enemies for several seconds. However, this may have been an intentional design flaw, since it discourages players from abusing co-op mode to A-Rank a mission with a character other than who the mission was intended for (although it also discourages playing the game with friends, as well).
    • Some Ganon's Fury missions have Zant and Ghirahim show up and then get attacked, prompting you to save them. While the consequences of not saving them aren't particularly dire, this is made annoying by how Ganon's size is so vast that it is nearly impossible to make contact with their green circles to restore their health without pushing them into a wall first.
  • Lollipop Chainsaw: The Chainsaw Blaster's auto targeting takes a lot of flak for jerking the camera around where ever the closest zombie is near you. This is remedied though since you can go into options menu anytime to switch to manual aim (which works way better). Some of the mini games count too, and failing them will make you lose a life, ruining your no death run. The mini-game that practically everyone hates is Zombie Baseball, due to three reasons:
    • 1. It's a glorified escort mission that involves getting Nick around the baseball diamond three times. Nick goes somewhat at a snails pace and wastes time celebrating EVERY TIME he makes it to a base.
    • 2. Nick is a Glass Cannon and can only take about 4 or 5 hits at most.
    • 3. If you left the auto aim on, this section becomes a Luck-Based Mission. As mentioned earlier, the scrappyness is reduced somewhat since you can turn off auto aim anytime. Though many first time players did not know about manual or auto aim.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance:
    • Unique weapons replacing the High Frequency Blade's heavy attack when equipped instead of having their own dedicated button.
    • The inability to swap between sub-weapons on the fly. Trying to do a No-Damage Run after hitting a checkpoint with the wrong weapon equipped means spending precious seconds standing still to swap the weapon out, potentially ruining your chances before you can even start. This was fixed in a later patch; you can now change weapons while running, but not in the middle of Combos. (Apparently this is mostly due to the memory-intensive procedural cutting engine: there simply isn't enough RAM available on either console to run it with all 3 secondary weapons being usable at the same time.)
    • The use of an auto save (instead of the manual save found in the Metal Gear Solid games). Getting hit right before a checkpoint during a perfect run or missing a collectible often means having to restart the entire level to get back to it.
    • The camera system, as it can feel sluggish, is awkwardly positioned in Blade Mode, and in certain instances re-positions itself while you're attempting to perform a parry or see an enemy.
    • Sam's VR Missions from the Jetstream Sam Downloadable Content campaign can only be accessed from terminals you find in the levels themselves, and not from a separate VR menu like Raiden's.
  • No More Heroes:
    • It has Dark Side Mode, which is randomly activated by uncontrollable spinning slots that appear after killing enemies. Of course, it has a tendency to trigger after you've already finished killing all of the enemies in a room... and it cancels when you open doors/gates to proceed to the next one. Only one of these is stored for later use when the player chooses, as it instantly kills all enemies on screen... but because it awards extra money for not using it when you beat the level, it's even scrappier, as most players simply leave it and take the money. The PS3 port, Heroes' Paradise, fixes this by having them stored automatically after the wheel is spun until the player activates them manually.
    • The entry fees, and by extension, the job and assassination minigames in the first game also count, even if they are justified when you find out that Sylvia was a con artist and was manipulating almost every assassin in the game. The player basically has to grind large amounts of money to unlock the next rank match, and therefore advance the story, and the repetition was the single-biggest complaint about the first game. People were glad when they ditched the whole concept in Desperate Struggle - only to be dejected when they were inexplicably brought back in III.
    • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle also readjusts the Dark Side Mode - now it comes up a lot more often, and even if your luck is bad, there's an extra, manually-activated version if you can avoid getting hit too often.
  • Streets of Rage 3 gives you a star every 40,000 points, up to 3 stars. Each star powers up your "blitz" attack. However, 40,000 points is a very non-trivial amount of points, and if you die, you lose a star. Expect to never see a single star if you can't last very long on each life. There's an alternative way to perform any level "blitz" attack with a specific input, but it requires a 6-button controller to do.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time the arcade version had throwing. In the SNES port that came later, you could choose a type of throw: rag doll slam or throwing the enemy at the screen. Throwing relies on Random Number God in the arcade version, which means you could not choose your type of throw. This makes you wonder why Konami thought it was a good idea at the time during the arcade release.
  • In Killer is Dead, your attacks start out very slow, but pick up speed as you build combos. Problem is, most enemies are too weak to survive a very long combo, coupled with the possibility of getting hit or the combo counter timing out means your attacks will often stay very slow.
  • In the obscure PS2 Way of the Samurai spin off Samurai Western, you have a fury mode which makes your combos infinite, great against normal enemies who stand in one spot, borderline useless on bosses, who are all too happy to block your never-ending onslaught like you were throwing mean insults at them and not slashing them with a sword.

    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.
  • 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!
  • 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).
  • 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.

  • 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 wiki 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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 version of 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? Pat Lawlor, among other pinball creators, is known for refusing to put video modes in his tables as a result.
  • 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).

    Puzzle Game 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).

    Racing Game 
  • 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.
  • Initial D Arcade Stage 4 sets arbitrary "speed limits" on turns. If you go over this speed limit, depending on whether you're playing version 1.2 or 1.5, then either your steering will lock up, causing you to crash into the outer wall unless you execute a "brake cancel" technique, or you will oversteer like hell. And if you hit a wall or suffer said understeer, your acceleration is permanently gimped and can only be fixed with brake cancelling. Which is done on a straightaway. But that's not where the problems end. To get to the tuning shop, you have to eject your card three times. Not continue three times, you have to pick "NO" at the continue screen for it to count. This means that if you're playing several rounds in a row, then you'll be wasting chances to tune up your car if you continue each time—you have to spend about 2-3 minutes between sessions ejecting your card, putting it back in, and going through all the menus. These sorts of mechanics are contributing to the downfall of the IDAS scene.
  • Burnout Revenge gave us "Traffic Checking". The idea being that your car can shunt small vehicles that are stationary/going the same way you are, out of the way. The problem however was that this also gave you boost. Normally boost was rewarded for risky driving, but Traffic Checking had no risk attached to it, unless you couldn't tell the back of a car from the back of a bus. 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.
  • Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing allows the race leader to get Missiles, which act like the Red Shell in the Mario Kart Series (homing attack against the racer ahead). However, not only are the missiles far more precise, when the leader gets one, he can shoot it backwards and it will lock on the second racer! That means if you are trying to reach the leader, you'll have to focus on the hazards of the track, avoid the mines dropped by the leader and pray that, if he gets a missile, the next item box gives you a shield, a KO Glove, or another missile. Oh, the leader will also get Speed Shoes every now and then.
  • R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 gives you new cars during GP Mode, the cars you get depending on your performance in the last few races. If you place first in every race, you'll get the best cars for your team/sponsor combo, but winning every race in 1st only unlocks a fraction of the cars. To unlock the rest, you have to Do Well, But Not Perfect and place 2nd or 3rd to unlock the lower-tier cars, which is annoying because it means sandbagging races as well as getting some pretty disparaging remarks from your team for not finishing in first. 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.
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune:
    • 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".
  • 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.
  • The King Of Route 66 arcade has a nitro boost 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.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • MOBA games like League of Legends and Defense of the Ancients are full of mechanics that may or may not have originated as a bug or engine limitation. For one, a number of spells go through spell immunity for no reason other than the limited Warcraft 3 engine on which the original Dota is built. This flaw was faithfully ported to the standalone sequel and is frustrating to be on the receiving end of. And in Dota 2, there are runes that spawn randomly in two spots every 2 minutes. This includes right at the start of the match. Guessing correctly and getting a free double damage or illusion rune before the game even starts is somewhat annoying for the enemy. On the other hand, proper teams tend to ward and prepare for the rune spawns, so acquiring the rune is less 'guessing' and more 'preparation'. Another mechanic held over from the first Dota is gold loss upon death. This is either a fair reward for someone for taking out the opponent, or an unfair punishment that's Adding Insult to Injury, and lengthens the gap in what may already be an uneven match.
  • As a rule of thumb, if an RTS game includes a naval component (that is, separate from its usual land/air/space battles), it will probably be this. From Age of Empires to Command & Conquer to Rise of Nations and everything in between, much like in platform games, something about taking to the high seas just spells doom for the players' enjoyment and many players just wind up excluding it from their gameplay whenever possible.note  There's a number of reasons for why this might be, but two of the most common:
    • There's usually little interaction between the Naval component of a battle, and any other part of it, so if you should choose to do both, you're basically fighting two unrelated battles simultaneously, which might or might not be operating under different rules. After all, ground troops can't very well waltz into the sea, and your ships certainly won't get anywhere trying to cross the land. And if you should win the battle at sea and advance inland with your ground forces, your ships, unable to go aground themselves, will have no choice but to remain on the water twiddling their thumbs. Some games alleviate this by giving navies the ability to do things like bombard the shore from long range with cannons or aircraft carriers once you've cleared the water of things that can kill them. But this leads to...
    • It's usually somewhere between difficult and impossible to mount an offense against an opponent's navy unless you have a navy yourself. Best case scenario is you can deploy a land-based, long-range weapon that can force enemy ships to keep their distance from land, but that's as far as you'll get. After all, if you try to whip up some docks and push out your own ships, the enemy navy with its numerical superiority and positional advantage will pound your fledgling fleet into dust before it can even push out of the drydock. If the sea is the only way for you to advance on your opponent, this naturally leads to an unpleasant stalemate at best.
    • Red Alert 3 averts this by virtue of allowing construction on water and giving each faction multiple amphibious units including a literal Land Battleship. One skirmish map even consists entire of water with unbuildable islands.
  • Pikmin:
    • In the first game, the crush glitch was this: whenever an enemy of considerable bulk was defeated, it could sometimes kill Pikmin by falling on top of them.
    • In Pikmin 2, the crush glitch was fixed. But a Scrappy Mechanic from the original game that was not fixed was the nectar drops: it made as many Pikmin who drank it instantly mature into flowers (increased agility and strength), but it was possible for one Pikmin to drink up the entire drop.
  • Sins of a Solar Empire:
    • The Open Rebellion event for Stellar Phenomena. If allegiance drops to less than 30% on planets, a sizable fleet of rebels, complete with their own Capital Ships, will attack the planet, destroy everything they can, and automatically destroy the colony regardless of health upgrades. Since planets more than 5 phase lanes away have a maximum of 35% loyalty, and Deliverance Engine signals guarantee at least a 10% drop, playing against an Advent player is an exercise in futility as the colonies are overthrown faster than you can restore them. Not even TEC Rebels, who are "assaulted" by fleets of non-combative forces, are immune to this.
    • Culture can be this. You may be doing well militarily only to have your planets slip from your control. Especially bad if you're doing a military research only run for the Achievements or don't have enough slots to spare for Broadcast Centres.
    • The Pirates. They steal credits from players they attack, become stronger over time, and as of the Outlaw Sector DLC, their base is absurdly well fortified, and will attack multiple players at once, so not even paying higher bounties against other players will save you. Players often choose to simply turn off the pirates option.
  • Total War:
    • In Rome: Total War, if you are allied with Faction A and at war with Faction B, then Faction A allies with Faction B, your status with Faction B will automatically be set to "Neutral". This will cause your armies to break any sieges against Faction B holdings, which can be quite annoying if you've build up siege equipment and/or are only a turn away from the city having to surrender/sally out as this progress will be lost.
    • Medieval II: Total War:
      • The Pope. He gives you missions for little to no reward and excommunicates you if you don't do them. He also excommunicates you if you go to war with another christian faction even if they attack you. You also cannot permanently satisfy him at all.
      • Unlike Rome, there is no way to change your Faction Heir in this game. Presumably it was done for historical accuracy, with the computer typically selecting the oldest son of your Faction Leader if one is available. (If not, his next oldest brother is typically chosen.) This can lead to scenarios where a greedy/corrupt/disloyal governor of a backwater territory is named heir over his much more qualified brother/cousin who is a loyal conquering general. Your only option at that point is to send your undesired heir off to battle as part of a Uriah Gambit (and hope against it turning into a Springtime for Hitler situation where surviving makes him even harder to kill in the future.)
    • The "Realm Divide" mechanic in Total War: Shogun 2. Basically, once your clan controls about 15 provinces (out of 65,) every other clan will ally against you. You're given a severe diplomatic penalty, meaning your former allies will abandon you and you'll be unable to establish trade relations, killing your economy. Finally, every clan that is against you will be given large stacks of veteran units every turn, even if they can't realisticaly afford to recruit them or pay their upkeep.
    • The first Total War: Warhammer flat-out forbade races from occupying provinces that didn't suit them. For example, Dwarfs would never be caught dead away from their mountain fortresses, and humans don't much fancy living in them, so one could never occupy territory of the other's type. This tended to leave holes on your borders you could never permanently plug. The sequel addressed this with a more nuanced "habitability" concept, which imposed development and public order penalties for trying to maintain settlements in unfriendly climates.
    • From The sequel:
      • Autoresolve is a constant juggling act that never manages to please everybody. While it's routinely tweaked and re balanced to take new updates and patches into account it always seems to favor some units over others, discount the presence or abilities of others, or severely inflate or deflate the value of certain units, meaning it occasionally produces utterly illogical results. Since all AI vs. AI battles are resolved this way it also tends to determine which factions dominate the campaign map and thus which enemies the player winds up fighting the most. It's more generally disliked for not taking magic into account, prioritizing killing off damaged or low-health units, grossly overestimating the value of walls on a settlement, randomly wiping out artillery over everything else, and giving pushover garrisons or weak armies huge numbers of kills they would never get in a manual battle even if the player never touched the controls. It also has an annoying habit of just outright killing entire units, whereas a player might take some hits but won't lose any units entirely.
      • Summoning an Intervention Army to sabotage an enemy faction's ritual is notoriously unreliable because intervention armies behave erratically, sometimes choosing to ignore designated war targets, and can die quickly if they go through a few bad autoresolves or just happen to be unlucky enough to spawn right next to a very powerful army. And because you can only summon one Intervention during a ritual, your investment can vary widely between being long-lasting to completely wasteful.
      • Autoresolve has serious issues with range, speed, and accuracy, often to the point of straight-up ignoring them. This led to a bug where any ranged unit attacked would be considered able to return fire regardless of range difference, resulting in head-scratching victories where the winning army would lose artillery units and nothing else due to 'return fire' from units that shouldn't be able to reach them. This bug was so subtle it escaped notice for three years, only being detected and patched as of the Twisted and the Twilight.
      • Confederation in this game is notoriously opaque and unreliable compared to the first, making it very difficult for the new factions to bring their racial allies into the fold. This is especially annoying for the Skaven and the Lizardmen, who can find themselves stuck in alliances with minor factions taking up valuable territory, but who refuse to confederate in spite of your relative strength (it's not uncommon to see a weak faction refuse to confederate below Strength Rank 50 in spite of the player being 1), leaving the only option being to break the alliance and take a reputation hit.
      • This helps contribute to the Dwarfen Tide problem in Mortal Empires, since the Dwarfs not only use the old system, but have a laundry list of positive relation modifiers and technologies that make confederating far easier (and far more common, in the AI's case) for them. This can even sink entire campaigns if you happen to be at war with a minor Dwarfen faction and they suddenly get confederated, leaving you at war with a mighty juggernaut you can't possibly overcome.
      • Vampiric Corruption became this with the Aye-Eye! Patch due to how quickly it spreads, particularly in Mortal Empires. Not only do the Vampire Counts spread it, but Heinrich Kemmler was moved to the mountains south of Bretonnia with his own faction (the Barrow Legion), which also spreads corruption, and of course, the then-newly added Vampire Coast also spreads said corruption from their pirate coves thanks to being a hybrid of normal and horde faction. Many players noted that late-game Mortal Empires tends to devolve into the Old World and the coast of Lustria being overrun with Vampiric Corruption, making traversing the areas a hassle as it causes attrition to most other factions. This was eventually addressed in the Doomsayers Update, which remedied the issue by making Vampire Coast factions more prone to razing and sacking as opposed to making huge empires. Vampire Count factions are still just as bad, though, as sharing a border with them means constant corruption-related rebellions due to how much they can push into adjacent provinces. If you ever share a border with a vampire faction you're almost forced to exterminate them just to get the corruption under control.
      • Sieges are also not well liked by at least some fans. While aesthetically each siege map looks different, they all essentially have the same layout. This extends to how all the races approach the siege as well, which is mostly in the same way. This can lead to some ridiculous images like ghost infantry using ladders to scale a wall. Overall this makes every siege battle feel the same.
      • Making it worse, the map geometry, pathfinding, and lines of sight often get extremely weird in siege battles, resulting in a lot of frustration as artillery won't shoot at a tower they have a seemingly-clear line of sight to because the angle isn't perfect, units refuse to attack enemies on top of the gatehouse because they don't have line of sight even though the enemies do, or ranged units are unable to shoot through a knocked-down wall or, more egregiously, an open gate. The reverse is equally frustrating; understand the AI well enough and sieges become trivially easy, but because of the high value Autoresolve places on walls and towers you'll almost always have to fight them manually anyway.
      • How The Eye of the Vortex campaign is structured can be a bit annoying since with most of the factions will eventually have the same end goal of completing the ritual, by capturing ritual sites which sometimes can feel like it forces attention away from a faction's personal quests.
      • Nobody likes Skirmish Mode. While it's in place for a good reason, to help a player keep their ranged troops out of melee combat, in practice it's worse than useless for most ranged units. Units in Skirmish Mode will automatically run away from anything that gets close to them, which often causes them to abandon your carefully-planned formation because a single hero got a little too close. Worse, a unit that's retreating because of Skirmish Mode can't be controlled; they'll ignore any movement command given until they're far enough from the threat. They will also only ever run in straight lines directly away from their pursuers, which makes them very likely to corner themselves, break your formation, or get tangled up in an unaffected unit (or worse, your artillery) and stop them from firing. It's doubly bad for ranged units that can handle themselves in melee, like heroes and lords, since they won't fight back if attacked even if they'd handily win. This ironically means that something designed to ostensibly protect ranged units from being attacked makes them much easier to attack. It's also enabled on all ranged units by default. Most veteran players will immediately disable that, only re-enabling it on very specific units.
      • The Old Ones' puzzles that are found when exploring ruins. The Rubric (guess what symbol is not being repeated) and Cuboid (guess the face of the dice by looking at the others) ones are easy enough to do, the Cypher (guess how many dots of what colors go on the square) ones occasionally have (apparently) multiple correct solutions but only one is accepted as being correct by the game, but they still remain interesting and doable most of the time, but the Dial of the Old Ones is especially disliked, as it involves manipulating two wheels in a way that can't be done ingame and is extremely difficult to do mentally, assuming you even understand you have to turn both of them. Even veteran players and puzzle-masters tend to just look up the answers for these ones.
      • The option to invite another faction to join your war is nigh useless for the player, as it's extremely difficult to convince an AI to agree to them, even if they have a massive negative rating towards the target. Meanwhile, AI factions will gleefully invite one another to Gang Up on the Human, leading to absurd situations such as Norscans inviting Bretonnians, or Greenskins inviting the Empire. This ranges from annoying to extremely dangerous, depending of the faction you are now suddenly at war with. Expect to see that "United Against Us!" window sooner or later in any campaign you play. What's worse, a 'United Against Us!' war does not allow your allies a chance to join in against the new attacker.
      • This mechanic is disliked by some other players for the opposite reason, being a cheese tactic when abused by the player. The fact a war invitation doesn't trigger defensive or military alliances means it can be used to single out targets even if they have a web of powerful allies by simply finding someone they're at war with and asking to join the war. Even a faction that absolutely despises you will rarely turn down a request to attack one of their enemies. This lets a savvy player mostly ignore alliances when they declare war, and is one of the biggest tools a player has when dealing with the post-Archaon Ordertide.
      • The Great Power diplomacy penalty. The larger your empire gets the less everyone (except the Tomb Kings) likes you. This is often just enough to push neutral relations into the negative, which means those factions are much more likely to declare war on you unless you've pre-emptively researched diplomatic technologies that boost relations with that faction (and even then, the highest tiers of the Great Power penalty can overwhelm these bonuses). This penalty also makes it harder to confederate friendly factions, since having them like you enough is a major prerequisite to their being willing to confederate. As with most things in the Diplomacy system, the AI isn't affected by this.
      • Raiding is not considered an attack, which means if you attack an army raiding your territory you are considered the aggressor and incur the penalties of breaking any treaties, as well as pulling in the raiding faction's allies. The AI will sometimes abuse this by asking for a peace treaty then raiding your territory right after you agree to it. Attack them? You're now Unreliable for breaking the peace treaty, making every other faction trust you less. Neutral armies may also raid their way through your territory to avoid attrition.
      • Hag Graef's faction mechanic centered around Malus Darkblade is quite disliked, as going on either side of the possession meter gives heavy penalties as well as some nice bonuses, but the penalties are so crippling (no replenishment whatsoever for every single one of your armies if you go full possession, all your units suffer a heavy debuff to their melee attack if you go full control) that it's widely acknowledged that the best way to play Malus is to actually play as another Dark Elf faction and confederate him. After a patch, the full control does not give penalties anymore, but just remaining at full control is an exceedingly difficult thing in itself.
  • Warcraft has several:
    • In Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, you could not create new Town Halls at other locations. This made it difficult to mine gold that was far away from your Town Hall. Subsequent games would allow you to build new Town Halls at other locations (and in the third game, one faction can turn their Town Hall into a mobile unit and back).
    • Also from Warcraft: Orcs and Humans was the road mechanic, which restricted where you could build structures. As nobody liked it, it never appeared again.
    • Units only had maximum sight when they were not moving, which made scouting very tedious.
    • Warcraft II had absurdly pathetic sight range for most units, which made scouting horrendous if you didn't have a Flying Machine/Zeppelin in your army.
    • Warcraft III had upkeep. If your forces got big enough, 30% of any gold you gain from that point is lost. If it gets bigger, you lose a whopping 60% of gold that is brought in. Considering that gold is limited...
    • Also from Warcraft III is that the AI will focus on attacking weaker units before stronger ones, which can be particularly annoying for the factions that have weaker ranged units compared to the melee units on the front line.
  • The difficulty of infecting Madagascar in Pandemic makes actually winning the game largely a Luck-Based Mission. If someone so much as coughs in Brazil, Madagascar closes its only port and never opens it again. When this happens it is literally impossible to win the game. Being extremely lucky aside, your only two choices are hoping the disease starts on Madagascar (and gets off before someone coughs) or just declare yourself the winner when the entire planet aside from Madagascar was infected. The Spiritual Successor Plague Inc. contained an extremely satisfying Take That! known as the Trojan Planes perk, that would cause infectees of the Neurax Worm to land planes in closed-off countries: who's laughing NOW, Madagascar?
  • Stellaris:
    • Sectors. They were implemented into the game to give players a way out of micromanaging dozens of planets at once, but the AI's Artificial Stupidity means most people think they're more trouble than they're worth. They have been improving gradually with each patch but a lot of players really just want them removed entirely.
    • The War in Heaven, which comprises of two Fallen Empires Awakening and going to war in a titanic galactic clash, sounds like a cool mechanic but more often than not it just results in the two superpowers kicking the lower races into the dirt while largely avoiding each other. Even late-game player empires can become little more than target practice, and the rewards for winning one aren't really worth it.
  • Red Alert 3: For some godforsaken reason, if a unit dies in a group while you've switched the cursor to attack-move, the cursor will return to the move command, leading to entirely preventable losses as your army charges forward, some of them deciding that attacking is optional.

  • Guitar Hero III:
    • A Boss Battle mode, where periodically through the main career mode, the player will have to guitar-duel famous guitarists such as Tom Morello, Slash and the Devil. It's exactly what you'd expect to happen when incorporating Mario Kart-esque powerups into a Rhythm Game: The AI opponents play flawlessly, and depending on the player, the difficulty of the matches ranges from trivial to absolutely impossible, thanks to being almost completely dependent on getting the right powerups and using them at the right time, and if the AI can do the same to you. It should already be telling that the first guitar duel is said to be the hardest, simply because your opponent's notechart simply doesn't have enough consecutive notes for you to reliably defeat him with anything but a specific powerup. This is probably why World Tour reworked the duels (your opponent still plays flawlessly, but gains multiplier at a much slower rate and is capped at 3x, and power-ups are gone, so the objective is simply having a higher score than your opponent) and completely removed from the campaign in later titles.
    • The Whammy Bar is annoying to players and observers alike. Not only is it required to max out points on some songs (darn that Star Power meter), but it ruins notes that were never meant to be whammied. That, and you have to take your hand off the strum bar to use it, so on shorter notes or staggered chords, it can be a nightmare.
  • The PS1 port of DanceDanceRevolution 1st Mix brings us Arrange Mode, which is essentially the same as normal mode, with one key difference: if you step on a panel when you aren't supposed to, instead of nothing happening, you instead get an "OUCH!!" judgment, which drains your Life Meter even moreso than a Miss. So if you have a crappy pad, or you like freestyling, or you step on panels when nothing's happening to keep the beat...
    • DDR X introduces shock arrows; if your foot is down when they reach the target zone, your combo breaks, your health takes a hit, and the whole chart goes invisible for about a second. Even worse is how they're placed: while mines in In the Groove / Pump It Up Pro // StepMania can be placed in one or two columns at a time if one wishes, shock arows ALWAYS fill all of the columns. This means you'll have to jump completely off the pad every time they come. And you'll be doing a LOT of said jumping, especially in "Horatio". They come back in X2, where every Challenge chart to contain them is EXACTLY THE SAME as Expert, only with the shock arrows replacing certain steps.
    • Even as of the current game, you're still required to pay double price just to play Double Play, a mode in which one player uses both sets of panels, unless the "joint premium" setting is switched on. In contrast, beatmania IIDX and Pump It Up not only allow double modes on a single credit, but will even let you switch between single and double between songs.
  • Pump It Up:
    • DDR is pretty merciful with its doubles charts, never requiring the player to make jumps with the arrows more than ~2.2 cells apart. No such mercy in Pump, where at its highest levels, the game expects you to be able to do "stretch" jumps and rolls (patterns that require hitting quickly or simultaneously hitting panels on extreme opposite ends of the stage, such as 1P's ↙ and 2P's ↘). Risking intense muscle pain just to make these jumps is not fun.
    • And as if that wasn't bad enough, Pump It Up also introduced the concept of three pad chords, requiring you to -you guessed it- slap a third pad with your hand while executing a jump onto two more, or slapping a pad while maintaining a 2-pad hold note. These would not only throw you off-balance and be difficult to time, you'd likely hurt your palms on the hard surface of the pads, which are after all designed to be stamped on.
    • One of the longstanding complaints with the game particularly from the competitive scene is the scoring system. Okay, so you get a fixed number of points based on step judgement with Perfects giving 1000 points, no problem. However, the game throws a combo bonus on top of that: you get 1000 more points on a Perfect or Great if your combo is 51 or more which means you lose 1000 potential points on a Good and 50000 on a combo break, in a game where scores typically reach into the low millions by the end of the chart. In a tournament, a player who is significantly ahead in terms of accuracy can lose the entire round to their opponent simply because they missed once and their opponent got a full combo even if said opponent has relatively lousy accuracy. This video by championship-level player happyf333tz goes into further details.
      happyf333tz: Let's say two players both get one Miss literally one note apart from each other in a song. You would expect a draw, since both players missed one note, right? Wrong. Because of the fact that the score system relies heavily on combo, the player with one higher Combo would be the winner in this situation. And this begs the question: What makes that one different note more valuable than the other? note 
    • In order to get the highest possible scores, you need to enable Rank Mode, which gives you a Score Multiplier in exchange for forcing on features that make the game more difficult. This wouldn't be too bad, if not for several forms of Fake Difficulty: background videos are set at full brightness, stage break is on (meaning you can not only fail by draining the lifebar, this also voids your remaining hearts), and timing windows are set to Very Hard Judge; that last point isn't problematic in and of itself, but Pump has a non-negligible number of charts that are not synced correctly, and using Hard or Very Hard judge makes incorrect sync stand out even more.
  • Minigames in the Patapon series. The main gameplay uses player-entered rhythm based musical sequences that call for a variety of attacks, and then every single minigame is a call-repeat rhythm game that uses a single button (or TWO for a minigame in Patapon 2). These minigames are sometimes the only way to get top level weapons.
  • Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and Elite Beat Agents:
    • Spinners are what set the dedicated players apart. Partway or at the very end of a song, you're meant to stop tapping beats and instead draw really fast circles on your DS screen while a timer counts down. Do well and you'll gain tons of bonus points - do poorly and you'll lose a sizable portion of your health meter. Towards the end of the harder difficulties, the spinners get so demanding that no matter how flawless a player's rhythm is, they'll live or die based solely on the dexterity of their wrist. Naturally, those who fail to meet the expectations of the later spinners will quickly grow to hate them since they alone make the final songs near-unbeatable or at least impossible to score a Perfect on, putting the higher ranks out of reach.
    • The scoring system is pretty frustrating. Each note has a base value of up to 300 points, depending on how well you time the note. Seems pretty standard for a rhythm game. Then comes the combo multiplier; by the end of the song, a single note can be worth tens of thousands of points. In other rhythm games, missing a note simply means you lose a few points. Here, missing just one note will completely botch your score, especially if said miss is in the middle of the song. Mercifully, the Gameplay Grading system is strictly based on note accuracy, but it leads to situations where an A-ranked run scores much, much higher than an S-ranked run.
    • And if you're playing the popular OTO/EBA clone osu!, you get all of the above, plus multipliers for using modifiers as well. One particular modifier speeds up the song by 50%. This means to obtain a top-tier score on a song, you not only need to not miss a single note ever, you also need to increase the song speed, which makes the chart much more difficult and will probably make the song sound terrible.
    • The Life Meter continuously drains, making the Ouendan series some of the few rhythm games where you can fail a song in the middle of a combo.
  • DJMAX Technika's unlock system. On completing certain missions in Platinum Crew mode, you'll unlock a song (or in the case of one mission, a course)...but you can only use that unlocked song or course 3 times before you have to unlock it again. Thankfully, this is being revised for Technika 2 where you gain unlocks by simply going onto the Platinum Crew website and purchasing the unlocks once using your in-game currency. The one flipside to this is that unlocks are fairly expensive, especially for the more difficult songs.
  • BeatmaniaIIDX 17 Sirius:
    • Backspin Scratches, in which you continously spin the turntable in one direction until the end of the note, then spin it the other way at the very end. It's awkward to keep spinning the turntable, and even moreso to spin it back at the end, especially if there are key notes between the start and the end of the scratching.
  • Directional scratch notes in DJ Hero. If you get many of these in a row, you'll need to press the button, spin the turntable controller in the correct direction for a very short amount of time, stop spinning, and repeat. Needless to say, doing this many times in quick succession can be physically painful.
  • Rock Band:
    • A bug in drumming called "squeezing", which is a scrappy for those anal about the scoring. If you hit the crash on a fill a little early, and then in the next split-second hit what would have been there if the fill wasn't in the way, you get the points for hitting those notes. This means you have to memorize what to hit and finish fills a little awkwardly for extra points. Usually not enough to make a difference unless both players are doing perfect, but can cause a rift between Scrubs and "Stop Having Fun" Guys. Singing has a different version of squeezing; in some cases, for the absolute maximum points, you need to hit overdrive exactly as the overdrive zone ends, as opposed to doing so in the middle of the zone. If you're too late though, you'll fall out of the zone and not trigger overdrive at all, and the optimal point isn't on rhythm. This also encourages using the select button instead of shouting for overdrive, since it's more precise. Similarly, arrhythmic overdrive timing also applies to guitar\bass\keyboards, same as Guitar Hero.
    • Drum fills in general are slightly controversial among Rock Band players, in that choosing not to trigger Overdrive can allow drummers to coast through parts of songs that might otherwise prove deviously hard. It does hurt your score to do this though, and it's basically a useless strategy in Rock Band 3, where no-fail mode does not disqualify.
    • The two DS Rock Band games and the only on PSP share an annoyance that is sure to ruin your gameplay experience: You are required to switch tracks to play as different instruments at the end of every chain. Thankfully the games are more generous in difficulty, but the game often forgets to signal you to PREPARE for a solo. Expect failing a Full Combo only because a surprise Guitar Solo brought you from drum to guitar track INSTANTLY.
  • Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA:
    • In the first game, scoring is greatly increased during a single section of each song called Chance time. A single perfect hit normally awards 500 points, with up to 250 points of combo bonus. In Chance Time, the combo bonus raises 20 times faster and caps 5000 points higher, meaning a single Chance Time commonly awards more points than the entire rest of the song, despite being less than twenty seconds long. This meant that unless you are gunning for a perfect score, 90% of the game is almost completely irrelevant. Perhaps the sheer weight of Chance Time sections are why they're absent from the Project DIVA Arcade and Project Mirai games.
    • It works in reverse, too. There are some songs that are scored so harshly that missing even one note in chance time guarantees a rank of STANDARD. Frustrating if you're trying to unlock the extra models.
    • The timing windows in both games in general are fairly harsh by typical Rhythm Game standards. This is compounded by any judgment below FINE (the second highest out of 5 possible note judgments) being a combo break; compare to IIDX where a GOOD (the 3rd highest out of 5 judgments) will maintain a combo, or DanceDanceRevolution where a GOOD (again, 3rd highest) will break a combo but the timing windows are looser. This wouldn't be much of a problem for those just wanting to beat songs, but you are required to hit a certain percentage of notes with combo-maintaining judgments to clear the song (80% in Diva 2nd, varying depending on difficulty level in Diva Arcade) on top of keeping your Life Meter above 0 during the song.
    • Project Mirai DX
      • While you're watching the music videos, you can add comments like on Nico Nico Douga. What's wrong with them? To start, the max character length for a comment is 16 like in many other 3DS game contexts; fine for Japanese, not so much for Western languages, not helped by the fact that Western-region 3DSes don't allow Japanese script input. Additionally, you can only send one comment at a time via the above methods, which means if you have any multi-comment gimmicks set up in any songs, those are going to get ruined when sent to other players.
      • If you spend more than a week without interacting with a character (including your current main partner if you spend a week without booting up the game), said character will get angry and completely lock up the game until you either verbally apologize or tap a button a whole lot of times. Being punished for not constantly playing a game is not fun.
  • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy:
    • The game kicks the difficulty of the already stylus-burning Dark Notes up a notch on the higher levels. Remember the slide triggers with arrows on them? On the higher levels, they rotate. Many Bads will ensue.
    • In the sequel's battle mode, the HP Swap attack is often hated because it can activate even if you have more HP than your opponent. Then again, the whole mode is a cacaphony of Mario Kart-esque screw-you-over items unless you play on Ultimate-but-with-no-EX-attacks mode.
    • In the first game, you can only earn up to 7999999 points if you use equipment and abilities; to earn the other 2 million, you need a "Stoic" bonus obtained by not using equipment or abilities at all, defeating half the point of the RPG Elements. Thankfully, subsequent installments remove this and allow you to go up to 9999999 points no matter what.
  • jubeat:
    • jubeat saucer was infamous for its "song swap" system; every month through updates carried out via Konami's e-Amusement network, some songs were cut out while other songs are introduced or revived; this mechanic made many players unhappy, and was a source of memes for some players. This made it the first BEMANI game to delete songs through online updates. However, as of February 1, 2014, almost all previously-removed songsnote  have been revived, and song swap DID NOT come back in jubeat saucer fulfill.
    • The rating scale over time has become less and less useful, due to the wide range of challenge present amongst level 10 charts. The fact that two songs have level 10 charts on Advanced and one song, "Megalara Garuda", has level 10 charts on Advanced and BASIC, shows that the rating scale is effectively obsolete amongst top-end players.
  • In O2Jam:
    • The same speed mod is applied to all players in a multiplayer room. This is a huge problem for players who have different preferences in speed modifiers for the same song.
    • Several level up missions require the usage of modifiers such as Hidden and Sudden to complete. However—and this is where the game's Freemium aspect rears its ugly head—modifiers come in the form of "rings" that each only last for one song and must be purchased with in-game currency that is bought with real money, which is unfair to players who don't have a way to purchase rings. The problem can be mitigated somewhat in that the player does not need the ring themselves; if they are in a room hosted by another player, one who has the necessary ring, they can still complete the mission without having to pony up cash.
  • Love Live! School Idol Festival:
    • The game is infamous among Rhythm Game players for the way scoring is handled: Instead of being based strictly on what goes on within the current song, the player's score is also based on their team's Attributes, which influence points per note, and Skills, which can do things like randomly add points or loosen the timing windows every x seconds, combo, notes, or Perfects. Many new players get frustrated getting all Perfects on the first few songs yet still getting C ranks because their starting teams are complete garbage compared to what they can eventually assemble; to have a non-zero chance at getting the coveted S rank, one will need to scout out SR- and UR-rarity members and then level them up through Practice, a mechanic usually reserved for RPGs that don't try to pass themselves off as competition-viable games. While some players argue that the player still needs to hit notes accurately and string combos to gain points, there is also the counterargument that the Attribute system still caps the player's maximum score and by extension rank. As a result, many players who want to truly play competitively instead go off judgement counts and ignore everything else.
    • Related to the above, the fact that the game offers absolutely no reward for obtaining an all-Perfect performance — not even a Cosmetic Award, unlike most rhythm games where a perfect play is feasible — means there's just no point in trying to do it, and even if you do decide to go for such runs, you'll have to manually keep track of them due to score not being necessarily indicative of performance.
    • Songs in the Hits folder require you to clear the Easy chart to unlock the Normal chart and the Normal Chart to unlock the Hard chart. For rhythm game beginners, this is not a problem, but those who "immigrate" from other rhythm games may find this as an example of video game "hand-holding". Fortunately, songs in the B-Sides folder don't have this requirement; all you need is the necessary LP. Which in turn leads to another Scrappy Mechanic...
    • The harder a chart is, the more LP you need to play it. The idea is to prevent players from recklessly taking risks; on the other hand, you'll most likely need far more practice on an Expert chart than an Easy chart. Because of this, failing something like "Soldier Game" on Expert can be incredibly frustrating, because it takes a lot of grinding to have the LP capacity to try it more than once in a row.To elaborate on that specific example... 
    • For some players, Events are this. Score Matches have you competing against other players in hopes of not getting last place and therefore getting Event point bonuses. School Idol Diary events have you farming tokens for Event songs, which you then play for Event points. Every few hundred or thousand Event points, you get rewards such as Love Gems and Coins, with an SR card as one of the highest rewards. However, this SR card comes non-Idolized. To get a second SR card so you can Idolize it, you need to finish the event with a high enough ranking percentile, which means grinding more points than a large percentage of other players. And considering that this is a "free-to-play" mobile game, this means that to stay competitive, one needs to play constantly, practically every waking hour, and maybe even sink Love Gems to refill Stamina and keep grinding. As a result, many players who want to get their Idolized SR rewards end up burning away large chunks of time from their daily lives and money just to stay in the top percentiles to get two of that particular card, often burning out on the game in the process.
  • Combine the issue with timing judgements and combo breaking in Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA and scoring dependence of characters in Love Live! School Idol Festival and you'll get Tokyo 7th Sisters. This is mitigated by the fact that charisma restores more quickly than most rhythm games note and all difficulties are accessible right from the start.
  • Most, if not all mobile rhythm games with playable human characters will have the issue of the characters' attributes and levels influencing grading and scoring more heavily than the player's skill, which is handled differently from game to game. Love Live! School Idol Festival, despite what has been stated above, is not the worst example of this. For example, in the defunct mobile game IDOL-RISM, playing songs in difficulties above normal require high ranked and leveled characters to even pass them as having too low of a score results in failure regardless of your actual performance.
  • In most rhythm games, getting a "perfect" rating simply requires you to clear the stage with a perfect score. In Rhythm Heaven, however, you can't just pick a minigame and flawlessly perform it; instead, you have to wait for the game to offer a "Go for a Perfect!" challenge on a randomly-selected minigame, and then attempt that minigame and perfect it. And you only get three chances; not only can you lose a chance by missing (which by the way results in a Jump Scare screech sound), but you also lose one if you quit out of the minigame in mid-attempt or play another minigame altogether. If you lose all of your chances, you'll need to play other games until the next time the game offers a Perfect challenge, which will be another minigame that you haven't gotten a Perfect on yet. The pain comes not just from trying to play perfectly, but also doing so under the intense pressure of having limited opportunities. The one saving grace is that if you got the medal for every single minigame (and thus have nothing left but to get all perfects), you will always have a "Go for a Perfect!" available.
  • Groove Coaster:
    • In many rhythm games with a Harder Than Hard difficulty available, you simply need to fulfill certain conditions on the difficulty below it to unlock it for the song you want. Not so in the arcade version of GC; to unlock a song's Extra chart, you have to not only get an S rank on the Hard chart, but also on Simple and Normal despite having demonstrated that you're good enough for Extra and too good for anything below Hard.
    • Are you playing the game in the United States? Enjoy your ripoff prices! The only arcades in the US that carry Groove Coaster are Round 1 locations. Whereas most rhythm games at Round 1 that also use 2-minute cuts of songs cost 6 credits (1.50 USD before bulk-purchase and loyalty discounts) for 3 stages, Round 1 corporate dictates that all Round 1 branches in the US must set Groove Coaster to 6 credits for 2 stages. And just to add insult to injury, the US is the only country where Groove Coaster is typically set to two stages; everywhere on the Asia Pacific, the game offers 3 stages per credit no matter the price (for comparison, 100 JPY for 3 stages is the standard in Japan). In spite of griping about this from players and said players refusing to play, nothing has been done at the corporate level to address this (not helped by there being no way for non-employees to contact Round 1's corporate offices), meaning that if you want to play at a more reasonable price, you have only two options: play in Event Mode if it's available and be limited to a small pool of songs, or outright leave the country.
    • Groove Coaster 4 locks out the last 1/3 of the difficulty scale with a "Get an S rank in a chart of this difficulty minus one to unlock this difficulty level" system (for example, get an S on a level 10 chart to unlock level 11, get an S on a level 11 chart to unlock level 12, etc.). This leads to a lot of problems where you can be capable of clearing charts of one level, but you can't play that level because you can't get the 900,000 points necessary on any chart in the level below it (and it doesn't help that you can easily botch that requirement because of chain bonus; one miss can easily make you lose 50,000 potential points). Just to add insult to injury, if you played a chart in an earlier game (which doesn't have the difficulty locking system, Extra notwithstanding) and it's above your permitted level, the chart locks back up for GC4 until you meet its difficulty's requirements. This gets worse if you play in the US, where the NESiCA network goes into maintenance in the middle of the day or in the evening (in Asia, the maintenance takes place early in the morning), so even if you didn't mind playing a few casual rounds in guest play, if you mainly play "boss" charts you will not be able to play any of them during maintenance.
  • 8 Beat Story does not give out cards for rank D scores, which is very jarring as other mobile rhythm games give at least one card upon clearing a stage. This essentially forces players to play lower difficulties to grind cards as leveling materials. For players entirely new to the genre, this is not a problem, but experienced players who have played other games are forced to play below their skill level for a while until they have gained sufficient team value to gain rank C in score.
  • Slides in maimai are disliked by new players, partly because they require being tapped and then slid, but also because they can be rough on bare hands (as in, you can get blisters and friction burns from charts with lots of fast slides) and depending on how well-maintained the cabinet is, slides can fail to register causing "Late — Good" judgements at best and "Too Late — Miss" at worst. Many players are advised to wear low-friction gloves because of this.
  • THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage does a good job of avoiding most of its competitors' scrappy elements, but falls headlong into this with the Live Party event. In this event, a team is formed from five players' cards, who then play the song. Event points are awarded based on combined performance as well as "contribution", which turns out to be heavily based on how good your card is - if you're the only SR in a group of SS Rs you can expect to wind up in last place even if you get a full combo.
  • Many BEMANI games will end your credit early if you fail on any non-final stage, meaning that you have to play it safe with chart selection on those stages just so you can get the most out of your money, only reserving pushing yourself for the last stage of your credit. Some games that do this offer some form of failure insurance (beatmania IIDX offers DJ VIP Passes that guarantee three stages and playing Sound Voltex on Standard Start instead of Light Start lets you continue after failing a song, but only once), but those often require surcharges that are not supported on cabinets running in the United States. Only MÚSECA guarantees three stages with no surcharge or multiplayer "saving" (having someone else in a match clear the song, which prevents everyone who failed from getting a Game Over) required, something that most modern non-Konami arcade rhythm games also do; DanceDanceRevolution also offers the same if you're playing in the US, where premium start is priced the same as standard start, but you need an eAMUSEMENT Pass to use premium
  • Blaster unlocks in Sound Voltex. You play songs on Excessive Rate, a special "hard" Life Meter on which letting the meter runs out causes an instant failure (as opposed to the standard "you can let the meter out, just fill it to 70% by the end of the song" behavior) to fill the Blaster gauge by about 5% per clear; when it's full, you get to play one Exhaust-difficulty chart on Blaster mode so you can unlock the song's Infinite/Gravity/Heavenly chart. Once. For about 900 of the song's HP a run out of a few thousand. You can pay a surcharge for Blaster Start, which lets you play two songs on Blaster mode...but it's only available on Japan-region cabinets with PASELI enabled and on non-Japan Asia-region cabinets. Since Round 1 USA locations — the only locations outside of Asia to officially carry the game — use Japan-region builds but don't have PASELI, unlocking Blaster charts is an exercise in sheer patience and throwing lots and lots of money at the machine just to unlock ONE chart.
  • Dance Rush notably only allows two stages per credit at most, and this cannot be changed even in the operator settings. There is a mode that allows earning an additional stage, but it requires PASELI, which is Japan-exclusive, leaving American players stuck with two stages. Oh, and as salt in the wound, some unlocks require Extra Stage, and thus are impossible to earn in the US.note 
  • Few rhythm games punish misses as harshly as Re:Stage! Prism Step does; expect a game over after making as few as two mistakes. This annoyed players to no end, at least until the stamina system was removed and you could retry songs as much as you wanted (or in this case, needed).
  • WACCA will not let you use your Aime card to play if you already have data for the game in another region. (For example, if you have ever played the game in Japan with your card, you cannot use it in the United States.) This stands out in comparison to other net-enabled arcade games, which will either let you use data started from another region (most rhythm games) or make you use new region-specific data but at least not make you purchase a new card (Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune).

  • Batman: Arkham Knight: The Batmobile is widely considered the game's biggest hindrance and is the primary reason it is the lowest rated of Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham trilogy, not because it is badly implemented - on the contrary, many of the game's missions and puzzles make very good use of it - but because it is oversaturated. The developers obviously realized players would prefer to use Batman's gliding mechanic to driving. Their solution? Throw in an out-of-place mechanic where the batmobile would transform into a tank and fight drones. While this was tolerable at first, the game seemed to place more and more emphasis on it as the game went on, with tank missions becoming longer and more frequent. What's more, the changes made to ramp up the challenge were seen as more annoying than anything, with the stealth missions where the player was forced to stay out of a tank's line of sight and attack it from behind - while driving a tank - receiving the most vitriol from fans and critics. It doesn't help that a lot of the Enemy Chatter is Character Shilling for the Batmobile, and half of the Riddler's subplot is forcing Batman to drive through obstacle courses, like obstacle courses are riddles..
  • Grand Theft Auto IV:
    • The friendship system is best described with the following words: "HEY NIKO, IT'S ROMAN! LET'S GO BOWLING!" Rockstar North must have realized how annoying this system was too, as they made it optional in the first DLC pack, The Lost and Damned, and removed it altogether in The Ballad of Gay Tony. Even worse than just receiving incessant calls from your, by the end of the game, numerous friends what feels like every ten minutes, inevitably interrupting whatever it is you're doing, they always want you to come and pick them up for whatever activity, despite them possibly being an extremely long drive away from you. They'll then have the nerve to complain about you being late, to the point you frequently lose approval. Oh, and accepting an invitation from one friend won't stop another from calling as well, and turning the second invitation down will still lose you brownie points with that person, despite how you're obviously otherwise occupied. Not to mention that you can also randomly receive a text from a friend you haven't been out with in a while complaining about not seeing you, complete with an added loss of approval. By the end you're left wondering why all of Niko's friends are so incredibly codependent.
    • PC users have an extra thorn in their sides with the lousy helicopter controls. It's very difficult to fly them well, and it gets even worse if the scenario requires you to enter aerial combat with them. On top of this, it is still possible (as always) for your friends to call you while flying.
  • Minecraft:
    • Mining. Let's be honest, nobody wants to spend hours on end branch mining just to find the five diamonds to progress onto a diamond pickaxe and enchanting table. What really takes the cake is that, unlike other resource-collecting mechanics, mining for resources is near impossible to automate without mods.
    • The hunger system when it was introduced in beta 1.8. Before this, food instantly restored your health. Once hunger was introduced, food no longer were instant heals (Potions of Healing covered that), but instead, food takes about 1.6 seconds to fully consume and they restore hunger points instead. Keeping your hunger full gives slow health regeneration but letting the meter fall too low prevents you from sprinting and letting it go fully empty will damage you and even outright kill you if playing on Hard difficulty. What makes it worse is doing too much physical stuff (running, mining, etc) will make you hungry more quickly and every piece of food has different amount of saturation, which determines how full you stay until the hunger meter starts to drop again. Naturally, you aren't told of this. It was downplayed after the 1.9 Combat update, that made the regeneration at full hunger much faster (though still consuming the same amount of saturation or hunger points).
    • On Xbox 360, those tutorial captions that always seem to show up when you're underwater, being shot at by a skeleton, or having a Creeper run at you. You also can't jump or swim up until you respond. Not that big of a deal, until you get into 2 block deep water or drop into a hole.
    • 1.8 added a way to get mob heads. Unfortunately, the only way to get them is to have the mob (zombie, skeleton, or creeper) be killed by a charged creeper. This entails waiting for a thunderstorm, hoping for a creeper to get struck by lightning, staying at a distance where the creeper neither kills you or despawns, bringing a mob to the creeper, and then not dying when the creeper explodes, which is very difficult, especially on Hard or Hardcore mode. Needless to say, not many people were happy with the unnecessary difficulty in obtaining a trophy.
    • Repairs with anvils. Repairing any one item on an anvil (say, your diamond sword with Sharpness V, Fire Aspect II and Knockback II) gets much more expensive in terms of experience, and even more expensive when you want to rename it. At a certain limit (39 levels of experience, to be exact), the anvil will decide that an item costs too much experience to repair and refuse to let you fix it.
    • The combat revamp in 1.9. While it makes facing monsters more challenging and fun, nearly everyone agrees that it ruins PvP combat and turns the originally fast-paced duels into slow games of waiting for your opponent to drop their shield. If you join a PvP oriented server (minigames, factions, etc) don't be surprised if they abolish the new system by making all swords have a million points in attack speed.
    • A lot of the bigger servers rely heavily on commands, but not all of them use the same commands. Okay, so you would type in /help so you'd know what you can and can't do, right? Well, some servers don't give /help permissions to visitors. That's right, you need commands to play on the server, but you're not allowed to know what they are!
    • Building with stairs will make even the most experienced builder groan. Sure, they can add a lot of character to a building (especially when used in making a roof), but they're incredibly fickle and hard to place in the correct position. Half the time, you'll have a sideways-facing stair when you wanted it to face forward.
    • Harvesting pumpkins or melons while holding pets can be quite the juggle. Since they won't leave your side, the danger of them getting crushed by a pumpkin or melon is very real and telling them to sit can impair their usefulness if the player forgets to undo it. One must wonder why they didn't do anything to fix that yet, like having the produce push them out of the way instead.
    • Raids. Take everything that makes Wandering Traders so bad and add an event onto it. The way it works involves killing a group of wandering illigers; mobs that can pop up at any time around the player. They all wield crossbows, which makes them long ranged attackers. Although only hostile if you get close to them, if you don't want to do a raid, you'll have to put up with them wandering around, trampling crops and making it impossible to sleep in your bed while they're around. If you do kill them, you get afflicted with the 'bad omen' status, that last for about two in game hours (which the game doesn't tell you about) meaning that you'll have to steer clear of villages until then if you don't want to deal with a raid. And it doesn't have to be an actual village to trigger it; simply being close to three or so villagers is enough to cause one. If you have a villager breeder set up close to your base, you either have to spend the time as far away from your base as possible, or kiss your base goodbye thanks to raids having several mobs that destroy blocks. Combine this with several mobs being Demonic Spidersnote  and you have a very tedious, very annoying event from start to finish. Fortunately, if you know about the Bad Omen (it is visible in your inventory like other effects), it can be cured by drinking milk like any other effect.
    • The revised world generation can make gathering certain resources incredibly tedious. In the old days of the game, biomes could appear next to one another without much throught, meaning snow biomes could be located right up against desert biomes and other such silliness. The devs ultimately revised it so it now takes into account adjecent biomes into consideration when generating the land. While it's certainly realistic, it also means that you'll often end up with two repeating biomes stretching onward for miles. Worst still, the world generation seems to greatly favor warmer biomes as oppose to cooler ones, making it so that ending up with "desert-savanna wastelands" that go onwards for tens of thousands of blocks, often stretching far beyond oceans frustratingly common.
    • Some villagers can spawn as Nitwits, meaning they can't obtain a job and will never provide any trades. They're just as common as other villagers, thus causing them to take up space that could have been taken by useful villagers.
    • Parrots like to drop off of a player's shoulder for a ton of reasons, including falling off a block. Given the game's terrain, this can cause a ton of annoyance while transporting them.
    • While Llamas can be outfitted with chests and grouped up to make a caravan, they can only be controlled by Leads. This practice is tedious at best, and they become obsolete altogether once Shulker Boxes enter the picture.
    • Most of the Wandering Trader's trades, which are decided at random, are rip-offs that primarily ask for emeralds in exchange for plants you can easily find around the overworld. He might, however, carry uncommon items like Nautilus Shells or Blue Ice.
  • Easily the most widely loathed missions in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag were those requiring the player to tail NPCs on a journey, with special vitriol reserved for "eavesdropping" missions, which required the player to remain within a (very narrow) circumference from the target.
  • Terraria:
    • To prevent healing spam, using any healing item will give a Potion Sickness debuff that prevents taking more for a minute. (Fourty-nine seconds with a certain accessory.) This is considered fine in normal gameplay, but against bosses, it can feel like forever before the player is allowed to heal again.
    • Rain to earlygame playthrough as for players trying to farm herbs, as it summons annoying Flying Fish and nullifies the blooming conditions for Fireblossom. In Hardmode, the Angry Nimbus enemy appears, which can easily kill an unprepared or unexpecting player early in Hardmode if they do not find shelter or have no means of fighting it off.
    • Blood Moons and Solar Eclipses, respectively a night that increases enemy spawns and a day that spawns special powerful enemies on the surface. They're intense fun at the earlier points they can happen, but once the player gets better gear and good weapons, they turn in to one-shotting truckloads of weak enemies and hoping that they don't overwhelm the world's NPCs. And unlike most other events, which end after killing a certain amount of enemies, these need to be waited out.
    • The Angler's quests. He will ask for a fish somewhere in the world, which can be obtained by fishing in a given biome long enough, and giving it to him will net a reward. The problem is that the rewards are completely random, the quests can only be done once per in-game day, and three of the prizes are needed to craft a convenient high-tier item that has information and home-teleportation all in one (saving inventory slots). Because of this, getting unique items from him is a Luck-Based Mission that requires waiting whole in-game days just for a chance at getting something, and making matters worse, he can give duplicates of the same item the player already has. There's also an achievement for doing 200 of these quests, and it's one of the lowest-obtained achievements in the game. There is an item that fast-forwards time to the next dawn and thus getting another quest in with less time, but using it has a cooldown time of one in-game week. Then are the quests that cannot be reasonably be done at a certain stage of the game, such as if he asks for a fish on a Sky Lake before having the tools to conveniently find and reach one, or if he asks for one in a Mushroom biome when the player has yet to find one.
    • The Goblin Tinkerer can reforge a weapon or accessory to change its modifier at a cost, which can greatly boost its properties. This is disliked by most players due to being a Luck-Based Mission, where by complete chance he can give a bad modifier to a powerful weapon, and the only way of undoing that is to pay him more coins to try to reforge for something else. Some times, the player might make their Solar Eruption Godly on the first try. Other times, that Celestial Shell might keep becoming Angry and Spiked for a while, before finally settling on Menacing, the accessory modifier that is a direct upgrade of the previous two. The Tinkerer is seen as a huge money sink because of this.
    • The Torch Luck mechanic added in Journey's End was so widely despised that the developers revamped it after two patches, so that there was no penalty for using regular torches in the wrong biome and added an event that once beaten, allowed regular torches upon placement to be converted to the proper torch for the biome.

    Shoot 'Em Ups 
  • Raiden:
    • In the spinoff Viper Phase 1, you get a multiplier applied to your end-of-stage bonuses dependent on what percentage of enemies you killed. If you destroy every single enemy, the muliplier is x100. But if you so much as miss a single enemy, that multiplier drops to a x50. It won't matter much in a survival-oriented run, but in a score-based run, missing one enemy can make a massive difference.
    • Raiden Fighters has the Micluses, little blue critters that spit out medals and then explode to give you a point bonus. Not too bad at first, if it weren't for the fact that nearly all Micli are hidden in nondescript locations or require obscure conditions.
    • Raiden IV's Light Mode is a Scrappy Mode at its best, for those who are lazy or don't bother to go on game settings. Some knowledged players would rather play Original Mode in Practice difficulty over this.
  • In Mushihime Sama Futari, bombing takes 1,500-2,000 from your counter/multiplier, and dying takes off 1/3 of your current total, so it's in your best interest to bomb if you're in danger. But in Futari Black Label, it's roughly the other way around; dying takes off 1,500-2,000 and bombing takes off about 6,000-8,000. So if you wanna cash that huge 30,000 multiplier in God mode, but dying appears to be inevitable (which for inexperienced players is most of the time)...
  • Want to score high in Ikaruga? Prepare to spend endless hours practicing and memorizing chains, giving yourself absolutely no freedom as to how to play.
    • Its Spiritual Predecessor Radiant Silvergun is worse. Not only can a chain consist of only one color, forcing you to leave roughly 2/3 of enemies intact and allowed to attack you, but while scoring in Ikaruga is completely optional, in Radiant Silvergun it's mandatory. Why? Because your points are used to level up your weapons, and if you can't score well, your weapons will be underpowered and you'll be unable to rapidly damage later bosses, which can lead to a very quick Game Over.
  • Parodius features a powerup roulette (called Blizzard in Europe),which is triggered by a random power capsule in the game.The mechanic wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the existence of the !?/OH (MY GOD)! "powerup" on the power meter, which nullifies every powerup you have. Woe the players who raged when they hit that so-called "powerup".
  • Touhou Project:
    • Touhou Koumakyou ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil's rank system, in which the longer you go without dying, the faster and denser the bullets get. Max-rank Patchouli is harder than the final boss.
    • Touhou Youyoumu ~ Perfect Cherry Blossom and Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable Night have non-spellcard patterns highly resistant to bombing. Less bad in IN, since relatively few of these patterns are difficult, and a Last Spellnote  will still deal significant damage, but PCB has a number of very long, very difficult nonspells, and no way to deal with them other than toughing them out.
    • Scoring systems in early Touhou games are generally a pain to figure out, but Imperishable Night in particular is pretty bad. To put it simply: Main body of stage? Don't focus, ever. Bosses? Don't un-focus, ever.
    • The Faith system in Touhou Fuujinroku ~ Mountain of Faith, where scoring high means no deaths, and exclusively deathbombing (and even then, only at certain points). This wouldn't be too annoying, but extra lives are only given upon reaching high scores, essentially forcing players into a scorerun (in a fandom where the number of players who play for score can be counted on one hand) if they want more lives.
    • The continue system introduced in this game in which continuing snaps you back to the beginning of the stage with a mere two lives, beside being incredibly frustrating to redo 4-5 minutes of gameplay, you also can only practice levels you've beaten making every difficult moment in the game a solid wall, and most Touhou players would be aiming for a continue-less run anyway without the momentum-killing snap-back. Thankfully, Touhou Shinreibyou ~ Ten Desires has fixed this particular mechanic, returning to the old continue system.
    • The weather system in Touhou Hisouten ~ Scarlet Weather Rhapsody is generally okay, but Typhoon Weather eliminates hitstun and blocking for about 45 seconds. Spring Haze Weather prevents both players from using physical attacks. River Mist Weather moves the characters back and forth, screwing up tons of combos and attacks that require certain spacing. Amusingly enough, River Mist is representative of Komachi, the character who requires the most precise spacing to fight well, and whose in-canon power is defined as "manipulation of distance." Spring Haze was nerfed to near pointlessness in Hisoutensoku, thoughnote .
    • Touhou Seirensen ~ Undefined Fantastic Object's UFO system is actually quite nice, but most of the UFOs change color periodically. It's not uncommon to need one more UFO in a sequence, then have it change color right before you get it, screwing up your whole plan. Trying to collect a quickly-moving token randomly floating around the screen in the short time frame that it's the correct color doesn't exactly mix well with Bullet Hell. To make things worse, it's the only way to gain lives or bombs.
    • Ten Desires spirit system for gaining lives and bombs is moderately irritating on its own, since they don't fall down the screen like regular items. The real scrappy mechanic, though, is the trance system. You build up a meter by collecting spirits (most of which don't act as bomb/life fragments), and when full can activate it for a Super Mode. Two problems: First, it also doubles the effect of bomb and life spirits, and, second, you automatically use it if you die. This essentially means that you're denied from using a powerful attack as an actual attack, you need to memorize the best places to use it, and dying generally throws off your rhythm for around a stage.
    • Touhou Kishinjou ~ Double Dealing Character and its system for gaining additional lives and bombs. Basically, you go to the Point of Collection to auto-grab every item on screen, and the game gives you a multiplier for the score from these items and drops a live/bomb fragment depending on how many of those items you grabbed. On one hand, it makes collecting lives simple and quick, on the other, trying to do so in Bullet Hell-heavy sections is almost impossible, and every time you do get to the top of the screen there is a chance of getting slammed into by surprise by something that just entered the screen.
    • Touhou Kanjuden ~ Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom with its Pointdevice mode, which removes lives and instead has checkpoints. Remember what Fujiwara no Mokou said about dying repeatedly without actually dying being painful? Now you get to learn the daily life of Mokou. Have fun raging at spellcards that you cannot seem to clear, have no bombs left in stock, while your capture records states "0/99+". There's Legacy mode, which does have lives, but getting the good ending requires no deaths in Legacy.
    • The teleportation mechanic in Hifuu Nightmare Diary ~ Violet Detector suffers from wonky controls. It's activated by pressing Shift twice in a row without holding any direction, which is fairly easy to do by accident (which will probably either send you straight into a bullet or throw you off for long enough to get you killed anyway) if you find yourself focusing and unfocusing frequently. And when you do need to use the mechanic, having to hit Shift twice makes it annoying to teleport in time to get away from a threat. Mapping "teleport" to the unused C button instead would probably have been more practical.
    • Touhou Kikeijuu ~ Wily Beast and Weakest Creature sports a revamped version of the UFO mechanic with spirits, which is actually very welcome (considering life and bomb pieces don't cycle anymore, for starters). However, there's the Rare Creature mechanic to sour your day. You can get a Rare Creature in each stage that's completely separate from the three regular ones, which will grant you with bonus items if you can get it and manage to finish a beast release with it, without breaking it (read: don't get hit for however long your release lasts). Problem 1: the way to get each rare creature differs depending on the stage, and some of them can be aggravating. Try clearing a mid boss at point blank in a bullet hell game aggravating (and the game's definition of "point blank" is finicky, to say the least). Or clearing a spell card while being unable to use half the screen for dodging. Problem 2: nowhere in the game you're told how to get a rare creature to appear until after you make it appear for the first time. Problem 3: each creature is tied to a trophy, so better get those creatures to appear if you want to 100% the game.
  • Battle Garegga's rank system. Want to keep the last two stages possible? Don't power up and don't trigger special option formations! The rank scale for enemy aggressiveness is capped in the last two stages to playable levels, in a rare show of mercy by the developers. However, if you raise the rank to extremely high levels beforehand, there is no such cap, and you are treated to literally undodgeable patterns, especially on the Stage 4 boss and Stage 5 midbosses.
    • This is a trait seen in games programed by Shinobu Yagawa, resulting in a Broken Base (some love this, some don't). The association has rendered CAVE games with these traits black sheep.
  • Darius Gaiden's rank doesn't get as bad as Garegga's, but its implementation is worse. Each of the 7 tiers of stages has a "default rank", which the game sets to when you collect a powerup on that tier. And once you raise the rank, there is no way to decrease it. Ideally, you want to stop powering up after the 4th stage. Wait, what's that? You lost a couple lives on the last stage and took a big hit in shot power? Too bad! Either deal with it or face a Difficulty Spike!
  • Dangun Feveron never shows your total score during gameplay; it's only shown at the end of each stage, as well as after getting a high score and ending your game, which wouldn't be as big of a problem if the lowest default high score of 1.2 million wasn't difficult to obtain for new players. This caused a huge problem at a shmup tournament where many players who couldn't get on the in-game high score table either manually calculated their scores by hand or simply didn't bother to submit scores.
  • Guwange has you collect coins to raise your score, while shooting enemies to keep the coin collection timer from running out (at which point your coin count drops to 0). And the chain timer is more lenient than DoDonPachi's, so chaining in this game shouldn't be as big of a pain in the ass, right? Well, here's where the game kicks you in the face: your coin count carries over between stages, meaning that in order to obtain a very good score, you need to keep your coin timer from resetting at all throughout the entire game. Have it reset halfway through the game? Time to Rage Quit!
  • Heavy Weapon for the PC. Your tank aims using the mouse cursor, that's fine. The problem is that it also moves towards the mouse cursor, making it annoying to dodge attacks while aiming. This makes facing enemies like Bulldozers (which move towards you and One-Hit Kill you if you brush against them) a complete pain. Thankfully, Pop Cap realized this mistake and made aiming and moving separate in the PS3 and Xbox 360 releases.
  • In RefleX, using a continue will let you keep your score, but it will be nullified afterwards. Now penalizing a player for using a continue is fine, but this means if you set a record score on your first credit, and you decide to continue (e.g. to practice or unlock later stages), then the game will invalidate your score. The worst part is, the developer knows this, as there is a line of text stating that your score will not be saved in such cases. This is in contrast to the other two games in The Tale of ALLTYNEX series, where using a continue will still allow you to save the score you got on your first credit.
    • In RefleX and ALLTYNEX Second, the stage select will only let you practice up to the highest stage you cleared. So that stage you're struggling to clear? To be allowed to practice it, you have to clear it in a full run in the first place!
  • Like with RefleX above, using a continue in Ether Vapor also renders your score null and void.
  • Sine Mora gives you a primary weapon, a secondary weapon, and a special Time Capsule skill that will do things such as activate Bullet Time, reverse time (even after you die, thereby allowing you to negate death), or reflect bullets, a feature well-touted by the game. However, if you are playing for score, your character (which determines your secondary weapon) and your choice of Time Capsule don't mean anything, because using either of these resets your multiplier, in a game that touts time manipulation as one of its primary gimmicks.
  • Eschatos can be extremely annoying to play for score:
    • In Original mode, your multiplier builds up as you destroy enemy waves. However, for each enemy that escapes, your multiplier decreases by one. If you die, you also suffer the same penalty...but during the time it takes for your ship to respawn, a whole wave of enemies may leave the screen, and depending on how high your multiplier is that means five to ten past minutes of hard work thrown completely out the window.
    • In Advanced mode, the penalties for enemies escaping is more lenient, but there's a new Scrappy Mechanic in town: Collecting a bomb item immediately clears all enemies and turns bullets into purple tetrahedrons that boost your score...but it also reduces your multiplier and reduces your shot power by one level. Collecting multiple bombs in succession is a good way to damage your multiplier and severely weaken yourself. Therefore, Advanced turns into a game of avoiding not only bullets, but also items.
  • Are you playing the North American PS1 port of RayStorm? Bad Export for You! Specifically, not only are the default settings played around, with the most important change being that each stage's difficulty is raised from 2 (out of 8) to 4, but dropping any stage's difficulty below 4 triggers "Training Mode", in which the game ends after stage 4. This is not in any other version of the game, making it a slap in the face to anyone who prefers to play on more "official" settings. Fortunately, RayStorm HD and the mobile ports don't have this issue, as Working Designs had nothing to do with these ports.
  • All of the M2 ShotTriggers ports will disqualify your score, even just the score you got at the end of your first credit, if you continue. While you are warned about this, the warning only comes after you lock in your decision to continue, so players not aware of this may find their personal-best run nullified because they decided to continue for practice purposes. That said, there is a workaround for this: you can do a quick-save at the continue screen, allow the Game Over sequence to unfold and your score to upload, then quick-load back to the save you made.

    Sports Game 
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater:
    • The on-foot mechanics were widely reviled by fans and critics alike for giving players an extremely easy way to avoid bailing.
    • On foot was made worse for Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, with the addition of Parkour. In theory a good idea, in practice a bailproof way to add another 500 points and at least another three numbers to your multiplier.
    • Tony Hawk's Underground allows you to drive cars. These vehicles had all the handling of a pinball in a table made of ice. Aside from the goals, use of them is redundant, as they reset back where they started in a level when you're done, meaning you can't even create a new combo line with them.
    • Tony Hawk's Underground 2 then gave us more vehicles—not cars, vehicles you can do tricks with, such as a motorized skateboard, a tricycle, a go-kart, and a bucking bull on wheels. They all had about four tricks, and most of them were so very anti-intuitive to use due to not being able to stop. The last three examples were implemented so poorly they were removed from the sequels.
    • Tony Hawk's Project 8 then gave us Nail the Trick, where the analogue sticks control your feet. It was an entirely alien control scheme that stuck around into Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, where it's only useful for the specific goals, and is otherwise unusable in a regular combo.
    • Grinding in the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was incredibly difficult due to the hypersensitive controls that required you to mash left and right on the d-pad to balance yourself. It was quite a feat to be able to grind for more than a couple of seconds without falling on your ass.
    • Lip tricks are by far the worst type of tricks on the first era of Tony Hawk's game (and the HD remake). They give little points, only works when you're straight as an arrow, and can ruin combos when they're accidentally performed. Until THPS3, it also had no way to balance it out and the skater would always bail if you kept holding for more than 4 seconds. It's less terrible in the modern games, but there's still some problems. For example, there's a goal on American Wasteland when you have to lip trick through an entire rotation of Santa Monica's Giant Wheel (thankfully only on Sick difficulty).
  • NCAA Football has a despised system for making phone calls to recruits which basically spins a roulette wheel of topics, allowing you the option of pitching your school's merits on that topic or discrediting your rivals on that topic. It's obnoxious enough that you, the head coach, can't choose to pitch whatever you want. This can lead to the bizarre result that the coach of Stanford might never get to sell his school's academics or the coach of Miami can never sell the school's gorgeous campus. However the roulette wheel sometimes stops on topics that you know the player doesn't care about leaving you forced to try and pitch him anyway. This has been removed for NCAA 13.
  • NHL Hockey has the goaltender controls which tend to not allow the free range of motion necessary to replicate real life goalie positioning. The worst offender being the hug post command which can frequently make you hug the wrong post and get stuck to it until you release the trigger, which will give the opposing player plenty of time to score on a wide open net.
  • Besides the play mentioned above, Madden NFL has had a few:
    • The mobile version of Madden 12 has a mechanic that makes an open receiver on a go route virtually impossible to tackle if you're playing man coverage. It can be especially annoying if your opponent keeps throwing 80 touchdown passes.
    • Madden 06 had the infamous "QB cone". Basically, your quarterback had a vision cone extending outwards from their bodies, and they could only throw accurately to receivers in that cone. The size of the cone was determined by the QB's awareness stat: top-tier quarterbacks like Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady had huge cones, whereas backups had tiny slivers. It was frustrating to use and in some ways counterproductive, since a smaller vision cone could be used to fake defenders off of a receiver you actually wanted to pass to. The feature was gone by Madden 08.
    • The QB cone made the game damn near unplayable on the PC version. Previous installments had the player aim with the mouse and throw by left clicking while using standard WSAD keys (and those directly around them) for moving the QB. However, once the vision cone was implemented, you still aimed with the mouse but needed to press a separate key on the keyboard in order to actually throw the pass to that receiver. Trying to do that while moving your QB away from pressure seemingly required a 3rd hand. It's little wonder that the PC version of the game stopped being made shortly thereafter...(The PC version would make a comeback for Madden 19, long after the QB cone mechanic had been retired.)
  • ESPN MLB 2K5 had a gimmick mechanic called Slam Zone; if a pitcher screwed up badly in delivering a pitch or a batter guessed location and pitch correctly, the game would break into a mini-game in which the pitcher and batter tapped the buttons as fast as possible, while the pitch was zoomed in on in slow motion. If the batter won the duel, he would uncork a home run. Not only did it break the immersive TV-like presentation, but was also very much un-sim for a baseball simulation. It wasn't brought back after the one-year experiment.
  • NBA 2K14: 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.

    Stealth Action 
  • 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+ (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).

    Survival Horror 
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 other 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-locking 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, 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.
  • 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.

    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.

    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.
      • However, characters from Long-Runners or shows with multiple seasons tend to fare worse than newcomers. Characters whose popularity doesn't significantly degrade with each year are rare, and the number of series they originate from is in the single digits.

    Game Shows 
  • Card Sharks:
    • The Money Cards Bonus Round had contestants betting money based on predicting whether the next card was higher or lower than the one preceding it. Originally, if the next card was the same, it was treated as a wrong call and the contestant lost their bet. Players who went all-in on Aces or deuces frequently wound up getting screwed over by this rule. Late in the Perry run, this was changed to nullify the bet if a push happened. The original "doubles lose" rule returned partway into the 2001 revival and was originally enforced in the 2019 revival. It reared its ugly head when one unlucky contestant left the studio with nothing after turning three Aces in a row. Thankfully, the doubles push rule came back for the 2020 season.
    • The 2001 and 2019 versions have contestants using their in-game money to bet on the Money Cards. In all other previous versions, money earned in the main game was the contestant's to keep.
  • Double Dare (1986): The main grab for 2000 was the Triple Dare Chalenge. During the second round a family could turn any physical challenge into a Triple Dare Challenge worth $300 and a prize. The producers ensured that a Physical Challenge happened in each episode by including at least one question that the contestants almost certainly couldn't answer. However, even without the Triple Dare Challenge, the challenges were so complicated that they could take several minutes to describe (longer if, as often happened, host Jason Harris stumbled through the description). When all was said and done, adding the Triple Dare Challenge ate up most of the second round, leaving time for only four questions at most. It didn't help that the Triple Dare Challenge was overhyped with confetti cannons, people dressed in huge boxes and marching bands. To make matters worse, the Triple Dare Challenge was only revealed if the family opted to go for it, ruining the buildup to get there. Even original host Marc Summers got in on bashing the Triple Dare Challenge, pointing out all its obvious flaws in an interview with AfterBuzz TV.
  • Family Feud:
    • Sudden Death from 2003 onward where the entire game hinges on getting the number one-answer. With point values already tripled, it more or less boils down to "don't screw up if you ring in too early".
    • The Combs, Dawson '94, Karn and O'Hurley runs had special weeks where teams of divorced couples played against each other. These turn off fans who believe they encourage a mean-spirited atmosphere, especially with the consolation prize in Fast Money turning into a reward for the other team ($5,000 on the Karn era, $10,000 for O'Hurley) if lost. Perhaps ironically, the Harvey version doesn't do them.
    • Harvey provides host-induced examples in the Face-Off.
      • If a contestant who rang in doesn't provide the number one answer, past hosts would always prompt the other contestant with something along the lines if "X answer(s) will beat that." Harvey sometimes doesn't do this, so a contestant can run out of time to answer without warning. This has resulted in a higher rate of buzz outs on his run than on previous versions. It's most noticeable on Celebrity Family Feud since contestants on that version take more time to come up with answers.
      • What's worse is when Harvey doesn't verbally prompt the contestant who buzzed in. This has lead to situations where a contestant who beat an opponent gets buzzed out because Harvey or a judge didn't specify who rang in first.
    • Fast Money:
      • No questions are more hated by the fan base than those involving numerical answers, such as those beginning with "On a scale of one to ten..." and "At what [age/time] do[es]...", which have appeared in all versions, most frequently in the Steve Harvey era. With a wide range of answers, fans accuse these of being budget-savers since number one answers to those rarely top 30 points. On a few occasions, contestants have guessed numbers outside of the "1-10" range despite such answers never getting any points in the surveys.
      • Since 1999, getting all the number one answers never adds up to more than 200 points. While this is more or less enforced so that the second contestant is required to play, it also makes an already hard bonus round even harder.
  • Finders Keepers
    • Quite often, the Instant Prize was worth more than the Room Romp's grand prize (sometimes more than all six prizes combined). Pity the poor team who won a keyboard for completing the Romp (or, worse, only found one or two clue cards before time ran out) while their opponents got to go to Disney World or Space Camp.note  Less common in the Toffler era, when the trips were often moved across to being the grand prizes for the Romp.
    • Any time confetti cannons were hidden during room searches as a means of distracting contestants.
  • Friend or Foe has three teams of two contestants answering multiple choice questions together to build up their bank. Not so bad except for the Prisoner's Dilemma gimmick when contestants leave the show. Both players must choose how to divvy up their funds by secretly locking in Friend or Foe in the Trust Box. If both lock in Friend, they split the bank evenly. If one locks in Friend with the other locking in Foe, Foe gets the whole bank while Friend gets nothing. If both lock in Foe, no one gets the money. Needless to say, if your opponent chooses Foe, you're screwed no matter what you pick.
  • The final round of Golden Balls takes Friend or Foe's Prisoner's Dilemma concept Up to Eleven since the stakes are much higher. In place of locking in Friend or Foe, both contestants have to secretly decide whether to split the accumulated bank with their opponent or steal the entire contents. The Split/Steal balls are identical to the Friend/Foe Trust Box where if your opponent chooses Steal, you leave the studio empty-handed regardless of your option. As it is the last ever decision in the show, an entire game could be for naught if both contestants opt to Steal.
  • Two months into Season 31, Jeopardy! removed the rule where contestants who finished in a tie for the lead got to keep their earnings and play again as co-champions. Starting in November 2014, all ties are decided with a tiebreaker clue with the winner receiving the day's total and playing on while the loser goes home with $2,000. The fan base was not pleased, citing there was nothing wrong with the co-champion rule for the Art Fleming era and the first 30 years the current version of the show had been on the air. They also noticed it as a cheap way to save money after the Sony hacking incident which occurred around that time.
  • Make the Grade: Depending on how late in the game it got picked, a Fire Drill could easily be this. When a Fire Drill happened, all three contestants left their desks and their scorecard to participate in a physical stunt. After it was over, the winner got the choice of either of the three desks, second place got second pick and third got the last one remaining. This meant that a contestant could get a card nearly filled at the time of the Fire Drill and then subsequently lose a desk to an opponent who hadn't done much if any up to that point.
  • Merv Griffin's Crosswords had three Spoiler contestants introduced in round two. If either of the main contestants did not answer correctly on a clue, they could ring in and steal either podiums with a correct answer. One Spoiler could do nothing for the entire game and win by ringing in on the last clue and stealing the leader's score. This happened at least once.
  • The Price Is Right has "$X+1" and "$1" bids, where you bet $1 (hence the name) or $1 over another bid. If you're not last, Laser-Guided Karma would dictate that the next person bid $X+2 or $2.
  • Robot Wars:
    • In its first three series, the arena featured spikes that would pop out of the floor to attack a robot from below. The idea was to attack robots from underneath, where they weren't always armoured, and mess around with the electronics. In practice, however, many robots were protected underneathnote , so the spikes would instead push the robot into the air and, more often than not, flip them over. So many robots were eliminated after being flipped over by the spikesnote  that they were removed from the arena starting with Series 4.
      • They're returning for the 2016 series, but their location within the arena is much more visible. Whether this is enough to rescue them from the Scrappy heap remains to be seen.
  • Supermarket Sweep:
    • Shortly after the Lifetime revival started in 1990, "Market Monsters" were added to the Big Sweep for the purpose of disrupting the contestants' progress. Finding a monster required a contestant to backtrack and shop somewhere else. The staff got the message that this didn't make the Big Sweep exciting at all, and the monsters were thankfully discarded in 1991.
    • The video section added in 1993 which can create headaches if contestants are required to search there in the Mini-Sweep, Big Sweep, and/or Bonus Sweep. The videos didn't seem to be organized alphabetically or by genre, so players could spend valuable seconds spinning the shelves until they found the one they needed.
    • The 2020 revival introduces market specials involving vendors. The contestant has to ask a florist or a barista for an order and must take a time penalty until they are served for a cash bonus. This wouldn't be so bad if the employees didn't dawdle while completing the order, even with what the contestant needed in plain sight. Fans immediately pointed out how unfair it is for contestants to waste precious seconds waiting for a bonus they have no control over. On the first Big Sweep to have one, a contestant had to be stopped from taking the roses she needed so she can wait for the florist to fumble around and pick them up.
  • Tic-Tac-Dough:
    • For a time in 1983, the Bonus Round required players to accumulate $1,000 exactly, and going over made finding Tic and Tac the only option to win. Thankfully, that didn't last long.
    • The 1990 revival changed the rules involving tie games. In all previous versions, when a tie game happened, the pot would carry over to the next round with the contestants playing nine new categories. In the revival, the money in the pot reset to 0 in the event of a tie, and the next round would be played for double the stakes. This is hated by fans because it means the second round can potentially be worth less than the first one. The first round can be worth at most $5000, but the second round can be worth at least $3000, and that did happen a few times during the show.
  • The Wall involves contestants answering questions in order to drop balls down the titular wall in a similar fashion to Plinko. Rounds 2 and 3, however, force contestants to drop red balls that make them lose money at the end of the round from the same spots that they dropped green balls at the beginning of the round. This annoys contestants and viewers because they could do well in the trivia portion, but potentially lose all the money they accumulated because of some unlucky drops. On the show's second episode, that's exactly what happened.
  • Wheel of Fortune:
    • The Prize Puzzle, a round where a contestant wins a prize simply by solving the puzzle, is hated by most, if not all of the show's more dedicated fans for two reasons. First, the value of the prizes (they start at $5,000 since 2007, but are usually over $7,000 now) often decides who wins the game. Second, the round's gimmick is that the prize in question always has something to do with the puzzle. However, with only three exceptions in the several years the Prize Puzzle has been on the show, the prize is always a trip, usually to a tropical destination. This sometimes leads to a "Phrase" puzzle being a sentence about being on vacation that's not necessarily a common saying (examples include "WHERE DO I PICK UP MY SKI LIFT TICKETS?" and "SOMEBODY INFLATE THE BEACH BALL"), or a puzzle having unnecessary adjectives and other inflations just to make the puzzle seem longer ("TERRIFIC STEEL DRUM MUSIC", "MILES AND MILES OF PRISTINE COASTLINE"). Sometimes, it's painfully obvious that these puzzles are taken from travel promotions and brochures.
    • The Crossword Puzzles, introduced during the final week of Season 33. It is disliked by fans most commonly for the following reasons:
      • The puzzles have a lower number of consonants than most other puzzles, especially with otherwise-multiple consonants being intersected and counted as one instance, often resulting in lower payouts.
      • There is usually at least one word in the puzzle that's trickier than the others due to having more obscure letters that can't be uncovered from the other words, and sometimes this word only barely fits the given clue. Combined with the above point, Crosswords are rarely solved for more than $2,000. In a January 2017 episode, a puzzle with the clue "It's All Greek to Me" came down to _ETA for the last word. The contestant solved it as FETA, only to be buzzed despite the fitting word. The next contestant revealed the word as Greek letter BETA for the house minimum.
      • The fact that it almost-always appears three times per week meant less appearances of the show's more popular "word play" categories Before & After and Same Name. After many seasons of appearing in almost every episode, Before & After went over a month without being used at all in Season 35.
      • Some fans view it as a cheap Replacement Scrappy for Same Name or the former "Fill in the Blank" bonus category whenever the clue is something like "Sweet _____" or "_____ Machine". A January 2018 episode had an awkward situation where BLANK was actually one of the words under the clue "_____ Check".
    • Team weeks are often disliked due to the game sometimes being slowed down by twice as many interviews and teams conferring over what letter to call. In addition, the house minimum during these weeks is $2,000, which is awfully generous when you consider that the basic Wheel template is only $500-$900 outside of the top dollar value. Even during the Final Spin where $1,000 is added to the value spun, one consonant on any value except the highest one will give you less than said minimum. Also, the first Toss-Up is still worth $1,000 which is not raised to the minimum itself, which results in several games where a team who solves only that puzzle ends up awkwardly having their final score raised to $2,000 at the tail end of the game.
    • The Million Dollar Wedge is hated by some fans, either for the $1,000,000 being way too hard to win and being too gimmicky, replacing the former $100,000 prize, or because of how some casual viewers of the show think the wedge is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. When somebody makes a bad blunder after picking up the wedge, social media will usually blow up about how the contestant "lost $1 million", as if the grand prize were at stake right then and there.
    • Starting in Season 32, many fans have hated the Rhyme Time category because it often results in a series of randomly-grouped words that just happen to rhyme, even if they are in no way related (e.g. BEES FLEAS & MANATEES, BABOONS AND RACCOONS). As of Season 34, even Pat has begun making fun of this.
    • If one has the Million Dollar Wedge and/or the Wild Card, having Round 4 and beyond go without a Speed-Up since Bankrupt is still in play. It more or less hinges on the staff hoping Bankrupt would be hit, thus denying someone the opportunity to take either or both to the Bonus Round.
    • Disney Weeks are getting hatred from fans due to the Bonus Round's Fake Difficulty spiking during this time, resulting in a much lower win rate than in normal weeks.
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?:
    • The 50:50 lifeline which randomly eliminates two wrong answers, leaving one wrong answer and the correct answer. Many times when a contestant was struggling between two answers, the 50:50 would be used... and the two other answers would be removed. This happened so frequently that many viewers suggested that the computer's answer removing was a way to screw the contestant over. This claim started when Norm MacDonald played as a celebrity contestant and when it happened to him, he gave Regis a "What did I tell you?" look.
      • It did in fact cheat, originally. What answers were removed were always picked in advance when the question was created, and if there was exactly one sucker answer (one that people are likely to think is correct) and a correct answer, it would always leave the sucker answer on the board. Once enough people noticed that it NEVER seemed to help you out, they changed it to actually be random.
    • In 2008, the syndicated version added a time limit on questions with the contestant being forced to walk away should the clock hit zero.note  This wouldn't have been so bad if not for some major problems.

    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 Video 
  • The nature of these are discussed on Game Grumps 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.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: