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Scrappy Mechanic / Platform Game

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  • Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz:
    • The control scheme, with which you tilt the Wiimote to tilt the game world, is a divisive affair, with some feeling it lacks the precision of an analog stick.
    • The design is a big part of the problem. They make it so if you hold the remote "flat" (so it's parallel to the ground), the ground is neutral. Tilt up, the ground tilts up. Tilt down, the ground tilts down. Sounds logical, but tilting downwards at a sufficient angle is extremely uncomfortable and awkward. A moderate upward tilt should have been the neutral point, or better yet, holding it like a NES controller, which Mercury Meltdown Revolution pulls off successfully. The lack of an option to play with traditional joystick controls hurts as well.
  • Pixeljunk Eden:
    • Want to explore the beautiful, almost-abstract art levels? You can't. The whole thing is on a strict timer.
    • The drop attack is mapped to the PS3's motion control function, which almost never registers your input properly.
    • For full completion, you must visit each level 5 times.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
    • The animal tokens. The idea is that these golden tokens are found in hidden areas and rewarded for completing bonus levels, and collecting three of the same animal allows the player to play a bonus level to rack in some 1-ups. The main problem, however, is that collecting the third token forces the player to play the bonus level immediately, and upon its completion, sends the player back to the last known checkpoint. Not so bad if the token was won in a bonus level, but if the bonus game is activated in an actual level, the player will be sent all the way back to the halfway barrel, or even the very beginning of the level. Notorious offenders include the Winky token next to the bonus barrel at the end of Trick Track Trek (forcing you to play half of the long, tedious level all over again) and the Expresso token in Coral Capers (which due to a programming error spawns you next to a coral wall, which can leave you stuck if you swim any closer to it). Most players, not seeing 5 or 6 extra lives as worth this hassle, actively avoid the tokens and the effect they have on the flow of the game, and notably the rest of the Donkey Kong Country series does away with the tokens altogether.
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    • Winky the Frog. The animal is intended to be a cool mount that can move in an interesting way through levels - in practice, he has the misfortune of being too difficult to control. Due to the way the animal was coded, Winky is incredibly twitchy and can miss a platform or landing, sending either of the player characters sailing into a pit (especially in temple levels). Not only that, but it's downright impossible just to "walk" the mount, as the animal performs mini-hops that are jittery, time-consuming, and likely to make you careen over an edge into a pit if you aren't careful. His bonus level is also at odds with the way the character functions (lots of platforms set up around a cave level). Winky was never used proper in a DKC game again - for comparison, Expresso the Ostrich (which was notoriously twitchy and sometimes moved so fast the screen couldn't catch up with him) was reworked and toned down for the GBA version of the sequel.
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    • The rocket barrel. Yes, that thing they brought back in Donkey Kong Country Returns, except it's only in one level of the third game and works entirely differently (yet is still as annoying). You control a rocket, with limited fuel. If it runs out, you die. You have to get through a narrow maze-like level with plenty of walls and ceilings to slow down the vehicle, and in the GBA version you can be hurt or killed by the Buzzes. And the controls are poorly coded.
    • Diddy's Kong Quest introduced bonus cannons, which required you to find a cannonball and load them before they would blast you to a bonus level. That the cannonball was often difficult to even find, let alone actually get to the cannon, was bad enough, but you only got one chance at the bonus level: if you failed you had to backtrack, get the cannonball again, and reload it. In some levels the cannonball would even be before a Point of No Return, forcing you to exit the level and try the whole stage again for another try. Notably these cannons vanished completely in Dixie Kong's Double Trouble.
    • There is one in the Game Boy Donkey Kong Land game. You know the four KONG letters, which finding four in one level grant you a meager extra life and can be so hair-pulling difficult to acquire that it's often not worth bothering? Getting all four of those in Land is how you save your game. This means you're required to track them down as much as possible or forced to trek back to an easy level where you can safely gather them over and over again.
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns:
    • The Rocketbarrel. In the SNES Donkey Kong Country games, this is the sort of thing that would appear in one, maybe two levels. But, no, they appear at least once in every other world. It's also got very awkward controls: you can't stop, turn around, or even slow down; all you can do is move up with the jump button (or stop pressing the jump button to descend). Also, touching just about anything kills you, as you are rendered a One-Hit-Point Wonder when in it. There exists a vertically-oriented version of the Rocketbarrel levels with much more freedom of mobility. You can freely steer left and right, and accelerate faster with the jump button. However, this variant only exists in two short levels, one of which is just the approach to the Final Boss.
    • The rocket barrels return in the sequel, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, though they're much more bearable there because you can now take two hits (though 6-4 is still a pain). Of course, this game has its own Scrappy Mechanics, most notably the underwater levels. If you're used to the swimming controls (which are nothing like the ones in the SNES games) and can deal with the Oxygen Meter, the levels can be fun, beautiful, and a welcome new addition. If, on the other hand, you hate the oxygen meter and find the controls to be obnoxious, these levels will become a huge exercise in frustration. And just like with the rocket barrel levels in the previous game, there is one world that contains little else but underwater levels.
    • Returns also has rolling, which requires Waggle. Once you have Diddy you can roll forever but to do so you have to shake the controller up and down to keep rolling. This is fairly annoying at best.
  • Dash Galaxy In The Alien Asylum is full of these. First, your only weapon is a bomb, which you can only use on the world map because using it in a level causes "oxygen depleted". You also need to find a detonator separate from the bomb in order to use it or... "oxygen depleted". And the control scheme? Most video game characters turn on a dime; not Dash. This means you'll run into enemies, knocking off your HP/time bar or pushing you into a chasm and... "oxygen depleted".
  • Crash Bandicoot:
    • While opinions of her character may vary, Coco's playable appearances in the games tend to act as a weaker (i.e. less fun) variant of Crash. In Warped she is limited to a few vehicle levels (the majority of which Crash himself can utilize in this or previous titles), with her actual on foot 'platforming' segments being limited to a slow walk all of five steps towards Pura and the level's exit. In Wrath Of Cortex, she can play through whole levels; however, she has fewer abilities and attacks compared to Crash, making her respective levels somewhat more tedious. Either way, she sadly isn't giving Tails or Luigi a run for their money. Mind Over Mutant improves her, making her an equally efficient skin of Crash and able to work as a multiplayer cooperative. However to activate her in one player mode, a player must activate a second controller and then pull out Crash after she appears. This is a needlessly tedious way just to unlock a variant of Crash, especially since it will still drain the battery life of the one player controller not even being used. However, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy finally rectifies this, making Coco playable in almost any level of the original trilogy, as well as having the same skillset as Crash, including fruit bazooka.
    • Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped: Nitro Switches detonate every Nitro box in level but the splash effect destroying other boxes doesn't count towards total, meaning you have to destroy every box even next to Nitro one, including those conveniently sandwiched between them. And some levels in 3 don't even have them, instead expecting you to destroy every single one by either fruit bazooka or vehicle weapons. Have fun to find out to which levels this applies on your first playthrough.
    • The Ice Physics in Crash 2 are notoriously twitchy; which means half of the challenge in the snow levels ends up being the player trying his damndest not to slide into the various traps or nitros the game will throw at you.
    • Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex has great number of gimmick levels where Crash has to use some kind of vehicle for a part or entirety of the level. While minecart segments might be fun, most of vehicles are larger, slower and have awkward controls, making it easier to get hit because of larger hitbox and decreased evasion. To top it off, most of time (unless the level provides a health bar) they don't have any increased resistance to hazards and enemies. Then there are monkey bar segments, which are way slower than in previous game, making them especially obnoxious during time trials.
  • The bubble gum in Giana Sisters DS and Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams. You get to use bubble gum to make a bubble so big that Giana can fit inside it and use it to fly around the level. But the bubble is very difficult to control, popping it will drop you into whatever hazards may be below and, like the P-Balloon, pretty much guarantees death, and it is mandatory in nearly every level that has it.
  • Spyro the Dragon:
    • Basically all the speedway levels. Even those nostalgic with the games often agree the speedway levels were the weakest part of the original games, for being too tedious (due to a time limit) and not as fun as the normal levels.
    • Spyro: Year of the Dragon:
      • The 5 new introduced playable characters in the game are often criticised by reviewers and fan these days for not being as fun as Spyro and for having downright insane minigames to complete. The most notable one is definitely Bentley the Yeti for not only being the slowest and bulkiest character to control but also because of his infamous boxing challenge in the "Frozen Altars" level. Even Sparx is not very well received as his levels mainly involve top-down shooting parts.
      • The game has really in-depth and really picky Copy Protection, explained in great detail in an article by one of the developers for those who are interested in such things. The issue is it's notoriously easy to trip these even on a legit copy if the lens in your console is a bit dirty, the disc has a scratch, if there's a gust of wind outside... As this game's anti-piracy measures are subtle but rather cruel (gone into in great depths under Copy Protection, and this website), it's left many innocent gamers frustrated and wondering why they can't finish the game or where their save files have gone. It's even worse on the Greatest Hits edition where the developers fixed the "Terminated Console" bypass... without bothering to fix any of the things that would trigger the anti-piracy measures on legitimate copies.
    • Spyro: A Hero's Tail: Blink's levels, without question. Its bad enough that you have to play them twice in order to get one of the most important collectables (Light Gems) but his levels are filled to the brim with awkward platforming and annoying enemies, plus his levels tend to drag on. Blink is not very good to control as his jumps tend to be floaty making the platforming even more frustrating.
  • For Skylanders, the Merchandise-Driven aspect is both this and the Dancing Bear. Because Skylanders are released in waves, not all Skylanders are available at launch, meaning collectors will have to make several return trips across the span of months to the store and keep track on the internet. (The fact that Activision never actually gives specifics on when they'll be released doesn't help things either.) Certain figures also are simply more rare than others, resulting in some figures that the stores never seem to run out of, as well as figures the stores never seem to have, and collectors frequently buy up all the stock and sell them online for inflated prices. (Ninjini in particular was, at one point, so rare retailers reported that for every Ninjini figure they got, they'd have forty other figures.)
  • Mega Man:
    • The disappearing and reappearing blocks are not only a Scrappy Mechanic, but also a series staple. That's why they're the cover picture to the main article. Further coverage is on their own trope page. Another annoying element is the lifts in Guts Man's zone in the first game.
    • In Mega Man 5, the Rush Coil, for no apparent reason at all, was changed to something much worse and less intuitive. Instead of just jumping on Rush and being bounced into the air, you jump on Rush, Rush jumps, and then you have to jump off of him manually before he lands. Nobody was happy about this, and by the item's next appearance, it had been changed back.
    • Mega Man 8 has an infamous auto-scroller in Frost Man's stage. It eventually goes so fast that you can barely react to the game telling you to jump or slide—worse, you actually have to ignore one of the "Jump!" prompts if you want to get a bolt.
  • In Jazz Jackrabbit 1, many jump pads launch Jazz upward much faster than the screen scrolling speed limit, making any attack or evasion in midair purely a matter of luck. Jazz will often, by the time it reappears on the screen, have already suffered a hit from some kind of enemy, spikes, etc.
  • Mega Man X
    • X3 had a fun idea in allowing X to use varying ride armors to navigate through the levels. Unfortunately for X, he needs to get the Chimera armor first before any of them can be used (the Chimera being the base set) and then find the other four hidden well through each area. Compounding this is that (unless the player has no problem killing himself afterwards, the stage he gets that in is home to the Maverick many save for last, making the armors feel like wasted potential.
    • Probably to account for the player's likely intent of using the armors when they can, the damage output by the enemies in X3 at the start is pretty damn high. X can find himself being killed very easily. Though for some players, warranting a defensive play style instead of a reckless offense can be an appeal to the game.
    • The chip system. Like with armor parts in the games proper, X3 introduces chips that can further your abilities. However, X can only equip one of the four chips for some arbitrary reason that only serves to be a painful choice to the player. What really sucks is that X3 has a sucker-punch secret of which the player can find a chip that enables all four if they never got any chip prior to finding the hidden capsule, which make players wonder 'why bother with the chips?' in the first place.
      • Getting to said chip. You know how you can wall jump but if you pause or get it jump timing wrong, you slide down? Well, the level that contains said chip has a series of walls that close on you and do so quickly. Normally, you would be able to pace yourself and make sure there are proper jumps but these walls seem to be in close proximity to each other and there is no breathing space, so you have to hit buttons slowly and accurately enough that you get high enough to scale each wall in about two or three jumps, but you aren't likely to manage this (and since you haven't the second boot upgrade, you can't fudge the jumps), you're more likely to panic and hit jump quickly enough that it gives you half jumps or you try to jump away from the wall to the next, miss, and slide down. There are five walls, but this troper never made it past the third without cheating. All because it counts fast jumps as half jumps and the sliding mechanic.
    • In X5, your path to the good ending is luck-based. Despite improving your chances by playing the game proper, that's all you improve: your chance. This is bad enough, but let's also bring attention to the main impact of this, namely: Zero. If Zero survives and the colony's destroyed. Zero's around to endgame. If you fail or he goes Maverick, not only is he gone for good; but any health tanks or weapon upgrades he had goes with him. So, the player is left with two options: Bench Zero and let X get all the pickups to prevent Zero from taking any with him upon which he Can't Catch Up, or try to divvy them up between the two characters and hope you prevent him from death.
    • In X5 and X6, the armor system requires X to get all the parts of his armor to be able to even use them or their features at all. This meant that on average, the armors you'd get would be useless for exploring the levels unless you needed their perks to reach certain items.
    • X6 had a slew of bad mechanics due to a rushed development timeframe and no time being spent to iron out or properly integrate any of their ideas. Some are below:
      • Rescuing Reploids. Notable as it's a feature in a previous game that was sought to be better developed as in X5 was wasted. However, their mortality from Nightmare Virus possession ruins the fun this could have had. This is worsened by the fact that some carry with them parts that may be necessary for you to complete certain objectives, and when they die (due to the Nightmare Virus infecting them - and they may be put very close to those Reploids), so do your chances of obtaining them. It becomes so distracting to the overall gameplay experience that a few people view it as an irritation rather than a feature.
      • The Nightmare Effects. Although comparable to X1's own stage effects, they are far more detrimental here. Special mention goes to Infinity Mijinion's Nightmare Dark, which renders Commander Yammark and Rainy Turtloid's stages near unplayable. A notable runner up is the Yammark nightmare which produces little fireflies that take some immense punishment to get rid of. Zero has no trouble with them; but they love to get in X's way and hinder his shots.
      • Zero's saber being slow while attacking enemies. This is problematic when Zero goes against invulnerable targets, since it can last very long and it cannot be canceled.
      • A specific Zero move, Sentsuizan, is more of an annoyance than a help, given that it's activated pressing UP + Z-Saber button, and it can't be cancelled until Zero lands on the ground again. Bottomless Pit below you? Too bad.
      • Getting the parts is a scrappy mechanic of itself; getting the ability to USE a lot of them stinks. You have to essentially collect a ton of nightmare energy just to be able to use two parts and a limited part. To be able to use three or four parts, you have to collect over 5,000 and the maximum 9,999 souls respectively. The souls however only go for one by one in a nightmare infested stage or a paltry 600 per Dynamo encounter. The grind is so tedious and frustrating that many just settle for two parts and a limited upgrade.
  • Banjo-Kazooie: The notes. There's 100 in each level, and you need to collect them to open Note Doors to progress through the hub area. However, you don't actually take the notes out of the level- instead, whenever you die or leave the level, the number you had at that time is saved as your Best Note Score and all the notes reset. Meaning, of course, that if you want 100% Completion, you must get all 100 in one go. In the Xbox Live Arcade rerelease, the Best Note Score was done away with and the notes are collected permanently.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures has the Death Blocks. These nasty little One-Hit Kill traps are absolutely everywhere in the game, and getting by them usually requires some tight maneuvering. One of the game's favorite tricks is putting them in a spot where you have to go, then making them intermittently flicker so that you have to make a carefully-timed jump into the death zone before immediately jumping out. There are probably more screens with them than without them, and they are almost always the number-one cause of death in the game. It's at the point where they make the game's difficulty settings almost cosmetic (the difficulty settings alter your maximum health, but have no effect on the Death Blocks, which kill you in one hit regardless of difficulty and remain everywhere).
  • Contra:
    • The use of both screens in Contra 4. In a game series where the player character can't take much punishment, the lack of visible space between them (to see incoming enemy bullets) can hinder things a fair bit.
    • The Hit-Rate system in the PlayStation 2 games. While it's pretty useful for reminding you not to make mistakes again, it does frustrate most gamers that it could prevent them from completing the game without any mistakes. Even worse is, you could get a Downer Ending if you do a slight mistake.
  • Kirby: Attacks that knock the ability out of you. It's been a mainstay for most games and can lead to a pretty bad cycle of getting hit over and over trying to recover the star, only for it to get knocked back out. Made worse by the fact that there's never actually any indication as to what will or will not, as even basic enemies can do it with contact damage occasionally. How often Kirby loses his ability from attacks varies by game. Later games have many different enemy and boss attacks programmed to always knock out Kirby's ability, and in Kirby's Adventure, Kirby & the Amazing Mirror and Kirby: Squeak Squad, every means of taking damage will make Kirby drop his ability. This can get truly aggravating when going for the fastest possible times in Boss Rush modes as you can't afford to get hit too much or you'll waste time.
  • LittleBigPlanet:
    • The Grappling Hook. Dear God, the Grappling Hook. If you try to swing back and forth to gather momentum, you will end up reeling yourself up into whatever you're hooked onto 95% of the time.
    • The way that level loading works. To understand, let's compare it to LBP2; in that game, you can select the level and press X to start loading it. While it loads, you can read reviews and comments and look at pictures taken in the level. If at any time, you decide that you don't want to play it, you can back out with Circle and look for something else. But in LBP3, if you press X on a level, it will immediately take you to the white loading screen, and if you accidentally pressed X on a level you didn't want to play, no amount of mashing Circle will stop it, meaning that you HAVE to load the level first, then leave the level when it finishes, and then wait for the loading to finish.
    • More like Scrappy Lack-Of-A-Mechanic, people were really irritated with the removal of Dive In, an option that lets you look for games to join or people to join you. Averted as of 1.12, which added the function back in and improved upon it.
    • The '3-planes' format can be very easy to stumble with, especially when you try and go up stairs or ramps and keep. Jumping. Behind them.
    • And the automatic plane-selector, which Media Molecule admitted was difficult to program, seems to hate Sackboy, even overriding your manual changes at the worst possible moments. Like falling 'behind' a safe platform and onto an insta-kill floor. Or when running along you smack into a wall that only exists on ONE plane. Or moving Sackboy to be squished by something that could easily be sidestepped. Etc. etc. It can get worse with the third game, where you now also have to figure out how many of the sixteen layers Sackboy will slide to! The rule is actually the same as the other games: no more than two layers in front of or behind Sackboy, unless it's via the aid of objects like Layer Launchers or the Hook Hat. But good luck trying to remember that in a tense death trap scenario!
    • The set amount of lives checkpoint mechanic. Basically, every obstacle in the game comes with a checkpoint and four lives, lose them all and the level must be played over. It doesn't sound too bad on paper but can be utterly infuriating in practice. The checkpoints are close enough together, but levels are often long and complicated with the worst parts (naturally) being near the end. This means that players will often find themselves breezing through a level with few (if any) deaths and then have to restart because they get stuck 10 feet from the finish line due to a single hard section. What makes this especially annoying is the fact that aside from fire, Sackboy is a One-Hit-Point Wonder who dies if anything so much as looks at him funny and losing to bosses sends the player back to the start of the whole level. The ultimate result here is players being forced to endure That One Level and That One Boss with a side helping of Checkpoint Starvation. The sequels are much better about this, thankfully.
    • The lack of localized water. Basically, the only way to have water that players can swim through in your level is to flood the entire thing. That's fine if your level is, say, a city that's a certain height above sea level, but if you just want to have, for example, a pool, you'd have to either make sure no other part of your level is as low as the water level, remove all of the water once the player is out of the vicinity of the pool, or go through some complex rigmarole of setting up logic and a material that looks like water to get the "swimming" impression. LBP3 adds the water material, which LOOKED like it was going to avoid this, but that material doesn't actually ACT like water, it just looks like it, meaning that you have to set up a different rigmarole to get localized water. The SpongeBob SquarePants pack finally adds it in, but it's in a DLC pack you have to pay for.
  • The Super Mario World Game Mod ASPE Mario has one, in the Phantom of Mirror level. Basically, imagine you've got a seemingly normal horizontal level, except your current view is actually split in half by an invisible mirror, and despite being able to go anywhere on the screen, things on one side of the screen will have an invisible clone on the other side, which acts the exact same way as them. You also don't scroll the screen by walking, but holding the L and R buttons to make the view go left and right respectively. It's a fascinating concept and it's impressive on a technical level, but as raocow found out, an absolute chore to play because it's simply too complicated for its own good.
  • The ability to attack each other when playing co-op in Rayman Legends, knocking them forwards or backwards. It can result in hilarity, but can also lead to many an unnecessary death. What is especially unhelpful is the fact that the game is inconsistent as to which levels you can attack each other and which ones you can't. In most Invasion levels, for example, you can't attack each other, but there are some Invasion levels where you can.
  • Castlevania: The Adventure: Ever seen a Belmont without subweapons, loses his whip power when hit by anything and climbs up ropes instead of staircases? Look no further.


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