In first-person games, you should be able to see your fucking body. It's 2012, not 1998. Also, seeing your hands on the sides of the screen (i.e. running in Deus Ex: Human Revolution) looks really shitty. I can forgive it in Skyrim, but if you're running and all you see is your hands briefly flash on the corners of the screen, we have a problem. Adam's running animation in Deus Ex really distracts me. Mirror's Edge came out, what? Four years ago? It let you see your body and whatnot, and its running animation wasn't retarded.
Sports, rhythm, racing, fighting and whatnot games are exempt from this, within reason. Autosave after games/races/songs/fights. That's fine. DS/3DS games too, I guess.
However, if I'm playing some four-hundred-hour grindfest, I want to be able to save whenever the fuck I want. Save points are fucking archaic. It's not 2001. Actually, you could fucking do that in 2001. Metal Gear Solid 2 and Jak and Daxter prove that. God forbid I save somewhere in your corridors that you didn't intend me to. God forbid if I save when it's convenient for me ten years after the technology became available. God for-fucking-bid.
It seems the only genre that lets you do this is the WRPG, which generally have huge worlds, and allow you to pick up exactly where you left off. Like, to the pixel. I can understand not wanting a platformer to do this, but JRPGs have no excuse. What, afraid I'll grind in the wrong place?
Worst is Grand Theft Auto IV. Saints Row 1 let you save whenever within reason. However, someone said "IT'S A TRADITION" and threw logic out the window. What's worse is the first island's safehouse GETS BURNED TO THE FUCKING GROUND. YOU DO NOT GET ANOTHER ONE.
In the original Kingdom Hearts, checkpoints were at the point you entered the room, and cutscenes were unskippable. This was, at best, a minor annoyance until RIKU HAPPENED. One of the hardest fights in the game, preceded by a long, unskippable cutscene. THIS IS NOT GOOD GAME DESIGN.
You know what's also shitty? "WHOOPS DROPPED MY CONTROLLER WHOOPS SKIPPED CUTSCENE" FUCK THAT.
This is how it should work, step by fucking step:
Hello! Welcome to the guide to skipping cutscenes!
STEP ONE: Press the START button to pause the cutscene!
STEP TWO: Select the "SKIP" option and press the A (or X) button to skip the cutscene!
This has been a step-by-step guide to skipping a cutscene! Have a nice day!
Oh yeah, and cutscenes should be pausable. "OH SHIT I HAVE TO PISS BUT EXPOSITION IS HAPPENING"
Button-mashing sequences suck. Especially when they have you mash the B button, which barely even fits on the face of the controller. I have never, ever actively enjoyed forced button-mashing.
Okay, I will admit that one part of Metal Gear Solid 4 was executed well. BUT ONLY BECAUSE THE MICROWAVES WERE COOKING SNAKE ALIVE
IT MAKES SENSE IN CONTEXT
05: BUTTON PLACEMENT
Okay, so, in some games there aren't enough buttons to fit everything on, so we have context-sensitive button shit. That's fine. Except for this:
Okay, you're playing Assassin's Creed: Revelations, and you see a guy below you you want to kill. You leap off of something and press the X button for a nice AIR ASSASSINATION, but you activate a parachute instead! He's alerted, your whole plan blown to shit.
Yes, it was a very specific example. But fuck it all the same.
Look, I get that you design something that fits in canon and want to put it in your game. Drive some tigers around or whatever. But seriously. Every game has a "normal" gameplay that is what you do for the vast majority of the game. Be it shooting guys, stabbing guys, punching guys, or whatever. Every so often you change it up by having to follow a damn train, driving some tigers around, setting an ambush or having to escort the president's daughter. It uses the same gameplay, just in a different context to make you think on your feet. That's good game design. So, that's not why we're here.
Near the beginning of (WAIT FOR IT) Assassin's Creed: Revelations, you have to BASH INTO HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGES WITH YOUR OWN HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE! YEAH! THIS IS WHY I BOUGHT AN ASSASSIN'S CREED GAME! I FUCKING LOVE CARRIAGES! Oh, wait. I bought the game to casually assassinate motherfuckers. What's worse is that it is EXTREMELY trial and error-y, and sets the game up totally wrong. OH AND SPEAKING OF CARRIAGES
07: REMEMBER THIS
So, after the first carriage segment, the whole thing is never done again until the final chapter. Wait, what? I'm supposed to remember how to do this?
DON'T THROW A FUCKING GAME MECHANIC AT ME THAT I HAVEN'T SEEN IN YEARS AND SET THE DIFFICULTY TO FUCKING RETARDED. Granted, the second segment switches it up soon after, but it still takes fifty tries to get past it. Fuck carriages, seriously.
I'm not asking much. I'm not asking for better writing, because that's totally subjective. These are things that NEED to be improved. Preferably before the world ends.