Grievous Game Design Sins


Recent attempts to finish Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright were thwarted by intentional game design, forcing me to repeat a previously completed level. Unfortunately, my lack of patience and a decent helping of bad luck means that I’ve been less-than-successful at repeating my previous success. After too many attempts, I forced myself to turn off the Nintendo 3DS and walk away.

That got me thinking about similar times when game design left me fuming and ready to smash hardware. Ideas decided by talented men and women with good intentions, but should be dropped forever for the benefit of humankind and my sanity.

Here are two examples that stick out to me. And yes, I will avoid spoilers.

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USGamer/Jeremy Parish: “Breaking With the Consensus (and Being OK With That)”

“Anyway, this has hardly been the first time I’ve ever found myself surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed a game that conventional gamer wisdom tells me I should hate,” Jeremy Parish recently wrote on USGamer.

A few paragraphs later: “Rather than taking the time to educate myself and have another go, though, I gave up. Because, after all, every review I read of SaGa Frontier said it was terrible, a disgrace to Square’s name, a confusing and nonsensical and ugly game absent anything resembling ‘fun.’ So clearly the problem was that the game wasn’t good, not that I simply needed to learn its inner workings.”

It’s a good article about diverging gaming tastes, something that I can appreciate. You can check out the article here.

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A Lack of Focus: Unravel Review, Super Mario Run, and PS4 Pro


My intention was to make this post entirely about my thoughts on the game Unravel, but I’ve had difficulty in creating a substantial review. So, somewhat in desperation, I’ve turned to other topics that I considered writing about, but wasn’t sure if I had enough to say: the recent Apple and PlayStation press conferences.

Toss them together and you have something a little better than alone.

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What’cha Been Playin’? August 2016


I spent the past six days unsure of what half-written schlock to focus on, but I had “What’cha Been Playin’?” just waiting to be written. Wish I realized that sooner, but I’ve only been writing about the games I’ve played once every five(?) months. Why wouldn’t I forget? (That was sarcasm. Damn text being unable to express tone.)

Okay, I’m looking at the progress I’ve made on completing games this year… Oh, that’s not great. Three… each completed this past month. Not awesome. I mean, it’s progress, but anything is progress from zero. Well, I’m officially onto Uncharted 4, and those aren’t long games so I should be able to add a fourth game before September ends.


At this rate, my Game of the Year list is bound to be pathetic. And short. I’ll be lucky just to have ten games on my list.

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