The warnings that should’ve been


We’re going to do something we don’t normally do- we’re going to play Devil’s Advocate.

We see all sorts of warnings on our videogame cases these days, warning us of violence, crude language and the like. These are there to ‘stop’ people under the age of the game’s awarded age level from purchasing them.
Not that it ever works.

But maybe games should feature warnings about the amount of generic Kraut infantry contained, the game’s awful save system, or maybe just how much the game sucks.

Today we bring you a list of examples of how the gaming world could be better for everyone if developers told us what the game contained.

1. Obvious weakspots/insulting hint systems.

This is one of our biggest pet peeves. We loved Wind Waker so much because it never told you what to do during boss fights; finding out how to kill the blighter was half the fun, and hint systems suck all that fun out, liquidise it, and empty with a huge splash of “obvious” into the pits of “Duh!”.

What annoys us even more is the fact that a lot of them can’t even be turned off.

The thing is, figuring out how to kill a boss is just as fulfilling and satisfying as stabbing a sword into its eye, or firing a big, fat beam of Phazon Corruption up its rear.

Or maybe not its rear…maybe it’s those 3 extremely discreet (read: unmissable), glowing red spots on its chest.
Or that tentacle with a big Grapple Hook icon looming over it.

Main offenders
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

For those with Metroid OCD, you know what it’s like to want to scan everything, and get that prestigious 100% completion. To do that, you must also scan bosses. The thing is, we have to choose. We have to choose between slightly less than 100% completion, or ruining a genuinely awesome moment in video game history. Either that, or we have to play through the game several times. Some people like to do that. I, on the other hand, do not.
The only games I have completed multiple times are Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 3. Notice a pattern here?

Actually, I only played through the Zelda games because they were awesome, but I digress.

In all honesty though, if you needed to use the hint system in Prime 3 at all, you deserve a slap.

Hmm, I wonder where I should shoot him...

Hmm, I wonder where I should shoot him?

The way that Zelda gives you hints is not quite as much as a design flaw as it is in Metroid.
However, it’s a lot more bloody annoying.
Ocarina of Time is the main culprit- that freakin’ Navi got on my nerves so much, I think I actually totalled an N64 pad…and then probably a ‘Cube pad with the Master Quest.

In Twilight Princess, it’s slightly less annoying where voices are concerned. However, this does nothing to redeem the fact that I have to repeatedly press A to get Midna to scram. Not only does it interrupt the gameplay and music, it also kills the atmosphere of the epic battle.
A ferocious eel-like creature with humongous teeth furiously lashes its tail, knocking down stone pillars whilst Link stands talking to Midna, with his sword sheathed.
Yeah, not what you’d call tense.

So not only does it ruin the atmosphere and gameplay, but it also takes away that feeling of satisfaction you get when you finally figure out how to kill it.



2. Generic level design

Linear progression is fine and dandy in some games, when it works, but please, at least make the environments exciting. Just a little?

There’s nothing fun about walking through corridor after corridor with the same plant and clock cut and pasted every 10 yards. Nothing.

And if you can’t be bothered to make a half decent level, at least let me decorate it with bullets.

Main Offender
Red Steel

So I’m walking down a T-Corridor. There’s doors either side of me, but I don’t try to open them, because I’m fully aware that they’re just for show. Wow, this is mind-numbingly boring.
Hey, didn’t I just see that exact same photo on the wall a few yards back?
This carpet is lov–Hey, a guy just jumped out from behind that wall! How unexpected!
Now he’s dead, let’s go back to admiring the carpet until the next sword-fight.

This isn’t the Scooby Doo episodes of the 90s, it’s the next generation of video gaming, and these games have massive budgets, and tons of creative staff.

Use them!

Come on people, stop being so lazy.
You don’t make friends with corridors, believe me.


3. Stereotypical/Monotonous character design

Guys in suits. Space marines. Bad ass with gun. Nazi soldiers.

We appreciate there can’t be much variation in the Nazi soldiers’ image- they’re bald men in military uniforms. However, you could give them more lines of dialog than the standard “GRENADA!” and “AMERICANA INFANTRY”. That’s not even German!

And stop making them so stupid. I think it’s rather insulting to assume all Germans would think of wooden crates as suitable protection from a few rounds of an SMG. Also, why does everyone in the German army have the same feeble voice, whilst the Americans all have their own gruff, macho voices of authority?

Main offenders

Call of Duty: Big Red One

Call of Duty 3



One of the best games of this generation was released last year. It was an intergalactic RPG of considerable amounts of win. Its atmosphere and planetary design really helped to make an amazing experience.

Yes, I’m talking about Bioware’s epic, Mass Effect.

At the backbone of the game though, was the character design.

With a range of diverse alien races, it made the player feel connected to the game because the design is so convincing, you start to believe a race like this could exist, and you even begin to accept that Krogans are actually real.

It’s amazing how much some good drawings can go in making a game a great experience.

Developers, you know it’s right.


warning-ikaruga14. Seizures

Ah, what the hell. Although seizures affect those with epilepsy, they don’t seem to affect us.

We just put that on so we could have a valid reason to post this picture.

Actually…I rather like ranting, and I’m pretty good at ranting over little or nothing.

So. This game is ridiculously challenging. So much so, I can’t believe anyone has completed it on the highest dificulty; I couldn’t even see my ship. So I ask, is there any reason to make it this difficult?

Maybe I wanted to witness and appreciate this masterpiece of colours and particles in all its glory, taking time out to marvel at the explosions rather than give myself cramped thumbs whil….ah, nobody’s reading this.

Main offenders


Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved


5. Ruining an awesome franchise

No need. Whatsoever.

No need. Whatsoever.

Dear Readers,

Due to personal and emotional reasons, we feel it’s best that Rory not speak of, or listen to any conversation concerning The Legend of Zelda games for the Philips CDi.

They sucked.


Yours Truly, anonymous entity of O Wiily?

Main offenders

Zelda: Wand of Gamelon

Link: The Faces of Evil

Quake 4

Far Cry Instincts/Vengeance


6. Games that cause Grievous Bodily Harm


Thank you for letting us play your awesome songs on Guitar Hero, but also CURSE YOU!

Seriously, I feel for anyone who got even half way Through the Fire and Flames on Expert. What suffering you must’ve endured. Poor soul. It was bad enough playing it on Hard.

The extremely awkward chord changing, the ridiculously fast strumming, the stupid strings of notes that don’t even take a comprehendible shape when studied for minutes, never mind miliseconds.

Needless to say, it was a strain for the old fingers to deal with.

This is more of a whinge than a genuine complaint, dismiss it as you wish.

But we’ve warned you…take heed.

Jimmy, we salute you.


We’re aware that that’s a bot playing, but

knowing that there are people out there

who can play this amazes us.

Main offenders

Guitar Hero series

Rock Band

Super Smash Bros.

You’re more likely to get injured from a WaveBird to the head than button pressing when playing Smash Bros., but either way, violence is not the answer folks, and pain is an awful thing.


warning-animal-crossing17. Judging a game by its cover

This is less of an annoyance with the game, rather the gamer.

There’s nothing more that I hate than ignorance, and ignorance when it comes to video games is pretty commonplace, and frustrating.

People who won’t play a game in fear that it will ruin their image, or credibility.

People who won’t play a game because it has a rather childish undertone.

People who won’t play a game because it has more than 3 colours in its pallet.

Nintendo’s advertising seems to fuel this ignorance.

For instance, I was discussing Animal Crossing with a friend at school a few weeks ago, when a rather ill-informed guy from our class comes up to me.

“What are you guys talking about?”

“Animal Crossing”

“Hahahaha, seriously? That’s that game with the girl playing it on the advert, right? Haha you’re such an idiot, it’s for like, two year olds.”

“Oh really? Then I assume your preference of games is much more ‘acceptable’ than mine is it?”

“Yeah, I play real games like FIFA and Need for Speed”

“Oh dear…”

And that was the end of the discussion. He walked off.

Rather annoying if I’m honest. Games are just as subjective as music or films, everyone has their own opinion, and it’d be a better world if everyone valued, accepted, and appreciated each other’s tastes in genres.

Main offenders




warning-super-fruitfall18. Charging money for something anyone can get for free

What on Earth were they thinking?

Who in their right mind is going to buy a game that they can play on the web, free-of-charge.

Oh wait…lots of people.

See, people aren’t aware that games such as Super Fruit Fall and Tetris are available for free on the World Wide Web.

Developers take advantage of this; they cut and paste the game to disc, add some waggle and pointer functionality and ship it in a shiny case.

The consumer, unaware of the sad reality, openly hands over their hard earned cash for an awful port of an awful, free game.

It’s free for a reason.

It’s blatant exploitation, but they’re covered by their sales figures.

If someone says “What you’re doing is wrong- you’re charging for something that is usually free”

The developer responds “Yeah, but 80,000 people have bought this”

Developer then realises they can do this for other games and make more profit.

It’s a vicious cycle.

Main offenders

Super Fruitfall


Bust a Move


warning-far-cry-vengeance18. Bad games

Yes, just bad games. Any bad game. Any bad game you can think of.

There’s just no excuse for them, especially when the team who’s making them are actually really talented.

Such is the case with Far Cry Vengeance. We’ve all seen how good Far Cry can be when it’s made properly. This usually means it’s on the PC. However, what we’ve seen of Far Cry 2 makes us very happy bunnies indeed.

The aforementioned Super Fruitfall is in our bad books too.

The game is ‘developed’ by System 3. While they’re not the most talented studio in the world, they’re more than capable of making a decent game, worthy of a purchase, as they showed us with Ferrari Challenge.

It’s a shame to see talent go to waste on mediocre ports of games that nobody gives a hoot about.

If you’ve got a bad game in your home right now, and I’m sure you have, I want you to find it and follow these steps;

– Lull it into a false sense of security by telling it about all the good times you had with it.

– Snap it in half. You might feel a bit of hesitancy at first, but trust us, it’ll feel satisfying once you do it.

– Write death threats and insults to the developer on it in permanent marker.

– Send it to the developer’s headquarters.

– Laugh as they send it back.

– Burn it.

– Bury it with the knowledge of how it was the worst game you’ve ever played, and by carrying out this process, you’ve saved the lives of 259 baby kittens who were killed during the testing of the game.


Fortunately, some games come with their own way of telling you “PUT ME BACK ON THE £9.99 SHELF FROM WHENCE I CAME!”




One Response

  1. Ha, Rory that was dead good (: I actually read it all. I agreed with most of the points you made, haha.

    Fucking gutted, though; I’ve got Bust a Move on DS. ><

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