Pet peeves. We all have them, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Many involve ordinary, everyday life. Maybe you don’t like when people walk on your carpet without taking their shoes off. Maybe you get really irritated when people leave their shopping carts in the middle of the aisle at the grocery store. You know, instead of off to the side. And you either have to squeeze your way past or give up and decide that you didn’t really need a jar of mayo that badly, after all. Yeah, that kind of stuff. On a similar note, probably all gamers have pet peeves that are only found within the realm of video games. Bosses that completely heal right before their health runs out. Really dumb characters you’re supposed to protect who seem bent on getting themselves killed. The list goes on and on.
Before I tell you my gaming pet peeve, let me begin by telling you a brief story. The idea for this post came about when I was playing Final Fantasy V. I have since completed the game, but I guess I just forget to publish this post before then. Well, as much as I enjoyed this game, there were multiple occasions where I became quite upset while playing it. No, sometimes I became downright angry for several specific reasons. This game, as you all probably could guess, is an RPG. And RPGs, well, they involve turn-based battles, more often than not. And many times, those battles are completely random, and you can’t see the enemies until you’ve triggered a totally random fight with them. This is something RPGs have done for decades. Yes. Decades! And on the most part, I’ve accepted it, just like I’ve accepted the fact that I’ll lose all of my progress if I run out of lives in a platformer. It comes with the territory. But, just because I have grown to accept it, that doesn’t mean I like it.
Before I elaborate further, one more thing that bothered me was the game’s infrequency of save points. While wandering about the world map, you can save whenever you feel like it. When exploring deep caves and massive, confusing temples, you can only save at specific save points spread throughout the location’s many rooms. Again, many video games force you to make some manner of progress before you can save, whether it be in the manner I just described or simply by completing the current stage you’re in. This is understandable, and very rarely is it an issue for me. It is only when save points are scattered very sparingly across a location that I get bothered. Combine that with many, many random battles, and you have a recipe for what might possibly be the Duck’s biggest gaming pet peeve, a category of events I like to call…
Yes, time wasters. I hate things in video games…that waste my time. You see, there have been many instances during my time with FFV where I have been very aggravated because of this. This game is absolutely filled with dungeon-like locations, and sometimes you have to wander for a good 30-40 minutes searching for a save point before you find one. And the whole way, my progress is repeatedly interrupted, usually as often as once every three seconds, by yet another group of enemies I had no chance of avoiding. While I understand that battling enemies in RPGs is vital if you want to get stronger, sometimes I just wish the fighting could be on my terms. Like everyone else reading this post today, I am a busy Duck. I have things that I need to get done, and when I have chores or what have you looming over me, it can become very frustrating indeed when you want to wrap your game up within the next ten minutes, and that ten minutes stretches into 30 thanks to your 20th completely unwanted battle.
I mean, these locations must be absolutely packed full of monsters if you can’t go five seconds without bumping into another group. It’s absurd! Absurd, I tell you!
Seriously, I can never understand what game developers are thinking when they make their games this way. Do they really believe that our schedules are so empty that we can make a grand quest out of simply finding a save point? Why are we not given the flexibility to start and stop our games when we see fit? If I really don’t feel like fighting enemies right now, why do I have to? Few things bother me quite as much as a video game I want to stop playing for the day that won’t let me.
What is your gaming pet peeve? What aspect of video games just really gets your blood boiling more than anything else? Please let me know in the comments!
A Peeved Duck