A new thread popped up on one of my favorite forums the other day (Gamers with Jobs) entitled, “Your gaming Kryptonite” in which user Higgledy asked, “What is your Kryptonite?” This got me inspired, because honestly it’s a GREAT question. Therefore, I’m stealing his idea and putting it here, where I will also ask the question: Friends, what is your space gaming Kryptonite?
Mine are as follows:
- Escort Missions – Yes, yes, this is an easy choice, but still, how many times have we groaned or rolled our eyes when we saw one of THESE chestnuts coming our way? I SUBMIT EVERY TIME. Now a few games add some interface flourishes to help with this, like Freespace 2’s exceptional escort list or Eterium’s simple and effective color-coding (enemies attacking the ship you’re escorting turn purple in the HUD, for example), but for the most part, it’s typically an exercise in frustration. I mean I get why these kind of missions exist in our games, sure, but do they always have to be so annoying? I mean, why can’t I escort something that can run away if need be, or better yet, defend itself while we help defend it? Most of the time though our friends just sit there, waiting to be destroyed. Damned frustrating, that.
- Poor Situational Awareness/Targeting – I’ve likely harped on this before, but it REALLY gets my bacon. I can’t stand games — space sims are particularly egregious at this — that want you to do a task but don’t give you the tools needed to actually do it effectively. Strike Suit Zero and Destination Sol are fantastic examples of this. There are missions where one is supposed to take out incoming torpedoes (which could be its own category here, but I digreess), but there’s no button to target those torpedoes individually nor do they show up differently in the HUD, so one has to cycle through numerous targets to find them. Freespace 2, on the other hand, has a button specifically for targeting bombs and torpedoes and it works brilliantly.
- Extreme Ramp Ups/Walls in Difficulty – There are more non-space games guilty of this aggrievance than not, but still, when it happens it really grinds my gears. You’re chugging along, feeling fairly challenged and having a good time then WOMP. You slam into a wall of difficulty you can’t seem to get around. With space games, this has recently happened with my beloved TIE Fighter, but has also happened with games like Void Destroyer and Arvoch Alliance. I run into this one more with non-space games, however. With both inFamous games on the PS3, for example, I’ve run into missions that have nearly made me throw my controller into the TV, and I just stopped playing after that.
Alrighty, your turn! What’s your space gaming Kryptonite? I can’t wait to read all about it in the comments. Thanks for reading!