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What Spoils a Game For You?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the spoiling-a-good-story-is-grounds-for-a-whoopin dept.

Games 214

MTV's Multiplayer Blog is running an interesting piece about what constitutes a spoiler in video games. The interactivity of a video games, argues the author, often makes it necessary to spoil or reveal at least general characteristics of a game during a review or other informative article. He says, "I believe that writing about games is overly careful. I believe that game scripts, game plots and game endings have been given a pass because critics tend to avoid them or address them with the most ginger touch. I'd at least like the discussion about spoilers to cease being so binary. There is room between avoiding mentioning a plot event and reporting its main details. There is value to addressing anything and everything that is most interesting in a game, and value in doing it with words that express meaning rather than those designed to mask it." So, what do you consider a spoiler for a video game, and how do they affect your enjoyment of the game?

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Reporting about plot twists (4, Insightful)

derfy (172944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770495)

Does it for me.

MTV and Spike (3, Informative)

Malevolyn (776946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770863)

Them being in any way involved with the gaming industry makes me embarrassed to be a jobless shut-in.

Re:Reporting about plot twists (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770897)

Pretty much that's it, as far as I'm concerned. I think too many people posting in this article didn't even bother reading the summary where it was asking about "spoilers," not what makes the game itself unfun.

Re:Reporting about plot twists (3, Funny)

edittard (805475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771847)

I think too many people posting in this article didn't even bother reading the summary where it was asking about "spoilers," not what makes the game itself unfun.

Are you trying to imply that the headline is misleading and/or ambiguous? Let me remind you, sir, that this is slashdot.

Re:Reporting about plot twists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772015)

So what, you big baby.

IMHO it's more complex (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771229)

IMHO it's more complex than "don't write about plot twists", and as the summary notes, some games have gotten a free pass with some really bad ones just so the reviewer doesn't spoil it. Basically I'd propose the following distinction, and IMHO it's a major one:

A) Telling me _what_ the plot twist is. Bad.

B) Telling me about the quality of plot twists and their implementation. Good.

Basically I don't want to know stuff like "it turns out you're the feared Sith Lord", but I do want to know if, say, the plot twists are cliches that you can see coming a whole disk before they actually happen.

Also, I don't really mind examples if:

A) They happen in the first half an hour of the game anyway, so it's not like it's such a major loss. The rest of a game _should_ still be enjoyable even if I know what happens in the tutorial. Or,

B) Even the most cursory read of the manual would reveal the same information. I mean, seriously, e.g., in Persona 2 Eternal Punishment you only needed to have played the previous game or read the manual to know what's with Maia or the mysterious boy. But in game for your characters that comes very very late. So basically the manual itself spoils a major element of the plot. Obviously the designers didn't mind you knowing that.

Should a reviewer really avoid it for those who can't be bothered to read the first 3 pages of the manual? (Then again, I doubt that _some_ people can read more than a paragraph;)

Re:IMHO it's more complex (0, Offtopic)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771857)


Re:IMHO it's more complex (1)

orangesquid (79734) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772135)

Didn't RTFA, so I think I'm actually interpreting the question a little differently than intended. However, what spoils a game for me is often copy protection...
NPC: Yes, the next thing in your quest will be the Sword of Gryntwer.
Player: Can you tell me about the Sword of Gryntwer?
NPC: Oh, it is a most interesting tale. However, I am old and my memory is poor. Maybe you can help me remember by ENTERING THE 22ND, 37TH, AND 51ST WORDS BELOW THE HEADING "HOW TO INSTALL UNDER WINDOWS NT" IN THE "CREATIX'S CALL OF THE HEMLOCK" INSTRUCTION MANUAL:
(Game freezes, and you can't click on anything until entering the words RESTART FLOPPY COOKIES)

Redundency (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770497)

I don't mind when there is some repetition, but it can be really bad. What really terrible is when you don't feel like you accomplished anything cause you pretty much have to do it all over again for the next level. I usually play till I get bored, but then I don't get the whole story line.

Re:Redundency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26770731)

Level 6 of Halo, The Library, was the worst map i've ever seen ever. The rest of the game was great, but that map's only saving grace (for me) was the Monitor, because I love how detached that character is...

Re:Redundency (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770789)

You want a crappy level? In BFME I there is a level about 1/3 of the way through the evil campaign- capture the ring from Frodo. After you have spent all this time leveling up your tech tree and troops they drop you on a level with zip for resources and none of your decent skills work, the only money you get is from a few treasure chests spread around the map, and the enemy seems to be able to cut through your troops like a hot knife through butter. It feels so completely detached from what comes before or after it feels like it was dropped in from another game and is nothing but a grind. Now THAT is a crappy level. While I agree that map in Halo I sucked, compared to the level I just described it is a blessing.

Re:Redundency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26771015)

Library wasn't that bad, really. I kinda enjoyed it when I last played through a week ago.

What really gets my goat? (5, Funny)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770499)

The worst part about people spoiling a game for you is them telling you that Aeris dies.

Re:What really gets my goat? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26770617)

The worst part about people spoiling a game for you is them telling you that Aeris dies.

Dude, that game is 12 years old now. If you don't know that she dies, I have some bad news for you: The ship sinks at the end of Titanic.

Re:What really gets my goat? (4, Interesting)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771295)

And time passed validates spoiling something for somebody.. how?

Let's say MindlessAutomata never played the Final Fantasy games.. he'd heard about them in the past, heard they were pretty good, but really he was out and about playing... I don't know, baseball. Whatever. But he grows too old for the game and they kick him out. Too bad, so sad. So what's he to do.. books, sure.. maybe some TV.. but then he thinks back to those computer games and figures 'hell, why not' and gets a buddy to drag over his old PS1 and a bunch of games including Final Fantasy VII. So he sits there on the couch, playing the game for the first time ever, enjoying it (presumably) and getting quite captivated by it.

Then YOU walk in and tell him "oh hey, fun game, eh? Yeah, Aeris dies."

See how f'ed up that is?

As far as Titanic goes.. that's not a spoiler. Even if you'd never heard of the Titanic, if you watch the movie for the first time, it becomes clear pretty early on that the damn thing will sink. But tell somebody who's never seen the movie that Jack dies, and I think they may be a bit miffed with you.

Re:What really gets my goat? (2, Funny)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771533)

You're right, of course, but there are exceptions. For instance, I'm going to spoil the fact that the first three Star Wars Episodes suck donkey ass very early on for my own kids. I just can't imagine them being pissed at me over that. Well, at least not until they've actually seen them ;).

Re:What really gets my goat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26771601)

First three? There are ONLY three Star Wars films. Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Anything else was just filler, cash cow fluff.

Re:What really gets my goat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772025)

But tell somebody who's never seen the movie that Jack dies, and I think they may be a bit miffed with you.

I haven't watch Titanic yet, you insensitive clod!

Rosebud (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26770807)

It's his sled. It was his sled from when he was a kid. There. I just saved you two long, boobless hours.

A Different type of spoiler (4, Insightful)

powerspike (729889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770507)

I think one of the worse type's of spoilers, which has really come out on the wii (and some of the other console games), is with casual games, having to spend 10-20+ hours unlocking content for a game that is a "casual" game, that really spoils it. Seriously, if i'm only playing a game here and there like an hour a week, on some games it can take years to unlock it all.

Re:A Different type of spoiler (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771161)

Back in the old days this was what cheat codes were for.

Now the Action Replays and Game Sharks of our generation have been killed off by the game companies. Even PC mods are going to die off, thanks to the WoW Glider case.

Re:A Different type of spoiler (3, Insightful)

Siridar (85255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771199)

yep, ditto. LittleBigPlanet was like that...I just wanted to get in and start making COOL STUFF! but no. Play through the levels we made, then you have to play through the tutorials for every. Single. Item.

I've used a paint program before, so perhaps its not necessary for me to watch a tutorial on how to use one in the game?

Or hey, devs, here's a better idea. Unlock everything, without forcing tutorials, and let players figure things out for themselves - maybe the players will make things out of your stuff that you never heard of!

Re:A Different type of spoiler (3, Interesting)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771933)

Good point, and that is also applicable to party oriented games. Guitar Hero and Rock Band make you go through the career mode to unlock all the songs, which is annoying if you have a party and want people just to be able to play whatever songs they are interested in, rather than which songs are in the next unlocked group.

Re:A Different type of spoiler (2, Insightful)

Hoho19 (529839) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772013)

This is so true. We have a wii and it is expressly used for playing games with our friends. I have a wife and kid and job and house that take all my other free time. I hate the fact that content for games must be unlocked in single player mode. That is very frustrating.

Depends on the importance. (2, Interesting)

skreeech (221390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770545)

For a video game story I would base the quality of a spoiler on the importance of the story in that game. So for almost all games what the writer suggests, "deals with death/love/groundhogs" is fine and writing exactly what happens would not hurt them.

Late game twist should be more likely to be left out of the text unless they are for the worse. While an early game plot device should be free to cover.

Spoiling actual gameplay surprises may be a trickier subject but I am short on examples.

DRM (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26770555)

I won't even buy it if it is infected with DRM.

Boss levels (2, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770565)

"Boss" levels. Games are supposed to be fun. If you make them too difficult then they cease being fun.

Re:Boss levels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26770655)

Those can be the most exciting, fun, and memorable parts.

Unfortunately, difficulty can be very hard to set.

One game you're dancing on the head bosses corpse singing, the other you've reloaded 35 times and are going to break stuff.

Re:Boss levels (1)

DavoMan (759653) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771543)

C'mon boss levels are one of the true original elements of video games that are still alive & kicking today :)

This isn't about games (1)

bdijkstra (526884) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770573)

This is about pre-cooked, semi-interactive movie-like game-substitutes. The games that I play cannot be 'spoiled'. This question is an insult.

Re:This isn't about games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26770623)

RPG games (old Bioware), some rare good FPS games (Portal), adventure games (Lucasarts or Sierra), or excellent individual games (Eternal Darkness) could all have been impaired by being given the wrong information at the wrong time. "An insult", sheesh, don't be such an elitist twat.

Remember: thou art mortal! (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770827)

When I read the GP's post I pictured Dom DeLuise's Nero from History of the World Part 1.

"Nice, nice. Not thrilling, but nice."

Re:This isn't about games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772051)

Heck, even crossword puzzles can be spoiled by a reviewer. Will Shortz has to use extremely vague language to praise a particular puzzle. Maybe Games magazine should rename itself "movie-like" magazine. Then again, there are some movies that can't be spoiled. (Ever been to an art film festival?) The same goes for novels. It all depends on the particular experience the author is trying to create. Stating that video games can't have this developer-player dynamic is saying that video games shall never be a real form of expression.

Hold it to the same standard as movies.. (4, Insightful)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770593)

When reading a review about a game, I want to know what the game is about, in a general sense. I don't need specific details, but I do want somebody to tell me if the end game isn't worth my time. Its certainly a grey area when deciding how much info is too much, but movie critics have been doing it for years.

Stuff the player was supposed to figure out (2, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770607)

Some reviewers will tell you the puzzle highlights but spoil the solution in the process, making the best puzzles trivial. Some will spoil surprises (like in Metroid Zero Mission). I don't mind plot spoilers if they're about the kind that's blindingly obvious anyway (e.g. that the big government/organization in any jRPG is evil).

Re:Stuff the player was supposed to figure out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26771057)

(e.g. that the big government/organization in any jRPG is evil).

Except for FF8, where neither of the obvious candidates (Garden or Esthar) was evil.

Re:Stuff the player was supposed to figure out (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771225)

The problem with FF8, is it makes almost no sense.

That said, it was damn fun.

Re:Stuff the player was supposed to figure out (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771575)

Governments and other big organizations come in two forms actually: Evil and Redshirt Army. Because the player doesn't feel important if the good guys can win without him.

Re:Stuff the player was supposed to figure out (1)

Pentagram (40862) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771377)

Good call. I remember reading a review of Half-Life 2 Episode 2, where the reviewer described one puzzle where the objective is to get over the tilted bridge with the car. One of the coolest puzzles in the game, and the reviewer described the solution. Definitely an unwelcome spoiler for me.

Re:Stuff the player was supposed to figure out (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771825)

I don't even bother to read reviews anymore, all it does is raise expectations of the final game. See spore, most people followed every bit of information on that for years and look what a disappointment that turned out to be when it wasn't exactly as people imagined it to be.

By the way (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26770615)

Sephiroth kills Aeris.

A few talking points to jot down here... (3, Interesting)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770631)

Characters named after people whose stories I know, like Merlin, Atlas, Midas, etc; Overdramatized situations (if I'm the last best hope of humanity, you're fucked.); Bad music; Bad graphics (this, seriously, does not take much, just make sure that what I look at is easily identifiable and consistent with the other graphics in the game); Really glaring inconsistencies (walk into a 5x5 house, and the indoors area is as big as a gymnasium); Any "race" that is basically just a renamed version of something from some other setting/game; Vampires (exception: when said vampires are killing nazis); Any futuristic game with melee weapons (use your fucking gun); Any game that thinks the attractiveness of a female is defined by her attire (hint: posture, voice, face, and attitude. Past that it could be a toaster and still be hot. Consult: Baltar.); Grinding through boredom to get to something new, and then being slapped in the face with something so trivially different it's insulting. (see: world of warcraft armor in northrend);

I am tired; Semicolons should be enough to make this readable.

Re:A few talking points to jot down here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26770729)

you just look like a jack ass now, rtfa. No wait, READ THE FUCKING DESCRIPTION.

Re:A few talking points to jot down here... (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770825)

In fairness, about 50% of the posts have nothing to do with the summary. It's pretty amazing, actually, that so many people jumped into writing a post after reading nothing but the thread title.I think it indicates people really want to talk about what what ruins a game, and

Re:A few talking points to jot down here... (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771943)

Offtopicness notwithstanding:

Any futuristic game with melee weapons (use your fucking gun)


noun, verb, funned, funning, adjective
1. something that provides mirth or amusement: Mutilating zombies and chewing through imps with a chainsaw would be fun
2. enjoyment or playfulness: She's full of fun.

Games with chainsaws will also make you popular with girls, babysit your kids and clean your oven. Vote Chainsaws 2012.

Many things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26770641)

Preformance problems and wasted resources due to DRM or just poor game design. GTA4 has this one real bad.

Going from cd to dvd based games the game sizes have exploded. But we've not really seen a comparable jump in quality. In a word. Bloat.

Poor control layout or the inability to remap controls to what *I* want and am used to using.
Console ports are notorious for this one.

Missing content. Stuff you can tell was supposed to be there but isnt. Empty and bare gameplay areas.

Broken content. Unpatched games. Untested games. Games where it's totally obvious nobody sat down and tried to play thru as a player before release.
Like fallout 3 or mass effect. SO much potential. SO much epic fail.

Games that are not nearly as cool to play as you were lead to believe by the paid reviews before you bought and found the truth. Spore anyone?

Multiplayer games where my FUN relys on other people not being complete assholes. especially team based games that provide no ways to keep your team from being tools.

Oddly enough all but the last item are also all reasons i rarely BUY games anymore. I've learned the lesson the games makers were teaching. Even if they didn't intend to teach that.

You think they were bad (1)

GreenTech11 (1471589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771303)

Now to continue talking at a completely different tangent, you think Fallout 3 and Masseffect are hard for the player, I cant help but think of an original Playstation game, (cant remember the title) this was a game where there wasn't a single walkthrough on the web that had managed to get past the halfway point, of the first level. On the topic, anything that ruins the final movie sequence ruins the plot for me,

Alright, here's my break down. (2, Interesting)

coppro (1143801) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770665)

Video games are a lot like books and, to a lesser extent, movies. I don't mind minor details. If you told me that in the next Zelda game, Ganon was in fact the one behind it all, I wouldn't be surprised (even if it wasn't immediately obvious, as in TP).

Stuff you can tell me:
  • Minor details.
  • Plot details which I have deduced or otherwise expected by the time I'm given the spoiler.
  • Semi-believable information in a manner that leads me to doubt its veracity.
  • Minor plot twists (without context) that keep me wondering when they will occur - such as saying that some character will do X unexpected action (betrayals are a great example)

The big nonos are the ending and any major plot twists. Also, subplots should count as full-on plots within themselves - they may be relatively minor, but don't give me the endings or twists to those either.

The best spoilers are the ones that leave me wondering when and how (even if) they are happen - these have to be very vague, and just pique enough interest. As I said, betrayals are always good. But some other good ones include a pacifist character killing someone intentionally, or someone doing something else totally unexpectedly. This is the sort of thing that keeps me reading/playing/watching.

well duh (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770671)

Stupid 12 year olds screaming incorrectly spelled, angry crap at random people and generally being annoying spoils games for me but obviously that only applies to online ones. That and cheaters that make it impossible for honest players to win. Both of those can be proven by looking at Halo 2.

Lets see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26770691)

Those 14 year old's who can't even spell, that either consider themselves "l33t" when they outnumber you 4 to 1, or cry "hax" when your the better player and won fair and square.

DRM (4, Interesting)

aerthling (796790) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770717)

Until recently I viewed the vitriol spewed by anti-DRM zealots with mild suprise. I'd never really felt it was all that bad. Then I bought and installed Bioshock. CD keys and mild disc protection I can live with, but those PLUS activation PLUS forcing a 10MB patch download every single time the game is installed took my breath away. After a few hours trying to install it under Wine I was ready to put my foot through my screen.

THAT ruined Bioshock for me. Spoilers I don't really mind.

Re:DRM (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771635)

Oh, wow, ten whopping megabytes! I recently bought a game from the bargain bin and had to download (the game has online multiplayer, obviously that doesn't work without patches) over two gigabytes of patches that came with a patcher that took longer to run than the patches to download. And it wasn't an MMORPG.

Re:DRM (2, Insightful)

aerthling (796790) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772133)

At least you can keep those patches. I cached the patch the Bioshock installer downloaded and tried everything I could think of to force the installer to use it instead of redownloading it, but it wouldn't have it.

BTW, ten megabytes is NOT trivial when downloaded at 6KB/s, which is what happens to a lot of Australian ADSL customers' connections when the monthly quota is exceeded.

What really spoils a game for me? (3, Insightful)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770759)

To be honest, what really spoils a game for me, is when every single publication and media outlet for video game reviews praises a game beyond belief for the most trivial of aspects but fails to mention the overarching and incredibly frustrating and ubiquitous downsides and shortcomings of a game.

Obviously spoiling plot twists, game endings, or surprise moments and easter eggs, is a major fau paux. But game reviewers rarely ever engage in writing those revelations and leave them for the reader (or player) to discover.

Video game reviews have been going on since video games have been around. The fact that one reviewer received one single complaint saying that the MTV.com writer spoiled Killzone 2 requires an entire discussion around it is a tad bit reactionary and absurd.

The real way that game reviews spoil a game for me is when they review a game for being 'perfect' or 'near perfect' but when I get my copy of said game it's filled with bugs, glitches, bad writing, plot holes, lackluster story, bad endings, overpriced DLC, archaic or intrusive or disruptive DRM, the game costs more than its worth as you can beat it in two days making renting it a better option, or that the game is all around terrible but somehow managed a score in the eightieth to ninetieth percentile (with some even scoring perfect scores.

Oddly I've yet to see a game score a perfect with the review mentioning only positives, there is always one negative. Wouldn't that negative imply a flaw hence negating the perfection that a game allegedly has?

Yes spoiling plot elements or easter eggs is a terribly thing for reviewers to do, but they've been doing far worse things in the industry for years.

Re:What really spoils a game for me? (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771491)

To be honest, what really spoils a game for me, is when every single publication and media outlet for video game reviews praises a game beyond belief for the most trivial of aspects but fails to mention the overarching and incredibly frustrating and ubiquitous downsides and shortcomings of a game.

I'd argue the opposite as well: the will to "destroy" a game just to look independent or to kill off the hype, regardless of merit/demerit. That's why, at least in the "current generation" (360, Wii, PS3) I hardly trust any review.

Difficulty... (1)

fatp (1171151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770767)

I play the game for pleasure, not for torture

Re:Difficulty... (1)

berend botje (1401731) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770867)

Yeah, that's about it, really. Games should be fun.

I like FPS'es. A lot. But not when the user interface makes you jump through hoops to select the correct weapon, suitmode, healing-things and whatever before you can shoot at the enemy. (Yes, Crysis, I'm looking at you, you crap game while you could be so much more!).

Give me a horde of easy to kill attackers over one giant 'over 9000 hitpoints' endboss anyday.

A game should be fun, not masochism.

Difficulty is important. (1)

koinu (472851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771011)

Well, I've played games that are rated as the most difficult ones and I can tell you, if you have to time sit a game, you will master it. Take a look at Super Contra or Megaman X. These ones are difficult like hell. At Super Contra, as a kid, I could see the end of it. Today, I die after few steps in level 1. :) I still cannot image how I've done it.

Now I'm playing DDR Hottest Party a lot, because it's fun and I want to lose some weight ;)

If this game(s) would be easy, I would not play it, because they are not challenging. I have a lot of fun at getting fast and faster, but it appeared _very_ difficult for me when I started to play DDR a few months ago. I failed many games at beginner level when I started to play it. :) God, this is really embarrassing. ;)

The point is, if a game is not difficult, you don't need to play it. You don't have a challenge. It's like watching an interactive movie. Boring!

Re:Difficulty is important. (2, Interesting)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771123)

Well, I've played games that are rated as the most difficult ones and I can tell you, if you have to time sit a game, you will master it.

See that "if" there? That's the problem. Most of us don't have time to master games.

The point is, if a game is not difficult, you don't need to play it. You don't have a challenge.

Kindly use the first person when stating your personal opinions. You may see no point in playing a game that isn't difficult, but some of us enjoy playing them for the story, or for the exploration.

One of my all-time favourite games is System Shock, which has a great difficulty selection system: you can tune several elements of difficulty independently. So if you like a challenge, you can make the enemies and puzzles tougher and slap a 7-hour time limit on the entire game, while if you suck at combat and just want to enjoy the atmosphere and story, you can even make the enemies harmless.

It's like watching an interactive movie. Boring!

That's your personal opinion again. Some of us are quite fond of movies, and having an element of interactivity does not make a story less interesting.

Enjoy your DDR, but kindly refrain from telling those of us who like different kinds of games that we're wrong.

Games have storylines that can be spoiled? (1)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770795)

For me, I play games for the (and I know this will be a shocker) gameplay, not the storyline, so there isn't really much you can spoil in a review unless the knowledge you're granting me would change how I'd play the game.

That being said, I mostly just play games that involve killing things.

Sure, there might be some underlying "rescue the hostage" plotline, but usually that just means you kill things to get to a destination, walk up to the target and press "x" and pee while a cut-scene plays, then kill things to get to the next destination, I don't get emotionally involved enough in the hostage's well-being to care either way, and you can be sure that knowing he'll betray me in a cut-scene later won't change anything if the game won't let me proceed unless I rescue him and avoid shooting him too much for now.

I enjoyed BioShock which had more of a storyline then most of the games I've played in the past (I'm sure SOCOM had a story, but ultimately, the gameplay wouldn't change at all if the entire story disappeared, so the storyline is just filler to me) so I'm not entirely story-adverse.

What ruins a game for me is when a game makes me sit through multiple cut scenes or witless dialog (I'm looking at you Gears of War) over and over without offering a way to skip them after restarting a difficult mission. I can live with a game making me sit through the story once, but when a mission is intentionally difficult, put the damn checkpoint AFTER the "oh my god, that guy looks like he might smell bad" discussion and the cut-scene showing my heavy-on-the-A-lacking-on-the-I AI companions peeing their pants.

Discussion on slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26770881)

Totally spoils it for me.

Game issues spoils a game (1)

Val314 (219766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770935)

So, what do you consider a spoiler for a video game

Bugs and unfair sequences in the game that have to repeated very often to get through it.

and how do they affect your enjoyment of the game?

I personally have decidet that i will never buy a game on release date anymore. I'l wait a couple of months and see what other gamers say about it.

Re:Game issues spoils a game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26771273)

I tend to buy games quite a while after they've been released. Not only can I be sure about a game like you said, but all the patches are out, the games are usually about $10-30 instead of $40-60, and the hardware to run them is much, much cheaper by then, too.

Sewers or Maze (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26770981)

I know this is not in a correct connection to what spoils the game. But for me it has always been a real downer when a game has a sewer part or a maze which you have to go thru, it just seems as the dev's put it there to lengthen the game. One especially comes to mind in Star Wars : Dark Forces. The sewer level there was the worst ever.

Re:Sewers or Maze (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771131)

One especially comes to mind in Star Wars : Dark Forces. The sewer level there was the worst ever.

I used to hate it, but these days I don't think it's that bad. It has an interesting layout and some neat architecture. The dianoga are annoying, though.

Depends entirely on the game (1)

chefmayhem (1357519) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771085)

I find that I enjoy games more when they surprise me. They can surprise me in terms of story (Metal Gear Anything, I played MGS3 with intentionally avoiding spoilers, it was well worth it, I didn't do that for MGS2), or in terms of fun gameplay mechanics (Mario Galaxy, Katamari Damacy), or just by being a better game than I expected (Zack and Wiki, Okami, World of Goo). The surprises are in different ways, so having them spoiled comes in different ways. For a very story heavy game, like a Final Fantasy or Metal Gear, the plot twists are what you should hide. Gameplay mechanics, I'm fine with. For a game where you're supposed to be constantly impressed by the gameplay mechanics (say...Zelda), you shouldn't spoil everything you can do in the game. It should suffice in the review to say that the reviewer was impressed with what mechanics are available. For a puzzle game, obviously, don't spoil the puzzles. And for any game, don't hype it beyond what it is. Sometimes I'll play a game after hearing a tremendous amount of hype about it, and I'll be disappointed, not because it was a bad game, but because the pleasant surprise of how good the game is is ruined. As a general rule to the reviewer, consider what about the game you enjoyed because it surprised you. If this occurs more than a few hours into the game, and it isn't critical in making a decision to purchase the game, leave it out of the review. Let the player be pleasantly surprised. If you want to say something like "Mario saves the princess", that's ok. We knew that was coming anyway.

Unskippable Cutscenes (1)

Mutio (1204504) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771153)

Seriously game makers, is it hurting your game at all if i am allowed to skip the cutscene. I your game involves half hour long cutscenes (metal gear solid) i expect to be able to skip them. The fact that i am forced to watch them on each play through means i will likely not ever play it again or even finish in some cases.

Re:Unskippable Cutscenes (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771789)

Mission accomplished; now the consumer will consume again instead of reusing the original product.

Depends on the game. Duh. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771183)

Attention dear readers, spoilers ahead as examples what constitutes as spoilers.

To be able to spoil a game by a review, the joy of playing the game has to consist to a sizable part on the game having a story. This pretty much means that most multiplayer-heavy games cannot be spoiled by a review. How do you want to spoil Call of Duty? By telling me the Allied won the war? No duh, really? How do you want to spoil Left 4 Dead? L4D has no story to speak of. It's never explained what the disease is that turns people into zombies (sorry for the spoiler), it's never an option to "cure" them any other way than by accelerated lead and the dangers of the "special" zombies and how to kill them sensibly (or how to better avoid them altogether in one special case) is shown in the intro movie. And even if you told me the whole story of any Call of Duty part you would, at best, spoil the single player mission part, which is becoming more and more pointless with every CoD game.

In short, multiplayer games cannot be spoiled by a review. The fun of the game is in the interaction, not the story.

A completely different thing is single player games. Take Portal. It's no spoiler to tell about the features of the portal gun. That's what makes the game unique and that's explained in the "tutorial", i.e. the first few test areas. The same applies to using the portals to gain speed and momentum to jump over obstacles. Again, this is shown as part of the tutorial. A spoiler would be telling about the cake, the endgame portion and the ultimate goal of the game.

In short, you can give away everything the tutorial tells the player, you can talk about everything the player encounters in the first few hours of gameplay (i.e. the same you see when playing a game for a review only, when you unwrap it and play it for a few hours so you can write something about it), but don't tell how it ends.

Impossible levels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26771205)

I hate games that throw in one impossible level. For example, I was thoroughly enjoying Dead Space on PS3 until the shifty asteroid level. Call me lame, but I cannot get past this bit, it serves no purpose to further the story and the gameplay is totally different from the rest of the game. Why? I haven't been back to the game for months and will likely never finish it. Plus, I now feel ripped off for half the price of the game.

tutorials (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26771243)

A small thing but a nnoying none the less.
When the first few level are just long drawn out tutorials. The first time around it fine but it really hurts the replay value if you have to grind through that shit again. Tutorials should be separate or at least skippable.

Not being able to kill kids... (1)

WML MUNSON (895262) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771253)

I'm looking at you, Fallout 3...

Hopefully this gets fixed by one of the upcoming expansion packs, otherwise my boycott will continue.

A game is like an interactive book/movie... (1)

tieTYT (989034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771285)

...and as such, anything that would spoil a book/movie would spoil a game.

no native linux/openbsd (2, Insightful)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771395)

Plus, of course, nearly all of the DRM out there.

I'll buy native games, as I have done in the past, and NOT buy games because they don't play on it.

I hate... (in MMOs) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26771463)

Griefers, exploit abusers and asshats who give out quest info on public channels.

Also players who couldn't be arsed working things out for themselves.

I don't have spoilers (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771477)

The difference between games and movies is that the former is replayed often. I would never bother buying a game that is designed to be played exactly once, if only because the plot in games is always so boring and poorly written, that it is not even worth knowing. If Fallout 3 were a book, I wouldn't buy it. If Bioshock were a book, I'd burn it. If Half-Life 2 were a book, well, it wouldn't be much of a book. With that in mind, it is obvious that knowing the plot is pretty much irrelevant, since most of the time I would be replaying and know it anyway. So I always read every walkthrough I can find even before I get the game, to make sure it will be worth playing more than once.

Poor atmosphere, Unrealistic stuff (1, Offtopic)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771509)

they totally kill the game for me. let me give an example:

there are many games coming out set in spanish main, bent on buccaneering, privateering, pirating and such, after the success of pirates of the caribbean movie and all that pirate hype.

you get the game, its set in 1600s, there are huge towering carracks and all that galleonish piratish ships advertised in cover of the box. but you start playing, but you immediately notice 2 things :

ships are not of 1600s, but 1700s. it matters a great deal, because with that specific 100 years you go from towering carracks, galleons to low, flat, standard age of sail frigates. the main focus of the game, the ships, are totally out of place.

and another thing, music, atmosphere sucks. some put in carribbean/reggae music, something that does not have any realistic connection to the age game is portraying. a product of late 150 years is being put in, because some people think its 'caribbean'. couple this with all the other atmosphere elements that are out of place, like 1600s people wearing 1750s outfits, even napoleonic hats and so on, you totally lose the atmosphere. it doesnt feel like it anymore.

same important criteria is valid for every other game. be it star wars or call of duty, any game needs to follow the two important premises of realistic elements (even if its a fantasy game, we have certain acceptable limits to what can be shoved in), and atmosphere. if these two lack, the game sucks. big time.

Auto health (1)

iregisteredjustforth (1155123) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771597)

Automatic health regen ala Halo and now Call of Duty. Basically it devalues looking after yourself - as long as the other guy dies just before you, you'll be back up to 100% in a few seconds. Also means people can hang onto powerful weapons and camp the same spot for a inordinate amount of time.

Annoying players (1)

Bunzinator (1105885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771613)

The things that spoil MMOs for me are mostly related to obnoxious player behaviour - 1) Griefing 2) Camping 3) Exploit abuse 4) Spamming and giving quest solutions on public chat channels.

When your mother opens the basement door... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26771633)

turns on the lights, and tells you it's time to brush your mossy teeth and go to bed. I'd wager that's what really ruins games for most of the slashpussy crowd.

So many things... (4, Interesting)

cowbutt (21077) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771669)

...but in roughly descending order

  1. Bugs that randomly result in lost progress; crashes, getting trapped in scenery, etc.
  2. Having to 'earn' saves. If I'm playing a game on my own system, in my own time, I should be able to save when I like. Maybe earnt saves are acceptable for younger gamers, but when you're an adult, you can't necessarily commit to spending upwards of 30 minutes in one chunk on a game without an opportunity to save.
  3. If the game has a single track, then not making it clear where the current barrier to be overcome is located. Leave it to me to figure out how, but at least let me know that I'm banging my head against the right brick wall.
  4. Making me repeat far too much tedious stuff in order to get to the point where I failed last time.
  5. Not allowing me to skip tutorials/intro/cutscenes.
  6. Inappropriate or clumsy use of 3D when 2D (or constrained 3D, at least) might well have made things more fun.
  7. To get back on-topic, reviews which reveal solutions to puzzles, or story endings. :-)

Well... (1)

dutchd00d (823703) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771785)

Obvious cheating (by the game). In one game I remember, a bunch of enemies came flooding out of a barracks building when you passed a certain point in the map. So the next time I enter the building first, eliminate all enemies and then continue, safe in the knowledge I wouldn't have that particular problem anymore. I pass the same trigger point, and... the door opens and the same enemies come streaming from the building that I cleared only moments before. That's a big no-no.

Another one (though less serious) is motivation of the main character. At a few points in Far Cry I found myself thinking why on Earth my character would be doing what he was doing. I would have gotten the hell out of there, but he seemed eager to seek out more danger. Why?

Leavers (2, Interesting)

AttillaTheNun (618721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771801)

As a frequent player of Warcraft and DoTA public games on Battle.net, I definitely have say leavers, especially DoTA leavers.

Of course, we're all guilty of this from time to time (shit happens), but some make a sport of it (e.g. countdown leavers, solo-lane feeder leavers, etc).

Warcraft and DoTA could use a slashdot-like karma system to rate players. Build karma by completing games to the end, lose karma by leaving anytime after countdown begin.s

Lack of Options/Customisability (1)

dohzer (867770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771923)

A lot of little things have ruined games for me.
For instance, I bought Tetris DS for my Nintendo DS recently, hoping for some good old school Tetris gaming, but a lot of the little things they've changed have ruined it for me.
Like the fact that you can basically hold a piece at the bottom of the screen by rotating it, essentially destroying the fast-paced nature of the game. You can turn-off/change a few of the other game settings, but they don't give the player the option to turn off the one thing that ruins the game for me.
So I decided to try another game mode (Catch mode), and really liked it... until I found out that the game ends at (from memory) level 25. I'd much rather continue playing higher and higher levels than be forced to beat my high score in a limited number of levels.

Another thing that really annoys me is the lack of customisable control schemes. Things like not being able to have multiple buttons perform the same actions, no mouse sensitivity, etc. But most of these issues are gone these days.

Doom 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772021)

There's an imp in cabinet #666

HEY! (1)

warGod3 (198094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772105)

I enjoy a little bit of torture every now and then... just make sure you don't draw blood with the cat o'nine tails :D
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