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Ugh, stop twitching
impatience is a virtue
games Posted 2002-05-22 12:31:00 by Jim Crawford
Sadly, impatience is a trait that gamers nowadays, beta testers especially, seem to lack. Programs that make you wait for the sake of flash really piss me off... I don't mean loading time, I mean menus that slide out or fade in instead of just appearing. I mean the minute-long, unskippable attack animations in FF7.

Making you wait for no reason whatsoever is just bad design. Like in Conker's BFD, in which you can't skip or speed up the instructions sections, which Conker reads out loud in an excruciatingly slow, drawling voice, throwing in “oh!”s, and “hm!”s, stopping to turn the page every few words, and then when he finishes, pausing for an eternity and adding “um, are you sure you've got that?” Then the game pauses for another eternity before showing you which button you press to confirm. By this time, I've already pressed it about fifty times.

Oh, and how about a game that, after you lose your last life, makes you sit through instant replays of your moment of failure from several different camera angles (replaying your character's grating death scream as well), like Super Monkey Ball?

Or Link's Awakening, in which every time you accidentally walk into an object, it prints (using a pause between printing each character to simulate an excruciating drawl) something like “Oh my goodness! This object is very heavy! I don't think you'll be able to lift it with just your bare hands. You need a special item! Go and get it! I'll wait!” And of course, you can't skip this message or turn it off, except by equipping the bracelet or whatever it is that gives you the strength to move the object. But since you can only have two items equipped at a time, and one of them is usually a sword, you have to keep switching and you keep seeing the message, over and over again, for the entire length of the game.

And, you know, I really love Conker's BFD and Super Monkey Ball, and FF7 wasn't so bad overall...

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unskippable attack animations
Posted by Jim Crawford on 2003-02-15 00:23:50
One possible excuse that just occurred to me for the grievous lack of skippability of the minute-long attack spells in Final Fantasy 7 is that perhaps the math to perform the damage is actually calculated during the animation playback, i.e. maybe they attached the damage calculation to specific animation frames.

Note that I didn't say that it was a good excuse. I still think they should've taken some of that $50 million they spent on full motion video and put some of it into making the game fun, but, you know, that's just me. They seem to be doing fine without my advice.
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