The Escapist Presents: Escapist On: Frustrating Gaming Experiences

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Escapist On: Frustrating Gaming Experiences

The Escapist staff vents about their most frustrating gaming moments.

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COMPLETELY agree about the Mafia level. That racing track level was completely ridiculous in terms of difficulty and the way it went against every other level in the game. Fortunately, the patch later on gave you the opinion to skip.

Aww, thats the first time i've seen some of you guys. <3 Susan Arendt^^

And I can relate to the re-speccing just for a raid thing, *sigh* Molten Core... the guild wanted me to re-spec to frost cos they were low on DPS classes and I was pom-pyro for pvping, then they all get at me for SUCKING as a frost mage, despite having nevert done it before..

Hey George, if it makes you feel any better, as a hardcore raiding healer-class, I made many different non-tanking tank classes who thought they should be able to raid just like everyone else cry. If they didn't want to commit fully to the raid, as far as I was concerned, they didn't need to be there. Even good friends of mine. Boo-hoo!

And that's why I made people I knew levelling new characters and wanting to raid, level as raid spec. Yes, it's slower going, but damnit, they were going to know how to play thier character before joining my raid group. Not after.

That was fun to watch.

I love Megaman-frustration. I love a decent skills challenge.

Eventually I will just rage-quit and play something else if it take too long, though, so flash games are ideal for me for that sort of challenge.

Oh, by fun to watch? I meant really fun to watch, giggled the whole way through~

The last time I got frustrated by a game was in GTA Chinatown Wars when I was carrying a bunch of drugs but then because it's so damn hard to avoid getting police after you when driving I lost all of them, which essentially put me back to the beginning.

Oh I remember that mission on Mafia.
I broke a keyboard in frustration.

Afterthought: It's weird seeing you staffers on video. I'm not sure why, but it is.

I love these videos. they provide perspective on games. I had no idea what Russ looked like. amazingly cool look there Russ

Oh my God! That Mafia mission was the work of Satan. It completely was out of place compared to the rest of the game and it had the shittiest handle for a car and the most atrocious track ever. Every driver AI was programmed to drive perfectly and some would ram you. There were no saves for the checkpoints and a minor collision would kill you. If you didn't get first place you were screwed.

I never finished the race. I had to download a saved game. I put some of my racing game enthusiast friends to the challenge to beat it. None of them did. One of them who was autistic took it so personally that he cracked my keyboard in anger and yelled.

COMPLETELY agree about the Mafia level. That racing track level was completely ridiculous in terms of difficulty and the way it went against every other level in the game. Fortunately, the patch later on gave you the opinion to skip.

The patches Illusion released were notorious for being buggy. Every patch I tried completely fubared the game. I then had to endure reinstalling the game through all four or five CDs.

I hate the Mafia lvl I cheated after 50-60 times trying to win the race.

Awesome vid guys. :)

I got one. GTA San Andreas: Now understand I bought a PS2 specifically to play this game. I had played GTA3 and Vice City on the PC before that but I couldn't wait to play this one so I broke down and bought my first PS2.

Got the game running and loved the hell out of it. (still do, It's one of my favs.) But I got to ONE mission. This ONE mission was the most frustrating thing in the world to me because I wasn't yet familiar with the button placement on the PS2 controller. It was the mission where you had to go to a beach party.... and dance to the song: Hollywood Swingin by Kool and the Gang.. It was as simple as hitting the right button at the right time but when you don't know where X or Square are yet... I failed that mission a good 50,000 times and was about to break my TV, PS2, and Dreamcast just for good measure.

I haven't been that mad in a while thankfully... although the 45 second load screen you have to sit though on Ghostbusters every time you die is starting to really piss me off...

-Jon Etheridge
-Creator of Apocalypse Lane

My most frustrating moment was in the OG NES days.

1. Super Spike V'ball. I was at the championship which was 10x harder than any match up to that point, I spent hours trying to beat it. Finally I got soo frustrated, I hulk-smashed my NES Advantage Controller and broke the circuit board inside. Stupid game cost me an expensive controller.

Two things come to my mind at 1st:

1) Turn Based Style (final fantasies and the likes)
But the best i can remember is the " TURN BASED THING ",

CHECK THIS OUT... a pic I made here -->

It expresses exactly what I think of turn based style. Do you agree with it?

2) Even practicing since from my childhood, I am treated like a retard when an MMO asks me to keep pressing F1, F2, F3, F1, F2, F3... so on, so on. What happened to aim, shoot, get close, back off? All I gotta do is to press the damn buttons and expect to get lucky to get criticals and lots of HP potions.

This is completely against years of refinement on joysticks.

And lets be fair, the leveling system SUCKS! It completely takes off the point of the game, unless you enter on a mind trip of "grinding for 1340 items is fun"... "spending 5 months to reach a combat level is fun"... "using the same formation on raid bosses is fun (tank > double swords & rogues > archers > mages > healers)"

This is it.... see you on the next level.

Jon Etheridge:

I haven't been that mad in a while thankfully... although the 45 second load screen you have to sit though on Ghostbusters every time you die is starting to really piss me off...

-Jon Etheridge
-Creator of Apocalypse Lane

Wow, that's some junk 360. I've never waited more than 10 seconds.

My recent most pique of frustration came from playing L4D recently. I was the only guy that was any where near the ten minute mark of the game, about half a minute. The other two idiots (The fourth having lost his connection during the game launch), who hadn't played the map yet (Construction Yard), remained on the top of the frame work while I remained in the lower level where it's much easier to defend. I kept telling them that the smokers were going to get them. What happens? Why yes, the smokers killed them. I managed to save them three times with pistols and almost single-handedly took down a tank by myself. Then they rage quit. Before that, I was playing the map that comes before at the elevator point and we were holding in the large room viewing the ammo and guns. Two idiots keep walking in front of the door way blocking my view and getting hit the odd time and start complaining that I'm shooting at them in the back. I point out that they keep running in and out of the way like idiots and they try to kick me. Luckily the fourth player wasn't an idiot like them and voted no. They rage quit after that and we managed to get gold medals for the two guys that joined a little later.

Though, my most frustrating moment in gaming? Playing Star Wars: Rogue Squadron and trying to get the gold medals. Anyone who has played this game will know what I'm talking about.

Too human, the game was insanely hard and that death scene just can't be skipped. I really wanted to like that game, but I just didn't have a good time with it. I'm sorry Silicon Knights.

I would have to say burnout. your just rushing through tracks EXTREMELY FAST and your dodging cars like frogger at light speed and if it's a time mission you have to do the whole thing while boosting. So your going extremely fast and your just dodging cars left and right well when your just about to hit the end there always seems to be a whole group of cars that just appear out of no were and crash right into you. You see your car pass the finish line and you think thank god, but they don't count that and send you back to were you crash and you basically miss the gold medal.

another problem with that game is you have to get in the zone to play it. you have to basically gain a sixth sense to tell where the cars will appear.

good piece, very entertaining.

except, please, fix your audio levels on your videos

My frustrating moment was when I just got Halo Wars and for about a week I was playing the story. A week or so later, I decided to give online multiplayer a try. The third match I get in to, I'm fighting players with the highest rank possible in that game, who do nothing but mass produce a single cheap unit like the warthog or the banshee and then rush before you can even begin to produce your own units.

And who thought it was a good idea to give Regret his shield right when he comes out. Soo many times players online would build the temple right when they start so he can quickly come out. Then immidently rush to the enemy's base and use his overpowered special to quickly decimate the place. You cant really fight back because his shield is too strong and hard to drain. And if you are able to get rid of his shield he can simply teleport back, recharge, and repeat his rush. It really ruins the game for me.

there are two tings i hate/(fustrats me) in gaming:

1. escort quest/mission

2. unlockable content for the multiplayer... that you have unlock in the singelplayer (and those ting you have to do is so screwd opp and game breaking)...

And i remember that mission in "freespace" the same happen to me i went:

Whata!! %&/ %&/ #¤%&" #".....

My frustrating moment was back when I played Runescape.

I was a young child. I was undertaking a quest to slay a dragon. The quest is one of the harder non-members quests, but I was a member. I had played the game for a long time and could easily complete the quest. I just never got around to doing it. One day, I finally decided to try completing it.

Before I continue, I should explain the death system in Runescape. When you die, it doesn't give you a second chance. You lose everything except your 3 most valuable items if you die. So obviously dying will really fuck you up as it takes a long time to replace the items you lost. Now this Dragon I had to kill was special. It's fire breath could kill you in one hit. regardless of your defense and HP. That's why you need a special shield to kill it. Now the shield is good against the dragon but piss weak against everything else. So while traveling to the dragon I had my superior shield equipped.

I entered the dragons chamber, charged at it with my long sword, only to fall dead in one hit. I had forgotten to equip the shield.

I don't need to explain what I did next.

Lvl 64 Klutz:

Jon Etheridge:

I haven't been that mad in a while thankfully... although the 45 second load screen you have to sit though on Ghostbusters every time you die is starting to really piss me off...

-Jon Etheridge
-Creator of Apocalypse Lane

Wow, that's some junk 360. I've never waited more than 10 seconds.

It's actually a PS3. I was exaggerating on the time a bit, but it's at least a good 15-25 sec. depending on the size of the stage. I think even 10 sec. is waaaay to long IMOA. I don't mind longer load screens between levels... but checkpoints, that's annoying.


wow, who knew Susan was so cute? :P

my gaming frustration and I'm sure I'm not the only one to bring this up before: Mile High Club and No Fighting in the War Room on Veteran. If you're not cursing and throwing **** around, you're not human.

Also, I'd have to say...which one, Chapter 2 speedrun on Mirror's Edge. The margin for error on that sucker is ridiculously low

Many years ago, when I was a kid and SNES was the big cheese, I stayed home sick from school and played Secret of Mana all day, literally.

This was before I got into PC gaming with the CTD Boogie Monster always lurking around the corner, so I usually only saved my game when I stopped playing.

So after many hours of playing Secret of Mana and just finishing a big boss battle where I realized how much it would suck to have died because I hadn't saved the game in so long, I went to do just that...and then my character got stuck between a cave wall and a stalagmite.

I tried to move and jump around to get free but no luck. Then I started to get pissed. Before long I was practically jumping up and down in fury yelling "LET GO OF ME" while I continued to try to free my character.

Eventually the level of wrath surpassed any hope of release. At that point I ripped the cartridge out of the console and spiked it on the ground like a football. It shattered into more pieces than I ever thought was possible. It was like oversized confetti all over the room.

LOL and that's the most frustration I ever experienced with a video game.


The only game that has consistently frustrated me was Counter-Strike: Source. Mostly because I was far away from most servers so my connection sucked. So even when I got off a shot first or ducked behind a wall on my screen, the server disagreed. >.<

Bionic Commando Rearmed... The challenge missions. I broke a 360 controller over it. Because it is precisely the Mega man problem. You know precisely what you have to do, but they require pixel perfect precision or you die. Instantly. I had not finished the singleplayer story yet and I promptly deleted the game from my hard-drive after roughly 500 fails on one challenge.

Also playing hardcore character on Diablo II was quite frustrating. Getting a lagspike as an lightning enchanted with speed boost rushes you and kills you before you can even quit. Killing off a level 55 you've spent significant time on. Oh yes...

Left 4 Dead brings the rage on a regular basis. Especially when a hunter jumps you and your teammate who is 4 feet away doesnt do a thing because he has bile on him and is a useless retard. Yes bile makes it hard to see friends in trouble. But at least try for god's sake, you can still hear them being mauled to death!

Also Tie Fighter. There was a reason they put the invulnerability cheat in the options menu. And the mission where you get set-up is great for making the blood-boil, wingmen turning on you, mines shooting at you. And loads of more enemy fighter pouring in while you try and inspect cargo containers... Grrrrr. Must cheat...

New Troll:
Hey George, if it makes you feel any better, as a hardcore raiding healer-class, I made many different non-tanking tank classes who thought they should be able to raid just like everyone else cry .... they were going to know how to play thier character before joining my raid group. Not after.

Well the difference is that I didn't ask to raid as a tank. They asked and begged me to tank for them. So you think they would cut me some slack. And to the guilds credit they did. All except this one asshole. The whole thing ended up being no fun for me. And to me that was ALWAYS the point of playing ANY video game or joining up with a guild: To have fun.

Side note to my story: The guild ended up kicking the asshole out 2 weeks later. Apparently they had had enough of his bullshit. Some people just take WoW WAY WAY too seriously. I still talk to some of my old guild mates, but the whole thing really soured me on raiding and all that. Now I play a lot of solo WoW with the occasional group quests and dungeons. Do I miss the camaraderie? Yes. Do I miss being yelled at by some dick head with all the free time in the world who doesn't understand the meaning of fun? No, not at all.

Escort missions ought to banned for all eternity. It should be included in the Gamer Bill of Rights: Gamers have a right not to have escort missions in their games, or if such missions are included, they should be skippable and have absolutely no bearing on the rest of the game. They either come in two flavors: Impossibly difficult or disgustingly easy. I was playing the expansion to MechWarrior 3 the other day (because every couple of months I play a game that came out 3+ years ago), and I played an escort mission where the mission was to reach a convoy that was in the process of being attacked. I played it a half dozen times before I even managed to get there before it was all blown up and then another half dozen times in order to save just one truck to win the game. What possible reason could there be for designing a mission like that? Do developers assume that all players are secretly sadists?

I had to stop the video I was laughing so hard at the idea of Mr.Pitts using a lamp to "pre-heat" his computer.

I'm a pretty laid back guy so games don't piss me off that often. But I remember in GoW I had got to the last boss on the hardest difficulty and his third form, and I just COULD NOT BEAT HIM. Tried sooooo many times. He has this one attack that has barely any tell thats unblockable and does a ton of damage. so to this day I still haven't beat GoW on the hardest difficulty.

I guess that would be closest to "mega man" frustration.

I heard Final Fantasy being mentioned. Now I love FF games, I really do, but there are only so many random encounters one can tolerate. The problem is, every Final Fantasy tends to cross that border of uncomfortable at least once, and keep going farther than is necessary (The same could be said about almost every game with random encounters). It´s especially frustrating in those never-ending dungeons: "WTF! Is there really no end to this place? I guess this is it; Healing items are nearly gone and the party is almost done for...Wait. I think I see the exit. Thank God in heaven! *Battle theme starts playing* NOOOOO!!!!" After that I find yet another room with *twitch* another boss fight.

I still remember the abhorrence that was the final dungeon in FF4, just before Zeromus; a long, winding corridor, and every random encounter was a dragon of hideous strength. Oh, and the last save point was miles away.

Know your escort related quest pains, in oblivon that glicthed big time in that a unkillable character got killed. The oblivion fighters guild questline. OH that part where you escort the lizard guy after captureing him glitched up for me, and i fast travel TeleFragged

Frustrating moments with gaming? How about frustrating moments with gaming blogs / sites, like how they like to tuck away so much content in podcasts and videos, which I find mostly impenetrable and not worth the time.

I don't know why there's been this widespread trend toward podcasts and videos where written features could have accomplished the same thing. A story about frustrating encounters in videogaming can be written about very well. Words are very good for stories. They even have really long stories in these things we call novels or just 'books'.

That's not to say there aren't some really great storytellers in the world, or charismatic or openly brilliant folks that are just awesome to behold in interviews, there's many times where a video or audio is far superior to mere written words(like Unskippable or Zero Punctuation, here). BUT, the average gamer, or game writer, is just not that charismatic. I'm no different, my mumbling, too-fast / too-quiet speech patterns when I'm talking about something that interests me has led many observers to ask, "Um, what?" or some variation thereof .. and yet I'm able to get my point across fairly well in text. Obviously, that's a skill that one can hone on the internet. Public speaking and diction, not so much.

Being visually oriented, able to read text and images and decode it much better than audio cues, also tends to go hand in hand with internet usage. I can't see how a video with amateur dialogue from mostly average personalities services this unique perception skill-set. I'm sure they're awesome people in real life, some may have written incredible things that have influenced and informed me, or worked on great featuers that amused me, but nothing really comes across to me in this video.

Subtitles would help. I'm not really able to follow these stories in an intuitive enough fashion to enjoy it right now, and I'm someone who's afflicted with nerdy couch-potato speech defects to the extreme. That I'm a horrible geek is probably part of why I don't get this whole 'video' thing. Right this moment I have a choice as to whether to sit through the rest of this video, or watch/listen to a Carl Sagan special on the Science channel. Now that's a guy that could tell a story with words, and also purdy pictures of galaxies and stuff! Gee, what a hard decision.

That's not to say I don't enjoy it when it's done well. I'm up to Endurance Run 85 of Persona 4 over on Giantbomb. That's about 80 hours of sitting down and listening to two guys who I think are pretty amusing playing the same game, but since if I played through Persona 4 myself it'd probably take 80 hours and wouldn't come with color commentary so I can at least somewhat rationalize that choice. I've also spent much more time than this thread's video took to play, talking about how I don't like this whole trend and that this sad parade of poor speech patterns has been the nadir of my experience with it. So it's not like I had anything better to do.

(e) I also can't fault their bravery for letting themselves get stuck on camera and have to actually TALK about their experiences so they could be posted as a newsletter feature. If someone asked me to do that I'd just refuse. A lot of these folks probably have university degrees in communications or writing or literature or what-have-you, and yet it seemed like a good idea to stick them in front of a camera where their skillset is of little use and make them talk. That's just mean. I couldn't even get through to the second half of the video, schadenfreud's never been something I can stomach in larger doses.

John, I feel your pain man. I was playing PSO on Ep 2. So I am playing Undersea Lab on Very Hard and I leveled up 5 or 6 times during that playthrough. I get to the final boss and I am about 10 shots away from killing him. Suddenly the wind outside picks up. Power is dead for 3 days straight. Luckily for my family, my mom was at school, my sister at a friend's, and dad 2 floors down because someone's head was about to be ripped off.

In terms of actual frustration, doing Submerged Castle on Pikmin 2 with zero deaths is an excercise in controlling the metaphorical fire I was about to breathe, and then when I actually did it, I cursed that cave's name with every swear word I could come up with.

Awesome stories, I agree with you all. Especially about "Mega Man Patience". I have zero Mega Man Patience. If I *know* how to defeat a boss or complete some part of a level, then I should be able to *actually* complete that part of kill that boss, damn it! I don't buy video games to go pixel matching in order to perfectly time a jump! If I want that crap, I'll go to Dave and Busters and play one of their stupid rotating LED ticket games.

And I second the incredible bullshitting man above me. Random encounters are intolerable. As the game progresses, you start to feel claustrophobic from them. There you are, standing in a sprawling dungeon somewhere, it's "empty", and yet you can't go anywhere - ANYWHERE! - without putting yourself in danger of being dragged into a fight. Even standing still puts you in danger. Why?! WHY??!? The worst offender is "Skies of Arcadia", whose random number seed weighted so heavily on the side of encounters, that they actually managed to make piloting a flying pirate ship through a giant open world of floating cities NOT FUN. It's mind boggling.

I also need to echo Jon Etheridge up there about the Playstation and it's frustratingly arbitrary button symbols. I don't own any playstation platform, but I love the Ratchet and Clank series. So what I'll do is, every so often, I'll buy a ratchet and clank game and then borrow my friend's PS2. Well, the 3rd game has a thing similar to what he mentioned, where you need to tap buttons as they appear onscreen. Except they're just bloody random symbols, because Sony's goddamn retarded! It doesn't even make any logical sense! Why is the bottom one an "X"? Why not the "O" so that tapping it for a yes in a yes/no menu question actually makes bloody sense! But that's beside the point - everyone EVERY-ONE uses the "ABXY" freaking setup except for them! Even the god damn gamecube, and Nintendo shoots up crack before designing their controllers! Stop it! Stop using symbols! STOP! IT! [/rant]

And Stromko, I completely disagree. There are some things words just cannot communicate. As long as video as used to support a blog (rather than entirely subsume it), I see it as only a benefit to the outlet.

There is something really cute about Editor In Chief Greer...and did Russ just explain the basic problem behind the RROD, cept on a PC?

Anyway, most frustrating thing for me was in GTA SA and controlling all the "territory". I would get randomly attacked while i was half way across the damn world and the area being attacked was impossible to find because it happend to be like a phone booth on some random corner. Argh, needless to say i took my frustration on quite a few innocents and cops even after i had recaptured my territory.

Quite fair Marquis, what's good for some isn't good for all, and one man's garbage is ten other's treasure. Or something. In this case though, I think I would've liked a text version of this feature, so for me it is a bit like the vlog has subsumed the blog in this case. Lots of the video features on this here site are amazing, true, but I also enjoy the writing. This video, not so much.

As for frustrating moments in GAMES, the most recent that sticks in my mind is the gunship 'side missions' in Saints Row 2. The cannon, chaingun, whatever on the thing is useless, the bullets fly at about 35 miles an hour. Unless you've landed on top of your target and it's in front of you and below at a 45 degree angle and isn't moving, you won't get a kill with it. The missiles, apparently, require a lock but once you have that they're wonderful, almost never miss unless they strike an overpass or the side of a building. Fun, explosive, reminded me of the first time I sicced a pet on a monster in Everquest 1 and saw it bashed something's brains in.

On my 30th play-through of phase 6, the last phase of that side-mission in SR2, I realized that the missiles tracked my crosshairs even without a lock, and that helped immensely. Oh but guess what, if you hit a skyscraper or are struck in the right manner, your missile-racks can be broken off and you're only left with the chaingun. At that point, you've failed and have to kill yourself so you can try again.

Most frustrating ever? Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. I have to admit I was not very patient back then, but starting over from scratch, twice, going through a gauntlet of traps, and trying to beat the first major boss with almost no health left was enough to cause me to destroy two X-Box 1 controllers. They're surprisingly fragile if you mash down on the analog stick with your fist it turns out! The checkpoint system meant I was stuck, each time, having to play that boss fight over an over again with no health, no margin of error, or start from scratch, and I just couldn't do it. I never tried to play it again, because at 40$ a pop for new controllers that game cost me 80$ + 40$, and that may be the most expensive non-subscription game that's ever come along for me.

I rarely ever play console games, but the two most frustrating moments I can recall are from console games. That may have something to do with my playing habits being as they are.

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