10 Dumb Video Game Mechanics We Should've Hated

Tears of the Kingdom is one giant fan mod, and that's... great??

the legend of zelda tears of the kingdom

The world of gaming puts so much emphasis on graphics, bosses, and massive open-worlds to explore, it's easy to forget the most pivotal factor - the mechanics.

Great mechanics don't just define a game, but sell it. Portal's promos highlighted how the player can use wormholes to solve puzzles. The Spider-Man trailers emphasised how awesome it felt to web-swing around New York.

However, there are certain mechanics that sound so stupid, they are immediately met with disdain. Gamers shudder when they learn a game utilises loot crates, quick-time events, or tedious tutorials. When a widely-recognised IP changes genres or drops a recognised component of the gameplay, it rarely bodes well.

Even though such ideas sound idiotic, they can totally pay off. Although escort missions are regularly ridiculed, some games utilise this trend perfectly. Driving a car in The Legend of Zelda is awesome, even though it sounds anything but. Saving the world by painting simply sounds... dumb.

The first time gamers heard about these mechanics, they probably laughed. But after seeing how well they turned out, the only ones laughing now is the developers... all the way to the bank.

10. Removing Turn-Based Battles - Final Fantasy XII

the legend of zelda tears of the kingdom
Square Enix

Going against the mould is tricky when it comes to a well-established franchise. Even though each Final Fantasy instalment keeps things fresh by implementing new ideas, certain staples are seemingly set in stone. For SquareEnix to do away with any of the tried-and-tested fundamentals is unwise. (FFII validated this, since it was lambasted for removing the Exp. Points system.)

That's why veterans were concerned when FFXII discarded random encounters and turn-based battles. Because it included a programmable battle system with AI-controlled teammates, this entry sounded like Final Fantasy in name only. As such, fans wondered why it wasn't packaged as something else altogether.

But after playing FFXII for an hour or two, the player quickly sees how many drawbacks the old system had. No longer was the main campaign interrupted every five seconds by a random encounter.

Long gone are the days of grinding for hours, hoping for a specific enemy to spawn. Battles are less tedious, since the player can prep moves for themselves and their team, while waiting for their turn.

Final Fantasy XII's new direction may have been bold, but it was so well-received, similar mechanics have been established in nearly every follow-up since.


James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Horror Movies Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85