Is A Good Lock-On Target System In Video Games Really That Hard To Accomplish?

Think about it. Think of all the games that use a lock on mechanic. Starting from like Ocarina of Time to pretty much every action game since. The worst part is…Ocarina of Time is probably one of the better systems out there.

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Seriously. How many games have you played where the lock-on system is more a frustration than anything. If you have multiple enemies in view or in the room, you will most likely lock on to the one you want to target the least, probably some enemy barely on screen and so far away that none of your attacks have the slightest chance to hit him. You can try to change the target, say, to the enemy standing right next to you or in front of you, and you will painfully lock onto anything but that one you desperately want to kill as it’s wailing on you, steadily taking down your life.

There are dozens of games that have this problem, but I can’t think of many off the top of my head. But if I went through my games, rest assured I could pick out quite a few.

The first one I can think of is Kingdom Hearts. The lock on system suffers from the problems I just described. It’s so bad that the only time I use it is on a boss or highly mobile enemy when all the others are dead. This way the camera will follow your target.

Thankfully this is remedied sort of by the fact that you don’t need to lock onto enemies, because when you attack, the character will automatically attack something you are facing instead of just swinging the keyblade pointlessly. This is especially helpful in the later games, when something is far away, you will do a crazy jumping attack to reach them.

But two of the worst games I can think of that I have played recently are Hyrule Warriors and Megaman Legends 2.

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Hyrule Warriors, you try to lock onto something nearby, and you will end up targeting something halfway across the battlefield, you press the button to switch targets, and it will bounce around to the four least desired enemies you want to target, constantly going back to the initial first target you didn’t want to begin with. Sometimes you have to scroll through these enemies four times before it finally locks onto the enemy right in front of you. I believe there are other frustrations out of this, but I haven’t played it in like a year, but I know I was always cursing at the abysmal system.

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Megaman Legends 2, I have to say, has the absolute worst lock-on system I have ever seen. This is not a hard game, honestly, almost every time I died in the game was because of the lock on system.

The game claims it will lock onto the closest enemy. This is simply not true. You lock onto anything it feels like. To switch targets, you have to release the lock-on button and press it again until you get the target you are searching for.

This effect also happens every time you get hit. When you take damage, you stop targeting for a moment, despite still holding the button. When you recover, he locks onto a new target as if you intended to switch targets. You will even target things in different rooms or through walls. Many times in the cheap annoying game, you will be surrounded by enemies out of nowhere, or get attacked immediately by a swarm of them the moment you walk into a room. You try to fight, but you are constantly getting hit, switching targets rapidly so that your view is spinning all over, all the while being bounced around, unable to move, and before you know it you are dead.

And if enemies have a projectile that you can lock onto, like a missile, then you better pray you don’t get hit. There are some enemies that you fight that constantly shoot missiles that fly all around. All you want to do is shoot the missile spewing guys, but can’t because there are tons of little guys jumping into you and then your targeting bounces around to all the missiles, not the little guys hitting you or the missile launching a-hole standing directly in front of you. After a vomit inducing camera ride, you are dead.

Yes, Legends 2 absolutely takes the cake when it comes to bad targeting systems. If that is the reason you are getting killed in a game, then you know it is a complete failure.

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Games That Most People Love, But I Don’t

I thought it would be interesting to see just how many games I don’t like that most of the world quite adore. This is nothing fancy, just a running list I was inspired to write by the very rare times I’ve bought games simply because everyone was raving about them. Of these times I’ve done so, I wound up not really seeing what all the fuss was about half the time. So let’s take a look and see how much I disagree with the world…

 

Going to start out with an old classic…

  • Tetris: It’s a fun game overall but it gets pretty boring really fast. Hardly anything amazing outside of 1985.
  • Every basic racing and sports game. Series like Need for Speed, FIFA, Madden, Gran Turismo, F-Zero. They are all fun for a bit, but get old fast, which I guess is why they release¬† some every year.

 

  • Halo Series. I remember playing the first one when it came out and thinking it was the worst fps I ever played. I’ve only played the first 3 and was equally unimpressed with them all.

 

  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate: I really tried to like this game, but it got boring real fast. But admittedly, it isn’t really my cup of tea. It’s the only game I’ve played in the series and the only one I intend to.

 

  • Shantae: Risky’s Revenge: This is one of the games I bought simply from constantly reading how everyone found it to be absolutely incredible. Yeah, well..it’s not. It’s just an okay platformer. It is the only one in the series I have played and I’ve no interest to go beyond that.

 

  • Street Fighter/Mortal Kombat/SoulCalibur Series: These are games I really tried to like, but I just don’t like fighting games, so I guess that’s on me.

 

  • Speaking of fighting games…Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: I thought this was the coolest game ever when I first played it, but it got old real fast. Again, I don’t like fighting games, but this one did it a tad better than most, but still…meh.

 

  • Animal Crossing Series: I’ve only tried two games and got unbelievably bored within a few hours. I guess I hate sim games, like the Sims. That crap is boring. Why would I want to live a basic life in a game? I have enough with my own real life.

 

  • Assassin’s Creed Series: I’ve played everyone up to 3, and only liked Brotherhood and Revelations. The rest are horribly boring and stupid and poorly executed in my opinion. And the two I do like, it’s not a strong like, just like an “okay, that was good enough” kind of deal. Plus the ending credits in each game are enough to make you want to kill yourself.

 

  • Call of Duty Series: This is a weird one. I actually enjoy all the games very much. But I play the campaigns only, whereas virtually everyone but me and two others I know of play for the online play, which to me is when the series started to decline heavily. The games under the “2” title are some of my favorite fps’ ever made, cuz that was before all that online hooplah and they actually put real effort into the games.

 

  • Elite Beat Agents (DS): While this isn’t like a huge game to most people, everyone who has played it claims it’s so amazing. I don’t know, I got like 3-5 missions in and found it to be just so very boring.

 

  • Grand Theft Auto Series: The series is good for mindless slaughtering of innocent people for a half hour, but the actual games, like the campaign and all the meat, is just rather long and boring.

 

  • Star Fox Series: I actually like all of these games but not to the extreme level that most people do. And I find Star Fox 64, probably the most popular one, to be okay at best and one of the worst in the series.

 

  • The World Ends With You (DS): The only reason I bought this game was because I heard some of the characters were going to appear in Kingdom Hearts 3D. And with this game being called the best game on DS by pretty much everyone, I thought “what could go wrong?” Well, the idea is cool, but I thought the gameplay was rather terrible and the game seemed to never end.

 

  • Final Fantasy Series: I do like most of the games, and some I don’t like I find okay. Others I despise. But most of them are just miserable to get through regardless of whether I like them or not, often being littered with unbelievably annoying factors and dumb development decisions. The series as a whole is one of the most overrated things I’ve ever heard of. 7 is not nearly as good as people make it out to be either, though I do enjoy it.

 

  • Super Mario Bros (NES): People always talk about this to be one of the greatest games of all time. Sure in the sense that it is responsible for kickstarting everything we play today and all that, but that is entirely different from how the game plays. Yes, when it first came out, it was jaw dropping. But today, it’s crap. I like the game, but it’s still crap and definitely one of the worst in the Mario series.

 

  • Going along with that is Super Mario 64: Again, this game is more famous for being revolutionary. I remember being blown away by the 3D graphics and seeing Mario’s world in all new dimensions, but then I was disappointed by the gameplay and the game itself and I found myself missing 2D suddenly. Again, I like this game, but it’s nothing spectacular.

 

  • Donkey Kong 64: Like SM64, this just made me wish they made another 2D instead. By the time this came out, the 3D wasn’t exciting anymore, so it didn’t even have that going for it. It’s a good enough game however.

 

  • BioShock: I don’t know about this one. I played it for like 3 hours and then stopped. I loved the commercials when the game came out and was excited to play it, but I just found it to be a boring mess. I have no interest to play the others either.

 

  • Borderlands Series: I’ve only played the first two, and actually I had no interest in buying them, but my two brothers wanted me to play it, claiming the second one is one of the best games ever, and so they bought them for me, and I wished they just saved their money. The first one is just barely playable, and the second is just barely okay. They are more annoying and monotonous than fun, and though the games have great humor, I am to miserable playing them to actually be amused.

 

  • Tomb Raider Series: I haven’t played the rebooted ones, but the original games are just okay at best. Kind of boring, but it’s not a horrible struggle to beat them, and they do get better as they go on, so that’s something.

 

  • Going along with that is the Uncharted Series: This is difficult. I haven’t played the PS4 entries, and I loved 2, but 1 and 3, and thus the series as a whole is rather underwhelming, especially since it’s considered one of Sony’s flagship franchises. And the fact that it is a shameless ripoff of Tomb Raider doesn’t help it either, but it’s done way better than those games, so I guess it balances out.

 

  • Overlord Series: I get a lot of flak for despising this series. I’ve played the first two and find them to be awful. The gameplay is bad as well as the controls. It’s just a mess and no fun at all.

 

  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Series: Out of all the games I’ve played in this series, only Vegas 2 did I truly enjoy. The others are just unbalanced, horrible messes that depend too much on AI and the gamer understanding what the heck is going on. Maybe they are just too complicated for someone like myself, who does not have the patience to learn anything like this.

 

  • Crash Bandicoot Series: I really loved these games when they first came out, but now they are just okay. Definitely not worth getting the recent remaster of the trilogy.

 

  • Xenogears: This game is okay at times, but I really hated it most of the time. Everything is so slow moving, way too much boring talking for half hour+ times, the story is told in an odd way with a lot of build up and a disappointing ending. The end boss is ridiculous and requires far too much grinding and money to be able to beat him well enough, and by that time, you come to the conclusion it really isn’t worth it because you realized the game stopped being fun 10 hours into it.

 

  • Devil May Cry 1-3: These games aren’t bad at all, but don’t live up to the hype they get. They are good, but nothing at all spectacular, though I suppose they might have been when they first came out.

 

  • Jak and Daxter Series: Boy, I really am hating on Naughty Dog. I enjoy all three games, but none of them are truly wonderful. The first is my favorite, but the direction they went after that just wasn’t all that much fun.

 

  • LittleBigPlanet Series: I thought the first game was incredible when I first played it, but then I realized that it doesn’t cater all that well to single player. You need to play online or local multiplayer to really get the full experience and that is just something I have no interest in doing. They are undoubtedly creative games, but aren’t super fun or anything.

 

  • Shadow of the Colossus: Everything about this game is awful. I couldn’t even stomach the thought of finishing it.

 

  • Fatal Frame¬†series: What a horrible mess these games are. They are definitely playable, but they are just too annoying to fully enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Do You Look For In a Gaming Review?

This is something I am rather curious about, for it is amazing how diverse and critical game reviews are…that is…game reviews written by the players, not the critics and what not.

I personally don’t care about others opinions on games, but I browse through reviews to get a general gist of what the game is like, and most importantly, in terms of PC games, if there are frequent crashes and other errors on certain OS’ and such.

The reviews vary from short and sweet to big drawn out, extremely detailed stories.

The short ones essentially say… “Fun game” or “Do not buy” where as the long ones just tell you everything you will experience from beginning to end with no spoilers.

I find it best not to take any review seriously, for they are that person’s opinion, and therefore one must be aware that yours will likely differ on more than a few matters. It is because of this that I quite often buy games with bad reviews, and I usually wind up enjoying them in the same way I sometimes hate highly praised games…it’s all up to what you think, so I never look at reviews for movies or pretty much anything in the entertainment biz.

But gamers are so critical on games. Many expect every game to be AAA masterpieces and if it isn’t then they tear it to shreds. This even goes for obvious, low budgeted games that couldn’t possibly stand a chance against Call of Duty, Mario or Halo and the likes.

The first thing most gamers mention is graphics. I stop reading a review at this point and try another one. To me, graphics should not even be mentioned. I get that it is the most obvious thing to start with because it is really what you see first, but a game is meant to be played, so shouldn’t the review focus on how the game plays? I want to know if it is fun, not how pretty it is. And I’ve seen plenty of great games get murdered online by gamers due to poor graphics. This makes no sense to me.

Length is another one people gripe about. I understand if you spend 50-60 bucks on a game, you want a good investment of time to justify the purchase, but again, these low budget developers who make games for under 10 bucks that give you 3-5 hours of gameplay are always ripped to shreds. Gamers need to understand that not everything is going to live up to your favorite, high budget AAA title, and given the huge diversity in development teams and funds, reviews should really only answer one thing…is the game fun?

That is all we need to know. Does it work, is it playable, is it fun. That’s that. It’s okay if they briefly mention some other things, but the meat should be all about how fun it is, and no, bad graphics, a poorly written story and bad voice acting don’t take away from the fun of a game, just the overall quality…though speaking of bad voice acting, I’m not sure what people consider good voice acting, because literally every game I have ever seen has been criticized for bad voice acting. There is just no pleasing people…

If gamers adjust their expectations, I feel they would enjoy games a lot more frequently and thus avoid steering other gamers away from potentially good games. After all, I am usually pleasantly surprised by games that have terrible reviews.

But anyway, this is all just my opinion, just like game reviews. Other people may want different things out of reviews, and if graphics are really what makes games fun for someone, than who am I to tell them differently?

The point of a review is to state your opinion and experience of the game, so naturally all of them should be taken with a grain of salt as they say.

Lastly, while we are on the subject of opinions, I must say how I am constantly under attack because my opinions differ from that which the majority of people feel. This goes for things outside of video games as well. I have been told many times that I am stupid or this or that because I wrote a review or voiced my opinion and then I’m told something along the lines of “The rest of the world likes this, so why would you even consider it being bad?”

This gets me every time. So because the rest of the world likes it, I have no choice but to fall in line? And the sad part is, there are countless people that do. It’s baffling how afraid people are of stepping outside of the “in” circle. It makes me wonder how many people actually like something or are just trying to fit in with everyone else.

But I think I’m getting a bit too deep into this. These are my thoughts, and I’m just curious what other people look for in reviews or what they put into their own.