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David Jaffe sucks at Metroid

Robb

Gold Member
Feels like people are making a bigger issue out of this than it is.

I’m trying to imagine the game with the A.I (Adam) being as annoying as Fi was in Skyward Sword. Or if the devs included one of those ‘press down on the analog stick to see a glowing pathway of exactly where you are supposed to go next’ things.
Sick Vomit GIF by CBS
 

Bragr

Member
What I found strange about that video is that he jumps and shoots like it's an 80's game. Why isn't he aiming at that critter?

I don't know, the game told me to shoot at walls if I was stuck and I never had an issue with it. The room above is also a hint since it's in the same frame, it's inviting you to shoot that roof. I thought the game taught these principles pretty well and I haven't seen many have issues with this. The game is pretty apprehensive towards these sorts of things, it only asks you to search like this a few times, likely to train you to look for secrets.

I like Jaffe and watch him a lot these days, but he rage quits and stops playing several games for the weirdest things. I watched him play Kena, and sure it's hard, but he spent hours on that first boss, refusing to learn the timing of the deflect when the entire boss was designed around deflect. I also thought the deflect in Kena was un-intuitive and feels off early on, but you gotta at least try to learn it before you can say that. It was like if the game gives a rocket launcher and a wall to shoot, and the player spends 3 hours trying to jump over the wall.
 

Bragr

Member
Yeah, I think I'm just going to go ahead and trust the guy who made a living designing AAA games over the opinions of people whose biggest contribution to games is just playing them. K thanx bye.
You would be shocked at how few top developers play games. Not specifically talking Jaffe here, he seems to play a good deal, but there are some top guys in the industry who barely plays at all and are completely ignorant at the standard of current games.
 
What I found strange about that video is that he jumps and shoots like it's an 80's game. Why isn't he aiming at that critter?

I don't know, the game told me to shoot at walls if I was stuck and I never had an issue with it. The room above is also a hint since it's in the same frame, it's inviting you to shoot that roof. I thought the game taught these principles pretty well and I haven't seen many have issues with this. The game is pretty apprehensive towards these sorts of things, it only asks you to search like this a few times, likely to train you to look for secrets.

I like Jaffe and watch him a lot these days, but he rage quits and stops playing several games for the weirdest things. I watched him play Kena, and sure it's hard, but he spent hours on that first boss, refusing to learn the timing of the deflect when the entire boss was designed around deflect. I also thought the deflect in Kena was un-intuitive and feels off early on, but you gotta at least try to learn it before you can say that. It was like if the game gives a rocket launcher and a wall to shoot, and the player spends 3 hours trying to jump over the wall.
Yeah, I watch Jaffe and he's a cool dude. But he openly admits that this is part of his personality. He rarely completes games ever and if he runs into something overly frustrating for him, he is extremely likely to just drop the game and move onto something else. Does it all the time.
 

Jeeves

Member
I see people asking "why would I just randomly shoot walls?" You're lacking context if you're asking that.

The context of the map state at this point in the game will naturally make you curious and suspicious about this particular room. That's when you take a few seconds to experiment. You don't have to spray and pray at every wall in the game.

If you have no sense of curiosity, then yes this is not the genre for you.
Notice that when he shoots and breaks the floor you can see that in the gap is revealed little white arrows pointing up. How this makes sense? The indicator is only visible after you don't need it wut?
Yes, once you find the secret once there's no need for the game to keep it hidden from you a second time. Would you honestly rather the room spell out exactly what to do the instant you step into it?
 

davidjaffe

The Fucking MAN.
The ones defending this for the following reasons would fail a design class and be fired from a design job asap. Here's why:

#1- Saying 'this is metroid and it's how the series is' is a ridiculous statement. UNLESS the game makes it clear from the start there is a prerequesite to playing DREAD that you have to have played earlier games in the series, that excuse is hollow and embarrassing. A person's understanding of a game should not have to come from a previous game (esp. when the last meaningfully relevant one in the 2D series was Super Metroid in 94). And it should not have to come from a guide or the internet or twitter. If the game doesn't tell you how to play, it's the game's fault.

#2- Saying 'the game DOES tell you how to play in the tutorial' is also ridiculous. In the first 10 minutes of exposing the Player to exposing interactive blocks, you get:
a- blocks that LOOK literally like glowing blocks.
b- blocks that look like nothing, just the level.
c- blocks that look like weird bio/bloody/heart sections.

All 3 can be shot and destroyed. However the b type (that looks like just the level) is basically telling the Player 'we will give you ZERO visual cues for what can be damaged...just go into a room and shoot stuff and hope that helps if you are stuck.' This would be like there being NO CRACKS to cue you on bomb walls in Zelda and Players going 'you suck at Zelda cause you're SUPPOSED to enter every room and start throwing bombs randomly until something breaks open'.

ALSO, given there are multiple challenges in the game (exploration, genuine puzzles, combat, map reading,etc.) getting 'stuck' BECAUSE you are not shooting something is not clear. In a game with over 100 rooms to visit, how am I supposed to know WHICH room requires the 'blast everything' solve vs. 'Oh, the solve is in a room 10 rooms away where I need to hit a button or some such shit?'

#3- The 360 aim on the Joy Con controller is shit. I used it as rarely as possible. Not because I wasn't aware of it but because it's a fucking pain in the ass to press that little narrow slice of a button up top. People's answer: 'oh yeah- everyone knows you should play with a pro controller'. Really?!? Then ship the fucking game with a pro controller or at least let Players know that shit on the box/download. A lot of defense of this game is simply defending bad decisions from Nintendo because 'that's shit you should know if you were a REAL fan of Metroid!' Get the fuck out of here, you gatekeeping stooges. Please.

#4-Shooting the enemy crawling on the ceiling IS a great tell to help Players understand the section. However, the enemy ALSO- as part of its path- crawls on parts of the ceiling that are NOT breakable. I happened to kill it on one of those non break sections. And so he was GONE and thus that hint was no longer an option for me. I guess that's my problem too, right? I should have magically known there was a magical window in which to shoot the enemy so it would open up a section of the level and it's my fault- even tho the enemy that is designed as a tool tip GOES to places where the tool tip won't pop. Insane defense.

Look, you can love Metroid all you like. And you can love how arcane it can be. And you can even love- silly as I think it is- your being accepted in a little club that has a secret 'Only WE are the ones who really 'get' this game!' handshake. But what you can't do is try to prop up shit design and call it good. I mean you can TRY that, but those of us who actually know the craft and have worked in the craft of design- whatever you think of my various games- know a hell of a lot better and are very aware that you're full of shit.

I love you.

Don't do drugs.

Jaffe
 

davidjaffe

The Fucking MAN.
I see people asking "why would I just randomly shoot walls?" You're lacking context if you're asking that.

The context of the map state at this point in the game will naturally make you curious and suspicious about this particular room. That's when you take a few seconds to experiment. You don't have to spray and pray at every wall in the game.

If you have no sense of curiosity, then yes this is not the genre for you.

Yes, once you find the secret once there's no need for the game to keep it hidden from you a second time. Would you honestly rather the room spell out exactly what to do the instant you step into it?
There's NOTHING special about the room above to get you curious tho. It's not like there's a cool statue or some sort of chest or unique weapon up there. It looks like any other part of the mini map or big environment where there's a section on the other side of a wall you can't get to yet. It's not like you are STUCK in this room and so you try everything. There's 40 other rooms open by this point you can go to. NOTHING in this particular room screams 'this is the room where you wanna stop and try and figure shit out'.
 

Dr Bass

Member
There's NOTHING special about the room above to get you curious tho. It's not like there's a cool statue or some sort of chest or unique weapon up there. It looks like any other part of the mini map or big environment where there's a section on the other side of a wall you can't get to yet. It's not like you are STUCK in this room and so you try everything. There's 40 other rooms open by this point you can go to. NOTHING in this particular room screams 'this is the room where you wanna stop and try and figure shit out'.
Dunno. I got the game Friday, finished on Sunday. Oddly enough most of the time when I found hidden blocks they looked and felt suspicious to me, and I was right I would say 75% of the time. I think there definitely are cues on what to check. Though, I do remember also thinking "dang, this is going to trip some people up." 🤷‍♂️

Edit: Also, I think this thread is kinda rude.
 
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I love you.

Don't do drugs.

Having a discussion about different philosophies of game design is fine, and I always appreciate your posts.

When I think of bombing a cracked wall in a modern Zelda, it's basically meaningless. We know what it means, and the visual queue robs it of any meaningful interaction really. You just bomb because it's a giant crack that says bomb. Metroid is well made enough in my opinion to encourage more intense searching and exploration. A lesser game would probably frustrate me with this kind of design, but Metroid gives you so many other visual clues, and more importantly - gives you fluid aiming and multiple weapon options to easily explore anything. Plus, you literally get multiple upgrades later that basically make it so you don't ever have to do this for like half the game - and it just literally shows you the blocks.

P. S. The one thing we cannot disagree on is that you need to 360 aim man! Look at these beautiful gifs. It's so fluid and easy to aim anywhere. Practically makes it fun to just search and shoot around by itself.
 

davidjaffe

The Fucking MAN.
Dude buy an alternative controller asap, there is a place in hell when they force people to play with joycons, not defending cheaptendo but by now everyone and their mother knows about joycons...
Well I didn't. Why would I know that? I got a switch DAY ONE but I've only played Odyssey, BOTW, Yoshi's Crafted World, and Hyrule Filed on it. And the Joycon worked great for those. It's this idea that part of enjoying the game requires me to be part of the fandom in a specific way (i.e. 'everyone should just KNOW about X') that is most frustrating because you can't really debate someone out of that position given it's such an irrational position that suggests a person is not really interested in discussing game design but rather just wants to 'win' an argument, you know?
 

davidjaffe

The Fucking MAN.
Having a discussion about different philosophies of game design is fine, and I always appreciate your posts.

When I think of bombing a cracked wall in a modern Zelda, it's basically meaningless. We know what it means, and the visual queue robs it of any meaningful interaction really. You just bomb because it's a giant crack that says bomb. Metroid is well made enough in my opinion to encourage more intense searching and exploration. A lesser game would probably frustrate me with this kind of design, but Metroid gives you so many other visual clues, and more importantly - gives you fluid aiming and multiple weapon options to easily explore anything. Plus, you literally get multiple upgrades later that basically make it so you don't ever have to do this for like half the game - and it just literally shows you the blocks.

P. S. The one thing we cannot disagree on is that you need to 360 aim man! Look at these beautiful gifs. It's so fluid and easy to aim anywhere. Practically makes it fun to just search and shoot around by itself.
The character controls- including the aiming- like butter. It's fantastic. But doing it with the default controller feels like shit.
 

AJUMP23

Member
I was playing with my 7 year old watching, and we talked about hidden blocks, and he looked at one screen and said oh it must be there by that thing. And I said I think you are right. Shot some missiles at it and the secret was exposed. I thought it was fun that he picked it up.

As we get older it does get harder to pick up new things, so I don't blame you davidjaffe davidjaffe , we are all older now and our bones are getting feeble.
 
The character controls- including the aiming- like butter. It's fantastic. But doing it with the default controller feels like shit.
I bet that's true actually. I did play the entire time on a pro controller. The game really makes use of every single button too, and I wouldn't want to ever do it on those tiny joycons.
 

Jeeves

Member
There's NOTHING special about the room above to get you curious tho. It's not like there's a cool statue or some sort of chest or unique weapon up there. It looks like any other part of the mini map or big environment where there's a section on the other side of a wall you can't get to yet. It's not like you are STUCK in this room and so you try everything. There's 40 other rooms open by this point you can go to. NOTHING in this particular room screams 'this is the room where you wanna stop and try and figure shit out'.
The fact that there's no immediately evident purpose to that small room at all is the most suspicious thing. It's not the corner of a cavernous room from which you can see part of a separate room, it's a tiny room with supposedly nothing to do in it. In a game where every room has a purpose. That's what makes the player ask if there's more than meets the eye.

And this is ignoring what I said earlier about how killing the ceiling enemy by aiming it is is extremely likely to reveal the path anyway.
 

Bodomism

Banned
There's NOTHING special about the room above to get you curious tho. It's not like there's a cool statue or some sort of chest or unique weapon up there. It looks like any other part of the mini map or big environment where there's a section on the other side of a wall you can't get to yet. It's not like you are STUCK in this room and so you try everything. There's 40 other rooms open by this point you can go to. NOTHING in this particular room screams 'this is the room where you wanna stop and try and figure shit out'.
Perhaps for a game designer like you with vast knowledge about game design it's ridiculous and unthinkable but for us a normal gamer without the same level understanding as you about game design, we could easily identify the visual cues given by Metroid Dread developer. There's a literary one giant platform with enemies above your character and there's a small route at the the right side of the platform and i think that's enough clue for normal players like us.



So maybe you need something like this to play as the game design is too flaw for your taste.
 
There's NOTHING special about the room above to get you curious tho. It's not like there's a cool statue or some sort of chest or unique weapon up there. It looks like any other part of the mini map or big environment where there's a section on the other side of a wall you can't get to yet. It's not like you are STUCK in this room and so you try everything. There's 40 other rooms open by this point you can go to. NOTHING in this particular room screams 'this is the room where you wanna stop and try and figure shit out'.
Isn't it the only way you can go through at that point in the game? Like the other paths from the communications room get collapsed or something?

I'm sorry but I still think it's not bad design and you are just bad at the game man. Not every game needs glowing arrows or "cool statues", some games let you explore and figure things out for yourself, which imo is far more rewarding than following said arrows.
 
I'm on team Jaffe on this one. random section of wall is breakable that looks indistinguishable from every other random section of wall that is not breakable. I dont care if "that is Metroid", its dumb.
 
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S

SpongebobSquaredance

Unconfirmed Member
The ones defending this for the following reasons would fail a design class and be fired from a design job asap.

The ones defending this for the following reasons would fail a design class and be fired from a design job asap. Here's why:

#1- Saying 'this is metroid and it's how the series is' is a ridiculous statement. UNLESS the game makes it clear from the start there is a prerequesite to playing DREAD
Which it does.

A person's understanding of a game should not have to come from a previous game (esp. when the last meaningfully relevant one in the 2D series was Super Metroid in 94). And it should not have to come from a guide or the internet or twitter. If the game doesn't tell you how to play, it's the game's fault.
Plenty of people can finish Metroid without using a guide. Now there are obviously games that are very cryptic, but that is really not the case with Metroid Dread and I don't consider this example as a good one in showing otherwise. Shooting the scenery certainly doesn't take a guide, the internet or twitter.
#2- Saying 'the game DOES tell you how to play in the tutorial' is also ridiculous. In the first 10 minutes of exposing the Player to exposing interactive blocks, you get:
a- blocks that LOOK literally like glowing blocks.
b- blocks that look like nothing, just the level.
c- blocks that look like weird bio/bloody/heart sections.

All 3 can be shot and destroyed. However the b type (that looks like just the level) is basically telling the Player 'we will give you ZERO visual cues for what can be damaged...just go into a room and shoot stuff and hope that helps if you are stuck.' This would be like there being NO CRACKS to cue you on bomb walls in Zelda and Players going 'you suck at Zelda cause you're SUPPOSED to enter every room and start throwing bombs randomly until something breaks open'.

ALSO, given there are multiple challenges in the game (exploration, genuine puzzles, combat, map reading,etc.) getting 'stuck' BECAUSE you are not shooting something is not clear. In a game with over 100 rooms to visit, how am I supposed to know WHICH room requires the 'blast everything' solve vs. 'Oh, the solve is in a room 10 rooms away where I need to hit a button or some such shit?'
By using the map, David.

The game is giving you a general note of direction, while it is the player's task figuring out a way to progress. As you said, map reading is a key factor in doing so. The map clearly gives the player the thought "hey, there is a room, how I get up there?" and you can also see there is an enemy in the room. So there are clear indications and you now know that there is definitely a way to get there. It's the player's task to figure out how.
That is Metroid. Thats how progression in Metroid games work and that's why those games are so fun. Every other room is a puzzle in itself.
You are basically criticizing Metroid by it's core design.

It's not the game's fault for you not being aware of the situation and not listening to the instructions.

As for the rest of your comment... I mean look, you can love Twisted Metal all you like. And you can love how chaotic it can be. And you can even love- silly as I think it is- your being accepted in a little club that has a secret 'Only WE are the ones who really 'get' this game!' handshake. But what you can't do is try to prop up shit design and call it good. But truth be told, we know that using "fighting game type controls" in a driving game is absurd. That's shitty design, and needs to be called out.


Stay high,

Sponge
 
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GymWolf

Gold Member
Well I didn't. Why would I know that? I got a switch DAY ONE but I've only played Odyssey, BOTW, Yoshi's Crafted World, and Hyrule Filed on it. And the Joycon worked great for those. It's this idea that part of enjoying the game requires me to be part of the fandom in a specific way (i.e. 'everyone should just KNOW about X') that is most frustrating because you can't really debate someone out of that position given it's such an irrational position that suggests a person is not really interested in discussing game design but rather just wants to 'win' an argument, you know?
No, mine was just a suggestion for the future, Joycons being some of the worse controllers ever made is not something new or that only 100 nerds in the world knows, they are too small, the analogues are shit and they have that well known drifting problem, i barely use my switch and almost never searched for something switch related on yt and i lost the count of how many videos i saw about defective joycons or just joycons being terrible in my suggested videos just because i watch other videogame stuff not directly related to joycons or switch.

You have a channel about videogames so for me was strange that you wasn't aware of this.
 

Mess

Member
The ones defending this for the following reasons would fail a design class and be fired from a design job asap.

You're prolly right on this but given how good Metroid Dread turned out it's probably more an indicator of the quality of said classes. And teachers.

All 3 can be shot and destroyed. However the b type (that looks like just the level) is basically telling the Player 'we will give you ZERO visual cues for what can be damaged...just go into a room and shoot stuff and hope that helps if you are stuck.' This would be like there being NO CRACKS to cue you on bomb walls in Zelda and Players going 'you suck at Zelda cause you're SUPPOSED to enter every room and start throwing bombs randomly until something breaks open'.

Zelda 1 a 2 are full of this kind of things. It gave a sense of exploration and reward that most of today's game are lacking. The souls games also have a lot of illusionnary walls or obscure mechanisms (getting back to asylum in DS1, snuggly trades, some whole quests lines). I guess we can be thankfull that Miyasaki skipped said design classes?

#3- The 360 aim on the Joy Con controller is shit. I used it as rarely as possible. Not because I wasn't aware of it but because it's a fucking pain in the ass to press that little narrow slice of a button up top. People's answer: 'oh yeah- everyone knows you should play with a pro controller'. Really?!? Then ship the fucking game with a pro controller or at least let Players know that shit on the box/download. A lot of defense of this game is simply defending bad decisions from Nintendo because 'that's shit you should know if you were a REAL fan of Metroid!' Get the fuck out of here, you gatekeeping stooges. Please.

Can't agree more.

Look, you can love Metroid all you like. And you can love how arcane it can be. And you can even love- silly as I think it is- your being accepted in a little club that has a secret 'Only WE are the ones who really 'get' this game!' handshake. But what you can't do is try to prop up shit design and call it good. I mean you can TRY that, but those of us who actually know the craft and have worked in the craft of design- whatever you think of my various games- know a hell of a lot better and are very aware that you're full of shit.

It seems that various design philosophies catter to different publics. You not liking it doesn't make it shit, however good you are at your craft.
 

Spukc

Member
Perhaps for a game designer like you with vast knowledge about game design it's ridiculous and unthinkable but for us a normal gamer without the same level understanding as you about game design, we could easily identify the visual cues given by Metroid Dread developer. There's a literary one giant platform with enemies above your character and there's a small route at the the right side of the platform and i think that's enough clue for normal players like us.



So maybe you need something like this to play as the game design is too flaw for your taste.

 

MacReady13

Member
I love you Jaffe! Your passion is unparalleled and it shows in this video! I must admit I had no real issues here although it did trip me up a little. I do remember sections like this in Super Metroid though and it tripped me up then as well but it wasn't game breaking for me at all. I'm loving Dread so far and wish it never ended... My personal game of the year so far.
 
The very first Zelda had bombable walls without cracks. Use the Force, Luke.
I'll revise my opinion a little. I think Jaffe is like 25% right on this one, simply for this argument about bombs in Zelda.
  • Bomb secrets in the original Zelda do suck. It's not often indicated by anything substantial in the level design. Sometimes it is, and it fits a little visual clue but sometimes it's just random.
  • Hidden blocks in Dread are better because the act of shooting itself is so fun. I would often stand and pose, and just move the laser around when I looked through a room, like I was role playing as Samus or something. It's just that fun to move the laser around and aim. It's effortless to search a room this way. In contrast, bombs in the original Zelda are slow, cumbersome, have limited inventory supply, do damage to the player even, and is not fun to set and run away necessarily.
  • Dread also only asks this of the player for like 50% of the game, before giving you upgrades that make it so you can detect anything you want. So it's the perfect blend of old school game design mixed with a newer and more accessible finish at the end.
  • Allowing some completely hidden blocks in Dread is important because while bombing in the original Zelda sucks, bombing in the new Zelda games isn't great either. If you see the same visual clue that always tells you to bomb, then you're not really discovering anything. You're just reading a logo and you know it's the bomb logo. It's not really allowing the player to discover anything.
 
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Bragr

Member
I'm on team Jaffe on this one. random section of wall is breakable that looks indistinguishable from every other random section of wall that is not breakable. I dont care if "that is Metroid", its dumb.
Have you played it though? I dont think those who agree on this have. I have never seen anyone else with this issue, the game tells you to shoot walls and gives you areas to teach you this early on, everyone I have seen play it finds those blocks. Maybe they could have teached it better but unless more people who played the game struggles with this apart from one person, you cant call this bad game design or dumb. And once you done it once, you learn it for the rest of the game.
 

sloppyjoe_gamer

Gold Member
The map tells you everything LOL

You're given possibilities at the beginning of the game how the game MAY use hidden walls to get through, or to proceed. Still not seeing what you're complaining about.

If you have zero patience to play the game and come across scenarios where you're not instantly handed everything and have to explore thoroughly, then this series never has been and isnt now for you either.
 
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Neff

Member
I'll revise my opinion a little. I think Jaffe is like 25% right on this one, simply for this argument about bombs in Zelda.
  • Bomb secrets in the original Zelda do suck. It's not often indicated by anything substantial in the level design. Sometimes it is, and it fits a little visual clue but sometimes it's just random.
  • Hidden blocks in Dread are better because the act of shooting itself is so fun. I would often stand and pose, and just move the laser around when I looked through a room, like I was role playing as Samus or something. It's just that fun to move the laser around and aim. It's effortless to search a room this way. In contrast, bombs in the original Zelda are slow, cumbersome, have limited inventory supply, do damage to the player even, and is not fun to set and run away necessarily.
  • Dread also only asks this of the player for like 50% of the game, before giving you upgrades that make it so you can detect anything you want. So it's the perfect blend of old school game design mixed with a newer and more accessible finish at the end.
  • Allowing some completely hidden blocks in Dread is important because while bombing in the original Zelda sucks, bombing in the new Zelda games isn't great either. If you see the same visual queue that always tells you to bomb, then you're not really discovering anything. You're just reading a logo and you know it's the bomb logo. It's not really allowing the player to discover anything.

You're right about all of this, and admittedly it's a dick move on my part to bring up game design from 1987 to snarkily sabotage someone's quote, but it's worth remembering that intrepid, astute people got through the original LoZ just fine, sans guides. And for the most part, it's a very well-designed game which still holds up surprisingly well today.

Metroid Dread is simply emulating Nintendo's very successful secret-hiding design formula. They're the best in the world at it. Even if you can't directly see what you're looking for (or should be looking for), you usually can feel it, because their games do such a good job of conditioning you. That sudden dead end, that irregular/lonely chunk of scenery, that moment of unorthodox framing- it all leads to that same prickle of curiosity you should be feeling to progress, to start thinking outside the box which makes your reward taste all the sweeter. Mercury Steam absolutely nailed it.

The map tells you everything LOL

Pretty much. Observing the map is everything in these games, Metroid especially.
 
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TexMex

Member
I think he's approaching it from a completely different lens than we are. I think from a fundamental design perspective he is correct.

However, that is Metroid, and I love Metroid. So I'm more than okay with it. In fact - I demand it in these games. I love it. But if you just gave it to someone who didn't play games at all and wasn't coming at it from decades of Metroid knowledge that you should be shooting random things all the time to see what's there - yeah, it won't make sense.

I just don't care about them and I don't care how selfish that is, I'm not worried about being inclusive here.
 

Rentahamster

Rodent Whores
#1- Saying 'this is metroid and it's how the series is' is a ridiculous statement. UNLESS the game makes it clear from the start there is a prerequesite to playing DREAD that you have to have played earlier games in the series, that excuse is hollow and embarrassing. A person's understanding of a game should not have to come from a previous game (esp. when the last meaningfully relevant one in the 2D series was Super Metroid in 94). And it should not have to come from a guide or the internet or twitter. If the game doesn't tell you how to play, it's the game's fault.
Yes and no. Sure, new players shouldn't have to be expected to know every little esoteric detail about a particular genre of game they're getting into, but "hidden stuff in the walls that get revealed when you shoot/explode them" IS a pretty well established trope of Metroid and Metroid-style exploration sub-genres. Nevertheless, the game does tell you how to play, and gives you hints, and it doesn't overly punish you from real progress from hidden wall mechanics.

#2- Saying 'the game DOES tell you how to play in the tutorial' is also ridiculous. In the first 10 minutes of exposing the Player to exposing interactive blocks, you get:
a- blocks that LOOK literally like glowing blocks.
b- blocks that look like nothing, just the level.
c- blocks that look like weird bio/bloody/heart sections.

All 3 can be shot and destroyed. However the b type (that looks like just the level) is basically telling the Player 'we will give you ZERO visual cues for what can be damaged...just go into a room and shoot stuff and hope that helps if you are stuck.' This would be like there being NO CRACKS to cue you on bomb walls in Zelda and Players going 'you suck at Zelda cause you're SUPPOSED to enter every room and start throwing bombs randomly until something breaks open'.
There aren't "ZERO" cues. By now, it should have been established that you will run into dead ends sometimes, and sometimes you can blow a hole in the wall. Another clue is the minimap: close but non-connecting rooms might be connected with destructible blocks. Also, the enemy crawling on the ceiling - that is a third clue. In "normal" gameplay, the player might be expected to shoot diagonally, which might hit the blocks and reveal the hidden space. However, you chose to jump and shoot horizontally instead. That's not your fault, but even if that clue fails, there are other clues.

Analogizing this to "throwing bombs randomly in Zelda isn't a fair comparison because in Zelda that would be a lot harder to do. In Metroid, it's very easy to shoot everything. I'm not saying that the game is forcing you to shoot everything all the time, but in circumstances where there's clues in the room and map design that there's something fishy going on, it would be wise to shoot at stuff to see if there's anything hidden. Again, this is a fairly standard trope of this sub-genre, and even for new players, the game should have already given you many examples of similar situations in order to steer the player towards this kind of gameplay loop behavior.

#4-Shooting the enemy crawling on the ceiling IS a great tell to help Players understand the section. However, the enemy ALSO- as part of its path- crawls on parts of the ceiling that are NOT breakable. I happened to kill it on one of those non break sections. And so he was GONE and thus that hint was no longer an option for me. I guess that's my problem too, right? I should have magically known there was a magical window in which to shoot the enemy so it would open up a section of the level and it's my fault- even tho the enemy that is designed as a tool tip GOES to places where the tool tip won't pop. Insane defense.
It's an imperfect "tool tip", but as I mentioned earlier, it's not the only clue in the room, and additionally, you have more than one opportunity to stumble upon the right solution. As in your gameplay, you entered the room multiple times and the enemy was present at the right place at some points in time. During the encounter when you found the hidden entrance, the enemy was actually in the right spot, but you didn't shoot at it diagonally, which would have revealed the hidden area. However, like I said, that's not your fault for playing the game how you are most comfortable playing, so it's up to the additional clues in the room layout to give you a hint.

Alternatively, a new player might have just given up on this room and then come back later. This is also a trope in the Metroid sub-genre where you give up on an area because you suspect you don't have the right gear to move on. However, not only does a player get new powerups, but when they finally come back to this room, they will have also gained a lot more gameplay experience, and so might pick up on the clues a lot better the second time upon revisiting the area. A more experienced player might try to shoot diagonally instead because he learned how to optimize his shooting gameplay. These little discoveries that show the player how much they've improved both gear-wise and gameplay-wise are the cool little rewards of this game design.


Look, you can love Metroid all you like. And you can love how arcane it can be. And you can even love- silly as I think it is- your being accepted in a little club that has a secret 'Only WE are the ones who really 'get' this game!' handshake. But what you can't do is try to prop up shit design and call it good. I mean you can TRY that, but those of us who actually know the craft and have worked in the craft of design- whatever you think of my various games- know a hell of a lot better and are very aware that you're full of shit.
Yes, while it can certainly lead to the frustrating moments that you experienced, I think your reaction was a little overblown. It's not like this was a hard stop in your progression. You could have easily just shrugged your shoulders and then revisited this at a later time when you have more gear and more gameplay experience under your belt. Encountering little roadblocks that you have to revisit later is a staple of this sub-genre.

A lot of this is a "show don't tell" style of tutorial, much like the first level of Mega Man X.

 

Wonko_C

Member
I finally saw the video and uhm... I did that part without even thinking. I guess I am conditioned by playing all the previous games in the series. (Sometimes I think the latest games actually hold your hand too much.)

So I got 100% item collection in 3 nights (about 11 hours of playtime) after coming home from work... without glancing at a single video guide. Does that make me some kind of Metroid god?
 

Hoppa

Member
If you see something on the other side of a wall, is it hard to try shooting the wall? The game does tell you to try shooting things early on in the game.

People are used to modern handholding.

Imagine that pillar goes all the way up the screen but the top half only disappears when you touch it. There's no block to jump off and there are 3 different rooms in each other direction which all have pillars like this that you can't magically jump through
 
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Sub_Level

wants to fuck an Asian grill.
Yup. Gamers nowadays love it when any random unmarked wall/floor/ceiling might be breakable and the only way to find out is trial and error. This is great game design.

That is literally Doom 1992, one of the most critically acclaimed games ever made. Pressing the Use key against all the walls looking for secrets. It might be a slightly off texture or a shadow cast differently. Sometimes the texture isn't different at all, its just a random wall.

Metroid Dread is MUCH less ambiguous about which walls are secrets. Everything has a rhyme or reason, a pattern. To say nothing of the fact you get an upgrade later that does all the legwork for you with the 3 second hold of a Dpad button.
 
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