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Opinion Drama Cringe David Jaffe sucks at Metroid

Feb 20, 2021
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Archaic. I couldn't believe it when I came to that part. I rank it up there with decisions like needing to buy an item from the shopkeeper in Symphony to continue progress, or that stupid train key card or whatever from Bloodstained. Stuff that requires you to consult a guide online, or waste a ton of time trying to chance upon a solution.

I hate to see a guy like Jaffe get shit from average Joes calling into question his ability to design a game. You don't need to go to bat for Metroid.
 
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PhaseJump

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Were his games good? Metroid's good.

I think so. He made some God of Waffles game or some shit like that for Sony. I hear it's awesome if you're into metal like twisted sister and have a sweet tooth.

He's a shit lord to be listened to.
 

tommib

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you're espousing the opinion that a game asking the player to have the problem solving ability of a four year old is too much of a burden to bear and is fundamentally "bad" game design

source: been playing this shit since super metroid as a literal human child

the game teaches you there are hidden blocks as one of the very first things it teaches you. if you're too thick to extrapolate based on that information, the flaw is not with the game, but with you.

if you make it obvious there's hidden blocks with visual clues they are no longer hidden blocks you goddamn mouthbreathers

the reason people get defensive is because, for the most part, game designers actually listen to your position and almost exclusively. there's very few games left that challenge the player to use their brain on anything other than a completely braindead, uninteresting level. when an entry in one of the very few series that don't cater to the lowest common denominator come out, e.g. dread, dark souls, etc., there is a cavalcade of morons there instantly who feel the need to harp on about how it's objectively "bad" that they were forced to, for unabashed minutes of their life, think for a bit before figuring out what they had to do or where they had to go in a video game.

you can't even twist this into "elitist gatekeeping bla bla", i'm not saying you need to be smart to play metroid, you just need to be as smart as a fucking toddler in the 90s with a super nintendo. that's not a high burden to bear and STILL you get fuckers trying to change the last few bastions of non-completely-idiot-proof games to be more like everything else.
Word.

People complaining about Dread’s design are basically asking for this:



We need meter counters for hidden blocks and a press A prompt for a cinematic that reveals the passageway. For every hidden block. It’s the only way.
 

Dr Bass

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you're espousing the opinion that a game asking the player to have the problem solving ability of a four year old is too much of a burden to bear and is fundamentally "bad" game design

source: been playing this shit since super metroid as a literal human child

the game teaches you there are hidden blocks as one of the very first things it teaches you. if you're too thick to extrapolate based on that information, the flaw is not with the game, but with you.

if you make it obvious there's hidden blocks with visual clues they are no longer hidden blocks you goddamn mouthbreathers

the reason people get defensive is because, for the most part, game designers actually listen to your position and almost exclusively. there's very few games left that challenge the player to use their brain on anything other than a completely braindead, uninteresting level. when an entry in one of the very few series that don't cater to the lowest common denominator come out, e.g. dread, dark souls, etc., there is a cavalcade of morons there instantly who feel the need to harp on about how it's objectively "bad" that they were forced to, for unabashed minutes of their life, think for a bit before figuring out what they had to do or where they had to go in a video game.

you can't even twist this into "elitist gatekeeping bla bla", i'm not saying you need to be smart to play metroid, you just need to be as smart as a fucking toddler in the 90s with a super nintendo. that's not a high burden to bear and STILL you get fuckers trying to change the last few bastions of non-completely-idiot-proof games to be more like everything else.
You’re my GAF hero for the day. Thank goodness there are still gamers like you around.

Imagine thinking it’s “bad design” to not have a puzzle also present you with the solution. On top of the fact the vast majority of players, as evidenced by the OT, have no issue with it. And then STILL saying it’s “bad design.”
 

Stefan.North

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cmon.
A small crack on that wall or anything would not hurt.
A giant blinking neon arrows pointing at breakable blocks wouldn't hurt either, but that's not Metroid.

Even though it is action-adventure style game, it should be played like a run & gun, shooting and bombing constantly at everything.
 

Wildebeest

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There are ways to understand this disagreement in terms other than right or wrong design. Progressive design vs archaic design. When Richard Bartle created a way of dividing players by motivation for games like MMOs he used two axis to describe player motivation. Player/World motivation and Acting/Interacting motivation. Obviously, for purely single player games, we can assume the motivation to play is for the world, but people may also want to watch others play on twitch or share their interest in the game in some way. But the divide here is between Acting/Interacting motivation.

For the "acting" there are the achievers. Obviously this is the type of player who is a big target customer for single player games. They will churn through new game after game just to say they have completed them, rack up as many "achievements" as they can. There is no accident in the naming there. Socially, they want to show off how large their collection of achievements is.

Then for interacting you get people who play games more slowly and want to push every button in the game, master every character, look in every dark corner to see what is hiding. The explorers. I'm more like the second type. Socially they do not really care for achievements but do enjoy acting as guides for newer players.

So what we have here are "achievers" getting angry at a rare game that wasn't made specifically for them. Even using the language of civil rights to describe a tide of history where all games will eventually be made only for achievers and one day we will look back at the barbaric times when there were still exploration games. Take a step back, I say.
 
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SpokkX

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I really enjoy listening to you davidjaffe davidjaffe - you have great insights and are frankly hilarious sometimes

However in this case you are just plain wrong. It is refreshing with a game that does not hold your hand. You have to actually CARE about the environment - and the environment is interactive unlike many modern games

Btw that single example is hardly representative of the complete game.

I do understand if the game is not for you though - Metroid is not for everyone. It is an exploration based game - not a linear shooter
 

kuncol02

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We need meter counters for hidden blocks and a press A prompt for a cinematic that reveals the passageway. For every hidden block. It’s the only way.
Wasn't GoW first game with "press A to awesome" design philosophy? In terms of raw gameplay it was years behind DMC. All I can think of that game are almost self playing QTE bosses.
 
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Lethal01

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Just because it's 'always been like this', doesn't mean that it's not a legitimate complaint. There's always room for improvement for anything and the fact that you guys are willing to forego legitimate design issues because it's always been like that... Man, maybe the industry is doomed for stagnation after all, what with this kind of mentality amongst consumers.

Also, how about, instead of attacking Jaffe and his place in the industry, you critique his opinion? I disagree with Jaffe with a lot of things, but he has a point in this; and no, I'm not 'appealing to authority' here: from a designer's perspective, this is not good design.

I swear man, people take their video games so seriously that they're willing to take it up the ass with these corporations.

How about we stop acting like everyone is just going "it's always been like this" and not giving tons of thought out reasons why it's good design. and again if the guy doesn't want to be attacked then he wouldn't be calling everyone who disagrees with him a fucking moron.
 

Lethal01

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It seems this triggered a lot of people.

Can a person have a preference?

I mean, I don't think he said "they should stop selling this game" or something like that. He is just saying that he believes it's a bad design choice and that he will stop playing. I think that's fair.

Again, he literally starts by saying, IF you disagree you are a moron.
Why is everyone pretending he's just calmly expressing his opinion and expecting everyone else to put on kid gloves for him.
 

rofif

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A giant blinking neon arrows pointing at breakable blocks wouldn't hurt either, but that's not Metroid.

Even though it is action-adventure style game, it should be played like a run & gun, shooting and bombing constantly at everything.
It would hurt. There is a difference a crack and huge arrows cmon.
 

Lethal01

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It would hurt. There is a difference a crack and huge arrows cmon.
Yeah, but a crack would hurt too.

The game already gives you more than enough information to know that there is a hidden block there. Including the fact that if you have been attentive and have been keeping track of where you have been you would have easily narrowed down where there may be somewhere you can go, keeping track of your environment IS PART OF THE GAME. But again even if he didn't have a reason to suspect this room it's still obvious the moment you walk in, it's just laughable that he keeps trying to say "there's like 25 rooms where I might be able to go".

Jaffe is simply being too much of a moron who can't accept that he failed a part of the game, it's no different than saying a shooter has bad design because you did try shooting a bosses fleshy glowing weak point instead of it's armor. Figuring out where to shoot without it being cracked is what makes it fun. What is the point of adding a crack when the point is to realize you can go there based on the layout, your previous encounters with these scenarios and your knowledge of the current dead ends.

A crack-adds nothing but a method to bypass all this by going. see crack, shoot crack. teaching the player to continue to ignore paying attention to the layout, so yeah ti hurts.
 

N30RYU

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Completed it yesterday (almost 19h)... and it was my first metroid game ever to beat... the games does have it's obscure parts but overall is pretty straightforward.

The only thing that bugs me is how to move from area to area... to revisit zones, with 99% of the time the train/teleport/elevator putting you in an area you can't progress through to go to a previous explored zone. This makes you go to the train to get to that other area... then get the elevator and then the teleport just to end in the first area you started but in the other side of the "unbreakable" wall...

I guess it's in the Metroid dna... and that's why this revisiting areas with new powers is called metroidvania for a reason... anyway it's a solid 8/10 game for me.
 

Wonko_C

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Wasn't GoW first game with "press A to awesome" design philosophy? In terms of raw gameplay it was years behind DMC. All I can think of that game are almost self playing QTE bosses.
Ah yes, Devil May Cry (especially 3) runs laps around any GoW. The combat is much better and freeflowing, and it actually feels like you're hitting the enemies with swords, fists, etc. (In GoW it feels like you're hitting enemies with foam sticks). The game encourages replayability and getting better at it with its rank and scoring systems, which were completely missing from GoW, making a one and done deal.
 
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Jeeves

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if the guy doesn't want to be attacked then he wouldn't be calling everyone who disagrees with him a fucking moron.
It doesn't mean we need to stoop to the same level.

But I do think it's completely fair to criticize his argument, especially when he published a public video about it.
 

ethomaz

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How can you even sucks at Metroid? lol

Imagine you being in a outside planet with big text or arrows to show you where to go or do.

davidjaffe davidjaffe you really want these non-immersive game design? Metroid is about explore something you don’t know.
 
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Boglin

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It doesn't mean we need to stoop to the same level.

But I do think it's completely fair to criticize his argument, especially when he published a public video about it.
Of course you're right that people don't need to stoop to his level but it's not surprising that his choice of language invites a similar lack of tact
 
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MegaBustet

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It's Metroid, you shoot blocks that have no indication they'll break away. If you don't understand that concept you'll have a bad time.
 

StylishMGTOW

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How about we stop acting like everyone is just going "it's always been like this" and not giving tons of thought out reasons why it's good design. and again if the guy doesn't want to be attacked then he wouldn't be calling everyone who disagrees with him a fucking moron.
Fair enough, he does have that going for him; but as a person with eyes and is vaguely aware of the series (only finished Metroid Prime and Samus Returns, don't remember much of both), he does have a point. If having something like that a staple in the series, fine, but that doesn't de-legitimize his opinion.
They do better than just some text, They do better than just some video, they make you do it yourself even if you aren't reading the text.
The screenshot being shared around this thread looks vastly different than the instance he was talking about in the video.
 

Lethal01

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The screenshot being shared around this thread looks vastly different than the instance he was talking about in the video.

Nah, It's extremely similar, scenarios with 1 block thick walls where the map shows a location just on the otherside in addition to you being able to see it yourself.

And I'm not at all relying on "this is a series staple so it's okay" I'm saying this is good design so it's okay. I understand it's his opinion, i'm just saying he's wrong.

It has tons of hints and indications and the challenge to the player is picking up on those. He is simply complaining that it didn't have the specific indication that HE wants. Again, it's like complaining about an armored weakpoint with a glowing fleshy weak point not verbally telling you that you can shoot it. FIguring out this stuff on your own IS the fun and makes the game better.

This particular example is just complaining about needing to use your mind on the most basic level and him complaining about it makes me happy that he's not infecting any games right now.
 
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Stefan.North

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It would hurt. There is a difference a crack and huge arrows cmon.
No cracks, no visual clues, no help, use some of your time to know the game.
Welcome to NES / Sega Gens. gaming days, also called best gaming era, where pre-school boys would get hairs on their chests, and fingers hard as wood. They would laugh at 3 screens wide wall and glich the caracter through, compared to now "I need a crack, a strong wind and no enemies on screen to break a single block".
 
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rofif

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No cracks, no visual clues, no help, use some of your time to know the game.
Welcome to NES / Sega Gens. gaming days, also called best gaming era, where pre-school boys would get hairs on their chests, and fingers hard as wood. They would laugh at 3 screens wide wall and glich the caracter through, compared to now "I need a crack, a strong wind and no enemies on screen to break a single block".
Don't teach a horse how to horse :messenger_face_steam:
I had nes and then later in 1997 got my pc. That is quite a few years of gaming...
 
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heringer

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If I had never played Metroid before and only watched that part of the video, I would agree with him.

Here's the thing though: this stuff is part of the "groove" of Metroid games, and the game itself teaches you that. Even without putting into words (though Dread literally does that), the game eases you into a rhythm of shooting walls to open new paths. It starts with small, very obvious hidden paths, and then it grows in complexity a little. And it's not nearly as cryptic as the video may suggest, as there are subtle indications like the map (if you stumble upon an empty room that leads nowhere and you can see in the map there's a section very close to it, it's probably time to shoot walls).

Maybe you don't like it, but it's not necessarily bad design (though it can be if the game doesn't inform the player in any way, but Metroid does that in subtle ways).
 
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Sneed Wagon

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Funny how I only ever hear about this guy now when he's publicly throwing a tantrum at games with strong followings (ex. Cruelty Squad).

Anything to stay relevant I guess. Negative engagement is still engagement.
 
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Cutty Flam

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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
Sounds like you’re just mad because your hand wasn’t held. You’ve been in the industry and have made games for the world to play yet you somehow weren’t aware that the JoyCons are trash and have been since the very start? Also, what’s the big deal? You were stuck for 45 minutes, so what? Ocarina of Time is arguably the best game of all time and had many fans stumped for hours, days, weeks while playing the Water Temple. Games don’t need to fit your cookie cutter ideals of what you’ve been taught in class about game design

If we went off only what you know and preach, we’d never have the extremely rewarding to find hidden blocks and items in Super Mario RPG for the Super Nintendo. Again, games don’t need to tell you anything, there doesn’t need to be a hint of any kind. You’re thinking commercial, but a game can go anywhere in terms of its design and creativity
 
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Lethal01

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Sounds like you’re just mad because your hand wasn’t held. You’ve been in the industry and have made games for the world to play yet you somehow weren’t aware that the JoyCons are trash and have been since the very start? Also, what’s the big deal? You were stuck for 45 minutes, so what? Ocarina of Time is arguably the best game of all time and had many fans stumped for hours, days, weeks while playing the Water Temple. Games don’t need to fit your cookie cutter ideals of what you’ve been taught in class about game design

If we went off only what you know and preach, we’d never have the extremely rewarding to find hidden blocks and items in Super Mario RPG for the Super Nintendo. Again, games don’t need to tell you anything, there doesn’t need to be a hint of any kind. You’re thinking commercial, but a game can go anywhere in terms of its design and creativity
Blaming it on the joycon is too easy an out. They are bad but not so bad that he can't aim up.
 

Eevee86

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If I had never played Metroid before and only watched that part of the video, I would agree with him.

Here's the thing though: this stuff is part of the "groove" of Metroid games, and the game itself teaches you that. Even without putting into words (though Dread literally does that), the game eases you into a rhythm of shooting walls to open new paths. It starts with small, very obvious hidden paths, and then it grows in complexity a little. And it's not nearly as cryptic as the video may suggest, as there are subtle indications like the map (if you stumble upon an empty room that leads nowhere and you can see in the map there's a section very close to it, it's probably time to shoot walls).

Maybe you don't like it, but it's not necessarily bad design (though it can be if the game doesn't inform the player in any way, but Metroid does that in subtle ways).
Even if you didn't know about breakable walls, killing the enemy crawling on the ceiling would break it if you aren't jump shotting like an idiot like he was.
 
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tommib

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I wondered if he let go of this and continued enjoying the game, so I find his twitter and uh...


How obtuse can you be? I guess getting stuck really wounded his pride.
Doubling down… He could be looking for visibility. He does run a business with his podcasts and YouTube videos.
 

Dr Bass

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He still hasn’t observed all the people finishing the game with no problem? And continues to think the game is the issue? I kinda regret defending him multiple times on this board. He has revealed himself to be quite the complete fool, sadly.

I still find it hard to believe he’s not muckraking.
 

kevm3

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I agree with David Jaffe. This game has moments of awful design in that you are supposed to randomly shoot the floor or ceiling to search for destructible blocks in order to progress the game. I can understand doing this for hidden powerups/areas, but to progress the game? It's ridiculous. In order to get the wide beam, you have to go past the second area without finishing it up and go to the third area... When you get to the area that connects the second area to the third area, it locks you in and I literally thought I glitched my way into the third area too early because I couldn't escape and I couldn't get past any of the doors in the 3rd area. Come to find out, after looking at the video, I was supposed to shoot the floor, of which there is no real visual indication that it's a destructible floor. Awful.
 
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Dr Bass

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I agree with David Jaffe. This game has moments of awful design in that you are supposed to randomly shoot the floor or ceiling to search for destructible blocks in order to progress the game. I can understand doing this for hidden powerups/areas, but to progress the game? It's ridiculous. In order to get the wide beam, you have to go past the second area without finishing it up and go to the third area... When you get to the area that connects the second area to the third area, it locks you in and I literally thought I glitched my way into the third area too early because I couldn't escape and I couldn't get past any of the doors in the 3rd area. Come to find out, after looking at the video, I was supposed to shoot the floor, of which there is no real visual indication that it's a destructible floor. Awful.
Nope. Everything in the game has visual cues that make areas that are destructible suspicious, or even obvious.

Use your eyes.

Then your brain.

You’ll get through the game just fine, like everyone else who did the above.
 

kevm3

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Nope. Everything in the game has visual cues that make areas that are destructible suspicious, or even obvious.

Use your eyes.

Then your brain.

You’ll get through the game just fine, like everyone else who did the above.

Or how about the game devs use good game design. Good game design isn't spamming the fire button and firing into every crevice and trying to advance the game.



Hmm, so we come to this sweet dead end. Which block do we need to shoot to advance? Is it the top one? Nope, your shots do nothing to the top middle blocks. Is it the bottom middle one with the cracks? Nope. You literally have to shoot the floor below the light with NO visual cue to tell you that it's destructible. I'm sorry, but that's terrible game design. And no, that's not to get some secret power up. You have to shoot a floor with ZERO visual cues to PROGRESS THE GAME
 

kevm3

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This has nothing to do with holding your hand. I've beat games like Castlevania SOTN, Super Metroid, Axiom Verge, etc. I don't recall any of those games having stuff like this. This is more akin to the original castlevania where you were supposed to duck in a corner and a magical tornado would whisk you away

Someone tell me how it is logical to shoot the highlighted floor here to progress
 

cireza

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I'm sorry, but that's terrible game design
I have been playing the game for a few days. I was stuck here... for about 2 seconds. This dead-end is where the normal flow of the game takes you, of course the answer is going to be here, in this dead-end. The floor itself is thin, in the dead-end. They even put a light right above. Common sense.

This is standard Metroid game-design. Play something else.
 
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kevm3

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I have been playing the game for a few days. I was stuck here... for about 2 seconds. This dead-end is where the normal flow of the game takes you, of course the answer is going to be here, in this dead-end. The floor itself is thin, in the dead-end. They even put a light right above. Common sense.

This is standard Metroid game-design. Play something else.

No, this isn't standard metroid game design. They don't put a series of destructable blocks above and below you but in order to progress you have to shoot the floor that has no visual cues to shoot. Castlevania SOTN never had this problem, nor did Cave Story, nor did Axiom Verge nor did Super metroid.