Pointless features in games

Many games contain at least one feature which is pointless.

In Duke Nukem 3D if you activate any powerpoints you receive damage as if he stuck his finger in it, for what purpose would this serve?

What do you find is a pointless feature in any game?

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Hmm, this is a good thread topic.

This is sorta the reverse of what's being asked, but I think it's still relevant and I've seen this anomoly in other games too. In Mario Kart DD on the Gamecube, in 4 player mode, you can deselect your car in the menu if you decide you want to use something else, and you can also do this between races. In Mario Kart Wii, if you want to change one little thing, you have to go back to the main menu, select 4 player again, yadda yadda yadda.. It was the removal of such a basic feature that makes 4 player games move along much more smoothly if you decide to use a different vehicle.

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Avoozl said:

In Duke Nukem 3D if you activate any powerpoints you receive damage as if he stuck his finger in it, for what purpose would this serve?

Duke3D's typical attempt at a cheeky realism, what else? That is a purpose. ;)

Doom 3's screen features a text that tells you the name of the location where you currently are. Each room is named somehow. In my opinion, they could have resigned on this feature completely. It must have taken a lot of effort, but wasn't worth it, because who even notice it while playing?

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Well, in theory, knowing the name of the location can help you with identifying your objective or finding a secret stash mentioned in an email. But I don't remember anything like that in the actual game.

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The ability to modify the interior of your car in Midnight Club LA seems remarkably pointless, as the game is so fast and steering so pronounced that using the cabin view for anything other than gently cruising around would be making an already difficult game much, much harder. The fact that this is relatively extensive leads me to believe car modding is clearly intended as a bigger part of the game than I'm treating it as (tasteless chrome rims aside).

Games like Doom that have limitless sprint whilst not impacting aim do lead me to wonder why not sprinting is an option, as even tricky platforming and tightrope walking is doable at ultraspeed with quick enough turning.

Also, suicide in Postal 2. Press the key and you can't back out. Press any further key to explode and then have to load up your saved game... With no change or progress made.

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Phobus said:

Games like Doom that have limitless sprint whilst not impacting aim do lead me to wonder why not sprinting is an option, as even tricky platforming and tightrope walking is doable at ultraspeed with quick enough turning.


But not even the game's creators knew that, it turned out.

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Duke 3D and Forever are both full of useless features / items. Holoduke is one I'd never use if you didn't get an achievement for it. Uh berserk too. But I guess those are more items than features.

All the bugs in Goat Simulator are features...

GTA games with customizable cars when they're so disposable. At least with Saints Row games you replenish the cars even when blown up.

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Phobus said:

Games like Doom that have limitless sprint whilst not impacting aim do lead me to wonder why not sprinting is an option, as even tricky platforming and tightrope walking is doable at ultraspeed with quick enough turning.


Think back to when you were first playing Doom. Could you really get around the level that fast without slamming into everything?

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flubbernugget said:

Think back to when you were first playing Doom. Could you really get around the level that fast without slamming into everything?


This. You can't play like that with just the keyboard, which is how 90% of people played Doom originally.

Also I don't like running all the time, it makes it harder to aim.

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Mortal Kombat Deception's Hari-Kiri feature. It's fun and goofy by the idea alone, but executing the suicide is near-impossible. The AI never tries to commit a fatality move, and odds are your human opponents aren't gonna know every fatality by memory, and odds are will just give you a finishing uppercut, thus giving you zero time to even consider performing a suicide. It's funny, but severely impractical.

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I'm gonna say ANY kind of leaderboard outside of the match you were in. It's simply an open invitation to abuse/padding and in my opinion leads to people playing like twats to pad a certain stat (universally K/D and W/L are the usual suspects for this). It's for this reason it's pointless, it's just an ego inflating, dick waving thing.

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The time freeze that happens when you pick a powerup or when the time after the finish is getting counted in a super mario game, it's just a waste o' time.
And there's a 'points' feature in the old games which are completly ignored.

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Some Tom Clancy games allow you to reload a fully stocked weapon, it just ends in your death most of the time (I know they want to be as realistic as possible but god damn that is an annoying feature).

Fallout New Vegas allows you to buy and sell items with no weight and value, why?

Duke Nukem 3D allows you to interact with almost anything and it usually kills you.

In Halo 1, you can punch a dead body to make it splatter ridiculous amounts of blood everywhere that just kills the framerate.

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Lives and continues are becoming pointless in games.

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mrthejoshmon said:

In Halo 1, you can punch a dead body to make it splatter ridiculous amounts of blood everywhere that just kills the framerate.


Probably some form of realism (For SciFi anyways). If it bleeds when it's alive, why wouldn't it bleed when it's dead? Some games continue to do this today, including some World at War's Zombie mode. You can't dismember or create pools of blood, but slashing corpses with a knife will create a spray of blood and create little bloody stains on the body. Max Payne 3 also allows you to pump bodies full of bullets when they're down too, though again it doesn't create extra pools like Halo.

Actually, the more I think of this, a lot of games do this. Maybe the creators are just sick bastards who like body mutilation.

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In my most recent playing of SOF, I shot full magazine in about every enemy, even if they had died from the first shot. Sometimes shoot another full magazine into the dead body. Then start slashing it with the knife, until the game decides to vanish the corpse.

Collecting skull trophies with Predator in AvP2 was a bit pointless, but I did it anyway. Maybe just to hear the roar.

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- Look right/left in Duke3D
- 180°-turn in ROTT and Build games
- BwB Megarocket in Keen4

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ASD said:

- Look right/left in Duke3D

Isn't the purpose here supposed to be to allow you to look around corners without alerting enemies?

- 180°-turn in ROTT and Build games

Lets you do a quick turn, possibly useful in deathmatch.

- BwB Megarocket in Keen4

At least one of these levels had an easter egg secret; you could jump off the side of the screen and go into some underground tunnels where there were a bunch of powerups.

Avoozl said:

In Duke Nukem 3D if you activate any powerpoints you receive damage as if he stuck his finger in it, for what purpose would this serve?

It doesn't serve any purpose as such, it's just vaguely amusing. Duke3D had a whole bunch of these things: there's no real purpose in having a usable pool table or functioning toilets either, all these little things just combine to create a rich environment that makes the game more fun.

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mrthejoshmon said:

Fallout New Vegas allows you to buy and sell items with no weight and value, why?


They would have to write extra code to remove that feature. Occasionally buying the zero-value stuff is useful too.

mrthejoshmon said:

Duke Nukem 3D allows you to interact with almost anything and it usually kills you.


I can only think of a couple things that hurt you. Many of them heal you, some are just funny, and many more only have a cosmetic effect on the environment.

mrthejoshmon said:

In Halo 1, you can punch a dead body to make it splatter ridiculous amounts of blood everywhere that just kills the framerate.


Features like this are fun. The same goes for Half-Life, where painting rooms with blood is almost like a game of its own.

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Clonehunter said:

Mortal Kombat Deception's Hari-Kiri feature. It's fun and goofy by the idea alone, but executing the suicide is near-impossible. The AI never tries to commit a fatality move, and odds are your human opponents aren't gonna know every fatality by memory, and odds are will just give you a finishing uppercut, thus giving you zero time to even consider performing a suicide. It's funny, but severely impractical.


Eh, I still loved it: it's basically a "Screw you!" to the opponent, and some of them are just ridiculously funny. Remember the one guy who'd grab his ponytail and pull off his head AND spine? Classic.

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Obsidian said:

Eh, I still loved it: it's basically a "Screw you!" to the opponent, and some of them are just ridiculously funny. Remember the one guy who'd grab his ponytail and pull off his head AND spine? Classic.


While I can't say I love, like, dislike or hate Hara Kiri's they do offer something new and fresh instead of just standing there waiting for death.

So with all of the pointless features, Duke 3D is the winner right?

Buying 0 value stuff is useful and taking it out of the code is super easy. Something like if($value > 0){}. Super easy.

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fraggle said:

Isn't the purpose here supposed to be to allow you to look around corners without alerting enemies?

You meant the 3rd person view? The one I'm talking about is the turning the players head -thing.

fraggle said:

Lets you do a quick turn, possibly useful in deathmatch.

Mouse is more effective, and I never bothered to press the turnaround during the keyboard times and thought basic turning was equally fast.

fraggle said:

At least one of these levels had an easter egg secret; you could jump off the side of the screen and go into some underground tunnels where there were a bunch of powerups.

Yeah, that secret with the 6 pizza slices and 2 life items in Keen6. The CK4 rocket level servers no purpose while the CK5 one is absent.

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The sawmills in Skyrim seemed useless. It was just some animated thing to do plus part of the animation looked wrong.

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Yeah the sawmills sucked dick, what a waste of time. I can't even see it as role-playing, it requires no skill whatsoever.

How about the bards in Skyrim? Every single bard at every single tavern in the region knew only two songs that you could request (except for one bard who had a quest associated with her). I mean really, either a pro-Imperial or pro-Stormcloak song, that's it? Nothing in between or completely innocuous or humorous?

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Avoozl said:

In Duke Nukem 3D if you activate any powerpoints


Powerpoints?

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ASD said:

The one I'm talking about is the turning the players head -thing.

The Marathon games had something like this, but it did have slight use. For deathmatch, regular turning would make you show up on radar, whereas glancing would not. Additionally, killing someone while glancing would grant you extra points. For general movement, it would allow faster side movement (strafing in Marathon is significantly slower than forward running) and would also allow aiming in midair without changing direction (normal turning would steer your trajectory).

Generally, though, it was useless.

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Platinum Shell said:

Powerpoints?

Plug sockets.

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Didn't you get health from using the toilets in Duke3D?

Powerups in Q2. There were only 3 places where you may need them, and 2 of them were secrets. And very unlikely you need to use the rebreather in that one long tunnel.

Megahealth rot in singleplayer was pretty dumb too.

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The flashlight in Hydrophobia. Heck having more than 1 weapon in Hydrophobia even if the only reason to ever switch weapons in the game was to defeat the boss.

The powerup spawner in Warzone Anomaly Earth. Its a useless vehicle that over time will spawn a powerup. Wanna know what else spawns powerups? 90% of enemies. Heck 4 of the 6 vehicles in that game were pretty useless compared to the shield and attack crawler. Everything is something the game will force you to have in a scenario or two when they explain it, but never use them again out of lack of function.

Having a diplomatic office in Tropico 3 seemed very useless. Why would I want to better relations with USSR or USA and have the other hate me when they both can love me enough to give me money? Its something that a scenario or two will force you to have.

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