10 Terrible Gameplay Gimmicks That Ruined Games

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Seals Cause Bad Feels [Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow]

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is a fun continuation of the Metroidvania formula originating from the PS1 classic Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Dawn of Sorrow is still a lot of fun, but there’s one mechanic nobody likes for long — using your stylus pen to draw magic seals.

Using the stylus to draw shapes on the Nintendo DS touchpad is a fun idea. The problem is that you have to draw magic seals to defeat every boss, and they become increasingly complex — to the point where drawing the magic seals doesn’t just become difficult, it becomes seemingly impossible.

The stylus and touchpad on the DS weren’t perfect, and if you mess up drawing the Magic Seal, the boss you just defeated regains a portion of their health. Starting to see why this was a bad idea? After defeating the hardest bosses, you can so easily get stuck in a death loop as you try (and try) to complete the seal drawing challenge — fail, fight the boss more, fail.

Literally Everything Is Dice Rolls [Unlimited Saga]

The Saga series of JRPG were all about experimentation. Unlimited Saga took that experimentation too far with a completely unnecessary gameplay mechanic — instead of exploring dungeons or walking around an overworld like basically every other JRPG in existence, players are forced to play a board game.

All exploration is trapped on the game board. You move from one tile to the next — sometimes these tiles initiate special events. Sometimes they’re battles which drop you into a more traditional JRPG turn-based fight. All the tiles and the board game structure just look incredibly boring. It’s all so randomized, the entire game becomes a flatline of beige board progression. This one weird change turned a colorful JRPG sequel into a complete slog.