70. The Timer
Metroid started it all. (Well, okay, Metroid didn't technically start it, but it popularized it.) You've just defeated the boss and everything seems fine and dandy. Then suddenly you hear sirens blaring and that fated countdown clock shows up on your screen. After Samus did the timer thing, everyone wanted to do it. Players had to deal with timers in big battles, timers on traps, timers on doors that are a mere room away, and, of course, timers on bombs that would blow up entire planets. It seems as if the entire video game world has gone timer crazy, and at this point, it's hard to find an action game that doesn't give you at least one timed mission.
69. The One Man Army
If video games teach us anything, it's that one man can save the world. In fact, one man routinely does save the world. It doesn't matter what genre you are playing, the actions of all the world's military forces pale in comparison to one spikey-haired kid with a sword, one gruff marine with a grudge, or one brooding anti-hero with a penchant for violence. The scale of the threat doesn't even matter. One man will save the world from anything ranging from a terrorist strike to a dark primordial god. One must wonder why video game governments even bother with full-scale militaries when they can just sink all their money into the search for protagonists.
68. The Evil Advisor
Aladdin taught me this before any videogame did, but the lesson still applies: The role of any royal advisor is to eventually turn evil and betray the king. This is the only thing advisors ever do. I mean, you'd pretty much expect it, considering all advisors dress in dark robes and have ominous-looking facial hair. That kind of goes down as fair warning. Honestly, I'd just cut out the position entirely. Fill it with an intern. Sure, they might not give you the best advice, but they are probably too incompetent to hatch a scheme to eventually destroy the world.
If a hero's costume can have buckles on it, it will have buckles on it. Obviously, this started with the JRPG crowd, but JRPG buckles reached a critical mass with Lulu's dress from Final Fantasy X. Somehow, the trend has now spread to other genres as well. You will see buckles on your marine in an FPS and buckles on your character in a fighting game. I've even seen some anime racers with buckles, and I'm not talking about the ones on their seat belts. Some of these buckles aren't even holding anything up; they are just there for decoration. Or maybe they're just there to prevent video game characters from becoming the victims of serial pantsing.
66. Bigger Is Better
In video games, it's not how you use it; it's the size that counts. RPG protagonists with swords that are bigger than their bodies? Check. FPS classes with guns that no human being should be able to physically carry? Check. Laser beams that take up the entire screen in a fighting game? Check. In the end, if your character's weapon or attack of choice isn't bigger than their torso, then it probably sucks.
65. The Space Marine
For some reason, every new hero of every new sci-fi game is a space marine, and they all look exactly the same. They wear grey or blue armor that looks way too cumbersome to move in, have a hardnosed personality and a face full of stubble, and generally pay no mind to authority. Heck, even Fem Sheppard from Mass Effect had the hardnosed personality and face full of stubble. Frankly, I want to see a sci-fi FPS featuring a civilian stowaway that bravely takes up arms against the alien menace. Kind of like Captain Kirk in the most recent Star Trek film.
64. Broken Locks
Maybe the video game world just has really crappy locksmiths, but any game with doors will probably include at least one broken lock. It's weird that all the locks in the building break in the exact right pattern to make a maze with only one exit. Simply put, if you have a door but you don't want your protagonist to go through it, break the lock and never explain it. This is video game plot writing at its best.
63. World War II
According to video games, everything interesting happened during World War II. There were tons of secret covert operations none of us heard about. There were numerous instances of a single soldier decimating enemy troops. Heck, even strategy games like Valkyria Chronicles told us that there was a secret race of nuclear powered supersoldiers on the Axis side. Why are we so infatuated with World War II anyway? Perhaps because it was the last war where "good" and "evil" were clearly defined? Or maybe it's simply been long enough that no one will complain about the portrayal of soldiers in World War II games.
62. The Water Level
Like it or not, your game will have a water stage, and it will inevitably be the most frustrating part of the game. Maybe your characters don't move as fast underwater. Maybe they can't breathe underwater. Maybe they jump higher and smack right into instant death spikes. Maybe you'll have to solve an intricate puzzle involving raising and/or lowering the water level in a room in order to progress. Water stages suck, but they are everywhere.
61. Saving the Princess
The video game world has way too many princesses to save. It seems like princess kidnapping has basically become an epidemic. If it's not some JRPG punk that is saving the day, it's Mario or Link. Even Leon Kennedy basically saved a "princess" when he rescued the president's daughter. The aristocracy needs to start carrying around pepper spray or something. At the very least, they should hire some competent bodyguards.
By Angelo M. D'Argenio
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*