You know what obsessive-compulsives do, don’t you? They repeat the same meaningless activity over and over again for no apparent reason. You know what obsessive-compulsives do, don’t you? They repeat the same meaningless activity over and over again for no apparent reason. And video games, both by design and habit, tend to bring out the worst in compulsive repetition. Here’s the ten cases where it seems to be particularly bad:
Jumping over the final punk’s head at the end of stage one in Shinobi.
Yeah, this guy. The arcade Shinobi was chock full of villains who spawned at a certain point, and if you memorized their triggers, you could make them spawn over and over again. For instance, if you stood at a certain spot at the end of the second to the last stage in mission two, you could shoot an endless parade of ninja cops dropping out of the helicopter. But the really compulsive one is this plucky little guy. To “win”, you have to make the jump completely without touching him, after which point he’ll just keep running in the same direction and you can casually fire a shiruken into his butt.
Trying for the highest possible jump for the flagpole at the end of a Super Mario Brother’s level.
Yeah, like points mean so much to you when you only bothered to grab one coin. But at least this is one that everybody can identify with, right?
Saving the power pills until last in PacMan.
Oooooh, now we’re upping the ante. It makes sense to wipe out a few lane’s worth of dots when the level’s just starting and the ghosts are still busy coming out of their pen. But when you’ve methodically finished off every dot without touching a pill, it’s really, really time to go outside.
Picking up gold in Diablo 2.
Somebody at Blizzard North needs to re-take Economics 101. Because gold in the Diablo series is so ridiculously plentiful, that it isn’t even the currency standard in the online realms – Stone of Jordan rings are. The Stone of Jordan is a super-rare ring that only drops a collective 0.000000000000001% of the time if you’re already a level 87123 character and have killed Ultraviolence Superarmored Jetpack Ninja-Vampire Baal using only a toothpick 1000 times if you are carrying 999% magic-find. That’s what giving every character one million times as much gold as they need does to a game. Yet people never get tired of running back to scoop up every lousy two bits that fall from a quillrat.
Having to completely destroy every last enemy building in Starcraft.
The sadistic bastards at Blizzard rather enforce this one. You have no choice here, you must level every last building in your enemy’s camp to claim victory. It doesn’t matter if all they have left is a porta-john and the only unit left breathing is an SCV huddled up against the cliff. We couldn’t declare victory if there’s still a supply depot up, could we? I mean, the enemy could still food you to death!
Packing without holes in Tetris.
That’s great, but what if the straight red piece never comes? Never ever ever?
Completely replacing the wooden fence with rocks in Harvest Moon.
Oh, you’ve got to be kidding! No, see, if you leave the stupid wooden poles for your fence, then every time it rains some of the poles rot away overnight (yeah, that makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?) and then wolves will get in and take pictures of you sleeping nude at night to post on 4chan or something. the solution is to use all those extra rocks you have laying around and throw away all the wood poles. You’ll have rocks to spare, no matter how big your farm grows! All it takes is staying up until sunrise to run back and forth with poles and rocks…
Trying to get every last yarnball in Bubsy.
Noooo! I missed them again! Now I have to run back to the cave, bounce up the trampoline, ride the blimp across, jump down to the water-slide, and hop off the waterfall again! This is my 657th attempt, and there’s 312 more yarnballs to go on this level alone!
Juggling inventory in Earthbound.
This one drives a certain type of person crazy. You moved my stuff! See, when you buy a new frying pan for Paula and equip it, it will stay down at the bottom of the list. That’s right where you’ll be using items from when Gygas is creaming your ass and you have to eat a croissant to restore your life while your hit-point counter is…. oh, just forget it. Anyway, every time you have to buy or sell an item, you have to stand there and reorganize your items by giving them to each other before you can go on with the damn game. It only happens about 80 billion times though, so no sweat.
Admit it: you’ve been laughing up your sleeve at me all the way through this list. How pathetic, you snicker. Glad you’re not that bent? Oh, but you’ve tortured your Sims. Everybody’s done it. There’s a reason why “Sims torture” returns 554,000 hits on Google. Drowning your Sims by letting them go swimming in the pool and then removing the ladder… depriving them of a bathroom or food or even a place to sleep… making them stand in a walled isolation room until they die standing up because there’s no room to lie down and pass out. Really, Maxis should wake up and realize the real attraction to the Sims franchise and knock it off with all this happy-happy stuff. The next expansion pack should be “The Sims – BDSM Dungeon of Pain”!
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