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Games that are ruined by a lack of restraint.


What’s the character limit on this? Aksnfiskwjfjsk
ZD Champion
We’ve all played at least one. Games that bring a lot to the table, too much to the table. Occasionally developers will bite off more than they can chew and the result is a game that feels like no one aspect had nearly the time or effort put into it that it really needed. It’s particularly bad when the ideas at play were really cool on paper, and potentially could have completely changed the way you play the game if executed properly, but they didn’t.

My go-to example would be the Oracle games. As much as I don’t care for them, they has a lot going on. Theres the obvious interconnectivity, but also the ring mechanic, the seed mechanic, two separate “dark world” type mechanics. All of it seems great, and I wish that they’d bring it back, but none of it was fleshed out or easy enough to utilize for it to really be fun.
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The Great Old One, Star Spawn, Sleeper of R'lyeh
ZD Legend
Jan 22, 2016
United States of America
My example is Resident Evil 6.

It tries to do too much, and tries to implement mechanics from completely different genres of games that it just feels bloated and not much fun.

Doesn't help that they weren't executed well, either.

It's like the video game equivalent of Riff Salad, that I've been going on about. Most songs are based off of one or maybe two really good musical ideas that are explored and developed.

The best games have one really good core mechanic and are reinforced by a few other ideas that are discovered when exploring that one mechanic.

Dark Souls is the classic example of a game that has surprising depth and based, mostly off of a couple of core mechanics.

But if a game gets too bloated with different ideas that aren't explored, I tend to be more critical of it, hence why I didn't really like Resident Evil 6, especially when compared to previous titles of the series.


Pico picori!
ZD Legend
Forum Volunteer
I'm not sure if this entirely qualifies but the first thing I thought of was Luigi's Mansion 3. I like that it has a lot of floors and a lot of variety, but the themed floors just felt a little over the top. I mean a Luigi's Mansion game that has a TV studio, Pirate Ship, Egyptian pyramid and tombs, and almost every other trope you can think of sounds like it should be pretty interesting. But it just made the game feel incohesive. Nothing went together, none of it made sense, and it often didn't feel like you were playing the same game. I would have preferred keeping it all plausibly within the hotel theme even if it meant having half as many floors. Trying to take on too many themes just made it a huge mess.

The Dashing Darknut

DD, the dashing one
Jul 7, 2021
Twilight Realm
I don’t know if this is exactly right for an example, but for me, this goes to Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice, specifically in the story department, and a big reason why it’s my least favorite Ace Attorney game and a game I dislike (despite its few ups, like its second case which is great) because the writing has just so much going on that isn’t executed well at all

We’re introduced to this entirely new country Khura’in in Spirit of Justice and we switch between the USA and Khura’in, where Phoenix Wright is in Khura’in while Athena Cykes and Apollo Justice are back at home in the US. There’s a whole culture and religion with this country, but it’s not executed well and it all just feels off, especially with it being related to the Spirit Channeling Maya does in the series and the ancestors of Spirit Channeling, which makes this whole place feel convoluted and it doesn’t add on well to the the pre-established Spirit Medium the series had. The idea of going to a brand new country in this series is cool on paper but bad in execution

The main plot of most of the game is that this country bans and kills lawyers and people who are found guilty cannot get a lawyer, and so Phoenix now having arrived in this country to see Maya must now fix this entire government system, and it all just feels so incredibly forced. Not to mention the one behind all this, Gara’n the urserper of the throne, is such a one dimensional comical villain, who despite being able to literally rewrite the law and hold people at gunpoint and has all this power, doesn’t use it fully and stupidly allows for Phoenix and Apollo to go up against her in court and end up cornering her

And the way the game goes from playing as Phoenix to Apollo to back to Phoenix to Athena in a fillar case to Apollo is not done well. It really felt like they were trying to give Apollo limelight and to grow as a character because in AJ he was underdeveloped and in DD his arc wasn’t done (and he was done rather poorly in that game as well), but in the end, Apollo’s character ends up being retconned and feels really poorly done, having him go up against Phoenix in a civil trial where Phoenix is really regressed and out of character and is pretty pathetic, Apollo gets a whole new backstory never mentioned before where he’s now an adopted son of a former ruler of Khura’in because his dad died while performing in Khura’in, and Apollo also ends up taking down a corrupt ruler who can rewrite the law at any time, and then decides to be a lawyer in Khura’in. It all just feels like a fanfic of Apollo, a really bad one.

And then there’s also the fact that so many reoccurring characters from the old trilogy like Pearl and Edgeworth come back and don’t even do much, and mainly just feel like a cameo. Maya is probably the most annoying out of all these, who gets chagred with murder and arrested in this game (something that’s already happened twice before) and gets kidnapped (also happened before) and mainly plays the part of being a damsel in distress for Phoenix to save, which is frustrating as we haven’t seen Maya in a while. It’s such a cheap way to handle her and wasted potential of a comeback for Maya who was Phoenix’s assistant and an iconic and important character in the series

I could go on longer, but yeah, Spirit of Justice tries so many things at the same time but none of its ideas are implemented well, and the game is overall poorly written and it’s a pretty awful way to finish off Apollo’s arc and how it continued the main series as a whole


Mr. SidleInYourDMs
ZD Legend
May 5, 2012
American Wasteland
easily Xenosaga, the ambition was too great b/c it was meant to be a 6 part series from the start, and the result?
3 games w/ the weight of 6 chapters put on them. If you can believe, the original plan for Xenosaga Episode 1 was meant to include what ended up being both game 1 & 2, so they cut it off where they did in Episode 1, and the rest became Episode 2. And then there's Episode 3 where you can tell they wanted to resolve as much as possible.
Not only did they bit off more than they can chew, they wanted a whole buffet in that one bite, but at least they turned out competently


Jun 22, 2011
I think the Oracle games are a great example. The first thought I had was Banjo Tooie and Donkey Kong 64 adding too much complexity and backtracking to the collect-a-thon formula. I love both games, but I can see how Banjo Kazooie, Mario 64, and Mario Odyssey for example have much more wide appeal because they are more straightforward.

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