How do you feel about "lost woods" type areas in games?

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

I'm referring to maze like areas that repeat if you go certain ways and you must figure out a path to take to advance. The earliest area like this that comes to mind is in The Legend of Zelda on NES. I'm not too fond of them and they can get rather frustrating.

Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em hard. It's what made me stop playing Legend of Grimrock. Shame, I was enjoying it.

Annoying as hell. There's no reason they're there, it just pisses me off >:(

I hate them. I think they're only there for degenerates.

They're horrible.

What game developers don't realize is that failure is a much more interesting way to develop characters than success. With all this focus on (minor) branching storylines in RPGs these days, I think it's pretty inevitable.

PLAYER! Meet LABYRINTH! Did you manage to get out of it as you were asked to? Great, here's an awesome reward! Don't get out of it as you were asked to? Character begins to panic, then panic even more... some bad stuff happens, maybe a tough boss fight, which culminates with you getting out. Less reward, or maybe same reward but had to beat a tough boss that doesn't give any of his own loot, and you get some nice dramatic scenes that you wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

As long as your character failing is part of the experience, it won't be frustrating. It'll feel like as essential a part of his journey as anything else he's done. If you're MEANT to succeed and the game pauses completely while you figure out how to do that, then yeah, that's last millennium game design. And that doesn't just apply to lost forests, it applies to just about all puzzles.

I never have any problem with them. They don't bother me at all.

I like 'em. My sister and I used to overthink the shit out of those things, though - we had elaborate graph paper maps when the answer was something like "go right, then left. Repeat." They're mostly fun when you're a kid and you actually have time to figure stuff like that out, so clearly don't work in every game.

They mostly suck, I refuse to play Devil May Cry without a walkthrough of the stupid woods area, if you take a wrong turn, you have to start again, bullshit. It's stuff like this that really breaks my enjoyment of any game.

Kahunaburger:
I like 'em. My sister and I used to overthink the shit out of those things, though - we had elaborate graph paper maps when the answer was something like "go right, then left. Repeat." They're mostly fun when you're a kid and you actually have time to figure stuff like that out, so clearly don't work in every game.

This.
It really depends on the game. In one case it can be annoying as hell and in the next it can be pretty neat.

Kind of annoying unless the puzzle is unnecessarily long or, complicated. The Super Mario castles that do those puzzles aren't bad but could have easily been a lot worse. I generally don't mind them personally.

Depends on their difficulty, some involve rather complex patters that are merely trail and error which I think is just poor design because it adds nothing but frustration, I seen others where you had hints or were only sent back to the previous screen if you choose the wrong path those I find far more acceptable if not a decent way to break up more normal sections of gameplay.

They're rarely executed well. I think Max Payne or Max Payne 2 had some good mazes like that.

Depends.

In FF IX you have the Black Mage forest, but assuming you did your homework you know to always go 'where there are no owls.' You've been outright told this, and there are signs in the forest which say 'where there are owls' and 'where there are no owls.' If you get stuck there you have no one but yourself to blame.

Then there are the Max Payne blood-jumpy puzzles, the second of which has no indication which is the right way and which leads to frustrating back tracking. Not quite the same, but close enough to give me conniptions whenever I do it.

I liked the concept in Persona 3. Its was interesting to explore the tower trying to find a way out or the stairs to the next floor. It was especially exhilarating when your party was on low health, and you had to hope you were going the right way.

But Persona made the tower as an integral game mechanic, whereas many Lost Woods scenarios occur in games where it goes from being straightforward, to making you solve a random movement puzzle to progress. I don't think there's anything wrong with the Lost Woods scenario, but if its just being used to mess with the player for no reason, it does annoy me.

Love them. I just love puzzles in games period. Even if it's another Tower of Hanoi that I've already done 1,000,000 times.

True story: I missed something that the owl said when I was a kid playing Ocarina for the first time. I was stuck in the Lost Woods for a month. Also, I was a very stupid kid. I don't know why I never thought of at least writing down the "safe" ways as I went.

But while I was "stuck" on that part, I decided to just wander around and see what else I could do. I ended up doing a lot of side quests and collected a bunch of things I wouldn't have otherwise.

If used they haveto be done extremely well, i.e. lots of very notable features so you can always tell where you are going/have been, but still it is extremely cheap.
If you are a dev and your game has more then one then you have some deleting to do.

I don't mind them. With OOT all you need to do is follow the sound of the ocarina. And even if I do get stuck for a while I just look up a guide.

And while I've never actually played Super Mario RPG, I still feel this is appropriate for this thread:

TizzytheTormentor:
They mostly suck, I refuse to play Devil May Cry without a walkthrough of the stupid woods area, if you take a wrong turn, you have to start again, bullshit. It's stuff like this that really breaks my enjoyment of any game.

You must be joking!!! Once you kill every enemy in one screen, a shining light will rise from it and guide you to the correct path! It's so simple even a toddler could figure it out! Not to mention that I think the Chapter's name actually IS "Guiding Light" or something similar!

WOW! I don't say this often but... I'm not even gonna say it because of I'd be banned.

scorptatious:

And while I've never actually played Super Mario RPG, I still feel this is appropriate for this thread:

Holy Crap that's unfortunate, if you happen to know anyone with a copy you should really consider picking it up. Honestly I've been that game more times than I can count and eat's better than any other mario RPG I've played. It even is pretty funny.

OT:

I don't mind lost woods area's especially cause I have an internet connection. as long as they are semi-short or able to be figured out without just trial and error.

I wrote a very long rant, but then realized you probably were talking about DMC 4, not DMC 1.

hazabaza1:
Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em hard. It's what made me stop playing Legend of Grimrock. Shame, I was enjoying it.

As far as I recall there isn't actually a puzzle like this in Grimrock.

The closest thing I can recall is-

Limecake:

scorptatious:

And while I've never actually played Super Mario RPG, I still feel this is appropriate for this thread:

Holy Crap that's unfortunate, if you happen to know anyone with a copy you should really consider picking it up. Honestly I've been that game more times than I can count and eat's better than any other mario RPG I've played. It even is pretty funny.

I have watched some of it through a let's play. And it does look pretty good. Perhaps I should consider playing it myself.

Dragon quest monsters had this stupid level which you can only pass if you write some directions some npc in the town says down and follow them.
I would always forget them and hate that level as it brought the game to a grinding halt because the developers thought it was a good idea to have people pass through a giant ass dungeon only to have to find out that you don't know those stupid directions and have to backtrack to town to get them, then you may waltz through said giant dungeon again for your second try.

Fuck that.

Also that grass plains part in breath of fire 4.
The game was great up until then and then, bam, giant empty space where you have to walk in very specific directions for a long time to get somewhere.
You miss that direction by a little *even if you know it*, start all over again.
The game once again came to a screeching halt.
What were they thinking?

Labyrinths are better than corridors. Imagine if David Bowie was in a film called corridor, he probably wouldn't even wear leather trousers or sing.

scorptatious:

I have watched some of it through a let's play. And it does look pretty good. Perhaps I should consider playing it myself.

I might be a little biased since I grew up playing that game but I truly think it's one of the best Mario games, It's a little expensive to buy now though. a 'used' copy will still cost you about the same as a new game now.

And if you think that's bad Earthbound for SNES goes for around $100-$200 on amazon, retro gaming stores will almost definitely charge you more.

OT: My hatred for 'lost woods' levels aren't the same for a regular maze, just follow one wall and you eventually find your way out. But where you have 4 directions to choose from (including the way you came) it becomes a pain and feels like it's just padding the level out.

Is it random? Answer yes then fuck those hard if it is set then use a walkthrough if you hate them as that mitigates the problem.

If they are done well, then I do not mind them at all. I'd much prefer a mirror maze situation instead of a forest, but I've always been on the science fiction end of the spectrum.

Tianelm:

hazabaza1:
Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em hard. It's what made me stop playing Legend of Grimrock. Shame, I was enjoying it.

As far as I recall there isn't actually a puzzle like this in Grimrock.

The closest thing I can recall is-

There was a section somewhere, I forget what it was called. Essentially it's just a bunch of teleport spaces. There's no clues to tell you where to go, no way to remove any of the teleports, and it's just very disorienting and annoying in general.

I always get to a stage when I'm playing them where I just think:
image

Interesting thread. I'm designing puzzles like this at the moment for work. I never really enjoyed doing them when I was a bit younger, but I'm finding them a lot more enjoyable now. I guess its the problem solving aspect of it which is more agreeable to me now.

hazabaza1:
There was a section somewhere, I forget what it was called. Essentially it's just a bunch of teleport spaces. There's no clues to tell you where to go, no way to remove any of the teleports, and it's just very disorienting and annoying in general.

Ohh, right, I know what you mean now, think it was called the Maze of Madness or something. Yeah, that was pretty annoying, especially with the loud hum those things make.

In Folklore, the Endless Corridor is like the Lost Woods, execpt you have to follow a clock Folk, NOT any of the clones that come afterward, that SINGLE clock Folk.

Why? Just Why!?

Tianelm:

hazabaza1:
There was a section somewhere, I forget what it was called. Essentially it's just a bunch of teleport spaces. There's no clues to tell you where to go, no way to remove any of the teleports, and it's just very disorienting and annoying in general.

Ohh, right, I know what you mean now, think it was called the Maze of Madness or something. Yeah, that was pretty annoying, especially with the loud hum those things make.

That was it.
After about 10 tries I was just like "Fuck this shit" and haven't played it since.

pure.Wasted:
They're horrible.

What game developers don't realize is that failure is a much more interesting way to develop characters than success. With all this focus on (minor) branching storylines in RPGs these days, I think it's pretty inevitable.

PLAYER! Meet LABYRINTH! Did you manage to get out of it as you were asked to? Great, here's an awesome reward! Don't get out of it as you were asked to? Character begins to panic, then panic even more... some bad stuff happens, maybe a tough boss fight, which culminates with you getting out. Less reward, or maybe same reward but had to beat a tough boss that doesn't give any of his own loot, and you get some nice dramatic scenes that you wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

As long as your character failing is part of the experience, it won't be frustrating. It'll feel like as essential a part of his journey as anything else he's done. If you're MEANT to succeed and the game pauses completely while you figure out how to do that, then yeah, that's last millennium game design. And that doesn't just apply to lost forests, it applies to just about all puzzles.

It reminds me of games with branching conversation options, where you can ask a series of questions and end up saying the wrong thing, so you just have to try again and again until you pick all the options that are correct, and the NPC simply completely forgets that you've been asking him the same thing seven times already.

if there is some sort of puzzle or hint or riddle that you can work out to find the right way then it is great even if it is vague or hard, but if it is just guessing then it's kinda stupid

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked