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Top 10 Video Games Cliches That Should Be Used Less

Illusive Man
Isn’t it just annoying how ancient overused content just keeps reappearing in every game that comes out? Well it’s been happening for quite a while. Even now many game developers just haven’t learned to not include clichés that we’ve become so familiar with, that we swear if we spotted them again we would have to break our shiny LED monitors – which of course, we don’t, because they have become a backbone of our games.

Out of the dozens and dozens of common clichés we find in any two or three random games we pick up, I really do believe the following need to be used a little bit less than the rest:

1. Self-destructing Last Level! Oh No! Oh Wait, I’ve Seen That Before:
Yeah, it’s exactly the way this rather long heading suggests. You play a title tolerable enough to be played till the very end, and after you’re done with your last boss or whatever, the environment around you starts a bye-bye countdown.

How many times have we seen this cliché in games? Many! And the ironic part is, this cliché always seems to work. Players will show little irritation when facing this one. Why? Because it’s the end of the game for Pete’s sake, everyone’s too damned busy trying to get to the credits to notice the horribly traditional destruction going around them!

2. A Kill Scene After A Kill:
You’re fighting a boss. Damn he/she’s tough. But twelve unhealthy hours of consecutive gaming have made your skills rock solid, and you slay the dude/gal in style.

Right when you’re about to give yourself a pat on the back, you see a cut-scene displaying your hero or heroine slaying the boss, in a much more cinematic and supposedly hipper manner. Basically, you spent hours trying to kill that enemy, and when you finally succeeded in doing so, you get to see the more cinematic version of ‘how it was actually done’.

Dude, seriously, the enemy that just fell after a painful ‘uhn’ thanks to our wrath, repeating the same thing?Games such as the Devil May Cry series, Dragon Age 1 and 2 and many others have this annoying cliché.

3. The Baddy Ain’t The Baddy:
It may have been a pretty cool trick in some of the pioneering RPGs and action games, but ‘the seemingly bad guy turns out to not be a bad guy but instead a good guy’ thing is not just a very well known cliché, it has also become one of the most predictable ones.

I can almost definitely tell every time this ‘twist’ is about to happen. Games such as Chrono Trigger (Magus, remember?), Chrono Cross, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, Deus Ex etcetera all have this cliché.

4. The Goody Ain’t The Goody
This cliché is usually found in combination with the above one; the bad guy turns out to be good and one of the smiling guys or gals you were just beginning to like ends up being a two-timing, two-faced treacherous moron. Like the above, games such as Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, Deus Ex, and some others that I can’t care to remember, have this cliché.

5. Fighting Tournaments
Just about every fighting game has this annoying story-based cliché. Some of the best fighters from around the globe are being selected for a fighting tournament.

Supervising the tournament is some nemesis person whose real plans are more than to simply gather cool looking guys and gals with abnormally awesome fighting skills to beat each other up. Heard of this before? Of course you have! The most famous of the fighting games, such as Tekken, Street Fighter, and even Mortal Kombat form the cliché as the basis of whatever the heck they make you do.

6. Scripted Bosses
“Well I’ll be damned! That is the biggest friggin’ monster I’ve ever seen! Must be ninety feet tall or something. I wonder how to defeat it.” And after a minute, you’re yawning, with your fingers continuously repeating the same steps required for damaging the boss again and again that you discovered within thirty seconds.

Specific methods for killing bosses, which remain the same for the entire fight, are something we are so accustomed to, particularly in action games that it’s almost become a rule of thumb.

Like, whenever I have trouble with a boss, and some idiot who has never even played the game spots me doing it, would always suggest I ‘try and figure out the boss’s pattern, maybe that will help’. I mean come on! Even non-gamers are aware of this cliché!

7. From Zero To Hero
RPGs in particular like to incorporate this cliché. You’ll often start off as a low-life nobody who, by just happening to be at the right place at the right time, becomes a hero by the middle or end of the game. This cliché can be found in dozens of games, such as Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy XII, Crysis 2, Dragon Age 1 & 2… the list goes on.

8. Multiple Endings… How Convenient
Some like em’, some don’t, but it’s a safe thing to say that the ‘multiple endings’ system is overused in games nowadays. Even shoot-everything-that-can-move styled games such as Bioshock have multiple endings.

It may or may not be an annoying cliché, depending on how much time we enjoyably waste on a specific game, but its use definitely needs to be limited. I actually feel that developers make multiple endings just so they can say ‘look! Our game has 300 bloody endings!’ No offense intended. I won’t even think about mentioning titles which comprise of this element; there are so many even you could think of yourself.

9. Not That Boss Again!
After hours of hours of annoyance and frustration, you finally manage to defeat a certain boss, only to find out he/she makes a re-appearance.

I’ve never enjoyed the thought of fighting one boss several times; but so many games make you do it, that now I’m nearly certain that developers almost always run out of new boss enemies, and ultimately re-use the already-created ones again.

The game suffering from the recurring boss disease most is Devil May Cry 4, though there have been many others such as a few Final Fantasy games, Metal Gear Solid and so on.

10. I’m Either Grim or I’m Whacky
Finally, this is my personal favorite cliché. Notice how all the heroes/heroines have extreme personality cases, particularly in RPG games? Well, if you do, then you’re with me.

It’s often amusing, and at times irritating, to see how majority of the heroes, particularly in story-oriented games, are very grim, quiet and bad ass, or are ultra whacky and total goofs. Good examples are all the Final Fantasy games, and many other Square Enix games.

Be it the grim Squall or the happy-go-lucky Tidus, Square Enix games always integrate this cliché into their otherwise fantastic games. Even several shooter games, such as Far Cry for example, have this cliché.

Do note that I don’t condemn any of the above clichés, but only wish they were used a little less. If you have other clichés in mind, which have been observed in more than one game, please make sure you share with us by commenting below.