Developers limiting the number of saves to the player at some arbitrary number has been one of my biggest pet peeves since I was first introduced to the memory card back in the N64 days (on consoles, of course. I doubt this happens often on PC.) Don't get me wrong - a hard limit on saves has its place and can be vital in determining the difficulty of a game, and it makes perfect sense for developers to want the player's decisions to matter instead of them simply reloading a save and making the "better" decision.
Then there are games like Dragon Age 2. It boggles my mind that I can save, save, and save all I want, filling a couple of pages with files, then once some magical number is reached (exactly 34... how arbitrary is that number?) a prompt appears saying: "Save game limit reached for the current character. You must remove save games for the current character or overwrite an existing save game." It's bad enough that there's a limit, whether it be because of technical limitations or whatnot (though Oblivion didn't have this problem at all,) but then they don't give you any options to delete saves from that menu! Of course, you can head into your console's memory manager to delete the games, but (at least on the 360) it gives you some very limited information: Character's name, save number (which is useless if you have more than one character,) location, and save date (at least this info is correct. I don't know about you, but my copy of Dragon Age 2 thinks it's been August 1st, 2011 since I got it.) The useful information to have when I want to clean up save files would be: play time and more importantly - character level.
Clearly, I'm a guy who likes to save a lot, and surely I can't be the only one to simply load the save menu, hit A, then continue on my merry way - so why is the save system developed so badly? Now when I try to do so, I need to scroll down the list of 34 saves, pick one (usually the earliest,) and then I can continue playing my game. It's a minor pain in the behind, but when you compare the length of time it takes now to save to how almost instantaneously it happened before, it begins to wear on you. Why can't I press a button to delete saves? Why do they keep the "New Save" option highlighted, or not change it to "Overwrite Earliest Save"? Or, to make it more simple, why not limit my number of saves to the 50 gigs I still have on my hard drive? I could understand if they wanted to hard-limit the player's ability to save for gameplay reasons, but I'm of the mind that once you allow a player to save more than 5 or so times, that's a non-issue. In fact, if they decided on the magical number of 34, why not make it 10? You know, one page. So when we do eventually hit this arbitrary cap, we don't have to scroll down through pages to reach the save we least care about.
I know this is a tiny thing to get worked up about, but it bugs the hell out of me. Something that used to be done without a thought now has to be carefully managed, and there's now a completely useless New Save option right at the top of the list that's highlighted whenever I enter the menu. Dragon Age 2 isn't the only culprit here either, but it's the latest to annoy me.