What's your the good, the bad and the weird for being OP in Games?

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stantongrouse

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I have recently dived back into some Euro Truck Simulator 2 as a bit of a respite from some of the heavier games I've been playing (and the world in general) when I reached the point, which I wasn't expecting at all, where I had suddenly become stupidly OP. It was one of the stranger feelings of being over powered in a game I've had and it got me thinking what were my favourite and least favourite feelings of being OP. Then, with the oddness of the ETS2 OP decided to fit the question around a Korean Western film title (because why not?).

The Good: Fallout 3/New Vegas - This was tough, there are a good many games that make the feeling of being OP a great deal of fun but I plumbed for Fallout 3/New Vegas. I love those games, but I really don't enjoy the combat in them at all. First playthrough, I thought I would try to ignore levelling combat based skills and focus on the dialogue stuff and I made the end game incredibly tough for myself as a result. Playthrough two, still adding to speech, I also lumped everything I could into unarmed combat. About halfway through the game I was punching anything in my way into a bloody mess and charming the pants off everything else. OP, yes, but it still made the game fun, if a little silly. (Honourable mention to Metroid Prime - I loaded it up again on my GameCube not too long ago, and after a bit of a battle to get used to the controls, I really like the way it gives you all your tools back, makes you feel like a badass going back through early areas but still chucking the odd challenge in there too)

The Bad: FF Tactics - This was also quite tough, I realise I quite like being OP in games, probably a fallout from growing up in the 8-bit era and cheating my way through any game that was even close to challenging. I loved the FF Tactics games, but I would struggle with maps at the beginning. So, I would grind out the levelling of my characters, get a big enough roster with as much of the equipment that I could and ended up taking the Tactics out of the game. I can't remember the particular character type, I think it was monk, but I'd use them to just tank and counter, tank and counter until there was no one left on the map. It really took the fun out of the game and were I not so invested in the story I'd have just drifted off to something else. I wholly accept that there is an element of my choices that made the game too easy, but then it could also be argued that there were a few sudden jumps in difficulty that led me down that path too. (Honourable mention, any metroidvania that chucks too much at you too soon making it just an action platformer rather than a discovery game)

The Weird: Euro Truck Simulator 2 - So, I really liked the first 20 odd hours of ETS2. Picking the right job so you didn't strand yourself somewhere without enough money to get the fuel to return if there wasn't a suitable job at the destination. Timing the length of the job so you can get those bank loan payments back off in time. Driving with due care and consideration so that the job actually turns a profit at the end and isn't just wasted on fines. The tilt moment was when around the time when my employee drivers got into double figures. Suddenly I was making more money than I needed and any fast travel would just drop €200,000 at the very least in my account. Now I just drive around like a lunatic, very rarely with a job, just to carry on filling in all the roads on the map and I'm buying up a garage every town like it's a pack of sweets and filling it instantly with drivers and lorries to make even more money. I can't say that I dislike this feeling of being OP but it has altered the base way I play the game so much that it feels like a completely different beast. I'm like some Rupert Murdoch-esque character, so rich I just behave how I like, which it would seem is terribly for anyone around me.

What about you? I found it easy enough to come up with the good feeling OP and was sure there would be more bad feeling ones than came to mind. But, as I said, I grew up a terrible game cheater so maybe I'm just wired that way.

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Alias

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#2  Edited By Alias

Games which start you off as incredibly overpowered only to take away all of your powers have always felt incredibly odd to me. By the end of the game despite powering up continually throughout the game you never quite capture the originally feeling of being an incredibly powerful character who should be feared. It's almost like you get 70-80% of the way there. I'll add one to "The Weird".

The Weird: Grand Theft Auto V - Unlike GTA3, Vice City and San Andreas which are more whimsical mayhem and GTA IV which seems more grounded, GTA V attempts to balance unhinged criminal with expert bank robber. It may be in part due to the very different 3 characters you can play as but tonally the balance always felt weird off to me. You have weird and wacky submarine missions or cults but crazed violence from Trevor. The game feels like you are capable of the wacky mayhem of the past but in a more realistic world. You are overpowered but out of place.

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swedishpop

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#3  Edited By swedishpop

@alias: Great point about the never feeling as powerful as at the beginning. Never noticed that, but it seems true in hindsight.

Fun idea!

Good: Infamous - Getting really powerful simply fit really well within a superhero context.

Bad: Basically any JRPG wherein you've grinded a little too much. - The one that comes to mind for me is FF12. I got powerful enough that I rarely ever had to use anything other than the regular attacks. It got pretty dull after that. It's probably good that more games these days scale enemies' power to your current level.

Weird: Mario Kart DS - Using the Snaking technique always felt like cheating to me. It never made sense to me that drifting would give a speed boost, and seeing people drift in a zig zag pattern down a straightaway just looks silly and illogical.

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TheRealTurk

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Good - Two Worlds - Look, if you're going to let players get overpowered, then just go all the way. Two Worlds pretty much just says "fuck it" really early on. Because alchemy lets you increase your stats permanently, and some really common ingredients have core stat boosting effects, it really easy to make potions that just completely break the game really early on. Want to add five levels worth of strength in one potion? Go ahead. Another potion to give you 1000+ health? Just do it.

Bad - Diablo 3 - This game is so obsessed with making the player feel powerful right off the bat that power is essentially rendered meaningless. When a level 1 character can lightly blow on an enemy and have them blow up in a million pieces, there's really nowhere else to go. Sure, the gear numbers go up, but that just means you are still powerful rather than getting more so.

Weird: Elder Scrolls - This one is one here for a slightly different reason. I kind of feel like the OP portion of the game is in the middle. These games typically have a curve where there are the beginning tutorial areas, the early-middle where there's a good challenge, the late-middle where you are totally OP, but then late game the level scaling catches up with you and enemies get ridiculous amounts of health. I remember in Oblivion it would take like 50 hits with the most powerful weapons to kill a single goblin or wolf.

It's just a weird curve and part of the reason I really dislike level-scaling systems in games.