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What is it about water levels that inspires such hatred?

Scooter155

Member
Dec 18, 2013
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San Luis Obispo, CA
I think the hatred can be traced back to this:



It soured all water levels for me. I hate them by default and need to be proven wrong.


Those are both bad games where the water levels are also bad... not really good examples. Any good games with bad Water Levels?
 

nkarafo

Member
Nov 30, 2012
16,593
8,297
1,070
Water makes everything slow.

Basically, its like playing the game in slow motion most of the time.

Unless your character is a dolphin obviously.
 

Astarte

Member
Jun 22, 2013
8,797
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0
Water levels aren't typically made well. Everything feels like ass and it's slow as hell.
 

Pharaun

Member
Apr 5, 2013
596
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I'm playing Super Mario Galaxy with my stepson right now and the water levels annoy me mostly because the controls/camera just don't work as well in water as they do out of it.
 

Goddard

Member
Oct 18, 2013
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I remember that level...crap it's terrifying.

That reminds of me what I had to get used to after I built a MAME cabinet for shmups. It took a lot of adjustment for me personally for me to be able to instinctively know always at the back of my mind that the characters hitbox is way smaller than the actual sprite. Although that TMNT game is hell on earth.
 

Arment

Member
Sep 29, 2009
6,856
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0
Worst part about some of the classic Sonic games.

I must say water levels creep me out. Sewer level in Shadows of the Empire took some real mustering of courage.
 

Coffee Dog

Banned
Aug 23, 2012
14,435
1
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The controls you've spent the whole game mastering no longer apply.

This is the main reason.

A lot of people are going to come in here and say Tropical Freeze has great water levels, but that's because you get used to controlling donkey kong underwater from as early as the very first level, and it sprinkles in moments of underwater fun before it hits you with the whole water world in world 4. It teaches you the mechanics in no stress, controlled environments before risking failure on the player.

DKCTF is a wonderfully designed game.

Those are both bad games where the water levels are also bad... not really good examples. Any good games with bad Water Levels?

lol, shitting on sonic 1. Cut that out.
 

Gbpackers31

Member
Jun 5, 2011
148
0
0
Poor swimming controls.
Slow gameplay.
Possibly wonky camera control.

But for me, the worst part is I've had an irrational fear of drowning in games ever since I was a kid. I don't even know why - I have no problem dying in any other way, but drowning? Nope.

Like this level from BK?

It took me the longest time to summon up the courage just to make the dive to the very bottom to swim through the key.
 

Leynos

Member
Jul 16, 2012
1,857
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675
Ca
The main reasons have already been explained (clunky controls, slow movement, etc.) but a big one for me is the added Z-axis. I don't mind 2D water levels too much, but 3D water levels just piss me off. They tend to be these large, empty, boring expanses that I now have to search every damn cubic inch to find everything. They slow the game down to a crawl, are tedious, and control like ass.
 

Zaku

Member
Jul 8, 2014
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I'll add another sin to this rapidly growing pile of reasons people hate water levels: They often utilize mechanics which will unexpectedly pull you along a current, which makes the clunky controls even more of a pain to deal with.

You'll hit a river which looks slow moving but is racing at a breakneck speed, meaning you've just lost a life or must now get back to where you were going. The 'best' combine this design with drowning mechanics for that added pressure. Fun!

One of the few series which got it consistently right was Megaman and Megaman X, where your speed was unaltered but you could jump amazingly far and high, transforming the gameplay in a good way.
 

hydruxo

Member
Nov 2, 2013
13,039
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395
Not exactly a water level per se but the sections in TLOU where you had to go swim around to get the debris for Ellie to use a raft were annoying. I just generally don't like water levels/sections in games, it's not fun.
 

doofy102

Member
Nov 21, 2013
3,588
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Didyouknowgaming: Mario Bros's water levels were based off of Balloon Fight.

Levels that mix water with dry land are the best.
 

Peagles

Member
Sep 28, 2010
6,242
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Poor swimming controls.
Slow gameplay.
Possibly wonky camera control.

But for me, the worst part is I've had an irrational fear of drowning in games ever since I was a kid. I don't even know why - I have no problem dying in any other way, but drowning? Nope.

Like this level from BK?

It took me the longest time to summon up the courage just to make the dive to the very bottom to swim through the key.

Yep, something about being deep underwater is creepy. I get the same feeling in the submarine in FFVII (it's worse when one of the weapons is also wandering around down there).

Every time I go back to play BK I curse that fucking key! You only have two options, super slow piddly paddle which results in you drowning, or press once to zoom forward way further than you wanted to and with really bad precision. Swimming through that key on my first replay as an adult was a fucking nightmare!

The drowning jingle in Sonic still increases my heart-rate substantially, even when it turns up on my MP3 player. Could we give it another name instead of jingle? Jingle sounds too friendly for what it is.
 

gdt

Member
Oct 20, 2007
40,428
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32
Pennsylvania
Donkey Kong a Tropical Freeze had a whole world stuffed with water levels.

What the fuck was Retro thinking.





Still like the best platformer ever.
 

Superflat

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Feb 23, 2013
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The way many games try to simulate buoyancy can annoy me. It takes a while to get used to, controls often invert, and you're slower. Add a "you can only hold your breath for a limited amount of time" death gauge and you're just asking for frustration, lol.
 

Visualante2

Member
Oct 20, 2011
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It's almost always the camera for me. I think some of the 3D Mario games got it right because they had impeccable camera AI.
 

Silvawuff

Member
Mar 9, 2012
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My theory is almost everyone was traumatized by Water Temple from Zelda OoT.

I really enjoyed the water levels in Banjo-Kazooie. With the wing paddle it made it a swifter affair, and the water felt like an addition to the environments, rather than something tacked on just cause.
 
Aug 3, 2013
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Water levels from the original Super Mario Bros. were awesome. I think the key is that the water didn't really slow you down. The physics are different and it's harder to stop your momentum, but if anything, the lack of backward momentum makes you go faster. Tropical Freeze water levels are great too as you get that spin move that makes you fly through the water quickly; so much fun. Ecco The Dolphin is also pretty fast-paced and fun. Not entirely relevant, but I like how going underwater in Mario Kart 8 washes the squid ink of the screen. Nice touch.

I think most people hate water levels because the game makes you a bad swimmer and it wrecks the pacing. I hate it when the default swimming controls suck until you get some power up that actually makes it fun. Like the Atlantis level in Banjo Tooie. Games should take a cue from Tropical Freeze or SMB1 and make the default underwater controls fast-paced and fun.
 

Not Spaceghost

Spaceghost
Jan 16, 2009
12,256
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Space
Usually swimming controls or underwater controls are awkward or slow or unresponsive. A lot of games that had combat designed for on land now suddenly have to deal with combat in a 3D space where your main attacks are usually rendered worthless. On top of that water most of the time adds an element of being "timed" due to the fact that you're always about to drown, and finally the enemies don't ever seem to have the same movement restrictions you do because they're all fucking aquatic.
 

grandwizard

Member
Sep 15, 2013
3,649
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I think they just take more skill from the developer to pull off well. When done well they can be great serene breaks from the action that also give a great feeling of exploration. Some of my favorites are from:

Tomb Raider Underworld:


DKC: Tropical Freeze:
 

SeanTSC

Member
Jun 28, 2013
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Washington
I had my face burned off with water when I was 2 years old.

My mom left the sink faucet running all the way hot and had a chair up at the sink. I climbed up it and got my head stuck under the faucet and it burned the skin right off.

30 years later and I still wince and am apprehensive when taking a shower.

Fuck water.
 

DJ_Lae

Member
Jan 28, 2008
10,726
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790
AB
For me it's a combination of the controls becoming more awkward (lots of inverted axes), the slower movement, and the timer you get via oxygen bar.

I don't mind Mario water levels, in general, and I liked Tomb Raider Underworld's water levels - both remove the annoying timer element and just let you mess around.

Well, the 2D Mario games, at least. We won't speak of brushing the fucking fish's teeth with FLUDD.
 

MonkeyDLuffy

Banned
Jul 23, 2014
50
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0
Honestly, because they're more difficult, and people love complaining when something is too hard for them and blame it on the controls.

They're hit or miss. Obviously the original Ninja Turtles one is notoriously terrible because it crosses that line of difficulty to the near-impossible level. But the water levels in SMB and Mario World are great, a nice change of pace. Then you get into the water levels in Donkey Kong Country and it's the most beautiful, relaxing experience I've ever had in a game.

It all depends on the game, and people who hate them across the board are just hating for the sake of hating and trying to draw attention to themselves.
 

Freshmaker

I am Korean.
Jul 29, 2005
22,162
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1,310
Some people never played Ecco the dolphin. That game was the shit.

Dry land levels would suck in Ecco.

Another version of this is taking a game focused on moving fast in 3d space like say a space flight game then taking you out of that for ground missions. I've always hated that. Way to slow down the pace to a crawl.
 

BumRush

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Dec 4, 2009
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I just don't like when they're shoved in for no reason!
I mean Ellie learned how to hunt wild game, kill clickers by the dozen and inject a man with penicillin, yet Joel couldn't take 45 minutes to teach her how to tread water?
 

ArkkAngel007

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May 27, 2011
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The only water level I didn't have an issue with was Dino Crisis 2, where I feel it achieved what it was supposed to and was rather short.

Water levels though tend to be janky in comparison to the rest of the game. Yes, your character should be slower and a bit more floaty perhaps in comparison, but few games strike the right balance between all the elements to make it, at the very least, a decent change of pace.

And some games like Tomb Raider introduced visual issues as well that further cut into the enjoyment of the game.
 
Apr 1, 2013
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I think the only water levels I dislike are OoT's Water Temple and Metal Gear Solid 2's flooded section (and fucking escorting Emma through it). There are plenty of games where I don't mind or even like the water levels, such as the original Tomb Raiders, Soul Reaver, GTAV or Sonic 2.
 
Mar 8, 2013
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Cincinnati, Oh, USA
I personally loved the underwater fights in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, and I'm very sad to see them go in 4U. I never played Tri, but in 3U they were amazing. The 3d effect in those segments were even more amazing.
 

Art Vandilay

Member
Oct 28, 2013
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Oh man. Sonic's water levels completely killed the momentum in those games.
"Hey we have this great game about going super fast, wouldn't be fun if you made the player slow as fuck and have some shitty air bubble gimmick to piss them off!"

I'm pretty sure I never got past that level.