(This isn't pointless snark, I'm getting to something.)
Maybe I'm just getting slow in my old age, but has anyone else noticed that more and more games seem to have really irritating segments that don't use the same play style?
For example, I'm playing Black Site right now. It's Gears of War without the cover mechanics. I mean, really. I keep thinking I've already played it.
On the current level, there's a giant plant monster on a bridge, and you're manning a helicopter's turret. The thing is that this challenge (presumably a boss) involves primarily shooting down balls of fire that turn and arc.
I keep dying, because the rest of the game has been about shooting bad guys until they fall over dead. I'm having a hard time switching gears to this oldschool "shoot the missiles", especially with thumbstick controls. (This isn't mentioning the fact that the last checkpoint was ten minutes before and your other squad member is just sitting on his ass in the copilot's seat.)
I find this is true in a lot of games. In God of War, I was thoroughly stymied by a timed segment. In Skate, I'm screwed by the race sections. There seems to be a modern obsession for creating these play types that aren't part of the rest of the game.
I can see the theory behind it. Switch it up, keep it feeling fresh. They do vehicle segments, races, weird requirements... it feels like I'm seeing a juggling act.
Now, one game that did well was Time Splitters: Future Perfect. While it did have a few irritating parts, the majority of the weird screwy games are extras. Some of the extra games are irritating and pointless, some I love to pieces. But I bet that each player finds different weird games attractive.
Classically, these kind of "side-games" are not common. I think to a large extent it's because we have so much more space and computation to throw around: we can create a segment with different rules because we have the power to do so. It's fairly recent, only really happening since GTA3.
But I think it's almost a cop-out. It's almost like saying "my core mechanics aren't interesting, so here are some distractions!"
What do you think?