Making Good QTEs

Since QTEs have become more controversial in gaming now, would you say games like “QTEs” in DMC4 and Mario and Luigi series are good ways of implementing the “mechanic?”

There are QTEs in DMC4?

I wouldn’t call those things QTEs in the first place. They’re mechanics with a consistent operation that fit into a larger schema. Quicktime events are when the game’s camera cuts to a cutscene and you are required to press an arbitrarily defined button within a certain window. The whole reason QTEs are bad is because they’re arbitrary and separated from the other mechanical interactions. They’re all or nothing and reinforce none of the core game skills.

QTEs aren’t there because anyone thought they would be a good game mechanic, they’re there because developers wanted to represent actions that are not possible among the existing game mechanics because when you have complete control of a scene you can make actions look a lot cooler. Then the button prompt gives the more bare of senses that the player did something, connecting them to the otherwise disjointed action onscreen.

The only game with good “QTEs” is God Hand, because they’re barely QTEs. Enemies have grab type attacks with unique animations and you always do the same input, shaking the stick back and forth, to escape them. Some enemies like demons can be countered by pressing the action button, but this is a context sensitive action and you’re not locked out of your other options to do that. There are mash QTEs too, but those are primarily for pummeling enemies that are already stunned, and Gene actually speeds up or slows down during them relative to both how fast you’re pressing the buttons and his momentum (it takes him a while to speed up the punches from when they’re slow and a while to slow down from when they’re fast, so if you dip in mash speed briefly, but recover, he won’t slow down very much). You only enter these voluntarily, or to escape one of the faster grab type attacks. They all consistently use the same inputs. They all serve a purpose in the gameplay and create a diversity that wouldn’t be possible without them.

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