Can you name some games (single player and/or competitive) that you feel were ruined by poor balance?
I can’t think of any multiplayer games that are that way, except maybe TF2? An Arena shooter would get hurt by that too, but I don’t think any current arena shooter has a balance problem. Balance in those games affects the number of viable elements of play within a single game, bad balance effectively makes them simpler games to play overall, it doesn’t just excise certain characters.
As for a single player game, Nier. Absolutely Nier. Nier was fucked in the ass by balance. Nothing is balanced in Nier. Weapons aren’t balanced, attacks aren’t balanced, spells aren’t balanced, companions aren’t balanced. Dodging and blocking aren’t balanced. The only things in the game that are balanced are the standard attack combo, dark blast, dark lance, and dark hand.
In the early game, you don’t have spells. When you knock enemies down, you’ll want to press block and then attack to do a finisher on them. In the later game, that does piddly damage and you have spells which are a better use of a shoulder button than block.
Blocking is shit compared to dodging. Blocks make you move extremely slowly, you can only block in one direction. Moving while blocking does not change the direction you block. Your block can get broken by sustained attacks. There’s literally only one room in the game you want to block in, and that’s a room that will autofail you if you press dodge or use a magical attack.
Charge attacks are garbage in Nier. You spend a really long time charging them up, and they do less damage than a simple attack combo that would take the same amount of time.
All the sealed versus that aren’t Dark Blast, Dark Lance, and Dark Hand are garbage. They simply have terrible damage output. Dark Blast is a free projectile attack and can destroy other projectiles, Dark Lance is ranged sniping and does a bunch of damage, dark hand is close range and does more damage. They all have varying uses across the game. None of the other sealed verses have a good use that these aren’t better at.
The weapons you obtain are all strictly better than the previous ones, there are 3 categories of weapons, 1 handed swords, spears, and 2 handed swords. All the weapons in a category have the same moveset, so you always just pick the strongest weapon in the category. 2 handed swords are too slow to be worthwhile.
I still think Nier was a good game, but only because it did really well with the few elements it had working. I’m sad that Automata doesn’t seem to have Dark Lance, Dark Hand, or the magic meter which absorbs blood from enemies. I expect Platinum to compensate in other ways, but I feel like the game is losing some of the few things the original did right that made it stand out from other games.