The Ten Worst Tutorials Ever


One of the worst things in video games is the mandatory tutorial. It severs any chance of replaying a game and enjoying it in full (there will always be that part that you have to go through again – even if you don’t want to). While there are a plethora of horrible tutorials, here are ten of the worst from otherwise really great games:


10. Pokemon Yellow – “The Old Man”

This old guy is the only thing keeping you from making it through to the Viridian Forest. First off, this guy doesn’t understand the idea of being polite until he gets some “coffee” in his decrepit gullet. Second, the moment you trigger this tutorial you find that this genius only carries one Pokeball in his attempt to catch the unassuming Weedle — which he fails to catch. Surprising, right? Your progress with this coot is halted until you go to the Poke Mart so that he can stock back up on Pokeballs and let the poor guy harass the Weedle again. This entire altercation is the video game equivalent of driving in a school zone only to find yourself behind a school bus that’s about to pick up a kid. And guess what, you’re the kid.



9. Cuphead

We all know that Cuphead is a terribly difficult game, but this tutorial probably did more damage than the actual game. For an excruciating three minutes, a video game journalist Dean Takahashi managed to make a fool of himself being floored by a single jump. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the fumble wasn’t recorded and had him sent to the frenzied hyenas of the unfiltered internet. For a good month, poor Dean had to breathe dark, dense smog of exceedingly harsh Twitter mentions and immediate meme-ery. There is a special trophy for any duo that can ruin anyone’s well being more than Dark Souls’ Smough and Ornstein and it goes to Cuphead’s box and pillar.



8. Twilight Princess

Herding goats, huffing grass, harassing monkeys, awkward fishing, and exposing worthless husbands are only a few of the many things this timeline’s Link has to march through in his day-to-day. Much like Ocarina of Time’s Kakariko Village, you are taught the mechanics of Twilight Princess in Link’s home of Ordon Village. The tutorials are masked as little tasks held around the village. However, it doesn’t take much thought to see that you’re practically doing chores for the lethargic populace. I wouldn’t say that this sequence was done terribly, it’s just a 90-minute chore that doesn’t really try to be entertaining. When you finally enter the Twilight Realm you get Sixth Sense’d with Link turning into a wolf and topically dragged into the actual game. An accurate representation of the game’s mediocre set up and bland tutorial lugging you to an eventual treat.

7. Kingdom Hearts -” Destiny Islands”

This entire sequence is pretty infamous in both the Kingdom Heart’s community and the video game community as a whole. It is understandable that a game would want you to get comfortable with its movement and basic combat controls, but their handling of the conditioning was embarrassingly rudimentary. The tutorial is essentially a giant fetch quest with little to no direction, forcing you to get very familiar with an island that you fortunately never return to until late end game. “Destiny Islands” creates the frustration that continues to echo throughout the rest of the game.



6. Dark Souls

From Software’s Dark Souls series is one that is criticised over its difficulty.A much more valid criticism, however, is that the game’s tutorial sucks. Or lack of a tutorial. It’s weird. Dark Souls finds you in an asylum riddled with mindless vagrants gone hollow after being subjected to the very torture you aren’t even aware of yet. Instead of the game pausing itself with invasive tutorial boxes or NPCs roaming every cell begging for your ear, there are“bloodstains” that tell you what your buttons do and what some game specific items allow. It is a breath of fresh air that almost gets immediately snuffed once you climb the ladder and open the door to Pandora’s box. Not even five minutes into the game, you are met with the very reason some of us wake up with migraines: the Asylum Demon. This glorious hunk of resplendent sin has one occupation and that is to act as the game’s true tutorial. All the bloodstains you rubbed were merely a button check. The Asylum Demon’s purpose is to teach you that this game holds no hands and that it is the very Hell you’ve heard about with a generous dash of ridicule. You are the new throne this particular demon has been prepping its enviable rear for, and there is no hesitation in its seating. As an introduction to the series, I think it excels in telling you what to expect, but it does little to prepare you for the trials to come.


5. Fire Emblem 7 – “Lyn’s Story”

A lot of people like to complain about Final Fantasy XIII because new little tutorials are thrown at you whenever new mechanics are introduced, but the Game Boy Advance’s Fire Emblem 7 had gone far and beyond with a tutorial disguised as a full campaign. Lyn’s Story is the introduction to Fire Emblem 7 and for most people in the west, the introduction to the series as a whole. Intelligent Systems decided the best way to prepare new players was with a 10 chapter story in which you are told exactly what to do until the very end of Lyn’s story. Thankfully, if you ever make a mistake and let some poor sap die in this glorified escort mission, you are spared from living with the guilt of sending a good soldier to die when the steps were laid out for you. It is incredible that they decided that the best way to explain the game was to make the players witness a tactical RPG on rails. And, like most tutorials, you cannot skip this entire storyline if it’s your 1st playthrough of the game.



4. Assassin’s Creed

As the first game of the series, it’s understandable that the tutorial must explain the UI and introduce the game’s various mechanics. And while the tutorial does manage to teach the players how to play their game, it is probably one of the most monotonous sequences you will go about in a video game. It is already unfortunate that Desmond Miles is held hostage in his own body, but now you are stuck undergoing the hell that is this ugly and irritating purgatory space to learn how to walk and look at people. It is an overly long ordeal and the only interaction is in the muddied synthetic voice telling you to hide and kill the unassuming projections. Assassin’s Creed’s tutorial does the job, but it’s treated as just that: a job.


3. Driver

The incredible spartan trial of a tutorial. There is no pretense to this gauntlet. You are but an infant thrown to the wolves in a car park with only your broken shift stick of a controller and a depreciating Buick Skylark. The only instruction you receive is a shopping list of driving tricks to perform within the immediately ticking minute. There are few reasonable tricks on the list. such as a handbrake and the break test. However, the imposing brick wall christened “Slalom” and the “Reverse 180” will easily halt any hopes you may have had as you inserted the disc into your poor Playstation.


2. Final Fantasy XIII

Large-scale RPGs usually boast both expansive worlds to explore and sizable story lengths that swell the further into the worlds you dive. Square Enix’ Final Fantasy is probably the biggest name of the RPG genre and their long awaited 13th iteration surprised all fans of the series with not just a giant world and a music score to accompany it, but also a tutorial that never seems to end. When the player gets control of the game, you’re immediately introduced into the new combat system, paradigms, and eidolons The information never really ceases to bombard your irritated eyes. The frustration gets compounded by the fact that this sequence of dense tutorials lasts around six hours and it takes place inside a blatant corridor. Sure, little bubbles of architecture try to mask the hallway and attempts to trick the player that they probably crossed a threshold, but to no avail. The linearity doesn’t even end when you finally make it out of the introductory area. Instead, this warden of a game kept the players out of the actual open world for about 20-25 hours. It’s understandable that a game doesn’t want to keep players in the dark and shove the information inside the pause menu, but this is a case of forcing information into the player’s throat with an occasional plank to the back of the head until the player can do no more than regurgitate muddled information in broken tongues.



1. Mortal Kombat X

Fighting games have always been among the more polarizing genres of video games and their tutorials are usually the developer’s attempt to make the genre more accessible to the general audience. However, the tutorial newcomers face in Mortal Kombat X does nothing but tell you to press buttons. It’s not just punches and kicks either. No, they want you to walk back, forward, jump, and dash in very staggered situations. You’ve enrolled in a school under NetherRealm who hired a teacher that doesn’t teach. This tutorial doesn’t go over the applications for all the buttons you’re pressing, it just wants you to press them. For other genres this would probably be acceptable and swept under the run, but this is a fighting game. Anyone remotely invested in either the game or the genre itself is going to delve into the hunting grounds of online matches. If anyone were to jump into the fray with only having the teachings of this game’s tutorial, they’ll get slaughtered. This tutorial can and most likely has deterred the beaten from not just Mortal Kombat, but the fighting game genre as a whole. The ignorance this tutorial instills is a blight that continues to fester the more it is indulged.

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