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Jank

Adam Levine

[color=#ffffff][font="Century Gothic"]I have tried
5,200
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12
Years
Jank. We know it, we love it, we hate it. When you're playing a game, chances are you come across something that the developers didn't intend, be they graphical errors, physics exploits, game-breaking glitches, the list goes on. Jank shows up everywhere, especially in older games when patches weren't a thing. Jank is obviously well known for its ability to break immersion and otherwise ruin gameplay, but in some cases it makes games a little more interesting or exciting, like in speedruns or competitive play.

So, let's talk about jank! Is there a game you otherwise would've liked that's ruined because of jank? Is there a game you like because of jank? What are some of your most and least favorite instances of videogames being janky?

When it comes to jank, games on older systems, particularly the NES, are easy pickings, but I'd like to zero in specifically on a game I'd praised way too highly before: Mega Man 3. Keiji Inafune, the co-designer of Mega Man, has cited this game as his least favorite in the series because of its rushed development, and yeah, it's immediately apparent in the stage select screen (on top of Shadow Man's portrait):
mm3stageselect.png

Graphical errors are everywhere in the game, and while sprites stuttering is par for the course when it comes to the NES, the graphical errors frequently get bad enough to the point of the game lagging. Gemini Man's boss fight is a prime example. Not to mention the awful balance between all the weapons, especially the Top Spin being incredibly inconsistent and the Spark Shock being almost completely useless, or Rush Jet being so good that it's better for traversing water than Rush Marine.
...So, yeah. Safe to say I'd been looking at this game through rose-tinted glasses.

But one game that I think is made better because of its jank is Super Smash Bros. Melee. Melee had the same problem as Mega Man 3: rushed development. 13 months to complete a game is way too short, and you can see it slipping through the game's cracks. Some of the jank resulting from that rushed development is regarded fondly, though.
AsumSaus's channel is a great source of information regarding Melee's jank, but in summary, the main reason competitive Melee persists to this day is because of its jank making it so much more exciting and skill-intensive as a competitive game. Wavedashing, Fox and Falco's Reflector, and the myriad of glitches and other jank give Melee its uniquely dynamic and fast-paced identity among the Smash games. Of course, many characters are made worse because of jank (most of the low-tiers would like a word), but there's a certain charm to that kind of jank too, I feel; making joke characters on accident is funny to me. Jank in Melee is just so fascinating because there's a lot of it, and most of it is really strange.
 
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24,012
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3
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  • Age 35
  • Seen today
One bad instance of jank: Secret of Mana. Registers hits strangely. Found a GIF of it online.
Secret of Mana Hit GIF.gif
Sometimes gives you a hit, several seconds after swinging.

One good instance of jank: Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. Involves speeding through stages faster.
  1. Contains the usual Sonic loops in levels. Locks you into movement when running normally. Moves freer and faster with a spin dash beforehand. Makes it more dangerous too.
  2. Sticks you in a driving portion midway through the game. Caps your speed when driving normally. Retains boost and downhill speed when drifting, however. Flies through the level by snaking your movement with drifting. Discovered a way to make your character drive backwards too. (Only affects the visuals. Controls normally.)
 
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