It's Valentine's Day! As commercial and non-inclusive as the holiday can feel, it can still be a fun time to talk about all things love, good or bad. Whether you're celebrating by going to see Sonic the Hedgehog in theaters, having a not-so-romantic night out with friends, or just kicking it solo, we hope you're having a good time.
If today's all a bit too saccharine for you, then perhaps today's community question will be up your alley. Tell us, USgamer community: What's a video game romance that shouldn't have happened? We want to know which relationships you think should have stopped right at the line of friendship and gone no further.
I know at least one person on this staff is going to put Tidus and Yuna, and I'm using the first half of my answer to say they are wrong. I don't care if y'all don't like the laugh scene, Final Fantasy X was a solid love story. [Editor's Note: No one did, so Eric has played himself.]
That said, I would cut a large portion of Fire Emblem: Fates' romances with the various nobles of Nohr and Hoshido. Even Three Houses has some unsavory connotations in its potential pairings, but for Corrin in Fates, some of those characters are essentially family. It veered into some weird places, and I'd rather just say cut the whole thing.
Thankfully, Fire Emblem: Three Houses backed off a bit on the romance and its creepy unit-generation undercurrents, and the game's better for it. There should absolutely be romance in Fire Emblem! But no S-Ranking your adoptive brothers and sisters.
Oh boy, gotta be Max Payne and Mona Sax. Mona's a great foil in the first game, but she's really only brought back in the second as a love interest to set up Max's second bout of soul-crushing tragedy. Not only is it a trope, but c'mon—hadn't Max been through enough at that point?
I guess since Rockstar made a third game without Remedy, their answer was definitely "no."
This might be cheating, but I don't care: I'm putting in a vote for every single RPG starring an oblivious kid whose childhood friend (always a girl, of course) is crushing on him. Not only is it the most boring cliche to exist in video games, but there's almost never any chemistry to back up the pairing.
The girl inevitably starts resembling the boy's mother; she winds up doling out reminders to equip himself properly, or wipe his nose, or whatever. When she finally makes a pass at the boy, he just stares at her with his gob as wide as a boot, and she stamps her foot and fumes. It's yawn-inducing. It needs to stop.