[As Read on GIO.]
A Momentary Hiatus from my Wolf Among Us Spoiler Series
The following list contains ten games that I love, and am ashamed for loving, yet I recognize are excellent or maybe just great video games with awesome stories or gameplay. However, despite this, and despite having enjoyed them profusely over the years or over the past year or so, I hate that I love them- or even love to hate them. Now, this could be for any number of reasons- for convoluted stories, for tough to grasp controls, or maybe just for some stupid reason like I didn’t like the box art. Now- obviously I wouldn’t include a game on this list just because I didn’t like the box art, but I think you understand what I mean. Regardless, the following games are all pretty good- they just didn’t always sit well with me, or rubbed me the wrong way for some reason which I will of course explain to you. Now, let us begin…
10. Street Fighter IV
I love Street Fighter, I really do. I loved Street Fighter II- and still do, and I thoroughly enjoyed Street Fighter IV’s art style and balancing act. I even played the game yesterday. As with most fighting games however, it has an incredibly complicated control scheme to grasp to start, and after having not played the game in awhile, it is often harder once you come back to the game to ascertain the location of correct button prompts and power attacks for example. However, whereas I have an easier time at least figuring out how to block and such with Mortal Kombat 9 (aka the newest one), Street Fighter IV is often much more complicated. I love the game, I do- but the learning curve is something ferocious… Which makes it perfect for EVO I guess now that I think about it…
09. Lost Odyssey
Lost Odyssey is a great and often overlooked 2008 game with good graphics for the time, and an excellent RPG story spanning literally a thousand years. The premise of the game is solid, the controls formidable and easy to grasp, and…I guess you’re wondering what the problem is then. Well, I know it seems petty- especially for an RPG/JRPG, but I just don’t feel like I make much progress during boss fights. See- I told you it would be petty, that’s why its higher on the list here… Whenever I equip my more powerful items and use my better spells, I feel as if I barely do any damage to the thousands upon thousands of points each boss has- and it doesn’t help that my HP is so low that about five of their attacks wipe out me, and the rest of my party if they do splash damage. That, combined with the fact that you can’t see traditional health bars without certain items, makes things not only challenging, but incredibly frustrating at times. Especially when you’re about to beat a boss, only to realize that its his turn and you have about 15 HP left with nobody to revive you. Talk about rage.
08. Dead Rising 2
Dead Rising 2 is a great, if flawed, game. Easy, responsive controls, thousands of zombies on screen at once, great graphics, and an interesting plot are just the tip of the iceberg. However, it is one of the integral parts of the gameplay- tied into the story itself, that serves as the most frustrating factor. You are essentially timed the entire way through- with just under 72 hours to complete every mission/quest that is required before the military arrives and cleans house. That by itself would be okay, even with your daughter’s daily need of the medication known as Zombrex- which you only have to give her four times anyway. However, when you take into account that this timer counts towards each quest once you start it, that times decrease more rapidly for certain quests, and that sometimes many hours pass between chapters, thus making it more down to the wire- it becomes much easier to fail the main story. Sure, you could restart from a checkpoint, but those are few and far between… And honestly, its more fun to travel around collecting achievements and accolades once you fail anyway- without fear of running out of time. I guess the most frustrating part is that its just such a huge world to explore in the minimal time limit, and while that increases replayability- you’ll never be able to do every single thing in one playthrough, which kills the completionist in me.
07. Katamari Damacy
Really, literally the only complaint I have with KD is that its most essential and really only point- collecting junk into a big ball, is just sort of…boring after awhile. But hey- at least it’s pretty, right?
06.Pokemon Yellow Version
Yes- this one. While not entirely my favorite Pokemon game to date, it used to be for a long while, and still holds a special place in my heart. The one thing that kills me about pretty much every Pokemon game up until maybe Diamond and Pearl, or Black and White 1 is that they’re just the same format (albeit a successful one) with a few added starters. Sure, they sell like crazy, and they’re really fun and addictive- but come on, that’s like Call of Duty before there was a yearly release! (Never, by the way.) Regardless, my frustration with this game is really just with the series I guess- so maybe it’s a bit unfair to pin it all on Pikachu here… Sorry bud.
05. Heavy Rain
Heavy Rain is certainly a very intriguing game- you can’t fault it for that. Despite being incredibly hard to get into, and sporting yet another odd Quantic Dream control scheme for a game, rife with QTEs- I enjoyed myself, I really did. However, even looking past some wonky controls, what really aggravated me the most about the game was simply the lack of good animation work at times. I mean, you’d grab something, and it wouldn’t even line up in your hand correctly. It’d just stick to your hands with the magical lack of physics that games can show, but it would be so blatantly obvious as to ruin the realism entirely. There’d also be times where…some weird things happen. Just look at an example here, if you would.
04. Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
Aside from the occasionally wonky controls, the only issues I really had with Eternal Darkness were actually realized after the game had been out for several years. There are just two things that tick me off about Sanity’s Requiem. First- It didn’t age that well to be honest, which isn’t too big a deal I guess, as they could always make a new game or HD version I suppose. Secondly- Pious Augustus or whatever his name is looks like Jake Gyllenhaal. Come On?!!!!! Why?!
03. Madden NFL 07
I don’t know what it was, or what happened to it, but when Madden NFL 07 released- EA was just on top of their game, literally. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the product, and I still play it even today. For me, it’s the definitive game in the series thus far. The recent releases have cut out many of the features I enjoyed, and replaced them with sub-par ones in my opinion. So for that, I continue to play this one. Now, everything sounds dandy, so you’re probably wondering why it’s frustrating as well. Well, that’s simply because it features some sloppy saving errors and issues, which to this day have not been fixed, and often rewrite statistics and what not- or so you think. Usually, it’s more of a matter of it relocating them to different saves without you realizing, and you thinking they were lost instead. I can’t tell you how scared I was when I thought my perfect streak of 500-0 had been lost. Luckily, I found it later- but it was a frustrating process to say the least.
02. System Shock II
Before there was Bioshock, there was System Shock II. Many core elements of Bioshock can actually be found in System Shock II, which I find quite interesting personally, and makes perfect sense in Levine terms. The graphics may have been near to Half Life 1’s at best, which is alright for the time, but its the story and the chilling space horror that more than makes up for the looks. It’s a shame that my frustration with this game has only manifested itself in recent years. That frustration is that I cannot play the game. For whatever reason, it is essentially broken on every computer that is sporting XP or above. Don’t ask me why, but that’s been my experience. Count yourself lucky if you can play the original on something other than a modded emulator. That almost reminds me of my issues with my older copies of Riven and Myst III: Exile as well- which also won’t work anymore. Although, I must say I was pleasantly surprised to find Zork and Zork II still working…
01. Call of Duty Multiplayer
Sure, this one is more a joke than anything else- especially because it is omnipresent in the series since CoD 4, and not limited to one game alone. Although I suppose you could single out MW3 from the pack as one of the weaker entries on this matter… Multiplayer in CoD is unbalanced and alternates between lucky breaks and stunning, crushing blows- so I guess you could say that’s a bit frustrating at times. Just ask the ten year old kid next door who now has a flagrant and rich vocabulary simply because he was better than a forty year old man at this game. I kid you not.
I guess that’s really it for today’s semi-medium length blog. I’ll be seeing you around shortly for the next portion of my Wolf Among Us spoiler series. Reader beware, you’re in for…I can’t steal that slogan- sorry! Anyway, see you soon.