May 5, 2009

Overrated Games

I got to thinking earlier about a few of the popular game series, and how I find some of their entries completely devoid of amusement.

Final Fantasy - I believe Final Fantasy to be the single most massively overrated game series of all time, though I found the original 6(excluding 4) to be enjoyable. I admit I haven't played all of the games from the Playstation(2) era, and even then, never got through 7, stopping shortly after the first disc due to boredom. 8 had a similar stopping point before the intro finished when I realized I just didn't want to play the game. 9 and 10 I skipped, but from everything I've seen, they're just more of the same. 12 I picked up purely because it WAS a change in the formula, and one I really enjoyed, as selecting moves from menus as in traditional JRPGs has worn on me over the years. The only problem I have is that with the Gambit system in place, the game pretty much plays itself after you set it up right, making it poor for play while you're drowsy.

Mortal Kombat - Of all the fighting game franchises to come along, Mortal Kombat remains probably my least favorite. I can only remember playing it once when it was current, and I simply don't remember much about it from the minimal playtime I did have with it, so my impressions are all from revisting the first 3 games of the series in hindsight. Everything about the characters' movements, from their running, jumping, and movesets feel extremely rigid to me. Though it could be that the pacing of combat is just foreign to me, as I was a fan of OMF 2097 and Capcom's fighters. The series was not without installation that I enjoyed, however, I found Shaolin Monks on PS2 to be a great deal of fun. Gone was the fighting game style, replaced instead with a brawler that was gratuitously cool, and with a cooperative mode, which is getting harder to come by these days.

Space Invaders - I feel like I'm the only one who doesn't like the original Space Invaders. I realize that its an extremely early game, and thus slightly unfair to pick apart with the retrospect of 30 years of progress, but I grew up owning a 2600, and this is one of the few games we owned for it. Being in an extremely limited and inevitably dangerous place armed with a gun that fires one bullet at a time isn't my idea of goodtimes. I much preferred Asteroids, to the point where I would avoid Space Invaders entirely to play it. However, with the release of the newer Space Invaders Extreme series, I now have 2 games that I enjoy in the franchise.

Advance Wars - I like a good tactical game, but I feel the entire Advance Wars series is masquerading as strategy, while it is in actuality a giant puzzle. Without any random elements in the game, every stage becomes an exercise in using terrain in an equation with a definitive optimal solution, with the possibility of other solutions that aren't so good. I haven't played every one of them, but if one of them features any sort of randomness combined with units that stay with you between battles, I'd be happy to try it out.

Silent Hill 2 - While being the only game in a long-running series that I have played, I had heard that Silent Hill 2 was the best, so I started with that. When I first started the game, the default controls rendered it completely unplayable for me, and after switching them, I did start to feel immersed in the game, but never was I having any fun. I understand that you aren't necessarily supposed to be having fun in the creepy atmosphere the game throws at you, but some sort of reward for striking my opponents dead would have given me at least a sense of accomplishment, rather than just losing health and seeing them reanimate themselves shortly thereafter. I wound up not getting very far in the game at all before I stopped playing entirely, but I'm thinking of giving it another shot, with Silent Hill Homecoming instead.

Let me know if there's any popular games that YOU, the reader, can't stand.


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