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The bad games thread (Note - no lists, no three word explanations, no petting)


Timmo
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I remember getting suckered as a youngster into buying some crap. Mainly tie-ins. I'd spend all my pocket money of Disney and Warner Brothers platformers, and despite spending untold hours on them I'd be having very little fun, frustratingly working my way through the same rubbish levels with no passwords or saves.

But even so-called bad games are pretty decent these days. Most really badly reviewed stuff falls off the shelf in a couple of weeks, never to be seen again. So we need to celebrate them. Bad is the new good, or something.

Pick out some games you've played recently which really fell short, and tell us exactly why. This includes exceptionally bad bits in otherwise good games.

Deadly Premonition

This is a game a lot will scoff at seeing in here, so it's important that I say I enjoyed it, and that I think it was a thoroughly addictive game with possibly the greatest videogame character there's ever been in York Morgan (Although in my opinion that really isn't saying that much). I don't regret buying it, and I don't regret playing it to completion. It does, however, have some amazingly poor parts:

I'll focus on three:

1) Follow by foot section

In one of many dream sections, you are tasked with following someone on an endlessly repetitive path. For about 10 minutes. With the same audio clips looping over and over and over and over. Like an Aldi version of "JASONNNNN!" from Heavy Rain, but far, far worse than that infers.

2) Markers

At the shop you can buy maps to secret locations to unlock stuff. You go to the place, you unlock stuff, you leave. The marker remains. For the rest of the game. For the remainder of the game, every time you drive, there are big, obtrusive red-markers to places you've been to and finished with.

3) Follow by car section

Because the game needed more follow sections. You are asked to follow someone across town. Deadly Premonition is set across some 10 or so square miles, and you are given incredibly slow and twitchy cars to drive. If your controller has an even slightly off left stick (every single one I've owned has developed this after a while) you'll be fighting against your vehicle at all times. Most games have a small deadzone to stop this. Not so Deadly Premonition. So the section. You are asked to follow someone across town without being seen. When I say across town, I mean across town. This is a good 15 minute section. Obviously the not-being-seen part means keeping a certain distance back. Towards the end of this impossibly dull and eventless journey, I accidentally let my car within the allowed distance by a millimetre, and instantly a cut-scene comes up, whereby my character laments the mission going wrong, and informs his passenger that "we will have to wait until tomorrow". One literal in-game day. Instead of a 'restart' we're talking, go to the hotel, change suits etc, get back to the same place for the right time. I needed all my will not to take the disc out at this point and forget the whole thing.

There is also a 'follow the dog' section which is almost appalling and about 20 minutes long. It is interspersed with conversation so it's not quite as bad. Not quite.

"Following things is cool, let's have more of that."

Ninja Gaiden 2

This is by far my most-played single player game of this generation, I have played it to death. Many, many death. It has my favourite fighting system, and I ended up really good at it, which isn't something that happens very often. Personally it's likely the most satisfying single player game I've played. So why is it here?

NG2 is littered with some of the worst design decisions I've ever come across. Most involve water. Fighting on water in Ninja Gaiden 2 is so unenjoyable that it is technically a form of torture. This is true water torture. Tactics involve running in circles bashing the attack button, and hoping for the best. A game that takes so much skill on land becomes gambling. Just hope you've got enough healing items and a save point nearby.

The bosses are nearly all terrible. Vague tactics are required, but most of the time it's half luck, half skill. You have to hope you catch the boss in drunk mode. Awful.

Worst of all, and back to the water, are the mines. Utterly, utterly pointless enemies. The first time you see them, you can appreciate them. "Ah, I have to be careful and not just run around like an idiot!" So you sit there and destroy them. And more come. They respawn. The first lot you come across, you sit hammering the B button for a full two minutes until they're all gone and you're safe to continue. That's not even close to the worst bit.

In the infamously terrible stage 9, you get more mines. That respawn. But these ones respawn infinitely. And they move. And they're spread out. And it's dark and you can barely see them. And you're on water so have next to no control. Finally, on the top difficulty a single mine can take off a good half of your health. Astoundingly bad. The frustation felt facing these for the fifteenth time in a row with a save point not that close is hard to put across.

Over to you. Give details.

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The Crashtime/Cobra 11 series.

I love them to bits - the narration and driving mechanics are second to none, the cities are big, you fight crim's and it has trains. Hell they even added a replay cam and race mode. Its got motorways, those big fuck off crane things, bridges, people. Things explode. I just....words are not enough. And it never ends. we're now up to game number 4 or 5. Every year i look forward to the next series of episodes fighting hardened Euro crims, stoping lorry drivers, racing other cars and trucks, stealing ambulances, using a remote control bomb.

Utterly wubbyfullness. I'm not sure why no one likes it...or the amazing TV series.

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Alan Wake

Whilst I enjoyed the game overall some parts were fucking tedious meaning that I was never going to replay it on a harder level thereby ensuring I couldn't read the missing manuscript pages. I know this is a device used to get people to replay a game but to me it sucks. Also, I know this isn't the only game that does it but the only one I could think of where it bugged me.

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Alan Wake

Whilst I enjoyed the game overall some parts were fucking tedious meaning that I was never going to replay it on a harder level thereby ensuring I couldn't read the missing manuscript pages. I know this is a device used to get people to replay a game but to me it sucks. Also, I know this isn't the only game that does it but the only one I could think of where it bugged me.

It's funny - playing through the first few episodes of Alan Wake I was thinking "..they've actually pulled this off - a truly compelling and intriguing story that suffers non of the pitfalls of the paradox the exists between interactivity and story telling..."

..and then suddenly I'm stood on stage at a rock concert with metal blasting out shooting invading zombies, whilst a 'comedy' sidekick wrapped in christmas tree lights minces about next to me screaming.

The less said about the ending the better.

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Rogue Warrior

The single greatest ending VO line of a game ever*....

On being rescued by US navy seals, a sorry marine says to the hero "Dick" after his entire squad has been wiped out in two seconds over 11 levels ago - causing Dick to go on a murdering rampage through Russia and Korea the likes Arnie would be ashamed of...

US Marine "We're sorry to hear about your Men sir"

Dick: "Not as sorry as THOSE fuckers" *pointing over shoulder at a thousand dead koreans*

Credits....

*I may be slightly biased

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It's funny - playing through the first few episodes of Alan Wake I was thinking "..they've actually pulled this off - a truly compelling and intriguing story that suffers non of the pitfalls of the paradox the exists between interactivity and story telling..."

..and then suddenly I'm stood on stage at a rock concert with metal blasting out shooting invading zombies, whilst a 'comedy' sidekick wrapped in christmas tree lights minces about next to me screaming.

The less said about the ending the better.

that's the best bit!

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I tend to avoid bad games, but I think the last one I thoroughly enjoyed was [ProtoType]. It didn't look particularly good, the camera was diabolical at times, the gameplay was repetitive, the controls were twitchy, the story was rubbish and the balance was all over the place, most notably on some really drawn out and very tough bossfights.

Still, I loved it to bits and completed it. Twice.

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I tend to avoid bad games, but I think the last one I thoroughly enjoyed was [ProtoType]. It didn't look particularly good, the camera was diabolical at times, the gameplay was repetitive, the controls were twitchy, the story was rubbish and the balance was all over the place, most notably on some really drawn out and very tough bossfights.

Still, I loved it to bits and completed it. Twice.

Really enjoyed this too and I'm now enjoying a very similar thing thanks to some hackers fucking up the PSN. Infamous.

When playing it I know it looks pretty shoddy, the camera is a nuisance, constantly being shot from every roof top is hugely annoying. Yet I'm looking forward to getting home from work so I can give it an hour. Odd.

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Assassins Creed. You wouldn't play it for any other reason than to know what the hell is going on in the sequels. As a game it is unbelievably inconsistent. Great graphics and atmosphere, horrible repetition and shit missions. Whoever decided 'sitting on a bench' makes for an interesting mission should be fired; the fucker who copy pasted it across 3 towns and 9 assassinations should be shot.

Awful game. The worst of the generation. I have no idea how I managed to finish it.

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There’s a bit towards the end of LA Noire that’s properly unintentionally comical. Slight spoilers for the last few missions, nothing that gives away a massive twist.

Anyway, later on you play as an insurance investigator, who’s sent off to investigate the exciting case of an under-construction house that’s fallen down. On arriving at the building site, the foreman takes offence to you sniffing around his site. Obviously, your character’s reaction – as any Aviva or AIG employee’s reaction would be – is to square up to this joker, and challenge him to a fistfight. Once you’ve punched him the head enough to disable / kill him, you’re free to conduct your insurance investigation without hindrance.

There’s an exciting interlude, where you pick up bits of wood and rotate them in your hands. Then, once you’ve solved a tricky puzzle of putting two bits of wood together to read the message on them, you look up to discover the foreman coming at you with a bulldozer. Instead of running to one side, your character decides to run directly away from it, down a long trench with various rubbish obstacles to climb stiffly over. Eventually, you get to the end of the trench and the bulldozer stops, leaving the foreman going sort of “aaargh” and falling unconscious.

And then your character just drives off and doesn’t call the police, doesn’t tell his employer that a building site they insure has a murderer as a foreman, and in fact never mentions it to anyone, as it presumably doesn’t really seem that relevant to his important insurance investigation.

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The combat in Mass Effect 1 ('ve not played 2) was an unexpectedly awful mess. The AI squadmates were totally unable to path and thus couldn't follow any orders effectively. They just stood behind boxes and repeated their voice samples over an over. I can't get a shot! No line of sight! The enemy AI routine consisted of two strategies: sidestep in and out of cover to shoot, and if left alive long enough, sprint straight at you.

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Crash Test Dummies on the Super NES. It was AWFUL! One of the most fantastically boring and shitty game in the whole of gamedom. You're a crash test dummy in a stupid platformer and every time you get hit, you lose bits of yourself until you're crawling on your torso. Thing is, there's no real puzzle, just enemies walking along in the opposite direction to you that you have to jump over. And that's it.

Also, Knight Rider by Davilex. Despite me being one of the biggest Knight Rider fans out there, I found this game to be fucking terrible. Tearing, bland graphics. Poor challenges. Awful collision detection. Example - one of the levels had you/KITT Turbo Boosting onto rooftops. Yawn. Another needed you to jump over a 6 feet high wall, but you couldn't do it straight away but had to jump onto a pile of pipes first and then jump off that. Took ages to jump onto the pipes because the car wouldn't actually sit on the pipes properly. In the end, I got annoyed and just jumped at the wall from the ground... and fell through the wall to the other side. No lie! Took that shit back and got Colin McRae Rally 3 instead.

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I understand this thread seems a bit unfocussed but there really are so few bad games released these days. I used to love the little section in PC Gamer about 10 years ago, where all the games got less than 50% and were slagged off to high heaven.

All the really low reviews back then were good. Truly bad games were celebrated.

The two I picked are more bad parts in decent games, yes, but there must be some out there. Save me Superman. What about that Wheels of Thunder game on XBLA recently? I remember reading someone's thoughts on it and it sounded truly awful.

Or further back even. What was that lorry game where they didn't even program collisions into it?

Games are boringly good these days.

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Growl the arcade game. "Defeat the Evil hunters" many of whom are skinny leggy women wearing mini skirts.

Got it on the PS1 on a multipack thing...absolutely hilarious! Stupid fast punching, animals running loose...so much fun to play 2 player :D

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However though, the original Resident Evil on the PS1 - Barry Burton.

"Master of unlocking"

"Jill Sandwich" (press 5 to get to the meat!)

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