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


Timmo
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L.A. Noire

Falls into the good game with shit bits category. Somehow I managed to really enjoy the game, even though it had...

1) Stupid balance beams. How on earth this war hero/supercop can't balance himself along a fairly wide bit of wood is beyond me...

2) Cole Phelps being gamings' least charasmatic character ever. The recently widowed and recently raped, watch out he might shout at you for saying the wrong thing.

3) Rumbly wumbly controllers to tell you there's a clue. C'mon I know you can switch it off but it shouldn't be there in the first place.

4) Pedestrians intentionally walking in front of your car, in full pursuit of a suspect with sirens on! Is everyone in 1940s L.A. a lemming on what?

5) Other drivers have no rear view mirrors! Seriously they can't have, otherwise they wouldn't try to turn right or left just at the split second I try to pass them.

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Crysis 2.

Graphically superb. Good meaty weapons, the nano suit as ever is put to great use. But let down by the worse AI for many, many years. It's like Sniper Alley in Medal of Honor: Allied Assault but all the time, and worse. Which, for a game that relies a whole lot on stealth is a bit shit. So shit, in fact, I traded it in after about a week. I just wasn't prepared to put up with that level of shitness.

I'll agree wholeheartedly with you on Crysis 2. The AI horrifically bad, to the point at which I wonder how on earth they had the balls to release it in such a state.

The end boss 'battle' consisted of me standing still in a lake and taking pot shots for 10 minutes at the 4 suped up enemies I was supposed to take on as I discovered that they wouldn't come into the lake nor shot me whilst I was in the water. When I ran out of bullet I walked up the the edge of the waters and repeatedly smacked the last enemy in the head with my empty gun whilst they stood still.

An earlier level I found myself wandering and running about a level without firing my gun once. No stealth mind, the enemy characters either didn't react around my presence or had such a delay that I could walk up to them smack them in the head and run away before they raised their gun at me. Took me less than 5 minutes to complete what appeared to be a setup for big firefight.

An utter joke of a game that I sold on immediately

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Fareneheit: 15:19 to 19:40 - It turns out that all tramps are part of an international organisation set up to stop AIs that came out of the internet in the 1980s. Oh, spoilers.

Heavy Rain: The worst American accents in human history.

Seriously though, I could practically choose any section of these awful, awful games for inclusion in this thread.

I love this guys takedown of the plot holes for Heavy Rain, which also includes this wonderful summary of Fahrenheit:

SUPERZOMBIE

Oh my god, I've just killed a man! Why did I do it? Why can't I remember? What's going on?

DAVID CAGE

It was a Mayan Priest. He needs to collect sacrifices to please his snake-god, so he kills people by taking over the minds of strangers and having them do the deed – but you're able to resist his power!

SUPERZOMBIE

Why is that?

DAVID CAGE

Because you grew up in Area 51, where you were irradiated by an alien metal that made you psychic.

SUPERZOMBIE

Ah, so that's why he picked me to do his murders—he needed a psychic sensitive for his powers to work on.

DAVID CAGE

Actually, no. He just picked you at random. In fact, it's your psychic abilities that will allow you to foil him.

SUPERZOMBIE

So, out of all the people in New York he could have picked to murder a stranger, he picked the one person with the preposterous psychic ability needed to stop him? Isn't that extremely contrived?

DAVID CAGE

I'm not familiar with that word, contrived. I think you meant to say "extremely good writing".

SUPERZOMBIE

Sure, whatever. So I just find and kill the Mayan Sorcerer. That doesn't sound like too much of a chore.

DAVID CAGE

Ah, but first you're going to have to find out the details of his plan from the blind lady who teaches you how to use your powers.

SUPERZOMBIE

Why a blind lady?

DAVID CAGE

It's a well-known fact that blind people know a lot about Mayans. Look it up.

SUPERZOMBIE

Then I can kill the Mayan Witch Doctor and save the day?

DAVID CAGE

Not if the Internet has anything to say about it!

SUPERZOMBIE

Excuse me?

DAVID CAGE

Haven't you heard? The internet is alive now. It looks like a character from ReBoot and wants to start a new ice age. Hence the title.

SUPERZOMBIE

Indigo Prophecy?

DAVID CAGE

The original title, dumbass.

SUPERZOMBIE

Okay, so just to be clear, I have to learn how to be psychic, kill a Mayan Shaman, defeat the internet—

DAVID CAGE

Rescue the autistic Messiah.

SUPERZOMBIE

—gonna pretend I didn't hear that—and then stop a new ice age? That about it?

DAVID CAGE

Basically, yes. Also convince your ex-girlfriend to have sex with you.

SUPERZOMBIE

Well, at least there's that. Hey, can I ask you something?

DAVID CAGE

Sure.

SUPERZOMBIE

Why does the script refer to me as "SuperZombie"?

DAVID CAGE

You'll find out in about four hours.

The ending where the Internet wins actually makes me think the whole thing project came around because David Cage watched the Matrix Trilogy when high and wanted to write a better version. I mean, the parallels are uncanny:

Main character is a software programmer who is guided by a mystical old women who is actually a machine. Gains superpowers and comes back from the dead. Spends lots of time fighting with a single character that's an agent of the enemy rather than fighting them directly. Machines take over the world and drive humanity underground, where it's still warm.

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I was actually thinking about this thread last night, trying to remember (probably) shit games that I loved....

And then I remembered the Amiga era....

Mortville Manor

(can only find the shitty ST version in English) - trust me the Amiga version looked better and sounded better.

I played this game to death, (pun completely intended) - and whilst it was obviously wank, it just captured my imagination, I never finished it because it was a) frankly ridiculously hard to work out what the hell was going on, and b) it was the days before the internet. - the comedy interrogation sequences were made even harder by the digitised (a first?) speech that had a very strong french accent (indeed, sometimes it would just completely drop out into french words when there was no English equivalent, I got a U in french) - Amazingly though, these interrogations had more game play in them than LA noire does 20 years later...

Highway Patrol 2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway_Patrol_2

Can't find any videos of this one, as it's probably a bit rare nowadays, but this game was like the forerunner to NFS Hot Pursuit. You played a cop in the desert hunting down criminals... (Yes, I've spotted the recurring theme here) It's probably good thing that I can't find a video of this because I remember the game being really immersive and the frame rate must have been at least 200 million fps... I have the sneaking suspicion it wasn't and it didn't...

There's probably more to come, but I'm really trying to think "Shit games I loved" not just listing a load of shit games... :D

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Timmo, for your consideration;

'Red Card Soccer'

It's definitely not good but I played this a lot with my friends. It's not really a football game but the willingness of the developers to try and merge Streets of Rage with ISS was commendable at the time. There was something magical about the special 'finishing' moves to score goals, namely Emile Heskey doing a series of flips with the ball trapped between his heels before he unleashed a backheel volley so powerful the keeper would be thrown over the line by the impact.

There was also something magical for not receiving a booking for a two footed lunge at your opponents spine.

Many an hour wasted playing that game :blush:

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By brilliant, you mean "a terribly written piece of Saw fan-fiction full of plot holes where the action is moved forwards by the stupidity of the main characters, drenched in a staggering level of pretension" then?

No, I mean I loved it and didn't care about any of that. It was always going to have plot holes with the number of permeatations it had. My advice is to not think about it too much and put your suspension of disbelief on its highest setting.

My favourite thing about it was the fact that you never knew whether or not what you were doing at any moment would have an effect on things. Most games give you 'decisions' that are really obviously signposted. In Heavy Rain I spent the entire game trying to keep everyone alive as best I could and it was rarely obvious which specific parts were important. Therefore they all were.

What exactly was pretentious about it? It's not pretending to be some piece of master fiction. It's refreshingly different to most things, and whilst it's easy to pick holes in it was incredibly ambitious in parts. I was shocked and delighted when I finished it to read just how differently it could have ended. It also made it more personal because I don't remember anyone getting the same ending I did. I'm sure as soon as you start replaying sections it falls to pieces. Hence I didn't.

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What exactly was pretentious about it? It's not pretending to be some piece of master fiction.

The visual styling and presentation of a genre serial killer mystery, mostly.

I'm sure as soon as you start replaying sections it falls to pieces. Hence I didn't.

Nah, it falls apart way before then.

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I'll agree wholeheartedly with you on Crysis 2. The AI horrifically bad, to the point at which I wonder how on earth they had the balls to release it in such a state.

The end boss 'battle' consisted of me standing still in a lake and taking pot shots for 10 minutes at the 4 suped up enemies I was supposed to take on as I discovered that they wouldn't come into the lake nor shot me whilst I was in the water. When I ran out of bullet I walked up the the edge of the waters and repeatedly smacked the last enemy in the head with my empty gun whilst they stood still.

An earlier level I found myself wandering and running about a level without firing my gun once. No stealth mind, the enemy characters either didn't react around my presence or had such a delay that I could walk up to them smack them in the head and run away before they raised their gun at me. Took me less than 5 minutes to complete what appeared to be a setup for big firefight.

An utter joke of a game that I sold on immediately

Whilst I didn't have the issues with AI you lot did (I was playing the PC version, not sure if that makes a difference?) I certainly a huge amount of grievances with it:

  • The 'Pingers': bipedal mechs that are heavily armed and, for no discernible reason, can see through your cloak. Hell, can even see through walls. You're told by one of the many voices in your head that you should sneak behind them to deal more damage but a) even with perks such as advanced sneaking, it's almost impossible to remain undetected and b) you seem to deal the same amount of damage from the front as the back anyway. You can tell it's broken as they scatter JAW missiles around the area to help you out.
  • The perks take too long to 'save up' for, and even when you get them, they're shit. It's like they split out the existing abilities into further little bitty bits, none of which are particularly good, and just serve to make you feel less of a man than you were in Crysis 1.
  • About 2/3rds of the game is in darkness, meaning you have to view it all in depressing, imprecise Nanovision.
  • The alien enemies are awful - just like regular blokes, really. I know people generally didn't like the squid-style in the first two games, but at least they moved in an unusual way and had a bit of character.
  • The almost non-existent vehicle bits. The first game let you use a good range of vehicles in any way you saw fit. C2 has you drive in a straight line for 50 yards. Then quietly get out.
  • The 'story' (such as it was) was meant to be have been written by SF author Richard Morgan. I've read three of his SF books (plus fantasy novel The Steel Remains) and liked them all. This game's story's a cliched turd, though, so either he's dropped off in quality in the last 6 months to an astonishing degree, or they funneled his writing into the poor framework of the game so badly that all the quality was drained away. You decide.
  • The final mission is a complete waste, that you can complete just by cloaking up and wandering around a little bit - that's it.

...and then it ends: it practically has 'unfinished' emblazoned across it. They should have put one of those high-impact stickers on the front - the cheap ones that leave paper and a sticky residue behind - with 'patently needs three months more development' on it.

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It's the games I bought off the back of reviews that were dirge which stick in my mind.

First off, Cyberun. A Crash Smash for possibly the worst Spectrum game Ultimate released. A tedious plod around collecting ship parts for no apparent reason.

Then there was Edge 8/10 Bladestorm. I can't even give it away! I love a decent strategy game, and if there's one called Bladestorm then that's not the one I picked up.

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Heavy Rain was abysmal. Cage sold it as an interactive narrative with no game over screens, but to achieve that they stripped most of the interaction of any meaningful consequence. Two of the four playable characters are invincible until the final 10 minutes of the game. Invincible! And to make this worse, one of those characters is the pathetic, sullen-faced Ethan Mars (pictured below holding a cheap red herring) -- a man so irritating that you spend the whole game wishing he'd have died in that car crash along with his stupid son. On the plus side, make the right decisions and you can watch Ethan have mannequin sex with the love interest, with breasts on show and everything. It's a mature kind of game, you see.

T8bTk.jpg

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I think I'd be more sympathetic to Farenheit/Heavy Rain if David Cage didn't honestly believe he was some kind of incredible auteur and spouting off to the media about his incredible skills at every opportunity, instead of a bloke who writes stories that the SyFy Channel would turn their nose up at and then hastily slaps some Dragon's Lair gameplay mechanics on top of them.

It's also painfully obvious after playing both games that he has a questionable view of the opposite sex.

Both games feature gratuitous shower scenes that appear to have been inserted for no other reason than for the camera to linger on the female protagonists' polygonal breasts (in Heavy Rain's case, this is how she's actually introduced). But that's nothing compared to Mr. Cage,s idea of writing a romance.

In Farenheit the male and female heroes meet right before the end of the game, at this point he's actually a zombie complete with ice-cold skin. Her reaction is to immediately strip off and hop on his ndead cock in an abandoned train car underground with an open door... In sun-zero temperatures... oh and it's surrounded by tramps. I think one of the endings has her pregnant with his necrotic seed.

In Heavy Rain the female protagonist is introduced, after nudey shower sequence, running around her apartment in skimpy knickers away from rapey men in masks, but surprise it was a dream sequence, so she moves into a seedy motel. In said hotel is Ethan Mars, who at this point looks like a hobo, is mumbling incoherently and has loads of suspicious injuries. This makes her wetter than an otter's pocket and you can probably guess what happens next. Oh there's also a sequence where you can make her do a sexy dance and a prolonged striptease for a mobster in the game.

And If you think only his gender politics are dodgy, then don't even look at the black character in Farenheit.

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Both games feature gratuitous shower scenes that appear to have been inserted for no other reason than for the camera to linger on the female protagonists' polygonal breasts (in Heavy Rain's case, this is how she's actually introduced). But that's nothing compared to Mr. Cage,s idea of writing a romance.

In Farenheit the male and female heroes meet right before the end of the game, at this point he's actually a zombie complete with ice-cold skin. Her reaction is to immediately strip off and hop on his ndead cock in an abandoned train car underground with an open door... In sun-zero temperatures... oh and it's surrounded by tramps. I think one of the endings has her pregnant with his necrotic seed.

In Heavy Rain the female protagonist is introduced, after nudey shower sequence, running around her apartment in skimpy knickers away from rapey men in masks, but surprise it was a dream sequence, so she moves into a seedy motel. In said hotel is Ethan Mars, who at this point looks like a hobo, is mumbling incoherently and has loads of suspicious injuries. This makes her wetter than an otter's pocket and you can probably guess what happens next. Oh there's also a sequence where you can make her do a sexy dance and a prolonged striptease for a mobster in the game.

And If you think only his gender politics are dodgy, then don't even look at the black character in Farenheit.

I found this the best take on it:

Literally every other line out of Ethan's mouth has been a reference to the ticking time clock hovering over his head, counting down to his son's brutal murder. Also he's monstrously injured. Yet some hot loving followed by a leisurely nap? He's able to pencil that in without too much trouble.

If you're not familiar with the film Commando, it's a story about a man whose child is kidnapped, and he's given a tight deadline to do something for the kidnappers, lest she be killed. Knowing that you can never trust a kidnapper's word, instead of going along with the scheme he immediately begins working against the people attempting to manipulating him. I'm not going to go into the whole plot, but he ends up killing Dan Hedaya.

I bring this movie up because Heavy Rain reminded me of a story I read about it in a Tribute magazine around 20 years ago. While promoting another movie it came up that Commando's script had originally featured a sex scene between Arnold's character and the stewardess who helps him prepare to invade a fake Central American nation, but Schwarzenegger had apparently vetoed its inclusion, and not just because he preferred to only star in remarkably chaste action movies. Apparently he felt that the character's focus on rescuing his daughter should never have any distractions—that he'd look like a terrible person if he paused for sex while the clock was ticking down on his daughter's life.

Just wanted to put it out there that a man named "John Matrix", who used circular saw blades as deadly disci and shoved a steam pipe through Wez' chest, is a more attentive and responsible father, not to mention an overall more admirable person than the main character of Heavy Rain.

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I loved Farenheit, the more batshit the better. Didn't get on with Heavy Rain though. Not because of the gameplay or story, I just couldn't get past the way your characters controlled like cross-channel ferries, kept bumping into things and looked as though they worked for the Ministry of Silly Walks. Shame.

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"I don't know how those bees do it but they sure make some good honey"

Viking: Battle For Asgard

I still want to go back to that game for reasons I can't really explain. I think it's the sense of scale.

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Too Human

Mentioned already, I completed this twice over despite its wonky controls, hugely frustrating combat and targeting system, and extra disappointment from the fact that I thought it was going to be something that satisfied my post-PSO loot game needs. I actually tried to revisit it quite recently but found it even harder to forgive. I really wanted to love it, but while it doesn't quite get there I still sort of like it.

Too Human is definitely a "bad game" in that its graphics are a bit rough, its controls are a bit cack-handed, its story is just bonkers, and the game's combat system is definitely an "acquired taste".

But for some reason I liked it and put many more hours into it than I probably should. It just has a certain charm and more-ish thing I can't put my finger on.

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I can't think of many "bad" games that I've really liked. I suppose one would be the Game Boy version of Street Fighter II. It was incredibly jerky, and was missing several fighters but I played it for weeks in car trips, on the school bus, etc.

Looking it at now, I'm surprised how poor it looks - then again, I guess it was fundamentally SFII in your hands, even if it was sub-par.

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Dead To Rights : Retribution

+1 for you sir :hat:

I still rate this as one of the best third person shooters this gen (even know I know I shouldn't). I groaned my way through the opening level and was very close to sending it straight back to Lovefilm :lol: I'm so glad I didn't and I persevered with it though because Retribution's trashy rediculousness just keeps escalating from that point and doesn't quit for the duration of the absurd plot :D I mean... there's stealth sections where you play as a dog!

I might have to rent it again actually :wub:

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Crysis 2 rant

My favourite moment of brain dead AI in crysis 2 was when i lobbed a grenade into a group of 4 mans. 3 mans got blown up, and the last guy looks around for a second, and says "false alarm" :lol:

Id agree with all the complaints about Heavy Rain too. I hated that game. Mostly because it tried so hard to come across as a serious crime drama, yet its writing was so poor that i wanted both Ethan and his remaining whiny, irritating, son to die horribly. And then along comes the cop with his crime solving sunglasses and the crime thriller turns into minority report and then it decides it wants to be a torture porn saw rip off,and then whole thing just hilariously falls apart

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+1 for you sir :hat:

I still rate this as one of the best third person shooters this gen (even know I know I shouldn't). I groaned my way through the opening level and was very close to sending it straight back to Lovefilm :lol: I'm so glad I didn't and I persevered with it though because Retribution's trashy rediculousness just keeps escalating from that point and doesn't quit for the duration of the absurd plot :D I mean... there's stealth sections where you play as a dog!

I might have to rent it again actually :wub:

I loved the last couple of stages in that game, straight out of the over-the-top 80's action playbook!

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I can't think of many "bad" games that I've really liked. I suppose one would be the Game Boy version of Street Fighter II. It was incredibly jerky, and was missing several fighters but I played it for weeks in car trips, on the school bus, etc.

Looking it at now, I'm surprised how poor it looks - then again, I guess it was fundamentally SFII in your hands, even if it was sub-par.

The music is pretty good, at least.

This reminds me of the Master System version of Mortal Kombat that I played a lot of. Characters missing, only a handful of stages and two attack buttons. And annoying music. It was technically impressive I suppose - the graphics are excellent for the Master System - but on reflection I was really missing out on the real thing.

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The music is pretty good, at least.

This reminds me of the Master System version of Mortal Kombat that I played a lot of. Characters missing, only a handful of stages and two attack buttons. And annoying music. It was technically impressive I suppose - the graphics are excellent for the Master System - but on reflection I was really missing out on the real thing.

Actually, your post just reminded me - I've never really liked the Mortal Kombat series but the GB version of MK2 was actually much better than SFII on that format:

Really just because of the higher framerate and more responsive controls.

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Half-Life 2 is pretty bad, it can take something as cool looking as 50ft tall walkers and use several of them as nothing more than large stationary gun turrets that within 30 minutes of the most tedious horrible grueling hell become the bane of your life, and I was only watching someone else play the game!!!!

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