Gaming - Five Games That Didn't Quite


The Defective Inspector usually really enjoys the games he plays but there have been a few that didn't quite do it for him. Here's 5 games he SHOULD have liked...

I feel privileged to live in this day and age. There are so many good quality games from both Indie and AAA that I am often spoilt for choice! The problem there are some games which, on paper, should be the best thing since sliced bread but somehow fall short due to a lack of je ne sais quoi. So I am here to share with you 5 mini reviews of games that should have tickled my pickle but instead stomped on my melon.

Dark Souls

5. Dark Souls (2011)

This franchise has been surprisingly popular over the last few years. It’s strange to see this phenomena grow and expand as I always avoided it because of the supposed difficult learning curve. It took the release of Dark Souls 2 to make me buy a cheap sale version of Dark Souls 1 to see what all the fuss was about. Long story short? Nothing much at all…

I found the learning curve not so much a matter of difficulty but more getting used to the tricks of the game. It takes strange pride in forcing you to bend to a particular way of playing which for some reason is lots and lots of rolling. Rather than being an empowered badass you seem more like a pill bug with ADHD. I could accept the roll first ask questions later approach to the game if it wasn’t for the fact the actual moments where you DO fight were not so… clunky.

Could I ‘git gud’ as internet memes suggests? Yes I could, in fact I did. But I was bored senseless. Sorry Dark Souls I just don’t git it.

Zelda


4. Zelda: The Wind Waker (2003)

I SO badly wanted to enjoy this game. I was one of those foolish people who decided to invest in Nintendo back during the PS2/Xbox days and felt bitterly disappointed because of it. YES I had Smash Bros and another Mario Kart but this was the Zelda game given to me, something I was bitterly disappointed in and not just because of the Nintendo 128 Zelda trailer.

It’s really difficult to feel the awesome power of Link when he shares the body structure of cartoon protagonist in Hey Arnold! I got past that after much game time but consistently I felt like there was a pandering to a younger generation. There is an underlying feeling that the creepier parts of the N64 classics caused a bit of a audience shift. Ya know… The ReDead from Ocarina of Time or the FRIGGIN MOOD from Majora’s Mas. These things still haunt me a little, but that’s what made the games GREAT. The fact they went back to form with Twilight Princess implies they understood the mistakes made and back peddled like any good company would.

Well I said that, then I remember Mr Tingle…

Braid

3. Braid (2009)

The Indie world is not immune to the “Should have liked it” quota. Braid was one of those games which really broke open the crate of developers coming fourth to fill that Steam sale space. The odd thing about choosing this was that I understood why people liked it. The artwork was beautiful, the gameplay was tried and tested but with a twist, the music was immersive and the reviews were overwhelmingly good. But for me it was all a little… meh.

I suppose my biggest issue was the game called itself “Forgiving yet challenging” which seemed a little oxymoronic. Let’s just apply that to any other scenario eh? “Cooking this roast dinner was both forgiving yet challenging”, “Making this bird house was forgiving yet challenging”. It doesn’t really make sense does it? This was my core concern with Braid and sadly, no matter how well received it maybe, I just didn’t want it anywhere near my steam library.

It also oozes hipster, which is funny because it was hipster before hipster! Hip-ception!

FFX


2. Final Fantasy X (2001)

I don’t know if it was just me getting older or if it was because I loved FFVII too much but I really struggled to get behind this game. When it first came out in 2001 the world was raving about it and how it changed the gaming industry. I went to my cousin’s house who was a HUGE Final Fantasy fan and he showed me the gameplay and I was… Disappointed in so many ways. What was even worse was all the things that disappointed me wow’ed the fans, I was dumbstruck.

First of all, I didn’t enjoy the voice acting. It’s not the actors that upset me… Okay it wasn’t JUST the actors that upset me but I had major issues with characters having audible voices at all. Do you have any idea how much entertainment came out of imaging Barrett’s voice from VII or Vivi’s in IX? No I cannot have such luxuries, instead I must endure an overly Hawaiian “Brah” every 20 blinking minutes!

Then there was the gameplay, it was linear. NO OPEN WORLD. Some people called this a herald of great days to come, I called it a clusterf*ck of a generational classic. I immersed myself in some of the most pointless mini games at a particular time to find out little hidden bits through each of its predecessors, hunting particular monster’s like the demented game hunter from Jumanji. But no such love in X, oh lord no, instead I must march to your tune. I’m a rebel dammit!

Don’t get me started on Blitzball or the Sphere Grid…

Fallout

1. Fallout (1997)

WAIT A SECOND! Hear me out before the pitch forks start-a-coming. I am referring to the original 1.0 version of the game. This may seem like nothing to you young hip kids today but back in 1997 we didn’t have the luxury of auto-updating patches which happen when we are not looking, most of the time when a game was released with any issues you just had bend over and receive it. Granted by 1997 there was some level of internet access, but not in my house. I lived in a tiny village stored away in the middle of nowhere. So for me I had 500 in game days to do EVERYTHING and that ticked me off.

I now know of course that there is a patch to upgrade the game so you have a seemingly endless amount of time to roam the wastelands and save Vault 13. But the honest truth is I never got the chance to do that because of the painful time limit enforced on me. So the subtle amusements, the entertaining choices and the questionable morals all kind of went south for me when I felt pushed and rushed. You wanna know how many hours I’ve spent on Fallout 3? Or New Vegas? Skyrim? Morrowind? Final Fantasy VII? Hell even Baldur’s Gate nailed the simple concept of fairly free movement and no time limit! The only game to get away with time restrictions was Majora’s Mask and even that put in a self-replicating cheat code. I can see WHY they did it when first released but it was such a balls up I’ve never had the desire to go back and try again. Worst of all there is so much lore given to you in all the other Fallout games that going back almost feels redundant. So the whimsy I could have had is scattered to the winds due to poor decisions and bad dial-up.

So I SHOULD have liked it if my parents hadn’t decided to bring me up in a village -shakes fist at air-

So there you have it! Mini reviews from what should have been iconic pieces in my gaming timeline. If you want a full review you need to ask nicely. Alternatively you could blackmail me, you have NO idea what fun skeletons are in my closet.

Images from Steam, Zeldawiki and Wikia,