Monday, May 08, 2017

Games You Love to Hate

Feel free to read that title as "The Video Games Val can't stand, and yet they still keep making them." I consider myself to be one of the few gamers that is open to testing out virtually anything that crosses my path. It doesn't matter what the genre is, how old the game may be, or the overall quality - if it's something I haven't played before, I'm going to play it. By trying new games, we're able to experience different stories, new content, and develop appreciation for the art. This is how we discover what games we enjoy, and what we're willing to spend money on. While friend recommendations help, they don't decide what I will ultimately enjoy. My love for RPG's came from the early years of Final Fantasy and Legend of Mana; games that my friends didn't know about.

I also like to try out multiple games so I can be well-versed on the topic. Having this gaming blog, being involved in the community and writing articles on multiple sites - it's important to have a plethora of knowledge to back up your work. Nothing irks me more then to see someone dismiss a game that they haven't played. We see this happen quite often with educational games and that odd Kindergarten to Middle school age where the games are trying to be fun and colorful. The Imagine series comes to mind as an example. Yes, they are trash. But a number of reviewers assume it is because it's dressed up in a way to not be taken seriously. I doubt that most game theorists or reviewers have ever tried those games. I have. So at least when I say it's trash, I can back it up (the gameplay is dumbed down so much, that it insults the intelligence of any 5 year old).

All of this is a fluffy way of saying that I have played a hell of a lot of games. And with it comes a smattering of genres and titles that sometimes cause me to cringe. I'll stand by my oath to play new games, but there are some topics (Sports) that will result in a wave of groans.

- One of my biggest "I hate this" games, for obvious reasons, is Call of Duty. I post about it a lot on The Geek Spot, and it's usually in a negative way. The franchise suffers from a severe lack of originality. It's repetitive nature and inability to bring new content to the forefront makes it near impossible for me to play these days. Anything Tom Clancy also falls into this category.

Fun fact: I use to really like CoD. No joke. I though the first and second games were fantastic. They came out at a time where the FPS genre needed an upgrade, and CoD provided a glimpse into the future of games that focused on historical combat. But with CoD 3, I felt lost. It's the same game with a new wrapping. CoD 3 didn't provide anything new, other then a graphical upgrade. You can argue that the addition of new weapons was new content, but if that's all we're going to get out of CoD, then why not make that a purchasable DLC and call it a day? Ever since then, CoD has been a constant drum in my ears for annoyance. A franchise with such potential and promise has been more focused on cashing in with the same game over, and over again. I am hoping that CoD: WW2 will finally break this yearly cycle of crappy content. It seems promising, and they are tackling new subjects that most games stay away from, such as the Holocaust. But I stopped buying into the craze years ago. For everyone 1 CoD fan, there's 1 of me raging about how crappy this game series has become.

- Destiny also makes the list as a game with so much promise and potential that fell flat. Every time I look at the game and see people play I think "that's pretty cool." It's the Halo vibe but with more RPG-MMO elements that allow you to be more involved in the atmosphere. The problem is the lack of content. When I pick up the controller to play, I feel like there's nothing to do. If it's not a bounty quest to kill X number of enemies, or a fetch quest, the only thing left to do is joyride and look at bland, repeating backgrounds. But the people that I know who play this game are die-hard fans. They don't care about the lack of story or the diminishing content. They see the game as an evolution in MMO's and they want more of it. For me, I'll stick to Final Fantasy XIV for my MMO fix.

- A game that seems to confuse people when I mention it as my "hates" is Bioshock: Infinite. This always results in a raise of an eyebrow, or two. I really enjoy the first game. I think it has some great design; it's dramatic and suspenseful without being too over the top in gore/horror. And the art is top notch, something that I enjoy reliving to this day. Infinite is a beautiful game to look at, but I take major issue with the character Elizabeth. For how active Little Sister was in the first game, Elizabeth is a glorified door opener that you are trying to rescue. She's not empowering. She doesn't bring interesting mechanics to the game. She's not even that helpful - she's just there to look pretty for you to save. I expected more out of a Bioshock game, so I was disappointed in this title. Again, there are a lot of people who really love this game. Infinite to me is like James Cameron's 'Avatar' film. Pretty to look at but not a lot of substance.

- Killzone is another series I hate, but I want to love it. The most common responses I get from fans is that the combat is high paced and efficient, while the graphics enhance the experience. What I see is a lot of grey and brown scenery and controls that feel flimsy. The lack of story is what turns me away from this game. How can I care about my comrades if there isn't a story to back me up?

- Another series I can't stand? Anything to do with the Rabbids that is outside of the Rayman core games. From a marketing standpoint, the Rabbids seems like a good choice for young gamers. They're quirky bunnies that like to cause mischief. Rayman Raving Rabbids for the Nintendo Wii is a fun party game for kids and adults, as you can contain the Rabbids behavior into small 10-20 minutes chunks that are easier to digest. When you have to spend hours with them, that's when they are aggravating. Like Minions, they don't know when to stop. They become loud, obnoxious, and unfunny. The Rabbids try too hard to get you to laugh all the time. With any good humor, you need to have pauses so the audience can rest. Let the jokes settle in so people can process it before you hit them with another. The Rabbids have too many zany gimmicks and pratfalls that it becomes a nuisance.

What are some games that you love to hate?

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