Monday, March 4, 2013

6 Popular Games I Don't Really Like

They aren't necessarily bad games, but for one reason or another I wasn't able to enjoy these popular games as much as everyone else seems to. I look forward to reading the rage of the fans of these games in the comments.

Madden (and other sports games)
When it comes to sports games, a lot of people say "Why don't you just go outside and play the actual sport?". That's a dumb argument. Actually playing a sport and playing the video game version of a sport are entirely different experiences and can be fun in their own ways. Even so, the reason I don't tend to like sports game is simple: I just don't care about sports. I know that playing a game is different than watching a sport on TV, but it still looks like sports on TV and that turns me off from it. Perhaps it's the years of collecting games and the short time I worked at EB Games, but the sight of those yearly iterations of popular sports titles taking up shelf space, essentially worthless, games you can't pay someone to take from you, with boring box art, and a fanbase easily identifiable in all the wrong ways... ...where was I going with this? 

Oh! Anyway, they evoke negative emotions deep within my soul that makes me want to keep them far away from my other, good games. Sure, it might not be the best reasoning, but I definitely have an aversion to sports games.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
So... like... everyone was playing this game right? Before they moved on to Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops and Black Ops 2. Well, I picked it up from the local game store for like ten bucks and it's alright I guess. You shoot people, run around... the usual. The single player story seems to jump from one thing to the next just to get you into the different maps the developers wanted to show off. I was surprised to find that there was a targeting button so even noobs like me could aim. But the main draw of this is online multiplayer so I tried that out too. It's nice, nothing special. This perk system I heard so much about though seems more like a bad thing to me. While I appreciate some kind of progression and unlockables for playing online, it feels more like a system that allows the good players to be even better because they have weapons and abilities that you don't. In a multiplayer game, everyone should be on a level playing field and the victor should be the one with the most skill, not just the one who has the better perks. Maybe the perks are more balanced they first appeared, but I think I'd prefer to play a game where everyone has the same tools at their disposal and multiplayer unlockables are limited to aesthetic changes like titles, costumes, and hats.

Metal Gear Solid
Let me start by saying that I love Zelda: The Wind Waker. Now let me explain why I never start new files in it: that freaking stealth part in Forsaken Fortress!! It's not particularly hard, but it's darn annoying. Stealth segments in general tend to tick me off. They slow down the game while you wait for enemies to walk around their set paths to just the right positions, which makes getting caught and starting over all the more frustrating. Admittedly, I didn't play too much of Metal Gear Solid. The story seemed cool and there was some action, but I found the controls to be awkward and the stealth to be not much more fun than in any other game. I can't say that the series is bad, but unfortunately it's not my cup of tea. I believe Han Solo said it best, "I'd prefer a straight fight to all this sneaking around."

Angry Birds
To be honest, my dislike for Angry Birds doesn't really come from the game itself, but from its undeserved popularity. The game is ok, but it's no more special than any of the thousands of free flash games online and certainly not any better than other indie games or big name games. It's really just a better branded version of Crush the Castle. I'm not sure how Angry Birds got so ridiculously popular, but my guess is that it has something to do with iOS's failure to be the viable gaming platform that it likes to pretend it is, leaving this as one of the only games worth getting. Apple's marketing strategy seems to have worked quite well for itself and for the developers of Angry Birds; take away the user's ability to use Flash, and you take away their free online games so you can charge them for the same things in a different package. With so many people owning Apple products (for what reason, only God knows) and buying one of the only half decent games for it, it grew in popularity, and that popularity snowballed into more popularity. Now there's every kind of Angry Birds merchandise imaginable. Kudos to the developers, but I can't deny that I'm a bit peeved that such an asinine game got more famous than the hundreds of other, better flash games and full release games.

Kingdom Hearts
Man, when I got my PS2, I was pretty hyped to play Kingdom Hearts; everyone seemed to love this game. And when I started, I wasn't disappointed. The story was intriguing and full of mystery, the characters were interesting, there was that awesome opening with the song by Utada Hikaru; it was pretty awesome. And then... Disney characters intruded into this wonderful game world. I knew, of course, that there would be Disney characters before I started, and it's not that I dislike Disney characters, but I already knew them. Their stories were the same, but with Heartless somehow in cahoots with the usual antagonist. The characters were the same, with nothing new to offer. And most importantly, they were delaying me from finding out more about the story I had been drawn in by in the first place. Still, I continued to play. Everyone loves Kingdom Hearts after all, so it must get better, right? I held out hope for an interesting progression of the story, even as the gameplay devolved into repetitive button mashing and retreating back to heal. I held out hope for two full games, but the sparsely distributed bits of plot only served to make everything more nonsensical. By the end of Kingdom Hearts 2, I was sure that the writers were just taping together scraps from failed anime plots and leaving the mess for someone else to clean up in another game. The merely average gameplay had little backing it up, and so I decided that I would spend no further time on the series.

Minecraft
I think my biggest beef with Minecraft is its lack of a real goal. Sure, there's "The End" now, but trying to get there is more of a chore than fun and it still doesn't feel like a purposeful goal. You could argue that there's no point in playing any game if you wanted to be technical, but the impermance of any sort of "progress" in Minecraft makes it feel especially pointless to me. You can try for diamond tools, but they'll degrade and break eventually; you can build castles, but they can be destroyed by creepers. In a nutshell, the whole game is putting yourself through varying degrees of hassle just so you can get different colored blocks. Degrading tools, enemies, and hunger all just make the pointless task of building your dream home take even longer. Survival isn't that much of a challenge, and simply surviving as long as you can isn't a thrilling achievement. If your goal is building, you may as well play in create mode and give yourself all the blocks from the start. But if you're going to do that, why not just build something in a 3D modeling program or another game that has more options available?

Basically, Minecraft is just like real life: you spend your days slaving away at monotonous tasks so you can build your meaningless dream home and try to survive comfortably for as long as possible until you eventually die. The only difference is that in Minecraft, you can respawn when you die. I can't decide if that makes it more or less pointless than real life.


So, think I'm full of crap? Want to rant about a popular game that you don't like? Let me hear about it in the comments.

4 comments:

  1. I would have to agree with all of these except MW2. That was probably one of my favorite shooters. I especially don't understand Minecraft. My one question is, why play it?

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  2. I agree with all but Minecraft. I know, right? No surprise there. :p

    Great blog though mate. :)

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  3. I was never a fan of sports games for the longest time, took some getting used but i can find fun in them

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  4. "The only difference is that in Minecraft, you can respawn when you die. I can't decide if that makes it more or less pointless than real life"

    Agreed

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