Think you know games? Think you can rattle off some of the best games ever made? Well so did I, or at least until I thought about it. Turns out I’m nothing but a pinhead and everything I know is more wrong than a transsexual, hermaphrodite walrus getting down to some Onanism while a Grandmother sits in the same room knitting it a scarf. Yes, all those “classic” games are nothing more than over hyped, over priced fugazis, made by shrivelled-pea-sized hearted swine and whores. Here’s what I think are just a handful of the most overrated games of all time, which have been shoved down our throats by liars and frauds who lurk around publishers marketing offices with cold dead eyes.
5. Star Wars; The Force Unleashed
Lets face it, its been a long while since anything good in the Star Wars franchise has been brought blinking and screaming into the daylight and this title was just another excuse for George Lucas to restock his toilet paper dispenser with fifty dollar bills to wipe his fat, haemorrhoid infested, money grabbing arse on. For anyone of a certain age the opening of anything Star Wars, with its scrolling golden text and awe inspiring music, still makes your heart rattle around your chest like an epileptic on a pogo stick made out of strobe lights, when I lashed this one into the drive it was no different, but now I’m an old git and have become jaded by just about everything I knew not to trust these childish hopes and expectation. For the first few minutes of the game I actually thought this might be alright after all, strutting along as Darth Vader and cleaving down all and sundry with a Lightsaber, then as you’d expect it all goes horribly wrong with the introduction of the Sith Lord’s secret apprentice. Without a shadow of a doubt said apprentice is one of the most punchable characters you will ever come across in any game, the cocky little upstart reminded me of what would happen if the fifteen year old boys that plague us on forums and in online gaming were ever to get superpowers. The game itself is nothing more than Crash Bandicoot dumped into the Star Wars universe, with the typical platform path based linear snore-fest play style, which is only broken up by one hitting a few Stormtroopers or puerile finishing move combos on an AT-ST or two. What was the real disappointment was even in a title which billed you as apprentice to Lord Vader, for some reason the quasi morality of the franchise rears it ugly one eyed head introducing a love interest and making your character wonder if all this Jedi assassination hootspa is justified, when all we really wanted to do was to hurl Yoda and his chums out of an airlock.
4. Black and White
For some unknown reason this pile of offal from Peter Molyneux is considered an all time classic. Lets start the argument where it starts, if your going to make me a God you’d better let me behave like one and despite of everything that Lionhead promised us in the run up to the release of Black and White, we didn’t get that pleasure. What we did get instead of an Omnipotent power trip is essentially a standard level hopping game, with lands generically copied and used time and time again. Never mind, though at least I’m a God right? You’re created after a group of villages fall to their knees and cry to the heavens after a child is in danger of become a light snack for a group of sharks, so as any newly born Deity you have to perform a miracle or two, in this case picking up the would-be sharks brunch and putting him back on dry land. All of which is a good start, but maybe your like me and if you found out you were a God you’d be an Old Testament type of God, having a beardy bloke cut off the foreskin of his son with a sharp brick, having someone build a fecking big boat and go wondering around looking for two zebras and turning women into pillars of salt, you know just for kicks. The closest you get to this type of biblical japery is picking up a villager and throwing them as far as you can, as you can imagine the fun in doing this only lasts awhile. This for me was the major failing of Black and White, despite being a God your interaction with your world and the effect you have upon it is very limited and to fill in this gaping chasm the designers have included one of the weakest storylines ever seen in a game. With a poor control system, weak story and lazy camera work this was a game which didn’t know whether it was an RTS or a Combat Sim.
3. The Sims 3
Where to begin? The latest incarnation of the dollhouse simulator has made it into this list rather than the first two games because, if anything, it was a step down in many ways from the quality and innervations people had seen in the series thus far. As well as being graphically shoddy, hampered by jerky camera movements and regular crashing, EA fails to deliver on its promises, including “Open Neighbourhoods,” which doesn’t work, as the community buildings are to few and far between plus the sheer bloody laziness of not designing the interiors of buildings, allowing you to see what your characters are doing when they go to a restaurant or bookshop. Even the “New Create A Sim” wasn’t all it cracked up to be, the ability to add new clothing to your Sims wardrobe by going to the an in game store to purchase new items with Simoleans as you had once been able to in previous games, has now been removed, if anything Sims 3 managed to narrow the scope of what you could do rather than expand upon it. Items are also a massive bugbear, if you so choose to partner up with another Sim and “Woowhoo” it up a treat in an effort to produce a Bambino and then once the offspring has arrived you have got to leave the house you either have to get babysitter in or your stuck inside for three Sim based days until it grows from a newborn into a toddler. Try and leave without doing so and your character will just dump the sprog on the floor and the next thing you know Social Services are banging at the door and treating you like the mother of Shannon Matthews, was it beyond the means or wit of the Dev’s to come up with a Pram or Pushchair? Its not just the lack of “sensible” everyday items though, EA like more and more companies are squeezing the gamer for every single penny. No matter how long you’ve been gaming for there has always been expansion packs to purchase, that I don’t have a problem, but when it comes down to having to purchase individual items for hard earned cash which should have been included in the core game, it quite frankly takes the piss. More so than any other game on the market Sims 3 shows the cold hard attitude that companies are developing towards bleeding us dry. You might as well go out and buy a real dollhouse from the good people at Tomy or Mattel.
2. Little Big Planet
If I see one more hack write a piece on how this title was “revolutionary” I swear I’ll start taking out eyes with a blunt stick. LBP is only revolutionary if you think taking an idea that has certainly to my knowledge been knocking about with releases such as S.E.U.C.K. all the way back on the C64. No, there is nothing new here, what you have here is nothing more than an exercise in selling a physics testing engine as a game and somehow Media Molecule pulled it off. In this side scrolling plat-former you jump, swing and run your (Ball)Sack Boy through levels designed by other player, the problem is that ninety nine out of one hundred of these levels are about as pretty or as useful as an equine abortion, for if the gamers designing these levels had an ounce of skill they would not be working in a supermarket cleaning up broken eggs off of the floor of isle 6, but rather sitting with a copy of Maya and understanding terms like Pipeline Integration. We’re also told that this type of game gives us the chance to be “creative,” horseshit, horseshit I tell you, it doesn’t unless your idea of being creative is putting “krazy” pictures of yourself, friends, family and/or pets into a level. With “floaty” controls and a level editor which does not have enough scope for talented level designers to get their teeth into, LBP is merely a shadow of what it could have been.
1. Halo: Combat Evolved
If I’ve said it once I must have said it a thousand times, this is the golden age of gaming we’re living in and in twenty or thirty years time we’ll all look back and recognise that to have been the case. I really believe that, I do, it will be looked back upon like the Hollywood movie industry from the end of the 1920’s to the beginning of the 1960’s, so all those people who roll their eyes and snigger at you because you play games, will have faces as red as a baboons rear end in the years to come, as the world which we call gaming continues to grow in strength and size. There will of course be titles which will stand forever as classics, just like in the film industry, but I’m afraid to say I don’t think Halo (or any of the following games in the series) deservers to be near that type of list. Now, I haven’t chosen Halo as my most overrated game of all time just to be a contrarian, nor have I chosen it because it is starting to look dated, I genially believed all the way back in 2001, as I still do now, that this was the most over praised game ever to be released. This was the title that sold millions upon millions of Xbox consoles and had reviewers, gamers and shop assistance world wide, falling over themselves, gushing about how fantastic a release this was, for me however, it was more like the greatest ever bit of marketing management to be pulled off by any design or publishing company and here is why. Graphically Halo was, well, kind of average, maybe not compared to games that had been released on the consoles that had gone before, but as a PC gamer with a good rig this really wasn’t anything mind blowing and the further you went into the game you began to notice just how much of the textures and scenery had been duplicated on mass. This can also be said of the gameplay itself with its run from point A to point B while shooting everything in sight, well lets face it we’d been doing that since the days of Wolfenstein 3D which had been released nearly over a decade earlier, this added to the fact that halfway through the designers at Bungie seemed to have gotten bored and decided to have us play the same levels as before, but this time backwards. With a pretty bog standard storyline, a player character with about as much charisma as television talent contest “star” and twice as clichéd, if Halo evolved the FPS it only managed the equivalent of turning a chimp into with slightly different chimp, this was certainly no Missing Link.
Reaper: I enjoyed a few of theses games when they came out and quite liked them, so when I first saw the titles I was like - ‘WTF’? After reading why, I found myself nodding in agreement with just about all of it. I suppose one game that I got caught into the hype of was ‘Gears of War’ – a good game and very enjoyable but worth the hype it received at launch? I Don’t think so Mr Cliffy B! Then there are excellent games that receive little or no hype, like one of my all time favourites, the ‘Myth (series)‘ – that game was so good that if it had been a chick Id have locked her in the basement and let no one else near her… yes, my therapy is going well. But seriously, maybe that’s why we enjoy under hyped games more, no preconceived ideas… perhaps?! But hey, the ‘Hype’ can be fun too… Right?
Deadman:It’s all about the hype!
In the blink of an eye you can go from not knowing anything about a game to being the biggest fan boy ever. If you have been watching the game for a while, the hype puts your expectation levels through the roof, to the point you can’t stand it anymore! And that, I think is all part of the excitement.
I agree with majority of your list, I can’t agree with you on Halo!(master chief is looking at me right now!).
There are a some more titles that can be added to the list as highly overrated – all the fable’s, the need for speed series and GTA IV, to name but a few…