Here we are: the crud of the crop, the lowest of the low. The games featured on this list are the ones that I had the absolute least fun with; the ones which, after playing, led me to take a cold 10 minute shower with twenty bars of soap to wash off their pure bile. Hyperbole is fun. Let’s get to the list.
What a way to start 2011 off, eh? How I ended up with this game is a funny story: I was attending an overnight party at my friend’s house, and while everyone else was getting drunk, my friend, knowing I’m not really into that, kindly let me sit inside the house and play some 360 games while everyone else was acting roudy. I was playing Mafia 2 and Crysis 2 at that point, and I liked them enough to ask him whether I could borrow one of the games. He said, “No, you can have Mindjack for keeps instead.”
Now, by this point, I had heard it was pretty bad and I was masochistic enough to put it to the test. I was not disappointed/pleased.
Whilst not quite as vile as everyone put it, no game has sapped my willpower quite as much as Mindjack’s 20 minutes I gave it. Everything about the gameplay just seems so insipid that I have to wonder whether or not it was deliberate. Utterly horrible in just about every way.
The 3rd Birthday
You might notice that this also popped up on my Most Disappointing list. See, this is a sequel of sorts to Parasite Eve 2, also known as my favourite game of all time…though I couldn’t tell you why. Even so, its qualities are easier to find than in this shoddy PSP exclusive. The first level is actually a really good introduction, prividing a nice body-swapping feature that provides most of the game’s appeal…which doesn’t last long and sson gives way to frustrating gameplay, repetitive level design and a heroine on a gian t comedown from being an awe-inspiring role model, now reduced to a timiid woman incapable of anything without support. Offensive? Don’t blame me. I didn’t design the game.
Also, here’s a bit of interesting brain food; Square published both this and Mindjack this year. Hmm…
Call of Juarez: The Cartel
Like Mindjack, the gameplay is just so woefully insipid that it’s hard to imagine that Techland looked at the final product when they were finished and said, “This is absolutely fit for release to the public” with a straight face. I was probably the only person who thinks that going from the wild West into modern times whilst still having thematical similarities between the two was a good idea, but man did they screw up royally. Simply abysmal.
You guys say, “This is just filler for the list, lowest common demoniator stuff. It wasn’t that bad.” Ehh…yes and no.
The first part, which took place in the exterior, tropical parts of the island, was absolutely fine. In fact, it was good. Whilst a bit repetitive and underdeveloped, there’s something about jabbing a knife into a walking dead’s face that never loses its panache. Unfortunately, when you get to the city, the problems stack up a bit.
Even within the confines of a game where you can’t really die, Dead Island just gets too hard, throwing tons of both regular and special zombies in the way simply to pad out the journey. Glitches abound; I’m sure you’ve all seen many funny YouTube videos where animations go awry. And the game simply gets way too repetitive and fetch-questy as it goes on, with nothing to drive you on. It’s probably the best game on this list, but man, I still tore my hair out playing this.
Yep, this guy’s in both one of the best and one of the worst games this year. 3DS ports can be done right. I, after all, love Ocarina and Starfox 64 3D. This, however, was sad. The 3D worked half of the time, if at all, causing major problems if the camera clipped a wall or cliffside as it often did. The control nub was strangely sluggish, and the graphics just look old now. Maybe part of it’s the death of nostalgia as well. After all, Rayman 2 relied more on its charm and variety than its somewhat shoddy mechanics, and maybe 10 years just made that all too revealing. But dammit, this one hurt. A lot. It made me sad.
Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights
Aka, Professor Layton and the Rip-Off That Misses The Point. Whilst I can’t really comment on the story fairly (again), the game tries to do everything at once…and fails all of them. The stealth/environment puzzle sections are too imprecise to be fair, the puzzles, a far cry from Layton’s brilliant logic puzzles, are standard slide/crossword/sleuth fare and the RPG battle system…well, more power to those who can figure it out. Seriously, there’s at least one more Layton game on the DS to be translated. Can’t you guys hold out for that?
Note that I didn’t include movie tie-ins, because those are too obvious. Nor did I include Brink, because I didn’t play it. I didn’t include Rage, because I feel the console version’s at least basic fun, but the PC version might be worthy of a spot. But what do you guys think?