3 Great Gaming Ideas (That Produced Awful Games)
We all have one, that one game that you love, but you shouldn’t.
It’s controls might be awful, it’s graphics might look more at home on a free Iphone app than a console, the story line might be so convoluted that you sincerely don’t see WHY it is that you are trying to find 4 golden acorns, but you are going to do it. Know why? Because you love the game. You love the little things that you can get from the game that you can’t get anywhere else. That one little shred of originality that made you think “WOW, this game really had a good idea!” shortly before lying to your friends about what game you spent the last 3 days mastering.
So here it is for you, a quick list of awful games and the great ideas behind them that tripped at the 10 yard line….or the 90.
3. Dark Reboots
Seen in: Fairytale Fights
Nowadays every children’s story gets a darker movie reboot: Oz The Great And Powerful, Once Upon A Time, Alice in Wonderland. But what about games? Don’t you ever want to play through the world of a child’s fairy tale without the rose-colored goggles? That my friend is where Fairytale Fights won over the hearts of its players, because it kept the red goggles, but they were red because they were covered in blood…so much blood. To put it in perspective, the game had so much blood, you got an achievement for literally skating around in it, no joke, look it up. You could decapitate, impale, and chemically melt your foes all day! They had a Dynamic Slicing Engine built just for the game(because slicing was very important). And all the best characters could be played, Red riding hood, Snow white, and Jack (the bean kid) to name some. You could even fight with giant pieces of candy and play multiplayer with your friends!
Especially if they like terrible camera angles and repetitive combat! The Dungeon Crawler style top-down camera made traversing the timing intensive and trap-filled world a pain, and after you have tried all the weapons readily available to you the method by which you fought swarms of enemies never changes. no special moves or cool character exclusives make the way each character fights different, and after an hour of repetitive combat you still die from trying to platform from the worst perspective possible.
2. Make a stealth-based game ABLE to be played like a shooter
Seen in: Splinter Cell: Conviction
I may be shooting myself in the foot here, but as a long-standing Splinter Cell fan I can say that conviction was an entirely different game, and not entirely in a good way. In classic Splinter Cell, Sam Fisher cut his way through the back of tents, crawled along the underside of catwalks, and even dived under glaciers only to pop up from ice-holes like some stubbly-killing-machine version of whack-a-mole. Why did he do this? Because every Splinter Cell player knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that detection spelled almost certain death. Spending an hour trying to beat a level only to find that you had to turn the fountains on to obscure you swimming to the other side of a pool, all because the second Sam took out his pistol… the controls made your highly trained infiltrator as competent as a small child with a pop gun.
Conviction fixed that, now Sam really was good, he could mark 4 guys in the next room, walk in, and kill all of them so quickly that they never fired a shot. You could still sneak and pick your way through a level like the modern tech-ninja that you are, and still had too, but you also almost always have to break a few eggs…and by that I mean get into an open firefight with a few terrorists. This is what our stealthy hero needed, no more hiding in lockers for you! You can now take your first step into a room with two guys and have your second step be into a room with two corpses.
Conviction was too easy, and too direct. Classic Sam once had to use the thermal goggles to find out if a guy had a prosthetic leg, waited for lightning to blind snipers with night-vision goggles,and slid into an impossible-to-see 6-inch fence gap to avoid the bad-guys. In double agent you had to manage a million clandestine goals at a time, in Pandora Tomorrow you were swat turning and doing the splits in alleys to drop onto prey below. Not even an option now. Half the gadgets, little to none of the out-of-the-box thinking, and the direct gunplay controls are obviously not meant to be used as often as they are. It falls short of a tactical stealth game, and falls short of a shooter.
1. The Role Reversal
Seen in: Stubbs The Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse
This one is me. Nowadays zombies are overdone, and we are all tired of them. However because of the recent zombie craze that is still unaware its dead (ironically), zombies happen to be the one thing every gamer (and Daryl Dixon fangirl) knows to hate and shoot in the head. You don’t question anymore why or what, its just another zombie, another necromorph-wannabe in need of some high caliber loving. Stubbs The Zombie flips the table, and does it hard, now you are in the position of the love struck zombie salesman forced to fight against that prejudice, the gamer’s own prejudice. It’s the Freaky Friday of video games! You stagger about slowly and try to infect the same anti-zombie law enforcement you lined up outside Gamestop at midnight to play as last month. And you get to throw your entrails at people! The game was applauded for it’s voice acting and sound effects, and the story was, ironically, heart warming.
It was awesome….until you beat it, then you can never play it again. Stubbs The Zombie was painfully short, linear, and despite the light RPG elements, not very alterable. It was repetitive, and some of the abilities you got were just stupidly less effective than others, while other abilities (like the ability to possess people) were game-breakingly overpowered. You got your mouthful of awesome….but you only got it once, and you got the exact same mouthful of awesome as everyone else. Trying to replay it and get the same feeling is as futile and dissatisfying as trying to reuse a string of firecrackers.