Posted by: Tha Square | December 7, 2007

Budget Priced Games to Avoid

stinky games

Kym Worthy may have made a list of top ten violent video games to avoid this holiday season, but I’ve whipped up a list of games to avoid because they are…  not so fun. They’re the games that just haven’t been enjoyable. The ones we’ve held on hope for; the ones that people told us to avoid; the ones that we bought spontaneously only to find they were lamer than E.T. on steroids. These gems are still on shelves across the globe and the inevitable drops in prices are soon to follow. The holiday season is upon us and many shoppers out there are already having a hard time finding the goodies their wish lists’ desire. They’ll be doling out money left and right buying anything on sale they can get their hands on. However, there are a few games whose price tag may be too enticing for the uninformed holiday shopper to resist. Take a look at my top five budget priced games I’ve had the “pleasure” of playing that you, or your loved ones, may regret unwrapping this year.

Number 5Far Cry: Vengeance – $19.99

RecommendationsMedal of Honor Heroes 2 – $49.99, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption – $49.99

farcry.jpg

There’s nothing I hate more about games than one’s whose reputable title leads people on. Far Cry: Vengeance does just that. A combination of two previous titles in the series, Instincts and Evolution, Vengeance takes their successes and thoroughly buries them under a slew of mistakes. From blurry visuals to excessive glitches, Vengeance pretty much runs the gamut of letdowns. The graphics are nowhere near standard in today’s modern society, the computer players are some of the dimmest I’ve ever encountered, unhandled errors riddle the game, and the removal of significant game modes all leave me with an upturned nose and an overwhelming urge to scream.

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Enemies tend to blend in with the foliage making some rather hard to pin point. The drawback to camouflaging them so well is that the elements applied make them look like nothing; a big blob of colors in the form of a body just doesn’t look real. I’ve also seen hostiles barrel roll up a hill for no reason, been caught in rogue boxes and tree branches, and witnessed hostiles flop on the ground like a fish out of water after I had taken them out.

 It’s really too bad this game was addressed so lightly by the programmers. It’s got an average storyline, great controls, and a household name that almost any FPS fan will recognize. Any of those things alone can make or break a game’s lasting appeal. Even if all three are there, however, including them with bad graphics, boring opponents, or an overall underdeveloped environment is a sure fire way for your project to flop.  

Number 4Escape from Bug Island – $19.99

RecommendationsResident Evil 4 – $24.99, Manhunt 2 – $39.99

Bug Island

Basically, the game fails and fails hard because of two things: horrid controls and seriously weak enemies. There are a few other gripes including having to play through the game twice to actually beat the game and fog that literally does not go away until you use your flashlight (AKA the bug beacon). However, if it weren’t for the previously said problems, I don’t think Bug Island would make this list and probably would have gotten a much better reception from gamers across the globe.

 Though moving your character is touchy, it’s when you have to fend off attackers that you’ll notice the control problem. You stop in your tracks when you have to fight. So if a cannibalistic praying mantis is chasing you down for a quick bite or you’re trying to hit a hovering cockroach with a rock, you’ll be pulling off the maneuvers in a stationary position; this isn’t so good when you’re surrounded by other insects trying to eat you alive. You’ll also notice that most enemies only take two or three well placed hits to do in. One of the main bosses, a giant tarantula, can be killed almost instantly by throwing four or five bombs at it which you’ll find just minutes before the encounter.

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Again, it does have a very eccentric theme to it but beacause of the bad controls and several other disturbing incidents, this game bombs in a big way. However, I hope the make a new and improved sequel in years to come, Who knows, maybe the series will gain as much of a cult following as the Resident Evil franchise.

Number 3Alien Syndrome – $29.99

RecommendationsMarvel: Ultimate Alliance – $49.99, The Simpsons Game – $49.99

alien.jpg

Yet again, another great concept for a game goes down the drain. A nice mixture of RPG and FPS with a Sci-Fi twist is like every gamer geek’s wet dream. When a teraforming station quits communications, you, a tightly dressed female space commander, are sent in to investigate. Guess what? Alien infestation! Oh the humanity!

The problem in this game is the excessive respawn rates of the aliens. It’s such a profound problem I can’t help but assume it’s a glitch. It becomes so bad that the infestation simply does not stop in many parts.  Clear a room, more aliens spawn. Walk to a point where they’re off screen, more aliens spawn. It’s just annoying to say the least. Some rooms have chests to open and pick up items but the thing is it becomes rather hard to rummage through the contents when you’re holding back the onslaught of hostiles you’ve probably already taken out five seconds ago. Oh, and did I mention the camera is extremely aggravating to maneuver? Maybe the aliens infested the nunchuck too… stupid space aliens with their stupid… cameras…

aliensyndrome2.jpg

Syndrome does have a rather large list of armor and weapons to choose from. There are 16 different firearms, 10 melee weapons, and 8 sets of armor all of which range for 1 to 10 and will increase damage and protection amounts each level. Plus, there are bonus attributes like added agility or strength but after awhile, you get tired of having to swap out items.

 Really, the only way to not get ticked off at this game is to play with a friend. Trust me, getting into a fight over dropped items is a small price to pay to keep yourself from losing your mind. Add everything up with its weak visuals and button-masher friendly controls and you’ve got yourself another mind numbing port. Huzzah!

Number 2Game Party – $19.99

RecommendationsCarnival Games – $39.99, Rayman Raving Rabbids – $29.99

gameparty.jpg

This little game is a tough contender for the top spot on my list. Honestly, what were the developers thinking when they slapped this obvious excuse to make a quick buck together? Did they even consider not ripping their market off with piss-poor, rushed products? And another thing, what was Nintendo thinking when they allowed it onto their system? Yeah, its market down to an easy $20 but it should be marked down to “delayed” so they can add more content.

Whew, ok so now that I got that off my chest, let me actually tell you about the game. You can participate in a total of “over a half dozen” games! In other words, seven. Be dazzled by the likes of Air Hockey, Hoop Shot, Ping Cup, Shuffleboard, Skill Ball, Trivia, Darts and… oh wait… that’s it. To be fair, they all do control very well. Shuffleboard is well managed, Air Hockey is fun to play, and there are a lot of questions for Triva. The thing is, there are only seven games to play while its competitors are at least past the 30 mark. When I rented this game I asked myself “would I pay $20 to play seven games when I could pay $40 to play at least five times as many?” The answer was no. Really, this is why many “hardcore” gamers are upset with Nintendo; they allow the likes of Game Party onto their system.

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Yes, you’re spending half the price of Carnival Games on a title that only has a fifth the amount of games. That’s awesome. The games do control well but so do the minigames in Mario Party 8 and Rayman Raving Rabbids. If you can only spend $20 on a gift, just give them a Wii Points Card. You can get two to four full games for the same price. They’ll be ten times better too! 

Number 1Rapala Tournament Fishing – $29.99

RecommendationsFishing Master – $29.99

Rapala

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Rapala is the worst sell out on the Wii thus far. It was difficult to choose this title over the number 2 spot but the determining factor was the fact that Game Party actually controlled well and wasn’t riddled with glitches. Restricted environments and scarce fish populations only begin to define this dreadfully dull game; glitching gameplay and horrible controls only drive home the sour stench that is Rapala. So plug your nose and get ready to be fed a big plate of harsh fishing (virtual) reality.

The problems start from the moment you fire up the game. Often times the beginning menu doesn’t render correctly and you’ll see the character floating in midair in the modeling stance: arms straight out, legs spread. Though a seldom event such as this is easily forgiven, it doesn’t end there. Casting is incredibly difficult to perform. You can swing the remote harder than should ever be needed and it won’t go and sometimes casts will just drop off the side of the boat. Reeling in can only be done in two speeds; you can sit there and reel in so slow the lure gets stuck on the bottom or moderately slow in order for it to float but nothing to match the speed you can achieve in real life. The actual animations of the fish can blur or get stuck inside of rocks. I sat for at least five minutes trying to pull this one fish out of the side of an island. Oh how fun that was… Lures can get stuck on the top of the water immediately after casting out the line, there are only one or two species of fish per location, the amount of fish is miniscule, and the environments are tiny.

Rapala2

What topped the disappointment glass off for me was figuring out that you can simply pull the fish in by tilting the remote back. After all the sour animations, all the poor controls, all the teeth-grittingly tiny maps, figuring out you can just yank a fish into the boat was disgusting. At that point, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t think I’ve even popped that disc into my Wii since. If you’re considering buying a fishing game as a gift for someone or yourself, remember there isn’t much out there to choose from for the Wii. Fishing Master is a little better but the underwater view of the fish isn’t included and Hooked Real Motion Fishing is said to be just as bad as Rapala but I haven’t tried it out myself. If you have patience, just wait for Sega Bass Fishing to be ported over in 2008. It’s one of my favorite games on the Dreamcast and one of the best fishing simulators I’ve ever played. Hopefully, by the time it gets released, these fishing games will be nothing more than a distant memory.

There are many games on the Wii that should be avidly avoided (I’m looking at you Anubis 2 and Chicken Shoot) but hey, I don’t want to comment on games I haven’t had the chance to get a headache over. So please folks, take my advice and skip these five outings altogether; just leave their boxes on the shelves and move on. Take a second to rethink your spontaneous purchases and ask a salesperson about their opinion on the game you’re considering picking up. It’s likely the game sitting right next to it is at least ten times better. Don’t submit yourself, family, or friends to these abysmal game

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Responses

  1. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

  2. Just curious, what don’t you agree with? I really did have high hopes for all these games especially Bug Island.

  3. […] that they’ll be creating a sequel to Game Party. If anyone remembers, this was one of the titles to steer clear of in one of our features. Hopfully, for the sake of Wii gamers everywhere, they’ll at least […]

  4. […] a bad rap and haven’t sold nearly as well as they should have. Hell, half of the titles in “Games to Avoid 1 & 2” have sold better than these gems! These games have slipped too far under the radar for […]

  5. […] a bad rap and haven’t sold nearly as well as they should have. Hell, half of the titles in “Games to Avoid 1 & 2” have sold better than them! These games have slipped too far under the radar for anyone […]


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