Inspired by our earlier article where we discussed popular games we felt didn’t quite live up to their hype, this week the Non-Fiction Gaming crew are looking at the opposite end of the spectrum.
Today we discuss video games that received little to no love, but we feel deserve some appreciation and a moment in the spotlight.
Here are the unpopular games that didn’t get enough credit or are just overlooked for some reason.
Clayfighter 63 1/3
Clayfighter 63 1/3 sits at about a 48% score on Gamerankings. Back in the late 90s, one magazine gave it a score as low as 8%. Essentially the game is a satiric mash-up of popular fighting franchises (Killer Instinct, Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat). It may have been panned by critics but Lord help me I love it.
Honestly, Clayfighter 63 1/3 isn’t the best game in the world. The mechanics can be clunky but they do the job. Interplay correctly struck the balance between comedy and gameplay. Clayfighter’s announcer may lack the droll wit of GLaDOS but there is something charming about his denouncement of your combo as a “Little Girly Combo.”
Funny when I was younger, Clayfighter still holds a special place in my heart. Its comedy may be blunt and lack the trademark silliness of Earthworm Jim’s surreal humour; but the one-liners are a glory in themselves. Guess I’m going to have to have a look on the Wii U eShop to see if Call of Putty is there.
This game is more of a cult classic than anything else, but I loved Killer 7. Many other players disliked the game for its confusing storyline and equally as confusing controls, but I managed to enjoy both.
While the story was rather trippy and surreal, I enjoyed trying to put the puzzle pieces together and coming up with my own theories to how Harman Smith’s different personalities actually worked. Even trying to figure out what they were trying to accomplish seemed intriguing to me. I spent quite a bit of time searching for clues to understand the plot more.
I’ll admit the controls did take some time to get used to, but once I got them down combat was a blast. Also, improving each assassin’s skill set opened some pretty cool skills and new weapons which kept the game appealing even after I finished the game.
Transformers and Call of Duty
I’m a Transformers fanboy. I always have been and probably always will be, and not even Michael Bay can put me off.
Admittedly the Transformers video games have been a mixed bag, but even so I’m biased as my favorites are Transformers: Beast Wars for the PS1 and the recent War for/Fall of Cybertron. The latter has received much more praise then the first, but for me the excitement of playing the game of my favourite childhood TV show was enough to make a 6 year old me pass over any faults that the game had, however I wish that they had included the original cast when doing the voice recording.
Despite the relatively short completion times on most of the Transformers games, the action more than makes up for it and the new Escalation mode adds an extra few hours onto the games’ life, well worth a purchase (any of them) if you like Megatron as much as me.
Call of Duty is a funny one. It’s a game that fans seem to love to hate and claim that the previous is always better than the current. In my opinion the game is advancing technically and, while I have my own preferences, I think that it is still the best FPS multiplayer game out there. Every game in the series has a certain time period and with it an action packed story, as it tries to stay close to realism whilst being fun to play.
Personally I think that Advanced Warfare will be worth the risk of changing up the status quo a bit.
I also really enjoyed Dead Island and thought that it was a really fun game to play with friends, although the trailer lied to everyone.
My first experience with this particular game was when I acquired a demo disc which had many games, screenshots and videos packed into it. This was a game that you either loved what for what it was trying to do or you hated. It is the only game of its kind called Shenmue 2, the sequel to Shenmue released on the Dreamcast.
The creator of the game, whom spawned many arcade classics during the 80s such as Space Harrier, Out run and After Burner is Japanese game designer Yu Suzuki. After working on one of the first 3D fighting games (Virtua Fighter) at Sega, he saw potential for the freedom of interactivity in a 3D environment, and went on to create the two Shenmue games (we fans are still waiting for the 3rd installment).
Its genre was called F.R.E.E. (Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment) and the gameplay was nonlinear, coupled with some role-playing elements and a cliché storyline about revenge. You follow 18 year old Ryo Hazuki out for revenge on the man who killed his father, pursuing the antagonist and unravelling the mystery behind this whole debacle and why this fate had fallen on him. On his journey he’ll meets a variety of colourful characters.
I sunk countless hours into that short demo, especially loving the music from the game (especially the Ryo’s Journal), the exploration of Hong Kong (however limited it may have been), the day to night cycles and weather. As a kid, it felt like real life with NPCs flooded the streets that you could interact with and I found myself loving them and their bad voice acting.
I eventually bought and finished Shenmue 2 but it was only last year that I finished the original Shenmue.
A lot of Shenmue 2‘s lessons stuck with me but not many people understood the novelty of even the minute things like; examining a mandarin, getting a drink from a vending machine or rifling through a room in which you could tell a lot about the person that lived there. This game has a lot of great moment and harbours memories for me so I do encourage people to play it.
Go anywhere online and everyone will tell you that Bioshock 2 is a terrible title and should never have been made. This strikes me as a little bit odd since from just a gameplay perspective, it is better than the first Bioshock. It has better plasmids which you can now combine, more interesting weaponry and shooting mechanics, and it got rid of the freaking hacking mini-game and replaced it with something much more functional. It even made the moral choices throughout the game have a much bigger impact on which of the endings you got. So what is the problem?
The most legitimate complaint seems to be that the story of Bioshock 2 is inferior. This is an unfair criticism in my opinion, considering that Bioshock has one of the best stories and setting out of any video game ever. That’s without even mentioning Sander Cohen and Andrew Ryan, two of the most interesting and charismatic villains ever written.
That’s some pretty stiff competition for Bioshock 2 to be compared to, so of course is going to look far worse. It doesn’t mean the story or the characters are bad, just not as good.
Now while I agree that the game can feel like an unnecessary addition to an already great story, Bioshock 2 was still good and does not deserve the huge levels of hate it receives online.
What about you, dear reader? Are there any games you felt received far more hate than they deserved? Let us know in the comments!
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