Editor's note: Cameron's article is a fun exercise that should be taken lightly. I hate Gears of Wars. While it's technically proficient, I think it's repetitive and unnecessarily violent — just had to get that out there. What dregs from the midden heap got on your good side, and which classics left you cold? -James
It's happened to all of us. A major release hits shelves, we wait in line excitedly to pick up our copy, speed home to get it in the console as quickly as possible, and find ourselves completely unimpressed. It's not that all those gushing critics were wrong; it's just that we aren't feeling it the way they did.
Or maybe it's the other way around. We pick up a game on a lark — probably out of a discount bin. Though we only expect to get a couple of hours of laughs out of it, ten hours later, we still can't put it down. Just to be sure we aren't crazy, we check Metacritic, and find out that reviews did in fact savage the game. Somehow only we (and maybe the developers) managed to find something to like about it….
These aren't things that are easy to admit to — especially not on the Internet, where rejection of accepted wisdom tends to go over rather poorly. But we should challenge majority opinion regularly, and this is a fun way to do it. Pick a couple of games people commonly recognize as good — titles that left you cold. Next, select a couple you know are truly bad but charmed you anyway. These aren't underappreciated gems or overrated disappointments. These are games you love or hate in spite of your own better judgment. Feel free to leave your choices in the comments. Here are mine:
Good Games I Hate
Super Mario Galaxy: I've never heard anyone say a bad word about Super Mario Galaxy, but for my money, it's the least enjoyable of the main series Mario games. I can't really say why — though I suspect my rabid love of Super Mario Sunshine influenced my opinion. Galaxy does everything a Mario game ought to do — and looks great doing it — but I just couldn't bring myself to care about it. Two hours in, I turned the game off in boredom and sadness and never looked back.
Uncharted 2: Hate is a little harsh to describe my feelings for Uncharted 2 because I actually started off liking it. It looks beautiful, and the early levels are pretty fun. But Nathan Drake's appeal was lost on me, and I felt like the level design got stale about half way through. I didn't hate Uncharted 2 from the start, but I ended up feeling like it was an above average game that failed to appeal to me at almost every turn.
Bad Games I Love
Strider: "Wait," you may be thinking, "Strider is a great game!" Yes, the arcade and Genesis versions are awesome. But I'm talking about the NES version, which sought to turn Strider into an action RPG and came up with a mess of slowdown and flicker. Add to that level designs that look like outtakes from Power Blade and a baffling English localization, and you have what you can only charitably call a failed experiment. Yet I still love it — even more so than the beautiful arcade original. If I could choose one game from the 8-bit era to be remade on a modern console, this would probably be it.
Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity: While my opinion of Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity was better than that of the average critic, I still recognize its flaws. Simplistic level design and shoddy controls keep it from reaching its full potential. But it reminded me just enough of the races from SSX 3 that I found a place for it in my heart. It's definitely not a great game, but it is good for a couple of hours of mindless fun, and sometimes that's all you need.
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