Entertainment

Scrapbook – Games to Avoid

There are so many games available to us today that we really are spoilt for choice. From shooters to MMOs, puzzle games to party games, gaming really is an activity where there’s something for everyone. But of course, not all of these are masterpieces, and some… well, some are just downright awful. In the hope of sparing a few unknowing gamers a fate of playing something less than desired, we here at Impact got together to list the main games to avoid.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

With the most recent release of Mortal Kombat X, NetherRealm Studios has cemented itself as one of the best combat game developers to date. Both of its entries into the Mortal Kombat franchise have been critical darlings, mastering the over-the-top action that the series is renowned for and delivering an impressive roster of characters.

The developer has also found success in the super-hero genre, with Injustice: Gods Among Us and Injustice 2 having also received much critical acclaim since release. It seems that today in gaming we are spoiled for choice.

Let’s turn the clocks back to 2008…

Before the release of the above titles, the prospect of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe proved exciting to say the least. How could it not? Fans would finally see Batman and Superman duke it out in a fighting game. Violently. Not to mention the revival of Mortal Kombat’s fatalities for the seventh generation of consoles. Damn. This was a game I needed to buy.

And boy did I regret it.

“Even Batman was a bore to play as. Batman!”

Instead of the epic action promised, I was met with a lukewarm run-of-the-mill fighter that skimped out on all of the best bits the Mortal Kombat universe had to offer. Rather than the bone-crushing action the series was known for, I was treated to watered-down combat and fatalities completely lacking in creativity. Even Batman was a bore to play as. Batman! Months’ worth of pocket money spent on a fighting game with only twenty playable characters! Are you kidding me?!

If someone asked me of my greatest disappointment in life I’d show them this game. Well, maybe not. But it’s close. Very close.

Ibrahim Lakhanpal

Just Cause 3

Just Cause 3 is a tragedy of potential, a game grounded in soulless action that starts off vigorously entertaining before excitement turns to monotony and the game’s appeal plummets like an anvil.

When you see past the mild allure of a grapple-hooking wing-suiting indestructible super-spy, you realise that this is a game devoid of layers that had the capacity for endless fun but instead bathes itself in the remains of what could have been.

Frequently branded as GTA on steroids, Just Cause 3 takes only the negative aspects of such a metaphor, as it exists as an endless stream of tiresome chaos that neither attempts to challenge the majesty of GTA’s character and storytelling, nor the genuine enjoyment felt in online multiplayer.

Just Cause 3’s fatal flaw resides in this lack of multiplayer – having such a system in place may have given players the platform to enjoy these pointless bombastic explosions, doing something to extend the longevity of a game that has no replayability value.

The Just Cause franchise made its name from the size of its map, but this has only negative effects here, for the game world is a worthless wasteland that dares to do nothing innovative, instead seemingly emphasising the sparseness of a landscape taken up overwhelmingly by trees and ocean. As great as the graphics are, no one cares when there is no challenge. I find nothing engaging when my character can fall from thirty-thousand feet and freefall straight into the ground, and stand up seconds later.

For a game where you should be utilizing the myriad of options available to you to skillfully and thoughtfully counter any incoming threat, you find yourself cycling through your myriad of options simply out of sheer boredom. There is no challenge. There is no depth. And there is, I fear, no hope, for the upcoming sequel.

Joe Paternoster

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Take away the six-polygon faces (‘PS1 Hagrid’ is now what the youth call a ‘meme’), toddler-monkey-pilot flight controls and arse-on-backwards platforming, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for the Playstation might have been good, says you, a certified fool.

To get a hundred percent, you have to collect all of the Every Flavour Beans in the game.

Right.

Sometimes there’ll be platforms involved, sometimes they’ll move. Sometimes you’ll be timed.

Fair enough.

No jump button.

What?

I was going for the hundred, because you get wee rewards from Fred and George behind portraits. Don’t tell me you have anything better to do. Teensy bit of nostalgia involvement, because I’m pathetic. God told me to.

I missed one in the dungeons, before all the Philosopher’s Stone / Voldemort carry on. You’re high up collecting beans and then you’re dropping down to get some. The game map is in segments, each type of bean crops up in a segment, and once you progress, you can’t go back.

Arbitrary time limits in games (Dead Rising aside, I suppose) should be punishable by garden strimmer castration. Locking out content in a game based on whether you do something at some predetermined point, similar.

“I don’t need that worry of not being good enough, I get that in spades getting coursework marked”

You can still finish the game without that bean, but when you pause it tells you how many beans you have and how many short you are. I don’t need that worry of not being good enough, I get that in spades getting coursework marked.

It drives that inadequacy.

It drives me to kill.

So I chucked it.

This wasn’t in the days like now  where you just call the developers braindead on Twitter and they go into administration out of embarrassment, so they made Chamber of Secrets on the same engine.

Sod that. Get Dead Rising on the go.

Luke Hughes

Assassin’s Creed: Unity

When the trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Unity came out, I was ecstatic. The amazing music from Lorde, the beautiful sights of France, and, the ultimate promise, assassin’s missions which you could do alongside your friends. The ability to make complex plans and execute them alongside my fellow AC addicts was the greatest gaming promise I could ever hope to achieve.

Sadly for me, when the game released for PS4 in 2014, I wasn’t able to get my hands on it – still a mere PS3 noob, I was forced to wait another two years before I finally had the game for myself, by which point it had been slated all across the gaming community.

But me, a true assassin’s creed fangirl (and fool) refused to believe it.

I should have listened.

Of all the Assassin’s creed games to date, this is by far the worst. Unlike the games before it, Unity tried too hard to be a game that it was not. Not only did it add an even worse out of the animus story than the games before it, it tried to completely overhaul a system that was 1) barely refined to the point of being pretty poor and b) too big of a change from its predecessors. And this isn’t even considering the thousands of glitches present throughout the game.

In trying to be innovative and ground-breaking, it almost killed the franchise, the online system itself even felt like an empty promise, which the actual multiplayer missions being a pain to set up, and not in any way as integral to the story as I’d at first believed.

“This is one game in the series you can definitely skip”

For a game which I had such high hopes for, this was a complete let down. For anyone looking to get into AC now, this is one game in the series you can definitely skip.

Georgia Butcher

RWBY: Grimm eclipse

Now, whatever some angry Video essayist on YouTube may attempt to tell you, RWBY is a series that is quite influential and continues to pull in a substantial viewer count. And ever since the series started the elastic and dynamic fighting style that was part of its allure, people quickly began to want a video game.

Fans created their own game and Rooster teeth then subsequently picked it up and released it officially on most major consoles (PC, PS4, Xbox One). I picked the game up much after release as well as the DLC giving me access to team JNPR as well.

I jumped in to mess around with the characters and found that the game was a Dynasty Warriors-esque action game, which pretty much turns into mashing square or triangle to do combos and doing small combinations to do ‘super’ like moves.

I went through each character and found, much to my chagrin, that almost everyone played the exact same way with nearly no differences between them. (Except for Nora who had some interesting mechanics.)

But besides the technical aspects, I played through the short campaign with a throwaway story to discover that the game is incompletable without more than one player.

The designers seemed to want to make you feel like you were in a large open environment to fly about and do all your crazy team combos like in the show, although they didn’t actually design these large environments. They made normal size environments and shrunk the character model till you are 3-foot munchkins that can’t even reach a window sill. And beyond all this the final boss is incompletable by yourself, as you have to handle infinitely spawning high health ads while having to attack the boss to cause it to go into a stun state and that’s how you do damage to them. I quickly realised there is no way I could ever complete this.

Thankfully, Arcsys picked up the brand and put RWBY in Blazblue: cross tag battle so you can enjoy the fight style of RWBY in a video game. But in the end, I can never wash the taste of RWBY: Grimm Eclipse from my mind.

Tom Sampson

Fallout 4

Listen, I know a lot of people praise this game like it’s Skyrim reincarnate (or even better), and playing it I do recognise the areas where it does commend this praise. However, I personally dislike this game for one simple reason: the gamer experience is just too disassociated from anything I would consider even remotely fun.

This is the point where half of you reading this have closed your window (thanks for adding to our view count by the way) or are writing an angry comment about how I am a casual gamer who doesn’t understand RPGs. And to some extent, you are right.

I do LOVE my simple and goal driven RPGs like Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts (yes, Kingdom Hearts is an RPG and no it is not only for kids, fight me), and I even found a lot of enjoyment in Skyrim but with Fallout 4 it seems to me that they pushed the boat too far towards the OPEN of the Open world genre.

I did start having fun with this game, don’t get me wrong. I think I got 6 or 7 main missions in, with a few side quests in between. After that, I ran out of any ammo.

I went back to my settlement and started growing watermelons in my backyard to sell for a profit. Every time I felt I had enough equipment to continue, I went out to some undiscovered areas and got killed by some dumb radioactive crab or whatever and after wasting every piece of led I had trying to get through that radioactive shell of his, it was back to square one. I was stuck in a rut.

Occasionally I would get a mission or two done before I would have to grind again (without mentioning a lot of my resources were also being spent defending these settlements where I grew the aforementioned watermelons), but it was always eventually back to square one. I think it was three weeks in that I got tired of playing farmboy simulator and figured even staring at my ceiling would provide more entertainment (it was a very slow summer).

“It was three weeks in that I got tired of playing farmboy simulator”

Listen, I admit I am a bit of a thrill seeker at games, and I know there’s people out there who enjoy the grind and that may  very well be why they have enjoyed Fallout 4, but it’s just not for me. Perhaps one of these days I will pick the game back up again, and a being a more mature gamer will find more to enjoy in it, but for the time being, catch me slaying heartless with my keyblade next to Woody and Buzz in January when Kingdom Hearts III comes out.

Nicolas Caballero

Featured Image courtesy of Top Ten Alternatives via Flickr.

Image use licence here.

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