Friday, May 22, 2009

Game franchises I never really got into

This is a list of some of the best game franchises ever that for whatever reason I never got into. I try to explain why after each one, but whether or not I actually have a coherent explanation remains an exercise for the reader.

Final Fantasy

I've played portions of FF4, 5, 6, and 10. Hell, I even owned 10 for a while. Lent it to a friend, he returned it and then it mysteriously disappeared. The games are pretty good. Nice long in-depth RPGs that if you can get immersed you'll easily lose track of time. My general thought is that they were a bit too long, and sometimes got extremely confusing. I also don't quite understand the "must buy every new Final Fantasy" crowd, the games are good, but personally I think they're a bit overrated.

Legend of Zelda

I've played a few of them, and own Link's Awakening DX for Gameboy Color. I'm almost at the end of it, but for whatever reason I can't get the level 2 sword. You have to find these acorns or some bullshit and I think I gave away the shovel too early or something. Anyway, it's a pretty good series with decent continuity between games and some interesting weapons. Similar to Final Fantasy, I think the series is a bit overrated.


I own Megaman Anniversary Collection for PS2 and have made concerted efforts at getting through it (since to unlock things you have to beat each Megaman game), but they're really hard. Now, I like a challenge, but it gets tiring dying at the same spot over and over and over again. The X series toned the difficulty down and was actually pretty fun, my personal favorite is X3.

Street Fighter

I've played some of the massive number of sequels this game has and generally speaking, it's not bad. I just don't really like how slow and clunky the controls feel. You can do almost nothing in the air and the characters are so similar it gets boring. I guess I'm just used to better fighters like Guilty Gear that have way more depth and variety in their gameplay.

Soul Calibur

I've never been a fan of 3D fighters. The move input systems are so weird, it kinda reminds me of Mortal Kombat's cryptic "spam a whole bunch of directions and hit an attack button" thing. We can't have our standard quarter circles and whatnot because of the third dimension. Sure, I see the point, especially having done some kendo, which translated pretty well into drunken Soul Calibur 3 at Katsucon a few years back. Being able to sidestep does bring a little more realism to the fight, but when you're dealing with characters that have special moves and such that wouldn't be feasible in real life, what's the point?

Gran Turismo

I love racing games. Wouldn't I therefore be into one of the best simulation racers in existence? Nope. I'm much more a fan of the simpler arcade-style racers. No, not shit like Mario Kart. More along the lines of Ridge Racer. I just want to be able to jump in a vehicle and go racing. I don't want to have to mess with settings for suspension, brakes, transmission, etc. just to have a favorable gameplay experience. Isn't that what race car drivers have an entire team of engineers for? Why should I, the driver, have to decide every last detail about my car's setup? I did clear out the arcade mode in Gran Turismo 3 (including the hidden Professional difficulty with tire wear enabled), but I just get lost in the sea of options in its main gameplay.

Mario Kart

Speaking of Mario Kart... I've always found its powerups rather imbalanced. There is a massive amount of bias against the person in the lead, to the point where it becomes advantageous to lurk behind the leader and pounce on the last lap. I experienced this directly in the tournament at MAGFest 4, where I was in the lead on the final lap of the final round and one blue shell and two green shells later, finished 4th. Why should a game's powerups require seasoned players to hold back until the last moment? Shouldn't someone who's good at the game be able to lead the entire time and win? It makes no sense to allow people that are lagging behind to gain that much of an advantage. Also, the controls in the earlier ones were slippery and generally did the exact opposite of whatever you were trying to do. It's gotten better though. In terms of the "racing with powerups" style of racing game, I much prefer Rumble Racing.

Grand Theft Auto

I've beaten GTA3 and have Vice City and San Andreas. The games offer a wide range of gameplay, basically making each session more like a "choose your own adventure" than anything else. You can literally play for hours and never get to the storyline. The stories are long and involve lots of various crimes and their associated getaways. I like a game with variety in its gameplay, but for whatever reason I never really felt like continuing. There are some weird moments like the one time in Vice City when I was delivering pizzas and happened to deliver one to a guy within a cop's field of vision. Since to deliver the pizza you use the driveby shooting controls to toss it to them, I guess the game thought I was shooting people and a cop ran me over. Can't they program an exception for the damn pizza? Anyway... yeah. Some things bothered me, like how you don't get to see the vehicle's speedometer, and how just about all of the vehicles seem too ready to tip the fuck over and explode. Combine that with missions where you need to get from Point A to Point B as fast as possible (and then usually on to Point C), and you have some warranted frustration.

I dunno if GTA really counts since I've actually beaten one of its games, but then again, I've beaten Mario Kart Double Dash!! and I included Mario Kart, so...

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