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Old 11-07-2012, 04:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Worst Game Ever

"How can a company release such a poor game, it's so boring." - Fothergill on Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 1

"I've been gaming for 18 years since I was 8 years old, no game has made me sick like this poor shitty game." - Vueguy on Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

"...this game not only should be free but we should get paid for making us play this shit." - louk76 on Spare Parts

"...just platted X-Blades and thought that was bad, well this... this takes 'bad' to a whole new level." - ratchet232 on Alone in the Dark: Inferno

"Is it just me or is this the hardest game to drive and most boring crap ever made." - Super Smith on Ferrari Challenge

"It's so frustrating I wanted to break everything in the room." - scuba on Sonic Unleashed

"God I regret putting this piece of shit in my PS3." - Da_Dope_Boy on Madden NFL 11

"Do they even test games anymore?" - JacobWHUFC on Terminator Salvation


The Worst Game Ever
As trophy hunters / enthusiasts, I think it's safe to say that roughly 99% of us have played a particularly bad and grueling game "for the trophies." Sometimes we get disgusted and quit on the game despite reports of an easy plat or 100%, and live with the eyesore on our profiles forever, a reminder that sometimes maybe we shouldn't play games just "for the trophies."

Other times we press on and finish the game, and force ourselves to get that plat or 100% because we are compelled to by OCD, some sick masochistic fascination or to challenge our patience and give the TV a final shouted "Fuck You!" with two middle fingers when the last trophy pops.


I played through AMY to 100% this past week (got it for cheap during the PS+ Halloween sale), which was a frustrating experience and a test to my patience, to say the least. I normally don't play bad or shoddy games. I generally take a look at the forums or reviews before starting a game, but in the end take it with a grain of salt. We all have our own opinions of what is bad or good, and I prefer to find out for myself. I have loved some games that have been universally bashed.

Sometimes we make threads about it. After seeing a thread in the AMY forum called "Worst game ever?", I decided to do a search and see what others I could find... which is where the quotes above come from. Lots of people think lots of games are the worst ever. Some are trollish, some are genuine:

AMY - Worst game ever?
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - Worst Game Ever!
WRC FIA World Rally Championship - This is The Worst Car game ever
Kane & Lynch 2 - One of the worst games in video game history, period!
Need for Speed: Shift - worst game ever in gaming history
Spare Parts - Worst game ever? Yes or no?
Alone in the Dark: Inferno - Worst game ever!!!
Death Track: Resurrection - Worst racing game ever?
PDC World Championship Darts Pro Tour - Worst Game Ever
Ferrari Challenge - Worst PS3 Game Ever
Sonic Unleashed - Worst Game Ever
Terminator Salvation - Worst game ever?
LittleBigPlanet - Worst Game EVARRRRR
Madden NFL 11 - Worst Game. Ever.
Aliens vs. Predator - the worst game ever
Leisure Suit Larry - Do! Not! Buy! Worst game of the year!!

And there are many more, some specific to things like the loading screen: Worst Loading Screen

Is It Really That Bad?
Now, I've played some of the games listed above. AMY, Alone in the Dark: Inferno, Sonic Unleashed, LittleBigPlanet... I even have the plats for Alone in the Dark and Sonic Unleashed. Many times when I see a thread called "worst game ever" and then play the game myself, my response is typically, "you don't play enough games if you think it's that bad."

Obviously people are frustrated and exaggerate. Gamers do that. We are masters of hyperbole. I do it, we all do it on occasion. I frequently talk to the TV when frustrated, and I'll say things like "This is IMPOSSIBLE!" only to get past that impossible section 20 minutes later.

But worst game ever? Hardly. Reminds me of a scene in Napoleon Dynamite...


As Kip says, like anyone could ever know what the actual "worst game ever" is. Many of those the Angry Video Game Nerd reviews would be up for the running, though. And I've played some that are abysmally bad. By far some of the worst games I have ever encountered were on the Atari 2600, when video games were in their infancy and some developers just did not know how to make a proper game. Ones like the legendary flop that was E.T. or the nonsensical and confusing Swordquest: Earthworld come to mind for me.

You don't know gaming agony until you've tried to complete one of those games - without the help of the internet or any guide. I can still remember with perfect clarity, sitting in the basement as a kid, in front of one of those huge console televisions, running around Earthworld for hours with no idea what I should be doing. Or trying to get E.T. out of that God-forsaken pit by pumping his head up and down with the crappy Atari joystick.



I hate you E.T.

But such old games primarily suffered from bad level design. Games today can still be pretty sketchy, but even the worst ones of the last few generations are leaps and bounds above early video games. Game design and development have come a long way, and today games are bad for a different reason. Some still have bad level design, but to me there's been a shift, and now I think the biggest culprit is...

Last edited by Vyrastas; 11-07-2012 at 05:17 AM.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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...The Controls
The controller is our interface into the game. It's the only way we can interact with it, provide input, influence the world. I personally cannot stand poor controls in a game. It's the most important element in developing a game, in my opinion. Without good controls, you can't even properly play the game.

Today's games are frequently 3D, with 12+ button controllers and dual analog sticks. This will inherently breed complications with controls as the number of commands and button combos increase. And so, when controls are complicated and clunky, awkward, non-intuitive or unresponsive, we get frustrated with the game, it gets harder than it really is... and when gamers like us (who play a lot of games, and should be above-average players in terms of skill) get frustrated, we get "worst game ever" threads and potentially break controllers.


Everything seems to stem from bad controls now. Would you really call a game the "worst ever" because of the graphics? That's all subjective and a game can look like crap but still be very fun, so I don't think so. Occasionally a game is a glitch-fest or has a bad saving system, which is definitely frustrating, but virtually every game I've played that has gotten panned by reviewers and players had a bad control/input scheme as the main culprit. Think about the horrible games you've played and complained about and you may notice the same thing. Level design is generally secondary - if you can't get past the controls, who cares how bad the level design is.

AMY
I'm not going to get into a lot of examples, but let's look at AMY, since that prompted this entire article in the first place. There were other problems with this game initially (save system, unskippable cutscenes, status resets at checkpoints) that were addressed in a patch. But the worst offender is still the controls, which were left as is, from what I can tell.

The combat controls in this game are quite poor, almost as if they regressed a few generations. They might have been trying to make the game as realistic as possible, but when the game is Survival Horror, people are going to be tense and react appropriately and do things like mash attack buttons, try to turn quickly, run etc.

I don't know about you, but when I press a button, I expect a response - yet the animations in this game can't be interrupted, so you're left mashing your controller and yelling at the stupid bitch to move while she slowly straightens up into a "ready" stance after getting hit. Zombies surround her during this time and are about to hit her again and you can only flail about helplessly. I've never been attacked by zombies in real life, but if I were, I can tell you I would not react in that manner.



I mean... it looks cool, right?

Only when I learned to just press a button once and take things slow, and go against my gaming instincts, was I able to succeed. The combat became palatable... until they threw it out the window with infinite hordes of zombies later in the game. That's just one aspect of the shoddy controls in this game. If you want to know more... try it for yourself. If you dare.

Lesson Learned?
Now, I'm not saying that you should just get over bad controls or poor game design and "deal with it." I managed to for a few games which I ultimately loved. For something like AMY, I will never touch it again nor recommend it... unless you are craving a rather difficult and interesting 100% for your trophy collection... or you are a student of game design or a developer, in which case I order you to play it through to completion so you know what not to do in any future games you might help create.

I would hope that VectorCell and Lexis Numérique (developer and publisher of AMY) learned something as a result of the bad press / reviews the game got after release. Given how some companies keep putting out games with crappy controls, however, they probably won't, because some people still continue to buy them.

Um... like me, who bought AMY. I guess I didn't help, did I? Sorry.

Last edited by Vyrastas; 11-07-2012 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Nice read, Vy. You hit the nail on the head with the underlying issues for most games - that being the controls. This has definitely sealed my thoughts for AMY, I'll surely be avoiding it now.

Last edited by Dark_Raven666; 11-07-2012 at 06:03 AM.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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LittleBigPlanet has a 'worst game ever' thread?

Nice read. Controls and by extension gameplay I've thought have always been the most important aspect of a game. If you can't play it, it's a crap game.

I haven't played any of the infamous games like Superman or E.T., so I would be one of those to say Spare Parts is probably the worst game (for it's time at least) that I have played. Not that I'd give it a 0/10, but it's certainly flawed when it comes to gameplay. I've learned not to play games just for the trophies after this.

Terminator: Salvation on the other hand I thought was quite enjoyable.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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And I was thinking of getting AMY on that offer lol ...Money saved.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Can't believe Damnation wasn't on this list. Tsk tsk
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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In the end, it all comes down to opinions, which are based on the games you've played. You can't actually know 'the worst game ever' until you've played them all. You can't ever (challenge accepted?) play all the games made.

One of the worst I've played recently, is American McGee's Alice. A while back I obtained the for Alice Madness Returns. Not a bad game, but didn't like it. Just last week I finally decided to get my 100% for Alice Madness Returns. American Mcgee's Alice is an old game. Probably a good one for its time waaay back. But after playing it.. 'Worst game evah!1!!1!11' The controls are frustrating! Ugh. And it's a platforming game!
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Nice post, good to see people complaining about what's important in a game (gameplay, controls) and not the least important factor (graphics).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pabs_85 View Post
And I was thinking of getting AMY on that offer lol ...Money saved.
Same, I was one-click away from buying it the other day, decided I've still got too much to play already and backed out. So glad I did, really don't need anymore raging at the TV/funds totally wasted
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frxn View Post
Nice post, good to see people complaining about what's important in a game (gameplay, controls) and not the least important factor (graphics).
As much as I love a good story, I actually think it's the least important factor in making a good game. Graphics determine how pretty a game is, and surely something has to look good? Games are made of nothing but computer generated imagery after all.
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Everything is blown out of proportion nowadays.

"Worst game ever" is always subjective to what the person has played. Which isn't every game ever. So a more appropriate name for any game anyone complains about should be "worst game I've ever played."
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