The Top 25 Most Overrated Games I've Played

I'm throwing this together because I'm in a particularly curmudgeony and cantankerous mood today. Not every game featured here is necessarily a bad game (although some are), and not every game is one I strongly dislike. But here is what I feel are the Top 25 most overrated games that I've played, for the reasons that will follow. I guarantee that you'll be offended by at least one, if not more of these entries, but I'm so cranky right now, I don't really care. Note that this list is limited only to games I've actually played, and played long enough to form a qualified opinion on. I'm also missing some screenshots because my Saturn and Dreamcast aren't hooked up right now and I misplaced my copy of Star Fox 64.

Apocalypse, no, not now!
#25: Mega Man 5
System: NES

Why is it that so many people hate Mega Man 4 yet love Mega Man 5? This doesn't make any bloomin' sense to me. If you've played one NES Mega Man game, you've pretty much played them all. Okay, even *I* have my favorites in the series, but MM4 and MM5 are not different enough to warrant irrational hatred of 4 and overflowing baskets of puppies and love for 5. In fact, I could make a definitive case for 5 being the worse game of the two. Some of the Mega Man games rehash bosses from previous games (Mega Man 3, for example, had the clones and Rock Monster from Mega Man 1). Mega Man 5 was the first to rehash a boss within the game itself. (Not counting the normal robot master rehash stage that every Mega Man game has.) It's that annoying robot that the fake Proto Man turns into. While neither Mega Man 4 nor 5 has a particularly strong soundtrack, the only song that stands out to me in 5 was Charge Man's theme. 4 had a number of good songs, like Pharoah Man's theme, Bright Man's theme, the final boss music, and the train ride sequence in the ending. I also have to wonder if MM5 is where the people who wrote the Mega Man cartoon series got the bright idea that Proto Man is evil. Either they didn't get to the part where the "big reveal" happens, or they did and it went over their heads. Congratulations on completely retconning Mega Man 3 and missing the entire point of the character, folks. Well, at least it wasn't quite as creatively bankrupt as Mega Man 6's story. Is there anyone on the planet, besides Mega Man, who couldn't tell that Mr. X was Dr. Wily? He didn't even look any different! Either the point of that game was to make Mega Man look stupid, or perhaps the whole Superman/Clark Kent secret identity thing is possible after all.


Art thou the bringer of ruin? Not quite.
#24: Panzer Dragoon Saga
System: Sega Saturn

Okay, I want to be very clear on this: I actually do like this game. And its ending song, "Sona Mi Areru Ec Sancitu", is one of my all-time favorite game songs. The reason it's on this list is because even though relatively few people have played it, many who did (including some professional game magazines) claim it to be the greatest RPG ever, and I'm sorry to say that just isn't the case. While the battle system is interesting, most of the fights are far too easy. Once you figure out a simple pattern for beating an enemy or boss, that's usually all you have to do. A unique battle system can be fun, but if you don't do something with it to legitimately challenge the player (and by "legitimate", I don't mean that the fight is difficult, but going up one or two levels suddenly makes it impossible to lose), then it becomes a mere novelty. The story is nowhere near as good or interesting as it's often touted. Much of it is told in books that you find throughout the game, so more often than not, you're just reading about stuff instead of seeing it happen in front of you. The ending is a major 10 on the WTF scale. Um, unless you're writing a comedy, it's generally not a good idea for the main character to suddenly become self-aware he's in a story. I liked the game's unique idea of riding on a dragon to fight battles and explore, and the environments have a nice aesthetic quality. Considering it's competition, I can see why it might be the best RPG for the Saturn. But it's about as much the greatest RPG ever as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was the "Game of the Century".


My army prepares to take on the horrors of a single old man
#23: Ogre Battle
System: Super NES

I know of only one other person on the planet besides me who likes Ogre Battle 64 more than the original Ogre Battle. There are a number of issues I have with the original (like the battles being too slow or how much of a pain in the ass it is to keep your alignment and reputation meter up), but the main gripe I have is how easy it is to win every battle (except the final one) just by situating all of your units on one town and letting all the enemies come to you. If I even try to spread them out, then the moment I move them off of a liberated town, the enemies beeline for it and because they're so fast, usually get to it before I can, causing a nice drop on my reputation meter. I've finished this game twice and gotten the same exact ending both times, despite doing a number of things differently. Some people love this game, but it's just not my thing. I'd go into why I liked Ogre Battle 64 more, but that would make this entry become much more lengthy than I want it to be. Whether or not I'll eventually post it depends on how much I get flamed for this.


The blurriest story ever told
#22: Yoshi's Story
System: Nintendo 64

Including this one on the list might seem a bit "iffy", because I don't believe this game has a rabid fanbase (though please feel no need to prove me wrong if it does). However, I recall some professional publications crapping their pants over it. I guess that's to be expected of Nintendo Power magazine. But sheesh, not only is this the easiest game ever made, but why is it that the graphics don't look anywhere near as good as the Donkey Kong Country games, or Yoshi's Island, or even ActRaiser, which are all for a system with (supposedly) inferior capabilities? I think this game, even much moreso than Super Mario 64, is responsible for killing 2D games on console systems. Once Yoshi's Story came out, it's what everyone associated 2D games with, so whenever a new one was announced, people would automatically think it'd suck because they were expecting it to be like Yoshi's Story. You don't want to know how many times I got into stupid arguments with people who said things like, "Goemon's Great Adventure is going to suck because it's 2D and 2D is the reason Yoshi's Story sucked!"

Yoshi's Story is a game that should never, ever have been released the way it was. It needed to go back to the drawing board and have just about everything, and I mean everything, from the terrible play control, to the non-existant level design, to the simpleton boss fights, to the blurry graphics and repetitive music that essentially amounts to one song being played 40 different ways, fixed.


Vyse and his phony eyepatch prepare to attack
#21: Skies of Arcadia Legends
System: Nintendo Gamecube

Okay, I admit I've only played the Gamecube version of this game and some of the praise this game received was for the Dreamcast version. Although I am aware that there are minor differences between the two versions, I have it on good authority that the DC version is actually the worse of the two. But to get to the point, when the Dreamcast version was first released, people popped up out of nowhere left and right on certain message boards I used to visit to claim that this was the greatest RPG ever. When the Gamecube version came out, it received a ridiculous number of high scores from various publications. Now, I do sort of like this game, and I do think it gets much better in the second half (specifically at the point where you get the Delphinus airship on forward), but much of the first half is actually quite boring. The battle system is too mundane and the encounter rate is far too high (especially when flying the airship around.) Boss battles actually get easier as the game goes along because the Delphinus is much too overpowered. (I've never lost a battle with the Delphinus...you'd have to be purposefully trying to lose, even against the final boss.) The only challenging bosses are (surprise!) optional, but even if you don't mind the idea of all the tough parts being optional, once you find the trick for beating these bosses, the same thing works on all of them!

The personalities of the three main characters were rather dull and typical RPG-ish types (instead of the exciting pirate types that I would've expected). I actually liked second-stringers Enrique, Drachma, and Gilder much more. (I'd gladly buy a sequel if it was just about those three going on wacky adventures.) Finally, Ramirez, De Loco, and Alfonso are three of the most annoying villains ever. De Loco at least got what was coming to him, but there was no reason for Alfonso to even exist since you didn't get to fight him and he amounted to nothing. Ramirez's motivations made no sense to me. He hates that Valua made slaves of the Ixa'takans, and that makes him want to kill everyone on the planet...uh, what? And then he continues to work for Valua so he can pull this off...uh, double what?? Someday, I want to play the Dreamcast version so I can see the differences between the two, but I'm not exactly looking forward to it right now.


Isometric headaches ahoy!
#20: LandStalker
System: Sega Genesis

LandStalker actually seems to get some mixed reviews, but...jeez. Do the people giving this game ridiculously high scores really think it's on par with the best adventure games, like The Legend of Zelda or A Link to the Past? How the hell can people complain about the play control and other problems caused by the isometric view in Dark Savior, and yet not complain about it in LandStalker when it's ten times worse here? And how can people seriously hate Alundra 2 yet think LandStalker is one of the best games of all time? Did I land on a bizarro planet or something? LandStalker is a lot like Solstice in that 99% of the challenge comes from not being able to tell what is sitting where in the 3D isometric space, only here it seems even worse (but at least this game has a save system.) The final battle is one of the most anticlimactic I've ever seen (and the boss is situated in such a way that you can't even see most of it!) The story is so utterly dumb that the main character Nigel gets all the treasures in the end, but acts like he doesn't give a crap about it. I think the only reason I didn't end up hating this game is because it does have some good parts, but ironically, the most interesting puzzles were ones that were duplicated (and expanded on) in Alundra 2.


Panzer Dragoon - No screenshot yet
#19: Panzer Dragoon
System: Sega Saturn

I liked Panzer Dragoon Saga to a certain extent, but the original Panzer Dragoon is a whole 'nother story. Of course, it's a completely different kind of game (rail shooter as opposed to an RPG), but it just seemed downright awful from what I played of it. Slow movement, long stretches of levels where absolutely nothing happens, inappropriate music, long segments where you have to continuously fire at hundreds of the same enemy over and over again, and awkward play control among other problems. I absolutely hate the targeting system because waiting to shoot until you've locked onto all the targets is just boring. I have no idea why Nintendo used this system for Star Fox 64 since they already had a superior product in the original Star Fox. And call me stupid, but I think it's really lame that you're riding a DRAGON yet shooting a GUN, instead of, oh, you know, having your dragon breathe fire. At least Panzer Dragoon Saga had both the gun and the dragon's fire attacks. I came away from this game not liking anything about it, and the only reason it's not higher on this list is because I don't think it's all that popular or well-loved. But I have seen people claim it's a "Star Fox killer", and I swear an angel loses its wings whenever that happens.


Record of Lodoss War - No screenshot yet
#18: Record of Lodoss War
System: Sega Dreamcast

I'm guessing part of the reason people loved this game is because it was based on a popular anime. All I know is that if *I* was a fan of this anime, I'd think this game was a desecration. I've never really run into a rabid fanbase of this game (though I've heard one existed), but I do remember reading countless raving reviews from professional outlets. "A hardcore action challenge!", some of them claimed. Whoever wrote that had either never played a true hardcore action game, or it has been so long that he's forgotten what one is like. This is an RPG, a Diablo clone to be exact, and once you start attacking an enemy, you're locked into place. Skill and dexterity have nothing to do with it, whoever has the higher stats will win. The gameplay is shallow and repetitive, the graphics are dull, and the ending is one of the worst (if not the absolute worst) I've ever seen in a game. Golden Rule #1: Don't ever make the gamer feel like everything he/she just did was all for nothing. This game might have ranked higher on this list, but it seems like it's been forgotten.


Zzzzzzzevious
#17: Xevious
System: Various

I've never liked Xevious. My local arcade had it years ago, but I was never able to stay interested in it. It's slow, it's awkward, it's repetitive, and the background music (if it can even be called that) is one of the most annoying ever. It's also nearly impossible to tell if you're making any kind of progress as the levels just go on forever continuously. If I really wanted to play a top-view shooter, I'd skip on over to the Gun.Smoke machine, instead. I've also played the NES and Atari 7800 versions of Xevious, but they aren't any better. For shooters of this era, I don't think it holds a candle to Gyruss, with or without vertical scrolling.


Brought to you by MS Paint
#16: Adventure
System: Atari 2600

Okay, folks, let's be honest here. Yes, this game was a quirky little oddity back when it was first released. Yes, it's funny that the dragons look like ducks. Yes, maybe, just maybe, the square could be the greatest videogame hero ever. But the truth is, all three difficulty settings of Adventure can be finished in a matter of minutes, and then you've done everything you need to do with it. This game is no Legend of Zelda or Crystalis, not even of its time, and in fact, I've programmed similar, yet more complex games on my Commodore VIC20. Let's remember it fondly, but move on with our lives now.


If only the game was as good as the graphics
#15: Axelay
System: Super NES

Long-time readers of this website with good memories will recall that I once had this game on my Top 100. I wanted to kick myself for ever putting it on there after I replayed it. While I absolutely love Axelay's graphics and music (some of my favorite of any game ever), I'm not real wild about its gameplay. I really hate how it feels like something is constantly tugging on my ship, pulling it back towards the center of the screen in the overhead levels, or just making the control awkward in the sidescrolling levels. Axelay is also much too easy. Even on the Hard Mode, Axelay is one of the easiest shooters I've ever completed. The NES versions of Life Force, Gun.Smoke, and Dragon Spirit are all very easy for me now, but those at least took a lot of practice and tries to master. I beat Axelay the very first time I played it. I really don't know what I was smoking when I put it on my Top 100, but it must've been that same stuff that made me buy Ring King.


Warning: Microscope not included
#14: Super Mario Land
System: Nintendo Gameboy

Why, oh why, oh why, oh why, oh why, did this game stay at the top of Nintendo Power's Top 10 Game Boy Games list for years and years and years, when far superior games kept coming and going, like Gargoyle's Quest, Mega Man, Ninja Boy, Kid Dracula, Kid Icarus, Metroid 2, Kirby's Pinball Land, and Operation C? The first three Game Boy games I ever owned were Tetris (which came with it), Mega Man, and Super Mario Land. I couldn't even see what the hell was going on in Super Mario Land because of how tiny and blurry the graphics were on that old LCD Game Boy screen, so I kept going back to Mega Man. Mega Man was a much harder game, but I beat it first. Then I finally forced myself to play through Super Mario Land (yes both quests) only to realize how utterly lame it was compared to the NES Super Mario Bros. games (or even compared to better Game Boy games for that matter.) That it's reign at #1 on NP's Top 10 wasn't ended until The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was released has somehow got to be a sign of the apocalypse.


At least Haggar wore his best pair of pants and shoes for this occasion
#13: Final Fight
System: Various

I actually think I'd like to insert the whole entire beat-em-up genre into this slot. I guess I'm destined to dislike it as a whole. (I don't like Double Dragon much either.) I just get bored punching and kicking the same few guys over and over again through flat levels. Well, I did like TMNT 4: Turtles in Time and The Ninja Warriors, mainly because those had better play control than other beat-em-ups I've played and more interesting boss fights. For Final Fight, it's mostly the Super NES version and the version that's on the Playstation 2 Capcom Classics Collection that I've played, and that "Oh my car!" line is about the only thing I can remember being slightly amusing about it. Well, that and the fact that it's the most subversively gay game ever made. Seriously. One stage takes place in a gay bar, there's a cop boss that looks like a reject from the Village People, a boss named Sodom, men wearing bright pink leotards, a male boss named "Abigail" who hugs you, and the notes on the Capcom Classics Collection say that Poison and Roxy are transvestites (I'm not making that up).


Feel the wrath of Maxim's slicked-back hair and Selan's turkey drumstick legs
#12: Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals
System: Super NES

Part of the problem with Lufia 2 is a matter of timing. This game may have been more acceptable had it not been released after Final Fantasy 4, Secret of Mana, Breath of Fire, Final Fantasy 6, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, and Earthbound. The story for Lufia 2 was a throwback to a time when RPG stories didn't have to be consistent or be about anything. As a prequel to Lufia and the Fortress of Doom, this game was supposed to be about how the Sinistrals came to power and the war against them (the conclusion of which is the opening sequence of Fortress of Doom), but very little of the plot has anything to do with that. Just a bunch of random things happen that have no relation to anything that came before or anything that comes after. And some of those things were already done in other RPGs. Retrieving the king's crown from the thieves who stole it was also the first task of Dragon Warrior 3, and the catfish that creates earthquakes was right out of A Link to the Past. The business with Dekar sacrificing himself to save everyone else was similar to what Yang did in Final Fantasy 4, but at least there was an explanation as to what happened to Yang afterwards and why he didn't just rejoin you. If Dekar survived, then where was he all that time? Even ignoring the problems with the story, the battle system is far too easy. The final areas don't even have any enemies in them besides the bosses. There are some good puzzles, and that's the highlight of the game, but I absolutely, truly hated Maxim as a character because of the way he just ignores Tia's existence so that he can later fall in love with Selan for no apparent reason. (Maybe he really digs her porkchop legs.) I was truly surprised (shocked even) when I first got on the internet to find that Lufia 2 was considered by many people to be the best Super NES RPG, because even though I don't think it's a bad game, I also don't think it comes anywhere close to that (especially not when considering the competition for that title that I listed above.) I've only known of two people (DiefWolf and Kiera Lordens) who've had a similar opinion to mine on it.

One of the most alarming results of Lufia 2's story being considered great is that sometimes it seems people think that Lufia 2-style storytelling is the only kind that's acceptable for RPGs. If the story has a lot of little unrelated twists and turns, it's perceived as having depth. If the story has a single theme that it attacks and stays true to from beginning to end, people will say it's shallow. This is probably one of the reasons that we get so many RPGs (and other types of games now, for that matter), that have plot twists anywhere from the halfway point on up to the very end that make everything that came before it irrelevant. What happens at the beginning of a story should still somehow be significant by the end, and it wasn't in Lufia 2 since Arek just completely disappeared and the Tia character amounted to nothing.


Blah!
#11: Duck Hunt
System: NES

Okay, I am really tired of seeing little kids on message boards saying that Duck Hunt is the best NES game ever. NES websites and message boards have been around for years and years and years, and it really burns my bananas when someone you've mysteriously never seen or heard of at any of these places suddenly shows up on a board like N-Sider and declares Duck Hunt to be the greatest game ever. Please find a new hobby and stop giving gamers a bad name, thank you. The funniest thing about this is that the one thing people always talk about Duck Hunt is that you can't shoot the dog. It seems the main reason people like this game is for something that you actually can't do.


The only fighting tournament where a guy can change his clothes and enter as 5 different people
#10: Mortal Kombat (Series)
System: Various

It's getting harder and harder to decide the order at this point. MK broke the Top 10, but I didn't rank it higher simply because there are a number of people who acknowledge that this series sucks and the main reason it sold was because of the shock and gore factor (which always struck me as being more stupid than shocking or gory.) Normally, I really, really hate it when people say things like, "The only reason people liked this game is because of...blah, blah, blah", but it's usually because their accusations are way off-base. Example: The only reason anyone liked Kid Icarus was because of the Captain N cartoon. Uh, no. I actually didn't care for the cartoon's representation of the character that much. He had an annoying voice, he idolized a creepy overweight anthropomorphic wombat, he was wearing makeup for cheese sake, and his head was as big as the entire rest of his body. I mean, you can get away with that in a videogame sprite, but for a full-sized cartoon model, it just makes me worry every second he's onscreen that his head is going to roll right off. Then in the one episode that's devoted to him, what happens? He makes a wish to be 50 feet tall and then what happens? He immediately decides he doesn't want to be 50 feet tall and just stands around complaining about it. C'mon, if you have a 50 foot Kid Icarus, you DO SOMETHING with it, people! I also could've sworn there was an episode where he turned around and you could see his bare ass. That was exponentially more frightening than Janine's pointy glasses on Real Ghostbusters. Stupid ABC censors. Oh, yeah, where was I? I'm not sure there's anything I can really say about the Mortal Kombat games that hasn't already been said, other than that I've heard you can beat every fight in MK2 just by tripping your opponent over and over again. And that one's supposed to be the best in the series. Yippie tai yai yay.


I couldn't even be bothered to get a better screenshot than this
#9: Super Castlevania 4
System: Super NES

For some reason, I wasn't particularly blown away by the original Castlevania for the NES, but I'll reserve judgment for when I get to the final boss. Even so, I don't think that game's anywhere near as overrated as Castlevania 4, which often gets featured in Top 100's instead of the far-superior Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse. The graphics and music are really good (for the most part...CV4 has the best version of "Bloody Tears" and I love the ending theme, but some of that faux jazzy stuff in the middle of the game is just noodling). But Simon is a fucking HUGE target in this game, he walks at a snail's pace, and is animated like he's got not one, but two sticks up his ass. "BUT YOU CAN WHIP IN 8 DIRECTIONS!!" Yes, and that pretty much eliminates all the challenge from the game. This marked the first time I'd ever beaten a Castlevania game the same day I got it. And Dracula doesn't even have a super-cool second form, like he does in the first and third Castlevania games. I also fail to see the point of things like hanging from the wall doing nothing as it slowly rotates around. Now some people might think I'm a hypocrite for feeling this game is overrated because I like ActRaiser, whose action stages are only about as challenging as Castlevania 4. But ActRaiser had the simulation scenes to flesh it out and a more original story. CV4's story appears to be a remake (or retelling) of Castlevania 1's story (either that, or Simon Belmont is fighting Dracula again for a third time for no explained reason.) Finally...the ballroom dancers are the most retarded Castlevania boss ever, and I don't even want to go into what their names are in the manual.


Robo-monkey vs. Infant Ninja
#8: Alex Kidd (Series)
System: Sega Master System & Sega Genesis

I warn you, it's going to start getting more vehement from here on up. I've played three Alex Kidd games (High-Tech World, Miracle World, and Enchanted Castle), and I have one thing to say: I don't get the Sega Master System. Is there something I'm missing? Was Sega really being serious about competing with the NES or what? Who's bright idea was it to have fucking rock-paper-scissors matches for boss battles?? I want names and I want them now! Full names. First and last. I don't think I've ever hated a game mascot more than Alex Kidd. He looks stupid, he has piss-poor play control, and his games suck. The end.


Jet Grind Radio
#7: Jet Grind Radio
System: Sega Dreamcast

I hate this game. Hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it! Hate every stupid thing about it. Hate the play control. Hate the smarmy attitude it exudes. Hate the absurd time limit. And most of all, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE that stupid mother-bleeping retarded detective that chases you around the levels and NEVER FUCKING GOES AWAY!! This game is essentially a Tony Hawk clone with everything that made Tony Hawk good taken out of it, and in its place, the most obnoxious and insulting-to-my-intelligence game character ever created. If I read one more overpraising review of this game that feels it necessary to mention his 5 o'clock shadow, buildings will burn down.


Make it stop! Make it stop!
#6: Tetris
System: Various

I have no idea why so many people think Tetris is the #1 best game of all time. Yes, it can be a fun timewaster, but games can be a lot more than just a timewaster. One thing that always bothered me about this game is that it relies so much on waiting around for the right pieces to fall. If you set yourself up to score a Tetris, but you don't get the right block to complete it, you're screwed. I can't really say that I hate Tetris (although Nintendo's NES version is rather lousy...it speeds up too quickly and there isn't even a two-player mode), I just hate how the fanbase and magazines crap their pants over it without giving any reasons as to why it's so great other than that "a lot of people have played it" or "it's fun". If I want to play a single-screen game that goes on and on forever and is only played for score, I'll take Yars Revenge anyday.


That's a pretty huge fucking mess down there.
#5: SimCity
System: Super NES

I remember reading about SimCity in Nintendo Power and not at all being able to picture how the concept could possibly be any fun. Even after playing it somewhat extensively, I've still yet to get an answer to that question. This game is just, well, boring, and it's a completely unstructured mess. You lay down some buildings and crap. Then wait for several hours as you slowly, slowly, earn enough tax dollars to lay down a few more buildings and crap. The game is practically unplayable without using the code that gives you millions of dollars...and of course, with the code it's pointless since there are no restrictions and no challenge. This game really needed (A) structure and (B) balance. SimCity almost scared me away from the sim genre for life, but thankfully, I found ones like Harvest Moon and ActRaiser that I liked much more.


Star Fox 64 - No Screenshot Yet - I think my copy of the game heard what I had to say about it and it ran away from home
#4: Star Fox 64
System: Nintendo 64

Because people know Star Fox is one of my top favorite games, I'm often asked what I thought of Star Fox 64. I've usually just dodged around the question and merely said, "I didn't like it as much". Now, I've decided to come out with my true thoughts on the matter.

Star Fox 64 may seem like an odd choice for being one of the most overrated games because it's not as though it doesn't have its critics. But it is, in many ways, the most important and poignant entry on this list for me because it symbolizes the stark divide between myself and many other gamers. It is also representative of an unsettling turning point in the videogame industry for me. In all the years I've been on the internet, I have more often run into people who liked Star Fox 64 much more than the original Star Fox than the vice versa, which is why it's included here, despite that many people do recognize it as being too easy. This isn't something that's necessarily relegated to N64 or modern gaming fans, either. In my experience, I've found that retrogamers are just as likely to cite Star Fox 64 as the superior game as anyone else (though if someone does favor the opposite, it usually is a retrogamer, or someone who is close enough to the description.) For me, Star Fox 64 was a huge letdown.

Let's start with the gameplay, which is not only too easy, but utterly irritating in many ways. The all-range stages are confusing and boring, the tank controls are some of the worst I've ever dealt with, and that stage with the submarine was a really bad idea - let's have you plod along slowly while barely being able to see where you're going and firing torpedoes constantly. Hooray. I was immediately disappointed by the fact that you can't choose your path from the beginning of the game. Instead, the path you get depends on what you do in certain stages, which means that if you make one measly mistake, you'll find yourself playing the wrong damn path, or else you have to start all over again. You don't want to know how many times I ended up on the easiest path by accident and turned the game off in disgust. I also hate the idea of locking onto enemies (stolen from the god-awful Panzer Dragoon). It begs the question of how is the game supposed to be played? Do I fire now or wait until I've locked onto more crap? The latter is boring. Although the first path of Star Fox is easy for me now (almost too easy), it still took much practice and lots of attempts to beat it. I finished the easiest path of Star Fox 64 on my first try.

Star Fox used a new technology to create a new type of graphic environment, but it wasn't just an eye-candy FX demo. It was a gamer's game with a hardcore challenge at its heart. Star Fox 64 marks a turn where all games would now try to appeal to everybody, except those who had been playing for years, and they'd be made with the assumption that they were the first game the player had ever touched. There was also a backwards shift in focus on the "real" challenge being in the score instead of in the boss battles and level design. Score high enough, unlock a ton of bonuses. Who cares about anything else? There was scoring in Star Fox, but it was secondary to the main goal of just beating the game.

Although Star Fox 64's graphics are technically superior, they are also dull, not very colorful, and there is too much fog. I actually prefer the surreal, and much more colorful look of the original Star Fox. The music of SF64 is very much inferior to Star Fox's score, and it's not even a good soundtrack on its own without comparison.

Finally, I have problems with the representations of some of the characters. In Star Fox, Peppy was not an old man, and Slippy was not an annoying little kid. WTF happened to General Pepper's voice? And ROB64 is pointless. Worst of all, the story is not exactly clear on how it fits in with Star Fox's story. It seems to be more of a retelling than a sequel, which is a huge no-no! You do NOT retcon a game with an inferior product. Yes, it gave us such hilarious dialogue as "Do a barrel roll!" and "You want a piece of me?", but that's another problem: These characters never shut up, which is not only annoying, but detracts from the ability to enjoy the mood and atmosphere of the environments.

So yes, by now it should be clear why I have this game ranked so high on this (overrated games) list and why I don't hold it in the same regard as I do the original. It's not that it's an entirely bad game on its own, but it's a bad sequel, and it makes my heart sink to hear that Star Fox Adventures and Star Fox Assault are possibly even worse.


I wish the Zombies ate the Programmers instead
#3: Zombies Ate My Neighbors
System: Super NES

ZAMN goes down in history as the second game I hated so much, it made me want to kill somebody (along with Jet Grind Radio). Anybody who was involved in making it will do. I have never met anyone who's played this game who didn't like it. I've also never met anyone who's played this game who didn't just like it, but absolutely LOVE it. I really can't be the only one who hates this game, can I? What are all the problems? Why do I hate ZAMN? Let me count the ways:

  • Huge confusing levels with no structure or valid design of any kind.
  • Especially those supermarket levels where you have to run 3/4 of the way through it, just so you can find the one gap in the wall that lets you backtrack to that one missing neighbor, only to find out you can't get to him/her in time for the save.
  • Ridiculously cumbersome inventory system.
  • Finite weapons and having to search fucking everywhere to get new ones.
  • Play control that, all things considered, could be better.
  • Stupid damn giant baby that's nearly impossible to avoid.
  • As well as other enemies that move much faster than you can, but take a gazillion hits to kill.

    But the biggest gripe I have is that if you fail to rescue all the neighbors, then on the next stage, only the number that you rescued reappears. No points for guessing that it isn't long before you can only save one neighbor, and thus get just one neighbor to rescue in the next stage. Still no points for guessing that it'll be impossible to get to that neighbor before the zombies do and your game is screwed, forcing you to restart from an earlier password, or better yet, quitting the game and finding something more worth your time to play.


    I felt something move, allright. I think it was my lunch.
    #2: Conker's Bad Fur Day
    System: Nintendo 64

    Once again, I don't like finding myself resorting to this kind of argument because I usually think they're really lame, but regardless, I still have to ask: Would people truly, honestly still like this game if not for all the South Park-style humor and shock value? Now, usually when arguments like this are presented, they ask things that completely make no sense whatsoever, like people who ask me if I'd like Star Fox as much if it was a 2D shooter. Well, great shittin' Sherlock, it's not a 2D shooter and it wasn't designed to be one. That's changing the entire game. You may as well ask me if I would have liked The Legend of Zelda as much if it was a football game. But in Conker's case you could, theoretically, remove all the shock elements and still have basically the same game. Would people have then thought the gameplay was as fantastic as they do now? I really don't know. I not only didn't find it to be any more special than your average N64 3D platformer, like Donkey Kong 64 or Banjo-Kazooie, but some parts actually annoyed the hell outta me. Parts like the belltower where you have to walk slowly across narrow beams, or else fall down and do it all over again. Or swimming in darkness without being able to see where you're going. Or taking massive damage from a measly fall. Or plodding along in that dumbass tank with those terrible controls. Or pointlessly having to do many tasks three times in a row. Perhaps the worst part of it all is that the supposed "humor" isn't even that funny. Just parodies of movie scenes that go on forever with no actual jokes, punchlines, insight, or relevance to the situation. The only thing that kept me from hating Conker was that some parts were surprisingly difficult, and I admired that Rare wasn't afraid to challenge gamers with it (maybe because they knew they were skewing for an older audience?) But I can't honestly say Conker is one of the best games, let alone the best for the N64.


    Barf
    #1: River City Ransom
    System: NES

    If you read my review of this game, then you probably saw that coming. Again, it may just be that I'm destined to dislike the beat-em-up genre, but I absolutely don't get the phenomena surrounding this game. It's cute, it's got good animation and some good music, and it's funny when Alex swallows a coffee cup whole...but the gameplay? Not only is it just your average beat-em-up fare, but I actually find it somewhat more monotonous than usual because you fight the same guy over and over and over again (okay, they change their shirt colors, but that's not good enough!) At least with the NES TMNT2 and 3 games, you get some variety in the enemies besides foot soldiers, and those games have more legitimate bosses, not just another normal guy with more hit points. RCR is also pointlessly short and easy, yet somehow still felt like it was taking forever due to all the stat-building. I am guessing that I will receive a good amount of flaming for this article, and I am also guessing I will receive more for this entry than any of the others. Maybe. I still get more flame mails about that Hydlide review than anything else, and that's not what I would have predicted.


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