Friday, 15 November 2013

Winterton’s Fridays: The Unplayables (Reflections on a Generation Part 2)

So, last week I rather self-indulgently published a list of all the video games of the current generation, and asked for recommendations as to what else I should play. Having played through what I consider to be a fairly extensive cross-section of this generation’s canon, I am proud to say that I did finish the vast majority of the games listed previously. There were, however, a few that, for various reasons, were so bad that I have aborted my attempts to finish them indefinitely. They are...the unplayables.


Made by Square-Enix (Squeenix), “Nier” is perhaps the cheapest looking game I’ve ever seen. Music, environments and gameplay are continually reused. I mean, I have no problem with music looping in an area, but when the track is 5 seconds long it drives you crazy. I gave up because, to be honest, my girlfriend of the time had played through the first few hours, meaning I had missed the story, and the mediocre gameplay couldn’t tide me over until I picked up the plot. I bought it because I wanted an in-depth RPG; what I got was a knock-off Zelda with a flying book that is a cross between Ubos and Alan Rickman

Just Google it.

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts

Like anyone who understands what is good in life, I like “Banjo-Kazooie”, and I have great respect for it’s sequel, “Banjo-Tooie”. Jak has already explained why, as a sequel, it loses some of the magic of the original, but they are both solid games that I feel everyone should play. “Nuts and Bolts” is quite possibly the worst concept for a game I’ve ever encountered, and easily outclassed by crazier concepts such as “Papers Please”. It is basically a sandbox racing game with a heavy focus on collectibles, which as a genre takes numerous gaming mechanics that aren’t intrinsically bad but combines them into something truly dreadful, like if Hitler had a baby with...Nier. This game broke my heart.


It’s made by Atari, and isn’t from the 80’s. That’s basically all you need to know.

The Last Remnant

Squeenix getting their second entry in this list, and not without good reason. This was bought in the hopes of finding a decent, turn-based non-indie game. Whilst it is turn-based and produced by a big studio, it sadly falls down on the decent bit. Following the “Nier” structure of “all towns are only 4 foot squared with one shop and two NPCs who give quests”, it again feels cheap and minimal. Despite that, the combat mechanic is interesting and fairly unique, and I powered through until the end of the first disc, at which point there is a boss that is literally 3 times stronger than everything before it, requiring you to grind endlessly before fighting it. Squeenix, that was your second strike.

Make that three.

Brutal Legend

Ah, Tim Schaefer. A lot of people are big Schaefer fans, referencing his early point and click games, or maybe “Psychonauts”. Despite downloading the Double Fine indie bundle, the only games of his I have played to date are “The Cave” and “Brutal Legend”.

I mean, there is nothing good about “Brutal Legend”. Terrible combat, terrible controls, sub-par presentation, and a theme (Heavy Metal) that leaves me totally non-plussed. People told me there were good parts, but I have yet to find them, despite doing all but the last three missions. They must be damn good for this game to get the praise it gets.

Now, I’m not saying these games are bad. I’m just saying. I’m just saying I would (and did) rather play “Ninety-Nine Nights”, “Alpha Protocol” and “Duke Nukem Forever” over them. I think that speaks volumes.

1 comment:

  1. 1) From first impressions reviews, the third Arkham game is apparently a lousy third entry into the series made by different group of people so I might have predicted that one. Skill much?

    2) You're a lot more forgiving than I am, I'm sacking off a lot more than this just because I haven't got the patience.


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