5. Remember Me
Remember Me is set in a world where memories can be perfectly recorded, shared, and stored forever. This leads to a dystopian future with zombie-like creatures prowling the streets. Why? Because Capcom has lost their marbles, that’s why. The world is convoluted, yet surprisingly empty, the plot is told more than shown, the surprise twists don’t amount to much, characters are forgettable, and you can parkour your way all across town, as long as you take the prescribed path marked by yellow arrows.
So why did I want to like this game? Memory rewrite puzzles. Every now and then, you can enter someone’s memory and try to manipulate it. You watch a scene, then rewind and watch again, changing little details to make the scene play out differently. But some changes are pointless, and others make things worse. It’s a remarkably fun and unique puzzle sequence that takes some real sleuthing to find the right combination of changes to reach your objective.
How many times does the game let you play its best aspect? Four. Just four. This game sucks, but if they came out with a DLC that was just a zillion memory-rewrite minigames? Shut up and take my money!
4. Shadow Hearts
The Shadow Hearts games are a darkly funny series that mix history and myth. By strange circumstances, I played them in reverse order. The third game was a spinoff in the same universe, so it was still playable. The second game was a direct sequel, but you get the gist of things. Both games are surprisingly fun, delightfully wacky, and loaded with side-quests so that there’s never a dull moment. So, naturally, I wanted to play the first in the series.
Oh, sweet downgrade. It’s a PS2 game that plays like PS1. The graphics are massively worse, the voice acting is abysmal, cut scenes are random and too long, the combat is in its most primitive and difficult form, and the whole game just looks…ugly.
The story is relatively interesting, but the level grinding just to stay alive is not. And if you do all the hard work to get the good ending, it’s actually lamer than the bad one. The whole game is dumb, harder than it needs to be, and it’s just…ugly!
3. Pokemon Yellow
Ah, who didn’t get caught up in the volcanic explosion that was Pokemon? As a kid, I had the Blue version and my brother had the Red. They were fun games and, heck, I’d still say they’re enjoyable. But then the kids show came out and made Pikachu such a lovable character that they added a third color: Pokemon Yellow. This version was mostly the same as the others, but let you have Pikachu as your first Pokemon. He stayed outside his pokeball, like the show, and you could interact with him to see his mood.
So…yeah, they made the same game with a Tamigachi. One you can’t feed or…really do anything with. He just sorta follows you. Even his mood swings don’t really affect the gameplay at all. Wheeee…
Plus, the first gym leader has rock Pokemon that are immune to Pikachu’s lightning. Freaking heck….
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
I did not like Ocarina of Time. I know I could get banned from the internet for saying this, but it’s true. To be fair, I don’t have the nostalgia goggles others do. I never had an N64 until I met my wife. She had the game and I thought I’d see what the hype was about. I still have not answered that question.
And not, it’s not Navi, the Water Temple, or that stupid owl (though they helped). It’s the gameplay itself. Link’s tiny sword made it hard to hit anything without being impaled first. Archery is guesswork. The camera got stuck around every corner. I hate switching gear every five seconds. Oh, and if I wanted to go anywhere, I had to factor in an hour to cross the same endless plain every time and pray to God I was going in the right direction. Yeah, sure, there’s the horse, but let me try and remember which of the 67 stupid ocarina tunes calls him. No, that one makes it rain…
If you love this game, then love it to the grave. I appreciate its place in gaming history, but I took no pleasure in playing it. I finally stopped playing when I got to Dark Link. He’s a hard boss and I finally realized that I really don’t care what he’s guarding, so why stress over it? Sorry, Legend of Zelda fans, I am not impressed.
1. Final Fantasy X-2
Final Fantasy X is one of my all-time favorite games. A rich world, fun gameplay, likable characters, an extensive and tragic story, a beautiful romance, good villains, a powerful ending, and some of the best music in the franchise. I really wanted X-2 to be a good game…I really did.
For years, I lived in denial because the job system is actually pretty good, and the non-linear storyline makes for a lot of play options. And…I was 13 and wanted to see Yuna and Rikku in provocative clothing. Sorry.
So why did this game suck? That warrants its own top-10 list (which I have, if you’re interested), but I’ll summarize by saying…EVERYTHING. Dumb characters, dumb plot, dumb world, dumb dialogue, dumb minigames, over-the-top silliness, and worst of all, it took a steaming dump on the original game. X had a powerful and tragic storyline. X-2 had giggle fits, orgasmic massages, and bikini splash fights.
Yeah, there was also the rampant objectification. The weird thing is, even with that, the game couldn’t pick a target audience. Boys were turned on by the sexy clothes, but turned off by the Charlie’s Angels theme. Tenny-bopper girls might have like the girl power, but not so much the excessive skin. So I guess their target audience was 13-year-old lesbians?
Boy, I hope nobody finds my blog by googling THAT phrase.
QUESTION: What games disappointed you?