5 of My Least Favorite Games
In general, when I buy video games, I do my due diligence by reading reviews before making my purchase. With that in mind, I have made a few mistakes as far as what I bought. Here, I count down some of my least favorite games that I bought.
5. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PlayStation 3)
As I said in my review of this game from a short while ago, MGSV is basically the most hyped up demo in existence. The gameplay itself did everything it was supposed to in order to get me excited for the full release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The combat was in general a major improvement over Metal Gear Solid 4, and the Fox engine looked absolutely terrific in play. The problem was that I paid $30 for a game that took me less than two hours to complete. This is a game that definitely should be a rental as opposed to a purchase.
4. Medal of Honor: Rising Sun (Multiplatform, I got it for Nintendo Gamecube)
Rising Sun was my first exposure to the Medal of Honor game series. Admittedly, as a result of this game, the Medal of Honor series made a very bad impression on me. Medal of Honor: Rising Sun came after a good chunk of the staff responsible for the critical success Medal of Honor: Allied Assault left to form Infinity Ward and then created the Call of Duty monster. Rising Sun, which came after Frontline, which was basically the last good game in the Medal of Honor series, easily could’ve been a great game, but suffered from the fact that EA decided it had to release Rising Sun in time for Christmas 2003, finished or not. The game had absolutely superb sound design. In fact, to this day, it is one of the best sounding shooters I ever played, and the Japanese soldiers actually had some of the best enemy voice acting I heard in a military shooter. What broke the immersion was the absolutely horrendous AI, which made Japanese soldiers just hop about comically when you blast their legs with a shotgun, react to headshots the same way you would react to your girlfriend slapping you across your face, and actually pausing in their attack to let me reload my gun, and some game-breaking bugs where I would have to restart levels because scripted events that were supposed to happen never did. On top of that, the controls just weren’t very smooth, at least on the Gamecube version. I had a much harder time in general lining up my crosshairs than I should have.
2. Medal of Honor: European Assault (Multiplatform, I had the PlayStation 2 version)
European Assault was what the final nail in the Medal of Honor coffin in my mind. It made attempts to bring in elements of Call of Duty and Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30, namely looking down the sights of your guns and commanding your squads as well as telling a story, only it didn’t do either particularly well. You had next to no influence on the behavior of the three squadmates you have when you start each level; the only commands you could issue were “Go there” or “Follow me”. You can’t even direct their fire to specific groups of enemies. Of course, your squadmates are dumb as bricks. They will die in no time flat leaving you to fight your own battles. This is in no way helped by the fact that European Assault is made so you die after taking very few shots and thus should be encouraged to use your squad more. Even by 2005, when this game was made, giving you multiple lives is a symptom of a game developer trying to make up for some horrific level design because they found that the dumb friendly AI and frustratingly accurate enemy AI would make the game’s levels impossible to complete in one life. Pretty much every level after the conclusion of the first act felt like a chore to complete. Oh, and the story felt like a shoehorned afterthought too.
2. Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (Multiplatform, I played the PlayStation 2 version)
Speaking of needing multiple lives to complete a level, Star Wars: Bounty Hunter had some of the worst level design I have ever seen. This was a game where I often found that the levels themselves were often more dangerous than any of the enemies that populated them. Namely, half the game was jumping puzzles. The worst level in the game had you flying around canyons on Tatooine to break into Gardulla the Hutt’s palace. At one point, you will have to pick up a power-up for your jetpack to fly through a particularly long area. Of course, you can respawn at the checkpoint that was before the flight should you die (provided you have some lives left at that point), but the jetpack power-up won’t respawn. Basically, even if you do have lives left, the level at this point would be impossible to complete, and you have to start the whole (kind of long) level all over again. It’s for this reason, Bounty Hunter is one of my least favorite Star Wars games.
1. Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (Nintendo 64)
Of course, Bounty Hunter was simply Lucasarts not having learned their lesson from basically any of the on-foot missions from Shadows of the Empire. Shadows of the Empire had some pretty good levels, namely the praiseworthy opening when you had to fly a snowspeeder in the Battle of Hoth, and you even get to trip AT-ATs with your tow cable. However, most of the game’s levels had you going it on foot while shooting stormtroopers. Once again, I found that I frequently found myself dying more by falling to my death having missed a jump more often than getting shot by a stormtrooper.