Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Computer Gaming 500 - The Worst

Computer Gaming 500 is an ongoing series about my experiences totaling 500 titles; see intro for more info.

To kick off the list of 500; lets look at the very worst.  I will admit, there are not many rated "1 out of 10" on the list, simply because my time is limited, and reviews are rampant these days.  This explains why the majority of games rank around an 8 and rating games with a number becomes irrelevant.  That said, there were two titles that managed to snake by for two different reasons.

Back to the Future - 1986
A c64 game based on the hit 80's movie of the same name.  This was long before we learned to be cautious of licensed video games based on a movie.  This was also a time when reviews were not readily available; a time of reading the back of a game box and taking that leap of faith. The ET game was just a fluke, right?  Though for me, this was one of those game swaps I mentioned in the intro.  Meaning; no manual.  I really don't think it would have mattered though.  The game takes you along the plot lines of the movie, so nothing original there.  After about 30 minutes the repetitive 15 second loop of 8-bit John B music goes from sweet to kill me now.  Its also tossing in the most depressing 8-bit looking people I have ever seen in a game.  Lastly it has the dreaded time based missions; you know before you disappear from the Polaroid. Part of the fun back then was trying to figure out the game.  In this case it was pure torture that I spent too much time on.  I can only hope the game I swapped with was an equal turd.  Found a Lets Play to share the hurt.

The Sims - 2000
Going into this game I was a huge fan of the "sims" god games genera.  Although The Sims sounded a bit different; I was confident developer Maxis could pull it off.  Unfortunately, what we got was a window into things to come; the beginning of the multi million dollar "Casual Gamer" market.  Gone was the great managerial strategic based model we loved, instead we got the Twilight of video games.  I didn't last long, after realizing there was no game here, no finale; only addiction and grind.  The moment of zen was watching my house mate playing the Sims around the clock, washing dishes, cleaning his house ...while the real dishes and other housework piled up!  Many blame EA for killing the series, but EA didn't acquire Maxis until 7 years later.  I haven't looked back to a Maxis game since The Sims ...and after greats like the Spore and the SimCity Reboot; I rest my case.

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