Why I Think Bethesda Smashed E3 2018

E3 is a massive specticle; a grand stage for all of the biggest of publishers and developers, showing off their hard work. Big conferences aren’t necessarily my thing, but all gamers are acutely attuned to E3. Love it or hate it, whether you think it does good or bad for the industry, it’s always a massive time of the year for gamers. It sets the pace for the rest of the year and first two quarters of the next – And this year, I think Bethesda said the most.

E3 is a massive specticle; a grand stage for all of the biggest of publishers and developers, showing off their hard work. Big conferences aren’t necessarily my thing, but all gamers are acutely attuned to E3. Love it or hate it, whether you think it does good or bad for the industry, it’s always a massive time of the year for gamers. It sets the pace for the rest of the year and first two quarters of the next – And this year, I think Bethesda said the most.

Continue reading “Why I Think Bethesda Smashed E3 2018”

Top 10 Worst Shooters

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Have you ever played a shooter that was so bad that you just held your arms in the air and shouted “What!?” No? Well we have. Welcome back ladies and gentlemen to our next Top 10, where this week we our special guest is Kevin from 1001-Up and The Mental Attic. If you’ve not seen any of his articles before, please go do so as soon as you’ve finished reading this article.

No seriously, immediately after this article.


 

Top 10

10. Sniper: Path of Vengeance

See the problem with a game like Sniper: Path of Vengeance is that it’s trying too hard to be something special and different. Whilst the premise of the game is very exciting, it doesn’t live up to the expectations of living through the game as a sniper.

Go ahead and just kill things, because you know. That sells games and all. Don’t worry about consequences either, the AI probably won’t get to you fast enough. This was a pretty bad start.

 

9. Wet

Wet gets its spot on this list because of how badly it wasted its opportunity. It’s one of those games with excellent ideas that somehow manage to screw it all up with atrocious design. It was visually pleasing, but that’s as far as the pleasantness got. Every other thing in the game was badly done, from the combat to the plot and everything in between. It’s painful because even while you’re groaning at how bad it is, you can see the potential lying there under the surface!

 

8. Resident Evil Survivor

We only included this game into the list so as to only have one title per series, because frankly, every 1st person Resident Evil deserves a spot, or its own list. Survivor is essentially a light-gun game (such as Time Cop on arcades) on consoles, where you fight rehashed enemies and bosses from the Resident Evil series with not much of a plot or coherence behind it. The gameplay itself was really bad, a rip-off of House of the Dead without any of the fun bits.

 

7. Mindjack

Yeah, you’ve read this correctly reader. The publisher for this is Square Enix. You know, those guys who published great games such as the Final Fantasy series? Those guys. So where did they go wrong when they published Mindjack?

We can’t be too mad at Square Enix. After all, conceptually this game was good. Unfortunately, with poor AI and a crummy story to go with it – Mindjack was doomed to begin with. I’d not recommend going out of your way to play this.

 

6. Armorines: Project S.W.A.R.M

Sometimes you get a game and you think to yourself “I could do better”, this is one of those games. From the moment I laid my eyes on this monstrosity of a game I realised that something specially bad had been made. From the clunky weaponry to the uninspired enemies, Project S.W.A.R.M for the N64 just looks bad.

To make matters worse, it really didn’t live up to the power of the N64 at all. But rather than tell you all of this, how about you have a watch of the video we’ve found of it instead? Also, could the music have gotten any more generic!? It’s clunky, it’s sluggish, it’s crass. It’s not what we want in a game as there’s no depth. You’re basically a group of marines fighting insects. Anything else?

I guess it doesn’t help that it’s clearly not aged well.

 

5. Heretic 2

The Heretic series is a bit of a continuity mess. You first have Heretic, then the two Hexen, and then you have this atrocity, Heretic 2. It was ugly even by the standards of its time, and switching between 1st and 3rd person perspective did nothing to improve on that. The plot itself was serviceable, it worked, but the gameplay was so uneven, especially the constant and unneeded platforming, that getting to the end and the payoff was an almost herculean task.

 

4. Extreme Paintbrawl

Considered one of the worst games ever made, the funniest thing is I personally rated it better than the three games below simply because it now almost has cult-status due to the magnitudes of crap this game puts you through.

Terrible environments and really bad 2d characters in their 3d world. There are awkward movement cycles (including people crawling in the most worm-like way I’ve ever seen) and it’s not even like the AI can give you any form of challenge. Of course, it’s still possibly better than Big Rigs… But that game deserves a blog piece unto itself. But finally, do not get me started on the music. I might just go cry in a corner even remembering this game. Why did I rate this just number 4 again..? Oh right, these games

 

3. Enter the Matrix

What pains me the most about this game is that I got a physical copy of it on release. Not only did it have an insanely large installation size for its time and the relatively short game, but also the gameplay itself was mind-numbingly dull. Not even running around the matrix and power jumping was fun, and the fights and shootouts were enough to turn even the biggest Matrix fan into a hater. The only good things about it were the full motion cut-scenes, and those weren’t that good either!

 

2. Alien Colonial Marines

To be honest, this game isn’t number 1 on our list only because Daikatana is bigger mess of a game, but it comes dangerously close.

Colonial Marines started out as what most thought would be the definite Alien game, but ended up being the most embarrassing titles ever released in the videogame industry since the aforementioned John Romero “masterpiece.” Terrible and glitchy visuals accompanied flat gameplay and an AI so bad it should be renamed to AS: Artificial Stupidity.

 

1. Daikatana

I was introduced to Daikatana by a Video Game reviewer/YouTuber called JonTron and it’s with this in mind, I wanted to like Daikatana, thinking that Jon might have gone a bit overboard.

He was not wrong in the slightest. Daikatana is a mess of a game, where you can kill people and get stuck in a map. Repetitive music, samey weapons and basically a game that wanted to be too big for the technology that was available at the time. On the PC version, you happen to also have some of the worst AI allies ever made on your side… But then on the N64 version they’re taken out but left in the cutscenes.

 


 

Honorary Mentions

Yeah, these games are also pretty damn bad… But they didn’t quite cut the mustard to be called the worst shooters. They are still pretty bad mind you, so let’s salute them in all of their short comings!

Duke Nukem Forever

We couldn’t leave old Duke alone, could we?

This game actually played well enough, so before anyone thinks this is some cruel joke that it’s only an honorary, we couldn’t actually justify it being in the Top 10 list. However, many of you will disagree. You need to think of this game in a more subjective way, however. The games time-line was messed up and by the time the developers received the rights to make this game, you can bet your bubblegum that it had already been 10 years too late.

This was an ill-fated game. It did play fine though and there are some cheap laughs. Plus Duke himself was envisioned near perfectly, so we couldn’t say this was one of the worst shooters of all time.

 

Rage

Rage goes to our honorary mention because it’s not an entirely bad game; it’s just completely bland and uninspired, from its setting and plot to its gimmicky racing segments. If you took out the RPG and Loot-fest elements out of Borderlands along with all the humour and good writing you’d get Rage. It sounds mean and unfair, but it’s the absolute truth.

 


 

 

What do you think of our list of some of the worst shooters we’ve ever experienced? Notice we left the Call of Duty’s and the Battlefields out? Whilst I’m not a fan of either of those franchises, it doesn’t make those games bad. The games above are just bad. I mean really, Daikatana.

Once more, we’d like to step back and thank Kevin from 1001-Up and The Mental Attic for getting involved with our Top 10’s and if you’d like to get involved, just drop us an e-mail via our Contact Us page. Until next time, take it easy my fellow geeks!

Bloversation – Atmosphere 3

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We thought we’d stick to the theme of atmosphere in gaming, as it’s such a broad subject.

What turns me off of a game the most is that feeling that I cannot be in that world; that I cannot sympathise with that world in any way, shape or form. For this, I have one game in particular that I will be picking on and I apologise in advance as this is a popular game and I’m sure many people won’t agree with me.

Before this though, let’s talk some more about good atmosphere in games that you might not necessarily think had any form of atmosphere. How about a game like The Sims? I’m talking about the original game of The Sims, the first in the franchise.

Oh yeah. Let’s… Be people… I guess!

The Sims in concept is pretty bland. You basically have these characters that you create who needs you to hold their hands lest they turn into little slobs and finds life to be pretty tough. The Sims is one of these games that splits the audience somewhat, due to some gamers believing that a game should have some form of action. The Sims does have action for the record, but it depends how you play it.

When you start, you’re looking down at your little Sims and you’re trying to make sense of who and what they are. These guys are near clueless as to what to do and you have to help improve their home, their social lives, their careers and yes, their finances. You can have the walls of the house up, or the walls down so you can look in the house easier. The standard view alone gives you the impression that you are in control of what you’re looking down at. In fact; Compare the view to children playing with their doll set. That is basically the premise of this game: You are playing with some dolls. They’re your dolls, made to your specification. You are in control, not them!

To add to this, you feel like you’re in the world of the Sims. You watch them while they watch TV. You listen to their conversations which is seemingly a language devoid of any true reasoning; Simlish. The scariest thing is: That language is “proper”, it has an actual meaning behind each weird word they say. Check out this blog that I found dedicated to Simlish and tell me that isn’t cool?!

So whilst in The Sims, the world tries to make you believe it’s a real world, there are other games that have atmosphere without trying to make you “believe in the world”. They want to give you that amount of disbelief to where you just happen to think it is indeed a “real world”.

Enter ToeJam & Earl

Toe Jam & Earl was a really simple game, where you literally go around and get pieces of your rocket ship together. The game the whole time is ridiculously silly and over the top. This is why this game has a perfect atmosphere. Your characters are aliens who have crash landed on this bizarre world called Earth.

The game was satirical and yet you could completely believe the world these aliens landed on. See, these aliens were really far fetched, I mean just look at them both in the above picture. It was silly, it was “radical” and all in all – It was fun. These were funky aliens who landed on this strange world that you and I see as normal. It was really well done and the whole point was for you to explore this weirdly different world.Whilst the aliens were different to you and I, they found our world alien and strange. It looked strange to them too – Which is why this game worked so well. It was just a simple, easy to relate to story of an outsider looking in at our (okay now outdated) culture.

So then, those are two games with great atmosphere for the world they built. So what is that popular game that I mentioned that didn’t have such a good atmosphere? I’m very sorry:

Hey there good lookin’, wha’cha got cookin’? Some plasma in the face?

Take this not as an insult to those who enjoy Doom 3 as it is a super game. It’s well done and it’s very, hmm, scary? I’m not really too big on jump scares in games as it never feels like it worked for me, however that was exactly my point.

Each moment the game felt like it was going to open up more and become a bigger, scarier game – Well that was all it did. it just got scarier and didn’t leave me “included” in the game. I couldn’t get behind the characters and it didn’t feel like it was going anywhere any time soon.

Instead all I had was random jump scares and incredibly bland, stale characters. I am afraid to say that the voices of the characters felt like they were done by one man only. It didn’t matter what the character looked like, they were just different octaves of one guy and on top of that: The characters didn’t really react to things or talk in “human ways”. To me, this killed the suspense through the dialogue alone.

For all of its accomplishments and how great fun the game itself is (I’d recommend playing it!), it’s not particularly “absorbing”. You don’t feel connected to Mars and you don’t want to really get involved with the world: Because you can’t.

So, what did you all think? Can you give us any more examples of popular games that aren’t particularly atmospheric? What about older games that are incredibly atmospheric? Alternatively, what games are atmospheric?