Games I have a love/hate relationship with
This was requested by my friend Dan. Some of these games are greater than the sum of their parts, others are not, and some that bothered me have not aged gracefully. So yeah, this is a love/hate list with a small verdict tossed in. Let me know if you have any of your own!
- •BioShockLove: The setting, the art, the horror elements, the varied combat abilities, the insane plot twists, and the Big Daddy is the most iconic videogame enemy since the turn of the century. Hate: floaty gunplay, hacking mini games, ridiculous fetch quest design and that final boss. Verdict: Worth playing as it is greater than the sum of its parts. I'd go so far as to call it essential.
- •Gone HomeLove: Sense of place, atmosphere, hidden story elements of father, mother, and past family history outside of main story. Hate: bland main narrative, short run-time compared to cost, and general lack of playability outside of exploration. Verdict: worth playing at least once but only if you plan to explore deeper than its main narrative.
- •GoldeneyeLove: fun split screen multiplayer. Hate: campaign design and general controls (even for its time). Verdict: Skip it. It's ancient history and the only reasons worth playing this game are nostalgia or an appreciation for where the genre came from.
- •Metroid Prime 3: CorruptionLove: smooth controls, intense combat, art design. Hate: exploration is de-emphasized, awful narrative. Verdict: worth playing as it's a solid FPS and decent send off for the trilogy but it can be skipped if you have no prior experience with Prime or Metroid. It's a weak representation of the series.
- •The Longest JourneyLove: story, characters, setting. Hate: 90's era puzzle design that makes it nearly impossible to figure out what to do without a guide. Verdict: Skip it unless you care about the history of the genre. But newer adventure games now often avoid the silly puzzle solutions of the 90's.
- •The Last RemnantLove: stellar, deep and engaging combat systems. It's really quite good! Hate: everything else. Literally. Bland narrative. Boring characters. Uninspired audio-visual elements. Verdict: Skip it. While combat is great there are better RPGs to invest dozens of hours into. Unless you're a genuine RPG combat aficionado (which is rare) you'll lose interest before the 20 hour mark if not sooner.
- •The Vanishing of Ethan CarterLove: fun mystery, ghostly visions, fun puzzles, neat horror aspects. Hate: the ending was a giant slap in the face that likely left everyone rolling their eyes. This is a big deal in a narrative focused game. Verdict: Worth playing for everything it does right before the final few minutes.
- •Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of LibertyLove: fun game systems, great boss battles. Hate: it's about 80% cutscenes so it really holds you back from enjoying the experience. Verdict: Skip it. There are less cutscene heavy games in the series worth looking into.
- •Dragon Age 2Love: characters and their relationships together. Hate: bland repeating level design, simplified role-playing elements. Verdict: Worth playing if you're into the series or love well written characters, otherwise skip it.
- •Call of Duty 4Love: intensity of scripted events, gunplay, multiplayer. Hate: poor level design overall. The game is very much designed around a lot of those scripted events which while cool have no real positive impact on play mechanics. Verdict: it's a toss up. It's worth playing once for campaign. For multiplayer buy the newest entry and skip this one, especially if you have no interest in single player.