Before most of you start getting your panties and underwear in a bunch, note that overrated does not necessarily mean that I think all of these games are bad… unless I say they are.
Now that I got that out the way, let’s kick things off with the first victim of the hype machine.
Call of Duty Series
The one thing I hate about the time of year when there’s a new Call of Duty game set for release, is when I go to my local game store to pick up a game I’m really interested in, I have to deal with the guy behind the till do his usual promotional crap about how “if you place your pre-order now, you will get a free gold mine coming out of your butt” or some trash like that. When I say “No thanks, not interested in the series, never have been, never will be” and he then proceeds to give me a look of shock, disdain and disbelief combined with the look of being constipated — that I dare not like that sorry excuse of an FPS.
Here’s my main beef with the series as a whole, CoD (No, I’m not referring to Cod of duty, which is a game I do recommend by the way) is a watered-down FPS designed for people who can’t handle real shooters such as Half-Life 2, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Painkiller, Quake, the list can go on and on. Actually, while I’m on a role, I think I’ll throw in the masterpiece that is Deus Ex.
You know, I find it kind of funny that for a while PC gamers were constantly bashed for playing so-called “Generic FPS games” and now almost every console is churning out FPS galore thanks to this trashy series. It’s PC gamers that are getting more variety in gaming, thanks to the indie scene.
Right! Here’s the thing, I stopped playing and giving a damn about the Grand Theft Auto series after Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I’m not going to start bashing the series, or even make disparaging remarks about it’s fan-base and the morality of the type of people that play this game (that last one was a joke, just in case any idiots get offended and start sending death-threats from behind a keyboard). I actually really liked the story to San Andreas, and I thought it was really well done. The reason I stopped buying into the series is because it was becoming popular, but for all the wrong reasons. This is something I’ve gone into before, so I won’t bore you too much with the whole “game turning into a brand name” speech.
It’s a gaming series that has produced many good games, but not great games. Regardless of whether or not GTA V is a good game, one thing that I really disliked was the way people started flocking towards game stores like a herd of blind sheep to make pre-orders, just because they saw a promotional video that showed no gameplay whatsoever. What would you people have done if it turned out the game was rubbish and played like trying to master a violin with greased-up hands and thorns wrapped around the bow while someone throws bags of salt at you? I bet you would have felt like a right pillock, wouldn’t you?
The Last of Us
The one thing I kept hearing about this game more than anything else, was about how it was a brilliant example of how storytelling is executed in video games. I may be in the minority here, but I thought this was a bad example of how storytelling is executed in a game. You see, when using video games as a storytelling medium, there’s one key element to it all, gameplay must dictate the direction of the story, therefore the player feels involved throughout the whole process. When you have the story pushing you in a specific direction for the sake of plot development, or if you feel like the only reason you’re playing is to move the story forward, without actually enjoying the game itself, then the game fails in its job.
An example of this would be in one of the stealth sections, where you have Ellie running around and announcing herself to the enemy AI, yet they pay no attention to her. The second your hairline is in sight though, you end up with your jugular getting gnawed. For the love of god, make the story relevant to the gameplay, so that you feel some form of involvement at the very least.
The Last of Us could’ve been written as a Hollywood blockbuster, a novel, a TV series or even a comic book and still would’ve been successful, which pretty much takes away anything that makes it unique as a medium for storytelling. a good example would be something like Spec Ops: The Line, or Nier.
Final Fantasy VII
As big a fan as I am of the Final Fantasy series (or used to be, before Hironobu Sakaguchi left) I must say that the seventh game was probably the most hyped out of them all. I fully respect the fact that it introduced an even broader audience to the series, but for people to call it the best Final Fantasy game is a bit of a stretch, and that’s putting it politely.
I enjoyed the gameplay and storyline back when I first played it, but I can’t say I particularly liked Cloud’s character, and the whole concept of Sephiroth going berserk and wanting to destroy everything because of his mummy issues made him weak as an antagonist.
For the record, the best game in the series was Final Fantasy VI. You just can’t beat Kefka as a villain.
Now, before anyone starts getting upset about this game being added to the list, let me just explain the biggest problem I have with Kingdom Hearts- I CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO COMPLETE IT!!! Even up to this day, I still have my copies of the first and second game, and I keep telling myself that I’m going to finally complete the whole series, but I always end up losing interest in the game while playing.
Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely try my best to get into the series as hard as I can, but I just stop caring halfway. No game in the world can be all that great, (despite how many people think otherwise) if the one thing that’s preventing the completion of it is pure boredom.
There are, in fact, tons of other games I would’ve loved to have gone in-depth as to why I think they are so overrated, but I would end up sitting here till the end of time itself.
What I’ll do instead, I’ll give you a quick list of some of the games I didn’t get the chance to talk about. So, without further ado (BTW, it would be really helpful if you played the main theme to Platoon in the background while reading this and forming a montage in your head of box covers fading in and out slow-motion for each game you go through in the list.)
- Halo Series
- Gears of War 2 and Upwards
- Need for Speed Series
- Resident Evil 4
- Devil May Cry 2
- Battlefield Series
- Metal Gear Solid 4
- Tomb Raider (Reboot)
- Uncharted Series
- Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and Upwards
I don’t have anything personal against a majority of the games that I’ve mentioned here, it’s just that I feel these titles gain more attention than they actually deserve, and as a result there are some great gems out there that go completely unnoticed, which I will be discussing more about in the second part to this article.