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  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Mediocre Games that You Find Surprisingly Enjoyable

    What games do you have a fondness for that, objectively, aren't really all that good?

    For me, Grand Ages: Rome. Basic city building, straightforward resource management, and simple combat. Yet, each piece is just meaty enough and has just enough nice touches that the whole package works.

    Resources are easy to manage, so the challenge for the economy derives from properly balancing long and short term goals and ensuring you don't neglect the necessities, including a military, rather than tedious and complicated finagling (looking at you, Dawn of Discovery/entire Anno series). The slave resource may also be the best (economic) depiction of slavery in a game: they aren't as productive as free citizens, but they require only a fraction of the space and upkeep. However, once you invest in slaves its very hard to switch over to free labor due to the space planning problems you will have inflicted upon your city and the need to keep the resources that the slaves produce flowing. Relying on slaves also means investing heavily in the acquisition of more (very necessary to counteract their inefficiency), meaning a large military and dedicating some of your (limited) trade routes to importing them.

    The military aspect is simple, but the units have a fair amount of character. Elephants are awesome, but the gladiator slave legions are surprisingly endearing as you can declare them free, causing them to become briefly invincible before disbanding.

    Finally, I love, love, love the character creation element: each mission you complete gets you a skill point, and points can be put towards two generic skill trees and one skill tree unique to your character's family. There are a lot of skills and they make a pretty large difference in how you play, and the extremely lengthy--frankly too lengthy, as you'll hit the level cap (which tops out at 30, I think) long before the end--campaign means that you'll get a chance to utilize a lot of them. It also nicely helps alleviate the problem of many city builders, where there's a fairly obvious optimal approach to the game that sucks a lot of the fun from the experience; here, your character choices can make pushing through the campaign & replaying the game an ever-changing experience. For example, one family specializes in slave labor, and maxing out their skill tree makes slaves as productive as citizens, increases slave income, and provides some handy military boosts (to help you get more slaves, of course!).

    So, what game or games that are objectively kind of "meh" do you like? And try to keep in mind when a game was released; time has brought low many a game that was considered pretty good in its time.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Evil Genius and Kane & Lynch 2. Both got middling at best reviews, both have definitely been enjoyed by me.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  3. #3
    Activated Node P7uen's Avatar
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    Starship Troopers: Terran Ascendancy.

    Maybe I like the universe, and I certainly love LTM (Little Tactical Men) games, but this bug-ridden game totally has my heart (and it works on Win7). You can level up your little men, distribute weapons a-la Men of War, and shoot bugs, but only the animated spider-type.

    Also, it has no save, meaning you can crash to desktop after an hour in a level and lose everything. I love it.

  4. #4
    Activated Node sonicblastoise's Avatar
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    Alpha Protocol!

    It's really papery sometimes, but I just love seeing all the various perks and touches that show up when you do things all the different ways. It makes me appreciate all the attention they paid to the story.
    Maybe the next one darling...maybe the next one

  5. #5
    Network Hub Cable's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed call of juarez: bound in blood, enjoyed the story and found it and the characters engaging, shooting was decent and cover system was pretty cool and really just enjoyed the western feel and wide open beautiful environments

  6. #6
    Network Hub Gentleman Jim Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cable View Post
    I really enjoyed call of juarez: bound in blood, enjoyed the story and found it and the characters engaging, shooting was decent and cover system was pretty cool and really just enjoyed the western feel and wide open beautiful environments
    thisssssss

  7. #7
    Activated Node G915's Avatar
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    Whoa, did someone just mention Alpha Protocol in a mediocre games thread?
    Testing 1 2 3

  8. #8
    Activated Node sonicblastoise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G915 View Post
    Whoa, did someone just mention Alpha Protocol in a mediocre games thread?
    Hey now, I don't decide these things. Take it up with Metacritic.

    And everyone else who gave that game a 7
    Maybe the next one darling...maybe the next one

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonicblastoise View Post
    Alpha Protocol!

    It's really papery sometimes, but I just love seeing all the various perks and touches that show up when you do things all the different ways. It makes me appreciate all the attention they paid to the story.
    There is no way in hell that game was mediocre. It was brilliant, just buggy at launch.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    I love how 7 is average and 6 means terribad.

  11. #11
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    I didn't find Matrix too bad at the time. I was just disappointed that i only got to play as these two goons rather than Neo and Morpheus (??? I think that's his name).

  12. #12
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    Five should mean average. That is how scoring systems should work.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Ian's Avatar
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    Another for Bound in Blood. I'm fairly sure it's mostly little more than competent with a few quirks (gun duels, etc.) but the western setting being relatively little-used in games helps and the levels tend to be genuinely lovely. Looking out over big vistas, etc.

    I want more western games. :(
    A brave heart and a courteous tongue. They shall carry thee far through the jungle, manling.

  14. #14
    This game got good reviews but from the reception around RPS you'd think it was the spawn of the devil, so I don't know if it counts.

    I loved modern warfare 2 when I played it, I just loved the solid feel of the shooting.

  15. #15
    I really enjoined Kane & Lynch:Dead man. The fact that Kane and Lynch aren't some innocent, wrongly accused ex military or ex cops trying to stop the bad guys was very refreshing. They are awful people who have awful things happen to them and the people around them because they are awful people, and that's great, I really wish more games had such interesting main characters.

    The sequel was quite disappointing, but not because it was a bad game, yes the shooting got repetitive after some time and so did the setting, but because they didn't do anything interesting with the characters. Still a enjoyable game that didn't deserve all the hate it got.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    Five should mean average. That is how scoring systems should work.
    In my mind, six is 'average', since htat is the grade that you get when you have performed adequately, but not spectaculary.

    However, since many games do not get released when someone feels they deserve a score of 5 to 1, and the devs continue to polish it untill they have got it up to 7, the scoring system gets skewed.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    The First Templar

    It got similar reviews to Fable 3, but is of lower quality due to it being... Well, a European release published by Kalypso. The voice acting is a bit laughable, the combat was a very broken version of Arkham Asylum's, the models are both well made and poorly made (The lady has reasonable breasts!), and it has a few old-school aspects to it such as collectables. But I liked it for all its mediocrity, and I enjoyed it more than some higher budget releases.

  18. #18
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    Mark Ecko's Getting Up:Contents under pressure

    Sure the combat sucks but the platforming, stealth and graffitti parts work good enough to be enjoyable. It also features setpieces like painting a running train and the outside of a flying blimp.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pew pew LAZORS! View Post
    The sequel was quite disappointing, but not because it was a bad game, yes the shooting got repetitive after some time and so did the setting, but because they didn't do anything interesting with the characters. Still a enjoyable game that didn't deserve all the hate it got.
    Co-op with buddy, open mic, taking the shit out of everything we see or do....K&L2 became a massive lolfest instead of the really crappy shooter it really is. Best part was when you're running naked in the rain on the street. I circled a parked car naked, ducking, to distract the enemies with my dangling privates, while my friend shot them. AND IT ACTUALLY WORKED.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pew pew LAZORS! View Post
    I really enjoined Kane & Lynch:Dead man. The fact that Kane and Lynch aren't some innocent, wrongly accused ex military or ex cops trying to stop the bad guys was very refreshing. They are awful people who have awful things happen to them and the people around them because they are awful people, and that's great, I really wish more games had such interesting main characters.

    The sequel was quite disappointing, but not because it was a bad game, yes the shooting got repetitive after some time and so did the setting, but because they didn't do anything interesting with the characters. Still a enjoyable game that didn't deserve all the hate it got.
    I think the sequel had a better art aesthetic, but every venue was basically the same. I really did enjoy the "non-heroes," (because anti-hero is still way too much; these are bad men) because you don't really see that in much narrative, but in terms of story arc I have to agree that, in the first game, there was more there there.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

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