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  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    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.
    Yeah, Eidos had some really talented artists work on these games. The visual style was great in the second game, it took advantage of the neon lights filled environment. I also like the character designs of Kane and Lynch, they don't look like your average video game bad-ass villains. They look like shit, like you would expect from people with their past.



    Quote Originally Posted by Tikey View Post
    Also Advent Rising.
    I think it's a good game (not a mediocre one), and I don't find it enjoyable, I love it.

    I think it's got to do with how well it portraits the sense of being incredibly powerful. The story is quite interesting too, with some nice twists. A shame there will never be a continuation.
    I had completely forgotten about this wonderful game. If only had Majesco given GlyphX Games more time to finish Advent Rising and not made them rush it out with so much content cut out.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonicblastoise View Post
    YOU think they're mediocre. The OP is wondering about games that were considered mediocre by the community-at-large or major news outlets.

    If I think a game is mediocre, then of course I'm going to have some fun with it. A mediocre amount of fun. It's axiomatic. Why ask a question with an axiomatic answer? It's pointless. The only other possibility is that he's asking for games that "other people" thought were mediocre but that we (individuals) thought were great. That's the only question worth answering in this context.

    Are you being difficult? Or do you honestly think that he meant to ask a question with a self-explanatory answer?
    And you are conveniently forgetting those products with piss poor game components yet still provide entertainment. Reading text in Planescape: Torment, for instance, while the combat sucks. Walking around the game world and looking at things in Morrowind, with a rubbish leveling system.

  3. #43
    Activated Node sonicblastoise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    And you are conveniently forgetting those products with piss poor game components yet still provide entertainment. Reading text in Planescape: Torment, for instance, while the combat sucks. Walking around the game world and looking at things in Morrowind, with a rubbish leveling system.
    Please, someone, help him. I don't like it when I feel like I'm talking past people.

    I'm trying so hard not to
    Maybe the next one darling...maybe the next one

  4. #44
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonicblastoise View Post
    YOU think they're mediocre. The OP is wondering about games that were considered mediocre by the community-at-large or major news outlets.
    Well that's a much less interesting thread. Everyone knows that people are stupid and that most reviewers are shills.

    And anyway:

    Quote Originally Posted by Drinking with Skeletons View Post
    What games do you have a fondness for that, objectively, aren't really all that good?
    Consensus (critical or otherwise) does not imply objectivity unless you're in 1984. The word doesn't map terribly well to Wizardy's interpretation either, but it's a hell of a lot closer, i.e. it's when you try to be objective about a game. I would've phrased the question as to use the word 'intellectually' in place of 'objectively' myself.

    It's a sad day when I have to defend Wizardry's single-minded cantankerousness.
    Last edited by Rii; 11-08-2011 at 10:15 PM.

  5. #45
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Mediocrity is subjective, I suppose. However, given the time period in which the games Wizardry brought up were released, I can't help but feel that they don't really fit the criteria of an objectively mediocre game. It's hard to be both hugely popular and hugely influential while still being mediocre.

    Let's cast our eyes on another field: literature. Homer's Odyssey could be called mediocre based upon its stilted style, lack of complex characterization, and the many other uses of the supernatural/mythological elements in other works. However, it wasn't written in the year 2011 (and isn't really intended to be a written work and may be better viewed as part of an oral tradition) and many works which feature similar elements owe some measure of their success to the Odyssey. Can The Odyssey be considered mediocre if the works which make it mediocre by comparison are indebted to it?

    Additionally, can a work be considered mediocre based purely upon a few aspects? Half-Life 2 is a pretty ordinary game in which you run down linear paths and shoot shit, occasionally broken up by unexceptional vehicle sections and a few cool weapons (most of which are cool only because of the game's use of physics). However, it's technological and narrative triumphs are what cause it to be heralded as a great game. How often do you hear anyone complain that the guns are kind of "light" feeling or that most of the levels are basically just corridors? Those statements aren't false, or even inaccurate, but a person trying to claim that Half-Life 2 is mediocre based upon those assessments just looks like an unforgiving, rigid asshole with no sense of context.
    Last edited by Drinking with Skeletons; 11-08-2011 at 10:31 PM.

  6. #46
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    Well that's a much less interesting thread. Everyone knows that people are stupid and that most reviewers are shills.
    I don't really mean we should be using review aggregates for our determination of mediocrity. I think that most rational people can identify entertainment which is mediocre, the titles that make you go "meh." I defend Grand Ages: Rome, but I certainly don't think it's an amazing title that everyone should play, nor do I think it's a title which everyone--let alone more discriminating players--would enjoy.

    If we don't try to maintain some kind of general consensus on the criteria (and we've had a pretty good conversation in this thread so far about what defines mediocrity), then this thread is just a list of games that people like. And, no offense, but some games just don't need to be highlighted or defended. How many people would chime in "Portal!" or "Starcraft!" or any number of games that we all know about and probably have opinions on? This thread is an opportunity to advocate our less universally beloved, personal favorites. You never know when a title you've heard little or nothing about will pop up and catch your eye.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drinking with Skeletons View Post
    Mediocrity is subjective, I suppose. However, given the time period in which the games Wizardry brought up were released, I can't help but feel that they don't really fit the criteria of an objectively mediocre game. It's hard to be both hugely popular and hugely influential while still being mediocre.

    Let's cast our eyes on another field: literature. Homer's Odyssey could be called mediocre based upon its stilted style, lack of complex characterization, and the many other uses of the supernatural/mythological elements in other works. However, it wasn't written in the year 2011 (and isn't really intended to be a written work and may be better viewed as part of an oral tradition) and many works which feature similar elements owe some measure of their success to the Odyssey. Can The Odyssey be considered mediocre if the works which make it mediocre by comparison are indebted to it?
    But it's nothing to do with the time periods those games were released in. Nothing at all. They were mediocre to bad for their time periods just as they are mediocre looking back at them from the present.

  8. #48
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drinking with Skeletons View Post
    If we don't try to maintain some kind of general consensus on the criteria (and we've had a pretty good conversation in this thread so far about what defines mediocrity), then this thread is just a list of games that people like.
    Not really; it'd be a list of games people retain a fondness for (suggesting that it did more than merely keep them entertained at the time) despite acknowledging the existence of some fairly major flaws (or lack of truly notable strengths) that prevent one from honestly describing it as 'great'. It's the difference between experiencing a game and evaluating it. The former is intimately associated with our personal idiosyncrasies and the circumstances under which we played it - age, with whom - whereas with the latter we attempt to suppress these distinctly personal aspects of experience and judge with a more dispassionate eye.

    But whatever; it's your thread.

    Some examples of games which qualify for me according to the above criteria:

    Voyager Elite Force - Competent but unremarkable FPS given additional heft for me on account of its excellent use of the Star Trek license. Teehee, I'm on the bridge!

    Stronghold - 'meh' in most aspects ... but I'll never forget cackling maniacally as I constructed medieval Death Stars in the editor.

    Super Monkey Ball - Pretty fun, but I remember this mostly because a friend and I hammered our heads against its various stages over the better part of a week, progressing little by little and leaving the console on for lack of a save system... only for his Mum to turn it off one day whilst she was doing the vacuuming. Epic rage.

    Hmm and let's have a look at their Metacritics just for curiousity... 86, 81, 87. Yup.
    Last edited by Rii; 11-08-2011 at 11:28 PM.

  9. #49
    Network Hub SMiD's Avatar
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    Is Urban Assault considered a mediocre game? Because I enjoyed the hell out of that. Seriously, more people need to play that little gem. I would recommend the use of a joystick, however.

  10. #50
    Little Big Adventure: It's completely bonkers, yet oddly very charming. The controls were an absolute nightmare though, responsible for many a ragequit.

  11. #51
    Activated Node G915's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    Refute my points.
    Sorry, I don't really care enough.
    Testing 1 2 3

  12. #52
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    starting here and scrolling up
    http://www.metacritic.com/browse/gam...densed&page=14
    Empire Earth III at 50 metas was fine
    Judge Dredd: Dredd VS Death was good too
    Alone in the Dark(2008) 55 metas was broken but really interesting
    APB 58 metas i had abloody good time playing (just no way i was paying a monthly fee)
    Wheelman 58 wasa fun time too
    Republic: The Revolution 62 metacritics
    Alpha Prime 59 metas... its cutscenes were unintentionally hilarious you need a gamefaqq to figure out what you are doing, but its actually pretty smart.
    Zombie Driver 60 being fair to the reviewers, the game is massively improved since release, its barely the same game, but i consider the game essential
    Magicka: Vietnam 60, why so low? Eh, a tiny cheap dlc to one of my favourites is still a good thing
    Original War 61, a reasonable review now, but at release that seems mad?
    Surf's Up was a great kids game and a pretty if mechanically unchallenged game, I've neverwatched the movie, never will but i found bopping about the water enjoyable
    Clive Barker's Jericho okay yes.... 63 is a generous score, but download a save file for the cheats (the game otherwise wants you to pay codemasters for) and the game turns into an enjoyable romp
    Hinterland again, its probably the right score for lots of logical reasons but i just got enraptured by this game
    kill.switch being at only 66 metas is disgusting, the game was ace
    The Settlers: Rise of an Empire 66 metas is again unforgivable.... yes it was a bad campaign... but just pop on skirmish against another player and its 9/10 material.
    Kane & Lynch: Dead Men played in coop with my girlfriend, it was beautiful
    Blueberry Garden at 68 i'm sure is right for the campaign thing, but as a kids toy for experimenting in sandbox? when priced like a mobile phone game? 10/10
    Lego Racers 2 it let me build the leg batman car practically
    The Ball 68 is just wrong
    Battlefield Heroes at 69 is totally rightful, maybe even generous, unless you were on voip with a squad of camo commandos and before they added jetpacks, then the game became one of the best versions of battlefield


    I'll stop at 70%, as that's apparently industry speak for average

    But my "critical hit" is Boiling Point: Road to Hell

    Its everything people wanted farcry 2 to be and 30 times the terribadd, yes its buggy but you can save the game any time, and the first person you talk to steals your daughters car unless you threaten him... Its genius.

    So... am I required to relinquish my RPS card?

  13. #53
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Casimir Effect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonicblastoise View Post
    Please, someone, help him. I don't like it when I feel like I'm talking past people.

    I'm trying so hard not to
    No one can, some people have opinions which are initially formed from an irrational dislike that then become so ingrained over the years as to no longer seem irrational to the holder. I used to have something against Deus Ex for many years and to this day I can't tell you why. Luckily I got over it but some poor souls never do.

    You have 2 options: ignore or troll. The first is easy but often unfulfilling, while to accomplish the second just dig up the names of a bunch of turn-based games from the 80s & 90s and say they suck because the XYZ is awful.

    As to my rebuttle (made because PS:T is my favourite game, BG2 is in the Top-5 & Morrowind gave me some happy times):
    I loved the combat in all the Infinite Engine games - including and especially Torment in fact. Spell FMVs are a rarity on PC and were pretty well done. The combat itself was solid and usually managed to provide a good challenge all the way through the game; in fact I'm kind of annoyed there's this culture of saying Torment had a great story but bad gameplay, as if no one wants to allow the game had both. It's like Crysis and people saying it was all look but otherwise a bland FPS. Like fuck it was - hearing that is usually a good identifier for someone who never played the game.
    And the Morrowind level system was great: it allowed you to progress at your own pace and was open to being broken (which I always like in games as it means I have an 'out' option if something gets too hard). I've never really understood why people dislike it: use a skill and you get better at it. The only stupid mechinic is where you get better at 'Armour' by being hit. But then the whole 'Armour' skill is a bit silly anyway.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casimir Effect View Post
    I loved the combat in all the Infinite Engine games - including and especially Torment in fact. Spell FMVs are a rarity on PC and were pretty well done. The combat itself was solid and usually managed to provide a good challenge all the way through the game; in fact I'm kind of annoyed there's this culture of saying Torment had a great story but bad gameplay, as if no one wants to allow the game had both. It's like Crysis and people saying it was all look but otherwise a bland FPS. Like fuck it was - hearing that is usually a good identifier for someone who never played the game.
    Alright, now go and play a turn-based D&D computer game to find out just why the Infinity Engine combat sucked in comparison. D&D is a turn-based system and works better as a turn-based system. There were turn-based D&D games 10 years before the Infinity Engine popped up. Those games had better gameplay. Baldur's Gate, in comparison, was just combat and dialogue on top of a "clear the shroud" mini-game. The Infinity Engine gameplay is incredibly shallow because the engine is built around the lack of interaction. Environments are bitmaps covered in shroud. On top of the bitmaps are NPCs you either attack or talk to. Nothing else. No other gameplay. And combat is worse than turn-based D&D combat while dialogue is worse than Fallout's as it lacks the plentiful skill checks. In other words, the Infinity Engine games have mediocre gameplay. Nothing stands out other than dialogue, graphics, music, characters, writing, story and other such things that aren't related to the core gameplay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Casimir Effect View Post
    And the Morrowind level system was great: it allowed you to progress at your own pace and was open to being broken (which I always like in games as it means I have an 'out' option if something gets too hard). I've never really understood why people dislike it: use a skill and you get better at it. The only stupid mechinic is where you get better at 'Armour' by being hit. But then the whole 'Armour' skill is a bit silly anyway.
    I said Ultima VII. Not Morrowind. Anything to say on Ultima VII? Oh, you haven't played it?

  15. #55
    Activated Node P7uen's Avatar
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    Or we could all just admit that we know what the OP was getting at regardless of semantics, and then admit we wouldn't be as pedantic if we were just having a chat about games over beers, and then just try and join in and have a nice thread of lovely fun and all continue with our days happy :)

  16. #56
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Over beers? I thought this was more like alcoholics anonymous but about bad games.

    "Hi, my name is Fred, I like crap games"
    "Hi Fred"

  17. #57
    Network Hub GraveyardJimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    Nothing stands out other than dialogue, graphics, music, characters, writing, story and other such things
    How mediocre.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    On top of the bitmaps are NPCs you either attack or talk to. Nothing else
    Erm, this is a lie. The environment is at least slightly interactive. Nothing in depth, but there are containers, houses, levers and gates that are part of the gameplay, along with traps etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by An Anonymous Source
    Little Big Adventure: It's completely bonkers, yet oddly very charming. The controls were an absolute nightmare though, responsible for many a ragequit.
    I absolutely loved both LBA and LBA2. The music and world were great, and it was incredibly charming. :-D
    Last edited by GraveyardJimmy; 12-08-2011 at 10:28 AM.

  18. #58
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Casimir Effect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    Alright, now go and play a turn-based D&D computer game to find out just why the Infinity Engine combat sucked in comparison. D&D is a turn-based system and works better as a turn-based system. There were turn-based D&D games 10 years before the Infinity Engine popped up. SUBJECTIVELY, those games had better gameplay. Baldur's Gate, in comparison, was just combat and dialogue on top of a "clear the shroud" mini-game. IN MY OPINION, the Infinity Engine gameplay is incredibly shallow because the engine is built around the lack of interaction. Environments are bitmaps covered in shroud. On top of the bitmaps are NPCs you either attack or talk to. Nothing else. No other gameplay. IN MY OPINION, combat is worse than turn-based D&D combat while dialogue is worse than Fallout's as it lacks the plentiful skill checks. In other words, the Infinity Engine games have, IN MY OPINION, mediocre gameplay. Nothing stands out other than dialogue, graphics, music, characters, writing, story and other such things that aren't related to the core gameplay.


    I said Ultima VII. Not Morrowind. Anything to say on Ultima VII? Oh, you haven't played it?
    I fixed your post for you, so as to hide the all-knowing god-complex behind a veneer of humbleness. Apart from saying things like the "Environments are bitmaps..." which are true, everything else you talked about is just how you feel. Maybe these older TBS D&D games are more complex and implement D&D better because, as you point out, it is turn-based. But isn't there a single chance that some people prefer the hybrid turn-based/real-time, simplified combat offered by the Infinite Engine games? They prefer the flow of the combat and maybe never got on with D&D outside video games due to it's halting ways. They prefer working within the restrictions the game poses on them rather than bombarding the user with options.

    Or maybe core gameplay isn't that important to some people. It certainly isn't to those who list The Longest Journey games among their favourites, or things like The Witcher 2 or Alpha Protocol. To those people, and I count myself among them, story, dialogue, characters and writing are far more important than the game allowing me to get injured in each seperate limb.

    As for Morrowind I'll put this quote here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    And you are conveniently forgetting those products with piss poor game components yet still provide entertainment. Reading text in Planescape: Torment, for instance, while the combat sucks. Walking around the game world and looking at things in Morrowind, with a rubbish leveling system.
    and say that you are half-right: I didn't play much of Ultima VII. I tried, but back in those days I was very much an RTS-only gamer with a few TBS (like The Prefect General or Steel Panthers) thrown in. Ultima VII had much appeal such as the massive world, freedom and secrets; but the quests infuriated me even early on and the combat was a clusterfuck. The story was intriguing though and I have heard great things about The Serpent Isle so maybe I'll try again one day. Open mindedness is a fantastic thing to have.

  19. #59
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    For whatever reason one of my favourite games of all time is 'Delta Force: Black Hawk Down'. I must have played this game through at least 4-5 times, there's something about the weapon handling and maps that I just love.

    In many ways I think it was a game before it's time but apparently it was widely regarded as mediocre. I just looked up a review of it on Gamespot which gave it 5.6, but most interesting is this description of why the reviewer found it disappointing:
    The game's first single-player mission provides a good idea of what you can expect from Black Hawk Down. It lifts ideas from the movie and throws them together in an unrealistic and clumsy fashion. The mission itself resembles a rail shooter, an arcade-style shooting game in which you're forced to move along a predetermined path while shooting any enemies in your way. For whatever reason, developers insisted on using this idea over and over.
    Sound familiar? Yes, BHD is a modern style linear shooter and was derided for it. 8 years later and it's console descendents get 90+ scores.

  20. #60
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Casimir Effect's Avatar
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    Suppose I should mention some mediocre games of my own.

    Vietcong springs to mind. I don't think it was thought of as great by many but I played it into the ground for the years around when it came out. It had 3 bad levels: 2 ones where you were stuck in a tunnel which were tense but a bit of a slog to the end, and 1 stealth/rescue mission which just didn't work in the engine. Completing this mission was more luck than good judgement. But the rest of the game was a good laugh: nice combat, the sort of AI which could be genius or short-bus, meaty weapons, great squad mechanics, and some often funny, mature writing to go with the setting.

    Disciples 2 is another game I'd count, although I'm not so sure this is actually thought of as medicore rather mostly ignored because it's turn-based strategy. Whatever it is I have lost several hundred hours to it in each of the 4 campaigns, sometimes a campaign twice but with as a different kind of Lord. One of those games that's great to go back to and runs on anything. I need to get round to trying the Kings Bounty and HOMM V games I have sometime as I hear there are similarities.

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