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Old 12-30-2019, 02:47 AM
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My last word about horrible video games


Iíve never been into new yearís resolutions, mainly because the idea of starting plans for self-improvement based on a completely arbitrary calendar date always struck me as silly (and is probably the main reason they fail so quickly). But since I donít celebrate the holiday season in any meaningful way anymore and honestly donít have a whole lot of other better things to do, I figure I can knock off something Iíve put off for way too long.

If youíve followed my posts in the Game Room for the past, say, four years or so, you know that Iíve griped about video games. A lot. A whole damn lot. Thing is, this was one of the very few things about my childhood that was fun, beautiful, or thrilling, much less all three. While the adult figures in my life constantly tried to force-feed me Shakespeare, geezer music, hypercompetitive sports, and Yosemite National Park, I found true inspiration in the arcades. And when the mushbrains in Washington made Mortal Kombat a scapegoat, I dug in my heels like everyone else. So it wasnít easy to admit that something that used to be so positive now generates almost nothing but complaints. And Iíve come to realize that the time has come to give up the ghost. The joy isnít coming back; the industry isnít going to ďbecome good againĒ. I also realize that a lot of you are really into this medium, and yeah, I probably shouldnít keep harshing your collective buzzes.

So effective 2020, I will never again gripe about video games on this or any other online forum. No more tirades about way too hard, way too complicated, broken, had horrible bugs that ruined the experience, gave me motion sickness, was a complete ripoff, had a completely impenetrable section, imposed way too many restrictions, really wasnít fun at all, gave me nightmares, was a goddam crime against decency, etc. Iíve pounded that drum, Iíve said my piece, Iíve taken my stand, enough is enough. Men like him are better at that sort of thing, anyway.

With that in mind, Iíd like to take a few parting blasts at some absolute turds from the past:

Sid Meierís Pirates - Remember how much nearly everyone whined and moaned about Assassinís Creed 4: Black Flag because you didnít spend every single nanosecond sacking ships and guzzling rum? Oh my god, the game actually has a story, and there are places to explore, puzzles to solve, important tasks to complete! The horror! Well, if they were around in the late 80ís, they couldíve played this instead and spent every single nanosecond getting a cutlass shoved up their assholes. First off, you are always on the clock. Your crew is getting more and more unhappy, town defenses are getting stronger, merchants are getting more erratic literally constantly. Davy Jones help you if you try to make a living by trading; given the extreme distance between towns and the paltry profits under the best of circumstances, itís mainly a question of whether mutiny, starvation, or wrecking on the roughly 25,000 fucking shoals is going to do you in first. Letís not forget this ďSpanish Trade LawĒ bullshit which reduces your profits to roughly that of a fairly successful lemonade stand. Which leaves attacking ships, where youíll learn the joys of enemy ships either 1. turning tail and escaping upwind or 2. not turning tail and blasting your ship into matchwood, then blasting the matchwood into sawdust. Attacking towns is theoretically more rewarding, and I say ďtheoreticallyĒ because if you succeed you learn that the townsfolk hid about 95% of their stuff, meaning that, yep, your crew of useless slackers who couldnít fight their way out of a canvas sack is still Unhappy! Oh yeah, thatís the other thing: You ALWAYS have either too many or too few crewmen, and the all-or-nothing nature of recruiting only makes this even worse. Oh right, fencing, which is so goddam clumsy and clunky itíll make you pine for the elegance of a Guybrush Threepwood duel. And ever notice that every fucking opponent can take about five times as much damage as you? Trying to accomplish anything meaningful in this game is like keeping 50 plates spinning at once while you have a bomb strapped to your chest. I have never been happier with this game than when I was running a lowly cargo fluyt in 1640, schlepping goods between three closely-spaced towns, and blithely ignoring every sail I saw. Thatís how bad it got. And just for a finishing touch, if you do not do freakishly well by the time you retire, the game will actually insult you in the wrap-up screen. My first few careers, I could not believe how much wealth I had to acquire to avoid getting spat in my face. And then a couple years later Ultra games got in on the act with the NES port, in the process accomplishing something I didnít think possible: They took out everything in it that was satisfying. Simply finding anything satisfying to begin with was impressive enough, but they did, and we got getting constantly blown around by the wind, and even more incomprehensible fencing system, starting from a dead stop after every ship encounter, and towns not becoming economically stronger and getting higher prices when you sold to them, making trading even more foolhardy than it was. I liked Defender of the Crown a lot better than this. Fucking Defender of the Crown. Donít get me started on Pirates Gold, which added about 200 more plates and put an earthquake machine in the room. Gah. I can honestly say that this is the first ever pirate game which faithfully recreated the constant misery and hardship the typical pirate of the day lived under. Everyone involved in creating these abominations can kiss my undistinguished penniless pauper ASS.

Ultima 3 and 5 - Ultima 3 was the only game where I mangled the 5 1/2Ē disk in rage. Three times. I have never been so utterly vexed by a game before or since. The problem is that I proceed at a nice pace, levelling up, discovering things (remember, pre-Internet, so there was a lot to figure out on my own), and otherwise making progress, and then completely out of the blue a fucking dragon spawns, or a fucking devil spawns, or the whirlpool decides to pay a visit to where I parked all the ships. And when I finally got to that damn Exodus (an utter nightmare every step of the way), I got wiped out because I didnít remember the exact order to put in the cards, the book I read about them was at the library, and again, no Internet. Apparently Origin learned from this and in the future decided to cut out the cockteasing bullshit by making the entire game an exercise in agony. The thing that always strikes me about Ultima 5 is how meager it was. Scrabbling and scrounging for every gold piece, having to defeat hordes of foes while wielding dinky little main-gauches and clubs, scraping together enough reagents for a feeble magic missile, clinging to every last key because they broke like toothpicks, and on, and on. Oh, and I got killed all the fucking time. Not fun either. Never figured out that ďvirtueĒ garbage. And fuck the Shadowlords sideways for a thousand years.

Pro Wrestling - Proof that a game will be revered as one of the consoleís best so long as it only has a few titanic, monstrous game-breaking flaws. To wit: 1. No health meters (and it say something that nobodyís even trying to make the usual half-assed mealy-mouthed excuses for this). 2. The grappling system is completely random (ditto). 3. You have to win 10 title defenses in a row to reach Great Puma. 4. The opponents take more and more and more (and more...and more...and more...) damage the further you go, which means that if you lose before winning the title youíre pretty much fucked, and if you lose after you win the title youíre absolutely fucked. Goofydlyan8 and Bryan Evans are pretty much the only two people whoíve gotten anywhere with this trainwreck of a game.

Wishbringer - Wow, what a brilliant idea! A text adventure thatís like the Zork games, but itís much simpler and more reasonable, with every problem solvable with a little thought instead of massive doses of insane troll logic and dumb luck, and itís actually fun to play...and then it hides the one absolutely critical item in a place absolutely no one would think to look and give no clues whatsoever throughout the entire game as to where it is, so I always get hopelessly stuck one step from the finish! Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha FUCK YOU.

Puzzle Bobble (a.k.a. Bust-A-Move) - The first ever game in memory which perfectly blends vein-bursting frustration with nerve-shredding creeping panic. In a nutshell, every game vacillated between ďnever getting what you needĒ, ďgetting what you need but never in sufficient quantityĒ, ďmissingĒ, and ďthat fucking descending ceiling squashing you flatĒ. I never understood why Puzzle De Pon wasnít more popular. One of those eternal mysteries.

Dance Dance Revolution - HOW the fuck do you ruin a concept like this?? Thatís like burning down a brick wall or clapping with one finger; it shouldnít be possible. Leave it to Konami, though, to put in a completely nonsensical ďbattleĒ system which, of course, grossly favors the opponent, then make impossible modifiers mandatory in the third XBOX 360 version, and then throw in tons of different impossible modifier crap in the PS3 version. Oh, right, mustnít forget that galactically irritating, obnoxious announcer you want to punch in the face 10 million times, graft on another face, and punch it 10 million times, which CANNOT BE SHUT OFF. Nice to know Konami understands what really matters, huh? How the hell isnít Pump it Up doing better?

Gradius 2 - Hey, the first game was actually a fairly decent challenge! Canít have that! Letís ramp the difficulty to the thermosphere for no goddam reason! And if anyone complains...uh...tell them that itís going to be peanuts compared to the third game! Yeah, thatís the ticket!

The Wii...all of it - All right, letís get one thing out of the way: I do not give one solitary fuck about sales figures. Sales are not and never have been an indicator of quality. There are many examples of good products that simply didnít find their market or were ahead of their time and utter crap that hit it big due to slick marketing and gullible customers. The Wii was lightning in a bottle. It came around at a time when video games were seriously under fire, and there were plenty of players and would-be players who were ready for a system that didnít have any of that icky language or scary violence, and if it got people off their butts and moving, so much the better. Nintendo, despite a few small missteps, had an outstanding overall record with consoles and never had a flop other than the Virtual Boy (which hardly anyone knew even existed), so customers were more than willing to support its new venture. First person shooters and fighting games too rich for your blood? We have a plethora of nice casual selections that wonít stress you at all. So yeah, everyone and their grandmother got one. I got one (from my parents). And was promptly introduced to imprecise, clunky analog controls that often didnít even register at all, and when they did register often either registered too much or too little. I have never had a system where simply getting your guy to do what you want him to do was such a gigantic headache. Some games were flat-out impossible despite repeated attempts, like basketball. Iíll admit it was a great system for shooting games, though...at least it would have been if it didnít make me sit like ten fucking feet away from the screen and give nearly every arcade port screaming bullshit like reload delays. Good god, how the hell do you make The House of The Dead 3 even more aggravating?? Ever notice that Nintendo is now two consoles removed from this system and weíre seeing zero nostalgia for any specific game that was on it? Think there might be a reason for that?

Dead or Alive Xtreme - Girls! Bikinis! Volleyball! Never having enough money! Slot machines that can actually rob you blind! Contests that make no sense and are nearly impossible to develop any winning strategy for! A maddeningly chancy gift-giving system which as often as not is just a titanic waste of money! Completely randomly appearing events! Needing two fucking spreadsheets just to keep track of everything! Sheesh, when did fanservice become so tedious? I mean, youíve already got nasty publicity from day one due to the content; canít you even be arsed to make it enjoyable for the people paying money for it? Seriously, why does this still exist??

Gran Turismo 4 - Over 100 years of automotive history! Every one of which slips around on the track like itís covered in ice! Heaven help you when you get to the actual ice tracks! ďExtremely low friction coefficientsĒ are never low enough, am I right? Let me put it this way...when running the fucking F1 car on the fucking oval is a painful, aggravating experience, itís time to throw in the towel.

Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame - As the saying goes, it only takes one bad apple to ruin the batch. In this case, it was the rejiggered jumping system, which frequently resulted in the poor prince either jumping too soon or not at all. This one bafflingly moronic decision resulted in hundreds of botched jumps for me, leading directly to dozens of restarts and hundreds of enemies I had to kill all over again, wasting way too many hours of my life and guaranteeing that it would be a thousand years before I gave one fuck about this franchise ever again.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - Steal cars! Shoot people! Rob stores! Participate in a hideously rigged street race that you have essentially zero chance of winning! Wait, what? Uh...Get into fights! Buy sleazy businesses! Fly a ridiculously unmaneuverable toy airplane and try really hard to drop unguided bombs from it on boats! Er, ah, um, ahhhh...blow up a cargo ship! Take over a drug lordís mansion! Become the baddest, meanest, nastiest mofo on the east coast and earn the ultimate reward, a mission flying an airplane with slightly less power and stability than the one used by the Wright Brothers! This despite the fact that you have a perfectly servicable helicopter! (Donít worry, though, because according to one GameFAQs writer, itís marginally better than the fucking worst airplane in any fucking PS2 game ever!) Like seriously, isnít the whole appeal of being bad that you donít have to accept pointless irritating bullshit?

The Neo Geo - Hey, SNK, remember how the reviewers said this was obscenely overpriced and had lots of crap games, and I defended you? I did that because Nintendo sold out to numbnut reactionaries with the SNES and the Sega Genesis was underpowered and had an unimpressive selection. Well, guess what? It was obscenely overpriced and had lots of crap games. Sorry. Not sorry.

Lots and lots and lots of online flash games - See my bitter, miserable journey here. There were actually plenty of flash games I liked, but the websites all either took them down or went belly-up. Just an unfortunate coincidence, Iím sure.

Time Crisis 4 - When I first got this, my biggest fear was that Iíd eventually run into an FPS section which was too intense and I could never clear even after repeated attempts. Well, that didnít happen...mainly because I never made it past the first FPS section. Seriously, killed all the enemies and just couldnít find anywhere to go. No indication of where to go, either. Brilliant idea, Namco! And can someone kindly explain why console light guns are so fucking unreliable?? I think the Guncon Whichever lasted about four months before it crapped out forever. Probably just as well, as being forced to stand 10 feet back and barely being able to see the fucking screen as a result really isnít my style.

WWE games - Folks, itís time to face facts. With few exceptions (first SNES game was super-clunky but overall not a terrible first effort; second SNES game was great), these games are flat-out horrendous. You can thank the eternally screwball grappling systems and the utterly unforgiving reversal system for that (along with the occasional mutant abomination like Wrestlemania for the NES). Ever notice how youíve never seen a dominating victory in one of these games on YouTube? That just shows you that skill only plays a small part and itís largely the luck of the draw. Donít even get me started on the tidal wave of bugs thatís plaguing 2K20.

Flower - Somehow, even the tiny, breezy games are never tiny or breezy enough. I donít mind not being able to get all the achievements...itís ridiculous, but I can live with it...but not even knowing where to go in the final level? I kept getting blown all around and recovering old territory. And this after nearly giving up in the third level, too. Iím not blind, dammit. It should not be this hard.

There were plenty more, but you get the picture. Yes, Iíve had issues for some time. Seriously, Wishbringer.

I give up. Iím done. Beaten. Crushed. Eliminated. This hobbyís passed me by and thereís no sense yelling about it anymore. At some point I just have to walk away and chill out, so Iím going to do just that.

Whew! Glad I was able to finally get all that out of my system. Eh, Iíve always had more fun watching others play these things anyway. Speaking of which, canít recommend TASvideos enough.

(No guarantees about American Ninja Warrior, but Iíll do my best.)
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:05 AM
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“Word,” right.
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:48 AM
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I recently tried an emulator on my phone and played a bunch of my favorite NES and Atari games from my childhood and quickly abandoned it because I realized just how repetitive and dull those things actually are. Rose-colored glasses, dude.
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Old 12-30-2019, 07:47 AM
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Sid Meierís Pirates is a classic and was groundbreaking when first released in 1987. Praised by critics and audiences alike, the Pirate's had a lot of depth to it as you had to maintain your health, find your long lost family members, keep your ship(s) in good repair, accumulate wealth, and do all that while keeping your crew happy with a limited amount of time to accomplish your goals. You could eve change the experience depending on what era you choose to be a pirate in. Sid Meierís Pirates a turd? I think not.
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Old 12-30-2019, 07:56 AM
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The key to beating Sid Meier's Pirates was to pay Elder Brother Wu more than you owed him.
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:17 AM
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All right, letís get one thing out of the way: I do not give one solitary fuck about sales figures. Sales are not and never have been an indicator of quality.
You should care because indiscriminate shoppers are mainly responsible for sub standard products. If the public shows the market that crap won't sell, the products will become better simply because they have to do so. That's why I like the Steam Community. They have games that people can actually affect and improve upon.
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:18 AM
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If I find myself not enjoying a game, I uninstall it and play something else. Maybe the OP should have tried that.
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Old 12-30-2019, 09:01 AM
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I also realize that a lot of you are really into this medium,
Heh.
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Old 12-30-2019, 09:03 AM
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I don't agree with much of what the OP wrote (the Wii was epic! My kids (all adults now) and I still play on it) and I never even played most of the games the OP mentioned (I skipped from Apple II games to arcade games, to more modern PC games, so I missed the Sid Meier stuff, for example) however you have to give him/her credit for an epic rant.

So, OP, I give your rant a 10 out of 10.
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Old 12-30-2019, 09:27 AM
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Sid Meierís Pirates is a classic and was groundbreaking when first released in 1987. Praised by critics and audiences alike, the Pirate's had a lot of depth to it as you had to maintain your health, find your long lost family members, keep your ship(s) in good repair, accumulate wealth, and do all that while keeping your crew happy with a limited amount of time to accomplish your goals. You could eve change the experience depending on what era you choose to be a pirate in. Sid Meierís Pirates a turd? I think not.
No doubt. The original 1987 version was CRAZY good for its time. In a lot of ways, it was one of the original sandbox games- an ancestor if you will, of most of the Rockstar games like the GTA and Red Dead series.

What they didn't do right or at all, when they re-released it in 1993 and 2004 is update the gameplay significantly. So when you're playing it in say... 2004, you're playing a much prettier 1987 game for all intents and purposes.

I found it challenging but rewarding. I can see how if you only picked up the 2004 version, you might think it was kind of cruddy though, seeing as it was basically a reskinned 1987 game.

I also disagree about the Wii. Nobody ever claimed the games were stellar, but it WAS the first game where you could interact with the console/games outside of some variant of the usual joystick/pad or one-off accessory inputs like Duck Hunt's gun, or DDR's dancing pad. I mean, you could play Wii sports tennis, and actually swing a forehand or backhand in real life and have it translate into the game.

Stuff like that was also groundbreaking, as was the Xbox Kinect a short time later- for that, you didn't even need a controller. But ultimately, what we found out is that people really don't *like* having to interact quite that much with their video games- I mean, WHY go through all the effort to play Wii sports tennis, instead of just you know, playing tennis? Or bowling, or whatever.

I think that ultimately, the Wii was more of a novelty than anything else, but I do think it did a LOT for mainstreaming video games in the US- lots of people saw that video games were fun and not just stuff played by smelly dorks in their basements.
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:00 PM
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A tip of the hat to the OP- if you're gonna have a final word, this is how it's done.

But man, I just loved Ultima III. It is responsible for getting me hooked on games as a kid, and was only topped by Ultima IV. The key to both was to take a lot of notes. I agree the franchise went downhill after that, or I grew up, or I suddenly found the guitar more interesting. Whatever. But yeah, if you're not having a good time, I second Alessan- try something else!
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:11 PM
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I think that ultimately, the Wii was more of a novelty than anything else, but I do think it did a LOT for mainstreaming video games in the US- lots of people saw that video games were fun and not just stuff played by smelly dorks in their basements.

Funny thing, it's not difficult to find print advertisements from the 1980s showing families clustered around their Atari 2600. Even the Magavox Odyssey (1972) had a picture of a family on its box and one of a girl!

The Wii, if anything, is somewhat of a throwback.
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:17 PM
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Pirates! It’s “Sid Meier’s Pirates!” With “!” because it earned that exclamation point. Dammit. It was great.
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:51 PM
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I concur. Sid Meier's Pirates!, both versions, were great. Except the DRM on the original after one lost the manual.
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:07 PM
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You should care because indiscriminate shoppers are mainly responsible for sub standard products. If the public shows the market that crap won't sell, the products will become better simply because they have to do so. That's why I like the Steam Community. They have games that people can actually affect and improve upon.
Sure, but it's not like he (or I) can affect those figures beyond one (1) unit in either direction ; nor prevent or punish those who purchase derivative crapola because the Device That Kicks People In The Nuts Through The Internet, while it exists, is being patent trolled by the Powers That Be.
So, eh. I mean, by all means, slap anybody who preorders anything with a wet trout and suchlike, but as it says in the Bible the fuckwits will always be with us (or something like that ? I haven't read it, it had pretty bad reviews)
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:19 PM
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Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - Steal cars! Shoot people! Rob stores! Participate in a hideously rigged street race that you have essentially zero chance of winning! Wait, what? Uh...Get into fights! Buy sleazy businesses! Fly a ridiculously unmaneuverable toy airplane and try really hard to drop unguided bombs from it on boats! Er, ah, um, ahhhh...blow up a cargo ship! Take over a drug lordís mansion! Become the baddest, meanest, nastiest mofo on the east coast and earn the ultimate reward, a mission flying an airplane with slightly less power and stability than the one used by the Wright Brothers! This despite the fact that you have a perfectly servicable helicopter! (Donít worry, though, because according to one GameFAQs writer, itís marginally better than the fucking worst airplane in any fucking PS2 game ever!) Like seriously, isnít the whole appeal of being bad that you donít have to accept pointless irritating bullshit?
Wasn't San Andreas the one with the bullshitest RC plane ever ? Because fuck that mission in half. I forget if it was even needed to complete the story (IIRC it was the last mission to own a particular business) but obviously since it's *there* it meant I was contractually obliged to do it every playthrough.
Fuck. That. Mission.
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:27 PM
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Sid Meier’s Pirates! is in my top 10 games of all time. Absolutely groundbreaking in it's scope, of creation a career, compared to the simple arcady mechanics of almost every other game at the time. I wonder how many hours I put into that game.
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:33 PM
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You really should give Yosemite a second try.
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:54 PM
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Ultima? Lord British was a very good customer and designed game tricks, like stairs that go nowhere, into his house. Fun guy.
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Old 12-31-2019, 12:48 AM
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.: Remember how much nearly everyone whined and moaned about Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag because you didn’t spend every single nanosecond sacking ships and guzzling rum? Oh my god, the game actually has a story, and there are places to explore, puzzles to solve, important tasks to complete! The horror!
As a huge Assassin's Creed fan* (who also loves AC4), IME AC4 is the Assassin's Creed game that people who dislike Assassin's Creed can enjoy.

* So much so that typing "assa" prompts the autocorrect suggestion of (A/a)ssassin's and hitting space brings up Creed before typing anything else.

Last edited by zweisamkeit; 12-31-2019 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 12-31-2019, 01:02 AM
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The primary blessing of video games is the knowledge that it is never too late to have a happy childhood.
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Old 12-31-2019, 02:23 AM
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... are you kidding about sid meiers pirates ? it was one of the few nes games worth owning... hell I got into geography because the blockbuster copy didnt have a freaking map....... when i finally found a copy at walmart at the bottom of the case i was pissed .....it had a map!

pirates gold on the Sega was an improvement one you realized you had to change up the sword fighting

The 3rd pirates game aka the reboot is the one im iffy on ......they took out the silver train and treasure fleet and tossed in a horrible dancing spot when ya romanced the governors daughter ......

But the WII version redid the town attacking and you actually had to bombard the town which was fun and just felt like a better game than the xbox version ....

If i won the lottery id buy thr rights from sid and 2k and put it online ............
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Old 12-31-2019, 02:44 AM
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Was I the only one who said "screw the family story line" and went for wenches and riches ?


actually it was on pirates!gold i got my highest ranking ever.... what happened was I was attacking a town with a war galleon and only had like 10 people after sacking the place and since it was flippin panama i managed to hit the silver train and treasure fleet at the same time

So i took as much as i could carry off and made it to port royale and made a very nice profit and then i started trading and actually found out there's a system to it and having the fleet i did i could buy out 90 percent of the sugar supply for cheap and wait until it went up to 170 + gold a ton
I retired with the bishop rating with about 2500 acres married the best governors daughter in the game and a million in a half gold .......
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Old 12-31-2019, 02:59 AM
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Sid Meierís Pirates - Remember how much nearly everyone whined and moaned about Assassinís Creed 4: Black Flag because you didnít spend every single nanosecond sacking ships and guzzling rum? Oh my god, the game actually has a story, and there are places to explore, puzzles to solve, important tasks to complete! The horror! Well, if they were around in the late 80ís, they couldíve played this instead and spent every single nanosecond getting a cutlass shoved up their assholes. First off, you are always on the clock. Your crew is getting more and more unhappy, town defenses are getting stronger, merchants are getting more erratic literally constantly. Davy Jones help you if you try to make a living by trading; given the extreme distance between towns and the paltry profits under the best of circumstances, itís mainly a question of whether mutiny, starvation, or wrecking on the roughly 25,000 fucking shoals is going to do you in first. Letís not forget this ďSpanish Trade LawĒ bullshit which reduces your profits to roughly that of a fairly successful lemonade stand. Which leaves attacking ships, where youíll learn the joys of enemy ships either 1. turning tail and escaping upwind or 2. not turning tail and blasting your ship into matchwood, then blasting the matchwood into sawdust. Attacking towns is theoretically more rewarding, and I say ďtheoreticallyĒ because if you succeed you learn that the townsfolk hid about 95% of their stuff, meaning that, yep, your crew of useless slackers who couldnít fight their way out of a canvas sack is still Unhappy! Oh yeah, thatís the other thing: You ALWAYS have either too many or too few crewmen, and the all-or-nothing nature of recruiting only makes this even worse. Oh right, fencing, which is so goddam clumsy and clunky itíll make you pine for the elegance of a Guybrush Threepwood duel. And ever notice that every fucking opponent can take about five times as much damage as you? Trying to accomplish anything meaningful in this game is like keeping 50 plates spinning at once while you have a bomb strapped to your chest.
Yeah, I found Pirates! to be a bit difficult, but then again, I was never that good at adventure games, so I chalked this up to my own lack of skill rather than the quality of the game. If you want to enjoy much of the Pirates! experience but with adjustable difficulty (but also the lack of an overarching story line), I can heartily recommend The Ancient Art of War at Sea. This is a 1987 Broderbund game that focuses on sea battles of the 16th to 19th centuries. The gameplay and controls are fantastic, and the graphics are pretty good considering the limitations of CGA. (Make sure you play the game with a composite monitor, or with your DOS emulator set to composite mode, or else your eyes will bleed from staring at all the magentaĖcyan water.)

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Ultima 3 and 5 - Ultima 3 was the only game where I mangled the 5 1/2Ē disk in rage. Three times. I have never been so utterly vexed by a game before or since. The problem is that I proceed at a nice pace, levelling up, discovering things (remember, pre-Internet, so there was a lot to figure out on my own), and otherwise making progress, and then completely out of the blue a fucking dragon spawns, or a fucking devil spawns, or the whirlpool decides to pay a visit to where I parked all the ships.
The game doesn't spawn higher-level monsters like dragons until your party is theoretically strong enough to defeat them. Well, maybe not consistently defeat them, but a properly equipped and healed-up party should stand a chance. If the dragon wipes you out anyway, you can always reload the game from your latest savegame and try again.

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And when I finally got to that damn Exodus (an utter nightmare every step of the way), I got wiped out because I didnít remember the exact order to put in the cards, the book I read about them was at the library, and again, no Internet.
No sympathy from me hereóall the clues required to solve the game are in the game itself. The Time Lord is the one who tells you the order to insert the cards. Given that he is a major character in the game, and that finding him is the end result of a much-vaunted and difficult quest, you've only got yourself to blame if you didn't think to write down what he told you.

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Apparently Origin learned from this and in the future decided to cut out the cockteasing bullshit by making the entire game an exercise in agony. The thing that always strikes me about Ultima 5 is how meager it was. Scrabbling and scrounging for every gold piece, having to defeat hordes of foes while wielding dinky little main-gauches and clubs, scraping together enough reagents for a feeble magic missile, clinging to every last key because they broke like toothpicks, and on, and on.
So what you're saying is that the economy is realistic. I think that's a good thing. Far better, at any rate, than some of the later Ultima games, where gold and equipment are given out like candy.

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Oh, and I got killed all the fucking time.
Good thing there's no permadeath.

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Never figured out that ďvirtueĒ garbage.
Did you play Ultima IV? Or did you at least read the manual for Ultima V?
  #25  
Old 12-31-2019, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by DKW View Post

Sid Meierís Pirates - Remember how much nearly everyone whined and moaned about Assassinís Creed 4: Black Flag because you didnít spend every single nanosecond sacking ships and guzzling rum? Oh my god, the game actually has a story, and there are places to explore, puzzles to solve, important tasks to complete! The horror!
Don't forget all the exciting office intrigue! Nothing can match the thrill of slowly walking up to a computer terminal and downloading a file!
  #26  
Old 12-31-2019, 06:21 AM
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The primary blessing of video games is the knowledge that it is never too late to have a happy childhood.
Or, if you like Dark Souls, a really abusive one with no less than seven different "funny uncle"s.
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Old 12-31-2019, 11:42 AM
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Try jumping!
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Old 12-31-2019, 12:15 PM
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I beat Puma back in the day with Fighter Hayabusa. Back brain kicks are OP.
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Old 12-31-2019, 12:56 PM
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I didn't care for Ultima V, but Ultima III was great! Now, I'll admit, I played the somewhat simplified NES versions of III, IV, and V, but after being introduced to RPGs via Dragon Warrior, it was a huge step ahead in terms of complexity and challenge. I remember it taking a long time to finish and there being a lot of grinding, but that was games those days. I found it thoroughly rewarding and fun, hardly a game that can be categorized as "horrible." It wasn't perfect, but I'd give it a 7-8/10. (Ultima IV, though, was absolutely perfect.)

Same with Pirates! How can anyone possibly consider that a horrible game? It's iconic!

Of course, I like the Wii and still play it, so my gaming wants seem to be different than the OP's.

Last edited by pulykamell; 12-31-2019 at 12:57 PM.
  #30  
Old 12-31-2019, 01:07 PM
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I should add, though, that my problem with Ultima V is probably mostly that its graphic stylings and interface differed from the NES versions of Ultima IV and III and Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy-type RPGs, and I could never get used to the choppy way of moving around and the way you interact with the world. Granted, if I started with RPGs on the computer rather than the NES, I would be used to it, but since my introduction to them was via Dragon Warrior, Ultima III, Ultima IV, and Final Fantasy, I'm just so used to that type of interface.
  #31  
Old 12-31-2019, 01:34 PM
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I gave up on video games after Bratticus on my Amiga.

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  #32  
Old 12-31-2019, 01:56 PM
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The OP is going too easy on Ultima III, at least for the NES version (the only version I ever played). There, the only effects of leveling up were that, first, your HP increased, and second, the monsters got harder. To the point that level 1-2 monsters, you could defeat effortlessly, every time, with no risk or expenditure of resources, but level 3-4 monsters, you'd be well-advised to rest up after a single encounter, and level 5-6 monsters (if you got the wrong ones) were a serious risk of a TPK. And if you actually did want to increase your power, the only way to do so was by spending insane amounts of money to increase your stats, at shops that you could only reach by ship, which you could only get by beating 5th-level enemies. And the only way to get those amounts of money in any reasonable amount of time was to rob the townsfolk, which meant fighting guards, who you couldn't hope to possibly defeat unless you already had high-level spells. And if you did manage, by extreme grinding, to get enough gold, you were likely to discover that you had one of the gimped classes that had lower power for no benefit, or that your race (which otherwise has no impact whatsoever on the game) has attribute limits too low to be of any use in your class, with no in-game documentation whatsoever that either of those things could happen. And even if you did persevere to the point that you had sufficient power to fight high-level enemies, your reward for beating them was the exact same amount of gold as from 1st-level enemies, and less xp than 1st-level enemies. Oh, and then the final boss isn't even the giant serpent who's menacing the world; it's the floor in that boss's room. Which you can't see, of course, because it's the floor, and you can only kill by blindly blundering into them, because heaven forbid that the game give you any way of, you know, targeting enemies.
  #33  
Old 12-31-2019, 04:26 PM
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Sid Meier's Pirates! was awesome. AC4:BF was fun until you ran out of Pirates! stuff to do and instead got to enjoy being yelled at by Human Resources staff and made to play ASCII Frogger to steal computer files. At that point, you might as well turn it off.
  #34  
Old 12-31-2019, 05:40 PM
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The smartest thing the most recent AC games did was cut the modern-day stuff down to a bare minimum and make it utterly irrelevant to the story.
  #35  
Old 12-31-2019, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
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And when I finally got to that damn Exodus (an utter nightmare every step of the way), I got wiped out because I didnít remember the exact order to put in the cards, the book I read about them was at the library, and again, no Internet.
I haven't beaten the game since whatever time it was in the mid-80s, and this is from memory, Love, Sol, Moon, Death. I'm pretty dang sure of this, and if I can remember it after 35 years, I don't have a lot of sympathy for you not remembering it for a week or so.

5 was my favorite of the top-down era (7 was probably the overall best), though yes, all of the top-down ones tended towards rough starts and a lot of "ran out of food/died to monsters" restarts.
  #36  
Old 12-31-2019, 09:24 PM
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Sid Meier's Pirates! was awesome. AC4:BF was fun until you ran out of Pirates! stuff to do
I see you have repressed the memory of the stealth ship mission, congratulations.
  #37  
Old 12-31-2019, 09:49 PM
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... are you kidding about sid Meiers pirates? it was one of the few nes games worth owning... hell I got into geography because the blockbuster copy didn't have a freaking map....... when i finally found a copy at walmart at the bottom of the case i was pissed .....it had a map!

pirates gold on the Sega was an improvement one you realized you had to change up the sword fighting

The 3rd pirates game aka the reboot is the one I'm iffy on ......they took out the silver train and treasure fleet and tossed in a horrible dancing spot when ya romanced the governor's daughter ......

But the WII version redid the town attacking and you actually had to bombard the town which was fun and just felt like a better game than the Xbox version ....

If I won the lottery id buy the rights from sid and 2k and put it online ............
oh and the strangest thing about the reboot was you have to spend about a year attacking whatever the enemy faction is before the game lets you attack a town ....

Last edited by nightshadea; 12-31-2019 at 09:50 PM.
  #38  
Old 12-31-2019, 10:48 PM
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I haven't beaten the game since whatever time it was in the mid-80s, and this is from memory, Love, Sol, Moon, Death. I'm pretty dang sure of this, and if I can remember it after 35 years, I don't have a lot of sympathy for you not remembering it for a week or so.
Yep, that is the order!
  #39  
Old 01-01-2020, 03:25 AM
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My main issue is that the OP seems to overinflate their problems, and mix their personal dislike of something or poor ability to do something with actual criticism.

It honestly sounds to me like the OP is bad at certain types of games, and dislikes things that other people don't mind or even enjoy. I get frustrated that I can't beat the older Super Mario Bros games, but I don't argue they are bad games because of it. I know that I am the outlier--though I do take some solace in that Nintendo made the later games easier, and that I actually do well in some games that people say are hard.
  #40  
Old 01-02-2020, 06:44 PM
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After reading this rant google puts this video in my recommended queue. It's called SID MEIERS PIRATES IS A PERFECTLY BALANCED GAME WITH NO EXPLOITS - Boarding only challenge IS BROKEN.

I really had to laugh here but he is right. It is one of my favorite games ever. Luckily I never found the trick that he found.
  #41  
Old 01-02-2020, 08:58 PM
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I want to thank all of you who paid for their Ultimas for helping to support me through the Oughties. I'm especially grateful if you played it on a Dell.computer 'cuz I swear there were entire years he was my sole source of income. A very good income.
  #42  
Old 01-02-2020, 09:30 PM
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I bought all the Ultimas, though I feel like I deserve a refund for completing Ultima 8 pre-jump patch...
  #43  
Old 01-02-2020, 09:38 PM
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For me UltimaIV is the only truly memorable one for me. I played most of the I'm pretty sure, mostly likely all of them, but they all blend into a mass of dozens of RPGs back then. I can't even remember which bizarre and out-of-place spaceship plots were from Ultima, which were from Wizardry, and which from other series.
  #44  
Old 01-02-2020, 11:11 PM
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A tip of the hat to the OP- if you're gonna have a final word, this is how it's done.

But man, I just loved Ultima III. It is responsible for getting me hooked on games as a kid, and was only topped by Ultima IV. The key to both was to take a lot of notes. I agree the franchise went downhill after that, or I grew up, or I suddenly found the guitar more interesting. Whatever. But yeah, if you're not having a good time, I second Alessan- try something else!
I loved Ultima 3 and discovered a large-form "pattern" which had me steal tons of loot from the town on the SE island using the 'rot' spell to kill the swarms of guards. Made playing the game so much easier.

The Wii, too, is awesome. Gradius 2 is too hard, though.

Last edited by JohnT; 01-02-2020 at 11:12 PM.
  #45  
Old 01-03-2020, 06:59 AM
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I just play puzzle games where you bounce light beams off mirrors. There are a surprising number of them.
  #46  
Old 01-03-2020, 10:45 AM
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Funny thing, it's not difficult to find print advertisements from the 1980s showing families clustered around their Atari 2600. Even the Magavox Odyssey (1972) had a picture of a family on its box and one of a girl!

The Wii, if anything, is somewhat of a throwback.
I don't know... that's all marketing fluff as far as I remember, kind of like the "balanced breakfast" of a bowl of cereal, eggs, toast, bacon and orange juice. Who had cereal AND all that other stuff? It was one or the other in my experience, but we always saw that on the commercials.

I don't recall anyone's families having Atari 2600, Odyssey or Intellivision nights. They were something that typically the parents fiddled with a few times, and then us kids played them fiendishly after that.
  #47  
Old 01-03-2020, 01:00 PM
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Sid Meierís Pirates is a classic and was groundbreaking when first released in 1987. Praised by critics and audiences alike, the Pirate's had a lot of depth to it as you had to maintain your health, find your long lost family members, keep your ship(s) in good repair, accumulate wealth, and do all that while keeping your crew happy with a limited amount of time to accomplish your goals. You could eve change the experience depending on what era you choose to be a pirate in. Sid Meierís Pirates a turd? I think not.
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No doubt. The original 1987 version was CRAZY good for its time. In a lot of ways, it was one of the original sandbox games- an ancestor if you will, of most of the Rockstar games like the GTA and Red Dead series.
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Originally Posted by Isosleepy View Post
Pirates! Itís ďSid Meierís Pirates!Ē With ď!Ē because it earned that exclamation point. Dammit. It was great.
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I concur. Sid Meier's Pirates!, both versions, were great.
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Sid Meierís Pirates! is in my top 10 games of all time. Absolutely groundbreaking in it's scope, of creation a career, compared to the simple arcady mechanics of almost every other game at the time. I wonder how many hours I put into that game.
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Originally Posted by nightshadea View Post
... are you kidding about sid meiers pirates ? it was one of the few nes games worth owning...
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Same with Pirates! How can anyone possibly consider that a horrible game? It's iconic!
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Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
Sid Meier's Pirates! was awesome.
STILL IS a great game. I play it to this day (have it on Steam) and there has yet to be a replacement... with one possible exception.

If you haven't tried it, check out Rebel Galaxy. I didn't pick up on it the first time, but it is essentially Pirates! In! SPAAAACE!

Seriously, it is, deep down, a Pirates! clone with added features. You go to a space station (town), visit the bar/tavern, hire goons, upgrade your ship, learn about nearby treasures/armadas/what have you... then go out and loot/pillage/protect, whichever you would prefer. Even the space combat is not at all dissimilar to the ship combat in Pirates!.
  #48  
Old 01-03-2020, 10:33 PM
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I liked my Wii, and the Wii was all I had until Wii U, which should have made your list. The only reason for owning a Wii U now is Super Mario 3D World.

No one here even mentions Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 in Wii's defense???

I'm still sticking with Nintendo. I haven't the time to play all the games I want on my Switch.
  #49  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:19 PM
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This thread is ranty, but not really fighty. I think it'll do fine in Game Room
  #50  
Old 01-04-2020, 01:55 PM
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Though I have not the slightest fucking clue about video games, this has been an edifying thread.
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