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Weekly Top Ten: 10 Games That Are Not Bad The Way Many Claim

Just for the hell of it, I'm posting a list of (usually) ten items related to gaming. But for the most part they won't be the typical stuff, like my top ten Gamecube games. I want to make discussion over more varied things. Plus if you have your own list on these subjects, feel free to make your own, and either post it in the comment, or show us all a link to it.

Also, don't argue with something on the list if you just don't like it. Make your own list, so we can see it.

This week, I'm listing games I've played that a lot of people (but not everyone) claim are bad, but actually aren't. These games aren't perfect, but they aren't loaded with broken controls and design that make truly bad games. So these games I think are unfairly saddled with bad reputations.

10. Wii Sports/Wii Fit: These get hate mainly in the form of "they suck because they are casual crap", but get other forms as well. Wii Sports gets flack for lack of features. The problem with this criticism is adding loads of features would defeat the purpose. This isn't supposed to be a bunch of dedicated sports games in one. It's supposed to be a bunch of pick-up-and-play games in one. Wii Fit doesn't get quite as much hate nowadays, but it's still wrongly dismissed as a "non-game", especially by people who think cut scenes make better games (as in they don't get that movies aren't games either).

BTW, I would have listed Wii Play, but I haven't played it personally.

9. Sonic and the Black Knight: I haven't played that much of this game, but what's there is not the mess that many make it out to be. I mean I don't pay attention to reviews anymore, particularly for reasons like giving a game a lower metacritic score than its predecessor, when that game had noted problems that this game actually fixed. About the only problem it added was swinging the controller for the sword, but that's mainly a problem with extended rapid swinging (which is something the reviews of Red Steel 2 seemed to ignore or downplay), and this game doesn't work that way.

8. Fester's Quest: This game notably got bashed by the Angry Video Game Nerd, and this is one of the few games I have to say he's wrong. The game does have flaws, but it's a solid top down action exploration game. Oh, and complaining about the powerup system ignores the fact that the game was made in the days when people were still reading instruction booklets, instead of relying on tutorials.

7. Mega Man 6 & 7: Okay, 6 more than 7, but I see these games often treated as weak games just because people were getting sick of all the sequels. Now I can understand that sentiment, but that just means the formula is getting tired, not that the games themselves are bad. They are still some of the more polished games of the main MM, and even the X series.

6. Mortal Kombat - the SNES port: The game that immature guys used as an excuse to claim Nintendo is only a "kiddie" company. Okay, even if it was a collective "revenge" against Nintendo over their policies, it still doesn't make this a bad game. It doesn't play that much differently than the arcade game (which I noted was a complaint often added like an afterthought to review, likely just so the reviewers wouldn't look like a bunch of gore hounds), and even got a bit of the last laugh when a) Sub Zero's "fixed" fatality was added to the sequel, and b) the SNES port of that sequel is considered better than the Genesis version.

5. Zero Wing: I've actually seen this on a "Worst Game Ever" list, and even the people discussing that review noted it was likely just because of the infamous translation than the actual game. The game itself isn't simply a decent shoot-em-up game, with a great mix of control and design. It's not up there with R-Type or Gradius, but a good game nonetheless.

4. Castlevania II Simon's Quest: This one was also trashed by the Angry Video Game Nerd, but even he states that it's not horrible. It's basically Symphony of the Night 0, and has one of the best soundtracks of the entire series. Yeah, the game would have been a lot better with clues that actually made sense and boss battles that were actually satisfying, but the rest of the package is a solid game.

3. Zelda II: You've likely heard most of the reasons this game is hated, and a lot of them are wrong. The challenge is from good design*, not cheap deaths, for one thing. For another, the control is not random or based on luck (nor is the control of first Legend of Zelda, Jim Sterling). It's quick and responsive, and requires you to be so to beat the game.

* Okay, one design decision I have to call is making axe weapons require the shield spell, and putting enemies with them well before you have any access to it.

2. Dead Rising Chop Till You Drop: After giving much thought, Capcom completely dropped the ball on this. I don't know if it was stupidity ("Surely gamers won't mind if we don't tell them the pictures of fewer zombies are just the first day,") or malice ("This will "prove" that we "can''t" do this kind of game on the Wii,") but heads will be smacked there over this. They also did an interview discussing how they didn't just slap this version together, but only posted it on one minor site, instead of discussing this info everywhere they could to show it wasn't a cheap cash-in (which would make an odd choice of cash-in for the Wii, which would logically have been something like a Mega Man ripoff of Mario Party).

As for the game itself, it does have less features than the original game, but that just means the original asking price was too much, and that isn't the case anymore. The game does add things like control that works better, pausing when Otis calls you, fixes the prisoner battle, and makes escort missions actually beatable instead of making you want to just leave those idiots to die (something I find myself doing in the original game). All of those fixes are ignored by the game's detractors, which is not cool. There's a difference between not liking a game, and lying that it has no objective advantages.

Oh, and two more things that do need to be dispelled: 1) The original game also has zombies pop out of nowhere. It was not created for this game just to cheat the zombie count. The firs game did it to cheat the zombie count (which is closer to 200-300 than the 500-800 I've seen claimed, still more than CTYD, but not that much). Just because it's harder to notice doesn't mean it isn't there. 2). The graphics are more detailed than many give credit for (but turn up the brightness to +8 or higher, whoever made that muddy look on the default setting deserved to be smacked as well), but it's about the overall look instead of any individual thing. It's not just the zombies, but also the shops, which means loads of different textures have to be loaded into the RAM at once. And I mean "at once". I don't know of any area that uses any streaming, save for possibly the tunnel. Even Resident Evil 4 and the original Dead Rising still use streaming to an extent. I would like to know of any other video game that crams that much detail into a level without any streaming (save for 2D games of course).

1. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest: Yeah, it didn't break the series into the West as Square hoped, but neither was it made in lieu of localizing Final Fantasy V (so complaints of that nature are objectively false). It's still a strong RPG, despite being short and simple (but not that easy, as you will get creamed if you don't stock up on potions. It also has a cool system that uses the weapons out of battle, sort of like the puzzles in Wild ARMs. And of course even the detractors often admit the soundtrack is great, which could make a whole other article alone. It also let's you see if you are close to defeating monsters, which is something that wouldn't even become common in RPGs for years (although by means of visible life bars instead of seeing them getting weaker). Personally, I also like the way it spoofs RPG tropes, even moreso today then when my brother and I first played this.
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About Lord The Night Knightone of us since 6:44 PM on 10.07.2007

I have a Wii and a DS, and my brother has a 360. I don't have anything against the PS3. We just can't afford one yet, but I do want a PSP when I can.