No Right Explanation

No Right Explanation
Most Overrated Game

Firefilm | 27 Feb 2012 16:00
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Last week, Chris and Kyle debated a time-honored question: What is the most overrated videogame? Their weapons of choice? The well-remembered JRPG FFVII and the breakthrough FPS on consoles GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64. Here's the explanation for how they reached a conclusion.

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Chris: Ah the dreaded Most Overrated Video Game question. Flamebait? Perhaps? Trolling? Perhaps not. Much of the time we'll encounter a slew of alternate choices that viewers quickly remind us we passed up, but this time, while we had a lot in favor of Final Fantasy VII and a handful intrigued by the inclusion of GoldenEye, we also had Ocarina of Time appear (unsurprisingly), Half-Life 2 show up (far more surprising), and Halo being a strong contender (to be fair, it was Kyle's original choice for overrated game but didn't want to seem cliché). With only a few other games to choose from, I feel we did a pretty fair job of grabbing our personal choices from the list. Kyle though, he seemed to leave a bit out in terms of argumentation.

See, while it is fashionable to hate Final Fantasy VII, much like it's fashionable to hate anything that's become popular such as Call of Duty, Avatar, or iPhones. If Kyle hit me with this angle, hinting at the fact that my choice may be motivated more by what seems "cool" to rag on, he'd have a lot of strength behind his arguments. By calling my personal bias into question, how could I be taken seriously?

Furthermore, while FFVII is again cool to hate on and has diminished its brand by being spread into as many spin-offs as the source material allows, the original game stands out as being the first of its kind. RPG's existed before FFVII, but 3D RPG's did not. Many tropes and clichés that perpetuate to this very day come from the Ballad of Sephiroth, and something that's a game changer like this is incredibly difficult to slap the moniker "overrated" upon since, well, being the first does allow for some bonus points.

In terms of GoldenEye, Kyle was very right that the game wasn't the first to do what it did, or the last. It was fun, yes, but its lasting appeal happened to be in multiplayer, an aspect that has been vastly improved upon in other games. Remembering back, GoldenEye's multiplayer was ... alright at best. It was the greatest thing we could hope for (unless we were on a PC), so we remember it as being a heck of a lot better.

None of this matters though as Dan saw through my overrated arguments and gave me some overrated points, resulting in an overrated win for my camp. Hooray for me! Hooray for having so many people agree with me! Hooray for Ocarina of Time which is the greatest game of all time!

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Kyle: One big point that Chris had over me this week was that GoldenEye popularized multiplayer FPS on consoles for the first time, rather than PC. That's certainly deserving of the praise heaped on 007's shoulders.

Final Fantasy VII has a reputation for being a grand work of art. I've heard these nutty gamers talk about crying at the appropriate moments during that game. Crying. For Pete's sake. Forgive me if I don't find enough pathos in these ambiguous spiky sprites and their supposed plight to shed tears. It may be possible that this game isn't bad at all, but it's remembered way more fondly than it should be.

And that's what over-rated means. We were not debating which game is worse. We were debating which game is more falsely placed on a higher unrealistic pedestal, due to sustained use of nostalgia-goggles. Having said that, GoldenEye and I didn't have a chance. FFVII is regarded as something special, and it really was fantastic. But it does not deserve the mindless devotion it still receives fifteen years later.

GoldenEye, on the other hand, might. It not only pioneered console multiplayer for it's genre, but it even foreshadows things to come for console games: achievements. Things like DK mode and Paintball mode were badges of honor that showed you knew this game. You earned the right to wield dual golden PP7s.

Clearly, there was more to this simple licensed movie game.

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