I Play Bad Games (On Purpose)

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I Play Bad Games (On Purpose)

Sometimes the worst games help you appreciate the best.

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A nice read, and it is true. Sometimes to understand why something does works, you need to see what it's like when it doesn't. Even the retro games most consider "good" can suffer from this as well. Sometimes we take modern (or in this case, good and properly done) features in games for granted.

Though I absolutely agree with the intent of the article (because really, you need to personally decide for yourself what's good and bad, not rely on others to TELL you), I still think that saying a game is bad certainly does not make it.. Well, a bad game. It's entirely subjective. For example, a reviewer on a site or whatever might blindly hate the genre/game, or a mass of stupid people on the internet will viciously berate the game (some of which hadn't even played it or just do it to be dicks) when it.. Most likely wasn't made for them.

It's how I view most "well known" titles like Mass Effect, Call of Duty, Final Fantasy.. I don't particularly like CoD or Mass Effect (I genuinely think the writing in Mass Effect 2 & 3 is god-awful, 1 was.. Actually not as bad), but I don't go around shouting at people who happen to like it, telling them that the game they're playing is stupid and they are also stupid and dumb and wrong.

Here's the usual go-to series for shit-kicking though; Final Fantasy. Not a single game in the series (aside from DIRECT sequels or spin-offs) is the same. They are entirely new systems, built from the ground up. Battle systems are tweaked, ability/progression concepts are modified, stories are unique (yes, there are tropes and traits that are shared, but they're set in different universes and have a different effect). It's also why people hate some and love others.

Like it or not, people of The Escapist, but here's a news flash, there is a massive Final Fantasy XIII fanbase. VIII, which is also often joked about and jabbed for its wacky (and kinda sudden) romance subplot with Squall and Rinoa and the M. Night Shamalan WHAT A TWIST of all the characters knowing each other as children. The game is weird. People know that, it doesn't make it bad. It makes it not something made for you. In fact, that's THE BEST THING about the Final Fantasy franchise. You don't HAVE to like every single game in the series. No one is forcing you to. There are plenty of others you CAN like.

Eh, slightly off-topic, because Rus does mention "games that are commonly bad, not just games you don't like".. But the whole "subjective" point is entirely valid, especially for the silly people here at The Escapist who can't differentiate "IT'S BAD." and "I DON'T LIKE IT." Big difference.

MattAn24:
Eh, slightly off-topic, because Rus does mention "games that are commonly bad, not just games you don't like".. But the whole "subjective" point is entirely valid, especially for the silly people here at The Escapist who can't differentiate "IT'S BAD." and "I DON'T LIKE IT." Big difference.

I happen to be one of those "silly people" that DOES know the difference thankyouverymuch. I also happen to capable of noticing flaws in games I DO like. The truth is that there ARE things about games that can be objectively qualified as bad: Poor graphics, unresponsive controls, glitches/bugs, bad set design, ineffective weapons real money auction houses. How much these things bother you IS subjective but that doesn't make them stop being bad (if they are). If people bother to point out ACTUAL flaws as reasons they don't like a game, then I'm sure not going to be all condescending and pretend they're impossible to please.

I don't like Call of Duty or Battlefield on principle: The principle that it may be fun but I don't want to keep buying the same game over and over.

MattAn24:

Except there ARE some games that are objectively bad. Games that are broken on a fundamental level, which don't simply run with an idea or mechanic that isn't to everyone's taste, but are problematic in a very measurable way.

As an example, let's look at Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing. The opponent either does not start at all, or stops just before the finish line, depending on if you've got the patched version. You clip through bridges, houses, and other objects. There is no speed cap in reverse. It is possible to drive off the edge of the level into a blank abyss. This game is OBJECTIVELY bad.

While that was an extreme example, it does serve to illustrate my point. Some things are truly bad, no matter whose eyes you look at them through, not subject to opinion. Unresponsive controls, unmentioned objectives, flat out bugs... these are things that are objectively bad. They just don't noticed very often, because they are usually associated with budget-bin titles that nobody plays anyway, and these titles are the very ones this article is talking about. Not the merely mediocre FFXIIIs of the world, which still have plenty of claims to good (graphics, length, unique combat).

P.S. Thanks

Bad games make average games look good by comparison as well.

Covarr:

MattAn24:

Except there ARE some games that are objectively bad. Games that are broken on a fundamental level, which don't simply run with an idea or mechanic that isn't to everyone's taste, but are problematic in a very measurable way.

As an example, let's look at Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing. The opponent either does not start at all, or stops just before the finish line, depending on if you've got the patched version. You clip through bridges, houses, and other objects. There is no speed cap in reverse. It is possible to drive off the edge of the level into a blank abyss. This game is OBJECTIVELY bad.

While that was an extreme example, it does serve to illustrate my point. Some things are truly bad, no matter whose eyes you look at them through, not subject to opinion. Unresponsive controls, unmentioned objectives, flat out bugs... these are things that are objectively bad. They just don't noticed very often, because they are usually associated with budget-bin titles that nobody plays anyway, and these titles are the very ones this article is talking about. Not the merely mediocre FFXIIIs of the world, which still have plenty of claims to good (graphics, length, unique combat).

P.S. Thanks

No such thing as an objectively bad video game. Objectivity only applies where opinion doesn't--math, for example. Just because a game doesn't work, doesn't mean someone can't like it or otherwise enjoy it in some fashion.

Your opinion of what makes something bad isn't a universal truth and the way you experience a game doesn't translate to the way everyone else will.

This is music and someone thinks it's the best song on Earth. It has no rhythm, no rhyme, no chorus and no beat. By most definitions, it is bad music-in fact, lots of people wouldn't even consider it music. But to some it's amazing.

You can only say that there is no such thing as an objectively bad video game if you don't believe in any sort of quality standard. It's like saying there's no such thing as an objectively bad toaster because even one that catches fire whenever you try to toast anything can be used as a makeshift fireplace. A toaster that doesn't do anything at all saves power and acts as an artistic reflection on the frivolousness of the idea that you would need a specialized appliance for the heating of bread.

But at the end of the day, a toaster that doesn't toast bread may be good for something, but it's worthless as a toaster. Likewise a game that has terrible graphics, buggy gameplay, unresponsive controls, and nonexistent writing may have some redeeming element for somebody somewhere, but it has failed at everything video games are supposed to do.

You can justify anything as being 'good' if you're willing to violently twist definitions of what 'good' is, but ultimately if a game is supposed to be a first person shooter and the guns don't fire when they should or the bullets don't go in the right direction, then the game can be said to be objectively bad.

Although the finer points can be debated for any given system, if you can identify what a concrete item that the game should be doing and the game doesn't do that, then the game is a bad game.

I've been wanting to play 'Call of Juarez: The Cartel' for this very reason. Ever since I saw Extra Credits rip it apart as racist and lazy piece of shitty game design I've wanted to play it.

Clearing the Eye:

Covarr:

MattAn24:

Except there ARE some games that are objectively bad. Games that are broken on a fundamental level, which don't simply run with an idea or mechanic that isn't to everyone's taste, but are problematic in a very measurable way.

As an example, let's look at Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing. The opponent either does not start at all, or stops just before the finish line, depending on if you've got the patched version. You clip through bridges, houses, and other objects. There is no speed cap in reverse. It is possible to drive off the edge of the level into a blank abyss. This game is OBJECTIVELY bad.

While that was an extreme example, it does serve to illustrate my point. Some things are truly bad, no matter whose eyes you look at them through, not subject to opinion. Unresponsive controls, unmentioned objectives, flat out bugs... these are things that are objectively bad. They just don't noticed very often, because they are usually associated with budget-bin titles that nobody plays anyway, and these titles are the very ones this article is talking about. Not the merely mediocre FFXIIIs of the world, which still have plenty of claims to good (graphics, length, unique combat).

P.S. Thanks

No such thing as an objectively bad video game. Objectivity only applies where opinion doesn't--math, for example. Just because a game doesn't work, doesn't mean someone can't like it or otherwise enjoy it in some fashion.

Your opinion of what makes something bad isn't a universal truth and the way you experience a game doesn't translate to the way everyone else will.

This is music and someone thinks it's the best song on Earth. It has no rhythm, no rhyme, no chorus and no beat. By most definitions, it is bad music-in fact, lots of people wouldn't even consider it music. But to some it's amazing.

Actually oddly enough not completely true. Chanting is considered music but it also has none of those things you mentioned. Or hell even try some ambient and you'll be listening to it as music and you won't know exactly why. Perplexing yes?

Rus McLaughlin:
I Play Bad Games (On Purpose)

Sometimes the worst games help you appreciate the best.

Read Full Article

Good stuff. We really don't have enough discernment these days, and that's why the market is so stagnant. We know what we like, but we don't know why we like it. So we keep buying things just like the last thing we enjoyed.

When we buy good games without knowing why they're good, we basically teach ourselves that all of our buying decisions are good... not because they're informed, but because they're our decisions. Then someone makes a superficial copy of a game we liked, and we buy it because it fits our formula... only to find that, underneath, it's not the same game at all, but rather just someone's attempt to trick us into thinking it was.

And the consumers that never really learn the mistakes from playing bad games? Well, eventually they end up developing games themselves. And what did they learn from gaming? That all of their gaming decisions are stellar -- I only play good games, so I must really know what a good game is!

We need the bad examples. We need more "error" in our trial-and-error. We need to get down and dirty and hate a game once in awhile, and trust that it will actually increase our enjoyment.

No matter what the endeavor, if you're not willing to occasionally hate something, you'll never be able truly love it.

Clearing the Eye:
No such thing as an objectively bad video game. Objectivity only applies where opinion doesn't--math, for example. Just because a game doesn't work, doesn't mean someone can't like it or otherwise enjoy it in some fashion.

It's entirely possible for a game to be objectively bad; if it is so bugged and broken as to be unplayable, it is objectively bad, because it fails at it's main function - being a video game.

That isn't a question of quality, it's a question of whether the game itself even works. The game could be ecstacy or agony to play, and that's subjective, but a game is objectively a bad game if it is so badly put together that nobody can even form a subjective opinion about it.

Scorpid:
I've been wanting to play 'Call of Juarez: The Cartel' for this very reason. Ever since I saw Extra Credits rip it apart as racist and lazy piece of shitty game design I've wanted to play it.

As someone who has bought it, completed it, and gotten all achievements.. You'll actually be surprised to hear that the game isn't all that bad. You really should take everything EC said about the game with a mountain of salt, half of the stuff they said isn't 100% true and the comparisons they made were only made to make the game look worse than it actually is. WHat they wanted is a game that followed it's sopposed 'source' content. WHat they forget is, that it's a fucking video game... It doesn't have to be serious, and it doesn't need to follow whatever source it may be borrowing from.

Clearing the Eye:
No such thing as an objectively bad video game. Objectivity only applies where opinion doesn't--math, for example. Just because a game doesn't work, doesn't mean someone can't like it or otherwise enjoy it in some fashion.

Your opinion of what makes something bad isn't a universal truth and the way you experience a game doesn't translate to the way everyone else will.

This is music and someone thinks it's the best song on Earth. It has no rhythm, no rhyme, no chorus and no beat. By most definitions, it is bad music-in fact, lots of people wouldn't even consider it music. But to some it's amazing.

There is a HUGE difference here. This music is what it is on purpose, by design. The hallmark of a bad game is that it does not achieve what it sets out to achieve. There is a huge difference between doing something in the name of innovation and doing something in the name of sloppiness. I will never say that an experimental game is bad because it doesn't follow convention. I might say a game is bad if it constantly crashes, or if an update causes it to delete saves, or if it has draconian DRM tied to case-insensitive security.

Lemme give you another example of objectively bad: Plan 9 From Outer Space. Not because it's a stupid story concept, not because it's extremely boring... those are quite subjective. Someone somewhere no doubt thought it was a good story. No, the reason this movie is objectively bad is because of its numerous, unintentional technical problems. Lighting differences because of inconsistant shooting conditions, visible equipment that was supposed to stay out of shot, and cheap and lazy special effects. But most importantly, this isn't what Ed Wood was intending to make. The movie was bad because the product did not match his vision, it was a poorly hacked together replica of his vision.

Pretty much what it boils down to is one question: "Is it like that on purpose?" A creative work that does exactly what it aims to can never be objectively bad. A TV show like Tom Goes to the Mayor ignores many of the conventions of modern television, but it's exactly what the creators envisioned. I personally can't stand it, but I won't say it's objectively bad because it has a goal and as far as I can tell it achieves that goal.

Your analogy is heavily flawed, because you have entirely failed to grasp the difference between a creative failure (which is subjective) and a technical failure (which is objective). The song you have linked is akin to Peter Molyneux's Curiosity. An objectively bad game is less like the song you posted, and more like a decently written song but the drummer can't keep time and the bass player's fingers keep slipping and he hits the wrong notes.

P.S. Thanks

P.P.S. I'm fairly certain that, at over 400 posts, I'm not a bot. Do I really need to do these spot captchas to prove it? All it does is force me to re-enable images in my browser every time I post.

I do too!
Well I used to. Back in the days when you could borrow games off your mates.
As a games reviewer it's a lot easier to play bad games when you're not having to invest in them financially. Now with all the DRM etc. you sometimes can't even borrow games. So for me at least playing a bad game has become a lot harder.

On a side note. I really feel like starting a games review site just so that I could enforce a proper "out of ten" scale.
Explicitly stating that a score of 5 means 'average'. Not 'bad', not 'terrible', just average.

It pisses me off without end that people take a 7 as a bad score and whine and bitch about it. If we're honest, in modern game reviewing a bad game is 0-6, a good game 7-8 and a great game 9-10.
Numbers 0 through 5 aren't actually used any more. It makes the whole system obsolete.

SonicWaffle:

Clearing the Eye:
No such thing as an objectively bad video game. Objectivity only applies where opinion doesn't--math, for example. Just because a game doesn't work, doesn't mean someone can't like it or otherwise enjoy it in some fashion.

It's entirely possible for a game to be objectively bad; if it is so bugged and broken as to be unplayable, it is objectively bad, because it fails at it's main function - being a video game.

That isn't a question of quality, it's a question of whether the game itself even works. The game could be ecstacy or agony to play, and that's subjective, but a game is objectively a bad game if it is so badly put together that nobody can even form a subjective opinion about it.

You're attempting to apply your subjective opinion on the quality of a video game to an objective ruling; because you find buggy and broken games a failure, you assume they are. The given example, Big Rigs, is buggy as all Hell and broken in more ways than I can name. However, I would bet my life some people have fun with it and liked it. To them, the game is good.

If you want to take it to the extreme and talk about games that won't work (as an aside: no matter how bad a game is coded, it will always be possible, though not easy, to make it function in some way) you are again applying your opinion of enjoyment to others. What if someone finds the broken game funny? What if trying to get it to work provides entertainment? What if it inspires discussion like this?

Objectivity only works when applied to absolute issues--things like maths and time. If the primary purpose is entertainment in some form, you cannot make an objective claim towards its value. A film consisting of a black screen, music like the song above, with no rhyme, melody or rhythm, books without words and art without imagery can all spark something in someone. You can think they're dumb, you can think they're pointless, but you cannot claim them to be objective.

Video games are a form of communication and no matter what you might think of one, there will always be someone that finds something in it to like.

Covarr:

Clearing the Eye:
No such thing as an objectively bad video game. Objectivity only applies where opinion doesn't--math, for example. Just because a game doesn't work, doesn't mean someone can't like it or otherwise enjoy it in some fashion.

Your opinion of what makes something bad isn't a universal truth and the way you experience a game doesn't translate to the way everyone else will.

This is music and someone thinks it's the best song on Earth. It has no rhythm, no rhyme, no chorus and no beat. By most definitions, it is bad music-in fact, lots of people wouldn't even consider it music. But to some it's amazing.

There is a HUGE difference here. This music is what it is on purpose, by design. The hallmark of a bad game is that it does not achieve what it sets out to achieve. There is a huge difference between doing something in the name of innovation and doing something in the name of sloppiness. I will never say that an experimental game is bad because it doesn't follow convention. I might say a game is bad if it constantly crashes, or if an update causes it to delete saves, or if it has draconian DRM tied to case-insensitive security.

Lemme give you another example of objectively bad: Plan 9 From Outer Space. Not because it's a stupid story concept, not because it's extremely boring... those are quite subjective. Someone somewhere no doubt thought it was a good story. No, the reason this movie is objectively bad is because of its numerous, unintentional technical problems. Lighting differences because of inconsistant shooting conditions, visible equipment that was supposed to stay out of shot, and cheap and lazy special effects. But most importantly, this isn't what Ed Wood was intending to make. The movie was bad because the product did not match his vision, it was a poorly hacked together replica of his vision.

Pretty much what it boils down to is one question: "Is it like that on purpose?" A creative work that does exactly what it aims to can never be objectively bad. A TV show like Tom Goes to the Mayor ignores many of the conventions of modern television, but it's exactly what the creators envisioned. I personally can't stand it, but I won't say it's objectively bad because it has a goal and as far as I can tell it achieves that goal.

Your analogy is heavily flawed, because you have entirely failed to grasp the difference between a creative failure (which is subjective) and a technical failure (which is objective). The song you have linked is akin to Peter Molyneux's Curiosity. An objectively bad game is less like the song you posted, and more like a decently written song but the drummer can't keep time and the bass player's fingers keep slipping and he hits the wrong notes.

P.S. Thanks

P.P.S. I'm fairly certain that, at over 400 posts, I'm not a bot. Do I really need to do these spot captchas to prove it? All it does is force me to re-enable images in my browser every time I post.

First of all, terms like good and bad are utterly subjective and removed from human perspective hold no value or meaning. From the very start you'r using subjective terms to refer to so called objectivity. That's a no-no.

Second of all, purpose doesn't validate worth. That is to say, intentions aren't what defines a product's value. A poorly shot, edited and scripted film that has every intent in the world of being a high-budget work of perfection can be entertaining, arousing, scary, uplifting and anything else within the human spectrum. So while it has failed the creator's vision, it is both good to some and bad to others--like everything else.

Try all you like, you cannot apply objectivity to subjective experience. if it isn't absolute, you just can't make an absolute claim.

Clearing the Eye:
You're attempting to apply your subjective opinion on the quality of a video game to an objective ruling; because you find buggy and broken games a failure, you assume they are. The given example, Big Rigs, is buggy as all Hell and broken in more ways than I can name. However, I would bet my life some people have fun with it and liked it. To them, the game is good.

It clearly isn't so broken as to be unplayable then, which was what I specified. I don't mean unplayable as in "that piece of crap is so boring it's unplayable", I mean in the sense that the game absolutely will not work. Maybe the 'new game' option boots you back to the start menu every time or your console crashes every time you put the disc in.

If we take a video game to be a binary issue at the very core - a game works, or it does not, regardless of how much enjoyment you get out of it - then we can say one that does not work is bad because it fails to fulfil its reason for existence.

Clearing the Eye:
If you want to take it to the extreme and talk about games that won't work (as an aside: no matter how bad a game is coded, it will always be possible, though not easy, to make it function in some way) you are again applying your opinion of enjoyment to others. What if someone finds the broken game funny? What if trying to get it to work provides entertainment? What if it inspires discussion like this?

Then it's still a bad game, it's just being of use in other ways. It can function as a puzzle for the guy who enjoys getting it to work, but he's getting no enjoyment of the game itself, more the things he's doing in order to get the game to work. If someone finds the fact that a game is broken funny, it's a good joke, but still a bad game. In these situations the enjoyment is not derived from the game itself, the sequence of events and actions the designers have programmed, the fun derives from situations caused by the game being bad.

Clearing the Eye:
Objectivity only works when applied to absolute issues--things like maths and time. If the primary purpose is entertainment in some form, you cannot make an objective claim towards its value.

But we're discussing video games, whose primary purpose is entertainment in a specific form. That of a working and playable game; if the game is not playable, entertainment has not been provided via the intended purpose.

Clearing the Eye:
A film consisting of a black screen, music like the song above, with no rhyme, melody or rhythm, books without words and art without imagery can all spark something in someone. You can think they're dumb, you can think they're pointless, but you cannot claim them to be objective.

Those things are different again, though. These things can still be experienced. I hear the noises, see the black screen, observe the blank page. They are performing their primary function; they are seen and heard, even if not in the manner intended. If a game cannot be played at all, it is not achieveing the primary purpose. A more accurate comparison would be to a film caught fire in the projector or a blank CD without even the sound of silence.

Clearing the Eye:
Video games are a form of communication and no matter what you might think of one, there will always be someone that finds something in it to like.

Only if they are actually capable of experiencing it - someone who says "I love this game because I can't play it" isn't deriving their joy from the game itself, more the absurdity of the situation which revolves around the game.

But it IS absolute that the game does not function as intended. It's not subjective that a button doesn't do what it is designed to do. The word 'bad' can be used objectively as long as you start by defining an absolute pass/fail quality. If you start by defining a bad game as one which fails to meet a certain set of basic criteria (Such as 'not crashing to desktop every time a level is completed'), it is then possible to have a bad game.

Normally, as a critic, I spend a lot of time steering people away from such things. Now I'm aiming you straight at the garbage heap and telling you it's vital to your education as a human and a gamer. Here's why: You don't know what you're missing.

I know what I'm missing, I've played enough garbage heap games to realize that the only thing I'm missing is extra expenses and wasted time. They really aren't interesting by any stretch of the imagination, those that are tend to get mixed reviews. Games on the garbage heap are there for a very good reason, mainly that they have no meat whatsoever. No reason to analyze them, find the flaws or try to make them work.

The interesting junk are those games that receive mixed reviews, or junk games that get good reviews. Because those games do something terrible wrong in a few areas and identifying that can be very interesting.

It's interesting to think about what makes D3 so boring, or what makes Skyrim's UI so rage inducing, but if a game does everything wrong it is just waste of time. It's like reading amateur poetry, if the author have no idea what he/she is doing I might as well read the yellow pages or the cereal box.

SonicWaffle:
If someone finds the fact that a game is broken funny, it's a good joke, but still a bad game

That's your opinion.

But we're discussing video games, whose primary purpose is entertainment in a specific form.

You're trying to decide how something should entertain someone else. I can say the purpose of music is to help someone develop spiritually, but that doesn't mean that *IS* the purpose of music for anyone else.

If a game cannot be played at all, it is not achieveing the primary purpose.

Again, you're deciding the purpose of an experience for someone else.

Someone who says "I love this game because I can't play it" isn't deriving their joy from the game itself, more the absurdity of the situation which revolves around the game.

Why can't someone enjoy the game that crashes on launch? Because you can't? The game launched, it crashed and to someone, that was enjoyable. I doubt I'd find it anything but annoying, but I don't get to decide for others that the game failing to launch wasn't enjoyable. I might think they are stupid, but hey, to each their own.

You're trying to apply your opinion of what a game should be and do to everyone, as if it were a rule. Remember the games are art debate?

Bolded text is mine (obviously, lol).

Falterfire:
If you start by defining a bad game as one which fails to meet a certain set of basic criteria (Such as 'not crashing to desktop every time a level is completed'), it is then possible to have a bad game.

"If *you* start by defining a game," See the problem? You're setting up your own rules and deciding they are the decider of good and bad for other people. If I start a review by defining a bad movie as one that doesn't contain exactly ten seconds of someone drinking orange juice, that doesn't mean that is now an objective factor for others.

I think this is good advice for a game reviewer but perhaps not so much for the general audience of games.

Skopintsev:

Scorpid:
I've been wanting to play 'Call of Juarez: The Cartel' for this very reason. Ever since I saw Extra Credits rip it apart as racist and lazy piece of shitty game design I've wanted to play it.

As someone who has bought it, completed it, and gotten all achievements.. You'll actually be surprised to hear that the game isn't all that bad. You really should take everything EC said about the game with a mountain of salt, half of the stuff they said isn't 100% true and the comparisons they made were only made to make the game look worse than it actually is. WHat they wanted is a game that followed it's sopposed 'source' content. WHat they forget is, that it's a fucking video game... It doesn't have to be serious, and it doesn't need to follow whatever source it may be borrowing from.

I disagree. When you're dealing with real life stuff especially something that hasn't been covered in video games (and is hurting people) you owe it to the source material to present the facts accurately. 'It's a video game' never ever is an excuse for anything except the mechanical limitations of the medium. For example there can never be a good video game version of Waiting for Godot because the medium itself isn't able to tell that kind of story.

I submit X-Blades to the list of bad games you should play. It's terrible, the story is seemingly missing great chunks that, if put together, would probably tell a better tale than what was left in, the protagonist is unlikeable, the combat is overlong and flawed, the powers are pathetic, the fetch quests are moronic and the world is literally reversed at the halfway point so you can play through the stages again in reverse.

Essentially, ANY game you play after that point will be better by comparison and you'll appreciate what they do well more.

You don't need to tell me that.
I've purchased plenty of awful games intentionally. However, I do it more to make fun of them MST3K style rather than to help see why good games do work.
And the ones that I do buy are usually cheap.

Eh, nothing wrong with dissing a game that reaches for perfection and falls short. Like all media, good games are simply held to higher expectations. I'll stand by my criticism of Bioshock (great setting, great story exploring the concept of choice, RPG elements, yet ultimately single-track run-and-gun gameplay in spite of the other points).

If you really want to punish yourself I would suggest Clive barkers Jericho. I dare you.

Life's too short to play crap.

Clearing the Eye:
However, I would bet my life some people have fun with it and liked it. To them, the game is good.

I would like to point out that there's a difference between "Yeah, that was pretty good." and "Wow, that was so terrible that I actually had fun with it."

There is no way this can be, subjectively or objectively, called a 'good' game. It can be called an amusing game, and I am sure that there are people who have enjoyed the non-existent AI, the broken maps that allow you to drive into the ether of nothingness, the lack of collision detection, and the completely insane reversing mechanics that allow you to endlessly accelerate while in reverse and then stop on a dime.

But it's still not a good game. If there is somebody who has played other games over the last ten years and will still legitimately say that they believe Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing is a 'good' game, then I will eat my own tongue.

DVS BSTrD:
snip

Covarr:
also snip

I thought I'd quote both of you guys because you were directing your posts at me. :D
Well, yes. I'm certainly not saying a game can't be "horribly bad and awful". What I AM saying is the typical response from "entitled gamers" who immediately think that just because *they* think a game is bad (eg. they don't like it), then it's bad and everyone else is wrong.

Clearing the Eye:
snippity snip snip snip

Actually, no.. They have a perfectly valid point, I didn't clarify mine properly enough and I apologize for that. Eh.. Well.. They're actually both kind of true. As I noted above, every single thing is subjective. Some people may happen to like those "bad games". Therefore, it isn't bad to them, it's.. A wacky game that is fun for them because games are fun. It's all up to the player. It's why I kind of gave up posting in a lot of Escapist news threads, especially when it's covering a JRPG topic, because people will just label the JRPG as a "bad genre". Hell, let's say, for example, I didn't like JRPG's or.. Hm.. Well, I like the Burnout series, so let's say that too. Okay, in a parallel world, I don't like those games. I feel no need to bitch about them or tell others that their choice of game is wrong and that they're bad people for playing it. (No, really. This is the kind of comments I see from people on the internet. Calling a person "gay" or "a fuckwit" because they "make the series even worse because you like that trash". News Flash to those guys; game wasn't catering to you in the first place, so why complain about it when you have plenty of other great games YOU like that you can happily play? Why waste the time, y'know?

Anyway, yeah. Games can absolutely be "giant pieces of terrible shit". But when that label carries over to games that aren't THAT bad, people are genuinely enjoying them.. It's kind of insulting to tell them that what they like doing is terrible.

Just a question directed at people who review games for a living that popped into my head after reading this article:

Why, when a reviewer plays a bad game, can they not inform the public at large before it launches that the game is bad? Why do previews never state how bad a game may be until after it has launched? Before it launches: "This could very well be the next greatest gaming experience next to god. If you are into genre X, be sure to get this game" After it launches: "Yeah, it had large problems, and we knew they would never be fixed. Don't buy it."

This is why games aren't treated seriously as a medium. The developers aren't held accountable until after the hype train has left and people have been fooled into purchasing mediocre title X.

You would not believe how much more I loved Halo, Deus Ex, and the other shooters I love after playing through the dross-filled donkey spunk that was Duke Nukem Forever. I mean wow. Just wow. I went in with low expectations, expecting to see something in the whole "syfy original movie" range. Those expectations were surpassed in its horribleness. I learned quite a bit from it. the worst part is that it feels like it didn't get enough time for development... but it went through a 15 year development cycle?!? How could this happen?

Cap says it likes humans. Well, that's one of us, captcha. I don't know what you see in them. They never let me take my knife on a shuttle because they're all racist.

You clip through bridges, houses, and other objects. There is no speed cap in reverse. It is possible to drive off the edge of the level into a blank abyss. This game is OBJECTIVELY bad.
image

Okay I might be misunderstanding, but you're urging me to play bad games to find out if they're actually as bad as they are made out to be by the sources that I trust? By the same people that tell me certain games are good, games which I agree to be good?

If I perused every piece of media that sources review overwhelmingly negatively, it seems like I'd just waste a lot of time and get angry.

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