12 Games It’s Cool To Hate
Hating is cool. It’s why the internet exists. Maybe. In any case, here are 12 games that it’s been cool to hate this gen, despite the fact they’re not actually that bad…
12. Warriors Orochi
Ahaha look it’s a Dynasty Warriors game! Where you just mash Square until you kill everyone and you win! Oh Dynasty Warriors you’re so boring and samey and ugly and horrible! And so on and so on. The jibes against the Dynasty Warrior games are predictable if only because the games themselves are as well. Except Warriors Orochi is actually a good Dynasty Warriors game. The focus on unique moves for the huge cast of characters actually makes them interesting to play, with the tag element there so you can mix and match new characters with old favourites. It’s a clever system and one that has been watered down by a sequel without much change (hey, it’s still a Dynasty Warriors game!) but it’s a real shame the grubby reputation of the games around it have seen Warriors Orochi dragged down into their pool of hatred.
11. BioShock 2
It was never going to win over the BioShock hardcore, as BioShock never felt like the game that needed a sequel. So it was mission impossible even before it was announced that BioShock 2 would have multiplayer and accusations ran wild that BioShock was going to be milked dry by 2K. The sad thing is that even as the hatred ran high for BioShock 2, it was released and turned out to be… okay. Good. Decent. Definitely better than expected, even if it never answered the question of why BioShock 2 needs a sequel. That’s why some continue to rally against it to this day but the fact remains that BioShock 2 is a good game.
10. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
This was written off as another dire movie tie-in. Given 99% of them are utter turd, at least the odds are on the side of those dismissing X-Men Origins: Wolverine with a snooty wave of the hand, especially when the film crawled into cinemas with 2-star reviews ringing in its ears. And then, remarkably, miraculously, incredibly, X-Men Origins: Wolverine turned out to be incredible fun, mixing ultra-violence with a satisfying combat system which made sense given Wolverine’s abilities. This was supposedly based on the ultra-violent screenplay before it was watered down for cinema yet despite that and despite the brilliant combat, it’s still given a wide berth.
9. Mortal Kombat
It’s easy to feel a shred of sympathy for Ed Boon and his collective mob at Netherrealm. While not a brilliant game, Mortal Kombat was a very good one, which had enough meat to its mechanics that even tournament players – the most resistant mob to anything Mortal Kombat – admitted it was a good game and started entering tournaments for it. Yet those who had discovered fighting games through Street Fighter IV compared the mechanics, decided they weren’t as good and used Mortal Kombat’s inconsistent quality as a solid base to write off the latest version. They are two separate games but weirdly, weren’t treated as much. A real shame.
8. Grand Theft Auto IV
“It’s not as fun!” is the grey-ish, wishy-washy, doesn’t-really-mean-anything reason usually given for apathy towards Grand Theft Auto IV (the constant ringing of Niko Bellic’s phone coming in shortly after). The garish Eighties powered Vice City with its neon lights and nostalgic soundtrack, while San Andreas went for West Coast hip-hop culture with low-riders and Dr Dre. Grand Theft Auto IV wasn’t themed after an era like the previous GTAs were, instead focusing on Bellic’s coming to America story. Is this what alienated some fans? Why is it not as ‘fun’? It’s interesting to think about but the hate Grand Theft Auto IV gets is unwarranted. Disappointing? Perhaps. Not as fun? Maybe. Awful? Definitely not.
7. Angry Birds
It’s on smartphones, it’s on browsers, it’s on PSN, it’s everywhere you look. The tired old line is that real gamers play MANLY games like Uncharted and Killzone and Call of Duty while casual gamers fanny around with Angry Birds and Farmville and Mob Wars. This causes “all gamers are gamers!” counter-ranting, as if those playing Angry Birds even care what those mean, horrible people on the internet are saying about them. Angry Birds is not a bad game. It’s not a great game and the physics-based knock-down-towers stuff had been done before but the reason it succeeded is it’s polished, it works well, it understands its medium and it’s fun. Isn’t that what we want from all our games?
6. Xbox 360 Exclusives
“Halo! More like GAYLO! LOL! Fable sucks!” And other stuff about Gears of War, Forza Motorsport, Project Gotham Racing and so on. That’s pretty much it for good exclusives, unless we start counting Kinect games (no) or the lesser exclusives like Too Human (good LORD no). But still, why the hate? Why hate them at all? Xbox 360 owners enjoy them, just as we enjoy Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, Killzone, LittleBigPlanet, Heavy Rain, Resistance 3, Metal Gear Solid 4, God of War III and so on. It’s about the games, not about the console they’re on.
5. L.A. Noire
Perhaps the most polarising game released this gen, thanks to the unique mix of open world murder mystery and story-telling which never really pushed the gameplay of former to meet the latter. The cut-off point for most people was either the Vice desk (where the template for each case starts to wear thin) or the Arson desk (where the pacing really begins to sag) but that still leaves a hefty chunk of game that’s compelling and very enjoyable. It’s easy to focus on the negatives but there’s a lot L.A. Noire did right and the hatred for it, as with most triple-A games which have some questionable components, has been massively overblown.
4. Resident Evil 5
It was a problem for Modern Warfare 2, for Devil May Cry 4, for Uncharted 3, for Assassin’s Creed Revelations. How do you top a classic? Capcom went all out with Resident Evil 5, swapping its grungy gothic mansions for sunny Africa and anchoring the entire game around co-op, brave decisions that would give Resident Evil 5 its own identity. Unfortunately those same decisions killed the atmosphere, turning the survival horror into a carnival shooter, more akin to a third-person Modern Warfare than Resident Evil. And yet, it wasn’t a bad game. It wasn’t a true Resident Evil game either but consider it a stand-alone title to be played with a friend and it’s pretty good fun.
3. Dragon Age II
“I will never buy an EA or BioWare game again.” BioWare has been chewed up and spat out by the Internet Hate Machine as of late, thanks to the recent outrage over the ending of Mass Effect 3. The trend against BioWare set in much earlier though, sparked by the universal disappointment of Dragon Age II, although how many gameplay crimes it committed depends on who you speak to, who big they were a fan of Dragon Age, what they were expecting and so on. Again though, is a 0 out of 10 game, as Metacritic users have decided? At least we get user reviews with lines like “Nothing but disappointment, it’s even prompted me to sign up to meteoritic.” If a website called Meteoritic comes out of this, then at least it’ll have been worth it.
2. Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
Any good in Io Interactive’s Kane & Lynch: Dead Men has been lost behind the awful second half of the game set in the jungle and the sequel, which was terribad for reasons of its own. Yet regardless of the wrong steps taken in the Kane & Lynch series, the first half of the original is genuinely good fun, riffing on the likes of Heat for heist style gameplay that’s only really been bettered (or even attempted) with Payday: The Heist. There’s some snappy dialogue between Kane and Lynch, the way each level unfolds holds your attention and it feels unique, different and interesting. There’s lots of potential shown in the opening half of Kane & Lynch. Shame it’s never been realised.
1. Modern Warfare 2, Modern Warfare 3
For those who want to hate Modern Warfare, there are plenty of easy targets to pin their complaints on – the campy nature of the multiplayer, the overpowered killstreaks, the lack of player influence in single-player, the nonsense storyline, the weird lag compensation. But saying it’s the worst FPS of all time (hi Metacritic) is nonsense. The feedback from the guns, the incredible set-pieces, the arcade gameplay, the great pacing, the bombastic soundtrack, that all gets overlooked in a race to see who can clatter keyboards loudest about the evils of Activision, Bobby Kotick, DLC and Infinity Ward.