6 Video Games That Just Didn't Get It (And 6 That Did)


When it comes to developing video games, it turns out that "Kick Ass And Be Awesome" isn't a specific enough mission statement. You can't blame people for all the games that suck, because anyone who went into gaming and ended up making Bratz: The Movie for Wii no longer counts as a person. Their dreams have been murdered so brutally they couldn't get work as a Dementor because they'd make their coworkers uncomfortable. That's why designers tend to make such terrible My Little Pony games: They're trying to warn children that dreams can hurt before it's too late. But this is a list of much less excusable misfires -- games that used real effort and missed the point harder than SEGA, and they added furry romance to a game about a killing robots with spikes.

Survival Horror Should Be Scary

Didn't Get It: Resident EvilResident Evil was as scary as the number at the bottom of a tax bill: you knew exactly what was coming and where it would be when you started if you'd bothered paying attention to one of these before. Capcom's Japanese department mistranslated "survival horror" as "point your gun at every window you see." A dying police officer spent the second game telling me to save myself, and I did so by pointing my shotgun at him at all times. When he inevitably leaped at me it was more disappointment after a longer buildup than my first kiss, with the same amount of failed biting. They used "jumping out and shouting BOO!" as the plot for three games, and anyone who could actually be scared by one couldn't work enough hands to pick up the controller.

6 Video Games That Just Didn't Get It (And 6 That Did)

Every window installed by Umbrella corporation comes with a free monster.

Got it: Silent HillThe first Silent Hill on the other hand was scarier than waking up next to the girl from The Ring wearing a broken condom. It could scare the shit out of you when nothing was happening after a week without fiber. Little things like music, fog, the flies buzzing round the blood-soaked blanket draped over a broken wheelchair in the corner.

6 Video Games That Just Didn't Get It (And 6 That Did)

Anyone who didn't piss themselves at this point is lying or dehydrated.

The core difference was effort. When
Silent Hill wanted you to run around the level it kidnapped your daughter and posted bloody riddles which left you staring at a broken piano for a full minute, and enraptured by every second. Resident Evil says, "You need a emblem " and waits for you to piss off and find it. They connected a random number generator to a dictionary instead of hiring a designer. They didn't even say "you need a crowbar, maybe check the garage" because that level of object recognition gets tiring when you install 50 fetch quests instead of a plot. Protip: Working as a delivery boy has many negative aspects, but "soul-chilling terror" is not one of them.

Story Serves Gameplay

Didn't Get It: Metal Gear Solid seriesMetal Gear Solid was the K-T extinction asteroid of 3D gaming. Before it struck, warm-blooded gamers suffered under clumsy, lumbering games which were as three dimensional as the pyramids: they had depth but moved at the speed of continental drift and were visibly blocky from four miles away. Metal Gear kicked the entire industry in the ass, and to this day Psycho Mantis is the only individual who could convince many gamers to put the controller down for a second.

6 Video Games That Just Didn't Get It (And 6 That Did)

Luckily gasmasks and rubberwear are already an established fetish.

Unfortunately Hideo Kojima thought this was because he included a personalized
War and Peace for every character, rather than just having good characters and letting you kill them. The rest of the series is summed up by the "submit to torture" ending of the first game: Solid Snake saves the nerd who talks too much instead of his true love. Metal Gear Solid 2 was the world's first tactical nagging simulator. The main character Raiden was such a painful pussy the FOXHOUND special forces were rezoned as a maternity ward for the game. The fourth game elevated video game meta-conflict by trying to defeat the player with relentlessly extended cut-scenes instead of bullets. Got It: Half-Life seriesGordon Freeman is the smartest first person shooter ever, and proves it by kicking ass and shutting up. His refusal to speak even once demonstrates more respect for his user than the Emperor's Geishii.

6 Video Games That Just Didn't Get It (And 6 That Did)

They had inhumanly photoshopped fetishes way before computers.

Dr Freeman understands both particle physics and that if you wanted to listen to assholes you wouldn't be running around throwing toilets at people.

6 Video Games That Just Didn't Get It (And 6 That Did)

This is basically internet commenting.

This is a man who ripped a hole in reality rather than stop for one second to ask, "Should we be doing this incredibly dangerous experiment with me at ground zero?" He figured that slowing the game down by 13 words was a worse fate than ending the world, and for that he's the greatest action hero of all time.

Combos Require Skill

Didn't Get It: Killer InstinctAction movies claim that one man can beat up the world, and video games claim that person is you. Disbelief isn't so much suspended as given a jetpack. The idea that one hero can triumph over waves of idiots if he's skilled enough is the exact fantasy of thousands of IT workers, and why they want to beat people up for fun. The ultimate example in fighting games is the combo: a sequence of perfectly timed moves pounding your opponent into an insensible heap, where (unlike the real world) you're just so good he doesn't have a chance, a gun or five friends behind you with tire irons.

6 Video Games That Just Didn't Get It (And 6 That Did)

In reality kicking one man in a bath house only begins your problems.

Killer Instinct served our need for combos the same way late night cable served other urges: unsatisfyingly and only after sitting through hours of bullshit.
Killer Instinct's big appeal was "amazing combos," where a single special move would make your character hit the other player 16 times. Which you might recognize as "a single move" and "not a combo." It was combo masturbation -- you couldn't get the real thing so you watched it on the screen and pretended. Worse, the incredibly extended animations destroyed any actual fighting-game flow and turned defense into a horrible quicktime event 10 years too early -- if you missed the microsecond window between their multi-hit special moves, you were flailing around for another minute. Playing Killer Instinct was like arguing with a taser.


Her combo is about as believable as her anatomy.

Got It: Street Fighter III: 3rd StrikeStreet Fighter III was the most self-aware fighter of all time. It elevated everything about Street Fighting to Ph.D. level and even admitted that Capcom photocopies its games. The first version had a subtitle, so Street Fighter III: New Generation might as well have been called SFIII: You Bet Your Ass We're Making More. 2nd Impact tuned it, and 3rd Strike performed the even more vital task of fixing the broken tuning.

7600 88 BLOEN A 2 HIT COMBO 1A S) 18 1500 PT'S: 606 1 0 3 7

3rd Strike remains one of the most perfect fighting games of all time. Most of the game is still built around incredible (and real combos), and even the the most devastating special-move Ultra Combos can be parried if you've spent years of your life inhumanly training to counter exactly that move. Which is the exact plot of half of all kung fu movies.

If you don't play fighting games, this clip kicks more ass than destroying the Death Star. Except the one responsible actually knew what the hell he was doing.

Racing Lines Matter

Didn't Get It: BlurThe best racing game in the world is Mario Kart, and every asshole whining about the blue shell doesn't realize that's the only reason people are still playing against them. You wouldn't be winning without it, you'd be alone without it, because it turns out people who don't play games much don't enjoy being lapped by an obsessive. But mixing weapons with real racing lines is hard, which is why Mario Kart tracks have turns the size of small countries. In 2010 two games tried to combine attack with real racing lines, and only one deserved to die. That one was Blur. It started with a gaming campaign mocking Mario Kart, which is like a presidential campaign promoting communism.

6 Video Games That Just Didn't Get It (And 6 That Did)

Mocking Mario Kart is how you tell gamers "I don't understand fun."

Then it ripped off the wrong parts of
Mario Kart anyway. Blur combined random weapons and homing missiles with racing lines so strict that the "incoming fire" warning was just the computer's way of mocking you. If you didn't have the counter-item your choices were "take it and lose time" or "try to avoid it and lose even more time." No matter how perfectly you set your course, some bastard could just destroy it for fun -- which was a pretty heavy life lesson for a racing game to deliver.Got It: Split/SecondInstead of glowing energy balls, Split/Second had "power plays," parts of the course you could blow up including "crashing cargo planes" and "the entire background." Some dismissed this as just another movie game (you play it once and you've seen everything) but it was a perfect fusion of racing with weapons. To even hit other people
you needed to know the course, the whole point of racing. Even better, the game balanced the Michael Bay with the Michael Schumacher: You could take 1st by blowing up an entire airport but one bad corner later you're in 8th. And if you know the power plays it's possible to out-drive them with sheer skill, because screw you blue shell! In Split/Second detonating a building orgy of pyrotechnic destruction has the same value as taking a perfect corner, because that's how good taking a perfect corner feels.


Yes this happens, and yes it's awesome.

Light Gun Games Are Porn

Didn't Get It: Time CrisisScientists are trying to build machines which can see into our deepest thoughts and dreams, which is weird, because Operation Wolf did that in 1987: we want to shoot everyone without getting into trouble. Light gun games are the porn of action gaming. You don't have to move, make decisions or organize equipment, you just get an endless series of money shots right in their eager faces.


The subconscious.

Time Crisis is one of the most popular of these games and by far the worst. As the name suggests, it's a constant race against the clock, and the strict time limit makes it possible to shoot bad guys
wrong. Imagine Riggs and Murtaugh dropping their guns and going to work traffic because they took 3.7 seconds to shoot the first four guys. Every stage is a frantic time trial and then, after whipping the player up into a violently impatient frenzy, the game forces in a goddamn story. A story where the voice actors are less enthusiastic than a porn set's janitor; and the script is what happens when a 5-year-old thinks Bond movies are too complicated. It's the most frustrating set of gaming delays outside Half Life: Episode 3.Got It: Rambo


If you don't want to play this already it's because you have never understood balls.

Rambo is the first movie video game to be better than the original movie, and several kinds of sex. The first masterstroke was using clips from the movies as plot, and the second was FUCK PLOT. Why has no other game ever thought of that? If you're making a game based on a movie you already have 90 minutes of ass-kicking footage, your only job is to let players kill people in between. And Rambo lets you kill three Luxembourgs per second and the spacetime continuum. The first level takes place years after the second movie but before the third just so that the game starts at the end of Rambo III, blowing up the entire Soviet army -- because in Rambo, "continuity" is for wimps who died but want to keep playing.The game is unadulterated adrenaline injected through your trigger finger. There is less than no reward for conserving ammo, you pussy. Your gun has a clip the size of the Empire State building and rewards rapid fire with RAGE! This rewards killing people and explosions with even more killing and explosions while Stallone screams RAAAAAAAAAGH! and the sheer testosterone instantly gives you an invincible and much bigger weapon. It also gives you a bigger gun in the game.

Caeell mn Sstt BIPAEH Firepower and firing speed increase! MavimlnRAGE Ihuincible! RAGE for inincbility! Activate at maximum 106O t PrI


Games Are Meant To Be Played

Got It Wrong: War Games

Gaming is currently through World War III, the massive struggle between expert players who can not only tell the difference between Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 but actually seem to care. So many people haven't been upset by such minute differences since Darwin.

6 Video Games That Just Didn't Get It (And 6 That Did)

One of the games.

We realize that talking about
Modern Warfare 3's single-player is like reviewing Jenny McCarthy's medical training -- the wrong part of something only designed to be enjoyed on monitors by large groups of sweaty men -- but it's a symptom of the Hollywoodification of modern gaming. Big budget game directors think they're making movies and they don't want to risk any stupid "player" messing up their awesome set piece. Shooters used to have levels for you to explore. Now they have corridors where the wallpaper looks like world war. In
Battlefield not only can your A.I. teammates shove you out of position (a capital offence in game design), the set pieces start when they're in position and it's your own damn fault if you didn't go where you were told.

a LOING 150 O SD

The other one.

This is just the worst case of an industry-wide problem. Players are dealt with instead of entertained, and handed a few buttons to push during quicktime events so they feel they're still involved.
Got It Right: SkyrimThe Elder Scrolls series has always understood that the games are toys, and if a kid enjoys breaking it then, hey, their toy. The series is famous for ludicrously unbalanced builds, with low-level characters more invisible than a Romulan warbird's air supply and even more likely to kill innocent people. Games like Skyrim realize that invisible walls and locked doors are the combovers and viagra of game design: horrible signs of insecurity in people who can't keep up with young people but still want to screw them.

6 Video Games That Just Didn't Get It (And 6 That Did)
Sexy Bro

Some players like to level up "massage" and "musk." Also: "accessorizing."

Skyrim you can be as stupid as you like until something kills you, just like the real world. No hand-holding tutorials or grown-ups installed to say, "Don't do that!" My character is equal parts destructive magic and paper mache, a fragile shell which vaporizes everything with eldritch fire because nobody thinks to shake my hand first. The force of which would break my biscuity skeleton to powder. Other people play the game like a cross between Hoarders and serial killing, and a few even take on the main story because that's pretty fun too. And by "main story" I mean "that drinking competition quest." There may be some dragons somewhere too, but I've been too busy.

6 Video Games That Just Didn't Get It (And 6 That Did)

Yeah yeah, I'll get round to that.

Because Bethesda understands that a video games are meant to be played, not obeyed.For more gaming disasters, check out 10 Days As a Skyrim Widow and The 7 Most Elaborate Dick Moves in Online Gaming History.

Luke McKinney has worked out that Modern Warfare 3 only has one gun. He also tumbles and has a website.

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