Questionable and Bad Games Initiative 2013

Oh sure, I could be playing games that aren't sort of soul-crushing, but where would the fun be in that? This year, even moreso than usual, I've been playing through titles one might generously call "Middling" for the purpose of my dumb internet blog, and I may as well drag this out to its inevitable, bloody conclusion. Included on this list are "meh to bleh" games that I have played this year, am playing this year, may play this year and probably won't play (but it'd be funny to think about) this year. Because I hate myself, but only to an extent.

List items

  • Status: Completed. As far as underwhelming sequels go, DS3 is a great example, squandering any and all of its goodwill once the second act of the game rolls around. That part where you're on a flotilla of ships? Not bad! That part where you're on the ice planet? Bad!

  • Status: Completed. While I would hesitate to call any Fire Emblem game "bad", The Binding Blade is perhaps the single blandest title in the series I've actually completed, sans the similarly mediocre Shadow Dragon. Blame the map design, the overly-literal fan translation or the part where Roy is simultaneously the blandest and weakest main character, it's not one of the shining jewels of the series.

  • Status: Completed. I actually enjoyed Dark Messiah, in spite of the fact that it's not a good game. There's just enough unintentional goofiness in regards to the kick mechanic and story to override a lot of the game's genuine problems, which are many.

  • Status: Completed. I'll say right now that I think I would've liked Jade Empire a lot more had I played it when it came out in 2005, back when KotOR was my only real reference point for RPGs. As it stands, Jade Empire is a short, underwhelming affair with terrible, mindless combat and is overshadowed by almost everything that has come before and after it. That's not to say it doesn't have an interesting setting or characters, but its 15 hour length ensures that you'll be done with the game just as soon as it gets interesting.

  • Status: Completed. The whipping boy of last year's GOTY deliberations, along with Assassin's Creed III. Personally, I found RE6 less offensively bad than some make it out to be, but I'm not going to sit here and tell you that it's super duper great or anything. While I found Leon and Chris' stories to be enjoyable, Jake and Ada's campaigns contain some of the single worst moments you'll find in a modern "AAA" game, bar none.

  • Status: In Progress/On Hiatus. I've seen people get incredibly vitriolic about Chrono Cross, especially in regards to what it does with the characters and story of Chrono Trigger. That being said... I've liked what I've played so far. When I get around to picking it up again (because long JRPGs intimidate me), maybe I'll get to the point where it gets crazy and see what I think from there.

  • Status: Completed/Abandoned. What initially starts as a promising open-ish Fantasy RPG with an emphasis on combat and character development slowly degrades into a generic slog of mashing the X button and involving yourself in a story that you stopped caring about 10 hours ago. If Amalur was half as long it would be a much, much better game but at the 40 hour mark I finally had enough.

  • Status: In progress? Say what I will about Jade Empire, Sonic Chronicles is legitimately Bioware's worst game. While it's a bit unfair to rag on what is essentially a game for kids, it doesn't do itself any favors by a. Attempting to explain the world of Sonic in a way that makes logical sense, and b. Being entirely reliant on the touch-screen. Expect more soon. Maybe. Hopefully.

  • Status: Completed. Apparently everyone was right about this game being as infamously bad as it's made out to be. While it clearly introduces a lot of mechanics that would be better implemented in the superior Devil May Cry 3 (and the still totally ok Devil May Cry 4), it still stands that I found this game to be somewhat torturous for its thankfully brief running time.

  • Status: Completed. You know how this game is the butt of a bunch of jokes in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts? It deserves them.

  • Status: Probable Future Candidate. Currently seems like a JRPG-esque JRPG with an interesting combat system, but it also seems like something I could wait a bit before playing.

  • Status: In Progress. I may be looking through the ruby-tinted glasses of franchise loyalty on this one, (much as I could claim for RE6) but MMIX isn't nearly as bad as people give it credit for. No, it's not good, but it's still fully recognizable as a Might and Magic game... albeit an ugly, unfinished, rather bland Might and Magic game. It's always fun to point out that Wizardry 8 came out 6 months earlier.

  • Status: Completed

    Yep, it deserves being on this list all right.