Flawed Diamonds

Games that flew too close to the sun, and games that should have flown closer. Or more specifically:

  • Games that attempted too much, or tried some innovative stuff that didn't quite work out
  • Games that should have become bigger successes, but didn't

A game can easily be good, and sometimes be great, but it takes a special kind of game to leave me wistful. And these are my opinions, obviously. This isn't something factual.

I have a few more ideas for the list, but it feels unfair to add them before I've played them for myself.

List items

  • The released game was still innovative, but utterly failed to live up to its original aims - instead of an otherwise normal game with a Jurassic Park theme, we were given a sketch of a masterpiece, hastily covered with Tipp-Ex.

  • The game itself was competent, and beautiful art and voice acting made it easy to overlook the problems. But for whatever reason it just wasn't that successful and by the time a PC port was released, three years later, hope for a sequel was effectively dead.

  • As much as I personally enjoyed this, even Prophecy - a rework focussed almost entirely on complaints about the original Hydrophobia - isn't that great. But it got a lot closer to the vision, and there aren't often second chances like this.

  • Red Faction: Guerrilla, like several other games on this list, eventually got a sequel. Like several other games on this list, the sequel missed the point entirely, simultaneously making me want a proper sequel more, and eliminating the chance of it ever occurring.

  • Fighting aliens just wasn't as fun as fighting the North Koreans (not to mention ice and snow pushing the frame rate to unacceptable lows), and it was all too easy to hide when something went wrong. But I can't quite bring myself to complain that the game was too long.

  • The actual shooting was certainly mediocre, but so much else of the game was a surprising delight. Unfortunately I think surprise was also the problem - pretending to be yet another 3rd-person shooter did have a downside.

  • I'm pretty sure this game belongs here, but I'd have to understand it before I could give a reason, and that's never going to happen.

  • A game that improved upon its predecessor in just about every way, but essentially took the franchise down a dead end.

  • It definitely had flaws, and a lot of other people liked it, so it probably fits in here. I couldn't stand it, personally, and I have enough other games I'll probably never revisit it to double-check.

  • I found it entertaining, and don't remember anything completely awful about it (with the one obvious exception), but it should have been so much more. Literally! The game ends without warning, and there are plenty of hints about ideas and levels that didn't survive at all.

  • Despite coming from a genre that rarely interests me I was hooked on this one (until I finished it, a few hours later). A little more freedom and non-linearity in the level design would have been much appreciated though.

    Oh, it also has one of the WORST bonus endings ever created.

  • I enjoyed just about every minute while playing, but for whatever reason - presumably financial - the game never seemed to take full advantage of its otherwise-interesting concepts.

  • Interesting story in a detailed, believable open world? A winning strategy. Making that story entirely linear? A poor decision, but understandable. Focussing on the story to the point there was nothing else worth doing? A terrible, terrible mistake.

2 Comments

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Rakune

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dead rising, evil genius

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bhurnie

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@rakune: Never played those unfortunately! Did the Dead Rising sequels fix the problems?