Redeeming factors in bad games...

We’ve all played a lot of bad games over the years. This thread isn’t for bitching and moaning, though; it’s more about looking at the things that worked in these titles. Maybe a level was actually impressive, maybe a good story was buried under agony-inducing gameplay, maybe there was a glint of inspiration within a tangled vomit pile.

And just so you know, “it ends” and “it’s not the WORST game I’ve ever played” do not count. What we’re looking for here is concrete evidence that, maybe for two seconds, the developers stopped sniffing glue and actually got their jobs done.

I’ll start.

Blood Omen 2: The Eternal Prison was actually a really interesting level. The design was markedly different from the incredibly generic city and canyon stages before, and actually felt like it belonged in the Legacy of Kain universe. The whole place is basically a giant, never-ending torture chamber, where prisoners are “purified” by being crushed, shredded, stabbed, and mutilated, all before being put right back together so they can do it again. It’s all capped off with the only good boss fight in the whole game, especially because, once again, it actually feels like a LoK boss. Too bad the rest of the game is incredibly bad.

Sonic Chronicles: I actually liked how BioWare wrote some of the characters. They were actually given enough room to expand on a cast that had, for all intents and purposes, been Flanderized to a one-dimensional cast of wangsty losers. Most successful are Big (who goes from an annoyance in Sonic Adventure to the comic relief) and Eggman (who goes from getting his ass kicked by his own plans to outsmarting the heroes and taking over the world.) Unfortunately, the rest of the game ranged from “meh” (the actual plot, the battle mechanics) to all-out awful (the music…THE MUSIC!).

Well, post if you want. Or just ignore this thread. Your call.

It’s like this thread in reverse.

It’s not really a bad game per se, but while Super Princess Peach went from piece of cake to slightly challenging as far as difficulty goes, there was a stage in the final world that required precision jumping with a rising screen of death under you and the rest of it was rather tricksy. I enjoyed the unexpected challenge, though it could probably be a big fuck you to inexperienced players as the curve jerked up.

Great Greed had one of the most streamlined interfaces for a turned based JRPG that I’ve ever seen. That, and the autosave after every battle whether you ended up winning or fleeing. If it weren’t for that I’d never have been able to beat the game.

The only thing I can think of is the dungeon design in Raidy, which is more evil than distilled Satan. But that was the reason I actually played that game in the first place.
There was just something about the things the something awful review said that made parts of my brain go “that sounds like a challenge to me!”… Most probably when he said that you had to draw a map of the floors yourself to actually get anywhere. But that’s a horrible thing in a horrible game and I just like playing really horrible games sometimes.

Final Fantasy Tactics (the original) is my least favorite of all the FF games I’ve played: the story is depressing and the art is far too cartoony for it. That said, I LOVE its character-making system, and I replayed the game just so I could finish it with a team composed of one character of every class, with all the attendant abilities gained. It’s my second favorite Job system, right after FFV’s.

Tecmo’s Secret of the Stars. Yes, the plot was generic as hell. Yes, the graphics were outdated. Yes, the music sucked. Yes, the gameplay was boring and turn-based and whatnot. But goddammit, I had fun building that fucking town and I don’t know why. And the idea of there being a B Team of heroes intrigued me even back then.

The Legend of Dragoon had horrible graphics, annoying battle system in that it was never random, you always did the same damage depending on how well you managed to hit the button at the right time. Buut, the story did some unusual things with clichés and the wretched translation created some wonderfully bizarre moments. Like that one where a king has just given himself up as a prisoner to the enemy kingdom so they won’t invade his capital, he’s sitting half naked and tied up on a pile of human bones with a gloating warden waving an axe at him and talking at great length about how he’ll be a head shorter very soon. What’s this brave king’s reaction to learning from said warden that despite his sacrifice, the armies are still poised to invade at sunrise?

“Argh! I am vexed.”

I don’t think I was supposed to start laughing there.

Well, I’d be a bit vexed too.

Who wouldn’t be?

I live for that shit. When I am naked and my head is being threatened, I loose all sense of reality and wake up with my hands covered in blood. The next week is filled with trying to figure out what happened by uncovering evidence, and when I get to a dead end, flashbacks.

The music in FF Mystic Quest. Damn but that rocked.

While I’m thinking about it, the artwork and music of Legend of Mana.

And the end of the fairy-war arc.

Also the WTF-ness of Drakengard.

THIS. The game is such an incredible bore fest to play, but the sheer madness of the story and characters is amazing. I can’t think of any other game where your nominally good protagonist is an omnicidal maniac who expresses himself only through violence and murder. And the game just keeps going deeper into fuckedupistan as it progresses.

Isn’t Drakengard that game where it (graphically) starts as a 2D er… brawler and when you leave the city it turns into a [strike]beautiful[/strike] [strike]luscious[/strike] bloody ugly landscape made of dots and you walk around without a clear sense of direction getting encounters indicated by a dark fog? Because if it is, someone point me to a playthrough so I can see the story without playing it.

No, it’s a ps2 Dynasty Warriors clone that Enix was working on just before the merger with Square. It lacks anything that makes the Dynasty Warriors games fun and has lots of jrpg grind. There’s 65 weapons in the game, each of which needs hundreds to thousands of kills to level up. The only level worth doing this on is the first one since the rest are too sparse to care.

You also have missions where you’re flying around on your dragon. The controls for this are terrible but you’re expected to be pretty damn good at dogfighting rather early in the game. Occasionally you can take the dragon with you on ground missions, but the game usually discourages this by having dozens of crossbowmen firing at you from off screen that you can’t really do anything about till you get shot off the dragon.

Also the first area lacks any major bullshit enemies like Red Soldiers and such.

That said, the only weapon that matters is the Dragon Slayer knockoff. Also the game’s final boss is almost impossible to beat without forcing you to cheat the system. Also also, everyone, without exception, was some kind of messed up in that game.

Plus the game features about 20 different shades of brown, gray, and red with N64 levels of fog all over the place.

There was a “Games with bad ends” thread a while back with a video showcasing some of the more Eff’d up parts of the ending if you want to look it up Rigmarole.

Oooh, you meant that other Drakengard game for the SNES, we’re talking about the one that was originally named Drag on Dragoon.

I think I played the second SNES Drakengard. It wasn’t that bad, as I recall it. Except I got stuck at the only puzzle in it because I couldn’t take an obvious hint (hint being three arrows stuck in the wall on the other side of the unpassable chasm. In my defense, the first time I used my bow there it didn’t seem to work), for which I’m eternally ashamed. But I did finish it.

Too Human was a little stiff and the voice acting sucked but I really liked how epic it was. The environments were really nice, the music was good. I thought it was a really nice twist to Norse mythology with a lot of interesting concepts and concept art that had difficulty translating into an engine.

I never played through Drakengard because of its engine, but I agree it is one of the most fucked up games I’ve seen.

That sounds so awesome. What game is that?

If I had to guess, Rigamarole and Weiila are talking about Drakkhen/Dragon View on the SNES. It’s pretty much just a mediocre 2d brawler with rpg trappings and a world map. It’s one of those games where damage is strictly attack-defense and enemies have enough defense that you do one damage to monsters if you’re underleveled at all.