Weekend Hot Topic Part 1: The Hated Games That Are Really Good

Prince Of Persia: Warrior Within – not as bad as people say? (photo: Ubisoft)

Readers name games they don’t think deserve their bad name, from Doom 3 to Star Wars: Battlefront 2.

This week’s Hot Topic topic was suggested by reader Dory. It involved games that are rated as terrible but you like, games that are rated as mediocre, or even something that is recognized as good but you think is even better.

We had a lot of suggestions for differences in each category, but the most common answers were No Man’s Sky and games as a service like Fallout 76 and Sea Of Thieves.

Worthy warrior
I think Prince Of Persia: Warrior Within has a somewhat unfair reputation for being a dark, brooding, and generally unworthy sequel to The Sands Of Time.

I think it kept what was nice about The Sands Of Time, which for me used the Prince’s agility to pull off and string together some awesome acrobatic moves, much like a non-super Spider-Man. At the same time, it solved what in my mind is the only problem with The Sands Of Time, which was the sub-normal, repetitive combat. There was also more of an exploration element, with a choice in what order you tackled the mechanical and garden towers, and that added some great chase / escape scenes.

The Prince’s personality and the game world probably didn’t have to be so dark – by memory, the dominant visual tones in the game were mostly gray, compared to the sandy gold and azure blue of the original. But I didn’t come for the decor or the chic accent of the Prince, I came to enjoy gymnastics and acrobatics, and here it really didn’t disappoint.

And Ubisoft at least acknowledged that no one liked the Prince in this game, and that he had a completely different personality than the first game, making the Black Prince part of the Prince’s split personality and the ultimate challenge to pick up in the last. game of the trilogy.

All the ingredients
Super hot topic this weekend. I’ve spent time thinking about all the games I’ve played over the years and one of them strikes me as being unfairly maligned. I’m still shocked at how poorly thought out Zelda: Skyward Sword is. For me, it was the best Zelda experience I’ve had since Ocarina Of Time. I missed it on the Wii and only played it on the Wii U so I had missed a lot of negative thoughts around it and was able to play it without any preconceptions which I think perhaps colored other opinions.

For me, it contains the real ingredients of the Zelda experience: great dungeons, interesting characters, and none of the aimless wanderings that Breath Of The Wild was so clearly pleased with on its own.

About Breath Of The Wild, the more I think about it, the more I would say I had the opposite experience with him. Too trendy and just full of uselessness. It made me realize how much I enjoy linear games more and more as I get older, so I guess I’m at least grateful for that.

Most Improved
There are a lot of games as a service that could apply here, which is why I’m actually pretty positive about the idea in general – even though I don’t play that kind of game a lot. Rainbow Six: Siege has enjoyed incredible success since its original and mundane launch and is arguably the most improved game of any game other than No Man’s Sky.

I would vote for Sea Of Thieves, which I probably wouldn’t have played without Game Pass, but I’ve come back time and time again despite everyone I know who hasn’t played it, isn’t it for me that it’s boring and there is nothing to do. And every time I come back it changes or adds something new that keeps me going for days on end. The fight is still horrible (I know that’s not the point, just don’t know why it’s not the point) but there is now a ton to do and quite a bit of variety.

Sailing around the ocean with a full crew and shooting down rival ships is truly amazing and unlike anything else in video games. I would love a sci-fi version where everyone has their own stations, like in Star Trek. I mean, who doesn’t love space pirates?

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Complete the trilogy
I’m not sure if Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is considered a good game by the majority, but I certainly think it is, especially compared to how it started out. In fact, this may be the ultimate example of a game that started off awfully but recognized its failures and made a difference thanks to the DLC.

It couldn’t have had a worse start with all the loot box controversy, but to EA’s credit, they persevered, never added microtransactions, and kept adding to all modes, even to the countryside. I agree the shooter could be tighter, but beyond that I think things are pretty crisp and the graphics are still amazing.

I imagine there probably won’t be a sequel for a long time, or never, due to the controversy and criticism from EA for wasting the license, but I’d be up for another. It’s not a good thing in Star Wars if it isn’t a trilogy, after all!

Condemned opinion
Final Fantasy 13? No, ha ha! Everyone hates this one and with good reason. I’m curious to see how the reputation of Mass Effect 3 will change with the release of the remasters, as I think it’s almost as good as the second until the end – which I guess is beyond the backup at this point.

My submission is however going to be Doom 3. Someone in Bethesda must like it because it keeps getting re-released and revamped, but everyone I know considers it a boring remake of the first game, as I understand it. but I don’t think that’s true (the remake track, I mean, it’s not boring at all).

I found him to be both creepy and a good shooter, which is exactly what you should get from a Doom sequel. The reboot of Doom and Eternal are good games but they’re not scary and don’t even try to be, and I think that’s a shame. Talk about monster closets whatever you want, but Doom 3 constantly puts me on the prowl when I play, and I’ve beaten it countless times. Good game.

Black sheep
Its inclusion in Super Mario 3D All-Stars seemed to open the floodgates of hate, but I’ve always loved the game. Maybe that’s just because it’s one of the first Mario games I have. played, and the first where I owned the console rather than my brother, but I find it a lot of fun.

The cohesive theme and global hub isn’t something the series has really done before and I thought it worked very well. In addition, the vacuum levels are excellent. The game has a surprisingly large speedrun community, because it’s so difficult I guess, but other than that it’s often ignored or insulted. I will always love him though.

Modest and memorable
While I think it’s not the most likely example, I feel compelled to stand up for Shenmue and its sequels as better games than its reputation suggests. Even in 2000, it was a Marmite game that was considered either a masterpiece or pure crap (obviously I fall into the first category). I think there has been a lot of rather unfair criticism of the game from a modern perspective. I can understand that some people think the game has aged badly, but for me I feel – with a little weird here and there – that it has aged wonderfully. The graphics still hold up pretty well, the music still looks great, and there is still a sense of world building that is impressive to this day.

Shenmue worlds aren’t the biggest, but – like Yakuza – its size betrays its depth to the point that, two decades later, I think few games have matched. I have long been tired of gigantic open worlds and would rather have something more modest and memorable.

Its legacy as a forerunner of the open world genre and an important game in the history of the game is guaranteed, but I still feel that some people playing the game through modern eyes are missing the point when they say that Shenmue is boring or too slow. I enjoy the second and third games that give you the option to skip the time, but even then I rarely feel like I need to use the option.

What’s very interesting is that just last week Sega uploaded a video on five tips for fully appreciating the charms and quirks of Shenmue. It’s interesting because the Shenmue I and II remasters came out over two years ago, so I’m not sure why they did it now, but if that means more people will give this game a chance, so I’m all for it. The series has changed my life for me and for many others and deserves to be treated with more respect. # letsgetshenmue4

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The fine print
New inbox updates appear every morning of the week, with special inboxes for hot topics on weekends. Letters from the Readers are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500-600 word reading feature at any time, which, if used, will be displayed in the next available weekend slot.

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