Gaming Lives: Two Bad for Words

This ones a bit old now i forgot to share it with you all. Orginally posted on gaminglives.com and if you’ve already read it you should read it again – it took me ages.

I need to vent and as a result, this post is filled with a fair bit of hate but it’s ok… it’s for a good cause – I’m doing it to save the planet.  You see if I don’t, then my 360 controller will be thrown with a great deal of force through my TV and, while it would provide me with approximately two seconds of clarity, I would then have to tear my shirt off in a fit of rage, turn green, and smash the hell out of the building where I live. “That building’s horrible so that’s not bad for the environment.”  I hear you cry.  No, you’re right, it’s not but every time somebody buys a 55 inch Sony TV the carbon footprint generated kills a polar bear.

So out of respect for Johnny polar bear and my wallet I wont be throwing my Xbox controller at the TV.

Today class, I’m here to talk to you about bad games. The really bad ones, the ones that make you want to twist your pad in half and scream the less geeky and more commonly known version of the word “frak”.  It’s not that I’m rubbish at games, I’m quite good – above average would be fair.  I can strum away at Rock Band to a few tunes on hard and hold my own on Modern Warfare 2, though I’m yet to test the joys of the AC130.  I hear cries of “n00b” from the back – well… don’t think I won’t put your name on the board; you’ll be coming back in your lunch hour.

Why so bitter, Lee?  Well a long time ago, I was part of a gamescore whore challenge over on 360voice and I’m not going to lie – I wanted to win.  Hmmmm, where can I find cheap games with easy points?  A quick poke around other people’s gamercards revealed a few suggestions so I went with Fifa Road to World Cup and World Cup ‘06.  Now I haven’t played a football game since Fifa ‘96 and if I’m honest, I have no interest in football.  “Gheyyyyy” – Look, would you prefer to come back after school?  No…didn’t think so.

So, Fifa world cup.  I got the best part of the way through and claimed half the points – it was horrible but I did it in a few hours before I had a pop at Road to World Cup and claimed an easy 250 points.  Hmm, I’ve not got much for my money here, so back onto World Cup and the challenges for a massive 500g in one achievement.  One challenge consisted of winning a game from something like 2-0 down on hard with all your blokes knackered.  It was like the Kobayashi Maru except that I couldn’t cheat (shame on you for Googling that) and it made me crazy – how could something be so impossible?  It was only the second challenge.  Since that day, I vowed never to play whore games again but more importantly, never to play bad games.

The only tarnishes since that day on my gamer card are Avatar:TLA and Dash of Destruction.  Race Pro was a god awful game that promptly went back to the shop but in my own defence, the marketing for it was good and never let on just how crap the game was.

Another recent pad twister was Alex Kidd from the Sega Mega Drive.  What?  Yeah, Alex Kidd.  Like the rest of us, I played the fudge out of that game when I was young and I remember most of the levels.  Except the first one.  At the start of the game there’s you, Alex Kidd, a block on the floor, and a red car driving backwards and forwards.  Now, it goes without saying that you need to get past the car but you cant quite jump it, it’s too tall.  Stand on the block and jump? After much piddling about I finally got past, only to be presented with another car.  Why had I erased this level of the game from my childhood?  I cant remember it for toffee but it turns out you’re supposed to punch the cars and they disappear.

Now…I know it’s a game and all, but a child punching a car and it disappearing was stupid and anyway, how was that any different from trying to jump on it?  Why do I die when I jump on it?  Rawrrrrrrrrr.  Alex Kidd then went on to join the list of bad games, as did most of the Sega Mega Drive collection (don’t even get me started on Altered Beast).

So, just like an origin story (which are so very popular at the moment), you now have the back story as to why recent events have made me so mad.

Army of Two. The first game was hardly the height of computer game development but it was brainless and good fun and I enjoy playing co-op games with my good buddy, tomthum.  It had been a while since we had played co-op together and we liked the first Army of Two so we decided to invest in the 40th Day.  Now, he wasn’t going to get it if I wasn’t going to and vice versa, so that was £80 that EA games had made from us and, even if it had been an exact carbon copy of the first game, we’d have been happy.  But it wasn’t.  It is quite possibly the worst game I’ve ever played. Bad.

Some people have no shame when it comes to building up their gamerscore… not naming names though!

Now, bad games aren’t to be confused with rubbish games like Hannah Montana: the movie for Xbox 360 – with that, you know what you’re getting and that it’s going to be rubbish – it practically says so on the box and what kind of a gamer would want to tarnish their gamercard with it anyway? *cough Victor.* Bad games in my book are something completely different… they are the ones that make you want to throw your controller at the TV which, as we have already learned, is bad for Johnny polar bear.

The 40th Day is just such a bad game right from the off.  I had a few gripes after being treated to a lengthy cut scene of people on holiday checking out the sights and then dying horribly.  Well, I say horribly –

if what Reboot taught us is true and I was a sprite living inside a computer I would have welcomed getting hit by an exploding bus.  Now that the tourists are dead, we can play the game and Cole Trains’ English cousin is teaching me how to take cover and look around corners  in a system which goes against everything every cover system in any game ever has trained us for.  There’s a perfectly good reason why ‘A’ is take cover and not the right thumb stick!!

More sucking eggs, aiming my gun, clicking buttons, and learning how to use a ladder before being confronted with a moral choice with no reason behind it.  Do I kill English Cole Train and take the money or let him know people want him dead and tell him to cheese it?

The problem with this is that the game is soulless so I don’t care.  However, just in case Reboot is real, I put the poor sprite out of his misery – it seemed like the right thing to do.  Then, out of nowhere there was a bang, a puff of spoke and a developer right clicked on the building across the ally and deleted it.  No building falling over, no chunks flying across the road, just right click and delete.  Then the audio disappeared. It was ok though because Tommy got disconnected shortly after so we got to do it all again and this time, we made the supposed good choice in which the English Cole Train died anyway.

I will not play crap games… I will not play crap games…

The game continues pretty soullessly for a while with each level seeming to contain one horrible moral choice.  The choices though, aren’t like the ones which games such as Fable or Mass Effect or even rubbish games give you, in Army of Two: the 40th Day, it just boils down to ‘do you want some extra cash or don’t you?’  My favourite choice involved deciding whether to give a ten year old Chinese boy a .50 cal sniper rifle.  Now, I don’t know about you but I wanted to see what happened to the ten year old Chinese boy who pulled the trigger on a .50 cal.  I would imagine he would of been forced through the wall behind him but, instead, I was treated to him getting shot in the chest; if only he had learnt to use a .50 cal. first.

Most games would make you feel bad for being responsible for a ten year old’s death but it’s a bad game and it didn’t.  Tommy seemed surprisingly mad at me for it though, but I didn’t care, I just picked up the gun…oh and then it crashed again.  There’s also a bit with a zoo which is odd and unnecessary and does nothing for the story, but then I realised that there isn’t a story…honest to god.  I know that I’ve read on the net in previews about somebody bombing something and a group of PMCs stomping in to restore order under the 40th day initiative or something, but I don’t much care.  That’s not my fault though, since the game hasn’t explained a single thing.  Then it disconnected Tommy again. *sigh – see, even this post is starting to get boring with all the disconnects.*

The final nail in the coffin came last night when, after doing a real grind of a fire fight and getting to a JCB (that for no reason starts up and drives through a wall), you go into a little back to back section where the two of you go all ‘Bad Boys’, standing and shooting in slow motion with all the baddies running towards you.  At least that’s the idea because what actually happens is that one player hits the floor for no reason and dies.  That was as far as I got, so after a lot of screaming, some really quite horrible words, and almost inadvertently killing another polar bear, I took it back for refund and sat down to write this article.  It’s been fun and we’ve all learnt a little.

my advise: get the first one and just play it twice and its less than a tenner now.

Army of Two: The 40th Day on Amazon.co.uk

Army of Two on Amazon.co.uk

So… to summarise:

  • I may or may not have killed a polar bear
  • I’m average at games
  • Alex Kidd was a stupid game
  • The difference between a bad game and a rubbish one is vast
  • Army of Two: the 40th day is a bad game
  • Reboot has not aged well

Class dismissed.

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One thought on “Gaming Lives: Two Bad for Words

  1. Sonic Alpha says:

    I’ve recently re-watching Reboot (all of it), and you’re right, it hasn’t aged well. However it’s still great to watch, and better than half of the trash on TV 😉

    No mention of King Kong? That game is a shocking bore! And don’t get me started on Vampire Rain, I nearly quit gaming because of that…

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