What is there to love?

I had a rough time trying to pick out one video game that I could single out as the worst game I've ever played in my entire life. Sadly, I couldn't come up with a single one, not even the dreaded Xenosaga Trilogy that I feel a little ashamed of having. So instead, I've chosen a tabletop game instead, because there seems to be a lot more to pick from in that category.
Several contenders come to mind, the first of which is the dreaded Werewolf system (I can't remember what edition, and haven't played since then, sorry). I'm probably being a little biased, as I had a terrible gaming experience because of one player, but making a character seemed completely unbalanced: it was way too easy to twink things and create and uber-powerful damage monkey. Unless you were like me, didn't know what you were doing with a new system and was trying to balance things out to be fair and not create a starting level-douche that the other players would hate.
The 2nd contender goes to DnD 4.0. Never has a game ever been so confusingly made because common sense would dictate that you don't put a friggin' MMO on paper. Healing surges? Really? You lost me on having fun and being different and made all the classes the same and boring, WotC. End of story.
Last, but certainly not least, is "We Didn't Play-test This At All". Sure, a simple, lovely card game with cards that are always changing the rules on all the players. The game could end in 11 rounds, or a single card play. Absolutely no challenge, strategy or fun at all. Instead of playing along, just to see how interesting the game can get, someone decides to end all the fun in the first 5 minutes and declare themselves the winner.
Usually, I can find some jewel in any game I try that will make me want to try again. Sadly, there are too many glaring flaws for me to show any compassion or love for those I mentioned here. There are probably plenty of flaws in games that I do love to play, but they cannot trounce the one that keeps me playing: fun.

This post was part of Gamer Banter, a monthly video game discussion coordinated by Terry at Game Couch. If you’re interested in being part of this, please email him for details.

Other takes:
Game Couch: The Worst Game Ever
Silvercublogger: It's all about integrity
Yuki-Pedia: Love, thy name is rage quit
Master Kitty’s World: What were they thinking???
Zath: What's the worst game you've ever played?
SnipingMizzy: What is there to love?
The Game Fanatics: What is the worst game you've ever played?
Pioneer Project: Making the best of a bad situation
gunthera1_gamer: The game I could have loved!
The Average Gamer: Gamer Banter: Worst Game EVAR!
Extra Guy: Battle Blaze — 700 pounds of ‘don’t do it’


Lost Odyssey: replay

You start off as Kaim Argonar, an Immortal with 1000 years of memories he'd prefer to forget. A "Magic-Industrial Revolution" is in the midst of occurring, making the lives easier for the people of the world. This magic has always existed in people, but why is it suddenly so prevalent?
Lost Odyssey is in my top five RPGs and will probably remain there for a very long time. Lost Odyssey is an amazing game that was a little bit over-looked when it came out around the same time as Blue Dragon.
Visually, the environments are absolutely stunning to look at, and the characters are well-designed and don't have the "perfect face" look of FF characters (I mean, look at Gongora's eyebrows). Even the outfit designs for NPCs milling around, although repetitive, are so beautifully done. Combat is a little less spectacular with the same backgrounds depending on the dungeon area, but still fun to go through will all the customization of skills you can play around with. Immortals can learn skills from the mortals that are part of the party, making game play quite versatile and easy to switch around if you find things aren't really going you're way.
Audio-wise, the soundtrack is beautiful and filled with such emotion that fits every scene perfectly, especially the theme song for the dream sequences (I don't think I've gone through a dream with a dry eye). The voice work for each character is absolutely amazing, especially Jansen and Tolten: Jansen comes off as a totally cocky quasi-twat, Tolten is believable as an unexperienced ex-prince whose father just died and has no idea what to do with the rest of his life. Kaim is a main hero I can actually enjoy without being a Marty-Stu.
Combat game play was just a little difficult to get right the first time when I equipped a ring, and was unsure as how the right trigger should work. However, once you get it timed right, you'll be getting Perfects over and over. Assembling rings to get to the weak point of each enemy is a little tedious, but it's certainly very helpful in dealing lots of damage if you DO get a Perfect. You're also able to switch out equipment in the middle of combat to deal with each kind of enemy; also a little tedious scrolling through a huge list of stuff, but great for dealing with any unexpected curses or becoming petrified. It is turn-based combat, which people have called outdated, but what exactly is wrong with that? Real-time strategy seems to be the way to go nowadays, but I've never enjoyed it: it leaves little in planning and makes me feel more rushed to get things done than actually enjoying the game.
The story is quite solid and emotionally-involved; it has been criticized for being overused and uninspiring, but I don't hear of any other games with immortals from a parallel universe, whose mere presence upended everything normal and are basically making things easier for the bad guy and worse for everyone else. Sure, it's another "save the world" sort of business, but what RPG doesn't? The twist here is the characters themselves are the cause of what's going on.
Replaying this game a year later still leaves me with goosebumps and tears in my eyes, even though I know what's going to happen. It should certainly be given a chance.



Breeze is a peaceful little puzzle game where you guide a daisy to a checkpoint, using only a fan. Avoid the wooden barriers around your goal, as well as your own tool, as it can destroy your precious little flower if it gets too close.
Despite the soothing background music that accompanies this neat little game, I found myself swearing at my own fan every time my poor daisy got shredded into petals. That didn't stop me from trying again, though, and my frustration was quite short-lived. Each level makes it just a little bit more challenging.
The controls are quite easy: hold the right trigger to blow your flower around, and the left analog stick to move the fan around, directing the flower towards any suns you need to collect as well as to get to the goal.
A neat game that is definitely worth the 240 MSP.


Army of Two: The 40th Day

Army of Two: The 40th Day is a sequel to the original. Rios and Salem are now independent mercenaries for hire along with Alice, their handler, who are trying to fight their way out of a continuously war-ravaged Shanghai.
The graphics have certainly been upgraded in this sequel, especially with environmental factors such as shadows, raining debris and constant smoke on the horizon. It works well in having to spot the enemies in grey armour standing in front of grey background. Searching around for cover is a lot more of a challenge: it's integrated into the environment a lot better than just a chest high wall in the middle of a forest base. Cover can also be destroyed from on-coming enemy fire, which gives you even a smaller window to eliminate them. Even less if there's an RPG around. Still, I couldn't help wondering when was the last time Rios and Salem had a shower; their constantly oily and grimy faces, even before the real combat started, had me wondering if they simply forgot their antiperspirant that morning.
Aurally, this game had me guessing as to where the enemies were going to be. It did a wonderful job on giving them different bits of dialogue to spout off: were the enemies circling around behind me? Were they climbing to higher ground to pick me off easier? It kept me on my toes a little bit more as to what kind of strategy should be taken.
Rios and Salem, on the other hand, were a bit more annoying. "Careful, a sniper!" Ok, great. I know to look out for one. But if I AM playing the character, shouldn't I actually see the sniper when said so, and not have to search around for it? Sure, it's a neat little heads-up piece of dialogue, but then I have to spend the rest of the time looking for one person with an RPG rather than taking out all the other lackies that are currently swarming to my position.
Gameplay seemed to be a hit-and-miss. Some things were greatly improved upon, while others were a hinderance. Ducking behind cover is made easier, without the need to hold the A button to get behind it. Step-jumps are also a lot easier without the need for both players to futz around getting into the right position to pull the other player up. The A button, however, is now in control of running and helping your partner when he's down. The problem here is that if he dies right next to me, I have a 2-second wait before the "Press A to help your friend" option shows up; in the meantime, I'm still getting shot in the head, waiting those 2 seconds. Dragging and providing aid should be available a lot quicker than the game gives you time for.
The difficulty is certainly a challenge, usually with trial-and-error being the most prevalent means of getting through a Chapter. An RPG shows up, learn to try and take him out next time before he can get around to blowing you up. Surrounded by enemies in a street, pick a new path to go with the next time around. The game certainly leaves it a bit more open and less linear in how to take out your enemies with multiple pathways, ladders for easier snipe points, etc. They also did a good job of allowing mock surrendering at certain points, allowing your partner to take them out while they're distracted. Or, you can both mock surrender and pull of quick-draws. Or, if you've tagged the enemies and discovered who the officer is, you can hold him hostage and force the others to surrender while your partner ties them up or shoots them.
Aggro has also been improved upon greatly; the AI act better in regards to who has all the Aggro, focusing on that person completely; in the first game, Aggro didn't really work so well, and the enemies would shoot at you if you even so much as peeked out of your cover with no Aggro.
Storywise, it's a lot more light than the previous game: Shanghai is being destroyed, you need to get out, shoot whoever gets in your way. However, you are given choices as to who to let live and who to kill, which supposedly up your morality and how of "best friends" you are at the end. It certainly gives a little bit of replay value, just to see how different choices would changed that person's life.