FFD: What games have been given a free pass? 

Geoffrey Tim
July 4, 2014 at 10:30 am


In last week’s FFD, somebody brought up a classic game; Altered Beast. Amongst older gamers, Altered Beast is infamous. It’s highly regarded as an arcade classic and it’s something most of us spent way too many 20c pieces on because we could turn into goddamned werewolves and flying dragons and that is awesome.  Pity the game is actually pretty terrible. I played it relatively recently, and it’s a short, broken, janky mess – yet it’s still almost universally adored. Altered Beast has been given a free pass.

What other games, old and new do you think have similarly been granted exemption from harsh critique? Three instantly come to mind, and interestingly, they were all published by Rockstar. GTA IV was universally lauded, heaped with praise. I still can’t figure it out. The game had bad controls, bad shooting, and bad melee combat. That was capped off with bland and clichéd writing and a pointless story.

Another Rockstar published game that got praise for reasons I can’t fathom is L.A Noire. Yes, it had a decent story and some of the most incredible facial capture we’ve seen in games, but it was one of the most boring games to actually play. Move around until your controller buzzes, turn some item around in your hands, interrogate somebody, repeat.

The last Rockstar one? Max Payne 3. It had sublime shooting, but a hackneyed story, unnerving visual aberrations and just wasn’t in the spirit of Max Payne at all. It was 8 hours of shooting gallery. punctuated with stuff I couldn’t care about.

Another one that was critic proof, and this is controversial stuff, is Skyrim. Though I loved the experience, it’s deemed by many to be overrated. It was critically praised despite being a broken mess upon release, and for many, had all the soul of a ginger kid. Same goes for Uncharted 3. I really feel that game was given a free pass by critics after the excellent Uncharted 2. The first half was pretty good, but by the end of it it was a repetitive and mindless corridor shooter.

That’s enough whinging from me though; what games do you think were given a free pass by the press and gamers themselves? Agree with my examples, or do you think I’m a deluded idiot who should be set on fire and has no place writing about games?

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces. I am also the emperor of the backend

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  • Milesh Bhana

    Bioshock Infinite, loved the story, but definitely lacked in the gameplay dept.
    Same for GTA4.. it just felt, clunky after GTA3/VC/SA. Was a little disappointed that the same engine/movement went across to RDR, ALMOST ruined it for me.

    also, Diablo 1 and 2 (*hides), was sooo bored.

    • Thats_how_I_Troll

      Someone actually mentions Diablo 1? lol, was just thinking this morning that no one ever mentions 1… It is the name you do not mention on the interwebz…

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Gears of War 2 and 3… DAMNIT EPIC!!!

  • Viking Of Science

    @OddSockZA:disqus , I respectfully Disagree with your thoughts on Max Payne 3. The Story and Visual effects were straight up Neo-noir, and seeing as it’s an evolution on the Max Payne formula, I think it fit’s quite well. but that’s me….

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      Agreed, I thought the story was one of the strong points of Max Payne 3, and showing him as a troubled middle-aged man was perfect. Here’s a videogame character that has never really recovered from the events of the first game, and who would? It makes sense that he would sink even further into depression.

  • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

    Metal Gear Solid… seriously we’re in 2014 and the moron is still hiding in a box..

    It’s not cute it’s stupid.

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      Beats hiding behind conveniently placed waist high walls…. (trololololololol)

      • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

        that makes more sense though… go to any sports event or government building and you find the convenient waist high blocks of concrete..

        But a freaking box shuffling around and no one notices… STUPID

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          But they do notice, the key is to embrace your inner box, and remain still. One must become the box.

          Metal Gear Solid is essentially a Zen meditation simulator.

          • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

            I hate you.. go away

            Beer time

          • Thats_how_I_Troll

            Lol, translate that to afrikaans….

          • Rags

            Vind jou inner doos.

    • Sk3tz0

      Atleast he not an overweight Italian Plumper that at his age is still chowing shrooms and crawling through sewers the dirty bugger 😛

  • Brick Sprickly

    Any Assassin’s Creed game after Brotherhood. Revelations and AC3 were my Rihanna and I was their Chris Brown, I verbally abused them so much. They were boring, glitchy messes.