Remembering the mostly forgettable average games. (Or at least trying to.)

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ThePixelatedGenocide
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Remembering the mostly forgettable average games. (Or at least trying to.)

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » December 2nd, 2019, 8:08 pm

What are some of the games you've almost forgotten over the years, but still have some pleasant or unpleasant memories associated with them? Or, if none qualify, what's just the most average game you can think of?

For me, the first game that came to mind was Low-G Man, as it nails something really important to me back in the day (like the wild freedom of a ridiculous jump that feels overpowered but isn't), adds in novel gameplay (spearing frozen enemies to death), and I couldn't tell you a single thing about the enemies or settings without actually playing the game again. Part of that is aphantasia, but I can easily remember the flying scorpion demons or the giant eye that cries into creation the rock towers you'll climb to blind it in Streetfighter 2010. Or the enemies of Legendary Axe, which leans more towards the "here's some bears" and "oh no, a giant spider!" side of things, before finally letting you see how desperate Jagu is to make up the numbers in his cult.

But can you blame him? It's pretty clear he's just hiring whatever Ninja Gaiden rejects will still give him the time of day, and if I were forced to join an evil 2D death cult, I'd prefer Jaquio as my boss too. He's just got a flair for the dramatic, and a bit of style. While other end bosses would be content to kidnap a princess and call it a day, he'd rather arrange a family reunion...

And unlike other primitive sprite based armies, his assistants actually get the job done. Your supporting cast isn't even safe during the cut scenes after you've won a battle.

Anyways, Low G-Man, which I almost forgot I was writing about, is just the very definition of generic, like someone in KID had two good ideas, and then were forced to bury that employee before anyone else was infected. Also, the opening cutscene is almost beautiful, in how completely disposable it is.

But I don't regret my time with the game, at all. And now, having tried to remember more about it, I'm even more curious about your own answers.

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Stalvern
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Re: Remembering the mostly forgettable average games. (Or at least trying to.)

Postby Stalvern » December 2nd, 2019, 10:28 pm

Image

Midway's Off-Road Challenge was a corny, mediocre arcade game and thoroughly laughable ported to the N64. Of course, I played that cartridge to death. When you're a kid, monster truck racing is monster truck racing, especially if it's loaded with brainless cheese. I'll never forget peeling out with Back to the Future flame tracks as a fighter jet shoots down a flying saucer overhead. Heck, I'll never forget this three-frame babe's bubbly exhortation, "Beef up your truck!" (How do you beef it up? With money that you collect by running over the open treasure chests that litter every course.) It's a gleefully goofy game, and its larger-than-life arcade attitude transcended the 20-FPS cardboard graphics, questionable handling model, and general crappiness.

What's funny is that while I appreciate its camp value today, I took its absurdities in stride at the time – not that they weren't absurd, but when you're a kid, absurdity is "normal" in any context removed from reality (and sometimes in reality itself); you "play along" and accept a world like the one in Off-Road Challenge because you've barely started mapping your own. If I discovered this game for the first time today, I would give it a look on YouTube and a quick chuckle and move on, and I imagine most of the people who read this doing the same. And while I'm not sentimental enough to romanticize playing Off-Road Challenge as some lost idyll to pine for, thinking about it like this has reminded me of just what we trade away when we grow up.

Edit: I guess I misunderstood the thread at first glance. If you're looking for games that aren't just middling in quality but outright unmemorable, I have trouble coming up with real examples that I've played besides flight simulators. Part of the issue here is that I happen to think of Low G Man as a pretty distinctive game, so it's hard to get a frame of reference for the question. Part of it is that I don't play a lot of games that don't get my attention in some way to begin with.
Last edited by Stalvern on December 3rd, 2019, 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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DrLitch
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Re: Remembering the mostly forgettable average games. (Or at least trying to.)

Postby DrLitch » December 2nd, 2019, 11:22 pm

ThePixelatedGenocide wrote:What are some of the games you've almost forgotten over the years, but still have some pleasant or unpleasant memories associated with them? Or, if none qualify, what's just the most average game you can think of?


N64, Beetle Racing Adventure. Ticks every mediocre box going, average tracks, average graphics, average everything. But back in the day when you were an N64 owner, you were faced with the choice conundrum of nothing or middle of the road in regards to the racing genre. You just played and made do with what was available.

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: Remembering the mostly forgettable average games. (Or at least trying to.)

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » December 3rd, 2019, 12:05 am

Stalvern wrote:
Edit: I guess I misunderstood the thread at first glance. If you're looking for games that aren't just middling in quality but outright unmemorable, I have trouble coming up with real examples that I've played besides flight simulators. Part of the issue here is that I happen to think of Low G Man as a pretty distinctive game, so it's hard to get a frame of reference for the question. Part of it is that I don't play a lot of games that don't get my attention in some way to begin with.


No, I like the direction you're taking it in. I wasn't even sure anyone would care about average games at all - what if I was alone in this nostalgia? Since few people really talk about the middle of a system's library after it's gone, I wasn't sure how to approach the topic.

Really, the question began as "What's your favorite B-/C+ game?" But is that really average? What defines average? What if it's a negative leaning average, like a C-/D+? I probably overthought it all, a bit.

Your definition of average is just as good as mine.

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AtariToday
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Re: Remembering the mostly forgettable average games. (Or at least trying to.)

Postby AtariToday » December 15th, 2019, 9:42 pm

I absolutely love Dark Chambers on the Atari 2600 and 7800 consoles. I have fond memories of playing the game with my sister and various friends over the years. The fond memories are more of the hanging out and having conversations (sometimes we'd even listen to various albums) while playing Dark Chambers than actually enjoying the game itself.
To me the game isn't the worst thing on the system ( or else I wouldn't play it..repeatedly) but there isn't much I can argue in defense of the game that makes it anything higher than average. Still love it despite all it's faults!

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noah98
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Re: Remembering the mostly forgettable average games. (Or at least trying to.)

Postby noah98 » December 16th, 2019, 6:56 am

Eternal Champions was an average fighting game with plenty of flaws, but for some reason still memorable. The sequel is actually the only reason I wanted a Sega CD!

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pacman000
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Re: Remembering the mostly forgettable average games. (Or at least trying to.)

Postby pacman000 » December 17th, 2019, 7:56 am

Gotta give a shout out to Games by Apollo, one of the 1st 3rd party game makers. High hopes, big investments, average (at best) games, quick fall into insolvency.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Remembering the mostly forgettable average games. (Or at least trying to.)

Postby VideoGameCritic » December 23rd, 2019, 3:31 pm

I remember being a big fan of Crypt Killers for the PS1, even though it was a pretty sloppy game. I bought several light gun for it, including one with a red-laser attachment. Pretty sure I still have that.

I remember playing it with friends and we'd be pulling the triggers like crazy because the bosses took about 100 shots to kill.

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velcrozombie
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Re: Remembering the mostly forgettable average games. (Or at least trying to.)

Postby velcrozombie » December 24th, 2019, 10:06 am

Shadows of the Damned (PS3/360) was hyped as a collaboration between Suda51 (Killer7, No More Heroes series, Lollipop Chainsaw), Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil series, Dino Crisis, God Hand, Vanquish) and Akira Yamaoka (composer/sound design/producer for the Silent Hill series), received a decent marketing push and just sort of...died. I've heard that the title was a turn-off but I'm sure exactly what happened. The game feels like a compromise all around and was reportedly rewritten and redesigned as encouraged by EA in an effort to capture a Western audience. As a result, you get this mutt of a game that takes a few steps into the now-mainstream 3rd person shooter design that Mikami had helped to pioneer and a more conventional save-the-princess-from-evil storyline but with enough quirky design choices and bizarre humor (which admittedly is quite hit-or-miss) left over to alienate the crowd they were courting in the first place. You still get some fun ideas, simplified but otherwise solid action mechanics and great music out of the deal if you make it through the rather dull first couple of stages and I'd like to buy a cheap used copy even if playing through the game once really does seem like enough.

noah98 wrote:Eternal Champions was an average fighting game with plenty of flaws, but for some reason still memorable. The sequel is actually the only reason I wanted a Sega CD!


I genuinely liked Eternal Champions as a kid and my cousin and I put a fair amount of time into it. I think having an energy bar for your special moves is an interesting design choice that forces you to make strategic decisions and it could have potential in a modern fighting game. The biggest problem the game had was that there were no break-out characters like Ryu or Sub-Zero that people wanted to play as - the idea of fighters from different time periods and cultures is good but none of the characters had an image or personality that grabbed you.
Last edited by velcrozombie on December 24th, 2019, 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Remembering the mostly forgettable average games. (Or at least trying to.)

Postby VideoGameCritic » December 24th, 2019, 12:54 pm

I agree Eternal Champion lacked memorable characters, but the gameplay was flawed as well.

I remember trying so hard to learn the special moves, which were SO HARD to pull off, and when you did they didn't do much damage. In the meantime your buddy who had never played before was pummeling you to death with simple kicks and punches.


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