Bad Games

By Mike on 3:33 pm

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I can't count the times I've wanted to kick myself for not checking online reviews before I bought a game. I've bought some pretty bad ones over the years. Two particular nightmares come to mind. I won't mention the company who made them but lets just say it's a major developer who's name begins with 'U'. These two particular titles, a modern jet combat game and a Rouge Squadron/arcade style WWII flying shooter refused to work on my computer despite well exceeding even the recommended system requirements. The former ran like a slide show while the latter had no sound. I installed numerous patches for these two titles but to no avail. The second game was so bad, the developer actually said they had given up with it even though everyone was still having problems. It's still for sale though and I nearly gagged when I saw it coming to PS3 in this week's Best Buy flyer. This was a game that's been panned by everyone who bought it due to its sheer number of bugs. I hope they actually fixed it for the PS3 version.

One of the greatest things ever about TV top console games is the ability to try before you buy. I can go to my local video store and rent it first to try it. Unfortunately, PC and handheld games are usually not available for rent so you're talking a big gamble buying them, even after reading reviews. Some reviewers I think don't even look at the games.
One of the major problems to affect PC gaming in the past few years is the sheer amount of badly coded ones out there. It seems that nearly every game you buy now has some major bug that creates havoc when you try to play it. Then you need to wait for a patch to come out to fix it. Sometimes the patch works, sometimes it doesn't and you have to wait for another ad infinitum. Others promise features that they don't have, such as Flight Simulator X which was touted to be the first DirectX 10 game out there. It was later found out after its release that it was only DirectX 9 and the DX10 addon would not be out until Fall 2007 in some (likely) payware add-on. It sucks for flight sim fans who are having to put up with Vista's crap because they bought it thinking it would enhance their FS experience. Then there are just really sad examples such as Knights of the Old Republic II which were rushed into production without being finished, and have a noticeably incomplete feel. KOTOR 2 is still an excellent game mind you but single player RPG games like it are story driven and without its full story, it leaves many questions.

I expect what happened to KOTOR 2 is what's happening to the majority of bad PC games out there these days. They're being rushed into production before they're sure the product is sound. Usually to meet set in stone release dates. I'd rather have a great game delayed a couple month so it's perfect rather than a mediocre one that comes out on time. Companies do have specific deadlines to make though such as the Christmas season but it's their fault for not giving enough time or resources to produce quality products. They'd never get away with bugs in console games today. There would be a huge backlash since they usually can't be patched, and thus would have to recall then, loosing money in the process. I've never heard of a PC game being recalled. The saddest part is these games usually cost $60 a piece plus the huge investments many PC gamers put into their computers to get them running just right. The point of PC gaming has always been to keep on the cutting edge with titles that are the ultimate in visuals, sound, and gameplay. For some reason, titles in recent years have not been living up to that.

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