Have you ever found yourself playing a game that was not technically all that good? In fact it was pretty awful, but you found yourself forgiving it solely due to the fact that you are a fan of the genre, license or content of the game. Is it possible for someone to enjoy a game no matter how bad it is? Overlooking any flaws in the game play, graphics, sound and even playing a game of a certain genre that you would never normally play, solely because of an interest in the content of the game?
One example of this is a gaming friend of mine who, in general, only plays first person shooters. There are of course a few exceptions, well two that I can think of. Other than that, it is all FPS. When I say this, I do not mean only the big titles such as Call Of Duty and Battlefield. You name it and he has probably played it – the good, the bad and the ugly. When I questioned him on his gaming preferences, at first the only answer I got back was “I enjoy shooting people”. Moments later, and upon realising that this made him sound a little psychotic, he gave the question a little more thought.
When he did come back to me, he could not really put his finger on it. What it came down to was that it was the genre itself, rather than the games, that he enjoyed. Sure, he had favourites and he loves above all others the Call Of Duty series, especially the the Modern warfare games. When it comes down to it though, it seems that he just enjoys the whole first person shooter thing, caring little if the game looks or plays bad. The core gameplay remains the same and this is what he enjoys. This is possibly the reason why he can kick my ass so badly in each and every one of them that I also play.
Then there is another friend who, although he plays a wide variety of games, has a passion for Massive Multiplayer Online games, going from one to the next and occasionally returning to certain titles that were of particular interest. The fascination with these, he tells me, is that he enjoys the whole levelling up side of the games, as you first create a character and then mould and shape him into what you had in mind.
The majority of these games quickly lose their appeal once you have maxed out your character’s level and skills and most of them become pretty boring, with not enough variety to keepÂ him interested. At this point he then moves on to the next one. Of all the MMO’s he has played over the years, from Ultima Online all the way up to the recently released Star Trek Online, there are only two that he went back to repeatedly. The first was WOW and the other was the game in which I first met him, Star Wars Galaxies, which continued to be a fun game until, in the opinion of many fans of the game, the developers overhauled it, simplifying what was a deep involved character creation and combat system to something that instead had you choosing a class and levelling as you would in any number of these games.
So far it has been actual genres, rather than content of games, that I have looked at. Now however, I look at myself, rather than a friend. It is good to know that I am not the only one with a weakness for games of a particular liscence – Star Wars. There have been a huge number of game spanning numerous genres, such as real time strategy, first person shooters, combat flight simulators, fighting games and even racing games. This is only a handful of them that span the timeline of all six films, the expanded universe and TV shows and, as a huge Star wars fan, I have played many. When it comes to these games, it is generally hit or miss whether they technically are good or not. I say technically because and this is where the passion takes control. I love every single one of the licensed games I have played and enjoyed even games of genres I do not usually enjoy playing.
One example here is Star Wars Empire At War, an excellent management strategy game and one of the most well received Star Wars titles around. The problem for me was the fact that the management side of the game was deep and involving, not really something I would normally go for in a game. The strategy combat side however was the kind of game I enjoyed. But, because of the LucasArts license, I quickly learned to love all aspects of the game and it is still a game I have constantly installed on my PC for whenever I need a little fix. The fact is though, I would never have considered playing a game like this, even if it as an exact clone of Empire At War, if it did not have the Star Wars name stamped on it.
Things can and did get a lot worse. Empire At War was a good game, just not my usual fare. If we go a bit further back in time, back to the days when I was playing games on the original Playstation, we find a game that was neither all that good or a genre that i am known to enjoy or play much, if at all. Star Wars Masters Of The Teras Kasi is a one on one fighting game which is regularly voted as one of the worst Star Wars games ever made. But, despite this, I still snatched it up, played it to death and loved every minute of it. Well, every minute may be pushing it a little. It was a game I would never have given a second thought if it had not been a licensed product. But because it had that Star Wars title, it was a game I came to enjoy playing. One of it’s redeeming features for a fan was the chance to play some of the characters from the expanded universe, such as personal favourite Mara Jade and Jodo Kast. It is the perfect example for this article, a game that is badly developed with the fighters so unbalanced that it was easy to win over and over again just by choosing the right character and learning the moves. On top of that, it was a game genre that I have disliked playing since I started gaming and yet ultimately it was a game that I did play, extensively.
It is not just older games. On my current console there has been to date three Star Wars games – The force Unleashed and LEGO Star Wars, both of which are considered good games, and Star Wars The Clone Wars Republic Heroes, a game based on the current animated television show. This game pretty much received bad reviews all around but I managed to overlook all the bad points that these reviews were picking up on and found myself looking on it as another cool Star Wars game to play. Sure, the game has it’s flaws with the gameplay. Basically it is a platform hopping, button bashing combat system adventure game. Some said the graphics were also a little on the rough side, but I thought the developers had captured the look of the show perfectly. Or maybe once again I was overlooking blatant flaws for my love of Star Wars.
So what I ask you, our loyal readers, is have you yourself ever played a game, a series of games or a genre of game that you know are not well made, not that great to play or not your usual fare because of what was involved in the game, be it the genre or the content? Is it possible to play a bad game and know that it is bad yet find yourself enjoying it despite all of it’s problems? I have shared with you where my weakness for bad games lies, so let us here at GGUK know – do you yourself have a similar weakness? why not tell us about it here on the site, leave a comment just below, or on twitter @GirlGamerUK or myself personally @BazTinkOTheRink. Share with us your guilty gaming pleasures, we promise not to laugh at you. I am, after all,Â the one who had fun pitting Han Solo and Chewie against each other in a heated one on one battle. Maybe I am the one who should be most ashamed.