GameCentral readers discusses their most controversial opinions about video games, from disliking The Last Of Us to loving the Wii U.
The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader CarrotCakeIsYum (PSN ID), who asked what things in gaming do you disagree with the majority opinion on, in terms of the quality of games, developers, consoles, or anything else?
We certainly had a lot suggestions that went against accepted wisdom but the two most common seemed to be that Rare and The Last Of Us are overrated.
I think I’ve mentioned this before here, but my unpopular opinion is that I think The Last Of Us is ridiculously overrated. The graphics are incredible, the acting is a step above what you normally find in games and clearly a lot of time and effort has been put into it, but as a game I really don’t see what’s so special about it. The gameplay is repetitive – only a handful of different enemy types, and you spend far too long pushing boxes around in water – and more egregious to my mind is that the game cheats.
You spend 10 minutes in a frantic duck-and-cover firefight with a bunch of enemies only to discover that they were all mysteriously down to their last bullet just when you killed them. Not to mention the monster closets that spawn enemies in when you’ve carefully stealthed your way through a section (I know for a fact they weren’t there beforehand, a carefully-placed Molotov tested that theory on one of my many attempts through a particular section).
Then there’s the constant immersion-breaking of Joel carefully sneaking between cover whilst Ellie runs around like a headless chicken in clear view of the enemies. Quite how that got left in when Naughty Dog seemed to spend so much time on every other aspect of the game I’ll never know.
Despite all that, I didn’t hate the game at all, I quite enjoyed some of it, particularly the end which I thought was a surprisingly downbeat way to go. I just have never been able to understand the massive outpourings of love and 10/10s it got, but then that’s why it’s my unpopular opinion I guess!
Sparky the Yak
This is not something I usually admit because despite it all I don’t like to encourage console wars but I’d be very happy if Microsoft hadn’t ever entered the games industry. I don’t appreciate anything they’ve done or the influence they’ve had on gaming. The focus on online and multiplayer all came from the Xbox 360 era, as well as the endless first and third person shooters with their bald space marines and endless shouting Americans.
It’s a balance, I understand, between the Japanese influence but I’m far more interested in what Sony and Nintendo have always had to offer. I mean, a lot of Sony’s stuff is American too but it never seems quite so obnoxious and puerile as Xbox games.
I also don’t like that Microsoft as a company are clearly not interested in gaming at all. It’s a means to an end for them, which they’ve admitted from the start when they only entered the business to stop Sony ‘taking over the living room’. I think that lack of passion and their absolute refusal to push games that aren’t American or British is why they’ll never beat Sony, and I very much doubt the Xbox Series X will be any different.
The GameCube has always had a reputation for being a disappointment, but it remains one of my favourite ever consoles and certainly had a lot more titles that interested me than the Infinitely more popular Wii.
It probably helped that I seem to have enjoyed Super Mario Sunshine and Zelda: The Wind Waker more than most but Nintendo’s little purple box was home to some truly great games. In terms of single-player you had Metroid Prime, F-Zero GX, Resident Evil 4, Eternal Darkness, and Pikmin to name just a handful, and my brothers and I spent many hours playing the likes of Mario Kart: Double Dash, Super Monkey Ball 2, Mario Party 4, and Super Smash Bros. Melee.
In fact, I probably spent more time playing GameCube games than Wii games on the Nintendo Wii…
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Tb or not tb
I’ve said this before on these pages, but I bought myself Virtua Fighter 3tb for the Dreamcast for a mere £5 from Woolworths (remember them?), having had my hunger for fighting games fired by the likes of Soulcalibur, Power Stone, and Project Justice.
Five quid. There was no way it could disappoint. No. Way. Hell, I’d managed to find an arcade cabinet of it a few years prior and had been impressed. I tell you right now that at £5 I was overcharged by at least 10. It was garbage. Okay, maybe Soulcalibur had spoiled me, but there was just nothing here! I felt I would have been ripped off if I had gone from Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat 3 straight onto this!
There were no move lists in game, there were no unlockables, no character endings, no single-player of any value at all – just very basic multiplayer with a cast of characters who have never been all that charismatic or interesting and who find themselves at their most dreary, po-faced and boring here. It was worthless and Sega ought to be ashamed.
My big, controversial opinion though is first person. I don’t like it. I tolerate it in Portal and Dishonored, but I like how Bethesda role-players will give you a third person option to get a good look at your character. Preferring first person is one thing, saying it is more immersive is just an obvious lie or fallacy.
If I can’t see where my character is in relation to the world around them then I feel more detached from it as I can’t see what’s around me. And I really hate that. So, making a role-playing game first person only, where character customisation is a vital component to the experience, is baffling to me in its idiocy. And I don’t understand why it’s not called out more.
My most unpopular gaming opinion would probably be that the Wii U was a very good console. The concept was OK (but extremely flawed) but the timing and marketing were abysmal. It was roughly able to compete on technical level with PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but they were clearly coming to the end of their own lifecycles at the time the Wii U was released.
The GamePad was a reasonable idea, as a sort of extension of the DS concept, but on a TV but it was very rarely used very well. ZombiU and Lego City Undercover were two games that made a reasonable stab at it, I’ve not played Nintendo Land but I believe that also tried. I cannot really remember any adverts for Wii U and I can’t imagine I would have bought it if I weren’t a Nintendo fan.
Having said all that, the library of games was very good. The first party games were mainly fantastic and I don’t blame Nintendo for re-releasing them on Switch, they definitely deserve a wider audience. The third party support was OK at first but quickly dried up due to the commercial flop of the console, that meant I got to buy a couple of the Batman: Arkham and Assassin’s Creed games, amongst others, for very reasonable prices.
The Virtual Console support was also very good, it was great to be able to play the NES lightgun games and there were some good arcade games like the Capcom Dungeons & Dragons beat ‘em-ups.
Miiverse was actually pretty fantastic and I would love it if they did something like that again.
In summary I really like the Wii U but I’m pleased that Nintendo seemed to have learned from its failings when they released the Switch.
Please don’t improve
I’m sure it’s just because I’m terribly old, and don’t care about multiplayer/twitch games, but I find the whole 30/60/120fps debate utterly irrelevant.
30fps does me fine, thank you very much. As times progress, I get the very best eye candy by sticking with 30fps, long may it continue!
Antony Adler, London
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Some of my most disliked gaming opinions, or opinions on games, is the sheer snobbery of comments from people, who don’t understand the subject or think that games have a negative effect on people.
I feel that I am a good open-minded person and accept a lot of the unusual activities and random stuff that happens in this world (within reason). I feel that if you look and take things in logically, it would make sense, or at least give you a certain understanding on that subject matter.
So why is it that comments about violence and other unsavoury acts are sometimes blamed on gaming, which just so happens to be a particular hobby of that individual? An unsavoury person who commits horrific acts could just as well be a sports enthusiast, or an artist who creates sculptures of some kind! I am sure the psychological aspect of a person is mostly to blame in certain tragic scenarios.
As for gaming comments or views. ‘This game is a kids’ game!’ So obviously it must be unsuitable for adults! You must have to be gaming in a first or third person carnage simulator to be classed as a credible gamer. Gameplay is the most important thing, no matter what it looks like. People should look past a perceived kids’ game and discover something amazing. Animal Crossing could do no wrong, and games like it.
As for criticisms/opinions of actual gaming types! Well this could be merged with ridiculous hype branding or the term ‘casual gamer’ being used. League Of Legends players or first/third person multiplayers – are these casual gamers? Being bombarded with slogans and the hype train information can also be damaging, especially if you don’t dissect the exaggerated rumours from the more plausible rumours and leave yourself with just the facts.
The casual gamer terminology is where it really is confusing. Does it matter if you are a so-called casual gamer? I play games a lot for fun, and others play only now and again, whilst some are full time streamer gamers. No one needs to be looked down upon, and people can play complicated strategy games, whilst others just play shooters. Everything is fine and everyone is enjoying their individual gaming experience. No need to brand types of gamers, and to just accept that their tastes are different to yours.
Gaming today is a very healthy and varied hobby, and we have never had it so good. So let’s not form insulting or disparaging opinions on game types or on people’s interests. If it’s a good valid helpful and thoughtful opinion, then fine, I’d be interested in listening to it. If it enriches my gaming life even more, then that’s all I can ask for.
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