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Hungry eyes

What's your favourite game that was panned by the critics?

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Found Mercenaries 2 for sale for £2.99 on Origin today, and it got me thinking about games that people personally enjoyed but that everyone else hated.

For me, Mercenaries 2's over the top gameplay and ridiculous storyline make it one of my favourite open world games, yet it faced poor reviews (especially on PC).

What is your favourite game panned by the critics, and why?

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Ah... Mercenaries 2 - I've never played it, to be honest (well, I think, I've tried the demo). But, I loved Pandemic Studios. There were some pretty talented people in there with some great ideas for games - you could claim even, that some of these ideas were ahead of its time. Then again, their games after like 2005 always lacked a bit of polish. But even their worst titles like The Lord of the Rings: Conquest were plenty fun to play.

If it comes to my pick... since I can't find an game that I think is good, but has a poor rating on metacritic, I'm going to just say - Rogue Warrior. Don't get me wrong - I do believe, this game is garbage, but... it's a funny type of garbage, thanks to "wonderful" voice acting of Mickey Rourke and that terrible, terrible script. Yes, it's cheap... but I find it hilarious. So yeah - my favourite "bad" game... I absolutely love the fact it exists.

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I would've liked to promote this as a front page article as it's a great question, but I'm having some issues with it (when replies have already been made they are not copied over correctly when promoting the article) - am working on a fix.

 

I have Mercenaries 2 on my account but I haven't really played it. I may give it a shot and fill out the PCGW page at some point.

 

Last year I played a lot of Age of Empires Online. This wasn't panned by critics but it wasn't exactly loved either! 

 

I mostly enjoyed the game as a fun co-operative casual game to play with my wife, who absolutely loved it. She'd never played an RTS before, so it was nice for us to sit down together and get through simple, mildly challenging and customisable levels. There's a great 'Horde' style mode which was good fun and very frantic.

 

Unfortunately it's a casualty in the closure of GFWL and will be shut down July 1, 2014 (and you can't actually buy it as of August 22, 2013), so there's very little point in playing anymore, which is a shame. Polygon did a nice writeup on why the game failed.

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I really liked Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Yes it was a very generic game and the singeplayer was extremely dull and scripted but I feel that the multiplayer had a lot going for it and had a nice feel to it. It is not as good as any Call of Duty or Battlefield and certainly wasn't what fans of the 2010 reboot expected but the game wasn't bad in my opinion. I don't think it deserved a 5/10 as most critics gave it. 

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NightSky HD. It wasn't 'panned' necessarily, but it definitely isn't a game many people speak highly of all that often. It was made by the same people who made Cave Story into Cave Story Plus and are in the process of making the enhanced version of The Binding of Isaac. Their games are absolutely great and don't get nearly enough credit for what they do. The game consistently added new, interesting mechanics to a genre (platforming) which generally doesn't get that kind of treatment. It was definitely a surprisingly great game considering I had heard nothing about it before the Humble Bundle.

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I enjoy ORION: Dino Horde. I always play it with scepticism and always complain how bad the mechanics are. Yet I end up have a good time. That game was seriously bashed by reviewers. There was A LOT of talk about the lead developer being a douche, not paying the rest, using textures from other games etc. Sure, there is a ton of Co-op games more deserving than DINO: Orion Horde, but I sometimes still enjoy that game. Maybe because of the achievements.

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NightSky HD. It wasn't 'panned' necessarily, but it definitely isn't a game many people speak highly of all that often. It was made by the same people who made Cave Story into Cave Story Plus and are in the process of making the enhanced version of The Binding of Isaac. Their games are absolutely great and don't get nearly enough credit for what they do. The game consistently added new, interesting mechanics to a genre (platforming) which generally doesn't get that kind of treatment. It was definitely a surprisingly great game considering I had heard nothing about it before the Humble Bundle.

This game sounds more 'underrated' than 'panned' :) maybe we also need a thread for that! From what I recall, NightSky did well in the indie scene and critics liked it.

 

I've been looking at this thread for a while and I honestly can't think of anything I played which was 'panned' by critics. Maybe my taste in games is too good :D.

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Mars: War Logs

https://store.steampowered.com/app/232750

 

I wouldn't say it's my favorite critically panned game but it's the first one that comes to mind. It has a nice framework for a deep and mature rpg but is obviously hamstrung by the low budget and scaled-down vision. But at least the devs, Spiders Studios, are making a new and better rpg with the same mechanics as Mars: War Logs. Kind of accepting that it won't be as strong a title like say Lords of the Fallen or Witcher 3 but it'll probably be a nice game on its own.

 

http://www.boundbyflame.com/

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Parasite Eve 2. Great game. As a long time REsident Evil fan, I found PE2 to be a great alternative to classic REsident Evil games. Basically it was a REsident Evil with "some magic" (RPG elements). Just like Dino Crisis was a REsident Evil game with dinosaurs.

This time though, the "alternative" or "copy-cat clone" or whatver one may want to call it, was a more distant relative of RE and with much more gameplay elements changed and simply more fun to play. There was a bit more variety and player options into play.

The game was pretty much hated by many because it was considered a "clone game" and by PE1 fans because it was a departure from the PE1 heavily RPG style of gameplay. Me ? I love the game for what it is. I'm still playing it to this date. Still as fun as it once was.

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I actually have a few favorites:

 

Croc 2: A lot of the critics pointed to generic level design and poor controls as key reasons for their panning - and I agree, and would add to those critiques the semi-blatant Gummi Savers promotion inside the game (the candy acts as one-time jump pads - and require grinding in-game currency just to acquire!). All that said, the platforming is otherwise sold, fun, and varied - and that's all I can ask out of a platformer.

 

Space Hack: It's a good-looking 3D Diablo clone with a difficulty curve straight out of an abysmal King's Field clone (the predecessor to Dark Souls) - that is, it thinks "fair, balanced difficulty" means "maximum difficulty almost immediately with no lives system". (Thank goodness for the ability to save and load anywhere!) That said, there's an air of promise which makes me keep reloading my game to try, try again.

 

EDIT: One more I wanted to add, but couldn't think of at the time...

 

Greed: Black Border: Yes, it's a generic Diablo clone that skips over some core Diablo clone features to its detriment, has a so-called "Excuse Plot", and has various elements from other sci-fi games (such as Dead Space) thrown in just because they can, but I will say it's just plain fun to play mindlessly when you're in the killing mood and want to do so methodically.

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Duke Nukem Forever!  

 

I wasn't paying attention when it came out so when I found it for cheap months later on a Steam Sale it surpassed my expectations.  Just a fun popcorn/Michael Bay type story with the "Duke" humor added in.  I guess some people had been counting the days while it had vaporware status and had huge expectations but since I didn't have that mindset I enjoyed it for what it was, a decent "rails" shooter in a B-movie world.  I'd actually like a sequel, lol!

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Mighty No. 9 recently has became one of mine, even moreso on PC. As much as this game has got bashed on by critics and especially the toxic hatedom it gained, I found the game fun to play. Is it amazing or ground-breaking? Not really in my opinion, but I don't need it to be. While it does have some problems I could make a list of, but for what it did for me, it kept me playing and getting better, driving me to better high scores and learn some of the nuances in its gameplay. My experience with Mighty No. 9, if anyone would believe it, started with the Wii U version, which isn't the console-bricking mess many are claiming, it was far from ideal thanks to performance issues, bugs and glitches left over (from my experience, most were harmless but a few times it crashed and hard locked the system until I rebooted it), and longer loading times (but it was nothing compared to Sonic the Hedgehog 2006). It was decent when I first played it on Wii U despite these problems, but since I've recently purchased the game again on Steam, my experience with Mighty No. 9 has been so much better. I've heard accusations of the game being badly optimized on PC, which is absolutely not true for me; I have a relatively medium-spec system running Windows 10 Home 64-bit with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 750, AMD FX-4350, and 4GB of RAM, and Mighty No. 9 is running beautifully for me. Haven't ran into any bugs, playing on max settings at 1080p, runs at a slick 60 FPS with very rare and few frames drops, almost no load times, and controls are sharp and responsive, even with V-sync enabled. All this blew my expectations of playing the game on PC and enjoying the game even more for it.

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I actually just happened to got the Mighty No. 9 myself when my friend who backed it gave it to me, saying they already played trough DRM-Free version at some point and it wasn't the game they enjoyed.

 

You are right in the sense that the game isn't exactly bad, but it's clearly mediocore at best. At least in current years, if the game is mediocore many simply view it as bad. Also bigger issue with that game was the hype around it, I'm pretty sure even if you weren't fan of the game you were constantly hearing bad news about it which then impacted how you would perceive the game when it came out. Releasing on tens of platforms at the same time didn't help either because all of them even now still has their system specific issues. Also doesn't help that Azure Striker Gunvolt was released not too long ago, even being almost direct 3DS port job with 30 FPS caps and other severe technical issues, it still felt much better to play. 

 

As for me, controller wasn't working at all at first, game was capped at 62 FPS, after couple of stages I was struggling to get 20 FPS on 980 Ti, graphics looked cheap instead of what they might've been going for and quit out of boredom. But I can still see someone enjoying this. 

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Vietcong. Sure, the graphics are poor and the AI is crap but it has atmosphere, awesome open levels and a short of shallow story that makes it a great alternative to watching a war film. No big bad guy or anything, just a guy fighting a war and not dying. I want to play this game now.

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