The Big Freaking Podcast:
I Hate this Awesome Game

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Jun 9, 2010

Filed under: Links 58 comments

You might remember that I as a guest on the Big Freaking Podcast back in January of this year. Well they had me on again, and this time we talked about games we love and hate at the same time.

Since recording the episode I’ve discovered a new game to love and hate: Dance Dance Revolution. My kids got a copy as a gift. The game had always looked sort of dull to me. I mean, it’s just doing what you’re told, right? I didn’t see the appeal until I stepped onto the dance mat myself. Then I discovered that the game could be quite fun, and creates one of those experiences where you can clearly see yourself growing in skill.

The “hate” part of the equation didn’t kick in until the next morning, when I found that all of my joints were ruined, my legs ached, and I was worried that I might actually survive the horrifying experience. And yet… I still wanted to play some more.

You could argue that it’s not Konami’s fault that I’m a brittle old geezer, but your pro-Konami rationalizing sounds pretty thin over the sound of my heart exploding. So back off.

I strongly suspect I’ll be sick of DDR by the time I’m actually in good enough shape to play it.

Anyway. Listen to the podcast if you want to hear the discussion. (Which was a lot of fun.) Thanks to Ivan and Shamrock for having me on again.

(Also check out last week where they had Cory Doctorow, and several weeks ago where they welcomed my arch-nemesis Jack Emmert of Cryptic Entertainment You may recall that one time I said not-nice things about one of his games.)

So, what games do you love and hate?


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58 thoughts on “The Big Freaking Podcast:
I Hate this Awesome Game

  1. Deoxy says:

    My kids have Just Dance for the Wii – similar to DDR, but dependent on moving the wiimote correctly as you do the same moves as the person on the screen (no mat). DDR I can see actually liking (it makes exercise fun, at least in theory), but Just Dance takes the “fun” aspect and makes it “REALLY BLOODY AGGRAVATING” because it’s not really clear why sometimes it counts movements and other times not (and by “not really clear”, I mean “completely impossible to understand” – seriously, you can put the wiimote DOWN, and it still gives points sometimes when there is clearly supposed to be movement. ???!?!??!!)

    But it’s still a GREAT thing to keep my kids busy. Well, as long as they don’t figure out that “Who Let the Dogs Out” is actually about sex (seriously, go look at the lyrics – never knew it myself until I caught something in the game and went and looked it up – group/orgy/random announced pairings at a party – not sure which of those, but at least one).

    Edit: oh, and MoO, MoO 2, Dwarf Fortress… you know, any game that’s so good that it’s hard to turn off. “Just one more turn, and X will happen” or “just 2 more minutes and Y will happen”, lather rinse repeat. Turn-based building games are usually worst about that, because of how long they are.

    1. Heron says:

      Well, as long as they don't figure out that “Who Let the Dogs Out” is actually about sex

      In the Dominican Republic they have what I hesitate to call a style of “music”, called “reggaeton” (with an accent on the o), which is essentially a cross between rap and hip-hop. Every single… song… of this style uses exactly the same beat. And every single one is about sex. And if you have any doubt when you hear a particular song, those doubts will be quite thoroughly removed if you see the music video corresponding to it.

      My companion and I (we were missionaries) were sitting outside a girl’s house, playing dominoes with her and her sister, and this subject came up, because the convenience store on the corner was blasting the stuff as loud as their speakers would go.

      She said “No, they’re not all about sex.”
      “Oh? What’s this one about?”
      “… sex. But they’re not all about sex!”
      Resume the game of dominoes. Another song starts.
      Me: “And this one?”
      Her: “… ok this one is too. But they’re not all about sex!”

      This went on for three or four more songs before she finally gave up her insistence that they weren’t all about sex.

      I hate that music. It’s not a love-hate sort of thing, just complete and utter disgust.

      Sorry, off-topic rant…

      1. V says:

        Reggaeton is really just reggae of the dancehall variety, given a different name so they can pretend they didn’t just steal it. The songs really don’t all have the same beat, it just sounds that way if you don’t like the genre. But yes, all the songs are about sex.

      2. John D says:

        Cause weird al and linkin park make good music…..

  2. Zagzag says:

    I love and hate any game that I enjoy playing single player, but which requires you to play online for achievements!

  3. David V.S. says:

    I have a friend who is quite skilled at DDR. He doesn’t dance. But he has done a lot of capoeira, whose constant bouncing seems to fit DDR perfectly.

    I suspect calling the game “dance headbutt revolution” would skew the target demographic and parental support too much.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon!

    1. MrPyro says:

      My girlfriend is a capoerista and also enjoys dance mat games; we have Dance Factory for the PS2, which generates dances based on music CDs that you put in while the game is running, with varying levels of success.

      Sadly, either the dance mat is dead or it doesn’t like the carpet in our new place, so it doesn’t get dragged out much any more.

  4. rayen says:

    DDR is a good one. all things in moderation and for the love of god with DDR you must hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. ANd you say sick of it by the time your in good enough shape to be good at it… might i remind it has at least 10 installments?

    As far as love hate goes for me it would be bleach; shattered blade. It’s just a crappy fighting game made for the wii that is based on the bleach anime. it’s simple stupid doesn’t always respond correctly but i feel like a magpie drawn to it’s flashy lights and flashier moves. There’s a certain pull to releasing bankai ultimate attacks.

  5. Gandaug says:

    For me right now it’s Bad Company 2. I’ve always liked the Battlefield games for their large objective based maps. BC2 is the best and worst game so far in the series.

    I also have a love/hate relationship with Dawn of War 2.

    My RPGs and turn based strategy games are all love though.

  6. Someone says:

    Fallout 3. I can blast supermutants in the face for 5 straight hours and then come here to rag on about it not being fallout and having so much unrealised potential.

    Also Rise of Nations, I love crushing medieval cavalry with tanks as much as the next guy, but my attention span is too short to effectively micromanage everything. Actually make that the whole RTS genre.

    1. acronix says:

      I join you in that cart.

    2. Jarenth says:

      Shove over.

    3. evileeyore says:

      Yar, Fallout 3.

      Not as good as 1,2, or even Tactics and a crummy FPS to boot. But it’s still got so much about it to love.

    4. Someone says:

      Also Planetside.

      Massive battles. Beatiful scenery of alien worlds. The sound of bombers flying overhead as you and your comrades heroicaly charge across an open field to the enemy gates.

      All of it really helps to ease the frustration of being killed by one of those goddamn Vanu energy lawnmowers from around the corner and having to wait for 3 minutes to spawn and trek across half the continent on foot, only to find out that your side already abandoned the region/taken over the base and went somewhere else.

    5. Andrew says:

      Pretty much everything made by Bethesda more or less covers it for me.

  7. Dark says:

    The most recent one is Brutal Legends. I love the voice acting and the cut scenes. The artistic style is fun and cartoon-y even for a Gothic style game.

    The game play is so agonizing. Some people may enjoy open ending roaming, but there was anything to do except the same 5 or 6 things across a a humongous slab of land.

    1. SatansBestBuddy says:

      Same game, different reasons.

      I loved the art, the story, the music, and the open world exploration, those all worked like a charm.

      I hated the side missions found in the over-world, those could have been tossed completely and I would have enjoyed the game more, and in fact a lot of the main missions bothered me, too, with every big battle being a straight up RTS deathmatch, the few ones with variety being early tutorial missions teaching you how to use your army, which I found to be more fun since they had unique situations and solutions, while the big battles are all exactly the same with no real differences to make any of them at all special, plus they dragged on for far too long.

      Overall, there’s more to love than to hate with Brutal Legend, but it’s a shame that most of the hate is for the game parts while most of the love goes to the world itself.

    2. krellen says:

      Funny thing, I only love Brutal Legend. No hate.

      Well, okay, I hate that you can fall and die. But that’s not enough to count.

  8. J says:

    I think the game I really love and hate the most is Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean.

    At somewhere around the halfway point you get this FUCKIN’ AWESOME plot twist, which I rather enjoyed quite a lot.

    Then, a few hours later, they completely undo the whole thing in the lamest way possible. It was just… infuriating. I mean, OK, I knew they were gonna undo at least part of it (even though I hoped they wouldn’t), but they should have put some effort into it.

    You don’t resolve your great big cliffhanger with a no-consequences handwave, dammit.

    I love Baten Kaitos. The music is beautiful, the scenery is wonderful, the plot, if mostly cliché, is told well enough and the characters are great when you don’t have to listen to their voice-acting.

    And I hate Baten Kaitos, because when the writers drop the ball, they drop it from such a great height it leaves a huge crater.

  9. Adam says:

    So there’s an arcade game at the mall that is basically DDR, with enough sensors (or whatever) for two players to go at it simultaneously.

    Last weekend, I saw a guy playing BOTH OF THEM, like some people put quarters into both sides of a shoot-em-up and use both guns. He stood in the middle of the platforms and his legs were just barely long enough to kick out and smack the farthest ones. He never missed a point.

    Did I mention I live in Korea? Ah, now you understand…

    1. Robyrt says:

      DDR has a special “Doubles” gametype for people to play 2 pads at once. It’s not as hard as it sounds, although you do have to plan ahead a few steps so you don’t get your feet hopelessly tangled. You’re not required to sit in the center and stretch really far; the steps are designed to get you moving sideways so it feels marginally closer to actual dancing.

  10. krellen says:

    I think the only game I have this relationship with is City of Heroes. There is so much awesome in it, and yet so many aspects that aggravate the hell out of me almost to the point I want to give up on it. Except if I did, I’d miss all that awesome.

    Somewhat ironically, most of the aspects that I hate were dreamed up by Jack Emmert, and while many of the aspects I love might have had their seeds planted by him too. For the most part, though, the parts I really like are the parts that have changed and grown the most since he was running the show.

  11. Friend of Dragons says:

    I’d say I have this relationship with EVE Online… It manages to be really cool in the options and freedoms they give their players, and in depth and complexity, as well as having some of the most intense pvp combat around, not to mention awesome graphics (I don’t usually give a damn about graphics, but EVE still gets points for theirs)… but despite all that, it still manages to be mind-numbingly boring for a disturbingly high fraction of the time spent playing, and I really can’t decide if I like it or not, even after playing it for quite a while.

  12. Spluckor says:

    World of Warcraft.

    I don’t know if it is the game itself that spawns the hate or the player base. But I’m the type that needs to be playing an MMO to feel satisfied, and it’s the one I enjoy playing the most.

    Then you get a group and have the most infuriatingly bad people playing with you and it just makes me hate that I love this game.

  13. Kyte says:

    Ah, DDR/PIU (Pump It Up, pretty much the same but with diagonal arrows + center pad instead of the orthogonal ones). The game I could never play with my incredibly uncoordinated feet. On the other hand, watching plays from someone with actual skill can be a real treat. Especially when they solo songs meant for 2P. Or go for Freestyle and start making all sorts of weird moves. The cooler ones do it while facing away from the screen.

    1. AnZsDad says:

      While I agree that watching a skilled DDR player is a lot of fun (I once saw a pair of players in synchronicity who would occasionally drop down and strike the plates with their elbows), I would seriously reconsider calling them “the cooler ones”… :D

  14. Rick W says:

    Knights of the Old Republic 2. I like HK-47, Candalore, about half the new characters (Atton, Bao-Dur, Mira, Visas, Handmaiden, and Atris), their stories, Peragus, parts of Onderon/Dxun and Nar Shaddaa, and the improvements made to gameplay. The party approval system I’m ambivalent about, and T3-M4 has only marginally more personality the second time around.

    But the rest of it, I really don’t like. And since Kreia’s the driving force for most of the game, I ultimately end up not liking the game as a whole, and that’s not even getting into the weak ending.

    (And this is after going back and playing the game again, expecting the ending to be bad. In fact, the ending improved my impression of the game after the first playthrough because it was the one negative point I could remember.)

    1. Irridium says:

      Yeah, Kotor 2 for me as well.

      That game has so much potential it makes me want to cry.
      With a little more time and polish, it could easily surpass Kotor 1.

      The characters were more interesting to me, the little changes to the menu system had a massively positive impact, the story was amazing (well the first 2/3rds at least), and yeah, a game with so much potential it hurts.

    2. Rick W says:

      One more that just occurred to me: City of Villains. Objectively and technically, it’s an improvement over City of Heroes in every regard. However, the fact that I can’t stomach the brand of villainy the game gives you makes it difficult for me to play in bursts of more than an hour or two, and so I spend most of my CoX time playing Heroes.

  15. Ninja Gaiden.

    As a young child, I was vaguely cognizant of the fact that those games were very, very, very, VERY hard. I was also eager and excited to get further into them, for the amazing cutscenes. I had the Ninja Gaiden 2 strategy guide Nintendo Power sent out. Never has a more useless product been so beautifully detailed. So I thought to myself, “I’ll come back to this in ten years and I’ll be awesome!”

    Ten years later, cue me screaming at my screen. “OH, WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?!”

    It was so insidious because the writing, music and presentation is so compelling, yet to get to those things, you have to suffer. Oh GOD, you have to suffer.

    Also: I Want to Be The Guy.

    1. Galad says:

      I played Ninja Gaiden 2 and managed to get to the second boss before quitting in frustration. Now, I don’t own an Xbox/PS3, thus this was at a local, let’s call it “gaming cafe”, in other words, a public place, so I’ve seen that someone managed to beat that boss and move on, so it’s not impossible, I just lack the strategy to beat it. I might have been able to with enough tries.

      The game that’s so ridiculously hard, a lot harder than Ninja Gaiden 2, and I’m boggled at how anyone finished it is Gothic 2. The first half an hour, an hour maybe is nothing much but then the enemies start hitting harder and harder and your hits are weaker and weaker. At some point I turned god mode on and kept on playing. I played a few hours, just so I can see the story, then upon getting teleported in an orc warrior’s cave, I turned off invincibility. ONE hit and I was dead. Meanwhile it would have taken me over 20 hits to kill it. I hope I’m missing some glaring gameplay element that enables playing this properly without outright cheating.

      As for ‘love and hate’ games, I suppose I’m simple like that, in that I don’t really have such. If I don’t like a game from the start I won’t play it. If I like it, I’ll play and, if I have to, I’ll ignore whatever I don’t like about it.

    2. Someone says:

      Well, showcasing classic arbitrary FU’s in all their keyboard-smashing glory is pretty much the point of IWBTG. I usually get worked up over this sort of thing but in The Guy they are so over the top I cant help but laugh histerically. Apples falling upwards? Homing? Coming out of spikes? The freaking Moon? The game hates you with such great passion and for some reason I find it hilarious.

  16. Heron says:

    Counter-Strike: Source. Or really any first-person shooter.

    See, I suck at these games. Like, horribly. Well, not so horribly that I never kill anything, but horribly enough that the only clans I’ve ever been in invited me because I’m a nice guy, and they did so despite my poor aim and tendency to wander directly into the enemy line of fire at the worst possible moment.

    At any rate, I can’t stop playing them. Maybe it’s because I want to be good at them, but eight years after I started playing FPSs (FPSes? just plain FPS, and assume you all get that it’s plural?) – ahem – after eight years I’m no better than when I started. Judging by my recent kill/death ratio, I’m probably worse than when I started.

  17. The Rocketeer says:

    There was a time when I was one of the best DDR players in the quad-state area. And then they closed the arcade. :(

    If you need any tips, Shamus, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Don’t know if you’ve caught on to this yet, but DDR used to encourage new players to stand in the middle of the pad and return their feet to the center square after each note.

    If you’ve been doing that (and hopefully they’ve stopped teaching newbies to do that), you’ll want to unlearn that as soon as possible and just leave your feet wherever they fall. Otherwise, it’s like returning your hands to your side between each note in Guitar Hero.

    1. Robyrt says:

      Seconded. Keeping your feet planted in the center when playing DDR is like forgetting you can hold down the fret button playing Guitar Hero, or reloading after every couple shots in FPS games – a lot of extra work for no real benefit.

      1. Shamus says:

        Thanks for the advice. I did notice it was POSSIBLE to do this, but I assumed it was bad form or something. I was returning my feet to the middle each time, assuming that was part of learning to play the game RIGHT.

        Following your advice, I just did a couple of rounds of DDR Universe and got my first ever “A” on the second-tier difficulty. (Called “basic” here, and “light” in earlier editions.)

        My kids play DDR Extreme on the PS2. I play DDR universe on the 360. The PS2 one teaches feet in the middle, DDRU teaches just leaving them where they fall.

        Otherwise, the PS2 game is WAY, WAY better than the 360 in almost every way.

  18. DKellis says:

    Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines: Fun game. Interesting lore (picked up from the RPG source). Buggy as hell, even with the fanmade patches. I refuse to play this game anymore, because I am sick and tired of the stupid bugs. Each individual one may not be all that common, but there are so many of them.

    Saints Row 2: There is a good game here, but the port to PC is abysmal. Forget it.

    Batman: Arkham Asylum: Hallo, Games For Windows Live, my nemesis.

    Ace Combat 5: Love the flight, love the story, loathe the second-to-last tunnel mission.

    Prince of Persia: Sands of Time: Love the combat. Hate the platforming.

    1. Neil Polenske says:

      “Prince of Persia: Sands of Time: Love the combat. Hate the platforming.”

      Just as a statement, that is weird to look at.

  19. Tizzy says:

    Any awesome game with DIAS gameplay. E.g., the original Prince of Persia. Made better/worse for the iPhone because you can play any level at any time, but you cannot save anything! (Good luck making progress in the later levels if you have the basic 3hp that you start with!)

    1. Someone says:

      I remember my dad showing me PoP1 as a way of saying “you think playing Half-Life makes you hardcore, you little punk?”. I dread that game to this day.

      1. krellen says:

        I still use it as an example of “hardcore”. These young FPS kids have no idea how easy they have it.

        1. Irridium says:

          Oh those were the days…

          1. krellen says:

            We thought they would never end.

  20. PinkCoder says:

    It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one joining the DDR party so late. My husband just bought a Wii pad for us last weekend and we liked it so much, we had to get a second pad so we can play at the same time.

  21. Eric T says:

    That was the first Call of Duty, the renacting of Stalingrad.

  22. Old_Geek says:

    Neverwinter Nights 2. Too buggy, keep management was a disappointment and the ending was unsatisfying. But there were moments in the middle that I was certain it was going to be my favorite game of all time.

  23. ehlijen says:

    The FAll – LAst Days of Gaia

    Hey it’s a postapocalyptic RPG with mostly sensible quests, sort of kind of realistic bartering, working vechiles, what seems to be a survival through eating and drinking system and squad based combat. Yay!

    It’s also got simplistically boring combat, bugs, useless crafting systems, railroading plots and questlines and the whole eat and drink to live ends up little more than an alternative to health packs…

    Not a great game, but every now and then I play it through again.

    Also: ARGH! DDR means either Double Data Rate or Deutsche Demokratische Republik (former eastern germany). Acronym overload to maximum!

    1. Sekundaari says:

      Wait, why didn’t I even think of the former socialist state? It’s often called DDR here as well. Must be because Shamus used the full name first. Oh well, now to read the comments again for increased fun. (DDR Universe sounds very ominous.)

  24. Irridium says:

    Well, I stated the game I love to hate above, Knights of the Old Republic 2.

    It has so much potential it makes me want to cry. In fact, you could say that about all of Obsidian’s games. They all have such great potential, and under all the bugs there is a fantastic game in there.

    If they spent a bit more time polishing their games and getting rid of bugs, I’d be willing to bet that their games would be the best Western RPG’s ever.

  25. SomeUnregPunk says:

    Crysis released in 2007… I brought roughly three years later with the proper hardware to play it on the highest setting for cheap… or so I thought. I loved the game until I hit the levels near the end where it’s snowing. Where I found the game to be unplayable until I dropped the graphics sliders down to the lowest setting. O.o

    I loved the warhead sequel they made while I played that on the highest setting with AA turned off and some other things. I hated it when I learned through an article that game is still unplayable on the highest setting with the three graphics cards on a multi-core machine!

    I’m still going to buy crysis2.

    Farcry2… I love the freedom, the endlessly respawning guard posts, the AI, the weapons, the world ,… I just hate the story’s ending. I really don’t see realism in that the protagonist of the story killing himself for the jackal’s idealism. Jackal may have saved his life once or twice… but there wasn’t enough of a story to convince me that the protagonist would become the jackal’s aide.
    I also hate that there isn’t enough black Africans in a game based in Africa. I’m not talking about the tribes with spears…

    But if Farcry3 were ever made… I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

  26. Nonesuch says:

    Fallout 3, though there is very little I hate about it. Occasionally when it bugs up and fails (I once lost an hour of playtime because I got stuck behind my bed) I think of it as a little dog that, while adorable, has just shat on something.

    The Sands of Time Trilogy comes to mind. Most of the games in the series really. They seemed to be “Wow this is awesome, but did you really have to do X?” And I’m sure there were people who had no problems with X
    The door puzzle room, the mirror puzzle and the final fight (anticlimactic) in the first one. The style of the second (though the fighting was awesome) and the fact that you had to go through hell to get the “good” ending. I dislike games doing this. Chariot Races in the third game, though the fighting was still awesome, and the stealth kills were AWESOME.
    The modifications to the fighting system in the latest one, the addition of RPG elements (because finding random swords that improved your skills was getting annoying by midway through the second game. Though I appreciated starting with a stick on the island. That was sort of interesting.) was good though.

    Games where achievements exist in online play. This breaks the completionist in me, and makes him cry. I’m looking at you Halo.

  27. Neil Polenske says:

    Far Cry 2:

    Loved it for it’s immersive qualities and open ended gameplay. All the things you bitched about GTA (rightfully so mind you) don’t apply here. You can try and sneak in, or you can blow to shit whatever you want. It really does do the ‘play how you want’ really well, which also applied to the original Far Cry. I never understood how the ‘just a stoopid shooter’ applied to the Far Cry series as it allowed me to be as dumb OR smart as wanted to be. I applied more strategy and stealth tactics in assaulting enemy bases in the Far Cry series than I ever did in so called tactical shooters.

    But FC2 gets the hate for all the lost potential. For all the immersion and open ended feel, it doesn’t amount to crap. It’s a single player game that composed ENTIRELY of grinding, except without any benefit or purpose. That fact the game specifically and intentionally has you accomplishing absolutely nothing is…actually pretty novel for a videogame and I respect the point they’re trying to make, it’s just frustrating as shit when put to practice. You created this world and all these tricks to let me have fun with it, take the next step. Push it beyond the ‘kill all humans’.

    Final Fantasy VII:

    Don’t look at me like that. I would’ve chosen it regardless of what’s been posted the past week. Besides I couldn’t include it if I didn’t love it as well as hate it. :P

    Point of fact as a game, I think it’s in the top three of most fun to play. The gameplay had good pacing and the various systems in use (materia, chocobo breeding, etc) hit a nice sweet spot of simplicity vs. variability. It was just a fun game to play. The mini games were some of the best in the series too!

    But then those characters…that story…that fucking overrated villian! This game was a such a rude awakening after being given the heaven of FFIII (US) with it’s cast of MATURE, INTELLIGENT and COMPELLING characters all swept up in an epic story THAT MADE SENSE! Comparing FFVII’s story and characters to FFVI’s is like comparing FFVIII’s story and characters to…any other game in the series…or any story not written by a five year old/Twilight fanfiction writer.

    Resident Evil 4:

    Nostalgia isn’t enough to overcome the outdated gameplay mechanics. It’s still one of those games that’s fun to play just because it was designed so goddamned well, but it would just be so much easier if I could play it like a first person shooter and don’t EVEN try and say it’ll make the game worse somehow. Your reasoning will be nothing NOTHING, but bullshit nostalgia defenses or vaporous variations of ‘then it wouldn’t Resident Evil anymore!’ IF STILTED GAMEPLAY DEFINES A GAME THAT MEANS ITS A BAD GAME!

  28. BK says:

    Any of the Star Ocean games. The plot and combat are fine, considering that tri-Ace was founded by a bunch of ex-Namco employees who’d worked on Tales of Phantasia. But I’ve never been able to get beyond the absurdly complicated character building system.

    Each level you get points that you can allocate to various abilities. But many abilities have influence over other abilities (one even reduces the cost to level up everything else!) or over your combat statistics in all sorts of interlocking ways. Plus characters may or may not have certain traits at random. Some of them are, so far as I can tell, supremely desirable for powergamers.

    Oh, and apparently (if Something Awful is any indication) high-level combat can work much the same way in that all sorts of disparate rules can interact in a strange manner. Most possibilities were not likely not intended by the developers, such as (with the proper equipment) being able to one-shot the final boss of SO2 on a counterattack.

    It’s rather like Epic D&D 3E: The JRPG, except that tri-Ace made the first SO game six years before WotC printed the ELH.

  29. Kdansky says:

    Game #1 that I love and hate:

    Dwarf Fortress
    It’s totally awesome, you can make giant fortresses with hundreds of inhabitants, clever traps and machinations, economy and what-have-you, but all of that is ruined by the controls that make Nethack/Rogue feel accessible and easy. And the one programmer does not even bother to sort the menus alphabetically (which would help a lot, and that says a lot on how awful they are), or even bother with mouse support or better keybindings. The fanbase is more rabid than the HALO crowd, which does not improve it.

  30. TehShrike says:

    Off-topic: have you ever tried StepMania? It’s DDR, except free, and on the PC. Adapters to plug PS2 pads into your PC are really cheap…

  31. Sam says:

    I love and hate the Super Mario Galaxy games. I love them because the the gameplay is superb. I especially love the side-scrolling levels that they use, and I’m quite happy they’ve put in quite a lot in SMG2. I hate them because the camera is the worst I’ve ever experienced in a game, ever, resulting in massive amounts of cheap deaths that frustrate me to no end, and the swimming parts are also horrendous to control. Also, I kind of hate the Yoshi segments as well. He’s just really awkward to control. Still, after five days of play I’m 50+ stars in and I’m planning to try to beat it today.

    I also love and hate Champions Online, though I only hate it because there’s not enough content to keep things fresh and new after you’ve played through the game. My highest character is level 26, and I don’t want to level another toon that far because it means doing all the same missions again, but with a different power set. It’s fun once or twice, but after that it feels tedious. Other than a lack of content, it’s my favorite MMOG ever.

  32. Freykin says:

    DDR and similar games invaded my life in 2000, and I’ve never looked back. I recently purchased a Cobalt Flux pad, and while it was quite pricey, it’s been so worth it for an arcade purist like me. I moved to Portland, Oregon from southern California, and the arcades up here are sadly lacking. I run it with Stepmania, which is a PC freeware version of DDR. I’m way out of practice from when I used to play, but it feels good to be getting back into it and getting exercise at the same time.

  33. Ian says:

    Oh dear, you’ve been bitten by the DDR bug as well. So, are you still seeing arrows when you close your eyes? ;)

    If you want to publicly humiliate yourself (as I enjoy doing on a regular basis) you should find a local arcade with a DDR/In The Groove/Pump It Up machine. You live in Butler, right? If you’re ever in Cranberry Township, check out Fun Fore All. It has a nice arcade (with a very well-kept DDR machine) and has go-karts and a miniature golf course. If you happen to be in Gibsonia, I believe the North Park Clubhouse has an In The Groove machine (In The Groove is a clone of DDR, essentially). If it’s the same machine that they had at their now-very-closed Robinson Town Center location, it has a ton of custom step charts “hacked” in (including a handful by yours truly). There’s also a couple of machines at Ace’s Break Away and Play (or whatever the hell they call themselves now) at the Beaver Valley Mall, though that’s probably kinda far away for you.

    If nothing else, it’s fun to watch people tear up the…uh, “dance floor?”

    And, as a million other people (note: slight exaggeration) also mentioned, StepMania is always an option.

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