Mortal Kontrarian Korner: Crapsack of the Year Edition

### Ground Rules

**No Bad Games**

It is pretty obvious why, say, an Insert Credit Forum poster wouldn't like Sony's Marvel's Presents The Avengers or whatever it may be called.

**No "Bad" Games**

We need _more_ conversation about what there is to like about Space Station Silicon Valley, or any other weird clunky mess of a game that still has a lot of inherent charm, not less.

**No Hating For The Sake Of Hating**

If you can't acknowledge the game is at least fine, if not objectively good, if not great, it can't be that unpopular of an opinion.

**No Anti-Haters (aka Hater Haters)**

If you see a game you love in here, assume the person who dislikes it would probably agree with you, and has likely heard most if not all of what you'd say if you felt compelled to defend it.

**Don't Ignore That Games Are Made By People Who Often Have Really Awful Jobs**

Direct your complaints about the symptoms of mismanaged workplaces that made it into the game at management and the publisher, not the game.

**That Being Said, Let Loose**

Surely, no reason to dislike a game is too insignificant, idiosyncratic, petty, silly, personal, or whatever, if it can make it through the other rules.

I'll start…


Yeah... this feels like a choice unpopular opinion. I don't think every game in this thread needs to be a BAFTA Award Winner, but, I don't know!! I can't stop thinking about how little enjoyment I got out of this one, and I don't think it was because I didn't "get it" overall. Although there was a lot I didn't "get."

My cousin bugged me to play this for ages, I really only played it about a month ago, and they had played it much closer to launch. So my expectations were heightened. Usually my cousin and I agree. The premise is pretty great, and I'd even say most of the execution of it was solid. I've read a good amount of good sci fi so it wasn't mindblowing to me or anything, but certainly a step above most earnest uses of that genre's conventions. Once I started, too, I got excited, 'cause one of my favourite game narratives of all time is Metroid Prime, as told through the Space Pirates' text logs.

Let's start with solid criticisms. I think the non-linearity of it and the way it signposted progression and/or gated progress was disorganized to me. I understand how hard that is to design and that many other people probably didn't have the trouble I did, but it never felt satisfying or engaging to me, at least not for long. I don't know if I just play these games like a freak or have a bad working memory or what but I found myself finding something, sort of getting what the gist of what I was supposed to do or learn, but then finding out I needed to have gone somewhere or gotten something or learned something or written something down else to have any chance of understanding or interacting with what I found. That happened constantly.

I don't know, maybe if I was better at intuiting what mechanically the game was signposting for me to do, I would have been able to feel more engaged. But that's a copout. To me it constantly felt like I was trying to solve a Wii era physics/perspective puzzle at a Red Door. Eventually I'd give up and decide I must need to find the Red Key. Intriguied, I'd find a hint as to where the Red Key is, but then finding out when I get there the Red Key is behind the Blue Door. Still excited, I follow the signposts to the Blue Key, but where I thought the Blue Key was contains the _Green_ Key, and so then I go to find the Green Door. My engagement waning, I find the _Purple_ Key, and when I double back and find the _Purple_ Door, it's broken, and to fix it it I need to come back at the right time. 17 minutes later after dying and restarting I solve a Wii era physics/perspective puzzle, and when I finally get into the Purple Door... I find out that the Red Key doesn't even exist, I was just trying to solve the physics/perspective puzzle in the _wrong_ way.

You know what else would make that game better? Some kinda magic crystal that would let you rewind about 15-20 seconds of time.

But... in all honesty... I think most of that is just me being a bonehead and not being all that good at intuiting what games are asking of me and not having a great working memory.

The _real,_ honest reason I think I dislike the game...? I..... I think it's kind of _twee._ I don't even know if Outer Wilds could fairly be considered twee by a sane person, but, I have such a low tolerance for twee, The Outer Wilds feels _too twee_ for me. I remember having a little twinge of haterdom the moment I saw a guy in a big space suit playing a banjo. And I think I just never got over it. _fin_

I doubt this is much of an unpopular opinion, but I really have no taste for the Sony Prestige Narrative experience. You know, the Uncharteds and Gods of Wars. I remember playing Uncharted4 and the big setpiece moment where you're dangling off a bridge and heroically jumping between and cars and stuff. None of it was real to me. It was just… happening as I watched it. You have no agency in those games outside of a super limited set of verbs that only service the predetermined narrative. Its just… soo boring.

The Calls of duty are like this too, I rent one from Redbox every other year or so and I like to run through the setpieces without shooting the gun and just like the AI and systems at play generate the illusion of play even though I'm not... playing it.

I grew up on the Sega side of things so my initial impression of what game even is is rooted in a more gameplay first mechanics driven experience.

I think System Shock 2 is this for me. That said I only played enough of it to get frustrated and quit, which was barely the first level, and I knew “the twist” going into the game so that probably lessened the game‘s impact. This was early enough in the Immersive Sim genre that a lot of it’s conventions and quality of life improvements hadn‘t been implemented. The level design of the early areas didn’t have a lot of logic to them and so it just annoyed me and caused me to disengage with the game. I would have to go back and play it again to maybe give a more articulated response, since it was so influential on the rest of gaming.

Also **_Destiny 2._** This game has a lot going on, an incredibly deep well of content and an incredibly complex gun and abilities system that, 10 hours into the game, I realized that I would have to sink much more time into if I wanted to get anything out of. The entire time I basically knew that the game's gear system was way too complex for me to grok unless I could spent 100 hours on the game. Destiny's big attraction, the raids, would take me much more time to do and require me to get in with a group of people that would take on a noob so they could onboard with the game. It just feels so inaccessible unless I dedicate so much time to it. I think the world building, level and world design, and characters are all really well done and amazing. You can, i think, pretty much engage with this game on a lore level and never have to actually play any of it.

I don’t like Breath Of The Wild. Some of the visuals are really nice, but a lot of the design/art is unsightly and has a happy meal toy look to it. The weapon degredation mechanic is totally bizarre and obnoxious to me.

I also strongly dislike Undertale, but feel like I would be hurting peoples feelings by saying so, and this is part of why I don’t like the game

@Syzygy#11474 it can be a popular opinion to a specific subset… Is there an Insert Credit darling game you can't stand? Give in to the self indulgent hatedom…

@yeso#11477 ohnoooo I like both those games!

@yeso#11477 I don‘t hate Breath of the Wild, but yeah, I have a lot of serious problems with it. As the first mainline Zelda game without a proper capital Z capital D Zelda Dungeon, what we got instead was… not even remotely a satisfying substitute. I think it’s one of the only games that really manages to justify actually being set in a wide open world you have to explore and travel through, and I salivate at the idea of a Zelda game like it but without having excised elements of the series that still work really well (like your capabilities and means of traversal and access expanding with new tools). But a game shouldn't make you wish you were playing a better version of it.

I don't know if I consider the weapon degradation system to be terrible, but I do think it was balanced all wrong. The need to expand your inventory slot size to keep enough weapons on hand to actually fight almost feels like an admission of failure. And wow, a Zelda game that makes the Master Sword feel awful to use because it temporarily _breaks????_ Why??? Make the weapons last twice a long and drop 60% as much and I think it would help make it less frustrating, at least.

But also the combat kinda sucks anyway

Also, I absolutely adore Undertale, but I think I kinda know what you mean. I can also balk at the idea of a conversation screeching to a halt because I said I didn't like something.

I mean... I did create this thread

I feel like I missed the boat with Undertale. I was working a lot of hours when it initially came out and I just didn‘t get to it. Then it turned into this huge phenomenon with kids and stuff. My GF played it and really liked it, I think experiencing it through her vicariously is about as close as I’ll get to it.

I understand your feelings on The Outer Wilds. When I played it though I just ditched tasks completely if I couldn't solve them immediately and went on to explore something else. The game is DEF twee, though. For sure. It is soooo soooooo impressive what they built, but the art style is a little fugly. I wonder if that game could have hit harder if it just had a different art direction.

Half Life 2


I will sum up my issues with this game in 4 pictures:





@MichaelDMcGrath#11487 That‘s not the strongest segment of the game, that’s for sure.

@CidNight#11488 My roommates and I spent like an hour trying to do this, thinking we were breaking the game, then another trying to figure out what the intended path was online, only to figure out it was the intended path. I can't think of a piece of level design that has stuck with me as much as Highway 17 has, for all the wrong reasons.

Ravenholm is a blast though I'll give them that.

HL2 ends on such a high note I think it papers over some of the rougher stretches in the popular memory

I really just had the dullest time with Okami.

Beyond the neat art, I couldn't find anything to grab onto. I found the whole brush mechanic pretty irritating not too far into the game. I thought the dungeons were pretty lacking. There was way more exposition in the game than I had anticipated. The whole pacing felt incredibly off. I gave it about 10 hours, and after learning the game was usually 30+ to complete, I was _so_ out.

The game is often compared to one of it's contemporaries, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Granted, that is also a considerably flawed game, but I found most of my issues with that particular game amplified in Okami, often unaccompanied by the redeeming qualities found in Zelda.

i really don’t like souls games. they are PS3/360 mud color palette on weird impractical medieval architecture (whoever sells wrought iron in Yarnham must be making bank.) they also seem wildly player hostile, like they actively don’t want me to play them or have a good time. i know The Challenge Of It All is so appealing to people but I think I would rather smash the tip of my pinky finger with a hammer than have to play through an entire souls game.

also before BotW (which I think is fine but still didn’t hold me for more than 10 hours) I haven’t enjoyed any zeldas ever. they’re pretty, and I know they’re Well Crafted but lord almighty I think they’re boring.

@Jtwo#11484 You know… I think my main problem with Twee in general but also as it manifested in the art style of Outer Wilds, is that twee wants to be weird and/or quirky and/or cute, but twee is when they make something weird and/or quirky and/or cute but keeping all of those within Safe levels. Like… idk… why do these other alien guys get to be cool non-humanoid?? I don't wanna be a cute blue guy… Gimme forelimbs and aftlimbs and pseudo limbs, and 6 stomachs, and suspend my consciousness in jellied nitrogen in my main aftlimb or whatever! Even if it has no gameplay component it seems more fun than being a cute blue guy.

Really my feelings about this game are the reason I made this thread cause as much as I recognize its many strengths, and acknowledge my preferences and my experiences are why I didn't enjoy it, I just gotta hate on stuff or I'll die

@MichaelDMcGrath#11487 Say what you will about that part of Half Life 2 but I'm with karl jobst, that 0:33 Agent Cradle was a legendary achievement


I get what you mean about Undertale. For the record, I do enjoy it. I think it's a cute little RPG and I like the characters and meta humor. But there was such a fervor around this game and you got torn apart for even suggesting that you may not dig it all that much. Like a lot of good things, the fanbase put me off of this game for a long time until I tried it for myself.