What's the game that made you realize "videogames could be bad"??

It‘s an oft mentioned idea on the pod that children don’t really consider if a game is any good or not. They just play it. What was the first game you played where you were like “Oh, this is a bad game.”

For me it was Pagemaster on SNES. I was roped in by the amazing graphics, but quickly started thinking "where do I go??" "what does anything do??". I don't really remember it so well except that I somehow skipped levels or something? Not a lot happened and then there were credits and it just kept saying "CHEATER" and I was a little freaked out. [(looking it up, I guess this happened to me)](https://tcrf.net/The_Pagemaster_(SNES)#Cheat_Mode)

My videogame experience began with hand-me-down ZX Spectrum, C64 and Atari junk, so my earliest understanding of videogames was that they were frivolous toys that offered no satisfaction or real engagement beyond whatever thrill came from making a thing move on a screen.

I'll never forget finally getting a Mega Drive, sinking real time into games like Revenge of Shinobi and consciously thinking, oh, someone actually sat down and thought about how to make this _fun._.

Do I have to have been correct? I have distinct memories of bouncing pretty hard off of Soul Blazer, but isn‘t Soul Blazer pretty cool? But I am probably also forgetting a fair number of games I don’t remember renting from Blockbuster and not liking because, well, they were bad. Well, I don‘t know, I’m probably forgetting

It feels difficult to think of examples where I felt very certain something was _bad,_ rather than just not great.

To place upon myself the requirement that I needed to be correct, I'll say _Glover._

oh I remember this vividly, it was the Primal Rage SNES port

It's Mortal Kombat, but dinosaurs - how could it be bad? But it was, and the thought seed I planted that day has since blossomed into a big beautiful tree that takes up all the space in my brain apartment, allowing no natural light or freedom of movement.

there were things that weren‘t necessarily bad, but that i found annoying (pilotwings 64, doing the driving licence stuff on gran turismo), or stuff that i understood wasn’t really meant to be a “real game” (tigger's hunny hunt). oh, and digimon world was extremely impenetrable and punishing to a kid like me that liked to hit a button:see a jump. why did i always get the poo digimon? give me an agumon!

i've mentioned this game before - pinobee on gba always felt off to me, like whoever made that game wasn't especially interested in me having a good time. good god, the music! awful business

the first real emotinal betrayals i can remember were twilight princess - a game that has so much potential and Stuff I Thought Was Cool and then it ends with >!out-of-nowhere ganondorf for no good reason!<. i felt empty. the other was Other M.

I also remember very distinctly. It happened three separate times, and they were all Mario games…

The first time was _Super Mario Sunshine_. I grew up primarily with a Game Cube and a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (in that order), and for a long time the only games I had on those were ones I really clicked with. _Luigi's Mansion_, _The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker_, _Paper Mario and the Thousand Year-Door_, _Super Monkey Ball_... To this day these are games I still frequently return to. Well not _Sunshine_, baby!! I vividly remembering a distinct yearning for wanting to play a 3D platformer whenever I played _Luigi's Mansion_, so some way or another I wound up with a copy with that Mario. I mention this to prove I had an active hunger for a game like _Super Mario Sunshine_, and even then I found myself completely unsatisfied. I tried playing through that game so many times growing up but, even with my prepubescent brain that couldn't even pretend to start thinking critically I could not convince myself to play for any extended amount of time. The game's just no good!

A similar thing happened with _Super Mario Galaxy 2_. _Super Mario Galaxy_, off the heels of _Sunshine_, wound up scratching the itch Baby Funbil desperately needed itched. _Super Mario Galaxy_ was actually the first game I ever 100%ed, I loved it so much! But when the sequel came out... It just didn't hit the same. By now I'm willing to admit that _Galaxy_ is in fact cringe (it might be my second least favorite Mario after _Sunshine_), and _2_ actually winds up compounding on its mechanical ideas in fresh and inventive ways, but the vibe is simply rancid, my friends. It's just true. _Super Mario Galaxy_ is this gorgeously gentle, quiet, artistic game that hardly even feels like a Mario game. It may be a bad Mario game to play, but it's the best Mario game to look at. When _2_ came swinging with its decidedly more conventional Mario atmosphere, its linear maps, its abrasively videogame-y set pieces and environments, once again, even as a child with no critical thinking skills it put me off in a major way. This one I remember being genuinely confused about, whereas with _Sunshine_ I was just kind of ambivalent. _Super Mario Galaxy_ was one of my favorite games growing up... So why don't I like this one at all? I just didn't get it! Well, it's because the game's just no good!

The third story is nearly identical to that _Galaxy 2_ story, but replace _Super Mario Galaxy_ with _Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time_, and _Super Mario Galaxy 2_ with _Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story_. You want to talk about rancid vibes? **Phew-ee!!** This, however, marks the first time I found an RPG that I thought was bad. That one was a shock. I grew up coddled with things like _Paper Mario_ as I mentioned, as well as _EarthBound_ and _Pokémon Mystery Dungeon_... Through some strange series of events I grew up playing only good RPGs. _Bowser's Inside Story_ was my first slap in the face that, no, these games I thought were so elegant and meaningful could also be schlocky and void of any intrigue whatsoever. The only difference now is that I seek out games like that on purpose!!

While I‘m 99% certain the first game to teach me this would have been an N64 game, I can’t remember which one it was, and the earliest one I do remember was Black for the PS2. I remember putting it on my top 10 worst games list, but even back then it came with the concession that I hadn't played enough genuinely bad games not to include it on the list.

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@“Funbil”#p62413 Super Mario Galaxy 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWWLy3zQIUE

i don‘t know if i would’ve said it was bad, but the first videogame i encountered that didn‘t interest me was nba jam. i couldn’t take a sports game on its own terms i guess. to me it was just sports with all the fun of sports removed.

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@“Funbil”#p62413 A similar thing happened with Super Mario Galaxy 2. Super Mario Galaxy, off the heels of Sunshine, wound up scratching the itch Baby Funbil desperately needed itched. Super Mario Galaxy was actually the first game I ever 100%ed, I loved it so much! But when the sequel came out… It just didn’t hit the same.

i violently agree. i really loved the first one, enough that i've tried to push myself through the second at least three times, but i can't really enjoy it.

like @“Syzygy”#p62411 , the majority of games i played as a kid were free. though in my case they were flash games, rpg maker games, and gamemaker games (at the time virtually everything made in gamemaker was free. you could just download a bunch of stuff off of the gamemaker (later on yoyogames) website). most of these had to have been pretty terrible, but as connor alluded to, i just accepted them. i pretty much only have postive memories of the i’ll-download-any-freeware-trash-i-can-find era of my life.

to be honest, i don’t think i’ve ever considered a game bad. maybe this is because i’ve made a bunch of crappy games and have played a bunch of the crappy games my friends have made, so i’m intimately aware of how much work it takes just to get something playable and am always sort of impressed just by the existence of most games. on top of that, almost every time i play a game other people have told me is bad, i end up finding a bunch of things that i find cool or interesting about it.

there are games that i find quite exhausting. i think the first time i ever really thought about this was playing banjo kazooie. it’s certainly not a bad game. it has lots of neat visuals and areas that really incite one’s imagination. but it just felt like it took so much extraneous effort to move on to the next area in that game. though i feel like the real issue with this game was that 1) it was on a console, which meant i had to sit on the floor in front of the television to play it, and 2) its game design encouraged long gameplay sessions, so as a result whenever i played it my neck would end up hurting from looking up at the tv at an awkward angle and i’d feel really tired and gross from sitting on the floor we never vacuumed.

so maybe in a world where i played banjo kazooie on a comfy sofa i would have loved it!

all the computer games i played were at a desk with a serviceable chair, so i don’t think i ever had the same discomfort playing them. once i discovered emulation i would even emulate games that we already had for consoles we owned. there was a long period of time when just imagining looking at something on a tv would make me nauseous. then i experienced what it’s like to have a sofa in front of the tv lol (also I’m taller now, so sitting on the floor to watch tv doesn’t hurt my neck as much.)

so in short, there are no bad games, just lousy seating arrangements.

i grew up with a 64 mostly, and my dad had a bunch of bargain bin games mixed in with zelda and star fox and such. so for me it was superman 64! that game is real ugly, and i couldn‘t figure out if the whole experience was meant to be bad-flying-through-hoops or not, the controls were that unwieldy. i had more fun with rugrats in paris, lol. now that’s a fever dream of a licensed videogame.

For me it was probably James Pond 2: Codename Robocod, which taught me both that games can be bad and that they can be bad in a particular British way.

My first Sonics were on the Master System. I loved Sonic 1, bled Sonic 2 dry and played what must have been hundreds of hours of Sonic Chaos.

Then I got a Mega Drive. Lucky me! My first game had to be Sonic of course. I already HAD Sonic 1 & 2 for SMS, so why would I play them again on Mega Drive? Do you think I’m **STUPID**? My first Mega Drive Sonic would have to be… _Sonic Spinball_.

I played it twice then swapped it with a friend in the playground for the apparently different MD version of _Sonic 1._ I wasn’t keen on the deal, so he threw in _Super Hang-On_.

This was a good deal.

Sonic Spinball sucks.

Star Wars: Flight of the Falcon for the GBA, i don‘t have much to say about it, it’s bad and the framerate is so low that I could never tell what was happening in that game as a small child.

In a somewhat related note, Pokemon XD Gale of Darkness which my parents bought me because I liked the pokemon anime a lot, thaught me that not all games were playable for me because I didn't understand English yet and I couldn't figure out what was happening and I remember just running around in circles not even being able to get into the first battle as a 5 year old.
RPG's weren't something I could comfortably play until I was like 12-13 years old because of the language barrier.

As a child I received Pac-Man World 3 on DS as a freebie for whatever reason and everything about it felt like a hot mess. Probably my first time encountering “the really bad version/port” of a multiplatform game.

In terms of games I actually bought _Paper Mario: Sticker Star_ somehow managed to both remove what made previous entries fun and also not compensate for that by adding even worse gameplay and mechanics. Quickly grew to hate it and probably one of few games I actually regret buying. I hear the more recent Paper Mario games are better but _Sticker Star_ soured things to such an extent I've completely lost interest in them.

I remember thinking that the 6 player X-Men arcade game was just trying to take my quarters. You lose health when you use your powers I told my brother and cousin. Played some other beat em ups with similar mechanics anyway but I definitely avoided X-Men

I can't remember which of these I played first, but I have a few contenders:

[Nightmare](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/1241-games-no-one-will-play-ever-again/11) . [Ned](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/1250-ep-217-asynchronicity/57) (Windows)

[Jimmy Neutron vs. Jimmy Negatron](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqHdhPulvJA) (Game Boy Advance)

these other two may actually be OK, but were too aesthetically off-putting for me to give half a chance

[How the Grinch Stole Christmas](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdn_IQVpCmo) (Windows)

  • - what I assume is the lesser of [two](https://www.mobygames.com/game/a-series-of-unfortunate-events) Windows games I can think of featuring a rotten egg launcher as a weapon/gadget
  • [Lilo & Stitch: Trouble in Paradise](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaoIszOLAKs&t=15m51s) (Windows)

  • - the sound of Stitch collecting those coffee cups is just awful, can't stand it; the meat drumsticks used to indicate his health were also very off-putting, why are they green with blue spots????
  • - I can't say why but I remember as a kid playing this made me feel like I was alone in the world, lost in a strange dimension, and that nothing would ever be OK in it
  • - I've never seriously sat down with a Crash Bandicoot and besides not being especially interested in it conceptually I think my having played this Lilo & Stitch version first has tainted that brand of platformer forever
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    @“YerryMina”#p62453 As a child I received Pac-Man World 3 on DS

    Same story here. I'm not certain (and don't want to verify), but I think PMW3DS is unbeatable. I recall the place I got stuck required you to perform some set of actions that you perform several other times in the game (maybe in the same level), and it just doesn't work, and there's nothing you can do to make it work (I would know, I tried everything).
    It wasn't all bad as there was at least some fun info about Toru Iwatani in some kind of bonus feature on there.

    @"Funbil"#p62413 To be less glib I was surprised to read your post and see you articulate my exact feelings on Mario Galaxy 1—a game I also 100%ed and found full of magic—vs. Galaxy 2, which felt loud and shallow. However my appreciation for Galaxy 1 was _not_ catalyzed by any dislike for Sunshine; on the contrary I liked Galaxy because I felt that it _recaptured_ the magic of Christmas morning 2003 Mario Sunshine! I played Bowser's Inside Story exactly once in 2009, and really enjoyed it at the time, though it was and remains the only M&L game I've played (besides bits of the previous two). Maybe I'm a big idiot

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    @“穴”#p62451 Star Wars: Flight of the Falcon for the GBA

    Yes! lol

    the first console i owned was an original game boy, and i apart from the ubiquitous and truly great tetris i had a couple other games my parents must have picked up on sale. one was my first experience of a licensed game and it went about as well as you can imagine. i tried my best to get value out of this but it was unresponsive, punishingly difficult, and aesthetically distressing to boot (particularly the music). it was this monstrosity:

    https://youtu.be/B7XhTST-t_A&t=54

    my mother never really played video games with me as a child, but was supportive of my hobby. one time she rented a copy of tom and jerry on the snes, as she knew i was a fan of the show. for some reason she wanted to play that one with me.

    i don't quite remember how far into the game it was (i think fairly early), but we were stuck on a segment in the basement and just couldn't get out. we could find the stairs and couldn't navigate them. rentals were maybe 48 hours, so during that time, we kept trying and never got past it. we still talk about it occasionally almost 30 years later. i think i had the thought 'videogames can be bad??' because my adult mother was there not having a good time with it.

    anyways, that game is probably my first memory of not enjoying my time with a game, but at the same time its maybe one of my strongest gaming memories. funny how that works sometimes.