games / Columns

The 8 Ball 04.24.12: Top 8 Overrated Video Games

April 24, 2012 | Posted by David McGregor

Welcome to another edition of the 8 ball, I am your host David McGregor. Next week I won’t be here as I have law exams next week so I am cramming cases and acts into my brain like crazy. I will try to get a replacement for you, but failing that I won’t be back until the 7th of May.

On a random side note, I’ve been watching YouTube videos a lot and the reason you subscribe is because of their personality that shines through. But when it comes to an article like this I’ve always wondered why people are here? Is it primarily because lists are easy to read or is there an actual connection with the writer? I say this because there are entertaining writers on this site that don’t really get the appreciation they deserve, and also because I have been toying with the idea of doing YouTube videos of my own. I seem to get getting a decent sized audience on here and I think videos along with the weekly article could be a good idea, so tell me what you guys think.

This week we will be looking at the Top 8 Most Overrated Games of all time, and I will be honest I am slightly anxious at this one. I was warned by a poster on the column section that I should never do overrated games as I am generally very nice about games, and this will only lead to me becoming overly negative like the rest of the internet. So stupidly I put it into the choices for the column, but I think this will be my last negative column for the foreseeable future. That’s audience participation for you! Anyway, I will be judging this list on games that were overhyped, over praised and generally labelled to a standard I never really thought they deserved.

8th – Little Big Planet

(94.67% on GameRankings)

I quite enjoyed this game when I first got a hold of it; it’s very reminiscent of the old Mario and Sonic games back in the early 90’s which makes it instantly playable for that age group that originally played those games. But when I went back to it I think it lost a lot of its allure very quickly. It just seems so repetitive now that I am pretty confused at why I enjoyed the game at all when I first played it, although to be fair my experience with the game didn’t last very long. Another thing that loads of people loved was the level design which let you create any sort of level you wished, within reason. But to me that was more of a hindrance than a positive aspect of the game, I don’t really care for creating my own game that’s what the development team should do. It just seemed like a half finished game that made you design the rest.

But for some reason the gaming world loved this one, getting extremely high ratings and grades. IGN UK rated it a 9.7 which is 0.3 away from the same rating as Ocarina of Time, seriously! And when you put it into that kind of perspective this one is definitely overrated, although if the guys at IGN UK got as much enjoyment out of this as the Nintendo masterpiece then fair play.

7th – Guitar Hero (All of Them)

(80% and above on GameRankings

This one isn’t so much here because of its rating, as the average for the series is around 85% which is reasonable; the series is here mostly because some overrated this as some kind of point in gaming that would change everything. Safe to say it was a fad pure and simple. Don’t get me wrong the games are very entertaining but that’s it, we weren’t looking at a Mario 64 that revolutionised platform gaming or anything like that. I still think the idea was very innovative, but when you look back it is such a novelty game that it can’t really be put up there with the best.

Games are just here to primarily entertain, and Guitar Hero did that in abundance. Its impact on gaming may have been blown way out of proportion but at its heart it is a very good game. If it had been mildly successful I think the series would still be alive and well.

6th – Dead Rising

(85% on GameRankings)

I was so excited to get this game when it was first released; it seemed like the type of interactive mayhem we hadn’t seen for a long time. On a side note, I have always loved games that have an interactive surrounding. There is nothing worse than causing chaos in a game only for it to seem absolutely fine; it can really ruin that thread of realism that you cling onto playing a game. Dead Rising seemed destined for greatness, I mean zombies and a mall full of stuff to take them down with is a recipe made in heaven. And the reviews seem to agree that this was a really fun game, but they were so wrong.

Dead Rising is a really good game, up until about 30 minutes in when you realise that Navi was less annoying than the idiots in the control room. Honestly I think that thing went off about 20 times in the first half an hour I played the game, even when you are being eaten alive by the undead control room moron will not stop ringing you! Navi could be ignored, sometimes, but this bastard just kept going and going.

Then there is the god awful saving system, and I always try and be positive when doing this column but this was absolutely idiotic. The only way to save was in a toilet yet they were spread out so much that when you inevitably died you would go back to square one. This added in with the weird 72 hour game mode, which was the only game mode; it really defies belief that this was even successful. This is 101 of how to ruin a game.

Think I got a little carried away there.

5th – Grand Theft Auto IV

(97% on GameRankings)

Grand Theft Auto IV just seemed to lose its way a little, long gone was the silly chaotic nature that it had become famous for and instead we were treated to a more realistic instalment. People at the time seemed to adore the thing; in fact it got 10 out of 10 on IGN which only a handful of games have been given. But looking back on the game, it really does not deserve to labelled one of the greatest games of all time. It isn’t even the greatest GTA game of all time.

I think it just took itself way more seriously than the series was known for, yes there was loads of jokes but they seemed to stray away from the self deprecation we had been used to. They went from San Andreas which is pretty much takes the piss out of itself constantly, to a game in which you end up hunting down someone who killed your brother/girlfriend. It just didn’t seem like a genuine GTA game, it felt like a merger between Call of Duty and a GTA game. There were glimpses of silliness but they were overshadowed for more plot detail or dramatic twist in the story.

Without the previous instalments this would be considered a really good game, but can you honestly say that this is better 99.9% of games out there? I can’t which is why this is number 5.

4th – Halo

(95% on GameRankings)

This is one of those games that people said was amazing and that it is a must have, yet when I got round to playing Halo all I could think was “is that it?” This was built up as a game changers, and sure it was for Microsoft as it saved the Xbox from dying a quick death, but for the first person shooter genre this was really nothing new. Halo was a decent FPS but I still to this day just do not understand why it is praised so highly, especially when there were better games prior to its release. I know I may get a ton of flack for putting this here as many people do like the game, but I just did not get this one at all.

I’m not going to backtrack or anything but I don’t like the sci-fi game genre at all, so maybe that is why I never got into this game as much as others. But when I was compiling the list all I could think of was does this deserve to be put into the same class as Mario 64 and Call of Duty 4, and honestly I don’t think it does. It’s a decent little FPS that got such a rabid fan base that people started to believe the hype.

3rd – Elder Scrolls: Oblivion

(93.13% on GameRankings)

I’m not very knowledgeable on the Elder Scrolls series, but the one game I did play was Oblivion which damn bored the balls off of me! Seriously this one of the most boring things I have ever had to sit through, everything about the game was done at the pace of snail on valium. Since I’m not a fan of the series I don’t know if that’s normal or not, but it certainly wasn’t entertaining. The combat system is horrible and the voice acting is about as wooden as you get, I honestly didn’t believe I was playing the same game people had been praising to the highest degree.

I’m not a big RPG fan but if it’s an essentially good game then I will be interested in it, this is not that game. You just seem to meander through the wilderness with no real objective; this could be streamlined into a decent game if it was reined in a hell of a lot. But no we are forced to imitate the Lord of the Rings movies and walk everywhere, but at least that had Gollum to spice things up this just had endless greenery. People talk a lot about Skyrim and part of me would like to check it out, but then my head screams not to after this marathon.

2nd – Final Fantasy (The Majority of the Series)

I don’t know if anyone has noticed but this is the first time I have mentioned Final Fantasy in my articles, and that’s because I think the series is ridiculously overrated. The voice acting in the more recent editions are so cheesy and embarrassing that it really detracts from the game. I even gave them another try after Kingdom Hearts done so well, but I quickly realised that I only like that game because of the Disney aspect of the game not the Final Fantasy. I just think everything is so ridiculous that you really have to be a fan of the series and genre to enjoy it.

This doesn’t stop the series from being insanely popular; I mean I almost constantly get comments about FF to be in one list or another. I just think it takes itself very seriously and it is just so ludicrously campy and cheesy that you have to be able to laugh at yourself, and the series just doesn’t.

1st – Tetris

Tetris is a thing I just do not understand, people adore this utterly simple block game for a reason that completely escapes my mind. I don’t understand why blocks’ falling on top of each other is somehow fun. I know I will no doubt be slaughtered in the comments for this one, but I have never been able to get this game at all. Maybe I was born too late in that I am accustomed to a bit more excitement, but I love Pong and loads of old school game yet Tetris has always been the one I just never could comprehend.

I don’t know what else to say on the matter, there is nothing more to the game than colourful blocks. It is so popular Mario had to get a doctorate and start advertising his own version! Maybe someone below can help me understand this, but to me there will be no more overrated game than Tetris.

Also, even though I don’t like it I still understand the significance of Tetris. It is like appreciating a turn your arch nemesis just slipped on, I’m glad it was there but still want nothing to do with it.

The Comments Section

Strange. Could’ve sworn Saints Row 1 & 2 were very popular – except among fake GTA purists (the real GTA purists prefer 1 & 2!), of course, who kept whining about them being a ripoff.
The only underrating of either was caused by envy that SR1 wasn’t available on PC and anger at how crappy a port SR2 was. SR3 fixed both of those problems – and turned 11 up to 22 in the process, while being well-regarded (except among the abformentioned false GTA purists) 🙂
Posted By: The Ogre (Guest) on April 17, 2012 at 12:19 AM

I don’t think Saints Row got the credit it deserved when it was first released; sure it has a good following now but in the beginning it was seen as a rip off of GTA by a lot of people. Also anyone who prefers the original GTA games over the 3D versions must be insane or a cheap attempt at being a gaming hipster. “My favourite game is GTA 1, you probably haven’t played it…” That’s the way I see it going anyway.

I am a girl. I wrote that comment last week. Definitely a fanGIRL.
Posted By: Guest#0238 (Guest) on April 17, 2012 at 12:35 AM

Well I do apologies for alluding to the idea you may have male genitalia. I am just happy that I have a fan, whatever gender! If I do create a YouTube channel at least I know I will have one viewer.

“Sabrewolf”…that is all.
Posted By: Franco McNeil (Guest) on April 17, 2012 at 03:05 AM

I know I screwed up with that one, but my point still stands fighting games need more werewolves! McGregor/Werewolf 2012 for President.

Hit And Run was a decent game, and the humor worked, but I lost interest in it pretty quickly and never went too far into it. At the time I was huge for the Grand Theft Auto series, so probably felt might as well be playing the real thing.

Posted By: Earl (Guest) on April 17, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Seriously you should have kept at it, Hit and Run only gets better and better. And it goes full on Halloween Special near the end which is amazing and a treat for any fan.

So what you’re saying is that you enjoyed the game when you played it but you later changed your mind and decided it was a terrible sequel because you found out it was based on some obscure Japanese game. Makes sense to me.
Posted By: Guest#9844 (Guest) on April 17, 2012 at 01:44 PM

I never actually played the game until I knew that it was an old game repainted, so it was pretty much tainted from the get go. But my point stands that had it not been a Mario game, which I guess it wasn’t, it would have been a good game.

What do you want the 8 Ball to be about next week?

Top 8 Handheld Games

Top 8 Gaming Soundtracks

Top 8 Side Kicks in Gaming


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David McGregor
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