Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Games I Liked, Others Didn't Redux

You know how it is... People gush over a certain game while you finally play the game and think it's garbage. We're going to focus on the vice versa with this article. A long while ago I listed some games that aren't exactly the queens of their respective balls. Many critics disliked the games I selected, but I happened to find them entertaining. You can find that article here. This is part two of that with five new games that weren't media darlings that good old SuperPhillip happened to enjoy.

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (360)

When a new Banjo-Kazooie is announced, what do you expect? Tight and robust platforming, expansive worlds, note and jiggy collecting? Well, two out of three ain't bad at least. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts was a great departure from what fans enjoyed from previous bear and bird games. This time the focus was on constructing and driving elaborate vehicles through multiple challenges and worlds. Would I have liked to have had Banjo and Kazooie starring in an HD platformer exclusively? You bet, but this game is still a blast to play. Building the right vehicle for the given situation, jetting across the sky, and revisiting old friends made this installment a fantastic adventure!

Perfect Dark Zero (360)

For the longest time there was no multiplayer game better than Perfect Dark Zero on the 360. Halo 3 bumped PDZ off many gamers' lists, but it still remains number one in my heart. Well, at least until the Perfect Dark remake hits Xbox Live Arcade! While possessing a weak story with dreadful voice acting, the single-player campaign was a lot of fun with its objective-based mission structure. You completed a series of objectives in missions such as sabotaging communications or securing all hostages. Multiplayer was the coup de grace with gigantic maps with hidden passages, single or team-based gameplay, and loads of weaponry. Add in a kickass soundtrack, and you have a package that I cannot resist.

Geist (GCN)

Let's continue with the first-person shooter theme here with Geist, a supernatural shooter starring a specter that can infiltrate other people's bodies. By scaring a host into a state of panic or fear, our hero can possess their body be it a scientist, soldier, or CEO. The game was awfully linear with only one way to properly scare a given individual. That said, it was like a puzzle seeing what combination of possessed objects would and would not scare a person into submission. The multiplayer as well was fantastic with multiple maps, possession-based gameplay, and several intelligent bots to shoot down. If you're looking for an FPS that tries its hand at innovation yet stumbles a little, check out Geist for the Nintendo Gamecube.

Mega Man X8 (PS2)

After the botched experiment in 3D that was Mega Man X7, Capcom opted to go back to X's roots with 2D gameplay. Well, 2-1/2D gameplay. What culminated was some twitchy, awesome platforming action and some terrific presentation. X8 is easily the best X game since X4 and free style motocross. The formula remained the same after so many years. Eight mavericks each with their own weakness and strength. Eight stages ranging from volatile volcanoes to cyberspace. There were countless hidden goodies from armor-boosting capsules, health-increasing heart tanks, new weapons, a new monetary system to purchase new moves and abilities, and a fabulous soundtrack to get your heart pumping to. For unrivaled X action on the PlayStation 2, try Mega Man X8.

Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (Wii, PS2)

The first Sonic Riders focused on air as the main gameplay mechanic. Zero Gravity on the other hand, focused on gravity as the title would suggest. This was your atypical racer where pulling off tricks and grinds would fill your gravity meter allowing you to make sharper turns with ease. A lot of critics hated this idea, but I happened to enjoy it and the game in general. The tracks were many and well-designed, there were secret characters such as Ulala and Billy Hatcher, and the difficulty eased you into the game before pulling out all the stops. For an unconventional racer overlooked or ragged on by many, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity is top-tier in my book.

Have you any games that you adore that other people give you grief about liking? Let us know in the comments section!

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