It’s a pretty broad term, but there are plenty of things that can make a game ‘bad.’ Poor mechanics, glitches, awful scripting and poor voice acting are just some examples. There are also plenty of things though that can totally outweigh those errors and make a generally bad game still totally worth playing. So then, here are the top five ‘bad’ games that are so good, they’re worth the undeniable flaws!
If you haven’t heard of DayZ already, that’s because you’re probably living under some so-old-it’s-growing-mold kind of rock. DayZ is the hyper-realistic zombie survival mod for the popular combat simulator, ARMA II. It might be a mod, but it stands alone so well that it definitely deserves it’s place in the top five. Particularly because it’s so terrible sometimes. DayZ will take you a hopelessly long time to find a server, and even when you do, it’ll be glitchy, laggy and packing an inventory system that feels like every maths test you didn’t study for, all rolled up into one huge confusing ball. The game ranks in at five because it is by far the ‘best’ of the bunch, but still definitely heavy with alpha flaws.
Then, there are the pros. DayZ spawns you in a world with absolutely nothing, in a totally helpless situation that’s only made more desperate by the masses of untrustworthy players, capable of killing you at any moment. Every death is doubly weighted too, namely because there are no respawns. The price of dying creates a seriously intense atmosphere within a constant reflection of true human behaviour. The game is unforgiving in the most addictive kind of way, and it’s soon to become more than just an alpha. It won’t be on this list for much longer – it’s only getting better!
4Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days
The sequel to ever-popular Kane & Lynch is a somewhat out of place and poorly executed game. It’s shorter than your average FPS by a long shot and you’ll spend most of your time navigating boring corridors, riddled with an inexcusably limited range of enemies. It also has some pretty awful animations, sound issues, and a huge problem with its linear feel. Where most shooters avoid the basic ‘kill, move forward, kill, move forward, kill’ premise with a bit of room for exploration, Dog Days does not. In fact, just don’t play this if you’re planning to do so single player.
The atmosphere and online parts of this game are what make it so loveable. The entire game is recorded as though there’s some invisible being running behind you with a camera. The screen wobbles with footsteps, for instance, whenever you make a quick dash. Along with this, things like intense violence or nudity are blurred out and pixelated, as they might be in a YouTube video. Kane & Lynch themselves, have incredibly unique (and super weird) personalities that compliment the unusual style of environment pretty perfectly too. The online gameplay has a feature called ‘cops and robbers,’ which basically has you and a bunch of robbers teaming up to raid a bank. When you’ve got the goods, the cops appear and will try to kill you off. Either they get you, or the other robbers do, in a ‘Dark Knight’ kind of style. The smaller amount of robbers, the more goods for the ones who get away. It’s surprisingly tactical and kept me amused for an incredibly long amount of time.
Gauntlet Legends is an arcade-turned-64 game with four main characters whose only real form of attack is to aimlessly button mash through more graphically awful levels than you’d care to count. At the beginning of the game, you select a class and go on to collect a bunch of runes and level up in the same way for the entire game: by killing pretty uninteresting stuff over and over again. You’ll eventually get to a boss fight, but you won’t stand a chance in hell and you’ll have to repeat the small, graphically awful levels just in order to progress.
However, this is still a general fan favourite all over the internet. It’s unfathomably entertaining to smash away at the masses of enemies that you face for an hour or two, all while laughing at the weirdly out of place voice acting. The levels involve little triggers to unlock doors which you can miss on occasion, and the whole two-player-without-split-screen thing can actually make proceedings quite funny. The combat in general is pretty enjoyable if you’re playing it with someone, the levels are all really unique and the game definitely never lulls.
Deadly Premonition is a movie, much more than a game. This survival-horror is generally limiting in gameplay; in that there’s no useable camera controls and you can’t move while reloading or shooting. The combat is often likened to Resident Evil but bad. And, who would’ve thought walking up stairs could be so damn difficult? Since you have no camera controls, the camera zooms out for you whenever you go up or down stairs, which makes it weirdly hard to navigate. There’s also a hell of a lot of driving for incredibly long distances which could turn out to be the wrong direction completely because the map is so hard to comprehend.
Even after all of that, Deadly Premonition is very easily one of my favourite games, and Agent York might be my favourite character of all time. Hell, I’d move to Greenvale (the town the game is set in) if I could. The game is so quirky and unpredictable (in cutscenes and interactions, not necessarily story) that you’ll have dreams about it while the murder mystery resolves itself. The repetitive soundtrack is seriously catchy and equally quirky, and the relationships between characters are so in-depth that you’ll really want to see how they turn out. The little touches like having to shave every few days because York’s beard grows, to the bigger things like being able to see where everyone in the town is at all times and visit them during the investigation, make this game worth playing. You only have to engage in combat during missions, which only happen once a day – you can spend the other 24 hours doing basically whatever you want in the lovable town. If you’re willing to ignore the generally bad mechanics with a groan like I did, then you’ll really love this game, too.
1Link: The Faces of Evil
This shoddy Zelda side-scroller sucks in every way a game possibly can. Really, it’s awful. The cutscenes are cheesy (YouTube it!), the voice acting can hardly be referred to as ‘acting,’ and just… I don’t even know how to describe that much awful.
It’s one redeeming quality? It’s absolutely hilarious. Only someone with no sense of humour wouldn’t get stomach-pains from laughing at how brilliantly terrible this game is. It’s probably better than any of the laugh-track sitcoms you’ll catch on the comedy channel, so you may as well boot it up it when you’re in need of a serious cheer up. Oh, and make sure you play it with a friend.
That’s our list, but what’s yours? As always, let us know in the comments!