The Genesis was home to some all-time classics, but for every Sonic the Hedgehog or Gunstar Hereos, there were at least another four or five really terrible games, several of which were horrendous rip-offs of Mortal Kombat or based on Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. Most of these games were fairly obscure and only a few Genesis owners ever heard of them, let alone played them. But thanks to aggressive marketing, large publishers, popular licenses, or maybe because Sega forced you to buy it when you got a Genesis, these ten games managed to become fairly well-known despite being completely horrendous. For each game on this list, I’ll break down what makes it it so bad, try to explain how it became well-known anyway, and why it ranked where it did:
Oh My God… like, seriously… wow.
One time i found article on the web, in it the author proclaimed that no human should ever read War and Peace (his comment: it (the book) is way too long), Lord of the Rings or Dune. He said that these books are bad, he wrote about why they are bad, he pointed out flaws which he saw in them, but really, these are universally considered to be some of the finest books ever written. Even though there is no such thing as objectivity, they come as close to being objectively good as it can get. They are critically acclaimed, they are popular among readers and they stood out the test of time. This translates to: there is a very big chance that if you like literature you will like these books. The important part is – chance. There is also a chance that you won’t like it. The given author didn’t like them, and it’s fine, but he made one crucial mistake – He mistook his personal impression for carefully weighted opinion and went public with this impression, presenting it as something valid, something the readers should take heed of.
When it comes to criticism, there should not be such lack of responsibility for words, it should be much more complex than just: “I didn’t like it, therefore, I shall annihilate it completely” or equally devastating: “I like it, so I shall praise every aspect of it”. When you decide to write you should approach the task seriously, you should use your personal impression as a starting point in order to analyze the thing you are trying to criticize, take it apart and evaluate every aspect of it individually, and then put it back together and judge how well they all cooperate together as a whole. When you do this, you go past your initial impression and formulate a solid, valid opinion, which can be taken as something serious rather the devastating article that I used as an example above.
Why did I make such a long introduction? Well it’s because after my initial reaction to the text (which is expressed in the first sentence) I have re-read the text a couple of times and estimated, that it was necessary here to state the obvious.
So now I shall evaluate every paragraph of the text, which took a no-easy task of criticizing Out of this World, known as Another World in the world outside of North America, and since I’m part of this world I will refer to it so. Also I shall number them (paragraphs), since I don’t find it necessary to rewrite them.
1. I know that the article is about genesis version, but nevertheless it was first released in 1991, and over the course of the year it became very successful game in the sales department. In this paragraph we can also see the root of problem with this article: it denies reality and contradicts itself. It clearly states that “the game looks and plays unlike pretty much anything that had come before”, but nevertheless “it is sometimes difficult to understand what it is about a game that attracts such a dedicated fanbase”. To the authors knowledge: historically even this is enough to make a dedicated fanbase.
2. They don’t get quiet they openly state, that there is a difference between technology and artistic quality. That is primarily the reason why games like Yoshi’s island, Baldurs Gate 2 and Syberia still holds up, or why technologically supreme at the time of release Star Fox, Alone in the Dark and Quake have aged terribly. The fact that story is exactly important as gameplay in means of engaging the player has clearly eluded the author of the article. Adventure games are pretty much story’s with little gameplay, but nevertheless they are engaging and if you don’t like it doesn’t mean that this approach is bad, it just means that it isn’t for you. Silent Hill 2, Grim fandango, Planescape: torment are all “story above gameplay” but they are engaging.
3. This paragraph is actually scary: so it means that only pretentious gamer can enjoy beautiful, stylish graphics and story that told through gameplay (onscreen events that you interact with), without any dialog. The ending of super Metroid is like that and it is one of the greatest endings in video games. So this ending is pretentious too? No, it isn’t. It is, in fact, plain beautiful, and Another World is exactly like that. There is a reason you know, why critics give awards to such things, it’s because when executed right – it’s ultimately engaging.
4. Puzzle-solving statement is just something that you would expect from youtube comments. Adventure and Action-Adventure games rely on puzzle-solving, and there is a lot of games among the greatest ever, that rely on it, like Zelda. The facts that puzzles in Another World are simple is because they are logical, and they give this basic thought to make the action more relevant, more engaging. Basically you use both your reflexes and your brain to play. It’s not by any means bad. Big, fast monster is obvious, but it’s not bad, especially since it follows calm section of kicking small, slow enemies. It’s called pacing. I hope it isn’t pretentious in your opinion.
5. The control is not bad. It is made to be felt like you are the character. It is heavier than Mario or Contra controls because there is a different tone to Another World. You are supposed to feel every climb, every jump, like you are doing it, if designer would make the control like Super Metroid, rather than Prince of Persia, than this aspect would be lost, and it’s a very important part of the game. There’s actually a genre of realistic platformers you know. You are supposed to be careful in them.
6. I will defend the game in a second, but let’s just say, that the designer is good. E.T. reference is noted and taken on your account.
So now let’s take a look at the whole picture.
There’s a reason, why Another World is on so many list’s of greatest games on Atari, Commodore, SNES, Genesis and of All-Time, why it inspired so many great developers (like Hideo Kodjima) – and it’s because this game is a masterpiece.
It’s a game that features unique graphics, which due to their minimalistic feel and psychological usage of blue palette (blue color induces loneliness and the alien feel a planet, red hair and eyes of the protagonist stood out as something friendly because of the contrast) looks good even to this day.
The control makes you feel the protagonist at an extraordinary level, you feel like you control a person. It isn’t called realistic platformer for no reason. Mario for example doesn’t feel like a human being, so you get more control freedom, but you lose immersion, which in case of Another World is needed.
The atmosphere is one of the greatest ever in the history of the video games mainly due to the outstanding visuals and sounds of an alien world. The nature and the animals are represented as obstacles and blind naturally with an environment. The architecture and the places you visit are telling you visually about the culture of this world’s people. The feel of the world increases even more because of the realistic control.
And the most important thing: gameplay that blinds seamlessly with the story. The amount of gameplay diversity is astounding – in the first few minutes it changes five times, while being perfectly paced: you swim away from octopus (dynamic), you beat small mammals (calm), you run away from monster (dynamic), you escape from prison cell (calm, believe me it is), then you take gun and start blazing you way through prison (dynamic)… it’s perfect, and not only it all naturally flows from one gameplay style to another(thanks to the control consisting of only d-pad and two used buttons, so you always know how to operate the character no matter how the gameplay changes), but also because you always adapting for new challenges mentally, you always think of how to survive, hence the puzzle-solving. The way of how the game combines action and puzzles is pretty close to Shadow of the Colossus (let me guess author, it is also a pretentious game for critics and hardcore gamers, but not for humans) because the action is pretty much the puzzle itself.
So in this game you get perfect World with perfect Atmosphere in which you get perfectly immersed through realistic controls, perfect gameplay and perfect visual and sound design through which told a perfect story without words with a beautiful ending. Perfect. And all of it was made by only one man – Eric Chahi, which makes this game even more incredible.
The Another World is brilliant, and its greatness is widely recognized. Why don’t you recognize it? Because there is always a chance. It just happened to you, this small chance, and much like the person who called war & peace bad book, you called Another World a bad game. You confused impression with opinion, and the fact that you stated the good aspects of the game as bad by only saying that they are “for critics” shows it. By the way if you criticize a game than basically you are a critic.
So please, for the love of God, never write anything ever again, because you’ve already written enough, and we – humans find your lack of professionalism to be pretentious. Seriously if in your black heart there is at least a glimpse of light then never… ever go public with your opinions. Otherwise may God have mercy on your soul.
So, I suggest that the only people who like Out of This World are pretentious asshats, and you respond by writing a 100,000 word term paper complete with a lengthy intro about the history of War and Peace.
…thanks for proving my point.