When I was a younger lad, I didn’t subscribe to gaming magazines or have the Internet to sway me into buying (or not buying) a game. I used to just go by what the back of the box said, just like any kid would, or by going off of what you heard was good from friends or commercials. Sometimes I picked games because they were based off of something I already knew about, like Digimon. I watched the show so I wanted the games! There were a lot of games that I loved as a kid and, of course, I bought new games and eventually moved away from those ones, but I go back now and then and play and still love the old ones. Of course, now that I have the internet and understand it better than I did as a wee boy, I can look those games up and find that apparently not everyone felt the way I did about them, sadly. Now, I’ve also picked out a few newer games that I knew full well not many people liked, but nonetheless, picked them up and loved them. So without further delay, these are five games that I loved that didn’t do well due to reception, sales, or just overall rating.
5. Sonic Unleashed
Now, I had heard all sorts of stuff about how this game was terrible, and it was only slightly better than Sonic ’06, and blah blah blah this game sucks. I played the demo for this game a few years ago, well after it had been out because I had just been through a Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 binge and wanted a new Sonic game to play. The new design blew me away; the high speed levels, boosting through waves of enemies, vibrant scenery, catchy, snappy music, and then the demo ended, and I was genuinely sad and wanted more. I played the demo a couple more times and finally just bought the game, blew through that first level, then got to a night level. I knew that this was everyone’s beef with the game so I was ready for something god awful, something truly despicable, and I got a hack n’ slash with Sonic with hairy, stretchy arms. The game ran at a steady rate, I didn’t see any drops even with tons of enemies and big combos, and honestly, I had fun beating the crap out of cute, little, evil creatures. The night and day time bosses were fun to fight, and there were some funny one-liners thrown in. Really the only problem I had with the whole game was the lack of a great theme song. Every Sonic is always capped off with a Super Sonic boss fight and an adrenaline-fueled rockin’ theme song! Other than that, I loved Sonic Unleashed and it lead me to buy Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations which were also fantastic games in the Sonic franchise.
Now, those that have played Bulletstorm may find it an enjoyable FPS with an interesting set of weapons and lots of ways to kill people. Really, at it’s core, that’s what this game is. The story is negligible, mostly just a bunch of jokes that string the campaign along and a shitload of different ways to shoot, boot, eviscerate, explode, and dissolve enemies. It’s not so much that this game got poor scores, but it just really didn’t sell well at all. A lot of people probably just bought it for access to the Gears of War 3 Beta, and didn’t give much attention to the actual game. The game sold just under a million copies and failed to turn a profit, unfortunately, and on top of that, fell victim to a lot of controversy over the “Skillshot System”, which rewarded players for murdering enemies in creative ways. Reviews for the game were great, but word of mouth must have failed to spread because nobody bought it. If you can find this game, I urge you to pick it up and start racking up your creative kills, shoot some goons in the nuts, rip their heads off, and kick their heads in, it’s great stress relief!
3. Digimon World 4
Digimon World 4 was the first Digimon game I had seen for any system beyond the PlayStation One, and I about dropped dead when I saw that it was for the Gamecube (which I had). I immediately bought it, brought it home, and was very confused to find it was not a turn-based RPG like World 2 and 3 had been before it. This was more of a Diablo-style action RPG with multiple selectable Digimon and Digivoloutions for each base character, though you could go through the whole game without ever Digivolving. Every Digimon has a set of skills that can be leveled up by using corresponding weapons and magic techniques for each skill. You attack with the A button, and switch to weapons or spells with the L and R buttons. It’s not an overly complicated game, and it supports 4-player co-op which was why I always loved it as a kid and even now. We still hang out together and romp through the digital world and try not to let each other get killed whenever we have to fight a boss. Of course I’m still the best, Veemon is king. The very reasons why I loved this entry in the series is the reason a lot of fans didn’t like it at all. The camera could be wonky at times, it was a bit odd to have Agumon smashing enemies over the head with an axe, and the game could be kind of hard playing by yourself. Still, I loved it nonetheless, and ten years later, I still do.
2. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
Web of Shadows is without a doubt my favorite Spider-Man game, and yes I’ve played Spider-Man 2 (which used to be my favorite). To me, Web of Shadows has some of the most fun web-swinging of any game, and being able to switch back and forth between the red and black suits on the fly is awesome. Not only that, but both suits have their own powers and combos and super moves making them all flashy and powerful in their own ways. You can make choices in the story whether to make edgy antihero-decisions, or classic Spidey-style choices to try to help everyone without really helping yourself. The good choices make it a little harder to increase your power, but hey, we already know the good guys always win, right? Web of Shadows was met with mediocre ratings and reviews from players and critics alike for being a bit glitchy and slow at times, which it can be, but I thought the story was interesting, the gameplay was fun, and I have a soft spot for the Web-head.
1. Megaman X6
X6 was the first Megaman X game that I had ever played in my entire life, and it was a pretty cruel introduction to the series for a novice 7-year-old platformer player. I beat the first boss without too much trouble and the second took a few of my extra lives, but I got him. After that, I took on Blaze Heatnix and wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. I think I held the controller so tightly that if it was a piece of coal, the pressure between my hands would’ve turned it into a diamond. I explored other stages, beat a couple bosses by luck, and slowly but surely worked my way through the game’s collectibles. I beat the game probably a year after I first got it because I used to be so bad, but I loved it so much. I just kept going back over and over for more and more punishment and I loved it. I started to love X, Gate, Zero, these characters I had never heard of before, and convinced me to buy pretty much every other X game ever. The X series is now my favorite ever, and that’s all thanks to X6. I only wish I had discovered it sooner or been better at it when I was younger, despite many fans not liking it. The series was intended to end after X5 and X6 was sort of like an unnecessary addition into the story, and most fans thought the difficulty spike in this game was just way too much, though I didn’t know any better, I just figured they were all this impossible. Though it was a disappointment for long-time fans, I loved it, my copy still works that I bought from a VHS rental store, and I will still pop it in and 100% run it when I’m feeling the itch for X.
I hope you guys liked hearing about these games, you may have already heard that they’re not very good, but I urge you to try them if you can, these games were a huge part of my gaming library and I’ll always love and remember them all. If you’ve got some favorites that aren’t really widely accepted or loved by gamers or just got bad ratings from critics, let us know!
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