Like everyone who reads these pages ; I’ve been a gamer for a very long time – I remember losing entire afternoons to Pac-Man on my 2600, I lost weeks to Streets of Rage, then I lost months to Pokemon Blue, I still lose hours playing on my PS4. Gaming has been a constant in my life, games have always been there.
Recently I have been revisiting the games I used to play as a kid and have found that some of them – well they’re frankly a bit shit – games I used to plough hours into, like ‘Jurassic Park’ on the Mega Drive, are so bad I gave up after only a few minutes. Of course there are the games that are still utterly brilliant (if difficult as hell) like ‘Aladdin’ and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater’ and then there are the games that I never played…
…I’ve said it before, I am part of a huge family, I have 7 brothers and sisters – while this undoubtedly had its benefits a constant supply of new games was not one of them. I got two games a year (if I was lucky) and had to make them last; of course I swapped with friends every now and again but the amount of games I played was tiny in the grand scheme of things. With the dawn of CD gaming demo discs became my gateway to trying more games, demos sold me more games than I’m willing to admit here…
…and yet there were a few games that I played, hated and never tried again – and recently I’ve been thinking about them in a way I never have before. I’ve caught myself thinking about the games I hated as a kid but would undoubtedly play now; either in a remastered or sequel form.
Here are just a few of them.
G-Police was a game that garnered great reviews when it was released in 1997; it was a title that had me incredibly excited to play and when OPSM finally had it as their cover demo I was super excited to play it; and found out that I bloody hated it! What was worse is that I had a list of reasons to hate it!
For starters the graphics were abysmal; the city was undoubtedly inspired by Blade Runner, but the act of flying around it was such a chore because every building looked exactly the same and the draw distance should’ve been measured in centimetres.
The controls were so twitchy it dramatically increased the games difficulty and made navigating the world an absolute nightmare – I’d often crash because my VTOL would turn too slowly or far too quickly. I’m sure I could’ve learned the nuance of the controls, but I was 13 and couldn’t be bothered.
Looking back at it I treated the game unfairly. It was universally lauded as a great game that told an intriguing storyline with a setting that was much more than it seemed on my television screen. Everything about G-Police screams “Luvva” to me. I know that now I’ve grown up I would absolutely love this game; it just ticks so many boxes for me;
- Action shooter
- Blade Runner inspired Sci-Fi
- Cool and original mode of transportation
- Good plot
It’s too late now for a sequel, but I would love to see a spiritual successor to G-Police so that I could experience it for myself!
Alone in the Dark
Surely someone who loves ‘Resident Evil’ as much as I do should love the game that is often cited as the major influence on it?
After ‘Resident Evil’ I went on a horror game binge and one of my friends presented me with a copy of ‘Alone in the Dark: One-Eyed Jacks’ Revenge’ on Playstation – I eagerly returned home from school that day to play the game and within an hour I was done with it forever. Why? Well the game looked like crap, had a woeful soundtrack, somehow controlled worse than either, had horrific loading times between screens and the main characters ran as if they were in treacle; everything about it was dated and made redundant by ‘Resident Evil’.
And yet, looking back at the game, there is a lot to be admired. The series was a trailblazer and it single-handed created the survival-horror genre; it was also hugely ambitious with technology with the mix of polygonal characters atop of pre-rendered backgrounds and fixed camera perspectives which would of course become genre mainstays until Code Veronica. It was also quite atmospheric, it was never scary (the graphics were too terrible and the music was too upbeat) but it did create a real sense of world and there were moments of real tension (“good morning sir”). The puzzles were also quite good, if a little abstract at times.
I’m sure that if I had played it before I did ‘Resident Evil’ I would’ve liked it a lot more, or at least been much more forgiving of its short-comings. I’d love to have a go at a good survival-horror that isn’t ‘Resident Evil’ or ‘Silent Hill’ and would even more so love to see a new version of the game that started it all – as long as it was a straight up reimagining of the original…
…maybe a third reboot is in order?
What games did you hate as a kid that you’re sure you’d love now?
Tell me in the comments/facebook/twitter!