Reviewers pick titles that should have been one and done

Resident Nerd,by scott sloanSeptember 13, 2012 

Often in gaming, you read about the critical successes that never made it big.

For every Final Fantasy with its devoted legions, there's a Shenmue or Panzer Dragoon Saga that were marvelous but found few fans.

But let's think of the opposite. What are the games that didn't deserve to hit it big or do well enough to become a series?

For me, it's Telltale Games and the company's point-and-click adventure games. I loved King's Quest as much as the next guy in the '80s. At the time, it and other adventure games brought a depth of gameplay and story to an industry dominated by one-trick action titles that got boring after 5 minutes.

But as the industry evolved, action titles added the plot and depth strengths of adventure games, and the latter became a thing of the past.

Telltale Games, though, has made a business out of reviving that game style. It has been successful launching a multitude of titles and even produced games based on beloved franchises such as Back to the Future and The Walking Dead.

I admire what they do, but it's a shame to see such great entertainment properties have games in which you just walk around and talk to people.

I was overjoyed recently to learn The Walking Dead would get a revised video game treatment from Activision. Now that's some action.

While I picked a company, my fellow Manifesto critics opted to take on individual games or series. Here are commercially successes they wish they could forget.

'Assassin's Creed'

How many Assassin's Creed games have we had? I have honestly lost track.

I get it. The first Assassin's Creed was pretty awesome. The graphics were dope, the fighting was top-notch. It was addictive.

But it also was a bit weird for me. I didn't really get why Desmond Miles was having these flashbacks. It confused me, and I never got a handle on why I was trapped in a lab but occasionally drifted back to centuries past.

It just seemed like things could have worked better if the game played in that time without the flashes. After a while, I got bored and stopped playing.

While everyone got excited about the sequels, I never cared much about it. In fact, I still don't. Maybe I'll try it again, but the flashback thing just seemed to take away from the beauty of the game.

Delano R. Massey, dmassey@herald-leader.com

'Battlefield 3'

Earlier this year, I found my Call of Duty friends abandoning the title in favor of Battlefield 3.

I just don't get it.

The multiplayer is an exercise in frustration. Compared to other first-person shooters, the maps are too large, much of the shooting is done from a long distance, and the game usually is decided by the team that can control the vehicles, which have huge learning curves.

There are better multiplayer options out there. This game is best enjoyed by filling a squad of four teammates with a variety of classes, a single strategy and at least one professional pilot among them. So, since I don't want to go out and find a new group of friends to game with, I grudgingly take the gunner seat of a tank and level up by capturing flags and getting assist kills.

Pablo Alcalápalcala@herald-leader.com'Pokémon'

It only took a few hours of playing Pokémon before I realized the only fun I had was when I picked a hilarious name for my main character. (Yo Mama caught a Pikachu!)

Pokémon was everywhere when I was a teen — TV shows, toys, video games, you name it. I'll tell you one place you'd be hard-pressed to find it: inside my Game Boy.

I've played several iterations of the role-playing game over the years, and the experience is always the same: create a character, capture some Pidgeys, travel the world, get lost for two hours, get your butt kicked, get your butt kicked some more, turn off the game, sell the game at GameStop.

To be good at Pokémon, you have to make your creatures stronger by playing hundreds of tedious matches. None of my classmates ever did this for fun; they did it out of a twisted sense of obligation to have the rarest and most powerful pokémon, so they could rub it in their friends' faces.

I understand that games reward patience and practice, but if I was the type of guy who accomplished goals by completing menial tasks, I would have turned off the Game Boy, done my homework and became a doctor.

Pokémon is admittedly for kids, but I know a few guys who still swear by it. As a kid who never had the patience to get the most out of Pokémon, I don't think I'll ever understand the phenomenon.

Josh 'Yo Mama' Kegleyjkegley@herald-leader.com

'Splinter Cell'

The Splinter Cell series is the type of game you want so badly to enjoy but just can't. I remember being told by seemingly every person online to buy a copy. I did just that and spent many hours in hell before quitting.

The reason: trial and error. It's not strategy when you are forced to play through every mission 20 times because there was no way you would know one guy with a sniper rifle is looking at a random spot on the floor the entire time.

To me, trial and error gameplay is nothing but laziness on a developer's part.

William Wood Jr.

Scott Sloan: (859) 231-1447. Twitter: @HeraldLeaderBiz.

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