I am at an age now where I have lived through a number of gaming fads, that thankfully were consigned to the annals of history.
I’m not talking about the quality of games, and story writing, I am also not touching specific game mechanics such as Quick Time Events (KILL IT WITH FIRE). I’m not even going to mention the great Zombie invasion of 2010.
Instead, I’m talking about whole entire genres. Genres we were/are subjected to, with endless clones, and an industry hellbent on saturating us with ever decreasing quality, in their search for a quick buck.
So which is worst? Do you remember these?
The early 90’s were horrible for shameless cash-ins, and this allowed pinball games to flourish.
Sonic Pinball was popular, but it was shit.
Kirby’s Pinball is horrible. In fact, I can’t name a good pinball videogame.
Pinball is horrible. Why was it ever a videogame genre, and why did everyone shoehorn in a pinball game into their series.
Wikipedia suggests that pinball games are still going, and currently over 100 games exist.
Fishing Games, peak between 1997 – 2000
What could be more boring than fishing? Yeah… Virtual Fishing. The less said, the better.
Remember that these were a thing? They were so popular even one of the greatest games of all time jumped on the band wagon, and added a minigame of it (Ocarina of Time).
Fishing games have always existed but it was Sega than bombarded us with full price games. The WII tried to bring them back, but Fishing games certainly peaked around the millennium.
Dance Dance Revolution, peak between 2001 – 2005
I can remember these in the arcades, and there was always that one person who would be on it all night “impressing” the “crowd”, I even remember seeing one of these people in a club years later doing the DDR dancing in a club on the dance floor. He looked liked a twonk.
With around 100 games released in a short period, you could get your fill with any genre specific dancing, but on the whole, you got terrible Europop, with the odd classical music thrown in for good measure.
The Dance Dance craze was a precursor to Guitar Hero types…
Guitar Hero, circa 2005-2009
I own several of these titles, they were fun for the first 5 minutes, but god, were they flogging this dead horse by the time “Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock” was out. With 5 Guitar Hero (Full titles), 5+ spin offs such as Aerosmith, Van Halen and Metallica versions, 3 Rock Bands (plus a few spin offs [Beatles, Green Day), DJ Heros, quickly added to 20 plus games in less than 4 years. To say they saturated the market is an overstatement.
The guitars were cheap and nasty, and also VERY expensive. Adding in bizarre difficulty spikes, most of these games were pretty boring to play. Not to mention, by the 4th game they had scraped the rock barrel pretty hard, and were forcing tedious indie dirge on us all… Modest Mouse anyone?
There was also karaoke equivalents to satisfy the X-Factor lot, but I’ll be honest, that whole side passed me by.
Sports clones, 2006-2011.
You realise WII Sports is the 2nd best selling game of all time? With a staggering 82 million sales… The sequel, WII Sports Resort, sold 32million+
These games were a phenomenon and with any phenomenon, you get clones. I am not sure which was worst Kinect Sports or the various PlayStation Move “things”, but these games made Nintendo focus on shit minigames for 6 years rather than attempt to release any games.
They were terrible games, that focused on gimmicks, and yet, couldn’t get that gimmick correct. The motion control was terrible, and the hit boxes too, wii collaboration meant that any “skill/timing” based games were just luck. See boxing…
The golf game had no idea how hard you were hitting, it either allowed for pussywillow shots, or caining it into the carpark.
It was just bizarre, you got 5 stripped down games. These would have been decent games if they allowed for a proper match. The Baseball had 3 innings, boxing 3 rounds, and 3 games of tennis.
If I could have a 12 round epic in the Boxing it would have been amazing, but no. We got the kiddies pool. (No depth)
Figurine based cash-ins 2011 to current
I managed to miss things like Skylanders and Disney Infinity by virtue of not being 10 years old. But the amiibo craze seems to be penetrating everyday life. Hell, even I own a Mega Man (and Pikapoo) amiibo, but I don’t understand this fad.
Why are people stockpiling them? Why have Nintendo Store had to limit them to one per customer, why would anybody want a Rosalina, a Ness, fucking Kirby… Dedede… Little Mac… The WII Fit Trainer… What the hell is a Marth anyway?
With limited game support, and the one game that fully game that fully supports them has all the skill and subtlety of rock/paper/scissors, they surely can’t last THAT long?
And now, 2010-current, we have the worst of the lot. This isn’t technically a genre, but the games are remarkably indistinguishable. You select something, you tell it to do something, and it will take “x amount of time to complete”, to speed things along you pay. So yeah, they’re all the same.
King Games are the worst in my eyes, they currently have 9 games which are all direct rip offs of Columns, which, was a shit Roman version of Tetris.
I could list 100 games here, there is a new one every week, and they are all rip offs of each other.