Today I'm going to take a look at some games that I played and finished, but really didn't have a very good time with in the process.
Note: This isn't a "worst games" list. Matter of fact, the majority of these games aren't what I'd consider "bad". That's why you won't be seeing Bebe's Kids or Shaq Fu on here. This is a list of games that were good enough to finish, but ultimately not very enjoyable for me.
Wario Land 2 (Game Boy / Game Boy Color, played March 2012) - This, sadly, won't be the last time the Wario Land series appears on this list. It's a weird, but decent game; problem is, it's supposed to be a follow-up to one of the best Game Boy games of all time. In that sense, it fails profusely, and lacks nearly everything that made the first game great. It also adds a bizarre immortality mechanic that doesn't particularly work. That said, once I started it, I stuck things out, hoping it would get more interesting as it went on. It didn't. If anything, it was pretty tedious, but I finished it.
Wario Land 3 (Game Boy Color, played in Spring 2012) - The first and fourth games in this series were the only particularly tolerable installments for me, and even 4 is somewhat lacking. The second and third games? Didn't like them. Wario Land 3 is more interesting than WL2, at least, and some people swear by this game being the best in the series. It's very colorful and creative, I'll give it that. The main problem is that it lacks structure, rhyme, or reason. You go from meaningless stage to meaningless stage in a meandering order that never quite makes sense. There's no sense of progression as you go since you spend the entire game repeating the same ten or fifteen levels in different orders. I never knew how far I was from the end.
The first Wario Land had some really cool worlds, and each world had a clear theme that the levels adhered to. This game doesn't do that, and the level themes just bounce all over the place. When I started getting sick of the game, I figured I was probably close to the end and forged onward. Little did I know that I was only about halfway. Yet due to the lack of clear progression or any record of progress, I never knew if the next level would be the last one or not, so I never wanted to give up on it. This experience was painful, and when it mercifully ended, I was thrilled. Sad thing is, it would have been a fun game for me if only it had an overworld map or something else to indicate how far along you are, and if the stages had followed some sort of logical theme(s). The sheer randomness just killed the fun.
Metroid Prime Hunters
(DS, played Summer 2009) - Metroid is one of my favorite game series
ever. So what's a Metroid game doing on here? As bad as I found Metroid: Other M to be, at least I was usually compelled to keep playing. Metroid Prime Hunters, on the other hand, comes across as just a low-rent version of a Prime game.
Technically, it's a side-story for the DS that precedes Metroid Prime 3.
It isn't a bad game at all; it's just that every moment that I spent
playing it, I felt like I'd rather be playing a "real" Prime game on a
console. As a result, I got through it as quick as I could and didn't
enjoy it very much. I barely count this as a main series Metroid game (I
always forget it exists when listing off the series), and it seems more
like a quick, uneventful Metroid Prime 3 prequel episode. Again,
it's a good game, but it was hard for me to finish. Prime just isn't
made for a small screen and weird DS controls. I liked the earlier
portable entries vastly more. I remember tons of stuff from Zero Mission and Metroid Fusion to this day, yet I can barely remember anything that happened in Metroid Prime Hunters.
whatever reason, this game is much slower than the earlier
installments. I suffered through it out of a need to get to the end and
see what it had to offer... but I have no qualms about calling it a
waste of time in retrospect. I don't know why they had to dumb the speed
of the game down so much. Maybe they wanted to make it more accessible
to kids. Newsflash, Nintendo: Kids can keep up with fast-paced games.
The good news is that I liked Pokemon Black and Pokemon X a lot more when I finally gave the series another shot. The slowness only lasted for one generation.
Lufia: The Ruins of Lore (Game Boy Advance, played in Summer 2010) - Lufia is a great - and under-appreciated - old series of RPGs. The first game is one of the better RPGs of the Super Nintendo's first few years. The second game is even better and likely belongs in any top ten list for the system. The third game, which took a big downgrade to appear on the Game Boy Color, is pretty sub-par but I still had fun playing it, which is what matters. And then we have the fourth game, Ruins of Lore.
This appeared on the Game Boy Advance, and given the hardware, really had no reason to be anything besides a significant bump up in quality from the third game. Instead, it was abysmal. I was warned about it before I played it so I knew what to expect; still, I wanted to play "that last Lufia game" and figured I'd find something to like. Not the case. I went all the way through it just to finish the series, and I wish I had that time back. It wasn't even worth playing for completion's sake because it barely even counts as part of the series. It has almost nothing in common with the earlier titles, and nearly everything about this game is a joke.