Nine of My Unpopular Gaming Opinions

Every art form has subjectivity. Every person is unique and drawn to different things. Video games are an art form; the same rules apply. Some players prefer puzzle games due to the strategy required, and some instead want to play games with fast-paced action. In the same way, there will be popular games people do not enjoy because the mainstream does not suit their hobby.

Everybody has some of these differing opinions, and many of them are unpopular. Personally, there are nine gaming opinions I have that I believe to be unpopular. Let’s dive in, but first, remember these are just my opinions.


1. Fallout 4 Is a Disappointing Game

A lot of Fallout fans agree with Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas being superior games. But some will think I’m being harsh calling Fallout 4 disappointing. There was a lot to be desired for me.

Like any Bethesda game in recent memory, Fallout 4 was a mess when it came out. Companions disappeared entirely, enemies were invisible, and locations would not load. Nick Valentine disappeared entirely for me at one point, and after I spent two hours looking for him, I had no choice but to load the game back up from an earlier save. This would be more tolerable if he wasn’t required for a mission.

Regardless of bugs, I could not get into the game. The story did not grip me – despite okay voice acting all around – and a lack of interesting locations meant that I was not sucked in at all. As a result, the game feels empty in the wrong ways, and part of this is due to the failed settlement-building mechanic. Settlement building stripped away so much of what I found intriguing about previous titles. It resulted in few locations having shops, vibrancy, and interesting characters rather than bland and basic NPCs. It’s massively disappointing, and I found building up these settlements to be a complete waste of time. If you want to build up communities in Fallout, then Fallout Shelter is a significantly better experience.

Maybe I will try Fallout 4 again at some point; I’ll be sure to write about it if I do. I have not bothered with the DLCs, but I hear they are good. For me though, the base game lacks enough interesting content – and I love Fallout games – so it is disappointing.


2. Control Is a Very Overrated Game

Even more than my Fallout 4 opinion, this will upset some people. I was so disheartened when I played Control. Other than the game being ‘good’, I heard little about it before it released, but I was excited. After just a couple of hours, I felt mislead by the rave reviews.

There are elements of Control that I like. Mainly, the aesthetic is great! The use of brutalist architecture creates an eerie and uncanny atmosphere I love. Even more uncanny is the general office building setting that turns into dark labs and a power plant, emphatically emphasising that there is more under the surface of this dark bureau that is Control’s setting. Some of the telekinetic abilities on offer are also cool, and the graphics are pretty good, but that’s all the praise I really have for Control.

Firstly, I could not care less for Jesse, the protagonist. Her inner monologues are insufferable and jarring. Unfortunately, she feels like nothing more than an empty vessel to play the game through. Yes, we do learn about her backstory, but we cannot visualise it, damaging my bond with her. I think most other characters in Control are one-dimensional and completely forgettable, apart from the cleaner, I like just how odd he is. Her story also feels incomplete if you do not purchase the DLCs, The Foundation and AWE. This is due to the uninteresting ending that fails to answer the questions I had. DLC should be an addition to the game that is not needed for the main story, so this is disrespectful to the player.

Lighting is a massive issue in portions of the game as well, meaning I was constantly switching the settings around just to see. It really took the immersion away from the game. Then, after unpausing the game, without fail there would be several seconds of slow frame rates. It resulted in my dying more than once, and considering some of the poor checkpoint placement, it felt very cruel and unfair.

Death is also a big issue, which eventually caused me to turn on the setting that prevents death. In most cases, it feels like cheating, but here it’s justifiable. The main problem is Control feels arcade-like in its combat, but you are punished for playing the game in this way. You can die in the blink of an eye, which is even worse when enemies soak up a ridiculous number of bullets. In this sense, it feels unbalanced and frustrating as this is always a cheap way to bump up the difficulty. The pistol – which is your key weapon – is weak, feeling inferior to Jesse’s telekinetic abilities. It’s just a shame some of the abilities come far too late into the game, and even so, they are limited.


3. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Is a Bad Game

The only game on here I am going to call downright bad. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has its fair share of haters, but lots of fans stand by the game. There is a big difference between disappointing, overrated, and bad. With Fallout 4 there were elements I quite enjoyed, and the same applies to Control. With The Phantom Pain, however, I strongly dislike the game.

Firstly, that opening mission is so long and tedious. Towards its end, elements are introduced that up the stakes and intensity, but The Phantom Pain fails to create intrigue from the get-go, which is a rookie mistake for a video game. Then – later in the game – you must repeat the exact same slog of a mission all over again. What is the point of this? Even after this, most of the other missions became extremely repetitive. While companions and new gear are introduced later into the game, it does not hide the fact that you are doing the same things in the same locations again and again. It is an open-world game, yet you are sent to the same few locations for missions.

As for the actual gameplay itself, The Phantom Pain plays poorly as a stealth game. The reflex mode takes away the consequences of being spotted. This is okay if you can fail the mission for not reacting on time. Instead, you are allowed to continue, and The Phantom Pain then feels like a bad action game. To make matters worse, taking the loud approach is not necessarily terrible for a lot of missions. I like Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes because it felt like stealth was the only option, which is as it should be for a stealth game. Instead, you are not always punished for failing to adhere to the game’s rules.

The story did not interest me at all. I thought it was poorly written, and the main antagonist is underwhelming. Base customisation was atrocious and gave me no reason to spend time there. It is a shame as this could have been a great side activity. None of this compares to what I think is a disgusting portrayal of women in the character known as Quiet.

So, who is Quiet? In case you do not know, she is a silent companion and wears a bikini top, ripped nylons, and a thong. The excuse for this is she has been infected with a parasite that means she must breathe through her skin. It really is just an excuse to oversexualise and objectify a woman, and she’s one of the only women in the whole game. Alongside Quiet, the only other companions to choose from are animals. If this is not overly sexual and dehumanising, then what is?


4. Super Mario 64 Has Bad Gameplay

I promise I will not slander more of your favourite games. Super Mario 64 was revolutionary for its time, and I respect it for the impact. All the levels give me a tingly feel inside due to my love for the N64 graphics. The vibrant colours and atmosphere are stunning for the time for most levels. I love the designs of “Cool, Cool Mountain”, “Big Boo’s Haunt” and “Tick Tock Clock” especially.

Despite the positive of the graphics and world design, Super Mario 64 plays poorly, especially by today’s standards. For a platformer, gameplay should be the most important factor. Crash Bandicoot also released in 1996, and it plays well even for today’s standards. The graphics for Crash Bandicoot are weaker, and environments are repeated several times, but it gets the gameplay spot on with tight, precise, and fair movements. However, Mario slides around far too much, the camera is terrible, and you clip platforms all the time, meaning you fall off or fail to reach platforms. I can walk in a straight line across a plank, and the game decides to send me off because the controls are not tight and precise.

Super Mario 64 becomes an extremely frustrating game to play when the camera is not in your favour, and the levels do not suit the gameplay. “Tiny, Huge Island”, “Shifting Sand Land” and “Dire Dire Docks” suffer massively from this.

For the record though, some levels flow fantastically. “Cool, Cool Mountain” and “Big Boo’s Haunt” are two of my favourite examples, as well as “Bob-omb Battlefield” and “Lethal Lava Land. Also, “Bowser in the Sky” (the final level) is very good, even for 2021.


5. Pokémon Black and White Are Some of the Best Games in the Franchise

Pokémon Black and White were the first big shake up in main-series Pokémon games. Unova was the first Pokémon region not based in Japan, rather using the U.S.A. as influence. The games also focused heavily on story and only allowed the player to use the brand-new Pokémon until the post-game. When they first released in 2010, the games were met with criticism due to being out of players’ comfort zones. Even now, not everybody looks at these games with fondness due to how they changed up elements of the traditional formula.

In retrospect, I think Pokémon Black and White (alongside Pokémon Black 2 and White 2) are some of the best games in the franchise, not just the main series. The focus on story is very welcome and asks some important moral questions. These helped me invest in the narrative because I had to think of my actions and their consequences. Many of the new Pokémon are cool and fascinating. Watchog, Simisear, Garbodor and Palpitoad are universally disliked and rightly so. However, Excadrill, Haxorus, Joltik, Darmanitan, Cofagrigus and Zekrom are universally beloved. There are so many different teams you can make due to the vast number of Pokémon that are good in battle and in design.

Sure, the likes of Kanto and Sinnoh have countless iconic Pokémon. Locations and music place Pokémon Black and White above many other main series games, however. From Relic Castle to Undella Town, to Castelia City to Village Bridge, the games have many iconic and beautiful locations. If you play Pokémon but tend to stay away from these games, play them! There is so much to do and so much fun to have. I still go back to them from time to time with fondness.


6. Stop the Remasters and Remakes, Especially with Modern Games

Now, there are games that I agree need remaking, and there are great examples of it. Resident Evil 2 and Final Fantasy VII are wonderful examples of remakes. However, over the past few years, we have seen far too many games getting ports and remasters. In 2021 alone we have seen remasters of the Mass Effect Trilogy, Sonic Colors, Diablo II, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and more. To make matters worse, most of them are extortionately priced for having slight tweaks on games at least a decade old.

With the remakes of trilogies, I often enjoy them. The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Spyro Reignited Trilogy are great examples of remakes. They both have significantly improved graphics and have allowed for comebacks for both series. This is especially the case with Crash Bandicoot with the release of new title Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. These games are also great because they’re massive overhauls for games that were 20 years old at the time. In addition, players were not asked to fork out £50 for them either. I paid £30 for each just several weeks after their release. With remasters of the likes of Sonic Colors and Assassin’s Creed III, taking games that are only 10 years old and tweaking them slightly is lazy and unnecessary.

When a game plays differently (for the better) and looks different, it is a good remaster. It is a shame that these kinds of remakes/remasters are difficult to come by. Remasters are easy to make and profit from, allowing studios to be lazy. The gaming industry needs innovation, and if remasters are half of the upcoming games in one year, we lose that innovation. Some video games need to stay in the past because we want to see new titles.


7. I Enjoy the Descendants in Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is a highly rated game from the PlayStation 3. It kickstarted one of the most successful gaming franchises in recent memory. There is one moment from the game that divides opinion massively, and that is the introduction of the Descendants. At the end of Chapter 17, the player first encounters the Descendants, and as Nathan Drake, you help Eddy Raja fight off the zombie-like creatures. Raja is killed, and Drake escapes from the terrifying monsters. In Chapters 18 and 19, you must fight off a bunch of the twisted creatures alone.

Now, the Descendants divide opinion for very good reasons. They created an unexpected and odd tonal shift while being an example of zombie over-saturation in media. However, I like the tonal shift and the intensity of battling these powerful enemies. It’s a challenge the first time you play these levels because all it takes is a couple of swipes and you are restarting at the last checkpoint. While the context for them is silly, they make sense within the rules of the game. I have more of a problem with the bizarre, blue Shambhala Guardians in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Seriously, what are those things?


8. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Is a Good Game

Call of Duty: Black Ops II is seen as the last game of Call of Duty’s golden era. After 2012, COD games have become a mixed bag due to lacklustre (or non-existent) campaigns, buggy and repetitive multiplayer and third modes trying to rekindle the success of Treyarch’s zombies mode. For me the biggest offenders are COD‘s WWII, Black Ops 4 and Ghosts. Advanced Warfare is a game that receives too much criticism.

Players turned their heads and looked away because it was different. In an industry that is suffering with innovation due to the endless remasters, Advanced Warfare is a fantastic beacon of light. Boldly, Sledgehammer Games offered to shake up the COD formula, and they did so with Exo Suits. This mechanic allowed players to traverse locations quickly and effectively, jumping across and scaling buildings. Other abilities existed, such as temporary invisibility and a grappling hook. The Exo Suit contributed to some very interesting and fun moments in Advanced Warfare.

Firstly, the campaign is pretty good. While there is a tedious focus on ‘Atlas’ (this is a problem with all of the game modes), it’s good fun for a few hours. While it is certainly not as good as the narrative of Modern Warfare or Modern Warfare 2, it serves its purpose. With multiplayer, the package of maps leaves something to be desired, but they’re fun enough. They offer unique traversal opportunities, and combat is fast-paced and intense. In some ways it is more difficult because having the high ground is more important than ever in a COD game.

Exo Zombies does not replace the mode we all love – Treyarch’s Zombies – not quite. But it was a fun take on the mode and is similar in lots of ways. From the random box to perks to a round system, Exo Zombies just slapped a new skin on Treyarch’s version, but it’s fun. The four maps (aside from “Infection”) are all good fun and varied in terms of abilities, settings, and map design. Exo Survival was okay, although it was my least played mode. Advanced Warfare plays well and offered innovation, more so than most of the new COD games. It might not play like a traditional COD game, but how is that a bad thing, especially when fans are crying out for something new in the series now?


9. Grand Theft Auto IV Is Hugely Under-Appreciated

It is true that Grand Theft Auto IV took a very strange turn for the series. This is easily the most serious game in the GTA franchise. GTA IV is disregarded by many because of its tone. However, it is a good game that offers something unique. The game has a dark tone, emphasised by the colour scheme. The game is visually dark, with greys and browns being the focal colours. It very much opposes the often brighter, somewhat more cartoony games that came before. However, I feel the game has a mostly consistent tone that makes the colour scheme important.

GTA IV also has the best story in the franchise. I like the dark turns and playing as very troubled characters. Grand Theft Auto V, for example, deals with characters just as messed up in a much more comedic way. Now, I enjoy Trevor Phillips as much as the next guy, but sometimes I want a more emotional response to a character. Does the story feel like an Oscar-winning film? No, but every main character death is gripping and emotional for everybody else. Put simply, it feels much more realistic.

Driving takes a step towards realism as well. There are no rocket-powered cars or hover bikes here. Nope, the driving is less responsive in the right ways and more difficult as a result. Combat follows suit, with more realistic hand-to-hand moments. For single-player, GTA IV is better than GTA V, in my opinion. Online is GTA V’s selling point, and even in this sense, GTA IV walked so its sequel could run.

Finally, gameplay and graphics are good for the time. The map is expansive and heavily explorable as you can enter more buildings and see a wide array of locations. For GTA’s first PlayStation 3 outing, GTA IV looks very impressive for a 2008 game with such a big world. Yes, GTA IV inevitably has its issues, but the positives by far outweigh the negatives if you want a standalone experience.

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