Over the years, I have come to a truth, and that is not all games should be purchased on the day they are released. There is a point to that besides just being a cheap gamer – not all games are good.
One of the first games I realized this with was an Atari 2600 game called SwordQuest. For those who are old enough to remember, SwordQuest was touted to be a series of 4 games, each one with puzzles to solve, and a prize at the end of each one. They came with comic books that were essential in figuring out what you needed to know in the game, and Atari even had a contest to where if you were the first one to solve the game, you won a jewel-encrusted prize – a real prize! Here is the problem – they were games that the idea was put into motion far too soon to be any good. The Atari 2600 is a very limited system and can’t handle a great deal of memory, so what you get is a very surreal, bizarre game that makes almost no sense whatsoever. If you run up or down, you go to another different-colored room – left or right goes sometimes to another room and sometimes to a mini-game. I couldn’t make enough heads or tails out of it to even bother with it. The sad part is – the game series was never even finished! EarthWorld came out in wide release, and started the whole craptastrophe. FireWorld came out after that in limited release (I never saw it), WaterWorld was an even MORE limited release (not sure how many were made), and AirWorld? Forget it – it never saw the light of day. This series was the slow, downward spiral of madness that was just a steaming pile from the get go. If they made a series like this today with what is available now, then it would probably be amazing – but on the 2600? It just sucked.
Another realization is that just because one game is good, it does not mean necessarily that all games of that series will be good. What do I mean? OK folks – let’s look at Gauntlet. It started off as a dungeon romp where you battled endless hordes of enemies with a life counter that slowly drains whether you get hit or not (did they fill the dungeon with poison gas?). That aside, they went to Gauntlet Legends after the second game, which was more of an adventure game, but still with many enemies. This spawned Gauntlet Dark Legacy, which was just like Legends – only longer. By far, my favorite out of all of them. Then, the love affair ends – Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows is released. This game was just hoping to appease the fanboys and fangirls by just tossing them a doggie treat, but this one was a big pile of poop. I mistakenly bought this game when it came out for the full $40 at the time, and dearly regretted it. This is a game where you can beat the final boss of the entire game with a Level 1 character! How do you beat it? Just avoid the enemies to activate the ballistas and make it to them to shoot the massive bolts that impale the final boss! Really? That was a waste if I even saw one.
Another game that really smacked me in the face with a fist full of “FOOL!” was Duke Nukem Forever. While I think the game isn’t all bad for what it is (yes, it’s dated – it’s SUPPOSED to be), BUT…….I foolishly pre-ordered the “Balls Of Steel Collectors Edition” for $100. While the extras are nice, it really wasn’t worth the money asked for – especially since now you can get the same package at GameStop for about $30! How disgusting is that? I guess if the game itself isn’t well-received, then the collector’s versions are just like trying to polish a turd. I’m still working on beating this game so I can justify having bought it, so we’ll see if the game (to me) was worth the 12-year wait for it to be released, or if I was really suckered that hard.
Not all games are worth waiting for though – some you DO have to get right out of the gate. That is another rant altogether though.