Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Press Start: Top 5 Guilty Pleasures

We all have those things we know those things we know aren’t good but we still enjoy. Some TV shows, movies, songs, and games are still enjoyed by many despite their obvious faults. These guilty pleasures vary from person to person; what one finds to be a guilty pleasure another could just dislike as something terrible. I’m no exception, especially when it comes to video games, so I’m here to count down my five favorite. When picking these games, I took into account how much I liked the game and how much the game is disliked as large or how little it’s known. Let’s get started!

#5- Project X Zone
Like all the games on this list, I can see why people don’t like this massive crossover. It could be its paper-thin story, its lack of any real strategy, the overabundance of enemy reinforcements in each map, the repetitive combat, or the overly long late-game missions. I recognize each of these flaws, but honestly, I can’t hate the game. In fact, I find it to be one of the most entertaining games on the 3DS. Why? Because it’s freaking awesome!

Like Super Robot Wars, the game is filled with flashy and impossibly awesome attacks which are a visual treat, as well as a huge cast of kickass characters from tons of great franchises. And while many didn’t like the combat, I found it to be quite enjoyable, and it’s satisfying to dispatch enemies with a single single combo. The game also has a great soundtrack, and I can’t think of a single bad song in it. And let’s not forget the huge number of in-jokes and references that only a hardcore gamer could get. This game may be decent at best, but I still love it.

#4- Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak
Is it wrong that one of my most nostalgic game is a little girl’s game? Probably. I’ve made some questionable gaming choices as a young kid, like playing a Sesame Street racing game that didn’t involve any opponents, or a game based on the astoundingly unfunny Cat in the Hat movie, but this takes the cake. I didn’t even like the Hamtaro franchise growing up; I just bought the games because they looked cute. I have found memories of the games, which is questionable to say the least.

Ham-Ham Heartbreak is an adventure game meant for small children. It involves Hamtaro and his partner Bijou traveling the land as they learn new vocabulary words (called “Ham-Chat”), solve puzzles, and restore the relationships of hamsters everywhere. The game, as you would expect, is very easy, and most gamers can beat it in a few hours. However, it has a great deal of charm to it, and even today I find myself smiling at it. I probably wouldn’t play it again today, but it remains a nostalgic title for me.

#3- Anarchy Reigns
Platinum Games stand as one of my favorite developers out there. They are masters at the high octane action game. Bayonetta is fantastic, Vanquish is great, MadWorld is freaking amazing, and The Wonderful 101 is easily one of the best games on a 8th gen console. But even the most talented people can screw up every now and then. In Platinum Games’s case, the blemish on their otherwise perfect record is Anarchy Reigns, a mediocre brawler with enough testosterone to give you a heart attack.

Even as someone who’s beaten Anarchy Reigns, I have to admit this game isn’t very good. It suffers from some serious balancing issues, an incomprehensible story, limited combo potential, and not enough variety between characters. Still, I enjoyed it quite a bit. The combat might have been mediocre, but it was very flashy and satisfying, especially with the fights against giant mutants. The weapons were cool, and the sheer awesomeness of their combos was incredible. And let’s not forget the amazing soundtrack the game had. Yes, the game could have been much better, but I still enjoyed it.

#2- Dragon Ball Z: Buu’s Fury/Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors
While I don’t usually watch anime that doesn’t involve giant robot, there are a few that have caught my attention. Dragon Ball Z is one of them. Is it stupid? Oh God, yes. But the sheer amount of awesomeness and testosterone (or “awestosterone,” as I like to call it) makes it very enjoyable. And being the anime giant that it is, it has tons of video games, stretching back before even the Famicom (the Japanese version of the NES). There are several on the GameBoy Advance, and two were a key part of my childhood, and like other games on this list, I enjoy them despite being...meh.

Buu’s Fury is a RPG with gameplay similar to 2D Zelda games. You play as Goku, Gohan, Trunks, Vegeta, and Goten as you play through the entire Majin Buu saga, filler and all. The game has simplistic combat, limited RPG elements, and pitiful AI. It’s also very grindy, as you’ll need to fight tons of enemies before the game lets you move on to the next area. But despite this, I still enjoyed the game, partly because it was a faithful adaptation of the anime storyline, and partly because it was fun to wipe out enemies with the Big Bang Attack. There are better RPGs on the GBA, but Buu’s Fury appeals to me thanks to being a Dragon Ball Z game.

Supersonic Warriors is a fighting game. Thanks to the limited control options on the GBA, the actual fighting isn’t terribly complex, and the characters not having a lot other than their super techniques doesn’t help. That being said, I still find Supersonic Warriors to be a fun fighter, thanks to the high speed of the fighting and the quick nature of most matches. The matches actually felt like a Dragon Ball Z fights (minus all the screaming and posturing, of course). Not the most well constructed game, but it’s still a lot of fun.

#1- DmC: Devil May Cry
Before the pre-emptive hate strike on Metroid: Federation Force, I never saw so much universal hate for a game than what DmC got. To this day, people will speak nothing but hate and vile for this game. And I can understand why. Yes, the combat is comparatively unimpressive when compared to past Devil May Cry games. Yes, the new Dante is a terrible character, as is every other character in the game. Yes, the writing is some of the worst put in any video game ever and totally lacks the charm the older games had. But despite all this, I still found it to be a fun game.

The combat may have been simplified from other games, but I still found it to be very satisfying, even if most enemies are total pushovers. I actually liked the appearance of Limbo and the designs of the demons. I also liked the weapons and combos each one came with. Would I rather play DMC 3 or 4 instead? Of course; those are just better games. But despite the hate the game gets and my awareness of its many flaws, I can still say I had fun with it, and at the end of the day, that matters most. Besides, when it comes to action games, you can do far worse.

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