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We may all belong to the same species, but each of us is a unique individual. This means we have our own likes and dislikes, our own tastes in music, movies, and clothes, and our own idea of what is good and what is bad.
Reviewing something, whether it’s hardware, software, art, or an experience, is a deceptively tricky thing to do. You have to try and put aside personal biases and focus on the actual positives and negatives of that thing. Even if you manage to do this successfully, there will always be someone out there who disagrees with your review, and for one day only that person is me.
What follows is a list of five video games that are almost universally acclaimed by the critics and beloved by gamers. But I happen to think they’re incredibly overrated. The “real rating” mentioned for each entry on the list is the Metacritic score the game boasts, while the “revised rating” is how I’d score each game if I was in charge. Of everything. Which I obviously should be.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Real Rating: 94%
The Call Of Duty series is an easy target: it’s one of the most-popular franchises in the world, it gets annual updates like clockwork, and the games are so similar to one another they all meld into one. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is often cited as being the highlight of the series so far, but I really don’t think it deserves to be lauded in this way.
This is a direct sequel to the first Modern Warfare game, and it shows. As the original was so successful the developers dedicated little time or effort to improving or evolving the gameplay. The result is more of the same, which suited the lemmings who queue at midnight each year for the latest instalment, but left the rest of us wondering what the fuss was about.
The campaign is short and uninspired, the multiplayer is dull and repetitive, and the co-op mode will generate more arguments among friends than anything else. And then there’s the controversial level which sees you massacre innocent civilians. Oh, what fun.
Revised Rating: 70%
Real Rating: 93%
Minecraft makes the list for one reason and one reason alone: the appeal of this game is completely lost on me. For the uninitiated among you, Minecraft features a huge open world comprising of blocks; big, hulking blocks that look like they’d be more at home in a 1980s arcade game.
You wander this landscape either creating, hmm, stuff and things, or surviving. Yes, in Minecraft the very act of surviving to live another day in this pointless world of blocks is regarded as fun. Which must mean Bear Grylls is some kind of god to the average Minecraft player.
Revised Rating: 50%
Real Rating: 89%
Demon’s Souls is held in high regard by hardcore gamers, but with a difficulty level that means it’s more fun to be repeatedly kicked in the nether regions, it surely doesn’t deserve the hyperbole some have attached to it. I play video games to escape from the stresses of the real world, so the last thing I want to do is be continually frustrated by a game which ramps the difficulty level up to 11.
It looks good for what it is, with a dark and foreboding atmosphere seeping through its every pore, but that just adds to the feeling of gloom and doom you feel when you play the game. I’m sure there is a certain satisfaction felt when you beat Demon’s Souls, but if you don’t actually enjoy the process of reaching the end, can it really be considered worthy of playing?
Revised Rating: 40%
Metal Gear Solid 4
Real Rating: 94%
The Metal Gear Solid series is one you’ll either love or hate. I tend towards loving it, and truly appreciated the first title when it was released on the PlayStation in 1998. Metal Gear Solid 2 was also more fun than frustrating, but the tables began to turn with Metal Gear Solid 3, and by the time Metal Gear Solid 4 arrived most of the fun had been sucked out of the series.
Metal Gear Solid 4 actually made it onto our list of the best PS3 games in existence, and it is a game everyone should at least try for themselves. But while it’s undoubtedly technically flawless the story is overly complicated, the gameplay is rather tedious, and the long-winded cutscenes which interrupt the flow of the game by popping up every five minutes are truly tiresome.
Revised Rating: 70%
The Last Of Us
Real Rating: 95%
The Last Of Us is, rather fittingly, the last game we’ll be taking down a peg or two. It’s the most recent release on the list, and the one that’s received the highest number of perfect scores of all those mentioned. How those 10/10s or 100% scores can be justified leaves me perplexed, as The Last Of Us is far from being a perfect game.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good game, it’s just not the masterpiece some have made it out to be. For starters the AI is shockingly bad, with enemies often staring straight past you. Your traveling companions also lumber straight into enemies, but not to worry, as they’re somehow invisible to their gaze anyway.
The gameplay can often become monotonous, and the pacing is all over the place. The campaign is rather short, and the multiplayer is fun but flawed. Then there is the connection between the two main protagonists, which actually feels forced a lot of the time. Lastly, there’s the ending, which, without giving anything away, left me completely deflated and slightly cheated out of a fitting conclusion to the story.
Revised Rating: 80%
Now comes the fun part, where you are able to stop spitting at your computer screen and start writing a reply countering anything I have said that you disagree with. I’ll be shocked if anyone out there agrees with me on all five of my picks of overrated games, but if you are that person please let me know in the comments section below.
If, on the other hand, you love any of the titles mentioned with a passion, feel free to defend them by ripping my arguments apart. Is Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 actually innovative and inspiring? Is Minecraft beautiful and beyond my level of intelligence? Is it fun to continually die in Demon’s Souls? Do the epic cutscenes augment rather than detract from the experience of playing Metal Gear Solid 4? Do the emotional elements of The Last Of Us give it a pass on its many flaws? The floor is now yours…
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