Top 10 Overrated Weapons in Videogames
by Ed

10. Energy Cannon (Homeworld: Cataclysm)

The Energy Cannon technology upgrade is certainly a boon in campaign mode, since that's difficult enough as is. Anywhere else, and hell even in Campaign mode, though it immediately breaks the game's balance. Let me explain. The Homeworld series has a very good balance between its three ship classes. Fighters can outclass Capital Ships (in numbers), Corvettes outclass Fighters, and Capital Ships beat Corvettes. Now there is at least one exception to each of these but still most capital ships will not be able to swat fighters with impunity.

The Energy Cannon renders all of this irrelevant. Basically it makes all the regular mass driver shots become powerful shots of homing plasma, on every single vessel. This means that capital ships can easily target and take down fighters, and fighters are completely FUCKED. Most of the time this means I don't use anything but acolytes, have them do one pass with their missile special weapons, and head back before they get torn apart. This also means at the end it becomes slugfests between capital ships since they can take the abuse better, and again pretty much undoes the game.

9. Z-Saber (Mega Man X/Mega Man Zero)

Zero's bastard lightsaber is overrated simply because of the fact that starting in Mega Man X4 and continuing up until about Mega Man Zero, it became his ONLY weapon, despite the fact he had a buster cannon in his arm. I liked how in X3 it was his final charge combo move, since he'd shoot, spin, shoot again, and then follow up with the sword slash. It made the weapon seem a hell of a lot more interesting than it just being "Ok I have to run up to you and slice you to bits, kthnx". Hell in the Mega Man Zero series it's almost his primary weapon, the blaster being an afterthought he just picks up rather than having integrated into his new bishy-esque armor. Of course he also has about 200 other weapons he has to equip because the developers couldn't figure out how to make his sword more awesome and utilitarian. Here's an idea, instead of just the regular wall jump he uses the sword? Actually that sounds dumb in retrospect since it's a laser sword but seeing as how in the Box Art for the MMZ series it seems to have become a stylized piece of Lexan I don't see why they couldn't do my idea...or get better art direction.

8. Laptop Gun (Perfect Dark)

Ok I love Perfect Dark and all, and I love this weapon, but it's VERY overrated. First off there's the problem of its own history not being consistent. In the game's weapon database it's described as a weapon designed by Carrington Institute. However the only place you encounter it in-game (unless you play the Carrington Villa mission on Perfect Agent) is inside the DataDyne headquarters, obstensibly stealing a prototype of it, since it's never explained whether or not it was stolen. Furthermore, Perfect Dark Zero wrecks the history of the gun even further since it winds up in the hands of two Datadyne assassins before you even encounter Carrington.

Now that that's out of the way, let's get onto the weapon itself. Stupid firing noise aside (to be fair most of the PD weapons had stupid firing noises), there's also a serious problem in that the sentry gun immediately drains the communal ammo pool of all your SMGs and a couple rifles, which means you'll be pretty much forced to stay in place and hope everyone just runs into your sentry gun of death (which to be fair, the AI will do on just about every difficulty setting). And of course it chews through the ammo very quickly since it'll just spray ammo at high velocity in the general direction of the enemies and mow them down, hopefully before it expends all its ammo.

7. Baneblade (Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War)

A giant beast of a battletank, the Baneblade is the superweapon of the Imperial Guard. Like most superweapons in Dawn of War it alone possesses enough weaponry to destroy a whole army and/or base. However unlike most superweapons it is not considered by just about everyone to be the best superweapon of any army (perhaps to offset the fact the average Imperial Guard soldier is about as useful as a Haemophiliac having a heart attack), and thus you tend to get annoyed with seeing it so much. But of course if it were so ultimate it would not easily be thwarted by the simple tactic of hitting it from both sides harder than a $5 hooker in the red light district of *YOUR FAVORITE CITY*. Since I often play as Space Marines this usually involves the forward part being 2 Predator tanks and a Land Raider while the Terminators and Dreadnoughts get teleported/orbital dropped in behind, where they cannot easily be shot since the Baneblade does not have rear weaponry and a shitty turning radius.

6. Any and all one-hit-KO moves (Pokemon Series)

This game purposely tricks kids into wasting a moveslot on a one-hit-KO weapon that you have limited use of and more importantly will NEVER WORK WHEN YOU WANT IT TO. Want to make your battle against the Elite Four easier? Hah tough luck cause that is not happening. Last-ditch attempt to beat Gary? Not happening. Low-level pokemon you just want to teach a lesson? Not. Happening. I have a total of ONCE successfully using a one-hit-KO move (Horn Drill, for the record) while playing Pokemon Stadium, where it really didn't mean crap. I mean really what's the point of this? To teach kids that taking the easy way out is for suckers? I don't expect life lessons from my games, especially not in one of this type. Moving on.

5. Holy Hand Grenade (Worms Series)

Yes it's nice, shiny, and quite holy, but it's not the be-all-end-all of weapons in the series. Mostly I say this because the weapon, while allegedly being able to do 100 points of damage to a single enemy, has rarely done so for me. The Banana Bomb on the other hand I find to be a far more effective, since it's akin to having 6 sticks of dynamite in a cluster bomb which equals more area effect. There is also the game-breaking power of the Super Bannana Bomb, which allows you to manually detonate the weapon twice, even on one target, sending them into orbit most of the time.

4. Oddjob (Goldeneye)

Yeah I know, Oddjob is a character, but I definetely think he can count as a weapon for the purposes of this list. For whatever reason Rare felt it necessary to create a counterpoint to Jaws in this game, thus Oddjob became a midget who became extremely hard to hit and best utilized by having a player run up to an opponent and repeatedly karate chop their enemies in the nards until they died. So annoying, and so very overrated because nobody would play as Oddjob if he were regular-sized like he's supposed to be

3. AWP (Counterstrike)

It's a balance-breaking sniper rifle that still can't be patched right. 'Nuff said.

2. Farsight XR-20 (Perfect Dark)

So Rare decided to give us a gun that could shoot through walls. Upon realizing they had no way to control the zoom level on such a weapon's X-ray scope, they decided to give it auto-targeting. Then they decided that wouldn't break the game's balance somehow. Silly. The only good thing I can think about this weapon is that it's easy to find anybody playing as a Maian or Elvis and, if they happen to be someone you really don't like, it becomes quite easy to shoot them right in the head. Still trying to use the weapon's normal aiming mode is impossible and the target tracking makes it far too easy

1. Lancer (Gears of War)

Let me preface this by saying I find Gears of War itself to be incredibly overrated, moreso than everyone considers the Halo series to be. The cover system? Overrated and not innovative. The plot? More generic than Halo's, so also overrated. The emo-esque Gary Jules cover of "Mad World"? REALLY OVERRATED. But perhaps the most overrated slice of the overrated Gears of War pie is the Lancer. Claiming to be innovative again, Cliffy B took an assault rifle and a chainsaw, locked them in a room with a Marvin Gaye album and hoped for the best. The result was a weapon that defies a couple laws of physics and in reality would be damn near impossible to weild. There's a reason why the Warhammer 40k chainsaw evolution stopped at chainswords, because those made SENSE. On the other hand Cliffy thought "hey, putting a chainsaw that would disrupt a weapon's center of gravity every time its so much as revved right on the tip is an amazing concept." Well of course naturally it isn't. As I and others have realized, having a heavy chainsaw on the edge of your weapon like a bayonet is not good weapon design, and you'd be lucky to be as percise with it in real life, especially trying to wave it about like a sword. In fact, go out and tape a chainsaw to whatever rifle equivalent you have and go and try it. I'll wait.

*five minutes later*

Ok if you're reading this I guess you didn't horribly mangle or kill yourself because you realized how stupid and impossible it was. The rest of you, I offer no sympathy. Fortunately the survivors will have learned from your futility in agreeing with me that the weapon is unrealistic even by sci-fi standards and that it is ultimately, the most overrated hunk of metal ever.

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