Irish's Top 10 Worst Games of All-Time
by Irish




Hey howdy gamers, welcome to this here top ten worst games ever list. I'm yer host, the judge, the jury, and I wish I was the executioner too. Because If I was I'd execute every title on this list from existence and memory.

So what does it take to make MY list, well it takes a certain, jenes ce quis. I mean any college sophomore can make something like Superman 64, utterly demented psychopaths can be blamed for Atari's Custers Revenge. We can also thank (and by thank, I mean assassinate) ambitious developers with new tech and no talent for the Zelda titles for the CGI system. But if you're the type to cheat and read ahead before reading the opening paragraph; well first of all shame on you, you bunch of bloody impatient cheats. Second of all, you will see that none of those games are here. I have a few games on this list that like to call, shovelware. Games that are made for the sake of a quick buck at the expense of the lesser witted portion of the gaming community. But the most part, the types of games on this list are games that really don't deserve the glory that they get. Games that get awards, hype, high scores and favorable reviews, but are complete and utter garbage. Now bear in mind I'm in university for english/literature, so I tend to write a lot and focus on a games storytelling as much as game play. Thats just me, If a game has a crap story, if the writers figured they could just crap on a piece of paper, and call it dialogue, you better believe that game is going to hear it from me.

Oh yeah, please don't bother to send me an email about why I knock on square these days so hard, or why I nail certain popular franchises to the wall in this article. If a game sucks, it should be called up to the plate, not awarded because the makers happened to have some skilled graphic programmers or deep pockets to buy good reviews. Thats just the way it is.

And awaaaaaayyy we go!

Final Fantasy VII
Crime: Criminally Overhyped


Because I want to start things off with weeping and gnashing of fanboy teeth.

Okay, I know what you're thinking. I'm just trying to stir up controversy by putting FFVII right at the start of this article, or I'm just trying to join the en vouge stylings of all FFVII bashers. Neither is true. I am actually of the opinion that Final Fantasy VII was a very good RPG and is still worth playing.

So why is FFVII starting off my list? Well it's because of it's fanbase. The rabid, fan fiction writing, Tifa worshiping, Death of Aerieth pontificating, Cloud and Sephiroth are the Luke/Vader of their day touting fanboys. These guys would like to tell anyone not playing video games back in 1997 that RPG's just did not exist before FFVII. That back in 1997 FFVII descended from the heavens like some kind of miracle wonder food to satisfy a gaming appetite long unfulfilled. That every other RPG that came after it would be a pale imitation of the wonder they felt when first playing FFVII, and still feel through the power of nostalgia when they replay FFVII or watch it's cinemas via youtube. These idiots annoy me like no other. There were better games before FFVII (Namco's Tales series spring to mind) and there were better games after FFVII (Xenogears, Lunar for PS1, Suikoden II). FFVII's legendary status is so undeserved that it just irritates me to no end. Every time I read an article about how the characters from that game are squares greatest ever, I nearly choke on my own bile. It's a good game, sometimes it has moments of greatness, but it's also flawed and quite inferior to other RPG's of it's time and I feel someone ought to call this game out. Thats why it's here. Don't like it? Skip to the next game on the list.

For those of you still here, for your amusement I have included a list of ten reasons that FFVII belongs on this list. They are in no particular order, though I think you can gather which ones I feel stronger about by the length of the rant.


Sephiroth: Lets just get this out of the way, I never liked this guy, ever. People talk about this guy like his villainy status is in the same class as Darth Vader, when he doesn't even rank as a Jar Jar Binks. Sephiroth is even lamer when you consider just who's act he had to follow up on. And while the fanbase counts Sephiroth as the most distinguished Final Fantasy villain, It's Kefka who reality remembers as being the most villainously respectable naer do well in Final Fantasy lore. He was more powerful, successful, had a higher bodycount and a personality. He was demented, psychotic and vicious. Basically, he was what the joker from Batman would be if you gave him magical powers As for Sephiroth, lets just say it plainly, Sephiroth was Norman Bates reincarnated as a Bishonen. I've yet to meet someone who can explain to me how Sephiroths concept is in anyway more interesting or more respectable than Kefkas.

Even when your not comparing Sephiroth to superior villains, he's still predantic and boring. Sure Sephy looks cool in every FMV he's in, but his story makes little to no sense when you pause to think it over. First he's on about his mother, then the Cetra, then he's on about gaining godhood, then he's on about mind funking cloud, and then it's back to the godhood shtick. And while I will say the death of Aerieth (NOTE: I've always preferred her Japanese name as I think it just sounds classier) is one of the most well presented sequences in video gaming ever, and it's aftermath is touching, the subject matter and themes at play are nothing we haven't seen before in earlier gen RPG's. The whole death of a valued party member during the game schtick had been making rounds on consoles since the early ninties, courtesy of Phantasy Star II. Also, lemme just say that if Shanking a church girl is Sephiroths high note, then he's all the more derivative and bland for it.

Oh, and don't get me started on the V-Neck leather, or the phallic complex contest he's got going with cloud. I mean really, don't get me started.


Cloud: Sephiroth, I never liked. Whereas Cloud, well I don't really hate him so much as I find the fact that he's just so over hyped and his character arc is beyond convoluted. First of all, I don't like how people try to make him out to be some sort of trend setter or icon of originality. Clouds claim to fame back in FFVII's heyday was he was an utter mercenary; that he was just seeking to make a quick buck through murder and destruction, all while watching out for number one. The hype machine would have you believe this was new to video games. Again, this is NOTHING that prior RPG's hadn't done. If you wanna see a real merc in action, play Phantasy Star IV and watch Alys fleece Hahn for every cent that he's worth like the right and proper sheep that he is. Back to the point, Cloud is only really doing his "I'm just a merc and I don't care about sides" bit for the first fifteen minutes of the game. Then we meet tifa, and cloud goes from jerky merc to just another RPG cliche of the hero that follows the fair maiden around to protect her. This cliche only becomes more pronounced when Cloud storms Shinra HQ to rescue Aerieth. After her rescue and the revelation about Sephiroth, Cloud segues into a typical "to find the truth and get revenge" plot thread that later becomes a cliched "I'm gonna save the world" bit. NONE of this is original, It was well pulled off and sometimes even well written thanks to Sakaguchi being part of the writing staff, but Cloud is neither mercenary nor original.

Next, lemme just say I don't like overly emo characters. It's one thing to be tortured, hurt, emotional, and have wrestle with the big issues. Soul Reavers Raziel has always been a character that is tortured up the wazoo, but never angsty or emo. He never just sits there and vacillates, he's always moving seeking answers and resolutions to his woes. But Cloud just pontificated over everything under the sun every five minutes. Now, he was nowhere near as cloying as say, Squall, mind you. But he did wear on my nerves at several points during the game. That whole "Life is like a train, it can only go where the tracks lead" line is one that had me rolling my eyes so hard, one of them nearly fell out.
Finally, then there's the whole flashback/exploration of Clouds psyche bit, where the story gets so convoluted that it never quite got back on track afterwards. We all find out cloud has a disassociative personality, and has been projecting someone elses strengths and character traits to cover up his own insecurities, and the Mako just HAPPENS to give him the strength to pull off the charade that he was a first class soldier when, in fact, he barely made grunt. Yeah, whatever. And there's the flashback sequence where cloud, without the slightest bit of Mako fusion, lifts Sephiroth by his own blade, while that blade is still firmly implanted in his midsection, and hurls Sephiroth to his supposed death emperor Palpatine style. This mountainous contrivance is followed up by the confession that goes something like "Okay, I imagined myself to be cool, when I really sucked. But now I'm cool for real now that I know and accept how much I suck. And knowing is half the battle." It was at that point that I didn't use cloud in my party unless the game forced me too. He sat on the bench next to Cait Sith for as much of the game as I could keep him there.

So yah, Cloud. An alright dude in his own way I guess, but he's got to lose the emo streak.


FMV: Okay, yes it looked cool. It was a revolution and allowed for some incredible atmosphere and an infinitely broader depiction of the world. It also firmly lead the charge into style over substance gaming genre that has granted Resident Evil, Dead or Alive, and Halo to attain prominence. If you wanna see elegant use of FMV for storytelling purposes, play either of the PS1 Lunar remakes. FFVII's FMV, while outstanding, felt like square was masturbating over it's own greatness at times. A trend that would haunt them to this day.


Materia: A dumbed down version of Magicite that while posessing complex game play applications, just really felt like a shallow shell of what had been done before.


Party Members: Putting distance attackers at the back and the physical, up close hitters in the front was about as deep and varied as the party members got as far as game play was concerned. Limit Breaks did very little to differentiate the bunch, and skill materia just put the icing on the cake as to how bland the battles could feel and be. Yuffie is the ninja, Barrett is the tank. So why can't we have them play distinctly? Having the ability to hand over the "throw" and "Steal" Skills to Barret or REDXIII just felt silly.


Writing: Final Fantasy VII's script, according to the links pat has listed in his FFVII article is three times VI's size. So why is it I care about the majority of characters in VI far more then I do about the characters in VII? Why is it I've watched Celes attempt suicide far more often then I've watched Aerieth get backstabbed? Because there was such a heart and sense of emotion in VI's cast. VII's seemed driven by Tifa's cup size, big swords, Aerieths death and frequent FMV. Not that FFVII had a bad story mind you, it was good, sometimes great, but take away the FMV and polygons and it wouldn't be half as highly regarded as it is. Most hit games of the time actually had to make their storytelling impact through writing, character development, and camaraderie. FFVII had these things, but it was obvious the storytelling focus was put on the Hollywood caliber presentation values this time around.


Missed opportunities: Maybe this is just me, but I found the so called, "Secret Characters" in FFVII to be more interesting and likeable then the main cast most of the time. Yuffie was very cool, She brought the comic relief to the party and I felt I would have preferred for cloud to work out his issues in shorter order just so we could go on a few more misadventures with our favorite kleptomaniacal, antagonistically natured, kunoichi. Also Vincent while overly whiny and grim, had an interesting back story and there were so many questions about him that needed to be answered. Is he, like cloud and sephiroth, a somewhat mutated victim of Hojo's mako experiments or is he truly undead? What types relationships would he have had with the other Turks and how would they view him as he is now? Was he the one who knocked up Luccrecia, and thus is the father of Sephiroth or was it truly Hojo? I kept him in my party hoping to find out more about his past and connection to all these varied plot threads, and all he got was one scene near the end of disc two, and a few lines should you bring him into the fight with Hojo. That was truly a missed opportunity. And please, shut up about Dirge of Cerberus. FFVII's story was supposed to be self contained and begin and end there. Vincent from the get go was connected to several events in unique ways that the other party members were not, and Square did almost nothing with him.


Death of Aerieth: Meh. Sad and emotional scene, it was the games high point, and I missed her when she was gone, but it's been ten years. Lets just shut up and move on with life shall we. Also at the time I could only help but think "Hello square, I just got a call from 1990, they said that Phantasy Star II wants it's dramatic, game making, scene back."


Ruby and Emerald Weapons: Just shut up about these losers already. Doomgaze, Magi Master, and even Seigfreid all managed to be very tough, yet yield rewards that were worth the challenge. What did we get for the hours we spent power-leveling and Cloning Mime and Knights of the Round materia? A gold chocobo, which we already had obtained long before that point, and the materia equivalent of a swiss army knife. lame I declare it. LAME!

Lastly...


Spinoffs that SUCK: Dirge of Cerberus was Devil May Cry without the focus on game play, I mean really, it was embarrassing just how un-fun the game played considering what title square was ripping off. And don't tell me square couldn't have pulled off this stunt of they tried. Remember Bushido Blade and Einhander? Remember back when square could do damn near anything when they focused on making a fun game first and foremost? As for the other spinoffs, I couldn't care less about Crisis Core, since that story has more or less already been told in the original game and I'll get to the suckfest that was Advent Children in a bit.

And That's my Letterman esque "Top Ten" bit for the night. In conclusion, let me say that in the final analysis, Final Fantasy VII is a good game that is the victim of it's own hype and fanbase. It's not the end all and be all of RPG gaming that it's fanbase and the media makes it out to be. The fanbase are mostly nostalgia driven fanboys looking at the game through nostalgia and were (at the time) bedazzled by the production values. The media often times just milks FFVII's rep and refers to it just to generate web activity and magazine sales. FFVII is a perfectly acceptable game in it's own right, but when put against it's own reputation it falls horribly, horribly flat. I'm someone who can still play games on the old school, black and white Game Boy. But in the past, when I've tried to go back to FFVII, my only feelings are how can people regard this as the defining Final Fantasy? Judged against it's own hype, FFVII falls so flat, so hard, that it inevitably lands on a list like this.


God of War
Crime: Overhyped and Underwhelming




God of Meh is more like it.

Overrated: 1: To assess or think too highly of something or someone; to overestimate it or them.
2: Regarded more highly than is deserved.

Thesaurus: overestimate, overvalue, magnify, exaggerate, overblown, overvalued, disappointing.

For further reference: See Kratos

Yep, that just about sums up God of War in a nutshell. Although it is a bit of a disturbing industry lesson. If you want your game to be a hit, just include blood, breasts, sex, and a character that angsts about everything from the bus being late to being out of sugar for his morning corn flakes. No matter how derivative the game play really is, it will still be lauded as a hit. You know, games like God of War actually give credence to Jack Thompsons arguments. I mean don't get me wrong, I think Thompson is a loony toons villain on par with Wile E Coyote without the creativity or lucidity. But he does argue that video games lower intelligence, good judgement, moral value, and work ethic. And anyone who would hand this title a Game of the Year award, is all of the above and then some. You know, sometimes I'm really embarrassed to mention to people I work with or interact with that I'm a gamer, and idiots that laud awards and praise onto thoroughly mediocre crap like this are the reason why.


Halo
Crime: Unlawfully Overhyped




Bungie's motto? Success through Hype.

I don't get it. I just don't get it. I like First Person Shooters. I think it's a cool genre when done right. Star Trek did it right with Elite Force. Star Wars did with their Dark Forces and Jedi Knight. Bond did it right with Goldeneye. Turok did it right for a while on the N64. Even non franchise titles like Black and Time Splitters and Red Faction do First Person Shooting right. So how is it that with a nigh unlimited budget, can Halo have messed it up so badly?

First of all, who thought this crap fest of a story up? The Covenant, a race of aliens descended from Jehovah Witnesses comes knocking and asks if humanity would like to embrace their god, or doom. Well, at least they are decisive about it right? At least they don't torture you with pamphlets in your mailbox. To be straight with yah, I'd rather someone just blow up my house rather then annoy me with the most contrived and self serving pamphlets on the planet. So already these covenant blokes seem like a step up. In response to this intrusion on their atheistic rights, humanity takes their one hope for survival out of the freezer and defrosts him. That would be the defacto plot device known otherwise as Master Chief, the one guy on the ship who knows how to aim AND pull the trigger, who they just so happened to stuff in the freezer for the sake of a fraternity prank. Now, if this were myself they just pulled out of the freezer, and asked to save our butts from an alien race who is just right outside the door right now, I would just hop in an escape pod with a good bye note that has a single hand with the middle finger extended doodled on it. However it seems like the only thing on this ship that works is a holographic hottie named Cortanna. And you know, I could probably think of a few good jokes about her, but (A) it's 2:30 in the morning I have a good 20 hour day ahead of me; and (B) why flog a dead horse? So armed with a starters pistol, said holographic hottie, and the power of plot contrivance, master chief goes off to kick religious alien butt.

Oh, and then there's something about other evil aliens that are derived so directly from the alien films I'm surprised Ripley didn't show up filing a lawsuit. They look like a face hugger cross-bred with a balloon. They take over your troops, and then give them the ability to pull the trigger, but not aim. Ditto for the covenant. Then there's some stooopidness about a weapon designed to fight those other aliens, that doesn't kill them, but kills everything within light years so they starve to death. Really kids, I gotta ask you: who the wrote this crap, and what manner of hell spawned fanboys eat up that kind of excrement and call it a gaming legend?

Okay, so the story sucks real bad. If the 8-bit era taught us nothing, it's that great game play can redeem crap storytelling. And for the first few levels, and the last sequence of the game, Halo is actually decent.

Yep, you heard me right fanboys, merely decent.

As soon as Master Chief goes into his first facility, that's where the game falls apart. Polly already said it best in her review, how the game designers just got lazy and cut and pasted the layouts about ten times per level. I mean, when playing the game I felt like I was going in circles. In fact, I had to take the defacto maze approach for a while, which is where you follow one wall without deviating, just to ensure that I wasn't going in circles. In fact, if you have yet to play the game, and I don't recommend it, but if you must, heres a good rule of thumb. If you encounter anything that shoots at you, you are going in the right direction. I mean, it's nice that there's some action, but I would settle for solid level design that any of the above mentioned titles have in spades as a sign I'm making progress. The fact that all that tells you that you are making progress is enemy encounters, instead of actual interesting level design that awards you with an interesting and progressive build, well that's just lazy and lame. I actually played Black after Halo, and was astounded and how much of a better GAME that Black was. The levels were awesome and had the kind of level design that builds in intensity and creativeness all the way throughout. The first time through, you never quite know what is ahead, and you are always on guard scouting ahead, mounting ambushes, furiously bobbing and weaving in firefights, it's just the kind of awesome that a good FPS should be and hardly ever repeats itself. In Halo, I used the exact same tactics repeatedly, level for level, room for room, almost all the way through. Halfway through the game, things got so repetitive and bland that I felt that I could have closed my eyes and just used the force and still cleared the remainder of the game. And as far as I know, my midicholorian count is in the negatives.

So yah, in a nutshell, Halo's level design has moments of coolness, but is for the most part, it's just bloody awful. Like everything else in Halo.


Resident Evil 4
Crime: Unlawfully Overrated




The most highly regarded piece of crap in the history of video gaming.

Go to game rankings and read some of the reviews for this game. Note how on just about every website the game gets at least an 85 and is lauded with praise and awards such as best Gamecube game, best redesigning of a gaming franchise. Best this and that. Well after I played this game, I revisited some of this same websites and I got something to say to these people.

Exsqueeze Me?

Best Gamecube game ever? Nope, that's Metroid Prime. Best redesigning of a franchise ever? Try Ocarina of Time. Best this, that, and the other? How much is Capcom paying these websites to spout this stupidity?

Okay, I'm an english and literature major. So I always focus on story first, and the story here sucks more unsavory body parts then an active dust buster being sat on by a naked Kristie Ally. The presidents daughter has been kidnaped by a zombie cult hopped up on some form of zombie crack. And later you find out the Zombie crack is actually an organism that was sealed away and was released by the illuminati who have formed an alliance with the remains of the Umbrella corporation.

And you thought the story in bad dudes was lame? Gimme Ronald Regan being kidnaped by ninjas any day.

Believe it or not, it gets worse. Leon is back, and thus by default, so is Ada Wong. Who spends the majority of the game fighting in a cocktail dress. Now the more reasonable minded of you out there would probably be wondering why would a secret agent, highly trained in kung fu, espionage, and marksmanship do something so idiotic? So that fanboys would drool over the length of the slit in her skirt and how it shows decisively that she isn't wearing any panties under there. Thats why. Y'know, I often consider that when game developers ram the sex appeal down a gamers throat with all the gusto of an over-zealous male lap dancer in the wrong night club, it's a sign that they just don't have much faith in their product.

Then we got the main character being infected by the zombie disease/organism (oooooohhh, scary huh kids?) and a main baddie that looks like a Flash Gordan villain (oh yah, I'm trembling) who actually answers to a napoleon lookalike midget (as he's been depicted in Buggs Bunny cartoons anyway) and a helper character who only serves the purpose of getting himself killed just before he was about to hand over the cure of the disease. Okay class, those of you who didn't see that one coming, raise your hands. Okay you two slackers in back, get out! This is the same disease you will eventually end up curing yourself of with chemo therapy and... I can't stand it anymore! I'm losing brain cells just talking about this idiocy! Lets move onto game play.

THIS IS A BRILLIANT REVOLUTION? Leon still controls like a tank. He just aims more precisely. Okay, so the brilliant revolution is that he's now a tank with a rotating turret? This would have been truly brilliant in a different time period. Like say, oh I dunno, the 1920's! I want to know, is Capcom paying reviewers a million dollars for every time they use the words, brilliant, revolution, and inventive? Because the controls in RE4 are none of that. Capcom just took the first person aiming scheme from Metal Gear Solid 2, and patched it into the tank like RE controls and called it a day so far as character control goes. Some say that another "innovation" is that ammo is now abundant where in the past it was sparse, thus putting the focus on running and gunning. This would have been true if the running and gunning had a halfway decent game play engine. Sure, the controls are fine if there is an enemy right in front of you, or even DIRECTLY behind you thanks to the quick-turn button, but should an enemy appear to the left or right, you can expect to take some hits before Leon has finished slowly rotating his "turret" to target that enemy. And why does everybody go on and on about that chainsaw loser? Grab a shotgun and about five shots later he's roadkill like the rest of his bingo buddies.

And don't even start with me on boss battles. I mean, 60% of them can be won just by using exploding barrels. How long have exploding barrels been around? Yeah, that's some inventive game design Capcom. And should you be so misfortunate that there aren't any exploding barrels around, well oh look, that giant mutation has a big, pulsating, gooey looking eye/brain/nutsack out in the open. I wonder what will happen if I take out my bazooka and shoot it? Oh, I just won. THIS is what ranks as cool boss battles? For cool boss battles, I play something like Mega Man Zero, Zone of The Enders, Contra, and Devil May Cry 3. If I wanted to play something that had boss battles that felt phoned in, I'd play RE4.

Okay, I will say that the game is kinda fun once. It has a type of Contra flavor sprinkled onto it which explains why I had a bit of fun and bothered to complete the game. Then on a lazy afternoon, after an argument with my girlfriend, I plugged in the game and played the Game+ mode for five minutes. Then out of a mixture of boredom and self loathing for playing this garbage, I called her up and apologized.

That is probably the most effective testimony I can give about how terrible RE4 is. A good video game is something you turn off your cell phone for, and then say you had no idea that the battery had run dry and you were busy with chores, or homework, or other stuff when friends, family members, or the girlfriend finally asks you why you weren't answering your phone that night. RE4 isn't brilliant, it's not even decent nor is it revolutionary, it has pretty graphics, and a terrible everything else. It's a product that is 2% perspiration, 0% inspiration, 65% fanboy blindness, and 33% bought reviews. Saddest thing is, it really IS the best RE title to date. Maybe if I had been an RE from the beginning, if the game play engines flaws hadn't hit me over the head halfway through RE2, I could forgive this game for all it's flaws. But lets face facts, RE, like FFVII and Halo, has always been a title that's survived by looking pretty, offering blatant and redundant fan service, and catering to the lowest denominators in it's fanbase. RE4 follows this trend too a tee.


Metal Gear Solid 2
Crime: Franchise Black Sheep




Proof that even the great ones can screw it up every now and then.

Once again, I'm an english and literature major. So the reason this entry gets on this list is that it took the nigh legendary storytelling of Metal Gear Solid, punted out snake as the main character, and replaced him with Raiden; the wussiest bishonen loser since sephiroth. This was already a bad sign. I mean, half the reason Metal Gear Solid is such a highly regarded classic is because of Solid Snake. He was macho without being shallow, tortured without being emo, goofy without being self effaciating. Half the appeal of MGS2 was snakes return, and then Konami replaced him with some second rate boy band reject. Not cool.

Not content with this sacrilege, they then gave Raiden the most emasculating girlfriend since Lorena Bobbit. Gamers, I gotta ask you, what purpose did Rose serve to the story except to annoy the hell out of everybody. I mean, Raidens got enough problems. He's getting talked down to by a limping old man, Solid Snake is a billion times cooler then he will ever be, the president is grabbing his crotch and freaking out when he finds out Raiden is indeed a man, a preteen is bossing him around and using his phone to nag on her older brother, and he's busy being hunted by highly trained death squads who even strip him naked at one point for a laugh. Then Rose calls up and asks if he remembers what day it is. Of course he knows what today is, today's the day your nagging blows his cover and gets him killed, that's what day today is.

Still not satisfied, Konami went on to bukakke in gamers faces by replacing the thoroughly awesome Fox Hound Unit with the thoroughly NOT-awesome Dead Cell. Comprised of an overweight mad bomber on roller blades, an undead bisexual vampiric ninja, an unkillable freak with a big honking gun, and the lamest of all Big Bosses sons, Solidus Snake. Solidus is a character who is less than the sum of his parts, as he's one part samurai, one part john woo character, one part Doctor Octopus, all fused together with 100% suck. For a good three years after the ending in MGS, gamers wondered just how cool this unknown son of Big Boss would be. Then we get this eyepatch wearing freak show who gets utterly owned by Raiden. Pathetic doesn't even begin to describe how I felt about Solidus during the credits of MGS2 Even the new Metal Gear Ray turned out to be a letdown. I mean, Ray was supposed to be an upgrade over Rex, yet Raiden fought an armada of the things and lived to tell the tale, while one Rex was a handful for Snake.

Yes, and still Kojima was not yet satisfied. He then went on to throw in a Oedipus thread with Hal, and a loli thread with his younger sister, and then threw in themes like the nature of perception of reality and evolutionary manipulation from the Patriots who are seemingly a group descended from the illuminati that now exist as some sort of computer virus or something and... arrrrrrrghhhhhh. Man, WHY did this story have to be so lame? Why did Raiden have to be such a loser, or Rose such an emasculating she beast? And why is Snake hanging round for this foolishness? He's still awesome, but instead of being the star of the show, he's stuck babysitting Raiden. Metal Gear Solid 2 isn't on this list because it failed to live up to expectations, it's on this list because every risk and chance it took with it's story fell so flat, so completely.

If there is anything good I can say about MGS2, it's that it seems to have been part of the growing process of the MGS series, I mean without Dead Cell, we would not have had the silly and yet so cool Cobra squad of MGS3. Yeah, they were goofy, all of them, but they still managed to be so cool at the same time. And Raiden is apparently pure cyborg ninja in MGS4, and seems kinda awesome now. Then there's a very cool clip on youtube of Snake in Metal Gear Rex ready to fight against Liquid in a Metal Gear Ray, but I still can't forgive MGS2. It's like the Phantom Menace of the MGS saga in that, much like my time in Jr High, it may have been a necessary step in the growing process, but still an ugly one I would rather forget.

But I digress. MGS2 is on this list because it's story is proven to kill brain cells and is suspected of causing cancer and death by brain hemorrhage. The game is cool, has lots of great secrets and options, and game play, but the story still makes the game nigh unplayable to myself.


Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
Crime: You Gotta Ask?




Now being marketed with tubes of lubriderm for extended play sessions.

It is a fact that during the 128-bit wars, the X-box sold so poorly in Japan at one point, that Temco and Microsoft came up with the idea that every purchaser of an X-Box would get a life sized, anatomically correct, Kasumi blow up doll for no extra charge. How's that for a footnote in gaming history? I never really managed to dig up conclusive info on how that little campaign worked out, but I'm sure neither Microsoft or Temco is too embarrassed by this bit of history. I mean, after all they released this little bit of borderline, soft-core porn to the world. The scary part is that it actually ranked up decent sales.

But what bothers me the most is Itagaki's (creator of this series) stance on the game characters. He steadfastly denies marketing DoA titles for their sex appeal and tries to tell people he considers all the game characters as his virtual daughters. How creepy is that? I mean if he's serious, he's just in denial. If he's joking... that's just even creepier that your making money putting out virtual masterbatory material to the gaming world. The fighting games I can let them off, they are actually pretty fun. Beach Volleyball on the other hand... eeeech.


Final Fantasy VIII
Crime: Franchise Black Sheep




The beginning of the end. One messed up cliche at a time.

This is where It all started to go wrong.

This was the first Final Fantasy title that Sakaguchi had no involvement with. He abdicated directorial duties for VI and VII, but still stayed on board as a scenario writer for VI, and has writing credits along with Kitase for VII. Final Fantasy VII already felt the strain of him not being fully involved. Aerieths death was really kinda meh when you think about it. Oh boo hoo the church girl just got shanked by the Bishonen. Also, Sephiroth was thoroughly lame in comparison to past Final Fantasy Villains. Kefka had a sort of Joker with magical powers thing going on, but Seph had the sort of vibe that made me think of Norman Bates reincarnated as a Bishonen. Still, the story had its strong moments and I enjoyed the ending. Then for some unknown reason, Sakaguchi thoroughly bowed out of Final Fantasy VIII, perhaps to work on Spirits Within. Regardless, when the cats away the mice will bugger it all up. Kitase and Nomura had for the first time the reigns to go absolutely nuts on a FF title, and the results were a disaster.

Lets start with the story. Now, I like anime. I thoroughly admit there's a lot of bad anime out there, and even when a good one comes out of Japan nine times out of ten the english voice acting and direction is awful, but I still like good anime so long as it's subtitled. I'm also a romantic at heart, and have a thing for good shojo anime. Shojo is type of anime that is typically, but not always, marketed to women and is all up on the romantic love stories with transforming super women and the bishonen who love them. Types of shojo anime and manga would be Maison Ikkoku (my favorite), Escaflowne (2nd favorite), Fruits Basket, and even Sailor Moon. And yep, Final Fantasy VIII was 100% Shojo storytelling done terribly terribly wrong.

The most terribly done aspect of the story were the characters, especially FFVIII's resident bishonen, Squall Lionheart. Squall is eighteen, a warrior prodigy, handsome, and for all appearances he's your typical sociopath but deep down he has a tender and noble heart. In other words, he's your stereotypical bishonen. I swear somewhere in japan there must be a mathematical formula that when entered into a computer will produce a character model and script for these kinds of characters. Now, Being a stereotypical bishonen, of course he needs your stereotypical bishojo, and thus, we are given Rinoa. Now, Rinoa does break a few of the shojo rules, instead of being likeable and endearing, she's a first class slut. But other then her flitting between squall and Seifer, she's pretty stereotypical Bishojo material. And of course, a rule of shojo storytelling is that all the side characters have to be stereotypes of some sort that are *supposed* (more on that in a minute) to have distinct qualities that make them unique and endearing. The hyperactive fighter, The bossy brainiac, the man ho, the ditzy seven-year-old in a supermodels body, yep they're all here. Other rules of shojo in effect are that the Bishojo always defrosts the Bishonens heart and reaches his more tender qualities while they fight to save the world together. Lets not forget that ALL the girls have to be in love with the hero, and there has to be a rival. Someone who can pimp slap the hero and then walk away with his woman. Yep, check, check, and check.

So what's the problem? well, Kitase and Nomura TECHNICALLY got the typical shojo equation right, but didn't factor in any charm, intelligence, character, or fun into the mix. In all shojo tales, the redemption of the Bishonen takes a long time and is done gradually, slowly, and in good shojo storytelling, believably. Squall however, well, he sorta becomes inexplicably cool whenever Rinoa is around. This is a guy that's shunned all social contact for a decade, and he dances like Fred Astaire as soon as he meets her. He's able to encourage Irvine and inspire him when he's lacking in his confidence, leads his fellow warriors and inspire them with a Winston Churchill esque speech during a tough battle, acts as an ambassador to an alien race. The list just goes on, and there's really no explanation, none whatsoever, for how he goes from being an utter dick to a man for all seasons at the drop of Rinoas clothes. It's like Nomura and Kitase knew their shojo cliche's, but didn't have a clue on how to pull them off right.

Then there's Seifer. He's supposed to be Squalls rival in battle and in romance. He's the Alan to Squalls Vann; the Gulld to Squalls Isamu Dyson. To further establish their game long rivalry he gives squall a facial scar and got into Rinoa's pants first. Yet, in every boss battle, the guy is a cakewalk to take down. Save for the intro sequence, he never gets anything right. Ever. Later in the game he becomes such a jerkstore that even Rinoa can't stand him. In other words, he's an complete failure at everything in life. For cryin out loud he couldn't even get fishing right in the ending cinema. He's a bigger loser then the original spoony bard; Edward from FFIV. Edward at least had enough self awareness to come in, suck for a while, then get the hell off the stage and let the cool people take over. Seifer sticks around and bores the gamer for the entire show. He doesn't even have enough class to just die. He's yet another cliche that the less-than-dynamic duo of Kitase and Nomura just could not pull off.

Oh, and remember my mentioning of the side characters being stereotypes that are supposed to have unique or endearing qualities that make them unique? This is yet another cliche that Nomura and Kitase could not pull off right. It's like they were purposely trying to suck when they were adding distinctiveness to these characters. Oooooh, Zell acts like a macho goof, but loves his mom and hot dogs. So he's like, deep and complicated right? Oh, and Quistis acts like a teacher with dominatrix issues, but she's actually just really sexually frustrated and lonely. How's that for character depth? Irvine is a man ho, but that's just a front for his lack of confidence that fades with one pep talk from the sociopathic squall. As for Selphie, the preschool persona in a supermodels body, well hey she's... she's... okay, remember the part with the school kids and the bear... nope. Hey, how bout the part where in her diary she... ngh! Hey, remember in the demo when she... she... yknow, they didn't really even bother trying to expand on Selphie did they? For some unmentionable hell spawned reason (lolli complex) they thought that whole "hottie with a preschool persona" cliche (super lolli complex) was cool enough that they didn't need to expand on it. Just thinking about that is making my skin crawl. Then there's the latest reincarnation of Cid, who the best that can be said about him is that he's a fat, boring old man that somehow managed to bag a magical, spandex wearing hottie for a wife. But I should get onto the game play.

Was this game even play tested before it shipped?

First of all, the draw system. It was a flawed system that had a few good ideas, but executed half heartedly without any attention to it's flaws. Drawing itself, was an interesting idea that kept to a minimum, could have been fun. But the way it was executed It was stupid, boring, took forever, and once you stacked a spell and juctioned it, you didn't want to cast it cuz it would lower your stats. And if you ever found yourself in a situation in which you DID need to cast that spell, it meant you had to spend another twenty minutes looking for that ONE enemy that carries that spell too restock, then another twenty minutes drawing spells from him to replenish your stock. Imagine this repeated every time a random battle took place and you'll know why towards the end of Disc 1 I was walking around with the Encounter none ability just to avoid some pain. Jucntioning was also another interesting idea done horribly wrong, which pretty much seemed to be the main theme of this game. Junctioning spells and Guardian Forces to pump up your stats had the potential to distinguish characters and how they played in unprecedented ways. Yet once again, it seems the development team was encouraged to spend an hour developing the system before moving on to making room for more FMV. Also, I'm forced to wonder what manner of physical dysfunction the characters in this game have when they can only use a potion in battle is when they have a guardian force junctioned to them that allows them that ability. Who thought THAT brilliant idea up? And many complain about the overly long summon and battle animations in final fantasy. Well while FFVII had it's offenders in that regard (Omnislash, Knights of the Round, Super Nova) FFVIII was this game that really perpetrated that offence to the extreme. FFVII waited until the end before giving you the type of attacks and summons that took more than thirty seconds away from your game time. Even then, those attacks weren't really all that long. In FFVIII, every Guardian force has to stick around for at least a full minute. And if you should summon Eden, just go order a pizza while you are waiting for that particular summon spell to end. I guarantee that pizza will be there, cold and moldy, long before Eden is finished his/her/it's thing.

The rest of the game play was a mess too. Monsters leveling up with you sounded like a good idea, but it really just removed any and all sense of progress in the game. And unless you spend HOURS upon HOURS drawing spells and junctioning them just right, at higher levels the monsters will have abilities that will pulverize your poorly junctioned party.

Have I made my point yet? Sure Final Fantasy VIII was pretty to look at, but it was boring, poorly told, poorly thought out, horribly pulled off and just not fun at all. The good things I could mention about this game outside of the graphics begin and end with Laguana. This guy was FAR too charismatic for this game. Too bad he kills off his appeal by turning out to be Squalls father. Oh the shame.


Britney's Dance Beat
Crime: Where Should I Start




Proof that hell exists, and that this game escaped from it.

Why do I even need to explain this? Why? Why does this game even exist? Why does Britney even still get media attention? Her career is a train wreck, I've had migraines that have lasted longer than her marriages, her status as a mother is deplorable. Sometimes I wish I could do that Jedi mind trick. I'd wave my fingers and say to the masses reading about her or looking at her newest CD and say "nothing to see here folks, you can go about your business. Move Along"

As for the game itself. Well, it's not a game. It's a commercial for a pop culture fad that just won't accept it's fifteen minutes are up. If games existed back in the days of Elvis, this game would be the equivalent of making a game that tributes the days of Fat Elvis.

Except Elvis made better movies. And could sing. And play an instrument. And he was cool.

Say it with me now; but I digress.


Earthworm Jim 3D
Crime: Franchise Killer




Or as I like to call it, the most successful massacre of an awesome franchise ever.

You know, some popular series can come back from a terrible game. They can release a sequel that will be so awesome, people will forget about the bad times and kiss and make up with the franchise. Contra did it with Shattered Soldier redeeming the franchise after the PS1 contra's bombed. Devil May Cry 3 redeemed the franchise after Devil may Cry 2 nearly destroyed any and all interest, and later in 2008 the western world will get Devil May Cry 4 along with the recent 13 episode anime. Zelda managed to come back with link to the past after the weird and lackluster Zelda II for the NES. It's those kind of games, the games that bring back the lost magic into the relationships us gamers have with our favorite series are special and treasured.

Sadly, some series just aren't as lucky. I mean, oh sure we had our good times, great times even. Unforgettable moments that are as timeless and beautiful as seaside sunsets and the aurora borealis. But, then a game comes out that is just so terrible, so unforgivable, so heart breaking that there is no going back. Ever. Sure we will play the older games, and reminisce about the times past, but the magic is dead and the franchise will never again be accepted. Earthworm Jim 3D is that kind of game. In it's way, it's even worse then often cursed games like Bubsy 3D. You see, Bubsy always sucked. He was a little of Buggs Bunny, a little bit of Mario, and a little bit of Sonic. He had voice work that tried to spout out witty quips, a huge novelty back in the 16-bit era, and yes, a sometimes charming personality, but his games just sucked all sorts of unsavory bodily orifices, and if you look up derivative platforming in the video gaming dictionary, you will see bubsy's face. Bubsy 3D didn't so much kill a good thing, as it finally confirmed to the general audience (IE, gaming idiots) that those of us who have lives and sense saw all along, that the series sucked and needed to die. Bubsy 3D just put the final nail in the coffin and unceremoniously dumped it into the ocean.

But with Earthworm Jim 3D, oh that is something that is truly terrible. It took an established and successful franchise and utterly destroyed it for all time. I dearly loved the first two Earthworm jim titles for the SNES and Genesis. They took an amusing idea, gave it a wacked storyline, built a cool, eight way shooting engine with a cool gun, and then built imaginative stages to play around with all this coolness. Hell, there was even an awesome but shortly lived animated series based off the games. I don't want to go off on a tangent, but lemme just say that the show was all kinds of awesome and if there was any justice in the world, would have lived on to this day. If the jagoffs in hollywood can release the crap that was the Zelda animated show on DVD, then why cant we get the hilarity that was the Earthworm Jim show onto DVD?

And stop me if you've heard this one before, but I digress.

The series just couldn't make it in 3D. The cool eight way firing machine gun pistol just didn't work in a 3D space. The platforming levels with tight 2D control just couldn't make the jump to the kind of 3-D gaming engines we had in the mid-90's. The action, the platforming, the game play, it all fell apart so hard you could hear the hearts of gamers all over the world breaking. Even the humor and personality was lost thanks to shiny whoring out the franchise to Rockstar. EJ3D couldn't even deliver the presentation values that have kept Halo and Resident Evil afloat.

Sure, you can cite the facts that ET sold so abysmally it deep sixed the Atari 2600 system and a 20,000+ surplus of unsold games had to be buried in a Nevada landfill. Or you can go on and on about how utterly craptastic Superman 64 was. But Superman has never really had a great video game, and the 2600 has enough baggage that ET counts as a mere footnote in my opinion. No, the Earthworm Jim crew and I were homies once. But Earthworm Jim 3D put an end to all those good times, forever. I miss that invertebrate joker, and Peter Puppy, Princess Whats-Her-Name, Queen Festering, Puss Filled, Mutating Slug-For-A-Butt, Snot, Psycrow, and the rest of the gang. So heres to you guys, and to beautiful memories. Though time and reality has passed you on by, we will always have... heck. Won't we?

No literally, heck was a legit level in Earthworm Jim. Ruled over by an evil cat named... wait for it... Evil; The Cat. It was also populated with lawyers. Really, no kidding. If that doesn't prove to you how awesome this series was in it's prime, then I got nothing left. Now if you will excuse me, *sniff*, I seem to have something in my eye.


Advent Children
Crime: Unlawfully Stupid




I find it highly thought provoking that it was during the production of this "film" that a number of Square employees started having mental breakdowns.

Okay, I know it's not a video game, but Advent Children has enough to do with the video game industry that it belongs on a list like this.

Now, let me just say that I'm one of those that respect Spirits Within. It was a well told movie with great direction and storytelling that had the flaws of being far too ambitious for it's own good. The story it was trying to tell was something that really couldn't be fully told within a two hour running time, It was a film that had enough story, characters, and history to tell that really maybe 3 ½ hours would have been just right. It was also too ambitious by trying to really bring a new level of CGI animation to the screen. It succeeded, but only at the cost of tetrillions of dollars worth of super computers working in tandem to generate that level of detail in the animation. And the story, while I think it was a good one, didn't have quite enough Zazz for the gaming industry. It was too heady, too intellectual, too thoughtful for people who wanted to see cloud leaping around pulling Bahamuts out of the air and getting into random battles. Also since many fell in love with the flash of FFVII, of whoms story had way more style over substance, Spirits Within going in the other direction just utterly lost about 70% of it's target audience. And of course, being a video game film, that meant that the majority of the cinema viewing crowd could either take it or leave it. Thus, all these factors combined meant that the film was destined to bomb.

Five years later however, Nomura and Kitase would learn from Sakaguchi's mistakes. They would release a new Final Fantasy film based on Final Fantasy VII, which had the largest and most accessible fanbase of all their past projects. It could have been good, it really could have. The concept, as predictable as it is, is sound and marketable as well as having genuine storytelling potential. However Kitase and Nomura have demonstrated again and again that they have not the slightest clue whatsoever on how to tell a decent story without Sakaguchi around, and Advent Children is definitely the worst tale these two have ever told. I'd actually rate Advent Children to be a film far more deplorable than anything Uwe Boll ever put to print.

I can already hear the gnashing of fanboy teeth. Indeed, even the milder of you may thing I'm exaggerating a wee bit. But I'm utterly serious when I say Advent Children sinks below Uwe Boll's level of crap. Mr. Boll's films are always poorly cast, terribly directed, direly scripted, half hearted affairs just out to make a quick buck. But at least in Uwe Bolls films you get a feeling he's actually TRYING to make some sense and carry a plot thread or two for more than fifteen minutes. There is a discernable beginning, middle, and end to his tale and while the ride is a horrible one, at least the director is skilled enough to craft a semblance of a story, even though it's not a good one.

The problem with Advent Children, is that anything resembling storytelling is quickly thrown out the window in the first five minutes. You can already hear the script imlode the moment clouds life is saved from a gunshot by his shades, which deflect the bullet. I'm not kidding. A minute later, when the villains are about to land a finishing blow, they call off their attack and just, walk off the stage... making you wonder what was the whole point of them attacking cloud in the first place.

Perhaps knowing the story he and Kitase put together was complete rubbish, Nomura stated in an interview that occurred around the time of AC's release in western shores, that he wasn't focusing on making sense with the story and action scenes. His philosophy with Advent Children was that if he thought something would look cool, he stuck it in there. Which just states all that is wrong with Advent Children in a nutshell.

When a person fantasizes about something, it's usually a construct of the most favorable mental images without the slightest adherence to reality or common sense. And that sums up Advent Children nicely. It's got random battles, cloud relapsing into his moody dementia that he should have worked out in the game, It's got materia, summons, boss battles, Tifa's Rack, Aerieth Resurrected six or seven times, It's got everything the fanboys would really want in a sequel, save for one thing... storytelling. Advent Children takes the right pieces, but there's no real glue sticking them together. No point, no logic, no imperative motivation nor intellectual stimuli. It's a celluloid depiction of what a fanboy would imagine while masturbating over the "greatness" of FFVII rather than an actual, honest to gosh film.

There are so many flaws to AC's Script I could write an Epic novel that would dwarf even the mighty War and Peace. At my most succinct, the article would become twice the size it is now, and I would only be halfway done. The new antagonists in the film are boring, with no real development between them and no depth at all. The dialogue and plot are silly and show little to no thought whatsoever. The fight scenes rely on a decently detailed yet jaggedly animated CGI engine rather than on creative choreography. Aerieth, despite being dead, is all over this film doing everything from resurrections, to playing pop psychiatrist, to nursemaid and lending a helping hand during battles, man the list is endless. But instead of going on and on, and creating a redundant article that beats you over the head with the scripts stoooopidness, I'm instead going to elaborate on the one thing that really rankles me more than others.

Bahamut looks like a chicken.

I know it sounds silly doesn't it? I mean there are things in this film far more detrimental to the storytelling than making the king of dragons into something that escaped out of a bucket of KFC, but I can't help but feeling this is the capstone of all that is wrong with Advent Children. Bahamut has always been the muscle in Final Fantasy. There are seldom few summons more powerful then Bahamut, and he's always given a regal and mighty treatment in the past, save for FFX. And I'd rather not talk about that. I eventually got over his slightly taller than human sized design, but the rainbow colored plumage ensured I would never summon him. Ever. I just couldn't bear to see the mighty King of Dragons cross bred with a peacock. And quite frankly, I would like to imagine that Bahamut was the result of genetic cloning, or a spirit made flesh, because I don't even want to consider how the copulation between said peacock and dragon would have taken place.

Back to the point, Bahamut has more often than not, been an interesting, powerful, and almost regal part of Final Fantasy lore. Advent Children takes one of the fan favorite icons of Final Fantasy, and turns him into redundant and vacuous fan service. Bahamut is there just to make the fans squeal, it could have really been any other summoned beast in there, and it would have made little to no difference to the story whatsoever. And that would have been alright if they had made him interesting, amusing, or even threatening. Sadly he's really as lame as his design looks. And when you are capable of screwing up something as fundamentally cool as the concept of a King of Dragons dropping by to start a ruckus, it doesn't bode well for the rest of the more subtle or complex points of the script. Not that there ARE any complexities or subtleties to be found in Advent Children. However, if there were, they would have sucked too. To further my argument, I've arranged a series of three video clips. The first two are from Final Fantasy IX.

Clip 1

Clip 2

A few things to note. First of all, note that he creates a tidal wave by flying over the waves, and that Kujas mighty silver dragon seems like a chujaja in comparison to Bahamuts Godzilla. Hmmm, mighty, huge, imposing, yep looks like the king of dragons has arrived too me. As for the second clip, man it's awesome. Bahamut just bursts in on the like all fearsome and imposing, than commences to take out entire districts of Alexandrea. In both videos he's mighty, impressive, imposing, threatening, and cool.

Now lets take a look at this Bahamut themed clip from AC. Oh, and you can stop watching it at five minutes in. I heartily recommend it too.

Clip 1

First of all, awesome entrance and all... but when he's finally done materializing, he just kinda sucked didn't he? He goes through several size changes throughout the sequence. At one point he's several stories tall, and in another he's climbing all over a statue thats supposed to be moderate in size like he's trying to dry hump it. But even at his biggest... he's still really lame compared with what we see of FFIX's bahamut in action. FF IX's bahamut blew up an island, a fleet of ships, and took out half of Alexandrea with a minimum of posturing. AC's Bahamut, well the only thing he accomplished was sexually molesting and vandalizing a statue or a building or... well something. Even the Bahamut from FF 1 had more of a visceral cool factor too him than this.

As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure that was Bahamut. Instead it looks like Nomura went to the set of Adult Swim, and borrowed a prop from Seth Green and built a CGI model around said robot chicken. Being someone who has a mild fascination with the whole mythology of dragons, seeing the king of dragon turned into cybernetic poultry was mortifying. And taking into account Bahamuts appearance in FFX, I gotta ask; what is up with Nomura's obsession with Bahamut being a giant chicken? Bahamut is not a chicken, he does not run in terror from Colonel Sanders, he's the king of dragons. Dragons are supposed to be huge, like capital city style huge. AC's Bahamut looked like something Seth Green would torture by making it watch bad television, or Advent Children.

One last time, with feeling now... But I Digress.

Moving on, the fanboys will try to tell you the story doesn't matter when you have good action sequences, and the fact that somewhere In my junk drawer, I have multiple move tickets evidencing my viewing Romeo Must Die several times, means I very well cant dispute that fact. And if Advent Children had some good fight sequences, I may be able to forgive it. Sadly the fight sequences have all the visceral impact and sense of power and drama of a Loony Toons Road Runner short. Instead of giving a feeling of power awe or awe of the combatants fighting abilities, or having choreography that drops jaws and dialates pupils, AC's action bits are poorly animated sequences that played out in the most lame and contrived fashion possible. Like remember in the game when Cloud killed Seph with the omnislash? Well he does again, it's just that this time he uses an upgraded omnislash to do it. And did I mention he pulls off this super duper awesome move right after being maimed by Sephiroth? One fan once tried to explain the logic of this by stating that being stabbed activated clouds limit break... or his desperation move... or something. Errrr, yeah okay. Thats some tight scripting right there man.

It's difficult to end this article, because there is so much more to mention. To call the story convoluted would be a disservice, as the plot is more contrived than a documentary trying to explain the continuity of the entire run of X-men comics to this day. Obscure pop culture references aside, that means that the script is just beyond lazy, and feels like it took an hour to compose. Sure, the FFVII fans will defend it to the death, but that doesn't change how terrible a film Advent Children really is. And in a way, it does mark a milestone in my days as a gamer. I mean, like most of you, I once thought square could do no wrong. Oh sure, there were the SaGa Frontiers and such, but for the most part this company had the Midas Touch when it came too video games and storytelling. Strategy RPG's, Mecha games, shooters, Square did it all and then some, and they did it with class. Deep down I've believed that square would somehow regain their footing that they seemed to have lost in recent years. I wanted them to regain some of their former greatness, and become a legit force based on game design and storytelling again rather than staking any success they obtain on hype and fanboy love. But Advent Children proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that square really has nothing left. Their best game designers and story writers have left for freelance work or different companies, their other franchises besides Final Fantasy are a faint memory, even former exclusive composers Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda have left for freelance work or greener pastures. The only thing square has left to offer is FFVII spinoffs which all amount to fanboy masturbation material. Someday though the nostalgia will fade, Enix will ditch them, and Square will truly have given their final fantasy. And by this point, I think it's all for the best the truly final fantasy comes sooner rather than later.






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