Net Ten: Ten Hugely Overrated Games (page2) Subscribe to this RSS feed

#5 Doom 3 - [ Xbox ]

Doom 3 is an amazing display of visual and audio mastery; its technology and art design are simply magnificent. But as an FPS game, Doom 3 is merely competent. Even diehard fans would probably agree that it's no "masterpiece of the art form" (as PC Gamer trumpeted in its eyebrow-raising exclusive review). The problem goes way beyond those annoying monster closets. The game is probably most notable for what you can't do: you can't use any secondary firing modes, you can't upgrade your weapons, you can't diverge from the rigid level design, and you can't interact with your environment (with one key exception: those awesome computer panels). In the end, there isn't much to do besides blast monsters. Doom 3 is a solid, enjoyable exercise, but it's not a truly legendary game.

#4 Gran Turismo 4 - [ PS2 ]

The Gran Turismo series enjoys a fanatic following, but after the disappointment that was GT3: A-Spec (players hated the skimpy car roster), the series needed a jump-start. GT4 looked like the game to do the job; it featured a massive car roster and gorgeous PS2-optimized graphics. But aside from a few handling tweaks, the game was essentially the same as before. Where was the promised online mode? What about the improved driver A.I.? The Simulation mode saw some notable enhancements, but not enough to keep GT4 from being more than a strictly incremental improvement. Truth be told, that might not bother long-term fans. Discriminating car junkies, however, are likely to greatly prefer the innovative and exhaustive Forza, the new king of the racetrack.

#3 Super Mario 64 - [ N64 ]

It's a-me, mediocrity! Mario 64 sold by the boatloads during the Nintendo 64's troubled launch, and though its presentation was impressive at the time, the core game itself really wasn't terribly compelling. Mario 64 is probably most notable for being the first game to bring tried-and-true platform gameplay to a 3D console. Sure, the game's a great kid-friendly diversion, but few adults have the patience to sit through more than an hour or two of Mario 64. Sloppy controls are part of the problem--Mario is apparently incapable of walking in a straight line (no, really--try it). In the end, it's time for Nintendo to face reality: platform games, as we know them, are dead. Next!

#2 Tomb Raider - [ Playstation ]

Lara Croft, we hardly knew ye! The first Tomb Raider was a real innovator--far more so than the trite Mario 64--but its endless parade of uninspired sequels almost buried the series under its own swelling ego. Tomb Raider 2 is a classic example: it offered precious few improvements over its predecessor. Instead, the developers focused on marketing their "celebrity"--buxom British babe Lara Croft. Thanks to the massive marketing blitz, Tomb Raider 2 sold like gangbusters. But each following Tomb Raider game sold less than the one before it, before the series finally flatlined with Angel of Darkness. Note to developers: burn your fans and you burn your future.

#1 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - [ PS2 ]

Talk about overrated. GTA: San Andreas offers little more than brand appeal and played-out stereotypes. This bloated, glorified expansion pack added a few noteworthy gameplay enhancements, such as the outdoor terrain and some enhanced drive-by shooting segments. But the sheer size of the game works against it: "more" doesn't necessarily mean "better." In the end, San Andreas has a fair share of cool moments, but it was really an excuse for developer Rockstar to milk the gaming community one more time. Game reviewers stumbled all over each other in order to give San Andreas their highest honors. But upon closer examination, the game is little more than a half-assed retread. Unless Rockstar can break some major ground with its next GTA title, this series has just about run its course. And for the record, Vice City easily stands as the best, most innovative installment in the series. Vice City is a true classic; San Andreas is just more, more, more set to a corporate soundtrack.