Shames I Like!

So instead of writing another similar ‘Games that Made Me’ style list, I decided to do something a bit different and write a list of some ‘Games that Shame Me’. These are games that it is not necessarily very cool to like, but that I played and loved in my own special way. Join me now as we begin:

A-Train

Screenshot of A-Train

Sexy.

I mean just look at it! It was one of those games where the reward came from just figuring out how it even worked. You can start a new game and sit there for about half an hour happily laying railways, buying trains, building stations and setting up timetables and whatnot. Then all your money and resources run out and you have no idea why.

The proper method was found only after trawling through readme files and PC magazine tips sections (this being the time before we had the proper internet). The very fact that it was so ridiculously difficult to get anything started meant that when I had finally managed to get it all ticking over nicely, I felt like the smartest guy in the whole world.

Kings Quest 5

Going left two screens kills you instantly.

Going left two screens kills you instantly.

This was my introduction to the point and click adventures of the 90’s, and thus has a special place in my heart. It wasn’t just because of the blistering VGA graphics and tear-jerkingly beautiful AdLib music, but also the fact that the manual was made to look like an old leather bound book. These details where important to me then.

This, like A-Train, was a cruel game, often dishing out instant unexpected killings that tested even the most compulsive Save Gamer, but again this added to my sense of accomplishment when these situations were conquered. I have definitely played better adventure games since, but this is the one that got me hooked – gave me that first buzz of finding your way through to a new location with new puzzles, new music, new atmosphere and the possibility of finally finding a use for that piece of mouldy cheese.

Sonic Adventure

Arrrgh!! Killer Whale!! Wooooo!!

Arrrgh!! Killer Whale!! Wooooo!!

This is the shame biggy. I was that guy that bought the defunct Dreamcast for £30 second hand. I never really played your original Sonics either, as I owned a SNES and thus had access to the platform games of real men. I was also a student at the time, so my reserves of time and patience were vast. Whatever the reasons were, I bloody loved Sonic Adventure. I never really played it for the challenge, more to experience the over-the-top ridiculousness of it all. Any game where part of the level involves you crashing through a window and running full speed down the side of a building is an instant hit for me.

I mean come on! That is AWESOME!

I can understand a person feeling a little upset if they expected from the title that it would be an Adventure exclusively starring Sonic instead of mostly about his mates, and the actual gameplay was deeply frustrating at times and generally the poor side of average. Sometimes though, you just want a game that takes you with it on its own mad little journey, and for me Sonic Adventure did just that. Hurrah!!

Pokémon

Only girls don't evolve their Pikachu

Pikachu would never cut it in my elite team.

An elite team of six Pokémon champions that I must have easily spent months training up to the maximum level, even playing the entire game through a second time so that I could have extra copies of rare items and upgrades. They were my pride and joy.

What was I thinking!? What was I going to do with them? Attend some kind of tournament and best an excitable group of shrieking 10 year olds?

A crucial moment in realising my shame was round Grant’s house. His little brother was having a birthday party, and as I arrived I instantly attracted a swarm of kids all asking for tips from the wise old master of Pokémon. For some strange reason, instead of this being a triumphant moment of glorious recognition, I felt like a complete tit. I never saw Pokémon in the same light afterwards. I have still played every subsequent iteration, but never to the same ridiculous level of those first glory days.

If you have a similarly shameful past, then let it all spill out onto our forums

by David

4 Comments

  1. “Any game where part of the level involves you crashing through a window and running full speed down the side of a building is an instant hit for me”

    Shadow Complex. Seriously. Buy it.

  2. I love the idea of this article. I think we’re defined more by the games we love despite it all than the really popular games everyone likes.

    I wish more people in the industry would do their own version of this article. Hello Games should call in favors with old colleagues and get them to ‘fess up. Find out what we’re all ashamed of!

    I’d tell you mine, except I proudly flaunt them and defend their merits to all comers. It sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? :-P

  3. Sonic Adventure!?! That’s honesty beyond the call of duty!

  4. 67. I have not checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it friend :)