Why do I play crappy games?
Over the weekend I found myself loading up KnightShift, a European RPG-RTS game for the PC from Reality Pump Studios. To say the game has its own set of shortcomings and issues would be an understatement, but for some reason there is something about this game that I love that I can't quite put my finger on. The only explanation that I can think of this that I enjoy the occasional mediocre game. Some might say that KnightShift is the kind of game that should be burned Fahrenheit 451-style..
I have no problem admitting it - sometimes I enjoy bad food and drink, horrible television and movies, and mediocre video games are no exception. Chalk it up to whatever you like - boredom, bad taste or self loathing - but I finding myself playing games that aren't all that great and still find some small sliver of enjoyment in them.
Perhaps the games I play have one strong component that eclipses everything that is wrong. For example, KnightShift delivers some of the most horrific voice acting and lamest storytelling ever cobbled together in a video game. But the RPG mode takes all of the classes in RTS mode and lets you lay them solo in a forgettable series of campaigns. Even though this mode feels tacked on, it's interesting to me because you really get to see what each class is capable of on their own. Perhaps that's not enough of an excuse for most, but underneath this hot mess of a game is something appealing.
There are other games that come to mind- like Mat Dickie's wrestling games - that offer some game elements that can't be found anywhere else - but are buried under poor production, sloppy controls and an awful veneer of storytelling and dialogue. Or maybe this is simply my way of cleansing my palette, so that when a good game does come along, I appreciate it more. I'm not sure what the answer is here..