Five fool-proof ways to spot an average game

Most games, contrary to what you might think, aren’t truly shit or amazingly awesome. No, usually the majority are just plain average. Lying in the gooey mediocre centre between brittle pieces of really rubbish titles and crunchy bits of scarce 90%+ gaming gold, they’re rarely that offensive. Still, we thought it would be a good idea to produce a quick guide on how to pick out gaming’s most m’eh worthy titles, using indisputable console science.

Note: All following aggregate review scores have been taken from Metacritic.

It's got dragons in it...

Averagely appearing in: Dragon Valor (57), Dragon Rage (50), Dragon Hunters (56), Lair (53), The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon (62)

Dragons by their design should be the very by-product of awesome. C’mon, they’re dinosaurs that can fly and breathe fire. Shitting fire! How could any game that contains these winged win merchants not amount to the sum total of melt your face off brilliant? Well, it’s mainly because game developers think our scaley mythical mates are so chuffing great, they have to counterbalance said chuff-endorsed greatness with rubbish men. Rubbish men with beards… who wear cloaks… and enjoy pre-empting all their sentences with ‘ye’ and ‘olde’.

It's got Nolan North in it. And it's not called Uncharted...

Averagely appearing in: X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition (73), Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (73), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (67), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (61), Crash: Mind of Mutant (60)

The linguistic ninja that provides his dulcet tones for Nathan Drake has such range and natural, dreamy charm he’s appeared in almost every bastard game over the last 12 months. Need a slightly sensitive, but grizzled marine dude? Get on the blower to the Northinator. A sodding big robot with just a hint of pathos, you say? Nolan to the rescue. Damn his multi-talented larynx. It’s graced so many games over the years that invariably a succulent, meaty slice of them are atrociously average.

It makes you solve a homicide...

Averagely appearing in: Women’s Murder Club: Games of Passion (53), Murder in the Abbey (64), Art of Murder: Hunt for the Puppeteer (56), Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders (53)

Murder is great in games. Watching soon to be decomposing bodies writhe around thanks to Havok physics. Machete-ing endangered species right up in Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts. What’s not to love? Although, technically, killing in games only works if you’re the one dishing it out. Not the poor sap who’s got to solve the ensuing mystery of who chopped up the white rhino. Also, any game about solving crimes (especially if it’s on a Nintendo console) invariably turns out to be really quaint and English. With most involving a bunch of middle-aged woman sitting around eating Digestives, trying to figure out who used a ball point pen to stab Janice from down the street’s hubby in the jugular.

Above: Officially the best thing to hit DS this year. Probably

It's got LEGO in it...

Averagely appearing in: LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (77), LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (71), LEGO Battles (65), LEGO Star Wars (78), LEGO Batman (75), LEGO Rock Band (70)

Control yourself, man. Yeah, we all know anything pieced together out of little colourful blocks is automatically the cutest thing since newborn lambs. Y’know, before you plate them up and enjoy their backsides with a dollop of mint sauce. But in spite of LEGO Darth Vader’s charming, chubby Imperial legs or how homicidally huggable a plastic Joker is, every game stuffed with these toy bricks is ever so slightly mired in m’eh.

Its title's been plucked from the Random Name Generator...

Averagely appearing in: Gratuitous Space Battles (73), Roogoo Twisted Towers! (67), MEVO & the Grooveriders (72), Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches (67), Armored Core for Answer (62)

Ingenious Funk Fight. Stupendous Bongo Attack. Atomic Hair Salon Brawl! We swear 37% of all game designers just pluck titles for their babies from here. A barely related clusterf**k of words is a sure sign the developers know their game ain’t all that. Thus they can’t be assed coming up with a coherent name and instead cobble together a few vaguely related syllables, get the A-ok from Phil down in sales and then go out to get bladdered in celebration. Kudos.

Jan 28, 2009

CRAP games that scraped a seven out of ten
Reviewers thought these titles were okay. They were WRONG

The Top 7... Lazy Character Clichés
Copy, paste, unoriginality!

How to make a game that'll sell a million copies
The guide to designing cynical, clichéd games that’ll make you a millionaire


  • FinderKeeper - February 3, 2010 11:43 a.m.

    Nuclear Viking Marines (wait, isn't that Halo?) Italian Cowboy Alpha Chocolate Blade Experience Cyborg Mahjong Country ***drumroll*** Fabulous Sudoku Assassins ;-)
  • Darkhawk - February 3, 2010 12:49 a.m.

    I call Shenanigans! Panzer DRAGOON (okay, fine, there is an extra "o," but still) Prince of Persia starring Nolan North Condemned's "CSI" bits
  • RockTumbler - February 2, 2010 10:38 p.m.

    Gratuitous Space Battles is hardly a random name. It perfectly describes what the game is about, and it's fun as hell to boot.
  • ttvinko - February 2, 2010 7:40 p.m.

    Wow, excellent points. I never thought about it that way before. Jerr
  • Imfliba - February 1, 2010 7:46 p.m.

    How about a LEGO games with dragons with a random name like 'kick-flipping noodles with chainsaws 2'? how INCREDABLY AVERAGE would that be!?!
  • phoenix_wings - February 1, 2010 3:54 a.m.

    Incomprehensible Furry Slaughter. Hehe, how dreadfully awful? It sounds like the next CSI release. On another note, I've never really enjoyed those Lego games. The novelty of it is cool for like the first five minutes, then you get pissed that you keep collapsing into little bricks everywhere.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - February 1, 2010 2:52 a.m.

    spyro games on psx were decent
  • Holywhippet - January 31, 2010 9:03 p.m.

    It makes you solve a homicide is bad? Go play Persona 4 and learn the joys of a good mystery.
  • terdferguson - January 31, 2010 7:09 p.m.

    Bewildering Hair Salon Planet Neo Baking Crime Scene Investigation Middle-Eastern Yoga Plus Dracula's Squirrel in the Sky Dr. Trampoline Collection
  • terdferguson - January 31, 2010 7:06 p.m.

    what about heavy rain? that makes you solve murders
  • maedene - January 31, 2010 5:52 a.m.

    Dragon Age: Origins is a really good game with dragons in it
  • Thantos410 - January 31, 2010 2:28 a.m.

    Knightfall Sonata of Lipitor: The Suppressive Fire from John Maynard Keynes X-treme Christopher Columbus Superweapons Modern Gunbattles: Operation Gunbound Eagle Strike Force Explosion Battle Attack Mega 7 Xtreme Weight Loss Slayer Yup, these are the products of a mind with little to do. I really can't make up anymore fake names. I'm exhausted from stupid ideas.
  • DriveShaft - January 30, 2010 11:26 p.m.

    Lol, loved the Nolan North one, it's true he sucks as everyone except Nate, hell the only reason I played through bouth AC's was for Nolan North x]
  • ultraguy - January 30, 2010 11:20 p.m.

    Nice article, that random name generator never gets old lol Kinky Amish Enforcer Grimy Flatulence Dancers Robot Hillbilly Onslaught Great Sex starring Mickey Mouse, just to name a few lmao
  • CH3BURASHKA - January 30, 2010 10:33 p.m.

    The 'It Makes You Solve Murders' criteria is about to be invalidated by Heavy Rain. A great list; one of the many reasons GR is my homepage. Keep it up guys!
  • GrenadeSpamAndSausages - January 30, 2010 10:21 p.m.

    Random name Generator: Michael Jacksons Porn Sisters.
  • farsided - January 30, 2010 8:35 p.m.

    First three sucked. Dragons? Ever heard of Dragon Age and Demon Souls? Winners for rpg of the year? ...and yes Nolan North does a TON of voicework, but he was also in Assassin's Creed 2, which as I recall got Action Adventure game of the year. And as for solving homicides, wasn't that a big part of Indigo Prophecy? So that leaves us with only 2 fool-proof methods for spotting an average video game, which makes this a completely fail article
  • oreomonkey - January 30, 2010 7:27 p.m.

    Jamaican Beast Turbo Super Sexy Square Dancing Inspector Quiet Ping Pong Heroes Attack of the Transvestite Disaster Psychedelic Chipmunk Annihilation Magical Lego in the Outback Silly Sex - Total War
  • blunt ambition - January 30, 2010 6:02 p.m.

    The LEGO games on PS3 were shite. No trophies, or any kind of incentive for building stuff. Rubbish!
  • Xeacons - January 30, 2010 5:12 p.m.

    "It makes you solve a homicide..." and it doesn't say "Ace Attorney." Be more careful next time.

Showing 1-20 of 51 comments

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