Poor man's games

Sort of the same, but somehow worse... We investigate the low-cost versions of our favorite games

For every Eddie Murphy there's a Chris Tucker. For every Coke there's a store-brand Cola. For every Mario, a Luigi. You get what we're talking about, right? Lurking in the shadow of every premium product, there's a low-grade, cheapo version. We're pretty sure without this good/bad, yin/yang balance the world would cease to spin on a level axis and topple into a black hole.

More than anywhere (except possibly Hollywood film actors and breakfast cereals) this applies to games. We've lost count of the times we've played another clone and proclaimed, "Pah, it's just a poor man's ."

So, here we celebrate some of the most exemplary "poor man's versions." They're, you know, kind of similar, but only if you squint really hard.

Winback is the Poor man's Metal Gear Solid

Re-reading the 2001 press release for Winback makes you realize just how much it wanted to be Metal Gear Solid; a third-person "swing out" feature that let you pop out from behind walls and boxes to shoot enemies, and a laser sighting mechanism were among key selling points. Familiar, no?

It didn't really help that the game it tried to imitate was one of the most highly acclaimed on PS2 and that the pitiful "satellite weapon" you were trying to capture was only capable of destroying "several square miles [of land] at a time." The final nail in the coffin? Your commando unit was called S.C.A.T.


I hate the 267.


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