Poor man's 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 <insert game name here>."

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.

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  • D0CCON - February 27, 2010 5:52 a.m.

    Gotta love how the poor man's game still cost just as much as the good version.
  • GrayFox161 - January 7, 2010 12:25 p.m.

    Winback... What a crappy name...
  • linkganon - October 16, 2009 2:08 a.m.

    nobody will ever be able to outthrone metal gear solid except of course another metal gear solid. ah, hideo, you have to have long cutscenes which is a long rant, in which everybody makes no sense, and i guess raiden doesn't understand the ending of the second one eather, he might have intended to confuse you in order to put you in raiden's shoes.
  • RandomSamurai13 - August 31, 2009 5:34 p.m.

    That Street Racing Cyndicate sounds almost creepy, "Winning girlfriends" is almost justifiable, but making them dance clearly shows the distrubed nature of the developers. Who the hell makes their girlfriend dance?
  • WoodyWoodrowAndThePanfluteOfDestiny - August 31, 2009 2:20 p.m.

    hamstets rule
  • musashi1596 - August 31, 2009 12:33 p.m.

    Dogz is the poor mans Nintendogs? Fair enough, but the latter was hardly stellar material to begin with, so I shudder to think of the quality of the former.
  • hybrid616 - September 20, 2009 1:53 p.m.

    @darklinkinfinite. actually, MGS1 had the pop out and shoot mechanic. and also the laser sight. granted, you couldn't use it in first person, but it was there to help you aim with the overhead camera... did you assume they meant MGS2 because they used that picture? they used it because they were both on PS2.
  • darklinkinfinite - August 31, 2009 11:51 p.m.

    I wonder if they realize that Winback on the PS2 is an updated port of an N64 game released in 1999, two years before Metal Gear Solid 2 and actually introduced the pop out and shoot w/ laser site mechanic that MGS2 would later itself use.

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