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You know that heartwarming sensation you get while remembering games of yesteryear? The one that makes you ponder, "Why aren't games this good nowadays?" It's a lie. It's a childhood veil that, once lifted, exposes how shitty some of your favorite games were all along. They didn't just sour with age - they were never that fun, you just put up with them because there was no better alternative.
Metroid, for example, is fairly crap by today's standards. But it was actually good for its day and therefore doesn't make the list. But plenty of other games that people cling to (GR editors included) were not the end-all be-all titles we built them up to be. We allowed them to attain levels of fame well beyond their capabilities, and now it's time to take 'em down a notch.
We covered this at great length in The Rise, Fall and Deafening Crash of Sonic the Hedgehog, but it most assuredly deserves repeating. This was the beginning of the end for Sonic, a harbinger of every awful addition to the series that people somehow mistook for "exciting gameplay!" back in 1999. The camera is out of control, the dialogue is hideous, the story reads like junior high fan fiction and worst of all, it's loaded with characters that a five-year-old would be embarrassed to like.
But people still seem to think this is the blueprint for a good Sonic game. It is not an exceptional game. It was slightly above average and adored solely because it looked worlds better than its competition, which was PSOne and N64, two consoles plagued with visual setbacks (would you like your games pixilated, jaggy or blurry?). Even the press, quick to love Sonic Adventure in 1999, understood how crap the game was upon its re-release just four years later.
Nothing changed from one release to the next, yet scores dipped dramatically, all complaining about core gameplay issues, not generational stuff like graphics. We know review scores aren't "proof" of anything, but it does illustrate the point that we're not the only ones who realize Adventure sucked and condemned the series to mediocrity.
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