Friday, June 22, 2007

The three worst DS games

I decided to get crackin' on this one a little early today. If I leave writing articles until later, I don't get much sleep, and I have a few things to do tomorrow. Hooray for time management!



The DS is quite possibly my favorite gaming platform in history, but no system is without it's bad games. Here, in no particular order, I will list the three worst DS games I have ever played.

Zoo Tycoon DS

Developer: Blue Fang Games
Publisher: THQ


I've always loved the PC tycoon games, and when I saw Zoo Tycoon on the shelf, well, I figured it would be a good idea to buy it, despite the polar bear relieving itself on the front of the box. Big mistake.

Now, in the Zoo Tycoon series of games, it's up to the player to manage a zoo and make it as good as it can be. Sometimes players are presented with blank slates, other times it's their obligation to pull a failing zoo out of the financial hole and into the green. This is done by building and modifying animal exhibits, giving the customers and the creatures what they want, and overall delivering an enjoyable experience to all living beings within the zoo.

In the PC games, this works very well. In the DS version, however, more than just the zoo's financial stability is a mess. First of all, controls are sloppy at best. Pressing up on the D-pad makes the camera pan diagonally up-right. Yeah, it didn't make much sense to me, either. Instead of dragging and dropping fences, paths and structures onto the land, you are presented with a cryptic grid representation of the environment, with colored squares indicating obstacles, but not what the obstacles are. Wow.

The sound and graphics are no better, but I feel I've gotten across the main point here: The game blows chunks. Do not buy this game under ANY circumstances EVER. I'm glad I sold this to EBGames for nine bucks. That act alone was more fun than this game. Hell, I have more fun unclogging a toilet than playing this. At least that presents a challenge.

Need For Speed: Most Wanted

Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts


Boy am I glad I only rented this stinker... Before this, I had played Need For Speed: Underground 2, a slightly underwhelming DS racer. I figured that there was no way the sequel could be worse.

I was dead wrong
. The graphics were perhaps the most declined of all the aspects. The environments were blocky and blurry, even for the DS. The cars were chunky and unappealing, quite the opposite of how a Need For Speed game should be.

They even managed to make the physics even worse than before! In Underground 2, if you crested a hill at high speed, you went airborne. In Most Wanted, no matter how fast you were going or how steep a hill you were climbing, your car seemed to be being held to the road by super-strong electromagnets. You could not leave the ground or even flip.

The AI was abysmal, as it was always very obvious where your opponents were going to turn and where cops were going to lay down spike strips. Speaking of cops, the way they drive it looks like they dropped out of police school two says into the semester. For that matter, I'm surprised they even had a license! It was much too easy to coax pursuing officers to run into oncoming traffic, walls, or even eachother. I think even Learning to Drive for Dummies would be too complicated for them.

Even though it was only an eight dollar rental, I still felt ripped off. Returned it the next day, and never looked back.

Spider-Man 2

Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision


Out of all the games listed here, this is most likely the one I hate the least. Why? Because I never payed a cent for it! It belonged to one of my friends, so I got to experience the terrible design for free!

Now, this game actually has significantly better production value than Need For Speed: Most Wanted and Zoo Tycoon DS, in that it's graphics and sound were quite impressive for the time. But the levels are super-repetitive, as well as bland and uninspired. "Help, Spider-Man! I'm stuck in a burning building!" How do you save this hapless citizen? You... Touch them. Seriously, once Spider-Man makes physical contact with them, they're saved. Even if you merely tap them in a crumbling pile of burning rubble, they disappear, unscathed. Was that radioactive spider, by chance, a firefighter? It would seem so...

Also, when you break into this burning building, it's crawling with thugs! Dude, the building is on FIRE! Ignore your thuggish impulses for five minutes and get the hell out of here! But, no, they'd much rather whack you with a baseball bat than save their lives. Wow.

Again, very, very glad I never payed anything to play this one...

So, what do you think are some really crappy DS games?

The Duck Has Spoken.

3 comments:

ModestMr.Green said...

Ping Pals.

It's basically PictoChat gone wrong...my sister owns this one...

There are AI robots to talk to, but they don't have many different phrases...and there are endless useless accessories for your avitar that can be purchased, including ones only available on certain days.

There are also a couple of pretty uninspired chat-based games.

Blech.

Nick said...

I agree with modestmr.green --- how could Ping Pals not make this list?

PsychoDuck said...

"I agree with modestmr.green --- how could Ping Pals not make this list?"

Very simple, really. I never played it! This list only contains the three worst DS games I have ever played. No matter how many terrible things I hear about Ping Pals, I have thankfully never touched it. I don't think it correct to condemn games one has never played, so I left Ping Pals off of the list.

Although I'm sure that, had I played it, it would be the chairman of the board.

The Duck Has Spoken.