The Grateful Dead Effect - Joe Fathead Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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The Grateful Dead Effect

The Grateful Dead was an important, influential, and much loved American band. They had legions of fans called Dead Heads that followed them around the country, making tapes of their concerts and trading them with each other, as well as partaking in copious quantities of recreational substances. I bought a couple albums of theirs well after their heyday based on that reputation. There's only one problem: I hate them.

 

There are more than a few games that have stellar reputations which I have given a fair shake, but just don't enjoy. There are entire genres of games that I wanted to like, but, God bless 'em, they drive me nuts. We have all heard fellow gamers say nonsense like, "If you don't like Game X, you're not a real gamer." Or, "They have abandoned hardcore gamers." Well, I would like to put in a word for those of us with whom this attitude doesn't sit with the utmost comfort.

 

I like Action/Adventure games a lot. Platformers, too. Zelda, God of War, Prince of Persia, Ratchet & Clank. I kept reading about how swell Uncharted was. Seemed like it was right up my alley - great graphics, interesting story, platforming. So I got it. Well, the graphics were good. Yep. They were. Especially for an early game in the PS3's cycle. Naughty Dog is a seriously talented group. Good graphics. Yessiree.

Yeah, we made it, Mom. It sure is pretty here.

 

I'm sorry, Uncharted lovers, but I hated that game. Run to an area, shoot enemies, run to another area, shoot more enemies, some light platforming, run to next area. I got about 80% of the way through before I gave it up. I've heard that the ending is more interesting, but I couldn't bring myself to stick it out for a small payoff. I'd rather play Peggle. Much rather, actually.

And Odin Sphere. Cool graphics, great visual style. Boring as all get out. It actually kind of made me mad. Why was everyone twisting themselves into knots praising this thing?

Okay...huh?

 

RPGs? Don't see it. Turn based combat? Gives me hives.

Now, don't get me wrong here. I'm not going off on popular games to sound like I'm Above What Everyone Else Likes Guy, because that guy is annoying. But, you know what? It's okay to not like stuff, because there's lots of stuff out there, and you'll like some of that. And really, how silly is it to try to convince yourself that you'll like something just because someone says you should? Or to avoid stuff you'll like because Internet Guy says you aren't "hardcore" if you do? You're allowed to like stuff. And you're allowed to like more than one kind of stuff. I'm a 46 year old man who loves Kirby's Epic Yarn. And God of War. And will play Bejeweled. And who sucks at racing games.

So, do yourself a favor: Don't care. Trust me, you'll get there eventually, so save yourself some time and start now. Play what's fun for you, and the honk with the rest. You might just keep your backlog clear of games you "should" play. Unlike mine. Yep. There sits Uncharted 2, on the shelf just to my left.

I really should get around to playing that thing some time. I hear it's good.

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