I realize Metacritic is more than a little unpopular, but despite all of the problems produced by its aggregate scores it still functions well as a convenient index of professional reviews, which is my reason for referencing it in this post.
Gears of War 2 — I came late to the party on the Gears of War franchise, but it still had a fairly active and large fanbase that kept the hype alive and is also what eventually convinced me to play it. When I finally started playing my expectations were set especially high, and thus I was especially shocked when I discovered exactly how much I disliked everything about it. This game was such an unenjoyable experience for me that I went on to write a review of my own.
Every single one of the ninety reviews listed on Metacritic is outstandingly positive.
Chrono Trigger — There are a lot of things about games that I like just because I like them. I don’t need a rhythm game to give me a reason why I should be hitting multicolored blocks, I just have fun doing that. Chrono Trigger’s appeal rests on the assumption that the player will appreciate it for what it is. I, however, am apparently not that player. Japanese RPGs largely aren’t interesting for me, and thus this game wasn’t either. All of its thematic, narrative, and gameplay elements were included because its genre prescribed them, not because it was doing anything special with them. As I played I kept waiting for a moment where I would suddenly realize why I should care about the nonsense happening on my screen. After a few hours I lost interest and gave up.
Once again, Metacritic is lacking in a single negative review out of fifty-six (of the DS version). Some of the listed reviews refer to it as the greatest game ever created.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass — I don’t know why I played this, other than the fact that it has Zelda in its name, which I assume is the reason most people played it. But either way, I couldn’t bring myself to finish it, it was so horrible. I find it hard to believe that any of the leaders of the team that developed this had any idea what made any previous Zelda game fun. Their only goal seemed to be to make a game that looks like Wind Waker.
Only two reviews out of the fifty-seven listed on Metacritic seem to be particularly critical of this game.
Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble! — is one of my favorite games of all time. I don’t know exactly what it is yet, but it appears to be some kind of RPG, or something. It’s is an art game that, unlike so many other art games, never actually tells you that it is one. It has a lovable way of addressing serious, sometimes offensive, topics without actually being serious itself. If more games that tried to be serious spent less time telling you they’re serious then I’m certain more people would take those games seriously.
Or maybe not, since only five reviews are listed on Metacritic, and each has the same somewhat positive message. Apparently the game’s low price is its best feature, and no one thinks this game is one of the greatest games ever.