What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Discuss and discover all the great games of yesteryear!

Moderators: mknott, NickThorpe, lcarlson, Darran@Retro Gamer, MMohammed

User avatar
Rev. Stuart Campbell
Posts: 1040
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:28 am

What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Post by Rev. Stuart Campbell » Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:45 am

I reckon it's Moon Cresta. That unforgettable and evocative fanfare as your ship appears onscreen, the great sound effects, the varied attack waves, the stylish and colourful graphics, the aliens with the cool names, the buzz of docking all three parts of your ship together and having a five-bullet behemoth under your control.

Except that you only ever get to play with that ship for about 20 seconds, before you get dumped back to the useless single-shot one that has to battle through FOUR painfully slow waves of randomly-jerking enemies that you can't reliably shoot with your sluggish bullets because you don't know where they're going, and you can't just sacrifice the crap-o-ship because then you can't get the big points for the second docking. Plus if you HAVE docked then the game is basically six boringly easy waves interspersed with four incredibly tedious ones, but with the excitement of being able to randomly lose two lives at once.

Nichibutsu clearly realised it was flawed because they made Super Moon Cresta which gave you much faster fire to make those four waves less unbearable, but also let the baddies shoot back at you at point-blank range so it was harder and more unfair overall.

Most of the home ports are terrible too (even the much-lauded Speccy one is actually mediocre at best, with that "bee trapped in a hairdryer" sound, inauthentic enemy behaviour and whole waves you can wipe out without moving), and yet nearly everyone - me included - still looks on Moon Cresta fondly. We're such suckers for a jingle.

User avatar
Rev. Stuart Campbell
Posts: 1040
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:28 am

Re: What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Post by Rev. Stuart Campbell » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:12 am

And if it's not that then it's definitely Golden fricking Axe.

NorthWay
Posts: 1623
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:02 am
Location: Grimstad, Norway

Re: What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Post by NorthWay » Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:31 pm

I'm partial to say Space Invaders and Pacman. Very iconic, but still too simplistic for me. Might be a bit strong to say rubbish, but compared to their status they don't do anything for me.

ommadawnyawn
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:41 am

Re: What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Post by ommadawnyawn » Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:47 pm

Rubbish-mediocre:
CV2: Simon's Quest
Dragon's Lair
Track & Field
Shadow of the Beast
Zaxxon
Defender of the Crown
Ghosts 'n Goblins
Duck Hunt
Kung Fu Master
Xevious
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego
Ice Climber
1942
Dragon Quest 2
Rampage
Shadowgate
Last Ninja
Final Fantasy 2 (NES)
Metroid
Altered Beast
Life Force (ARC)
Castlevania: The Adventure
Ninja Gaiden
Phantasy Star 2-3
Strider
Space Quest 2
TMNT (NES)

They all have either poor controls/interface, too much trial & error, too much grinding or all three. A lot of them are overly simple and repetitive as well.
Mini-reviews & Lists: http://minirevver.weebly.com/, Youtube (chiptunes, romhacks): https://www.youtube.com/user/Alianger/videos, Retro game mockups: http://alianger.imgur.com/

User avatar
fredghostmaster
Posts: 658
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:17 pm
Location: essex

Re: What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Post by fredghostmaster » Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:57 pm

Moon Cresta is a great game. I even bought it recently on the Switch as I enjoy it so much. I've been playing it since 1983 on and off and never got bored of it.

I'd vote Defender as the most boring iconic game.

Nin10dofan
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:11 pm
Location: Dublin, ireland

Re: What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Post by Nin10dofan » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:13 pm

where do you start, i would call old games like mooncresta terrible, i mean it was cheap and worth play. i rememember banjo kazooie gruntys revenge on game boy advance , nintendo took alot of gameplay out of it and the game ( which was brilliant ) got boring later on. in a more recent game bit trip saga for switch ( i paid 20 euro for it ) its the worst game i ever played ( or did they take gameplay out of it ? ).

User avatar
Matt_B
Posts: 5471
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:30 am
Location: 5 minutes from the beach, 30 seconds from the pub

Re: What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Post by Matt_B » Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:14 pm

I'd think that the main reason that the Spectrum version of Moon Cresta is highly rated is because it's a rare case of the machine being able to pull off a passable semblance of the arcade machine's graphics in a licensed conversion. When practically everything else looks like total arse gravy the bar set for authenticity is a low one. The game itself wasn't bad for your 10p in 1980, but I'd still take Galaga and Phoenix - which don't really suffer from having those weak early stages - from among its contemporaries.

Dragon's Lair is a perennial pet hate although, to be fair, its status as a gaming icon usually comes attached with caveats about the vacuousness of gratuitous FMV and that QTEs are the lowest form of bad gameplay. We could still have been saved a decade and a half of rubbish games in the same mould if Rick Dyer had resolved to nail down how both those things could have served the game well before proceeding with it, because it took that long before anyone else did.

Naah, I'll go straight for the jugular with Final Fantasy 7. I won't deny that it was a pivotal title in its time, particularly in terms of eye candy graphics and large scale worldbuilding. However, the 3D models now look poor even by PS1 standards, the story is crap (if you disagree, try summarizing the main plot in a paragraph), the characters are one dimensional idiots, the jiggle physics were always an embarrassment, the minigames are all rubbish, the combat system is slow and lacks options, the animations you can't skip get tiresome, and similarly does not being able to walk ten steps without triggering a random battle at times. Yet you'll still get people who genuinely believe it's the best game ever and that the relatively minor changes in the remake somehow ruined it.

pratty
Posts: 5580
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:13 pm

Re: What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Post by pratty » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:33 am

Never been a fan of Pacman, and Tetris must be the most overrated game of all time.
Pratty's trade list, updated (May 2019)!
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=54823

NorthWay
Posts: 1623
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:02 am
Location: Grimstad, Norway

Re: What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Post by NorthWay » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:45 pm

pratty wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:33 am
Tetris must be the most overrated game of all time.
Handbags at dawn!

Tetris is IMO the most perfectly destilled game - it verily adheres to the old adage of take away everything you can until you can take away no more, and then stop.
I think it cost me a good portion of my grades in autumn of 1989. Wonderful game.

User avatar
rossi46
Posts: 4375
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 3:14 pm
Location: melrose
Contact:

Re: What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Post by rossi46 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:23 am

Metal Slug or any point and click title.
Thoughts and prayers.

User avatar
merman
Posts: 6506
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:14 pm
Location: Skegness, UK
Contact:

Re: What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Post by merman » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:31 am

Earthworm Jim.
About twenty seconds of generally funny comedy wrapped up in three hours of aggravating pixel-perfect platforming made egregiously difficult by the awful controls. Shiny did so many better platform games, and I feel like I am massacring a sacred cow by posting this. But that's how I feel.
merman1974 on Steam, Xbox Live, Twitter and YouTube

User avatar
PostieDoc
Posts: 802
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:40 pm

Re: What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Post by PostieDoc » Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:45 am

I second Golden Axe, such a boring game.

My nominations are Cauldron 1 and 2. I love the graphics but the actual games are not much fun.

User avatar
Sel Feena
Posts: 3559
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:38 pm

Re: What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Post by Sel Feena » Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:48 am

Early Mortal Kombat always seemed to me to just swing by on the novelty of fatalities, and now the modern games have lost even that by removing the campy charm of the originals and being overly gory and detailed
Image

User avatar
Shinobi
Posts: 7614
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:33 am
Location: The Pride Lands

Re: What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Post by Shinobi » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:36 am

GTA or Rockstar games In general. I enjoy beating random people up and running them over for about 5 minutes. Not to mention the racial stereotypes such as Bagman a Jamaican drug dealer who nobody could understand when they spoke and racist bikers.

I loved Remedy’s Max Payne 1 & 2 and Capcoms Red Dead Max Payne 3 and Red Dead Redemption where the worst games I’ve ever played.

Wild West GTA where the woman don’t fight back and you can tie them to Train Tracks. I watched my friend play Red Dead 2 and I saw the Klu Klux Klan with a burning cross. My friend didn’t get close to the clan to see if anybody was on the cross but they did have the white masks and garb..

Max Payne 3 kill a room full of stereotype Mexicans long cut scene, go the next room and kill more generic Mexicans. Rinse & repeat
"Crush the Old Order and CREATE A NEW SOCIETY!"

User avatar
Antiriad2097
Posts: 26905
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:48 pm
Location: http://s11.zetaboards.com/RetroLeague/
Contact:

Re: What's the most iconic retro game that's actually rubbish?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:30 pm

I really want to play Red Dead Redemption 2 now.
The Retro League - Where skill isn't an obstacle
Retrocanteen, home of the unfairly banned
Tom_Baker wrote:I just finished watching a film about Stockholm syndrome. It started out terrible but by the end I really liked it.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests