Flawed games that did one thing amazing

I’ve been listening to Morrowind’s soundtrack lately, and it gave me this idea for a thread. Morrowind was a deeply flawed game, lots of problems. I personally never finished it as it pissed me off one too many times. But the soundtrack… I don’t think anyone can argue against how awesome the soundtrack is. It’s easily Jeremy Soule’s best.

So with that in mind, what flawed/broken/outright bad games have you played that did one thing so well that no one can really argue with it?

I already said Morrowind for the soundtrack.

I’ll add Eve for the PVP system (even if you don’t like the mechanics of combat or the rest of the game, the system of PVP anywhere coupled with NPC police and highsec/lowsec/0.0 is brilliant).

Zone of the Enders had fantastic anime-robot style combat, despite horrible repetition and random difficulty.

Halo: An otherwise unremarkable game that seriously effing rocked the co-op world.

Really? I thought the Daggerfall soundtrack was much better. Falling Snow, or whatever that track was when it snowed, was just awesome.

Errrr, let me think of a game that’s flawed but did something right . . .

Soldier of Fortune II’s random level generator.

So who is going to be the brave soul to list Assassin’s Creed?

Just Cause! Terrible combat, terrible driving physics, cheesy as hell and unnecessary “story”, awful animations … and yet it made me play it until I 100%-ed the thing. There’s something about the sheer scale of it, about seeing something on the horizon and knowing you can really get there, then securing your means of travel, and then doing it (finishing up with a parachute jump, naturally) that kept me doing it over and over until the game was completed.

I’m fairly certain it’s the largest game world yet, in a game of this type.

I like the Morrowind soundtrack a lot too, but I like his Icewind Dale soundtrack the best.

Temple of Elemental Evil for the best iteration of D&D combat.

Chrono Cross. Too many characters, a big “Fuck you” to the happy ending of Chrono Trigger, a plot that really doesn’t make any sense at all, a disjointed combat system, and a laughable Rock Opera in Marbule.

But holy shit, what a great soundtrack. I listen to it constantly.

A. If Morrowind is flawed then every game is flawed.
B. The Morrowind soundtrack has only a very few tracks. The Oblivion soundtrack is based on the same themes but with much more variety.

Morrowind was flawed. The walk speed, athletics training, and potion exploiting just to be able to travel at a decent pace broke it.


I was considering it, but couldn’t deny that there was far more than ‘one thing’ I thought Assassin’s Creed did well.

Then again, I think that there’s far more than one thing that Morrowind does well. Having the huge world with the open cities meant that superjumps were a great way to traverse the world, unlike Oblivion whose walled cities required a severe curtailing of the usefulness of high end Athletics and an overall removal of the flight spells.

I’d have to go with Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. I hated the combat. Hated the boss-fights. Hated most of the missions. I think that the combat systems of the more recent Hulk game alleviated a lot of those issues. However, the environemtnal traversal in Hulk:UD is unmatched, even by its more recent version. After all, Incredible Hulk took out wall running, whereas Hulk:UD had an almost unlimited ability to run anywhere, use that momentum to launch yourself high up and then guide yourself with the jaunts nearly halfway across the city. It was energizing.

I’ll go with Spider-Man 2 for the same reason. The visuals sucked. The missions were terrible. The voicework was so laden with Gilbert Gottfried-esque shrill “SPIDUHMAN!” New Yorkers that avoiding them became an imperative. And the boss battles were like punching yourself in the nuts. But moving through the city, the webslinging, was such raw exhilaration that the game was worth every minute. Other Spider-Mans tried to improve the graphics or the story or the combat, but in every instance they fucked up the skill-based high-speed webslinging that made Spider-Man 2 so great.

Man. Everything on there is about my love of superjumps. Goddam, I love superjumps. When’s Prototype coming out again?

Project I.G.I. - I’m Going In

This game makes baby Jesus cry due to its absolut unfair respawing of enemies and it’s unforgiving 2 shots and you are dead rule (with NO saving or save points in any level).
You literally need to learn the whole levels and then still be lucky to not get caught by yet another unfair spawn.

That game grabs you by the balls and then squeezes!
It shits all over this “duck and recover HP” or “bullet time” things games have these days.
The graphics suck, the story is forgetable, your side-kick in the last mission drives you crazy (move your fuing ct! Don’t stand in the line of fire! Argh! :p ), the levels are very long and unforgiving. Without its crazy amount of difficulty the game would be very bad and not worthy to be played at all.

I banged my head for 2 months on the last 2 levels until I finally, finally made it and was close to crying of joy!
Apart from “Commandos - Behind Enemy Lines” that was the hardest game I ever finished and for that it has a special place in my heart.

I am not looking for trouble or anything…But name one game that isn’t flawed.
Here is my example of a flawed game that did something right.
Half-life 2.
What did it do right? Great example of the save anytime system.
What is the flaw? Levels went on for too long.

Portal comes pretty close.


Portal comes pretty close.

Close. But flawed is such a subjective thing, it’ll be impossible to reach a consensus on one specific game not having any flaws.

Even though I love Crackdown to death, I would never defend the car racing in it. A fantastic game with that little puss filled blemish on it.

Assassin’s Creed: climbing/free running.

I wasn’t suggesting that games aren’t flawed, it just seemed that you were suggesting Morrowind wasn’t. We won’t let this turn into a P&R fagdance, but that’s how that phrase is used: “If I’m gay, then everyone is gay.” Means I’m not gay.


You sir won!
End of discussion! :)

Tetris had too much focus on story.

I don’t think anyone can argue against how awesome the soundtrack is.

I can try. The main theme and one of the subthemes are very good, but the music seems pretty sparse overall, lending itself to too much recycling. I had to drop in extra MP3’s of my own to flesh things out. Compared to big, generous scores like Outcast or World of Warcraft, I think it’s a bit lacking. As for Soule, he did good work in Morrowind but his music for Icewind Dale was also superb, particularly the Kuldahar theme.

I like Morrowind a lot, but the music is not its best feature.

I can think of a lot of games for which the music is the best feature, though, most of them on the Commodore 64. Parallax, Crazy Comets, Monty on the Run, and International Karate all come readily to mind. Gameplay varying from mediocre to good (even by the standards of the day), but fantastic music.

Also Faery Tale Adventure on the Amiga. A deeply flawed game but the tunes are fantastic.