Question Time: Games You Thought You’d Hate, But Didn’t

Question Time: Games You Thought You’d Hate, But Didn’t

First, a confession. I’ve been playing Naruto: Rise of a Ninja on Xbox 360 the last couple of days. I can assure you this was not part of the original plan.

No, the plan was to just give it a go, because I believe everything deserves a fair chance. Except maybe chloroform or blunt head trauma. I don’t have anything against anime – I think it’s great, actually – but I could never summon the desire to give a flying crap, or half a flying crap, about Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z and, of course, Naruto.But Rise of a Ninja so effortlessly combines role-playing with the kinky flavours of Street Fighter II and, oddly, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, that I’ve had to change my seat covers twice because I’ve been subconsciously, and gleefully, wetting myself.

This kind of thing happens to everyone, or so my quickly-diminishing group of friends keeps telling me.

Even more surprising, other than my case of Euphoric Bladder Syndrome, is that Rise of a Ninja is straight out of Ubisoft Montreal (the guys doing Assassin’s Creed, for those of you who, evidently, shouldn’t even be reading this blog). Add cel-shaded graphics to this already tantalising cake, and you’d have to be daft to pass on the game simply because it’s based on a children’s anime, or has insufficient icing.

I’m currently saving 90% of my RPG attention span for Mass Effect, as I have a feeling I’ll need it, but the other 10% has been happy to indulge Rise of a Ninja. I recommend you do the same with you 10% (or more, if you have crazy Naruto love).

In fact, Rise of a Ninja almost perfectly fills the hole in my life left by the Oz delay of Assassin’s Creed.

Feel free to share your experiences with games that looked bad, but played all good-like.


  • A lot of people have been saying Naruto is a really good game, but it’s just flown under the radar for most gamers.

    My number one game that I expected to be crap and turned out good would probably be the MMO ShotOnline. Which has turned out to be in my top 10 games ever 😀

  • I usually have an open mind going into games, so I’m not expecting crap. I do have a habit of enjoying games that most people (eg reviewers) don’t like, though.

    The first name that comes to mind is the Shutokou Battle/Tokyo Xtreme Racer/Import Tuner Challenge series (depending on who releases the damned game). Most people don’t really like them because the gameplay is essentially “drive around Tokyo’s highways over and over challenging other cars to going fast in mostly straight lines”, but to me it never gets old (I’ve got 4 games in the series- the 2 American PS2 titles, the Japanese PSP title (before it was announced to be coming out under some stupid name in English), and the American Import Tuner Challenge *(argh stuck with MPH!!!)).

    I also loved Star Wars Rebellion. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who ever enjoyed it…

  • Oh drat. I had typed up a good 5 paragraphs talking about this Naruto installment and then the page refreshed at random, what a drag. To keep it very short, I didn’t like it. Fighting system too shallow, very repetetive, lacks variety, Narutimate series spoiled me, graphics is the only thing going for it, etc.

    Now, I’ll talk about a game I came to love instead… Singstar. Yes, that’s right; I’m a fag. I’ll give you my address to come bash me, but before you do that, give me a chance to explain myself. Being a fan of metal, I never expected anything out of this series as the song selection is very, very subpar (Save for Nirvana).

    The first time I played it was earlier this year, one of my friends would invite people over every second Friday for a games night. Since the majority of the group was of the female/casual variety, I wasn’t going into the first night with high hopes (Unless they were planning to play Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses, which wasn’t there, much to my dismay).

    The majority of the nights consisted of… you guessed it, Singstar. I found it so boring I started to sing my own review about the game as I played through the songs, which upped the entertainment value by a fraction. By this point, all hope was lost. I had nowhere to go, my life lacked meaning, purpose. What was a man to do if he could not enjoy SingStar, the epitome of gaming?

    As I was preparing to end my life, I heard a faint sound in the distance. The room fell silent, nothing could be heard but this melodic tone coming from a distant land. “What could it be?”, I asked. Everyone turned to look at me, as if I had done something wrong. “Check your pocket”, says one lass in the far corner. Puzzled by her strict demeanor, I thought the best course of action would be to do as she says, lest I get a smacking.

    I opened up my left pocket to discover something out of this world, I stared at it with intent horror. I threw it out of my pocket and screamed “What is this monstrosity?!”. A large lad sitting on a bench close to me picked it up and examined the device. “It’s a mobile phone”, he said in a calm voice. I let out a sigh of relief and picked up the mobile phone.

    I noticed a message had been left for me. I proceeded to open this sacred digital inbox to examine the contents. “This can’t be…”, I said as I read the message. It was from an old friend of mine from the southern lands of Reynellarnia in the region of Adelaidean. He told me one thing… “Are you ready to RAWK?!?!?!?”.

    As I finished reading the message, I could see a light shining from the front porch. I got up to check it out, as I got closer to the door, it suddenly burst open. I coughed as a cloud of smoke rushed through the room. I tried to get a clear view of who it was, but all I could see was a shadow. As the fog cleared, I noticed something. Two fingers were uplifted, seperated by the middle and ring finger. Right then, I knew who it was.

    The devil horns were up in the air and the man jumped out of the smoke and screamed “Let us lay down the heavy metal”. It was none other than my old friend, Sir Rawk. I threw up the devil horns in salute and proceeded to grab a SingStar microphone. The first band to feel our wrath was The Veronicas. We screamed with our deep, grunty voices as we sang this mellow love song.

    The night had become something I could never dream of, my face was full of delight and I wanted to capture this moment forever. We had turned SingStar into a heavy metal singing contest. Granted, the contestants only consisted of me and Sir Rawk as everyone else had left the room to escape the screeching sounds. At the end of the day, me and SingStar lived happily ever after. Well, except for my sore throat.

    Disclaimer: The events taken place were based on a true story, although some names, places and suggested themes have been altered for your enjoyment… and safety. Please do not try this at home.

    I can’t believe I just typed all that, if only the page didn’t ruin my Naruto review… I could have seemed like a sane person. I won’t let it happen again guys, promise.

  • If enjoying singstar makes one a ‘fag’, then im guilty as charged.

    It’s pretty good, even better when drunk, or so i hear.

  • @Fairplay: I’ve been called that before by my non-gaming peers when they heard I played SingStar, of course they were joking but it broke my heart. Sad times, sad times indeed.

  • Rainbow Six: Vegas.

    Ive never played any of the Rainbow six games before, I’m guessing now that I should.

    I was given this game for a birthday present, and the only thing I knew about it was that it was also available on the PS3 and 360.

    Truth be told I was a bit annoyed that received this game as a gift, I was expecting a clunky fps port. On initially playing it, those were my only impressions, and I stopped playing after about 20 minutes.

    But I came back to it for some reason, and had a real go at the game. Once began using the cover system, and got used to the interface, I began to enjoy it. Then I investigated some more and found that it had a co-op component.

    Not just some fight off random ai’s co-op, but actually playing through the single player component of the game co-op. I convinced my brother to buy it as well, and I had the most fun in an FPS game that I have had for a long time

    It’s amazing how one little feature, playing with a friend, can add so much to a gaming experience.

    The culmination was convincing two other friends to buy the game, then organizing a LAN with a late night run through of the game with four player co-op. Fantastic!

    I would recommend the game to anyone, not only is it a solid fps game, but anything with co-op in it must be purchased and enjoyed!

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