Can a Game be “So Bad It’s Good”?


That frightening figure you see above is my character in the unabashed GTA rip-off Saints Row 2.  Not only is that thing freakishly thin to the point of being emaciated, but due to Saints Row 2’s voice customization, it also speaks with the voice of a young, snappy, and totally fresh “gansta” girl.  The effect is extraordinarily unsettling during the fully voice acted and animated cut scenes, often to the point of utter hilarity.  The rest of the game is essentially the lowbrow, boorish, inbred cousin of the GTA series, drenched in an absurd amount of urban gangstaism and excrement related missions.  My enjoyment from this game came mainly from its juvenile sensibility; most every other part is just a sub par version of what’s available in Grand Theft Auto 4.  This experience begs the question: can a videogame be “so bad it’s good” in the same way a movie can?

The central problem to a game being so bad it’s good is that most terrible but entertaining movies are unintentionally so.  The obstacle any “so bad it’s good” game has to overcome is that most bad games are… bad.  Specifically, bad games often control poorly, look terrible, and may be so glitchy as to be literally unplayable.  Saints Row 2 suffers from poor frame rates at certain points and that isn’t entertaining, it’s annoying.  Even those parts that are over the top are purposely done that way, a style chosen by the games designers.  Truly unintended entertainment would be more like the terribly glitchy release of Grand Theft Auto on PC, the awful voice work in Resident Evil, or my experience with the Frontlines: Fuel of War demo, which was a series of hilarious errors.  First, when I decided to take cover behind a car, it simply disappeared, fazed out of existence.  Next, when I found myself in a small building looking for some health I turned a corner and found myself face to face with an enemy soldier.  I smashed every button on the controller hoping for a melee and when I happened to find it and smack the man in the face with my gun, he went flying 20 feet across the room.  Finally, when I was lucky enough to find myself a tank, I mistakenly backed myself right off a cliff.  Strangely, my giant, metal tank rolled and bounced down the hill like a basketball.  Perhaps had I actually paid for this game, I wouldn’t have been so entertained and instead rather peeved at my glitchy purchase.  As it stands though it was one of the funnier games I’ve played.

Can anyone else think of some games that are so bad their good?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: