Weekend Question: Have you ever loved a cursed videogame?


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May 3, 2022
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Back to our regularly scheduled beginning of the week weekend question. For those not in the know: I ask the same question of PCG's staff and forums for a regular feature on the site. If you'd like your answer to be considered, feel free to comment on this thread!

This week's question is: Have you ever loved a cursed videogame?

What is a "cursed" videogame? I'd argue any game that feels like it should be a Simpsons background gag (see: My Dinner With Andre: The Arcade Game, Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge), or else could be the game people are playing on-screen in a videogame-themed episode of Law & Order: SVU. The Mystery of the Druids, Limbo of the Lost, the Eragon movie tie-in, Golf Magazine: 36 Great Holes Starring Fred Couples, the 2014 Thief reboot, there is a case to be made for "cursed" status for all these games.

One of my cursed games is probably The Spongebob Squarepants Movie: The Game, released for sixth generation consoles and based on the Battle for Bikini Bottom engine. I have a crystalized memory of being nine years old, sat on the floor of my parents' finished basement in front of one of those massive aughts-era rear projection TVs. I was playing The Spongebob Squarepants Movie: The Game on original Xbox, but I was listening to my dad's CD of the U2 album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, on my dad's old Sony Discman. While I was immersed in the finest(?) soft rock Ireland had to offer, to an external observer, this tableau would have been largely silent. If that's not cursed, I don't know what is—someone go back and save that boy.
My first gaming system was the Gameboy. We didn't really know what games would be good back then. I would say that most of our Gameboy games could be classified as cursed.

One of the games I started with was Bart Simpson's: Escape From Camp Deadly. Being young, I kept at it, believing I was just bad at the game but, looking back, reviews were not good.

It holds a place in my memories of equal love and aversion.


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I just recently discovered the joys of having my ruler be cursed in Old World, so I'm trying to avoid being triggered here....

I've played quite a few games that were outright unplayable at launch - thus earning a ton of cursing from many players. Arkham Knight was pretty fun a year after showing up on PC. Sword of the Stars 2 was fairly good a year and a half after release. X:Rebirth was fun enough two years after release that I played through it twice!
One of the games I started with was Bart Simpson's: Escape From Camp Deadly. Being young, I kept at it, believing I was just bad at the game but, looking back, reviews were not good.

Right there with you. That game and Choplifter 2 were my favorites.

I'd say my most cursed game is Guitar Hero/ Rock Band. I thought they were so gimmicky and too expensive for what it offered. I took a job at a second-hand e-tailer back then fixing up and cleaning all sorts of guitar hero guitars and rock band guitar/mic/drum kits for months because they were so popular, they were flying out the door at discounted prices.

A lot of the drumkits came in disgusting and gross and we had to clean and fix them. On doing that i became really good at playing the game and it was a skill i never wanted but developed anyway (not Thru the Fire and Flames expert 100% good but). Also was able to get next to nothing rock band kits and guitar hero guitars, so it naturally became something i was able to really get good at.
This may or may not fit your criteria for a "cursed" game, but for me it would be Gothic 3 from Piranha Bytes released back in 2006. The game was cursed from the start with the forced release when the game was clearly not ready or complete, by then publisher JoWooD. Hundreds of bugs on release, dialogue not triggering, critical NPCs not being where they're supposed to be which usually resulted in quests (minor or major) to break completely.

But I loved that game (and still do) with its open world exploration, combat, and dialogue choices when dealing with the Orc occupation of the mostly human continent of Myrtana. With a dedicated group of modders, the community patch was created and eventually fixed the vast majority of bugs. Current version is 1.75 which is available on Steam in the beta branch.
I think just about every game I ever played as a kid on the ZX Spectrum was haunted in some way, but I'm damned if I can remember the names of any of them.

I spent a lot of time as a slightly older kid playing World Championship Boxing Manager which was pretty terrible by even 90's standards. You wanted cursed right?

The arcade machine was in Grosse Point Blank so i'm counting it. Doom 2 is perhaps one of my personal fav games of all time. i don't play Doom 2 exactly, more the doom wads and despite the aging engine the Doom modding community have done wonders with the engine and some games have made it to the steam store itself.

Honorable mention goes to Hypnospace outlaw, where the game is so cursed that i don't know whether to love it or hate it. Set in an alternate 1999 where hypnospace (surfing the internet when sleeping/using your brain) has become the next best thing. I just love the basic websites that are loud and obnoxious; a riot of colors, fonts, music, and jpgs etc tugs at my nostalgia and overloads my senses. But not only that its set in a quirky world where trennis is popular, coolpunk music is a thing and full of quirky characters like the chowder man. On the other hand the game bores me and soon the websites become seriously obnoxious and headache inducing as you fruitlessly try to solve your next task. Not to mention the technical limitations of the hardware and that's on top of trying to keep your virtual pet alive and your screen slowly fills with virtual faeces. Perhaps you downloaded an annoying virus onto HypnoOS and its messing up your screen...

Some days I'm convinced that as a game hypnospace is boring and laborious, other days i feel that i didn't give the game a fair chance. It shouldn't be taken as a game per say, its more like a passion/art project as deep down there are some interesting things happening in hypnospace if you're take the time to piece together the story or events.
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