Bad Video Games Vs. Good Video Games, How Can You Tell Which Are Which?

There are more than hundreds of thousands of video games that have been made, but how many of those games are actually enjoyable? This article will list some of those great games that have been made this month and last month for Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Additionally, this article will list some knock off games that have been made in the past.

Video games have been made across many platforms, mobile, Playstation, Xbox, PC, and more. If game designers want their game to be popular, then they either need to make a game different from most, or make a game that is very similar to most. Making a game that is different from most, if not all, video games is risky because it is unknown whether or not that type of game will be enjoyable to many people, if any. When making a game similar to other games, it’s easier to know what the majority of gamers like, based on gamers’ reaction to past video games. However, if you choose that option, it could be risky if you make your game too similar to other games, without adding any defining features to your game. If you don’t add any defining features, then your game will be seen as a knock-off or worse version in general.

“Ever play a video game and think ‘hey, I’ve played this before’? While games within the same genre are always going to have similarities, some games just go too far. These are the games where the developers just took a game that already existed and only made superficial changes to it,” said Looper Staff of Looper.

Some games may be similar to other games, however, if those games are way too similar to the original game, without any defining changes, then that game will be considered a knock off that just copied a good quality game.

An example of a knock off game is “The Great Giana Sisters”, copying the popular game “Super Marios Bros”. “The Great Giana Sisters” came out in 1987 and is almost the exact same as “Super Mario Bros”, with the only changes being slightly different designs on the characters and worlds plus original music. In “The Great Giana Sisters”, you also play as characters who are trying to rescue their love, except this time females are trying to rescue a male. The gameplay is very similar, if not the exact same (jumping on goombas, going through pipes into the next world, etc).

According to CFHS freshman gamer, Luke Nelson, “Sometimes knock off games can be more fun than the game they are a knockoff of. With ‘Angry Birds,’ it’s less of a knock off and more of a direct inspiration from ‘Crush the Castle’. ‘Angry Birds’ isn’t a complete knock off because of a distinct feature: the Birds in ‘Angry Birds’ have special abilities, whereas the rocks in ‘Crush the Castle’ do not, which is why people have more fun playing ‘Angry Birds’ than they do playing ‘Crush the Castle’.”

What Nelson is saying is that original games can inspire other games and they won’t be considered knock off games, so long as they have their own defining features that make the game more enjoyable than the original.

An example of a good video game that isn’t a knock off is “Outriders”. “Outriders” came out on April first for Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC. “Outriders” is a game with an intense story mode campaign, where you have to survive by fighting and looting different locations.

“That storyline is more immersive than I expected, and while it takes about an hour to really pick up momentum, it eventually becomes a cacophony of in-your-face action. That action coincides with a tale that rests within sci-fi fantasy but holds a modicum of truth regarding human instincts and how we react when there is nothing left to lose and everything to lose at the same time,” said Liana Ruppert of Game Informer.

“Outriders” is an entertaining game because it’s immersive, has great gameplay, stunning graphics, great fighting mechanics, and a good storyline.

Another example of a knock off video game is “Angry Birds”, which came out and released to IOS in 2009 and to Android in 2010. However, This knock off game is a rare case because it actually became more well known than the original game that came before it. The original game before “Angry Birds” was called “Crush the Castle”, with the main difference between the two games being that in “Crush the Castle” you destroy the castle with bombs and rocks, while in “Angry Birds” you destroy it with Birds. The most likely reason for why “Angry Birds” became more popular is because it’s more fun to destroy a castle with cute, interactive birds, rather than inanimate rocks and bombs. However, another possible reason for why “Crush the Castle” didn’t become popular could be that they didn’t market and advertise their game well enough, whereas the creators of “Angry Birds” did. Not only that, but Rovio Entertainment, the creators of “Angry Birds” made multiple parody games, like “Angry Birds Star Wars”, in addition to a spin-off game called “Bad Piggies”. In “Bad Piggies”, you build different vehicles to try and make it through different maps without getting your vehicle destroyed, as the maps/levels get increasingly more difficult. Rovio Entertainment also made multiple sequel games, “Angry Birds 2”, “Angry Birds Friends”, and “Angry Birds Evolution” after deleting their original game off the app store because they didn’t want to keep focusing on updating the old “Angry Birds” games, like “Angry Birds” and the two “Angry Birds Star Wars” games. Instead, they wanted to focus on improving even more on their newer games, like “Angry Birds 2”.

“The biggest difference between the two games is that it isn’t adorable to crush a castle using bombs and rocks. If they’d put some cute faces on those rocks, we might live in a different world. Of course, ‘Cute Rocks’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it,” said Looper Staff of Looper.

The main reason why “Angry Birds” became more popular was because they made their game more enjoyable by adding sentient birds that interacted when you flung them or when they hit the castle, whereas “Crush the Castle” did not.

Another example of a quality game that came out recently is “Returnal”. “Returnal” is an intense, immersive game that came out on April 30th, 2021 for the Playstation 5. “Returnal” is a campaign game with adrenaline-boosting fighting, in which you travel and investigate the planet that you are trapped on. However, when you die it may not save all you’ve worked for during multiple hours. With that in mind, that feature of the game may be seen as a positive factor because the game will only make your adrenaline rush more and it will give you more of a challenge. In addition to “Reutrnal’s” stunning gameplay, it also features great graphics and music soundtracks.

“I felt that the challenges presented by ‘Returnal’ enhanced the nature of the unknown alien planet and that these elements contributed positively to the overall game. Still, some players may find these tasks to be outside of their enjoyment range,” said Daniel Tack of Game Informer.

“Returnal” is a quality game with stunning gameplay, graphics, and music, however it can be controversial when it comes to the death feature. Some people will like how when you die you may lose much of your progress because they think that it’s more challenging and because it makes the game more immersive. However, others will not like the feature because they may think that it’s too challenging to be enjoyable.

One final example of a knock off game is “Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale”. This knock off game came out in 2011 and was a knock off game of the extremely popular game “Super Smash Bros”. “Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale” is the same exact type of game as “Super Smash Bros”, with the main difference being the characters. The characters in “Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale” housed characters from different Playstation games, however, those characters weren’t even popular and their games weren’t that popular either.

“‘Super Smash Bros’ featured classic characters like Mario, Link, and Pikachu, while ‘Playstation All-Stars’ contained a bunch of characters that don’t even have their own Wikipedia pages. Looking at you, Evil Cole MacGrath,” said Looper Staff of Looper.

“Super Smash Bros” has popular, recognizable characters from Nintendo, while “Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale” has much less recognizable, unpopular characters from unpopular Playstation games. In addition, “Super Smash Bros” came before “Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale”, meaning that “Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale” is a knock off of “Super Smash Bros”. Not only that, but “Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale” was nowhere near as popular or well liked as “Super Smash Bros” and “Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale” even ended up eventually being removed from the Playstation store.

One final example of a recent good-quality game is “Genshin Impact”, released on April 28th 2021 for the Playstation 5. “Genshin Impact” was also released for the Playstation 4, PC, IOS, and Android on September 8th, 2020. “Genshin Impact” is an open world game where you go around completing quests. As you go around, you see different cut scenes, revealing pieces of the story. Some people call “Genshin Impact” a different version of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”, that still manages to be diverse enough from “Zelda” and not be considered a knock-off. In many ways “Genshin Impact” is similar to “Zelda”, however, it has its own features about it that make it unique and entertaining. “Genshin Impact” features a good story, great graphics, great gameplay, and an immersive fighting style.

“I really like ‘Genshin Impact’ because it looks good, runs good, plays good, plus it has a great story,” said Nelson.

Nelson thinks that “Genshin Impact” is a great quality game for a variety of reasons; because it has good graphics, good gameplay/ gameplay mechanics, and an interesting and entertaining story-mode campaign.

To sum up, there are many games that have been released throughout many years and generations of gaming, some being great quality games, and others being knock off games of a different, popular game. Knock off games can still be entertaining and even more popular than their original game. To achieve that, those games must have a defining feature and not be a complete copy of the original game, released to official consoles, without giving credit to the original game, and without asking for permission from the creators of the original game.

“If a knock off game is a fan made game, I appreciate the determination and willingness to show appreciation for a fandom. However, if the knock off is a pure copy of someone else’s work and blatantly copies all of their ideas and hard work that they put into the game without giving credit, then I don’t like or appreciate it,” said Nelson.