SpawnFirst’s Guilty Pleasures


Guilty pleasures. We all have them. That pop hit that we secretly put on repeat, the romantic comedy that pulled at our heartstrings, or maybe you shamefully partake in the occasional reading of the latest teen romance novel.

“It’s not a guilty pleasure if you don’t feel guilty…”

We all have something that we love that we know others look down upon.

But this also applies to video games. Everyone’s got a game or two on their shelf that earns a few puzzled looks from a friend looking through our collection.

So I asked the SpawnStaff to talk about what their video game guilty pleasure is.

X-men Origins: Wolverine

If I had a game that I would call a “guilty pleasure” it would be X-Men Origins: Wolverine . It actually didn’t get terrible reviews or anything, but it has been kind of buried and forgotten about (probably because of the terrible movie it was based on).

I’m applying the label “guilty pleasure” to it because it wasn’t a game that many people really considered to be great, but I really love it. I’ve played through it more times than I have most action games. I don’t know what it is that keeps me coming back to it, but I find myself doing so time and time again.

It is very much a hack and slash game mixed with some Tomb Raider –esque environments and puzzles. The action is just plain nuts with Wolverine basically disemboweling every enemy he comes across. It is an absurdly, unbelievably graphic game, and I revel in every bit of it. I don’t limit myself to only playing “fun” games, but X-Men Origins: Wolverine  is just plain fun. Sometimes that’s all I want, and it provides it in spades. - Buddy Acker, Features Editor

Sonic Adventure 2

It’s glitchy, it has an awful camera, and it has a bat woman with large breasts. Somehow, though, despite Sonic Adventure 2‘s very apparent flaws, it sits happily atop my list of favorite games. The unique mix of platforming, shooting, and exploration really hooked me as a child. The multiplayer was lacking, but fun with the right friends. There was even a cart racing mini game (which sucked, admittedly), as well as the famous Chao Garden.

The Chao Garden is what really made me put hundreds of hours into this unpolished gem. To properly raise your chaos, you were required to frequently redo levels to collect nourishment and power-ups for your tear shaped pals. This may sound like a negative, but it’s what made the game really shine. Sonic games have always been about replaying levels in the fastest, most efficient manner, and the Chao Garden was a good excuse to memorize every nook and cranny of the surprisingly well-designed stages. A fantastic, overlooked platformer that remains Sonic’s most memorable venture into the 3D realm yet. - Colton Steury, Senior Staff Writer

Halo: Reach

Sometimes you just want to sit back and relax with that one game that you keep going back to. For most people, that game doesn’t necessarily have to be an amazing one. It can just be something that you’d like to play in spurts, or over extended sessions. It doesn’t matter how you play it – the game still gives you the same amount of enjoyment every time, and that’s the reason why you find yourself popping in the game disk more often than not.

For me, that game is Halo Reach. Though it doesn’t exactly fit the role of a guilty pleasure per se – an obscure title that others question my attraction to – it’s still a game that has come to be an “old reliable” staple for me. From the amazing campaign, the always-exciting Firefight, to the strategic and involved multiplayer; just like a Snickers, Reach always satisfies. It is truly the ultimate package. You can sit down and play one Firefight/multiplayer match, or 6 hours’ worth of Firefight, multiplayer, and campaign, and still have an absolute blast with the game.

For me, Halo Reach improved the story, Firefight mode, and gameplay from previous Halo games, especially Halo 3 . Halo 4, in spite of its jaw-dropping graphics and frenetic multiplayer, doesn’t really hit the spot as it should. It’s just too twitchy. Halo Reach has a much better pace of gameplay, and the fun definitely doesn’t let up in any of the modes.

So no matter what I’m playing, whether it be Dark Souls 2 , Forza 5 , Ground Zeroes , or even older classics, the constant attraction of Reach always calls me back, especially when my friends are online. – Karam Elahi, Founder/Consultant

Final Fantasy XIII

I must’ve gotten into dozens of arguments about the Final Fantasy XIII  trilogy over the years.

When all anyone wants to talk about is the linear design of the first iteration of the series that came out four years ago, I obviously can’t get around that particular wall with most people when I want to talk about both of its sequels. But that’s not what I remember when I look back at Final Fantasy XIII , and it’s definitely not what I was thinking about when playing Final Fantasy XIII-2  and Lightning Returns .

Even with the endless hallway that was Final Fantasy XIII , I loved the characters, I loved the battle system and I loved the themes of fatalism and defying destiny.

Final Fantasy XIII-2  gave me one of my favorite tragic cliffhangers of last generation, and I’m still inclined to call it the best of the trilogy.

But Lightning Returns’  story spoke to me on many levels. The game’s questioning of the value of religion and gods was the most explicit it had ever been in the trilogy and despite the widespread criticism of the character of Lightning, in the game’s final moments I found myself relating to her more than most other video game characters as her relationship with her sister versus how she felt and acted toward everyone else took center stage.

So despite what everyone else seems to want to believe, Final Fantasy XIII  is more than the linearity of the first game.

When I look back I’ll remember a group of people willing to defy fate in order to take down unjust gods. I’ll remember a young woman who followed through on her mission to save the future despite knowing it would mean the end of her life. I’ll remember the story of two sisters who against all odds, never stopped fighting to reach each other again. – Kenneth Shepard, Senior Staff Writer

Castle Crashers

I’d have to say Castle Crashers  for myself. It’s a great party game, and there’s nothing better than watching a bear shit itself because of an over grown cat.

Basic skill options makes it easy to learn, even for someone massively inebriated and incoherent. I can jump on at any time and play online with others, or I can hack and slash my way through on my own with an overpowered character. RUN MINIONS RUN! – Luke “Fox Jester” Cobham, Staff Writer

Rise of Nations: Gold Edition

My transition into and subsequent obsession with games didn’t start “since forever,” as many players can apparently testify. But the memory of starting off with Age of Empires II  back in 2005 is a sweet one. From that my love for RTS games was born, and it would continue for quite some time until I really started to broaden my horizon. I’m sure some of you might still remember a particular RTS game called Rise of Nations ? Truthfully, it has to be one of the best tactical RTS games I’ve ever played, and yet, despite its critical reception and manifold rewards won, not many played it.

A common feature of RTS titles is not only a great emphasis on micromanagement, but also keeping up with research options that benefit individual units, buildings, or even the faction as a whole. Rise of Nations  does just that, but in a more advance way. Instead of three or four tiers of technology or different parts of the same timeline, Rise of Nations  displays the changing face of war across eight different significant periods in history, starting with the Ancient Age and ending with the Information Age. What so fun about it? Well, you start out with catapults, and end up with nuclear missiles. What an increase in destruction, eh? I could go on explaining the mechanics of the game, but there’s a lot to learn.

Because it’s a historical title, in RoN’s  expansion, Thrones  and Patriots  includes some unique campaigns, such as Alexander the Great, Napoleon and The Cold War among others. Not only is one able to participate in and learn about actual historical battles, but it can either be played the way it went in reality, or the player can change the course of history by choosing their own path and set about dominating the globe by rectifying the mistakes made those who tried and failed. As much fun in single player as it is in multiplayer, the many nations and their unique national abilities and units are only some of the tools at the disposal of a player’s grand ambitions to conquer the world. – Rudolf van Wyk, Senior Staff Writer

Well, you’ve heard from the staff about their most private of gaming secrets – what about yours? What’s your gaming guilty pleasure? Let us know in the comments below!