Grindhouse cinema, preceded by the works of Ed Wood and his peers, gave birth to the modern B-movie. We need more of this trend in games.
Why, you ask, do we need bad games?
Because there’s merit to work that realizes it’s limitations and weaknesses, and exploits them for the audiences’ entertainment. Art that doesn’t take itself too seriously is just as important as that which does.
I started thinking about this when I began watching another well-known gaming site start a comprehensive look at Deadly Premonition. I realized these types of games are becoming more and more rare. They seem to still run rampant in Japan, but getting them released in America? Forget about it. As a matter of fact, the last title I can think of that fits the mold was Earth Defense Force (or maybe Onichambara).
Perhaps it’s budget reasons, or maybe American publishers just don’t want to waste their time with titles they know will be at best niche releases. Whatever the reason, it’s a shame, because I feel we as gamers (and even the developers themselves) are starting to take this hobby we love a bit too seriously.
Another reason we need more B-games in our lives? From the pool of mediocre (intentional or otherwise) sometimes comes a brilliant new voice that we would never have been exposed to. Sam Raimi, Tim Gunn… I could go on.
I mean, Evil Dead, right? Where’s Evil Dead’s equal in video games?
I’m just saying.