G’day TAY. So our current challenge is to write about our worst games of 2017 and I looked at it and though: did I play a bad game this year? 2017 was an amazing year especially at the Nintendo side of things. So what did I play anyway? Since I keep to one game a month this should be easy:
I didn’t buy anything in January or Febuary to save money for the Switch.
- March was Breath of the Wild
- April was Puyo-puyo-Tetris
- May was Fire Emblem Echoes
- June was ARMS
- July was Splatoon 2
- August was Mario Kart DX
- September was Dragonball Xenoverse 2
- October was Mario Oddysey
- November was Skyrim
- December is Pokemon ultra Moon
So there you have it. My games list this year. So which is the worst one? None of these games are bad… are they? Wait I hear some readers going. Skyrim is a game from 2011. And while you’re right, the original release date was 11-11-11 (very catchy), but it only now launched for Nintendo Switch. Meaning this is the first time I’m playing it.
And Skyrim can’t be my worst game of 2011 right? It’s one game that people keep raving about. A game all about role-playing. A game that set new bounds for what freedom in a videogame amounts to. A game that presents you with a whole world to explore, people to meet and dragons to fight.
Too bad Skyrim’s world is boring, It’s people are assholes and the dragons are slightly larger lizards that make for drab target practice… now that I think about it. Yes, Skyrim is my worst game of the year.
Skyrim is the worst game of the year mostly because it has no way to live up to expectations.Why Skyrim can be called bad is handled way better by Jim Sterling than by me, go watch the latest (as of writing) Jimquisition and you’ll understand. This piece is an opinion piece.
Let me take you into my experience with Skyrim:
So I start the game and I managed to not look at it for the past six years (really!). And I’m about to embark on a story where I fancy myself an arcane warrior elf. Kinda of like Zelda’s Link but with even more magic. So alright, I get to the character creator. The race defaults to “nord” (a human), so I move the selector to “altmer” (high elf), and wait…
Tolkiens description of elven kind rings in the back of my mind from too many viewings of the Lord of the Rings movies:
Elves, wisest and fairest of all beings…
Skyrims interpretation of elves:
elves, scarierst and ugliest of all eldritch abominations.
Well then, Syrim-1: Wiim-0. A giant push from the game to make sure I don’t go into this with concepts from other fantasy works. This ain’t your daddy’s elves. Well alright, I go for it anyway. I still like elves (Nerds ahoy, high fives all around here). And the opening cinematic plays.
The opening cinematic is fun, well done and really sets the scene. And then I’m let loose in the world. And I meet all kinds of people that are generally unlikable. After finding out about an elven faction called the Thalmor, I realized most people hate Elves and High elves in particular. So I guess it was racism? Well that’s neat, as a white male I don’t run into that very often, so being confronted with it is something interesting I guess. But does it do justice to actual real-life racism? I don’t know. Real life seems worse from what I gathered…
Back to the game, I find that there are two warring factions, and the game is asking me to take a side. I say no to the game. I don’t want any part in a war (when asked). I’ve played a fair bunch of Fantasy wars like in say Fire Emblem, and I like it from a gameplay perspective. But offer me a choice and I’ll go pacifist anytime.
So I walk along and I find some kind of fort. Curiosity pushes me to it’s front gate. Who goes there, a voice comes from my side. And before I turn, I have a fireball in my face. I try to defend myself and I slash with my sword at my assailant. Before realising what was going on. I wanted to sheathe my sword (I read that’s how you quit a fight), but my assailant just continues throwing fireballs. So I swing my sword again, and my avatar goes for an unnecessarily cruel finisher. I did not want this. Another mage in dark robes comes to me and I continue defending myself. I YIELD, he cries and I put away my weapons. Happy that I can spare a life. He looks at me and goes: no, not like this, and I finish him too.
I’ve never felt so violated by a game before.
So I go about my business, find that I’m a dragonborn which is basically a dragonslayer. I learn most from an actual dragon that helps humans. This dragon is great and voiced by Mario of all people, so he’s my buddy. So sure, I’ll help people get rid of evil dragon. That’s fantasy after all and I finally get to hone those magic skills. (which i’ve been training in a bunch of generic samey dungeons at this point).
So I find myself wandering around again and I come across the town of Riften. Basically, this town has a mafia problem in the form of a thieves guild and a sly business woman who is pulling all the strings. So I go the thieves guild to talk them out of their none-sense, but I couldn’t’ find their leader. So I seek out the Jarl, but she was in cahoots with the woman. So instead of killing dozens of goons, I decided to just kill the woman. It’s not ethical either, but I found this to be the least damaging Skyrim way of doing things. But no, she has plot armor. Couldn’t kill her, she’d just regenerate and I would die or be thrown in Jail. If I wanted to deal with the thieves guild, I had to start a side-quest where I actually commit crime in order to join them. I’m no thief and I really just want to speak to the leader and maybe challenge him to an honour filled duel. I reloaded the save file, bailed out of Riften feeling sorry for the honest folk being maffia’d around all day.
Having dealt with the entire College of Winterhold sidequest line, (which was me wanting to learn magic, I have to fight a couple of monsters, and now I’m headmaster with no new skils learned….) I’m ready to continue the main quest, and at one point I get to host peace negotiations. This part is the worst.
At a couple of points the game asks me to pick a side, there’s no neutral option at all. All I wanted to do was: hey I’m the F’in Dragonborn like all your emperor assholes. You will listen to me or I will Fuss ro dah you to oblivion right now. But nopes, Taking sides until they say sure, truce until you killed the dragons.
So I walk out of this conversation, cursing under my breath that I’ve let two assholes just exchange some cities and ruin a whole bunch of lives in the process. And then Delphine, my “friend” comes along and says: hey, want more help? Kill your dragon friend. Well F you “friend”. I quit this game, may all of Skyrim be eaten by Alduin, I’m taking my interdemensional portal to get the F out of here to Alola. At least there I can talk “evil” out of the evil team and make sure the world is safe and friendly. Good luck without your “dragonborn”.
F Skyrim, F it’s awful inhabitants, and F the game’s inability to take peaceful measures.
Skyrim – Destoryed by a world eating dragon, current status: ceased to exist.
Wiim – Took an interdimensional portal to allola, current status: hugging a pichu.
This is the internet, so I have ruin the above piece by explicitly stating that it’s largely tongue-in-cheek. I like the game, love the fantasy it’s combat represents even if the execution is a bit wonky. All told though, out of all the magic of 2017 this really is the least fantastic game I played, which makes sense considering the game that’s older then both of my children.