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Yet another peculiar top 10 list

posted on November 14th, 2006 by jay

Slightly (extremely) bitter about not having my stories picked up by the big sites, I scour Slashdot, Kotaku, etc for sub par stories that gets attention on a daily basis. Today’s highlight is a top 10 list (where’d they get the idea for this one?) on the “10 lamest game consoles, ever.” Ignore the fiery rage that builds within you when you see misplaced commas and other grammar atrocities. For now, focus on the gross injustice of including the Saturn amongst the Virtual Boy, CDi, 32X and N-Gage.

The guy who proclaimed Prince of Persia: Warrior Within one of the worst games of all time clearly had some input in forming this list. Please name for me the classics for the consoles on this list:

Action Max
N Gage
32X
Gizmondo

In turn, I will name amazing Saturn games: Guardian Heroes, NiGHTS, Panzer Dragoon, Panzer Dragoon Zwei, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Shining Force 3, Dragon Force, and Bomberman. This excludes Japanese games and any fighting games (Christian would have to help me there). The Saturn actually beat the N64 in Japan and even sold more games than the PS1 there, despite selling fewer systems. It is hard to believe that someone who actually has a Saturn and has played its better games could include it on a “worst of” list.

What was not included on the list that could easily take the Saturn’s spot? Say, the Sega CD. Even that had a few great games, though. The Atari 5200 is reportedly a piece of crap. Hell, the Game Gear had less to offer than the Saturn. Sega sold 10 million Saturns, about 500 thousand fewer than the Dreamcast. 3DO sold 6 million 3DOs, the Jaguar sold 4.5 million, the CDi about 500,000. Even ignoring the immense difference in software quality, the Saturn’s sales are significantly higher than other systems on this list. I’d probably even argue that the 3DO and Lynx may not belong.

The author of the list seems to be confused about what makes something lame. Not selling well only makes something lame if you are the person selling it. If a system has a game on it that’s recognized as one of the best games of all time, it is very likely not one of the worst systems of all time.

I’m going to go on a tangent here, but I think this type of “other people generally think so now I’m reporting it as my opinion,” style game journalism is somewhat pointless. The job of a writer is not to simply propagate the common opinion. If someone really thinks Saturn is one of the ten lamest systems of all time, he should be able to explain why without resorting to things like “the general populace in my home country didn’t buy many of them.” Of course, if game writers had to have direct knowledge of what they wrote about, there wouldn’t be any top 10 lists any more. What a loss.

2 Comments

  1. Matt said on November 14, 2006:

    Yeah, I totally agree. Saturn was a very poor choice for this list. There are far worse examples, which you’ve stated. And basing it on the emphasis of 2D rather than 3D? Wow, then the DS must be a shitbox. And the N-Gage hating is getting me down. I can’t vouch for the first edition, but the QD was pretty good. They had a few good games, and the system was pretty robust with its options. The N-Gage Arena, as well, was pretty innovative for a handheld at the time. Just because it sod poorly doesn’t equate to "lame."

  2. Zinco said on November 15, 2006:

    What astonishes me more about that 10 Worst Games of All Time list is that Typing of the Dead is a runner-up. What?!

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