A Question for the Readers #12: “…and Stay Out!!”

You don’t really review games and films on the side without amassing a sizable collection of both. As a rule, I typically keep a work around until I’ve experienced it in full. Once I have done so, I make a decision as to whether or not it’s worthy of remaining in my collection. If I decide it isn’t, that’s when I decide to place it up for sale; no need to keep total disappointment around, after all. Admittedly, I don’t have a cast-iron rule; for video games, it usually needs to get a passing grade for me to not want to sell it. I may sell old editions of a work if a compilation appears, but if I award it a passing grade, you can safely bet it’s still in my collection. Meanwhile, for films, I tend to only keep the ones I awarded (or would award) an 8/10. Every so often, however, I’ll come across a work that, for whatever reason, I just want out of my collection as soon as possible.

To be clear, this anecdote doesn’t concern instances in which I deliberately bought a stinker for the sake of bashing it. As such, you won’t see me mention films such as You’re Next or video games such as Ride to Hell: Retribution or Ninjabread Man. Instead, I’m talking about instances in which I was genuinely looking forward to experiencing a work, yet by the end, I wanted nothing more to do with it. Keep in mind that I don’t consider most of the following works bad per se; if I do, they have more redeeming qualities than the average effort on the tier in which I placed it (or would place it). Granted, the easiest way a work can accomplish this is by having a terrible ending. Despite this, I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum, but if you’re interested in seeing these films or playing these games, your best bet is to skip to the next subject.

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System Shock 2

System Shock 2 - Box

System Shock 2 is a PC game originally released in 1999. It was co-developed by Looking Glass Studios and Irrational Games. The former company would fold less than a year after this game’s release. Fortunately, the latter company remained intact and would go on to develop the BioShock series with many key developers of System Shock 2… and then that company would fold less than a year after the release of BioShock: Infinite and fifteen years after their original collaboration with Looking Glass Studios. Despite not initially making a significant impact in the public eye, System Shock 2 is now touted as one of the most original and scariest games of all time. It’s an impressive pedigree considering that this was only three years after Super Mario 64 was released, a commonly-cited benchmark in the medium’s history due to its pioneering three-dimensional environments and gameplay.

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