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Wall of Shame: The Games I’ve Never Played

Half-Life 2

I have this theory. It’s not exactly peer-reviewed, but it’s held up to years of empirical testing. My theory is this: everybody has a movie that they haven’t seen, that when they tell people they haven’t seen it, they get The Look.

You know the one I’m talking about; that look that exists somewhere between shock and disappointment, the look of silent judgment, the look that wonders if you had one of those weird families who didn’t have a television or if you were raised by wolves or something.

Now this is somewhat dependent on your peer group and your audience. If I told my friends I hadn’t seen The Notebook, for example, I’d likely get a nod of respect and a fist bump, or whatever it is we do at the awkward age of 26 where we’re trying desperately to hang on to our youth. My wife, on the other hand, would likely get The Look.

Think about it; what’s yours? Everybody has one. And if you read to the end, I’ll tell you mine.

That’s not the point of this column though. The point is that I have come to believe that this applies to games too. I’m ashamed to say I have more than one, so today I offer them up for your mockery and disappointment.

Dead Space Franchise

Yup, all of them.

Why is it so bad?

Well, first of all, these are really good games. At least, that’s what everyone tells me, including Metacritic.

Second, it’s a horror title. A pants-wetting, terrifying journey through space that’s difficult to play with the lights off. I love horror anything. I will watch those godawful horror movies that come out in spades annually and actually enjoy them.

Not to mention the whole franchise was released on PC too. Seriously, why the hell haven’t I played these games? I don’t even know myself.

Shame Level: 9/10

Man, what is that thing? I DON'T KNOW.

Man, what is that thing? I DON’T KNOW.

Halo Franchise


Why is it so bad?

Not playing Halo is a bit like not watching The Matrix or not reading Harry Potter. It’s just one of those games, the ones everyone has played at least one of.

Not this guy.

Sure I’ve dabbled here and there on friends’ consoles, but to be honest I never really enjoyed it. As you all probably know by now I’m strictly a PC guy, and in the early days of Halo I could just never quite bring myself to enjoy FPS on a console. Truth be told, I still can’t.

This is one of those that just may warrant The Look, but I’m not ashamed. I don’t like Halo, okay? There, I said it.

Shame Level: 2/10

Anything Zelda

I know. I’m sorry.

Why is it so bad?

Why? Because it’s freakin’ Zelda. Ocarina of Time sits comfortably atop most lists of greatest games ever, usually nestled amongst some other Zelda games.

This one feels like an enormous hole in my childhood, in my life. I feel like someone let me down, but truthfully I’ve let myself down. I’m not even going to waffle on about being a PC owner, I know you don’t want to hear it.

Freakin’ Zelda, man. I’m so sorry.

Shame Level: Infinity/10

This is hard to look at.

This is hard to look at.

Final Fantasy Anything

That’s right. Not even VII.

Why is it so bad?

Well there’ve been what, several hundred of these games? You’d think I could have at least managed to put some time in on one. Nope.

RPGs aren’t exactly my cup of Bovril, and JRPGs? C’maaaaan. I tried watching anime once, it was awful.

Still, this franchise is kind of a big deal, and I’ve kind of never played any of it. That’s bad, I suppose.


Shame Level: 3/10

Oh, I almost forgot. My movie is Top Gun. Now if you’re reading this and you’re still in high school that may not seem like a huge deal, but in the mid-late 20s crowd, you get The Look.

Now tell me, what are yours? I want to know everything.

P.S. You didn’t really think I hadn’t played Half-Life, did you?

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  • Blake Spencer

    Now I don’t feel too bad about my own list. Never played any Hitman title beyond the first one, never played any of the Splinter Cell games despite owning them all, the last Final Fantasy I played was 9 on the PSX but most embarasingly I’ve never played any of the Far Cry or Age of Empires games. As for not watching Top Gun, for shame man, for shame!

    • Chris Kemp

      Hahaha, I cracked up at you owning every Splinter Cell but never playing them – how does that work out?

      • Blake Spencer

        Steam sales my friend, Steam sales… I keep telling myself I’m going to start from the beginning and work my way through but so far I haven’t even installed one of them.

  • Francois Mortifer Rossouw

    I never played MDK

    • ToshZA

      You’ve earned yourself “The Look” from me for this one.

      • Chris Kemp

        MDK 2 was particularly sweet

  • Randall Rex

    Oh dear.

  • Delano

    Heh. People who know me well know that I don’t particularly enjoy sports titles.

    The various FIFAs and whatnot fly completely under my radar. However, I have played FIFA 2013 and 2014 purely for, I dunno… science, I guess.

    They actually weren’t bad, but they won’t exactly turn me into a fan.

    So yeah. Football, cricket, golf… no thank you.

    • Chris Kemp

      You have infinite good karma for playing every indie game in existence though ;)

  • Randall Rex

    Well I never got into Systemshock, Civilization, Jet Set Radio or Banjo Kazooie so I don’t judge…much.

  • Leonardo

    Somehow the only one I can look at you funny for is Dead space. Mine would be:
    Final fantasy
    Age of empires
    Anything Zelda
    Gears of war
    Command and conquer
    Metal gear solid
    Anything remotely hinting at SIMS
    All sport games
    World of Warcraft
    Have I embarrassed myself enough now?

    • Miklós Szecsei

      Wait, you never played any of the Diablo games? Or just Diablo I? Also, no Command & Conquer? Doom? AoE? The only explanation I have for this is that you’re about 8 eight years old or something.

      • Leonardo

        Actually I’m going on 21… And when I mention a title that’s part of a series I mean the series. Funny enough I usually play any game I get my hands on and finish most of them unless they are extremely tedious or crappy. Though even with this HUGE gap in my upbringing (I’ll just blame my parents right here) I was still an intern writer for you guys a while back… Guess that’s why I didn’t make it. I lack the knowledge these games obviously should have put in place.

        I never played further than the first half hour of half-life 2 though, just didn’t like the game. That’s bound to earn me several angry looks.

    • Chris Kemp

      Damn, this is worse than mine :D

    • Francois Mortifer Rossouw

      Wow, the look is even enough for this one
      . ;-)

  • RazoRbacK

    Mine is the same as yours … but I have seen Top Gun. *Gives the look* ;)

    • Chris Kemp

      :D So what’s your movie then? :P

  • H43Z3R

    Haha I enjoyed this post. Ditto on the Halo series, I jammed it like for 5 min and got bored. I think ill get the look for Mass Effect. Yip. Didn’t play it. Shame level: couldn’t-care-less/10. Diablo? Whats that? Doom series (yea im ashamed about that one). Aaaaaaand my biggest shame? Starcraft. Meh.

    • BinaryMind

      Mass Effect is better than you can imagine. Seriously. I saw vids and didn’t like 3rd person shooters but just try it. The story and decision making is EPIC.

  • PSyCHoHaMSTeRza

    Having never owned a console in my life (except a 3DS), pretty much every console exclusive title is on my list. So Killzone, God of War, Uncharted… You get the message…

    I haven’t seen Top Gun either. But I’m early 20’s so I dont think I deserve a Look ;)

    • Chris Kemp

      Nope, giving it to you. *LOOK*

  • Wesley Fick

    If you HADN’T played Half-Life 2, I would have disowned you…

    • BinaryMind

      Agreed. Not playing Half Life 2 would have been UNFORGIVABLE.

      After all these years, still my best game (and I’ve played Halo). Just had to put that out there ;)

    • Chris Kemp

      Hahaha, I would have been such a fraud!

    • Chris Kemp

      Hahaha, I would have been such a fraud!

    • Ben Myres


      I haven’t played Half-Life 2 :/.


  • Johannes Richter

    My theory is that you have to pick your fights. There are only so many hours in your day/month/life (if you have one) to play games, and since my days of Ghostbusters on the C64, the number of ‘must-play’ titles have exploded – especially with indie publishers and Kickstarter now contributing mainstream quality games. And that’s even if you stick to only one platform.

    My personal claims to shame is System Shock and Bioshock, and perhaps Crysis (not including the games where I’ve played at least one game in the franchise – even if I have to include Final Fantasy, Far Cry and Tomb Raider here, where I only played one or two titles in the series). It’s just not worth trying to keep up with them all.

    Gone are the days when I could tick off all Sierra, Dynamix, LucasArts and Valve games… Now I might follow Mass Effect to the end, but I will pick one or two excellent game from my favourite genres to immerse myself in. At the moment that’s Battlefield, Skyrim and Dishonored (a very under-appreciated game! People will get The Look from me on that one…)

    • Rick de Klerk

      This a thousands times.

      It can be difficult, though, when you need to assess games through a critical lens. Especially when you know a particular game had an tremendous impact on the industry and has directly defined the mechanics or tropes within a particular genre.

      Anyway, talking about my shame list, I’ve not played a single Mass Effect game. The only GTA game I played with any seriousness is San Andreas. Never owned an Xbox, so pretty much any Microsoft exclusive series is out. Never played Thief.

      And I’ve never watched Pulp Fiction.

    • Chris Kemp

      You’re getting me all nostalgic about Sierra over here; but thanks for alleviating some of my guilt ;) You make a good point.

    • Dave Aldworth

      Bioshock Infinite is almost certainly the best overall experience I’ve had from a game! I think the fact that I played Dishonored straight after kind of ruined it for me…couldn’t get into it.

  • XCal1bur

    If anybody tell me FPS on consoles doesn’t work for them after they “only dabbled” I give them THE LOOK, the scarier version too. Reason is: I once was a HARDCORE PC gamer and I mean Hardcore. Endless counter strike games and the ilk.(Now this comes along with all the struggle to get a LAN up and running properly every time, which worked quite great when you got it working.) However one day my older brother told me about this game Halo CE and I picked it up for PC which was great I really really enjoyed it. But he was always talking about how amazing it was to couch co-op with no necessary IT skills involved and how to connect two Xboxs’ with the LAN cable and all you needed was a couple of controllers and WALLAH instant 4v4 havoc Multiplayer….. That got me to thinking, LAN on PC’s is and always has been a beatch to set up. So when I got two XBoxs’ and a couple of controllers and two Halo CE’s I saw the light. Put lane cable between two = Immediate LAN. Damn that is awesome.
    That is the first reason someone would get the look from me, I DID NOT START WITH A CONSOLE, I WAS Hardcore PC gamer and STILL is when it comes to strategy games. So don’t start with the master race argument, because I agree on some fronts, but when it comes to consoles there is infinitely less hoops to jump through to have fun. And that is a fact.

    Second reason I would give the look to someone who only dabbled and didn’t like FPS on console. Like most things in the world you Have to climatize. When I picked up a console controller the first time after playing years of FPS’s on PC I was running into walls, looking into the skies and being owned for a full week before I started pawning back the other guys. So the controllers take some getting use to. HOWEVER, they say PC gamers are much faster, which I will say okay, how fast the mouse is does have a factor, but how many times do you have to look down on your keyboard to press the right button to activate something? (Well me having been a core PC gamer knows the answer, A DAMN WELL LOT. So much for pure immersion.) After a few weeks on the console I didn’t have to look down even a fraction as many times as I did on the PC. I do get a lot more immersion now than I ever had on the PC. I still play strategy games on the PC, but FPS and RPG? I will always play it first on consoles.
    So for those people who love to make fun of consoles, your opinion would only be valid if you had played a couple of weeks on the console and still didn’t like the controller.
    And I’m serious when I say I KNOW the PC is great for upgrading and stuff and a lot more hot keys if that is your thing, but give consoles some respect too, play a few weeks on them get used to the controllers and then make up your mind, I’m telling you won’t regret it.

    • Chris Kemp

      Damnit, you’re starting to convince me. Must… stay… strong!

      • XCal1bur

        There is absolutely Nothing wrong with owning both a great PC and a console ^^ that is the beauty of it (Best of both worlds). 4v4 easy to set up All friends in one house mayhem, nothing beats that. I just love the shouts between the rooms of the opposing teams.

        • Chris Kemp

          I’m a poverty-stricken student, there’ll be no dual-platforms for me! Well, maybe next year when I have a real jerb. You’re making me miss a good LAN though :`(

          • XCal1bur

            I hope your dreams of a double platform comes soon.
            And yeah I know what you mean, PC LAN had disappeared into abyss of the cult. The only place I can relive those glory days is with connecting xbox’s with each other. And it helps that the Halo franchise has always catered for 4 players on one screen (Great for team games). I’ve always been disappointed that there is not more games supporting that. Anyway, I hope it change soon. I think Destiny might support it, seeing as how the Halo series was Bungie’s baby. But point is, you’ll see console LAN is even more fun than PC at times, taking how easy it is to get together.

            Goodluck on your hunt for that dream ^^

  • Pulseofthe Maggot

    I’ve got WAY too many games in my backlog, so here are the ones I HAVE completed instead (On PS3 – I’m not a big PC gamer):
    – All the ‘God of War’s
    – All the ‘[Prototype]’s
    – All the ‘Darksiders’s
    – Uncharted 2, 3
    – Vanquish
    – Dead Space 1, 2
    – Crysis 2
    – L.A. Noire
    – COD 4, BLOPS

    That’s my shame. :(

    • Chris Kemp

      Wait, wait, COD4? You missed out on the only good CoD game since the first two! I don’t know about PS3, but on the PC there are still tons of servers which are jam packed all day every day, I still play COD4 every day :)

      • Pulseofthe Maggot

        Woahwoahwoah, these are the games I HAVE played :D

        • Chris Kemp

          Sheesh, you scared me.

  • Alex Rowley

    Only Nintendo games I have ever played is the original Mario and Mario Kart on the Wii. Not one 360 game either. Also haven’t played Uncharted 3.

    If I could I would :(

  • ToshZA

    Dead Space – not interested.
    Zelda – It’s Nintendo, I’ve never owned a Ninty anything.
    Halo – who cares?
    FF – I bought a PS2 just for this series. Nothing else. It was worth it.

    For me, my biggest ‘for shame’ list is probably God of War, and some of the platformers like Jak & Daxter, Abe’s series, Spyro (I think it’s called). And Stalker series. Hated it. Seriously. So boring.

    Movie-wise, dunno. I hated Fight Club – that earns me “The Look”, but there’s no movie I haven’t seen that earns the same thing. At least to my knowledge.

    • Chris Kemp

      Oh god I haven’t done God of War either


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