When it comes to putting together a winning game formula, making it fun to watch for those not playing is probably close to the bottom of any developer's priority list. It's either great to play by yourself or great to play with others. Some manage to be as fun to watch as they are to play, and get that extra bit of praise. StarCraft, Uncharted, Portal, and Guitar Hero are just a few that fit the bill. However, some games just don't get put together properly to make for enjoyable, long-lasting playing experience, yet still either look cool onscreen, or just make your friends and family look hilarious. Here are ten titles that are, for whatever reason, a lot more fun to watch than to actually play.
A sexy dhampir with a lust for blood and an uncanny knack at dismembering anyone who stands her way—it sounds like a perfect recipe, right? Well, for a spectator into that sort of thing, BloodRayne was. It included many different methods of decapitation and disembowelment, granted you could bear the technical flaws of the game. From glitchy visuals to cumbersome controls, BloodRayne and its sequel caused more physical pain to the players than to the vampires who were getting blades run through their hearts. But for the guy on the couch, there was a lot to look at.
Dragon Age II was a highly anticipated title, and from juggernaut developer BioWare, we expected gold. The cinematics with protagonist Hawke were beautiful, and the combat showed off some fine moves. It was expected to be the melding of the wonderfully strategic gameplay of Origins with fast-paced combat. Then BioWare forever tarnished the word "streamlined" in the video game world, instead giving us a watered-down mess with little RPG substance. They succeeded in making the combat an eye-popping experience, with some sweet finishers, but the rest of the game only sullied the world of Thedas for us all. A third installment is expected, so let's hope they take the criticism with a grain of salt and spice the next one properly.
There are several dancing games out there, and like Just Dance, most don't provide anything meaningful in the way of epic content. However, Just Dance gets the gold medal in the spectator's field. It's fun to watch friends screw up routines in any dance game, but the bold neon palette, crazy backdrops, and wacky dance moves of Just Dance make it the ultimate party game to keep an audience simultaneously full of energy and exhausted from laughing so much.
Spore was another one of those highly touted, highly anticipated titles that offered a vast shift in the norm from other gameplay styles. A simulation through and through, you began as a single-celled organism and worked your way to domination of the universe. However, after the novelty wore off, the game's shallow executions were plainly obvious, overshadowing its grand ambitions. Afterwards, most gamers wasted the rest of their time in the game's edit room, creating phallic-shaped creatures and watching them whack other players into oblivion—a juvenile activity to be sure, but it was fun to see the creativity of your friend's beasts in action.
The first Wario Ware game for the Wii was just another way for the Big N to show off how many different and unorthodox ways you could play with motion controls. The series started on Nintendo's portable systems, and frankly that's where they belong. The bevy of microgames for the Wii proved to be good in one short spurt, and then collected dust. But anyone viewing the game in action was sure to get a crick in the neck from shaking their head at the harebrained artwork and animations of the game, and muscle pains from laughing at your friends doing all those spastic motions in the few seconds of each level.