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Top 10 Video Games With The Worst Camera

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Kurt Hvorup In the history of gaming, few things are as technically frustrating as a poorly-implemented camera – something with which many a title has grappled. Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown out picks for the Top 10 Video Games With The Worst Camera. As indicated by the title, we're looking at games plagued by troublesome camera angles or questionable camera controls, not by intentional design but rather because of lack of forethought. The first few entries on this list aren’t necessarily bad overall because of the camera, for the latter entries though it was inexcusable. Special Thanks to our users "John Nolan" "jctoenges" "YellowBasterd69" "JTJS Games" for suggesting this topic on our website WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Kurt Hvorup

Top 10 Video Games With The Worst Camera


In the history of gaming, few things are as technically frustrating as a poorly-implemented camera – something with which many a title has grappled. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Video Games With The Worst Camera.

As indicated by the title, we're looking at games plagued by troublesome camera angles or questionable camera controls, not by intentional design but rather because of lack of forethought. The first few entries on this list aren’t necessarily bad overall because of the camera, for the latter entries the it was inexcusable.

#10: “Resident Evil” series (1996-99)

Ah, classic survival horror – how you fascinate us with your clunky design. The first 3 “Resident Evil” games established themselves early on to be very particular in setup: B-grade horror imagery married to elaborate conspiratorial plot lines and a blend of puzzle-solving, exploration and resource-limited action. However, the games conveyed these admirable elements by way of fixed camera perspectives, with the controls occasionally switching directions and the player's sense of their environment limited. It makes sense, then, that “Code: Veronica” would mark the shift away from fixed angles – arbitrary restriction makes for unhappy gamers.

#9: “Ninja Gaiden” (2004)

It's quite a good game in terms of revamping source material and showing off its system's capabilities... but it's not without its missteps. Developed for the Microsoft Xbox, 2004's “Ninja Gaiden” gave players an awe-inspiring mix of brutal violence, intricate hack-and-slash combat mechanics and fittingly difficult foes. Yet there was a notable design choice that to this day raises eyebrows – the Xbox controller's right thumbstick puts you into a first-person view, rather than controlling the camera. It can be quite distracting, to say the least.

#8: “Epic Mickey” (2010)

Talk about good intentions being undercut by the execution. The brainchild of “Deus Ex” director Warren Spector, “Epic Mickey” was meant to mesh Mickey Mouse and company to a darker, steampunk-esque setting in order to emphasize Mickey's adventure-seeking qualities. What resulted was an intriguing platformer with one key flaw: its camera angles interfered with the gameplay. Mickey often was obscured from the player's view, with scenery getting in the way of one's ability to properly traverse environments without careful adjustment.

#7: “Final Fight: Streetwise” (2006)

Questionable from a conceptual standpoint, “Streetwise” didn't help its case with its spotty camera. Based around free-roaming through a mission-filled cityscape, the game fall flat in combat encounters due to its camera being unreliable in keeping your character in focus. Matters reach peak unpleasantness in corridor-based fights; the player can very easily surrounded by foes and trapped in corners, with the camera getting caught on surfaces. We're not surprised the gaming community at large didn't take to this game.

#6: “Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness” (2003)

Acting as Core Design's final entry into the “Tomb Raider” franchise, “The Angel of Darkness” was no stranger to design flaws – least of all with regards to its camera. Our heroic treasure hunter Lara Croft was once more tasked with fighting enemies, carefully climbing and jumping through levels, and solving puzzles... while tied to a slow-to-maneuver camera view. Shifting the player perspective is sluggish in nature, sometimes leading to the camera getting stuck in awkward places whenever Lara attempts to turn. Things like this make us think the game could've used another pass through the development process.

#5: “Prince of Persia 3D” (1999)

The age of early 3D gaming was a strange and unrestrained time. Out of that era came the final instalment of the original “Prince of Persia” series, bringing its patented action-platformer gameplay to the third dimension. That translated into levels where one's point of view was restricted to just behind the eponymous Prince, obscuring details from an upcoming room's details to how far of a jump lay ahead. It's an extra layer of challenge that wasn't demanded but quickly overstayed its welcome.

#4: “Sonic the Hedgehog” (2006)

The “Sonic Adventure” series may have its problems, but they don't come close to the issues on display here. Amid other grave technical flaws, “Sonic the Hedgehog” has the unfortunate fate of being plagued by a disorienting camera view. This is particularly a problem during the game's high-speed segments, where the camera will sometimes shift its position without warning. Besides causing the player to become disoriented, this has the added effect of leaving them vulnerable to unintentional deaths, from falling off loops to running into bodies of water. Calling it “rough around the edges” would be charitable.

#3: “Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days” (2010)

As hard as it is to get worked up here, there's legitimate grievances to be had. One thing that becomes immediately apparent when experiencing the 2010 third-person shooter “Kane & Lynch 2” is its attempt to mimic low-quality video productions. The titular anti-heroic criminals are constantly followed by a handheld shaking, low-fidelity camera, with firefights punctuated by artifacts and other distortions. The camera's constant movement and tendency to become awash in abrasive visual elements has reportedly caused players to become physically ill. At least the game lets you turn off the shaky cam and video effects – which was a nice try to mask bad programming, but a bad camera is still a bad camera.

#2: “Genji: Days of the Blade” (2006)

We're no stranger to action games, but this feels more than a little counter-intuitive. “Days of the Blade” picks up three years after the PlayStation 2 title “Genji: Dawn of theSamurai”, continuing the series' tradition of hack-and-slash battles loosely rooted in Japanese history … with giant crabs. Sadly, the game features a forward-facing camera that obscures action – and enemies – directly behind the player. It has the overall effect of limiting one's view of combat, meaning quick reflexes and sheer intuition are key to success here.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“Super Mario Sunshine” (2002)
“Dante's Inferno” (2010)
“Kingdom Hearts” (2002)
“Too Human” (2008)
“Quest 64” (1998)

#1: “Castlevania 64” (1999)

Innovating a series' core gameplay sometimes requires mistakes – and this, unfortunately, is such a case. “Castlevania 64” stands as the first 3D game of the franchise, introducing mechanics such as a 3d environments and enemies, a lock-on system and anxiety-inducing level design inspired by survival horror games. This makes it all the more jarring, then, that the central platforming gameplay is the weak link – a direct result of the camera obscuring the nature of jumps. A mere hop from ledge to ledge becomes a guessing game where trial and error, coupled with leaps of faith, are the best approach. Game design at its finest.

Do you agree with our list? What games do you feel have poor camera design? For more polished Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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