There are plenty of good games out there. There are plenty of awful games out there. But every now and then, I play an awful game... and thoroughly enjoy it. I dedicate this thread towards the discussion of trashy / bad games that you somehow found to be enjoyable.
To kick the thread off, I'll start with Record of Agarest War, the first one specifically (since I haven't played the others)
Spoiled for length.
There were so many issues with this game. The game was so poorly coded that the 2d-pixel art graphics would LAG on a PS3. And while there were no random-encounters, the game was grindy as all hell. For those who are actually into the visual novel / romance dating sim elements, the game was crude and poorly written. Making a decision to take literally the left or right side of a fork in the road would change the romance points of characters arbitrarily. Most of the decisions made it impossible to know ahead of time which decisions would get you where... and without a guide / several playthroughs, you'd never be able to predict which decisions to make.
So even as a visual novel, this game was trashy. And I mean beyond just the female characters making dick jokes with bananas in their mouths... the actual visual novel mechanics (story, plot, and choices) were actually awful.
Note on the sexual jokes: the first major fight is against a giant chicken. Its name? Jumbo Cock. You can't make this stuff up. I'm still wondering if this was bloody brilliant, or utterly sophomoric / juvenile.
This continued beyond just the overworld screen. There are several dungeons where the design of the levels were so awful, you wouldn't know where you were inside of the dungeon. They would copy/paste level designs in an awful attempt at making a "puzzling" maze, when frankly this is just awful level design.
Pretty bad right? But I kid you not, this is probably one of the deepest and richest turn-based tactical games I've ever played. As grindy as the game was, on my first playthrough... I was something like 300+ battles into the game and I was still learning tricks and nuances with regards to the battle system.
Characters would have "extended zones" that allow other characters on your team to act on a turn. So lets say Ellis was inside of Leo's extended zone... then Leo can act on Ellis's turn, OR Ellis can act on Leo's turn. This was recursive AND awarded with ability-point bonuses, so you would start chaining extended zones of your characters together. The more people in more extended zones, the better. (Leo has a special ability that grants more action points to characters inside his extended zone). You learn tricks like having the slow-tank (Borgenine) enter the extended zone of your high-speed thief, so that Borgenine would cheat the turn order and the tanky-high damage but slow character will go first in the turn order.
If that weren't possible, maybe you'd chain Borgenine into the extended zone of Leo who would then connect to the extended zone of your thief. Get it?
Here's the crazy part: the AI also knew of these tricks and fully utilized them against you.
The game is hard and challenging. Not only does character turn order matters, but your attacks will morph into new attacks depending on the order of your attacks. A particularly devastating attack for example, was combining five elements: fire, ice, wind, electric and earth. And of course, no single character has access to all five elements.
So you know what that means: combining character turns using extended zones.
But it wasn't sufficient to just use those attacks... you had to have all five elements next to each other in the turn order for it to morph into the new attack. Turn order was exceptionally important here.
The amount of detail in these combination attacks were particularly well implemented. The "Gun" character (Winfield) who specializes in "Blast" type attacks will attack three squares at the same time (the three squares in front of him). Scythe characters attack the three squares horizontal one square in front of them. While most characters (swords or gauntlets) only attack one square at a time (the square in front of the character).
The crazy part: combining attacks between characters merges the properties of the two characters. "Power Attack" and "Double Edge" for example, combines into an advanced attack which takes on the properties of the Power-attack user. So Winfield can use Power Attack, and a sword-user can add Double-Edge through the extended field, and you may attack up to 3 different enemies at the same time... using the attack-range and spread-damage of the gun user... while using the higher strength score from the sword user.
Of course, this only worked if Winfield was facing the correct orientation, but that's why you have Scythe users (Zerva) who has slightly different multi-hit orientations... or Spear users who have a different orientation still.
Needless to say, the battle system makes up for the rest of the game. The boss fights and AI are all incrementally designed to help you grow as a gamer, and learn throughout the game.
And yeah, while eventually the game turns into "Ellis->Impact" or "Ellis->Stardust" (the best magic character using the widest, most powerful simple single-attack in the game), the path to that point is fraught with danger. And even Ellis's powerful magic isn't enough to take on the big boss fights (some of which are magic-immune). So complete mastery of the full battle system is required by the game design.
And with that said, Record of Agarest War is the worst game that I fully enjoyed. It was a laggy, grindy, piece of garbage that actually had a really good and awesome tactical system.
Anyone else have a similar experience?