One hour into The Sopranos: Road to Respect and I was already pining for the relatively fun days of The X-Files: Resist or Serve. I had a lot of negative things to say about the adventures of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in low-poly land and the game was fundamentally broken, but I was never bored and the game never made me feel bad. That’s more than I can say for Road to Respect.
To start, a caveat: unlike The X-Files, I don’t have a ton of familiarity with The Sopranos. I’ve seen a few episodes, I know the basic themes and several of the characters, but I’m hardly invested in the show or the universe. I didn’t have HBO during the first couple of seasons, and by the time I had access to The Sopranos I was already too jaded about the series to really adopt it. I can be destructively contrarian about shows, movies, and games that win universal appeal. Once I’ve heard enough praise about something, I start to lose interest in it. I’m usually far more intrigued by something that everyone says is terrible… Which may explain this current project of playing bad games. My opinion of The Sopranos as a television show, however, has little bearing on my opinion of the game because if I was a fan I’d probably only hate it more.