Years of gaming can teach a player when to just put the game back on the store shelf. It may go against the old rules of kindergarten but with games averaging around 60 bucks, it usually pays to know what makes a bad game.

Of course, this does mean that you might just miss out on some of the really great titles. The problem is that taking chances with the rules more often than not will burn you. It can be confusing. To make things more confusing, here are two games that break the rules … to an extent.

For full disclosure’s sake, I did not like the movie version of Clash of the Titans at all. Normally, I would assume that any movie license game is going to be bad because game developers don’t need to put any effort into games based on movies, but a game based on a movie I didn’t like is two big strikes against it. In this case, my prejudice is almost completely unfounded.

“Clash of the Titans” for the PS3 and Xbox 360 does suffer from the same things that the movie did. The plot is forced and often makes absolutely no sense, but the game actually manages to make it work a bit better by offering more time between ridiculous plot twists. If nothing else, it distracts from the nonsensical plot with lots of fighting using a wide variety of weapons.

While other movie-licensed games would accept the straightforward hack-and-slash gameplay, “Clash of the Titans” actually does have some neat additions that make it stand out from the action-genre crowd. While many post-“God of War” games have used quick-time events, this game ties it in to weapon leveling. To improve your weapons, you must use quick-time events to kill monsters with their own weapons. As such, while you can get through most of the game just smashing the attack buttons, you can only gain the strongest forms of your weapons by playing strategically.

The other great decision in the making of this game is to borrow from the original cult film that inspired the uninspired remake. Some of the monsters were designed to move with extremely jerky motion that calls back to the stop-motion animation in the classic film. The game also incorporates Bubo the mechanical owl, in a central support role despite the fact that the remake treated him as a throwaway joke. While these may not be enough to overcome the fairly bad storyline the movie saddled the game with, they do show that the game’s creators had more respect for the source material.

Moving away from games that seem bad at first, “Dive: The Medes Islands Secret” for WiiWare seems too beautiful to be fun. Sure, it seems odd to treat good graphics as a downside, but typically when games – especially side-scrolling titles – have beautifully decorated worlds and the promise of a serene landscape, it guarantees that the game is going to be amazingly dull. Beyond the fact that pretty worlds usually imply that the game won’t be very intense, small developers usually have to decide between employing great artists or great programmers.

At first, “Dive” seems like it will fall into the boring trap. The game starts you off by diving into calm waters and collecting treasures with nothing more dangerous than a few aggressive fish. As the game goes on, the fish get bigger, the waters go deeper and you still keep collecting treasures. On the surface (no pun intended) it seems fairly dull.

If you stick with the game, though, it is actually a fairly solid platformer that plays like a puzzle game. The walls become far narrower and more deadly as larger and spikier creatures abound. By the later levels, you will be constantly watching for aggressive foes as you cautiously weave through seemingly impossible twists and turns. Even hardcore gamers will find themselves sweating as they have to decide whether to waste oxygen by rushing away from foes or using up precious tranquilizer darts.

Where “Dive” does suffer for its beauty, increasingly more challenging levels and WiiWare cost, is in its length. The game rewards players for playing more than three hours, and it is quite possible that you’ll be approaching the final stage by the time you receive the three-hour achievement. The game does lengthen things by rewarding exploration and demanding it to reach the final challenges, so you will get a fairly fulfilling experience as long as you stick with it.