It's fair to say that Star Trek: Discovery has split audiences like a deck of nerds (cards), leading to debates over whether it's good or not, whether it squats like Mr Motivator all over Star Trek canon, and whether it's too different or too much the same. All I know is that I've watched the first half of the first season, and I can't get past the shiny spaceships, un-naturalistic performances, barking-mad Klingon politics, and how awful it is.
And I hate that I don't like it, because it's a sci-fi show with great production values.
Much as Star Trek fans are torn over Discovery, I've always had a bit of a love/hate thing with Star Trek. I enjoyed the campiness of the original series, loved Wrath of Khan, was sort of into The Next Generation, but wished they didn't do so much moralising, and then gradually got bored with the whole franchise until the recent reboot films, which didn't feel much like Star Trek at all, and thus I enjoyed them a lot more.
My relationship with Star Trek games - and there have been many (too many to include in this article) - pretty much mirrors this. Here's a whistlestop tour through the history of the Star Trek gaming universe.
Set phasers to "badness"!
It was essentially a text and turn-based starship simulator, but became hugely influential, inspiring Star Raiders on the Atari 2600 (essentially an action-based version of Star Trek), and - much later - the Star Fleet 1 and Stellar Explorer PC games.
God knows why though. I mean, just look at it. I've seen more enticing spreadsheets.
That's pretty much where the similarities end however, and the two games manage to underline the differences between the two franchises; whereas one was a fast-paced, exciting, shoot 'em up, the other favoured a slower pace, requiring the player to manage their starship resources, and combat the pressing urge to fall asleep.
Remember: Star Trek fans don't like to be called "Trekkies". They prefer the phrase "Coprophages".
In a bid to make the game as laborious as possible, planetary exploration effectively played like a text adventure, while space combat sections required a player to click repeatedly on a wireframe representation of enemy ships.
You know what would've been more entertaining? If they'd bundled the game with a fork so that you could stab yourself in the head with it.
Which is fine, if that's the sort of thing you want.
Do you see a pattern here? If not, I'll spell it out for you: Star Trek, and its associated games, are mostly always stuffy, boring, trudges.
As with most Star Trek games, it split its gameplay over a variety of different styles - none of which were particularly compelling.
Do you remember that bit at the start of Generations where the Enterprise crew are fannying around on an old sailing ship, and then Data goes mad and throws somebody in the sea? Yeah? Well, that was the best bit, and it was still rubbish.
"I know - let's put Captain Kirk and Captain Picard together!"
"Cool! What shall we have them do?"
"Scrambled eggs. And then they can ride horses, because audiences love that shit. And then a rock falls on Captain Kirk's big, fat, belly and he dies."
For some, DS9 was a gritty and exciting reboot of the franchise, but it's all relative really, isn't it? If Mr Tumble burst out of a bush and shouted "Tits!" at some kids it might not be shocking in the grand scheme, but The Daily Mail would be in uproar.
Anyway, Crossroads of Time - despite being a side-scrolling game with shoot 'em up sections to break up the puzzles - succeeded in being every bit as prosaic and vapid as all the Star Trek games that had preceded it.
Who doesn't love "diplomatic encounters"?
Except: that wasn't the case.
Klingon was an interactive movie, in which players assumed the role of a starship crew member pretending to be a Klingon called, amusingly, "Pok", in a holodeck simulation. Though it boasted high production values, it was as basic as most interactive movies, and mostly succeeded only in highlighting how painfully ridiculous the Klingons are. Bunch of try-hard metal fans. Why have you got ribs in your heads, idiots?
Interestingly, I remember receiving an early version of Klingon Honor Guard at the Digitiser offices, with strict instructions not to review it, as it wasn't finished. How strange then that an "exclusive" review - heralded by a front cover - appeared in a leading PC magazine later that very same week, with a 90%-plus final score... some months before the game was officially released.
How strange, also, that the end product clearly wasn't a 90%-plus game, and that it was released riddled with bugs...
What was the evil that was hidden? I dunno. Let's say... um... space swans. Where were they hiding?
The tea towel cupboard.
Elite Force was a first-person shoot 'em up which not only had decent gameplay, but great visuals, an engaging story, and let you wander around locations from the show - including, memorably, a Borg-ified version of a starship from classic 1960s series.
It was also probably the first Star Trek game which non-Star Trek fans were able to tolerate. Arguably, it was significantly better in most respects than the rotten, purulent, show which spawned it.
Tip to future Star Trek game developers: ignore the fact that it's Star Trek and just do what you want. Seriously: nobody is going to criticise it because it doesn't feature enough "scanning" and "conversations" about the meaning of life.
Critics suggested that the off-the-peg guns took players out of the experience - they'd have been more at home with a Wild West-based shooter - while the weirder, more monstrous enemies (than the repetitive waves of Borg drones you mostly faced) would've been more at home in Doom.
A generic third-person shooter with co-operative puzzle-solving elements (players could adopt the roles of either Kirk or Spock), most critics considered Star Trek to have been released as a barely finished, scarcely playable, mess. Indeed, JJ Abrams even stated that the poor reception to the game damaged the fortunes of Star Trek Into Darkness, claiming that he was "emotionally hurt" by it.
Bit much. Guy's clearly a salad.