GZ Roundtable: Most Disappointing Games
Throughout time there have been countless games which promised the stars, only to deliver something more akin to Uranus. This year alone we've seen several high-profile flops, including Tecmo Koei's Ninja Gaiden 3 and Warner Bros' Lollipop Chainsaw. Today the GameZone team is exploring the most disappointing releases of their gaming career. Titles which looked like they were going to be balls-out awesome, and proved to just be, well... balls.
Without a doubt it has to be Modern Warfare 3. I know that it sold incredibly well and it has a massive audience of players that love it, but for me, it completely whiffed.
Going into the release of MW3 I had big expectations. I was always more of a fan of Infinity Ward when it came to Call of Duty so after being disappointed with Treyarch's Black Ops, this was more of a return to my preference. Unfortunately my return was marred by bland graphics, stale gameplay, and an absurd storyline. Going into the game I knew MW3's story was going to be grand, but it was a little too over-the-top for me. There's only so long nonstop explosions and constant chaos can hold my attention. It's one thing when a giant nuke goes off once, but when you go for shock value every 5 minutes it gets a little stale. Every location was nearly identical: abandoned cities turned to rubble by massive explosions.
Multiplayer didn't help either. Call of Duty used to be fun online. Now it's filled with bros launching grenades or firing rockets from across the map, or even worse, right next to you. My biggest gripe is that all weapons pretty much act the same way. When you can snipe across the map with a dual Akimbos and have the same accuracy as a sniper rifle, that's a problem. When your sniper rifle has the same effectiveness as a shotgun at close distance, that's a problem. And that's just the weapons. The whole online multiplayer experience was riddled with bugs, glitches, and a broken spawn system. It was not a fun experience. Things may have changed since the game first launch, but I don't have the willpower to even attempt to go back. Because of Modern Warfare 3, this will also be the first year I do not purchase a Call of Duty game.
On a side note, I was also disappointed with Binary Domain, but not because it was a bad game. Unfortunately, our review copy of the game was scrateched to hell when it arrived and it did not work properly. I played the first 30 minutes or so before running into problems. I'd still like to play it, but haven't had the time lately.
In the last few months, if there was a game I really really wanted to be good but I just couldn’t get into… would be Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. I remember being literally pumped for this game. The trailers were amazing! What a concept too, playing as an Umbrella special ops team trying to cover up the Raccoon City incident. It’s like playing Half Life: Opposing Force in the Resident Evil universe. Never in Resident Evil have you been able to play as Umbrella in the story mode.
Before I picked REORC up I read through several negative reviews but I didn’t let it get me down. I played though a few levels on single player trying to figure out which character I liked; getting used to the controls and ability uses. I realized that this game should not be played as a single player game. Thus I played coop and the experience got much better. The campaign was short though – about eight hours. I dove into the multiplayer with a friend and it was not enough to hold our attention for too long.
There is definitely replay-ability in the game. There are multiple characters, different weapons sets, different abilities you can pick, the formula is all there. Sadly the desire just wasn’t there to play through again. Whenever there is coop play fear elements always dwindle. On top of that, it wasn’t a scary game to begin with. Since launch the game has had some big updates, including the ability to play as the government team, which gives a completely different take on the game.
I’ll fully admit the game was above average but I think I ruined it with my extremely high expectations. The concept still amazes me and if they made another game along a similar concept as this, I’m sure I’d get it. If they fixed some game mechanics, better AI, more game play, and less clunky controls – it would have much more potential. I REALLY enjoyed shooting Leon Kennedy in the face though.
Verdict: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
This was a tough question for me at first, only because I go through so many games, and rarely does it happen that I'm excited for something, which then ends up totally disappointing me. I had to dig a little further back however. In fact, I had to go back a number of years. The wonderful year of my graduation, which also happened to be the reveal of Final Fantasy XIII, yeah, you know where this is going.
Leading up to Final Fantasy XIII, I can say that I was pleased with every iteration before it, not counting XI. I know people tend to have favorites but I can honestly say that I've enjoyed them all, even with each game's change to the fundamental gameplay. At the time, I would definitely classify myself as a Final Fantasy fanboy. It would be no surprise then that I would be super hyped for the next installment in the Final Fantasy series. Everything I watched, pointed to a good game. A new cinematic battle system, gorgeous HD graphics, intriguing story (or at least it looked like it), this was going to take Final Fantasy to new heights!
I couldn't have been more wrong. It is universally known what is wrong with Final Fantasy XIII, but I still have to mention where the series went to the toilet. The sense of exploration was all but gone, uninteresting characters were prevalent, and arguably one of the worst features, that in order to learn anything about the lore of the world that I'm in, I had to read through tons of text in menus. Not what I call a very immersive experience.
Alas, my love for the series has died down. Even though I apparently had two other games to look forward to that took place in the same universe, the one I was really looking forward to, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, is nowhere to be found. Come on Square, make me love the series again!
I have played a ton of MMORPGs over the years. Everything from Star Wars Galaxies to Lineage II to Ultima Online to World of Warcraft. Hell, I even played Tabula Rasaand Matrix Online at one point. Needless to say, the MMO space has gotten a little stale over the past couple of years. After multiple times of quitting and going back toWoW, I was ready to give up on MMOs, simply because there wasn't anything that interested me or that could rival WoW.
Enter Star Wars: The Old Republic. I was a fan of Galaxies (before the NGE and Combat Upgrade), and I'm a huge fan of Star Wars in general, so I figured this was everything I needed. And it was BioWare! What could possibly go wrong? If you told me a month after its launch I would stop playing, I would have said you were crazy. But there I was, a month later, canceling my subscription.
I was banking on an amazing story-telling experience, multiplayer-driven action (it is an MMO afterall), really great PvP, and a character customization that could rivalGalaxies. First, the story was great until midway through the second Act. The story became stale (I played a Sith Inquisitor) and by the time I reached end-game content, none of the story I experienced mattered. The same goes for the sidekicks you accumulate. Once you finish your storyline, you never use them again.
Secondly, for an MMO, there was barely any interaction or need to group with other players. The world also felt lifeless. Thirdly, the world PvP was broken, I would only be able to get into Huttball due to what seemed like lack of MMO knowledge from the BioWare team, and what you had to go through to get PvP armor was just asinine. Lastly, forget character customization; you get a few options and that's all. Most of the characters look like Mr. Incredible anyways.
What started out as my MMORPG savior ended as a game that did nothing but disappoint. The least amount of fun I ever had playing WoW was 10 times more than the most fun I ever had playing The Old Republic. Now I'm banking on Guild Wars 2.
Verdict: Star Wars: The Old Republic. I found its lack of fun disturbing, to the point where I was screaming at the renew subscription page “I'll never join you!”
I don't remember exactly what it is that convinced me to give the original Monster Hunter Freedom a try, though within just a few hours I was hopelessly addicted to the PSP classic. I soon convinced all my PSP-owning friends to pick up a copy, and we were soon having regular raiding nights, everyone meeting up in the local game store to take down the game's gigantic suite of monsters in hopes of grinding out a new piece of sick gear.
Thing is, as much fun as Monster Hunter Freedom was, it lacked a sorely needed feature: online multiplayer. Though some people figured out how to hack the game's ad-hoc connection for online tunneling fun, me and my friends were too dumb to figure that out, trapped in that disgusting mall, eating stale orange chicken from the food court, just so we could get our Monster Hunter fix.
So, when Capcom announced Monster Hunter 3 for the Wii, I was ecstatic. I'd moved away from where my friends were, but now we'd have a chance to buddy up and kill dinosaurs again. I was so excited I actually pre-ordered the game at GameStop, an action which just thinking about it makes me feel a bit ill. When the game finally arrived I hurriedly rushed home, hooked up my new Classic Controller Pro and a USB keyboard, and sat down for the most disappointing gaming experience of my life.
To be fair, the PSP Monster Hunter had more than a few problems, though these were easy to forgive because it was a portable game. Unfortunately, it seemed like Nintendo's Wii was equally underpowered, despite being a home console. For instance, minor enemies continued to uniquely spawn on each player's screen, meaning your teammates always looked to be fighting air. Of course, Monster Hunter is primarily about the big boss battles, though it was hard to enjoy those encounters when the Wii's crappy online service reguarly booted players midway through battles. Oh, and friend codes! There's nothing more fun than putting in a giant password just to play with friends, because god forbid you hook up with some random group of jerks who don't understand that OUR TEAM ONLY GETS THREE EXTRA LIVES. Without buying that useless Wii Speak accessory, there's no way to scream at the stupid random n00b in your party that the Rathian's poison flip is about to wreck his s**t, and that same under-equipped moron would usually rush back onto the battlefield to eat away at the two remaining lives, ending the mission in failure.
Point is, I played with crappy graphics, invisible enemies, random disconnects, and stupid n00bs for about a month, all the while wondering how much more awesome the game would be on a competent system like the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. Now I hear Monster Hunter 3 is coming to the 3DS instead of the much more powerful Vita. It will also be pretty much unplayable if you don't invest in a Circle Pad Pro.
I don't think I'll be pre-ordering that one.
Do you agree with our picks? Got an idea for a future GameZone Roundtable? Let us know in the comments!