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Top 7 most Disappointing games of the decade - feel the pain inside
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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 11:25:03
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http://www.gamesradar.com/f/the-top-7-disappointing-games-of-the-decade/a-2009122214391097043

7) RED STEEL

Year: 2006
Platform: Wii
Developer: Ubisoft Paris

What we expected: The evolution of the first person shooter. The evolution of interactive controllers. Perhaps even the evolution of consoles, period. Thanks to savvy timing and marketing, Red Steel came to symbolize hardcore gamers’ hope for the Wii, Nintendo’s new motion-sensitive toy. You could swing, thrust and parry your sword in real-time with the remote! You could aim and shoot your gun with the Nunchuk! The graphics looked great in screens, and the gratuitous content seemed Mature! So long as Red Steel delivered, we could ignore all the casual crap. The Wii wasn’t just for families… it was our system, too.

What we got: Everything we secretly feared. The game was rated Teen, of course, with truly adult fare like MadWorld and Dead Space: Extraction over two years away. Far more damning, however, were the clumsy controls. Yes, the remote reacted to your swinging, but not in any kind of intuitive or realistic way. Yes, the Nunchuk aimed a gun, but usually at the ceiling or floor, not the obvious bad guy standing in the dead center of the screen. Within minutes, most of us had grabbed the instruction manual, desperately thumbing through its pages to see if a GameCube pad would work instead.

Almost as bad were the blurry, boring visuals. While we realized the Wii only did 480p, Red Steel’s incredibly deceptive publicity shots had fooled us into believing that developers could perform miracles with this limited resolution. Now we knew the truth… a truth that continues to sting us to this day. Third-party Wii games will almost always look – and usually play, too – like dated, forgotten bargain bin garbage. Meanwhile, Nintendo’s busy with Wii Music and Wii Sports Resort. Have fun!


6) LAIR

Year: 2007
Platform: PS3
Developer: Factor 5

What we expected: A fantastic combat-flight sim from the minds behind the Rogue Squadron series, with beautifully savage, PS3-rendered dragons to ride instead of X-Wings and TIE Fighters. Lair was going to be an epic adventure unlike anything to come before, in which we’d be able to strafe or stomp entire armies made up of hundreds of medieval soldiers, melting them in their armor with fiery breath as our dragon’s enormous talons effortlessly tore the heads off their huge war-beasts. It would be a chance to live out our long-cherished dragon-riding dreams in the most brutal fashion imaginable, and it would cement the PS3’s position as an unmatched powerhouse, capable of delivering experiences that its competition could only dream of.

What we got: A beautiful-looking, broken mess that was not only grossly inferior to the last-gen Rogue Squadron games, but was emblematic of everything wrong with the PS3 around its launch: it was clunky, buggy and embarrassingly overconfident, and it put such a premium on visual fidelity that gameplay and mission design seemed secondary concerns. Stomping armies was still possible, but those armies had been trimmed down considerably in order to avoid slowdown. Meanwhile, ripping heads off beasts or fighting with dragons boiled down to tiresome button-mashing, controller-shaking quicktime events.

But we might have been able to overlook all that if Lair hadn’t forced players to use the Sixaxis motion controls, which quickly proved to be an annoying novelty. And nowhere was it more annoying than in Lair, where a false twitch could quickly send you careening toward the ground. Worse, the controller had a tendency to misread your twitching in the heat of combat, and would frequently send you veering away from an enemy when you meant to lunge, or vice versa.


Above: Oh, and trying to keep these stupid things from blowing up was all kinds of fun, too

That part of the game was eventually fixed, of course – but it was too little, too late, and only served to make the game’s shallow design that much more obvious. Certainly, the PS3 has come a long way since then, but if Lair had any value, it was in convincing PS3 developers to never again attempt what it did.

5) DAIKATANA

Year: 2000
Platform: PC
Developer: Ion Storm

What we expected: The biggest, baddest, most hardcore, in-your-effing face first-person shooter of all time, that’s all. Daikatana was coming from John Romero, one of the creators of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake – it’s said he even invented the word “deathmatch”. And this was his magnum opus, full of wild weapons, huge levels and smart wingmen. We wanted it bad. Yes, some folks were offended when a print ad infamously promised “John Romero’s about to make you his bitch. Suck it down.” But everyone else just did breathing exercises in eager anticipation of the embitchening suckery to come.

What we got: A very long wait that ended with a complete implosion. Daikatana and its ad were revealed in 1997, with the game expected on shelves that very Christmas. Didn’t happen. No, gamers had to wait until April 2000 to experience a broken, buggy, uninspired mess that would have been dull and dumb even if it had shipped on time 30 months earlier.

The story was some ridiculousness about jumping through time and using a magic sword to stop a virus. Graphics and sound were average at best. Your AI partners were so vapid we searched for a button that gave them their medication. There were jumping puzzles. And despite thousands of years’ worth of available enemies, Romero apparently decided people should spend an entire fourth of the game shooting at mosquitoes and cyborg frogs. Gamers hated it, critics hated it even more and Romero’s career never recovered.


4) TOO HUMAN

Year: 2008
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Silicon Knights

What we expected: What the game’s famous designer, Denis Dyack, had been promising us – loudly and often, in magazines and on website forums – for a full decade. Too Human was originally planned for the PlayStation… then for the GameCube… but in the end, apparently only the Xbox 360 was powerful enough to contain all its glory.

A sci-fi retelling of Norse mythology, the player would get to explore a futuristic Valhalla as Baldur the Brave, dealing with a multi-layered existential crisis the depths of which had never been attempted in this medium before. Dyack spoke of Nietzsche, of technology vs humanity and of finally crafting the experience he’d wanted to since founding developer Silicon Knights in 1992.

What we got: An eight-hour dungeon crawler with insultingly average gameplay. The much-hyped story was told through cheesy cutscenes, in a claustrophobic area outside the generic fighting levels that was too small to give the experience any real sense of scale or importance. The anticipated Norse violence seemed poorly and obviously edited to ensure a Teen rating.

But perhaps the biggest letdown was the controls, which bizarrely mapped all attacks to the right analogue stick and immediately removed any real connection between the player and the combat. You'd simply direct Baldur at the closest enemy, of which there were very few different types, and watch as he floated over. So much for suspension of disbelief. Don’t worry, though… if you died, you’d respawn in the exact same place, with the enemies damaged to the exact same degree. As long as you were willing to watch the 30-second death animation every time, you couldn’t not beat Too Human.


Above: Denis and the culmination of his vision

But by then, of course, no one really wanted to. Too Human felt like only a third of a real game (it was part one in a planned trilogy), finishing with a cliffhanger that, given the poor sales, will never be wrapped up. If this is what took ten years to make, we’d rather have waited twenty.

3) STAR WARS GALAXIES

Year: 2003
Platform: PC
Developer: Sony Online

What we expected: The fulfillment of every geek’s dream: to finally live in the Star Wars universe. Be a Jedi and fight the Empire anywhere in the galaxy! Be a lowly stormtrooper on a Star Destroyer and work your way up through the ranks to command a fleet! Be a Wookiee and swing through the majestic trees on Kashyyyk! Hang out with your secret sci-fi man crush, Han Solo and/or Boba Fett!

What we got: EverQuest… and not even in space. Until the Jump to Lightspeed expansion, Star Wars didn’t actually let you go to the stars. Instead, you ran around a dozen low-poly planets – on foot – that didn’t look anything like the beloved universe. The characters and art style didn’t match, either, with grinding mobs and break-dancing Wookiees taking the place of epic galactic struggles. Worst of all, the path to becoming a Jedi was so convoluted and so time-gobbling that nearly everyone gave up along the way.


Above: That’s either Tatooine or some kid’s dresser with toys arranged on top

Disappointed players left the game in droves, or never bothered trying it in the first place. And when the developers at Sony Online attempted to bring subscribers back with the NGE, or New Game Enhancement, they only made matters more frustrating. Classes were radically revamped and now – lo and behold! – practically anyone could complete Jedi training. What’s stupider than a Star Wars MMO with only a hardcore handful of Force masters? A Star Wars MMO with five million of them, set in a time period during which Darth Vader was supposedly, you know, killing them all off. The game’s balance was totally destroyed, and players who had already sacrificed their social lives to reach Jedi level pre-NGE were totally screwed.

BioWare? The Old Republic? We hope you were paying attention, and understand exactly what not to do in the coming decade.


2) SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Year: 2006
Platform: 360, PS3
Developer: Sonic Team

What we expected: Sonic’s glorious return to form… the one that publisher Sega had explicitly promised us after years of pimping our beloved childhood icon in craptastic kiddie ware and street snowboarding idiocy. Initial screenshots showed the Hedgehog blazing through dizzying loops and hoops, leading us to believe that maybe – just maybe – the franchise could work on 3D consoles.


What we got: An insipid storyline filled with bullshit mini quests and more load times than an 18-Wheeler weigh station the day before Black Friday. Rather than focus on actual gameplay or the characters we wanted to see, Sega introduced a horrifically unwelcome human element, then padded the ultra-brief levels with agonizing talk-tasks better suited for a JRPG.

Basically, this game marked the death of Sonic Team as a legendary developer. Before 2006’s Sonic the Hedgehog, even the series’ worst entries had been somewhat defensible. Any redeeming quality found here, however, was grossly overshadowed by the horrendous controls, unfair difficulty and a billion other telltale signs of an unfinished game.

By the time it arrived on PS3 a couple months later – with all the game-ruining glitches still intact – the over-hyped reboot had all but solidified the once mighty mascot’s irrelevance. Sonic had finally worn out his welcome with fans, and this disappointment is most responsible for transforming him into the punching bag we regularly beat on to this day

1) ENTER THE MATRIX

Year: 2003
Platforms: PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PC
Developer: Shiny Entertainment

What we expected: The original theatrical run of The Matrix was as mind-blowing and horizon-expanding as the 1977 premier of Star Wars. Everyone who saw it left in slack-jawed awe of the seemingly impossible special effects or was stunned by the film’s intriguing, potentially franchise-igniting premise. Word quickly spread of a sequel, then two sequels to make a complete trilogy. Expectations were astronomical, obviously, both for the films and the videogame adaptation that would finally let us take control of the excruciatingly awesome Neo, Morpheus and Trinity, or in our wildest dreams, leap from rooftop to rooftop as the undying Agent Smith.


Above: What the fu… who the hell is this?

What we got: Two brand new characters (Ghost and Niobe) who would play minor roles in the tie-in sequel film (The Matrix Reloaded). So, right off the bat we’re not playing as the superhuman heroes of the first film, which was an instant “WTF?” for most of the gaming populace. This was kind of balanced out by the fact the game was treated as a serious part of the Matrix story, with plot points that crossover with the film and directly influence future events in the series. Sounded like a decent compromise… until it actually came out, revealing a sloppy, buggy, indefensibly unfinished mess. Even if it were a smooth experience, the gameplay devolved into using the same bullet-time kicks over and over again, while never once letting us perform the dazzling acrobatics that made the 1999 movie a permanent part of pop culture.


Above: Hope you like doing this… and only this

The main run, gun and a kick game was dull, but anytime the game tried to diversify, the results were even worse. Driving levels (meant to lead directly into Reloaded’s hectic highway scene) looked, sounded and handled like ass, and the final area played exactly like Sewer Shark, a Sega CD title that’s mostly remembered for being, well, shitty. Oh right, then there was the whole “lesbian kiss” fiasco…


Above: GARLZ KISSIN IS HOOOOOOTTTT

Persephone (Monica Bellucci) and Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) are supposed to lock lips for a (VERY IMPORTANT) plot point. Naturally this captured everyone’s attention, prompting we’d guess thousands of people to play through to just that point and witness two very attractive, very popular actresses make out in a videogame. As the video shows, Smith couldn’t be less interested in the scene, which sucks for people who paid to see this, and even more for those of who were actually attempting to suspend our disbelief for the sake of an action movie. When you’re this stoic, this unwaveringly disinterested in the performance you agreed to, how can you expect anyone else to care?

Despite all of these crippling issues and venomous word of mouth, the game still sold five million copies in 2003. However, this botched game and its two film counterparts did enough damage to the Matrix brand that it’s never fully recovered. From 1999 to 2003, this was poised to become a major cross-media juggernaut on par with Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. Instead, it fizzled in the span of six months (May to November 2003) and to this day remains stuck in the “oh the first one was cool but the rest sucked” camp. Subsequent games have been better (Path of Neo, Matrix Online) but thanks to the jumbled nonsense that was Enter the Matrix, far fewer people are willing to bite.

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 11:27:53
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gamingeek said:

5) DAIKATANA


LOL I forgot about that ad.

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 11:30:57
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You should take Red Steel off that list, and replace it with this game:

Animal Crossing: City Folk boxart

Nyaa

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 11:31:59
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WTH is this? LOL

I want those ultimate shoes.

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 11:37:50
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I think I found Gamesradars mistake when playing Red Steel:

"Yes, the Nunchuk aimed a gun, but usually at the ceiling or floor,"

You point with the remote to aim, genius Nyaa Not only that it was practically impossible to point the gun at the ceiling or floor as most FPS do. The game had levels that were designed to faced head on and the large bounding box meant it was almost impossible to disorientate the camera.

This is part of why the controls are bad by modern standards. No finesse or responsiveness in the settings.

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 11:46:35
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How many list thread do we have now? Damn it's getting out of hand

Oh well still have to make my list.

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 11:48:07
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Iga_Bobovic said:

How many list thread do we have now? Damn it's getting out of hand

Oh well still have to make my list.

I think we need a new forum just for these lists. Nyaa

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 11:58:13
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Not my fault people made threads for their own personal lists. I blame you Iga, you started your Iga thread of playing what not and then others joined in.

*shakes fist*

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 13:07:25
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gamingeek said:

Not my fault people made threads for their own personal lists. I blame you Iga, you started your Iga thread of playing what not and then others joined in.

*shakes fist*

But that was not a list thread. And besides I made a MMA thread, movie/manga/series thread and the universe thread. So my contributions to this site are positive, when I keep my big mouth shut.  

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 13:34:36

Iga_Bobovic said:

gamingeek said:

Not my fault people made threads for their own personal lists. I blame you Iga, you started your Iga thread of playing what not and then others joined in.

*shakes fist*

But that was not a list thread. And besides I made a MMA thread, movie/manga/series thread and the universe thread. So my contributions to this site are positive, when I keep my big mouth shut.  

Open your mouth. We have a present for you.

*unzips*

Taste my soccer balls!

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 13:59:13

The only one I would disagree with would be Too Human. Was it disappointing? In some aspects sure but only mildly. I found it to be a pretty enjoyable game overall.

1176413.png

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 14:10:21

Archangel3371 said:

The only one I would disagree with would be Too Human. Was it disappointing? In some aspects sure but only mildly. I found it to be a pretty enjoyable game overall.

I think what's clear is that this list is based on hype and how much it was hyped.

I don't think some of these games are anywhere near as bad as other games.

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 14:14:25

Star Wars Galaxies really wasn't that bad of a game particularly when it launched.  Though a lot of the good stuff in it got nerfed when additional patches came out.  But some of those complaints are dumb,  like how hard it was to become a jedi.  Of course it was hard to become a jedi!  That was supposed to be a very special honor.  Who wanted to play in a game where every jackass who could get to level 6 was a jedi?

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 19:31:04

gamingeek said:


WTH is this? LOL

I want those ultimate shoes.

 I think I'll make this my sig.

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 21:00:47

LOL

I'll take one.

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 21:29:11

Archangel3371 said:

The only one I would disagree with would be Too Human. Was it disappointing? In some aspects sure but only mildly. I found it to be a pretty enjoyable game overall.

It was disappointing in that it was hyped up for years to be some kind of Metal Gear/Final Fantasy AAA hybrid that was destined to be one of the greatest games ever made. Basically, it was supposed to be a futuristic Dragon Age with stealth.

Then it ended up an 8-hour average hack and slash.

Edited: Tue, 29 Dec 2009 21:32:36

         1200923.png?77682175

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 21:30:24

I'm pretty sure this guy was in Shenmue.

         1200923.png?77682175

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 21:34:32

edgecrusher said:

I'm pretty sure this guy was in Shenmue.

Shenmue+II.jpg

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 21:43:16

edgecrusher said:

I'm pretty sure this guy was in Shenmue.

 Holy shit! You are right, he was in Shenmue 2:

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 21:44:46

LOL C'mon, that's a photoshop surely?

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