By EpicSteve 68 Comments
Looking @ Twenty-Ten: Biggest Letdowns
I'm going to post a blog daily until the end of the year (minus Christmas Eve & Christmas day) revolving around my overall opinion on how video games did this year. Like everyone else, I'm working on my obligatory Game of the Year blog. However, I haven't played Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood or Need for Speed, yet. Both seem to be key releases this year, so I'll hold for now.
What better way to start things off with a low note? We can only go up from here, right? Now, these aren't the worst games of the year. Or else I would just be talking smack about Naughty Bear and Blood Drive. These are games that didn't meet my personal expectations. There's no specific order to how these games are listed.
1. Final Fantasy XIII
Most users will agree with me, while some pocket of you will scream foul. We all know the bullet points on why FFXIII didn't meet the standards we all set for the franchise. It's the bad dialog, questionable plot, linearity, and a game that ultimately drags on. I believe FFXIII is representative of the decline of relevant Japanese game design. This year seemed to showcase Japan's lack of meeting Western standards. FFXIII isn't too radically different from titles past, well...aside from a four hour tutorial. However, with titles like Mass Effect and Fallout providing a great narrative, gameplay, and modern mechanics to boot, it's nearly impossible for a standard JRPG to keep up. Hopefully by the time FFXV begins development, hopefully Square develops a game plan to modernize its flagship franchise.
Me being disappointed in this title could be my own fault. Before Limbo's release, people were talking about it being "the next Braid". After playing through Limbo, I read all the reviews giving it high praise. Maybe I didn't get it. I thought the game on a grand scale was "meh". it boiled down to a platformer with simple puzzles that had a different art style. Here's a section from my review:
My harshest criticism about the game is also the whole point of the game. The lack of music and story telling bring down the experience, and I found it hard to have fun with the game. After reading tons of other reviews for this game, I guess I don't “get it”. Little audio combined with no color and character motivation drags the experience and made it boring for me. The game does a decent job having some stuff going on in the first half with you encountering evil children in the woods, but, whatever.
The whole black and white thing felt contrived and an easy out for the developer to convey dread. In fact, I thought Limbo was kinda boring. I did enjoy the game, but not nearly on the level as a lot of people seemed to of.
3. Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor contained a multiplayer portion that wasn't worth a damn, and a mediocre singleplayer. However, the game's campaign had small portions of great moments. Specifically towards the end of the game. The scene were you're running out of the helicopter during an ambush, and soldiers to your right and left are getting shot while other aircraft above you are crashing down. Another fantastic sequence was when you and your buddies were trapped in a saddle and had to hold off waves of Taliban until your extraction. Your comrades are running out of ammo, and the enemy is only getting closer Unfortunately, that entire scene was ruined due to the game's infinite ammo mechanic.
It's scenes like those that make be believe Medal of Honor could have been something special. Weird enough, the game had a stronger finish than opening which is a rarity in games. There's a good game fighting to get out, but it's held down by less-than-stellar design and mechanics.