2010's Biggest Letdowns.

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. 
 
2. Limbo
 
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.
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Edited by EpicSteve

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. 
 
2. Limbo
 
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.
Posted by Jack268

Splinter Cell Conviction. It's still a good game but it's not as good as you would expect after all the delays and hush-hush. I'm also kind of disappointed they still haven't brought out the Future Soldier beta.   
 
 I'm also quite disappointed in Halo: Reach, it's a grand game but it didn't have nearly the lasting appeal that Halo 3 had. Which also goes for Black Ops, great game, but not nearly as long lasting as Modern Warfare 2.  
 

Posted by Video_Game_King

You already know what I'm going to say about Final Fantasy XIII. Let's just get it out of the way now: it's a good game, let us not fight.

Posted by LordXavierBritish

As someone who played almost twenty straight hours of FFXII I will agree that it is a fucking abomination unto mankind. People keep saying it gets better, but the amount of time it takes is completely unnecessary. At least 75% of those twenty hours is spent fighting the same monsters the same way again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again maybe I'll put some skill points into this little slot over here and again and again. 
  
And everything about Limbo is contrived. There is nothing about it that seems like the developers were actually competent in crafting an interesting narrative or atmosphere. All the discussion coming out of it just seems like people grasping at straws and filing in the blank spots with what they want that game to be. 
 
Let's just add Fable 3 and Fallout: New Vegas to the list  while we're at it.

Posted by Animasta

to be fair to FF13, don't say this is the first or only time the plot or dialogue has been terrible.
 
It's ALWAYS been terrible.

Posted by Deeveeus

FF 13 got much better once it reached Pulse...it was too damn linear though, I think that is more so what killed it....that and yes, the dialog is a little cheese :p (Snow, I point to you with your lame ass fist pumps with ever sentence...)

Posted by zombie2011

God of War 3 was the only game this year i regret buying. Everything after the first 4 hours sucked ass.

Posted by tooPrime
@EpicSteve: I'm 100% with you on Limbo.  I'm still not sure if the game was mediocre or all the "next Braid" hype screwed my expectations.
Posted by LordXavierBritish
@Deeveeus said:
" FF 13 got much better once it reached Pulse...it was too damn linear though, I think that is more so what killed it....that and yes, the dialog is a little cheese :p (Snow, I point to you with your lame ass fist pumps with ever sentence...) "
B-but... He is a hero.
Posted by Animasta
@Deeveeus said:
" FF 13 got much better once it reached Pulse...it was too damn linear though, I think that is more so what killed it....that and yes, the dialog is a little cheese :p (Snow, I point to you with your lame ass fist pumps with ever sentence...) "
I loved the linearity of the game, to be quite honest, and it lost me for a couple months when I actually got to pulse.
Edited by EpicSteve
@LordXavierBritish said:
Let's just add Fable 3 and Fallout: New Vegas to the list  while we're at it. "
I just skipped Fable 3 all together. I didn't care for Fable 2, and after hearing Fable 3 wasn't "as good", I said "fuck it". I couldn't figure out if New Vegas was disappointing because it's more of the same or not. I couldn't articulate my feelings on New Vegas enough, so I just listed three items instead of five. I think New Vegas is missing something. I didn't encounter many bugs like a lot of people did, I just didn't care about playing more Fallout.  
 
@Video_Game_King said:

" You already know what I'm going to say about Final Fantasy XIII. Let's just get it out of the way now: it's a good game, let us not fight. "

I was really close to specifically mentioning you in the blog. I thought you might take it the wrong way though.
Posted by Video_Game_King
@EpicSteve: 
 
I'm not even sure how I would've responded, since I'm a massive egotist. That opens up a lot of options.
Posted by Kjellm87

Only I can think of is Epic Mickey, it did what it promised, but that platformin, o man.

Posted by pweidman

Didn't play Limbo, and prolly never will now.  FFXIII was corny and silly, repetitive yes, and the story was super convoluted, but I still enjoyed it for about 40 hrs.  The game looked remarkable to SE's credit.  Medal of Honor was indeed a disappointment.  Seemed as though the game got pushed out.  I blame EA.   
 
But the game that totally ambushed me was Crackdown 2.  Liked the demo, the QL made me excited for it's release, and alas, when the full game dropped it was just totally boring and not fun.  Not one good new addition imo.  Talk about lazyass money grabbing game developing....and publishing too.
Posted by GhostlyEnigma

I agree with Final Fantasy XIII and Medal of Honor, but I disagree with your assessment on Limbo 
 
However, there's one more game you should have mentioned. 

Posted by Oni

Alpha Protocol was this year's most pleasant surprise for me, as I played it last month and enjoyed it a great deal. FFXIII stands out as being gobshite, for the most part. I enjoy the battle system but nothing else about that game. There's not a shred of coherence to any of the game, it's like 5 different visions crammed into one game with a shit story. Square-Enix has quite literally lost the plot.
 
Limbo I thought was great, though not earth-shattering. I think imposing your own meaning on the narrative is the whole point of the game. And I don't think the black and white is an easy out at all, I think it's challenging to accomplish a strong atmosphere with little more than silhouettes. I think you may be underestimating graphical design there. But to each his own of course, I liked it but won't say it's the best thing ever.

Posted by stinky
@zombie2011 said:
" God of War 3 was the only game this year i regret buying. Everything after the first 4 hours sucked ass. "
man the trailers for it were great though.   
Posted by PenguinDust
Crackdown 2.  Being a huge fan of the original, the follow up failed to live up to my desires.  So much of the potential I saw in the initial outing was wasted in the sequel.
Posted by Deeveeus
@Laketown: I can see how some could like the linear nature, but for me Final Fantasy was always about exploring the areas...this just felt like an interactive story until Pulse, well for me. Although I LOVED the battle system, the whole idea of more so watching a progression and changing the team strategy to match the need, and fast paced nature...SO much better than 12 (damn dungeon crawler disguised as an action RPG)
Posted by Deeveeus
@GhostlyEnigma: Great idea....give that game to BioWare :p
Posted by GhostlyEnigma
@Deeveeus said:
" @GhostlyEnigma: Great idea....give that game to BioWare :p "
If BioWare handled Alpha Protocol, they probably would've dumb downed the "choices effect the outcomes of the plot" stuff, in favor of better shooting mechanics. If Black Isle was still around, they would've executed both elements well.  
 
*sigh* 
 
I miss Black Isle. :(
Posted by TheSeductiveMoose

My biggest letdown this year was Heavy Rain.

Posted by GhostlyEnigma
@Jack268 said:
" Splinter Cell Conviction. It's still a good game but it's not as good as you would expect after all the delays and hush-hush. I'm also kind of disappointed they still haven't brought out the Future Soldier beta.   
 
 I'm also quite disappointed in Halo: Reach, it's a grand game but it didn't have nearly the lasting appeal that Halo 3 had. Which also goes for Black Ops, great game, but not nearly as long lasting as Modern Warfare 2.  
 
"
You really prefer the very well polished and balance Black Ops over the utterly broken and unbalance Modern Warfare 2?  
 
I agree with you on Halo: Reach. The multi-player is excellent, but it doesn't have the long lasting impact of Halo 3 & 2. Probably due to the fact that it doesn't do anything new to the series, thus making it feel less special. 
 
I was incredibly disappointed by the single-player component. 90% of Bungie's "promises" were left empty in the final game. 
 
Watch this developers commentary to hear what I mean. 
Posted by InfiniteGeass

I still thoroughly enjoyed FF13 when I played it. Does that make me a crazy person?

Edited by BigLemon

Alpha Protocol was, hands down, my biggest disappointment. Really great concept, and some of the things were executed nicely (the dialogue and such) but the part where you actually had to PLAY was so damned broken that it just wasn't fun. I might be interested if they gave it another shot next dev cycle. I still liked the characters and the universe.

Edited by Chaser324

Crackdown 2 and Fable 3 were both huge letdowns.
 
I hesitate to put Fallout: New Vegas on the list because the majority of the issues I had with that game were technical and might be addressed by patches. My problems with Crackdown 2 and Fable 3 definitely can't be fixed in a patch.

Moderator
Posted by Deeveeus
@InfiniteGeass: not at all. I don't think anyone can say it was a BAD game per se, it just didn't live up to Final Fantasy and the greatness expected after games like 4, 6, 7, 8, 10....and the rest a lot of people love for different reasons (8 and 9 have pretty mean bases I understand...personally I did not like 9 that much for some odd reason, does that make ME craZy? :P)
Edited by Sergotron

In total agreement on the disappointment for Limbo. The first 40 min or so with the Spider is fantastic. But I found out after that whole scene, the game just got boring. It wasn't even the difficult puzzles that made me not like it, I just it was no longer any fun. It was a struggle to force myself to even finish it. What a disappointing game that was. 
 
Also on a side note Fable 3 and Final Fantasy 13 were also big regrets for me to pick up.

Posted by Deeveeus
@GhostlyEnigma: hahah, yeah Fallout 2 was the bomb wasn't it! 
 
I dunno though, I thought Dragon Age was pretty damn impressive. I think they could do it!
Edited by WinterSnowblind

I haven't played Alpha Protocol yet, I'll probably still get it when it's cheaper, but I am disappointed it didn't turn out to be the huge success I was expecting. I'm one who's always defended Obsidian and put the problems their past games have had on the fact they've always been rushed to release. Guess I was wrong though.  
 
Crackdown 2, Final Fantasy XIII and Gran Turismo 5 also spring instantly to mind as huge disappointments. GT5 was at least still a good game, but after the years of development and hype, then not even living up to Forza 3 was very disappointing for me, especially as we're getting a sequel to Forza next year and the developers have no doubt been working on that with the aim of delivering something better than GT. I just hope they don't become complacent.

Posted by FancySoapsMan

My biggest letdown is probably Mass Effect 2. I should have done a bit more research before buying it. I was expecting a huge RPG similar to BioWare's older games, but what I got was a Third Person Shooter with some RPG elements thrown in.
 
Not a terrible game, but not what I was hoping for either.

Posted by JacDG
@Laketown said:
" @Deeveeus said:
" FF 13 got much better once it reached Pulse...it was too damn linear though, I think that is more so what killed it....that and yes, the dialog is a little cheese :p (Snow, I point to you with your lame ass fist pumps with ever sentence...) "
I loved the linearity of the game, to be quite honest, and it lost me for a couple months when I actually got to pulse. "
same place I'm at right now, the diffuclty just spiked and I can't seem to get my ass in gear and grind, so I haven't played it for a few months even though it's quite an alright game.
 
My disappointments are God of War 3 and Splinter Cell: Convection. God of War 3 was just bland and boring except for few spots, and Splinter Cell was just a horrible game. The demo left me with a good impression, but it was so repetitive despite being 5 hours long, and the levels were too damn small, especially all the enemies taken into account and the fact that you died super fast, what a letdown.
Posted by Bertmasta

Fable 3 for me. I loved fable 2 but struggled through  the 3rd installment 

Posted by Jack268
@GhostlyEnigma: I DO think Black Ops is more polished, but it's progress system doesn't keep you hooked in the same way Modern Warfare 2 did. I have every unlock I want in the game at level 30. There's hardly any pull left for me to play it, considering that there are still better balanced shooters out there. Modern Warfare 2 was broken, but god damnit, I wanted every god damn unlock and I was gonna play until I had them. Not having to complete challenges for attachments or camo severely shortened the amount of time I could spend on Black Ops, because I completely lacked the incentive to keep playing. 
 
In CoD4, unlocking red tiger meant that you at least spent some time with that gun. In Black Ops, the coolest camo means you've reached the appropriate level to unlock the gun. Nothing more.
Posted by GhostlyEnigma
@Jack268 said:
" @GhostlyEnigma: I DO think Black Ops is more polished, but it's progress system doesn't keep you hooked in the same way Modern Warfare 2 did. I have every unlock I want in the game at level 30. There's hardly any pull left for me to play it, considering that there are still better balanced shooters out there. Modern Warfare 2 was broken, but god damnit, I wanted every god damn unlock and I was gonna play until I had them. Not having to complete challenges for attachments or camo severely shortened the amount of time I could spend on Black Ops, because I completely lacked the incentive to keep playing.  In CoD4, unlocking red tiger meant that you at least spent some time with that gun. In Black Ops, the coolest camo means you've reached the appropriate level to unlock the gun. Nothing more. "
I can see how you were disappointed in that regard.
Posted by Jimbo

Mafia 2.  I still thought it was pretty good, but not in the same league as its predecessor.  I played plenty of worse games this year for sure, but nothing that I had such high hopes for.

Posted by Claude

Of the eight games I bought released this year, I would have to say Super Mario Galaxy 2 was my biggest disappointment. It wasn't a bad game, but it just didn't click with me the way Super Mario Galaxy did.

Edited by NathHaw
Posted by sixghost
@EpicSteve said:
"
 
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. 
 

I thought you said it didn't meet the standards for the franchise?
Posted by ESREVER

My only letdown this year was Worms: Reloaded. 
 
-cries-

Posted by Sin4profit
@GhostlyEnigma said:
" @Deeveeus said:
" @GhostlyEnigma: Great idea....give that game to BioWare :p "
If BioWare handled Alpha Protocol, they probably would've dumb downed the "choices effect the outcomes of the plot" stuff, in favor of better shooting mechanics. If Black Isle was still around, they would've executed both elements well.   *sigh*  I miss Black Isle. :( "
From what i've heard most of the people who worked at Black Isle now work at Obsidian...i could be wrong
Posted by GhostlyEnigma
@Sin4profit said:
" @GhostlyEnigma said:
" @Deeveeus said:
" @GhostlyEnigma: Great idea....give that game to BioWare :p "
If BioWare handled Alpha Protocol, they probably would've dumb downed the "choices effect the outcomes of the plot" stuff, in favor of better shooting mechanics. If Black Isle was still around, they would've executed both elements well.   *sigh*  I miss Black Isle. :( "
From what i've heard most of the people who worked at Black Isle now work at Obsidian...i could be wrong "
Half of them did. The other half worked at Troika. It explains why most of their games are half-assed. I did enjoy KOTOR 2, NeverWinter Nights 2, and Vampire: Masquerade Bloodline to an extent.
Posted by SlightConfuse

still need to play final fantasy 13. 
 
the bigest letdown for me was darksiders. that game was alright but was not special

Posted by Nictel

 Disciples III: Renaissance. I win.  

Posted by sarahsdad

For me it was Fable III, Red Dead Redemption, and Transformers: WFC

Edited by ArbitraryWater

Alpha Protocol managed to simultaneously surpass and fail my expectations for it. The actual gameplay part is a horrendous blend of half-assed shooting and half-assed stealth, managing to make the shooting in the first Mass Effect look like Gears by comparison, but they do the "Your choices have impact" nonsense better than in any other game I have seen. But of course, the plot and characters aren't interesting or likable enough to make that have any weight with the player. Ugh... That game is a trainwreck. And, from what I've seen, Medal of Honor is just kind of... bleh.

Posted by CitizenKane

Alpha Protocol and Dante's Inferno for me.  I still have yet to play Medal of Honor, so that might end up on my list as well.

Posted by Icemael

God of War III. It's like none of the designers over at Santa Monica have played a single 3D beat 'em up released in the last decade.

Posted by WinterSnowblind
@slightconfuse said:
" still need to play final fantasy 13.   the bigest letdown for me was darksiders. that game was alright but was not special "
Was there any hype surrounding Darksiders?  It seemed to be a bit of a sleeper hit, it was quite popular but there was literally nothing about it before release. 
It borrowed heavily from other franchises, but I still thought it was pretty good. 
 
@sarahsdad said:
" For me it was Fable III, Red Dead Redemption, and Transformers: WFC "
What was disappointing about WFC?  I'm not really a big Transformers follower (never even seen the new movies) but I'm a huge fan of the original cartoon show.  WFC is pretty much how I've always imagined Transformers should be.  I thought it was a perfect retelling of the story and the designs were updated but still true to the originals.  The game itself was a little repetitive, but I really couldn't have been happier with how it turned out.  I just hope they can expand on some of the gameplay elements for the next game.
Posted by animateria

Monster Hunter Tri. 
 
I was expecting 300 hours worth of wholesome fun. 
 
Got 150 hours out of it. 
 
Where's the justice in that! 
 
 
(No I'm not serious)

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