Which game have you been most disappointed by this year?

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liquiddragon

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#1  Edited By liquiddragon

I haven't played that many games from this year so this could easily change but for me, sad to say, is Devil May Cry 5. To be clear, I don't hate this game. It's a solid game. I had a blast playing as Nero and Dante's bike is great. V isn't fun but I wouldn't mind if they took another stab at fleshing him out (or that type of character.)

I've been a fan of the series and the genre from day one and character action games are so few and far between that I'm happy for every one of them that come along. It's just, I've been waiting for this game since DMC4, which came out over a decade ago, and DMC5 actually has a similar problem to its predecessor, a problem that keeps it from the home run it should've of and easily could have been. (For the record, that wasn't shade at DmC: Devil May Cry. I like that game fine.)

Character models look absolutely stunning in DMCV but most of the game takes place inside dull caves.
Character models look absolutely stunning in DMCV but most of the game takes place inside dull caves.

DMC4's infamous downfall is in the backtracking halfway into the game that sees you retreading the entire path you took to that point. DMC5 doesn't make you do that but what it does might be worse. The first 25-30% of the game is all well and good. You start on a bridge and make your way through beautifully detailed city streets, inside some of these buildings, rooftops by the water, and underground subway stations. I think, “wow, this is exactly what I’ve wanted, exactly what I’ve waited for.” But then very quickly that all goes away. You start exploring caves and you think, “ok, this is different, that’s cool.” Then you start going deeper down these caves. Cave after cave, interconnected dirt tunnels for hours. Then it hits you. You’ve been doing this for, at this point, most of the game. You can barely tell up from down ‘cause it’s all the same. You could’ve been backtracking and around 40 times, only God knows.

A game created with the RE Engine, a successor to perhaps last gen’s best, MT Framework, capable of producing some of the best visuals on the current consoles, for the majority of the game looks like crap because most of it takes place inside what appears to be a demon’s asshole.

Once again, Capcom gave the DMC team not enough money and time. This series is short changed yet again, not because of the lack of talent at the studio but the lack of care at the company that owns the IP.

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PeezMachine

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I picked up The Outer Worlds after the very strong critical reception, including from our very own Jeff and Brad, and while I'm glad I played it (there's lots to learn from playing deeply flawed games), I most certainly did not enjoy the experience. I'm all for different strokes for different folks, but I can't see how our resident Skeptics in Chief here at GB found this game so easy to recommend.

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Efesell

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Anthem, for sure.

I was still higher on it than a lot of people but still....man.

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conmulligan

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Anthem, without a doubt. Imperator: Rome was also disappointing; it's not a bad game by any means, but not up to Paradox's usual standards.

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liquiddragon

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@efesell: I guess ppl were excited about that huh? Not much a BioWare guy myself so it was kinda in one ear and out the other for me.

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youeightit

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#6  Edited By youeightit

My feeling has been exactly summed up by @peezmachine, except for my disappointing game is Control. I'm not far enough into the Outer worlds to love it or hate it but it seems fine so far.

Control, though. Good lord. I'm still partially convinced that I must have played a different game from everybody else in the world because by the end I disliked almost everything about it, things that people I usually share the same taste with lauded but I thought were just bad. And strangely, though I played on a base PS4, none of the things that bothered me were related to performance...except the load times. Yikes.

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Efesell

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@conmulligan: At least with Imperator I see a pretty good game on the horizon, Paradox releases a lot of kinda busted games that become great a year or so later.

It's why one should be excited that Crusader Kings 3 is being made, but be really hyped for the 2nd or 3rd add on instead.

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ThePanzini

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#8  Edited By ThePanzini

The Outer Worlds should tick nearly every box I have Bethesda/Bioware style RPG reviewed really well before launch, but I think TOW fails or misses at nearly everything it does.

I'm baffled how it reviewed so well, the story is afk for most of the game, and then wraps up before it even begins.

Leveling seems almost broken you can pretty much do everything after a few hours, even in Skyrim it took a while at least. Then you have the awful perks which are just really dull QOL improvments.

The combat is way too easy ripped straight from Fallout but with less weapons.

And the corporate idealism in the dialogue is incredibly exhausting nearly everyone you meet is a total idiot, the board especially.

I found just looking at the game to be painful the over-saturated colours, ca and motion ruins the IQ its both too bright and dark at the same time.

The only thing TOW does better than Bethesda/Bioware is its less buggy but the games enviorments are shoeboxes with little to no exploration, its easy to polish what you don't have.

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Sahalarious

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Outer World's is my biggest disappointment. It's perfectly fine, but as someone with 300+ hours(each) in Oblivion, Skyrim, FO3 and New Vegas, this being exactly more of the same was a bummer. It's not enough anymore and the writing doesn't do it for me.

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Sahalarious

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@youeightit: Oh man, Control might be my game of the year. Tight controls, intriguing story and drop dead gorgeous, with that Max Payne vibe down to the core. Sorry you didn't dig it. The respawn system is atrocious I admit.

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Epidehl

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Sayonara Wild Hearts. Most of the bigger games I played I really enjoyed, but this game really bummed me out.

Went in based off a trailer or two and expected a stylish rhythm game and got a runner with music that it never really gave a chance to get going, and a vague, nothing of a story. It was so close to being EXTREMELY my shit.

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FacelessVixen

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#12  Edited By FacelessVixen

Yup. Loving what I'm seeing so far. I'm really enjoying seeming my favorite games of the year being shat on.

...So let me add to this poop sauna by mentioning Sekiro. ...kind of. I was expecting Samurai Souls before I remembered that Tenchu existed and that From Soft touched the IP on more than one occasion, and I was never really big on Tenchu, so it's gonna take me a while to wrap my head around Tenchu Souls.

So, my pick is specifically just the tip of Sekiro; not the whole thing. Maybe it'll get accustomed to it's length and girth with time. ...hopefully.

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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Humanity

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#13 Humanity  Online

@liquiddragon: I share pretty much all of these criticisms with you. It’s an intricate fighting system that if truth be told they could streamline just a tad, but it’s embedded in an absolutely boring looking game. Who would have thought that DMC4’s levels would look so good in comparison. I mean I don’t miss that horrid dice game or slamming the gyros into place, but seeing how great the level design was in DmC and what the RE engine is capable of it’s a real shame the entire back half of the experience is set to the tune of boring demon tunnels.

If I had bought this at launch it would have stung quite a bit, but thankfully Game Pass let me experience the highs and lows without the $60 price tag. It’s a game I was really looking forward to and hoping I’d sink hours into after beating the campaign, but I ended up barely finishing the campaign itself, much less having any enthusiasm to go back.

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BaconHound

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Outer Wilds. It was highly praised when it came out, and it looked interesting. I found it charming and well made, but the gameplay loop just didn't click with me. I still want to like it or maybe go back to it, but some of the things I've read about the late game reinforce my early feelings of repetition and frustration. Bummer.

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Teddie

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Control, which isn't to say I disliked it, but with the way people talked about it I was expecting something a little more... complete?

Story kinda stopped all of a sudden with a hundred unexplored threads, characters were all just background noise, and the combat never changed by upgrading the abilities so it plateaued very early for me). All that aside, I loved the writing, the atmosphere, and exploring to find all the collectibles was especially satisfying. It really made me wonder why the main story and characters were so barren when a single document lying on the ground was usually more entertaining.

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liquiddragon

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@humanity: You did a write up not too long ago right? I felt like I was repeating some of your thoughts but had to say it...

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frustratedlnc

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Gears 5 or Borderlands 3. These huge franchises from last generation have failed to innovate in interesting ways. They're just worse versions of the originals.

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OMGFather

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Judgment for me. Played through and loved all the mainline Yakuza games, but couldn't get into Judgment. As weird as it is to say, there was too much of Yakuza in it for me. Think I would have preferred a more in-depth detective/investigative game. And no damn tailing missions.

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nutter

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#19  Edited By nutter

DMCV, for me as well. It’s totally fine. I think the whole swapping protagonists in a character action game thing is fucking foolish, but aside from that it’s fine. That was my biggest gripe. It played well, but it was all very predictable and average.

Throw that in with all the praise I heard it getting in the spring, and it’s a bummer.

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nutter

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@frustratedlnc: I liked Gears 5 a lot.

You’re still not wrong. I think the open world was a misfire. When it got back to being linear, I liked it much more. I appreciate that they tried something new, but Gears has never been fun to traverse in anything more than glorified hallways.

It’s about cover and roadie running.

Moving those characters through an open world is just not enjoyable, and it fucks with the pacing and storytelling. I know Gears isn’t high art, but I appreciate that they try tell stories in that format, whatever the results.

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doombot13

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Control. I think I read too much of the hype shortly after release. It's good just not as great as I thought it would be.

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BoOzak

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Gears 5. I've always come to expect these games to be fun, polished and well paced action experiences and what I got was a very buggy game that didnt know what it wanted to be and suffered as a result.

There are worse games i've played this year like Anthem but I didnt know what to expect from that so I was less dissappointed. Gears 5 seemed like a sure thing, sadly it wasnt.

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theuprightman

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#23  Edited By theuprightman

Dmc5 for me as well, playing that game at the same time as Sekiro made me realise that I am finished with that kind of action game, it just felt so stiff and confined compared to a From game

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Efesell

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@theuprightman: Okay I have to know what you mean by that last bit because I absolutely cannot process it.

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TheRealTurk

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Gotta be Sekiro for me. I don't think I've had a more hateful gaming experience in the last 5 or so years. Almost everything about it was a miss for me. It was too stripped down to be a good Souls-like, but wasn't fluid enough to be a good action game. The environments were boring. The enemies were repetitive. It ran poorly. It has way too many needless systems. A lot of those systems were poorly thought out. The list goes on.

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theuprightman

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@efesell: I find Dante/Nero/V a chore to handle now, they are slow and the dodge is weak and the weapons don't feel like they have any weight to them.

Whereas in Sekrio I felt fast and lethal. The addition of the grappling hook added more speed and made it so I could swing around areas and bosses sort of like a limited spiderman.

DMC for me as a teen was about the power fantasy of being a demon hunter and I just don't get that anymore, but late 20s me felt like a badass ninja in Sekrio. I played a lot of DMC1,3,4 and the dmc remake and enjoyed them at the time it doesn't do it for me anymore.

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TwitterBeef

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Control.

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Humanity

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#28 Humanity  Online

@liquiddragon: yah I did a blog thing after I finished it a few weeks ago. I really do hope they make another DMC and go all the way this time - great combat system and great level design with some destructible environments and set piece moments like Bayonetta had.

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liquiddragon

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@humanity: Capcom talked a couple times like they were pretty happy with DMC5's performance so maybe we should just be happy there will probably be another one. We have to assume they had to do a lot of leg work to bring DMC up to certain modern technical standards so perhaps the next one they can concentrate on just making as good of a game as they possibly could. I do want to cut them some slack, after all, it has been a long time since they made one of these themselves. That still doesn't change the fact that it was disappointing. I expected to become the guy that was really annoying about ppl needing to play DMC5 this year but sadly, that was not to be. lol

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Teoball

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Outer Wilds. I usually agree with Vinny when he finds an adventure game he enjoys, but this one did nothing for me.

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kof98

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Astral Chain. It had all the pieces for me - cyberpunk aesthetic, Platinum game design, interesting combat mechanics... but it didn't come together for me. I ended up liking the investigations and chatting with certain folks at the police station the most. But the story and main characters were flat, I HATED the level design in the demon world (whatever it was called), I found the character models off-putting, and the combat was only satisfying in spurts. I had such high hopes but I was quite bored sometimes.

Definitely not terrible - I'd still say it was a good game overall, but only just. I thought it was going to be amazing.

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mezmero

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#32 mezmero  Online

I'll throw another hat into the ring for DMC5. Although I was pretty lukewarm on games overall this year it probably speaks to a lack of disappointment in what I've played that this game is still pretty good. Heck I'm probably one of the few weirdos on the internet who kind of liked playing as V, I wouldn't dare call his play style intuitive but it was strange and different in a way I found appealing. If anything the Devil Breakers were the one addition to the combat that I found extremely counter-intuitive. On the run up to this game I thought for sure they were going to make Lady a playable character but instead I'm left wondering why she was ever in this franchise in the first place. She's a minor boss fight in 3, she's reduced to a talking pair of tits for the ending of 4, and in 5 she seemingly only exists so that Dante can have an explosive firearm as per tradition.

As others have said it is mainly the blandness of the presentation that drags it down, namely in the unmemorable level design. I'll take it a step further and say the enemy designs were just as unmemorable. The only ones I could recall at all right after finishing it were holdovers from DMC1 like the scissor wraiths and lizard men. The rest just felt like a gaggle of nondescript insects and demons on loan from lesser character action games. Don't even get me started on the boss designs which might be the worst in the series. I'd go so far as to say DMC2 had more memorable bosses than 5 does which is a pretty damning statement. On top of all that the one big story reveal in this game felt like something that was blatantly obvious in DMC4 years ago, just no one said it outright until damn near the end of this game.

Not to belittle anyone else's choice but looking over the thread, with the exception of maybe Anthem which I have no interest in, there are some pretty good disappointing games this year. :D

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Humanity

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#33 Humanity  Online

@liquiddragon: I just remember playing the demo, and you go through the city and then the boss fight transitions from the bridge, down into a chapel and into an open courtyard for the final phase and I thought "wow this is really great to have them transition like this with destructible environments!" ..and then it never happens again. For the next few stages the level design progressively gets worse as if the game is literally running out of budget before you hit the brick wall that are the V sections and the game loses all of it's momentum entirely. By the time you get to Dante we've transitioned directly into demon-butthole land and never quite get away from that.

It really does seem like they ran out of time or money or both, and had to build 3/4 of the game in the same amount of time it took them to craft those first few stages. Ultimately hardcore fans don't care because they all blaze through the campaign just so they can unlock the Bloody Palace but it sure was a shame they couldn't keep up the quality from the start all the way through - not that those early stages of barren city streets were that amazing but hey, at least it was something.

While maybe not as robust in the combat system, to this day Bayonetta 1 seems like the complete package.

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Captain_Insano

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Void Bastards - I didn't spend any money on it and just tried it through game pass. Did not like it at all. Only 'disappointed' due to the great critical reception it got here on GB.

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takayamasama

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This hasn't been a year of too many passion games for me, games that I looked forward too and then got turned off of them, so it's been interesting coming up with what might be my "most disappointing".

The recent front runner is Outer Worlds, but I don't know if I can put that since I wasn't really looking forward to it? I liked what the bombcrew said about it and got it off that recommendation, and the opening hours were real fun, but I hit a wall of boredom and indifference incredibly fast with that game. Likely doesn't help that while I love the Elder Scrolls games, I do not really like Fallout, and Outer Worlds is more ladder then former in DNA. Also doesn't help that I bought and played through Disco Elysium yesterday and that was the proper style of "talky" RPG that I was hoping Outer Worlds would be. Disco Elysium is real good!

Maybe the true winner is Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 3? I was decently looking forward to a new Marvel game, as I love my super heroes and still have a Marvel Heroes void in my heart, but I didn't really play much of UA3. I'd feel strange giving it the title based on how little time I put into it, but on the other hand the fact I didn't feel compelled to keep playing it much at all might be a pretty big knock in favor of awarding it my most disappointing game 2019.

I don't know, it's a hard year for most disappointing for me since it wasn't a year with a bunch of expectations. I haven't played a whole lot, and while I've played some great games, most of them were things I had no idea were here until they were out. Most the games I have been looking forward to were pushed to 2020 and beyond, so that should be a helluva year for most disappointing!

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Haz_Kaj

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Death Stranding and I haven’t even played it. I don’t want to

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stantongrouse

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Generation Zero - was very keen to get it because of the aesthetic and suggested gameplay. Really wanted to like it too, had a great first few hours but eventually it just felt like what it think it might be, a reskinned theHunter: Call of the Wild. Generation Zero just became a laborious grind with limited purpose and no real sense of discovery - it seemed to be unable to straddle the difference between being a walking simulator and a hunting/stealthy/action game and ended up being a collection of the worst parts of both. This was one of those rare things where I'd limited myself on reading about a game after its announcement because it seemed right up my street and I didn't want to ruin or overhype myself but still ended up completely bummed about it. Steam says I pushed through ten hours before I stopped trying to convince myself it was fun.

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liquiddragon

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@humanity: damn, I didn’t know that boss fight was in the demo. That must’ve made the full game an extra bummer for you. :/ I sort of went on a blackout pre-release so the early parts made a great impression.

The only thing I would say about Bayonetta 1 is that, probably more than any game in the sub genre, it recycles bosses. Unfortunately, that’s kind of a thing w. character action games but no other game is as shameless about that as Bayonetta 1. Still, imo, ppl that say Bayonetta 2 is better than Bayonetta 1 are high on dust!!

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insomniak08

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Probably the Links Awakening remake. In my mind LA was one of the best Zelda games. It was the 2nd Zelda game I ever played (after Link to the Past) and the first one I ever beat. I had such fond memories of it and it kind of sucked to replay it and realize that it is just not that special at all. Might be my least favourite of the "2d" Zeldas at this point.

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Poutine

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Death Stranding. I have a similar love for MGS that Dan does and my reaction to Death Stranding was pretty much the same as well.

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MonkeyKing1969

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I spent most fo this year playing Yakuza 0, playing more CoD WW2, Yakuza 6, and diffing into some small games. I haven't even experienced this year's games...and I'm cool with that.

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hippie_genocide

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I'll tell you in 3 days

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fisk0

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#44 fisk0  Moderator  Online

Haven't played a lot of 2019 releases, but I'll say Hedon was a pretty big disappointment, since I love the Doom engine and it seemed like a cool retro shooter at first glance, but that level design is some of the most frustrating stuff I've ever seen. Just a mess of samey looking corridors that are annoying to navigate with no sense of where you're supposed to go.

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bmccann42

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Anthem and Borderlands 3. I enjoyed Anthem, but it was just lacking in so many places - figured it would get the Destiny polish over time, but guess that's not happening.

Borderlands 1 & 2 I dropped a couple hundred hours into over the years, but 3 just doesn't have the pull to get me in.

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SethMode

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Probably the Links Awakening remake. In my mind LA was one of the best Zelda games. It was the 2nd Zelda game I ever played (after Link to the Past) and the first one I ever beat. I had such fond memories of it and it kind of sucked to replay it and realize that it is just not that special at all. Might be my least favourite of the "2d" Zeldas at this point.

This is probably it for me too. It was the 4th Zelda game I played, but only the 2nd I finished at the time (I had completed LttP but hadn't finished the original or Zelda 2)...I still have memories of being glued to my Game Boy on long car rides and just captivated by how weird and clever it all was. Then...I play it now and it was fine, just...so simple and just didn't hold up to my nostalgia. Mike Mahardy summed up the same feeling perfectly, I thought.

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Drachmalius

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#47  Edited By Drachmalius

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. I was hoping it’d have more staying power but playing it just feels like a grindy chore to me. The story mode was fun to run through at least though.

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kmj2318

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Link’s Awakening

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Big_Denim

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Metro Exodus.

I enjoyed the first two entries in the series, but Exodus really bummed me out. That series is at its strongest when it pits you in creepy, claustrophobic, dark, dripping spaces. The semi-open nature of Exodus just didn't work. The AI was useless, and being able to just take the long route around enemies took away all the suspense.

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tatsuyarr

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I've played a lot of games this year but that's really easy for me to say that Sekiro is my greatest disappointment of 2019. I was hoping a mix of Dark Souls and Nioh but that wasn't it. The absence of options in your arsenal and the over-reliance on the parry mechanic was a real bummer (I hate parrying, I'm not good at it, don't have the reflexes). I tried my best to finish it but gave up on the last boss after watching a youtube video showing his 3 phases. Now that I'm playing the Nioh 2 beta I'm comforted in my opinion. Even if Nioh 2 isn't correctly balanced yet, it's already great. I got more enjoyment from this beta than the entirety of Sekiro. Every Sekiro bosses were a chore and never have I felt cool to beat any of them, I was just glad I didn't have to play against them ever again (and even that wasn't true as the game recycled some of the bosses I hated the most).