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2007's Ten Biggest Gaming Letdowns 232

Posted by Zonk
from the no-fracking-littlebigplanet dept.
Game|Life offers up an anti-top-ten list, noting the three blog authors' biggest disappointments from 2007. Chris Kohler's biggest letdown echoes my own feelings on this topic: "No LittleBigPlanet. PlayStation 3's software library got significantly better this holiday, but there's no killer app. I honestly don't know if LittleBigPlanet would have been one. But I think it's going to be mine. It's going to be the thing that glues me to PlayStation 3... when it ships. I was all ready to start building worlds and sharing them with my friends and generally start being a jackass by now, but it won't happen until next year -- late next year, if you believe the rumors. I hope they're not true. And I do hope LittleBigPlanet sets the planet on fire when it releases." Any gaming 'event' this year an epic fail for you?
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2007's Ten Biggest Gaming Letdowns

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  • by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:39PM (#21823470) Homepage
    Hands down, without a doubt, would have to be Two Worlds. I mean, the setup was genious. On paper, it appeared to be Oblivion on steroids...I mean come on, a massive, open-ended RPG that you make your own spells and can play co-op over system link on a couple of 360's? My buddy and I were waiting for this one with huge anticipation...only to feel like we had gotten a kick in the nuts. Horrendous menu systems, terrible gameplay, and textures so muddy you couldn't tell what was going on half the time (and this on an HDTV)

    Without compare, the biggest gaming letdown of 2007.
    • by eyeye (653962) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @05:25PM (#21824878) Homepage Journal
      Mine was Unreal Tournament III - the textures and graphics are noisy and the interface clumsy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Voltageaav (798022)
      I have to agree, Two Worlds had a ton of potenial. What makes it soo bad was where they did a lot of really good things with the game, the things they screwed up are things that pretty much everyone else nails down and they were really bad. To the point that I doubt most people would bother playing after 20 minutes. The voice acting, textures, and some of the controls are just so bad it seems like they didn't even try. The menues could use some work, but I can live with them. I did end up finishing the
  • by FredFredrickson (1177871) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:43PM (#21823500) Homepage Journal
    I couldn't get enough people to click myminicity links! What a dumb game.
    • With all the animosity surrounding those stupid links, I don't think joking about MyMiniCity non-anonymously is such a good idea...

      *AKAImBatman envisions FredFredrickson's Freak list growing at hundreds of links per second, while hackers trace back his IP address and "put him out of business".
  • Personally? (Score:5, Funny)

    by JK_the_Slacker (1175625) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @03:02PM (#21823694) Homepage

    I still haven't managed to beat VI. You know, that console game where the object of the game is to edit a file and then quit? That's a really hard one, and I'm so disappointed that I got so close, but didn't finish it this year. Ah well, there's always 2008.

    • by rk (6314) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @03:09PM (#21823758) Journal
      You know there's a cheat code that lets you save your progress before you quit, right? Press escape, then type ":wq" and press enter.
      • by oatworm (969674)
        Wow! It works! It says "recording" at the bottom now! Neat. I guess that means it's saving. It still won't let me leave, though. Very disappointing.
        • by Al Dimond (792444)
          Ah, you're using a hacked-up version called VIM with even more cheats added, and you're stuck in turbo-button record mode (which lets you record attack sequences so you can unleash them with inhuman speed on your opponent... it's totally cheap, only lamers do it). To get out of that hit q, and *then* do the :wq thing (or :q! if you're not a cheater).

          When I say, "even more cheats," what I mean is relative to ed, the true original version. vi is like wallhacking.
    • by Sciros (986030) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @03:15PM (#21823792) Journal
      It's a PC game rather than a console game I think. Maybe that's the problem.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by SLot (82781)
      You think VI is bad, you should try the multiplayer option - IRC!
  • by Sciros (986030) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @03:03PM (#21823698) Journal
    To begin, I'll echo the biggest disappointment as being the Wii's lack of anything good from companies not named Nintendo. A number of my friends are regretting the purchase of the Wii because of this reason, wishing they'd bought a 360 instead. Surely having both is best but I certainly haven't felt so much of the same sentiment from 360 owners I know.

    Anyway, my disappointments:
    1) Smash Bros Brawl being delayed until next year. Mr. Iwata personally told me that he was hoping to make this game a release title for the "Revolution" (this was in 2005). We're now more than a year overdue, and for something like Smash that really doesn't imply 6.5 solid years of development time. They were simply slow to start on it.

    2) Lack of availability of the Wii. I'm not used to having to put so much work into acquiring a $250 piece of technology one year after its initial release; my mornings are usually quite busy. As a result I still don't have one.

    3) FFXII: Revenant Wings (DS). I expected much better than what it turned out to be. Even looking at videos of the game on IGN didn't quite get across the abysmal pacing and unbelievable lack of variety in this game. Its supposed depth doesn't amount to anything in practice.

    4) Mario 3v3 Hoops (DS). I think this came out in 2007. If not then nevermind. Anyway this game is a giant turd.

    5) ArenaNet slowly turning Guild Wars into a grindfest. The one MMORPG that let me play PVE at my leisure and not "fall behind" decided that it's a much better idea to just go into WoW me-too mode rather than stick with the original tenet of skill over time played. The Eye of the North expansion released this year completed the transformation.

    6) Bioware going to EA, Blizzard merging with Activision. Let's just say that these *cannot possibly be good things* considering Bioware and Blizzard haven't exactly been in need of an improvement in any way. (Well, Blizzard graphically perhaps but Activision doesn't help there.)

    7) Forza Motorsport 2. Great racing engine, cool graphics, good customization, good online mode. But... what is with no music during races? Or having to play your ass off to unlock even the ability to *purchase* a lot of the cars? This isn't supposed to be a 100-hour RPG, it's a freaking racing game. Nobody wants to spend days driving cars they don't like to get at cars they do; there's no storyline or change in gameplay to keep you interested in the meantime. Seems the developers forgot they were making a *game* rather than a training sim for racing teams to study tracks.
    • by Applekid (993327)

      3) FFXII: Revenant Wings (DS). I expected much better than what it turned out to be. Even looking at videos of the game on IGN didn't quite get across the abysmal pacing and unbelievable lack of variety in this game. Its supposed depth doesn't amount to anything in practice.

      When Square followed up to FFX with FFX-2, they set the par for all other main Final Fantasy game spinoffs. I don't think it was much of a surprise, personally.

      It's a damn good thing they start fresh with each sequel of the main franchise, is all I'm saying. :)

    • by techpawn (969834) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @03:52PM (#21824156) Journal

      5) ArenaNet slowly turning Guild Wars into a grindfest. The one MMORPG that let me play PVE at my leisure and not "fall behind" decided that it's a much better idea to just go into WoW me-too mode rather than stick with the original tenet of skill over time played. The Eye of the North expansion released this year completed the transformation.
      THANK YOU! Finally, someone else that saw that they turned down that path and because of it lost quite a few players. I gave up on it when I came to the realization that the people who just ran from mission to mission where doing much better than the casual players. It's now a subscription free version of WoW. I've gone back of PnP games. Yeah, it's a hassle to get everyone into someones basement for a few hours each week, but it's all in all a far better experience.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tieTYT (989034)

      1) Smash Bros Brawl being delayed until next year. Mr. Iwata personally told me that he was hoping to make this game a release title for the "Revolution" (this was in 2005). We're now more than a year overdue, and for something like Smash that really doesn't imply 6.5 solid years of development time. They were simply slow to start on it.

      I'd rather have a great game late than a shitty game early. Every game you mentioned after this point could have been better if it was delayed longer. Delays are a good t

      • by Sciros (986030)
        But not all delays are admirable in this sense. They can be due to poor resource management, they can be due to not enough work being spent on the game earlier on, etc. Unless Smash Bros Brawl, when released, turns out to match Oblivion or FFXII in scope and polish, the wait time by fans will hardly be justified.
    • by edwdig (47888) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @04:23PM (#21824406)
      1) Smash Bros Brawl being delayed until next year. Mr. Iwata personally told me that he was hoping to make this game a release title for the "Revolution" (this was in 2005). We're now more than a year overdue, and for something like Smash that really doesn't imply 6.5 solid years of development time. They were simply slow to start on it.

      The problem with SSB Brawl is Iwata made a promise he couldn't possibly deliver. Iwata publicly announced a SSB game as a Wii launch title in late '05, THEN went to the designer of the previous games in the series and asked him to make the game. The guy had left Nintendo a few years prior. So, Nintendo had 1 year to get the guy to agree to make the game, get a dev team for him to work with, and create the game. Once this became public knowledge, it was pretty clear it wasn't going to be a launch game. In the end, it took them a little over two years to put it together, assuming no further delays.
    • by peterpi (585134)
      You make Forza Motorsport sound like exactly the sort of racing game I've been after for so long ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mqduck (232646)

      Bioware and Blizzard haven't exactly been in need of an improvement in any way. (Well, Blizzard graphically perhaps but Activision doesn't help there.)

      Blizzard chooses to make games that can run well on your average PC that's been around for a few years. Blizzard has "our games are fucking fun" going for it, they don't need to also have the "give your fancy new hardware a workout!" selling point. And WoW STILL looks beautiful. They don't need a change a thing there either.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Sciros (986030)
        It's called *scaling to hardware.* Make it run on old stuff, and look decent on newer stuff. Simple formula, and some dev houses are good at it. Others simply keep the requirements just as low as Blizzard does yet still manage far better graphics (Guild Wars, for instance).

        Don't make excuses when there really aren't any to make. You can cater to a broad range of hardware if you put in the effort. Blizzard doesn't *need* to from a business perspective, but I wouldn't be bothered if they tried.
      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        Blizzard has "our games are fucking fun" going for it
        Unfortunately I can't get into any of Blizzard's games.
    • by Rhone (220519)

      A number of my friends are regretting the purchase of the Wii because of this reason, wishing they'd bought a 360 instead.

      ...

      2) Lack of availability of the Wii. I'm not used to having to put so much work into acquiring a $250 piece of technology one year after its initial release; my mornings are usually quite busy. As a result I still don't have one.

      Okay, so why not just buy a Wii from one of your friends who apparently doesn't want one anymore and would love the $250 to put toward a 360?

      • by Sciros (986030)
        Well they do want to hold on to it, just less than a 360. Also I prefer to buy new stuff like this, and I hate buying things from friends :-/ Meh, it's really not something I considered an option because of the way I am.
    • by RogueyWon (735973) *
      Interesting post, and if I had mod points, I would mod you up even though I don't agree with some of what you've written. However, I don't, so I'll do a reply instead.

      On Super Smash Brothers... well... I can't claim to have be bouncing off the walls in anticipation of this game. That said, it highlights the biggest weakness of the Wii and, ultimately, the reason why I think its momentum is now going to ebb away.

      The games just aren't there.

      Nintendo are doing their usual trick of putting out one or two of the
      • by Sciros (986030)
        Forza 2 kicks the crap out of Gran Turismo games, that much is for sure. I'm all for a good racing sim with smart driver AI and a strong physics model. But that has nothing to do with the pacing of the game (I can certainly rip music to the HD, you're right about that). I'm not particularly bad at racing games, and I don't have that much free time on my hands so I don't like having to race enough to reach level 30+ or whatever just so I can pick up a Murcielago.

        It's a setup that clearly works ok for some pe
  • by MonkeyCookie (657433) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @03:13PM (#21823782)
    ...was that Duke Nukem Forever wasn't released in 2007. I was sure that this year was the year!
    • by cmburns69 (169686)
      Personally I was disappointed that progress was made! What will we joke about when it's finally released?!

  • Assassin's Creed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nuzak (959558) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @03:27PM (#21823928) Journal
    Boy is it pretty. And smooth. And climbing things is fun for the first half-hour or so.

    The voice acting is ... okay. Actually everyone's good except for Altair himself, but I have heard worse.

    But seriously, I was looking forward to being immersed in the role of an assassin stalking his target patiently, taking just the right moment to strike, then blazing a bloody trail out of town. But nope, I get to listen to "Thief! I'll have your hand for that!" over and over and over and over and over again until I get sick of it and decide to have my two-dozenth very high-profile swordfight in the middle of the street -- which the guards will mercifully forget all about when I walk away for a couple minutes to climb the next Generic View Point Tower.

    Talk about a wasted opportunity.
    • by ashridah (72567)
      Tell me about it. Once i realised how little impact the socially-unacceptable behavior has most of the time, i spent a crapload of time just killing random guards for the hell of it.

      It'd be nice if doing that kind of thing had an impact on the difficulty of the game over time (ie, you got rewarded with easier sneaking and blending because you weren't going on a rampage).

      Instead, I got to spend 3 days honing my counter-kill timing (btw, those are really challenging if you limit yourself to using the hidden b
      • by enderjsv (1128541)
        Actually, while I agree Assassin's Creed was a little disappointing (but not terrible), I actually appreciated that it was more forgiving than some other "assassin" themed games. I love me some Hitman, but you have to admit Hitmen is a very unforgiving game. If you botch up once, the entire level falls apart quickly. Now, I don't mind that about Hitmen, it's what makes Hitman great. But sometimes I had the urge to just assassinate as many guards as I could and see how long I could get away with it... wh
        • by ashridah (72567)
          Well, I wasn't suggesting "go left instead of right, and it's death valley" so much as "guards are more aware of you, respond quicker, etc" if you're excessively violent. IE, the guards on rooftops increase in number and decrease in tolerance significantly if you keep killing them, and guards notice you quicker if you go around killing them all the time, and they start killing vigilantes if you rely on them too much.

          More of a feedback system. Of course, this needs to be carefully balanced, and should be com
  • Wii (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tailsfan (1200615)
    What about all the games SEGA churns out.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      you know, that's a great point. i was looking at my wii (the only next-gen system i own) and i realized that my favorite games for it come from either nintendo or sega. how crazy is that? if you would have told me 20 years ago, when i was playing my 8-bit master system that i'd being playing sega games on a nintendo and love it, i'd have told you you were a doo-doo head, because i was 8.

      (my favorite wii games, right now, are wii sports, wii play, sonic, mario, and nights. just got mario and nights, a

  • by filterban (916724) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @05:41PM (#21824958) Homepage Journal
    Okay, so I can understand someone thinking Portal and BioShock are better games than Halo 3. I don't understand TFA calling Halo 3 a disappointment simply because they liked two other shooters more. From TFA:

    The sales of Halo 3. It wasn't surprising that Halo 3 would sell like something that sells really fast, but I was saddened by how many people were exposed only to the world of the Master Chief while missing out on the amazing BioShock or my new pick for greatest game of all time, Portal. Sure, both games sold reasonably well, but when compared to the sales of Halo 3, you begin to realize that gaming accurately reflects the rest of society's entertainment; high-brow, revolutionary fare is ignored by the masses in favor of "wicked awesome explosions."
    Please. Saying Halo 3 is only "wicked awesome explosions" would be like saying Star Wars is only "explosions and laser beams." Give me a break.

    All of the Halo games have had wicked awesome explosions, sure. But they also have a deeply engrossing storyline, fantastic multiplayer, good AI, and unsurpassed world physics. Halo 3 is the best game in the series and was my favorite shooter (and many other people's) of the year. By no stretch of the imagination was it a bad game. Star Wars is full of light sabers and lasers - but obviously, if you look at it more closely, there's an intricate storyline with fantastic characters (in Episodes 4-6).

    Sure, BioShock and Portal are arguably better games than Halo 3 but they didn't sell nearly as well. The reason? Exposure. Most people haven't even heard of Portal. There certainly aren't Portal trading cards, helmets, action figures, and TV commercials.

    For christ's sake, you can't even BUY Portal on a console -- at most, an hour long game -- without buying a $60 package that includes another game I've already beaten (Half Life 2) and two expansion packs I don't want. If Joey asks for Portal for Christmas, his mom won't be able to find it in a store.

    Sales figures are a result of many other forces besides the quality of the game itself, and that's reality. Microsoft went to bat for Halo 3 with their pocketbook, executed very well, and they reaped the rewards from it. BioShock and Portal did not pony up, and since most people don't know what they are, they aren't purchased at nearly the same rate. It has nothing to do with the average American only liking "wicked awesome explosions."
    • What puzzles me about TFA is the complaint about Live Arcade not providing enough "quirky" independent games. There are too many people who believe that a quirky indie game is good simply because it's being quirky and indie, whereas polished and professional games are oppressive capitalist dogshit. These people are, of course, no different from their movie and music counterparts.
    • by HalAtWork (926717)
      I don't know about you, but Halo 3 was a letdown to me because I felt like I was just playing Halo 2.5. The single player campaign was kind of short and not very exciting.
  • The article's biggest letdown of 2007 was the poor third-party lineup for the Wii.

    The Wii's the only next-gen console my wife and I own, and while we've played a lot of the tennis game, some Zelda, some of the first Rabbids game but no other titles have really grabbed our interest. I bought one of those 'maze in the air' games that came out early on, lent it to a friend and haven't cared to ask for it back.

    The lineup (outside Nintendo) seems pretty weak, but I've not paid a lot of attention lately.
    • The third party library has really begun to turn around. I'll go through it real quick.
      Zack & Wiki is great, if you can get past the style/title. Very, very solid puzzle/adventure game. Joins Ico, Okami, and a bunch of other titles in selling abysmally but being really damn good.
      Trauma Center: New Blood, surgery sim. Remarkably fun for what it is and the co-op is a blast.
      Guitar Hero 3. The Wii guitar is the best guitar. No one seems to stock the thing though(not that I would've bought it, since I
    • There's never been a better first impression that turns out to be mostly hollow then the Wii console. The controller, as revolutionary as it is, only works good for certain games types. And even when it works great, there's often a novelty feel to it. Certain games after 10 minutes it's back to wanting just a typical old controller. The Wii has became the ultimate dust collector in many homes. There's just very little out for it worth playing. But since that first ten minutes playing Golf or Bowling is just
  • Wither Spore? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GaryPatterson (852699) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @05:45PM (#21824992)
    I remember when Spore was the next huge thing to hit gaming, and every game show had breathless gamers watching previews. Then we waited. And waited. And waited.

    Years passed.

    Still no Spore! It's an ambitious game, yes, but once you hit the third or fourth year of development, it starts seeming like it'll never get here. Games with extremely long dev times have a history of disappointing. I reckon "No Spore This Year" should be on the list as a disappointment of 2007.

    Wither Spore?
    • Re:Wither Spore? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LingNoi (1066278) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @09:13PM (#21826360)
      That's why the games industry should only market games that are already almost complete, they're such amateurs. The movie industry doesn't show adverts for a movie that still has three more years of production time. Doing so in the games industry leads to what you just said.
    • by Jearil (154455)

      Games with extremely long dev times have a history of disappointing.

      I present to you: Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft. Granted both games were made by Blizzard. However both of them, especially Warcraft 3, were delayed quite a while and still turned out to be blockbusters.

      Sometimes it's good to let the developer release a game "When it's done". I'm surprised EA, the unoriginal, limited-risk cash-raker that it is is even letting Will Wright take is time with it rather than just pushing it out at a time and

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell

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