Disappointments. Life’s full of them, and 2012 had its fair share of gaming disappointments. Actually maybe there were more than usual…there was certainly a number of big name titles that really failed to impress last year. Here is a run down of my biggest disappointments of last year, together with a short reason why. I’m sure your list would be different…some of these may even be among your best of 2012. Feel free to share your thoughts and disappointments in the comments…
Soul Calibur V
Soul Calibur is one of those series that somehow gets worse with every iteration. It remains to be seen if SC1 or SC2 is better loved by fans, they were both well balanced and chocked full of single player and multiplayer content. SC3 was badly balanced, but added so much single player content that it was hard to dislike it.
SC4 began the streamlining, and regardless of what you thought about the Starwars characters, the lack of a proper story or quest mode severly hurt this title as a single player game. SC5 took that one step further. A tiny single player story coupled with a cut-down roster and questionable new characters. I may have gotten the platinum, and the base gameplay may still be recognisably Soul Calibur, but it is without doubt the worst of the series so far.
This is by no means a bad game. Or maybe it is. I really don’t know. All I know is that I really didn’t enjoy it. There was hardly any single player content anyway and I couldn’t get used to the weird fighting system that wasn’t quite Street Fighter and wasn’t quite Tekken. And even despite the fact that Poison is unbelievably hot, I really couldn’t bring myself to keep playing this. Needless to say, I was disappointed. I don’t think I even played it enough to be able to bitch about the whole issue with their being gems that you could buy with real money to give yourself an advantage – or the apparent poor balancing of the characters.
Sometimes you can play an old game and be really surprised how well they hold up and how awesome they are. Other times, like with DMC, they highlight just how much was wrong in the first place – coupled with a really average ‘remaster’ All Capcom did was make this Widescreen and up it to 720. That’s it. No extras, no upscaling of textures or model detail.
The end result is a messy trio of games with awful stories, really bad manoevarability and some of the best, most awesome weapon combos ever. If playing this trilogy again did one thing right – it showed me that DmC is actually doing a good job of taking the series forward.
Or collect 3 as I like to call it. Darksiders 2 was never going to be as good as the first, owing to a main character was looks nowhere near as cool as War. Add to that Death’s rather lacklustre voice, the poor pacing and the feeling that the story is not going to be anywhere near as good as the original.
But the icing on the cake is the curse of three’s. Throughout the game Death must do everything in threes. Need to fight a champion? collect 3 items. Need to speak to the king of the undead? collect 3 of his generals. Need to recruit an undead general? collect 3 souls. And so on…
On its own, Darkness 2 isn’t terrible. It’s a fast, slick little shooter that is over too soon and loses any sense of progression past the half way mark in terms of abilities. But taken as a sequel to the Darkness – it sucks. Throwing out the RPG style pacing of the original, the lurking in the shadows and the surprising story twists – Darkness 2 is shadow of its predecessor. Even Mike Patton can’t save the Darkness 2.
Ninja Gaiden 3
Poor Hayabusa. The first Ninja Gaiden without Itagaki to steer the ship and it’s plain awful. The difficulty was wrong, the mood was wrong, the story was awful (not that the first two games were oscar worthy) and worst of all there was only one weapon throughout the game and no upgrading of any kind! The good news here is that the Wii-U version, Razor’s Edge, fixes a lot of the problems. If a DLC patch should bring those improvements to the PS3 then maybe the disappointment of this game can be lifted.
Resident Evil 6
Ahh..Resident Evil 6. I didn’t think capcom would go further off-track after Resident Evil 5. Certainly the Lost in Nightmares DLC gave people hope that Capcom had the right idea afterall. It was co-op, it was scary and it was survival horror. But no – Resident Evil 6 may boast four campaigns to its name, but there’s barely a few moments of true Resident Evil hidden in there. Jake’s campaign comes the closest with some open areas to explore and keys to find, but that’s offset by how wrong Chris’ campaign goes. It’s all the very worst elements of COD wrapped in a terrible story.
So, there it is. My list of top 10 disappointments of last year, pretty much in order of ascending disappointment. Next I’ll try to put together a list of games that actually pleased me last year.