Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Daily Ten: Games That Turned Out To Be Disappointing

Yesterday I managed to stay positive with games that turned out to be much better then I had expected, well, today is the opposite: Games That Turned Out To Be Disappointing. There's some games that for one reason or another, get built up and turn out to be either not exactly what we expected or just a complete flaming turd.

For the sake of argument, I'm sticking to games from previous generations, and I also never played No Man's Sky.


10) WWF Wrestlemania - The Arcade Game - SNES

This is not anything like WWF Raw or WWF Royal Rumble, which featured actual grappling and "mash the buttons to fill the meter" gameplay. Nope. This is much, much worse. Notice how Lex Luger seems to be swinging a giant mace? And his arms are steel? Yeah, this is a fighting game. Only instead of a Hadouken, you get Undertaker throwing out bats, or Owen Hart shooting playing cards. 

As a kid, I was stoked for this game, and one day my Mom had rented it for me from Blockbusters. She also got me a KFC BBQ sandwich back when it was something new. I wound up enjoying the sandwich for longer. 

9) Twisted Metal 4 - Playstation 

Holy shit did this franchise fall off a cliff or what? Twisted Metal 2 is an all-time classic, but the second set of games for the Playstation were handled by 989 Studios, the team responsible for Syphon Filter. In the hand-off to a different developer the decent controls, level design, character design and tongue-in-cheek atmosphere were either lost or simply shot in the back of the head. Twisted Metal 4 features Rob Zombie as a playable character. Nothing more really has to be said, but it's a miracle that Twisted Metal Black was able to bring back the franchise from the horrible nu-rock hell it ended up in on the Playstation. 

8) Virtual Bart - Genesis 

Bart's Nightmare was great, and outside of the Simpsons Arcade Game, remains the highlight of the Simpsons video games. Expectations were actually high for the follow up, but alas, much like Kamp Krusty, what we got was disappointment. 

Virtual Bart is essentially just a serious of mini-games, similar to Bart's Nightmare but this time they all suck. The best is the Road Rash motorcycle mini-game and the worst is going down a waterslide while avoiding the paths clogged by Homer. The Genesis version suffers worse then the SNES, as it looks like Season 1 Simpsons instead of the Season 5 look of the SNES. 

I also fully realize how many people reading this were likely not even alive when Season 5 of The Simpsons was airing. 

7) Captain Planet and the Planeteers


I loved the show as a kid, and yeah, looking back it's a stupid show, but it worked on my kid brain! The theme song was an earworm that I still sing to this day, and I felt this odd tingle when the Russian girl was on the screen. When I saw there was a video game? Had to play it. The catch? You only get to actually play as Captain Planet in every other level. The rest of the time? It looks like this: 

It's like a bootleg version of Gradius. You get to use the powers of all the Planeteers, including Heart. The first level isn't bad, but it's the second flying sequence......that sequence is right up there with Battletoads when it comes to absurd difficulty spikes. You have to stop speeding trucks and the margin of difficulty is about .05 seconds. In the days before the Internet, I had no clue how to progress and so I just played the first two levels over and over and over and over again. 

6) Alundra 2 - Playstation

The first Alundra was awesome. It was an updated version of Landstalker and had an incredible anime opening with a timeless 32-bit sprite art style to it. Here's the opening:


Alundra 2 was a crappy 3D pixel art style game that is only remotely memorable for including a Minotaur in his underpants. Fuck you Alundra 2. 

5) Final Fantasy Tactics Advance - Gameboy Advance

If you use the name of one of the greatest games of all time, you better be a great game. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance had to deal with sky-high expectations. I almost feel bad listing this game, but then again, it had the stupid Judge system and tied skills to your weapons and not your actual class. Oh, and there was no easy way to look at your weapons, or level multiple characters with the same skill at the same time unless you had multiples of the weapon. Messing around with the Job Class system by adding layers of complexity is a great way to piss me off. 

Now the sequel, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Secrets of the Grimoire, was a bit better by correcting the UI issues. Still not enough to quell the raging fire I have for FFT: Advance. 

4) Final Fantasy XIII 

I gave up playing it on the Xbox 360, but picked it up again on Steam. Once I get my new computer that can run it a bit better, I'll actually give this another honest shot. 

Just....gah.....stupid Snow. Stupid Hope, Enough has been discussed about this game, but hopefully it'll be like Final Fantasy X-2, a game I didn't like at first but grew on me when I returned to it years later. 

I'm trying to be positive. Really I am. 

3) Spider-Man and the X-Men: Arcade's Revenge

Horrible controls, horrible level design, horrible use of the X-Men's powers, just a horrible, horrible game. 

This was back when getting an X-Men game was something to be celebrated. Anything Marvel was like a miracle. So a game that forces Storm to get through the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles underwater section? Or a timed level that has Wolverine running from Juggernaut? A game with levels like that deserves a special place in Hell. 

Arcade's the worst. 

2) Warhammer Online - PC

This was a major disappointment, yet I still sunk over a 100 hours into it and maxed out multiple characters. What was promised, was Realm vs. Realm gameplay with each class feeling different from all of the others. What we got, was a series of fetch quests and then really dull capture and hold PVP matches all involving classes that looked like 16 choices on paper, but only 4 in practice. The Witch Hunter, Witch Elf, Shadowblade and Sneaky Git were supposedly the respective stealth/hit and run class for 4 of the races, but nope, all of them were the EXACT SAME. Only the model was different, all of the abilities were totally interchangeable. 

Add on an underdeveloped crafting system, an end game system that just never took off as everyone stuck around the 10-20 level range, and Warhammer Online was nothing but disappointment. 

Then again, it's Warhammer, if the game was still alive I'd probably still be playing. 

1) Weaponlord - SNES

I read articles in GamePro for MONTHS highlighting the development of this game. It felt like forever to child me and then, finally, Weaponlord was available at Blockbuster! I happily snapped it up off the shelf for a weekend and.....was disappoint. I mean, it wasn't bed per se, but this was my first experience with the gaming hype machine and it was a hell of a let down. 

The problem comes from Weaponlord being, from what I can tell, the first game to have a Parry/Counter system including moves that act as a parry during the wind up and then a damaging strike. It's the deepest, most involved fighting game for the SNES. It also has a really cool Conan the Barbarian type of aesthetic going on that helps explain why there's still a cult following for this game. 

But back when I rented this off the shelf? I had no idea what I was doing. Well I did, but just enough to be frustrated by the exact timing requirements. Weaponlord holds a special, negative spot in my heart though for being that first hype let-down. 

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