Editorial: Disappointing Games

Imagine this: a game set in a futuristic world that not only has ground combat, but also air combat using a personal jetpack.  The game also features a main character voiced by one of the best voice actors of our time.  Sounds pretty cool, right?  Wrong.  I had extremely high hopes for Dark Void, the previously described game.  The jetpack combat was enough to sell me on the idea, as I expected this to add a bit of innovation.  However, I was incredibly disappointed when I finally got my hands on it.  I have noticed this is a continuing trend in recent games such as Wolfenstein and Too Human.  As much as I would love to say this trend will end, I know this will happen again and again in the future.

So, my question to you my dear readers is: are there any games in the past that have disappointed you?  Are there any that you thought would be bad but turned out to be good?  Tell me in the comments!


  1. I have a feeling that I will second Lusi’s assessment of FFXIII. -_-

    I’d say that I was pleasantly surprised by WoW. I really had no inclination to play. I bitched and moaned and railed against the idea of our FFXI group moving to WoW. And now I am an addict.

    I was disappointed with FFXII. The characters, excluding Baltier, are just … bleh. Do not care!

  2. I was actually pleasantly surprised by Too Human, oddly enough. After hearing a description of the controls, I had all but written the game off as crap, but then the demo won me back. It’s certainly a far-from-perfect game (why on EARTH would you think a 30-second unskippable death animation is a good idea? WHY?!?), but my low expectations were far exceeded.

    I’m still clinging desperately to fanboy hope for FFXIII. I keep telling myself the story will be good. I desperately want to believe…

  3. Kill Tubes XIII for me as well… I can always replay FFIX and down a I guess. :/

    All my hope for the future of FF is now riding on Versus XIII.


    Its just… I miss Squaresoft so much. *Cries*

  4. from what I read about FFXIII, it just makes me sad but I will still pay the 60.00 to get it day one

  5. I’ll pass on FF13. The JRPG genre is bloated and tired. It needs new life, and the sort of production values given to action games.

    I don’t play too many new games these days, but Age of Conan disappointed me. So much rich lore and the chance to do my favorite barbarian justice, and it was wasted on Funcom.

  6. @Lane: I think the problem with FFXIII is that the developers are trying to give it ‘new life’ — as for the production values, I think the FF series has generally led the way whilst the action games have tried to keep up, historically.

    The concerns with FFXIII are not its ‘tired and bloated JRPGness’ if I may paraphrase, but rather its complete abdication of the things that make JRPGs enjoyable. In essence, jettisoning the good parts of the JRPG genre and taking up questionable WRPG methods, or innovating even more questionable gameplay.

    For example:

    – Traditionally in a JRPG, all members of the party can be controlled. In action games and WRPGs this is not as generally the case. In FFXIII, only one character can be controlled at a time.

    – Traditionally in a JRPG, there is a world map, and going to a town allows interaction with shoppes, save points, inns, and so on. In FFXIII, there are no towns–all such interaction is carried on at save points (a feature first present in some early WRPGs from the PC era).

    – Traditionally in a JRPG, exploration of large areas is favoured over extremely linear dungeons or “monster hallways” if I may coin the phrase–these sorts of things being more like to an action game. The beginning of FFXIII is just a long straight line.

    So you see, the worries have nothing to do with JRPGs being tired, or with FFXIII being a representation of what is wrong with JRPGs. Instead, the concerns stem from the development decisions to jettison everything the series has been built on and to replace it with things cobbled together from different genres. The resulting Frankenstein’s monster of a game might have very high production qualities, but I very much doubt it will be the sort of experience that most of the people who buy it were desiring.

  7. I’m just glad I heard all these things about FFXIII before I actually sat down to play it. I think a lot of my enjoyment of a game depends on my expectations, so I may like the new direction regardless, even if it’s nothing like FF games of old (heck, FFXII was pretty different from traditional JRPGs as well, and there hasn’t been an overworld in a mainline FF game since FFIX). If I’d purchased it expecting a more traditional game, though, I think it’d have been very disappointed.

    I do agree with Lane to an extent about JRPGs needing to evolve a bit, and I think FFXIII is Square’s attempt to do just that (as I said over on Riddlethos last week, I think there’s still very much a place for traditional JRPGs, but the space is shrinking as the market gets more fragmented). Whether or not it’s successful has yet to be seen, but like you said Blitzmage, I’ll still be picking it up day one. I just can’t help myself, it’s a freaking Final Fantasy game :D.

  8. I don’t think the design for TurkeyShoot XIII has been too derrivative, the only game I could really liken it to is Gears of War, but GoW had more corners …

    -What you see here is the culmination of a game design philosophy which ALWAYS favours the path of least resistence … Are horizontal lines too hard to draw? Better not try any corners! Music too hard to compose? We’ll have a think-tank of monkeys (also SE’s product focus group) bang together some ambient garbage!