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Posted on May 12th 2021 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under fool, zelda, final fantasy, tetris, nintendo, sega, disappoint


We went a little different route with the Top 20 list this month. In the past, we've looked at the top games for specific systems or time periods, most recently looking at Sony's PS2, and Nintendo's GameCube.

This month, however, I thought it would be fun to have it be about some of the games that were the biggest disappointments. After all, the submission forum dropped on April 1st, tradtionally a day devoted to pranks and fools. And let's face it, everyone's been let down a time or two by a gaming experience. And while this type of list doesn't lend itself crossovers and rankings, it does make for some great conversation about game expectations, and a fun place to share some interesting stories.



Keep in mind that this is not a worst games list. There are plenty of games that from first glance aren't attempting the quality of a triple A title, and while those aren't good, you know what you're getting into from the outset. This is about looking at games that were released with reasonably high expectations due to hype, promises, or past series success, only to fail to meet those expectations.

While there wasn't as much participation this month, and less games getting a mention, every game came with a story. So rather than do a true ranking, the following games were all considered a "disappointment" in one way or another. Even then, some of the games that follow have a strong fan base, representing some stalwart series such as Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, Tetris and even a Mario title.

Participants for this month were:

EZ Racer
Crabmaster2000
Disposed Hero
Normatron

Before getting to the list, in May we're back looking at the best games for a particular system, the original XBOX. You can find the submissions thread for that list here- http://www.rfgeneration.c...m/index.php?topic=19547.0

In all, 36 games were mentioned. As you read through the many accounts, keep in mind this about the disappointment, and the scale of that disappointment, with some of the biggest let-downs being listed last. As you read through, did any of these elicit the same response? Any other games that were significant disappointments?


Here we go-


Tetris (CD-i)

"This was a game I used to think was pretty hard to mess up. But boy the CD-i proved me wrong. With horribly distracting FMV backgrounds and crazy load times in between levels (while it loads a new horrendous FMV background!) it's the least playable version of Tetris I've ever played."






Centurion: Defender of Rome (Genesis)

"I love strategy, micromanaging games and when I first saw this, it seemed as though it would be right in line with those types of titles. It didn't take long for me to realize that it was coming up well short of expectations with unintuitive gameplay, and a nearly non-existent soundtrack."



Tony Hawk's Project 8 (PS3)
"As someone who is both a long time Tony Hawk fan and someone who picked up a PS3 at launch I was so excited to dig into the latest Tony Hawk game. Gone was everything I loved about the series for a new Skate like approach. Unfortunately they didn't even do a good Skate ripoff though and its extremely poorly controlled and the levels are also very uninteresting."



Demon Stone (PS2)

"Like most of us I grew up playing many bad games, and just learned to enjoy myself regardless or in some cases just didn't realize they were bad. Demon Stone shook me out of that delusion hard. It was the first game I had ever pre-ordered I was so excited for it. The voice cast and the setting had me super hyped. Picked it up, raced home and finished it about 5-6 hours later and just thought to myself...that was it. I paid $60 for that? It was my earliest memory of buyer's remorse and thought me some valuable lessons about when to spend my money and excitement."



Marble Madness (Game Boy)

"One of my favorite games for the NES, directly ported into a portable gaming experience. Yes, please!...or so I thought. While anyone who has played Game Boy ports of NES games knows to limit their expectations, it was still disappointing to see several moving elements taken out that gave the levels their character and added charm to the game. But the real disappointment, spoiler alert, is the ending, or lack of one, with no attempt made at reconstructing the final level of the NES classic, with the game looping back to level 2 upon completing level 5."



Bioshock (PS3/XBox 360)

"This game just has such a following I feel like a crazy person for not liking it. I've played it twice from start to finish wanting to like it, or at least understand why others do. Both times I went in with the best of intentions and came away disappointed and confused."






The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)

"The Legend of Zelda is one of my all-time favorite video game series, but it took a long time for me to finally play Majora's Mask. When I finally got around to playing it, I found myself disappointed overall. While I don't think it's a bad game per se, I had a lot of issues with it and would rank it as my least favorite Zelda title by far. The game only has a whopping four dungeons, which is criminally low for a Zelda game, and so much about the timing mechanics are incredibly tedious. Fans will defend this by mentioning various tools the game gives you to better manage the timing elements, but the fact that the game has to give you tools to mitigate its own tedious mechanics should be a good indication that those weren't very good mechanics to begin with. That being said, I totally get people's appreciation for the game's comparatively darker themes and trying to do something different, and I quite enjoyed the core Zelda experience when the game was able to get out of its own way. Not necessarily a bad game in my opinion, but it baffles me when people say it's their favorite title in the series."



Bubble Bobble: Part 2 (NES)

"When I first started collecting seriously for the NES and found out that one of my favorite games of all time had a sequel I could not wait to get a copy and try it out. All they really needed to do was just create some new levels in the first game and I would have thought it was the best. Instead we got a sloppy controlling, weird level designed unmemorable soundtrack, mess of a game."



Final Fantasy XIII (PS3/XBox 360)

"I actually like the game in a way, but it comes nowhere near the precedent set by the rest of the series. Yes, there is a fair amount of tunnel travel. But what it's really lacking is lore and NPC's to inhabit its world, which is usually that last thing you'd say about a Final Fantasy game."



Silent Hill 4 (PS2/XBox)

"As someone who really only knew horror games from Resident Evil I was just starting to explore the rest of the genre. When I found the Silent Hill series I was eating them all up in order of release. Each one seemed better than the last and I couldnít wait to see what was next. When I hit 4 though it was such a departure that it just killed my interest in the franchise almost completely. It is a very neat concept that is incredibly boring and frustrating to play."






Mirror's Edge Catalyst (PS4/XBox One)

"The original Mirror's Edge really grabbed me. It was the first game that I ever got a platinum trophy. Was pretty excited to here that it was getting a very unexpected new game in the series. Unfortunately they changed it so drastically that it didn't really reassemble the original anymore as they tried to cash in on current gaming trends and sacrificed the unique feel of the original."



Gran Turismo 3 (PS2)

"The 1st GT was an eye-opener to what racing games could be. The 2nd GT made everything feel more grand. So what would the 3rd do, now that it was on a significantly more powerful system than its predecessors? Answer- more of the same, with a fresh coat of paint and more cars and tracks, which wasn't bad, but for a series in which the first two titles blew me away, this was more- meh. Thankfully, GT4 came out as a breathtaking experience."



Super Mario Sunshine (GameCube)

"Not just a bad Mario game, but just a bad game."



Bravely Default (3DS)

"Hear me out. On the surface, Bravely Default is a very well-executed (if a bit too formulaic) retro-inspired JRPG with an interesting combat system and FFV-inspired Job system. It does many things right and has won over many gamers for good reason. However, the oft-maligned Chapter 5 plot twist practically ruins the game. It's not even bad from a story perspective; I actually found it quite interesting, but the gameplay implications result in one of the most egregious forms of padding and recycled content I've ever seen in a video game. Without getting too spoilery, the game (which was already a solid 40+ hours) basically requires you to play through its entire storyline (albeit a slightly streamlined version of it) another five times or so just to get a proper ending. I have to reiterate that this isn't a bonus New Game+ mode (like it should have been), this is a required part of the story just to complete the game. You can circumvent the majority of this padded content by doing something the game explicitly tells you not to do, but it will result in the bad ending, but honestly I think it's worth it just to make it stop. While the core game is solid overall, it was starting to wear out its welcome for me personally around the 20 hour mark, but I still persevered for another 20 or so hours just to be greeted by the second half where I slogged for roughly another 40 hours through multiple iterations of a recycled storyline to the end. Maybe I'm just a bit jaded."






King of Fighters XIV (PS4)

"As a long time KoF fan I've seen the series go from highs to lows a couple times previously, but I don't think anything has been as drastic as how high I am on XIII and how low I am on XIV. One of the best playing most beautiful fighting games of all time was followed up with one of the ugliest games I've ever scene. XIV plays fine and I'm typically a gameplay>graphics kind of guy but even I have my limits."



Michael Andretti's World GP (NES)

"I've long thought I need to give this one another chance, but there are very few retro racing games that failed to capture my interest. But I never could get the hang of this one, and I'm still not sure if that's a me thing or a game thing."



Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U)

"As someone who's followed the "Xeno" series from its inception this was the first and only time so far that a game from that series just didn't click with me. It feels like playing an MMO offline by yourself which is already a genre I don't care for at the best of times. Too much of a departure from what I love about the games."






Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge (GBA)

"After playing through the first three games I was thinking that any battle network game that was going to come out was going to be awesome. I didn't listen to any reviews because I 'wanted to be surprised. I didn't have the money right away and then I noticed there were in fact 3 games that came out. I finally got the money saved up to buy two of them. I tried BN4 and was extremely happy with it. I then gave Battle Chip Challenge a try, that was my big mistake. It was Battle Network without the fun. I tried to force myself to play it for a few hours, after that I just could not get myself to ever play it again."



Final Fantasy VIII (PS1)

"I truly got drawn into Final Fantasy with IX. Loved it so much I felt the need to dig into the past games. Each early title just kept surprising and delighting me...until I hit VIII. From the characters to the setting to the bizzare levelling and combat systems nothing about this game felt fun like the other 8 games I had played."


Tetris 2 (NES)

"Seriously, it's not tetris, it's just tedious."






Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (GameCube)

"3 friends and myself were so excited for this game that we all made sure we dishes out the cash to each have GBAs and Link cables when the game launched. It was a big investment, but we were sure that a Final Fantasy game couldn't disappoint. We played it all afternoon trying our best to have fun, but the game is literally designed around one player never having fun so it was hard. We never got back together for a second attempt."



Mega Man Legends (PS1)

"As a lifelong Mega Man fan I had always heard about how charming and wonderful the Legends games were. When I finally got around to playing it though it didn't come close to living up to the hype in any way. The story, systems and characters just seemed too bland and uninteresting across the board. It does have a cool aesthetic though."



Nascar 2011: the game (PS3)

"One of the best aspects of Nascar games is a career mode, where you start as a fledgling team just trying to finish a race, and eventually build your team into a powerhouse. I had high hopes for it, starting my team with a great amount of customization. Then took to the track, and completely dominated, as a rookie, in a newly formed team. With no reason to build up the team, it totally sucked the fun out of the experience. To this day, it's the only game I returned within the first week of purchasing."



Diablo 3 (PS3/XBox 360)

"For me this just didn't have any of the atmosphere, character, or charm of the first two games I loved. And on top of all of that it was so very ugly."






Kentucky Route Zero (PS4/XBox One/Switch)

"I like to play things out of my comfort zone fairly often and can usually at the very least understand why something is great even if I don't personally like it. This is one of those times that I really cannot comprehend people's love for this game. It is so very boring and nonsensical and weird with no payoff for putting up with all of those things. I purchased it as part of the Annapurna collection and it was the only game in the whole package that was a total fail for me.



Madden '10 (PS3/XBox 360)

"My friends and I talked for a couple of years about trying a private online franchise, as we were all heavy Madden players. We made sure we all bought copies of this once all of us had PS3's. Then we tried it, and realized there was no rhyme or reason to how much of the game's AI operates. The experience lasted all of one day, and while I've begrudgingly given Madden another shot, my friends still have yet to play a Madden game since."






Resident Evil 6 (PS3/XBox 360)

"I know the attitude toward RE 5 over the years has been pretty mixed, but I still maintain that it is one of the best co-op experiences in gaming (single-player not so much) and have played through it probably a dozen times with friends. Naturally, RE 6 was a highly anticipated title for us, with its continued co-op support and multiple campaigns focused on different characters, scenarios, and play styles. While I don't think RE 6 is as bad as people like to make it out to be, my friends and I still found it to be a disappointment overall. Mechanically, it felt like a step back from RE 5 in many ways, as the combat wasn't nearly as satisfying (other than the comically over-the-top melee moves) and inventory management was a cluttered mess. Also, while the multiple campaigns sounded like a good idea on paper, the execution left a lot to be desired. It felt like Capcom spread themselves too thin and tried to please everyone rather than delivering a cohesive and focused campaign. Resident Evil has been one of my favorite gaming franchises for decades, through the good and the bad, but RE 6 was the game that made me lose faith in the series that wouldn't be restored until several years later with the excellent Resident Evil 7.



Sunset Overdrive (XBox One)

"My general rule of thumb to purchase a console is that it has to have at least 3 pieces of software that interest me. This was one of my 3 to justify buying an Xbox One. On paper it seems very much up my alley with the silly style and comparisons to Tony Hawk games. But the humor NEVER landed for me and the movement felt kind of proto-Tony Hawk to me. Did not enjoy the shooting mechanics and unusual guns they had either. With this game not hitting the mark and one of my other 3 games getting cancelled it was the only time in my life I regretted purchasing a console and ended up selling it."






Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild

"I've been a Zelda fan since Link to the Past sold me on the concept in a way that the NES titles weren't able to. I've found a lot of joy in every release since then...until this one. It gutted ALL of the things I love most about Zelda games and replaced them with many of the things I dislike about modern, and specifically, open world games. The lack of story, dungeons and new items that open up traditional Zelda progression were instead replaced with breakable weapons, crafting systems, and seemingly endless exploring."



Resident Evil 4 (GameCube/PS2)

"I discovered Resident Evil with 2 and was instantly in love. After playing the heck out it went back to 1 and on to 3 as soon as I was able. A friend got a Dreamcast and Code Veronica and with each and every title I was just so happy to be scared. When 4 came out I couldn't wait to dive in. What was there was SO different I didnít know how I felt about it, but I wanted to keep going. The further I got the less it felt like what I wanted from a survival horror game and especially a RE game. The game had such an impact on the series and changed it so drastically that the whole thing pivoted away from me until very recently. Left a Wesker sized hole in my heart for over a decade all because of RE4.






SimCity 2000 (SNES)

"I truly feel guilty about this story. When I was a teenager, I begged my parents for this for Christmas one year, saying it was basically all I wanted. They warned me that it was difficult to find, and not to have my hopes up. And yet, on Christmas day, there it was. Somehow they had found it. I eagerly popped it in, expecting an experience similar to it's predecessor. Nope. There's an incredible amount of detail, and that's actually its biggest problem. The Super NES couldn't handle this vast of a game, causing major slow-down at times, and there was also no way to speed up time within the game, making for an ultimately dull experience."



World of Warcraft (PC)

"right around 2000 in my small town we got a very niche video game shop. They specialized in anything our local Zellers (the ONLY place to buy new games where I grew up) wouldn't stock. It was an incredibly formative store for me and started my love with RPGs and many other weird and obscure titles and cemented my love of Japanese developed games. It wasn't around long in this form and to try and adapt it changed into kind of an internet cafe. This was my introduction to PC LAN gaming and re-introduced me to RTS games with the Warcraft games being far and away my favorites. Ate them up with or without friends to play with and spent what little money I had coming in to play since we didn't have a good enough PC at home to play these kinds of games. When World of Warcraft was released it kind of broke my heart that it was not only VERY different, but that it cost a monthly subscription on top of the initial purchase. I went on with my life for a while until one of my co-workers just couldn't stop talking about how much she loved WoW and how often she played it. She knew how much I was into gaming and I told her how much I enjoyed playing Warcraft before it was WoW. She was so convinced I would love the game that she spent her own money to buy me a brand new copy that came with a 2 (or maybe 4?) week trial and urged me to meet her guild and learn the game. I had a glimmer of hope and got excited about Warcraft for the first time in years. Went home that night, installed it and joined her and her friends for 5-6 hours getting introduced to the game and learning the basics. The next day when she met me at work and wanted to hear my thoughts I remember saying something like ďitís not really a game is it, it's like a chat room with orcs and choresĒ. This game, with some help from FFXI killed any and all interest I ever might have had in the MMORPG genre entirely.






Shenmue III (PS4)

"As divisive as they may be, I've always been a big fan of the first two Shenmue games. I played both back in the day and became so invested in Ryo's story that I've always said that the fact it was never resolved is the biggest blueball in gaming history. So when the Kickstarter was announced for the long-awaited Shenmue III, I naturally jumped at the opportunity to back it and eagerly awaited its release. I even played the HD remasters shortly before the release of Shenmue III just to refresh myself on the story, and I still really enjoyed these games just as much as I did when they were first released. To be honest, I didn't have high expectations going into this game based on the pre-release trailers and footage, but I was still disappointed by Shenmue III. It barely moves forward the story that fans have been eagerly waiting for a resolution on for years, and the gameplay mechanics were severely lacking, and in many ways were a step back from the first two in my opinion. Why Sega just didn't use the Yakuza series' engine as a base and developed Shenmue III from there is beyond me, and the game would have been infinitely better for it. Yeah, I'll still play a Shenmue IV if it does happen because I want to see the resolution of this story, but my expectations will be appropriately low, and I can only hope that it is a significant improvement over the third entry."






NFL Head Coach (PS2)

"I love football, and I love games like Civilization and Aerobiz, where you just sit and tinker. Confession, my favorite part of most sports games isn't the gameplay. Instead, I love building the teams and doing a lot of the off-season activities. So when EA announced a game centered completely around this aspect, I was as hyped as I can remember for a game. I knew I'd be diving into a GM fantasy football experience like I had never had before. Got the game, played it...and played it...and played it...all the while telling myself it was going to get fun. But it never did. Instead, it was more of a chore to play than enjoyable. I wish it had been a little better, because it's sequel, Head Coach '09, delivered on all those promises. But too little, too late, and we haven't seen another NFL game like it since."






Fire Emblem Awakening (3DS)

"I first discovered Fire Emblem when my wife bought me Path of Radiance as a gift when my son was still and infant. It was a great game to play with a small baby as I could leave turns running as needed and a few times even had him sleeping on my chest as I played. Some of my greatest gaming memories of all time are with Path of Radiance. Loved it so much I picked up the sequel on the Wii and went backwards to the GBA games I had missed and my love for tactics RPGs was born. When Awakening came out I was as excited as I've ever been for a new game in a series I love. Much like RE4 though they decided to change up the formula to make the game appeal to a larger audience. Most of the stuff I loved about FE had been gutted or drastically changed. And also like RE4 it became the best selling game in the series. This started a new path for the series that got further and further away from what drew me to it initially."






No Man's Sky (PS4)

"I am a huge fan of anything that deals with space and exploration and when I saw this title I was already excited with the possibilities. There was a game called Earth and Beyond that came out and was the first game that I felt like it was worth paying 12.99 a month to continue to play. I loved it and always thought, "If this was a little more open world and could really explore planets then I would stop playing it. I missed out on Eve and I'm not about to start now." So when I saw this game "Hello Games" was making, with planets one to one scale, alien life, space combat, online play, 18 QUINTILLION PLANETS!, I was like, "This can't be real?!" Black holes, dune-like sandworms, awesome ships, giant dinosaurs, crazy plants, beautiful scenery. Then the game came out and the first four hours were awesome...until I got to the second star system. Nothing changed. At this time I started to notice many things that were promised that were not there. Playing the game now is amazing [with the new patches], but for that first year it was just an idea of a game, that's it. Never get caught in the hype."



Final Thoughts

So there you have 36 games the failed to live up to the hype, in the eyes of a least one player. With some fairly heavy hitters on the list, what do you agree and disagree with. Love to hear your comments, and hope you'll participate in May's list, the original XBox.


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Comments
 
I completely agree with whoever voted for Breath of the Wild. Itís a Zelda game in name only. Just a generic open world game like every other game being released at the time.

In fact I think everyone Iíve spoken to about it feels the same.
 
@Schlibby: high five!
 
@Schlibby: I get why long time Zelda series fans don't like it, but it stings a bit, each time I read a comment like this. BotW has become my favorite game over the last few years, and I've put an inordinate amount of time into it. I guess it was just the right game at the right time for me, because it has totally captured me.

Lots of hot takes in this list! Quite a few divisive entries in various franchises that split the fan bases, and have become "love them or hate them" kind of games for many. Bravely Default was a surprise to see - that is usually pretty well regarded.
 
Bravely Default was one of my picks. It's a solid game overall, but I really can't overstate how stupid the second half is. It's been seven years and I still can't get over it.

Regarding BOTW, I kind of agree with both sides. I still think it's a great game overall, but I really think it would have been so much better if they had included some of the more traditional Zelda mechanics, namely proper full-size dungeons. I think calling it a generic open-world game is a bit of a stretch though. It did many innovative things with its mechanics that gave the player many options for exploring and interacting with the world that hadn't been done before and have been imitated many times since.

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