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Top Ten Biggest Gaming Disappointments of 2010


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10. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

After years of waiting for a true sequel in line with Sonics 1 to 3, fans collectively nerdgasmed over the purported return to the series' pure 2D roots. No silly side-quests, no lame characters – no awful voice acting, even – just the purity of high speed racing, jumping and ring collecting. How could it go wrong?

To be fair, Sonic 4 was completely playable – and it never went wrong, per se – but it also wasn't the perfect, shining example of how to do the 2D modern Sonic game that fans were expecting. Being merely very good isn't enough for a character like this; even saying 'this is the best Sonic game in years' doesn't have the kind of weight to it that it probably should. The controls and perspective, short length and limited replayability both held Sonic 4 back in our eyes.

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9. PlayStation Move

Sony isn't exactly new to alternative gaming interfaces – EyeToy has been around for years, the Sixaxis controller took a couple tentative steps into the Wii's court, and now PlayStation Move takes another significant stride towards a motion-controlled future. The tech works very well, blending the EyeToy's personal, full-body and voice activated interactivity with the accuracy of Wii MotionPlus.

However, we're disappointed with the overall experience so far. No game – compatible or specifically designed for Move – has convincingly shown the platform to be anything more than a me-too answer to Wii's motion control. There is no killer app yet, nor will there be until 2011. Given that it's the games that ultimately decide the success of the peripheral, Move is still unproven and a bit disappointing in our books.

8. Lost Planet 2

There was a lot to like about the original Lost Planet – pace, verticality and an emphasis on pure-action gunplay that succeeded far more than it failed. As such, after a couple of years of teasing us with tempting snippets of co-op gameplay and revamped presentation, Lost Planet 2 was high on our most-wanted list games. Capcom fumbled this ball.

Not only did Lost Planet 2 fail to deliver the initially promising gameplay premise, it actually took a backwards step in several respects. The gameplay itself was hampered by an overly complex control scheme, the game's difficulty proved badly balanced and the online functionality was severely flawed by poor and short-sighted design choices.

7. Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

Another sequel that looked to address the sins of the father, Kane & Lynch 2 was immediately visually striking. The handicam grain, disrupted video playback look and hyper-realistic lighting and colour scheme immediately turned heads – to the point where we hoped the team had similarly reworked the gameplay, polishing and tightening along the way.

Sadly, by 'reworked', Kane & Lynch 2 merely tosses together a cover system that never felt reliable along with enemies that took far too many rounds to put down. These grunts also poured out in serious numbers, which killed the realism and upped the repetition. In short, it was a flawed and repetitive shooter that, despite great art direction, never breaks free of being mostly mindless in execution. Once again, all that potential went to waste.

6. Crackdown 2

Hey— if you had nine months to create and deliver a full game, you'd probably look at ways to cut corners too. Crackdown 2 is a sequel of the worst kind, delivering a nearly identical city, barely reworked beyond the colouration, and gameplay that is largely identical to the first game. Why does this game exist? Why?

Short answer is, it really shouldn't – or, at least, not in this form. Sure, adding a mutant infestation might've darkened the tone and upped the bloodletting, but the lack of story, structure and identical gameplay made for one of the biggest disappointments of the year. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with the gameplay, but a true sequel to Crackdown deserved more.

5. Microsoft Kinect

Oh, Kinect. You and me – we need to have ourselves a frank little discussion before things go awry. Sure, you're making buckets of dough, and that bottom-line probably justifies the means – but that doesn't mean you're not a massive disappointment. When you were first unveiled, you were a sophisticated and impressive piece of hardware. Almost two years on, you're a sketch of the original idea; a watered down version of the idea we fell for.

Kinect's games and responsiveness have a lot to answer for here. The launch titles are fairly lacklustre, with a couple exceptions, and the lack of a longer-term line-up of more in-depth titles definitely hurts. The hardware itself has a lot of untapped potential, but the removal of a dedicated processor means that finer motor movements in the body aren't detectable and that really limits what can and cannot be done down the line.

4. Fable III

So here we are again: another Fable game that has failed to live up to the tremendous hype generated by its parent company, compounded by comments from Lionhead CEO Peter Molyneux that drove expectations into the stratosphere. Such hyperbole has been Molyneux's undoing in the past, and Fable III, while completely playable and even very good in most respects, nevertheless disappointed anyone expecting a fresh or progressive experience.

3. Medal of Honor

If you're going ape the tone and presentation of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare franchise, at least make sure you emulate what really counts: quality of gameplay too. This year's reboot of the Medal of Honor brand probably deserved a different kind of booting – one that critics and gamers were all too happy to apply.

For starters, initial controversy levelled at depictions of the Taliban suddenly politicized the game, stirring up an ugly media frenzy. In an industry that already struggles with clichéd portrayals of violence, this was a messy situation. Then, after playing Medal of Honor, we were simply left wondering if the bigger travesty was, in fact, the sub-standard gaming fare. Consider Medal of Honor a guide on how not to relaunch a franchise.

2. Gran Turismo 5

Six years and millions upon millions of dollars later, Gran Turismo 5 is finally – finally – on sale. Was it worth the wait? For ardent fans, undoubtedly. For everyone else, however, we really have to wonder if Polyphony Digital understands that it ultimately painted itself into a corner. The expectations placed upon Gran Turismo 5, built off the back of years of waiting, refining, teasing, rethinking, hyping and overselling ultimately took its toll.

IGN scored Gran Turismo a very fitting and great 8.5 – but, like several games on this list, we question if six years of waiting for a less-than-excellent game is really worth it. Are we disappointed? Youbetcha. But would we be willing to wait another year for that extra polish? Heck no. At least it's finally out, right?

1. Final Fantasy XIII

Okay. Final Fantasy XIII is, without question, the biggest gaming disappointment of 2010. Square Enix promised fans so much and under-delivered in every area, apart from utterly gorgeous raw presentation values. It's true – XIII is pure spectacle, but the gameplay is so vanilla, linear and unmoving that we really wonder how the design process made it as far as it did without anyone raising some warning flags.

Being merely 'okay' isn't good enough for the Final Fantasy series. These games have a heritage and pedigree to maintain, and thirteen games in, this instalment indeed proved unlucky. The characters are routinely awful and uninteresting, the storytelling is a jumbled mess that meanders through bland subplot – and then there's the gameplay, which consists of essentially moving in a straight line for the first twenty hours, repeatedly hitting X.

Some have praised this entry for signalling a bold departure for the series; a change of direction and a new flavour. Frankly, if this is how Square Enix views the future direction of its major JRPG releases, we're more than a little irked.

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IGN gave GT5 an 8.5 but yet they named GT5 the 2nd most disappointed game of the year lol.

When you have 6 years to develop and design it, that is a massive disappointment.

Look at the Half-Life franchise, look at the Mass Effect franchise, look at the Elder Scrolls franchise, they took a lot of time to build the games. The end product was nearly flaw-less.

Then you look at GT5. I'd say only about 80% of the game is really 'finished'. Read the review, and you would understand. I can give a quick breakdown of the faults.

The 'unbelievably beautiful' cars, as in their textures and the work put into designing them, that are always shown in videos and commercials, only make up 1/5th of the total amount of available cars. 800 are 'standard' and resemble more of a PS2 construction than what we are supposed to be getting.

The game heavily emphasizes the use of braking. However, you can customize and modify much of the car except the brakes.

The tracks get the same treatment as the cars. A select few tracks are incredible, and the rest are standard.

Outside of the brakes, which is really the only true flaw, the rest are design issues. They had 6 years, and still put out, in my mind, an unfinished product.

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They should of rated it an 8.5 tops, that's what everybody was rating it.

Here you go:

Aggregate scores

Aggregator Score

GameRankings X360: 96.17%[118]

PS3: 97.01% [119]

Metacritic X360: 98/100[120]

PS3: 98/100[121]

PC: 90/100[122]

Review scores

Publication Score

1UP.com A+[123]

Edge 10/10[124]

Eurogamer 10/10[125]

Game Informer 10/10[126]

GameSpot 10/10[127]

GameTrailers 9.8/10[128]

IGN 10/10[129]

Official Xbox Magazine (UK) 10/10[130]

4 years of work, considered a nearly flawless product.

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GTA is gonna get mad love no matter who is rating it. I personally don't understand what makes it interesting because it's all the same, just new faces.

GTA only got popular when GTA3 came out, I remember playing GTA1, GTA2 and GTA London 1969 all on my playstation 1.

Rockstar still refuse to add in a gas meter, undercover cops (Drug dealers, wh0res).

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GTA only got popular when GTA3 came out, I remember playing GTA1, GTA2 and GTA London 1969 all on my playstation 1.

Rockstar still refuse to add in a gas meter, undercover cops (Drug dealers, wh0res).

Man that would be hilarious. Undercover cop whores. I would try everyone of them up

Edited by ya_boi_j
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Have it where you pick up a hooker and all of the sudden cops surrounds you and arrest you. I think you should be able to do time in jail like a whole day or something, just sleep and save to boost your sentence time and your out.

They could also have it where you have a 5 or 6 star, you will visit prison for like a week games time, you will have mini games, fights, etc to kill time or just sleep it off.

Edited by Skar
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Have it where you pick up a hooker and all of the sudden cops surrounds you and arrest you. I think you should be able to do time in jail like a whole day or something, just sleep and save to boost your sentence time and your out.

They could also have it where you have a 5 or 6 star, you will visit prison for like a week games time, you will have mini games, fights, etc to kill time or just sleep it off.

That is a good thought. A whole series of missions designed around being stuck in prison and a subsequent escape.

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GTA only got popular when GTA3 came out, I remember playing GTA1, GTA2 and GTA London 1969 all on my playstation 1.

Rockstar still refuse to add in a gas meter, undercover cops (Drug dealers, wh0res).

they also need to open up more stores and buildings to buy stuff or burglarize. It sucks that the only places you can enter in that whole epic landscape are a couple of fast food joints, 2 strip clubs, save points, and the gun shop. If True Crime New York City wasnt so **** buggy and unfinished when it was released, it would have blown away GTA.

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they also need to open up more stores and buildings to buy stuff or burglarize. It sucks that the only places you can enter in that whole epic landscape are a couple of fast food joints, 2 strip clubs, save points, and the gun shop. If True Crime New York City wasnt so **** buggy and unfinished when it was released, it would have blown away GTA.

They need to, Rockstar needs to stop taking something good from the past GTA and making it worse, in SA, they had it where you can work out and get buff, well they took that out in GTAIV.. wtf lol.

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When you have 6 years to develop and design it, that is a massive disappointment.

Look at the Half-Life franchise, look at the Mass Effect franchise, look at the Elder Scrolls franchise, they took a lot of time to build the games. The end product was nearly flaw-less.

Then you look at GT5. I'd say only about 80% of the game is really 'finished'. Read the review, and you would understand. I can give a quick breakdown of the faults.

The 'unbelievably beautiful' cars, as in their textures and the work put into designing them, that are always shown in videos and commercials, only make up 1/5th of the total amount of available cars. 800 are 'standard' and resemble more of a PS2 construction than what we are supposed to be getting.

The game heavily emphasizes the use of braking. However, you can customize and modify much of the car except the brakes.

The tracks get the same treatment as the cars. A select few tracks are incredible, and the rest are standard.

Outside of the brakes, which is really the only true flaw, the rest are design issues. They had 6 years, and still put out, in my mind, an unfinished product.

What cars are "PS2 construction"? I haven't seen one yet. All the cars are beautifully rendered (prettier than any other racing game, for sure). My complaint is that so many of the cars are obscure and sucky. GT5 is too Japancentric with all these crappy compact hatchbacks. Not enough American cars. Why have mini-vans and 14-horsepower glorified golf carts and like 15 versions of Toyota Prius's, and such a meager selection of American sports cars?

And I don't get the complaint about the tracks, either. There's about a bazillion of 'em, so of course some are gonna be vanilla.

Agree with no brake-tuning/tweaking. That's just weird. Still, it's got deeper modification than pretty much any other game EVER.

And the soundtrack SUCKS. Terrible Japanese "lounge music" that sounds like elevator Muzak, and a bunch of crappy emo pop "alternative" stuff. So far I've found ONE song that I like.

I think they tried to do too much. They should have left out the NASCAR crap and the go-karts and some of the other stuff, and added more FUN cars. Still a great game and hard to call it disappointing.

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