- 6For a budget of 80 million dollars and spending nearly 10 years in development hell it had damn BETTER be awesome! I'm sure that's what many of us were thinking at the time.BUY @ amazon
But what's more, it was being developed by Silicon Knights, whose previous three works were Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. Three games that could arguable be described as "bitchin'." Besides; creator Denis Dyack promised us an epic, long-stretching tale of mythological wonder and epic swordsmanship. A legendary storyline for the ages.
And hell, tell me you didn't think cyborg vikings sounded pretty crazy-awesome at first, too.
Once again our dear friend stiff controls makes a cameo appearance to break the flow of what could have been an enjoyable RPG/Hack-Slasher. More than that, the "Epic storyline" that was promised was pretty flat and derivative as well, the RPG-style skill trees were unbalanced, and the hordes of generic cookie-cutter enemies running towards you were horrendously overbalanced. You'll be dying constantly, and watching the same freakin' valkyrie pick up your same freakin' cybernetic carcass all the time.
But I'd like to touch briefly on a particularly stupid addition to the gameplay that no one else seems to be commenting on, but I believe it to be the absolute stupidest gameplay mechanic to be added to a game.
Every so often, a cutscene will occur, (Like the rise of tides.) but when this does happen, you still maintain complete control over your character. (Allowing you to dramatically run around in the background behind the head of whoever is talking) Seems harmless enough, until suddenly you find yourself experiencing a cutscene IN THE MIDDLE OF BATTLE. You're attempting to fend off yet another battalion of robots, but you keep getting obscured by the forehead of whoever is talking right now, leading to yet another death.
- 7Surely THIS can't fail. After all, flight sims are developer Factor 5's bread and butter. They were the geniuses behind the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron games on the N64 and Gamecube, and those were pretty awesome.BUY @ amazon
It certainly had the formula of a damn cool game. If you don't want to play a video game where you're a knight riding a fire-breathing dragon, then you need to re-assess what you consider fun, because that's like every 80s metal album cover come to life.
You'll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't cringe at the mere mention of the term "Sixaxis." As highly touted as the game's CLEARLY-ORIGINAL-AND-NOT-RIPPED-OFF-FROM-NINTENDO-IN-ANY-WAY-SHAPE-OR-FORM-SO-SHUT-UP! motion controls were, they amounted to little more than an automatic "I hate flying dragons, and I want to crash dragons into things" device. And of course, with wonky motion-sensor controls come an even wonkier control scheme, which cause your dragon to do more loop-the-loops than turning.
The game itself was also a constant flow-breaking bore as well. You couldn't go for more than a few minutes without being bombarded with pointless and harassing cutscenes to distract you from the beautiful, but ultimately derivative level designs.
That is if you can stomach the staggering amount of framerate stutter, garish texturing effects, and the hordes of ever-familiar cookie-cutter enemies.
- 8It had been several years since there had been a Sonic game that one could truly get exi- ...Y'know what? This doesn't even bear mentioning. If you're reading this list wherever you're reading it at you know the full story of the blue rodent's history.BUY @ amazon
2006, however. That was going to be Sonic's year, because Sega was bringing out the big guns...Sonic was gonna get a BIG overhaul! Back to basics! It's gonna be THE 3D Sonic game!
...Not even close.
My initial plan was to include Sonic Unleashed in the same entry too, but since so many people could argue that it wasn't a bad game I decided not to risk so far-reaching a debate.
2006, on the other hand...Noone except the die-hardest of Sonic fans, (The kind who think that "Sonadow" is a real word.) can argue that Sonic 2006 was anything but a miserable wreck of a game.
The extended load-times, the textural issues, the sloppy controls, the annoying camera that STILL hasn't been fixed since Adventure(!!!!! >_<), it all adds up into one neat little package of mediocrity, but what really put it over the threshold of poorness was the storyline.
In which a cavalcade of cartoon animals (Including the painfully uninteresting new addition of Silver the Hedgehog.) engage in bad soap opera-levels of drama with realistic-looking humans, and a disturbing undercurrent of beastiality.
After it came out and was critically lambasted, I might have hoped that it would be a sign for Sega fans to finally lower their standards so something like this wouldn't happen again.
But let's be honest...There's a better chance of Sonic slowing down.
- 9It can be assumed by proxy of the fact that you're on the internet, that you've seen at least one of The Matrix films.BUY @ amazon
Wouldn't that make an awesome video game?
That was the thinking behind Enter The Matrix, and for the most part people went all for it. hell, the movies already resembled a video game pretty closely, and who wouldn't have gotten hyped at the prospect of defying gravity, running up walls, and dodging bullets John Woo style, while Propellorheads music blares in the background?
I would like to wish that the unhealthy amount of buzz that surrounded this game didn't just have to do with the fact that the words "The" and "Matrix" were slapped onto the front of it, but the sad truth is that's pretty much it.
Instead of an astonishing virtual world simulator akin to the one from the movies, what was foisted upon the public amounted to little more than a thinly-veiled, Max Payne knock-off.
The combat was repetetive, the controls were both sticky and unpredictable, and the environments themselves were bland and uninspired. Not even a punch-up filled with Agents could liven up the backdrop. (Which is not to say the character animations helped any. While the fighting motions were very realistically rendered, simpler ones such as typical movement were super-stiff.)
Perhaps the biggest disappointment here is that so many people were waiting on the game hoping to play as Neo. Instead you get your pick between Niobe and Ghost. (A character who barely appeared in the main films as it is.)
There was really no reason to bother with this game except to see the largely inconsequential plotline that occurs between The Matrix and Reloaded. As I said earlier the movies are already like video games anyway. You might as well just have one of the films running and just mash on a controller, like you're playing an elongated quick-time event.
- 10Hey, remember The Sims?BUY @ amazon
Of course you do! Since its 2000 release it's been one of the highest-grossing PC game franchises of all time, and brought a flurry of unwashed video gaming masses to our camp. (Sort of.) It was Will Wright's big lightning strike hit, and with the announcement of Spore, the implication was that lightning was going to strike twice.
To paraphrase Yahtzee Croshaw: "The way of thinking is if interfering with peoples' lives at a personal level is fun, then interfering with the scope of life itself at a microscopic level is bound for greatness." Any way you look at it it's a cool concept if pulled off gracefully.
Going from the earliest cells in primordial soup to space exploration, having the entire course of history at your fingertips...It sounded more than cool. It sounded EPIC.
And you can bet that it had the hype hyped out of it, and from that hype came more hype, followed by more hype, followed by even more hype. (Think of how many people you know who got excited when the Creature Creator alone was made available for download.)
For upwards of 2 years the enthusiasm was palpable. Will Wright was gonna revolutionize video gaming yet again.
The hype promised a world, nay a UNIVERSE of possibilities, but all we really got was a game that was stark raving MEH. Linear, shallow, cramped to the point of unintuitive, it was a far cry from the evolution simulator that was promised to us. It was rank with technical problems, and controls were pretty awkward.
And then there was that infamous SecuROM copy-protection, which kept people from installing it more than a few times, and required re-authentication every 10 days. To call it a public relations disaster would be a HUGE underestimation.
Pretty much all it had going for it was it's expansive character creation system. hell, more people got excited over that than the game itself. Releasing it before the game was probably the smartest move Maxis made.
In the end Spore pretty much remains a giant footnote of lost potential.
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