games / Columns

The 8 Ball 08.28.12: Top 8 Most Disappointing Games

August 28, 2012 | Posted by David McGregor

Welcome to another edition of the 8 Ball, I am David McGregor and even I think this intro sucks.

This week I am going to look at the biggest disappointments in gaming. This was tied with happy games in the vote last week, so I will just put happy games down on the vote again and if it wins that one I will do it next week. Also as with the disappointing games it doesn’t mean that they are bad, in fact most of them aren’t, it is just that they have failed to live up to the hype built up around them. As always this is my opinion and if you disagree by all means leave your list in the comment section below.

8th – State of Emergency

I don’t even know if anyone remembers this game let alone still disappointed with it, but back when Grand Theft Auto was at its pinnacle of popularity this game was released and hyped up as a more outlandish GTA. And fair enough to the promoters, that is your job you have to hype up a game as much as possible to try and sell the damn thing. But it was far from GTA level; in fact it was a pretty average game that had none of the charm that GTA was well known for.

I can remember being so excited for this game, it had Rockstars name all over it so it had to be great. Unfortunately it wasn’t, it was a forgettable game that really had no purpose ever being uttered in the same sentence as GTA. Most people probably wont even think of this when they read the title of this article, but this was probably the first time I played a game and felt like I had been robbed. This wasn’t the game I had hoped for and it was a feeling that I had better get used to with gaming.

7th – Star Wars Galaxies

This one had many people excited when it was announced; the idea of a MMO Star Wars game seems like a license to print money. Yet when it was released it left a whole lot to be desired. The biggest complaint was how long it took to progress in the game; apparently it would take hundreds of hours to up you to the level of a Jedi. That is pretty much what people are there to do, everyone wants to be a Jedi and most don’t want to put their life on hold to become one in a rather pointless game. Apparently the first person to become a Jedi in the game was 4 months after it was released; just imagine the level of commitment you would have to go through to get to that stage. That is just unreal for a simple video game.

While this has been sorted in later extensions of the game I am going by the initial disappointment of the original release. Definitely a major let down for fans of the series and of MMO games.

6th – Duke Nukem Forever

I’ve been through this one before in my worst sequels list, but it has to be mentioned in this one too. The anticipation was so high that it would never be matched, it was demanded for over a decade and it still disappointed. But it took so long that we had all pretty much accepted that this was going to be a disappointment, it had to be. No game has ever been worth over a decade of hype and promises. The developers could have handed us Ocarina of Time and we would have still been a little deflated. This was never going to match what we expected, but it was still very disappointing.

We had waited so long for Duke to return, we had patiently sat through failed promise after failed promise and yet we were still given a lacklustre game. Had this been released 2 years after the N64 game then it would have been a decent game that was quickly forgotten in history. But it went down the Alien v Predator route and got stuck in development hell for over a decade, and the finished product was exactly the same as AVP and that was a second-rate mess that wasted over 10 years hyping when it should have been delivering.

5th – Mario Sunshine

It sort of pains me to put this one in here, it was definitely a disappointment but I have always thought it got way more flack than it deserved. But the facts are that after Mario 64 we were all expecting another show topping game from Nintendo, we had waited nearly 6 years for another solo Mario affair and what we ended up with far from reached our expectations. There was a mountain of anticipation for this game, it had been a long time since the last Mario game and he had failed to be there at the launch of the GameCube. Also Mario 64 was an unmitigated success that had revolutionised the genre, so it is fair to say the cards were stacked against Nintendo. But they had done it before, so why the hell was Mario back with a lame gimmick?

This is what makes this one so disappointing. Mario has and never will need a gimmick to sell games; he is a success and a phenomenon without a shadow of a doubt. Put him in any situation and it works, yet they felt the need to add an idiotic water canon to try and spice things up. There was no need to spice things up, as Mario 64 was as basic a premise as you will get yet it was still a brilliant game. All they had to do was put Mario in a new environment and let him loose, and the beach island area was brilliant and there was no need for the water pistol. I enjoyed the game but at the end I was left thinking, is that it? Where is the new revolution for the next generation? It may have worked for Luigi but Mario is a different kettle of fish and Nintendo really do need to remember that.

4th – Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

Before I go on I have to reiterate that disappointing doesn’t mean bad. In no way is Majora’s Mask a bad game, in fact it is a very good game, but compared to its previous in the series it has to be considered a bit of a disappointment. We went from Ocarina of Time, which is arguably one of the very best games of all time, to what has to be considered a niche game at best. Majora’s Mask was strange, really strange, to the point that it made the spider children from OoT look like the Rugrats.

Everything about this game had an unusual edge, from the creepy as hell moon to the dancing Deku boy thing. It looked so much like Ocarina in presentation but in execution it was worlds apart from it. From a creative standpoint I fully support this game, but from a business standpoint Nintendo really missed the ball by not try to recreate the essence of OoT. I can remember being completely bewildered at this game, fair enough I was a child at the time and didn’t really understand most of it but it was such a departure from the previous one that it really put me off the series for a while.

3rd – Goldeneye 007 Wii

This one really gets to me. I am not one to moan about video games as there is really no point in it, and I am vehemently against the idea that sequels “rape” our childhood. But when it comes to Goldeneye on the Wii, I have never really seen someone fuck up such a brilliant game so easily. Firstly, and this one gets under my skin, you have Daniel Craig as James Bond in a Goldeneye game! I don’t think I can even express the stupidity in that last sentence. Sure Peirce Brosnan isn’t Bond anymore but he damn sure was back when Goldeneye was released, and this is just meant to be an updated version of that exact game. Also on a side note Daniel Craig is a terrible James Bond and lacks all the charisma that you need to take on the role, Brosnan was perfect for it and it was ridiculous he was fired from the role.

The game was so hyped up as a return of the classic game just update for the current generation of gamers. Biggest lie of the last decade for sure. I loved Goldeneye it was my favourite game when I was a child and everything about the remake just made me want to go buy a N64. I had been hoping this game would come around eventually, now I wish they had never bothered.

2nd – Bioshock 2

I adored Bioshock, one of my absolute favourite games I have ever played. And I was extremely excited when a sequel was announced, I was clamouring for another exciting outing with loads of new characters and innovations on the previous game. But that never happened; instead we got everything that was in the original Bioshock and just a teeny bit more. It felt more like an extension pack than an actual sequel to the game, which is really disappointing when you are a big fan of the original.

The worst part is it just felt lazy; there was nothing really there that excited me with this one. It is far from a bad game but there isn’t much that is new about it to make it a great game either. There was so much in Rapture that could have been explored yet this one didn’t jump on any of that potential, instead we got a decent game that wasn’t going to set the world on fire. And that was everything that the original game wasn’t.

1st – Pokémon Coliseum

Potential is a word that is thrown around a lot, some games have the potential to be great and end up sucking worse than a British X Factor judge, some are decent games that never live up to the potential of their premise and then there is Pokémon Coliseum. There was a metric shit tonne of potential for this game to be one of the greatest games of all time, why? Because it is basically just a 3D rendering of what is already one of the best games ever for a handheld game, and that is a hell of a lot of games.

Pokémon Coliseum was advertised as the handheld game finally making it onto the home consoles, and that was perfect. It was what we had all been waiting for! I love the Pokémon games, it is one of the few games of that genre that I can enjoy, and I have always wondered why it had never taken the leap onto a 3D home console game. It sounds like the dream game; it is already an established premise that has millions of fans so of course it is going to rake in the millions! Yet when it was done it was done in such a way that it ruined it, ruined everything that was good about the idea and left us with the rags. You couldn’t even catch Pokémon in the wilderness! That is the premise of the entire series!

The biggest disappointment in gaming history is the embarrassing attempt to make Pokémon 3D, so much potential wasted.

YouTube Video of the Week – Drink a Gallon of Milk!

The Comments Section

Good column. I found the ending to “Deadly Premonition” extremely depressing… (spoilers ahead, obviously) … Not so much for the fact that a main character died, but just the horribly gruesome way in which it happened.
Not surprised to not see it on the list, as I know it wasn’t a very popular games (in both that it didn’t sell well and that a lot of people didn’t like it), but… yeah, that one took a lot out of me. Especially since it’s such an off-beat, wacky game up until then.
Posted By: Used (Guest) on August 20, 2012 at 10:45 PM

I have honestly never even heard of it until you mentioned it. But looking it up since it looks pretty horrible, although I guess with a name like Deadly Premonition something was likely to happen at the end.

Most of these choices suck, and you clearly have not played some real depressing games.
Red Dead, GTA, Halo, Half-Life have no place here.
Or if those are depressing, I wonder how something like Braid would make you feel, after you unlock the proper ending. Search for it in youtube if you wish.
Posted By:Guest#5272 (Guest) on August 20, 2012 at 10:55 PM

I have played Braid and I have unlocked the proper ending, in fact it was in one of my previous columns. I don’t think it is that depressing, shocking and innovative ending definitely. But to say it is depressing is a bit much.

I appreciate that you would tackle such an interesting topic, but how the hell is LIMBO not on here? As soon as I saw the list I thought “LIMBO will be number one”. Not even an honourable mention though…
Posted By:Guest#1271 (Guest) on August 21, 2012 at 05:00 AM

I’ve not really had that much experience with Limbo, I know of it and think I played it through a little but not enough to include it on the list. I probably should have made it an honourable mention but I hate doing that as I end up doing a top 24 list like the hardest boss one.

Majora’s Mask is pretty depressing.
Posted By:Bubba (Guest) on August 21, 2012 at 10:51 AM

This is one I should have definitely put in, and it didn’t even cross my mind at the time of writing. That was a really morbid game when you compare it to other Zelda game, nice pick!

That’s better.
Another suggestion is that you ignore blatant trolls and bring back your comments section. It showed you actually gave a damn what we thought and that you weren’t just another article writer
Posted By:That someone (Guest) on August 21, 2012 at 11:00 AM

It was never a case of not caring what anyone in the comment section thought was just time, I didn’t have the time to do everything I had set out in the week to do and the comment section was an easy cut to save time. But I will keep it up now that you have called me out on it. And I never stopped it because of trolls, in fact they make it somewhat fun at times.

Just tried One Chance and was pretty bored with it. It’s a “walk left or right” sim that goes too slowly. Boring.
Posted By: Guest#2627 (Guest) on August 21, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Oh it is never going to win any awards for excitement but on an emotional level it is amazing. The message it portrays is brilliantly done, it is highly repetitive and the graphics are horrendous but it does not matter at all. I thought it was one of the best games that really got you thinking.

you like FPS games and hate RPGS… so your opinion means nothing to me.
RPG > FPS forever
F***ing frat boys
Posted By:Guest#2766 (Guest) on August 21, 2012 at 02:29 PM

And your opinion means nothing to me either, but at the end of the day it isn’t me that is reading your column. I don’t ever claim to be a deity on gaming; I just sit here and type my opinion. I don’t like RPG games, that don’t diminish them any. But I wont sit here and write an article about them either, why would I if I don’t have any knowledge on them? I am not some idiot frat boy, in fact in the UK we don’t even have fraternities, and I am not even that big a fan of FPS either. Everyone has an opinion and that is the whole point of an opinion column.

You are a fucking idiot. Why did you write the spoiler practically in the same sentence as the warning?
Fucking imbecile.
Posted By: Guest#5868 (Guest) on August 21, 2012 at 08:16 PM

Actually there was a full stop and capital letter so it was a new sentence; it isn’t my fault if you continue to read when I have clearly expressed that there will be spoilers. Also it is a list about depressing games, in which I have spoken about endings so come on! And the game has been out for years so I don’t see the issue.

What do you want the 8 Ball to be about next week?

Top 8 Happy Games

Top 8 Surprisingly Good Games

Top 8 Pokémon Games


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David McGregor
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