Thursday, 29 December 2011

Bottom Ten Games of 2011

Disclaimer: Before anyone gets pedantic, this is my list of the worst games that I played during 2011 rather than were released during 2011 (although this is the same in many cases).

So, really there were a whole bunch of excellent releases during 2011 - but every year has its bad games. 
Here is the ten crappiest games that I came across during 2011. 
Starting with the least offensive at number 10 and working to the absolute shitheap that is number 1.

10: Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie [DS]
This game was mainly disappointing because of the contrast to it's chronological predecessor, Sentinels of the Starry Skies. Sentinels... was an absolute belter of a game - with the story, graphics and gameplay to keep you playing throughout its 70-hour lifespan.

Realms... is almost like a more basic, stripped-down version. I can honestly say that there is nothing in this title which comes close to the brilliance of Sentinels. The graphics aren't as polished and well-presented, the gameplay is nowhere near as engaging, and the story is totally bland in comparison.

If the game was released with a different title, I would have played this and gotten bored. As I hoped to have more of the Sentinels experience, this infuriated me.

9: Final Fantasy: The Four Heroes of Light [DS]
A torture device disguised as a children's adventure. 

This has all the simplified look and interface of an accessible kid's title, only with the difficulty level of the toughest of the Final Fantasy series. Once you get used to this and endure several dozen dungeons where your party is annihilated in minutes, you gain some jewels which can be used to upgrade you characters. 

After applying a couple of upgrades and finding the right combinations, the rest of the game is an absolute bore. Running backwards and forwards across areas already traversed, battling enemies that take 2 hits each and die, then sifting through pages and pages of appalling and soppy dialogue - this just goes from bad to worse.

Would be of interest to die hard Final Fantasy fans who just wish to complete the collection, and probably not anybody else.

8: Yoostar: In The Movies [PS3]
A genuinely fantastic concept, let down by execution and content.

Gives you the ability to put yourself in famous scenes from movies and deliver classic lines, or to improvise your own. Sadly, the camera doesn't capture your image properly and so you are often left looking at a picture of your houseplants playing the role of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Combine this with the fact that only a quarter of the clips are actually worth acting - the other clips you might want to appear in are available as downloadable content for prices upwards of £2 each.

A better clip selection and better camera capture may have meant I spent more than a hour playing this - which I payed nearly £30 for. Total rip-off.

7: R.U.S.E. - Don't Believe What You See [PS3]
Horrendously annoying for both difficulty level and gameplay. One of the few games that I have simply given up on before finishing.

I spent several hours on the early missions trying to figure out how I was meant to progress (using obscure "spy" features such as infiltration) only to have my arse handed to me by giant tanks appearing out of nowhere when my forces were weak. The game never gave me the opportunity to get to grips with the features during the single player campaign, even when playing on the easiest difficulty. 

To top that off, the controls were awkward on the regular controller and were just unworkable using the Move controllers. Truly disappointing considering this game was toted as "reinventing the RTS genre".

6: Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure [DS]
I really shouldn't have expected much from this, given that it has a princess on the cover.

Was recommended by geeks who played this title when it was first released a few years ago. When the title is marketed as "A musical RPG", I hoped that both elements would play a significant role. 

The reality is that the RPG side is ridiculously easy and basic, requiring no tactics or strategy to progress. The musical side is utterly disturbing - sort of like a Disney film done Japanese style. There's a song around the end of each chapter and they range from a soppy love song between giant-eyed children, to a bizarre anthem sung by frogs.

5: Infinite Space [DS]
A space RPG that relies too heavily on the player being engaged enough to carry on with the story, which I was not.

The battles between enormous space craft should be epic and tense, but due to the ridiculous gameplay end up dragging on into boredom. You need to move your craft in and out of range, and this takes far too long and is needed far too often.

Between battles, you are required to travel back and forth from galaxy to galaxy to advance the story. You travel to planet A to speak to a bloke who says there is someone who can help you on planet B. When you speak to the guy on planet B, he tells you to head to speak to the guy on planet A again - this time asking him for help. Well, duh. I had to travel halfway to the edge of the universe and back again to hear a guy talk bollocks at me.

4: Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest [PS3]
Yes, I have myself to blame on this one. I should have guessed, based on the movie spin-off genre and child-focus. 

The reason this still deserves to be in the top ten worst of 2011 is that it defaces several different concepts at once. This is an original LOTR title that not only fails to be interesting, but also dilutes the charm of the original story. This is also yet another Playstation Move title that fails to utilise the technology on offer - setting the control system even further back.

Crap controls, crap story and crap gameplay - I played this for a few hours before realising that I was getting nothing out of this, save for a very sore arm.

3: Pokemon Black [DS]
If only this series would step outside the box a little! Surprise, surprise - you start as a young trainer, then Professor Boring gives you a Pokemon, then you go off to beat some gym leader, then an evil Pokemon-trainer group attacks you, then you go off to the Pokemon League to beat the Pokemon champions.

So what is different in Pokemon Black? Well, they've changed the name and designs of the Pokemon. Oh, and you can carry out surveys. Surveys. Hold me back! I have to play some more of this! Asking passers-by about their favourite books! Awesome!

Depressingly, I actually played right through to the final stages of this game hoping that something would be different. Just as I did with HeartGold. And Platinum before that. And Sapphire before that. And Silver before.... well, you get the point.

2: Skate 3 [PS3]
Again, another title that is shamed when compared to its predecessor. The original Skate game was a breath of fresh air compared to the stale fumes of the Tony Hawk series. It had a brilliantly conceived (albeit inaccessible) control system that was as close as you can get to real-life skateboarding. Skate 2 extended this with some fantastic new environments, my favourite being an over-the-top stunt ramp to launch off.

Then comes the third instalment, and what does it have to offer? No idea. Nothing new, that I can see. Same old moves, same old environments, same old missions.

I'm pretty sure that they recoloured and renamed everything from Skate 2 and then charged everyone £30 to play it. Both thoroughly boring and disappointing.

1: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood [PS3]
Just see my full review for the huge list of reasons why this is the worst game I played in 2011. In short: it is dull, glitchy and impossible to take seriously.

What's worse is that I have now started playing its sequel, Revelations, and within the first hour of play Revelations has entertained me more than the entirety of Brotherhood and is still not very good! 

A shameful sequel that hopes to dazzle you with poorly-executed new features to obscure the shallow, repetitive nature of the rest of the game. Brotherhood is without a doubt the worst Assassin's Creed game so far (a series which has 1 good game out of 4 anyway). 

More than happy to give a whole-hearted thumbs down to my 

So what do you think? Do you agree? Disagree?
What are your games of 2011? 
Feel free to comment below and let me know.

No comments: