The Most Disappointing Games of 2015
The follow selections represent the most disappointing games of 2015, NOT worst games of 2015.
These are games that did not meet the personal expectations of GameReviewPad contributors.
The #1 Most Disappointing Games for each contributor:
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (PS4) selected by Jeremy Kratka
Call of Duty is a series that continuously disappoints me. The story is always bland and poorly thought out, the online is dull and lackluster, and the additional content just doesn’t cut it. Like past Call of Duty’s, it’s just not impressive. Black Ops is known for it’s zombie mode, and even that was highly disappointing; one map, no character selection, and a story that cuts off as soon as you actually start the round. It tops my disappointments, and until the series gets a massive overhaul or at least a tenth of the creativity Splatoon has to freshen it up, then it will most likely disappoint until the series ends.
I have always been a fan of the Assassin’s Creed series. Although I felt Assassin’s Creed 3 wasn’t very good, I absolutely loved Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and it’s sequel Assassin’s Creed Rogue. I was super pumped for Assassin’s Creed Unity after hearing all the ways they had improved the formula, but what I got was a broken, framey, low-rez mess that was basically unplayable. In spite of that, there was so much potential I could still see in the game. So when Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was announced, I thought, “Yes, finally, the game that Unity should have been. All of the improvements with none of the bugs.” But alas, my dreams were shattered when the minute I moved the camera the world started flickering. I put an hour and a half trying to ignore the same glaring problems that plagued Unity, but It was no use. Ubisoft had officially ruined one of my favorite franchises for me. I hope that someday Ubisoft will get it right and I’ll get the Assassin’s Creed 5 I’ve been waiting for, but sadly, I fear that may only be a fool’s hope.
Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4) selected by Sean Kromrey
Batman: Arkham Knight had a pillar it needed to climb, but it barely reached the halfway point. Coming off of the high that was Batman: Arkham City, Arkham Knight had a lot to live up to. While it may have been graphically advanced, it was a huge departure from the creativity found in past games. Each side mission felt tedious, and that tank made the game more systematic than anything. The overabundance of times you need to use the bat-tank is insane and should have just been a feature used in smaller strokes. If it had managed to capture the same narrative or character depth of the previous games, then perhaps it would not have been on this list. Was this game bad? Arkham Knight executes well on a technical level in most sections and can be a fun experience. Coming off of the high that was Arkham City made this the most disappointing game of the year, since it didn’t even come close to the standards already set by the previous two. I do not count Batman: Arkham Origins as it was developed by a different company. Even Mark Hamill cannot save how bland this game is, making it easily the most disappointing game for me this year.
Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure (3DS) selected by Andre Calvert
Although I didn’t have the highest of expectations for Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure, it still managed to disappoint me. This turned out to be a Nintendo eShop release that got a buried release around E3 2015. I was surprised that this got little to no publicity, considering Dr. Mario is one of Nintendo’s generational franchises, even if it isn’t one of their premiere franchises. In previous generations I was never a Dr. Mario player myself, but I always knew of the Dr. Mario franchise. I decided to take the dive into this game because I’m a sucker for games like Tetris. I’m generally not one to criticism effort in a video game, because who am I to judge that? The look and feel of this game felt like a game that needed a face lift (even for a 3DS game), and I ended up bored of this much quicker than I thought I would be.
Although the single-player modes were alright, it was the multiplayer mode that bothered me the most. For a handheld experience, I can forgive lack of text or voice chat, but I simply can’t forgive the lack of the ability to play online against friends. Yes, you can still play locally against friends, but it is unforgivable in this day and age to have an online mode without a “play with friends” option. I bought the game knowing it had online, and assuming that it would just be common sense for it to have a “play with friends” feature.**facepalm** Unfortunately, Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure left me with the impression that Nintendo was just looking to make a quick buck.
Grow Home (PS4) selected by Christopher Joseph
This game was one of the three games up for voting around the time Sony was trying out the feature, which lets you vote for the next free Playstation Plus game. I voted for Grow Home because it reminded me of Tearaway, one of my favorite games of all time, and it just looked like a fun 3D adventure/exploration game. Grow Home got the most votes and I was able to play it for free. This game was the exact opposite of what I expected.
The world around you feels empty, the gamplay lacks any form of excitement, the controls are all types of trash, and to make matters worse, the game was broken at launch. Every minute or so the game would freeze for a few seconds while I was playing. I do not think I need to explain how frustrating this was. When its all said and done, I am glad I did not fork over any cash for this game, and I’m pretty sure the other people who also voted for this game share my sentiment.
Xbox One (Console) selected by Louis Hughes
If there has been one disappointment for me this year, it’s not a video game, but a video game console. I received the Xbox One as a birthday gift, and within one week of using it the system already defected by constantly rebooting itself. After Microsoft fixed it and gave me a free month of Live, I had to redownload all of my games. This is one thing I dislike with the console; having to install the game then download the patch afterwards. I soon noticed that my installs were taking a long time, until I discovered that the installation goes faster if you put your Xbox One offline, then go online to download the patch. The fact I had to use the internet to learn that is a huge red flag to me.
Considering I don’t have the best internet connection, my downloads could take as long as 12 hours for a 20 GB download. Don’t get me started on the 60 GB download for Halo: Master Chief Collection, followed by a 20 GB patch! I have also noticed the console is also a bandwidth hog. When I downloaded games on the Xbox 360 I could still browse the web, but with the Xbox One, all my other online services comes to a halt. Why doesn’t the Xbox One have a background download option like the Xbox 360 and Wii U so I can download while the system is off? I find it sad that the Xbox One is the only reason I’ll have to upgrade my internet speed soon.
Don’t get wrong, once the games are finally ready to play (which that in itself is a joke), I have a fun time and I like the system, but its sad when I dread buying an Xbox One game because I have to wait such a long time to play the game to the point that when the install/download is complete my interest slowly drops to play it. I give Microsoft credit that they take feedback seriously with the monthly updates, but they have to do something about this process because this little headache makes me appreciate my Wii U a lot more.
Other selections by Jeremy Kratka:
2. Yo-Kai Watch (3DS)
So Yo-Kai Watch is this massively hyped game that had taken Japan by storm and was claimed to be the “Pokémon killer,” where instead of monsters, you battle and befriend ghosts. After playing the game, it just left me scratching my head as to how anyone could compare it to Pokémon. It wasn’t all that impressive to me, which is why it ranks second on my list of disappointments.
3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4)
This one is probably a very unpopular opinion, but hear me out: I did enjoy The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The scenery was beautiful, the world felt alive, and the combat was fun. However, after being engrossed in the first two games and reading one of the books, The Witcher 3 didn’t sit right with me. The story was alright, but everything from getting gold, to leveling up, to trying to play Gwent, it was just frustrating and felt like a huge chore to do something as simple as buying a new weapon. Then the ‘open world’ not truly open world. I remember being told I could run, ride, sail from one end of the map to the other, but that wasn’t completely true. Unlike Fallout 4, which was truly open world, The Witcher 3 had different sections of the world with invisible walls barring you from each section. After the irritating “simple” tasks and getting a disappointment like that, The Witcher 3 just has to be on this list. Again, I did enjoy the game, but it wasn’t the game I was expecting when I bought it.
Other selections by Oliver Prevost:
2. The Swindle (PC)
Mark of the Ninja blew me away when it released in September of 2012 and has stuck in my mind ever since. So when The Swindle reared it’s tantalizing head, I dreamed about the possibilities a stealth action, rogue-like could offer. Unfortunately, what at first promised variety, challenge, and reward, quickly became an infuriating lesson in futility. Its almost as if they designed this game to ruin your day. From the imprecise controls, unforgiving difficulty, and unclear menus, to the painfully slow starting phase and the haunting knowledge that you’ll have to start from scratch in a moment,The Swindle does absolutely everything it can to piss you off. Controllers fly, as not enough money and precious attempts are ripped from you by the tiniest mistake. Half the time its not even the fault of the player. Being overly difficult or unforgiving isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when you mix zero tolerance fail conditions with imprecise and unreliable controls, you get a type of difficulty that doesn’t feel satisfying to overcome. It feels as though the game chose not to fail me, instead of me overcoming adversity.
3. Batman: Arkham Knight (PC)
Though the game itself is apparently quite good, after understandably not being satisfied with Batman Arkham: Origins, I had really hoped Rocksteady would be able to give me the real Batman I wanted with Batman: Arkham Knight. Sadly, I was denied the continuation of one, if not, the best superhero game series to date. But its not just the fact that PC people didn’t get to enjoy it, its how no one knew it until it released. Making something a console exclusive, “Bloodborne *cough*,” is an acceptable evil, but imagine not being told the game will only be available for specific platforms on the day of release. All I can say is that it left a bad taste in my mouth, and maybe a tiny hole in my heart.
Other selection by Louis Hughes:
2. Saints Row: Gat out of Hell (Xbox 360):
When Volition sent out a cryptic message on it’s web page many fans knew it was a Saints Row game, but weren’t sure if this would be Saints Row V. At PAX Prime, it was revealed to be a game where you go to Hell to save your boss (created character) as Gat or Kinzie. At first I was excited for this, since you are playing the definition of a badass character, but as more information was revealed about the game the less ecstatic I got. While the story was decent, and Hell was a blast to play in, the lack of customization and all the missions being fetch quests made me realize after I beat the game and sidequests I won’t be playing the game again, but it was fun while it lasted.
Other selections by Sean Kromrey:
2. The Legend of Zelda: TriForce Heroes (3DS)
The multiplayer for Legend of Zelda: TriForce Heroes is great! That is about it though, as completing this game in single-player is the most aggravating thing in a Zelda game I’ve ever seen. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, while also not as good in single-player mode as multiplayer, didn’t force you to throw around puppets to help progression. This ultimately makes half the game practically unplayable, unless you don’t want to have a good time. My heart breaks at that point, since it is obvious that this game is good as shown by the terrific multiplayer with the emotes, shared hearts, puzzles, multiple differing costumes, and all the little idiosyncrasies that would have made Four Swords Adventures into a fantastic game. If there are the perfect conditions, then TriForce Heroes can be really fun. Sadly, a game cannot rely on the perfect conditions in order to create a fun experience for the player, especially when you reach the timed extra missions in single-player. Those are a treat to complete alone. TriForce Heroes is disappointing because of what could have been, and to not make the game enjoyable all the way around.
3. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (PS4)
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD was not something that I thought would be amazing, but at the very least, execute better than the Final Fantasy XIII series of games. It would be able to wash the bad taste out of my mouth as I await the next installment of the series. That being said, at times Type-0 is even worse than Final Fantasy XIII! Type-0 is an action RPG trying to have a different formula from other Final Fantasy games, but suffers from many flaws. The companion system is bad due to the amount of babysitting you do for the NPCs in order to keep them alive, the game has difficulty spikes that come out of nowhere, some sections like the real-time strategy section is far too dull and uninteresting, and to top it all off, it feels even blander story and character wise than XIII. XIII had Hope! How could they not make a cast more interesting than Hope? There is a long list of reasons why this game halts it’s own greatness in both gameplay and narrative. The reason why it is not in first on my list is purely because there was no hype going into it, as I set my bar to serviceable, but it still managed to defy my expectations in the worst ways. As you can see, I love my Final Fantasy as much as the next guy and get extremely passionate. Is it a horrible game? No, because the gameplay mechanics and diversity save it from being bad, but not from being painfully mediocre. Though after XIII this was not the title to remake to the North American audience, at least I got the Final Fantasy XV demo with it.
J-Stars Victory VS+ (PS4)
Legend of Legacy (3DS)
Other selections by Christopher Joseph:
2. Toren (PS4)
I came across this game on the Playstation store and thought it was right up my alley. It seemed like a fun and immersive adventure game at first, so I thought I’d give it a try. Unfortunately, the more I played, the more I realized just how dull and unimaginative this game was. The controls were clunky, the level design was mediocre at best, and the graphics just were not doing it for me. This game was a huge letdown, and it did not take long for me to uninstall it and make room for a game that was actually worth my time.
3. The Order: 1886 (PS4)
No matter how much you try to avoid it as a gamer, there are bound to be some games that just do not quite hit the mark every year. Out of all the games I had the luxury of playing this year, only three did not quite live up to the hype. Now The Order: 1886 was by no means a bad game; It had an intriguing story, breathtaking visuals, interesting characters, and some fun gameplay. However, the bad pacing, lackluster boss fights, low replay value, and no multiplayer whatsoever, prevented it from reaching it’s full potential. I still enjoyed the game for what it was, and I hope there will be a sequel in the future that addresses these flaws.