Thursday, December 23, 2010

Year in Review: The worst games of 2010

Above: "It's just me getting killed by a giant spider for an hour and a half. It cost 80 million krone."

All this week, we'll be recapping the year that was. Today: The worst games of the year.

As I keep darkly alluding, I found this to be a challenging year in a lot of ways.* Nowhere was this more apparent than with all the supposedly great games I struggled to play. Every year there's crap, and everybody agrees it's crap, but this year, more than any I can recall, there was crap that people kept telling me was an ice-cream sundae.

In chronological order of when I played them, here are the games I liked the least in 2010:

Army of Two: The 40th Day: I was sad to see this game go in the wrong direction, because I thought the first Army of Two showed a lot of promise. But the sequel ditched the humor, kept the monotonous duck-and-cover shooting, and added a terrible checkpoint system to boot. Nothing was worse than laboriously customizing your weapons, dying in the next firefight, and finding that you had to do it all over again. Ugh.

No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle: This is where we're talking about disappointing sequels, right? I loved No More Heroes so much, and I thought the sequel wasn't fit for the tissue box next to Travis Touchdown's easy chair. I can't even talk about it. It makes me sad.

Aliens vs. Predator: Never wrote about this one. In fact, I'd forgotten I played it until I saw it on somebody else's worst-of list. Whoever that was, damn you for reminding me of this awful game.

God of War III: Mechanically, God of War III was sound, but it was the moment when Kratos stopped being cool. Dude needs to get over it. He's like the guy who shows up at his 20th high school reunion wearing the same leather jacket he wore in the twelfth grade. It's embarrassing at this point.

Splinter Cell: Conviction: I get what Ubi was trying to do here. It just didn't work. Even if the aggro-stealth concept had worked, we'd still have had to deal with Fisher's motormouthed antagonists. Who the hell signed off on them?

Crackdown 2: We are drowning in awful sequels right now. Pinpointing the failure of Crackdown 2 is difficult, because in every way that matters, it is exactly the same game as its predecessor. Except the first game is still one of my favorites of this generation, and the second one is... not.

Limbo: Man, I don't even know. To me, this seemed like just another too-difficult indie platformer with delusions of grandeur.

Mafia II: Not without its charms, I still wonder what sane person would keep playing through this game's terrible action scenes unless somebody was paying them. It still wasn't enough for me!

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: This, not Limbo, is the game where I feel the most like I missed something. I read too many positive things from too many people I respect to discount it as simply a crappy game. But that's what it felt like to me: lousy camera, bad controls, dumb story. I can't get past these things.

Medal of Honor: If there was a more generic, mediocre shooter out there in 2010, I didn't play it.

Tomorrow: The best games of 2010.

*I'm just trying to seem dark and mysterious, for the ladies.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me of No More Heroes 2 again. I have not returned to the game since playing through it the week it was released. This is totally unlike the original, which I played through three times within a month. It's disappointing to see how they botched what should have been a sure thing. I'm convinced that they purposely missed the many marks it should have hit - the only question is why.

Anonymous said...

Limbo? Too hard?

I'm the farthest thing from those guys who are like "ZOMG!!! Space Marines 5 on Hardcore Insane mode was like teh EZest game evar!" but... Limbo was not difficult.

Also, Mafia II? Splinter Cell? GoW III? Is this a list of the worst games or the most overrated games? Surely there were worse games in 2011 than these.

I must completely agree on Castlevania, though - it's still baffling to go back and read the nearly ubiquitous praise this game got. Every aspect of this game was a failure, save for the graphical look and feel.

Anonymous said... "Surely there were worse games in 2010* than these."

Mitch Krpata said...

Overrated, worst, whatever you want to call it -- they were the games I enjoyed playing the least. In some cases, like with God of War, that's because I thought they didn't live up to the standard that previous editions had set.

I see what you mean about Limbo, and it's true, I did play through it in a night, so it's not like it was Super Meat Boy or something. But it seemed clear that the purpose of the game was to kill you as often and in as many ways as possible, and I didn't respond well to that.

Julian said...

Well yeah there were worse games, but what fun would a list full of "soulless *-ville game #17" be? I don't come here because I agree with everything Mitch says, I come here because his writing is fun to read and he likes to try to piss people off with inflammatory opinions.

Mitch Krpata said...

What a boring world we'd live in if everybody agreed about everything.

Atan said...

I'm with you on Limbo. Yet another Artsy-fartsy 2D platformer, yawn. Am I the only gamer who got platforming out of his system back when I was 14?