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MMR: The Worst Game of the Year and Other Awards for Awesomely Bad Things in 200

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December 11, 2006 3:03:01 PM

2006 had plenty of bad games, but what was the worst? What game had the worst glitches and bugs? What was the most disappointing title of the year? TwitchGuru looks back at 2006 to find the worst games and gaming-related items and events.
December 11, 2006 5:44:48 PM

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Worst Platform Snub: Call of Duty 3 on the PC. What an insult. It's tragically ironic that Call of Duty began on the PC (and the Mac) and now the franchise has moved away from its roots and can only be played on the consoles. Seriously, what's happening to the Call of Duty series? And more importantly, what's happening to PC gaming? Perhaps we need to stage some sort of intervention with Activision.


I have a comment here. While consoles may be killing off mainstream gaming almost entirely as they make their feeble attempts to become mini-computers (& doom themselves in the process - only Nintendo seems to realize what consoles are actually in existence for: to do things PCs can't do, which is the only thing aside from ease-of-use [read: dumbed down features] that they have on computers) the niche of PC gaming is actually becoming stronger & stronger. The long "dead" (XD as if) genres are all returning stronger & stronger each year we see a console ruin a PC game or franchise. And of course, there's still the occasional multiplatform release that actually works: Splinter Cell 3: Chaos Theory, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (not that it didn't have interface issues, but the dumbed down nature wasn't directly the console's fault - it was developer incompetence), and the way Valve handles their PC primary & console secondary launching doesn't effect either side in a negative way.

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Worst First Hour of Game Play: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Talk about a slow opening. Yeesh. To be sure, Twilight Princess has a lot going for it. I'm well into the game now and it's redeeming itself quite well. But I'm reluctant to heap tons of praise on Twilight Princess because the first hour-plus of play is slower than the automated checkout line at Home Depot. You'll ride around on your horse for a while, play some music on a makeshift flute composed of a handful of grass and visit some villages and read lots of subtitles. Again, Twilight Princess really gets going after its first hour or so, which is why the beginning of the game is such a stunning blemish.


Yes it does get better, & yes it probably is a great game overall, but damn those first five hours SUCK! It has an absolutely terrible presentation in the beginning, & it extends quite a bit farther than just one hour. Geez... I could hang myself with bad animations & controls & graphics & anything vaguely related to polish... It's not as if the series doesn't have a perfect history in all these aspects prior to the 4th 3D Zelda game.

And of course, ironically enough, the motion sensor controls are the one part that is perfect...?_?... Still, the rest at the beginning was bad enough that I'm refusing to play it (I even stopped watching once my roommate got too far past the beginning) until I've had enough of all my other games on the console.
December 11, 2006 9:40:49 PM

Hey, lay off the superman game for being late.

How many titles did you berate for being "rushed out the door"? If they want to take the time and do it right the first time, let them. I may want some games a lot, but I won't give them flak over taking their time to do it right until they look like they are turning into another Duke Nukem Forever.

As for the new Zelda game, I watched a friend play through quite a bit of the beginning and while yes, it was slow, it was calm and enjoyable in a way as well. I don't know how much further it had to go before it really picked up, but it didn't seem too bad.

Also Red Steel. While I will not say it is a great game, I wouldn't say it was awful. I played through several stages of it before I got bored of it. It was certainly nothing spectacular or great, but it was OK. I think my opinion of it was unhindered by any positive expectations at all. I hate console FPSs and never really expect much out of them. Also nothing I heard about Red Steel lead me to believe it was going to be anything more than pure refined crapicite. Had I had any positive expectations at all I would probably be harder on it.
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December 11, 2006 10:44:16 PM

Info, if you don't like FPS games on consoles, then why in the world did you play Red Steel? Just do me a favor and don't play Call of Duty 3 on the Wii. Really, it's for your own good.

Zelda got going after about an hour-plus, but it was an hour-plus of running around chasing cats and baby cradle-stealing monkeys while dealing with hornet's nest and a bunch of bratty kids. All I have to say is, if I wanted to herd goats, I'd go back to visit my in-laws in Connecticut.

Yet, I after that first hour or so, I found myself under the spell of Twilight Princess. Great control scheme for the Wii, solid graphics, and a pretty exciting adventure. Funny how that works...
December 12, 2006 1:20:15 AM

Ehh, personally I found Prey to be a very enjoyable experience...
One of few this year ;) 

SIN Emergence was my PC disappointment of the year ;) 
Runner up; the FEAR Expansion which doesn't even support wide screen!!

The biggest disappointment overall has been Red Steel, such anticipation for SUCH a HORRIBLE game :oops:  But that was almost certainly because I was expecting more Keyboard Mouse level control from the Wii-mote than its capable of :lol: 
December 12, 2006 1:21:29 AM

Hold on a sec! First off, you sound like a really mad person! Did someone chainsaw you a bit too much recently in Gears? While I do agree with your opinion on the game Prey, I DO NOT agree with your verbal assault on BLACK. BLACK, while it may have been lacking in some aspects, was a fairly decent FPS that had me hooked from the start. While the story may not have been worthy of a screenplay. it did have enough to relate to why the He** you were doing what you were doing. The only bad thing I have to say about BLACK was that it ended WAY too soon. I mean, just as you are about to go and kill the first terrorist boss, the game ends. Just like that. But other than that, leave it be. How about you game-bash on some crappy games like Sneak King, or the newGundam game for the PS3. Heck, how about Genji even! While they might not have had the hype behind them, some loyal fans were royaly disapppointed when they released!
December 12, 2006 2:06:23 AM

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How about you game-bash on some crappy games like Sneak King, or the newGundam game for the PS3. Heck, how about Genji even! While they might not have had the hype behind them, some loyal fans were royaly disapppointed when they released!


Major, I don't bash those games because 1) I haven't played them and had no interest in playing them, and 2) to me those games carried no expectation of being quality titles. As I wrote in te column, there are plenty of bad games out there but I reserve my ultra-venemous prose for games that have promise and potential and are hyped to be more than just another crappy Bomberman title. Black qualified as such a game, therefore it incurred my wrath.

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BLACK, while it may have been lacking in some aspects, was a fairly decent FPS that had me hooked from the start. While the story may not have been worthy of a screenplay. it did have enough to relate to why the He** you were doing what you were doing. The only bad thing I have to say about BLACK was that it ended WAY too soon. I mean, just as you are about to go and kill the first terrorist boss, the game ends. Just like that.


I don't care for short single player campaigns. And I hate abrupt endings and shallow stories, too. Hate them. Black was, to me, a lot of gunfire, explosions, and weapons packed into a game that was a predictable point A to point B story with no point C. You wrote it yourself: it just...ended. Aaarrrggghhhh!!!!!

Of all the titles I thought people would beat me up on, Zelda, Call of Duty 3 and Prey were at the top of the list. But Red Steel, Superman and Black? BLACK!?!?!?!?!
December 12, 2006 2:14:42 AM

I somehow have liked the slow beginning in Zelda. You are learning controls in the first hour or so, and it is good to have it "nice and slow"
December 12, 2006 3:14:57 AM

I played Red Steel because a friend of mine bought a Wii and I went to his release party. That was one of the games he bought because he wanted to see how well the controls worked in an FPS.

Again, I'm not saying it was great, but I really do have to wonder why anyone expected it to be anything special...

All the previews I saw for it that went in any depth made it sound like bottled cockmongler. I mostly put it in out of morbid curiousity and was (slightly) pleasantly surprised that it did not make me want to take it out immediately and cleanse it with holy fire.

Also I'm not saying I expect much out of Superman either, but your avenue of complaint seemed a bit hypocritical. Largely I agreed with this article.
December 12, 2006 3:31:44 AM

Hey Major... you are observant that the writer Rob is "mad". In his writing(s) he puts much more opinions and emotions than fact and in-depth experience.
December 12, 2006 5:21:22 AM

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Hey Major... you are observant that the writer Rob is "mad". In his writing(s) he puts much more opinions and emotions than fact and in-depth experience.


"That's right, Ice Man! I am...mad."
--Maverick

Awe, Sunny, just when I thought I had won your over with my indictment of Sony for the PlayStation 3 launch fiasco, you come into the discussion and play the role of Johnny Bringdown. Come on! Have you played Twilight Princess? The first hour is slow, we can all admit it. It bothers me, but it may not bother other people like MxM. I can respect that. But Black...I dunno...still having trouble with that one...

As for Red Steel, it had the pedigree (Ubisoft) and the hype (first exlcusive FPS action title for the Wii) to indicate it would be more than just an average game. Infornography didn't fall victim to the hype, and I applaud him. I took the bait and I suppose I should partly blame myself.
December 12, 2006 4:01:02 PM

You know, this might be a readable article if it was the 10 worst games, with clever comparisons, jovial jabs, and interesting insights, but this is the wordiest rant all year, and I read Wolfgang Gruener's Technology Disappointments of 2006.

Best-of articles start off, "I/we have been debating this for hours, days, even months..." This article on the other hand began, "I thought about the first thing that wasn't perfect, had someone kick me in the balls, then I wrote pissed." Come one, worst box art!? The most telling sentence is this article, "I've griped about this before, but it's worth mentioning again." No it isn't.

You are mad. "And the award for Awesomely Bad Editor goes to..."

(I may have been kicked before writing this. :wink: )
December 12, 2006 4:50:38 PM

This is exactly why you don't read countdowns / reviews / previews / rants / raves about games by non-gamers.

2006 is ending, yet he/she can not shift focus from the last few highlights of the year. What does this tell you? It should hint at this half-a$$ed attempt to write this article......

My thoughts:

Prey is disappointing ?? Are you mad? It was the only clever FPS to come out in years and it's actually enjoyable. As noted by a previous reader, please do not comment on games categories you obviously don't care for. I'd put Gears of War up here for it's 6 WHOLE hours of gameplay.

Worst Shooter:

Black, again wasn't ground breaking but proved challenging and fun. Must every be a Half Life 2 for your approval? (which wasn't even that enjoyable, riddled with LOOK-AT-WHAT-PHYSICS-CAN-DO puzzles). A shooter should be hectic, challenging and rewarding. This game has a VERY nice balance of all three. Ammo is sparse and are more rewarded when you perform clean kills (head shots), which is easy to do at first but harder later on. There's even a variety of enemies cleverly placed to prevent you from mowing through the game with any one weapon (though I must admit, that riot shield is a little too strong). The gameplay keeps you ducking, reserving ammo and forcing you to make good decisions. This sound like a bad shooter to you?

My vote goes to: WW2 Combat: Iwo Jima (PC) tied with 25 to Life (also PC)

Worst Sequel:

Sounds like Activision hurt your feelings by 'switching sides' and playing console favorite. While I have to agree the single-player is passable, the on-line play is fun and the addition of vehicles + lots of play modes adds lots more fun. Please attempt to use some facts or at least better judgement.

Worst Movie Adaptation:

Your review only carries some weight here because 99% of them suck, it would be harder to find good adaptations. And even here you spite a decently executed game like Godfather with your ignorant ramble.

Worst GTA Knockoff:

Again listing two really enjoyable games just because they didn't break the mold. If they are to be a bad knockoff, they must at least suck. And if you played either with the intent of experience and not knock, you'd feel the same too.

Worst Launch Title:

While I do not believe Red Steel is spectacular in any fashion. The novelty of experiencing a new medium in controlling a game far outshines a game designed with traditional gameplay in mind and completely sucking. My vote goes to Mobile Suite Gundam Crossfire (PS3) - which I hate to admit because I'm a big Gundam nerd :) 

Worst Non-Gameplay feature:

I hate to admit, I almost completely agree with you here ...almost. Except for the stupid 'Achievement Unlocked' system message for Xbox 360. While most game developers are smart enough to only allow the message during non-gameplay, while others (like Test Drive Unlimited) allow the message to pop up, momentarily pause the game and causing you to lose control and lose in whatever you attempted to win.

Worst Dialogue:

Not much to vote in here, except my vote goes to NFS: Carbon (which would also win the worst cut scene award).

Worst Box Art:

He had a good point for the Blitz box art about LT and Romo, too bad it fits the game perfectly. :/ 

Worst Platform Snub:

Well I guess CoD 3 could qualify, except he made it clear that it sucked?

Worst First Hour:

My vote goes to Okami, which has not only a 15+ minute intro, but a one button forced interactive introduction with snail slow text and 2-frame animations.

Worst Delay:

................................

Worst Commercial:

YES! Finally, something agreed upon! But then this commercial set up frame work for the other cooler ones (the crows, and rubix cube)

Worst Bugs and Glitches:

NEED FOR SPEED: CARBON, a game that crashes with left mouse click, crashes randomly, crashes when you breathe, crashes when you stand up, crashes when you think dirty thoughts (you get the idea). This is obviously the EA machine chewing in and spitting out ports. blegh

EDIT:

I was typing all this in while at work, so I didn't catch the editors responses. Good thing because him explaining why Black is bad (short campaign and bad story) would have caused me to use vocabulary more suitable for adolescent teens. (WTF!?!*)
December 12, 2006 6:27:37 PM

Thanks for calling foul on the whole Call of Duty off the PC debacle. I have suspected that the PC version was left off simply because there was no way to put out a good version of the game in the time allowed, and discriminating PC gamers would have looked at the drivel foisted off on the poor console folks, thumbed their noses, and closed their wallets on such dreck. I love CoD, and while I would have loved a good CoD2 for the PC, I would prefer none at all to a port of a pretty crummy console game.
December 12, 2006 6:51:27 PM

So somebody got torn to shreds on this article.... :arrow:

Did I mention how enjoyable Prey is? :wink:
But then I didn't wait years for it.
I.... saw it, bought it, played it, briefly got stuck in the cube puzzle, loved it, AND left it.
December 13, 2006 1:40:23 AM

You know, I just realized something when I looked at the beginning of the article again (forgetting I had read most of it earlier)...

You just called 2006 a bad year for gaming. o_O

A bad year!?!

2005 was the bad year, & mostly just for the holiday releases. 2006 has been equally graced throughout the year with very high quality games from just about every obscure genre you thought (don't know why people claim it, but they always do...?_?...) was dead back in last decade.

I mean we even had MULTIPLE GRADE A FLIGHT SIMULATORS! =O

Though I did largely ignore consoles, so maybe you're on to something in that transitional year's last stand?
December 13, 2006 3:04:37 PM

Overall I would say that 2006 was not a great year for gaming, or at least my gaming, but it wasn't terrible.

I've found myself going back and playing games that came out years ago out of desperation for a good PC RPG. Where are KOTOR 3 and Fallout 3?

Yeah we had Oblivion and it was great, but that was one game. ONE. And it completely lacked in party dynamic and interesting characterization, oh and its leveling system was totally borked. It had fun combat and plot however.

Now for strategy games 2006 was great. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War Dark Crusade (gods that is a long title) and Company of Heroes proved that innovation can indeed happen in the RTS market. Earlier in the year we had Galciv 2 which showed that MOO3 did not kill the 4x space genre.

2007 is shaping up to be an awesome year for my two favorite genres... RPGs and strategy games. Dragon Age is looking awesome, We got Mass Effect coming on the 360 which might convince me to buy one. We have Supreme Commander and Spore coming our way as well. Also I intend to give WOW a shot finally when the expansion comes out. There is also something probably coming from THQ releated to the Warhammer 40k license based on the teaser that shows if you beat Dark Crusade.

Also the wii will be widely available and me and the virtual console are going to share some quality time next year.
December 13, 2006 7:19:14 PM

I disagree with most of what Rob Wright wrote, particularly on the first page.

Prey was an awesome game, everyone who's played it says so. The action was killer, the visuals were georgeous, the levels were imaginative, and the main character was likable. His reactions to the story were geniune. There was more than enough low-intensity puzzles to satisfy, the weapons were very original and well done, plus the spirit walks and means of dealing with death were certainly fresh. The very idea that earth was seeded only to be harvested is a great place to begin an epic tale. This game failed no where and belongs on no worst list, even if you didn't get into it.

In slamming Black you advertise a lack of perspective. Black works on a piece of five year old hardware and yet looks very close to this gen. Overall the game was short but the levels were large and took a good long time to get through each one. The attention to weapons was slavish and the presentation is slick and fast. The health system is nifty. The story was engaging and the manner in which they told it was clever, economical, and different. I can't wait to see if Criterion is going to take their formula to a new console.

Also, if you don't like the Cole Train from Gears of War then you're just dead inside. Dead like a dead whore who died doing deadly drugs. That dead.

I'll have to finish this later. I've become too sad for you to continue typing.

:( 
December 13, 2006 7:43:30 PM

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I disagree with most of what Rob Wright wrote, particularly on the first page.


Well, you're in the right place. Join the club, Dyno.

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Prey was an awesome game, everyone who's played it says so.


Uh, not quite. A lot of people liked it, but some people thought it was just so-so and were disappointed by it, like me. Check it out:
http://forumz.tomshardware.com/games/modules.php?name=F...

As I wrote before, it's not a bad game; I just expected a lot more.

As for Black, I don't think there's much more to say on the subject. I respect all y'all's opinion. I just didn't care for the game at all.

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Also, if you don't like the Cole Train from Gears of War then you're just dead inside. Dead like a dead whore who died doing deadly drugs. That dead.


Nicely put.
December 15, 2006 9:57:05 PM

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Overall I would say that 2006 was not a great year for gaming, or at least my gaming, but it wasn't terrible.


While not as iconic, you went on to describe just as many (if not more) games of high quality as we saw in 2004. And they were largely in the "dead" genres.

That alone is enough for me to consider it a good year. Though, as your perspective shows, it was a fairly average year for mainstream genres.
December 16, 2006 1:24:39 AM

Mostly it was the lack of many good PC RPGs that left me wanting.

I blame Bioware. They went and focused on the Xbox and Xbox360 and they produced the majority of good PC RPGs. Thats why I am looking forward to Dragon Age so much.

I have high hopes for 2007. Beyond just video games, I just got a new job that pays twice as much, I'm going to be buying a house, and things are falling into place for some other personal goals. But the games are the icing on the cake.
December 19, 2006 2:28:05 PM

id say 90% of the games released in the past year were rubbish and only a small %10 were worth playing!!!!
December 19, 2006 3:42:25 PM

Yes, but compared to the 1% of most years, isn't that refreshing?
December 19, 2006 4:06:06 PM

:lol:  Good point. Though some years are better than others, this is a repeating theme that we should be expecting by now.
December 20, 2006 12:33:30 PM

just thought I'd comment on the Prey discussion. I attend a local smaller sized lan party several times a year. We discussed the curiosity behind Prey for quite some time before release, and EVERYBODY tried the demo.

Around 4-5 people from the LAN party bought the game right away upon release (not including myself), and one of them was trying to sell it a few days later. I confess they did not elaborate on WHY they hated the game so much, but NONE of them liked it, and it was very quickly dumped as a potential for a new FPS for lan gaming.

Just thought I'd point out there are a good number of people thoroughly disappointed with this game.
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