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Games Review 2010 – Part Two: The Bad

Games Review 2010 – Part Two: The Bad

Games Review 2010 - Part Two: The Bad

Games Review 2010 – Part Two: The Bad

2010 has been a fantastic year for gaming, that is undeniable. From reading the first part of our year in review it’s clear for all to see that 2010 has brought us some of the best games ever released, on all platforms. Not every game released has gone on to become an instant success though and this year has thrown up a number of titles which underachieved rather drastically. Yep, there have been some absolute shockers over the past 12 months, even games which had all the ingredients to be brilliant failed to deliver the goods. In the second part of our Year in Review we will be detailing some of the games which should have been so much better.

Star Wars: Force Unleashed II (360, PS3)

As massive fans of the first title and genuinely felt that it was one of the best depictions of the Star Wars franchise ever seen in game. The story of Starkiller was as believable as they come and at times we found ourselves questioning why it didn’t make it onto the big screen… it probably would have been more enjoyable than the last two films of the franchise. Come the end of the game Lucas Arts left the possibility of a sequel wide open and as work on Force Unleashed II got underway Star Wars fans around the world prepared themselves for what should have been the best game to date.

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What they got was a hugely disappointing attempt to squeeze some more cash out of the Starkiller storyline which felt like it had been written by people who quite simply didn’t care. The lack of any engaging aspects and dull storyline made playing through the game almost unbearable, thankfully it didn’t last too long given the shocking 5 hours play-time. The game had everything needed to be brilliant and had they decided to put some effort into actually improving on the previous title and not just resting their achievements they may have enjoyed more success than they did with the Force Unleashed. We just hope Lucasarts learn from their mistakes and put some more time into the inevitable third release in the series.

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days (PS3)

When the original Kane and Lynch was released it received a number of mixed reviews but it was clear that it had bags of potential, people fell in love with the anti-heroes that were the downbeat Kane and completely insane Lynch. They really put bad back in badass with their no nonsense way of dealing with their slimy underworld foes.

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Surely in the time between the original and this sequel some fine tuning of the overall mechanic would have been performed but no.On release people were left flabbergasted at just how little had been done to improve on what could have been a gem of a game. The gameplay remained startlingly similar to the original and, discounting some snazzy new video angles and shooting methods, it didn’t look much better either. To top that off the developers relied too much on the protagonists to carry the title through, with very little in the way of a storyline to keep players entertained. Not only did the game fail to improve on its predecessor but it actually felt worse, it was a huge step backwards and one that may just have proved a fatal blow for the Kane and Lynch series.

Aliens Vs. Predator (360, PS3, more)

There comes a stage in every game, movie or programs life where it’s time to call it a day. That stage came a few years ago for the title that has managed to break into all three forms of entertainment. Predator was one of the classic 80’s movies that will be etched in the memory of every Arnold Schwarzenegger for an eternity. The sequel wasn’t too bad either as Danny Glover battled through the streets of America against outer world creatures hell bent on the destruction of human kind. Alien was another of those timeless classics so for movie producers around the globe combining them both seemed like a smart idea and it worked reasonably well for those looking to turn off their brain and enjoy an action movie.

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Of course, as with most successful films it was only a matter of time before the gaming world was handed its very own new Aliens Vs. Predator title, and we wish it hadn’t happened. So clunky were the controls, so linear was the storyline, so dated were the graphics on the console version that at times we found ourselves begging to be abducted by aliens in the hope we wouldn’t have the play another minute of the game. The only saving grace were the enjoyable multiplayer modes but even still, AvP proved to be a substandard release which should have been so much more.

Final Fantasy XIV Online (PC)

The Final Fantasy series has been massive over the years and each new title released has been met with frenzied receptions from gamers around the globe. The in-depth and compelling story-lines over the years have proven the biggest selling point of the franchise but the developers decided that in 2010 they would try something a little different. For the first time in the history of the Final Fantasy series they decided to develop an MMORPG title, naming it Final Fantasy XIV. It’s reported that huge amounts of cash had been invested in the development of the game and fans around the globe were eagerly anticipating its release in the fall of 2010.

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Talk about a complete disaster… On the day of release the thought on most peoples minds was one of complete outrage at how shoddy and unfinished the game was. The game completely bombed and was met by widespread criticism from a number of gaming magazines and websites. PC Gamer gave it a 30% rating with reviewer Tom Senior stating that "the kindest thing that can be said about the Final Fantasy MMO is that it has a good intro movie." Although few reviews were as scathing as Tom Seniors the general consensus was that the game was far from ready for release and at least another 9 months was required before it was. To be fair, Square Enix seem to be addressing many of the concerns raised about the game in a set of large monthly patches running from November to February, lets hope they don’t make the same mistake twice or this game could appear on next years list too!

Dead Or Alive: Paradise (PSP)

What was the deal with this game?

Back when we were younger the Dead Or Alive series was a close second to the brilliant Tekken in the world of fighting simulators. With a number of cool characters and an engine which allowed for some fantastic fighting sequences it was also the competitive players game of choice, even finding itself of prime time gaming TV show "The CGS" – which picked up DoA4 as one of the games played. Yet, after a few years something wretched has begun to happen to the franchise, so wretched in fact that it’s become something of a portable soft porn application.

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Dead Or Alive: Xtreme Volleyball was one of the first steps towards the horrific game it has now become but the processor of the Xbox helped sell the e-sex appeal of the stunning, yet oddly, attractive women as you watched them lounge around the beach in their skimpies. Released on the PSP, Dead or Alive: Paradise didn’t quite have the same selling point and instead what were once beautiful looking virtual babes became disproportionate, garment-less hags. That isnt a game killer if it offers plenty of features to keep players occupied but sadly DOA:P fails on that front too… You can play some casino games, umm, beachball… you get the idea. A shocking excuse for a game and one that the developers should be ashamed of.

Some truly bad games in that list… but there is more. Tune in next week for the third installment of our year in review.

Part One: The Good
Part Three: The Ugly

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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