Debate of the Day: What’s the Game That’s Disappointed You Most?

I was thinking about this the other day when I was going through my N64 games. For all my treasured memories with that system, sifting through my old titles reminded my that it wasn’t always a walk in the park.

I’d love to hear your commentary on a game that really let you down, but first I’ll start.

I was obsessed with Pokemon as a kid. Moreso than I appear to be now since I was actually PLAYING it 24/7. I thought nothing was cooler, but then I started to wonder, could they make a Pokemon game for NINTENDO 64? My 12 year old brain almost exploded just thinking about it, and I thought it must surely be on the horizon.

First came Pokemon Snap, and as cool as it was to see Pokemon in 3D, all I could say was “WHY ARE THEY NOT FIGHTING?” Taking pictures of Pokemon? Who the hell wants to do that?

Then came Pokemon Stadium, and I was practically peeing my pants. A real live Pokemon game on Nintendo 64 at long last! Look at that box art, this is going to be epic!

But epic it was not. The game was a shell of what I thought it would be, with no single player campaign or anything of the sort. Rather you could just do battle with your existing Pokemon via a Game Boy “Transfer Pak” (no need for a “c” I guess). Worse yet, the battle animation were AWFUL. I literally turned the game off when I told my Hitmonchan to Super Punch a Snorlax and he proceeded to stand still while a little fist icon appeared on top of Snorlax across the map. What a waste, and a decade later there STILL ISN’T A GOOD CONSOLE POKEMON GAME.

That’s my story, what’s yours?

  • Glenn

    Simpsons game (wii). What a fucking turd

  • Sam

    Probably force unleashed 2. The first one was just so damn good, storywise at least. But man that sequel was terrible.

  • Nick S.

    Final Fantasy XIII. I’m not just trying to add vitriol onto an argument that has already been hashed and rehashed, but the combination of (i) hype, (ii) convoluted storyline, (iii) f-ed up battle mechanics (yes, I would like to control individual decisions in a battle, thanks), (iv) painfully linear game play (I get that we were on the run, but come on!) and (v) I really liked having towns and NPCs that we could interract with and that would send me on tasks and stuff…

    … Please don’t disappoint me, Skyrim (Wan Kenobi)… you’re my last hope!

  • MZC

    the first Fable, they advertised it as a game were you could be good or evil and it would effect how the game played, which was an out right lie. I played the game and realized that no matter what you did in the game the beginning, middle(with exception of 2 or 3 side quest), and end were exactly the same, your alignment had no effect what so ever. From that point on I promised myself I would never play another Fable game again.

    oh and Sam, in my opinion the first Force Unleashed was just as crappy as the second, I hate glitchy games and that was among the worst.

  • Anthony G

    Spider-Man 2. It promised to be a sandbox experience similar to the Grand Theft Auto series. It was repetitive, boring, and cheesy. I could hardly stand the acting, story lines, or the fighting. I would say Prototype took the same concepts and made it way more enjoyable.

  • andrew

    Dead Rising. I bought an xbox 360 for that game specifically. Made it through about half an hour before giving up on it.

    Luckily CoD was there to rescue me.

  • Dzuksi

    Alien vs Predator (2010) – After brilliant part 1 and fantastic part 2, you would think that AvP franchise can’t fail (at least as a FPS title). But boy did it fail – story was not existent, there was no immersion, AI was dumb, level design boring, an atmosphere forced. Gameplay was simplified with objective mark always visible, and guiding you like a retard.

    Duke Nukem Forever – well you know the story.

  • Sam

    You’re right, the first force unleashed was glitchy as hell. But if you could look past that, it was a really well told story. Second one was a steaming pile of excrement, thus my disappointment. You may say the first was a steaming pile of excrement as well, and technically speaking you may be right, but it was a steaming pile of excrement with a good story.

  • MZC

    you know I felt the same way about Knights of the Old Republic 2, it was just a reskined, glitchy, unfinished version the the first game but it had a good story so I actually looked past it and thought it was a decent game as a whole, maybe I’ll give the first Force Unleashed another try and see if I can feel the same way about that.

  • Rosstopher

    I really enjoyed Spiderman 2. While it was repetitive, it was the first sandbox hero game, so it had to figure out ways to tell the story and not be three hours long. Zipping through the city was a treat in and of itself, as you upgrade your swinging ability, some of the speed and stunts you can perform are stellar for a last generation game. Spiderman 3 was the disappointment to me.

  • Baker

    Gears of War 2. The first Gears of War is one of my favorite games of all time, and the sequel didn’t capture what made the first game great.

  • Rob J

    I know force unleashed one was a relatively decent game and all but seriously….between wii and kinect there is not one decent lightsaber combat game….I want jedi outcast style first person lightsaber batttles.

    Also FF13…that sucked

  • I’m gonna catch a lot of flak for this one, I think, but to me, that would be Uncharted.

    I found inFAMOUS totally by accident one day, browsing the PSN Store. Downloaded the demo, loved it, and commented with a couple of friends that I was going to buy it. A couple of them said “yeah, inFAMOUS is really nice… oh, if you liked inFAMOUS, you’re gonna LOVE Uncharted”.

    Since more than one friend had a similar opinion (and since I really did love inFAMOUS), I gave it a whirl. Good thing I traded in some older games I wasn’t playing when I bought it, so it only cost me (literally) 78 cents, cause that’s about what it’s worth.

    A bland, clichéd, played out Indiana Jones-esque story, awful controls, with a (really bad) genre-shift at the end and a terrible, boring, heavy-handedly railroaded last battle — that about sums up my opinion of the game as a whole. The only redeeming quality of the game was Nolan North’s voice acting, which was flawless as usual.

    Oh, and what was the deal with those “hint” prompts? If the your game level design makes you feel like you need to constantly bombard the player with hints on where to go or what to do next, maybe you should consider redesigning it. Worse than that, most “hints” were either useless or completely obvious; I think I thought “oh, cool thing there was a hint there” maybe twice during the entire game.

    And don’t get me started on the genre shift. I almost gave up on finishing the game when I got hit with that. Actually, the only reason I didn’t was because I saw it was ending (I was at 85% or so), so I figured I’d finish it up to see if I could maybe understand what all the hype was about. I didn’t.

    The only other game that irked me as much was Fallout 3 (and I am a BIG fan of RPG titles). It was fun at the beginning, but got progressively more boring, up to the point where it became absolutely not fun at all, so I quit half-way through. The story was really good, as was the setting as a whole, but the gameplay just killed it for me.

    I guess Uncharted disappointed me more than Fallout 3 because of all the hype. It was marginally fun at its best, boring and unimaginative for the most part, and downright horrid at times. I really can’t “unrecommend” it strongly enough.

  • Guy Incognitus

    Just recently Test Drive Unlimited 2. The premise to it is great (it has a story and you can buy properties all over the open world to trick out) but everything else is sooooo horrible I just couldn’t keep playing. I hope EA takes the ideas from TD:U2 and makes a Need for Speed game with them.

  • Rexram

    No contest – Mortal Kombat for Super Nintendo.

    Saved up my allowance for weeks (which involved quitting my habit of pumping quarters into the arcade machine) and bought it the day it came out, just to be treated to the neutered, kid-friendly game that WalMart STILL made my mom purchase for me. I didnt buy the game for the uppercuts and sweep kicks, but that’s all that was left when I finally got it home.

  • xXburekXx

    dead rising, i remember watching commercials and videos of it with excitement, when i got my 360 2 years ago it was one of the first games i bought, and also one of the first games that i have ever traded in

  • wraith

    Another one for Final Fantasy XIII. Linear game play in a FF game come on. Battle system is boring and was dumb’ed down for the younger crowd. Overall the game had the feel that it was designed to to appease people that didn’t want to take the time to grind experience and explore a world like past FF titles. Also, Hope might just be the most annoying FF character of all time.

  • uncle phil

    Kingdom Hearts 2. It just felt like some strange excuse to mash these different franchises together. Not fun for me at all.

  • Ed

    Most definitely Bioshock. That’s when I stopped listening to the press for opinions. I played for quite a bit and found nothing redeeming about it at all. The gameplay was stale, I was already sick of the whole silent protagonist thing that just follows orders like he got lobotomized. Bioshock 2 definitely improved the gameplay…but the story looked meh yet again. Hopefully the 3rd time’s the charm for this series, as Infinite looks quite intriguing.

    Bonus mentions: Half-Life and Halo.

  • Jim Lahey

    I agree with uncle phil, KH2 was so disappointing, with a really bad story and the tendency to slash/hack everything in the game. It was additionally disappointing after how amazing the first game was.

  • Mikey

    Ultimate Alliance 2

    The first one was awesome. It had a ton of characters and unlockables and a lot of places to explore. The 2nd one, on the other hand, felt like a complete downgrade. Characters only had 2 costumes (4 for the first one, which also had upgrades depending on the costume), only 4 special moves (compared to like 8 or so from the first one), and the maps felt way smaller. I wanted it to be a game I could play for hours on end with my friends, but I couldn’t play it for more than 10 minutes without getting furious

  • Steve

    Just in the past year alone there have been some really hyped games that looked awesome and then came out and were just godawful: Fable 2, Force Unleashed 2, Epic Mickey, Brink.

    @Cobra: dude, those are fighting words! Saying Uncharted AND Fallout3 are bad games … wow.

  • Diablo

    I’m gonna date myself here…”Total Recall”.

    I had really weird parents. They were hugely conservative about movies, TV, and video games but for some reason, they never noticed what I read. I had an old dude as a neighbor who one day gave me a box of books….which had a bunch of PK Dick novels and short stories. I became a HUGE fan.

    I even somehow sneaked into the movie theater…to watch a pretty cool film that had NOTHING to do with the original story…but it was still wicked awesome. THREE BOOB MARTIAN HOOKER!!!!

    In some weird way, my grandmother bought me it for NES. I never even asked for it knowing my parents would say no (my parents thought “Duck Hunt” was too violent). Plus my grandmother would 9 times out of 10 get me a game for the wrong system or some real annoying church game or something.

    I was literally drooling when I unwrapped that thing on Christmas. As soon as I did, I hid it to make sure my folks didn’t see exactly what it was (I told my dad it was a learning game).

    I remember plugging that bad boy in….

    For pure destruction of my innocence and hope in the world…that game takes the cake. I don’t think I ever got past the first fucking level and I pretty much stopped playing video games for a long time.

  • Phat Daddi

    I remember Rise of the Robots being the biggest disappointment for me and my brother. We rented it with all the excitement teenage game nerds could muster and then just felt utterly appalled at the horrible controls. Not just that, but first player could only control the main antagonist. What the hell? This isn’t the first Street Fighter!!

  • MASS EFFECT 2! What a watered down piece of mud this was. the action was just as limited as the first (which was all it needed to be btw) but now the weapon/armor upgrade etc has been torn down almost completely. i played it for a night and gave it away. double boo for that shit!

  • Fornicator1

    Superman Returns! The preveiws were so promising and then the game dropped. Played that vomit an hour and took it back. Luckily I got full stor credit.

  • Leah

    In response to your last statement, some of them were fun at least. If it’s fun to play, I couldn’t care less about the details. Although they were weird, I decided that they were still interesting enough to try and play. A good example is the radio mentioned in one that screams ‘help me’ at three in the morning.

  • @Steve

    LOL, I thought more people would have problems with me dissing Uncharted and Fallout 3.

    Fallout 3 isn’t a bad game per se — it’s more a gameplay issue *I* had with it (as in, I didn’t like the gameplay). The setting and the story behind the whole Fallout series is very interesting, but not something I find particularly compelling (at least, not enough to keep me playing when the gameplay bothered me so much).

    Uncharted, however, I found completely bland and uninteresting as far as story goes, and the gameplay (as I highlighted on my first comment) is utter crap. I seriously wanted someone to point out to me what they find so good about it, on both accounts. I played it until the end, and felt completely cheated. It wasn’t enjoyable, it was almost a chore.


    Mass Effect 2 is bad? Wow… I mean, I agree wholeheartedly with the armor/weapon thing, but those are just minor bothers next to the epicness of the story and everything else.

    That’s IMO, of course. To each their own. But if you liked the first, especially the setting and the overarching story, I think you’re cheating yourself out of a very enjoyable storytelling experience.

  • Not really about the debate, but more about your picks. I personally loved Pokemon Snap, which although was easy is still bundles of fun. Also, Pokemon Stadium was awesome!
    I was sort of disappointed about how Persona 3 turned out. I guess I just expected too much and the game play turned out to only be okay.

  • LT

    Driver 3 – I was amazed at the literally awesome cut scenes. And then all of a sudden it went all dumb as hell in the game. Graphics retreated to freakin 3D lameness and the controls were atrocious.

    Also LA Noire. Although I loved the look & feel of solving crimes/stories, it was repetitive as hell.

  • Soji

    I must agree with Persona 3… I am a huge fan of Persona 2…and Persona 3 is just…. not as original and clever…. I guess I was also hoping for too much

  • Rasa

    Chrono Cross, for me, was an undeniable let down. I was so incredibly amped for the sequel to Chrono Trigger but was disappointed by an uninteresting story and an overpopulated cast. The only redeeming quality was the game’s music, which I listened to endlessly. Otherwise, it didn’t deserve to be labeled the sequel to Trigger imo.

  • AJizzle


    This was the first game i remember FAILING to even RESEMBLE the hype. Hype wasnt a problem in pre N64 / PS One days for me. No interwebs / no hype. But Shenmue promise the most interactive world and awesome fighting and crazy gameplay…. UGH…
    While it looked AMAZING at the time (as many dreamcast games did) it was a walk-and-talk affair. Walk here and talk. Walk there and talk. Only in the right order. Fighting was weak and the story was bland (I believe it was supposed to span 6 games originally). Only “awesome” part was the forklift race.

  • Anton

    You know what? Mine would have to a pokemon game as well,

    “Hey You! Pikachu!”

    I was overjoyed at the thought of being able to talk to Pikachu, JUST LIKE ASH! So I begged and begged and begged my dad to rent it for me, he finally caved. We went down to ‘Hodges’ Video, rented Hey You Pikachu, took it home, and was promptly disappointed. The voice recognition was terrible, (big surprise) and in order for the game to work well at all, you needed COMPLETE SILENCE. Fill a room full of 12 year olds and tell me how quiet it is. Now add the ability to yell at pikachu. ’nuff said.

    Also, loved pokemon snap, was hard to catch pictures of some rarer pokemon.

  • Jason

    Every Pokemon debuting on the newest system. This time it’s Black and White 2, but Black and White 1 were disappointing as well. Same old crap we’ve been doing for ten years with, of all things, beauty contests. Nintendo and Game Freak need to get with it and make a damned WiiU based Pokemon MMO.

  • Alaric

    Halo: Never really been a fan of shooters, and if it lived up to the hype, it should’ve converted me. It didn’t.

    Dragon Age 2: Recycled areas (this cave looks SO familiar!), bland story not worthy of a huge, expansive game, very tiny world to explore, half-assed combat, and a lousy ending. And Fenris. He so pissed me off.

    All 3 Fables: The usual stuff; insignificant alignment choices, promises made and broken, attempts to innovate gone south, lame-ass stories (first was passable), cheesy voice acting (the exception being John Cleese in the third one), and mostly, the overabundance of sim elements. I play fantasy games for the adventure, the thrills, the glory! If I want to play life simulator game, I’ll play any iteration of the Sims.

    RE Gaiden/RE Survivor/ RE: Outbreak File2: First one was a dumbed down T rated disaster with crappy gameplay, second one was just too short, too shallow, and too easy, and the third…well, the final scenario is just too f#%^ing long!

    Third Birthday: The long awaited sequel to Parasite Eve 2, part of a franchise that was only overlooked because the first one was released too close to FF7. Inconsistent gameplay difficulty, hard controls, main protaganist Aya Brea conveniently given amnesia so they don’t have to go too deep with her character, which resulted with her not only being shallow but also coming off as a battered housewife type, the story had NOTHING to do with anything that happened in the past two games, other than the inclusion of two characters from the last one. The plot was brain-fracturingly confusing, and finally, the ending. No spoiler alert here, I don’t want people playing this game period: AYA DIES! And it’s the player who kills her! That was just heartbreaking. Also, the clothing that deteriorated as she took more and more damage, came off as insulting.

    Star Wars KotOR 2: The conversation/romance dialogues were complex and disorganized, and the ending felt rushed, a scrap-rush if you will. Give me a proper KotOR sequel for the Kinect that actually works, then I might be happy.

    Spirit Camera: The story was too short and too simple, it lacked many of the elements that made the Fatal Frame series awesome, and while the AR elements of finding clues and fighting ghosts anywhere were interesting, I think the limitations of the hardware are also responsible for crippling what could have been something great.

    One more thing: Final Fantasy + Skyrim = FFXV = WIN