21
Dec
2012
Top Ten Worst Video Games of 2012
2012 Year End Lists
Jhaan
2012 was a high profile year for video games. What was undoubtedly the Year of the Trilogy started off with a lot of promise, with gigantic franchises like Assassin's Creed and Mass Effect coming to a close. To say that expectations were high this year would be an understatement. Unfortunately for some games, however, those sky-high expectations were never met: in fact, some didn't even come close. These were the top ten video games of 2012 that didn't quite hit that mark.

10. Final Fantasy XIII-2- Square Enix

Oh how the mighty have fallen. How could a video game with the prestige of Final Fantasy and the production value of Square Enix be such a big flop? At its core, Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a very good-looking game with semi-addicting combat. It provides just the right amount of challenge sprinkled with team customization that'd make Pokémon jealous. However, the qualities surrounding the combat that used to define the series--the grandiose storylines, superb characters, and memorable cutscene sequences--are all blatantly missing from Final Fantasy XIII-2. The storyline is a haphazard mess that contradicts itself more often than it doesn't (as most bad time traveling stories do), and its characters are incredibly cliché to the point of exhaustion. It's almost as if Square Enix purposely didn't cater to their audiences, instead going out of there way to enhance a gameplay system that few outside of the Final Fantasy diehards would bother experimenting with. In the end, the problems with Final Fantasy XIII-2 can be summed up with the title of the game itself: "2". Square Enix lost touch with its fanbase and attempted to turn in an obvious cash cow by creating a non-final "Final Fantasy".

9. Resident Evil 6- Capcom

It's unfair to call this game a complete flop"”it's more like 3 separate mini-flops. Resident Evil 6 attempted a huge undertaking when it created 3 intersecting storyline campaigns in 1 game. It compounded the problem when it decided that each campaign would try and tackle a different shooter sub-genre. The result was 3 campaigns that lacked soul and conflicted in tonality, and didn't quite achieve the sub-genre magic it set out to capture. While storytelling innovation oozed out of the game, execution did not, as Leon's horror story often felt out of place when juxtaposed with Chris' action story or Jake's thriller (and vice versa). Add to that a simplified gameplay system and an uninspired multiplayer, and you've got a massive disappointment from a game that was supposed to catapult the Resident Evil series back on top of the horror shooter genre.

8. Street Fighter x Tekken- Dimps/Capcom

Crossovers in video games often feel like gimmicks in every genre but the fighter. The reason why is that fighters are essentially glorified "what if" scenarios. "What if a US ex-marine from the 80s fought a scantily clad Russian wrestler? Who'd win and how would he win it?" Crossovers contribute to that notion by providing even more "what if" possibilities, this time to icons players can easily identify. Street Fighter x Tekken was supposed to follow that crossover train of thought by pitting the two greatest fighting franchises against each other. Instead, the crossover's gimmick-ness was readily apparent, as the polished mechanics that define the two separate series were nowhere to be found in this game. The combination of gameplay of the two series led to a lack of identity for this fighting game. Balance in fighters' strength was nowhere to be found, as some fighters were straight out unstoppable, while others couldn't hold a candle to a boxer with no arms. The hackneyed storyline as an attempt to justify the crossover only confirmed how gimmicky this game was, and how little innovative substance it actually contained.

7. Zombii Attack- Nintendo

To be fair, games that come packaged with a Nintendo console shouldn't have high expectations. They're usually simplified games with no storylines that serve to show the capabilities of Nintendo's gaming consoles. That being said, when you create a package game with an incredibly popular subject in gaming, aka ZOMBIES, you can't help but have some expectations, not the least of which being high entertainment value. As one of the Wii's swan song package games (that was later released as a downloadable WiiWare title) Zombii Attack had little to no entertainment value, was a glitchy mess, and had incredibly messy graphics (the main character looks like a turd in a jumpsuit). Controls felt like they came from a smartphone game you'd download from the app store, and certainly did not show off the capability of the system. Zombii Attack is on this list because despite its short list of expectations as a game, it couldn't fulfill a single one, and we're left with a game in which KILLING ZOMBIES ISN'T FUN.

6. Orion: Dino Beatdown- Spiral Games

Just look at that name. Seriously, take a minute to breathe in the air, tell your mother you love her, then look at that name again. "Dino Beatdown" should've been a tremendous success, particularly if it's a game that doesn't take itself seriously and simply allows you to wreck dinosaurs left and right. And that's exactly what it did"”it just didn't do it well, at all. Spiral Games screwed up in every way imaginable, accidentally giving the dinos horrifying advantages through glitches, as raptors teleported and t-rex's walked through walls. Sound often cut out right when a dino was about to pounce, and the weapons you were given only annoyed the rampant beasts. Really, the only chance you stood was to fly a jetpack into the atmosphere and hope that space takes you before your flesh was ripped limb to limb by a pterodactyl. Spiral Games employees later went on Reddit to describe the horrible working conditions at their company, and it totally shows in this game. While a hilarious metaphor for working at Spiral Games, Orion: Dino Beatdown is a pretty awful game.

5. Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified- nStigate Games

Another big franchise graces this list, and it does so for the same reason the others did: obvious cash-grab rushjobs. Call of Duty often boasts huge production values, incredible immersion and complex plots, all aspects that first-time developer of the series nStigate Games decided to forgo to rush the game out and capitalize on a hot license. The single-player campaign was about an hour long, with the missions being strung together randomly and lacking the typically brutal storyline of a war soldier. The multiplayer is riddled with bugs that have players spawning right in front of enemies or floating in mid-air, and the maps are embarrassingly tiny. Most unfortunately of all, the Playstation Vita has shown that it is capable of creating compelling first person shooters, so Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified is a bad game with nothing to blame but themselves.

4. Ninja Gaiden 3- Team Ninja

Perhaps the worst trilogy finisher in The Year of the Trilogy, Ninja Gaiden 3 showed just how important the original creative teams are to their respect IPs. The first Ninja Gaiden game without creator Tomonobu Itagaki was definitely a cut below, as Team Ninja lost focus as to what made the franchise so special in the first place. The stark danger that protagonist Ryu Hayabusa typically faces was sorely missing: the game's action was severely streamlined, enemies were harmless meat bags who posed no threat to the player, and boring action sequences often left players going, "Okay, time to get back to the gameplay already". Even the boss fights are recycled several times throughout the game, which punctuates an incredibly confusing storyline that lacks direction and shows just how out of tune with the Ninja Gaiden universe Team Ninja is without Itagaki. The fact that this was supposed to be the cap to a proud trilogy only compounds what was undoubtedly one of the biggest disappointments in gaming this year.

3. Amy- VectorCell

Amy was a promising game with an intriguing concept that ended up falling flat on its face. As Lana, you are tasked with escorting a gifted girl named Amy through a zombie-infested world. The problem is that Lana is slowly transforming into an undead throughout the journey. The intriguing (and reportedly groundbreaking) concept of Amy was the balancing act with Lana's infection that players would endure; you'd switch to Amy, who's immunity to the zombie virus would temporarily heal Lana, to continue to escort, then determine when to switch back to Lana to fight off zombies while continually turning into one yourself. The more undead Lana was, the easier it was to blend with the other zombies, which was supposed to open the door to a plethora of gameplay options. The problem with this was that Amy had terribly poor game design and level layouts. This led to awful camera angles, shoddy hit detection, and broken mission objectives. Unfortunately, the story of Amy doesn't pick up the slack, as the streamlined experience doesn't even reveal basic information (who are these girls? What is this virus??). In Amy, frustration begets innovation more often than not, making this an incredibly difficult game to enjoy.

2. Game of Thrones- Cyanide

"Other media adaptations do not translate well into video games" is no longer an excuse with the advent of the smash-hit video game The Walking Dead in 2012. Heck, it was barely an excuse when Arkham Asylum came out a few years before that. So an IP with the rich history and story content of Game of Thrones should've KILLED in the gaming world, provided the surrounding gameplay was acceptable enough to support it. For what it's worth, Game of Thrones does have a phenomenal story, and main characters Mors Westford and Alester Sarwyck are as complex and engaging as any character you'd find in the book or television show (which makes sense, the script was reviewed and edited by George R R Martin multiple times before the final draft). However, it seems as though the story is being told with the bravado and talent of a middle school student, as each compelling storyline moment is hindered by an awful bug, awful voice acting, or awful gameplay mechanics. These huge breaks in the game's production (in one scene your character talks to a wall) really take you out of the moment, and effectively ruin player immersion. The mediocre gameplay and blatant copying of Bioware's standard mechanics seal the deal for this subpar adaptation.

1. 007 Legends- Eurocom

The tagline for 007 Legends was as follows: "As a Bond 50th anniversary gift to players, we give you 007 Legends! Play through Bond's classic moments in this thrilling adventure down memory lane!" And yes, moments like Bond being interrogated with a smelting laser by Goldfinger and Bond fighting Trevelyan over a gigantic satellite in Cuba are found in this game, but the 007 Legends adaptations of these memorable events seem more like insults than entertaining homages. 007 Legends plays like a cheap Call of Duty game, and thus the famous Bond set pieces are skewered with endless shooting. Worse still is the little-to-no explanation as to what exactly to do, which you can't discern because the game does NOT precisely follow the events of the movies. But the true insult comes from the total neglect of well-established Bond-ian lore. When you first meet Pussy Galore and she asks you your name, Bond simply replies: "James Bond". A game with buggy, repetitive gameplay that prides itself on being a nostalgic gift to fans, then goes ahead and doesn't accurately depict the events that bring said nostalgia, deserves the top spot on Review to be Named's Worst Video Games of 2012.


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