The ILG Coint & Plick Awards

Coint & Plick 2010 Most Disappointing

Posted in 2010, Most Disappointing Games of the Year by trdn89 on June 13, 2011

Time for some disappointments.

Every voter was given the option to list their most disappointing game of the year on their ballot. For some, this meant their least favorite game; for some, the one that didn’t live up to their expectations; for some, the reasoning was completely personal.

There was a surprising degree of diversity in what people considered “disappointing”… here’s the gamut:

EZ Snappin
Physical Infirmity – My “biggest disappointment” was that I tore my biceps tendon so haven’t been able to do any motion controlled gaming since the Spring – no Wii, no trying out Move or Kinect. Honestly, I played so few games this year that I didn’t get a bummer. I ended up frustrated by FIFA11 after 50 or so hours, but it wasn’t broken or shit or anything.

Princess TamTam
Civ 5

abanana
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth – Before its release the new gameplay mechanic (WALKING) sounded neat but this was the weakest entry in the series. Also: sexism and gaystereotypes.

Ledge
Angry Birds – Despite the effort I put in (and enjoyment I surely got at the time), I have really no interest in going back no matter what additional content they provide.

Will M
Red Dead Redemption – Sure, the good parts are good, but in usual Rockstar style the bad parts are the fucking worst. There’s a reason that westerns don’t have 15-minute chase-cam horse-riding sequences. Especially since it looks nice for about 5 minutes and then it’s alllllllll the saaaaaaaaame. The exposition is brutally boring/bad. The ending is robbed of any gravity due to the epilogue bit (hey, u can keep going lol). Ugh. Bugged me so much. I am officially over these dudes’ games, GTA IV and now this.

jamescobo
Super Mario All-Stars – Seriously, Nintendo? You can’t even see fit to include Super Mario World or even, like, the levels based on those scannable Mario 3 cards on the disc? Fuck, you can’t even include more than TWELVE MINUTES OF MUSIC on the soundtrack CD? FUCKING NINTENDO IS FUCKING US AGAIN FUCK. *buys on day one anyway*

cozen
Vanquish – wish it had more unlockables, even just silly stuff like big head mode cheats, stupid suits or fuck-off-big guns. because the core /game/ aspect was so strong it wasn’t that big a deal mind

Nhex
iPhone/iPod touch gaming – I’m finding myself really fascinated with the growing market and possibilities as much as anyone, but time and time again, I’ll play games feverishly recommended by others in the iPhone thread and come off bitterly disappointed, as just about every game is basically a slightly tweaked (but not significally so) version of a game I played on the DS or Kongregate or Newgrounds years ago. I think people are just amazed at the ability to play on your phone? Worst offender – Game Dev Story. Drop7 gets a pass, though, that one was really good.

Polyphonic
Rock Band 3 – Maybe a guitar controller with eight million buttons wasn’t the greatest idea of all time? Also the song list is awful. I think the era of the music game is over.

ilxor
Monster Hunter Tri – The concept was great, but in the end I shelled out $40 or so for a game that I couldn’t get into because of clunky controls. Currently in line to be thrown up on eBay first chance I get… sorry, Monster Hunter Tri.

Zora / Surfing at Work
Civilization 5.

Mitch Krpata
Limbo – In a sense, I’m disappointed with myself for not seeing what everybody else saw in this game. Others saw a brain-busting platformer swaddled in the clothes of a tragedy; I saw a pretentious, anachronistic platformer with delusions of grandeur.

ZS
Mass Effect 2 – The big selling point for this is supposed to be the characters and the great story, apparently. But the further I got into the game, the more I found myself beginning to sympathize with Roger Ebert’s tripe about video games and art (I eventually stopped playing before I get too close to the edge, but fuck you for that, bioware, party foul). I am confident that someday soon a giant game company will release a game with dialogue that is elevated above the 9th best action film of 1996, but Mass Effect 2 isn’t it. (IMO.) And when the wider non-gamer public is told from a variety of sources that Mass Effect 2 is supposed to be some great achievement in videogame storytelling, it does a great disservice to games in general. It comes across like an excellent 6th grade play. Unfortunately, aside from the story, all that’s left is a really easy action game and a whole bunch of planet probing. The graphics and sound are great, I’ll give it that.

Autumn Almanac
Gran Turismo 5 – The designers refused to follow any known UI convention and the game itself were boring. Even the 3D is underwhelming.

Alan N
Online Play in Dragon Quest 9 – Again, one of my peculiar old man hangups, but as a rule of thumb, I have never gotten much out of multiplayer. unless there are people physically in a room with me, anyway. I was pretty disappointed when I found out that it was a major component of dq9. it’s likely the reason I haven’t gotten around to playing yet, despite having dutifully bought the game already. (or used a voucher on it, anyway.) I love the series but I play dq games like I read a book: usually before bed or during my commute in 30min intervals. it’s a soothing, hermetic activity for me and online gaming is the opposite of that experience.

Euler
none, or the usual “that I didn’t play enough 2010 games”

Salsa Shark
Epic Mickey

JimD
The PS3 – Only got round to buying one this year, and haven’t enjoyed anything I’ve played on it. The exclusives all feel distinctly last-gen, and the machine itself is just…I dunno, too Japanese? When games aren’t, any more. So there’s a mismatch of form and function. Plus the update mechanisim is plain ridiculous. Oh i dunno, it’s just shit.

A Passing Spacecadet
One Chance (Flash) – Am I a sourpuss if my gaming disappointment is something I didn’t even spend any money or more than 40 minutes on? I just wanted this to be so amazing after reading glowing reviews. ILG was the one gaming-aware online community I’m on that didn’t go nuts over the genius of this thing. A profound artistic statement subverting gamers’ expectations, or a Choose Your Own Adventure book with about 3 choices and a handful of inscrutable and identically bleak endings? So much potential, but it just didn’t hang together for me.

Bamcquern
1. Increased use of libraries or plug-ins I’ve got to download and games that look like they’ll run on my computer but actually run just as slow as Duke Nukem Forever would (the 2d runs as slow as 3d complaint)
2. Games and game websites (like Jacob Buczynski’s) previously available on the internet 1 or 2 years ago have disappeared without anyone archiving them.

A pair of intense disappointments apiece for the two NOIR MOVIE GAMES:

jjjusten
Alan Wake – Oh good, an unlikeable self-involved college professor simulator! I should have known that this was going to be awful when in the first hour of gameplay I got to experience one of the laziest moments of game design ever: yer walking around on an island, nothing weird has happened yet so you are just poking around and you decide to see what happens if you walk into the shallow water clearly accessible by the side of the dock. Now, this is obviously a spot the designer doesn’t want you getting too far into, because they haven’t bothered with any sort of swimming/wading mechanic because hey why would you if you set your game ON AN ISLAND. So they do the obvious rational thing, and decide that if you walk into the water YOU EXPLODE. It gets worse from there.
This is one of the lamest “spooky” games ever to splat onto the console market, no scares, nothing interesting, ENDLESS wandering through dark forests while the same 6 scary dudes attack you, puzzles designed for children or the mentally infirm. When one of the most derided budgets titles of the year (Deadly Premonition) manages to outshine you in every way YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. Oh yeah, the story? It’s dumb as hell. The protagonist? He’s a boring self-involved dick! The whole game is built on a ultra-lame flashlight mechanic that is functionally the same as lock on machine gun spray, but for added fun you get to do that for a while and then you get to shoot the baddie with a regular gun. Of course there are also remarkable innovations like the grenade launcher flare gun and the regular grenade flashbang grenade. Oh wait, did I mention the timed running and jumping third person platforming sections? oh yeah, they suck a whole lot too. As an added bonus you get a couple of product placement moments that are so blunt that you can’t help but hear the designers laughing at you in the background while they line their pockets with corporate Kroners or whatever they use where this game is from. If that wasn’t enough, you get a cliffhanger ending
which fills you with the one true moment of yawning horror in the game, the terrible realization that they are undoubtedly going to make a sequel to this unmitigated piece of shit.

Jordan
Alan Wake – Reviews/reactions were so disappointing I ended up not playing it at all after eagerly anticipating.

Zappi
Heavy Rain – 10 hour B movie with terrible script, subpar voice acting and occasional button presses. strip away the cgi and you’re left with this http://www.kongregate.com/games/kthorjensen/press-x-to-jason

GM
Heavy Rain. Heavy Rain sucks you in with an intriguing approach to controls and narrative and then mercilessly mocks your interest with some of the worst storytelling since Kevin Smith’s last movie. Turn on Cinemax After Dark, pop any random Saw on the Picture in Picture, and mindlessly fiddle with a DualShock 3 for an analogous experience.

And the winner and undisputed most disappointing game of the year is

Mordy
Final Fantasy XIII. Terribly boring game. I was all psyched to get back into Final Fantasy (the last ones I had played were 7 + 8). Instead I got this ‘on the rails’ cliche fantasy world whose tutorial took about 30 hours too long to finish. Meh.

if
Final Fantasy XIII – in one way it was actually above expectations in that the combat was really, really fun and addictive, but basically almost everything else about it totally sucked, so it still has to take it.

Lamp
break-ups are hard. but break-ups are rarely interesting to those on the outside of them, the slow deterioration of a relationship rarely manages to achieve the kind of external significance that demands a readers or a viewers attention. particularly the sort of amicable, tectonic break-ups that involve a slow and steady drifting away, of an alienation of affection that eventually swallows any passion, the sort of break-up that happens more out of mutual disregard than anything else. so in that spirit my most disappointing game of 2010 was Final Fantasy XIII which, six months after purchase, was discovered still in its original shrinkwrap in a box of old wii games while i was moving out of my old apartment. previously i would’ve at least made the effort – limned my frustrated nostalgia and worked-up arguments over the merits of this or that mechanical system. but this was the year i didn’t even care enough to try. i gave the game to my 17 yo cousin instead.

Coint & Plick 2008: Most Disappointing Games

Posted in 2008, Most Disappointing Games of the Year by trdn89 on February 23, 2010

Before we finally crack the top fifteen, it’s time to pause for a page from the ‘can’t-please-everyone-all-the-time’ file. When I asked people to submit their votes, I also asked them to name their “most disappointing” game of the year. This wording was intentionally vague; I didn’t necessarily want to hear what folks thought the WORST game of the year was, I wanted to see what got under their skin and annoyed them. Unsurprisingly, virtually all the games mentioned as most disappointing also made the countdown. Here’s a selection of responses to our hall of shame:

Brilliam: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots
I loved MGS, MGS2, and MGS3… in that order. What made them great was that they pushed the definition of player and console and game to the absolute limit. Not only does MGS4 fail to do this in the same way, it’s also got one of the most irritatingly preposterous scripts in the history of script…and not in a way that’s amusing, like MGS1 and 2. Definitely one of the most interesting games I played and beat this year, but hardly one of the top 20.

Edgertor: Fable II
Though it was my first real RPG, Fable II ended up giving me the feeling I’d wasted my time. The ‘relationships’ you have are stupid and superficial, the customizing dopey and the only good thing about it is that you get a dog… and (if you’re good) he gets fat and blonde after forty hours. Who wants a fat blonde dog?

Cozwyn: Grand Theft Auto IV
it braek my haert : (

Abanana: Professor Layton and The Curious Village

Forksclovetofu: Spore
Fable II captured my girlfriend’s attention, not mine. No More Heroes looked great and played poorly. GTA IV could’ve been retitled ‘Arduous FetchQuest 08’ for all the pointless running around it forced me to do. Mirror’s Edge left me cold from the demo. L4D requires gamer friends on your schedule. There were various and sundry disappointments on game systems for me this year, but nothing was so completely ‘ennnhhhh’ as the much anticipated and greatly depressing Spore. I wanted the ultimate god game and instead got to run around collecting whiskers and earlobes on a beach while avoiding giant gorillas… and that’s not even as fun as it sounds! When the best part of the game is your character creator, something’s gone wrong in Wrightland.

Mitch Krpata: Mirror’s Edge
Rarely have I played a game that seemed so self-contradictory, especially one with such capacity for greatness. But it almost forced you to play it in a sub-optimal way in order to progress. I hated every second I spent with this game and it’s like a six-hour game. There weren’t all that many seconds to hate. Intellectually, I appreciated what Mirror’s Edge was doing, and that’s why I kept booting it up with a sense of optimism — optimism that was destroyed within minutes of beginning any new play session. On a gut level, I just couldn’t stand the game. I swore at it. I stared in disbelief. I came close to re-enacting the control pad stress test on more than one occasion. And lest you think it’s just because I was bad at it — and I was very bad it — the game was designed in such a way that I couldn’t help but blunder my way through it without ever having to master it. It was the worst of both worlds.

Nhex: Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
Sad because it’s still the same great core game as the other excellent AW games but Nintendo went with a more serious and dark tone, removing so much of the charm and personality of the series. I can totally understand why: they did three critically acclaimed, great games that the general public didn’t seem to care about, so they made an earnest attempt to broaden their reach (ironically by narrowing it to appeal to the “core” gamer, with a dystopian setting), but it doesn’t quite work. It’s a shame this series hasn’t really been a massive, popular breakout hit – it’s still very accessible.

EZSnappin: Little Big Planet
I love the idea of LBP and its community creations but the platforming is a floaty, imprecise mess. An absolutely stunning and charming and magical game that I only wish was fun to play.

Iroquois Pliskin: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots
Not only was it barely a game in the latter half, it simply lacked so much of the inspired and imaginative gameplay that made the previous games in the series such classics.

John Justen: Fable II
Where do I start? Simply put, Fable II is a good-looking, ambitious game with frustrating mechanical flaws and nearly irredeemable gameplay due to its terrible core design flaws. There is enough to like about this game that I still put it in last place on my top ten but the myriad problems make it infuriating. The “vault” mechanic is just straight up broken. If I can leap 100 feet down from a cliff, I should be able to jump off any fucking ledge I come across where I can see the ground. The last time I remember this many “find-the-sweet- spot-and-move-until-you-can-do-what-you-want” difficulties was with the old LucasArts games. Having a game built on social interaction with NPCs and then making those NPCs idiots is bullshit. Making the logos for the expressions in the quick menu incomprehensible and indistinguishable is no good. Having your character’s reactions change at the last minute so that instead of giving a thumbs up you do a bloodthirsty roar for no reason – not okay. The fact that I made more money on the first level of woodcutting than I did in the first fifty treasure chests I found is insane. Implementing a sale mechanic for the shops that makes it possible for you to sell the items you just bought back to that exact same place for a considerable profit the very next day is not an “exploit”. It is bad game design and it makes any actual hard work unrewarding and pointless. The shitty control issues and moronic terrain issues are counterbalanced by the fact that the game looks great and that the dog is adorable and actually offers a lot of great mechanical elements (the dig spots, training, etc.) but the damnable, inescapable problem with this game is that there seems to have been no effort to make the basic structure of the in-game world make any sense.

Jamescobo: Resistance 2
PROTIP: I hear this game has invisible enemies.

CraigG: Me
There’s been so many games that haven’t been as good as I expected but none of the ones I was REALLY hyped for were shit. I was looking forward to Fallout, which was better than I expected, I was eager for Mother3 which delivered in abundance. I guess one game that I really hoped would be better – not so much that the game is flawed, but that it didn’t “grab” me in the way I’d hoped, was Super Mario Galaxy and that’s an ’07 release. Still, I kept hoping for a 3D Mario that gets me like Mario 64 did when it came out and I actually do think SMG is better than Mario 64. So I suppose my biggest disappointment is… myself, really. I don’t understand why I don’t love Galaxy more than I do. 😥

Lamp: Persona 4
Not because of the game, but because it got stolen from the lobby of my building the last week of December, presumably by one of my neighbors. Who else would be able to get into my building and the area where the post office dude leaves Amazon packages? Sure, Fable II fucking sucked but this is some next level bullshit. IMO richass brokers stealing my Aliens boxset and Xbox games is a sign of the times 4 real.

Coint & Plick 2009 Disappointments – Special Mention

Posted in 2009, Most Disappointing Games of the Year by trdn89 on February 15, 2010

As promised, before we do the top five I wanted a little palate cleanser. So here is the final “biggest disappointment of the year” vote. It is presented unedited and in HD.

Jjjusten: FUEL

Oh you jerkoff goddamn dirtbags.

This game is maybe the biggest missed opportunity of the decade. What makes is worse is that all the pieces are there for this to be great, which made me wait in vain for the patch that never arrived. It is hard to believe that this broken piece of crap didn’t get some post-release developer loving, because the problems are so glaring that they really arent up to debate. A shortlist:

1. Ok, so you have huge freeroaming postapocalyptic wasteland. Awesome right? Well, it might be if there were ANY OTHER PEOPLE LIKE YOU DRIVING AROUND. Instead, with the exception of a very few chase cars, all you get is big fuck off instant crash you heavy earthmovers and trucks. In what world does this decision even begin to make sense.

2. So the races are pretty great. Except for when they are completely broken and unwinnable. For example, when you hit some mystical spot on a dirt hill where no motorcycle can manage to get up it (well, with the notable exception of all the mortorcycles getting driven by the other AI dudes). Oh and by the way, if you fuck up even once, you can’t win the race. Ever. (Apparently Codemasters decided NOT to include the rewind function in this because uh) Which brings us to:

3. FUCKING LOAD SCREENS. Before every race. After every race. Also, whenever you restart a race. Long boring load screens with the same looped terrible music EVERY TIME. Yet, this is a game where there are no load screens when you are out driving randomly over a supremely detailed sandbox open world. Again, how is this even possible? What manager didn’t stop this at the design stage. IT’S MADDENING.

4. The open world, which I am sure took the majority of game design time is utterly and completely pointless. Outside of some weird achievement mining, there is no reason whatsoever to go outside of the camps where the races occur. Ever. And if you’re thinking that if nothing else, driving to the next camp on the world map will have some purpose, sorry, no, you are wrong. Because the people who made this game hate you, and apparently themselves, because the drive to the next camp will take approximately 20 minutes, unless you manage to hit some huge impassable unmapped canyon that will require you to backtrack and add another 10 minutes to that. On the way, if you are really lucky, you may have the opportunity to run into some of the random gas cans scattered about or crash into a wrecked vehicle that gets you a new horrible livery for one of the cars you may or may not have.

5. Oh and yeah, those gas cans? One assumes that they are a means to keep your car going, and so you have to keep on the edge of your seat making sure you don’t run out of fuel, right? Nope. FUEL is actually in game money, so hitting those gas cans gets you incrementally closer to buying some new piece of shit car that despite its superior rankings in the stats department might be far worse than the one you are driving. Oh yeah, and by the way, most races require you to pick from a shortlist of specific cars, so if you pick the wrong one, you dont get to play. Not the right KIND of car, but the actual specific model of 4 wheeler with the exact dumbed down road warrior name. For no reason. So guess how often you bother buying a car because it looks like fun vs. waiting until you hit the next roadblocked race and buying the required vehicle. yep.

I tried, good lord I tried to make this game have some tiny shred of value, some playability, any reason whatsoever to grind through the terrible parts to get to the good stuff. But you just can’t do it, the flashes of enjoyability are so sparse that it just can not justify the terrible endless hours you have to sink into it.

Never buy this game, no matter how cheap it gets.

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Coint & Plick 2009 Most Disappointing Game

Posted in 2009, Most Disappointing Games of the Year by trdn89 on February 15, 2010

#1 MOST DISAPPOINTING GAME OF 2009 – NOBY NOBY BOY – 5 Votes

JeffLevine – To say I was really looking forward to Keita Takahashi’s follow up to Katamari Damacy would be an understatement. After all, it was Katamari Damacy that got me back into gaming and/or finally got me to take gaming seriously as a hobby. It was the reason I got a PS2, the very first console I ever bought by myself. That this LONG anticipated game ended up being some kind of pointless, interactive screen saver that didn’t hold my interest for an hour; yeah, that’s what I would call a disappointment.

Polyphonic – I don’t know what I was expecting, but I definitely was hoping that this would be a game and not just a doodad.

S1ocki – This has got to be a practical joke.

Also voted for Noby Noby Boy: Edgertor, Abanana, Forksclovetofu

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Coint & Plick 2009 Most Disappointing Game, Runner-Up

Posted in 2009, Most Disappointing Games of the Year by trdn89 on February 15, 2010

SECOND PLACE FOR MOST DISAPPOINTING GAME

SCRIBBLENAUTS – 3 Votes

CraigG – Maybe if you’re not lazy and unimaginative as I am, this is a good game? I had watched the videos and was drawn into the widespread hype of this amazing database where you could conjure up anything and solve puzzles in any way you can think of. Then I played the game and discovered two things:
1) If I tried to think of a Rube Goldberg way of solving a puzzle that it couldn’t understand (which was more often than not), it wasn’t going to work.
2) Once you solve the first twenty or so levels in the most obvious way possible, you no longer feel the need to be bothered being creative.
And since this game is about the joy of being creative, I put it away forever.

Antexit –What a load of crap. It’s like a Resident Evil puzzle that has 50,000 pieces and only five of them do anything.

JimD – Woah, it’s all true! I can spawn, like, ANY OBJECT I CAN THINK OF! This RULES! Oh, except none of them really do anything. And everything looks ugly. And suddenly I can’t really think of anything other than LADDER or GUN.

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Coint & Plick 2009 Most Disappointing Game, 3rd Place

Posted in 2009, Most Disappointing Games of the Year by trdn89 on February 15, 2010

Two way tie for THIRD MOST DISAPPOINTING GAME

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 – 2 Votes

Roberto Spiralli – PES 10 was a terrible, terrible piece of shit. FIFA 2010 is also quite bad but got C+P points from me on account of at least being playable.

Sondrangerbot – I really wanted this to be the FIFA 2010 of 2009, but it was more like the FIFA 2006 of 2010.

BRUTAL LEGEND – 2 Votes

EZ Snappin – I love Tim Schafer (Psychonauts may be my game of the decade) and I love metal (\m/). The problem is that I hate RTS games and despite everything Schafer said in interviews, Brutal Legend is a goddamn RTS at heart. I finally ended up watching a friend play so I could enjoy the humor without hating the experience. It just isn’t the same.

Mordy – What a shitty year for games.

Coint & Plick 2009: Disappointments

Posted in 2009, Most Disappointing Games of the Year by trdn89 on February 15, 2010

Time for some disappointments.

Every voter was given the option to list their most disappointing game of the year on their ballot. For some, this meant their least favorite game; for some, the one that didn’t live up to their expectations; for some, the reasoning was completely personal.

There was a definite consensus “most disappointing game”, but several games pulled single votes. Let’s start with those.

HIDERE – I pick BEATLES: ROCK BAND, not because of the game itself, but because the Rock Band peripherals (especially the guitars) are so incredibly fragile that leaving them alone for only a few months at a time causes them to stop working. I have two guitar controllers and they are both utterly broken despite not abusing them in the slightest. Yes I DID change the batteries, no that DIDN’T make any difference: one controller doesn’t respond at all and the other registers a strum if a light breeze wafts across it. This renders all of the Rock Band games completely unplayable and that’s really a shame because I love the concept and general execution of these games and would have bought Beatles: RB if the controllers actually worked. As it stands? Fuck this overly-fragile shit that costs nearly as much as an entire game system.

WillMCALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2 – It wasn’t the game itself that disappointed me, but the utter mess leading up to its release. Certainly the loss of dedicated servers for PC was a blow; there’s nothing better than renting a server for you and your friends to always guarantee a good game. For me, it was the whole F.A.G.S. scandal that really put it over the top. I have a hard enough time dealing with that shit on Xbox Live, but for a company to put out that kind of hate speech in their advertising completely put it over the top. I don’t know if I would call it a “boycott,” but that nonsense certainly determined that I did not care how good this game was: I wouldn’t be paying for it.

jamescobo – The FIGHT NIGHT series used to be one of my favorite series in games, and then ROUND 4 came out and uh well things changed in a hurry. Whoever designed the training minigames deserves to be sent to the hottest circle of hell.

IfKATAMARI FOREVER was a real bummer. “If it ain’t broke” is all well and good with something as awesome as Katamari, but _literally_ the same levels as the 360 version from a couple of years ago? Daaaaaamn.

Euler – More than anything it was NOT HAVING ENOUGH TIME TO PLAY video games this year.