Last week, we covered our Games of the Year. While it was definitely a good year for gamers, it wasn’t without its disappointments. What were your biggest disappointments of the year in terms of games and game-related events.
Jenni: I was totally and utterly disappointed by Wii Music. I was mildly interested in the casual music title when I first started hearing about the variety of instruments. In practice, I have no idea what Nintendo was thinking. After a recent gathering at a friend’s house, who had rented Wii Music, we decided to try it out.
Unfortunately she hadn’t unlocked any of the songs, and after playing four of the five songs available, “Do Re Mi”, “My Grandfather’s Clock,” “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Daydream Believer,” and finding they all sounded alike with our admittedly rudimentary, impromptu group, we decided to disband. Really, it was for the good of all people concerned and within earshot. After playing “Daydream Believer”, I found myself asking, “You didn’t actually pay money for this, did you?”
Spencer: Few people had high expectations for it, but Away: Shuffle Dungeon was disappointing. Mistwalker started off with charming art and a clever concept of shuffle levels. However, shuffle dungeons aren’t fun dungeons to explore. Away: Shuffle Dungeon is more like a moving maze than an action RPG. Miss an exit and you have to wait for it to shuffle back into place. Mundane combat and a lack of puzzles didn’t help Away: Shuffle Dungeon either. Since Majesco flip-flopped on the release date and there was a surge of quality RPGs on the DS Away: Shuffle Dungeon didn’t have a chance to disappoint many.
Nintendo was also a letdown this year, but only in the West. In Japan Nintendo has a balance between titles like Wii Music and core games like Fatal Frame IV. They even makes niche games there like Captain Rainbow, which is designed for fans of Nintendo’s obscure history. I can understand why Nintendo of America passed on Captain Rainbow, we wouldn’t “get” most of the references. However, Nintendo also dropped the ball on many other games like Disaster: Day of Crisis, Kousoku Card Battle: Card Hero, The Glory of Hercules, Bokura wa Kaseki Holder, Stafy, and Soma Bringer. One thing these games have in common is they’re new franchises for the West and it seems like Nintendo of America isn’t interested in publishing anything that isn’t established here. It’s not like Nintendo of America had an overcrowded schedule this year either.
Perhaps, Nintendo thinks adding untested franchises will dilute their brand. If Nintendo’s 2009 calendar, which shows they are only publishing Pikmin and Mario Power Tennis ports in the first quarter, is any sign we could be disappointed by Nintendo of America next year too. The funny thing is Nintendo of Europe is brave enough to pick up at least some of these games which is a change from the past.
Louise: I try not to get too hyped up about games, but I couldn’t help myself when it came to Too Human. An action game full of tons of loot sounded like something I could definitely get into. The controls took a while to get used to, but as soon as I finished the first level, I was hooked. Unfortunately, the game just went downhill from there.
Too Human was too short. Just a handful of levels and one really long one that dragged on too long with its cut and paste design made me question if the hype was worth it. The fact that all of the really good loot demanded repeated playing of the same map really killed the game for me. It would have been fine if the maps were interesting, or if there were more variety in enemies, but by the fourth or fifth time playing the same map, I loss any interest in the game.
For a game that was billed as the next Diablo, Too Human was just too short and repetitive to live up to its hype, which is why it’s my disappointment of the year.