Friday, December 30, 2016

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2016 Awards - Top Five Biggest Disappointments

I used to house a lot of hostility towards the industry and gamers in general in the past with SuperPhillip Central. Over the 8+ years of the site, I've since cleaned up my act, as hey-- there's enough hostility in the industry and the hobby already, so why add to it! That doesn't mean I'm sunshine and happiness each and every day, as this awards category for the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2016 Awards shows. We're talking about the games that disappointed me the greatest from those I had the honor (or dishonor?) of playing.

5) Street Fighter V (PS4, PC)

Despite its core gameplay being anything but a disaster-- instead, just as good as ever-- the disappointment from Street Fighter V came from how little content the game had when it originally released in February worldwide. The lack of modes, including a traditional arcade and story mode, meant that for players who weren't that interested in seriously investing in the competitive portion of the game didn't really get their money's worth. The launch was also plagued with connection issues as well as rage quitting problems. While some of these problems have been fixed, to say that they didn't affect Capcom's bottom line and the interest of both beginning and middle-of-the-road players would be foolish.

4) Mekazoo (PS4, XB1, PC)

This entry on my list is one that is very much a personal disappointment. Mekazoo is a 2.5D platformer where you switch between different animals to solve challenges and progress through the various levels of the game. It's actually a well designed game, but the biggest issue which comes blatantly apparent in the latter half of the game is how many bugs, glitches, and performance problems the game currently has. While these have been promised to be amended and soon, it absolutely ruined my fun for an indie game that I was very much hyping. Until these problems are patched, Mekazoo is a game I won't be returning to.

3) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan (Multi)

Platinum Games can be hit or miss with their licensed projects. While Transformers: Devastation was an awesome action game set in the Robots in Disguise universe, a game like The Legend of Korra wasn't so special. Sadly, Platinum Games' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, Mutants in Manhattan falls in the latter "not so special" category. With four Turtles on screen at the same time and some bizarre camera angles, it is challenging to see what is going on. This makes dodging and evading attacks, something that is of the utmost of importance to survive, something immensely difficult to do. The randomness of the mission design, boring level design in general, and less-than-stellar action makes for a Turtles game that is about as appetizing as Turtle Soup.

2) Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness (PS4)

One of my favorite JRPGs of all time is the incredible Star Ocean: The Second Story and its PSP enhanced port, Second Evolution. Since then, the series has seen another appealing entry with the PS2's Till the End of Time, a not-so-great fourth entry last gen, and now, this year's Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness. Between the inability to skip most scenes (just standing around or walking about with impatience, since for the most part there are limited "true" cutscenes to be found), the difficulty to see what's going on in battle, tedious backtracking, and vanilla characters, Star Ocean's latest is far from the greatest. The lack of a sizable budget definitely shows and certainly hurts the overall product. Though I completed the game, I really have no desire to return to the world occupied by protagonist Fidel and his bland companions.

1) Mighty No. 9 (Multi)

It took approximately three million dollars to make... this?! Mighty No. 9 is a lesson in Kickstarter of not spreading yourself too thin, which is exactly what Keiji Inafune did with Mighty No. 9 by wanting to put the game on seemingly every platform under the sun. Plus, I don't think starting a completely different Kickstarter while your first one hasn't even launched a final product is a good idea... Regardless, Mighty No. 9 suffers from various performance problems, but its main issue is that it just doesn't do anything special. The controls work well enough, but the level design is unimaginative at best and is pitiful at worst (looking at you, museum level with no checkpoints until the end, and you, level with the pink spinning turbines). Waiting so many years, hearing so much PR speak, and it all led to this... unacceptably bland game is why SuperPhillip Central picks Mighty No. 9 at the biggest disappointment of 2016. (Well, gaming-wise.)

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