Tuesday, December 29, 2020

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2020 Awards - Top Five Most Disappointing Games

It's an annual tradition at SuperPhillip Central's year-end award show to talk about the best and brightest in gaming each and every year. It's also an annual tradition that we take the good with the bad--the yin with the yang, if you will--and publish one less-than-stellar category to have your game nominated for, and that's SPC's Most Disappointing Games of the year. 2020 is no different--save for a grotesque pandemic threatening all of us, of course--so the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2020 Awards rolls on with the games that didn't live up to the hype, as the kids say, didn't live up to their potential, or were just plain bad! Here are the list of "winners" as we count down the Top Five Most Disappointing Games of 2020.

5) Minecraft Dungeons (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC)

We begin with a game I was immensely excited for, as the idea of a Diablo-like dungeon crawler set in the world of Minecraft appealed to me. Now, while Minecraft Dungeons cannot really be described as a poor offering from developer Mojang, it's hardly what I'd call a solid effort. The balance of the three major difficulties in the game is off at best, with the first difficulty being way too easy, while the next two are way too challenging, requiring a heavy amount of grinding for loot. Loot itself is usually only better in small increments, so it's a ridiculously slow crawl and grind to get strong enough to stand a chance. Add into those facts that the levels are just way too long for their own good, with utterly repetitive combat, and you have a game in Minecraft Dungeons that I wish was better than it actually was.

4) Bounty Battle (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC)

The premise of Bounty Battle is so great--pitting indie all-stars from games like Dead Cells, Owlboy, and Steamworld Dig in a Super Smash Bros-style fighter--that it just makes the end product all the more disappointing and an enormous missed opportunity. Pretty much everything about Bounty Battle, from its haphazard mechanics and clunky and cumbersome combat, to the poorly animated characters and absolutely horrid frame-rate, is just plain awful. It's not a question that Bounty Battle is one of the worst games released this year, sadly, but even sadder is that so many fantastic indie darlings are attached to this monstrosity of a fighting game.

3) XIII (PS4, XB1, PC)

We talked about the fantastic video game remakes of 2020 last night, but what about those that are absolutely, unfortunately terrible? The pandemic has caused a lot of strife, and it has affected video game development adversely as well. The production of XIII, a remake of 2003's similarly named conspiracy-filled first-person shooter, was met with problems due to COVID, and rather than delay the game, publisher Microids opted to release the game in the sorry state it was in. Filled with audio and technical issues, and removing the defining feature of the original XIII--its brilliant comic book-esque cel shaded art style--this 2020 remake is hardly "Top Five Remake" material. While it was awesome at first to have XIII of all games return to the spotlight, as a famous Matrix quote goes... "Not like this."

2) Marvel's Avengers (PS4, XB1, PC)

Speaking of comic books, there's none bigger than those featured in Marvel's Avengers. This makes the final game all the more painful. Now, if the game was just modeled after the single-player campaign and expanded further, we'd have a really wonderful superhero action game to enjoy for years to come. Instead, Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics opted for a games-as-a-service approach to the end game, and while the execution was off-putting, the numerous bugs and glitches, matchmaking errors at launch, and painful progression meant that the player base vanished as quickly as a snap from Thanos' fingers. While Marvel's Avengers is hardly an awful game, darn it, it could have been so much better and so much more had some restraint been used in the design.

1) Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4, XB1)

The most disappointing game of 2020 could be nothing else than Cyberpunk 2077, particularly the last generation versions. Offering rampant bugs, glitches, and running like a technical dystopia of its own, Cyberpunk's last gen versions are so terrible and abundant that both Sony and Microsoft offered refunds for digital versions of the game, as well as other stores for physical copies, whether opened or not. Further, a class action lawsuit has been filed against CD Projekt Red due to alleged fraudulent claims made by the company to investors after its stock price fell in fast fashion in the aftermath. Regardless, when the majority of your game's versions is so bad that it threatens the livelihood of your studio and company (as if the deplorable amount of crunch to those who worked on the game didn't already make things nasty), not only did you mess up big time, but your game makes it to the top spot on this countdown of the most disappointing games of 2020.


We're not done with the awards here at SPC. We've got one more category to publish tomorrow night before Thursday night's final top ten, featuring the picks for the Games of 2020! See you back here tomorrow for more award show action at the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2020 Awards!

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