Life is full of disappointments – those times when things just don’t turn out as you expect. Sometimes it’s something big; a loved one letting you down, a business deal falling through, your offspring wants to pursue a career in performance art, your genitals haven’t gotten any bigger since you turned 7 (Just me?). More regular though are the more inconsequential disappointments; the pickles are missing from your drive-through cheeseburger, some idiot’s made the coffee too weak, the new album from your favourite band is a musical mess, Heroes Season 2.
It mostly comes down to expectations. Often one’s expectations for something are much greater than its final delivery. With some people being underwhelmed, even disappointed by the long in development, recently released Gran Turismo 5, I got thinking about my own gaming disappointments.
In recent memory, my biggest gaming disappointment is probably Grand Theft Auto 4. I got caught up in all the pre-release hype, and while it was technically brilliant, it ended up being less than the sum of its individual parts. Repetitive, boring missions and a shift towards realism from its more cartoon violence rootsÂ removed the irreverent, silly fun the series had become known for.
I may be in the minority, but I found the first Assassin’s Creed terribly disappointing. After all the media attention and trailered videos (and images of Jade Raymond). I was expecting a free-flowing free-running game with heavy stealth elements where tactics and careful planning would be necessary to take out your targets. Instead we got a beautifully crafted world (and a lovely demonstration of what the engine was capable) – with the same 5 boring minigames and overly-simplistic combat and movement. thankfully the sequels have made up for the first game quite nicely.
Remember the first Red Steel? Before the Wii’s release it was hyped up to be a game giving you complete 1:1 sword control mixed with intense gunplay. Instead it was a buggy, glitch-infested, poorly designed wagglefest, bringing me to list the Wii itself as a huge disappointment. I’ll admit to having some of my finest gaming experiences this generation on Nintendo’s underpowered console; Super Mario Galaxy (and SMG 2), Twilight Princess, Mario Kart Wii and Super Smash Bros Brawl are all fantastic games. You may have noticed they’re all first party games. Instead of it being the â€œRevolutionâ€ we were promised, it’s mostly become the home of poorly executed 3rd party shovelware cash-ins.
It would be impossible to list gaming disappointments without including Peter Molyneux’s Fable. Once known as Project Ego, it served only in knocking Molyneux’s down a few pegs. While I’d be lying if i said I didn’t enjoy the first Fable, instead of the revolutionary game that would allow you toÂ â€œplant an acorn and watch a tree grow,â€ we got a pretty mediocre fantasy RPG.
Now it’s your turn, dear readers. What games, hardware and peripherals have left you with the bitter taste of disappointment?
Last Updated: December 1, 2010