Five games that screwed up this generation is my first time doing a list, I’m not really a fan of lists within gaming sites, something about them just comes across as a quick and dirty hit way to bring in the traffic. It appears that you guys tend to enjoy them so I’m going to do one this week but don’t expect many lists from me in the future.
The list that’s been pondering my head recently is five games that I like to pretend never happened, for one reason or another my brain refuses to accept that the following games are a part of their respective series. Remember it’s not five disappointments, it’s five games that I wish never happened and as far as my head goes they never did.
Also worth mentioning is that I’ve not played every game out there so if you were hoping to see something make the cut and didn’t then consider the fact that I may not have played it. This is a list of five games that I did play and wish I hadn’t.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2006
Sonic games on the console started going downhill with Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast but for some reason no matter how busted that game was I actually enjoyed it. Sonic Adventure 2 was a poor follow up in my opinion and by Sonic Heroes the games were really starting to drop off in quality. Sonic The Hedgehog which I will refer to as Sonic 2006 was the game that was set to bring Sonic right back to it’s roots, it was on the next generation of systems and I remember getting excited by this trailer.
Back in 2005 this was pretty exciting stuff but the final game didn’t even come close to matching the promise of the trailer as is normally the case these days. The game was basically Sonic Adventure 3 as much as fans don’t want to admit it and is not just considered a bad Sonic game but one of the worst games ever in general. It actually pains me to even utter that sentence about Sonic given how much of a fan I was of the little blue guy and his companion Tails.
Sonic 2006 was extremely glitchly to the point where the game was actually broken, it’s one of the most incomplete games you’ll play this generation. The story was something to do with an animal being romantically involved with a human princess, load times were long and frequent, controls were awful, graphics were weak and they totally screwed up Robotnik’s design. You played as three different characters and oddly enough the one called Sliver whose game play revolved around slow physics based puzzles ended up being the most fun if you can believe that. That’s like saying Big the Cat was your favourite part of Sonic Adventure.
What I find shocking about Sonic 2006 is how this game came to be, why wouldn’t you put your best team to develop a Sonic title. Seriously what the hell could possibly be more important than Sonic within Sega? The fact that Sega okay’d something as bad as Sonic 2006 for retail release is more incredible than Duke Nukem Forever finally coming out. Did they not play the game and notice what kind of damage it would of done to the Sonic brand. Thankfully since then Sonic has appeared in two solid games thanks to Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations but as far as I’m concerned Sonic 2006 does not actually exist, the series went from Sonic Heroes to Sonic Unleashed.
Resident Evil 5
I’ve been a massive Resident Evil fan since the second game, I played the original and yes that dog smashing through the window totally caught me off guard but it was Resident Evil 2 that really gripped me. I don’t care for the spin-offs but the main Resident Evil series is fantastic, I didn’t have a problem with the tank controls and felt it added suspense to the game. Despite Resident Evil 2 and the superb remake of the original on GameCube being great I admit it was time for a change so I welcomed Resident Evil 4 with open arms. Little did I know that it would go on to be one of the greatest games of all time.
Around the time the AWESOME God Hand came along I heard news that Capcom were shutting down Clover and as a result a fair amount of their talent left. They ended up forming what we now know as Platinum Games and they make better games than Capcom, go figure. I knew much of the people responsible for Resident Evil were now gone but I remained hopeful. In fact it was the following trailer that got me rather pumped, it looked pretty good.
As the release date got closer we got a demo and it was at that point where I felt an “uh oh” but proceeded to buy the game anyway. So for some reason Resident Evil 5 features co-op, you get a side kick by the name of Sheva and she is the dumbest AI character ever constantly burning through your limited ammo, she’s the most anti Resident Evil character ever. It does not help that you basically have to baby sit her through the whole game, sure you did the same in Resident Evil 4 with Ashley but at least it wasn’t all the time and when you did she was portrayed as a helpless victim.
With Resident Evil 5 any hint of survival horror was 100% gone by now, Chris was all roided up like a Gears of War character and item management was a pain. Gone is the giant briefcase from Resident Evil 4 and instead you have 9 item slots, buy a protective vest and that’s one slot gone already. To make matters worse you constantly have to manage your items with Sheva, always thinking about not giving her the good stuff otherwise she’ll waste it. To top it all off the game does NOT pause like it did before so you have a huge ass boss in front of you and there you are running away trying to buy some time so you swap items with Sheva in the corner.
Nothing in Resident Evil 5 was particularly memorable, the whole thing is a forgettable experience. All Capcom did was take Resident Evil 4 and turn it into a generic action game and not even a good one at that. I can honestly say the only time the game becomes remotely interesting is when Wesker in on screen, everything he does is cool but besides that I really didn’t care for Resident Evil 5. If anyone asks I just tell them the series ended on a high with Resident Evil 4.
Most of you were expecting me to mention Resident Evil 6 but the truth is I never played it, from what I’ve seen it makes Resident Evil 5 retroactively good by comparison. Is Resident Evil 5 so bad that it’s worth listing here? Well judge for yourself.
Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I
I can’t believe this, you’d got to be kidding me another Sonic game makes the list. I thought about simply keeping it to one game per franchise but in the end decided that Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I is to 2D games what Sonic 2006 is to 3D games therefore I felt that I had no choice but to include it. Sorry Sega, I still love you and I always buy your HD re-releases you do these days.
Sonic The Hedgehog 4 is a name that still sounds weird, just look at it. My head has problems trying to accept the existence of a Sonic The Hedgehog 4, this game is supposed to the direct sequel to the games we all loved when we were young. Again like Sonic 2006 Sega’s thinking on this one is strange, for reasons human beings are not able to understand Sega decided that something like a Sonic The Hedgehog 4 wasn’t worthy of a retail release, in fact it’s not even worthy of a digital release but instead a horrible attempt at episodic gaming.
Why in the world would you think that Sonic isn’t worthy of a full digital game and if you’re going episodic what’s up with the two year wait in between, that’s not Episode II it might as well be Sonic The Hedgehog 5. Going back to Episode I it’s not anywhere near as bad as Sonic 2006 but it manages to be pretty busted in it’s own way. The inclusion of a homing attack is usually the first thing that angers everyone, I thought this was a sequel to the classic games not the newer titles.
The biggest problem with Episode I is oddly enough the physics, yeah stuff like momentum is no where to be seen within Episode I. Maybe that’s that’s blast processing meant all those years ago. You can spin dash all you want because the second you left go of the analogue stick Sonic drops like a bag of rocks. Sonic will get stuck in loops, ramps and level design is generally pretty poor throughout which is weird because the game is developed by Dimps. They are the ones responsible for handheld Sonic games like Sonic Rush which were actually pretty good so what the hell happened here? Also what’s up with that stupid torch puzzle?
It’s not the worst game on the planet, horrible physics aside there is might be some fun to be had with Episode I to some player but when you’re carrying a name like Sonic The Hedgehog 4 you better be ready for a huge fan backlash if your game isn’t up to par with the originals. Episode II is a much smoother game by comparison but even that is pretty lacklustre so at this rate by the time we get to Episode IV we should be getting a decent game. For what it’s worth I liked the music but generally speaking the world is still waiting for the true Sonic The Hedgehog 4.
Perfect Dark Zero
I’m not even going to waste your time with this one, you’ve all played Goldeneye on Nintendo 64 right? Don’t let the PC elitists spoil the fun by telling you Goldeneye was a good FPS by console standards, at the time Goldeneye was the shit across all platforms. Those who complain about the controls need to shut up, stop using 1.1 Honey and switch to 1.2 Solitaire (Turok controls) and you’ll be fine. Any way following that game Rare did Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 which was basically a sequel to Goldeneye with everything pushed the max, it was great.
If there’s one thing the original Perfect Dark needed was better hardware, the team’s vision was simply too great for the Nintendo 64 to handle and while Perfect Dark Zero was in development for both the GameCube and later original Xbox it eventually found a home on the Xbox 360. On paper this sounds like a dream come true, a Perfect Dark game on a system that’s basically cutting edge in terms of power as far as 2005 went, what could possibly go wrong?
All you have to do is watch that intro and we’re done here but but we’ll look beyond that and continue. Perfect Dark Zero seems like a combination of a bunch of different ideas all put together with no real filter or overall structure holding it all together. I know that Rare like to take their time on games and given more time Perfect Dark Zero could of been great but as a gamer I simply have to judge what’s presented to me in it’s final form. So who screwed up then, Microsoft or Rare? Well the correct answer is me, me and whoever else paid money for this game.
Graphically Perfect Dark Zero was once attempting to go for a more cartoon style which could work but everyone just wanted a realistic Perfect Dark game so why wouldn’t you just play it safe in that area and give everyone what they wanted. Perfect Dark Zero in the end was a horrible mash up of cartoon visuals alongside realistic ones, the textures on the walls will blow you away with how good they look whilst the characters models look like they belong in a TimeSplitters title.
Joanna Dark now looks like a slut, the smart elegant English spy now has an American voice and might as well be a different character altogether. Controls were stiff, the weapons were not all that cool this time round and the level design was so bad that you had arrow markers on the flow telling you where to go. The story was crap, the physics buggy and overall the game just felt unfinished across all areas. Most of the pieces were there and all you needed was some play testing to see what worked and what didn’t alongside some fine tuning.
Perfect Dark Zero is a game could of been good but it’s obvious Microsoft got bored of waiting and decided to rush this one out the door to make the launch of the Xbox 360. Rare should also take the blame because if you followed the development of Perfect Dark Zero you’ll know that the developers never really settled on what they wanted to do. Perfect Dark Zero was so bad that it outright killed the series, I’ve never met anyone who acknowledges this game being connected to the Nintendo 64 original.
Metroid Other M
This has been my dream for the past two years but I’ve never really got round to it, to rip on this horrible excuse for a game. Thanks to Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion in 2002 I became a huge Metroid fan, I was actually pissed off at myself for never having played much of the series beforehand. Since then I’ve played all the games to 100% completion and the following two statements are facts, these are not up for debate.
- Super Metroid is the greatest 2D game ever made.
- Metroid Prime Trilogy is the greatest thing ever burned onto a disc.
After Retro Studios closed out the Metroid Prime Trilogy in 2007 with Corruption they made it clear they were moving on and it would be up to someone else to follow up on their work. Granted that following the Metroid Prime games was never going be an easy task but at E3 2009 someone stepped up to the challenge. We saw the the Nintendo logo, we saw the Team Ninja logo and what appeared to be a new StarFox title but instead turned out to be Metroid Other M.
One minute and seven seconds into the trailer I condemned that crap on the spot, I have friends who were beside me watching E3 and they can vouch for me. This game is the ULTIMATE sign of disrespect for the source material, whether you like the Metroid Prime games or not you could see that Retro Studios put a lot of love into the games. With Metroid Other M you can literally FEEL what Team Ninja was thinking, “Oh you silly Nintendo fans enjoying your boring ass Metroid games, watch us turn this franchise into a kick ass game that you’ll actually want to show the cool PlayStation & Xbox crowd”.
This game is such a disaster on so many levels that I actually don’t know where to begin, I guess controls. Someone at either Nintendo or Team Ninja decided that the game would be better if we just played the game with the Wii remote. Yup they are limiting themselves to two buttons and a D-Pad, an actual 3D based game is being controlled using a D-PAD. Is it unplayable? Nope but it would be better if we had oh I don’t know, AN ANALOGUE STICK.
Okay so right from the get go we find that the developers have crippled both themselves and the game by limiting their options, they are going to keep things fairly basic from here on out right?
The first person view from Metroid Prime returns because you know, they want to pay homage to what came before because fans like that sort of stuff. Since we’ve already established that the nunchuk is not being used here, how are we supposed to switch to first person? Ah aiming the Wii remote at the screen, yeah that works but what about moving around in first person? Easy, you don’t.
Okay so naturally you assume that you won’t do any fighting in first person, it will be primarily just used to scan around certain areas and other slow stuff. Well no you actually need to switch to first person, in fact quite often because that’s the only way you can fire missiles because you know, someone crippled the controls. Are missiles even important? Yup a number of enemies won’t go down otherwise. I know in Resident Evil I said I didn’t mind the tank controls but at least the zombies were slow and the game was built around that, in Metroid Other M the enemies and abilities of the player are not balanced therefore creating a frustrating experience. Seriously Team Ninja it’s gaming 101.
Morph-ball mode makes a cameo appearance here, I say that because it’s only used sometimes and it just feels like Team Ninja just put it in because you can’t have Metroid without morph ball. In every Metroid game the morph ball is an important part of the game, it’s skilfully integrated into the experience and in the case of Metroid Prime some of the most clever moments are the ones that require the use of the morph ball.
Another area Metroid Other M screws up is the graphics, to some it’s not a bad looking game but I’m not an idiot and I know better. The environments in Metroid Other M are very bland and lifeless, these areas don’t look like rich organic places where you see some inhabits. It’s just some dumb space ship with a bunch of holograms everywhere that kills whatever chance you have of being immersed, what’s real, what’s not, who cares.
Samus Aran is supposed to be a feared bounty hunter yet in Other M it’s her who is fearing things, namely her long time enemy Ridley. I found the following GIF over at NeoGAF and it perfectly sums it up better than I ever could.
There you have it, five games from this generation that I feel totally botched and fell flat on their face. Everyone has their own opinion and I’m sure you’ll disagree with some of my comments, I respect that and you’re welcome criticize this article much like I have criticized these games. I don’t have any real hate those the developers and companies responsible for these titles, hey everyone screws up sometimes.
Oh you’re wondering what happened to the rest of the Metroid Other M section? Well this guy won’t authorize the rest of it yet.