Features & News

The annual ‘Disappointment of the Year’ article 2015

January 1, 2016, Author: The TIMJ Team

It’s that time of year when we look back at what’s happened over the past twelve months. Our obligatory ‘Game of the Year’ piece will follow very soon, but first, what disappointed the team in the world of games in 2015?

James Swinbanks (Staff Writer) – Quiet’s depiction in Metal Gear Solid V

Biggest disappointment implies that there was, at the very least, an expectation of something good being there to begin with. Rugby World Cup 2015 is undoubtedly the worst game I played this year, but biggest disappointment? That’s reserved not for a game in particular, but for a character who was presented with far less grace and respect than she deserved. I’m talking about Quiet from Metal Gear Solid V.

Quiet experienced the full swing of the pendulum between bad-ass sniper and proverbial lion meat, her chest and behind earning more close-ups and slow-mo action shots than anything else. Even her backstory, which involves Quiet wearing next to nothing as she breathes via photosynthesis through her skin, feels like an excuse to show off her curvy bits. I found her portrayal to be downright cringe-worthy at times, and she deserved better.

Runners Up: Microtranasctions becoming common place in full price games, Closing of 2K Australia

Andy Corrigan (Editor in Chief) – Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls

Following the two pleasantly surprising, brilliant murder mysteries in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair in 2014, Spike Chunsoft’s 2015 spin-off shooter, Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls, managed to surprise me for all the wrong reasons.

Generally, I have no issues with a spin-off switching genres, here from a point & click visual novel to a Resident Evil-style survival horror shooter, but the result is repetitive, dull and mechanically ropey. Most criminally, however, it features a story that never shocks or deviates in interesting ways like the material it’s spinning off from.

It’s just not remotely anywhere near the lofty standards set by the core games, and sadly, as a massive fan of this franchise, this one left me cold.

Runners Up: Zombie Army Trilogy, Hotline Miami 2 not making it to AU.

Jasper Pickering (Staff Writer) – Star Wars Battlefront

Gee, this one’s hard. For what has been a tremendous year in video-games, the only game that I could conceivably call ‘disappointing’ is Star Wars Battlefront. It isn’t bad, per se, it’s just… less than my unreasonably high expectations.

I’ve been a fan of Star Wars for as long as I can remember and a fan of the Battlefront series since its first instalment. When Battlefront 3 was cancelled in mid-development, it was as if a million voices cried out at once and then were suddenly silenced (sorry), so of course I was over the moon when it was picked up by DICE. Then I saw the first gameplay trailers and realised it was just Battlefield: Star Wars Edition.

I reviewed Battlefront for this website with the recommendation to at least try it, and I still stand by that. It says more about me and the Star Wars fandom as a whole that I would consider DICE’s Battlefront ‘disappointing’, but in a year of high expectations, this just wasn’t the game I was looking for (again, sorry).

Dan Moore (Staff Writer) – Batman: Arkham Knight

For my disappointment of the year, my top pick has to be Batman: Arkham Knight. I loved both Asylum and City, and getting the chance to mess around with the Batmobile in the new release seemed likely to be a contender for my favourite game this year. Then, the game came out…

Arkham Knight suffered from that most notable of open world issues: too much to do. There was so much going on all the time I never felt like I was making any progress, and the Batmobile stuff, while I like the design of the car, just wasn’t cracking. Melee combat was still as good as ever, but every time I played I just couldn’t get along with how the world was set-up. Please, I honestly didn’t care who the Arkham Knight is, he seems a pretty cack villain.

Runners up: Just Cause 3, the news that the Final Fantasy VII remake will be episodic

Andy Buick (Features Editor) – The Order: 1886

I’ll be honest, I knew The Order 1866 wasn’t going to be a great game long before I played it. The signs were all there that it wasn’t going to match up to its early promise, with talk of short play times, lack of player agency etc. Yet, I still loved the look of it and so had to see for myself.

Sure enough, I can’t disagree with any criticism that was made of The Order. It is short, over-reliant on QTEs and cut-scenes, and yet, in spite of that, and my disappointment that it didn’t end up something more, I don’t regret getting it.

Ready at Dawn have clearly poured a lot of love into The Order, it looks and sounds incredible, and has atmosphere in spades. It’s just a shame that clearly came at the expense of more game. Here’s hoping they get another chance as if they can rectify their mistakes here, they could be onto something really special.

Runners up: Batman: Arkham Knight PC fiasco (and yet more titles released before they were ready), Not having anywhere near enough time for my favourite pastime this year!

Jonn Blanchard (Staff Writer) – Current generation consoles

For me the whole current generation of consoles is a huge disappointment. There just doesn’t seem to be as many exciting titles appearing this time around and most of the first-party exclusive titles seem to be major let downs. I realise a lot of this may be down to rose tinted memories of the PS3/360, but outside of a few stand-out titles (Witcher 3, Fallout 4), there just isn’t anything to really get my gamer blood rising.

The Order: 1886 looked like it was going to be amazing, but somewhere along the process the art department seems to have fired the actual game design department. Halo 5 just seems to be a glitchy retread, which may be more indicative of the underlying issues surrounding the Halo franchise than anything else. Nintendo just isn’t wowing me either; I took the decision to give my Wii U to my daughter earlier this year and I haven’t regretted it at all.

I wrote an article at the beginning of the current generation that looked at the economics of a new player entering the console market (*cough*Sega*cough*) and whilst it was a work of nostalgia, I can’t help thinking that a move like that is what the market needs to shake everyone up.

Runners up: The Order 1886; Halo 5

Matt Parker (News Editor) – Season passes (in particular Batman: Arkham Knight)

This is a continuing issue with games, mainly the big AAA titles. Season passes, as an idea, aren’t too bad; there’s nothing wrong with paying for plenty of DLC. What often happens though is that the publishers will ask you to pay for content when:

A. You don’t know what the content is.
B. You don’t know how much of it there’ll be.
C. You don’t know when it’ll come out.

Batman: Arkham Knight‘s Season Pass has been, by all accounts, a massive disappointment. What’s the incentive for the publishers once they’ve already got your money, though? For Arkham Knight and The Witcher 3 to come out in the same year but handle their post-release content so differently just makes the way Warner Brothers promoted and sold their Season Pass a massive disappointment.

What’s worse is that it seems that everyone’s now doing it as Star Wars Battlefront wants me to spend another £30 on a Season Pass for content. What’s the content? When’s it out? Stop asking questions – give me your money.

Runners Up: Tony Hawks 5Hotline Miami 2