Well, it is the end of the year and many journalism sites around the web are rounding up their biggest disappointments of 2012. Agree or disagree, this year certainly won’t go down in gaming history as one of its finest.
In a recent Gamasutra article, they’ve listed five of theirs, which include:
05. Star Wars: The Old Republic
04. PlayStation Vita
03. E3 2012
02. Steam Greenlight
01. Mega Man turned 25 years old
Are these valid as disappointments? Here is this humbled writer’s take on a few.
I’m tired of hearing the backlash about how disappointing Star Wars: The Old Republic was. Yes, it was the most expensive game ever made, and many within the gaming community thought it would surpass the current titan of MMO’s, World of Warcraft. However, it seems that because SWTOR didn't live up to everyone’s grand expectations that the game is an over-arching failure.
Did everyone forget that the game was still pretty awesome and received good reviews!?
Did SWTOR ever have a chance at beating World of Warcraft? No, not really. It might have the Star Wars name, but it is also a completely different timeline with totally new characters that the vast majority of fans won’t know anything about. Let's not forget, we've already had a failed Star Wars MMO (Galaxies) that left a bitter taste in many gamers’ mouths. Note also that SWTOR is meant to be a different game - kind of a single player game that runs several hundred hours per-class, and in that regard it is totally unique among its competitors. MMO's as a whole have seen a big decline in players over the last couple years that even WoW has lost several million users since it peaked at over 12 million players. Most gamers seem more interested in multiplayer online shooters than MMORPG's.
World of Warcraft is not wholly original, nor did it strive to create a powerful narrative, but its developers did everything right as they took everything that worked for MMO’s prior to its early 2000.s release, and avoided many of the genre pitfalls. It is a beautiful game that sucks you into its world like no other. However, it is also a freak of nature. Who would have guessed back then that WoW would be as successful as it has been? Probably the only thing that will beat WoW is World of Warcraft 2, if and when that ever might come out.
So, please lay off of Star Wars: The Old Republic. It still has a great story, a wonderful character creator, loads of missions and content, beautiful graphics and plenty of worlds to explore. Is it perfect, no, but don’t expect more from a game just because of its name.
As for the PlayStation Vita, really, did anyone expect that thing to succeed? It is an amazing piece of hardware, and it improves upon the PSP quite a bit, but at this point the handheld market as a whole is taking a backseat to tablets and smart-phones. If the Vita has anything really going against it besides the normal weak lineup of software, it is that too many of the tech demos we saw seem to play themselves. Sure, it is a neat trick to tilt the screen and get a reaction, but I want to control my game, not have it played for me by dragging my finger.
E3 2012, wow, what a disappointment! It seemed that only Ubisoft showed up this year as they put on a better event than the Big Three combined. Most of what was seen at E3 was what has been seen all year – no new surprises, a couple new gameplay trailers to games we've played a hundred times already, more crappy onstage tech demos and embarrassing moments, and insane hype for products the audience wasn't buying into. Most of all, E3 seems to forget what it is supposed to be about. It has gone from a industry trade show for new hardware and software, to an overblown cosplay expedition; halls filled with children, loud announcers, over-sized exhibits, and anything of actual value pushed to the fringes of the LA Convention Center. Most disappointing of all, was seeing nothing new or exciting from either Sony or Microsoft in regards to new consoles or new IP’s.
As for Steam’s Greenlight, well, anytime I hear ‘Greenlight’, whether it is film, music or TV I tend to turn the other way. Sorry Indies, Greenlight material just doesn't spark my interest.
As for Mega Man, he turned 25? I did not know that and I guess no one else did either as Gamasutra apparently stated that no one showed up for his birthday celebration. Seriously, does anyone have any hope left for a Mega Man return?
Disappointments for 2012 that I would include are:
- No new, serious next-generation console news
- Very few new IP’s in 2012
- Video game movies still suck (Looking at you Resident Evil and Silent Hill)
- Halo: Forward Unto Dawn (cool, but not as good as I hoped)
- Nintendo Wii U
- Sony failing to protect its customers
- City of Heroes shutting down
- X-Men Legacy (seriously, let me play as a friggin X-Man)
- Kinect Star Wars, and just the Kinect as a whole
- Kickstarter for not changing its policies regarding funding
So, fans, add your count if you got them. Let us all hope 2013 is much better.