Well, 2018 is almost over. We’ve already discussed our games of the year (check them out HERE and HERE), but now tis the season of bitching where we discuss the games that we had high hopes for but that ended up disappointing us instead by sucking. Join us as we take a look back at our biggest gaming regrets for this year in Gaming Respawn’s Most Disappointing Games of 2018.
For those who read my review on this game, this will come as no surprise, but my biggest disappointment of the year goes to Overkill’s: The Walking Dead.
I may seem harsh, but it’s because I truly wanted this game to deliver on what was revealed to us. It was a game that I have been waiting a good while for, but it just ended up being anti-climactic. Personally, I feel like it was rushed into release with flaws and problems from the get-go. As the player, I was undervalued, and the whole thing felt like an incomplete product.
And, yes, there have been a few updates, but these were things that should have been in the game from the start, such as built-in voice chat, as an example. Also, the developers have reduced the price to a starter pack version retailing at £24.99 mainly to try and get more people on board over the Christmas holidays. But frankly, I think it’s a little too late. The damage has already been done. More episodes have been released in a seasonal format that boast more levels, more areas, more equipment and the like, but at this point, my enthusiasm has worn thin. Add the glitches to the zombies’ A.I. and the boring levels to play through, and it just feels rinse and repeat.
I cannot stress enough how much I didn’t want this to be the game I chose to write about for this feature because I wanted it to be my game of the year, but what we got was a pale imitation of the TV show from where it draws its inspiration. I was expecting a true fight for survival in the streets of Washington, D.C., running from building to building, taking out zombies with skill and precision, all the while taking into consideration the human NPC enemies and to decide their fates.
The whole game was clunky, ironically very much like a zombie trying to chase a human: limp and lifeless. Some missions felt rinse and repeat with zombies being replaced by human NPCs for familiar scenarios. The only thing clunkier than the zombies was the game’s connectivity. If you manage to find another person, and when I say person, I mean someone in the real world, you can’t even talk to them unless you have the speed to type while playing and not get yourself eaten at the same time, which I do not. Another thing that was annoying was the fact that you could meet other players that were your doppelgangers; the “unique” features that were meant to make you special as a player character and a team member were, in fact, the same exact features that everyone else had for their characters, making it so you weren’t special at all. It is like turning up to a dinner party and discovering that you and all the other guests are dressed the same and have brought the same wine; no variety.
This may be a title I’ll revisit in the future to see how it develops if it can survive that long. But I will see how it goes and pop it in from time to time. It’s a shame because it had all the ingredients to be a truly great game. It’s just the execution and delivery that was poorly handled.
So for my biggest disappointment of 2018, it is Overkill’s The Walking Dead.
My most disappointing game of the year: Fallout 76
I have been a huge Fallout fan since the first game released on the previous generation of consoles. I have put hundreds of hours into Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4. There has not been this much backlash on a Fallout game since New Vegas initially released. This newest game has received a lot of money from my children and myself for the downloadable content. The gamers in our family have been excited for this game to be released! Both my son and I pre-ordered it, but after watching him play the B.E.T.A., we both cancelled our pre-orders. While overall the game looks and plays like most of the others, which is a good thing, the lack of NPCs ruins the narrative side of the story. The combat also does not feel as smooth as it has in the past. Furthermore, V.A.T.S. has changed significantly but in a bad way, to the point where it is nearly useless. However, I know most players used V.A.T.S. a lot in their gameplay and were able to create great strategies through it.
I must say though that the new C.A.M.P. system looks great. Being able to have a moveable base that has improved on the basics of building settlements that were introduced in Fallout 4 is promising. I have been following news on Fallout 76, and every time there has been an update to the game, I have loaded up Twitch on my Xbox One to watch streamers and ask questions. Each time that I have done this, I was hoping that it had been improved to the point that I would be willing to buy it. But so far that has not been the case. I strongly feel that Bethesda should publicly apologize for this game at a press conference and announce that they will take steps to make the game worthwhile to play. I really wanted to play another good Fallout game, and now it looks like it may be a long time before this will actually happen.
The most disappointing game for me this year has been a game called The Walker. It is a PlayStation VR game that was released on the 3rd July 2018. The game was developed by Haymaker Game and published by Winking Entertainment. It is a first-person shooter wave-based horror game. The Walker was released alongside another game called 18 Floors which, compared to The Walker, is quite good and fun to play. When I first played and reviewed The Walker, I didn’t think it was too bad. I was even quite forgiving with my review. Since then, I have played the game again, and over time it began to disappoint me more and more.
The Walker is disappointing for many reasons. For a game called The Walker, you don’t actually do any walking. You are stuck in the same spot and don’t have any free movement. The only movement you have is by changing the camera angle, which is extremely sluggish and heavy. Another issue with the game is that the accuracy of attacking enemies is completely off. You could be aiming at an enemy’s head with your gun, but your shot will hit miles off.
The game’s graphics are also pretty awful. The Walker definitely doesn’t match today’s VR standards when it comes to the graphics because they are very blocky. The game does have its good points, don’t get me wrong. To create the enemies, the makers of the game mixed Chinese folklore with modern day zombie lore. This meant that the enemies and story had some individuality.
Players also have the ability to use spellcasting, which I think is quite creative to have in a wave-based game. The issue with the spellcasting is that you don’t have a lot of choices in the types of spells available, and they are extremely limited. The Walker technically fits into the horror category, but there is nothing about this game that is remotely scary. The game got very boring as time went on, and it is not a game I will likely revisit again.
This year’s biggest disappointment for me was a game I was wishing for since playing Dissidia Final Fantasy back on the PlayStation Portable. There were some gems on that thing for sure, but Dissidia was a Final Fantasy fan’s dream come true: an arena style fighting game that pits heroes and villains from the whole of the Final Fantasy series against each other. The roster and mechanics expanded with Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, but it was a game for this series on the PlayStation 4 we all wanted. The same fighting system with an updated roster, maybe even some mechanical improvements and features; it had to be good, right?
Although some might disagree, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT was a disaster. Sure, it boasts a healthy roster of the series’ most famous heroes and villains, but there was no hiding away from the overly complicated control scheme and gameplay mechanics, not to mention the lack of features. The story mode relied on earning Memoria tokens to be able to carry on through the campaign, and the only way to earn these was to compete in other game modes. There were only two battle types, Standard and Core battles, where you had to work to destroy the opponent team’s crystal whilst defending your own. The main problem was the requirement of three-on-three battles; you weren’t able to have standard one-on-one matchups. This meant you had to have two AI team members to assist you, and whilst they were more than capable, they weren’t very good at staying alive. This was a major problem as the team’s HP meter is shared.
I wanted Dissidia Final Fantasy NT to be so much more than what we got. Where was the pretty decent RPG-like story element from previous entries? Standard one-on-one battles? More game modes? Sure, we got an awesome roster that is still growing with the recent addition of Final Fantasy VIII’s Rinoa, but each character only had a few attacks at their disposal that you had to assign them once they were unlocked, so don’t count on being able to unleash Cloud’s Omnislash Limit Break attack straight from the get-go.
Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker
Deciding on my most disappointing game of this year wasn’t particularly easy. But in the end, I had to go with Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker. See, I’m quite a big fan of the Naruto series, and so I thought that it would be pretty cool to try out the Shinobi Striker beta, and surprisingly, I enjoyed it. I’ve never been a major fan of competitive online games for a simple reason: I’m fairly bad at them. However, Shinobi Striker was able to entertain me during the beta, so in spite of the glitches, I thought, “Wow, I should actually get this!”
This ended up being the beginning of a bit of a poor life choice. See, I’m not the type of person to devote myself fully to a game to get better at it. I got this because it seemed fun, and I could make my own OC to play as. Unfortunately, creating your in-game character only means that you’ll get to pick from different outfit colour schemes and hairstyles that are all based off designs of characters from the Naruto series. There’s no way to really make your own distinctive character without looking like you’ve drawn over a template of Naruto or Sakura. You can decide on which village you’re from, but this doesn’t mean the lobby changes depending on which village you choose, but you do get a village uniform. This doesn’t matter much though since you can just buy it later on.
I thought that Shinobi Striker would allow me a bit of freedom when it came to actually enjoying the game by itself before I would try to compete or work with others. This lasted for about three or four of the campaign missions. The moment you had to protect a wall during a time limit meant that I needed to work with others instead of going solo. In other words, I felt that I was forced to do missions online with others, even though everyone is just doing their own thing. Sure, this could be fun, but it really depended on who you were playing with and whether or not they’d tried the mission before.
You might say that they did advertise it as a solely multiplayer game, and I appreciate that. But when your game doesn’t really allow for an easy way to complete missions without help from strangers, that’s kind of a problem. They’d be easy if you had the DLC characters, but if you don’t want to fork out the extra cash, you’re stuck. Not only that, but I found that the online versus mode was luck of the draw. It’s basically an issue of spamming overpowered characters and making it impossible to enjoy the game because others are just desperately trying to increase their rating in the game.
Did I think that Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker would make me appreciate online gaming more? Sure, of course I thought that. Would I play it again? Maybe. I found that it seemed to try to take a leaf out of the book of the Dragon Ball Xenoverse games but without the aspects that made those games enjoyable. Overall, this game just wasn’t as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be.
This concludes our Most Disappointing Games of 2018. Wow, we had some real stinkers here, didn’t we? I personally consider myself lucky not to have played any games this year that I felt deserved to be included in this list, so my heart goes out to my fellow Gaming Respawners who suffered through the games discussed above. I salute you, guys and gals! Let us hope that 2019 goes better for you and others. But…let’s get real here, there will always be both good and shitty games, and sometime it’s just fun to read and hear other people’s thoughts on games that suck because, well, it’s strangely entertaining, isn’t it? We’ll have more content like this for you at the end of 2019, but until then, stick around Gaming Respawn for more reviews and features. Happy New Year from all of us here at Gaming Respawn!