It has been a long time boys and girls, but the hate is back baby! Rather then focus on a particular subject, or how awful a single company has fucked up, this time I will look back over the whole year. Everyone is fair game and most likely will be. So come read on as to who deserves the most hate in 2011!
Biggest Disappointment: L.A. Noire.
Coming off of the fantastic “Red Dead Redemption” and using some wicked cool new facial animation technology, L.A. Noire looked poised and ready to become a third pillar of the Rockstar brand label. It was set in a unique time period and looked to bring something new to the open world genre. Just one problem, the game might have been too good at what it was recreating. Being a detective is fucking boring! Not only that but most of the game boiled down to you humping the scenery at a crime scene. Or guessing multiple choice answers like a retard on a S.A.T. Even more frustrating was the fact that there was no check point system at all, meaning reloading a case meant starting the whole damn thing from the beginning, including cut scenes! Still the biggest killjoy for me was when a suspect claimed I had no proof of him committing the crime, I pull out his own gun, which I traced back through the Gun Store owner, yet the game tells me I am wrong and lose the case. I was supposed to call him an anti-Semite. Fuck this game.
Dumbest Decision: Mega Man Legends 3 Cancelled.
Capcom has made some pretty dumb decisions over its career but this one was a doozy. I am no Mega Man fan at all, I have played probably 5-10 games in the entire spectrum games, yet even I could tell this was just plain stupid. First the game is announced, then they go to great lengths to get the fans involved in the design process, mere days from a playable demo being released the title is abruptly cancelled for official reasons unknown. Of course we all know what was really going on, the company obviously balked at the early woes of the 3DS and decided that a more niche title like this was going to cost more then they suspected it was going to make. As a business decision I can understand that part of it, but the problem was the game was announced, shown off, and even demoed for select members of the press. Capcom can spit out any bald faced lie they want about the game never actually being greenlit, but you don’t have fully playable demos for press for a game that isn’t greenlit. Adding insult to injury the European branch of the company went fucking nuts on Twitter and started bashing and arguing to the fans of the series for the cancellation. Despite a large community of followers that even had their own fucking booth at New York Comic Con, and the series creator offering to finish the game through contract, Capcom has still balked at the idea. You know, Mega Man was once the company mascot, it no longer is, and decisions like this are the reason why. If Nintendo treated Mario like Capcom does Mega Man you can bet they would be a whole lot worse off. So good job assholes, cancel a game despite outside workers offering to finish it, destroy public face around the world, and make the PR guys life a living hell in America. This was surely the right decision.
Deja Vu of Poo: Microsoft Press Conference E3 2011
Anyone remember E3 2008? Remember how fucking awful the Nintendo press conference was? highlighting games nobody in the audience or watching on streams gave a flying fuck about? It was like getting shat on all over again this year during Microsoft’s bowel movement of a press conference. It is hard to blame them, after all 2008 the Wii was selling like godam hotcakes and this year XBOX and Kinect have blown the fucking doors off sales wise. Does this mean that what gamers really want doesn’t matter? Maybe, but at the same time, everyone who bought Kinect wasn’t sold it by watching a E3 Press conference. While it wasn’t all bad, it definitely seemed like they were getting through the Gears of War and Call of Duty segments as quickly as they could out of obligation. The real meat was two constipated male models playing pretend football and two children whose acting makes you want to castrate the human race. Fist bump? Fuck you kid, you’re a dick!
Biggest Dropped Ball: Vita
Well Sony certainly seemed like they were playing for keeps at E3, sucker punching Nintendo right into the gut with the Vita price, and a chunk of good looking games like a brand new Uncharted… and then I played it. That great second analog stick stuck right the hell under the X button making using more intensive titles like Street FighterXTekken and Uncharted annoying to play. But the hits would just keep on coming. There’s the battery life that is just as shitty as the 3DS. There is the realization that the 3G model is waste of money. There is no onboard memory. Memory cards are required for most games to turn on. Memory cards arr proprietary and start at 20 bucks for only 4GB, $20 for 4GB! Your PSN account is locked to both system and memory card, meaning that the Vita is indeed region locked and only allows ONE account per system. The PSN store won’t be fully available at launch. There is no TV output this time. You can’t access the web browser while playing a game, unlike the weaker 3DS. You have to pay Sony extra money to play UMD PSP titles you already bought on your Vita. You know what? I don’t even care about the system anymore. I don’t care about the big beautiful screen, nor the fact I can fingerbang games with the rear touch panel, my 3DS has exploded with content and features that I can play for free right now. I thought they were going to get serious this time, but I guess I was wrong.
Thickest Skull: Nintendo
The stereotype that Japanese companies are stubborn is certainly no lie. Only when they are getting anally penetrated in their wallets do they actually make a smart move. Case in point: Nintendo. Everyone told them 250 was to high for the 3DS, they didn’t listen. After all, all the tech heads and press loved it at E3. Well no shit, these are the same people that would still suck Steve Jobs cock if given the chance. They lap any new technology up! Only after investors got royally pissed and sales dropped like a fart in church did Nintendo realize a price drop was needed. But that isn’t the only case of Nintendo being thick headed, oh no! Let’s take a look at Operation Rainfall, the push to get actual games released on the Wii that are published by the parent company! Instead of sucking up the bucks to release actual product they instead opted to let the system languish for a whole damn year before releasing Kirby in October, and don’t even try to argue Malgrave Incident or Wii Play Moves counts. When you look at Nintendo’s losses for the year, the biggest factor is a decline in software sales, and the biggest region of decline is the US. I fucking wonder why!? Even now the first of three games is only confirmed for an April release at one distributor. Way to ride the system off into the sunset. Oh but I am not done, how bout that Skyward Sword hmm? At E3 I got into a small argument with a fellow journalist who insisted Nintendo would provide classic controller support for Skyward Sword, despite me telling him that the whole game was designed around motion plus. Well part of his argument was that it would sell better if it didn’t use a forced peripheral. That was hard to argue, and in the end he was right. Skyward Sword has possibly just cracked 1/4 of a million units in Japan, and near the start of the month was at a dismal 89k for Europe. Sure the US looked rosy at 600k, but it debuted in 9th place, behind Saints Row: The Third! This is Zelda people! This should be one of the best selling titles of the year, not behind Saints Row 3! This is what happens when you let a system rot in the sun for a year, use a visual style that doesn’t impress most people, and enforce that you use a previously added on feature. Maybe Nintendo should stop trying to constantly sell fans on a new idea and just focus on making the best damn game possible.
If it ain’t broke, break it: Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer, Raven
Of course I am talking about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 here. More specifically I am talking about its broken as fuck multiplayer. I was a big fan of Call of Duty 4. There was a balance in its simplicity. Everyone had the same killstreaks, the maps were perfectly designed, and the spawn system made sense. Four games later and that is all thrown out the goddamn window. Not only do you get to choose killstreaks, but you have three separate killstreak classes, the maps almost all universally suck with no way to actually hold down any given spot, and worst of all is the most retarded spawn system I have ever had the misfortune of playing. Basically when you die, you get placed directly the behind the person who killed you, and when you kill them they get placed directly behind you. It is well documented by far more professional players then me but we all agree that it sucks the sweat off a dead camels balls. It has ruined the game for me and I have not returned to it for weeks because of it.
Most Potential Dropped: Captain America
I know fuck all about Captain America, I never read any of his comics, nor did I see the current movie which by most accounts could also earn this award. However, the idea of the video game could have been so great. You are infiltrating a Nazi castle stronghold to discover and sabotage their new secret weapon. Along the way you will run across many familiar villains and you dish out justice in a battle system highly reminiscent of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Now why couldn’t the rest of the game be like Arkham Asylum!?! Take the formula of a 3D Metroid, apply it to the castle and use the Batman battle system and you have one awesome as hell video game for fans and non fans alike! Instead we get the usual shovelware garbage that is totally expected. Usually these games like Iron Man, and Thor just don’t have much to lend themselves to a great game in the first place. But Captain America? In the right hands this could have been amazing.
Worst Thing I played in 2011: Atelier Totori
So we all know anime sucks now right? It used to be good, but now it has gone to shit, and while this is a video game, it still is a perfect showcase for what is wrong with both anime and many Japanese games in general. Lazy, cheap looking graphics, boring and uninspired gameplay, and annoying and stupid cutesy characters. Instead of a title that looks like Ninokuni, Japan continues to churn out games that look like they came from 2001 on the PS2 featuring overly sexualized children. Seriously, what is it with the current anime fans, why are you fucknuts so attracted to 8 year olds with boobs? Why does anybody actually play these things? This is the current entry in a long line of garbage from NIS. The gameplay would be dated on a Super Nintendo and the story could fit into a direct to DVD Barbie movie. There is almost nothing redeeming about this pile and my only solace is the fact that not many people bought it, only enough to ensure more sequels…FUCK!