2008: My Top 5 Disappointments

Let’s get this depressing topic out of the way. Without further ado, my top 5 (gaming related) disappointments for 2008:

5: XBox 360 #2 rolled over and died on me. I’m on my 3rd 360 now, but that’s not so bad since I have friends who are on #5. #3 is thus far stable but I still feel a bit of anxiety every time I turn the machine on.

4: MMO closings and the loss of Mythos. Flagship Studios’ implosion was a big disappointment, not because of the end of Hellgate London, but because we lost Mythos, which was an *awesome* MMO/Diablo hybrid. I played in the beta and it was solid and so much fun. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I held-off on playing it waiting for “release” so I wouldn’t get burned out and then… *poof!*. Such a loss. Later in the year we learned that Tabula Rasa is being shut down. I liked TR when I first tired it, and my intent was always to get back to the game once it’d cooked for a while, but alas, that won’t happen now. The lesson I’ve learned? Play ’em while you got ’em since I don’t think we’ve seen the end of MMO closings.

3: Spore. I had wild hopes for this game; probably too wild. I really was hoping for an Evolution simulator and instead I got an Intelligent Design simulator, which wouldn’t have been so bad if the game had a bit more meat to it. It was an awful lot of fun for about 3 nights and I’ve barely touched it since.

2: Pirates of the Burning Seas was in development *forever* and still shipped half-finished. I adored the mechanics of the ship combat, but the economy stuff was way too spread-sheet heavy for me, and the PvP was a bit too hard-core for my tastes at launch. You’d haggle and finagle for a couple weeks to get a ship built and could lose it in an evening of PvP. This aspect was loved by some, but not by me. The ‘swashbuckling’ was broken, and cookie cutter towns and adventure areas removed any sense of exploration. Still looking for a good Wooden Ships-theme MMO.

1: Age of Conan. So much hype, but I should’ve been warned off by the fact that the devs kept trying to draw our attention back to the topless women. The revolutionary combat system wasn’t revolutionary at all (City of Heroes did it better). All that said, the first 20 levels were pretty darned fun, but after that the game was kind of grindy and catered far too heavily to zerg-guilds for my tastes.

So what were your biggest gaming disappointments this year?

4 thoughts on “2008: My Top 5 Disappointments

  1. Yeah, Spore was a disappointment. I thought the old SimEarth game (for DOS) was actually a lot more fun. I guess part of the problem was I was hoping for something that had that amount of depth in modeling evolution and a living ecosystem and so on, but instead I got five highly repetitive mini-games that had little to do with one another.

    My biggest disappointments were Age of Conan, POTBS, and Warhammer Online. I desperately wanted a new MMO to capture my imagination, and push the genre forward but not one of these overly hyped games was able to deliver.

  2. Not a bad list at all, and I would not disagree with any of it. Your should have no problems with the xbox anymore, the new versions are designed much better, just remember to have it standing up to help with the heat.

    If I had a better memory, I’m sure I could think of some disappointment for the year. I would say that AoC is a good one, I loved the graphics, the combat and Tortage, but the game would have been better had it been close to being finished.

    Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was a massive disappointment to me, crappy camera, crappy platforming gameplay, and who can forget that lame Star Destroyer sequence! Many seemed to love the story, but I felt it was mediocre at best. And the whole time playing the game, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was not a game, but a great tech demo for the new physics engine that Lucas Arts created.

    I would also say that I am disappointed with WAR as well. I am going to continue to play it, and am enjoying the game, but I am personally having a hard time shaking the glass half empty feeling with WAR, that we players are paying to play a game that should still be in beta testing. Recent changes have been great for the game, and if it was released now I would probably not have the same feeling about the game.

    My last disappointment of the year would be the DRM fiasco that legit gamers are having to deal with.

    The best thing to ever happen to me happened this year, the birth of my son Jayeden. He will be one year old in January, and it makes me so proud when I see him running around the house with the Dreamcast controller in hand trying to like dad!! Kind of gaming related, lol.

  3. Age of Conan would be Numero Uno for me as well, though I did enjoy it while I could.

    TR, along with Flagship and Mythos are up there as well.

    Spore would probably be right behind, but I still dig the game and its concepts enough to boot it up from time to time.

    Really though, even with a lot people talking crap about MMOGs this year… it’s been a good year for me. Lots of fun the whole year, even if I’ve not really found a long-term game to cling to and I think that’s a sort of moral. I don’t think any MMOG will ever hold me longer than 3-4 months at a time again by itself. There’s just too much variety out there, and it’s only going to get worse in 2009 and 2010.

    Biggest surprises of 2008? CivRev, Fallout 3 (I was very uncertain right up until I played it), and Puzzle Quest… that was 2008 right?

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