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2014 is the year of disappointment in gaming...

It started with so much promise...

New consoles, new generation, new year. It was all looking up 11 months ago. We were about to see what these new bad boys could do. Just imagining the amazing graphical fidelity and new styles of gameplay was enough to make many of us open our pocketbooks to be a part of 8th generation of gaming.

And lets not forget our old consoles were likewise entering the swan song period where some of the best games usually release. Think of Chrono Trigger on the SNES. Paper Mario and Conker's Bad Fur Day on N64. Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy IX on PS1. Rogue Galaxy and Persona 3 & 4 on PS2.

But sadly, 2014 has been disastrous for us gamers. That's not to say there haven't been some surprises along the way. I'll be detailing a few of the brightest stars at the end of this list. But first, join me on this journey as we recount the epic failures, dashed hopes and demoralizing disappointments of 2014. What awfulness it is to dream of what might have been...

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JANUARY's biggest disappointment: Assassin's Creed Liberation HD

January is a sparse month for gaming since it comes right after the holiday season but even still, AC: Liberation HD was easily the worst home console AC game ever made. But I've heard some of the handheld AC games are even worse...

FEBRUARY's biggest disappointment: Thief
Dishonorable mentions:
Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
Rambo: The Videogame
Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2

Thief was one of my favorite PC games back in the late 90's and to see this franchise butchered like this makes me want to hit something. Garret deserved better, dammit! Also, what the hell happened to Castlevania and Final Fantasy this gen? For shame!

MARCH's biggest disappointment: Titanfall
Dishonorable mentions:
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Now here was a game that was supposed to show off what next-gen could do. But IMO, Titanfall ended up not even being as good of a multiplayer mech game as Hawken, an indy game that came out 2 years ago! And to my eyes, Hawken even has better graphics. Epic Fail! But special mention goes to MGSV: GZ which was like a slap in the face to this Metal Gear fan. We deserved better than a $30 demo, Konami.

APRIL's biggest disappointment: The Elder Scrolls Online
Dishonorable mention:
The Amazing Spider-Man 2

After Fallout 3 and TES V: Skyrim, I believed that Bethesda could do no wrong. On paper, a Skyrim MMO is gold. But its also true that there's a lot more to MMORPGs than what Skyrim had. But who knows? It might get a lot better over time. But you know what WON'T get better over time? The Amazing Spider-Man 2. That's what.

MAY's biggest disappointment: Watch Dogs

In hindsight, I should have seen this coming. This was the game that was held up as the example of what next-gen should be. A benchmark as it were. It was gonna release 6 months after GTA V and supposedly show Rockstar how it was done. It's our fault really. Expecting Ubisoft to outdo Rockstar is like expecting a bottle rocket to outshine NASA. Now that I think about it, Ubisoft hasn't really blown my mind since... Splinter Cell Chaos Theory... in 2005. Yep. :/

JUNE's biggest disappointment: Murdered Soul Suspect
Dishonorable mention:
Transformers Rise of the Dark Spark

So I recently played Ghost Trick Phantom Detective on the DS and I loved it! I was told by many websites that M:SS was gonna be like a HD version of Ghost Trick. They lied and I hate them all. End of story. Also, Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark was a huge let down compared to the last few Transformers games, War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron.

JULY's biggest disappointment: Sacred 3

SHOCKER: giving a great big middle finger to fans of the last two Sacred games is a really bad way to build a franchise.

AUGUST's biggest disappointment: The Walking Dead: Season Two

Okay so this might be a bit of a controversial choice. I loved the first Telltale game and I was expecting them to really go above and beyond the quality of the original and instead I just got more or less the same. It's not terrible but I wanted a better story and less bugs.

SEPTEMBER's biggest disappointment: Destiny
Dishonorable mentions:
The Sims 4

It was almost unthinkable: Bungie letting us down? Preposterous! Tyrion Lannister boring us to tears? Ridiculous! But here we are. Many others have touched on this, so I'll leave it at that. But I have to say that releasing 20 "expansion packs" for the Sims 4 and nickel and diming us is a great way to kill a beloved franchise. Thanks EA! What will you think of next?

OCTOBER's biggest disappointment: WWE 2K15
Dishonorable mentions:
The Evil Within
Jagged Alliance: Flashback
Lords of the Fallen

I'm a huge fan of the old N64 wrestling games like WWF No Mercy and WrestleMania 2000. I've kept up the with the Smackdown games even though I haven't enjoyed them very much. But that all changed this year. 2K striped out tons of features for NO REASON at all. Add in a weak roster and fewer CAW slots and I'm done with this series. They could have just re-released 2k14 and it would have been leaps and bounds better than this. Also, the other dishonorable mentions were no where near as good as the series' they are copying.

We still have two more months of 2014 to go but I have the feeling that even more disappointments are on the way. A certain assassins franchise is releasing not one, but 2 games this month. And you know what happens when publishers bet on two horses at the same time, right? Yeah...

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So now let's look at the best surprises of 2014:

South Park: The Stick of Truth
Dark Souls II
Mario Kart 8
Divinity: Original Sin
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Legend of Grimrock II
Bayonetta 2

All of these games are from franchises that have something to prove: South Park has had nothing but crappy games since the mid 90's. Lots of games are copying the Dark Souls formula. Mario Kart was thought to be well past it's prime. Divinity has always been in the shadow of other franchises like Diablo. Wolfenstein hasn't been relevant in a decade. Lord of the Rings games have been mired in darkness this whole generation until one developer marched happily into the darkest place of all: Mordor. Legend of Grimrock II needed to be so much more than the original's throwback to early CRPGs and Bayonetta 2 had to justify it's exclusivity to Nintendo.

That "something to prove" made these games something more than we were expecting. They rose above their predecessors and boldly struck new ground. They redefined what the series was and reinforced the quality of the franchise.

Masterfully done! Bravo!

*claps respectfully*

I just wish more games this year had followed your examples...

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imtheman20132146d ago (Edited 2146d ago )

While I do agree that this year was particularly underwhelming in the video game department thus far, I have to disagree with a couple of your choices for "dishonorable mentions."

First, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was probably one of my favorite games this year. I don't know whether or not you've played it, but I'd like to know why you categorized it as you did and what you think about it?

Second, Watch_Dogs. By no means was Watch_Dogs a phenomenal game, and it was among one of the first this year to suffer from over-hype, but I thought it was an all around decent game. The mechanics were solid, the story was OK, and some of its ideas could lead to far more successful sequels.

For the most part though, this year has been very "meh" when it comes to video games. Granted, I'm still looking forward to Assassin's Creed Unity, regardless of all of the negativity surrounding it. Also Little Big Planet 3, which I've waited for since they released the Vita version. Not to mention Far Cry 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition. We still have some time left in this year, and at least, from what it looks like, 2015 will have some good games in store for us.

gamejediben2146d ago

I loved playing MGSV: Ground Zeroes...

...for about an hour. And then buyer's remorse kicked in. Paying $30 for about as much content as MGS2's Tanker demo (which I got for free) left a bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

Not saying that hour of gaming sucked. It was AMAZING! Just thinking about how awesome MGSV: The Phantom Pain is going to be is making my blood pressure go up.

But that feeling of being abused by Konami isn't going away. I feel like I need to take a bath.

As to Watch Dogs, I just kept wanting to put GTAV back in. I had way more fun doing just about anything with GTAV. Everything just felt off, even the physics. I didn't hate it but the sense of disappointment was overwhelming.

Z5012145d ago

"I loved playing MGSV: Ground Zeroes...

...for about an hour. And then buyer's remorse kicked in. Paying $30 for about as much content as MGS2's Tanker demo (which I got for free) left a bitter aftertaste in my mouth"

That says more about you then it does Konami/Kojima.

"Paying $30 for about as much content as MGS2's Tanker demo"

You know this is a lie. I've put 15hrs into GZ with only 27% completion. I've NEVER done that with any 'demo'.

donthate2145d ago (Edited 2145d ago )

I disagree with the list too. As an Xbox One owner, I have been mightily happy.

First I got Titanfall which so far has been this years best game. Then we get Sunset Overdrive, which is a surprise hit. Really looking forward to Halo:MCC as well. Also D4 and Project Spark is a f'in awesome game!

Diablo 3 and Last of Us has been nice too. I am surprised we got so many good games this early in the generation on the Xbox One.

freshslicepizza2146d ago (Edited 2146d ago )

sure we had quite a few games get pushed back to 2015 along with developers not fully committed to the new hardware, thus cross platform releases but;

the banner saga
the last of us hd
donkey kong country tropical freeze
plants vs zombies garden warfare
south park the stick of truth
super smash bros. 3DS
mariokart 8
the walking dead season 2
dark souls 2
metal gear solid 5 ground zeroes
diablo 3
mlb 14 the show
child of light
wolfenstein the new order
watch dogs
grid autosport
divinity original sin
tales of xiliia 2
madden 15
hyrule warriors
fifa 15
endless legend
wasteland 2
forza horizon 2
middle earth shadow of mordor
alien isolation
sunset overdrive
project spark
little big planet 3
bayonetta 2
the evil within
legend of grimrock 2
civilization beyond earth
lords of the fallen
gta 5 remastered
call of duty advanced warfare
assassins creed unity
infamous second son
far cry 4
halo mc collection
dragon age inquisition

disappointing year? really?

deadpools_n642142d ago

One u forgot that maybe only I was looking forward to. Borderlands the pre-sequel. It makes for the mess earlier in the year of borderlands 2 for the vita. So even though my year started out dissapointing a Lil it rebounded

pixelsword2143d ago I guess it's good I waited a year for the price of the PS4 to drop before I get it.

Gatsu2146d ago (Edited 2146d ago )

I loved playing MGS:GZ and still do. Most of us already knew it was going to be a short prologue, because that is what prologues usually are. Still imo, it's nice that we had the chance play a part of MGSV year earlier before TPP releases.

A part of me kinda hates it because I want to know the rest of the story ;). It always ends way too fast lol :(. But I have played it a lot more than some other full priced PS4 games released this year.

Anyway, a good list you posted. I agree with most I have played, but there's many games I haven't played. For that I'm glad, after hearing people being disappointed over some games like Destiny etc.

"So now let's look at the best surprises of 2014: "
I would add Alien Isolation to this list. The game has been fantastic imo, best Alien game so far.

gamejediben2146d ago

I have yet to try Alien Isolation but judging by what others are saying, you're probably right. And it also fits with that theme of having something to prove a year after the Aliens: Colonial Marines debacle.

Thanks for pointing that out.

caseh2146d ago

Ahh jagged alliance, I never realised they made another one. Due to where you placed it I'm guessing it was a let down? Sad times, jagged alliance 2 sapped so much of my spare time when it came out, the king of turn based strategy/rpg

gamejediben2146d ago

Oh I'm with you there. JA2 is a masterpiece and that's what makes the new JA games so hard to stomach. If XCOM can get an awesome remake, why can't Jagged Alliance?

It's just not fair.

Ethereal2146d ago

Alien: Isolation needs to be added to the surprises for this year.

R00bot2144d ago

True, after colonial marines I wasn't expecting much..

Littlewashu52146d ago

This article is the snuff porn of whiny, entitled gamer rants with some added scat.

Granted, some of these games like Destiny and Driveclub are genuine disappointments, but a lot of the games you listed are either good games that just got too much pre-release hype (Watch Dogs, Titanfall), or games that nobody with more than two brain cells thought were going to be good (Lightning Returns Rambo, Transformers).

And how is it "surprising" that games like Bayonetta 2, Dark Souls 2, and Mario Kart 8 ended up being great? It's not like Nintendo EAD, Platinum, and From Software are known for churning out shit.

Still, this blog was some fine masturbatory grandstanding Jedi. I bet the vein in your dick was throbbing the whole time you were typing it. You have a bright future as a game journalist....

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