How many times have you said a game was bad? How many times have you said a game was disappointing? How many times have you changed your mind between the two with a single game? As an avid user of N4G and other large gaming websites I often observe a large amount of comments explaining how a game is bad or a game is disappointing. Of course some of these comments may come from huge biased fanboys from any side who just want to trash talk a game that isn't on their preferred console of choice. But how often do gamers actually get the terms right? As far as research goes there aren't any real statistics showing whether a gamer is right to say a game is bad or disappointing. Sure, you can look at the Metacritic score or how IGN scored the game or whatever website you trust the most. There are so many variables to look at when judging some games that it's near impossible to declare with certainty that a game is bad or disappointing.
Let's take No Man's Sky as an example. A massively hyped game that released and ended up with a score of 71 on Metacritic. Can people say that 71 is a bad score? Sure, if you add the amount of hype towards the game and all the delays and the $60 price tag for an indie game developed by Hello Games, a studio no one knew about till this game. But would the term "disappointing" be better to describe the game? Think, if there was no marketing and absolutely no public knowledge of No Man's Sky would the game have been so negatively talked about? Imagine looking on Steam and seeing the game with no prior knowledge and deciding to buy it. Maybe you spend 10 hours in the game and realize it wasn't really worth the money and so you decide it's disappointing for the amount of money. But you see, would you say it's a bad game in that case?
What about the Xbox One exclusive turned PC/Xbox exclusive Quantum Break? Currently holds a 77 on Metacritic for Xbox One and a 62 on PC. A game developed by one of the most well known studios Microsoft owns with a fantastic track record. Would you say the game is bad or disappointing? Let's make a list of things about the game:
-$60 price tag
-developed by a very well known developer
-around 10 hour main story line and 20 hours for 100% completion
-mixture of show and game
Of course there are loads more but I feel that list gives a good amount of detail. So what would you say, Bad or disappointing? In case people wonder, you can say a game is good but disappointing. That is 100% a legitimate claim you can make. If you believe the game was the greatest thing to come out since sliced bread it's fine to make that claim as well. But my point is, when do we use either term?
Of course there is the point of a game being broken. Most games can come out broken and a month or so later with a few patches be completely fine. Both games above had their fair share of difficulties. No Man's Sky had many bugs causing crashes and frame-rate loss. Quantum Breaks PC release was also filled with bugs and loads of crashing. But does that mean the game is bad or disappointing? Again, I think it depends on the situation.
Either way, I just wanted to open discussion on this topic since I feel many people use both terms. What makes a game bad? What makes a game disappointing? Please try to stay away from insulting each others opinion.