I’m Not Paying $70 For That!
This year, we had a handful of pretty good video game releases. From games that stemmed from larger companies, like Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Resident Evil 4 Remake to more obscure, indie titles such as Dredge and Pizza Tower, there is something that appealed to everyone this year. But what about the games that did the exact opposite of pleasing their fans? Granted, we got a lot of good games this year, but we also got our fair share of bad games as well. Here is a list of these exact games that didn’t necessarily resonate well with the gaming community.
It seems like for every year, Square Enix always gives us a bad game. In 2021, they released Balan Wonderworld. In 2022, Babylon’s Fall. This year, Square Enix made Forspoken. Imagine Assassin’s Creed, but with cringy dialogue, poor performance, empty environments, and boring, repetitive combat of “run around the enemy and shoot it until it dies.” This game had potential to be good, with the fantasy setting being wonderfully crafted and the story being somewhat interesting (key word: somewhat). But it’s hard to be immersed when the protagonist keeps saying stuff like “Did I just do that?” or “I just moved that with my mind!” And they charge $70 for this?
Speaking of charging $70 for a bad game, Redfall could be considered this year’s second bad shooting game (we will get to #1 soon). Redfall fails to hit multiple nails on the head, and it’s riddled with many issues in terms of gameplay and functionality. Problems include very buggy gameplay and AI, mediocre graphics, poor storytelling methods, bland missions and objectives, and weak combat mechanics. The game is just a giant borefest from beginning to end, with it getting progressively worse the more you play it. If you want a better vampire slaying experience, you would do much better with any of the Castlevania games. Even the more mediocre titles in the series such as Harmony of Despair trump Redfall by a massive landslide.
Garten of Banban
A game that haphazardly attempts to hop onto the “mascot horror” bandwagon. Like most other mascot horror games, such as Poppy Playtime and Hello Neighbor, the only reason Garten of Banban is popular is because of the audience of 9-year-olds who have unrestricted access to Youtube Kids. Playing the actual game is a lot more painful than watching it, with confusing and tedious puzzles, heavy reliance on trial and error, and a story that is confusing and cryptic just for the sake of being confusing and cryptic. The characters that are featured in the game feel so unoriginal and the voice acting is laughably bad. And they are still releasing parts for this game! Unlike Five Nights at Freddy’s, we won’t be seeing a movie adaptation of this game anytime soon (hopefully).
The sad part of Overwatch is that it was a very fun and serviceable game at first. But then, Activision Blizzard realized they were making money off of it and they decided to slap the number 2 at the end of the title. They made the game free-to-play, but it featured many changes, most of them being downgrades from the first Overwatch. First, there is the stinky “Battle Pass” system that you have to pay to get premium rewards on a tier list. Some of these premium rewards include new characters to play, so you have to pay the money if you want to play as them. They also take away the free loot boxes you get by playing the game and replace them with a store page, where you have to pay up to $20 for a legendary skin for one character (that’s half of what Overwatch initially cost). Top that off with dumbing down the 6v6 formula to 5v5 as well as Activision Blizzard canceling the PVE mode that they promised before Overwatch 2’s release, and you have a perfect example of unnecessary change. Many others feel this way too, with Overwatch 2 having the lowest review score of all time on Steam, with comments saying that Blizzard should leave the game industry or just outright providing links to the download page of Team Fortress 2.
This Nintendo Switch exclusive game is the sequel to 1-2-Switch, which was a party game launch title when the system first released, all the way back in 2017. But here’s the kicker: 1-2-Switch initially didn’t do well in the first place, with it being just a minigame collection that got really boring really quick. It can be seen as a demo for the Nintendo Switch, much like Wii Sports is a demo for the Nintendo Wii. The difference is that Wii Sports offered motion controls when it was something new at the time and was bundled with the Wii. 1-2-Switch featured more of the same motion controls (albeit in a more bland fashion) and was separately sold for $50. Everybody 1-2-Switch is basically more of 1-2-Switch, the only major difference being the gameplay relying more on teamwork. Nothing else much to say about it.
Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Yeah, we all saw this one coming. Out of all of the characters in the Lord of the Rings franchise, Daedalic Entertainment decided to go with the frail, skinny, schizophrenic goblin who sits in his cave all day and eats bugs (because a game about Gandalf or Sauron wasn’t appealing enough). The game feels more like a mobile game, with an ugly user interface and graphics like wax. The gameplay isn’t interesting in the slightest, featuring repetitive fetch quests and stealth missions that don’t even function most of the time. The game was so poorly received that Daedalic had to issue a written apology letter to the public basically saying sorry that their game is buggy and mediocre. And if paying $50 for the game isn’t enough, you can spend around $8 extra for emotes. That’s right: you have to pay to hear Gollum say “My precious.”
Garten of Banban (2023) Official Trailer