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The Top 7... Disappointing games of the decade

3) STAR WARS GALAXIES

Year: 2003
Platform: PC
Developer: Sony Online

What we expected: The fulfillment of every geek’s dream: to finally live in the Star Wars universe. Be a Jedi and fight the Empire anywhere in the galaxy! Be a lowly stormtrooper on a Star Destroyer and work your way up through the ranks to command a fleet! Be a Wookiee and swing through the majestic trees on Kashyyyk! Hang out with your secret sci-fi man crush, Han Solo and/or Boba Fett!

What we got: EverQuest… and not even in space. Until the Jump to Lightspeed expansion, Star Wars didn’t actually let you go to the stars. Instead, you ran around a dozen low-poly planets – on foot – that didn’t look anything like the beloved universe. The characters and art style didn’t match, either, with grinding mobs and break-dancing Wookiees taking the place of epic galactic struggles. Worst of all, the path to becoming a Jedi was so convoluted and so time-gobbling that nearly everyone gave up along the way.


Above: That’s either Tatooine or some kid’s dresser with toys arranged on top

Disappointed players left the game in droves, or never bothered trying it in the first place. And when the developers at Sony Online attempted to bring subscribers back with the NGE, or New Game Enhancement, they only made matters more frustrating. Classes were radically revamped and now – lo and behold! – practically anyone could complete Jedi training. What’s stupider than a Star Wars MMO with only a hardcore handful of Force masters? A Star Wars MMO with five million of them, set in a time period during which Darth Vader was supposedly, you know, killing them all off. The game’s balance was totally destroyed, and players who had already sacrificed their social lives to reach Jedi level pre-NGE were totally screwed.

BioWare? The Old Republic? We hope you were paying attention, and understand exactly what not to do in the coming decade.


2) SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Year: 2006
Platform: 360, PS3
Developer: Sonic Team

What we expected: Sonic’s glorious return to form… the one that publisher Sega had explicitly promised us after years of pimping our beloved childhood icon in craptastic kiddie ware and street snowboarding idiocy. Initial screenshots showed the Hedgehog blazing through dizzying loops and hoops, leading us to believe that maybe – just maybe – the franchise could work on 3D consoles.


What we got: An insipid storyline filled with bullshit mini quests and more load times than an 18-Wheeler weigh station the day before Black Friday. Rather than focus on actual gameplay or the characters we wanted to see, Sega introduced a horrifically unwelcome human element, then padded the ultra-brief levels with agonizing talk-tasks better suited for a JRPG.

Basically, this game marked the death of Sonic Team as a legendary developer. Before 2006’s Sonic the Hedgehog, even the series’ worst entries had been somewhat defensible. Any redeeming quality found here, however, was grossly overshadowed by the horrendous controls, unfair difficulty and a billion other telltale signs of an unfinished game.

By the time it arrived on PS3 a couple months later – with all the game-ruining glitches still intact – the over-hyped reboot had all but solidified the once mighty mascot’s irrelevance. Sonic had finally worn out his welcome with fans, and this disappointment is most responsible for transforming him into the punching bag we regularly beat on to this day.

Topics

Top 7

50 comments

  • somerandomchap - December 28, 2009 10:31 a.m.

    oh poor video games, you people are very mean, but so true, oh the lulz
  • k1ng94 - December 28, 2009 10:57 a.m.

    Great artical as always, however I was a bit suprised when Haze wasnt there. That game was hyped a hell of alot and turned out meh.
  • ryno - December 28, 2009 2:05 p.m.

    lair was great
  • Ironarm - December 28, 2009 3:48 p.m.

    I'm gonna say it. Here it goes. I liked Enter the Matrix. I enjoyed that game for whatever reason. Go ahead...do your worst internet.
  • Ridgley - December 28, 2009 4:46 p.m.

    I'm not gonna lie... SWG was great. People didn't leave in droves until the CU and subsequent NGE.
  • dante1924 - December 28, 2009 5:02 p.m.

    Don't worry, Gamesradar, the too human sequel will come out... in 20 years! And it will be even worse than the original! My crystal ball doesn't lie! Also, my crystal ball says that project needlemouse will be a cruel, cruel letdown. And it will have even more trapped in the sky moments! Red steel sucked. But so far, the reaction to the sequel has been positive! Let's cross our fingers, because my crystal ball can't predict if it will be good. ReCaptcha: he Hence
  • GameManiac - December 28, 2009 5:02 p.m.

    Do the words "Common Sense", "Review", and "Improve" mean anything to those game developers? Will Sonic EVER rise from the dead?
  • toastedmilk - December 28, 2009 5:08 p.m.

    i agree with ironarm, etm was a good, or at least decent, game. it wasn't what it could have been, but #1 most disappointing game of the decade is a bit harsh.
  • JustTheBoBreaker - December 28, 2009 5:23 p.m.

    Sonic's the walking corpse of a different era of videogames. I still think a badass next-gen Sonic game is possible, but it's never gonna happen. Sega should put that Hedgehog down before they damage the brand any further.
  • Yeager1122 - December 28, 2009 5:40 p.m.

    Red Steel and Enter the matrix FOREVER...........................................................jk they both sucked.
  • speno93 - December 28, 2009 6:10 p.m.

    so true, i hope your other decade articles are more uplifting and be full of awesome stuff.
  • Hurricrane - December 28, 2009 7:07 p.m.

    I;m glad you guys always take the "anti-game of the year" approach with your articles. They're always more fun to read and there are WAY to many sites doing exactly the same thing right now... slowly churning out GOTY awards and it's FUCKING BORING. I can always come to GR and laugh at Sonic's expense
  • axis56 - December 28, 2009 7:23 p.m.

    i agree with the decision on ETM, the word for that game is gray. it was so dull in one of films most bizarre universes. shame. sonic was a write-off from the word go.
  • Dexsus - December 28, 2009 8:05 p.m.

    Hmm, I liked Enter the Matrix and actually taking on the agents instead of pissing it away from them, It looks horrible now though. Path of Neo was great as well as mentioned. I definitely agree with everything else on this list, R.I.P. Sonic.
  • lovinmyps3 - December 28, 2009 9:01 p.m.

    It was still a fun decade. =)
  • BAMchucknorris - December 28, 2009 9:48 p.m.

    the decade wasnt all bad! I mean, there was halo, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Call of Duty (all the ones except for the terrible wii and DS versions), and countless other great games including Bioshock and the second Assassin's Creed!
  • twishart - December 28, 2009 10:41 p.m.

    I would have hoped to see an entry titled "96% of Wii games". Is that too generous? I don't think I've played ANY of these.
  • Master_Leep - December 28, 2009 11:04 p.m.

    um, spore should be number 1 or at least make the list :P biggest disappointment for me ever after watching that GDC conference....
  • vitoruss - December 28, 2009 11:43 p.m.

    I gotta agree with Ironarm. I liked Enter the Matrix. Granted the plot was shit and it was buggy as hell and got really redundant, at the time I was young and highly entertained by the bull(shit)et-time gunplay. Looking back, the game wasn't that great and I could never beat it due to a gamebreaking glitch, but whatevs.
  • Defguru7777 - December 28, 2009 11:57 p.m.

    Red Steel was a big letdown for me. But if one thing was fun in that game, it was shooting guns out of people's hands. And the worst part for me was the horrible "cutscenes." I don't know if it was one of the most disappointing of the decade though. But it is one of the worst games I own.

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