6. Nintey-Nine Nights
What the hell is this? Generic fantasy beat 'em-all that was originally intended to be a marquee title for the 360.
Whose fault is it? Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Microsoft Game Studios, and Phantagram.
What happened? We're not entirely sure. Everything about Ninety-Nine Nights looked promising. Mizuguchi, fresh off of Rez and Lumines, would be helming the title, Microsoft Game Studios would be providing funding, and South Korean developer Phantagram (of Kingdom Under Fire fame) would be assisting in the programming and design work. It's come to light, however, that this multi-national arrangement made communication quite difficult at times, and staff have described the game's development as "troubled."
The final product wound up being a hack-fest involving you mowing down hundreds upon hundreds of rampaging soldiers. While the graphics were amazing from a technical standpoint, the character designs and artwork were based firmly in generic fantasy archetypes. The gameplay was equally bland, feeling like a cut-and-paste straight from the Dynasty Warriors school of "chop down anything that moves." Somehow, though, N3's mindless button-mashing felt even more uninspired than the formula that spawned it. And when you're more uninspired than Dynasty Warriors, well... that's an accomplishment, albeit a mighty dubious one.
Aftermath: People all but stopped caring about a week after N3's release, and Mizuguchi's Q? Entertainment has become eerily quiet, focusing primarily on regurgitated Xbox Live content for the time being. We're sure Miz will make up for this one somehow, but we don't blame him for wanting to lay low for a while.