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Platforms: 360 / PS3
Average Review Score: 42.4%
What the press release promised: “Players tired of the same old shoot-‘em-up, recycled gameplay are going to get what’s coming to them in Naughty Bear. The all-new scare-based points system introduces a whole new element of fun."
What the game actually delivered: If nothing else, Naughty Bear is new. That much should be obvious from the title and screenshot. Yes, you play as a cuddly stuffed toy who stalks, tortures and murders other cuddly stuffed toys. Yes, you can lay traps, sabotage homes, perform instant kill moves or even scare your enemies into committing suicide. Yes, there are ninja, zombie and alien bears. And yes, this is an awesomely original – if unbelievably silly – idea for a videogame that, in the right hands, could produce a surprise hit.
Could, but doesn't. In actual execution, Naughty Bear is a near-unplayable and mean-spirited mess, one so bad that even the concept – the only reason anyone was interested in this game to begin with – feels like a mistake. Why would we want to hunt down cute and fluffy animals for revenge when their sole crime was staying away from this psychopathic monster of a protagonist? Where's the fun in an arsenal of violent weaponry if you can't lock on and simply end up smashing the melee button while running around in a circle? Or in stealth, if the bear AI is too stupid to know when you're hiding and too slow to run away regardless? Or in finishing moves, if the golf club or baseball bat or machete knife just ends up clipping through the victim's body texture with no discernable impact?
Wasted potential – maybe. Waste – definitely.
The nicest thing anyone had to say: "Not completely devoid of charm." – D+PAD Magazine
The most scathing review quote: "An example for every game design classroom of what not to do." – Thunderbolt
Platforms: 360 / PS3
Average Review Score: 41.3%
What the press release promised: "A new and unique vision of football videogames, emphasizing the intense, physical and spectacular aspects of the sport [and] placing the gamer in the heart of the action, as opposed to the feeling of watching a TV broadcast."
What the game actually delivered: "Pure" is no joke. This is soccer stripped down to nothing but the most minimal essentials. There are no stadiums and no crowds for atmosphere – instead, players compete in empty and often soulless settings, like a power station in London or a factory in Milan. There's no music or audio commentary, either – merely the sweaty sounds of grunting men and smacking balls in an echo chamber of extreme non-excitement.
Of course, such a bare-bones approach would be fine – welcome, even – if the developers were truly trying to focus on an "authentic" recreation of the sport, without distractions. Sadly, that's not the case at all. Goalies jump in the opposite directions of kicks. Penalties are handed out for meaningless reasons. Every team speaks with vague British accents, even when they hail from completely different continents.
Here's the worst part, though. You shoot by timing your button presses to a golf-like swing meter, and can't manually control the ball's ultimate destination. Crossing and side tackling are handled the same dumbed-down way. If you're thinking that Pure Futbol: Authentic Soccer suddenly seems an awful lot like a glorified quick-time event, masquerading as a realistic sports simulator, well… we think we'd have to agree with you.
The nicest thing anyone had to say: "At least no spectators were subjected to this." – GameSpot
The most scathing review quote: "Strips football down and takes its soul." – Official Xbox Magazine UK
Platforms: 360 / PS3 / PC
Average Review Score: 39.7%
What the press release promised: "The ingenious plots and fast action of Prison Break thrill TV audiences around the world, and provide the ideal basis for a videogame."
What the game actually delivered: What's worse than a terrible game adaptation of a new summer blockbuster like Iron Man 2? Easy. Prison Break: The Conspiracy, a terrible game adaptation of a semi-successful television show, one that not only ended entirely over a year ago, but lost all relevance and popularity with the majority of viewers after its first season in 2005-2006. Timely!
And if you're unfortunate enough to play Prison Break, you'll immediately wonder what part of this shoddily constructed piece of programming could have possibly taken the developers so long to wrap up. We recently wrote how well a penitentiary theme could work in games – this extraordinarily unimaginative example of such a setting seems determined to prove us wrong. Environments so dull and drab that the sewers are a refreshing change of scenery? Guards that walk in robotic loops and don't react when you commit a crime or discuss secret escape plans within two feet of their faces? Missions that are rarely more involved than "fetch me a shiv"?
Not quite what we had in mind. Since you're not even playing as a character from the Prison Break series, probably not what fans had in mind, either.
The nicest thing anyone had to say: "The angle that the developers have taken is very unique." – RealGamer
The most scathing review quote: "You’d be better off picking up a bar of soap." – DarkZero