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The Anti-Awards 2010

WINNER: Kinect launch lineup

Even after four years of Wii, the potential and possibility of motion control still excited us. Just because the majority of the system's games were extremely half-assed attempts to cash in on an extremely casual and clueless audience didn't mean the technology was meritless. Motion control was currently being wasted and abused, yes, but maybe if it was made for a more serious, less forgiving audience – say, that of the Xbox 360 or PS3? – then just maybe it could, one day, be as awesome as the Holodeck or Danger Room or whatever other sci-fi virtual reality teased your youthful imagination.

Nope. As both Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move proved last year, with better graphics and better processing power comes… the same predictable crap we've mocked for half a decade. Look at the lazy launch lineup for Kinect, which we found doubly disappointing since Microsoft's motion control – unlike Sony's – was actually, and admirably, different from Nintendo's.

Two kiddie racers? Four fitness coaches? Six minigame collections? A pet playground? The Kinect is capable of full-body 3D capture! The Kinect can recognize individual faces, voices and gestures! The Kinect has an infrared laser projector that transforms your living room into something out of Tron! And this is seriously the best that game developers can come up with? A dance simulator is really the "killer app" of Microsoft's motion control, and even that has an awful, similarly titled doppelganger waiting on shelves to confuse mainstream consumers?

The only cliché missing at the moment is child-rearing tween bait, but we're sure planned 2011 titles like Dance on Broadway, Michael Jackson: The Experience and Kinectalloons will keep that demographic occupied until Imagine Party Babyz can be successfully ported over.

We used to dream about the future of gaming. Now we dread it.

Final Fantasy XIV

There’s got to be something cool about Final Fantasy XIV. But after wading through the game’s unintuitive menu systems, horrible lag and a learning curve steeper than EVE Online, FFXIV quickly devolved into one of the most frustrating experiences of the year.

But don’t take our word for it. Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada is full of shame and has officially apologized to investors and fansfor the poor quality of FFXIV. The state of the game is so bad, in fact, that the monthly subscription fee has been removed until Square Enix can address players’ numerous grievances with the game. Meanwhile the PS3 version got a massive delay.Its concern and active involvement with the community is commendable, but the fact it allowed the game to ship in such a sad, unplayable state is flat-out unacceptable. The promises of change continue to this day– will it ever recover?

Jan 5, 2010

Celebrating the crappiest games, moments and dumbass dickery of the year

The turd icing on last year’s otherwise tasty game cake

The best games of last year, honored with the glittering trophies they deserve