The time for giving thanks is upon us. All of us gamers have plenty to be thankful for this year; Borderlands 2, Assassin’s Creed III, XCOM: Enemy Unknown; the list goes on and on. Of course, with all of the big game releases, there are always a few turkeys scattered throughout. Games that are so over-hyped through word-of-mouth and marketing, promising industry-changing experiences but ultimately failing on all fronts. Here are ten games that wound up being big ol’ turkeys.
10. Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion XL! (PS3, Xbox 360, 3DS, Wii)
Remember Super Smash Bros? Imagine playing that same game, only with classic Cartoon Network characters such as the Powerpuff Girls, Dexter, and Samurai Jack. That was the inspiration behind Punch Time Explosion, but it never really got off the ground. Boring combat, odd platforming, and unimpressive graphics caused the game to bomb and quickly fade into obscurity.
9. Alone in the Dark (2008, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii, PC)
There was a time when Alone in the Dark was the go-to survival horror series. After a seven year absence from the gaming world, fans of the series were more than excited to hear that a reboot was finally in the works. The new Alone in the Dark was released in 2008, and those same fans began wishing that it never existed. It took the isolation and genuine scares found throughout the series and threw them out the window in favor of more action and big set-pieces. Not to mention the awful, dated camera, horrifying controls, and ugly characters. Luckily, an updated version called Alone in the Dark Inferno was released later in the year which significantly improved the gameplay.
8. Castlevania 64 (N64)
This one hurts. After years of exceptional games in the series, Castlevania was finally making its way to a 3D perspective on the console that did it best. Unfortunately for long-time fans, the game was an absolute failure. Plagued with clunky controls, terrible enemy design, ear-piercing voice acting, and one of the worst cameras in video game history.
7. Resident Evil 6 (PS3, Xbox 360)
I would love to put Resident Evil 6 higher up on this list, but let’s be honest: do we really have high expectations for the series anymore? It was said that Resident Evil 6 would bring the series back to its roots, but instead the series became a broken third-person shooter. Long-time fans of the series have continuously expressed their disappointment and concerns about the series’ future. Maybe this time Resident Evil should stay dead, instead of endlessly stumbling around where it doesn’t belong.
6. Bionic Commando (PS3, Xbox 360)
Bionic Commando wasn’t really a bad game. In fact, it some very enjoyable moments, decent graphics for the time, and a well-told story (that is, of course, until the “my arm is really my wife twist”), but after all of the hype and promises, it just didn’t quite deliver. The game ended up being a complete commercial flop, despite mixed reviews, and GRIN went on to develop the much-loved Terminator: Salvation. Just kidding, that game was horrible.
5. Tony Hawk Ride (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii)
It should probably be noted that there wasn’t a whole lot of hope for Tony Hawk Ride in the beginning. While the idea of using an actual skateboard was an interesting one, many chalked it up as just another gimmick. However, Activision put a lot of money into bringing the series in a “new direction.” Unfortunately, is was proven that gamers would much rather sit on the couch and press buttons than actual ride a skateboard. After all of the hype, Tony Hawk Ride ended up being a critical and commercial failure, holding a 44 average on Metacritic.
4. Xmen Destiny (PS3 Xbox 360, Wii, DS)
An RPG where you get to create your own mutant, make game-changing decisions, and side with either Xavier or Magneto? How could you go wrong. Well for a start, give players only three characters to choose from, boring combat and powers, and choices that come down to “pick a side, then fight until time runs out.” You choice of character has no effect on the story, and none of the decisions you make throughout the game matter at all, as you are given one final choice to make at the end which dictates the ending. The game received a lot of attention before it was released, but after the overwhelmingly poor critical reception, sales for the game were very low.
3. Amy (Xbox Live, PSN)
There hasn’t been a single critic who has given this game a good score. Nor have they praised any aspect of the game other than the concept. The game is a stealth horror game set during a virus outbreak. Players control a woman named Lana as she escorts a young girl named Amy out of the city. While the game initially showed some promise, reviewers consistently pointed out the terrible camera, some of the worst graphics of this generation, and has even been described as “the worst game ever made” by Jim Sterling of Destructoid. Even after an update that fixed save issues and many of the bugs, critics still couldn’t stomach this sickness.
2. Too Human (Xbox 360)
Very few people seem to remember Too Human, which is a shame because it could have been a great series. The sci-fi action RPG was developed by Silicon Knights as an Xbox 360 exclusive, and was promised to be the first of an epic trilogy based on Norse mythology. While the game wasn’t really that bad, it suffered from just enough issues that it received very mediocre reviews from critics. Unfortunately, this pushed away the many gamers who had been lured in by the insane amount of hype and new coverage the game had received, and Microsoft cancelled all plans to finish the trilogy. With a few tweaks, a sequel could have proven to be an amazing gaming experience, but eventually, the title faded into obscurity.
1. Superman Returns (PS2, Xbox 360, Xbox, PSP, DS)
Most people always think that Superman 64 deserves the top spot here, but come on: we’ve all heard that tale far too many times. Instead, the title goes to 2006’s Superman Returns. We all know that movie-licensed games are usually a mess, but this game took it to a whole new level. After the success of the open-world Spiderman 2 video game, Superman Returns had a lot of potential. Being able to fly around a huge city as the Man of Steel, saving citizens and fighting well-known villains like Bizarro, Braniac, and Darkseid is every gamer’s dream. Instead, the epic final battle of the game was… wait for it… a tornado. Not only did the game fail to include any real Superman moments, it suffered from terrible graphics, poor controls, and bland, empty city. After the incredible disappointment that was Superman 64, fans were hoping that Superman Returns would finally be the game they were waiting for. Unfortunately, it was more like the kryptonite that kept future developers, and fans, away.
What are you thoughts on a few “Video Game Turkeys” that have come and gone during your video game experiences? Let us know in the comment section below. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving.