Celebrate the best video games of 2012 all you want, but there’s always another side… the dark side. While there are always a number of bad games released every year, four in 2012 gained the most ire. Those are the titles about to be slammed here. Whether through lack of proper time, publisher interference, or an idea that just didn’t pan out, these are not games you want on your shelf:
Released to store shelves resembling a shell of what this renewed Ninja Gaiden series would be known for, Tecmo clearly struggled without their heart, Tomonobu Itagaki. With gore all but lost, weapons stripped, and toned down difficulty, Ryu Hayabusa should be shamed for taking on this quest. Add in an incomprehensible story and online play that only asks additional questions (is it actually worth the $10 online pass?), and Tecmo had to turn about face to salvage this one. The eventual Wii U edition would be a band-aid to the problem with its exaggerated gore and expanded weapon roster. Even Tecmo knew they screwed this one up.
Oh dear. On the PSP, Ridge Racer was an icon, and despite being a launch title, it remains one of the best games on the system. On the Vita, franchise devotees were not that lucky. Much like Ninja Gaiden 3, Ridge Racer is little more than a shell. The game sells itself as a worldwide, corporate competition via cyberspace. The problem? There is almost no content, and a massive patch (almost 1GB) plus DLC included with new copies sapped massive (and precious) Vita storage space just to make it playable. While Namco would mostly fix the abominable frame rate, most players were long gone because they had seen all four courses and dozen or so cars. Nothing here is new either, tracks ripped from classic editions of the series or the awesome PlayStation 3 version.
Gimmicks. Ugh. Spirit Camera shipped with a book required to play. Eager 3DS photographers would use the system’s camera to point at said book and initiate the AR game. It never worked. Not only was the functionality barely there, trying to physically swing the 3DS around to find what you’re supposed to be looking at (some type of spirit) was an appalling gameplay mechanic. Players unfortunate enough to buy the thing were then turned around at GameStop; the company wasn’t taking trade-ins because the book was required, and employees might not check for it. That left passing this disaster onto a friend you didn’t like or selling it yourself and dealing with the bad karma to come.
Originally, Steel Battalion shipped with an awesome mech controller that sprawled across three feet of space. It even had a window washing button. While complex, it was awesome if you mastered it. What does Heavy Armor do? Take it all away for Kinect controls that Do. Not. Work. If you’re one of the many who didn’t make it past the tutorial, know that your experience is shared by many. This cannot be fixed by a patch or a tweak. Heavy Armor is forever broken down, rejected by the community and critics alike for the absolute mess that it is. Not only did it tarnish the hardcore name of Steel Battalion, the Kinect will never be the same in the eyes of the hardcore audience, and it was already teetering.