This Generation’s Ups And Downs

Posted on October 10, 2010

No matter how much technology evolves, video game development will always be filled with uncertainty. During the long process from concept to final product, an idea for a video game may grow into a title that revolutionizes the industry, or devolve into an utter mess. How has this generation of hardware fared? Here’s a list of the most pleasant surprises and biggest disappointments we’ve seen so far. Let’s start with the bad news.

Down #10: Aliens vs. Predator
The AVP franchise takes two of the most badass alien series in science fiction and mixes them together – how could you go wrong? While the movie franchise managed to answer that question in myriad ways, the AVP video game series was solid…until the
most recent release. Archaic level design, dumb AI, and some boring game mechanics made playing through the game’s three separate campaigns more of a chore than a good time. The multiplayer was better, but as a whole AVP left us wanting more from such an epic matchup.

Up #10: Scribblenauts
The Nintendo DS has seen some creative titles over the years, but this ambitious title from a relatively unknown developer sounded too good to be true from the beginning. Although the final product has some serious control problems, Scribblenauts
largely delivers on its promise: Your solutions to the game’s countless puzzles are limited only by your imagination (or in this case, your vocabulary). We’ll be flipping through our thesaurus to prepare for the release of the sequel, which promises to fix some of the original title’s shortcomings. However, the original Scribblenauts proved that in an age where shooters reign supreme, your most powerful muscle is still the one between your ears.

Down #9: White Knight Chronicles
Level-5 made a name for itself by creating excellent Japanese role-playing games for the PS2, so when the company showed off the first trailer for White Knight Chronicles, gamers got excited. Not only would it be Level-5’s first PS3 game, but without a Final Fantasy for the new hardware, White Knight Chronicles
was one of the few titles to have RPG fans considering Sony’s new platform. After the initial announcement however, updates on White Knight Chronicles came slow, and what we heard didn’t sound good: Level-5 was moving away from what it did best to incorporate an MMO feel, despite a measly four-player limit. After a lengthy delay, White Knight Chronicles released to mixed reviews, but given the title’s place in the PS3’s history, we’re still bummed out by what could have been.

Up #9: Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow
The Castlevania series has had solid 2D titles on pretty much every platform released in the past 25 years, but whenever Konami has flirted with the third dimension, the series has suffered. With Lords of Shadow, the
Japanese developer found
a winning combination for a 3D Castlevania, by mixing the series’ signature style with proven mechanics from other triple-A action titles. Some have criticized Lords of Shadow as being too much like other action games, but we’re just happy to finally have a 3D Castlevania that’s fun to play.

Down #8: Too Human
Originally planned as a PlayStation One title, Too Human suffered from over a decade of hype inflating expectations before it finally released. Gamers had every right to expect good things from Too Human: Developer Silicon Knights impressed gamers with Eternal Darkness, and the title’s mix of science fiction and Norse mythology was tantalizingly original. Even with the extended development time, however, Too Human just
didn’t come together. The story and characters were laughably bad, and the unbalanced gameplay and broken targeting system (not to mention the inexplicably long death scenes) left players frustrated. Like many of the titles on this list, Too Human’s biggest disappointment comes in the form of wasted potential.

Up #8: Puzzle Quest
Little did we know that mixing an RPG with a tile-matching puzzle game would prove to be the gaming equivalent of crack. By adding an engaging meta-game to Bejeweled’s proven formula, Puzzle Quest allows players to sink countless hours into the game without feeling like they’re doing the same thing over and over again. Puzzle Quest’s gameplay delivers finely tuned chaos that the player always has just enough control over to remain enjoyable. The RPG elements strike a chord similar to the recent sensation Minecraft has caused, by constantly providing new goals to achieve and avenues to explore. Although the sequel
stumbled a bit in the later hours, it couldn’t tarnish our love for the series.

Go to Source (Game Informer)

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Categories: Game News, Game Secrets


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