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Author Topic: All-time PC gaming disappointments  (Read 7283 times)
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Blackadar
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« on: June 04, 2007, 11:15:54 AM »

Well, it's Monday morning and it's pretty slow out there in PC gaming land.  So let's have a bit of fun...What's your all-time PC gaming disappointments?  Not necessarily the worst games you've ever played, but the ones you felt let you down the most.  Mine are all single-player.

1.  Ultima 9 - I'm an Ultima freak.  I played Exodus (#3) first and went back and played 1 and 2 in the dawn of computer gaming.  4 is an all-time classic, but sadly my computer wasn't up to par to run 5 or 6 (those being the only ones I've never played).  I bought a new computer to play Ultima 7 and it remains in my top 5 of all time.  7 part 2 was almost as good and I felt personally tramatized when Dupree dies in my stead.

8 was a major bust with the jumping puzzles, but 9 looked fantastic and Lord Brittish was hell-bent on sending his series out with a bang, not a whimper.  As the game neared, all the press and everything I read was overwhelming pointing to another Ultima classic game.  I got my copy and it was such a dog that I spent another $100 on 64M RAM to bring my system up to 128 to play it.  The intro was simply awesome...the fortune teller was back, butterflies flittered around the landscape and so forth.  Jumping into the game, it was possibly the most amazing gaming world I'd ever seen (even with major fog!).  Then I got into the game...and the gameplay positively sucked.  My open ended world as now on major rails...there's a dragon preventing me from heading to Yew!  WTF???  And the voice acting was simply the most horrid I'd ever experienced.  Then I experienced the bugs, crashes and corrupted saved games that made it unplayable. 

I tried it some years later with the user-made patch which redid the dialog to make it fit in Ultima, but the damage was done.  I couldn't muster the energy to do it.  What a complete waste. 


2.  Black and White.  How this won't make everybody's list I don't know.  The concept was pure genius.  The game was pretty stable and the first couple of hours were simply amazing.  And all the initial reviews gave it a big thumbs up.  Then, after about 5 hours of gameplay, I began to realize that this game was a turd.  The damn beast wouldn't do anything I wanted, the novel "floating hand" interface became a burden and the game itself was boring.  Dull as dishwater. 


3.  KOTOR 2 - I loved KOTOR.  I played it 3 times through.  I loved almost everything about it.  The gameplay was great, the worlds exceptionally well-done and it had the best "twist" in gaming history.  Bastilla remains one of my favorite PC gaming characters of all time.

So when I read that Obsidian was making #2 - the same group of guys who made PST - I was overly excited.  And we all know what happened next.  It was thrown out the door with at least 6 months of development needed to complete it.  The engaging story was cut short halfway through and rushed to completion.  Buggy, crash-prone, incomplete content...it was a crying shame.  And it was too damn engaging NOT to continue, but the only thing many players remember is that horrid 3rd act.  Hoepfully the restoration project can make this one whole again.


I know I've forgotten a number of other games...but those are my 3 on this Monday.

Have a good one!
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2007, 11:24:08 AM »

Master of Orion 3 -  MOO II was so good and MOO 3 was such a trainwreck, it's almost hard to believe they are of the same series.

Rise of Legends -  I stand nearly alone on this island of thinking, but after loving Rise of Nations to death, I expected RoL to be MUCH better than it ended up being. 
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2007, 02:27:57 PM »

Civilization 3:  I loved the first 2 Civ games but I could not get into the third for some reason.

Star Wars- Force Commander:  Cool concept but the interface taking up half of the screen made it a pain to play.

I liked Ultima 9 (even though I did have to buy one of those Voodoo 2 cards to play it)-  it's been awhile but I don't recall a dragon around Yew....  I wonder if I can get it to run under Vista.

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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2007, 02:46:04 PM »

Hmm...

Deus Ex 2 - there were just so many things I liked about this game but compared to the first it was definitely a disappointment.  The small environments were the deal-breaker for me.

Dungeon Siege - I'd played the demo and loved it and bought the full game.  It didn't take me too long to realize that I'd seen basically all the game had to offer in the demo and the full game was just more of the same.

Fallout 2 - I loved the first Fallout and played it through twice in a couple of months.  When Fallout 2 was released I bought it right away and then realized that not much had changed.  I was hoping for a change of engine, setting change to a different part of the world, something.  I gave up after a couple of hours.  I've heard over and over how it's better than the first and I'll play it eventually but it was a letdown for me.

Wizardry VIII - combat... took... forever...

I'm sure there's more but nothing jumps right out at me.
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2007, 02:55:07 PM »

EA NHL 2001 was a dissappointment because the stupid thing wouldn't play on a drive letter other than C:
    I had to whip out the DOS6.2 voodoo to make a path that told windows that E: = C: ... I have forgotten the command (not PATH).


B&W was great at first, especially when I accidentally crushed the rock carver and the whole village whined about how they offended me. But after a while the controls got decidedly more sloppy and gameplay stagnant.

DDO could go on here, but its not exactly a PC gaming title as it's an MMO. Then again we all know why that one sucks.

More to come as the horrible nightmares are unlocked from deep within my psyche.
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2007, 03:04:50 PM »

Black and White was the ultimate in suck.
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2007, 03:18:08 PM »

Lords of the Realm III - Why oh why couldn't they just make minor upgrades to the LOTRII formula?

Star Wars Galaxies - A Star Wars MMO?  This should've been as easy as selling snow cones in hell.  Apparently SOE doesn't want my money.  If Blizzard had handled this I'd probably be happily paying $20/mo + expansion purchases for the rest of my life.

Arcanum, Rise of Legends - Magic meets steampunk, sign me up.  I know there were fans for both these games, particularly RoL, but they were just missing something for me.

Battlefield 2 - Had some fun with it for a while, but I really wanted the magic of BF1942 to be reborn.

Freelancer - Was worth some fun, but I wanted to see more of the innovative features that were promised in the previews, like loading different autopilot evasive maneuvers and flying above cities.
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2007, 03:23:04 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on June 04, 2007, 03:18:08 PM

Star Wars Galaxies - A Star Wars MMO?  This should've been as easy as selling snow cones in hell.  Apparently SOE doesn't want my money.  If Blizzard had handled this I'd probably be happily paying $20/mo + expansion purchases for the rest of my life.

There's the one I forgot.  At the time, SWG was the only game I had ever preordered.  I was beyond excited for it and that excitement lasted for maybe a week or so until I realized people in the Star Wars universe just never really ran as much as I was running.  Then all the other odd things began piling up and I cancelled my sub before the first month was over.
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2007, 03:29:14 PM »

Quote from: warning on June 04, 2007, 03:23:04 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on June 04, 2007, 03:18:08 PM

Star Wars Galaxies - A Star Wars MMO?  This should've been as easy as selling snow cones in hell.  Apparently SOE doesn't want my money.  If Blizzard had handled this I'd probably be happily paying $20/mo + expansion purchases for the rest of my life.

There's the one I forgot.  At the time, SWG was the only game I had ever preordered.  I was beyond excited for it and that excitement lasted for maybe a week or so until I realized people in the Star Wars universe just never really ran as much as I was running.  Then all the other odd things began piling up and I cancelled my sub before the first month was over.
SWG was the first and last game I pre-ordered the SE. I met a few good people and hacked it out for a year, but when they completely re-worked the combat system (after I'd just completed grinding out Commando as my first elite profession) even fleeting hopes that "Space" would be 1/10th as good as they advertised, I bailed out.
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2007, 04:05:10 PM »

Add Asheron's Call 2 to that mix.  Heavily hyped...all sorts of near-evolutionary features touted...and a completely lifeless world.

American McGee's Bad Day LA.  Yes...yes it certainly was a bad day.

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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2007, 04:46:33 PM »

Have to agree with Ultima 9.  The pre-release hype was overwhelming, then it flopped once it came out.  I tried it out a few years ago after it was patched and with some fan-made patches which were supposed to 'fix' the story to what it was envisioned, but it was just too awful.  I played it a few hours before deciding it earned it's rep for very good reasons.

Also throwing in Might and Magic.  Somewhere along the line, that series really got messed up.  Loved the first one, though (ending sucked, but whatevah).

SWG was also a huge, epic disappointment.  Only Sony/Verant could mess up a Star Wars game so completely.  Kudos on flopping in every way on an otherwise sure-fire success.  A friend was actually playing it for about two months this year, but eventually got pissed off at how the GMs treat people.
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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2007, 05:11:46 PM »

I remember how stoked I was watching the videos of Star Wars Galaxies. After overcoming my EQ addiction only a year or so earlier, I thought SW would be the next great thing. And the videos only increased my excitement.

And then I played the beta. Oh lordy was that a boring game.
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« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2007, 05:31:00 PM »

Star Wars Galaxies for sure.
MOO3 without a doubt.
Dragon Quest 8 is massively high on my list considering my life long love for the series and my tremendous dissapointment for 8.
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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2007, 06:05:29 PM »

Quote from: Calvin on June 04, 2007, 05:31:00 PM

Dragon Quest 8 is massively high on my list considering my life long love for the series and my tremendous dissapointment for 8.

How depressing!  This is in my backlog of games I want to play eventually on my PS3.  You just bummed me out, Calvin.
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« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2007, 06:08:37 PM »

Quote from: Lockdown on June 04, 2007, 06:05:29 PM

Quote from: Calvin on June 04, 2007, 05:31:00 PM

Dragon Quest 8 is massively high on my list considering my life long love for the series and my tremendous dissapointment for 8.

How depressing!  This is in my backlog of games I want to play eventually on my PS3.  You just bummed me out, Calvin.

Don't worry, he's crazy. slywink  DQ8 is a very faithful continuation of the series, tons of fun.
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« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2007, 06:19:52 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on June 04, 2007, 06:08:37 PM

Quote from: Lockdown on June 04, 2007, 06:05:29 PM

Quote from: Calvin on June 04, 2007, 05:31:00 PM

Dragon Quest 8 is massively high on my list considering my life long love for the series and my tremendous dissapointment for 8.

How depressing!  This is in my backlog of games I want to play eventually on my PS3.  You just bummed me out, Calvin.

Don't worry, he's crazy. slywink  DQ8 is a very faithful continuation of the series, tons of fun.

No kidding; DQ8 was actually my favorite game of the PS2/Cube/X-Box generation, and a great followup to the DQ series. If any game of the series was a letdown to me, it was DQ7. Not because of the graphics; I actually thought they were great, though most knocks I read against the game were due to the graphics.

No, the reason I dropped DQ7 and never finished is because the game was far too linear for far too long. It was one small-to-moderate-sized disconnected island after another, very little exploration, and while I've read it gets better later, after the 50ish hours I'd put into it only to still have the game have far too little exploration just finally killed it for me.

I never got to play DQ4, and I never actually finished 2 or 3, but I played the heck out of 1 & 3 in particular, and DQ8 felt like DQ3 in all the right ways, and managed to actually have a nice and compelling story to go with it, much to my surprise. icon_biggrin

What's it doing in a "pc gaming disappointments" thread anyway?
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« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2007, 06:21:48 PM »

Quote from: Farscry on June 04, 2007, 06:19:52 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on June 04, 2007, 06:08:37 PM

Quote from: Lockdown on June 04, 2007, 06:05:29 PM

Quote from: Calvin on June 04, 2007, 05:31:00 PM

Dragon Quest 8 is massively high on my list considering my life long love for the series and my tremendous dissapointment for 8.

How depressing!  This is in my backlog of games I want to play eventually on my PS3.  You just bummed me out, Calvin.

Don't worry, he's crazy. slywink  DQ8 is a very faithful continuation of the series, tons of fun.

What's it doing in a "pc gaming disappointments" thread anyway?

Just a few things-DQ8, IMO, is not a faithful recreation of the DQ legacy-especially not the classics 3-4-5, but thats a whole different thread. Why it's here is because I apparently failed reading comprehension. My bad  retard

So yeah, just pay attention to the PC ones up there!
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« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2007, 06:33:15 PM »

SWG most definitely. How can you have a Star Wars MMO without either the Stars or the Wars right from the start? Oh and vehicles coming in six months after release? The most cumbersome combat system you can imagine? And all of this right from the start and it wouldn't change for another three years when they scrapped everything IMMEDIATELY AFTER releasing the latest expansion pack?

Left hand, meet right hand.

SWG is a textbook example of how mismanagement can completely kill a project, and even kill all enthusiasm for tangential projects. After playing that for a year I couldn't even bring myself to play another Star Wars game for a long time. That's how much it sucked.
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« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2007, 06:53:42 PM »

Quote from: Lockdown on June 04, 2007, 06:05:29 PM

Quote from: Calvin on June 04, 2007, 05:31:00 PM

Dragon Quest 8 is massively high on my list considering my life long love for the series and my tremendous dissapointment for 8.

How depressing!  This is in my backlog of games I want to play eventually on my PS3.  You just bummed me out, Calvin.

Do NOT listen to him and at least try it first.  It isn't for everyone, but I absolutely loved it and could hardly stop playing until the end.  After that I kept playing just to do some of the extra stuff, for me it was that good.  I don't have the game anymore, as I put 90+ hours into it, but I still have my save and plan on picking it up at some point and finishing out the last few things I missed.

Edited to add my top 3:

1.  Ultima 9, for all the reasons given
2.  Master of Orion 3, I won't even bother explaining
3.  Might and Magic IX, absolute crap from a series that I enjoyed quite a bit (4,5, 6, and 7 were some of the best RPGs I'd ever played)

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« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2007, 06:59:09 PM »

most of mine have already been covered.

ultima 9 tops the list, as everything i had hoped a 3d realized britannia would be turned into a smaller world where familiar and favorite landmarks were wiped out.  sure, the world had been "broken" according to the manual, but i saw it for what is was; a way to make one of my favorite wide open gaming continents into a linear set of levels.  some may have been wider than others, and had the illusion of freedom, but you could only progress in one direction.  i got as far as the tunnels under some island, or rather, i overcame frustration that long, before giving up.  such an unfortunate end after a great intro and the promise of conflict with the guardian. 

b&w.  i had fun getting that pet to do stuff on his own which conflicted with my own alignment.  while he was always so goody-twoshoes around the people, i got to throw rocks and fireballs at enemy cities.  then they took the pet away and i lost interest in baby-sitting the whiny little ingrates.

potc.  i loved sea dogs and eagerly awaited what could be done with a new engine and land based exploration.  i wasn't even that annoyed when it was mutated into a disney tie-in, until i realized it was pushed out early to meet the deadline.  their was surprising little to link the two together, as you would only ever see the ship as something to avoid early on.  unfortunately, the first person game was poorly thought out and so were the controls. 

those are the big ones, or at least the ones which stay with me.
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« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2007, 07:53:48 PM »

I really enjoyed Aliens versus Predator 2.  I thought the developers did a fantastic job with it, so when the expansion came out, I picked it up almost immediately.  My wife had even wandered into the store while i was contemplating the purchase.  I remember her saying, why dont you wait till the price drops and then pick it up.  She was right... I really wish I had waited.

The expansion was a total disappointment for me.  It was done by a different team and it lost the magic of the main game.  Sense of disbelief was destroyed by aliens appearing out of thin air and from corners just cleared.  It was one of those rare times, that I didnt move on from the game because of my short attention span, i just was so immediately disappointed I didnt want to go on with it. 
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« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2007, 11:05:58 PM »

Gotta be MOO III that game was a train wreck when it first came out.
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« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2007, 12:34:03 AM »

GTA:VC for the PC was my biggest dissapointment. I finally got it a few months ago and played it for about 5 hours before I stopped and then eventually uninstalled it. Maybe if I'd played the original on the PS2 or played the XBox release, but the PC version did nothing for me. The controls were just crap as you either had to go strictly keyboard or gamepad when what I really wanted was keyboard for on foot and gamepad for vehicles. And to make things worse the keyboard vehicle controls were complete, utter crap as were the gamepad for on foot control! Don't know why Rockstar couldn't get this right; Crytek certainly got it right for Far Cry.

Plus the fact that the story wasn't appealing to me in any way at all. The camera perspective and control was also very poor; even after I applied a 3rd party patch that was supposed to help with them. Overall quite a dissapointment considering all the hype and high scoring reviews it got and all the "oooh the controls are so uber in the PC version" I've heard.
Thank god I only payed $10 for it.
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« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2007, 01:29:17 AM »

Daikatana
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« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2007, 08:45:08 AM »

Carmageddon TDR 2000 - i shouldn't have expected a masterpiece in the first place, but they somehow managed to remove all the fun that i had had in Carmageddon 2.

Serious Sam 2 - classic example of an 'overproduced' game.  Croteam got an actual budget for the sequel and went crazy on the animations, models, physics, cutscenes, making it bigger and shinier... and i gave up at the swamp level, not too far in. a bunch of little differences all over the place that add up to a less habit-forming playing experience.  and the first two games have some of my favorite gaming experiences ever..it's weird.

Max Payne - built a whole new computer based on the 'optimal' system requirements i read in a PC Gamer preview - then found out the game itself was a dull Tomb Raider-like shooter (minus  the acrobatics) with a really overdone Chandler-wannabe narrative.  it may be a wee bit of an overstatement to say i started to lose faith in the current gaming industry due to this experience... maybe...
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« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2007, 09:27:13 AM »

Quote from: Turtle on June 05, 2007, 01:29:17 AM

Daikatana

Amen to that. I remember that mess and all the hype around it.
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« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2007, 12:55:34 PM »

I enjoyed B&W (to it's defence) ... maybe I was more creative. I grew a dark fanged beast and encouraged it to be all kinds of evil... and I was kind an benevolent; a saviour to the peoples. Heh. They feared my monster, I bet their little pixelated heads thought that perhaps the beast was satan and I could only interfere, I couldn't command him.

The ending to Syndicate was a big disappointment, and the difficulty / controls for Syndicate Wars. Oh, and EA was by far my biggest disappointment in PC gaming EVER.

How many companies did they chop up?
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« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2007, 04:41:59 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on June 05, 2007, 12:34:03 AM

GTA:VC for the PC was my biggest dissapointment. I finally got it a few months ago and played it for about 5 hours before I stopped and then eventually uninstalled it. Maybe if I'd played the original on the PS2 or played the XBox release, but the PC version did nothing for me. The controls were just crap as you either had to go strictly keyboard or gamepad when what I really wanted was keyboard for on foot and gamepad for vehicles. And to make things worse the keyboard vehicle controls were complete, utter crap as were the gamepad for on foot control! Don't know why Rockstar couldn't get this right; Crytek certainly got it right for Far Cry.

Plus the fact that the story wasn't appealing to me in any way at all. The camera perspective and control was also very poor; even after I applied a 3rd party patch that was supposed to help with them. Overall quite a dissapointment considering all the hype and high scoring reviews it got and all the "oooh the controls are so uber in the PC version" I've heard.
Thank god I only payed $10 for it.

GTA:VC is my overall favorite of the series.  The controls do, seriously, need to be remapped: I have no idea what Rockstar was thinking when they created their default keyboard settings.  I really can't even fly a helicopter or even move without redoing all the movement controls prior to playing.

Once you are less pissed off at the game, do yourself a favor and revisit it sometime.


On another note, it's kind of funny how MOO3 is accepted as a huge disappointment, and nobody even has to explain why that is so.
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« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2007, 06:40:47 PM »

X-Com Apocalypse
Deus Ex II
Thief 3 - A good game, hampered from being a great one, by the console limitations placed on the PC version and some strange design choices.
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« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2007, 08:56:11 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on June 05, 2007, 04:41:59 PM

On another note, it's kind of funny how MOO3 is accepted as a huge disappointment, and nobody even has to explain why that is so.

Add in Deus Ex 2 into that list.

The reason is simple on both titles though. The prequels were absolutely fantastic games for their times. Nothing could top them.

And then their sequels were such trash that people will remember it for all time.
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« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2007, 09:15:06 PM »

Master of Orion III was one of the better games I've played out there!

Worst PC game disapointment in recent memory (that I was actually really looking forward to) was Age of Empires II: Age of Kings.
As someone who plays a lot of skirmish games against the AI, it's not hard to see how far behind the AI lags, even when compared to AOE1 and earlier RTS games.
For the simple fact that the AI doesn't respond to attacks - makes it some of the worst AI I've seen in an RTS.
As an example, you're playing 1vs1 on a huge map, the AI sends a formation at you, but the thing is, you can have guys hacking and slashing away at his formation until they're all dead - and the AI does absolutely nothing to defend them. Its like selecting your units, left clicking near the enemy base, and hoping they get there all the way unattended.
Whether it's wolves or enemy soldiers, the AI just keeps chugging along their formations no matter who's attacking them, even if it means every last one of them gets wiped out in the process.
There are plenty of other AI bugs (AI not rebuilding walls, cutting thrugh the trees and ignoring it,etc.) but that really topped it for me. It actualy RUINED the AOE2 experience and the developers kept defending their decision to not "auto-attack" with the AI units until the end, so go figure. 
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« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2007, 10:53:38 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on June 05, 2007, 08:56:11 PM

Quote from: unbreakable on June 05, 2007, 04:41:59 PM

On another note, it's kind of funny how MOO3 is accepted as a huge disappointment, and nobody even has to explain why that is so.

Add in Deus Ex 2 into that list.

The reason is simple on both titles though. The prequels were absolutely fantastic games for their times. Nothing could top them.

And then their sequels were such trash that people will remember it for all time.

I know I'm in the minority, but I actually liked DE2.  It had issues, but IMO they were forgivable.

There is just no comparison between DE2 and MOO3.  About the only comparison you can draw with MOO3 would be with something like Daikatana.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2007, 10:56:51 PM by unbreakable » Logged
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« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2007, 11:32:37 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on June 05, 2007, 10:53:38 PM

I know I'm in the minority, but I actually liked DE2.  It had issues, but IMO they were forgivable.

There is just no comparison between DE2 and MOO3.  About the only comparison you can draw with MOO3 would be with something like Daikatana.

In my mind, Deus Ex 2 really is that bad of a game when you compare it to the prequel. It was a decent game, but it was nothing compared to the original. Why I said what I did. Same with the 'fun' that was MOO3. If I remember right, MOO3 was the only PC game I EVER returned (before EB stopped allowing returns).
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« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2007, 12:23:23 AM »

I believe that, comparisons to anything aside, MOO3 was still ruled as unplayable.


I didn't like some of the directions DEx2 went in (and had the exact same complaint about decisions made in the game not effecting the ending as I did with DEx), but found it to be a worthy sequel.

Yes, I thought some of the levels were way too small.  But I liked the unified ammo system, and liked the story, and found a lot in the game to really like.  Much of the dialogue and plots were really good, too, and it was nice to see a continuation of the story.

But you can't expect every game sequel to turn out to be a System Shock 2.
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« Reply #34 on: June 06, 2007, 12:40:25 AM »

I want to change my vote to the:

FALLOUT 3 TRAILER




DAMNIT, the teaser trailer offered no gameplay footage.  NOT FAIR!  NOT FAIR!!!   crybaby
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« Reply #35 on: June 06, 2007, 05:16:33 AM »

Quote from: unbreakable on June 06, 2007, 12:23:23 AM

But you can't expect every game sequel to turn out to be a System Shock 2.

The problem is that there's a very small percentage of sequels that turn out as good as (if not better) than the original game. Why is that?
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« Reply #36 on: June 06, 2007, 12:09:16 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on June 06, 2007, 05:16:33 AM

Quote from: unbreakable on June 06, 2007, 12:23:23 AM

But you can't expect every game sequel to turn out to be a System Shock 2.

The problem is that there's a very small percentage of sequels that turn out as good as (if not better) than the original game. Why is that?

A sequel is constrained by the success of the first game.  The structure, story and art of the first game has already been established.  Since gaming is a business enterprise, it's best not upset the formula of success on the first game.  Often a sequel has a shorter development cycle to "strike while the iron is hot".  Huge changes are often not possible within that established game engine and even if they are possible, they may upset the fans of the first game - the exact, defined target market of the 2nd game.

So they tend to play it safe and make tweaks and adjustments to the first game.  From a consumers' standpoint, the games are often too close to one another and the "oh wow" features of the first game are now just ho-hum.  So while the 2nd game is often superior to the first, it's also often much more stale to the consumer.

To provide an example, there's a sequel to Company of Heroes coming out.  But the odds are that it won't garnish the same high praise - even rabid fandom - as the first.  Why?  Because the #1 feature of CoH - the exceptional deformable Saving Private Ryan graphics - can't be massively improved.  Gaming hardware can barely handle CoH, so massive upgrades are probably out.  That's probably the most addictive quality of the game.  Plus, the best (most familiar) material for the US market has already been used - Normandy.  The game will probably be more balanced and have some neat features...in many ways, it will probably be superior.  But it will likely be "more of the same" and while it'll sell a ton, it lwon't be as addictive as the first game.  The newness will have rubbed off, the development cycle is condensed and the best material was used in the first game. 
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« Reply #37 on: June 06, 2007, 12:20:08 PM »

Quote from: Blackadar on June 06, 2007, 12:09:16 PM

Quote from: Destructor on June 06, 2007, 05:16:33 AM

Quote from: unbreakable on June 06, 2007, 12:23:23 AM

But you can't expect every game sequel to turn out to be a System Shock 2.

The problem is that there's a very small percentage of sequels that turn out as good as (if not better) than the original game. Why is that?

A sequel is constrained by the success of the first game.  The structure, story and art of the first game has already been established.  Since gaming is a business enterprise, it's best not upset the formula of success on the first game.  Often a sequel has a shorter development cycle to "strike while the iron is hot".  Huge changes are often not possible within that established game engine and even if they are possible, they may upset the fans of the first game - the exact, defined target market of the 2nd game.

So they tend to play it safe and make tweaks and adjustments to the first game.  From a consumers' standpoint, the games are often too close to one another and the "oh wow" features of the first game are now just ho-hum.  So while the 2nd game is often superior to the first, it's also often much more stale to the consumer.

To provide an example, there's a sequel to Company of Heroes coming out.  But the odds are that it won't garnish the same high praise - even rabid fandom - as the first.  Why?  Because the #1 feature of CoH - the exceptional deformable Saving Private Ryan graphics - can't be massively improved.  Gaming hardware can barely handle CoH, so massive upgrades are probably out.  That's probably the most addictive quality of the game.  Plus, the best (most familiar) material for the US market has already been used - Normandy.  The game will probably be more balanced and have some neat features...in many ways, it will probably be superior.  But it will likely be "more of the same" and while it'll sell a ton, it lwon't be as addictive as the first game.  The newness will have rubbed off, the development cycle is condensed and the best material was used in the first game. 

Wow did you completely miss the brilliance of CoH. The graphics and semi-deformable terrain was an important, but very small part of what makes that one of the great RTS games of the decade.
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« Reply #38 on: June 06, 2007, 12:29:33 PM »

I enjoyed Deus Ex 2 quite a bit.  Definitely not as good as the first game but good enough that I harbor the series no ill will.  Ultima 9 probably falls in the same category- Ultima 8 was a much larger disappointment to me (and a much worse game to boot). 

So Ultima 8 would definitely get my vote here. 
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« Reply #39 on: June 07, 2007, 06:15:46 AM »

Hmm. I'm going with Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor.  All my dreams of a return to gold box glory with flashy new graphics and gameplay possibilities died a painful death.  I believe that was when I stopped reading previews on a regular basis.  So now I'm unlikely to get my expectations up that high again.
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