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Author Topic: Biggest surprise hit/disapointment of the year 2011  (Read 1884 times)
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« on: November 24, 2011, 09:11:38 PM »

In usual fashion, when we ask ourselves what our favorite games are, it's time to stop and ask ourselves, what were the biggest disappointments of the year?  What game came out of nowhere to latch it's hooks into you?  What game surpassed expectations or its hype?

I think the 3DS and LA Noire are tied for biggest letdown for me.  With the 3DS, I think the shortest gap in a major price drop speaks volumes about how badly it launched and how few units they sold.  The launch titles were by and large a wash with few standout titles and a long dry spell after wards.  I think my meager 3DS collection of games is another sign of how little I play it.  I've put more time into the last Layton game than either of the two non-launch games I bought.  I've also bought as many DS games as 3DS and would likely get two more if my gaming backlog wasn't so huge.

LA Noire was going to be a big game according to the hype and to the pedigree of the developers and technology behind it.  In retrospect, the game devolved into a series of adventure grade item searching, QTE's disguised as illogical interviews and a lot of filler.  It wasn't a bad game if left to its own devices but it ran out of steam too soon and promised more than it could deliver.

I was surprised at how fun Dead Island turned out to be as I did not expect them to launch without being a huge buggy mess with the usual assortment of polish issues common to eastern euro devs.  Basically, I expected to end up with a game everyone looked back on and hoped it had come out better.  Despite losing the impact the initial trailer alluded to, DI was a great take on the zombie genre and did more things right than wrong. 

I also enjoyed Two Worlds 2 quite a bit more than I expected to given how badly done the first one was released on console.  Fun combat and a lot of ground to explore with a pretty good looking engine.  It is now eclipsed by both Dark Souls and Skyrim in the combat and world and will most definitely be overlooked in any talk of GotY, but definitely merits a second look.
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2011, 09:56:05 PM »

Rage.  I was looking forward to a rollicking fun experience, but every time I play it, I think I could be playing something more fun, and just want to finish it so I can recoup some of the money in selling it back to Amazon.
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2011, 01:38:11 AM »

Biggest surprise was how quickly iOS games became the market leader in portable gaming.  

Biggest letdown is the lack of a Kinect killer app.
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2011, 02:06:19 AM »

Biggest disappointment for me was Rage.


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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2011, 02:09:29 AM »

Biggest disappointment is Brink easily. Biggest surprise hit for me is probably Skyrim. I don't like Bethesda games at all but I've been enjoying Skyrim more than I thought I would.
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2011, 03:13:15 AM »

The biggest surprise for me was Dungeon Siege III.  Other than the lore, it was completely different than the previous games, but I enjoyed every minute of it.  I think the Dungeon Siege name actually hurt the game.  If they had promoted it more as a modern Baldur's Gate : Dark Alliance, I think it would have fared better.  The game looked great, the powers were fun to use, there was just enough story to be interesting without bogging down the action, and the world was enough of a spin on traditional fantasy to feel unique.
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2011, 03:30:14 AM »

Already mentioned these in the GOTY thread, but this year's biggest surprise was El Shaddai:  Ascent of the Metatron.  I'd never even heard of it before it released, and it absolutely floored me.  I'd agree with Eddie that Dungeon Siege 3 was also a very pleasant surprise.  I wasn't expecting much, but ended up having a really good time with it.

Biggest disappointment for me was Witcher 2.  It was just...boring.
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2011, 03:39:16 AM »

from the GOTY thread:

Quote
As for disappointment of the year, it's a tie between Dragon Age 2, Witcher 2 and Arkham City. 

after being sucked into the previous games in their series I was surprised to barely touch any of them.

my biggest surprise would be Bulletstorm-  I wasn't expecting much and got blown away by it.

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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2011, 03:42:22 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on November 25, 2011, 03:39:16 AM

my biggest surprise would be Bulletstorm-  I wasn't expecting much and got blown away by it.

+1 to that.  I typically hate FPS, but loved Bulletstorm.
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2011, 04:13:53 AM »

Quote from: EddieA on November 25, 2011, 03:13:15 AM

The biggest surprise for me was Dungeon Siege III.  Other than the lore, it was completely different than the previous games, but I enjoyed every minute of it.  I think the Dungeon Siege name actually hurt the game.  If they had promoted it more as a modern Baldur's Gate : Dark Alliance, I think it would have fared better.  The game looked great, the powers were fun to use, there was just enough story to be interesting without bogging down the action, and the world was enough of a spin on traditional fantasy to feel unique.

I was pleasantly surprised by Dungeon Seige III, but it could have used a much better loot drop system. The best items were all with the merchants.

I'm going to pick a game that absolutely no one here probably purchased- The Cursed Crusade. It starts off with a stumbling start, but combat becomes more visceral and the storyline ramps up fairly well as the game progresses. It is by no means a great game, and I wouldn't put it on a recommend list, but considering the average reviews were around 40%, I expected the title to be absolutely broken. That wasn't the case at all.

I had amazingly high hopes for El Shaddai, but the game did not live up to its potential. It has the most brilliant artistic design of this generation, but at a couple points the platforming was rage inducing, and the storyline was cryptic to the point of being indiscernible. The difficulty settings were also poor. "Easy" was far too easy, and in "Normal" the bosses could easily kill you in 2-3 hits.  I enjoyed the ride immensely, but it could have been so much more.
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2011, 06:00:06 AM »

Biggest surprise: Driver: San Francisco
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2011, 08:31:49 AM »

Witcher 2 and deus ex HR  was the biggest surprise for me. Didn't think much of the first witcher but loved the second and was sure they were going to mess up Deus Ex badly. Brink and Rage for dissapointments.

Edit : Oh and Saints Row 3 surprised me a lot too. The second was a really terrible port on pc but it both plays well and is great on pc. Best fun in a sandbox game I have had n a while.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 08:35:41 AM by Maggot » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2011, 12:52:57 AM »

Biggest Disappointments:

Dead Island
Dragon Age 2
Rage

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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2011, 06:45:50 AM »

Rage was my biggest disappointment.  I expected more growth from Id.

Deus Ex HR was my biggest surprise.   I had no real interest in it until the buzz before release convinced me to give it a shot.  While not a perfect game, they really did a nice job living up to the franchise standards with that game.
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2011, 04:48:01 PM »

From the SWTOR beta, I'm very surprised about this game and how good it is. I doubt I'll play more than a few months at first, but the game is very solid and entertaining.
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2011, 10:05:09 PM »

Biggest surprise for me was probably Alice. I never played the first one and I got this from Gamefly during a lull in my new gaming queue. I was expecting some lame Disney crap and what I received was Psychonauts meets Terry Gilliam. Wonderful.

Biggest disappointment? L.A. Noire. They spent a ton of time crafting a beautiful city and then forgot to fill it with people. The cut scenes were fantastic and the acting superb, but the gameplay bored the crap out of me. I was expecting even more as it was published by Rockstar and my standard for open world games is now RDR.
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« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2011, 12:53:24 AM »

Biggest disappointment wasn't the 3DS, but the lack of games for it. It's a great piece of hardware, it just needs more to play.

Biggest surprise was Xenoblade Chronicles. I've said it before and I'll say it again: It needs to be released stateside so everyone can try it.
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« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2011, 12:59:46 AM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on November 28, 2011, 12:53:24 AM

Biggest surprise was Xenoblade Chronicles. I've said it before and I'll say it again: It needs to be released stateside so everyone can try it.

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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2011, 03:23:11 PM »

Biggest disappointment: MW3/Battlefield.

Biggest Surprise: Gears of War 3. I knew I'd like it, but I'm absolutely in love with everything about it.
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2011, 04:02:21 PM »

I really liked rage, not sure why others didn't, I had a blast..

Dragon age 2 is biggest at disappointing for me...  Meh, I couldn't even finish it, and I am a rpg fan who played dragon age all way through about 3 times.
What a Let down.

L.A. Noire I could not get into either,  full of suck and boring.
big let down after GTA 4 and Red Dead..

Battlefield I gave a sping, and could not get into it either.

Biggest surprise was homm6..    
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« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2011, 10:04:56 PM »

Quote from: EddieA on November 28, 2011, 12:59:46 AM

Quote from: Eel Snave on November 28, 2011, 12:53:24 AM

Biggest surprise was Xenoblade Chronicles. I've said it before and I'll say it again: It needs to be released stateside so everyone can try it.

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« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2011, 10:13:50 PM »

Biggest Disappointment has to go to LA Noire.  Lots of potential, ended up flat.
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« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2011, 03:33:16 AM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on December 02, 2011, 10:04:56 PM

Quote from: EddieA on November 28, 2011, 12:59:46 AM

Quote from: Eel Snave on November 28, 2011, 12:53:24 AM

Biggest surprise was Xenoblade Chronicles. I've said it before and I'll say it again: It needs to be released stateside so everyone can try it.

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« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2011, 03:45:17 PM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on December 02, 2011, 10:04:56 PM

Quote from: EddieA on November 28, 2011, 12:59:46 AM

Quote from: Eel Snave on November 28, 2011, 12:53:24 AM

Biggest surprise was Xenoblade Chronicles. I've said it before and I'll say it again: It needs to be released stateside so everyone can try it.

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« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2011, 12:56:37 AM »

The biggest surprise for me by far has been Rocksmith...practicing guitar was never fun, but this "game"  makes it so, and also has made me a better player.. not only that, it got my wife interested in guitar to the point where she now owns a guitar and is hell bent on mastering these songs..

Biggest dissapointment has been la noir...basically a cool looking movie that had a maddening interview process and even more maddening story resolution..

Dback
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« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2011, 02:54:48 AM »

My biggest surprise was Skyrim.  Yes, it was one of the most anticipated games this year by most people, but I never have had a good relationship with Bethesda games.  I liked Morrowind well enough, but not to the levels a lot of people did.  I hated Oblivion.  Neither of the new Fallout games did anything for me either.  However, Skyrim got it's hooks in me and I have not played  another game since it came out.  I love everything about it.

The biggest disappointments for me were L.A. Noire and Deus EX.  L.A. Noire just bored me to tears.  Finding clues was brainless and interviews were tedious.  Deus Ex I did enjoy well enough, but it just felt so hollow.  For me it had no personality and the story was terrible.

Battlefield 3 is also somewhat of a let down.  On maps like Caspian border that are more in tune with the old BF games, BF3 really shines and I love every minute of it.  On maps like Metro and Grand Bazaar, I hate BF3 and feel like I am playing another generic shooter.
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« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2011, 05:48:00 PM »

Really more PC specific, but my biggest disappointment was Sword of the Stars 2. I'm a huge fan of SOTS1, but the release of 2 was nothing more than a glorified alpha. It's been roughly a month, and the game is only now approaching something that should be released.... but it's still got a LOT to go.

Surprise hit? Bastion. Dark Souls is also pretty darn good, but I haven't gotten to the 'hook' bit with Dark Souls like I did with Demon Souls yet. Plus, DS pretty much delivers what I would expect, so not so much a surprise...
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« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2011, 07:20:37 PM »

Biggest Surprise: Rocksmith

I wasn't even planning on buying this but succumbed to forum effect.  This game has given me sore finger tips and that's a good thing.
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« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2011, 07:34:31 PM »

I was just about to post the same thing. I've only played it 2 days, but as far as games that actually impressed me this year, this is it.
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« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2011, 05:43:34 AM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on November 25, 2011, 06:00:06 AM

Biggest surprise: Driver: San Francisco

I agree, Driver was so much more fun that I ever expected.  In fact, up until Skyrim it was the most fun I had with a game all year.
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« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2011, 10:11:44 AM »

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I'll have to echo Skyrim has biggest surprise. I wasn't a fan of any bethesda games until fallout 3. and the elder scroll games I tend to bore of within hours, yet for some reason I felt compelled to buy this too. Maybe cause it's been so long since I've played an epic rpg, maybe a part of me thought things looked better, or maybe i just like wasting money sometimes. I even went so far as to get a proxy for an austrialian IP and unlock the game about 15 hours early. But within a few hours I was totally hooked. The combat was much improved, could still use work though. The improved leveling system was way less convoluted. It actually ran well(until recent patches in which case I just reverted to 1.0 exe). 90 hours later, still going strong.

Disappointment LA noire. meh, i finished it, but about 40% of the way through, i was ready for it to end. Just everything about the game was half assed outside the voice actors. Driving awful, shooting awful, story meh, the investigations were a crap shoot in your choices.
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« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2011, 01:11:53 PM »

I have to agree on the LA Noire thing.   So much unrealized potential.  After Red Dead Redemption, I thought that they were giving the noire setting a similar treatment.  Not so much.  The game felt uninspired and ended up playing like it was thrown out there unfinished.

Ive really enjoyed Skyrim but its not really a surprise to me.  I liked the earlier Elder scrolls games as well, though Oblivion was a bit of a let down.  I figured Bethesda would get it right on Skyrim and they did.  So for my surprise of the year, Im going with an independent game that I play a lot of.   Terraria.  A fairly simple game that ended up being a lot of fun. 
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« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2011, 06:00:04 PM »

Disappointments:  L.A. Noire, DC Universe Online (biggest disappointment, imho), Brink, Dragon Age II

Surprise Hits:  Bulletstorm, Dungeon Siege III, Rifts, Dead Island

Skyrim, Witcher 2 and Batman: AC weren't surprise hits because I fully expected to love them...and I do.
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« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2011, 02:43:21 AM »

Quote from: hepcat on December 06, 2011, 06:00:04 PM

Disappointments:  L.A. Noire, DC Universe Online (biggest disappointment, imho), Brink, Dragon Age II

Surprise Hits:  Bulletstorm, Dungeon Siege III, Rifts, Dead Island

Skyrim, Witcher 2 and Batman: AC weren't surprise hits because I fully expected to love them...and I do.

you also love bums, and their plethora of smells.

Brink was a huge disappointment.
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« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2011, 01:27:35 PM »

Games Radar has an article about the Top 7 Overlooded Games of 2011.  I was very pleased to see Ghost Trick so high on the list.  Fantastic game that I had completely forgot about.

A lot of the games on this list surprised me with their quality and disappointed me with their sales.
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« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2011, 02:45:28 PM »

1.  Terraria.... took me by total surprise.  Got it for $2.50 on the steam sale and played it for 40 hours pretty much non-stop.
2.  Skyrim....   Leaps and bounds better than Oblivion.  A pleasant surprise.
3.  Bulletstorm... Much more fun than I imagined.  Well done.
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« Reply #36 on: December 18, 2011, 05:45:38 AM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on December 03, 2011, 03:45:17 PM

Quote from: Eel Snave on December 02, 2011, 10:04:56 PM

Quote from: EddieA on November 28, 2011, 12:59:46 AM

Quote from: Eel Snave on November 28, 2011, 12:53:24 AM

Biggest surprise was Xenoblade Chronicles. I've said it before and I'll say it again: It needs to be released stateside so everyone can try it.

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« Reply #37 on: December 18, 2011, 10:25:44 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on December 13, 2011, 01:27:35 PM

Games Radar has an article about the Top 7 Overlooded Games of 2011.  I was very pleased to see Ghost Trick so high on the list.  Fantastic game that I had completely forgot about.

A lot of the games on this list surprised me with their quality and disappointed me with their sales.


Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is an interesting choice for that list.  If that game isn't an aggravating cacophony of particle effects, motion blur, and ugly textures obscuring the view of the endless Quick Time Events it wants you to do, the people who compiled the 360 demo should lose their jobs.

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #38 on: December 18, 2011, 11:20:52 PM »

Quote from: Autistic Angel on December 18, 2011, 10:25:44 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on December 13, 2011, 01:27:35 PM

Games Radar has an article about the Top 7 Overlooded Games of 2011.  I was very pleased to see Ghost Trick so high on the list.  Fantastic game that I had completely forgot about.

A lot of the games on this list surprised me with their quality and disappointed me with their sales.


Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is an interesting choice for that list.  If that game isn't an aggravating cacophony of particle effects, motion blur, and ugly textures obscuring the view of the endless Quick Time Events it wants you to do, the people who compiled the 360 demo should lose their jobs.

-Autistic Angel

I think it's a fantastic game that revitalized the genre, much like the original Ace Combat did back in the day.
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« Reply #39 on: December 18, 2011, 11:41:36 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on December 18, 2011, 11:20:52 PM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on December 18, 2011, 10:25:44 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on December 13, 2011, 01:27:35 PM

Games Radar has an article about the Top 7 Overlooded Games of 2011.  I was very pleased to see Ghost Trick so high on the list.  Fantastic game that I had completely forgot about.

A lot of the games on this list surprised me with their quality and disappointed me with their sales.


Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is an interesting choice for that list.  If that game isn't an aggravating cacophony of particle effects, motion blur, and ugly textures obscuring the view of the endless Quick Time Events it wants you to do, the people who compiled the 360 demo should lose their jobs.

-Autistic Angel

I think it's a fantastic game that revitalized the genre, much like the original Ace Combat did back in the day.

Really? Hmmm... may have to check it out. I thought all of the Ace Combat series took place in some kind of fictional setting, nothing 'real world' like this one looks to be.
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