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Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot: 2010′s biggest video game busts

Sections: Columns, Consoles, Features, Gaming News, Opinions, Originals, PCs, PS3, Wii, Xbox-360

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There have been some truly stellar titles released in 2010. Sadly though, there are some that just didn’t live up to their massive hype for one reason or another. As we stuff our face and sit down on the couch for football, family and surely some video games, Gamertell stops to remember the games that will soon be forgotten.

Final Fantasy 13 lightning

Final Fantasy Franchise:

I debated at length on whether to include just FFXIII, just FFXIV or both. The pair belong for different reasons. Since they are both sub par installments in a storied franchise I’ll deal with them at once. FFXIII would have been considered an OK game if it came from some other company, or was the first installment in a new series. The expectations for Square and FF are much higher than they would be for anyone else. I expect to hear lots of arguments about how this game tracks at 80 percent or better, a “B” in most reviews. I’ll counter with this: Show me any credible list of Game of the Year contenders that contains FFXIII. Even those brave enough to put it in the running couldn’t justify giving it the award. A Final Fantasy game that isn’t one of the 10 best games of the year is nothing more than a disappointment. Our own PJ reviewed this surprisingly linear RPG.

FFXIV should earn its spot on the Turkey Shoot list with little debate. Everyone wants to replicate World of Warcraft’s MMO success. So far, no one’s been able to. Of the many, many MMO attempts that have missed the mark, few have failed quite as spectacularly as Final Fantasy XIV. Except perhaps Final Fantasy XI. Square has just announced its second 30-day free trial extension for this failed experiment. It’s quite obvious this company has no idea how to do MMOs. If it is going to keep doing them, at least take them out of the same numbering system that the console RPGs use. Other than continuing to steer this franchise off the rails, they have nothing in common.

NBA Elite 11

NBA Elite 11

One could easily argue that to make it onto this list, a game should, you know, actually come out. I think basketball game faithful will agree this was one of 2010′s saddest debacles. NBA Live 10 actually made some positive steps forward, but not fast enough for EA executives’ liking. EA decided on a total franchise overhaul including a name change to NBA Elite. Unfortunately for EA, a demo exposed the game as not being ready for the big-time stage.

Fearing that this release would end its already troubled b-ball franchise, EA initially postponed and then outright axed the title. This also screwed up EA’s plan to release NBA Jam as downloadable content with Elite 11. NBA Jam is now a full price release as EA tries to recoup its losses. The creation of NBA Elite 11 is the worst basketball decision since the Portland Trail Blazers drafted Greg Oden.

Rock Band Green Day

Rock Band Green Day

Combine an already flagging genre (music games) with the traditionally lowest-quality game of that genre (single-band music games) and someone at MTV Games should have stopped this. A Rock Band game featuring The Beatles, arguably the greatest band of all-time, didn’t do that well in sales. Yet inexplicably, someone somewhere is busy greenlighting Rock Band: Whitesnake. Just stop already.

Oh, the games on this list are full of fail for many reasons. APB is the only one on the list that can take credit for completely putting a developer out of business. In this economy, it is never a good idea to have a lot of eggs in one basket. That’s especially true when it is a critically lambasted, uninspiring MMO basket. Realtime Worlds effectively bet the house on this crime-themed MMO and lost bigtime. Gamersfirst is going to try and bring it back as a free-to-play game with micro transactions. Realtime Worlds sunk more than $100 million into this trying to make it a fully functioning MMO. Former Realtime Worlds employees will not enjoy the irony if this thing gets resurrected as the type of ‘barely a game” Facebook-style endeavor and somehow turns profitable.

Alan Wake

Alan Wake

Some of the games on this list are bad, or would have been had they been released. NBA Elite 11 *cough cough .* Alan Wake suffered under the weight of its own great expectations. Reviews were very good but after a five-year development cycle, there was too much hype for any game to live up to. It did not help that the game released the same month as Rockstar’s excellent Red Dead Redemption. That’s one outlaw whose way you should stay out of.

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