There were so many things to get excited about in 2010! So many things to cherish! Sadly, life isn't all kittens and rainbows, and for every up, there must be a down.
These are 2010's biggest video gaming disappointments. Now, before we go any further, know that few of the things we're listing below were terrible. These aren't the worst things in video gaming for 2010. They're just the things that we hoped or expected would be at a certain level of quality or success, but for whatever reason, were not. In other words, a disappointment!
FINAL FANTASY XIII
There are few game series in the world that can truly be classed as being "AAA". Mario, Halo, Zelda, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto. Oh, and Final Fantasy. Now consider, when was the last time any game in any of those series turned out to be not just a disappointment, but a genuinely poor game?
It's so rare these days that to see Final Fantasy XIII in the state it was released is slightly shocking. It's like the game was never tested to see if people would actually enjoy it.
You can say it's sterile, that its "gameplay" consists of little more than running from point A to point B selecting menus, but surely its biggest crime was in expecting more than a hardcore cadre of consumers to be willing to spend over 20 hours on what is essentially the game's tutorial.
What really qualifies FFXIII as a disappointment, though, was how much of a backwards step it was from Final Fantasy XII. With XII, Square Enix had shown it was capable of shrugging off the baggage of expectation and protocol a decades-old series accumulates, and genuinely experiment with the franchise. Take a few risks! Final Fantasy XIII, in an act of cowardice, undoes nearly all of that.
MEDAL OF HONOR
Medal of Honor as a game was disappointing. We were promised an authentic experience based on a contemporary conflict, and instead got a boring corridor shooter almost entirely reliant on broken scripting.
But Medal of Honor as a statement was an even greater disappointment. By setting its war in Afghanistan, developers Electronic Arts had drawn a political line in the sand. It was saying that it had the guts to set a video game in a politically contentious setting. This was epitomised in the fact you could play as a member of the Taliban in the game's multiplayer component.
It was a shame, then, that under both political and commercial pressure, EA backed down and removed the "Taliban" name from Medal of Honor's multiplayer. Not because anyone really cared about how it affected the game; had it been revealed as a NATO vs "Insurgents" game from the beginning, it would not have been an issue. But it was sad to see a video game publisher commit to such a brave creative decision, then fail to stick to it.
A game that's not terrible by any means, but...did it really take five years to make a Resident Evil clone with such - ironically, given the setting - awful writing? It's clear that developers Remedy would rather be making movies than games, otherwise more time would have been spent making Wake a better game, and less time spent cosplaying in a TV adaptation of a Stephen King novel.
PRINCE OF PERSIA
We're talking about the movie here. While it was an entirely passable piece of fiction, it was still disappointing to find that, despite the involvement of real directors, real actors and real cash money (not to mention the original game's creator), the best we got was a forgettable, drawn-out Summer popcorn flick.
Proof if ever it was needed that Hollywood needs to start writing game movies based on great stories, not great characters or settings.
Most would agree Starcraft II is, at the very least, a good game. Maybe even great. It's slick, it's accessible, it's fun. But even Blizzard's most adoring fans must feel slightly let down that more wasn't done with the game's nuts and bolts in the decade since the first game's release, especially given the advances made in the real-time strategy genre since the year 2000.
The argument can be made that, with so many fans built up over such a long space of time, developers Blizzard couldn't afford to go making wholesale changes to the way the game was played. A counter to that, though, would be to suggest that if people wanted to play a game like the first Starcraft, they can still play the first Starcraft.
And that's it! If you feel we've overlooked anything - and we may have! - let us know, we might add it to the list.