411 Games Top 12.13.13: Top 5 Worst Things About Gaming in 2013
Posted by Sean Garmer on 12.14.2013
From Alien: Colonial Marines and Microsoft's PR fiasco over the Xbox One to the failure of the Ouya, the disaster that was NBA Live 14 and more, the 411 staff counts down the top 5 worst things about gaming in 2013!
Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there. Don't you hate it when things are just the worst?
This week the 411 staff was asked to come up with lists for the Top 5 Worst Things About Gaming in 2013
Stephen Randle (Games Zone Reviewer, Quizmaster for the Four Player Co-op, Host of Cooperative Multiplayer "The Official 411 Games Podcast" Writer of the Wrestling News Experience)
5. Aliens: Colonial Marines - There, I got it out of the way early. Happy? The gaming industry's continued inability to make a decent game based on Aliens is matched only by the movie industry's inability to make a good Aliens vs Predator movie. And what the hell was Prometheus, really? Anyway, while not a truly terrible game (I mean, it was totally...um...playable...), it was another massively hyped, greatly disappointing game that came out early enough in the year to be the go-to punchline for bad releases in 2013.
4. Wii U Fails To Capitalize - Here's the thing: the Wii U isn't terrible. And thanks to Super Mario 3D World, it's got one of the best games of the year. The problem is, Nintendo had over a year, uncontested, to grab their share of the next-gen market, and they did absolutely nothing with it. 2013 was a wasteland devoid of hot Nintendo titles that would truly sell a console, and the company clearly all but abandoned ship and focused on the DS instead. Even 3D World only came out after the PS4 and XBOne hit shelves, so Nintendo wasted their golden opportunity in pretty much every respect.
3. NBA Live '14 - People waited three years for this? Just an inexcusable mess from a franchise that has basically fallen off the map due to EA Sports somehow forgetting how to actually make a basketball game. How can the same company that shoves out a Madden release like clockwork continue to fail so completely at their NBA license?
2. The Ouya - Conceptually, there was potential in the Ouya, and clearly, there was a lot of grassroots support through Kickstarter. The problem is, the product that got delivered was pretty mediocre, featuring the worst controller ever produced for a gaming system, and the Free The Games campaign turned out to be poorly thought out and easily exploited. There's still hope for the Ouya, but they've got a lot of mistakes to learn from.
1. Microsoft Can't Do PR - Look, it's easy to hate Microsoft, they're a big evil corporation. And the XBOne will be a successful console when everything is said and done. But the mistakes that Microsoft made in promoting their next gen console were numerous, massive, and at time fairly ridiculous. They reversed policies on a dime, they were needlessly combative with people, and on several occasions, they sounded like they had no idea what the hell they were actually going to release to the public. They can tell whatever stories they want, but there's a reason why Don Mattrick, the initial face of the XBOne, and thus the face of everything stupid that followed, was gone from the company well before it launched.
John Cash (Reader Voice, Occasionally Contributes to Four Player Co-op)
5. Wii U Ghost Town until late in the year: It must have been murder over the last year, having a Wii U. Just sitting there, wanting to be played, but with nothing to play on it. It had an okay launch lineup, but the games couldn't have possibly lasted the 8-10 month barrage of shovel-ware and ports that came between then and the release of Super Mario 3D World. Even New Super Mario Bros Wii U/New Super Luigi Wii U wasn't much to get excited about. It will be interesting to see if Nintendo can keep good, exclusive content coming out on a consistent basis through 2014.
4. GTA Online's Rocky Start: My first experience playing GTA Online involved creating my character (as close to DC Comics' Kate Kane as I could get), and then sitting on a loading screen for two hours. TWO HOURS. I finally went to the 360 dashboard and started the game again, and let it set for another 45 minutes on the same screen, then rage-quit to play something else. That's how it went for about two weeks. The game itself was delayed, and the multiplayer wasn't even available until a month later, and this so called "Most Anticipated Game of the Year" STILL didn't have good enough servers to allow people to play it decently! Going forward, if your game is being called the most anticipated game of the year, buy twice as many and twice as good of servers as you've ever had for any game, and then buy that many again. Can you imagine the outcry if this had happened to Call of Duty? Or Halo? If companies are going to continue to shovel in multiplayer modes to single player games, they need to treat the multiplayer mode with diligence and CASH the way multiplayer games like CoD and Halo do.
3. Game Delays: Wouldn't it be nice to have a game come out early for once? I know it gets down to complicated business and financing stuff, but I think moving forward that game companies should *grossly over-estimate* the launch date of their products, so that they can have all the time they need and then some to iron out all the kinks. This is especially crucial for console launch time; if Watch_Dogs and Dragon Age: Inquisition hadn't have been delayed, I probably would have found a way to buy either a PS4 or an XBO just to get those two games. Now it's looking more likely that I'll be waiting until NEXT Christmas to get one, which is not something those console companies like to see, which could hurt the developers or the series they are developing in the long run.
2. Rampant sexism/racism in multiplayer lobbies: I'm not even sure why they even bother having lobby chat anymore. Some of the most disgusting, embarrassing, and profoundly stupid things I've ever heard in my life came from playing multiplayer with randoms this year. Everybody jokes about the "12 years old CoD players", but even in games like Tomb Raider and Mass Effect 3 multiplayer I found myself eventually just muting people before I even heard them speak it got so bad. If you're going to be a misogynist and racist jerk, go join the Klan or something, stop messing up otherwise fun and relaxing games for everyone else.
1. Xbox Marketing Team: I said it in last week's Top 5, this weeks 4-Player Co-Op, and now I'm saying it here; the Xbox Marketing Team was the worst thing about gaming in 2013. From doing nothing to quell rumors about tags on game discs that would only allow the disc to be played on a specific console FOREVER, to their horrific presentation at E3, to having people taunt and insult the consumers over twitter, to all the back-pedaling over the summer in regards to what would and would not be required to play the Xbox One on day one, and even now, an inferior machine for a bigger price that does just about everything well but play video games quickly and efficiently, I don't think a ball had been dropped harder by a console manufacturer since Nintendo decided to put out the Virtual Boy.
Stewart Lange (Games Zone Reviewer, Writer of Retronomicon)
5. Not being able to afford an Xbone due to being a grown up - This maybe doesn't belong on this list, but hey. I can't afford to buy an Xbox One due to the fact it's Christmas, my car needs it's annual service, I have my insurance renewal due and have to pay all that sort of junk. When the 360 came out, I just went and bought one, but now I'm a few months from 30 I really have to to the adult thing. Shame. Donations will be gratefully received, payment made via PayPal.
4. Game store pricing in the UK - This year, I took the plunge and bought myself a 3DS. I'd been holding off for a larger library of games and got a decent deal with Animal Crossing so figured I'd go for it. While trying to buy up a decent back catalogue, though, I've realised the prices on certain titles just haven't gone down. There are very few solely game retailers left in the UK and even less independent stores where I am. Titles like Fire Emblem, Kingdom Hearts for the 3DS but also other titles on the Wii:U that I'd pick one up for just aren't getting any cheaper over here.
3. Smartglass - When I first saw what Smartglass was to offer, I was pretty excited. It seemed like my iPad was going to become an extension of my TV. I got Forza Horizon purely for the integration and when I eventually got it to work, I was unimpressed. I expected it to function like a Wii:U game pad but it was in no way like that at all. I didn't even want remote play, I just wanted something that worked well enough for me to be excited about.
2. My favourite games are sequels - This week, we all submitted our personal top 10 games of the year. You'll see them once the full lists are compiled, but all bar one game on my list was a new series. And it finished 7th in my overall list. I'm thrilled that I got so much enjoyment out of games I was really excited for, even a couple I wasn't, but I'd have liked a new franchise that really blew me away, like Dishonored did last year.
1. Games with Gold - Now, I don't want to sound ungrateful...... BUT.......When Microsoft announced they were going to be offering two games a month for free to Gold members, I was really excited to see what we'd get. After all, the Playstation Plus offers were always really good, so even if they were half as decent, it would have been fine, yeah? Nope. As the months have gone on, the games have got arguably worse. Rainbow 6 Vegas? Thanks. Gears of War? Thanks. Shitty arcade title I've never heard of? Next month Playstation owners are getting Borderlands 2 and Grid 2. That's what I'm looking at. Don't test my loyalty, Microsoft, this list hasn't been kind to you.
Wrestling 2 the MAX Podcast. Go listen to episode 68 and tell us what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org this week, we previewed WWE TLC 2013, reviewed Monday's Slammy's 2013 edition of RAW, NXT, and we gave out our Best of All-Time Awards too.
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We also have a Sports and Entertainment podcast called "Football 2 Futbol." This week, we discussed The World Cup Draw, MLS CUP 2013, MLS Expansion, UEFA Champions League. We also previewed NFL Week 15 and gave our picks for all the games. Plus, NCAA Bowl talk, NCAA Football award winners, and more.