We aren’t a very patient people, are we? As soon as a dope piece of pop culture is announced, a big glowing countdown clock starts and we can’t hold our horses long enough! This is especially true in the world of gaming, where development cycles can be long and arduous and beget a metric sh*t-ton of fan-fic. But sometimes, we need to just settle down and lower our expectations, or we end up disappointed on X-mas morn. Here are five highly anticipated games that ended up being, well, pretty terrible.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, Thrill Kill was eagerly awaited by latex fetishists and sociopaths alike due to its disturbing content and imagery. While its entire release was inevitably kiboshed, it was supremely disappointing because, one, it would only be a few years before Twisted Metal: Black out-darked it six ways to Sunday, and second, its engine was eventually cannibalized to create Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style. According to Complex, Method Man himself said the game “stinks”. Guys, that is coming from a man that willingly collaborated with Fred Durst. (jk freddie are we still on for poker night??)
Mortal Kombat 4
The first 3D entry in the Mortal Kombat franchise was hotly anticipated, and while it had some cute features like slamming your opponent against the screen with a mallet, it’s hardly remembered at all these days. Mortal Kombat 4‘s 3D models lived in the uncanny valley, and the game notoriously featured the debut of the spectacularly unspectacular Meat. I was always partial to the 2D, realistic models of the first three Mortal Kombat games. They sorta made you feel like you were in control of a roster of bloodthirsty Flat Stanleys. “Flat Stanley traveled to Outworld and ripped Mileena’s spleen out of her navel. Please write back!”
Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 2 is certainly not the worst game I’ve ever played, but think about how gigantic the original was. How much pressure must there have been to create a similarly groundbreaking follow-up? And then you introduce egg-spewing dinosaurs and throwable vegetables? Come again? The only thing that redeemed Super Mario Bros. 2 was its whole “IT WAS ALL A DREAM” revelation, which casts the game in a whole new Inception-y sort of light. WILL THE MUSHROOM EVER TIP OVER? WAS IT ALL A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM? BWAAAAAHM.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5
Oooooof. We all know how phenomenal the Tony Hawk series was at one point, and while there were lots and lots of games in between, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 came out all the way back in 2002. You can imagine people’s disappointment when they saw the next numbered entry in the series, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 was released so full of bugs. And we haven’t even gotten to the parts of the game the developers intentionallymade, like the “Slam” feature (for all of the times you want to slam the living sh*t out of the board in mid-combo for no reason). No amount of ska was ever going to save this bad boy. But you can still skank like you mean it!
Duke Nukem Forever
After a decade and a half of development, we should have gotten something pretty damned incredible from Duke Nukem Forever. But instead, nope. It was pretty much the opposite of that. You see, the Duke Nukem series is a relic of a bygone era, brethren with titles like Leisure Suit Larry and the aforementioned Thrill Kill, when people were amazed by the novelty of games being mature and violent and self-aware. But hearing Duke make his hundredth dick joke in an hour isn’t that funny anymore. But you know what saves everything, right? REBOOTS. Let’s make a sensitive, effusive Duke Nukem. Make him ADORABLE. That’s the ticket. I’m takin’ that idea to the bank, boys. Watch out for Duke Nukem: 2GETHER, featuring lots of primary colors and unicorns. And okay, okay, maybe a dick joke or two.
Which disappointment left the most bitter taste in your mouth?