Originally published on Trevor Trove on December 31, 2016
This was actually probably the hardest list I had to compile this year. For the most part, I did a pretty good job avoiding really shitty games this years. But there were a few duds. And a few that I know a lot of people liked or even loved but really pissed me off.
The Controls for The Last Guardian
There is absolutely no benefit to the boy handling like a floppy ragdoll or the frustration in getting Trico to behave as intended.
You can tell the exact same story and have things work like the player intends them without needless frustration.
Otherwise, I guess it’s a very pretty game.
The Story/Characters for Final Fantasy XV
I’ve already written up quite a bit about my disdain for story and characters of Final Fantasy XV. So I don’t think I need to retread that. But between content that was shuffled off to the Kingsglaive film, backstory included in the Brotherhood anime, or all of the missing story beats just plain left on the cutting room floor, I abhorred the “plot” of this game.
I completely forgot to include Gladiolus’ love of Cup Noodles in my original review, though. Really grounds him as a character, I think. Because who doesn’t love Cup Noodles? “There’s nothin’ else like ’em. They’re easy to make whenever you’ve got a craving, and they’re delicious to boot. I’ll never forget my first time.”
Pokemon GO’s Missed Opportunities
Pokemon GO took the world by storm. But server issues and a lack of regular updates kept the game from being the long-term juggernaut it could have been. I’m sure it’s still raking in plenty of cash and is likely the highest grossing game on ITunes and Google Play, but it could have been so much more if Niantic had been better prepared for what they had on their hands or more responsive to feedback.
NES Classic Supply Chain Failures
So either Nintendo limits their stock of hardware like the NES Classic to artificially inflate demand or they are legitimately incompetent at supply chain management (or both). Either way, not taking pre-orders (allowing the company to adequately gauge launch demand), providing Best Buy, Target, etc. locations with stock measuring in the single digits week after week, and manufacturing the controllers with laughably short cords all point to some highly questionable decision-making. I might have picked it up for the novelty of the device but these decisions lost my sale and presumably the sales of many others.
Alright now to the actual list:
Broforce itself was actually a ton of fun. But it lands on this worst of list because the PlayStation 4 port launched with terrible frame rate issues and a weird glitch that basically made the controller non-responsive for a few frames every time the level loaded anew. When one-hit kills are your games bread and butter or, even worse, the game throws you into an auto-scrolling level, these issues elevate from being a minor nuisance to making the game damn near unplayable. I eventually beat the game but was furious that such debilitating performance issues ruined what could have been an otherwise excellent throwback side-scrolling shooter.
4. Mighty No. 9
The disappointment anyone who was following along knew was coming. Mighty No. 9 failed to deliver the game that was promised to its backers (while the team behind it simultaneously tried Kickstarting other projects before finishing this one). I only had to spend a hour or so to realize what a trainwreck the game was. In fact, the only thing that is keeping this game from being higher on the list is the notion that I couldn’t be bothered to put in a proper playthrough. But there was no way I was going to waste another second with the game. Indie teams have been making way better for way less.
3. Fire Emblem Fates (Birthright, but really all three)
Probably the most controversial entry on this list, as there are a ton of people out there who loved this game. But I stand by my argument that there’s no reason this needed to be sold as three separate games save the fact that Nintendo knows they could get away with it.
As for the game itself, they stumbled upon the fun dynamic of pairing off warriors and then getting to battle with their children from the future in Fire Emblem Awakening and shoehorned the same mechanic in here with the laziest rationale. I didn’t care about my own character, let alone any of the others so it didn’t matter to me who lived and who died in my game.
2. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers
I’m a sucker for the LEGO Games and, as simple as they tend to be, there’s still a fairly high bar of quality throughout the series. Avengers fell way short of that bar.
Already feeling like it was behind schedule (both it and LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens came out well after the release of their respective tie-ins, Avengers weirdly suffered from trying to put too much into the game. Whereas normal LEGO games tackle somewhere in the vicinity of a trilogy of movies, this one bounced around among six of them and didn’t really serve any particularly well.
The sound mix was one of the worst I’ve heard in memory, attempting to blend audio directly from the films with new audio created for the game. But at times it wound up sounding as though somebody just held a microphone up to a TV speaker while playing the movies in order to capture the audio files.
I still 100%-ed and Platinumed the game. Because I’m a sucker. But it was easily the most disappointing LEGO game I’ve played in years. Especially after how much fun the full LEGO Marvel Super Heroes title had been when they weren’t beholden to exclusively the MCU content.
1. Lemmings Touch
You know what’s great about Lemmings games? Precision puzzle-solving. You know what touch screens on the Vita AREN’T known for? Precision anything.
I dove into Lemmings Touch on the Vita when it was a PlayStation Plus game in February of this year. I probably spent hours upon hours with the Lemmings on Super Nintendo so I was interested in revisiting the little buggers.
But as soon as I got to puzzles that required me to quickly pinch an often unresponsive screen to zoom in enough to try and select the correct Lemming and then tap the right bubble to assign them the appropriate task- oh nope, they’re already off the cliff falling to their doom. And there go the next 10 in the time it takes me to try again. So goodbye Gold and Silver rating on this stage, and there goes Bronze too…
This game that probably nobody else reading this played pissed me off to no end by taking a formula I love and just destroying it by putting it on the wrong platform, making me so mad that I made sure to carry that rage with me all the way to this “Worst of 2016” list. Thank god I didn’t pay for it and kudos to the people out there who played through more of it than me.