So, we haven’t quite run the gimmick of Thanksgiving related posts into the ground yet, so I give you our Golden Turkey Awards. Ten Games, Ten Turkeys.. But only one game will take home the coveted Golden Turkey award. So let’s gobble-gobble get to it!
10. Mafia III: The storyline was great. The weak side missions, and the busywork however, drag what coulda/shoulda been a contender down into muddled average land, which is not where a major AAA release needs to be. I hope more games take from the storyline and handling charged issues the way they did. Just not the gameplay.
9. Nintendo and the WiiU: Thirteen WiiU releases in 2016 got seven or more Metacritic-credited reviews. That’s all. Not that they were necessarily BAD games this year, but this was the last gasp of an already dead system.. “Star Fox Zero/Guard” will save us!” They cried. Um.. no. Star Fox wasn’t necessarily a turkey, but by Star Fox and thus Nintendo standards it was… and with it, went the last hopes of the Ninten-gamer. So, early 2017 will bring us the Switch, which hopefully be a switch in fortunes for Nintendo. Nintendo keeps zigging when everyone else is zagging, and when it works, it works brilliantly. when it doesn’t.. it zigs right into a tree.
8. Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Let’s take what made Assassin’s Creed great (3D, open universe gaming), and turn it into a 2.5D platformer. Fans were.. not impressed. I think the term Shovelware would be a bit overstating it, but it’s quite obvious that no one really considered these games more than anything then a way to keep the Assassin’s Creed cash machine flowing. It’s rumored there won’t be a Assassin’s Creed Game in 2017.. which I think is a good idea, as it will give fans time to recharge their desire to play what makes this series game.
7. Homefront: The Revolution: Quick, let’s take a forgettable, ridiculous premised game (North Korea has taken over the US. O NOES!) and make a sequel that would be acceptable, except it has more bugs then an overful dumpster! Oy vey. The only reason that this isn’t much, much higher on our Turkey award list is because well, no one expected much from it anyway.
6. TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan: They had a decent enough background, and had a good fighting system, for about 15 minutes. That’s excuseable for a $15 game. NOT a $50 one. It’s fairly obvious that this was meant to piggyback off the TMNT sequel. The game bogged down with cluttered, repetitive levels and half-cooked mechanics. No Turtle Power here. I think I’d rather play Turtles in Time (what is it anyway with X in X titles for TMNT games, anyway?)
5. 7 Days to Die. Telltale Games makes a great bunch of storytelling games. This was not one of them. The game wasn’t anywhere ready to release, and even months of patching and squashing bugs couldn’t save this one. 7 Days to Die wasn’t the players in this one.. it was the game play that doomed this release to die a forgotten death, and unlike the game’s zombies, it won’t be coming back from the dead.
4. Umbrella Corps: I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at the meetings for this, mostly so I could fly down the throat of the person who pitched this idea and save the tarnishing of a franchise. “Hey, let’s take our survival horror game Resident Evil that everyone knows works and turn it into a free to play shooter that we can nickel and dime our players to death with”. To make things worse, the gameplay is about as half-baked as the concept was. This is not an Umbrella you’re going to want to hide under. I would apologize to Rhianna for that joke, but I think that the folks behind Umbrella Corps need to apologize to Rhianna for tarnishing the word Umbrella.
3. Mighty No 9 :Absence did NOT make the heart grow fonder, it poisoned the heart, and eventually led to the doom of what would have been a decent enough, if forgettable game, if it hadn’t been delayed several years, and had the hopes and dreams of every single Mega Man fanboy. When it didn’t hit those lofty heights, yup. Doooooomed. (looks at next game on list) Oh, did someone say Lofty heights?
2. No Man’s Sky I said it before, this game didn’t just shoot for the moon and the stars, it shot for the whole freaking universe. It was beautiful, It was daring.. but it wasn’t really FUN. And once again, disappointed fan-boys plus grandiose promises unmet equals lots and lots of anger. Lots, and Lots and Lots.. actually, I’ll just say Lots of Lots of anger. The sad thing is, I could see someone tying in No Man’s Sky to something like EVE with space battles and more active gameplay, and it being a humongous hit.
And our Golden Turkey of the year goes to.. drumroll please…
1. Ghostbusters: Yeah, the movie pissed off folks who didn’t want folks to remake one of the classic movies of our age, and worse yet, had the audacity to put WOMEN in their roles. But that didn’t ruin a movie. Which is good, because the game just plain pissed off everyone, from the folks I just mentioned, to the folks who wanted a fun game, to the people who wanted a productive use of their time, probably even to the production people who will have this turkey on their resume going forward.
(Dishonorable mention: Quantum Break, The Technomancer, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, Battleborn, Virtual Reality generation 1, the 2016 Presidential Election)
Early Candidate for the Golden Turkey award of 2017? Star Citizen. It’s made the combined promises of our 2016’s #2 and #3 Turkeys, and the fans have already started to turn against it. It’s a decent enough arena space shooter. That’s no where near enough. 2017 will make or break Star Citizen? My bet? Broken into atomic pieces.