I’ve recently been playing Knack on my PlayStation 4, and while it isn’t a terrible game, it isn’t a game that would have urged me to purchase the brand new system when it arrived. I’m enjoying the game, but it isn’t like a Halo or a Resident Evil that pulls me to buy certain a console. This got me thinking; What games were terrible launch titles that companies should just hang their heads in shame for? These are five of those titles:
5) Perfect Dark Zero – Xbox 360
Coming hot off Rare’s success on the Nintendo 64 and the GameCube, Microsoft was willing to fork over a lot of cash to grab the company–and they did. Unfortunately, Rare never seemed to reach the golden precipice they once did for Nintendo’s consoles. Instead, nostalgic fans were greeted with a Perfect Dark that they didn’t want. Instead of leaping off the already amazing game they made on the N64, they went backwards and made a prequel title. That was mistake number one. Mistake number two wasn’t Rare’s fault, but the first-person genre had changed a bit. Halo was the wave of the future, and it seemed that Master Chief had tea-bagged Joanna Dark before she even got out of the gate. Now Rare is relegated to making crappy motion games for the Kinect and avatars for XboxLive. How the mighty have fallen.
4) Knack – PlayStation 4
Yes, this is the title I am currently playing on my PS4, and it has to be one of the most vanilla launch titles I’ve played. I am enjoying my time with this title, don’t get me wrong, but there is no way I would run out on day one to buy this and a PS4. I’m sure The Last Guardian would have me chomping at the bit outside of GameStop, but not this title. I get that Sony maybe wanted to finally nail down a new mascot for their console, seeing as Crash has died a slow death from different developers, but Knack isn’t their golem. I am pushing myself to complete this game so I can knock it off my Pile O Shame, but I have to work up the nerve to play it. The backgrounds are boring, Knack’s voice doesn’t fit the character, and I can’t control the camera with the right stick. No camera control? What is this, 1999?
3) Steel Diver – 3DS
Now I never had a 3DS at launch. I usually wait for the XL versions of Nintendo’s handhelds to come out later, so I wasn’t burned by this title. Steel Diver was suppose to be the game that showed the world that portable 3D was the the future, and it sunk miserably–pun intended. No one can screw up submarine fun, right? Wrong. Miyamoto showed the world that even driving an amazing submarine like Sean Connery did can be screwed up. The insanely short title gave gamers very little gameplay bang for their buck and was extremely frustrating. The title was eventually made free to play for fans. I’m very weary of wasting my precious 3DS memory blocks for three hours of eye pain and frustration, how about you?
2) Gundam: Crossfire – PS3
Now, fighting in giant mechs is really hard to mess up. It is even harder to mess up when you’re touting a new console to show off all the mechs. Bandai Namco somehow messed it all up. Instead of a gorgeous mech game with massive battles and state of the art graphics, gamers received a title that looks like it fell off of the PS2’s “do not make” list. Last generation visuals and clunky mechanics sank Gundam: Crossfire. Instead of flying a giant robot through the air with ease, early adopters most likely threw this disc into the garbage with ease. Thankfully, Bandai Namco didn’t give up and ended up making some better mech games for multiple systems.
1) Super Mario Land – GameBoy
I am probably one of the few people that did get this game with the original GameBoy, and I honestly don’t have any bad memories with it. Keep in mind I was nine or ten years old, and the prospect of taking Mario with me on one of our family’s road trips greatly excited me. It wasn’t until recently when I dusted off my old GameBoy games did I make the discovery that this game was poorly done. I’m assuming Nintendo was hoping to cash in on Mario’s success on the NES to get this portable game player into the hands of youngsters. I was one of those youngsters and have great memories playing this title on the road. As an adult however, I realized that the game is utter garbage. The controls are off, and Mario seems to float in the sky as you jump. The graphics aren’t all that great, Mario seems so teeny tiny as you run through Egypt. Yeah, Mario has a fun romp in Egypt! I’m glad that childhood me loved this game so much because adult me would scream, “Miyamoto!” really loudly towards the sky.
Are there any launch games that I may have missed? Were you one of those people sorely disappointed by one of these titles? Let us know in the comments.