Alright, let’s be honest here: 2016 was a tough year for a lot of us. The gaming industry is not excluded from that. There was a lot of hope that went into the last year, and a lot of sadness that resulted from some pretty disappointing titles. At the turn of 2017, there was a lot of optimism about future releases, and we’re happy to say that we can all take a breather from the stream of crappy games and enjoy some of the best titles to come out so far this year.
The first quarter of the year has winded down to an end, and many of us were waiting since the dawn of January for games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Persona 5 to be released. The fact that many of us are still working our way through these games means that they have succeeded in being some pretty awesome titles.
This does not mean however that every title released in 2017 is a special gem. There has been a fair amount of games that have been spewed out from the depths of the gaming swamp and made us cringe with our controllers as to how bad they are. So we are here to look at fifteen titles that are just not making the cut for what it means to be a quality game in 2017.
And if you enjoy this list, or you’re just a fan of bad games in general, be sure to check out some of our similar lists here.
15 Mass Effect: Andromeda
It has been a while since the release of a new Mass Effect title. Bioware is not a studio that makes a game they do not want to make. It is a noble virtue for the company to have, and after half a decade following the release of Mass Effect 3 many fans were reluctant to hear the announcement of Mass Effect: Andromeda back in 2015.
Controversy always seemed to be surrounding the game, well into the last week before its release on March 21. The release was devasting for many fans of the series. It was a clear misfire: many animations felt 'off,' there was a lack of customization, and an overly repetitive set of missions disguised as something unique. All in all, Mass Effect: Andromeda was not the ambitious follow up to the amazing Dragon Age: Inquisition that many players were hoping it to be. Here's hoping Bioware has learned their lesson.
14 For Honor
For Honor was surrounded in hype in 2016. Following the release of the game’s multiplayer beta, however, many fans were confused by to the quality of the game. Upon release, many players were still unsure what to make of the game. After a short while, the verdict that For Honor was nothing better than a mediocre title was set in stone.
What really put this game to rest was the scarcity of content in its single-player mode. Similar to Bungie’s Destiny, the PVP in-game multiplayer features were solid (with the exception of the constant backstabbing problem), but there was not much in any the way of story to back it up. For Honor should take a note from Destiny, that if you are going to flake out on the story, then you need to have expansive content elsewhere to make of for it.
Science fiction is one of those genres that you just have to love from time to time. Divide is a game that features plenty of potential in both gameplay and story, but falls short at both ends of the stick. It features a top-down camera angle very reminiscent of old school dungeon crawlers. While it works quite well throughout the game itself, the game feels more like a maze than it does a progressive game, with repetitive backtracking and some complicated combat.
There are many aspects of the game that seem to hinder the player's experience directly. In one case, the controls are tough to handle (even for experts). If you do pull off a sterling attack on an enemy, you must rely on NPC’s to actually take down an enemy for you, as you can only stun enemies altogether. This entire mechanic makes the game feeling unnecessarily limiting to the player.
12 Urban Empire
For most of us, simulation games like The Sims or Simcity are ways for the player to relax in a casual manner, while still being challenged by what the world of the game has to offer. There is always a fair amount of customization for the player, while still working within the limitation of the world around them. Urban Empire for the PC likes to work with these limitations, but to a vast degree that leaves the player feeling grounded.
Similar in style to Simcity, Urban Empire acts as a world simulator where the player is an omnipotent being controlling things around them. However most players will agree, the game is too socioeconomically based in its gameplay. While you can build structures in the world around you, you cannot customize what they will do or what they will look like. This makes the game feel like a falsely titled simulation, one where any significant customization is just out of reach.
11 DYING: Reborn
After the praise heaped on the virtual reality version of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, a new wave of VR-based horror titles have been put into the works. Virtual reality is changing the ways in which we look at puzzles and depth in game mechanics, and surely many good things will come from it. Finally, something to make the player truly feel as though they are being haunted with every step they take.
This is not the case however for DYING: Reborn, which is a game that leaves the player feeling conned out of a full-length purchase. While some have commented that some of the puzzles in the game are fun and interesting, they are not able to keep many players running through to the end of the game. The game is extremely short, and ends before it starts to get interesting. The most horrifying thing about DYING: Reborn is that it is an actual game.
10 Double Dragon IV
Arcade classic sequels are always nice. Applying a fresh coat of paint to an old series is a great way to remind older players why they loved a game in the first place. These double as a great way to show younger gamers how good old games were. The problem with Double Dragon IV is that it possess none of the charm of the original Double Dragon game, but keeps all of the repetitive gameplay that they could have expanded on.
The gameplay is slow and does not allow the player to feel as though they have any sort of control over the character. The graphics are very retro, but do not add any sort of modern flare or spin that makes it feel like a new game. Double Dragon IV is a new game saddled with all of the flaws of a game built twenty years ago.
9 1-2 Switch
Fun fact: Wii Sports was one of the best-selling games in the world. Why is this the case? Because every Wii that Nintendo sold came with a copy of the game. Because Wii Sports came with the system, people were willing to accept how mediocre the game was. Sure it wasn’t that fun, but it was at the very least free.
When the Nintendo Switch was released earlier this year, it came without any bundled games. 1-2 Switch is essentially the Wii Sports of the Switch generation, and not many people are looking to buy an expensive mini-game collection. 1-2 Switch is fun for all of about 2 hours, until you go through all the games and realize that there is not much left to do. There are plenty of better, free apps on your phone.
8 Troll And I
Does everyone remember The Last Guardian back in December of 2016? If you do, then you probably remember the amount of polish that went into the “giant creature” mechanic. Everything that you did felt real while leading your big friend through caverns and corridors.
Troll and I perfectly illustrates just how easy it is to mess this mechanic up. This game feels like The Last Guardian’s sad, less talented younger brother. The animations are choppy, and looks like something from the early PlayStation 2 era. The controls are rigid, with most of the game revolving around the player walking in a straight line, climbing up ledges, and walking in another straight line. In some situations, you switch roles and play as the titular troll character. As the troll, you pick up large objects and then continue to walk in a straight line until you go absolutely mad. This game just isn’t worth your hard earned coin.
Husk was released at the beginning of February 2016, and was said to be a mix between Alan Wake and Silent Hill (two classic entries into the horror genre). Well, to tell you the truth, Husk's distinct lack of polish makes it impossible to compare to those spectacular games. Many reviewers discounted Husk as "just another 'walking simulator.” By all accounts, the game's story could have held its own, but piss poor gameplay holds Husk back from being worthwhile. It has the potential to be a gripping experience, but with bland gameplay, uninteresting environments, and excessive walking, Husk is nothing short of a bore.
6 Trulon: The Shadow Engine
We’ve all been down the gaming road and looked at a title that just looks "wrong." In the case of Trulon: The Shadow Engine, the game's questionable graphics do not make up for the game’s poor gameplay, making it an all-around disappointing experience.
At first Trulon: The Shadow Engine looks to be another quality JRPG. After spending some with it, however, it's clear that the game's uneven visuals make it hard to enjoy. Trulon's 3-D backdrops do not mesh whatsoever with the game's flat —Paper Mario-style— characters.
Along with the poor graphics, the gameplay gets really repetitive very quickly. The fight animations do not look as though much time or thought were put into them, making everything feel just a bit off during the core gameplay. Sorry Trulan, we are going to have to pass.
5 Has Been Heroes
Has-Been Heroes is a game that tries hard to be unique in an expansive RPG market. The way the gameplay works is as such: the player controls a set of characters in a series of lanes. They battles are always moving forward, leaving the player in control to switch and swap characters into different lanes as they see fit. It seems as though the game should be fast-paced yet strategic, making it an attractive title for all.
This is only a pipe dream, however, as the gameplay gets repetitive not too long into the game. There is not much depth to the game's combat, which makes things boring quite quickly. This is a shame since the game does have a good sense of humor. Not just that, but it has solid graphics that hold up through the experience. So close yet so far.
4 New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers
Not every game that is released needs to be priced from $50 to $60. Occasionally it is nice to drop $10 on a short little pleasing title that will keep you occupied here and there. That is exactly what New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers aims to be. From the get go, the game looks like a pretty fun simulation title that does not leave the player too stressed out when playing.
The problem with this title, however, is that it is about as bad as Farmville on Facebook. While the gameplay features a long list of addictive mechanics, it has a very stale presentation. It looks to be of the same quality as a free iOS app. However, it costs $13 to download. There is nothing that separates this game from others of the kind, and with the upcoming release of Stardew Valley for Nintendo Switch, this title is about as forgettable as it gets.
3 R.B.I. Baseball 17
Are you familiar with the R.B.I Baseball series? No? Well, then you are one of the lucky ones, because this game is about as bad as it gets. Originally released in 1988 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, the first R.B.I Baseball title was a pretty good game. However, it seems that as the series went along, the quality of games remained the same, because, after 1995, Manco stopped making them.
It seemed like it was the end of the franchise, right? That was true until 2014 when the series was brought back from the ashes. The R.B.I. Baseball games have been released annually ever since, and as much as I would like to say that a beautiful phoenix had risen from those ashes, but I would lying if I did. R.B.I. Baseball 17 does nothing to change up the formula to make a better game, giving it an average review rating of 2.0 out of 10 across the boards.
2 Vroom in The Night Sky
While technically released on the brink of April this year, we are going to give this title an honorary spot on this list because of the depths of how bad of a game it is. Given an average Metascore of 16, Vroom in the Night Sky is about as bad as it gets (as far as video games go). From a distance —a far distance— the game appears to be about a cute magical girl. Perfect for anime fans. Take one step closer, however, and you will see that this game has about nothing going for it.The game is essentially one large chore, with the core gameplay centered around collecting stars with no other obstacles in the player’s way. The graphics show no signs of texture, and are so bland they appear only to have one coat of paint on just about everything. Vroom in the Night Sky is the worst game to be released so far this year, and we are glad to put it to rest here.
1 Super Bomberman R
The release of the Nintendo Switch has been a rocky landing for many. With the exception of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, there have not been many titles to entice hardcore Nintendo fans into buying the next generation console. Konami went ahead and released Super Bomberman R on March 3, and while the game does hold some impressive aspects to behold, the all around experience is nothing short of simply okay.
The first and main problem that many reviewers had with the title is the price. According to the first wave of reviews, the game features nothing more than $10 worth of content, at the price tag of $50. It is a shame that this is the case, because the game actually does have some good multiplayer qualities, as well as the natural charm that comes from earlier titles. It just goes to show that when you don’t have enough content, you shouldn’t pass off a title for more than it is worth.