The Worst of 2010

Posted December 9th, 2010 at 9:45 am

Before getting into the Top 10 Games of the Year countdown (also make sure to vote in the Community Awards polls) comes the look at what turned out to be the worst offerings of the year. Considerations for acknowledgment here include what the reasonable expectations were going in, game issues and promises fulfilled, lack of value, and community response.

This year there were no standout games that really deserved to be trashed. There was nothing on the level of MLB 2K9, MLB Front Office Manager, NBA Unrivaled, FIFA Street 3, or Facebreaker. Those were the games featured the past two years and thankfully nothing as bad as those, or having amounted to being a complete rip-offs, emerged in 2010. Still there were a few that left quite a bit to be desired.

Tecmo Bowl Throwback
(full impressions)
There have been attempts at resurrecting popular franchises from the past and it has proven difficult. Revamping games that carry so much nostalgia while updating them enough where consumers are interested in a purchase is a tough balance to make. I was a huge fan of Tecmo Super Bowl. Tecmo Bowl Throwback tried to copy that game while providing updated 3D graphics, adding online play, but going without the NFL license.

I couldn’t get through more than a couple games because of how dated it felt. They even kept well known glitches in the game which, I can understand the argument for, but I don’t agree with. Online play was a big selling point but never even got out of the gate. The online connections resulted in the guest experiencing crippling lag while running smoothly for the host and wins and losses were not being recorded leading to a ton of “rage quitting”. Tecmo then came out and stated they would not be providing any post-release support. Not a huge surprise for a downloadable game but there was no excuse for leaving online play in a broken state.

(full impressions, online impressions)
Backbreaker makes the list as it failed at the most important thing and that was as a football game. The atrocious AI was the biggest issue, but many also disliked the camera angle and Natural Motion was stubborn in their refusal to offer options. There were also some pretty severe glitches and mistakes with simple football rules. Online play also was hurt by a host advantage leading NM to post a poll for feedback asking if both the host and client should lag or just the client lag? How about the lag be eliminated instead.

The “Greathouse” patch was lauded early on but was picked apart with issues of its own and didn’t seem to accomplish much as the community had dissipated by that point anyway. Backbreaker brought about some good ideas and a unique experience but poor implementation really killed the chances of a game that needed fun to be its selling point.

NBA Elite 11
(demo impressions, Bynum glitch video, hook-shot exploit, can EA recover?)
A game that was not released lands in the worst of the year as EA Sports had full intention of selling it until the wave of negativity became overwhelming. The demo was poorly received, glitch videos went viral, and EA lost a ton of credibility in the process. The marketing for the game over the summer was poorly handled with many statements made that came back to bite them and the game being shielded from the public with full knowledge that it was not up to par. NBA Elite 11’s failure also severely damaged NBA Jam’s viability as a standalone property.

•Worst of 2010
Vote for the Community Awards