By Bryan Smith on January 1, 2016 at 4:44pm
So there's the awesome games this year and the disappointing ones that made us regret our decisions a bit. Then we have the games that are just bad. The ones that probably didn't try all that much or just failed spectacularly. I don't think this list needs any more context than that, right?
I should also preface this this list as it took some exploring to find the worst. 2015 wasn't all that filled with the worst of the worst. That, and we don't actively want to find the worst games either. Some of them may not be entirely awful, but I had to fill up a list that calls for 10 entries... though there is still bad things regardless.
10. "Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash"
It's pitiful when one of the earlier games in the series, “Mario Tennis” for the Nintendo 64, has a lot more content to play with. My first thoughts with “Ultra Smash” were “hmmm,” this looks rather barren. Shock horror- it is. There is a shockingly low amount of content that even tennis aficionados would have a hard time getting behind this game.
Let's put this into perspective. “Mario Tennis” for the N64 had 16 characters with a ton of different courts and several unique modes to play through such as the Bowser-themed court that tilts. “Ultra Smash” has 16 characters as well and only adds 3 new characters with a lot of characters omitted for some crazy reason. No Koopa Troopa, Paratroopa, Shy Guy, Diddy Kong, Baby Mario, Birdo, Fly Guy, Wiggler, or Petey Piranha. The minute Nintendo announced this at E3 2015, I could tell this was a quick cash-grab to get “Mario Tennis” fans to buy this game, and it shows in spades.
9. "Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival"
How do you make “Mario Party” even worse? Uh, other than “Mario Party 10?” Wait, how about we say even worse than “Mario Party 10?” At least that game has some fundamentally good things that don't rely on figures to play completely for a full retail game (other than the one mode, but that's the thing: one mode). It is painfully clear “Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival” was only conceived to get people to go buy “Animal Crossing” amiibo and to use the brand to sell something without putting a lot of effort into a product. Also, the game costs $60 with only two figures, where there are 8 figures out now, too many cards to count, and four more figures (at least) on the way. This isn't a game that the amiibo isn't optional- oh no, no, no. They're quite mandatory.
Let's talk about those mini-games. They are exceptionally boring, to the point that IGN's reviewer actually fell asleep while trying to play it. Far too often the gameplay takes too long before something meaningful actually happens. The only pluses I will say about this game is that it's charming as per usual “Animal Crossing” flair and you might be able to have some fun (and laughs) with friends. Otherwise... oh boy. The figures are probably better for “Super Mario Maker” than this game.
8. "Devil's Third"
Nintendo... you ended this year laughably and miserably. While “Xenoblade Chronicles X” is on my Top 10 list, we got three games in less than two months on this list. This is the one where controls become an issue. These controls are clunky- too clunky for something that came out in 2015. That's the thing with this game though. Assuming that this game was made in its right time, “Devil's Third” should have released when it should have... most likely for the PlayStation 2, original Xbox, and GameCube.
This game makes me think that we should have seen this back then honestly, just like “Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.” It's clear we're dealing with more of a game that the only amount of effort put into this game would have sufficed for something years ago. Having guns and melee attacks should be awesome together, but they get messy and muddled together instead. Also, there are microtransactions in the multiplayer. Lovely.
7. "Rugby World Cup 2015"
I'll admit, I'm not that big on the gaming sports front. However, when I hear about games not fully working or lacking many modes, that's a pretty big strike to land them on a worst games list. It's also pretty shameful that this game has been panned for being the previous “Rugby 15,” which was also universally panned as well.
I don't think there needs much else to be said here. Awful controls, the lack of modes still missing, and the shady attempt to just slapping World Cup onto “Rugby 15” places it on this list exceptionally easy.
6. "Godzilla: The Game (2015)"
Oh yeah! We get to fight monsters again as the epic Godzilla. This is going to be gre- NOPE. The same problems that plagued “Devil's Third” are the reason why this game fail - awkward controls, graphics that shouldn't belong on the PlayStation 4, and feeling quite hollow in content (just like “Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash”). However, seeing that there are previous Godzilla games that are pretty decent, Bandai Namco should have had some foresight as to what would make “Godzilla: The Game” awesome. Yet here we are again.
5. "Raven's Cry"
Meet “Raven's Cry,” or “How to Do Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag Completely Wrong.” Pirates are fun. Video games are fun. That should translate to pirate video games are fun too, right? I guess “Raven's Cry” either didn't get the memo and overshot so far they got eaten by Moby Dick or didn't even try.
What are the problems? We got cliches for a rather awful story to begin with, controls that are inconsistent that they are either clunky to control or rigid to the opposite degree, dialogue that makes me want to punch talent-less actors in the throat, and game-breaking bugs. I hear they tried to re-release the game, but I think this ship not only sailed a few feet, but it sank and exploded.
4. "Alone in the Dark: Illumination"
Oh Atari. How the mighty have fallen. The original “Alone in the Dark” was such a revolutionary title that would inspire “Resident Evil” and “Silent Hill” to the horror genre. Alas, that was years ago. Nowadays, I wouldn't trust Atari to hand me a water bottle next to it. They don't know what they are doing anymore, and the only thing that I'm confident in saying is that they want to earn money without doing anything smart.
So that leads to “Alone in the Dark: Illumination.” Oh boy... it sucks a lot. You are not alone, as you have allies to fight monsters, and you are not in the dark as the light is needed to kill monsters. This game looks worse than some games released on the PlayStation 2 era of gaming and feels so much like a budgeted title. The sad thing is, however, I'm not all that mad or disappointed... as I should be. I expected as much from Atari and I can expect even worse until the company officials steps out of gaming. I can think of worse things that came from “better” companies than one who has virtually no relevance in the gaming scene anymore.
3. "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5"
Perhaps a dead franchise should stay dead unless you're fully committed to revitalizing it to making it relevant again. It is safe to say Activision did not with “Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5.” Fundamentally, “Pro Skater 5” should have been the fabulously return to form. It's a shame that “return to form” also requires to making a game that works decently at the bare minimum.
The bug... oh my god the bugs. Where as something like the “Skate” series are just enjoyably silly when the game decides to bend your player whatever way it feels, “Pro Skater” needs things to work to do missions. When the player decides to wobble like a fish instead of skating, we got a problem. We also have the simplistic, uninteresting design of the game that makes it feel like an outdated “Pro Skater” installment. There isn't much to expand the game at all. We wanted the evolution for “Tony Hawk,” and we get... whatever this was.
Yup... this particular title... We got one damned pile of crap here. Let's say, hypothetically, that RockStar Games tried to do some risque edge to promote their games, such as “Grand Theft Auto.” You get to run over hookers, beat innocent old ladies on the street, and go on a murdering spree. People would and have been rather angry that such a game is out there that might influence their children to do those horrible things... except most of them understand that this is a game first off and most likely wouldn't have the heart to even push grandma an inch out the way. All this is true, but there's one thing that Destructive Creations forgot to do- make a good game. The “Grand Theft Auto” series have been very tightly made and a lot of effort was put into the mechanics. That's not the case with “Hatred.”
The game's violence is surprisingly tame, which is borderline false advertisement of being this controversial beast. The controversy was just a tool to sell a bland, ugly looking, and poorly constructed game. At times, the story puts a stop to progression because of suddenly ramped up difficulty. There's also not a whole lot you do other than kill people. That's it. At least with “GTA,” there are missions to get money to buy cars and buildings, go driving taxi cars, be vigilantes, golf, play tennis, etc. You know what though? Because the game only used controversy to sell this game, I can't even bring myself to list this as the worst game of the year. I don't think it deserves any special honors... even if it's for the worst honor.
1. "Afro Samura 2i: Revenge of Kuma"
I think it's very telling that a game is so horrendous that the developers had the game pulled from PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. For being so bad, this has been one of the few major releases that has been (quite presumably) removed for good so consumers can't purchase it. Even with “Batman: Arkham Knight,” it was eventually re-released with it running (a tiny bit) better than it had prior. I don't think that's the case with this game.
One major strike is that the titular Afro Samurai isn't even the playable character, as Kuma (the guy wearing the bear head) is the main character here. Whether this was something to do with story or the last game or if it played to the episodic nature, I don't know nor care. I'm not playing as an Afro Samurai, and that displeases me. Also, the camera and controls are just awful.
I think why this title is the worst game for 2015, at least to me, is that it got pulled very quickly from stores (online anyways) and that future episodes were cancelled. To be honest, I have never seen a game get blasted with negative criticism before that the developers outright removed it, offered refunds galore, and cancelled further plans. That's quite the accomplishment. Hell, if it weren't for Steam refunds, WB Games would have gotten away with releasing “Batman: Arkham Knight” all buggy and they wouldn't have offered compensation. While “Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma” may be a very bad game, I think it deserves to be on top of this list because the developers understood that many people hated it and actually did something about it. Whether removing it completely like “P.T.” because of Konami being extremely stupid was a good thing or not, they at least acknowledged their faults. That's more important because they learned something to try and better the video game industry, unlock a certain big publisher... WB...
Oh, and there's Konami. They may not be a video game, but they are the worst company in 2015.
So what games were downright boring, broken, unplayable, or just miserable to sit through? At least 2015 can't throw more bile at us, though that means they can't give us good. So let's march forward to 2016 with a fresh start.