There’s no denying that it’s been a great year for gaming, especially with the number of indie video games that have enjoyed colossal success (such as Journey, Dear Esther and so on), but like any year, it’s also had a glut of games that looked fantastic, had a world of promise, and then failed to meet that promise, totally letting us down in the process. These ten games, either the latest long-awaited entry in an acclaimed video game series, a reboot of a classic gaming franchise, or an original intellectual property, all had the potential to be among the best games of the year, but either owing to rushed developmental cycles or a simple lack of fresh ideas, they were among the most generic, misguided and outright disappointing video games of the year.
10. Lollipop Chainsaw
Suda 51 is a video game director who clearly revels in confounding player expectation in games like Killer 7 and Shadows of the Damned; thus, when we first heard about Lollipop Chainsaw, we similarly thought that it would subvert the relatively modest aspirations of the title on looks alone. It’s unquestionably his game best-focused on a Western audience, with a cheerleader protagonist named Julia Starling who spends the game doing away with hordes of zombies. It’s the sort of concept that appeals to the Grindhouse crowd above all else, and though we didn’t expect it to have much to it, Lollipop Chainsaw even managed to disappoint on our relatively simple expectations of what the title should deliver.
The pacing was all over the place, some of the mini-games were head-smackingly arbitrary, but above all else, it’s the combat that was a let down; it’s the most garden variety, hack n’ slash mulch we’ve seen a million times before without a single variation of its own. Also, while the first expectation was that the game was in fact a satire of all of those oversexed female protagonists in Japanese video games, the game’s commentary doesn’t work because it actually indulges in the same casual sexism as those games. Such a shame.
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This article was first posted on December 12, 2012