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By Jessica Brister On 18 Apr, 2015 At 09:49 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, PlayStation, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarWith all of the amazing games that have come out over the last couple of generations of consoles, it’s easy to list all of the excellent games.  But what about the worst games?  What about the disappointments?  What about the games that I regretted even spending an hour of my time on?  I guess looking at the best of the best also got me thinking of the disappointments, so here it is: The 10 Most Disappointing Games that I’ve Played in the Last 10 Years.

Note: These are not the worst games ever.  Well, some of them might be.  These are also not a complete list of the worst games because I am only including games that I have played.  I’m sure that there are some really bad ones not included.  These just happen to be a list that I’ve played that I was very disappointed with.

Titanfall

Titanfall_002

In theory, Titanfall could have been a good game.  The online game play is actually pretty fun.  It even introduced some interesting concepts to player versus player, including the use of the Titans and running along the sides of the walls.  The problem with this game is that it only half complete.  With no single player mode and virtually no story, playing the game felt a bit pointless at times.  Hopefully, this will get corrected with a Titanfall 2.

BioShock 2

BioShock2

Although BioShock 2 is not necessarily a bad game, it was very much a let-down when compared to the original game.  The story in no way could be compared to BioShock, which is one of my favorite games ever.  It was mediocre at best.  Even though it was still set in Rapture, the whole feel seemed different to me and not in a good way, either.  The only improvement to the game was the ability to use plasmids and a weapon at the same time, but unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to give this game any replay value.  It’s definitely the “skipped over” one of the franchise.

Assassin’s Creed

Assassin's_Creed_cover

Although the franchise got much, much better, the original Assassin’s Creed was quite a disappointment.  It’s extremely repetitive and can be downright boring at times.  You really only need to play for a couple of hours to experience all that the game has to offer.  In fact, just play a few hours and then watch the ending on YouTube.  There.  You’ve gotten the whole game.  Luckily, Ubisoft really got their act together and created a great franchise.  Everyone loves the later games, but I never hear anyone talk about the original.

Infamous: Second Son

Second_Son_SS_02

The original Infamous was an amazing game, so I was really excited for Second Son.  Unfortunately, Second Son ended up being really repetitive.  The story was so-so.  And the ’90s-style boss battles were the last straw.  The graphics were awesome, but that wasn’t enough to save the whole game.  What should have been a great game ended up being a beautiful disaster.

Sims 4

Sims4_Loading

Sims 3 is one of my favorite games, but with all of the expansions, the game engine has been struggling for awhile.  I was so excited for a new Sims game, but it didn’t take me that long to realize how poorly Sims 4 was done.  With no open world, limited color choices for clothing and housing, and loading screens galore, I actually went back to Sims 3.  All Sims 4 ended up being was Sims 2.5.

Mass Effect 3

ME3

(SPOILER ALERT)

For a franchise where supposedly every choice matter, it really didn’t in the end.  With probably THE worst ending in gaming history, Mass Effect 3 could have killed the whole series.  Mass Effect 2 is one of my favorite games, so it was so frustrating to see a world so amazingly crafted go up in smoke.  It’s like the developers “called it in” for the ending.  Sadly, the rest of the game is actually pretty good.  I hope that BioWare can recover with Mass Effect 4.

(END SPOILER ALERT)

Duke Nukem Forever

Duke_Nukem_Forever

In theory, this could have been a good game.  I played the original Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem 2 side-scrollers.  I spent much of my middle school days playing Duke Nukem 3D.  However, whether it be the so-so game play or the fact that Duke Nukem is a bit dated at this point, Duke Nukem Forever ended up being a complete mess.  Something just didn’t click with the game.  It could have been the overly crude sexual puns or the ’90s-style game play, but the game just didn’t work.

Resistance 3

R3

After how awesome Resistance 1 and 2 were, I was so excited for Resistance 3.  Resistance 2 had some of the most fun cooperative game play that I have ever experienced.  I played that game TO DEATH.  Sadly, R3 ended up being horrible.  The online game play was a disaster.  Insomniac decided NOT to have cooperative, which was incredibly popular in R2, and the competitive play was poor.  The single player story mode was not very good either.  Capelli had been such a cool character in R2 that I had figured that R3 was going to be awesome.  Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.  Capelli turned into something completely different, which turned me off completely to the game.

Destiny

Destiny_Loot_Cave

If there ever was the greatest bait and switch in gaming, Destiny would be it.  We were promised awesome open world online cooperative game play and an amazing story.  What we got was a story that seemed like a ten year old boy wrote, a very linear closed-world, the worst loot drop system ever created, and an elastic leveling system.  I know some people absolutely love the game, but at this point, I refuse to play it anymore.

Final Fantasy

FFXIII

Even with the disaster that was Destiny, there is still one game that is actually even worse.  Final Fantasy XIII may actually be worst game that I have played in the last ten years.  The story is confusing.  The characters are cheesy.  The maps are claustrophobic.  The game play is simplistic.  Nothing good came from this game.  At all.

 

 

By Jessica Brister On 13 Nov, 2014 At 03:15 AM | Categorized As Editorials, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIt’s been a little over two months since Sims 4 debuted.  For some, the game was a bit of a let-down because it was missing a lot of features that were in the Sims 3.  After a couple of patches of free content from EA, there have been some improvements.  However, these patches really haven’t improved the game that much.

In October, ghosts and some Star Wars costumes were added.  This month, swimming pools and swimwear came back.  In December, new career paths will be added.  Although it was a nice gesture, the game play still doesn’t live up to many of the elements that were in Sims 3.

I spent some time with Sims 4 this week to see if I would like it any better with the newest features.  Those ghosts and costumes I could take or leave (I felt the same way for Sims 3).  Being able to have pools felt a bit better while playing.  I found that building lots felt a bit “off” when trying to create a house without a pool, especially since I like to build huge mansions for my Sims.  Players can certainly get more creative with pools by adding angles and depths, but this felt like a feature that should have been in the game at launch, not two months later.

It's great that pools were added, but this feature really should have been included in the initial launch of the game.

It’s great that pools were added, but this feature really should have been included in the initial launch of the game.

The real gem of the game is the Gallery, which is an easy way to add player-created content into your game.  With two months of avid Sim fans building intricate lots and unique Sims, there is a lot to choose from if you are not in the mood to build your own home or are looking for something different.  It is absolutely amazing to see the hard work of other Sims fans, most of whom are much more talented than I am when constructing houses.

So, with two patches out, Sims 4 is still not what the Sims 3 base game was, especially when the base game had a Create-a-Style system that allowed for greater customization, hilly terrain, and career system that didn’t force your Sim to completely disappear from the map.  At the rate EA and Maxis are going, it’s going to take a few years before it really gets up to par with what many Sims fans were expecting.

Don’t forget to take a look at my full Sims 4 review.

By Jessica Brister On 8 Oct, 2014 At 03:31 AM | Categorized As PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIn an effort to make Sims 4 players a bit happier after a lot of criticism on the game, EA is giving away some Fall freebies to players who have purchased Sims 4.

According to the official Sims website, free content will be split up this fall into items for October, November, and December.  The reason for this surprise is because the Sims 4 was designed “…to be a live service, so we can continually evolve the experience, add new content, and incorporate as much of your feedback as possible.”

The October patch, which is currently available to download from Origin, includes a Halloween theme.  Ghosts are now back for the newest addition of the Sims franchise.  Players can even dress their Sims in Star Wars costumes.  There are also some new eye colors that were added by request from fans in the Sims community.

Ghosts are making a comeback with the Sims 4 October patch.

Ghosts are making a comeback with the Sims 4 October patch.

In November, swimming pools will make a comeback to the Sims.  The lack of swimming pools during the release of Sims 4 in September was one of many criticisms, since pools have been an integral part of the Sims franchise for awhile.  In December, new career paths will be added, though there is no news of what specifically those paths will be.

 

By Jessica Brister On 24 Sep, 2014 At 11:48 PM | Categorized As Company Spotlight, Featured, PC Games, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIt’s been over five years since Sims 3 came out, and many fans of the Sims franchise have been very excited about Sims 4.  Although it wasn’t quite the gem that I was expecting, Sims 4 still has its merits.

Sims 4 was released on September 2 for Windows-based computers only.  It is basically a life simulation game that was developed by Maxis and The Sims Studio and was published by EA.  The Sims, like games like Minecraft, is a game that some people love and obsess over and some people “just plain don’t get.”  Despite this, the Sims franchise itself has been hugely popular; however, has had some criticism in recent years of nickel and diming players with bunches of add-ons and expansions.  Compared to its predecessor, Sims 3, there are very specific gaming elements that were improved upon and there are also very specific things that were not so good.

The first major improvement of the game was the slick new Create a Sim system, which is the way a player creates his or her Sim and Sim family.  This is actually one of the best improvements from Sims 3 to Sims 4.  It is quite obvious that Maxis really spent a lot of time into this part of the game: it runs extremely well and is very easy to use.  Plus, you end up with a Sim very close to what you wanted.  The sliders of Sims 3 have been replaced with clicking on and manipulating body parts.  To make adjustments to the body part that you want, click on it and move it around to the desired size and location.  It ends up being very easy for you to create a very customized Sim.  For those who aren’t great manipulating body parts, there are pre-set Sims that you can choose from as well.  There was also a nice selection of clothing and outfits to choose from, and they were easily sorted by types (something very different from Sims 3).  The only downside to the new Create a Sim is that the player is limited on hair, eye, and clothing colors because of a Create a Style system (more on this later).  I’m hoping that more options are added later in a patch or expansion.

 Create a Sim is by far the best updated feature for Sims 4.  In this aspect, it blows Sims 3 out of the water.

Create a Sim is by far the best updated feature for Sims 4. In this aspect, it blows Sims 3 out of the water.

The second improvement was the addition of The Gallery, an online sharing community.  Sims 3 touted The Exchange, a similar online sharing concept.  The problem with it, though, was that to get any shared content from other players, one would have to log into The Exchange from a web browser, selection what you want, download it, install it, and then boot up the game.  This was very tedious.  Sims 4 fixes this because it is all in-game sharing.  All a player has to do is click on The Gallery icon in game, and this automatically shows up while you are still playing.  You can place Gallery items on lots on the fly very easily which is a nice bonus.  Sharing your own Sims and lots is also just as easy.

You are only one click away from browsing through what others have shared.

You are only one click away from browsing through what others have shared.

Another improvement is the overall performance of Sims 4.  For those who have played Sims 3 with all of the expansions, the game engine got really bogged down.  Although this might also happen to Sims 4 in the future, the base game is very stable (then again, so was Sims 3).  The real improvement is the fact that Sims 4 runs pretty well on computers that are not high-end.  I’m not sure if I would run the game on the minimum requirements, but the game handled by laptop, which is not a gaming PC, without any issues.  Sure, the graphics were automatically toned down quite a bit, but the overall game ran great without any hiccups.  Just for reference, if you’d like to do a comparison to how Sims 4 might run on your PC: I am using an HP Pavilion dv6 Notebook with an AMD A6-34200M with an integrated graphics card and six GB of memory.  Though I have not had the time to try the game on my actually gaming PC, I was impressed with how the game handled on my laptop.  However, with my experience with Sims 3, I am concerned about how Sims 4 will run with multiple expansions added to it.

The graphics are toned down quite a bit on a lower end up, but the game play actually is very smooth as long as the minimum PC requirements are met.

The graphics are toned down quite a bit on a lower end up, but the game play actually is very smooth as long as the minimum PC requirements are met.

The fourth enhancement to the game was the addition of new and better Sim interactions.  This is what Maxis really concentrated on, and overall, they did a pretty good job.  “Emotions” were a new addition to Sims 4, which can add some interesting outcomes, though I think they were a bit overrated for as much as they were touted.  The Sim interactions were much more interesting, especially since it was a common complaint in Sims 3 that the open world led to less interactions between your Sims and NPC Sims.  Because Sims 4 is not really open world, this issue has been fixed.  It is very easy to find other Sims and hang out with them.  Though open world is lost, it is very fun to talk to multiple Sims at once, which is another new addition to the game.

 

Although you lose the open world feel, it is easy to find and meet new Sims.  I was able to find this Sim within seconds of starting a new game.

Although you lose the open world feel, it is easy to find and meet new Sims. I was able to find this Sim within seconds of starting a new game.

The last major improvement in game play is the ability to have Sims multi-task, which is a new thing for the franchise.  In previous Sims games, a Sim could only do one thing at a time.  In Sims 4, a player can make his or her Sim to multiple things at once.  This element adds some interesting game play to the mix.  For example, I had my Sim reading a book.  When I saw the bladder meter go down, I had my Sim use the toilet.  I was delighted to see that my Sim took the book to the toilet and continue reading on it, much to my amusement.  This ability to multitask has made the game play a bit more fresh, though the novelty may wear off after a bit.

Sims are no longer forced to do one thing at a time.

Sims are no longer forced to do one thing at a time.

With all of these improvements, it at first glance seems as if Sims 4 can do no wrong.  Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad with the good, especially if you are a die-hard Sim 3 player.  One of the biggest disappointments for Sims 4 is the fact that the open world concept of Sims 4 was nixed for a world of segmented “neighbordhoods.”  The open world of Sims 3 was a revolutionary part of the franchise that really took the Sims to a new level.  I tried to keep an open mind and thought that if it was done right, neighborhoods might not be so bad.  Unfortunately, the neighborhoods concept in Sims 4 are not that great.  The six sections of each neighborhood do not feel connected, and you have to use your Sim’s phone to get anywhere.  The loading screens didn’t bother me that much, but I was hoping that you could walk or jog from one neighborhood to another (unless there is something that I haven’t figure out yet).  The Sims 4 “world” is not that large, either.  There are technically two worlds that come with the base game, but there are only actually six neighborhoods for each world, and there’s not that much to each neighborhood.

This is the neighborhood selection screen for Sims 4.  As you can see, your options are limited for places to go.

This is the neighborhood selection screen for Sims 4. As you can see, your options are limited for places to go.

Another Sims 4 disappointment was the lot building system, which was supposed to be a major improvement from Sims 3 to Sims 4.  Overall, the building system was actually a disappointment.  It is indeed pretty easy to make corrections and add rooms on the fly, but it actually takes longer to build anything overall when compared to Sims 3.  This is mostly due to the crazy camera angles that the game forces you to look through.  I even spent extra time trying to play around to see if I could get the angles any better, but I still haven’t found any style that I like.  I am hoping that this eventually gets fixed in a patch or update.  I was also very disappointed to see that the current lot size limit is 50×50 residential lots for Sims 4, which makes it hard to create massive mansions (large for Sims 3 is 60×60 or 64×64).

This is not my idea of a McMansion, but this is apparently as large as residential lots get so far in Sims 4.

This is not my idea of a McMansion, but this is apparently as large as residential lots get so far in Sims 4.

The third disappointment is the lack of entertainment options for Sims in the Sims 4.  I do understand that you are purchasing a base game when you get Sims 4, but I really was expecting a bit more, especially after getting it for a “next-gen” price tag.  There are no swimming pools, cars, or a large open world to explore, so that game can get a bit boring at times.  There are some interesting skills that have been added for the game, but overall, I found that this aspect of the game was lacking.  The game might pick up a bit when expansions start getting added, but it really shouldn’t take a bunch of expansions to make the game fun.

Oh, I do miss cars and wandering around the open world of Sims 3.  Sims 4 entertainment options for Sims seems a bit lacking in comparison.

Oh, I do miss cars and wandering around the open world of Sims 3. Sims 4 entertainment options for Sims seems a bit lacking in comparison. (Photo of Sims 3 game play)

Another Sims 3 gaming element that Sims 4 left out was the Create a Style system.  This system was a unique way for players to customize pretty much anything in the game.  Maxis ditched this element for a set of pre-selected colors that you can choose from for clothing or home building/decorating.  Unfortunately, the pre-selected colors weren’t that great.  I had a hard time creating the house I wanted from what they gave me.  It felt like a lot of “basic” colors were not included in the pre-selected ones, such as white.  This made creating a custom home very tedious, and I never quite ended up with what I wanted.

Sure you have a lot of colors to choose from in the pre-selected colors of Sims 4, but sometimes getting a basic color like white is almost impossible.

Sure you have a lot of colors to choose from in the pre-selected colors of Sims 4, but sometimes getting a basic color like white is almost impossible.

Lastly, I was disappointed to see how Maxis went with the Sim careers this time.  There are some interesting careers in Sims 4, but it really doesn’t matter because you don’t really to get see them at work or interact with work that much.  Sims 4 works a lot of Sims 2 with jobs: when it’s time for work, you leave the lot and disappear for awhile.  There’s not even an animated carpool or anything; you just run off of the lot.  It’s a really annoying and disappointing aspect to the game that I hope eventually gets patched.  When Sims 3 came out, some people complained about the “rabbit holes” (where a Sim would disappear into a building and come out when they were done).  What they actually wanted was to be able to see and control their Sims at all times.  What we got in Sims 4 is the elimination of rabbit holes for Sims disappearing off of  the map altogether.  This does not solve the rabbit hole issue, but it does actually make things worse.

What's the point of these fun careers if your Sim disappears during the workday?

What’s the point of these fun careers if your Sim disappears during the workday?

Overall, the Sims 4 is a stable, solid game that has a lot of great elements.  If you are a fan of the franchise, you will probably like it.  However, it does have a lot of issues in which I hope get resolved in the future.

By Jessica Brister On 8 Aug, 2014 At 09:18 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, PC Games, Previews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarElectronic Arts granted the Sims 4 Create a Sim Demo to some fans who signed up last month.  If you were not lucky enough to get the demo, here are some things that you can look forward to when the full game comes out September 2:

Performance

I ran the demo on my laptop without any issue.  It is an HP Pavilion dv6 Notebook with an AMD A6-34200M with an integrated graphics card and six GB of memory.  This is the same device in which I typically play Sims 3, though I definitely cannot turn up the graphics.  The laptop is nothing fancy, especially for gaming, but it was able to chew right through the Sims 4 demo without any issues (I also was also toggling back and forth between social media sites, a couple of Microsoft Word documents, and the demo).  I did notice that the game automatically set me to the lowest graphics and put me in a “laptop mode,” so I’m assuming that it will look awesome on a much better computer.  Overall, I thought the demo was very stable.  There were no hiccups or bugs to report and everything actually ran very smoothly.  I was impressed, considering how slow Sims 3 Create a Sim works.  However, this is also with every expansion packet included.

If you are wondering if your computer will play Sims 4, here is the official minimum requirements from EA.

This is the Sim I designed, based off of myself in the lowest graphics setting.  It still looks great.

This is the Sim I designed, based off of myself in the lowest graphics setting. It still looks great.

 Ease of Use

The sliders of the past are now gone.  Sims 4 utilizes a more natural approach to creating a Sim by allowing the player to click on a part of a Sim and working from there.  Of course, there are pre-set body types, faces, and whatnot, but you can still customize a Sim without a lot of hassle.  I was easily able to choose traits and create a Sim without looking at a tutorial or feeling lost for very long.  I felt like most of it was very intuitive.  I was also able to quickly create the Sim that I wanted without a lot of issues.  Overall, I was impressed with how this demo functioned, and I hope the rest of the game feels the same way.

Just click on the body part you want to modify.  The game is very intuitive.

Just click on the body part you want to modify. The game is very intuitive.

Cool Stuff

Although there aren’t a ton of hairstyles and outfits (not sure if this is what we’ll get with the real game or if this is just for the demo), there was enough to feel like a “full” game.  I was able to create a cool character  with the selection of traits, styles, and clothing, which is all I really care about at this point.  One of the coolest aspects of the demo was the introduction to the gallery, which looked to be in full swing already.  I was able to upload my created Sim to the gallery and look at other people’s Sims as well.  If I chose to use someone else’s Sim as my own, it was easy to select it and place it in my own game.

Traits or "aspirations" did not have as large a list as Sims 3, but it still had a really good selection to get your Sim's personality right.

Traits or “aspirations” did not have as large a list as Sims 3, but it still had a really good selection to get my Sim’s personality right.

I was starting to get a little disheartened over some of the news I had heard about Sims 4 (i.e. no toddlers, no cars, not an open world), but if the rest of the game is anything like the Create a Sim Demo, I think the game will be alright.

 

No GravatarLos Angeles: EA CEO Andrew Wilson unveiled a slew of upcoming games at the publisher’s E3 press conference.  Most games were expected, including previews for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mirror’s Edge 2, Star Wars Battlefront, Sims 4, the new Battlefield Hardline, and several sports-themed games.  However, the big surprise came with the confirmation that a new Mass Effect game is indeed being developed by BioWare.

e3-2013-highlights-ea-press-conference

It was during the middle of the conference that EA revealed a video montage of very early development for the new Mass Effect game.  The preview emphasized new experiences instead of sticking with the old characters and places in the Mass Effect universe, even stating, “New places.  New characters.  New people to fall in love with.”  Though a release date has not been announced yet, this press conference does confirm that gamers will indeed be getting a new Mass Effect game sometime in the future.

The biggest title of the conference was Battlefield Hardline.  Taking the Battlefield franchise into a new twist of cops versus criminals, the preview looked fast-paced with a chaotic, alterable environment and classic Battlefield gameplay.  Fans were delighted when the beta version of the game went live right at the end of the conference.

Dragon Age: Inquisition was also highlighted during the conference with a live cellist playing to game footage.  Aaryn Flynn, General Manager for BioWare’s Edmonton and Montreal studios, introduced an in-game battle sequence and discussed the two different styles players can choose in the new Dragon Age.  “One way to approach combat puts you into the heat of the action,” Flynn said, highlighting a quick, action-based real-time fighting style for the game where the party was fighting a dragon.  “Another way to approach combat is to use the tactical camera,” he said, demonstrating a fighting approach that removes time from the battle and allows the player to more thoughtfully engage the enemy.  Dragon Age: Inquisition comes out October 7, 2014.

Another much-anticipated game that the conference highlighted was Sims 4.  The release date was finally announced for September 2, 2014.  Rachel Franklin, executive producer for Sims 4, described the game as having, “Smarter Sims.  Sims with personalities…You define your Sim’s personality.”  Two major changes that were highlighted in the newest installment of the Sims include the ability to play with a Sim’s emotions and a gallery where players can easily add Sims created by other players into the game.

Besides the new Mass Effect, there were three other early teasers of games still in the beginning stages of developments included a new Star Wars Battlefront game that has been inspired from the look and feel of the three original movies.  Another early look was for an unnamed Criterion Software game that allows players to drive or fly many different extreme sports vehicles.  Mirror’s Edge 2 was also given a small nod, highlighting a few Parkour-like shots from the new game.

EA previewed five different sports games, including EA Sports UFC, EA Sports PGA Tour, EA Sports NHL 15,  Madden NFL 15, and FIFA 15.  Each game preview highlighted newer graphics, more emotions from the players, and better game play handling.

For MOBA fans (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), EA gave a preview of Dawngate, a team-oriented game that looks to give players a lot of options for characters and tactics.

For more E3 news, stay tuned to Real Otaku Gamer!