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Top Ten Tuesdays: Next-Gen Flops

Felix Kemp
Features, Gran Turismo 5, The Force Unleashed, Top Ten, Top Ten Tuesdays
Gran Turismo 5

It's been a spectacular generation thus far, what with the 360 revolutionizing online console gaming, the PS3 bringing Hollywood-grade splendor to our living rooms, and Nintendo's Wii broadening the market, ensuring our medium's lifelong security. You can't argue with cracking new IPs like Crackdown or Uncharted, or smashing finales like Halo 3 and God of War 3. We are, quite simply, blessed.

However, where there is good, there must too be bad. And believe me, we've had a lot of bad. So much so, in fact, we thought it only right to expose these poor excuses for silicon. Presenting... the Top 10 Next-Gen Flops!

(NB. It's worth mentioning that we're talking critical flops, games that didn't live up to their potential. Many of the games below sold really well...but that doesn't make them any less disappointing.)

10. Gran Turismo 5

Top Ten Tuesdays: Next-Gen Flops

Listen, Gran Turismo 5 isn't a bad game. This list isn't necessarily for bad games. A flop is something else. Sky-high expectations, and then a rocky descent, followed by a lacklustre landing. I think that pretty much sums up GT5. It's been in development for almost six years, and in that time we've had countless other smashing racers, from the Burnouts to direct competitors like Forza. Is GT5 good enough to warrant such a wait, and to tolerate such shortcomings as a broken online and dated mechanics? I don't think so.

9. Lost Planet 2

Top Ten Tuesdays: Next-Gen Flops

Lost Planet was a welcome surprise, a typically Japanese shooter with an ice-cold twist. Anticipation was rampant for the sequel, and early signs were promising. Then it all happened. Glitches. Mid-game chokepoints. A level set aboard a train where, if you die at the grueling turret section near the end, you're all returned to the very beginning. It was a sorry state of affairs. Even Capcom seemed upset.

8. Dark Sector

Top Ten Tuesdays: Next-Gen Flops

I was quite fond of Digital Extremes, having enjoyed their Unreal console ports and the largely overlooked Pariah. So I expected Dark Sector, bolstered by a big budget and big ideas, to be a great game. Sadly, however, it was not. Somewhere between RE4 and Gears of War, Dark Sector simply collapsed beneath its own ambition. A pity. I love Michael Rosenbaum. Just not when he's an emo-fringed mutant named Hayden Tenno. Ergh.

7. Ninja Gaiden 2

Top Ten Tuesdays: Next-Gen Flops

Again, a sequel to a much-loved classic on the Xbox, Ninja Gaiden 2 was bad. The original made a name for itself with its brutal difficulty, but it was never unfair. NG2, on the other hand, seemed intent on ruining your life, with constant, uneven difficulty spikes, and a shy camera that preferred hiding behind random pieces of geometry. I almost lost it when, having vanquished a particularly difficult lava-demon, it suddenly explodes without warning, killing and returning me to the prior checkpoint. I. Almost. Cried.

6. Banjo & Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts

Top Ten Tuesdays: Next-Gen Flops

I can't quite comprehend the reasoning. Take a much-loved platformer from the Nintendo era, and update it for the next-generation by placing an emphasis on vehicles and automobile creation? Nuts and Bolts had the potential to capitalize on the 360's lack of genuine platformers, but instead decided to ape LittleBigPlanet with a dash of Twisted Metal. At least you could create the Millenium Falcon with enough bits, pieces and skill, I suppose.

5. Red Steel

Top Ten Tuesdays: Next-Gen Flops

Before we'd all finally sampled the Wii, it was expected to revolutionise how we played games. And a certain game capatalized on this false hope, promising true-to-life sword and gunplay with 1:1 precision. In the end, what we got was Red Steel, an ugly, glitchy, badly designed game that managed to eek out an existence simply because it was one of the few mature games on the Wii.

4. Crackdown 2

Top Ten Tuesdays: Next-Gen Flops

Crackdown was, and still is, my favourite game on the 360. So I greeted news of a sequel with some fanfare. Mainly cheering. By myself, in front of the computer. Ahem. Well, I shouldn't have been so excited. Crackdown 2 isn't necessarily bad. It's pretty much the first game, in the same city, with largely the same moves, weapons and vehicles. And that's the problem. It's too much of the same. Bring on Crackdown 3, in a new city, with new abilities and the like, and I shall forgive you, Ruffian Games, for your heinous indiscretions.

3. Resident Evil 5

Top Ten Tuesdays: Next-Gen Flops

Resident Evil 5 was beset with problems from the beginning. It's radical new setting, Africa, and the depiction of its indigenous people sparked an outcry in the media of racial insensitivity on the part of Capcom. Whatever your verdict on this, it didn't help, and neither did the sluggish, last-gen controls, the dated mechanics and animation list lifted straight from RE4. Resident Evil 5 should have been a Capcom tour de force. Instead it was something you had to force yourself through. Ah well.

2. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Top Ten Tuesdays: Next-Gen Flops

Before I am set upon by slavering cosplayers, hear this. I am a Star Wars fan. A huge fan, actually. And that's why I consider The Force Unleashed to be the second worst flop of this generation. Staggering production values, revolutionary new technologies, a great cast of voice actors and the full support of Lucas himself. And what do we get? A broken, stilted mess, with none of charm we've come to expect from the franchise. I had more fun flinging Wookies off Kashyyyk bridges than I did enduring the entire experience. I hear the sequel's pretty bad, too. Figures.

1. Perfect Dark Zero

Top Ten Tuesdays: Next-Gen Flops

I loved Perfect Dark on the N64. Rare's spiritual successor to Goldeneye was an action-tastic, spy-themed romp, replete with X-Ray rifles and aliens wearing sneakers. So, you can imagine my horror when I booted up Perfect Dark Zero on my brand-new Xbox 360, expecting a classic, only to find a dud instead. Simply put, PDZ is awful. It had awkward controls, boring or uneven pacing, a lackluster story with laughable dialogue, and a visual aesthetic akin to smearing vaseline across all surfaces. Shame on you Rare.

Didn't agree with our list? Why not tell us what other titles we should have included instead? Or maybe you actually enjoyed the games we've mentioned, and would like to inform us of just how misguided we are? As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below!

Add a comment31 comments
Carl  Nov. 30, 2010 at 13:35

Resident Evil 5 a flop? This list is a joke.

Matt Gardner  Nov. 30, 2010 at 13:40

In terms of critical flops, for me I think TFU II was a larger disappointment than the first. I enjoyed the first game, for all of its (many) faults, and the all of the preview material suggested that in actual fact the sequel would be fixing many of the issues that plagued the first game. Instead, it's significantly worse, with fewer locations, fewer boss battles, fewer enemies and a pitiful excuse for a story. I don't really understand why they fired everyone the first time around...but then little LucasArts does these days makes much sense to me.

Lee  Nov. 30, 2010 at 14:08

Resi 5 a critical flop? Good grief.
I still wonder if the people that run this site actually know anything about games.

Benneto  Nov. 30, 2010 at 14:21

I agree with all except PDZ for the time it came out it was awesome I really enjoyed it. RE5 was a massive let down the way they forced co-op on you and RE is known for survival horror, this turned RE into a Kill Bill/Matrix 3 flip kicking, drop kicking snooze fest.

Gunn  Nov. 30, 2010 at 14:30

For me GTAIV would be so called "flop", hyped up for ages and wasn't really a big leap from previous games, I got bored. Just my opinion :)

LOLOLOL  Nov. 30, 2010 at 14:44

"Is GT5 good enough to warrant such a wait, and to tolerate such shortcomings as a broken online and dated mechanics?"

LOLOLOL these fukheads didnt even played GT5 LMAO wtf are they talking about? Broken online and dated mechanics????

CODFan  Nov. 30, 2010 at 14:54

Haha, exactly. What more mechanics do you need in a driving game? BOOST? :P

oilahize  Nov. 30, 2010 at 15:31

GT5 and RE5 flops? Not only did they do well critically but they are also big sellers.

doa766  Nov. 30, 2010 at 15:36

GT5 a flop? you're an idiot

it's selling faster than Black Ops

Allan Mount  Nov. 30, 2010 at 16:05

Selling faster than Black Ops. NOPE. You are wrong sir.

Myles  Nov. 30, 2010 at 16:20

It would have been greatly beneficial for both the readers (and the writer) for Mr. Kemp to have expounded upon what exactly his criteria for a flop entailed during the creation of this list.

I doubt whatever definition he chose would have saved him from the mass amounts of scrutiny, but his "flops" seem to come from more personal preference than anything else, which, would have been a much easier read and would have saved himself a bit of wiggle room had he acknowledged that as the route he was taking.

As it is, his vague model on what constitutes as a "flop" combined with the not-entirely-subtle condescending tone take away any sway or argument the author could have had, rendering it into merely a grumbling opinion piece with an authoritarian title to grab attention.

val  Nov. 30, 2010 at 16:20

......yeah maybe on the ps3 alone. But not more than all the systems combined. Idk where you get your info from but its wrong.

tarbis  Nov. 30, 2010 at 16:25

GT5 a flop? 6 years in the making and you did not even played it for a month, can you really call that a fair review? Have you really played through or even platinum the game before giving it a fair review? I don't think so.

teckiller12  Nov. 30, 2010 at 16:28

does anyone know anything about game when the wrote this review
there is only one flop (dark sector) and the rest are great titles
take the time and play these game before you bash them

sm  Nov. 30, 2010 at 16:42

"Before I am set upon by slavering cosplayers, here this."

...that should be "hear" this. Learn to spell!

Deathcell  Nov. 30, 2010 at 17:17

I must say, your list is good. LOL at the ppl defending Resi 5. It was not a bad game, but realy, its just Resi 4 with great graphics. Nothing more. Im Afrikaans btw so dont bs me about spelling!

And GT5. It is a big dissapointment. Compared to Forza3, GT5 is better in well, almost every aspect. But really. Six years and you get a mix of graphics ingame. Premium vs Standard cars. wtf sony.

And even though i hate Turn 10, i can just imagine what they would have done with 6 years!!! Alot more id say.

GT5 = Best racing sim!!! But plz dont fuck up GT6 like u did with 5!!!

ness  Nov. 30, 2010 at 17:25

I actually agree with Mr Kemp for many of these choices. Lost Planet 2 was vastly mediocre as was The Force Unleashed. I wasn't hoping for much with Dark Sector and I do think Kane and Lynch and, considering the hype, Medal of Honor should be up here, but otherwise i'd agree. The games here were all supposed to blow our minds, and few came close. Flop is the wrong word for the title though; too commercially minded.

Oh, and as it seems to be the topic of choice, yes, GT5 absolutely deserves to be on that list. 6 years...6 YEARS! And for what? Probably going to trade mine in next week.

Murderdolls  Nov. 30, 2010 at 20:22

What a horrible list. I just wanted to let you know that you have no taste in games and you obviously do not know what "flop" means.

Jonathan Lester  Nov. 30, 2010 at 21:24

Good call on Ninja Gaiden 2, Felix. Derivative, broken and utterly shameful.

Bobo  Nov. 30, 2010 at 21:44

Wow. Someone dissed the AWFUL FLOP GT5 and here come the Sony Fan Boys shambling out of their basements. Cheeto stains on their fingers. Failure in their eyes.

Picnic  Nov. 30, 2010 at 22:04

I think that you are a bit too harsh on Perfect Dark Zero - and wrong about it being a critical flop. It's average reviews were 80%+ - not as high as Perfect Dark but respectable.

The problem is in judging it against other games - games like Half Life 2, released before it, or Bioshock, released after it, are lauded for their 'realism', for their dark tone. PDZ, in comparison, has a cartoony, arcade-like graphical style and gameplay which favours shooting and simple objectives in relatively stylish settings rather than any depth of storyline whatsover. It has a very 80s look to it in places but that fits as a prequel. And it does seem happy to stick to an aesthetic and gameplay as if it's still the year 2000. But it works in an odd way as a launch game with its shininess and bizarre dialogue. It's leaden and pales as a rip roaring adventure but I just can't help liking it for all its oddity - Rare's sense of design is still lurking somewhere there, even hidden under graffiti and it still makes a change from the grittiness of some games.

PSFanboy  Nov. 30, 2010 at 23:44

even though Im PS3 fan, I agree GT5 is like the biggest flop on the list

Tom Ato  Dec. 1, 2010 at 00:57

LOL, how is GT 5 a flop? It's sold more than 1.8 million in just 48 hours, meaning that it will completely obliterate it's last - gen "Competition" Flopza 3 by the end of the year.

The person who wrote this article is obviously a crybaby Xbox 360 fanboy who has too much time on his hands (No doubt down to the complete absence of any Xbox 360 exclusives for the past 2 years) who decides to cry because GT 5's sales figures have shown us how pathetic Forza 3 actually is. It's funny, ever since GT 5 came out there have been a lot of people randomly pop up on the internet saying nonsense like "Forza 3 does more" but obviously very few of them have even PLAYED Forza 3 due to it's absolutely pathetic sales figures. Forza 3 is probably the biggest flop this generation, overhyped by millions of no - life 360 gayboys only to be bought by.......almost no - one. Maybe you idiots should spend less time typing nonsense on the internet and actually BUY the game you claim to love so much.

You might as well add Halo: Reach, Gears Of War 1 and 2, Fable 2 and 3, and pretty much every Xbox 360 exclusive ever released to this list, because GT 5 is set to completely obliterate them in sales. You 360 poofs can cry on the internet all you want but it's obvious to everyone that even YOU don't think 360 games are worth buying, otherwise they would've sold way more than they are doing. Forza is trash, it sold like trash, nobody with a sense of self - respect would PAY for somebody else's trash and Forza 3's sales prove that.

masterlinkace  Dec. 1, 2010 at 05:03

agree with most of the games on this list, however, there isn't really much to say about resi evil 5. It was counted as a flop, but only in comparison to resi 4, one of the best games of all time. RE5, as a stand alone game, was pretty enjoyable on the most part, it was just unlucky as it sat on the wrong side of huge hype, and an amazing prequel. i mean, most of the (respectable) reviews gave it pretty high scores when you look at it, and rightly so, it was a pretty fun game, when all is said and done.

Ryan  Dec. 1, 2010 at 05:14

Awww Diddems.. Did someone say something bad about your Gran Turismo? Oh no, better bring out the battle stations!

Face it and stop living in lala land. Millions of people expected and believed it to be perfect even for the last couple of years and it flopped in that regard. Give Turn 10 50 million and 6 years to create the game and it would have been a far more better outcome. Heck they almost created a game as good with about a quarter of the time and resources.

Keep talking it up all you want but won't change reality bozo, GT5 flopped.


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