Festive Feature #3 - Top 5 Falls From Grace of 2011

Festive Feature #3 - Top 5 Falls From Grace of 2011

Written Wednesday, December 21, 2011 By Lee Abrahams
View author's profile

Some sequels are amazing. The kind of mind blowing step forward from the original work that leads to a Godfather Part II or an Empire Strikes Back, indeed, the kind of work where all the pieces slot smoothly into place like a two piece jigsaw. There is also a dark side to the process of keeping a franchise going, the kind of bizarre leap of faith that allows people to put money behind shameless cash-in style, straight to video garbage like, well like Son of the Mask. This is how successful movie series die off, but it is also frighteningly real in the world of videogames too.

Perhaps developers thought they were onto a good thing? Or perhaps deadlines were a little too tight? No matter what the excuse though, it is fair to say that some of these games should not have been allowed to breathe the same sweet air as some of their hallowed predecessors. Here are five games that have brought shame on their ancestors and left us to start a holy crusade to purge the Earth of every last copy. Mourn with us brethren, as we battle against the horrors of hubris.

In at number 5 is the latest LEGO Harry Potter. Considering the number and variety of Lego games that have landed on the Xbox 360 it was only a matter of time before they became a touch jaded. The latest, and no doubt last, Potter game seemed to borrow far too much from its infinitely superior predecessor and has the unlikely accolade of being the only truly dull LEGO game you can buy, and when you take the fun out of a title aimed at kids, then you know things are bad. How do you make magic boring? Well this game manages it spectacularly with tiresome levels, a plethora of bit part characters to collect and a Hogwarts location that you have already explored before. You may as well buy some actual LEGO than suffer through this.

Next up is Transformers: Dark of the Moon. We approached this game with cautious optimism after the rather decent War for Cybertron, but the developers greeted us with a game that left us battered and bruised, with our wallets substantially poorer for it. Daylight robbery is never welcome but this one has left us with such profound mental scars that we had to rush onto eBay and buy a mint in the box Optimus Prime to remind us that the awesomeness of robots in disguise was not just a figment of our imaginations. Seemingly rushed out to coincide with the movie, the game is far too short, far too easy and far too terrible to recommend to even your worst enemy. Hopefully High Moon Studios will take advantage of a third attempt, with much less pressure from a dubious movie, and craft something to make our childhood proud. Fail us again and we’ll set Unicron on your asses.

The two main surprises surrounding Duke Nukem Forever is firstly that it ever got released in the first place and secondly that it is only number three on this list. After year upon year of hype, rumour and speculation it didn’t take a genius to realise that the end product was never going to live up to expectations. What the developers probably didn’t anticipate is just how far people's personal tastes had moved on, and the crass, sexist, dinosaur that was Duke Nukem no longer seemed funny anymore. Poor humour can be overlooked if a game has enough quality to support it but, alas, Duke didn’t even have that. Terrible animations, drab levels and some of the worst vehicular sections known to man were just a few of the problems that assaulted players. At best you could say it was average and, after such a long wait, that was simply not good enough. When you are releasing a game simply to cash-in, rather than provide a genuinely good experience, then your priorities may need addressing. Hail to the bargain bin, Baby!

Just what were EA thinking? After treating us to one of the best Need for Speed games in years with Hot Pursuit they came back down to Earth with a bump. Then fell down a manhole to rub salt in the wound. The Run was short, handled like a dog and was utterly devoid of the same level of quality that we had seen only a year previously. With a storyline that veered between poker-faced deadpan and outright ridiculousness, it was hard to know whether to take things seriously. The banal gameplay was only exacerbated by the lack of options, modes and enjoyment on offer, and when you can plough through a full-priced retail game in a few short hours with no excuse to go back, then you are going to feel extremely short changed. It will take plenty of time and effort to get the series back into our good graces after such a below par showing, hopefully this title will get pulled over by the police and serve sufficiently hard time before being granted parole.

Call of Juarez is like Gears of War. The first game was interesting and unique, the second game built on those foundations to provide a top notch experience and the third game *sigh* the third game was utter garbage. So not like Gears at all then and we apologise for luring you in under such a façade. The real problem with Juarez is that the progression between the first two games was a good sign of real progress and then the third title came along with a big pair of size 16 boots and crushed what life remained in the franchise beneath its vicious heels. It doesn’t help when all of your characters are utterly devoid of any redeeming features and that the story has more plot holes than every episode of Lost combined. Throw in a bag full of glitches, basic spelling mistakes on loading screens and an online multiplayer about as well populated as Timmy Mallett’s fan club and Call of Juarez: The Cartel is a game that needs taking out behind the barn and giving a mercy killing by one of its older siblings.

Check back tomorrow for our fourth festive feature, ya varmints!


User Comments

Forum Posts: 692
Comment #1 by ParoXysm QC
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 09:15:33 PM
(-48Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
You can't actually say that the CoJ games are like the GoW ones. I know that the first GoW was the best one in all way, the second wasn't as good but the third one is pretty insane, definitely not an "utter garbage".

Forum Posts: 692
Comment #2 by ParoXysm QC
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 09:17:12 PM
(-1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
But you're right with Duke Nukem! I never thought a game could be that boring.

Forum Posts: 81
Comment #3 by Richie82 [STAFF]
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 09:35:07 PM
(11Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@1 - Read the rest of the paragraph :)

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #4 by Snowtrader
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 10:18:07 PM
(5Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Love reading these

Off topic what ever happened to the "this week in the comments" section?

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #5 by please die 96
Thursday, December 22, 2011 @ 02:15:30 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
totaly agree with all of these as duke nukem was one of the worst games i have ever played

Forum Posts: 47
Comment #6 by darthchimp182
Thursday, December 22, 2011 @ 07:44:09 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@1 seriously, you were so close to saving your dignity, but refusing to read the whole paragraph before ranting off has made you look quite silly.

on topic though, i won copy of the run, first racing game i've sat and played since PGR2, seems OK to me, but i guess if i get around to playing anything else, i will end up agreeing with you, lol, starting at the bottom and working my way up, everything looks great down here :D

Forum Posts: 692
Comment #7 by ParoXysm QC
Thursday, December 22, 2011 @ 09:13:39 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@6 I just realised that ;)

Forum Posts: 2162
Comment #8 by mjc0961
Thursday, December 22, 2011 @ 10:27:58 AM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
"Call of Juarez is like Gears of War. The first game was interesting and unique, the second game built on those foundations to provide a top notch experience and the third game *sigh* the third game was utter garbage. So not like Gears at all then and we apologise for luring you in under such a façade."

You guys were so close to taking a Sawed-Off blast to the face right there. :p

Anyway, Nevander is not going to like #3. :(

Forum Posts: 18
Comment #9 by guitar god
Thursday, December 22, 2011 @ 11:34:13 AM
(2Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I agree with the list except for Duke nukem. I actually thought it was pretty decent! And the MP was fun

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #10 by horses mcgee
Thursday, December 22, 2011 @ 02:31:02 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
The problem for transformers was it's based on the film, and most film based games(other than lego ones) are not that good. I enjoyed Lego Harry Potter 2 but i would agree with most of your comments about it, not as good as most of the rest

Forum Posts: 278
Comment #11 by Dazz
Thursday, December 22, 2011 @ 04:37:49 PM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Hey, I quite liked Duke Nukem Forever, I'd rather have fun with that than spend countless hours bored out of my mind with another lame COD game

Forum Posts: 7007
Comment #12 by Nevander
Thursday, December 22, 2011 @ 09:27:02 PM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
To each his own, mister 2011.

Forum Posts: 404
Comment #13 by ViNyLek
Friday, December 23, 2011 @ 10:56:50 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I actually found comparison pretty close. Only that third gears i now noob friendly LOL. I am not sure why The Run is on 2ns spot. I loved every minute of it and though it had it's fault I found online MP componenet really fresh when it comes to racing games with voting system and random bonuses as well as challeneges and unlocking new cars.... I guess all you care about it story and I have no idea how can you complain about handling in arcade game, LOL.

Obviously trying to save N4S some dignity, because I don't think it belongs on this list at all...

Forum Posts: 2624
Comment #14 by jamie1000013
Friday, December 23, 2011 @ 11:00:27 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I personally thought Godfather part 2 was awful compared to the first one, which is my favorite film of all time.

Lee seems to rate games rather harshly these days as well with Harry Potter and the deathly hallows part 2 getting 25%, when the average user score is 80%. There are loads of other games that have gotten a rather harsh score from his as well such as Transformers which was decent.

This is a very good list though.

Forum Posts: 4708
Comment #15 by jackanape
Friday, December 23, 2011 @ 11:46:18 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Just because it's an aracde racer does not mean that the controls should not be spot on.

Plus how anyone can say Deathly Hallows Pt 2 deserves 80% or more is a joke. Have you considered taht people could be spamming the site with false scores at all? The game is derivative, generic and frankly as dull as hell. It has a metacritic score (critics and users) of 44% which tells you everything.

Forum Posts: 2624
Comment #16 by jamie1000013
Friday, December 23, 2011 @ 07:12:05 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@15 Yeah but 25%...if I read a review and a game got 25% I would assume it would be unplayable but I quite liked it. They couldn't have done anything else with the game without deviating away from the film. It deserved at least a 65-70% in my book.

Also the users of Metacritic also gave MW3 a 3.2... Even though I would personally say MW3 was the biggest disappointment this year for me, 3.2 come on. Anyway have a good Christmas and thanks for the article.

Forum Posts: 109
Comment #17 by Figbender
Sunday, December 25, 2011 @ 04:55:56 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Personally, I thought Duke Nukem was extremely fun. People had built up such an opinion of what they wanted it to be that when it wasn't quite the same they jumped down its throat. It's very disappointing to find out that the new Need for Speed is a let down.

Forum Posts: 30
Comment #18 by Anthrizacks
Sunday, December 25, 2011 @ 09:04:15 PM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I really loved Duke Nukem Forever, but I know a lot of people didn't.

Forum Posts: 38
Comment #19 by Aussie27Legend
Monday, December 26, 2011 @ 08:45:02 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
You guys are on fire with these lists, I haven't had a disagreement yet!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #20 by Tomafork XD FTW
Monday, December 26, 2011 @ 10:36:25 PM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
whats wrong with the duke-burger?

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #21 by MrYes7erday
Tuesday, December 27, 2011 @ 03:22:20 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Thank you for the Gears of War comment. I thought it was just me. Thanks so much- great- i mean HORRIBLE list!

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #22 by misterman08
Tuesday, December 27, 2011 @ 05:21:52 PM
(-1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
wow duke didnt make #1....must be reserved for biggest pile of shit game of 2011!! props to the run making #2 though such a disappointment

Forum Posts: 420
Comment #23 by Optomistic
Saturday, December 31, 2011 @ 09:42:02 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I'm happy that Duke came out. Only because now we'll have no more talk of his eventual return to "greatness". Fanboys had built him up to deliver the impossible, and now he's become the awkward uncle that everyone avoids talking to on christmas day.

Forum Posts: 42
Comment #24 by jumpin jonny
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 11:45:51 AM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
im actually surprised that dragon age 2 didnt make the list- that was the most disappointment for me after the superior DA: Origins

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #25 by Lucky Soldier 7
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 03:45:23 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Gears 3 may not be the best one, but it is still good

Forum Posts: 374
Comment #26 by DESTRO5
Friday, January 06, 2012 @ 09:32:13 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I knew things were bad for Duke Nukem when I saw it on sale at Best Buy for $5.

Forum Posts: 270
Comment #27 by Kazenji
Saturday, January 07, 2012 @ 05:11:05 AM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Duke Nukem never fell from grace....

It was using graphics from 10 years ago Gearbox never said they were going to update it only finish it off if people thought different then they're the fools

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #28 by XxMayhemxX
Saturday, January 07, 2012 @ 04:35:58 PM
(-1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Duke Nukem isnt a bad game.... as far as a FPS.. its Adequate... Lets go with a 1-5 scale.... 1 meaning sucks, and 5 being awesome...
Not top notch graphics-3... not top notch story-2... not top notch anything...OVERALL...3 but worst? I don't think so.. its a very playable, enjoyable game... Sure after lvl 4 i took it out to play Skyrim and MW3, but it isnt meant to be a modernday war type of game...
Its a ode to action arcade shooters on the PC from the 90's... HAs anyone played Serious Sam games? It's just like those really. For wht the game does.. it does great... It's supposed to be a 10, or a FPS great... its just a fun fps shooter to play.. thats it..

As far as Lego Pothead??? Maybe if they didnt release a lego game twice a year , every year, this game would be cooler... Perfect example of overkill... Time to retire Lego games... or rerelease star wars entire saga lego...

The Run??? It's got a story, so what.. is it the top video game story EVER IN THE HISTORY OF VIDEO GAME STORIES??? LOL Hell no..... its an arcade racing game.. just let it be for god sakes...

Hmm lets see.. Transformers.. made for tv/video game movie tie-in trash... K im with you there... tho i'm willing to bet the game isn't as bad as you make it out to be... hmm starting to notice a pattern...

Call of Jaurez... no clue.. never played it.. i thought it was a red dead revolver old west style game.. in that pic im seeing neon lights.. LMAO... i guess they decided to go urban cowboy with that one???

See a pattern here??? Games being overly exagerated as bad.. when their not THAT bad... Sure their not Skyrim or MW3, the best games out, or even real good... but their not near as bad as you say...

But the other game/series you mentioned.. maybe not quite as good as advertised... Don't believe the hype.. literally...

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #29 by XxMayhemxX
Saturday, January 07, 2012 @ 04:40:05 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
and your right...this isnt a worst games list.. just a fall from grace list.. maybe Battlefield 3 should of topped it.. after Bad Company.. they could of topped it.. but naw.. i dont think they did...

Forum Posts: 17
Comment #30 by trailerdj36
Saturday, January 07, 2012 @ 05:53:47 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Battlefield 3 topping a fall from grace list? #29 am I reading your post correctly? BF3 is a great overall game, most critics picked it over MW3. I personally liked it it as good as BF:BC2? No...but its not worse...

Forum Posts: 13
Comment #31 by Bi9ode
Saturday, January 07, 2012 @ 06:04:32 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
What's going on with Need For Speed ​​is explained by the fact that EA wants to release a new game every year for the franchise, without worrying about what they are doing. This one isn't that bad, but still bad. If this keeps up, will end the same way as Guitar Hero.

A possible solution to this, would be to use enough time to make a game that deserves to be named Need For Speed, and this can really happen if they come back to the old days and make NFS Underground 3, I know that tuning is no longer the focus of racing games today and neither illegal street race, but it would be great to get back to the roots of the series, since it is up to make remakes of old games in HD, they could take the opportunity to do so.

Abandoning the idea of wanting to be a racing simulator like Gran Turismo or Forza is the first step to recover. Analyzing NFSU 1 and 2 = great games, Most Wanted and Carbon = good games. Pro Street and the rest = trash, except for NFS Hot Pursuit.

Need For Speed ​​is designed to be street racing game, not just me but any fan of the series as it was, still waiting for NFSU 3!

Forum Posts: 55
Comment #32 by CoolMarquis97
Saturday, January 07, 2012 @ 09:40:56 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
every game deserved to be on this list. Especially DNF. That game sucked

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #33 by Games 4 Ever
Sunday, January 08, 2012 @ 09:59:31 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
"That the story has more plot holes than every episode of Lost combined."

Lost is not that hard to understand and it doesn't have any plot holes.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #34 by RIDE or COLLIDE
Sunday, January 08, 2012 @ 02:12:18 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I played Lego Star Wars I and II for the GameCube when I was a kid. I got the Complete Saga game for Christmas when I was 12. I tried to play it, but it was just too repetitive, like all the other Lego games these days. Bottom line? Lego has stretched the video game titles WAY too far.

Forum Posts: 1165
Comment #35 by duckydan
Sunday, January 08, 2012 @ 07:45:56 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I would agree with all but the Lego game... I'm about more than halfway through Harry Potter 5 - 7 and have enjoyed it very much. I liked the introduction of dueling (which they needed to do for the story) and enjoyed it much more than the Lego Pirates game which got old way too fast. I also don't think Duke is as bad as it's made out to be a top fall from grace since expectations for the game were at a low after the massive amount of delays. It wasn't terrible and was as fun and playable as the old Duke games it's just that he hasn't aged very well.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #36 by carroll2199
Sunday, January 08, 2012 @ 07:57:40 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@13 I thought I was the only one that enjoyed The Run. lol. Definitely don't think it should be on this list. I do, however, agree with the other 4 choices.

Forum Posts: 270
Comment #37 by Kazenji
Sunday, January 08, 2012 @ 08:46:37 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Lol i got a thumbs down on my last post

i knew this sort of this was gonna happen with this gen players of FPS.....

Forum Posts: 1062
Comment #38 by TrishTheDish
Monday, January 09, 2012 @ 03:07:24 AM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I'd love to know how the first Lego Harry Potter is "infinitely better" than the second. The second improved on the levels and puzzles setup FAR more than any Lego game to date.

Forum Posts: 36
Comment #39 by KennyJive
Monday, January 09, 2012 @ 07:01:55 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Lego Harry Potter? I'm playing 5-7 right now and am having a blast! If anything Lego Star Wars is the worst Lego series.

Forum Posts: 1067
Comment #40 by The Elite Elite
Monday, January 09, 2012 @ 07:02:13 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@24: I too am surprised that Dragon Age 2 wasn't on the list. The first thing I thought when I saw "Top 5 Falls From Grace of 2011" was Duke Nukem, and DA2. Unlike you however, I'm glad to see that it isn't on the list. I thought it was a solid, fun game in spite of not being as good as Origins. I guess it's not on the list because it was released at the start of the year, and quickly became forgotten by its critics.

Forum Posts: 1517
Comment #41 by tripleb2k
Monday, January 09, 2012 @ 11:37:12 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I don't think LEGO Harry Potter should be on there. I haven't played any other LEGO game so I'm not tired of them. On it's own, it's a good game. Dragon Age 2 should be on there instead.

Forum Posts: 55
Comment #42 by Killswitch9000
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 08:12:16 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I disagree with NFS The Run being on this list, the x360a review of it was way too harsh and this listing continues the slander. I am currently playing it and am really enjoying it. It's just as fun, crazy, and over-the-top as a NFS game should be. Sure the story isn't the greatest, but its a frickin racing game! Who cares about story!

If I want Forza (which I really don't) then I'll go play Forza. A NFS game should play like The Run does :)

Forum Posts: 40
Comment #43 by gmcb007
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 10:53:54 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Mine would have to be Saints Row: The Third.

They took out so many features that made the 2nd great. Plus the city was genric and the story was quite poor. Especially when 25% of the main missions consisted of activities tutourials. It feels like the game will be a victim of most of the content being shipped via pricey DLC.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #44 by The Despair
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 10:15:46 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
What really should be on this list is all the rehashed, recycled "same as last year but with one new addition," sports games that come out yearly.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #45 by esoterikos
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 12:20:56 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Duke was just destined to be on this list. Too much hype for too long over a game in a series that rests happily in memory.

I have to agree with #24, Dragon Age 2, although a good enough game on it's own, disappointed DA:Origins players in a major way. Making prettier graphics couldn't cover for a story that was shortchanged in every aspect.

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #46 by Beached GaGa
Friday, January 13, 2012 @ 02:54:09 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
so glad i never played these then

Forum Posts: 21
Comment #47 by anton_bp
Monday, January 16, 2012 @ 09:39:21 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
How about the achievment related top-lists? i love those. Funniest achievments of the year, hardest, best name, etc.
Give us those lists, or maybe you have and i missed them? In that case someone plz send my a pm

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #48 by XXXWOLFFXXX
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 @ 12:27:34 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Disappointed with Duke Nukem sadly :/ however I enjoyed Need for Speed: The Run.

Forum Posts: 100
Comment #49 by bearmod
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 05:32:05 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Pretty much what I thought it'd be. Would've put Duke Nukem at #1 though

You need to register before being able to post comments.


Latest News
Most Viewed Achievement Lists
Most Viewed Achievement Guides