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Festive Feature #3 - Top Five Most Shameless Cash-ins of 2012

Festive Feature #3 - Top Five Most Shameless Cash-ins of 2012

Written Wednesday, December 19, 2012 By Lee Bradley
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The video game industry is no stranger to shameless cash-ins. Year after year, businessmen with little or no idea about games throw the smallest amount of money and time possible at developers, hoping to score a few sales with titles based on successful movies, TV shows, books and more.

This year is no exception. Gathered below are the cheapest, nastiest, most desperate grabs for your hard-earned cash, a selection of tawdry games that feed off far superior subject material without honoring anything that made the source interesting or fun in the first place.

But which one will be our winner? Which of these games is the Most Shameless Cash-in of 2012? Read on to find out.

“Strap on some strong underwear and wade into crap-filled waters with me. Ice Age: Continental Drift - Arctic Games almost makes me wish there was another ice age in which to bury every copy of this game.”

That’s how our review of the latest Ice Age game started and we’ll be honest with you, it didn’t get any better from there on in. Rated an ‘unplayable’ 25, it was our lowest scored game of the year. “An insult to the film series,” Ice Age: Continental Drift - Arctic Games “doesn’t deliver on any level.”

Imagine the amount of poor little kids that came home with the game, eagerly anticipating exciting adventures with their favourite movie characters, only to unwrap this steaming turd. Ice Age: Continental Drift - Arctic Games should be reported for child abuse.

James Bond games should be great. The movies have a brilliant protagonist, fantastically outlandish bad guys, fast cars, action and exotic settings. Yet in a post-Goldeneye world they often fall short and 007 Legends is no exception.

What makes 007 Legends even more of a shameless cash-in, however, is the way it was marketed. Launched to tie-in with the release of Skyfall, and with missions drawing on such classic movies as Goldfinger, Moonraker and Die Another Day, 007 Legends was a painfully obvious grab at the return of Bond-mania.

Hell, they even stuck a trailer for the game at the end of a Skyfall promo, just to ram the message home.

So bad that it even led to the death of Eurocom, a British studio with over 20 years of experience in the industry, 007 Legends is an embarrassment to video games. We’d rather die in a tank full of sharks than play this nonsense again.

Capcom lost the plot with Resident Evil this year. But while the disappointing Resident Evil 6 was an understandable failure - the Japanese outfit at least tried to make a great addition to the core series - Operation Raccoon City is far less forgivable.

What makes the game such an awful cash-in is not that it’s bad (and it is bad, we gave it a 58 and advised that you avoid it like the T-Virus), but more that it ignores pretty much everything about Resident Evil that we liked in the first place. It’s not a Resident Evil game, it’s just an utterly uninspiring generic shooter.

Yet by slapping those two magic words at the start of the title, Capcom ensured itself success, with more than 2 million copies sold worldwide. But while gamers paid for a Resident Evil title in stores, they came home with a dull third person shooter and the nagging feeling that they’d just wasted their money.

It shouldn’t hurt any more. Star Wars has birthed so many horrible cash-ins that it’s becoming increasingly hard to remember exactly what it was we liked about the original trilogy of movies. But when nonsense like Star Wars Kinect comes along it’s like a scolding lightsaber stabbed through our geeky hearts.

It’s not even the main campaign that does the most damage. Hobbled by Kinect, it’s limited, unresponsive, laggy and incredibly frustrating. But at least it tries to stay true to the tone of the Star Wars universe. The dancing sections, meanwhile, do no such thing.

At first we found them hilarious, because seeing Han Solo, Princess Leia and the rest of the gang get their funk on to rewritten pop songs was so bizarre it inspired a weird kind of fascination. But then the reality set in. This is a game that draws on the phenomenal success of a few 30 year-old movies and then deliberately shits all over their legacy. It’s a dirty, shameless cash-in.

Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is completely and utterly rubbish. A lazy, unfunny, repetitive and unimaginative mess of a third-person shooter, it’s bad enough that our review of the game called it an “atrocity.”

Yet while it comes close, Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse isn’t the worst game of the year. It’s not even the worst game of the year that ties in with a big name franchise. So why is it our Most Shameless Cash-in of 2012? We’ll tell you.

While tosh like Ice Age: Continental Drift is made for young kids, who are supposedly less discerning in their video game tastes, Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is for grown ups. With its “adult” humour and mature audience, it’s a game clearly aimed at over 18s. 

Trading off the good name of the hilarious TV series, the fact that we’re supposed to slurp up this crap is an insult. Paying actual money for Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is like being mugged by a friend. Congrats Activision, you just won an award.





 
 

User Comments

Forum Posts: 458
Comment #1 by Caramel Cardinal
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 11:14:13 AM
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not only have activision taken the top spot, they also took positions 4 and 5 aswell, combined with the anual cod release they must be exceptionally proud of there ability to take peoples money with no effort


Forum Posts: 108
Comment #2 by Slayinfool
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 11:32:26 AM
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Activision is the devil, THE DEVIL..


Forum Posts: 1
Comment #3 by iBlaise
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 11:34:07 AM
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They forgot to include Black Ops 2.


Forum Posts: 12
Comment #4 by G4M3 CHANGER
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 12:06:52 PM
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Maybe i'm just a south park fanboy but Family Guy is complete shit. show & game.
Only game on list I played is RE: ORC waste of $$ traded it in a week later.


Forum Posts: 11
Comment #5 by kaiyo penguin
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 12:20:21 PM
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i did pick up 007 legends and haven't played it yet. i think its time to stop drinking when i go to order stuff online.....


Forum Posts: 62
Comment #6 by Thiago123
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 01:06:10 PM
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Mass Effect 3 or Asura's Wrath. In ME3 you had to wait 3 months for the real ending, and buy DLC for it to make sense (Leviathan). Asura's Wrath made you pay for the real ending...


Forum Posts: 759
Comment #7 by Hurricane Of 87
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 01:46:37 PM
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FIFA '13 on the Wii beats all of these with ease.

I see RE:ORC as more of a failed spin-off than a cash-in. The ingredients were there. Blamed Slant Six for making a bad game. I heard they fucked the pooch on the SOCOM franchise too.


Forum Posts: 5
Comment #8 by DannyBeaver07
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 03:03:32 PM
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is Racoon City really that bad? honestly?


Forum Posts: 247
Comment #9 by atomic viking54
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 05:19:19 PM
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@8 it really wasnt THAT bad imo, but then agian i didnt pay for it.


Forum Posts: 380
Comment #10 by Headless Snip3r
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 06:43:59 PM
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@8 No it wasn't that bad. Heck I got it from Gamefly, and liked it enough to then go buy it. Other games on the list I agree with, but RE: ORC was not one I would have ever expected on this list. It was refreshing getting a game from the view of Umbrella and not the same heroes over and over again.


Forum Posts: 341
Comment #11 by DESTRO5
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 08:31:10 PM
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Operation Raccoon City was a bit of a surprise. Didn't think it was that bad.


Forum Posts: 59
Comment #12 by BowManHomie
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 09:49:23 PM
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Alot of Publishers should be on this list, I would say this year is by far the most dissapointing in retail releases..


Forum Posts: 2101
Comment #13 by mjc0961
Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 03:40:25 AM
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"Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is completely and utterly rubbish."

So it's a pretty accurate representation of the show then? Seems to me like the devs should be commended for capturing the feel of the show by making the game a complete chore to play, by making it a horrible mess that you'd rather not be subjected to.


Forum Posts: 2101
Comment #14 by mjc0961
Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 03:41:33 AM
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@6: Don't forget the multiplayer. BioWare made a crap third person shooter with no proper ending and tacked on multiplayer that's almost as boring as Family Guy and stuck the Mass Effect name on it to sell more copies. Definitely agree with you that it's a shameless cash-in.


Forum Posts: 48
Comment #15 by Alec216
Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 05:11:32 AM
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The Activision legal team are on their way as we speak! Ha ha!


Forum Posts: 26
Comment #16 by the bears beard
Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 05:35:03 AM
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I may get shot down in flames for this, but I thought The Amazing Spiderman was a bit of a rushed cash-in. The whole Epilogue concept just didn't do it for me and the voice acting was terrible IMO.


Forum Posts: 3866
Comment #17 by THE DEADLY DOG
Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 07:27:18 AM
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Haha my poor Family Guy. =p


Forum Posts: 2
Comment #18 by ZLU CORONA
Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 07:34:00 AM
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BLack Ops 2 should have been on that list....


Forum Posts: 46
Comment #19 by PSlocombe
Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 08:12:04 AM
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@8 I rented RE:ORC and practically found it unplayable, but a mate loved it. Rent it before buying to check if it's for you (in the UK it's £12 now, and I still wouldn't get it). Just glad I used a dummy account to try. I would have thought 007 Legends would be higher as it's a cash in on Skyfall, yet not even releated to the film.


Forum Posts: 759
Comment #20 by Hurricane Of 87
Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 09:55:44 AM
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@19: It did eventually release a free DLC Skyfall mission, shortly after the movie came out. KNOWLEDGE.


Forum Posts: 119
Comment #21 by xCRIMINALMINDSx
Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 09:57:45 AM
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Im not even going to comment on resident evil . No i will it was Terrible !!


Forum Posts: 301
Comment #22 by ViNyLek
Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 11:13:54 AM
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I've never played any of these, so I will rust your word. Never even had any interest in those, so I feel sorry for ppl that actually had will to endure these games. Let's hope next year they will make better gaming choices=)


Forum Posts: 38
Comment #23 by wacko3.16
Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 01:22:46 PM
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For all of the Black Ops 2 haters, it shouldnt be on this list by any measure. MW3 I would completely agree however BO2 is the first decent COD in a long time. Leave it be


Forum Posts: 402
Comment #24 by UltimateAuron32
Friday, December 21, 2012 @ 08:12:41 AM
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@23, i agree with you, Black Ops 2 was a nice change for once, it was pretty good and the campaign was nice, with different endings and choices that actually effect the ending you get. ME3, im glaring right at you with that comment...


Forum Posts: 84
Comment #25 by ken0261
Friday, December 21, 2012 @ 02:26:17 PM
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#3, No i dont think they did. But i cant find Halo 4 no the list.


Forum Posts: 84
Comment #26 by ken0261
Friday, December 21, 2012 @ 02:28:32 PM
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#25, ON the list my bad.


Forum Posts: 34
Comment #27 by navvy626
Saturday, December 22, 2012 @ 05:05:06 PM
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@4 you say Family Guy is shit all around yet you have Lois Griffin as your gamer picture...
OT: Certainly not shocked to see Activision games on this list, they manage to cash in on just about any game nowadays and now they've cashed in with The Walking Dead with the new Daryl and Merle game next year, we can all im sure see that being just a typical FPS without the survival element all post apocalypse games need.


Forum Posts: 77
Comment #28 by Donnymite
Saturday, December 22, 2012 @ 09:47:27 PM
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Get Black Ops 2 on this list ASAP!


Forum Posts: 2
Comment #29 by WadeMcG
Sunday, December 23, 2012 @ 07:07:25 AM
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I can't wait to see Metacritic's third annual publisher ranking list. With the likes of COD: Black Ops Declassified on PS Vita and their three games listed here, Activision may end up with a lower average than the 61.1% they managed last year. In this age of review scales that usually start at 7/10, that's embarrassing.


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #30 by ozzyeYeKoN
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 11:24:37 AM
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im surprised any of these games turn a profit. who is stupid enough to buy any of these


Forum Posts: 1
Comment #31 by XRockyRaccoonX
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 05:04:06 PM
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Resident evil was by far the worst game on here in my opinoin


Forum Posts: 201
Comment #32 by Ephidel
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 10:13:31 PM
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ORC wasn't that bad, and no Assassin's Creed 3 in the list?!


Forum Posts: 84
Comment #33 by ken0261
Thursday, December 27, 2012 @ 09:14:32 PM
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#32. Are u a fucking retard AC III on the list, get lost man.


Forum Posts: 7
Comment #34 by Intoxicatious
Friday, December 28, 2012 @ 12:22:58 AM
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I guess the people on here don't know what a cash-in is. Please read the first paragraph. These are games based on an already existing medium. Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect...These are established franchises with sequels. Resident Evil ORC is at least another developer buying a license, so it fits the criteria.


Forum Posts: 201
Comment #35 by Ephidel
Friday, December 28, 2012 @ 02:19:35 AM
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@33 : The general feedback I hear for AC3 is "average" gamers thinking it's "sooo awesome" and anyone over the age of 20 being far more critical and realistic of it's failings. Connor is the blandest protagonist yet, the story is even more cockameme than before and it still manages to play like a list of chores with repetition being a central issue. Even the set pieces feel like they were rushed in places, and the cutscenes advertising the game pre-release totally mislead everyone in terms of what you actually do in those set pieces, kinda like DX:HR did (except that still managed to be a mind-blowing game, unlike AC3).

Three years in development? No, 2 years in concept development, 1 year (maybe 16 months at a push) in actual development. I called it when it was announced, and overall it was lacklustre at best. As for a cash-in, Assassin's Creed is just as much a whored out franchise as CoD now, so yeah, the title fits actually.


Forum Posts: 4785
Comment #36 by KillerBEA
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 01:28:16 AM
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@35 I thought Assassins Creed 3 was awesome, regardless of my complaints still loved the game enough for it to be my second favorite entry in the series. Played through 1 5 times, 2 through twice,Brotherhood through twice and Revelation and 3 once.


Forum Posts: 2091
Comment #37 by Jack Frost
Thursday, January 03, 2013 @ 12:07:01 PM
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"This is a game that draws on the phenomenal success of a few 30 year-old movies and then deliberately shits all over their legacy."

You may only have to modify this sentence slightly when adding Aliens: Colonial Marines to the list at year's end.


Forum Posts: 14
Comment #38 by The Kevster 33
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 05:51:54 PM
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I enjoyed the family guy game. It wasn't good, but it was enjoyable if you still like family guy humor. Decent rental.


Forum Posts: 2405
Comment #39 by Iceskater101
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 06:58:07 PM
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007 Legends.. :'( so disappointing.


Forum Posts: 477
Comment #40 by MoldyClay87
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 08:52:33 PM
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"Resident Evil 6..." "...failure"

Nope. But that's cool that genre changes suddenly mean bad games.

And with the amount of uninspired generic shooters that get praise, I honestly don't see how ORC gets bashed for it other than having RE on it. If it was anything else people would've just not cared or potentially loved it.


Forum Posts: 190
Comment #41 by TheSaferHouse
Wednesday, January 09, 2013 @ 12:46:06 AM
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Game Of Thrones should be on this list. Awesome show, clunker of a game. If you haven't played it and think you will, two words: RENT IT!


Forum Posts: 6
Comment #42 by cockblocker
Wednesday, January 09, 2013 @ 07:41:54 AM
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whoever said ac3 needs their fucking noodle checking.


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #43 by multipedslinky
Wednesday, January 09, 2013 @ 10:04:10 AM
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i really loved family guy: back to the multiverse to be honest


Forum Posts: 94
Comment #44 by Bickle
Wednesday, January 09, 2013 @ 02:24:38 PM
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"A lazy, unfunny, repetitive and unimaginative mess"

Sounds like Family Guy to me.


Forum Posts: 190
Comment #45 by TheSaferHouse
Wednesday, January 09, 2013 @ 08:22:08 PM
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@35-This is how the entries for this list were judged: "...businessmen with little or no idea about games throw the smallest amount of money and time possible at developers, hoping to score a few sales with titles based on successful movies, TV shows, books and more... the cheapest, nastiest, most desperate grabs for your hard-earned cash, a selection of tawdry games that feed off far superior subject material without honoring anything that made the source interesting or fun in the first place."

So, going by the above criteria, you actually think AC3 not only belongs on this list but also "is just as much a whored out franchise as CoD now"?

Seriously?!?!?

Wow, just wow. Personally I loved AC3, if that makes me an "average gamer" then so be it! (I'm wayyy over 20 BTW.)


Forum Posts: 60
Comment #46 by Handgun:MILLA
Thursday, January 10, 2013 @ 04:37:32 PM
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These are the 5 worst games in 1 persons opinion out of what's probably a very very long list. Lets face it, almost any game with DLC is a "cash in" in the true sense of the word.

Though i think this topic focuses more on one type of media (videogames) cashing in on another media's (books, movies etc) success by been below average and not doing the original title justice.

I've been gaming since before the days of the NES and master system. Basic rule of thumb has always been... Never buy a game based on a movie. And never watch a movie based on a game. - Would like to reiterate this is a "rule of thumb". There are a few exceptions. The 1st Mortal Kombat movie been one of them.


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #47 by flechetteXXX
Friday, January 11, 2013 @ 01:33:09 AM
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I loved still own and still play Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #48 by flechetteXXX
Friday, January 11, 2013 @ 01:40:53 AM
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@46 Your comment was 100% right on... until the last sentence... now if you woulda said the first Silent Hill movie...


Forum Posts: 6
Comment #49 by Amecyst
Saturday, January 12, 2013 @ 11:58:51 AM
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I disagree with #3 Operation Raccoon city was a great coop experience, way better than Resident Evil 6, which I had to force myself through one campaign and had no more inspiration to start another.


Forum Posts: 2
Comment #50 by Raptor2401
Saturday, January 12, 2013 @ 05:33:37 PM
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Star Wars wasn't that bad, it isn't perfect but is funny almost all the time.


Forum Posts: 1
Comment #51 by The Cipriani
Saturday, January 12, 2013 @ 09:43:51 PM
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Number 0.9 .... Black Ops 2
they didnt include it because everyone knows its a huge cash in, its just accepted as an inevitability now :/


Forum Posts: 217
Comment #52 by xD Rick
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 @ 08:33:49 AM
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Cash in or not, RE still keeps the "shit of the year" award for me.


Forum Posts: 142
Comment #53 by Suplemental
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 05:38:24 AM
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Capcom never failed with Resident Evil 6 or Operation Raccoon City whoever bought them knows what they got in return and me both was game of the year hardcore Resi fan here and all you that say it's crap well get skill on it bet all of ya got owned in ORC with one whack and face stomped and died an rage quitted lolololololol


Forum Posts: 2
Comment #54 by Skulls Kaiser
Friday, January 18, 2013 @ 04:01:21 PM
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@53 Don't be a fanboy.


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #55 by Ultimo Godzilla
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 10:11:48 PM
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Why the hell isn't Black Ops 2 on this list?


Forum Posts: 826
Comment #56 by SpongebobRoundpants
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 09:20:40 PM
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Battleship should of been on here.


Forum Posts: 117
Comment #57 by Zeppelin 856
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 @ 04:07:53 PM
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lol they made a Family Guy video game?


Forum Posts: 2923
Comment #58 by Destro
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 @ 08:08:30 PM
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The whole paragraphe is BS sorry. RE6 a disapointement? Disapointement in what? Yes at first i was a bit tickle by that game, but i kept playing it and realize it true potential. Call the DLC VS a cash-in and i will agree, but the main game is pretty good, and after so many games is hard to make a follow up that will satisfy everybody. After all, they can't make a police team trap in a mansion, a lab, a city, an island, so many times... ORC was very "meh" yes, but not that bad, considering all the spin off capcom did, it was not the worst in any mean. I rented it, will maybe buy it at 10 bucks one day, so yeah can't say i loved it, but it was not boring or unplayable... Sure multi was shit, but solo was fun enough and it give me goosebump to see Nicholai, Nemesis and such again.

007 legends is a game i want to try, it may be a cash-in but im sure it aint that bad either...


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Game Info
Developer:
Heavy Iron
Publisher:
Activision
Genre:

Release:

US November 20, 2012

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