While I had what I’d call a net positive year, there were still games I played to completion that I did not care for, thus here are my five least favourite of 2018. The rules are the same as my top five: only games I played for the first time this year are eligible. Being on this list doesn’t mean the game is bad, but it does mean I didn’t enjoy playing it.
As with last time I’ll be including the full list of eligible games at the bottom.
My first official collaboration with Viewport, and the start of my writing for them was about a game called Monster Prom. I didn’t much like it, which is a shame because it looked really promising.
It’s a multiplayer dating sim game where you, and up to three friends try to woo one of various eligible monsters from your high school to prom. The concept is humorous enough, and the first few runs through the game can be good fun. However, the more you play it the more shallow the game feels. I couldn’t keep track of how often I saw repeating dialogue across my various playthroughs, which made the game feel incredibly repetitive. Even playing with different people couldn’t help to shake this repetitive feeling. It has some neat ideas, but the execution didn’t really win me over.
A controversial pick, but a game I thoroughly disliked. I’m convinced that I’m the only person who didn’t enjoy playing Cuphead as I only ever see massive amounts of praise heaped on it from other’s who’ve played it. The art, and music are absolutely fantastic and truly capture the 1930’s animation style the game is imitating. The first several bosses are also very imaginative, and immensely rewarding to defeat.
However, the deeper into Cuphead I got, the less fun I had. Interesting visuals, and a great soundtrack can only carry a game so far for me. I had a huge amount of trouble with the game starting at Grim Matchstick, which persisted for the remainder of the game. Each fight felt agonizingly long, and they were so frustrating to me that I didn’t even feel accomplished when I finally beat the boss.
Hyperdimension Neptunia: Re;Birth1
Taking a look through the games I’ve reviewed over the past year and a half should immediately raise questions about this one. I had to play it because I lost a bet to this fine gentleman here. The bet was that Smash would launch alongside Nintendo’s terrible online service as a means to encourage people to buy into it. Unfortunately, I bet on Nintendo doing something sensible.
Neptunia is definitely the worst game on this list, but I at least enjoyed when it took moments to poke fun at common anime and video game tropes. The combat is boring, the characters are annoying, enemies and dungeon layouts are recycled throughout the game, and the story is stupid. It also has a bad habit of making fun of undesirable game mechanics right before it made use of them. Neptunia is hot garbage, and one day I will get you back for this Valomek.
Yet another contentious pick. Where Neptunia at least occasionally made me laugh at its own expense, NieR didn’t make me feel anything aside from boredom. Were the entire game similar to the first hour I’d have likely enjoyed it a lot more. A much tighter story, a greater focus on action, and less downtime would likely have made this one of my favourites.
Instead of that, NieR sets you loose in a large, bland world filled with uninteresting enemies, side quests, and characters as you piece together what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. It’s not nearly as hard to follow as a lot of the condescending evangelists of Yoko Taro’s work will lead you to believe. Platinum’s signature combat system is present, but so bereft of depth that I quickly grew bored of mindlessly hacking apart anything that attacked me. Unable to connect with the story, or gameplay NieR left me wanting.
Oh, but the soundtrack is really good. That I liked. A lot. Easily my favourite soundtrack of the year.
Wuppo almost made me quit writing about games.
I don’t take pleasure in writing negatively about games. That’s why even my negative reviews will always touch on some positive elements of the game. It’s a lot easier for me to write in detail about the aspects of a game I enjoy than it is for me to rant about all the reasons why I dislike a game. That’s the reason most of the games on here don’t have accompanying reviews.
Wuppo was slated to be my tenth review. I’d just come off of writing about Battlerite, which I didn’t particularly enjoy, and was excited to focus my energy into something more positive. Then I played Wuppo.
Wuppo was painfully dull, and so was the review I wrote about it. I spent a lot of time trying to write about it, and the result was garbage. I never published that review as I wasn’t satisfied with it, but there was a period during and after writing it where I considered quitting. I’m glad I stuck with writing as I would later meet Tristan who I began collaborating with, and eventually started writing for.
As for Wuppo itself: the game is unbelievably boring. Puzzles are simple, the world isn’t very interesting to explore, the controls are imprecise, and there are massive amounts of downtime. The animation of the main character is charming, but that can’t carry an entire game.
There you have it. The five games I least enjoyed playing throughout this year. As stated above being on this list doesn’t make them bad games, but it does mean I didn’t enjoy playing them. I also try to stick to playing games I think I’ll enjoy, so some of the more obvious candidates from this year weren’t eligible for the list.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season however you practice it, and as promised here is the list of eligible games:
- The Sexy Brutale
- SteamWorld Dig 2
- Doom (2016)
- Divinity: Original Sin 2
- Dungeons 3
- Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
- NieR: Automata
- OliOli 2
- High Hell
- Into The Breach
- Monster Prom
- Super Mario Oddyssey
- Warhammer: Vermintide 2
- Crossing Souls
- Death Coming
- Dead Cells
- Hyperdimension Neptunia RE;Birth1
- Monster Hunter World
- Yoku’s Island Express
- Sonic Mania