The Weekly Five: The Most Disappointing SEGA Games of 2011

2011 was an unbelievably great year for SEGA…for the most part. Even the best game company will always have its strings of hits and misses. However, last year I could only really think of one bad stinker. One starring a certain Norse god you will read about later on. With that in mind, I decided to comprise a list of SEGA games that disappointed me in some way. Games that while not outright bad (except one), did not live up to their expectations. If you find a certain favorite of yours on the list, do not take it personally, as this is mainly coming from my own personal view. Read on to find what SEGA games left me a little flat.

Super Monkey Ball 3D

The Hype

Super Monkey Ball 3D came in the launch window of the Nintendo 3DS and had all the bells and whistles that fans of the previous games in the series came to know and love. It also featured some of the most eye-popping 3-D on the system so far, quite a few mini games and a few tracks by my favorite SEGA Composer Hideki Naganuma (Jet Set Radio, Sonic Rush)! Day one sale for me!

The Letdown

Day five sell back for me. Sadly, this game looks and sounds great but it’s so shallow and easy. I beat the game in a matter of a few days and that was just on my breaks and lunches. I was expecting to get really punished by the later levels, but compared to other games in the series it was an absolute cakewalk. Add to that the fact that the mini-games themselves were pretty dull (Monkey target absent again) and you got yourself a “good rental, bad purchase” game on your hands. I’ll stick with my $3 iOS version of SMB2 thanks. That one’s more fun to play.

Sonic Generations 3DS

The Hype

Even though I was left a bit tepid after E3, screenshots and videos were showing that the game was really improving in development! There’s a mission mode with tons of unlockables! Online leaderboards! Some great remix tunes by Cash-Cash! That DIMPS magic touch they bring to portable Sonic games (sans Colors). Not to mention, Iizuka told us this was about “The portable history of Sonic”! What could go wrong?

The Letdown

“Portable history” my ass! There’s two levels at best that are from the portable games and one of them is just on a technicality. Water Palace from Sonic Rush and the first act of Tropical Resort taken from the DS version of Sonic Colors. Then, after DIMPS managed to get Sonic’s classic physics just perfect, they have modern Sonic teach him the homing attack. Now there’s barely a difference between modern and classic mainly because modern is also stuck in 2D despite the fact the 3DS hardware is more than capable of doing fully 3D Sonic levels. But the main problem was the level design. Outside of copy/pasting the original Genesis and DS levels, any original level designs felt flat and uninspired. This was very true of the Dreamcast era which just left me cold. The overall game was pretty good. Especially boss fights, but the design could have been a lot better.

Brick People

The Hype

Ooooh looky! It’s an original SEGA IP for my iPod Touch! …And it’s a brick puzzle game! Those are fun! Look at the cute character designs! This is sure to get a lot of play time while I’m listening to my podcasts on break!

The Letdown

This is….this is….. pretty boring. It’s not only not very challenging, but there’s something about it that just feels off. Like it needed some kind of gimmick to really make it work. Like there’s something in the arcade version that’s lost when playing it on an iPhone. What could that be?…

There we are! See. This is why you can’t play DDR with your fingers. There are some games that just don’t translate over well from the arcade experience and this shows why. It looks a lot more fun stacking bricks than dragging them with your finger.

Conduit 2

The Hype

High Voltage Software (Not an actual quote) – Don’t worry guys! I know we over-hyped the last Conduit game and while the graphics were great, it had some poor level design and some glitches. But we’re working extra hard on Conduit 2! It has the most fully customizable controls yet! The multiplayer will have tons of options! We’ve really worked hard on the single player to keep the game design working really good and really test it for glitches! Hype! Hype! Hype!

The Letdown

I’ll give them credit. The controls were good and the multiplayer was rock solid. It reminded me of Halo in some respects. However….

The single player was still the same poorly designed, bug-filled mess as the last game. While the main levels themselves are a bit more fun than the first game, it has some seriously poor A.I. They can shoot through walls and let you walk right up to them before reacting. Also, there are these insect enemies that come in hordes that you can not kill fast enough before they start chomping at your feet. You have to find the pod they were coming from before you could finish them off. Then there’s the glitches. Good lord! Going through a door while crouching could lead you into falling through the floor. That is, if the game let you through the door. I kept thinking “is there another route I’m supposed to take? Nope. The door just won’t open even though it’s supposed to. Remember that bad enemy A.I. I mentioned? It’s so bad that I sometimes caught them in a T pose before they saw me and started shooting.

High Voltage Software. The kings of over-promising and under-delivering. Well, except maybe Peter Molynuex.

Thor (PS3/360)

The Hype

Not much really. Considering the legacy of the recent SEGA/Marvel movie licensed games, I wasn’t expecting too much out of this game. But hey, Captain America on both PS3 and Wii was much better than I was expecting and the DS version of Thor was pretty good too. Even the Wii and 3DS versions were……half-decent. Surely the HD console versions would be a little better than Wii. They even have an option for full 3D!

The Letdown

Wow. Just…! This is bad. It’s not just a bad “God of War” ripoff, it just doesn’t have any heart to it. It has several actors from the movie re-doing their roles, but they deliver their lines so flatly that they sound bored and it’s no wonder. You just go from enclosed area to enclosed area fighting a never ending horde of the same enemies over and over with only a few powers and QTE’s for any form of variety. For about the first 2 hours of the game I was only fighting a few forms of Frost giants. That’s like…playing Streets of Rage and fighting the exact same gangster clone over and over again. But when you get to the boss…he’s the same gangster only larger! Then there’s the 3-D. Okay, the normal frame rate in this game is just under 30 fps. Sometimes it even chugs. Now, add 3-D onto that and you get frame rates that I swear drop below 10! It’s unplayable in 3-D. I’ve never had a 3-D game perform that badly before.

The HD version of Thor is the worst of the Marvel/SEGA games. The first Iron Man was fun at first, but got repetitive. The second one was much worse and with an unfinished feel. The Hulk at the very least tried to copy the formula of the previous Hulk game that worked so well (Ultimate Destruction), but failed. Of course, you know by now I dug the Captain America games. Thor is at the very bottom. It’s just poorly designed, offers no incentives to keep playing and is mind-numbingly dull. It wasn’t just “disappointing” it was just plain bad.

Well, that’s my list of the most disappointing SEGA games of 2011. While most of them I still enjoyed overall, they could have been so much better with just a little more effort. I’m sure you have different opinions on which games let you down. Leave them here in the comments section. I’ll be glad to read them.


13 responses to “The Weekly Five: The Most Disappointing SEGA Games of 2011

  1. teirusu says:

    sonic generations 3ds was pretty dissapointing because classic sonic was 2d and when you play has modern sonic it switch to 2d surpirse surprise its the same then what the point of modern sonic if is the same has classic sonic o and music in the 3ds sucks are the same

  2. crackdude says:

    Conduit 2 came out?

  3. CrazyTails says:

    Lol crackdude, u so mad

  4. Blue Wisp/Vinyl Scratch says:

    I completely agree with this list, but I will add something to Generations 3DS.

    Gens 3DS had potential to be epic, but had poor execution. The music remixes were great as always, but I felt that the original levels were straight lines.

    Still, the game wasn’t that bad, but it COULD and WOULD have been better.

  5. Hergen says:

    I’d add Sonic Generations for PS3 and 360 and Shinobi for 3DS to that list.

  6. teirusu says:

    shinobi was a bad game?

    • Hergen says:

      I didn’t say “bad” (I neither said it regarding Sonic Generations). It would have been great if they would’nt have outsourced the project to a western developer. And even if they thought this was a good idea, why do the graphics look like in a DS game? I was hoping for a glorious comeback of one of my favorite VG characters, now I’ disappointed.

  7. Sybnios says:

    what kind of dillusional person thinks sonic generations for ps3/360 should be on that list? funny stuff…

  8. Hergen says:

    Me. Just take a good look on SA2 on Dreamcast and imagine how a sequel on a system of the next generation of hardware could/should be.
    Just because SEGA made horrible stuff like Sonic 2006 I don’t have to praise an ok game like generations.

    • Barry the Nomad says:

      Are you talking about a sequel to SA2, as in a Sonic Adventure 3 being the ideal sort of 3D Sonic game? Because to be honest Generations blows SA2 out of the water in every way except for plot. Pure Sonic gameplay, no treasure hunting or mechs, no chao (which are fun, but are not necessary in a Sonic game).

    • Hergen says:

      I’m talking about a steady 60 fps. And maybe some innovation. I agree with you when you say there was lots of unnecessary stuff in SA2 (SA”1″ with the graphics of 2 would be perfect). But what was there in terms of Sonic gameplay was brilliant.

    • Barry the Nomad says:

      60fps is always nice, but it is the last thing on my mind when I think of what makes for a great Sonic game and is not an aspect of SA2 that sticks in my mind. Its more of a technical perk, which does exist for the PC version of Generations. I agree that the series needs innovation to stay fresh, and I think Colors did a good job in that department. But when it came to Genrations, the classic formula as well as what is the current 3D formula were very strong and created an incredibly fun game. Did it innovate? Not really. At most it tweaked both classic and modern gameplay and improved the structure of how stages progressed. To get to the point Im trying to make: Im not going to knock Generations for lack of innovation, because it brought together everything I love about the series and was a fantastic game.

  9. funkyjeremi says:

    In my opinion, the mistakes in sonic generations 3ds was to have modern sonic in 2D levels, instead of 3D. Modern levels are not that bad, but so similar to classic levels, with boost and homing attacks added… well, classic get the homing attack too …. then boost become the only difference O_o’ … Classic should have stay “classic”, and Modern deserved 3D levels, as the 3DS can afford it… but it was a bit rushed not to miss the Xmas time! Too bad …

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