The unbearable disappointments of being a gamer.

There may be one or two of you who followed my salivating obsession leading up to the release of the PS2 survival horror game, Rule of Rose.  Flynn DeMarco from GayGamer and I (then at Kotaku) would paint each other’s toenails in giddy Victorian slumber parties, and talk about nothing but the newest screenshots and disturbing trailers.  By all rights, the game should have been amazing: a lesbian Lord of the Flies, written by Nabokov, produced by Jules Verne, and directed by David Lynch, all aboard a vintage airship crewed by Lewis Carroll’s nightmare menagerie.  How could you possibly go wrong?!

Yeah, well.  I’m still wondering.  This quote from a review by Nick Vlamakis puts it nicely:

…Nothing bad to say about the story and nothing good to say about the gameplay.

Hit the jump to find out why I was even mulling this over last night.Yes indeed, the game that was looking to be the greatest survival horror experience since Silent Hill was nearly impossible to play without gritting your teeth into powder.  Hit detection, aiming, dodging, and the rest of the combat was just useless, as was most of the item-finding and application, as if no actual game design had been done.  It was a tragedy, a completely wasted game.

I was reminded of this, my bitter memories rising like gorge from my fermenting guts, when I stumbled on this Something Awful forums thread about the episodic disappointment of the gaming life.  From “Games that sounded good, and then disappointed you”:

Black & White. A god game where you can get your own creature whose AMAZING AI can actively learn how to blah blah blah. Bought a new video card and the game on release day. Wow, I’m dumb.

A familiar feeling, yes?  As gamers we are innately childlike, our eyes sparkling with mad glee at fresh screenshots and salty hype.  In the secret fastnesses of our hearts, we cradle the downy softness of trust and optimism, no matter what foul vitriol we vent in forums and comment threads.

So every time we are smacked over the nose with mediocrity, it leaves a welt.  Over and over we allow ourselves to be lifted up, only to be swatted back down.

So now is the time on Destructoid when Eliza polls the audience: what were your biggest gaming disappointments, droogs?  And similarly, what games lived up to their hype?

Games that sounded good, and then disappointed you [SomethingAwful Forums]

Eliza Gauger