Surprises/Disappointments of '07

With the year 2000 and 7 coming to a close I figured it was time to say farewell to a year steeped in gaming. (Plus having an extra tradition around here couldn’t hurt?) So what games surprised you and what games failed to meet your lofty expectations?

I’ll start off by acting surprised over Phantom Hourglass for being (if nothing else) a straight forward Zelda game. And I guess I owe PH one more nod for it’s unconventional use of the DS gimmicks.

For disappointments though I’ll turn to Odin’s Sphere for beating that poor olde PS2 right into the ground. Seriously, with all the cheap deaths I could’ve avoided with a better frame rate, that game should’ve been on a next gen system.

Anyway here’s hoping that next year will be even better. :slight_smile:

I enjoyed Odin Sphere. It could’ve been better but i wouldn’t call it a disappointment. But I was also stoned almost every time I played that game and well…that made it a hell of a lot cooler.

2007 shall be forever remembered as the year that made you think with Portals. This, the world agrees completly on without a single hint of doubt. The rest is, however, debatable.

Let’s not forget Metroid Prime 3.

And Team Fortress 2.

Plus Mario Galaxy.

Additionaly, Mass Effect.

I know it came out in '06, but I didn’t get FF12 until March of '07 – a disappointment, lossed interest at the tomb of King what’s-his-name and haven’t touched it since.

Halo 3!!! Awesome in co-op, if too short. That assault rifle came back, and I liked the new items. Sweet maps for multi-player and better customization for armor.

Guitar Hero III! I idin’t like the songs as much as GH2, but there are more of them and I liked the the way it plays better.

Assassin’s Creed! Not a whole lot plot wise, but awesome none-the-less. I love leaping buildings and shanking beggar women!

What SURPRISED me in 2007?

Well my Xbox 360 in general actually. How into Halo 3 I got with my girlfriend, how much I enjoyed Blue Dragon and Assassin’s Creed. I didn’t expect the 360 to have such high caliber titles.

I was surprised by how GOOD the gameplay to Metroid Prime 3 and Mario Galaxy was. I think that 2007 made leads forward with the Portal and the Wii in terms of games that bend how you think about gaming and I am really looking forward to the next few years of development, especially with the thread we have in the main forum about how some guy made little programs that use the Wiimote.

Puzzle Quest is a bizarre Bejeweled meets D&D game that turned out to be a HELL of a lot longer than I expected. It was interesting to play.

CV: PoR: most fun CV game I’ve played in a while.

Picross: So awesome.


Gears of War. Everyone trumpeted how awesome it was and while I agree that the looks and setting were a bit unprecedented, I found the gameplay lacking. I explained repeatedly why I thought it was inferior to Halo 3.

Bioshock. The game was great but after playing Assassin’s Creed, I fired it up for my friends and man the game became a whole lot uglier instantaneously despite how lauded it was for its graphics 6 months earlier.

Heroes of Mana. Everything is awesome about this game except for the fucking gameplay. Playing this game is INTOLERABLE. The AI is too FUCKING DUMB. Trying to tell your guys where to go and what to do becomes an exercise in futility and aggravation. I remember telling Zero I beat the last boss with everyone dead except for my main character with 2 hp left and the entire last map mined out.

The Virtual Console: man do some of these old classic games not age well. The best example is Castlevania IV. It was the first VC game I downloaded. I got it at the same time I was playing through Portrait of Ruin. CV4 was unplayable. The character moved like a rock in comparison.

Wild Arms 5: I haven’t seen a game make me want to kill people this badly this easily in a long time. The characters and script were TOO FUCKING STUPID.

I’m very disappointed we haven’t heard anything about DQ4/5 and FF4 DS from Squeenix.

Yeah, the old CVs had awful movement. However I was surprised how replayable some old games become when emulated in the DS. Sometimes I’m playing Game Boy games as if it’s '95 (hint: Solomon’s Key=bestest game ever). And I’m talking too about games I wouldn’t touch in pc emulation.

Heroes of Mana. Your summoned monsters wander around in little circles.

The biggest surprise for me was Wild ARMs 5. I have to disagree with Sin on that one. but then, he liekd WA4 and I despised that game, so apparently it’s one of thsoe things we’d never see eye to eye on. Anyway, the game was a breath off resh air to me, and drastically better than the game before it. I won;t say it was perfect, but it was pretty good overall. I went in there expecting it to be shit, but it was good.

Add DQ6 to that list too, even though it’s a no-brainer. I hate that I can’t contribute a great deal to this thread since my gaming this year has been mostly older titles and my time dropped off greatly since I moved.

However, I was also quite surprised by Phantom Hourglass. If there’s an option to play without the stylus, I use it, so I was skeptical about being forced to use it for a game like that. The execution was great, IMO, so now I’m no longer scared of the plastic non-pen.


-Soul Nomad: For an N1 title, this had a surprisingly fluid and enjoyable gameplay that managed to be challenging without being outright cheap and managed to make more than just three useful units. The plot was, while still not stellar, fairly superior to anything they did previously.

-Persona 3: Having never played any SMT titles, this came as a real surprise. The whole thing was way out of the ordinary and I was sincerely astonished when I found myself enjoying random battles instead of grinding past them, due to the fact that there’s an actual strategy to these instead of Cast Ultima for Massive Damage.


-Dawn of Mana: ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I’m in the middle on WA5. I think it was interesting and a lot of fun, but it was missing something. I couldn’t really get into it for some reason.

Phantom Hourglass was really cool, but it seemed like a one-hit wonder. Maybe because of the lack of a strong story. Say what you will about Zeldas like LttP and OoT - there wasn’t much story, but it was there and it was coherent, and it made the fighting mean something. Phantom Hourglass just seemed like a lot of sailing and fighting, and it didn’t seem to go anywhere.

I had a complete opposite reaction to WA5 from Sin’s as well. It was the WORST gameplaying I’ve had in years, though personal bias (I hate jumping puzzles, for example) and even some health problems (I was suffering from vertigo) might’ve influenced that as well. Still, the facts that my characters weren’t as strong as they were supposed to be for most of the game (I blame the adjust-it-yourself ARMS system for that; it just wasn’t intuitive) and the utterly frustrating sidequests (I missed the Black Box by THREE chests!! T_T ) were definitely actual game problems.

BUT, the one thing that kept me gaming DESPITE all that, was the story. I loved the characters and just had to see the resolution to their conflicts. OK, so in the end they were a cliched and kinda inconclusive, but I achieved the deep immersion in the fantasy world that I want from an RPG. The dialog was great and carried their emotions very well.

Final Fantasy XII, which I’m still playing (I started over midway) has frustrated me as well (mostly with its illogical and poorly balanced License system) and by having just way too many sidequests to do, but it’s still interesting and great to look at. The story isn’t exactly gripping but its interesting enough to follow while also not driving me crazy to see the next event the way WA5’s did. In general I find the game (so far) neither a disappointment nor a surprise. Of course, my opinion may change by the time I finish. I’ll let you know.

Well, I agree with Sin about WA5. While I thought it was generally fun to play (although I’m not done with it yet but quite far into the storyline), I couldn’t stand the majority of the characters and discussions that went between them (additionally, arrrg at Rebecca’s journal!).

I can’t really think of anything that wasn’t mentioned, but I have to say that Touch Detective (2 1/2) for the DS was surprisingly hilarious.

And I second Picross. :smiley:

Edit: I just remembered what was my biggest disappointment in 2007. Ar Tonelico. >.>

Persona 3 was the best way to send off the PS2’s era of great RPGs. I don’t understand why Odin Sphere beat it for best RPG on IGN. P3 got third.

Surprises: The Wii getting so much playtime and being so much fun with games that you can play for long periods of time and always find new things in. The cool USB connection tricks and bluetooth connection tricks you can use to get a Wii remote used as a PC Mouse.

Disappointments: The PS3 being so… short lived. There aren’t many games on it you can’t beat in a few hours. Also, it overheats like a mother doing the simplest tasks.

Jesus fucking christ.

To be frank, Ar Tonelico was a Gust game. They do quirky games, not all-rounders. For a Gust game, it was actually surprisingly good. Buying one of their games and expecting an immersive story or fluid gameplay is like playing Doom for the character interaction.

So far, I’ve only played four Gust games - the three Atelier iris games, and Ar Tornelico. I adored AI1, tolerated A!2, and didn;t play more than three hours of 3. Ar Tornelico, I started to play, but got distracted. It didn’t seem that memorable. TO be honest, it was all that kept me going, sicne I was switching off between that and Shin megami Tensei: Nocturne.

AI2 tried to balance out the quirks with a bit of traditional story, but kind of fell flat. I appreciate that Felt has a bit more personality than Klein, and that the whole conflict is at least a bit of a bigger scale, but they weren’t very good at balancing characters and story.

AI3 is down-right horrible. They went completely to the other side of the spectrum by making a pure dungeon crawler.

Ar Tonelico is… weird. It’s completely hit or miss. You either love it or you hate it. At least tell me you got to Dive for a bit, because otherwise you never even started with the meat of it.

I guess what was my biggest problem was the whole Felt/Viese “brother-sister” relationship. I kind of get annoyed at how apparently, unless you are reated by blood, you don;t seem to act like any brother-ssiter dupo I’ve ever seen, even if the point of it is not about blood ties, but about growing up together and being so close, that you can’t even begin to imagine the other one romanticaly, which I got from thsoe two.

I actually stopped jsut before I could dive. TO be honest, I couldn’t handle how much innuendo it all seemed to contain.