Somehow, we're at this point already. Compiling a 'Most Disappointing' list so early in the calendar year speaks to the sorry state of affairs within the console space right now - not to mention the surprise Spring Drought currently giving gamers too much free time to connect with loved ones, or whatever one does away from their screen of choice.
I'm not going to pretend to know the reason behind it, but the beginning of 2012 has turned into the dumping ground for a number of misplaced franchise extensions, half-hearted attempts at innovation, and general mediocrity.
The following titles represent these undesirable qualities. While not necessarily 'bad', they certainly fell well below the bar set for them, and are listed in alphabetical order.
Armored Core V is going to do very little to open the series up to a wider audience. The menu system is rather confusing and the story is very standard. But when it comes down to it, there's still something satisfying about blowing pieces of metal into smithereens and that's what this game is about.
The creative force behind the Yakuza series brought a great deal of attention and credibility to Binary Domain in the lead-up to its release last month. In the end, it wasn't the trainwreck appearing on this list might have suggested, occasionally stumbling with poor voice commands and cookie-cutter storytelling in the worst way. Binary Domain represents a valiant effort at Western-inspired action for a Japanese team, but having to use that crutch is never a good sign. It also sold terribly.
Unfortunately, Kinect Star Wars embodies all of the reasons die-hard fans of the series have become disillusioned over the years - whether it be constant over-exposure and low standards for quality. Everything from the painfully conventional narrative, hit-or-miss responsiveness, and seemingly aimless assortment of mini-games make this an entry most Star Wars fans will likely want to avoid.
Ninja Gaiden 3 is a game that, unless you really happen to enjoy being disappointed, is difficult to recommend. Everything that made the second installment so enjoyable has been watered down to a level of simplicity that's far too dull and what's worse is that there are no replaced or re-purposed mechanics to justify the removal. Fans of the series can easily skip this disappointment, while newcomers should probably just focus on the prior iterations.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is a game that epitomises average. When looking at the different elements featured throughout, it's difficult to see if the developers even aimed for something higher than that. It's very difficult to look past the poor visuals, bland gameplay and disconnected story implementation. It's just not a game that Resident Evil fans deserved and it doesn't do the franchise justice.
Anyone who can look past the game's subpar plot and glaring technical issues should find themselves at least impressed by other qualities of the game, perhaps enough so to want to stick around for the ride. If you can bear it there's certainly aspects of the game to appreciate, particularly when the developers hit those few moments of inspirational gameplay where everything clicks. Otherwise it's a puzzle game with poor combat, a spooky setting, and no real rewards.