Video Game Tuesday: Losers of 2019

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.

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Hey all I’m back for this week’s Video Game Tuesday with a look at the previous year. It’s my Losers of 2019!

Anthem: Let’s just get this out of the way, Anthem was hyped up to be the big “Destiny” killer, it wasn’t. It was, and still is, a terrible game that was rushed and completely mismanaged for YEARS at BioWare. The gameplay is repetitive and the story was utter crap. Coming off the big failure that was Mass Effect Andromeda, BioWare again proves that they have fallen since Mass Effect 3 released. Am I still upset at the way ME3 ended? Abso-freaking-lutely. That was such a letdown to what was an otherwise epic series and the fact that it all boiled down to 3, 2 if you really screwed up, choices in the end was and still is an atrocity for hyping up the series to be all about lasting consequences for choices. So when I heard about Anthem I was skeptical, not only because I’ve been burned by Destiny so badly, but because BioWare still hadn’t gotten my forgiveness for Mass Effect 3. The fact it launched so utterly broken and lackluster just proved my suspicions were correct.

The “Dexit” Issue: I understand both sides of the argument here, Pokemon Sword and Shield wanted to focus on the new ‘mon and didn’t want to be dragged down by the other 700+ Pokemon that came before. However for the first mainstream entry on a console, Sword and Shield really alienated pretty much any veteran fan with the their decision to not include all the other Pokemon. Yes it’d be difficult to animate all those individual Pokemon, HOWEVER they have ostensibly been working on this for years. I’ve always held the belief that Nintendo was holding the option for a mainstream console edition in their back pocket since Red and Green (Blue for us Americans) released all those years ago.

That they didn’t have some people working on animating every Pokemon into 3D since 1996 is utterly laughable. Yes they might have needed to update some of them, but honestly they could’ve been having people work on those for years and years in their spare time. That said I understand that actually taking all that artwork and making it fit into a single system would be a huge undertaking. However it’s not like Sun and Moon didn’t have 3D models in those games and any good Game Artist always keeps high resolution models for safekeeping for future uses. Even if said models need to be pared down to fit current systems, they should have had plenty of the original files for future proofing.

Our Wallets: For real though, there were some great games that were released, or re-released in 2019. From Link’s Awakening to Death Stranding there were tons of games that were released and our wallets were probably thinner at the end of 2019 than they were at the end of 2018.

Honorable Mentions:

Days Gone: I had high hopes as an Oregonian for this game, but it was the typical zombie game with nothing really standing out.

Activision: They end their contract with Bungie, cut tons of jobs and lined the pockets of their CEOs while alienating tons of fans. Even the Blizzard portion of the company, for all it’s supposed to be pretty much a seperate entity didn’t escape unscathed from the leftover backlash from BlizzCon 2018 and lackluster launch of Battle for Azeroth. I didn’t have a lot of respect for the Activision side of Activision Blizzard before 2019, but it certainly was reduced even more after 2019 even for the Blizzard portion.

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