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PSXE's Worst Of 2010: The Dubious Distinctions

Our Game of the Year Awards are near and in fact, after a whole lot of great conversation, the decisions have been made. They will go live this weekend...and no hints. ;)

Anyway, unlike many sources, we won't be including "Worst Of" awards (if you can call 'em "awards"); we just don't like to do that. We believe in celebrating the year's quality rather than laughing at the stinkers. And yet, we also understand the failures and near-misses and "what if...?" titles are often quite popular topics of discussion and so, as a prelude to our GotY extravaganza, we give you a few PSXE Dubious Distinction Awards:

Worst Attempt At Innovation: Power Gig: Rise of the SixString

When it was first advertised, everyone thought, "woah, the next step in music games is here...a real guitar with real strings!" Yes, well, when you don't really bother to use those strings and it feels just like most any rhythm title available - only with a far crappier soundtrack - you get a game that disappoints on almost every possible level. Even when it tried to push the envelope, it just became immensely frustrating. And in the end, you realize you're far better off either playing Rock Band 3 or learning music with an actual guitar.

Most Confusing Title: Create

The reason why everyone thought it would be a LittleBigPlanet knock-off is because of the name. Early footage and information also wasn't crystal clear; many just assumed it'd be EA's attempt at emulating Media Molecule but in truth, Create was a repetitive puzzle game that had very little to do with "creating." I suppose one could argue we were "creating" solutions to puzzles but that's way misleading. And by the way, because of the control and nature of the pacing and puzzles, the game kinda fell short of expectations.  Hardly a big surprise.

The "Oh man, I Wish This Was Awesome" Award: Splatterhouse

People may not know, but we were really looking forward to this one. The concept really appealed to us: a no holds bared, totally over the top, unapologetic bashfest. We often appreciate in-depth, progressive experiences, but we also greatly value the simpler (perhaps even purer) examples of interactive fun. And on the surface, Splatterhouse had it all. Sadly, once we dove in, we realized it had something else, too: shoddy control, coupled with a host of other problems that turned a potentially awesome experience into a depressingly missed opportunity. In truth, we hope Namco tries again because it's a concept that, if technically proficient, would rule.

The Long Wait = Huge Disappointment Award: Quantum Theory

When we first heard about it as a PlayStation 3 exclusive, we were pretty enthusiastic. Although the comparisons to Epic's Gears of War were obvious, we had hoped Tecmo would be able to give PS3 owners a chance to play a dark, gritty, riveting third-person shooter with a very cool co-op twist. Unfortunately, all we got - after it went multiplatform - was a generic, run-of-the-mill, technically lagging production. The entire game just reeked of this eh, who cares? smell, and we couldn't shake that odor. In fact, few could. This is probably one idea that needed to be scrapped early on in the development process.

The Broken Franchise Award: Front Mission Evolved

No, the award doesn't go to Final Fantasy XIII, which at least had flashes of old brilliance and sorta reminded us of what Square-Enix could do (after the 20-hour mark). What they did to Front Mission is downright unforgivable, as any strategy aficionado will tell you. Instead of an in-depth, turn-based strategy title designed to test patience, planning, and combat techniques, we got a generic mech shooter that failed to excel on any given level. It wasn't an abomination in terms of production value; it was merely mediocre. But it was an abomination in the eyes of franchise fans. Just depressing; maybe they'll ditch the idea in the future.

The Best Idea Gone Bad: Alpha Protocol

Really, if it had been done correctly, it could've rivaled Mass Effect in terms of choice-driven, sci-fi role-playing. Of course, it's difficult to even envision such an amazing production because Obsidian fell so ridiculously short in their very, very broken attempt at an elite game. In fact, that's the only word that kept springing to mind when writing the review: broken. And it's just so disappointing, because you can see the potential; you couldn't go ten minutes without saying to yourself, "damn, that would've been cool...if they had done it right." I hate it when that happens. I really do.

The "So Bad It Makes My Hair Hurt" Award: Rogue Warrior

We probably should've guessed going in but then again, we always like to be optimistic before analyzing. It's just too bad that such optimism vanished in the first fifteen minutes and after the first hour, the experience had become a cross between drudgery and hilarity. I actually wanted to keep playing because I hadn't had a good laugh in quite some time. But at the same time, the result couldn't be ignored- it was just plain bad. One wonders how such games get made. Everyone has QA departments, don't they? Doesn't someone somewhere play the game and go, "um...yeah, you really can't release this"...?

Okay, that's it. You'll see the real awards this weekend, complete with the flashy layout with pics and different fonts and all that fun stuff. ...if fonts are fun. We have all of last year's categories plus a few more (like Most Underrated, Best Trailer, and Best New Character). But what took home the serious hardware...? Stay tuned to find out.

Tags: psxe awards, dubious awards, worst games, video games

12/28/2010 10:50:47 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (42 posts)

Kevin5
Tuesday, December 28, 2010 @ 11:47:31 PM
Reply

I'd have to agree on Quantum Theory, ever since Tecmo tried to apply the Gears of War touch to QT's otherwise fail gameplay i knew the game would stink nastier then swill in a bin on a hot afternoon. The game felt generic as anything & as mentioned was plagued by lag amongst other technical issues which marred any possible light thrills you may have had. In short, it's a mess of a game as well as a piss stain on Tecmo's otherwise solid resume.

I thankfully haven't touched nor breathed near the other games mentioned so cheers for saving me from potential low budget trash.

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Alienange
Tuesday, December 28, 2010 @ 11:51:31 PM
Reply

Got to agree with the winner of Broken Franchise. It's almost as if SE has secretly hated good gaming and set out to wreak havoc upon unsuspecting franchises. R.I.P. Front Mission.

As for Rogue Warrior, yeah, that piece of human failure nearly made me toss my cookies with it's swaying camera.

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jaynet333
Tuesday, December 28, 2010 @ 11:58:28 PM
Reply

Well, I thankfully avoided all of these games after the reviews came out. I may still pick up Splatterhouse, after the price goes down.

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CONTRABAND
Friday, December 31, 2010 @ 1:54:45 PM

I just got it from amazon for $25

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Oxvial
Tuesday, December 28, 2010 @ 11:59:04 PM
Reply

Yes I really wanted Splatterhouse to be at least a 8.0 game, but I actually expected that it wasn't so I'm not really disappointed with it, I'm still gonna get it at some point.

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556pineapple
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 12:21:37 AM
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I can't thank you enough for playing some of these games so I don't have to. Looking forward to the big event this weekend!

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___________
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 12:31:16 AM
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what no naughty bear shout out?
poor A2M!
i really still want to play create, we so rarely get puzzle games i mean honestly when was the last puzzle game released?
last one i can think of would be portal, such a fantastic game cant wait till portal 2 releases!
shame they wont be releasing it here, funny i did not see it in Hawaii either.
saw quantum theory, everything you can think of but the one game i actually want to buy is nowhere to be found.
figures!

i really enjoyed splatterhouse because it reminds me of how games use to be.
it brings me back to the good old days where i use to sleep over my cuzs place and his brother would wake us up at 3 in the morning to play some PC, we had to wait till then because his father was up and would kill us if he found us on the PC.
its such a oldschool game, i mean its so hard and brutal, and constantly teases and taunts you, it constantly f*cks you and makes no apologies by doing so!
i miss how games use to be like that, i remember in the ps1 days i would finish maybe 1 out of 10 games because there so god dam hard!
and they use to take me at least 20+ hours to finish!
now im finishing every single game i play, and there taking on average 8 hours to finish.
oh, how gaming has gone down the sh*tter this gen!
i wish i could build a time machine and go back to the NES days, and stay there playing NES games for the rest of my life.
now they were proper games, not this mindless crap a freaking retarded 2 year old could finish!
back then games actually took skill to finish, now a new born blind baby could do it!

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sawao_yamanaka
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 12:45:31 AM

Really? Splatterhouse was so simple.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 12:51:17 AM

I couldn't quite think of anything for Naughty Bear...

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 1:00:30 AM

Most condescending/confused? I mean, the point is to kill teddies, and it keeps telling you that you're naughty for doing so... It fits, methinks.

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Danny007
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 2:56:21 AM

I personally thought Naughty Bear was going to be the coolest game of 2010. The reviews sure did prove me wrong.

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Highlander
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 10:01:25 AM

Most pointlessly disappointing and confusing title of the year - Naughty Bear?

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Nlayer
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 12:55:20 PM

I find that as we grow older, we get better at playing games. So perhaps you are finishing games at a faster pace because you are older and have more skill?

When I was young, it took me a year or two to win Donkey Kong Country on the SNES. Last week I popped it in and won it in 2-3 hours. It is because I am better at playing games now compared to when I was younger. Even other games that were said to be "super hard" on the NES back in the day are not all that hard now.

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___________
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 5:24:03 PM

its not that im getting better, seriously there getting allot easier.
games back on the ps1 use to be so hard, take the original MGS for instance if you got seen once you instantly failed the mission.
now in MGS4 if you get seen you just run away and hide for a few moments.
allot of action games like PoP or splatterhouse had heaps of death traps that killed you instantly.
games these days dont have those, or less like PoP, that still has death traps but less of them and they barely do any damage appose to killing you instantly.

sure they were frustrating, but that was the whole point, because of that once you finally finished it you got a massive sense of accomplishment.
i remember mortal kombat shaolin monks, i was stuck on the final battle for no joke months!
i would play that maybe 5 times a day than get so frustrated had to turn it off before i hurl the controller into the TV!
but once i finally finished it i was so happy, best feeling i ever got from finishing a game.
its like working for something is always more satisfying than just getting it gifted!
o,yea, then i found out about the secret area that gives you a refill of health.
MAN WAS I PISSED!

simple matter of the fact games are so much easier than they use to be.
not only in how much health you have, but also in death traps and checkpoints.
look at splatterhouse, you die you have to redo quite a bit of the level.
but most games these days dying hardly feels like a punishment because you almost start where you died!
im not saying i want every single game to go back to this way, because it does not suit some, but it would certainly be nice to see one in a blue moon.
thats exactly why i enjoyed splatterhouse so much, because it took me back to the days of my youth.
never underestimate the power of nostalgia, i mean hell look at ninty thats all there relying off and there making sony and M$ look like palasonic!

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wiiplay
Thursday, December 30, 2010 @ 12:29:30 PM

No puzzle games?
Here is a small list of my favorite puzzle games for this generation.

Super Meat Boy, World of Goo, Bejeweled 3, Braid, The Ball, Trine, Plants vs Zombies, Angry Birds, Cut The Rope, Flight Control, Doc Clock.

I actually agree with what you're saying. Video games have greatly changed / evolved over the years. I find that most AAA titles tend to have a heavy focus on violence, which I do not personally approve of.
I wish for game developers to create a new video game genre. Something that does not have a heavy focus on violence, but still provides a first person view. Maybe a world simulation game, similar to Second Life, but more realistic and containing real-world cities and locations?

Anyways, puzzle games still exist, and there are quite a lot of them. Although due to changing times, puzzle games are not advertised on television as often. I mean, what exactly would a TV ad accomplish? The so-called 'hardcore' gamers out there are only interested in video games that contain violence and guns. Games such as Battlefield and Call of Duty are currently ruling the gaming world, so why would somebody buy a $30 puzzle game, if they can buy a 'hardcore' game instead?

Regarding the article. Kane And Lynch 2: Dog Days gets my vote for 2010's worst game.
That game just failed to meet my expectations.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 12:59:49 AM
Reply

I have two of them, but only at low prices. Alpha Protocol I just kind of wanted to test it out and yeah there are so many flashes of possible coolness in it that it is so sad how short it falls, but for what I paid I got some enjoyment out of it.

Splatterhouse is one I really enjoyed. The camera sometimes got gay but nothing a tweak couldn't correct quickly. And the graphics were kind a cool comic booky semi-cell shaded affair but nothing to write home about. Other than that I thought the whole thing was a good fan service game with plenty of cool old schoolness like the 2.5D levels. It remains the only game which I have ever beaten and then gone into the arena modes. I usually HATE arena modes. And the whole Lovecraftian story turned out a lot better than I thought. Very "Evil Dead." I think if you liked Evil Dead you'll like Splatterhouse.

The rest stank from the word go. Rogue Warrior went unnoticed by me anyway.

Good list, but no worst new character?

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 8:10:20 AM

Agreed World. Alpha Protocol has some definte cool moments, and an incredible feature in timed responses.

I beat the game twice.

Apparently Bioware was impressed by the time responses. ME3 will have them as well.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 1:01:55 AM
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From playing the demo, I knew Quantum Theory was going to wind up being horrible.

And then only game listed I own, is Rouge Warrior that I bought used for $24 a while back. And I agree, it was total crap, I wasted $14 by not waiting until it's price plummeted to the saw-buck stage.

Beside everything else wrong with it, my biggest gripe was all the F-bombs alone, he said in it.
I mean, I'll admit to sometimes swearing with the best of them, but even I don't say it every other sentence.
That's the Marchinko way though(one of the greatest U.S. Navy Seals there's ever been), but come on now, it just doesn't work in a video game.

As for all those other games(except for Alpha Protocol which I'm still slightly interested in used & cheap), all the others I still need for my collection will be bought only when they hit the $10 & under bargain bins.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 12/29/2010 1:07:11 AM

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CHAOS THEORY X
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 2:00:26 AM
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I want to play Rogue warrior now jst to see how bad it is haha

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Alienange
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 7:47:12 AM

If you get it for 10 or under it's worth it for the laughs if nothing else. On easy, you can run through the game in under 4 hours.

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crunchy_nut_kid
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 2:50:35 AM
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lol the dubious distinctions! it's like the darwin awards for video games

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 8:10:44 AM

LOL!

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Shams
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 9:29:36 AM

2010's Dooby Doozies.

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Godslim
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 5:53:47 AM
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couldnt aggree more with Quantum Theory what a let down.....one thing i still dont get is the whole ff gone down hill thing ive just started playing the newest one and am enjoying it

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Ergi
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 9:21:53 AM
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I did play the demo of Quantum theory, and i'm suprised that didn't win the "So Bad It Makes My Hair Hurt" award. I didn't play rogue warrior though so I can't really make that statement, i'm just surprised anything could be worse than Quantum Theory. Staying away from Rogue Warrior like it's a killer virus.

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Highlander
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 10:09:28 AM
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A couple of awards I would truly like to see;

Most gratuitous use of the F-Bomb.
Most gratuitous use of blood and gore.
Most over-use of the F-Bomb and other colorful language.

I'm sure I could come up with a few more given time.

Oh, how about this one - and I really mean this one seriously;

Most gratuitous and pointless use of visual effects in a game.

The point here is that here we are in the 'next gen', and so many effects are possible, but not all are good, and not all are well done. If you play around with the bonus options in Uncharted/Uncharted2 you can turn on various including a "next generation" one that adds more bloom and adds a blur effect that looks like the image has been re-sampled and over-filtered. It's quite an effective dig at some games on the PS3 and 360 where developers seem to believe in over-processing the final image. I'd love to see an award, or perhaps a raspberry for the game that includes the most gratuitous and pointless visual effects.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 11:51:35 AM

If SC: Conviction released on PS3 this year, I think it would've nabbed F-bombs.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 3:04:31 PM

Uh...I'm playing Conviction now and I don't think I've heard the f-bomb more than twice.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 3:50:22 PM

MAybe I'm hearing things or my memory is wrong, but I "swore =p" I heard the f-bomb like every other time a thug would hear a noise or be alerted. "F*** what was that?", "Come on, you F***'er"
"AHH F***"!"
It seemed obsessive.

But I dunno, the language seemed so foul I turned it down shortly after beginning it because I had family members within audible range.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 7:18:44 PM

Well, the enemies say random things so I guess it all depends. I've heard them say it, but it hasn't been that often.

Doesn't matter, anyway. Game sucks.

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Snaaaake
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 10:41:19 AM
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Broken Franchise........I can't help but think that DMC will be next for it.

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Pandacastro
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 12:07:24 PM

Or resident evil.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 1:58:06 PM

DMC WILL be next if Ninja Theory can't get a grasp on that crappy Unreal 3 engine. Enslaved is a complete technical mess from top to bottom.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 2:39:45 PM

I'm going to make a negative prediction here: I won't be surprised if DMC-reboot falls short in sales and NT folds as a dev team. I'm amazed they recovered from the massive Enslaved failure (sales). Will they leave a legacy that Grin and Factor 5 left behind?

I know I'm being a butt-face with my doubts, but NT is attempting to take over a franchise which has a hardcore following who won't tolerate buggy, inconsistent technical design even if it ends up having quality cinematic voice talent.
And why does Dante appear to be un-rebooted for MvsC3? You'd think Capcom would want to really get behind his re-invisioned, tormented and more adolescent look going into next year...

I think what's bothering me has more to do with Capcom's decision to take one of their quality franchises that sells by the millions and try and make it more appealing through westernization. We've seen several times now that Japan's attempts at discarding what their culture brings special to gaming isn't being met with success by their fans.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 6:34:47 PM

I think they want to keep the recognizable Dante in fighter compilations because that's the iconic one. The new kid has to make celebrity status first.

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Riku994
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 2:54:15 PM
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I've never heard of Create or Rogue Warrior.

Last edited by Riku994 on 12/29/2010 2:54:21 PM

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Hezzron
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 4:04:12 PM
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The only game I played on that list was Rogue Warrior. I played it for the "train wreck" factor, just to see how bad it was.

My hair is still in intensive care.

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RebelJD
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 4:14:00 PM
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Haha, great list of awful games!

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FM23
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 6:52:11 PM
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Hilarious...great bit. So many games I never even thought of buying. I love these kinds of list because developers need to be insulted when they make insulting projects.

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Robochic
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 7:26:14 PM
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Naughty Bear should get the WTF award or these bears aren't the cuddly kind LOL oh man I'm tired.
Anywase I've heard alot of things about Create and Splatterhouse you know it's bad when it got a boxing day price lower than naughty bear LOL in Canada it was selling for 29.99 and naughty bear was 39.99 still not worth it but hey naughty bear must be going somewhere they have extra content on PSN for it lol.

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berserk
Thursday, December 30, 2010 @ 10:48:06 AM
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"The Long Wait = Huge Disappointment Award: Quantum Theory"

Never heard of it before i laid eyes on the trailers (so no long wait ).

The moment i saw it i knew it was gonna be crap ( so no disappointment ).

FF13 definitely should have taken that award if you ask me .

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