Alright, we’ve gone far too long with “hopeful predictions” and “joyous gifts.” It’s time to bring the hate. What was your biggest disappointment of a purchase in the previous year?
In video games, it’s pretty easy since I don’t buy too many. While I was disappointed that Justice League Heroes ended up sucking, I read the reviews and didn’t actually throw the money down for it. However, my video game purchase that I was totally mislead by reviews was on Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz. I was a big fan of the multiplayer of the gamecube MonkeyBall, and the big review sites gave it a positive review. When I got it home however… most of the games are totally unplayable. There’s certainly some interesting game ideas in there, and a few are pretty good. But the vast majority just do not implement the Wii technology correctly and are impossible to play. Plus, some of my favorite multiplayer modes from the GC version weren’t included. Disappointing, though a little less so since discovering the small handful of good games on it.
In tabletop games, there were any number of failures that I tried and thankfully didn’t invest in/ The Battlestar Galactica CCG ended up being like every other CCG on the market, only it had the corners cut off. While they released two stellar books, most of the D&D books that came out this year (especially ones like Complete Mage that rehashed old territory) didn’t stand up to the usual high standards. But the award for me goes to the Dungeons & Dragons board game. An import from England that I picked up at Origins that sucked me in with a cool demo and lots of minis and maps to add to my collection, this “Heroquest-lite” didn’t survive contact with an actual gaming group who were able to easily exploit it and not challenge the group at all. We played through several scenarios (with me as the DM powerless to stop the PC’s reign of terror) on July 4th and haven’t even talked about picking it up since.
And finally, in comics, this is a pretty easy pick for me. I started a subscription service this year, whereas previously I had just bought the comics I liked. This of course meant that when I title I liked started sucking out loud, I hadn’t read it in the comic store first and owned it. That comic for me was Outsiders. Formerly a superteam with drama that was had a more “adult” attitude than the other DC superteams, this one slid into the ordinary following the One Year Later jump. While the adult themes were still there, it lost any measure of characterization. Thunder and Grace developing sudden lesbian syndrome (seemingly in order to titillate readers, as opposed to the more mature handling of lesbian relationships in 52), Shift being replaced with Metamorpho (yeah great, replace a character on a team with AN IDENTICAL CHARACTER), and plotlines that we just don’t care about. I gave it 3 issues before dropping, but now am even a little upset I own the issues. Runner up in this category probably goes to Seven Soldiers #1, not because I wouldn’t own it anyway, and it still is a spectacular issue, but after a 6 month delay you’d think it would have tied together better.