TSA Talks #9: AAA Disappointments & The Genres We Hate

As much as we love our games here at TSA, not all of us exactly buy into everyone genre our entertainment medium has to offer. Whether it be time-sink MMOs or fine-tuned sim racers we let rip again on those few genres we tend to avoid when given the choice.

Kris: I cannot for the life of me get to grips with JRPGs. Partly this is because I just can’t deal with anything that asks me to invest and manage points (sorry, I’m just not willing to make those sort of choices, it seems far too complicated), but there’s pretty much nothing about them that really appeals to me. Most of them seem to be horrendously long, although perhaps not as big as some modern Western RPGS, and I don’t really have the time to invest in anything that huge.


I don’t really like the turn based combat system that seems to pervade the genre either; it’s just too deep for me normally. Give me a Pokémon style system and I can cope, in every Final Fantasy I’ve played I’ve felt utterly lost.

Most importantly for me the story just never seems to click. Maybe this is just because I haven’t played enough of them to really get a full sense of what ones I like and dislike, the Final Fantasy series has coloured my opinion heavily, but even Final Fantasy VII didn’t really grab hold of me like it seems to have done for everyone else.

Al: Random battle RPGs. Hate them with a passion. I can tolerate Pokémon because the areas that battles will occur in are clearly marked, but whenever I read about a role player and find out that the game has random battles I stay clear completely – the whole concept seems so bizarre and backward.

Dan: As you can see from the games I review, I’m not really fussed about any genre…except football! I have zero interest in the sport, and that apathy transfers over to the games. Bah humbug

Jim: I’ll happily play anything that’s put in front of me, but when given the chance I will usually turn anything that falls under the banner of “retro” or sim racers. Maybe it’s because I’m not that into cars full stop, but I also find no appeal in starting with a cheap old banger and going around in circles for hours until I get the best vehicle on offer.

I’m still on the fence with JRPGs. When I was younger I devoted a ridiculous number of hours towards the Final Fantasy series, but I could never return to these games now, I simply no longer have the time or patience. I must have taken a five year hiatus from the genre, and returning to it with White Knight Chronicles II as my first choice didn’t help. I needed something that didn’t just rely on traditional mechanics of the genre, something a little more bitesize and manageable which is exactly what I found with Gust’s Atelier Totori, though the narrative and theme weren’t exactly to my tastes.

Aran: I don’t generally avoid any genre. I’ll give any game a go be it fighting, racing, platformer, RPG etc. I don’t like to limit myself when it comes to entertainment because you never know where you’ll find the next gem.

Peter: I tend to avoid bullet hell shooters, side/vertical scrolling shooters and fighting games. The shooters, I just don’t enjoy very much. I mean, I love watching them and I like playing for a little while but I’m not very good and sooner or later I just tend to get frustrated with them. Fighting games are something that I used to enjoy when I was younger but not playing any for a long period of time has left me slow to react and completely out of touch with the way to play those games so I really struggle.

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  1. Of the big releases over the last month or so, I’ve been disappointed with Uncharted 3 and Battlefield 3, but then pleasantly surprised by Modern Warfare 3 and Arkham City, so it’s all swings & roundabouts, horses for courses, six of one, half a dozen of the other, etc..

    • And in terms of genres I don’t really like, it’s generally most Japanese games. I hate sushi too.

  2. The only game that has disappointed me so far is skyrim…
    anyways I guess the only genre I hate is rhythm games for some reason I never am able to get into those type of games except for guitar hero but that’s mainly because I liked the songs A LOT

  3. Dissapointment – Battlefield campaign but the Multiplayer has turned that around for me.
    The worst goes to Need for Speed: The Run – the multiplayer is a PAIN when trying to connect or even start the race!

  4. Nice little article. The big AAA let downs for me this year were:

    Batman Arkham City – They tried to squeeze far too many enemies into a 25hour game. As such I didn’t get into the storyline whatsover. The openworld aspect was also small, under-developed and contributed nothing to the gameplay at all.

    Skyrim – Great game completely ruined by a multitude of bugs.

    Uncharted 3 – As most of TSA said, great game but nowhere near as good as ‘charted2. I also found it very short. It hasn’t gone back in my PS3 since it’s launch week.

    Battlefield3 – Definately the biggest letdown for me. Awful campaign, which was only a few hours long, stole all the ‘storyline’ from previous Call of Duty games and featured bloody quick time events (!). It didn’t help that the new Frostbite2 engine looks (and performs) terribly on consoles (though it does look great on PC). Such a shame given how awesome Bad Company 2 was.

    In terms of genres. I rarely get into fighting games, hack-and-slashers and RPGs

    • It’s funny how peoples experiences differ. I have over 100 hours playtime on Skyrim for PS3, not had one problem at all.

  5. Crysis 2 isnt on that list? Shocked.

    • Maybe because Crysis 1 didn’t exactly set the bar that high.
      Graphics thankfully isn’t everything.

  6. Battlefield 3 campaign was very poor unfortunately. The MP is spectacular though, so it is forgivable. Uncharted 3 was amazing in every way IMO. I agree it didn’t quite meet the lofty heights of U2, but great nonetheless. Personally I can’t stand the fighting genre. I absolutely despise games like Tekken, Virtua Fighter etc because I just can’t understand the appeal of them.

  7. AAA letdown for me was Batman: AA. I know it’s a little older but I only finished it last month because it was so frustrating. I hate the game with a passion and I’m sure I’d feel the same way about Batman: AC. The controls were probably the worst I’ve ever had to put up with in this generation and the story was non existent for me. If a game doesn’t provide a great story it should at least be fun to play but this game failed to provide any of those things.

    As for genres that I hate I’d have to say Beat ’em Up, RTS and Simulations are right at the top of my list. By simulations I mean the whole package. Racing sims, sports sims, flight sims… They all can be fun for a little while but I can’t be bothered with them for too long or else I get bored.

  8. LA Noire was a let down for me. The technology was impressive, but there was no variety in the missions and I just couldn’t get my head round the interrogations. First game EVER I’ve actually used the walkthroughs on gamefaqs.com just to get me to the end of it – cheating, I know… I should have just shelved it…
    The only genre I really avoid is JRPG. Got a version of Final Fantasy ages ago (for PS1 I think) and really tried to stick with it but gave up – did nothing for me and I’ve not touched it since.

  9. Batman is easily the biggest disappointment. AC revelations is a let down but the writing was on the wall with Brotherhood. Red Faction was disappointing as well after raising expectations with the previous game. RPGs and FPS are the genre I either don’t enjoy or try to avoid but I love Mirrors Edge and Timesplitters so it is probably more to do with the current crop of FPS. I don’t really do fighting games like street fighter or strategy games like command and conquer either. That rules out quite a lot now I see it written down.

    • Lol – Is there anytghing you DO like??

      • Platformers, third person shooters/adventure games. Old school point and clicks, heavy rain, lemmings, puzzle games, racing games and sport games. There’s still quite a lot.

      • Lol – I know, i was just being facetious! :)

        I do like how you have given Heavy Rain it’s own category though! :)

  10. I actually haven’t had many letdowns this year due to the fact that by the time i get around to buying a product it has usually been out for long enough for many an opinion to be posted in the intermanet & so i usually go into a purchase knowing pretty much what to expect.

    However, i have to agree with LA Noire – I can see that the tech is fantastic & i too would like to see it leak into other titles, but i for one find LA Noire just a bit boring. I understand the repetitive nature of detective work, but it does all come across as a bit of a chore & as such i haven’t gotten very far through it, let alone finish it!

    As for genres that i don’t bother with, JRPGs (& some RPG’s) feature pretty highly on that list as they tend to be ridiculously long & i especially can’t stand those with turn based fighting. Just let me wail on the guy for satans sake! Sports titles i am finding especially hum-drum recently as i have realised that no matter what iteration it is, they are all generally the same.

    I feel i should also add the one on one beat em up onto this list too, as whilst i still love the idea of them, i am finding less & less interest to play them as i get older & grinding hours & hours of online matches really doesn’t appeal either. I feel that is purely down to the lack of story though, as i quite enjoyed MK9.

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