In general, 2015 has been a really good year for me gaming-wise (or in general even!), but there are also a few negative points that stick out for me. Not games in general, but part of the games that I otherwise liked or was looking forward to. So if you see something on the list here, it of course doesn’t mean that I think the whole game is crap. :p The list is also in no particular order as it would be really difficult to compare and rank the issues I’m having with the various games or aspects.
The ending (episode 5) of “Life is Strange” (spoiler-free!)
It is simply not possible to say anything about this part without spoiling, but I will try. I had read about some players’ opinions that they had been disappointed about the ending and I had wished not to belong to that group, but rather to the one who enjoyed and liked the last episode. Unfortunately, I am disappointed as well. I am not saying it’s a bad episode. The problem for me was that it did not feel as great as episodes 2 to 4 did. On the other hand, it being the last episode, I also did kind of rush through it to experience the ending of the story. So this could be part of it.
Guild Wars 2 throughout the year
Yes, I know they prepared for their first expansion and the whole company was busy working on it, but having the game with nothing new to do content-wise for most of the year still seemed very weird to me, especially considering the game is still very young and received its first expansion. So, no matter what I think of the expansion, for most of the year, Guild Wars 2 was the same than it was in 2014 and that was disappointing for me and not what I had expected.
Rift and the Primalist
In October 2014, Rift had launched its second expansion “Nightmare Tide”. While the content itself is free, other things (like new souls for your callings) need to be bought. I did pay for a few things (I bought the new souls, for example). Now they are asking me to give them 30-something € again for 6/10 of a new class, the Primalist. 6/10 because 4 souls are not released or done yet, but they already said that the remaining four souls would be a separate purchase. I know, I know, I don’t have to pay for it, I don’t have to play it and it certainly isn’t “pay to win”. But it still felt too fast after the release of the expansion to ask for such a large amount of money for 60 % of a new class. The price is just too much.
Valhalla Hills and lack of depth
I had such high hopes when I heard who was developing this game (some developers who were responsible for the early Settlers games and for the Cultures series) and when I saw the first trailer. After I had gotten the game (as a prize from winning in the Blaugust challenge), I did have fun in the game for a while. However, it is nowhere near Cultures or Settlers. Asking for 30 € for this game just seems like much too much and part of me just can’t get rid of the feeling that this would have been a great mobile game. But on a PC? It just doesn’t really work for me. It is lacking the depth that Settlers and Cultures had. Maybe one day it will get close, but so far, I’d rather play the old Cultures games again (which I can, because I have all of them and they work wonderfully with Windows 7).
Neocore Games’ communication techniques
Van Helsing’s “Final Cut” did get released in 2015 after all. Two times, Neocore Games decided to postpone the release. Important: them postponing the release is not my complaint here! Don’t get me wrong. I don’t know which issues caused them to postpone the release twice and that’s a good sign, because it means the issues are clearly not part of the game anymore! However, both times the company decided to announce the postponing within 24 hours or less than its scheduled release date. I would think they should have known longer before that. In a time where people take days off work to play a game on release day, this should be handled with more foresight. Thankfully, I don’t belong to those people. :p But I had still planned my evening around being able to play the game and it was disappointing. Having a bit more warning ahead of time is much better and lets a company seem much more professional. With these short windows between the announcements and the originally scheduled release, they did come off as less professional than they probably are. Still, all is well that ends well. So let me emphasize this once more: My complaint is about their communication, but not about their game at all which I happen to love. :)
The Repopulation’s engine woes
I feel so bad for the developers of “The Repopulation”. Not being able to continue working on your game and selling it to players (especially now with the holiday sales) must be heart-breaking. They have done really well so far if you ask me and the game’s been coming along nicely. In case you don’t know what’s going on with the Repopulation: They are working with the HeroCloud Engine. The company behind that engine is having some kind of issues. You can read up on it on MassivelyOP if you like. By now, it seems that there is cause to be optimistic that the issues will be resolved soon. What’s so sad here is that none of this is the fault of the developers of The Repopulation and they certainly don’t deserve such a scare or missing out on sales. So yeah, the game itself or any of its parts are NOT on my disappointment-list. On the contrary!
Devilian’s server Seadrift
This came in at the last minute, more or less. Seadrift is one of the two European servers for Devilian. Of course, it is the one with my character on it. What happened is that some weird data loss issue had emerged causing Trion to work overtime to try and fix it. Characters had lost their items (in an ARPG title like Devilian, this is really bad, of course) and quest progress has been lost as well. I, for example, could now re-do some quests. In fact, I also have a tutorial quest which I can’t do, because I can’t access the tutorial area anymore. Unfortunately, this also means that I do not have that box with items that you can open every few levels to get some rewards out of it. It also doesn’t feel right to know that while I did do those quest chains, the game itself lost the data and there is no trace of it left. In the “aftermath”, the server had to undergo maintenance several more times, compensation has been given out and so on. But it still feels weird with the character not being as it used to be. I have since started playing on the other European server, because I don’t trust Seadrift anymore. One good thing about this whole issue was Trion’s communication, by the way. They did frequently post updates about what is going on! I did feel it would be a bit unfair to the company to post this complaint here without also posting the positive aspect of it.
Now that my complaints are out there, look forward to “My personal top 5 of 2015” list coming soon (as soon as I have made my final decision on which games should be on there and at which position :p).