Everyone has their own list of disappointing moments in the history of gaming. I mean, there have been so many of the years that you could easily make a top 100 disappointing moments in gaming list. However, that would be far too long of a post for me to write, and indeed, for you to read.
As such, we’re going to keep this list to the same, standard length for me. So, without further adieu, here are my top 7 disappointing moments in gaming.
7. Phantasy Star Online 2 English Release
Interestingly enough, this won’t be the only entry on the list that focuses on a game that wasn’t released in English. The Phantasy Star games have always been amazing RPGs, ever since they came out on the Sega Master System. The series has had die-hard fans for decades because of how great the games are. On top of that, the fan base increased even higher when Phantasy Star Online came out on the Dreamcast and then the Nintendo Gamecube.
Eventually, a sequel to Phantasy Star Online was announced and released in 2012 on Windows. It has since been ported to a variety of consoles, including the Nintendo Switch this year! So, it has been going strong for 6 years already.
However, despite all of these ports to different consoles over the years, there’s one thing that hasn’t happened. Phantasy Star Online 2 has never been officially released outside of the Japanese market! There is an unofficial patch for the Windows version, but that’s just not the same. And now that it has been ported over to the Nintendo Switch, you would think that we would have heard something… Nope.
6. Retro (Coleco) Chameleon
This entry isn’t so much about the Retro Chameleon “console” itself, but rather the events behind it and what it means for a lot of Kickstarter projects. I’m actually a big fan of Kickstarter as it can lead to some amazing projects if they get funded (some of the projects featured in my Top 7 Kickstarter Projects from a while ago didn’t). However, the Retro Chameleon, originally known as the Coleco Chameleon, shows how the site can be used for the completely wrong purposes.
The project was supposed to be a crowdsourced console that paid homage to the Coleco and Jaguar, able to play new games and classic games. However, trust was quickly broken when the developers took forever to show off a prototype… Yet, as it turned out, that prototype was actually a SNES inside a Jaguar shell. From there, everything kept getting worse.
Eventually, Coleco pulled out of the project, so they had to change the name to the Retro Chameleon. After that, it wasn’t long before the whole thing fell apart. This burnt a huge amount of people, leading to massive distrust of Kickstarter as a whole. Oh, and as it stands right now, the Atari VCS seems to be running the risks of repeating these events.
5. Scalebound’s Cancellation
The next entry on this list of my most disappointing moments in gaming would have to be the fate of Scalebound. Now, it’s pretty obvious that I’m a PlayStation fan foremost, but I’m not one of those annoying people who will automatically determine that a game on the other console is terrible. Scalebound is one of those times. It looked like it was going to be an absolutely phenomenal action game that could have swayed me to invest in an Xbox One.
Then, the unthinkable happened… As Scalebound was nearing the end of its development, Microsoft decided to completely scrap the project. This potentially amazing game that I had been following, despite primarily being a PlayStation gamer, was cancelled.
This has happened with games throughout the years, such as Star Wars 1313, which was also very disappointing. However, Scalebound was a bigger disappointment for me, simply because it seemed like it was going to a truly awesome game. Here’s hoping it gets revived at some time in the future (but I doubt it).
4. Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse European Release
I mentioned that Phantasy Star Online 2’s lack of an English release wasn’t going to be the only release-related entry on this list. Fatal Frame has long been my favourite Survival Horror series ever made. In fact, I would say that Fatal Frame 2 is the best Survival Horror game, period. So when Fatal Frame 4: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse was announced for the Wii, I was very tempted to go out and buy one.
However, it came to pass that the developers (Tecmo) decided to only release Fatal Frame 4 in Japan. The reason behind this is entirely understandable – over in the West, more action-orientated “horror” games like Resident Evil 5 were huge at the time. Fatal Frame is completely the opposite, featuring slow movement and a focus on atmosphere. Because of this, the developers decided it wasn’t financially worthwhile to release the game in the West.
Sadly, this meant that those of us who were waiting for it would never be able to get an official English language release. There was, like Phantasy Star Online 2, an unofficial patch released… But as stated before, that just isn’t the same as a real, official release.
3. The Closure of Sacnoth
You’re probably sick of hearing about my love for Koudelka by now (but if not, check out my review here or my Q&A session with the director here). However, we’re going to go back to it once again for this entry. Sacnoth were one of the development companies behind Koudelka and the follow-up Shadow Hearts games. They created unique and original J-RPGs that had great storylines and brilliant characters.
However, they didn’t really make any other games. This meant that their J-RPGs were so great because all of their focus was on them, but it also meant that when Shadow Hearts: From The New World didn’t sell well, they were in trouble.
Eventually, Sacnoth closed its doors after being dissolved by then-parent company Aruze. This was the definitive end of the Koudelka/Shadow Hearts series that had captured my heart so much. It still pains me to know that I’ll never get another game in that series… In fact, I would be happier and more excited about an E3 announcement of a new Koudelka or Shadow Hearts game than anything else that could be announced (yes, even Half Life 3).
2. Kojima and Konami
It should come as no surprise that I would feature this controversy on a list of the most disappointing moments in gaming. However, I’m not talking about how this affected us gamers directly. Instead, I am talking about how disappointing it was to see this happen to Hideo Kojima. This was a man who was a massive part of Konami’s ongoing success. He created and grew the Metal Gear franchise into an absolute juggernaut series that drew as much hype as Grand Theft Auto, and was set to do the same with Silent Hill (oh, we’ll get to that).
Yet, despite all of this, Konami obviously didn’t value what they had. There were a number of disagreements that led to Kojima’s departure from Konami. Then, Konami even went as far as to remove Kojima’s name from Metal Gear Solid 5!
Kojima has gone on to create his own development studio, but the fact that Konami could treat him the way that they did was so disappointing to see. It also helped to show how far Konami had changed from the development company that we had loved in the past.
1. Silent Hills Cancellation
Well, here we are; my number 1 most disappointing moment in gaming history. It follows on directly from the previous entry, as Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro were working on Silent Hills together. From the P.T demo, it seemed like the series was finally going to get a return to form entry after the likes of Downpour and Homecoming. Everything was set for this to be one of the best Silent Hill games since Silent Hill 2 (reviewed here) and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (reviewed here).
However, it was simply not to be. Amidst the turmoil between Kojima and Konami, it was announced the Silent Hills had been cancelled. This also led to the P.T demo being removed as well, completely taking away any means to play any version of the game.
Admittedly, we did get Death Stranding out of this cancellation, but at the time of writing, we still don’t really know what that game actually is. And as a huge survival horror fan and lover of the Silent Hill series, this cancellation hit me right in the gaming heart. It was pretty much the final nail in the coffin for one of my favourite video game series.
And That’s All Folks
Those were my top 7 most disappointing moments in gaming. Even with great games being cancelled and development companies treating their staff terribly, this list is only the tip of the iceberg, so let me know your most disappointing moments in the comments below!