Welcome to Part 2 of 2020 in review! Today, we’ll look at the top 10 worst games I played/reviewed in 2020, along with honorable mentions. For a game to qualify on this list:
-It must have launched in 2020. If it’s a port, it must have been the first version I played.
-It can’t be a single game from a compilation of retro games, it has to be something so bad it brings the whole package down (like a bad compilation)
Besides that, it’s the usual. Onto the list, to make it snappy:
10: Space Invaders Invincible Collection (JP, Switch)– The only import on this list, along with being the only game I didn’t review for the site. You may or may not have seen a review for Space Invaders Forever, which was built from this for a US release and only focused on the newer games, but this entry is for the JP version in particular and thus Forever doesn’t count for the list.
You may be wondering “How could they mess up Space Invaders?” Well, while it contains a good amount of well emulated arcade games and three modern ones, Taito and Gotch did a massive, massive stupid design choice that totally ruined this game for me: you can’t save high scores locally in any of the arcade games. Try with a save state, and they’ll hard reset after you load it, no matter what you do. It’s completely absurd, totally stupid for an arcade compilation on a portable system, and it’s overly expensive to boot. While there are some good games here, the lack of the main reason to buy these on-the-go to begin with makes this an easy 10th spot on the list, even if this is still very playable and fine enough if you don’t mind the excessive focus on online leaderboards.
9: Get 10 Quest (Switch)– A barebones, generic puzzler with not much going for it. When this is on the worst of 2020 list and isn’t even that bad, (just bland and generic) that at least proves that the stuff I covered and played in 2020 wasn’t all that bad!
8: Reed Remastered (PS4)- Barely squeaking onto the list due to the PS4 version coming out as 2020 kicked off, Reed Remastered is a simplistic platformer that is pretty boring, yet brief with OK ideas here and there. Really the biggest crime this game commits is the fact that it’s incredibly boring, dull, and not much going for it… And considering how it’s on this list, that indicates the low amount of absolutely horrendous games I had to deal with this year, which is a good thing!
7: Reed 2 (PS4)– Second verse, same as the first, only with worse level design for an even more irritating experience. I honest to god can’t say much else than this, it’s just so boredom inducing I didn’t want anything to do with it after my review.
6: Reason: Casual Puzzle: (Switch)- A Sokoban game that’s generic and dull, with almost little reason to buy it over anything else in the genre, and is pretty generic to boot. I can’t honestly say much else, yet again being a case of a game being more pointless/dull than outright bad.
5: Code Shifter (Switch)- This was the first big disappointment/bad game of 2020, and one that still stings badly today. A crossover platformer with Arc System Works/Technos characters should be a dream game: but even with some godlike remixes, the irritating, generic art style and dull gameplay made Code Shifter a game I had to force myself to try and find anything good about: and since the only good thing was the music and spritework, I honestly can’t recommend this one at all, and my opinion of this has dropped even further since the review due to the lack of any effort to improve the game’s problems.
4: Liege Dragon (Switch, 2020)– Kemco RPGs are an acquired taste, doubly so when it’s a game developed by EXE Create, who has a hit or miss record with making good quality RPGs, let alone ones with decent production values. So here comes a remake of one of their earlier RPGS, which looked pretty good for a late flip phone game, and they made it look way uglier, more generic, and it plays terrible and feels like it’s been barely modernized or updated. So combine a bad presentation downgrade with an outdated gameplay style that’s paint-by-numbers, and you easily have one of the weakest Kemco RPGs you could possibly buy.
3: Summer with the Shiba Inu: A visual novel about a mysterious island ran by dogs should lead to a fun and amusing visual novel, yet unfortunately Shiba Inu felt like one of the biggest wastes of times I’ve dealt with with the genre to date. The story is completely uninteresting, feels like it leads nowhere and acts as if it has little to no context whatsoever, leading to the character being really hard to even care about. All in all, this felt more like a waste of time over anything else, and I just couldn’t care about this one.
2: Arc of Alchemist (Switch)- Congrats! Arc of Alchemist got the lowest score of all the games I reviewed this year yet is not the worst game I played. Why? Because at the core, I could see a semi-decent game with an OK gameplay loop. The badness comes from the godawful framerate and inexcusable performance showing that just because the Switch sounds like a tempting port platform, doesn’t mean every game ever should be thrown onto it. The fact the game didn’t crash on me and I somehow got stockholm’d into playing a game with single digit framerate for nearly four hours at least makes me think if this ran at full 60FPS on another system/upgraded switch, some fun could be had with this desert romp. Congrats Ifi, you somehow dodged a bullet while also proving a good example of how not to port to Switch.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX (Switch). Yep, I’m going there. The same series that brought me my favorite game in history, decided to follow that up with the most paint-by-numbers safe remake imaginable. No crazy remixes, (still uses the lame chiptunes from the DS version for most of the songs, just with a “fresher vibe”) no new story content (save for some videos on youtube, rendered in-engine, in Japanese only… OK, that makes sense for fleshing out the world in a story focused RPG), no voice acting or any sort of quirky animation/cutscene tricks, or effort to shake up the original plot and expand upon it in ways other remakes did, (Ys Oath in Felghana, I/II Chronicles, FF7 Remake, Pokemon Let’s Go) but just a paint by numbers remake of the original game that fixes the original’s awful difficulty curve to be more in line with Explorers of Sky… And that’s basically it.
Fine for newcomers, a lot of my friends dug this game as a PMD intro, but as a hardcore veteran to MD as a whole, this was easily the most disappointing game all year, even if it isn’t a bad game. (hence why it’s not on the core list) On the other hand, Shiren 5 absolutely obliterates this game out of the water with better production values all across the board, more in-depth gameplay that will suit fans of Super’s Emera system and level of challenge, lots of content including new dungeons for the switch port, (DX only added some oddball ones, nothing outright extending the post-game) and just a better experience all around, and that’s the second HD port of a ten year old game. Spike Chunsoft can do way better with the next PMD for sure, remake or not.
The worst game of 2020 is without a doubt…
1: Galaxy Warfighter (Steam). Dear god. I’ve never snap-judgement quit a review game in my life before this one as I earnestly try to give every game I touch a chance, hence why it can take a bit for a review to come out for some games as I get really stubborn about making sure I know and am familiar with enough of it to give it a spin. But Galaxy Warfighter gets the top spot easily for being a game I couldn’t last more than ten minutes playing before feeling my soul leave my body. Devoid of any creativity, love, fun factor, variety, or any sort of essence that makes a shmup great to begin with, Galaxy Warfighter has got to have the dumbest way to pad a game’s length out I’ve ever seen: recycle the same assets over and over again, with little variety, little to engage, little to do besides upgrade and repeat. If you don’t quit as fast as I did, then you’ll just not be satisfied, and this should have honestly not released in the current state. It doesn’t even serve as a scorechaser, the main focus of horizontal shooters back in the day! For that, I am confident giving it my worst of 2020 award.
And that’s that! The worst of 2020 was honestly not as bad as other years, which is both a testament to how few bad games I played this year in general: most of any bad games I played came out the year before. Yet, now we get to the exciting part, the BEST of 2020! Tune in New Year’s Eve as we conclude the 2020 Year in Review.