The 2009 Endies: Day 3
The Phantom Menace Award
This award goes to the game that made me giddy with anticipation, only to dash my hopes like so many Jar-Jar Binks. To qualify for this award, a game must: 1. Have had a substantial amount of prerelease hype; 2. Utterly fail in reaching my expectations; and 3. Have some sort of positive quality.
And the Endy goes to...
Ah, Scribblenauts. You had such potential. In fact, you still have so much potential. But you squander it. Over the past couple of years, it seemed that this game got better with every showing and the press went along for the ride. I waited patiently and as the game neared release, I imagined all of the ways I'd outsmart the level designers. But then something strange happened: the reviews started coming out. Some were bad, some were very good, but there were too many mediocre scores to simply ignore. them all I thought to myself, "Surely they are being too harsh. They've forgotten the joy of creativity,berating the originality they so often call for." But they were right.
It's hard to say what Scribblenauts' biggest problem is simply because the controls and physics are so equally terrible. The inability to move Maxwell with the D-pad is both frustrating and mind boggling. Why not allow the player the option? Why force such an unwieldy control scheme? Why does he run with such gusto into assorted pits, sharp objects, and menacing creatures? Did any of the developers even play the game?
And who decided a single rope should be able to pull a boulder off of a ledge with just its own weight? Why are the air vents so strong that they are able to lift steel girders and entire buildings? Again, did anyone actually play this game? I don't completely blame the developers for the fact that I mostly used a select few objects to make my way through 200+ levels. Some of that falls on me and my lack of imagination, but when so many items behave wildly different from what is expected, it makes sense to stick with athe dozen that are (relatively) predictable.It really seems that the developers spent too much of their time building a rich dictionary. If they had worked more on the gameplay, one can't help but think of what could've been accomplished. Here's hoping Scribblenauts 2 learns frome its forebear's mistakes.
Runner-Up: Scribblenauts (DS)
So disappointing that it also takes the runner-up spot. Seriously, this game is disappointing.
Closing Ceremony - Day 3
And so we come to the end of a very short day 3. All that remains is the ultimate prize, the grandaddy of them all, the big kahuna, the lobster stuffed with steak sandwich, my GOTY. See you then.