Back in the day, all sorts of broken games made their way to store shelves. Screwed up translation was common, for instance; where do you think "All your base are belong to us?" came from, anyway?
During the infancy period of this industry, it really wasn't hard to find games that should never have made it through QA testing…and that was probably because many times, there was no such thing as QA. But even up through last generation, we'd occasionally get the hotly anticipated title that just flopped big time, leading to months – and even years – of good ol' mocking laughter. Oh, make no mistake, I'm a very optimistic person in general and I hate to see games fail. It's quite depressing.
But now it's almost…I don't know, boring, I guess. It's almost inevitable that most any game on your "most anticipated" list will end up being great. It's an absolutely absurd thing to complain about and in fact, someone should really take notice of this phenomenon, 'cuz it doesn't happen in other entertainment venues. I mean, there's basically no chance Assassin's Creed III will flop. There's basically no chance Bioshock Infinite will be disappointing. There's basically no chance that you'll play God of War: Ascension and go, "damn, I'm surprised, this sucks ."
In fact, even games that you may have been on the fence about, that weren't guaranteed hits, are coming up big. Look at this past week; both Darksiders II and Sleeping Dogs turned out great. Besides Duke Nukem Forever (which could very well be the most epic fail of all time) and Haze , I'm not sure I can put my finger on many colossally disappointing titles. Sure, we've seen games that suck but 95% of the time, we all expected them to suck. If we expect them to be fantastic, they most often are.
That's really pretty amazing when you stop to think about it; I can't think of a game that totally betrayed me this generation. I was even iffy on Haze so I wasn't completely shocked when it blew. It's actually a lot easier to find diamonds in the rough, titles that didn't get a ton of attention but were still really good. Who thinks The Last Of Us will flop? Seriously? Crysis 3 ? Right. Dead Space 3 ? I'm guessing not. You can always tick off hardcore fans but in terms of quality , it's just so rare to see out-and-out flops from hotly anticipated projects.
It's awesome but still, I kinda miss the floppity flop flops. They could be amusing. By the way, anybody who complains about the state of video game quality today needs a sock to the head, or they need to go back in time and stand in front of the game rental shelf at Blockbuster. Maybe in the late 80s or early 90s. Good luck with that.