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Reader Results > Staff Results

Inevitable, even with so many good games to be had, there will be games that, for whatever reason, don't live up to the hype, the expectation, or the quality of its predecessors. These games may not necessarily be bad on their own (though plenty are!), but a game that promises much and doesn't deliver can be a poor game indeed. With so many RPGs to choose from on a variety of platforms, RPGamers have the luxury of being picky. With that in mind, the readers vote on the game that disappointed them most during the past year, and those become our Letdown category. in 2004, there were a lot of good games, and few really stuck out that readers as a whole truly despised.

Biggest Letdown 2004 Winner
Fable

Much like many disappointing games in the past, Fable is a title that promised plenty, but delivered only a fraction of it. For example, Fable was originally supposed to sport online play, downloadable content, and other tie-ins to Xbox Live; all of these were 'nerfed' during the latter ends of production. Many players were disappointed by how short the required storyline path of the game was, which could be defeated in less than 10 hours. Whether this is because the side stories are hard to find or whether there is little motivation to get them is anyone's guess.

The final thorn in many players' sides was that, despite the freedom to be good or evil, it was rather difficult to stay evil. This stems partially from the fact that killing monsters, with little exception, is considered a positive action and will move the player more towards the good side of the spectrum - or, at least, out of the bad side of it. All of these factors, along with an overabundance of silliness include marriages to males and females in every town as well as a wearable dress item, meant that the fabled Fable, while breaking many sales records at its launch, found many XBox users wishing there were more RPGs to choose from.

Second Place - Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles

Tripping into second on the Letdown list is an unsurprising entry. Nearly every year, while a Final Fantasy game will generally win many top awards, it invariably ends up in the disappointments as well. This year, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles receives the dubious pleasure of being second place in the Letdown category. The hardware cost of Crystal Chronicles alone (a GameCube, and a GameBoy Advance for each player) left many Final Fantasy fans in the cold, shaking an angry fist at Square-Enix. Many that did play found that something, the spark that makes a game out of the Final Fantasy series feel like, missing from Crystal Chronicles. Toss in a single player mode that is on the boring side, and unless an RPGamer has a lot of friends with GBAs, they're out of luck.

Third Place - Final Fantasy XI

On the note of Final Fantasy games, a second title in the series made it into the hall of shame for the year 2004. Much like Crystal Chronicles, starting up an account for Final Fantasy XI on the PS2 was, to many, prohibitively expensive. Combine together the cost of a PS2, a hard drive, an online network adapter, the game, future expansions, as well as a monthly fee, and many Final Fantasy fans screamed in fury and rage. The ones that did get into it found the game had many problems: plenty of immature players as well as those looking to use the game to make real life cash ruins the atmosphere for many. Add in harsh penalties for dying as well as a slow level grind, and it's easy to see why many readers threw up their hands in frustration and voted for Final Fantasy XI's PS2 version for the bronze spot in Letdown.

by Anna Marie Whitehead

Dishonorable Mention - Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories


Dishonorable Mention - Tales of Symphonia

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