The villain Ramirez of Skies of Arcadia once said, "Wherever there is light, there is darkness." Never is that more true than when it comes award time. You cannot have a year with nothing but great RPGs; something has to stand out as a less than stellar game. While this isn't an award that we happily give out, it is something that must be done. Here are the biggest letdowns of 2007.
Heroes of Mana had two basic problems. First, unit path finding within the game was bad, really bad. Taken from our review by Majed Athab, "Due to the rigid invisible grid that battlefields are set on, there is no diagonal movement. This causes units to move around other units and take longer routes that result in inefficient maneuvering and dangerous consequences. Combine this with small screens and little room for units to breathe, getting one unit from point A to point B can be frustrating at times. Sometimes, units will just stand in place doing nothing if their path is blocked."
And when (or if) you finally got used to that comes problem number two. The controls broke every RTS genre standard. They weren't horrid, but they were so far from standard that it was like relearning how to ride a bike.
Mistwalker's Blue Dragon, envisioned by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi with characters designs by Akira Toriyama and music from veteran composer Nobuo Uematsu. This game had to be amazing, didn't it? Sadly, Blue Dragon is victim of our high expectations for it. This is not to say the game is bad, it just doesn't reach the epic status that many hoped that it would.
Dawn of Mana just got too repetitive, and the level design was pushing the limits of understanding. You had to wander around aimlessly trying to figure out where to go. The map does nothing, and the radar does little. And the guide for the game is among the worst I've ever seen.
by Jonathon Self, Majed Athab, Michael Cunningham