Welcome friends, 2015 is nearly at an end and like always, many sites are doing their best and worst lists of 2015. However, just like last year, I feel like we should look back and rather remember the best or the worst, we should remember the most disappointing works of 2015, the ones we wanted to be good so much, but didn’t deliver.
Why do a most disappointing list? Mostly because I find that works that are disappointing have more of an impact to me then works that were just bad. There were plenty of works this year that were just plain bad and I quickly forgot about them. But for something disappointing, there were expectations for it to be good and you remember that disappointment.
You wake up at the middle of the night, cold sweat going down your forehead, just remembering about how much it disappointed you. Then one day, you find yourself waking up with blood just scattered around the place! You are wearing nothing but your dad’s old gym socks and there is a Dutch waiter yelling at you to your left and a collection of Jams to your right. The police are surrounding the building and are about to break through the door, but all you can think of is HOW DISAPPOINTING THAT DAMN FILM WAS! AHHHHHHHH!
Well maybe not that far, but you get what I mean right? I mean right? Wait where are you all going?
Well for those who are sticking around, just to clarify because some got confused last year, something can still be disappointing without being bad. Some of the works on this list I enjoyed very much, but had things in them that made it disappointing or didn’t live up to my expectations or the hype. However, there are others on this list that were both bad and disappointing because they could have been so good. This is also true for works I expected to not to like such as Ant-Man and Terminator 5 hence why they are not on this list.
But with no further delays, here are my personal disappointments of 2015 (please don’t kill me?)
(Obviously, spoilers ahead)
Honorary Mention: Agent Carter
Agent Carter isn’t part of the main list because my disappointment is not with the show itself which was great and I’m glad it is getting a second season. No, my disappointment comes from the mistreatment the show received here in the UK.
From what I have been able to figure out, this wasn’t Marvel’s fault. It seems that the UK channel 4 had the first running rights for the show, but decided not to air it and then sat on it instead of letting anyone else show it. Months later, FX (or FOX in the US) began showing it, however they gave the show little fanfare or advertisement meaning very few knew that the show was now airing in the UK. Plus, by the time FX was showing it, the show was now available on streaming and download sites, both legal ones like ITunes and illegal ones.
Needless to say, it was a disaster and Agent Carter did very poorly here. It is a fine testament to how idiotic UK networks are when it comes to showing foreign shows.
However, one good thing that came out of this mess was the awesomeness of Observation Deck and its users as you guys helped me watch the show and were really super about not spoiling it. Thanks guys, you are awesome (:
Now on to the main list. This list is alphabetical and not intended to be a best to worst list.
Avengers Age of Ultron
Some of you who know me may have seen this coming but I personally feel that this movie was a mess. It relied too much on dues ex machinas such as the helicarrier and the NEXUS, suffered from really bad editing and seemed more concerned about setting up later movies then telling its own.
A big problem I had was with the titular Ultron himself. While I get what they were trying to do with him, I personally found the execution lacking and made Ultron come across as unnecessarily whiny. It was not helped that I found his design goofy looking, with eye brows feeling like a needless addition which took away a lot of the intimidation the design could have had.
Like I said before, the editing, was shockingly poor for a movie of this magnitude. Many of the fight scenes felt poorly paced and dialogue felt awkwardly placed and stilted. Hopefully, Civil War will learn from this and make sure the editing is top notch.
Also, if all your coda is five seconds of a character who isn’t even in the film and has no real significance to the events… Just don’t bother.
Ultimately, it was a sub-par entry in the MCU. While not the worst and nowhere as bad as films like Iron Man 2 and Thor The Dark World, it still was an inferior film to the original Avengers and had some really big flaws.
Batman Arkham Knight
Let’s get this out of the way, the PC version of this game was a disaster. There is no way around that and given how both Arkham City and Arkham Origins were also really bad on PC and were heavily criticized for it, it’s shocking how Warner Bros allowed this to be realized in that condition. Luckily, I had bought the PS4 version and apart from the odd graphical error, my play through with the game was bug free. Still, I really hope everyone who wanted a refund got their refund and Warner Bros learns from this experience.
The game itself is okay, but feels incredibly tired. The side missions seemed incredibly repetitive and seemed to lack a lot of the punch they had in earlier entries. The only ones I found remotely memorable were Man-Bat and Professor Pig while the rest just seemed like disappointments.
The story isn’t much better, with Oracle being treated like garbage for most of the game, the story being badly paced throughout and like many before have said, it really does feel like the population of Gotham should have stayed as it would have made the gameplay more interesting. Also, don’t even get me started on the amazingly weak plot twist of who the Arkham Knight is. I mean if they weren’t even going to try, they shouldn’t have bothered making it a twist.
The best part of the game was the Joker who Mark Hamill really makes come to life in this performance. My personal favourite moment is a musical number sequence that happens halfway through the main story and I’ll admit I had Batman hide behind a table so I could hear the entire thing.
Arkham Knight is not a bad game, but it could have been so much more then what it was. If the side missions had been more fleshed out, the story given much more weight and less trope ridden and the weak twist removed, it could have been one of the best games in the series and possibly of 2015. As is, it’s just a good game but one of the weaker ones in the series.
Captain Phasma’s Underutilization
(again spoiler warnings, if you haven’t watched the Force Awakens and wish not to be spoilt, please don’t read this.)
Star Wars the Force Awakens was overall an okay film but had flaws. However this entry is on one of my biggest disappointments with the film, the treatment of Captain Phasma.
Captain Phasma was a character I was really looking forward to, I even bought an action figure of the character. However, in the actual film, she barely does anything for most of the duration and then gets humiliated by Finn, Han and Chewie. What the hell, I wanted to see her do some action and instead she gets killed off either by the trash compactor or the planet blowing up.
And really? She had no trick up her sleeve, no trick to double cross them with the shield? Hell given how loyal she was to the First Order, I’m surprised she didn’t commit suicide rather than help the Resistance. What an absolute waste of a potentially interesting character, but then the Star Wars films have a history of doing that.
I really hope she appears in the sequels (even if it is a bit of a contrivance) because Gwendoline Christie is a great actress (she was one of the highlights of the fifth season of Game of Thrones) and so the character can be as awesome as I imagined her to be. However, I fear the damage to the character has already been done by her treatment in this movie. Like Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2, even if you make him really cool in later works, the character can be potentially haunted by their bad debut.
It would be like if in A New Hope, Vader did nothing for most of the film and when we last see him, Obi Wan is kicking him in the crotch. Even if they kept him looking and acting like a badass in Empire, the audience would still never take him truly seriously because we’d still remember Obi Wan kicking him in the crotch.
Again, I hope this isn’t the case and she gets to be awesome in the sequels. Maybe she can get some justice and throw Finn and Chewie down a trash compactor?
Dragon Ball Super
I’m just going to come out and say it. Dragon Ball GT so far was way better then Dragon Ball Super. At least GT tried to be its own thing and had some originality. It had Pan, Super 17, the Shadow Dragons and Vegeta with a moustache:
What has Super provided us so far? Very little.
Its biggest problem is with the fact that nearly all that it has been doing is just repeating the events of the last two films which is just not interesting. They even keep in some of the really stupid stuff from those movies like Android 18’s treatment in Resurrection F where for whatever reason, Krillin decides it would be better for her to stay home and look after their child… Even though Android 18 is far more powerful then Krillin and Freeza to their knowledge (18 has a base power level of 250 million compared to full power Freeza’s 120 million in the Freeza arc according to official sources).
What makes this worse is that most of the new material is dull and boring. While the first two episodes where cute and charming and seeing Vegeta at a rave is really fun, most of it feels like really bad filler and drags the pacing of the story to a halt. What makes this worse is that I know were going to get new material in the next arc which just makes me feel the show should have just started there.
Another major problem with the show is the treatment of its characters. The women rarely if at all get into the action and barely behave like they used to. I’ve mentioned the stupidity of Android 18 being left behind in the Resurrection F saga, but she isn’t the only one. Videl who was a badass who fought criminals and would fight to the bitter end is now nothing like her Z version and Chi-Chi has sadly gone back to her nagging wife stereotype she was in the first half of Z instead of the well-rounded woman she was in the original Dragon Ball and the second half of Dragon Ball Z. Bulma is the closest in character, but even she is heavily underutilised. To put it simply, when Reddit users are saying your show’s treatment of women is a we bit to old fashioned, then maybe the show has some serious problems.
But one of the worst offenders is the main character Goku who has lost most of his original anime and manga charm. Instead we get a rather selfish and callous version of Goku, whose only motivator is training and fighting. This became incredibly obvious early on in the way he treated King Kai and how little respect he showed him. It’s really unsettling and I really hope some of the charm and childlike wonder of the old Goku returns because at the moment, it’s only the performance of the great Masako Nozawa that’s keeping him from being a straight up annoyance to watch.
Then of course there is the animation. While sometimes looks great, other times it looks shockingly poor and outdated. Just look at it, LOOK AT IT!
Ultimately, it’s a really mediocre show that really needs to improve.
Again, like with Batman Arkham Knight, I didn’t hate Fallout 4 and overall it was a decent game. However, it does have some serious flaws to it that make it a weak entry in the series and made it a disappointment.
First of all this game has a really bad opening, even worse if you played as a woman like me. For whatever reason, the developers seemed to try to undermine the woman’s role and importance by not letting her contribute to the opening cinematic and not even letting her say the famous, “War, War Never Changes”. It’s all the male character, which given I wasn’t going to as play him, just made that sequence weird.
Not helped was the rest of the prologue which made it impossible for the player to be a gay or lesbian character because of the forced straight romance and lack of options. As many others have said before me, this was just a terrible prologue and why they thought making a series that has allowed you to be anyone you want, then forced you into this sort of story is anybody’s guess.
This is pretty much true for the entire main story, which lacks any real substance and never got me invested. It just didn’t seem to work and forced your character into choices and opinions I felt my character would never make. I avoided the main story for the longest time, only continuing it when I needed to complete companion quests and when I did, it was unsatisfactory to say the least.
Then there is the new conversation system which is way too simplified and vague to be an effective substitute for the dialogue options in the 3 era games. The worst for me is the really vague sarcastic option which can be anything and may or not be a type of remark I’d feel my character would make.
Then there were the bugs and glitches. For me, for some reason the save files didn’t work properly when I first played the game. Then, after about 20 hours of play, the game started crashing like mad. I still can’t believe that the game was released in that state and Bethesda should really get more backlash for that because they keep doing this with every release!
Again, overall this is not a bad game. But the horrible first impression, the glitches, the conversation system and so much more just damaged my game experience with this and made it feel so underwhelming. New Vegas is still the best game in the series in my opinion as it lacked most of these problems and felt like it had more to offer.
Game of Thrones season 5
I think it is easy to say that this was by far the weakest entry in the shows run. I’m not saying anything new there and just repeating what a lot of you have already said. As such this will likely be the shortest entry on this list.
For me, there are two main reasons why this season failed so badly. The first is that most of this season felt like padding. Season 4 also suffered from this, but season 5 takes the problems that season had and went even worse. I get that they were running out of material from the books to use, but they could of least made the filler interesting and enjoyable to watch. This is Naruto levels of filler poison.
The next problem is that this season tried way too hard to be shocking that it just failed and fell apart. There is of course the infamous Sansa rape scene which I agree was just horrible to watch and did nothing for the series overall. The deaths and horribleness, especially in the latter half of the season lacked much of the context and themes that the earlier seasons had.
Overall, I just couldn’t care about this season of Game of Thrones and will likely not be watching the next season, at least not for a while after its release.
This is one of the oddest film experiences I’ve had in a while because my opinion of the film changed significantly as time went on. When I first saw it in theatres, I didn’t like it overall, but I did like looking for all the little Easter Eggs and call backs to the earlier films. However, in later viewings, the film began to grow on me, but the all the Easter Eggs felt overdone and just seemed like an attempt to get some cheap nostalgia cred (though nowhere near as bad as Terminator 5 in that regard).
The human characters are very flat and many of them are not likeable. That isn’t to say that the other films had many interesting characters either, but at least I didn’t want them all dead. The children are annoying, they act like little self-entitled brats and feel really redundant. Even with the out of place divorce sub-plot, I really wish they hadn’t included them and it does feel like they exist because the original had children in it.
Then comes Owen Grady, aka Chris Pratt’s character. This guy tries way too hard to look and act cool and all it does is makes Chris look like a prat (sorry bad pun). He’s sexist, a general arse and is so lifeless, which is odd because I know the actor could do better. Overall, both Robert Muldoon from the original and of course Roland Tembo from the Lost World (best part of that film in my opinion) played by the late great Pete Postlethwaite were far better than Owen.
Then there is of course the death of Zoe which comes across as really mean spirited and cruel. Reading about what the director was trying to do, I do get it, but it could have been better executed and maybe we could have learned more about her before her death so we at least may have had more of an emotional connection.
I read before the movie was released that the film was supposed to be a satire of modern day blockbusters and the increase demand of sequels having to be bigger than the originals. When watching the film, I can see at times bits where it looked like it was trying to do this, but it feels like it was downplayed and the film was heavily meddled by executives.
This film is alright. It clearly has problems, but it does have some memorable moments.
Lastly, I have no real opinion on the heels. If it is what the actress wanted to wear then all power to her, but I can see why some may find them silly looking.
Microtransactions and Season Passes
This year brought a slew of AAA games with mircotransactions and season passes and honestly it is really sad. Microtransactions from a small indie developer or a free to play (as long as they are reasonable) are fine and understandable, but these are some of the biggest and most profitable game publishers and developers in the world, they don’t need these tactics.
In the case of microtransactions, the worst offender for me was Destiny which felt like they were treating their fan base for fools. What made the game so disappointing for me last year was that it had so little content when it was released that I felt like I was cheated. But then the DLC came and after over £50 worth of DLC (and forcing people to pay by locking out content for people who didn’t buy the expansion packs), the game was finally worth the initial asking price. Of course, other good games like the Witcher 3 gives you tons of content right of the bat, plus free dlc between worthwhile paid DLC to encourage customer trust. But obviously, we don’t want that do we?
But of course, this is when things went from bad to worse. From making Xbox users pay the same amount despite getting less content, to taking content out of the game to promote Red Bull, the game began to feel like it was treating its user base like chumps. But then came the microtransactions and it was utterly appalling. I mean they were expecting people to pay money for emotes, things you get for free in many other games. That is just a weaselly business tactic and doesn’t create any customer trust at all.
Then comes season passes which went out of hand this year. We had games like Fallout 4 for example who were releasing season passes, even though Bethesda didn’t know what they were going to be selling which is just silly and feels like jumping the gun.
Then there were examples of overly expensive season passes like Batman Arkham Knight and Star Wars Battlefront, the latter of which was heavily criticized for its lack of content, especially compared to its predecessors. Both were incredibly vague in what they were actually offering and in Arkham Knight’s case, many were disappointed in the little content it offered.
And then of course there was Evolve (aka, that game you completely forgot existed). A game that not only released with 44 paid DLC (on a game that was also criticized for it’s lack of content) but then had the nerve to have not one, but two season passes. And lets not even get started with Dead or Alive 5 Last Round having also two season passes at £74 each.
I really hope next year, AAA game developers calm down with these type of business tactics. Most psychologists will tell you the problems with using microtransactions in these sorts of games and to quote Jim Sterling:
“Microtransactions aren’t optional – they are always designed to be bought because no business creates a product it doesn’t want to sell. Hence, gameplay is always affected somehow, even if you never buy them. Something is done to try and tempt you, because that’s how freemium elements work...
...If your big selling point, your major justification, for using microtransactions is, “You don’t have to buy them,” then why the F*** are you selling it? No company ever gets around to telling us why these microtransactions are GOOD. They always have to DEFEND them.”
Also, to those who keep using the, “It’s to help developers feed their families” argument, no it isn’t. Most of the programmers, artists etc are likely never going to see a penny of that money and is nearly always going to the publisher. These aren’t indie developers, things don’t work like that.
Star Wars Dark Disciple
Star Wars was the thing of 2015, for better or worse. For most of us, it was everywhere and was unescapable. Some of it was good and funny like Rebels while others was just bad. Sadly Dark Disciple was in the bad.
For those who don’t know, Dark Disciple is based off the script of an unreleased storyline from the Star Wars The Clone Wars CGI series. Personally, I’d rather they had never released it because it killed off one my favourite characters from that show, Asajj Ventress. What made it even worse for me was that it felt like she was out of character for most of it and it had an even bigger impact, it killed off the Night Sisters entirely.
One of my biggest criticisms of the new EU is that it feels like it isn’t taking any chances and is just repeating old stories. It makes reading the books dull because it just feels like more of the same. The Clone Wars though did bring us plenty of new concepts and ideas to the Star Wars lore and two of those things were the Night Sisters and Magick. Both were very interesting and were just rich in new story ideas that I was really hoping we learn more of them. What is magick? You don’t have to be a force user to use it and is more ritualistic I know that, but what is it?
But no, the series wiped most of the Night Sisters out, an earlier comic killed off Talzin in a pathetic battle with General Grievous and now Asajj is dead. Way to go there EU, you just wasted one of the most new and interesting ideas you had for subpar works. Good job.
I really hope we see more Magick users in the new EU because I really want it to be explored and see what it can really do.
This is a show I will defend because it gets unfairly dismissed because it is animation. Why in 2015 do people still think animation can’t be taken seriously? It’s just plain stupid, but yet you see it all the time. Hell, people refused to acknowledge it as part of the arrow/flashverse because its animation which I’m sorry is just being a dick and a pompous prat.
Vixen for its short run is really damn good and more people if they can (I’ll get back to that) should watch it because it is really worth your time. Vixen is pretty damn cool and a great addition to that universe and it is just really good to see some great superhero animation again.
So if I like it so much, why is it on this list? Well two reasons.
The first is the number of episodes we got. I don’t mind the fact that the episodes were short. Shows like Dragon Ball Z Abridged and Red vs. Blue have shown that you can do a lot in that time frame. The problem is that I feel it should have had more episodes just to expand on somethings and help expand the characters.
The second reason is, like with Agent Carter, this series screwed me over trying to watch it. Even though the series was an online only series, the CW still felt it was a good idea to region lock it. Why? Not many foreign distributers are going to spend money to show a series that is half an hour long and just annoyed many fans who were looking forward to watching it.
Overall, it was a great little show that should have been longer and was screwed over by the CW. If I was doing this best to worse, this would most definitely be the best. It’s just great to see good superhero animation in a year where the Marvel animation is utter crap and some fans are dismissing animation entirely.
Well there you have it. I hope all of you are having happy holidays and enjoy the coming New Year. I’ll be running away now from the mobs of angry fans, but feel free to talk about what you guys found to be the most disappointing.