The Near Misses of 2012

Last year, we looked back at those “near-miss” reviews that caused a bit of consternation amongst our readers. These are games that we ranked as a 3 or below, only to find that they had vocal and ardent defenders in the comments section. Now that it’s 2013, we want to take a look back at our most-disputed reviews of 2012, and highlight the most insightful comments from our readers.

Mass Effect Infiltrator

When Mass Effect Infiltrator was first released, we were shocked by how great the graphics were– and how bad the combat system was. Instead of allowing you to target enemies freely, you had to wait for a reticle to appear. Even worse, the reticle wouldn’t toggle on if you weren’t at just the right angle, or if you ran at the enemy and closed the gap. While Mass Effect Infiltrator was eventually patched to offer an alternate control scheme, causing us to raise our score from a 1 (avoid) to a 3 (good), we had already received a plasma blast of heat from our readers.

We said: “We had high hopes for Mass Effect Infiltrator. The graphics are clearly outstanding, but the gameplay and control issues ruin the fun… Even if you’re the most die-hard of the die-hard Mass Effect fans, this painful-to-play shooter is not worth your time.”

You said: “Beautiful game mechanics and graphics! Great on-the-go mass effect 3 companion. I’ve played almost every fps and cover shooter game the iPhone has to offer, and this one definitely pulls ahead of most if not all.” -DBa11_r

Number of comments: 86

Chaos Rings 2

Chaos Rings 2 was another highly-anticipated game from a major developer that we thought fell short. While the first Chaos Rings was a groundbreaking mobile RPG, the sequel reminded us a bit too much of all the previous RPGs we’ve played. Minor touchscreen and gameplay annoyances also kept this lush-looking game from reaching the heights of its predecessor. But some of you strongly disagreed, calling Chaos Rings 2 the best RPG on iOS.

We said: “Chaos Rings II is a very good representation of the genre, though it doesn’t really do anything so outstanding as to elevate it to a new level or rise above. But its story and characters stand tall among the best, and we recommend it to anyone who is a fan of this type of game– and perhaps even some who aren’t.”

You said: “i always prefer japanese voices in these rpg’s. and i also believe i’m not alone in this. look at all the undub projects. i didn’t see any problems with the touchscreen controls. and never minded another jrpg with the same formula as long as it’s done right. in summary this game is a 4+ for me :)” -ALi KILIÇ

Number of comments: 19

Rage of Bahamut

This free-to-download card-battling game clearly struck a chord with our readers. 248 comments were left on our review, though most of them were from readers leaving their ID code so that they would receive bonus rupees for referring others to the game. Still, any game that creates this level of fan devotion must be doing something right. Our reviewer thought that the repetitive quests and cheesy fantasy tropes kept it from Must Have status, but the vast army of commenters suggest otherwise.

We said: “First impressions could cause a player to disregard this game, and several features of the interface don’t help this matter. The breadth of content, combined with the active community and developers who seem like they’re sticking with keeping things fresh, can make Rage of Bahamut something you check again and again…”

You said: “Be prepared to spend the next three weeks glued to your phone. This is a TCG that really comes down to collecting, which is my favorite part of card games. There are several levels of rarity for cards, and the top cards can be worth hundreds of dollars. If you loved collecting Pokemon cards or MTG cards, then this game is definitely for you.” -gravecow

Number of comments: 248

Dead Trigger

Madfinger’s sharp-looking zombie shooter Dead Trigger debuted at $.99, and was later marked down permanently to free. That’s because in addition to the undead, it was crawling with freemium gimmicks like overly expensive weapons. This freemium model split our readers down the middle– some lamented the diminished gameplay, while others celebrated the quality graphics and bloody entertainment.

We said: “If you approach Dead Trigger looking for anything other than an intense, fast-paced bloodbath, then you’re going to be disappointed. It may look like an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 game, but it plays very much like a game built for iOS– which, of course, it is.”

You said: “This game is really good with all the levels and the amazing graphics are perfect. The game can get a bit repetitive and the in app purchase hurts the game alot. The guns are overpriced getting free gold is really tough. The game is still the best zombie shooter so far.” -Baldemar

Number of comments: 16

Saturday Morning RPG

Clearly, developer Mighty Rabbit remembers the 80s. Every character and item in Saturday Morning RPG makes reference to the fact that 30 years ago, Michael Jackson, Mr. T, and G.I. Joe were the coolest things on the planet. The game, however, wasn’t as much fun when it first launched. We originally gave it a 2 out of 4, for a shallow combat system and a glitchy menu that would make it too easy to erase your progress. Some of these were fixed in an update, so we raised our score to a 3, but not before some of our readers responded with pure fury.

We said: “Based on the first, free episode, we think Saturday Morning RPG has some promise, though those who didn’t grow up in the 80’s probably won’t get as much out of it. Even if you like Saturday Morning RPG’s style, the battles can be really tough and drawn out, so you’ll have to be at the top of your game in both reflexes and finger-mashing endurance to stand a decent chance.”

You said: “Battles are average as far as RPGs go, or easy depending on the battle. Battle frequecy is about average for an RPG. Battles are definitely not drawn out or overly difficult. The right timing to defend adds to the gameplay.” -Telltales

Number of comments: 16

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