You know when you go to the store and look through the rows of games out there, not really in the mood for anything? Most of us in that situation tend to rely on box art to guide our initial assessment of a game’s playability. At least, the box art is what separates a game from all the rest on a shelf. So when that box art is misleading, it’s usually a pretty big disappointment. Not always, but sometimes. Other times it’s the trailers we see on TV or playing on the CCTV screens at our favorite retailers that guide us to titles. Again, when the game turns out to be nothing like the trailer, it gets a little frustrating. And still other times there are just big twists within the game itself that lead us down a completely different path than we thought we were going in. So these are our top ten misleading games.
Now I know I may be dating myself here, but honestly this had to be mentioned. I know that there are a lot of Bomberman fans out there. Some old and some new, but those of us that were there at the beginning may have had similar experiences. We saw the box art and thought that we were buying a super badass, space shooter of some sort. Possibly even on par with a Metroid -type title, just from looking at the art. Then we played it and realized that the game was nothing like the box art, and for those gamers who were completely put off by this, it would have been a pretty crushing blow.
Yet another box-art bombshell, Forsaken 64 had the picture of a young, angsty, pretty girl’s face on the cover. She did have a tattoo of the game’s namesake on her cheek, but apart from that, what the game was about was anyone’s guess. Truth be told, the game had absolutely nothing to do with any pretty girl of any kind–tattoo or not. It was actually a first-person, flight combat game where you basically make the Yavin 4-Skywalker-Death Star run over and over again. You fly down a bunch of tunnels, blow a bunch of stuff up, and that’s pretty much it. So we have absolutely no idea where the tattooed girl even comes into play.
The Orange Box
I don’t remember exactly how many orange boxes I saw in either Portal or Team Fortress 2 or the Half-Life games, but I am fairly certain that it wasn’t enough to bother naming the collection after them. In fact I really only remember the actual box the game came in being orange. I realize that this is a stretch, but honestly they could have just as easily called it “The Half-Life Bundle and some other stuff.” But Valve decided to take the enigmatic route and call it something so vague, than when you ask gamers today if they have played the Orange Box , most of them will either answer immediately with, “Oh yeah! I loved Portal!” or they will have no idea what the hell you are talking about.
Project Gotham Racing
Where the hell was Batman and the Batmobile in this game?! I know that I can’t be the only person to have asked this question after buying the game and not being satisfied when I found out the truth. Can you even call it Gotham anything without Batman? Now I realize that Gotham is really just another word used to describe the seedier sides of New York City–which is where Bob Kane got his inspiration. But can you honestly, and in good conscience, call your game any kind of Gotham racing and not even have the freaking Batmobile as a bonus car or something?! This was a tragically lost opportunity to turn a snoozer of a racing game into a points-hounding free-for-all to try and unlock the Batmobile.
So if any of you saw the same trailers that I did regarding Catherine , you would have at no point thought that this game was just an acid-trip version of Q-Bert and had little to do with seducing hot anime chicks or dealing with the snares of long-term relationships, the intricacies of romance and the pitfalls of infidelity. This game looked like it could have shared more with the likes of Dragon Slayer than the box-jumping, sheep-talking, brain-straining adventure that actually played out in this game. Honestly, I didn’t pay much attention to anything surrounding this game other than the few trailers I saw at retailers. So when I finally decided to pick it up and give it a whirl, I was floored at the actual gameplay of the game versus what I had seen advertised. Granted, it may have been my own oversight that lead to my disbelief, but whether that’s true or not I still felt mislead by the hype.
As the title implies, you would assume that the protagonist of such a game would in fact be going somewhere not seen before or that has not been mapped at the very least. But somehow in the very first game a map is found that leads our hero to an ancient ruin. Then he finds a map in a U-boat that leads him to an island that is not only crawling with people, but there are several maps of different areas of the island laying about for him to find. So at what point did “ Uncharted ” seem like a good idea for a title of a game where a huge number of people are already at the places where you are going. They are all trying to kill you. And oh yeah, there are MAPS to all of them. How is that uncharted? Just curious.
We all know what the little blue badass looks like nowadays. He’s become a household name, but it wasn’t always so clear. Back in the very beginning, you would’ve never known that Megaman looks the way he does by looking at the box art for these two titles. In the very first installment, He looks like a constipated space-cop as drawn by a seventh grader while trying not to pay attention in class. The second, he looks like a casting reject for the Silverhawks (except without the kickass wings) and in no way would lead you to believe that he was in fact a short, squatty, ping-pong ball shooting, big-headed blue dude.
If you saw the “Believe” trailer for this game then, if you are a Halo fan, you were probably getting more and more pumped up by the second as the cameras continued to pan around an intensely graphic diorama of a battle between the UNSC and Covenant forces. Then the trailer reaches its climax and you see Master Chief being held aloft by a Covenant Elite. I remembered thinking that this was it. Master Chief would make the ultimate sacrifice and save the UNSC forces and all of mankind from annihilation at the hands of an alien enemy. Then the game came, I kicked a truckload of asses and then found out that I would be waiting forever and a day before getting to continue the story in Halo 4 .
This title is possibly the greatest misnomer in video gaming history. The first game with this title led us all to believe that the game was finite and that there would never be another. Now, to the fans of the franchise, it’s a good thing it was mis-named. But to everyone who wasn’t really a fan or didn’t really get it, this name could be a little confusing. I mean, will there ever actually be a FINAL Final Fantasy ? We are currently up to number fifteen in the franchise continuum. So if it wasn’t going to be final in the very first title, we have all been mislead this entire time. Look at it, even the original titles themselves weren’t final. They have remade a few and re-released many. So even the initial final fantasies weren’t in any way final themselves.
Metal Gear Solid 2
From the E3 trailers to the actual game itself, Hideo Kojima and his team had us all at a loss. The nine-minute trailer we saw at E3 the year it was announced was an incredible look at how Solid Snake would be sneaking and shooting his way through the newest story in the second installment of the MGS series. But what the trailer failed to show was the fact that you played as Snake for only the opening sequence of the game and then got stuck with whiny-assed Raiden for the rest of the game, with Snake popping in as a support character. Then the game came out, and we all played through the opening sequence that would have us all foaming at the mouth for more MGS action. Then the ship sinks in the Hudson River. Next thing we know, we are swimming into an oil containment fence with orders to rescue the president. Then the mask comes off and we were treated to a blonde-headed, baby-faced emo guy named Raiden–Making this quite possibly the biggest ruse in gaming history.