- Usually I round up the worst video games of the year. But why should I bash "Transformers" and other lackluster titles at this point? Most bad games don't sell well, or they're already forgotten.
What's more important now, the slowest period of the year for new releases, is to look ahead at 2008 and to chronicle disappointing moments of 2007, in hopes that game makers will stop doing stupid stuff.
•Maddening fumbles: "Madden NFL 08" looks beautiful. It plays sweet, mostly. But "08" came with more fumbles and interceptions than ever. Defenses are beefed up. Offenses have buttery fingers. This makes things more realistically challenging, because you can't toss ill-advised passes without repercussions. Fine. Sure. Whatever. I haven't played "Madden" much. Don't plan to.
•Game testing fell short: Before a game is released, testers play through them, of course. But not only did testers drop the ball on "Madden" fumbling, they didn't find troubles with a few other big titles. (Or, possibly, game designers didn't listen enough to testers' complaints.) The most disappointing experience of 2007 came in "Spider-Man 3," a downfall that should have been caught during the testing process.
It's great fun until halfway through, when it becomes unfathomably...