Our Most Regrettable Purchases

by Dan Ryckert on Jul 05, 2012 at 06:00 AM

As gamers, we've all made purchases we regret. Whether it's a much-hyped game that failed to meet expectations or a peripheral that didn't receive much support, there's always something in our gaming histories that led to us searching for a receipt. Read on to hear about some of the worst purchases made by the Game Informer staff.

State of Emergency

In the early days of the Playstation 2, Rockstar firmly established itself as a triple-A developer with the trailblazing Grand Theft Auto III. As a high school student that spent hundreds of hours in Liberty City, I couldn't wait to see whatever Rockstar had up their sleeves next. While State of Emergency wasn't developed by Rockstar (it was handled by Vis Entertainment), all I cared about was that R* logo on the box. I read tons of previews and hyped myself up for what would surely be a controversial, action-packed title that would do the Rockstar name proud. The publisher pushed impressive numbers - 185 missions, 250 characters on screen at once, etc. Unfortunately, the missions were bland and repetitive, and those 250 characters did little more than run around mindlessly. I tried to return it within a couple of days, but was unsuccessful since I had already opened it.  -- Dan Ryckert


The Wii Zapper

When Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles hit the Wii in 2007, I was excited. Three years had passed since Resident Evil 4 and I was hungry for something new from the series. Additionally, the Wii was being touted as the perfect console for an FPS thanks to it’s lightgun-like Wii remote. With that in mind, I wanted to have the best experience possible with Umbrella Chronicles’ on-rails shooting. Supposedly that meant buying the Wii Zapper. The piece of molded plastic allows players to dock their Wii remote and nunchuk and hold it like an SMG. Using the contraption was as stupid as it looked. I used the worthless hunk of plastic for one round of Umbrella Chronicles before ditching it and never looking back. Oh yeah, it was also packaged with Link’s Crossbow Training, which had all the imagination and beauty of a Wii Sports mini-game. -- Tim Turi


Winter Games

When you're a dumb kid, you don't yet have a firm grasp of universal truths like "gravity always wins" and "never buy an Olympics themed video game because they are complete garbage." During the hype of the XV Winter Olympics in 1988, my brother and I foolishly chose Winter Games among the dozens of titles available at Toys 'R' Us. It only took us one playthrough of the game's four events to realize we made a horrible, irreversible decision. After selecting a country to represent, the relatively fun freestyle skiing event started things off in the right direction. But the following speed skating, figure skating, and bobsled events were each horrible, unplayable messes that should have been classified as crimes against entertainment. A disaster of gameplay, graphics, and user interface, Winter Games is still the worst game I've ever purchased. As we approach yet another season of Olympic sporting events, remember to try before you buy. Don’t make the same bone-headed decision I made. To watch myself, Reiner, Dan, and Tim suffer through this travesty of a video game, check out our "lost" Replay I posted on my blog a couple years back. -- Matt Bertz

PlayStation 2 Network Adapter

Back in 2005, the future was looking bright. On the horizon was the distant glow of the promised land that was an online Playstation 2. The console was nearing the end of its life, but still set for release was Metal Gear Solid 3's multiplayer and a legendary yet mysterious title known as Starcraft: Ghost. I bought the Playstation 2 network adapter with visions of third-person space marines in my head. Then Blizzard's perfectionism broke my heart, and Starcraft: Ghost was "indefinitely postponed". As I watched the released gameplay footage while pawing at the monitor through tears, I consoled myself with the promise of Metal Gear Solid 3's online multiplayer mode. When Snake made his grand online debut I did my best to convince myself that it was fun. I put on a tonic salesman's smile while I explained to my skeptical friends that there was a mode where you could play as Snake! It was no use, I eventually caved and took refuge in the single-player Snake vs. Monkey missions. The servers for the Playstation 2's online games were turned off one by one, and not even Amplitude's online modes could prevent me from regretting the roller-coaster of emotion that the network adapter's purchase put me through.  -- Ben Hanson


Devil May Cry 2

Like many gamers, I was excited for Devil May Cry 2. I loved the original, and had so much faith in the sequel that I didn't bother to do any research before buying it. I figured, worst case, that it would just be more of the same Devil May Cry action – in which case, I would still be elated. When I bought the game and started playing, I could sense something was wrong right away. Why exactly this game is terrible has been reiterated many times (including by us), so suffice it to say that by the end of the very first level, I knew that I didn't want to play anymore. My expectations weren't even that high, but I was still disappointed. My heart sank at the idea of wasting my money, but I figured out how to turn the tragedy in my favor. Devil May Cry 2 remains one of only two games I have ever traded in (the other is Chronicles of Riddick: Assualt on Dark Athena). I used the trade-in proceeds to purchase a brand new copy of Xenosaga: Episode I, which was a much better game. I still find that decision kind of funny, though, considering the sequel to Xenosaga is equally catastrophic. -- Joe Juba


Collector's Editions

There was a time in my life when I would purchase the collector’s edition for every game I bought. It didn’t matter if it was a game I was losing sleep over, or a game I decided to buy a day or two before its release. I’ve only recently reached a point in my life that I’ve realized how economically wasteful and space filling that endeavor was. My closet is stacked with the never used lock-box and still-sealed duffel bag from Grand Theft Auto 4, the gigantic awkward batarang and bat-shaped case from Batman: Arkham Asylum, the never opened Big Daddy figure included with the original Bioshock, the barely functional night vision goggles from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the box for Prey that is just a little bit too big to fit on my shelf, the Fallout 3 lunchbox that has and never will contain a lunch, and Master Chief’s head. I have never once looked at any of these items thankful that I sprung for the “crap you don’t need edition.” I only wish I could have that free space back. -- Kyle Hilliard


I was obsessed with M.U.S.C.L.E. figures when I was a kid. I loved pro wrestling and I loved toys, so it made perfect sense. When Namco released an NES game based on the series of little rubber dudes, I was elated. I saved up for it and eventually bought it—a big mistake. The game was absolutely horrible. The characters were squat, nondescript messes and the gameplay was virtually nonexistent. Basically, characters just charged around until an orb drifted into the ring. Then your character would flash and you could pull off a pathetic super move. Thank goodness Nintendo released a proper wrestling game a short while afterward. Star Man for life! -- Jeff Cork


Men in Black: Alien Crisis

I should never be allowed to enter a store with money in my pocket. If you've seen Dumb & Dumber and can visualize that scene where Jim Carrey spends beer money on a foam cowboy hat, pinwheels, and a paddleball game, you have an idea of what it's like to shop in a video game store with me. One of my most recent spending adventures landed me two gems: Men in Black: Alien Crisis for Xbox 360 – a game I played for no more than 15 minutes – and Santa Claus is Comin' to Town! – a game I hope to use for a Reiner and Phil reunion special later this year (if Phil ever visits Minnesota again). I picked up Men in Black with the hope that I'd have the time to review it…but more so for easy achievement points. This rail-shooter's gameplay is so bad that I stopped playing at the first boss, simply because the fight lasted too long and I couldn't subject myself to the atrocious targeting mechanics any longer. Money down the drain. -- Andrew Reiner


Sega CD

I know I already wrote one entry, but it turns out I've made plenty of impulsive purchasing decisions in my gaming history. When I was eight years old in 1992, I spent most of my time with Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. I was obsessed with having access to every video game I could get my hands on, so I decided I had to buy a Sega CD at launch. I mowed lawns over the summer and traded in plenty of cartridges in my attempt to raise enough money to purchase my first CD-based console. As it turns out, I should have taken a look at its planned release schedule. Despite draining my bank account to buy the Sega CD, I only wound up playing two games on the system -- Sewer Shark and WWF Rage in the Cage. While I thought it was cool to see highly-compressed video files of wrestling finishing moves on the latter, my Sega CD spent more time spinning old Hendrix and Led Zeppelin CDs than actual video games. Considering how I used it, I'd have been much better off spending a fraction of the price for a basic CD player. -- Dan Ryckert

How about you? What gaming-related purchase have you regretted the most in your life?