Let's list off some games that could have, or should have been great but for one reason or another they fell short.
First up, Gears of War 2.
Speaking strictly on the multiplayer for this one. The mechanics were solid, the weapon balance was better than the first, they were on the right track. And then it was all for nothing as glitch after glitch plagued the multiplayer, matchmaking times were incredibly long and most of the time the game felt worse than the original Gear's terrible host advantage.
Such a disappointment.
Now that Gears 3 has (almost) been announced, will Epic finally capitalize on the potential this series offers on a MP level?
seriously. it's like Nintendo paid for your aging dog's hip replacement, and after being able to run and play with ol' Rover for a few hours, they show up, shoot the dog, then fuck it in front of you.
serious missed opportunities in terms of: story- started off promising and had a few cool moments, but oh surprise it's Ocarina of Time redux, and Zant could have been so cool but he became a silly tool out of nowhere and oh hi it's Ganondorph, AGAIN. and WTF Princess Zelda evaporates and comes back how?!
pacing- started strong, but then it's all go here, here, there, in that order, nothing interesting happens, more fetching)
difficulty- i died once. as a wolf. in the beginning of the game. puzzles weren't even hard. i only had to scratch my head for a second in the ice cave in the north part of Hyrule Field. bosses were a joke. i most enjoyed the flying dragon because it represented some sort of challenge and was pretty novel. everything else was old-Zelda wash, rinse and repeat.
music- wasn't impressed. a few cool re-orchestrations of the classics, but the quality of the sound was really meh.
gameplay- waggle was lame, Okami's waggle was better feeling (somehow), and item switching was such a pain in the dick!
overworld- THE BIG EMPTY. spent a long time exploring and found not much of interest. and it wasn't so pretty or awe inspiring compared to the graphic-style used in Shadow of the Colossus.
other gripes- lack of voice acting, or at least a more audio jibberish (like Midna), made NPCs look like shitty muppets. 5 heart pieces would have been awesome if they weren't handed out like candy in dungeons. the Kakariko Village ghost town was well conceived, but everything else town-like was empty and lacking... Twilight Realm could have been bigger and more difficult too. and my god was the wolf howling/singing awful sounding!
there was a fair amount about the game that i really liked, but compared to OoT, MM (my favorite), and even WW (i haaaaaaated the extent of sailing and changing the wind constantly) TP is rather pale. i think i liked Minish Cap more too.
I just finished No More Heroes 2 and I have to say, I had a lot of fun with it and I wasn't disappointed or anything, but this series HAS to evolve or it is going to get old fast.
The problem is, there is basically nothing even approaching level design in the game. It's just rooms and rooms of enemies (or outside, cars and cars of enemies.) I don't except too much in the way of level design, since it is a sort of action/brawler but come on... if you're going to have levels, you need some level design!
The game seemed to be off to a good start when early on a helicopter shoots out a window and you have to dodge the bullets but then like... almost nothing else like this is anywhere to be found in the game.
I know the bosses are the main point, but having endless rooms of enemies to fight in the same way over and over starts to feel like padding between bosses without some real design involved. With just a bit more attention paid to the levels and adding some unique features to them, I think this franchise could reach its potential. Until then... it feels a bit lacking.
I haven't finely read through everything, though I didn't see any boxart either..
Did anyone say Star Fox Adventures?
"Dude. Its STAR FOX. And ZELDA. HOW CAN IT BE BAD?!"
*sound of hair being forcefully ripped from my skull*
EDIT- Agree on Twilight Princess for sure, disagree on Animal Crossing (what else COULD there be? Do you want to grow fruit? --oh, that does happen.. Really, what else? MMO?? Eh, everyone is obsessed with massive multiplayer everything nowadays. If every game becomes it, it loses its flair.). Whats wrong with Pikmin 2? That game is pretty sweet.