The creators of older video games had an excuse for their spectacular failures. The technology was so limited that they didnít have much to work with. This excuse, of course, is pure crap. There were plenty of enjoyable games to come out of this time period. Many times, they just got lazy and threw well known characters into a horrible, horrible game. There became even less of an excuse for these types of games as technology got better.
With the newer systems came better graphics and better game play. Therefore, if youíre going to make a bad game, you could at least make it look good. But oftentimes they couldnít even do that right. With the newer systems, fewer games were released for them, which led to a lower number of atrocities being made. The Atari and NES literally were releasing dozens of games a week. This made for a LOT of bad games coming out on a regular basis.
Since there were less games being released, this led to less bad games being released. Of course, thatís a pretty weak bragging point, but take what you can get, I guess. However, when a bad game was released for the Super Nintendo, Genesis, or any of the other later systems, the bad were spectacularly horrible. No longer were good characters or TV shows being ruined by bad games. Now, terrible characters and bad TV shows were being made into even worse games. Thatís the way evolution seems to work for video games, never stop trying to make a previous failure even grander.
The first culprit is a game I actually used to enjoy. It is based on a TV show I used to enjoy. I blame this on being a stupid, stupid child. This is because the game in question is American Gladiators.
American Gladiators was an odd show. It is hard to find a show where there are central characters who have achieved fairly high levels of fame, yet you would never, ever, want to be any of them. The Gladiators rotated once in a while, but the group the game was based on was an odd mix. You had four blonde women, who varied in their levels of horribly bleached hair. Then of course you had the black man and woman. There were also two dumb Italians, and an Asian. Finally, I am not certain as to the sex of the blonde person at the top of the picture. It looks mannish, but who knows what that actually means.
As for the game itself, thatís not too good either. It consists of a bunch of mini-games, revolving around the events in the TV show. Most of these involve shoving other people in various settings, and sometimes you shoot other people. Actually, I think only one event involves shooting Ė ďAssault.Ē I remember really liking that event, but that might be because I distinctly remember one episode where one of the contestants broke their ankle trying to avoid getting hit.
In all fairness, I canít really go off on this game. Admittedly, I liked it when I was little; although ďRock OnĒ by Michael Damian used to be my favorite song. So I canít really vouch for my tastes as a child.
If you like ďCops,Ē big muscular people in spandex, and America, go for it. Otherwise, the show and the game would best be left in the FOX networkís dark history. At least, I think it was on FOX.
Oh God, where do I start with him?
Iím not sure where his mass appeal even came from. Obviously, it now comes from his stardom from being a basketball player. Unfortunately, his popularity came from a cheap, circus act style of play: elbowing and slam dunking. He possesses none of the semi-graceful aspects of basketball; he canít even sink a basic jump shot. So anyway, Iím completely lost as to why everyone likes the big jackass.
He seemed to explode out of nowhere; and when he did, he was all over the place. Kind of like scabies. He made movies. Oh, the movies heís made. Blue Chips, Kazaam, Good BurgerÖ nothing but choice cuts. And speaking of choice cuts, heís made quite a few as a rap star. With phat tracks such as "(I Know I Got) Skillz," "I'm Outstanding," which are strangely followed by "I Hate 2 Brag," Shaq fumbles as awkwardly in the booth as he does on the court. Wow, I just used a metaphor involving basketball and rap, two of the categories I am definitely not qualified to comment on. I thought it went rather well, actually. Now Iím one of the biggest fans of purely horrible music, and I hold a special place in my heart for ďWhatís Up Doc (Can We Rock),Ē but come on. Leave the rest of the Fu-Schnickens with some form of dignity. Donít drag them down with you in your avalanche of shame.
In keeping with the natural progression of his bad choices and market over-saturation, ďShaqĒ (as I like to call him,) eventually had his own video game. Thatís not too bad though, he gets his very own basketball game; that occurs with lots of sports stars. The problem lies with the fact that itís not a basketball game. Itís a fighting game, with its foundation based in the ancient art of Shaq Fu.
It takes a lot of audacity to name a form of martial arts after yourself; it takes even more gall to do that when you have all the coordination and grace of a newborn calf. Yet somehow Shaq has taken it upon himself to enter the squared circle. Or maybe thatís wrestling; I donít know what shape martial arts usually take place in.
As is the case with many famous people, Shaqís stardom isnít as fulfilling as you might think. So he does what many other stars with an emotional void do, travel the globe and punch people. And punch he does. Understandably, punching your point across seems quite appropriate for the behemoth at the core of this game. As the game progresses, you meet more and more interesting characters, of differing nationalities and races. But all of these characters have one thing in common: it is necessary for Shaq to hit them. Hard. Why, I do not know. Maybe Shaq is racist, maybe he hates gypsies, or, more likely, heís just a big dumb ox.
An integral part of Shaq Fu is shooting fire out of your hands. Where and when he learned this is unknown, although I know thereís a Dennis Rodman joke in there somewhere. I just donít care to look for it.
This game is off the charts in the ďWhat the hell?Ē ratings; more so than any of the other games mentioned, if only for the fact that there is absolutely no need or want for this game to exist. Thankfully, Shaq has lessened his influence in pop culture of late. His last two appearances of note were a cameo in Freddy Got Fingered, and Nestle Crunch ads. There, I set up the easily made ďbad tasteĒ comparison jokes for you. Enjoy.
If youíre anything like me, you just canít get enough Kris Kross. And again, if youíre like me, you wish you could grab the reigns and take control of their music videos. Now finally, thanks to one of the most poorly conceived console systems ever, you can do soÖ courtesy of the ďMake My VideoĒ series.
Some failures are so beautifully orchestrated, you can only sit back and look in amazement. One of the main problems with this line of games was the system it was made for. The Sega CD was an astoundingly bad system, with a lot of major flaws. It didnít have superior graphics to justify the systemís price, and the increased price for its games. It had atrocious load times, especially compared to the instantaneous load times off of a cartridge. Finally it had, almost exclusively, absolutely terrible games.
Surely, these flaws could be overcome by a good game. A game where you are able to edit music videos could be interesting. Unfortunately, the artists chosen to be represented were questionable at best. Marky Mark, C+C Music Factory, INXS, and Kris Kross. Spectacular.
System and music choice aside, the game itself is terrible. Basically, it has an actual band video, and gives you very limited choices as to what to edit in and out of the video. Most of the clips are just scenes already in the video; however you can now feel free to repeat them as often as you want. Not enough shots of Marky Mark doing pushups? Problem solved, just throw in a dozen or so more, and voila: your exclusive, perverse, version of ďGood Vibrations.Ē Of course, pushups arenít the only scenes available; each game offers their own variations. Shots of the guy from C+C flexing, INXSís singer prancing around, or the Mack Daddy mugging for the camera. Unfortunately, unless you are an effeminate pederast, these clips might have limited appeal.
I may not have much good to say about these, yet that might not present a strong enough argument against this series. So to further cement my point, I present the actual description of the Marky Mark game, from the back of the gameís packaging:
Marky mark and the funky bunch it's a Rap!!!
What's up? Raw video footage and hot sound tracks, that's what.
To let you punch together your very own videos of the funkiest bunch known to man: Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.
Consider it. You choose the cuts. YOU pick the fly shots. You mix in the slices and dices, the freezes and flips. And way, way more.
Then kick back. its playback time. If itís good: live shouts to you. If it ain't, just do it again.
The funny thing about very low quality things is you canít always be sure where they stand. Sometimes, it can be so bad, itís good; but then continues to get worse. Does that make it something horrible, or does that make it a masterpiece? Therein lies the tricky part of deciding whether or not to hate something. Take for example, Street Fighter the Movie: The Game.
The first problem with this game is the name itself. It clarifies what it is supposed to be twice, which conflicts its very existence. It says itís the movie, but also says itís the game. So what is it? Bad, thatís what it is.
Second problem? Jean-Claude Van Damme. He is in the game. Not just an animated version of him, either. A digital version of him. Making his appearance even worse, no attempts to mock him are made by the gameís designers. Would it have been too much trouble to sneak some cocaine into one of his cargo pockets, or insinuate that much of his fighting prowess comes from practicing on one of his previous wives?
The third problem is the absolute worst. Ignoring the fact that this is related to a movie, youíre still essentially making a gameÖ about the same exact game youíre making. How do you screw that up? Do the same thing you did right the first time, just do it again. I can understand the game faltering due to the inclusion of bug-eyed Raul Julia. Itís sad that the last movie he ever made was Street Fighter. Itís really sad when you realize that this game is his last public appearance in any form. At least I think it is. Even if itís not, this is still pretty damn shameful.
There is one upside to this game. Ponch from CHIPS makes an appearance as one of the gameís characters.
Actually, I guess that thing before where I said I couldn't tell whether or not something is blatantly bad or not doesn't really apply here.
There are just some games that you can comment on without even having played them. This is certainly the case with ďWhite Men Canít Jump.Ē I donít know what the game is like from experience, and yet I still know that it is horrible. How? Itís quite simple really. The game is based on WHITE MEN CANíT JUMP. There is NO need for any further evidence, and yet there still is more to present.
First of all, the graphics are atrocious. The game came out on the Atari Jaguar system, which was supposed to have the most advanced graphics for its time. Apparently it has some scaling problems, which explains why one character appears to vary by about six feet in height over someone right next to him.
Knowing this game, I can pretty much guarantee that this was immediately preceded by ďWHOOMP.Ē Although I guess thatís not really a flaw. But whatís up with the skull in the upper right? I donít remember too much about the movie, but I know they played for money, not to the death. Iím struggling to work in a joke about wanting Rosie Perez to die, but I canít seem to find it right now.
Some games would be good, if it werenít for what it was based on. Take this game for example. Basically, you are a police driver, chasing criminals in high speed pursuit. This wouldnít be too bad, were the game not named ďWorldís Scariest Police Chases.Ē Ugh. It must be a really scary chase for the cop to be firing what appears to be a fully automatic machine gun out of the passenger seat, aiming nowhere near the car he is actually chasing. I donít even have much to say about this, but I thought I should show not even the Playstation is immune to this sort of crap.
Unfortunately, a fair amount of these types of monstrosities are still being made. Thankfully, most of the current game designers have gone back to the good old method of creating bad ideas by themselves. They donít need to rely on television, movies, or music. Why pay good money for someone elseís bad idea? Your own bad ideas are just waiting to be given life, all it takes is your poor intellect and a low amount of creativity.
And that doesnít go for just making games, it works in all aspects of life. Take that lesson to heart. Donít rely on someone elseís failure; go for the gold, and fail on your own.
Talk to me Now or Later