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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday Night At The Arcade: Worst. Games. EVER.

I wouldn't exactly classify myself as a gamer in the strictest sense of the word.
Quite possibly, I was when I was growing up, as video games were a huge part of my childhood. I mean, I probably rented every Nintendo game from the local video store at least once during the days that I had gotten a Nintendo, had a couple of dozen games for the Intellivision, played several games for the Sony PlayStation and PlayStation 2, own a Nintendo DS, and have the Sega Genesis Collection.

I was a hardcore gamer back in those days.

Now that I am in my thirties, I still play the odd video game, but I don't nearly have as much time to play them these days. I guess one could say that I relinquished my gamer membership the day I entered my thirties in some form.

But that could be because I don't find a whole lot of current games being the sort that I would actively play. In fact, the older I get, the more out of touch I feel that I am with video games.

Take the newest game in the Call Of Duty series, which I believe was only released a couple of days ago. Reports were that the game's release was quite huge, and I have heard that several people waited in line outside of retailers that sold video games to get their hands on the game.

Personally, I find the idea of anyone waiting in line (in some cases making their wait an overnight affair) for a video game to be something that I would never do. Aside from the fact that some of the first copies of games and software can be filled with gaming bugs and the like, I wouldn't do it just because the Call Of Duty video game series is not my cup of tea.

That's not to say that it's necessarily a bad game...just not my taste.

But then again, video games, like any other form of media out there, are subjective to a whole slew of personal opinions. Some games might be critically acclaimed, but completely rejected by the public, while other games are such that the public loves it, but parent groups may want it banned for excessive gore. It's all a matter of personal taste, really.

So, before I go on with this blog entry, I would just like to state that the opinions expressed in this blog entry DO reflect my own beliefs, but may not necessarily be the same beliefs as other peoples.

Because for this blog entry, I figure I would take a trip back through the various consoles over the years, and pick and choose some of the video games that I deem to be some of the worst waste of microchips and pixels that I have ever had the displeasure of playing.

The list of games spans a period of thirty years, and several consoles are represented in this list from the Atari 2600 all the way to the Nintendo DS.

This list is in no particular order here, and while there are technically twelve games in this list, as you'll see, some of them are compilations that really should never have been made. So, let's see what my version of the dirty dozen in video gaming is made up of. Will you agree, or have your own opinions?

E.T. THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL (1982, Atari 2600)

I myself have never played this game, as I never owned an Atari 2600. But reports are that it is easily considered to be one of the worst video games ever made, and was one of the key games blamed for the great video game crash of 1983. The game initially did very well in sales, with it being the third most sold video game cartridge of 1982. Based on the very popular movie which had come out that summer, it was expected to do quite well.

It's just a shame the game was so terrible that it ended up being one of the most returned games to retail stores just months after appearing on the market.

Check out this video of the game that I found on YouTube.

To be honest with you, the green blob that is supposed to look like E.T...looks like, well, I don't know exactly. I don't even understand how you're supposed to play the video game. And the ending of the game? I mean, Paperboy had a better ending, and everyone who has ever beaten Paperboy knows that the ending is very anti-climactic.

It's rumoured that Atari was so embarrassed by the game that they buried thousands of copies of the game in a desert in New Mexico. It's unlikely that this is the truth, but you never know. I know I'm certainly in no rush to unearth a copy.

THE GREAT WALDO SEARCH (1992, Super Nintendo Entertainment System)

I have a confession for you. I hated those stupid Where's Waldo books. I found them not challenging at all. If I were to grab a book that had hidden objects games in it, I could come up with some better, more challenging options. Nevertheless, one day when I was at the video store, renting a video game, I decided to try renting The Great Waldo Search for the SNES, as the other games that I really wanted to play were already rented out.

Biggest waste of four dollars I had ever spent in my life.

You want to know how long it took me to beat the game in total? Eight minutes. On the EXPERT level. The only pluses I can give for this game is that I managed to complete it a whopping eighty times during the time I had the game rented out, but more importantly, it only served to confirm my hatred of Waldo even more.

BACK TO THE FUTURE (1989, Nintendo Entertainment System)

Seriously, Nintendo, why did you let LJN Toys (a company synonymous with some of the worst video games of the late eighties) go near this game? I also rented this game and immediately returned it to the store just a few hours later. Why? Because of the fact that the poorly remixed 8-bit music tune (which I believe was supposed to be Huey Lewis and the News' Power Of Love) was terrible, the game itself made it almost impossible to make it through the game in one piece, and the minigames were so awkwardly done. In short, it really wasn't worth playing. But then again, most video games based on movies didn't seem to do well, as evidenced by the first game in the list, and the one directly below.

HOME ALONE (1991, Nintendo Entertainment System)

Okay, here's the deal. The Nintendo version was absolutely horrible. The entire game lasted only twenty minutes. Maybe even less than that if you ended up getting caught by the poorly drawn Wet Bandits. You basically ran around a house, setting traps, and avoiding getting caught by the crooks for twenty minutes, because that's how long that it would take for the police to arrive. If this sounds boring, it's because it was, and by the seven minute mark, I was like, 'I don't care, catch me if you like, put me out of my misery'. I WILL say that the Super Nintendo version of the game is slightly better, and has more of a plot than the NES version.

STRETCH PANIC (2001, PlayStation 2)

I feel bad for putting this game on this list, as it was a Christmas present from a relative. And, I really, really did try to like the game, which had a little girl trying to rescue her vain sisters from the demons who have possessed them. The music was pretty decent, and the game had very colourful graphics. The problem is that the controls were wonky, the enemies were quite hard to defeat, and after a while, it got incredibly dull. The guys may enjoy the women walking around the level as fodder enemies though, as they have some rather...ample bosoms.

ARMOR BATTLE (1979, Intellivision)

Last week, I talked about how the Intellivision was my very first console, and how despite the fact that Nintendo was the top dog during that time period, I enjoyed most of the games that came with the console.

Well, all except Armor Battle, which was so dull it bored me to tears. The object of the game was to try and place land mines and shoot at your opponents tanks to destroy them, but the courses were so barren and open that there really wasn't any challenge whatsoever. But, hey, it was one of the first games made for the system, so I guess we can MAYBE forgive them...


Maybe it's because I was 14 at the time this game came out and already knew what the planets were in the solar system, or maybe it's because I was too old for the Magic School Bus that influenced my opinion somewhat, but this game just didn't measure up. The controls were awkward, and honestly, I have to say it...Ms. Frizzle just doesn't translate well as a video game character. At all.

WALL $TREET KID (1990, Nintendo Entertainment System)

Whoever came up with the bright idea to have a video game about the stock market? I mean, I suppose maybe now that I'm older and actually know how the stock market works, I may find this game more interesting if I were to replay it.  I highly doubt it though. Or, maybe I just wanted to get rid of the whiny spoiled rotten girlfriend that the character was forced to take to the carnival or the mall every few days. Believe me, if you ever play this game, this girl will drive you nuts!

ACTION 52 (1991, Nintendo Entertainment System; 1993, Sega Genesis)

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Put 52 different games inside one cartridge, and that would lead to hours of fun. If it had been successful, that is. Almost each game had severe glitches...some of which were so bad, you were forced to turn off the game console and start all over again. The music was plagiarized from other video games, and there was actually a contest held where if you reached a certain level in the game, you could win a cash prize. Problem was, the contest couldn't be won due to a glitch that prevented the player from even getting to that level. A game with great intentions that ended up being one gigantic mess.


Video games based on television shows are usually not terrible. Some of The Simpsons games are hit and miss, but I do have my favourites. And video games based on game shows like Jeopardy and Wheel Of Fortune are generally well done. But video games based on reality shows like America's Next Top Model, Hell's Kitchen, and even The Bachelor, I just have one thing to say. WHY?


I never played the computer game version, but I did play the one for Nintendo, and all I have to say is that if the two games are the same, then I am greatly disappointed in Jim Henson for allowing such a game to be produced just months before his death. It's just not that great of a game. The plus is that the levels are brightly coloured. The minus? It's got faulty controls, badly drawn muppet characters, and some of the worst music I've heard on a game. Just terrible.

KING GAMES (2006, XBOX 360)

Okay, the first thing wrong here is that the games could only be purchased at Burger King restaurants. That should have been the first clue that something was wrong. The second thing wrong is that the star of the games was this creepy dude.

Yeah...can you see why I have these games listed as some of the worst ever. I won't even play them because the Burger King mascot scares the hell out of me.

The general opinion of the games though varies. The game Big Bumpin', which is a bumper car type game, was generally well-received, and got the best reviews of the trio. PocketBike Racer, on the other hand, didn't do so well. Sneak King, a game that is based on the commercials where the King tries to sneak sandwiches on unsuspecting people is just plain creepy.

So, there you have it. My own personal list of what I consider to be the worst video games ever made. Got any more to add? I'd love to hear from you!

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