Jaq's Top 10 Worst Games of All-Time (2005 Version)
by Jaq




10 - Daikatana 64

No, I refuse to let it begin like this.

Instead, let's analyze the inner workings of the Coca-Cola Company's newest chemical weapon, Dasani with Lemon.

Purified water: Let's start with this.
Citric acid: Ups the voltage.
Natural flavors: Lemon. Or limon, if you're one of those foreign savages.
Sodium polyphosphates: More phosphates = more better.
Potassium sorbate: To protect taste.
Potassium benzoate: Armed guards for taste.
Sucralose: It's like sugar, except where it's not.
Magnesium sulfate: Isn't that explosive.
Acesulfame potassium: It sounds like nail polish remover, and that's close enough.
Potassium chloride: What rains on the salt girl with the umbrella.
Salt: Because this is AMERICA.

If you're one of the three people who bought this game, count on 17 distinct preservatives and more alkali metals than a high school chemistry lab to dissolve away the vicious, hateful memories that haunt you in the night.


Success: Nintendo certainly had guts with this experiment.
Failure: Exhibit A in "Ports That Went Wrong".




9 - Double Dragon

Dateline 1989: The NES has been going full steam ahead for four years, the Super NES was only a year from rocking Japan, and a genius committee at Activision decided to develop for a 12-year old system.

With only a joystick and a single fire button, the 2600's controls are extremely limited to begin with - a major hinderance since the random thugs you fight have lightning reflexes and almost always hit you immediately when you get into range. There may or may not be a boss at the end of stage 1.. I've only made it to the third enemy.


Success: Audio and visuals are spectacular by 2600 standards.
Failure: NES. Four years.




8, 7, 6 - Firefly, Sorcerer, Star Fox

Thank you Mythicon for DESTROYING MY CHILDHOOD. almost..

In the early 80s the video game industry crashed, hard. The primary reasons were a saturated market and lack of technological innovation.. fueled in no small manner by Atari. Why would anyone pay money for "Chomp Man" when it's functionally identical to "Gobble Man", which is almost exactly the same as "Pac-Man", etc.

A company called Mythicon sprang up near the end of the Atari's useful life and offered three games from the start. Legend also has it that several more games were in the works. Their complex gameplay and subtle idiosyncrasies are as follows:

Fire Fly: Take the role of a winged Fly-thing and attack waves of generic enemies while your mind is turned inside-out by atrocious 'music'.
Sorceror: " " " winged Magician-guy " " "
Star Fox: " " " winged Spaceship " " "

I'd wager that rom dumps of these games' code would be 90-95% the same. Combine that with the tedious gameplay shared by all three and you'll understand why most people gave up on video games 20 years ago.


Success: The box arts are stunning.
Failure: EVERYTHING ELSE




5 - Final Fantasy VIII

There's not much to say about this game that hasn't been beaten into the ground already. Perhaps I expect too much from Square, but all of their other games provide an intriguing plot, character interaction and development, and a sweet battle system. FF8, by comparison..

..discourages the use of magic. When you find an enemy that lets you draw a powerful spell, you typically suck it dry then keep it junctioned to a stat.
..encourages living dangerously. Desperation moves can be performed pretty much at will so long as a character is at critical HP.
..showcases one-dimensional characters. Quistis likes Squall, Irvine likes Selphie, Selphie likes shiny things, Squall hates everybody..

All this in addition to a convoluted storyline made this a Final Fantasy I can't seem to pick up and play again. Keeping Squall at 50 hit points to allow limit breaks on demand got really old anyway.


Success: Good graphics and sound, with beautiful FMV.
Failure: "...whatever."




4 - Time Killers

Sweet delicious irony: The first and only time I've seen this game in an arcade was right after its release.. In our local Wal-Mart *REPLACING* the Mortal Kombat machine. Dunno who duped the store into that deal, but the whopping TENS of quarters the game generated was enough for them to remove it fairly quickly. It's almost certain that the Mighty Mouse rocket ride taking its place was a far better source of income.

The cast of characters is a random bunch of fighters from different times, and for some reason they're trying to kill each other. (Time killers. Hehe.) The gimmick here is that each fighter has a weapon that can be used to sever the arms/legs/head of their opponent. Where it fails is when the CPU opens a battle by sending your head spinning into the sunset, ending the battle instantly.


Success: Not much. Thankfully the Sega Genesis was the only home system to brandish this failed experiment.
Failure: Uninspired characters and hideous play control awash in a sea of organs.




3 - Garfield

I'd like to thank SomethingAwful for exposing me to this game, and Towachiki for NOT bringing it to the United States.

At first glance, this game looks to be a simple platformer with Garfield out trying to find/rescue Odie for whatever reason. I'm used to flimsy stories to go with action games. (See Marvel vs. Capcom 2) The games deficiencies become glaringly apparent after only a few minutes..

1. Garfield has one speed, super slow. Ok, he's a fat cat.
2. Items only appear after moving or jumping in their exact location. Sure, their 'cloaking field' is nullfiied by Garfield's 'kitty vibes'.
C. Weapons are very difficult to use. You need Jedi reflexes to connect with enemies like the birds that seem to be everywhere. To say nothing about the Saiyan reflexes you need to survive a boss battle.
4. Painful collision detection. On multiple occasions one of the aforementioned birds has hit my Garfield, sending him back two or three pixels. Undaunted, the bird continues its advance, drilling through the defenseless feline like a rail slug. You can seriously go from full health to game over in a second.
¿: Speaking of game over, you have one life. Lose it and you start from the beginning.
8: I'm out of Sprite.. which is either Garfield or the President's fault.

I was totally determined to beat this game no matter how long it took. After abusing save states like that Japanese freak and his Super Mario 3 speed run, it finally happened - the worst ending since Karnov. Save states notwithstanding, it seems like the programmers (Towachiki and his little girl) never expected anyone to beat Galactor the Feline Death Machine at the end.


Success: Garfield's graphics are done pretty well.
Failure: The physics are not of this or any other world.




2 - Mortal Kombat

The Search For More Money causes normally rational people to do irrational things. Welcome to part Green in our Blue part series: Ports that defy explanation.

Mortal Kombat was a sensation 10 odd years ago, mostly due to its graphic violence that had previously been all but unknown to the industry (Dig Dug aside. That game was mad sick.) So it was no surprise when console versions were announced shortly after.. the SNES and Genesis both having the power to replicate the arcade experience fairly well. But Acclaim also set their sights on another.. the mighty GAME BOY.

DELAY IS BAD. I cannot stress this enough.. in an ActioN game you should expect instant or near-instant response to your ActioNs. (clever, whee.) Let's do a Console Comparison (tm) to demonstrate this aspect..

[Super NES] Press a button: Your fighter cracks the opponent in the head.
[Genesis] Press a button: Your fighter cracks the opponent in the head, sending forth a shower of crimson corpuscles.
[Game Boy] Press a button: Your fighter stands around like a mongoloid, giving you time to put the system down and get a drink. Obey your thirst with a cool, refreshing Sprite while dreaming about the punch that has nearly a 60% chance of actually occuring.


Success: Great graphics considering the system.. the characters look authentic. (Minus the missing Johnny Cage)
Failure: Lag worse than C&C: Yuri's Revenge over dialup. NEXT TIME, DECOY




1 - Duke Nukem Forever

My comments on this game shall be sealed in a time capsule for 1500 years. The star people of Sirius Gamma shall then use their moon powers to telepathically broadcast these sealed remarks five days before the game's offical launch. This 'Blast from the Past' editorial shall surely make the front page of EGM 9000 and inspire dozens of Galactic Cybernet memes for years to come.

There's something totally wrong with this Sprite..






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