I came here to tell you five retro games that don’t deserve to be categorized as games; five games that were once presents for that boy or girl stuck on the naughty list. I came here to warn you, but they got to me. I’m one of the collective now. It hurts so much less now that I’m not resisting. I don’t know what I was thinking, resistance is futile. You will play these games with me, and you will love them.
Wait, what am I saying? These games are digital atrocities! Burning and burying them would not do them justice! My head…splitting…can’t think…anymore…
Do you value your sanity?
If not, then read on fellow gamers. Read and laugh, then cry. If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry anyway, so at least try to have some fun before the following five games sap your strength and leave you feeling helpless. They get in your head and lobotomize your will with their failed designs and graphics that will make you wish for a basilisk’s eye to stare into.
Be a good little Borg and read on.
#5. Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing – PC
Un-cool factor: laughable
This is going to be a short review of one of the worst implemented games ever made by man (we should assimilate them). Why? Because if I say much, it will spoil all the fun for you. You still have a laptop right? Or have you gotten so many tablets and iPods for Christmas that you can’t find your PC? When you do, I command you to install Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing on your PC and play it. DON’T install the patch. That’s how they get to you, through the patch. I was free once, able to think my own thoughts. Now I obey the collective.
Before I was brainwashed by the patch for this game, I laughed so hard my wife thought I was having fun.
#4. Rapjam – Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Un-cool factor: shameful
The title sounds so cool. It’s a rhythm based music game, or perhaps a sound mixing game with licensed music and all the best rappers from the 90s. Nope. It’s a basketball game, I think, although when I played I thought my character was running on top of a frozen swimming pool. But hockey has sticks, and all this game has is what every optometrist in the world should use as a test for depth perception. Either we would all fail the test, or I have cataracts.
If they consulted with any actual rappers when they made this game, then rap isn’t as cool as everyone makes it out to be. It only gets worse from the character selection screen, where the picture of Naughty by Nature looks more like Hadji from Johnny Quest. Then a screen informed me that if I won, I would be featured in a rap music video and receive $500 cash. Of all the potential game ideas based on the budding 90s rap scene, Rapjam chose to show me a world where iconic stars show off their skills on the basketball court against a white dude, and we split the winnings of $500 three ways. Was Coolio this desperate for attention?
You can try to play this game, but Locutus would not approve. He’s a huge Will Smith fan.
#3. Superman 64 – Nintendo 64
Un-cool factor: disingenuous
If you have to ask about this one, bless you. I’ll bet you still think Santa Claus is real too. Haha, well he is real, but he’s a zombie, as you’ll see in my next retro review. But Superman 64 is no laughing matter. This is the absolute worst game ever made for Nintendo 64, no contest. So you want to know what it’s like, living the life of a super hero? Battling the forces of evil, saving the girl and making the front page every day?
Well it’s a lot like disc golf, only you are the disc and when you try to move you flap around like a monkey. Oh, and if you miss the rings you lose. And you’ll miss the rings. You will. I’m not talking about a Barnum and Bailey video game, I’m talking about Superman.
And by the way, did you know that Metropolis really looks like one of those cities they put on toy rugs for kids to drive cars on, only fuzzier? The horizon is a beautiful purple hue, set against one or two skyscrapers that comprise the entirety of the city with multi-millions of residents and the Man of Steel that protects it. I think I even saw a car once, but don’t worry, I picked it up and threw it so it’s gone.
If this isn’t the Superman you know and love, and if you have been reading those forbidden comics that Nick Mathias keeps reviewing, you have to stop. You swore to obey the collective and we want you to play Superman 64. You’ll come around to our side. Resistance is futile.
#2. Pac-man – Atari 2600
Un-cool factor: unfinished
“No Micah, you’re wrong. Pac-man is good! I’ve played Pac-man, everyone loves it. Pac-man is cute, his music is fun and he chases goofy little ghosts with funny names. You can’t put Pac-man on your list of horrible games, I won’t allow it!”
Too late. Don’t you know that Atari made some really bad decisions in the early, awkward growth years of gaming? And did you know that this port of Pac-man barely deserves mention as a form of entertainment of any kind? It would make a great stocking stuffer in place of the coal you were planning on using for your naughty list gift recipient. It will visit so much more suffering and pain on them than any other gift you could give.
What makes this game so horrible is the removal of any identifying traits to the original Pac-man, and the shame of Atari to boldly lie that it bears any resemblance to Pac-man. It actually serves the Borg quite well. We assimilated Atari years ago…
#1. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial – Atari 2600
Un-cool factor: disappointing
A game based on a successful movie about an alien from space, it should be perfect right? A few million cartridges in the landfill later and I’d wager that Atari would say, “no.” Remember when I said Atari made some bad decisions in the early days of gaming? They made this game, and it caused the video game crash of 1983, which effectively killed the entire gaming industry until I was born in 1985. I’ll admit there were other factors, but play this game, and you’ll know what did it.
If I had to sum up my experience with this game, I would say I’d rather fall through a hole in the Earth and stay there than play it again. The graphics are worse than a Mexican blanket, and not even as warm; the gameplay is worse than beating your head against a telephone pole, and more painful too. This game is the final stage of our assimilation, once you play it you will be one of the Borg.
As you open and enjoy Skyrim or The Old Republic this year for Christmas, remember these games and relish how good you have it, my fellow gamers. They say our faults are what make us human, but really that’s just an open invitation for the Borg to barge in and assimilate everything. Noticing a pattern here? Merry Christmas and happy New Year from The Cool Ship’s resident retro scrooge.