Friday, January 14, 2011

Five Games That Are So Bad They're Good

Sometimes you run into a game that at first glance, appears to be pretty shitty, however once you start playing it you may find that (on accident) the game ends up being really, really fun(ny). Here are 5 such games, and this is only scratching the surface.

Tommy Moe's Winter Skiing and Snowboarding Extreme (SNES)

Tommy Moe is ready to make a game that he doesn't star in!
What it is: Tommy Moe's Winter Skiing and Snowboarding Extreme (TMWSASE) appears to at first be a simple skiing and snowboarding emulator, and it basically is. Choosing between skiing or snowboarding, you can proceed to race in time trials against your friend, or do a free-run of the mountain.

Why it sucks: There's no simultaneous play, the music is either non-existent or generic, and you don't really get a good sense of competition when you play. I can rarely enjoy this game unless I'm playing it with a friend.

How it gets good: The controls are tight, and when you start going of moguls, the games animation for jumping is fairly ridiculous. When playing 2 player and doing free-run mode, you find that free-run is actually a race to get all the way down the mountain while going through checkpoints (similar to games like the Cruis'n series). Eventually the game throws in situations like snowmobiles (which can be mercilessly plowed through) and full white outs which usually happen around the time that you have enough adrenaline in you to get upset by them. A true sense of competition can form as you watch your opponent who has learned from your mistakes go farther down the trail than you before hitting too many patches of ice or rocks and running out of time. And you have to love the day glow outfit that your character wears. How can you say no to 90's ski attire?

Ballz 3D (SNES)

What it is: Ballz 3D is a 3D fighting game filled with crass humor and awkwardness. You play as any of 8 characters made up of, you guessed it, balls. The storyline consists of you beating the shit out of everyone else so that you can earn colored belts (which increase your strength) and eventually fight The Jester.

Why it sucks: This game is bad for many, many reasons, one of which is that the intro to the game sounds incredibly suggestive. At one point it literally sounds like someone is saying "RA-RA-RAPE." See for yourself. Intro aside, the games controls are awkward due to being set on a 3D plane. Any fighting game that requires a jump button is sure to be awkward. The music is generic, none of the songs (except the chilling intro) stick in your mind. If you don't have a sense of humor, the game is really terrible.

How it gets good: If you DO have a sense of humor, this game can be fairly entertaining. Any game where a ballerina has a move that consists of kicking all the male characters in the groin (which does in fact put them into stun) is worthwhile. The karate master cuts limbs off. Try fighting with one leg. The billboards in the background shot random things that are mildly entertaining (RIGHT IN THE SNACKIES). The game's goofiness factor is off the charts. As a fighting game, aside from having to have a jump button, the game is decent. It's not a direct knock-off of any other fighting game, and features distinct characters with distinct movesets. The superhero flies and has hurricane breath. The body builder's fatality consists of him giving you the bum's rush and accidentally slamming your head into the ground. INTO. The cast also features a monkey, a rhinocerous-man-thing, and a clown (who pelvic thrusts on the select screen.) The ball aesthetic is taken advantage of, and frequently characters will temporary transform into something else, example: Bruiser the bodybuilder can transform into a tornado. If the tornado fails to connect, when he reforms, he'll be scrambled and in a unique state where he can't attack and can only hop on one foot. The game is awkward, and it knows it. Still can't get over that intro, though...

Last Action Hero (SNES)

What it is: A movie game made to go hand in hand with The Last Action Hero, this game succeeded in being as big of a flop as the movie it was made after.

Why it sucks: Terrible hit collisions, two attack types (punch and kick), a useless crouch, a useless jump, and wave after wave of generic enemies.

How it gets good: When the character you play as crouches, it looks like he's doing a sweet air guitar. Don't believe me? Check it out.

(Yes, I did make this video myself...)

Fighting Street (TurboGrafx-16)

What it is: The only port of the original Street Fighter arcade game, Fighting Street was only released on the TurboGrafx-16 FOR GOOD REASON

Why it sucks: You can only choose one character, Ryu. When a second player appears, they play as Ken (who at this point in the series WAS RYU). You get all the shotokan moves of Street Fighter fame, the Shoryuken, the Hadoken, and the Tatsumaki Senpukyaku. One problem though, THE MOVES ARE INCREDIBLY HARD TO PULL OFF. The game functions on two buttons, one for kick and one for punch. As a result, the strength of the attack is determined by how long the button is pressed. This makes things incredibly sloppy.

How it gets good: Those hard to pull off moves? When they do connect, dear God it is sweet. Combine the fact that you're playing the original Street Fighter with the cheesey win/lose quotes, along with muffled audio, this game can be at lease mildly entertaining. Don't play the 1 Player mode, though.

(Heads up, the volume on this vid is wonky.)

Double Dungeons (TurboGrafx-16)

What it is: Remember the old Windows 95 screensaver of the 1st person perspective maze? That's Double Dungeons in a nutshell. You're sent into the dungeon for an arbitrary reason. Kill the evil thing inside of it. Do another mission.

Why it sucks: The game only has about 4 audio tracks, one of which you'll be hearing over, and over, and over, and over again. That in combination with the graphics can make this game a big headache. The maze that you're in never changes, it's the same grey walls again and again. The battle system consists of pressing the same button repeatedly until whatever you're fighting dies.

How it gets good: It's called Double Dungeon because believe it or not, it's a 2-player-simultaneous game. It's rather difficult to do, but you can find your friend in the dungeon, and even fight him. Taking on the boss with your friend can be pretty rewarding, although it doesn't add much to the battle. While the repetitive maze can be a bit dumb, the idea of needing to cartograph your surroundings is kind of cool. The missions have hilarious typos and sometimes refuse to make sense. In one mission "prolog" I was told that I was to save a girl who had been captured by a demon. When I then fought and killed a snowman, the "epilog" said, "Congratulations, you have killed the snowman and rescued the girl." Wtf? And while the music can get repetitive, the intro has undeniable 90's charm (unfortunately I couldn't find the intro music online anywhere.)

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