Batman Forever

When Batman Forever was released, a big deal was made about the graphics.They were going to use some cutting edge technology, and were supposed to be THE BESTEST MOST AWESOMEST GRAPHICS EVER.This game came out only a few months before the release of the Playstation, but the graphics in this were going to kick so much ass that you’d forget all about that next-gen system.

Now we could sit here and make all the tired arguments you always hear from gaming purists about how graphics don’t matter, and gameplay is the only important thing, blah, blah, blah..But it all seems like a moot point when the graphics look like this:

If that represents the developer’s best effort toward the one aspect of the game that was given the most attention, you can probably imagine how the rest of the game turned out.It hardly even requires discussion.But for what its worth, Batman Forever is a crappy side-scroller with erratic control.And most of Batman’s moves were taken directly from Mortal Kombat, which just happened to have been made by the same development team.

In other words, it’s pretty much exactly what you would expect from a game based on a mediocre movie and published by Acclaim.

Cyber-Cop

If a large group of bad game ideas were to get together and have an orgy without using any birth control, Cyber-Cop would be the unplanned, yet completely predictable, result.It’s not enough that it’s a first-person shooter (which was already more than the Genesis could handle competently), but its an unnecessarily complex one, with an inventory, and equipment upgrades and other nonsense to worry about.The result is an ugly, hard to control game with a nightmare interface and some pretty generic gameplay.


Graphics are a problem for Cyber-Cop not only because everything looks bad, but because they actually make the game harder to play.In order to limit the graphical demands being made on the Genesis, the gameplay is shown only on a tiny portion of the screen which, for some crazy-ass reason,is bordered by on either side by a picture of a guy in his underwear, while the lower corner tauntingly calls you a virgin.In addition, nothing is textured in any way – walls are a flat grey colour, while doors are either white or black rectangles.As a result, almost everything looks alike, making it easy to get disoriented and lost, while also making finding enemies and items harder than it should be.

Don’t think for a minute that I’m blaming the Genesis for Cyber-Cop’s failures, though.True, the Genesis didn’t handle 3d very well.But the answer to that problem isn’t to attempt to make a 3d game on it anyway.And processing power is only a small part of why Cyber-Cop sucks – there’s also poor level designs, braindead enemy AI, and a clumsy interface to contend with.There’s a very cynical part of me that believes that the makers of this game realized how bad it was going to be, but hoped that because it was a Genesis game, they could try to hide its failures behind the system’s shortcomings.

No more hiding Cyber-Cop.You’re done.

Wednesdays are Eliminations in Brief

Not every elimination requires a great deal of explanation. Some games have a single, fatal flaw that disqualifies them from making the Top 100. Others are completely terrible in every possible way, and to write about them at length would result in little more than simply republishing the thesaurus entry for “horrible”. There are also games that are bad in not-very-interesting ways. And sometimes we’re just feeling kind of lazy. For all of these situations, we have these single sentence eliminations. Every Wednesday, we’ll do ten. Today, the following games get crossed off the list:

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Bible Adventures

Before we can discuss Bible Adventures, I need to explain to you exactly how we’re doing this project. Stryker used to own a used game store. He doesn’t anymore because, I swear to God, 90% of the people who came in were there to sell their old games and use the money to buy crystal meth down at the bus stop. This wasn’t very good for business, but the upside was that Stryker managed to amass a pretty impressive personal collection of NES and Genesis games. This collection provides us with approximately three quarters of the games on our list. However, Bible Adventures was not amongst them. Stryker had never even heard about a Genesis version of Bible Adventures.

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Crüe Ball

In 1992, Electronic Arts decided to make a pinball game for the Genesis about Motley Crue. You might want to stop for a minute and repeat that to yourself so you have a chance to fully let that sink in. Let me tell you something – people don’t come up with that idea on their own. A concept like that has to either be the result of a computer combining bad ideas at random, or else it’s the born out of some kind of unexpected accident, like those old Reese’s Cups commercials where the chocolate bar mistakenly ends up in the peanut butter. Except in this case, the peanut butter is horrible gameplay and the chocolate is Motley Crue. These days EA has a reputation for being a publisher focused almost exclusively on the mass-market, which only makes it all the more strange that they would intentionally try to create a game absolutely no one would ever want to buy. To fully understand this, we need to examine what the company used to be like in the Genesis’ heyday.

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The Lightning Round

Today is the lightning round, where we’ll trim down the list with a lot of blanket eliminations and quick judgments.I know that probably doesn’t it make sound like we’re being completely fair or putting much time and thought into our choices.That’s because we’re not right now.But don’t worry – none of the games getting eliminated today ever really had a chance in hell of cracking the Top 50. Think of today as another housecleaning day – we’re just taking out the trash.

Flight sims and other simulators have always been popular on the PC, but they never really translated that well to the consoles.That’s probably either because they don’t really work on a 3 button controller, or else it’s because unlike PC users, console gamers actually expect their games to be, you know, fun.Anyway, say goodbye to 688 Attack Sub, Abrams Battle Tank, F-117 Night Storm, F-22 Interceptor, LHX Attack Chopper, and Super Battletank.

Call it a technicality, but we it seems to us that considering re-releases like Frogger, Ms. Pac-Man, Arcade Classics, or Williams Arcade’s Greatest Hits one of the greatest games on the Genesis would be like calling I Love Lucy reruns one of the best TV show of the 90s.

A similar concept also applies to the Genesis version of board games.Giving one a Seal of Approval would be like giving a book on tape the Grammy for Best New Album.So long, Clue, Monopoly, and Risk.Also, even though it isn’t anything like the board game, we’re also eliminating Super Battleship, because it really, really blows.

Video games based on game shows lack the excitement of their TV counterparts because, even if you win at them, Pat Sajak doesn’t show up at your house with a check for $25,000 or the keys to a new minivan.Thanks for playing, Family Feud, Jeopardy, Jeopardy Deluxe, Jeopardy Sports, and Wheel of Fortune.Your consolation prizes are a year’s supply of Rice-a-Roni (the San Francisco treat) and, ironically, a copy of yourselves.

By the way, the same basic idea also applies to casino games, though we hold extra prejudice against them since, unlike real life, you also don’t get to drink for free while you play them.Get out of here, Caesar’s Palace.

Also, I don’t think it’s too much to ask that the titles on our list are actually games.I’m looking at you, Art Alive!

There’s a reason Charles Barkley wants you to shut up.It’s because you keep pointing out how terrible his games are.Barkley Shut Up and Jam! and Barkley Shut Up and Jam 2 are eliminated.

You know how your parents used to say that TV would stunt your brain’s development?Turns out this is only true if you’re a very young child.Of course, if you’re a company that makes Barney games, this is they key making a customer for life.Therefore it’s really for the good of humanity that we’re eliminating Barney’s Hide and Seek, Richard Scarry’s Busytown, Sesame Street: Counting Café, The Magic School Bus, andThomas the Tank Engine & Friends.Stop preying on our children, you greedy game companies!

And as long as we’re purging the list of semi-educational games, let’s get rid of Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? and Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego?It’s amazing how much less fun those games seem when you’re not playing them in study hall.

Like the Spice Girls and Matthew Perry, the Power Rangers are one of those regrettable parts of the 1990s that we all wish we could go back in time and erase. We can’t do that, but at least we can do the next best thing – Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie are out.Honestly, we’re a little surprised they got this far.

For reasons that may never be fully explained, somebody at EA thought it would be really fun to make a game about a secret agent, who was also… a fish.Seriously.And then they made two sequels and a Olympics-style game starring this character.We have no idea how that happened, but the madness ends here.So long, James Pond, James Pond 2: Codename Robocod, James Pond 3: Operation Starfish and Aquatic Games Starring James Pond.

Speaking of fish, I can’t even tell you how disappointed I was when I found out King Salmon was not an RPG about a aquatic monarchy, but was instead another damn fishing game.Let’s face it, the next halfway decent fishing game I play for the Genesis will be the first. We’llget that off the list, as well as Bass Masters Classic, Bass Masters Classic: Pro Edition, TNN Bass Tournament of Champions, and TNN Outdoors ’96.

Someday the people who make Simpsons games will figure out that its actually Homer, not Bart, who makes the show funny.Until then, we’ll have garbage like Bart vs. the Space Mutants, Bart’s Nightmare, and Virtual Bart. And as long as we’re crossing crappy Simpsons games off this list, lets get rid of Krusty’s Super Fun House, too.

Pop Quiz: <Blank> is an forgettable fighting game with poor control, unbalanced characters, dismal AI, and sloppy hit detection.Your choices are:

  1. Ballz
  2. Heavy Nova
  3. Rise of the Robots
  4. All of the Above

Correct answer was d.All three are eliminated.

Namco released three Genesis games starring Pac-Man, but unlike Pac-Man, none of them were any good.They probably should have just re-released the original.Sure, it still would have gotten eliminated under the “I Love Lucy Rule” we mentioned earlier, we at least we wouldn’t be eliminating it with the same degree malice that Pac-Attack, Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures, and Pac-Mania are being eliminated with.

Hey, we like the Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Road Rash, Mortal Kombat, Tecmo Super Bowl, and NBA Jam franchises.Just not enough to keep all their sequels on the list.Let’s keep our favorites from each series and say goodbye to the othersThat means we’re getting rid of:

Golden Axe

Mortal Kombat 3

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

NBA Jam

NBA Hangtime

College Slam

Road Rash

Road Rash 3

Streets of Rage 2

Streets of Rage 3

Tecmo Super Bowl 2

Tecmo Super Bowl 3

And I think this is where we’ll call it a day.63 games got the boot today, bringing our total down to 527 remaining games.Tomorrow, we’ll slow things down a bit and take a good, long look at one of the stranger concepts to appear on the Genny.

Sorry, Joe Montana – You’re Cut

Back in the Genesis era, Electronic Arts would release a new version of its more popular sports games every year.Years later, this leaves us in an interesting philosophical question – if you could only have 100 Genesis games, how many of them would be different versions of Madden?Depending on how much you like football, your answer should be either one or zero.The same principle applies to pretty much all the other sports that EA made a new game for every year – hockey, baseball, basketball, and soccer.Therefore, we’re going to just lump them all together as one series per sport.After many cases of Miester-Brau and some bare-knuckle boxing amongst the staff, we decided our favorites were Madden, NHL, FIFA, their various NBA series,and Triple Play/Tony Larussa.  We also decided to keep PGA European Tour but get rid of the other gold games.Therefore, go ahead and say goodbye to EA Sports’ also-ran games:

Bill Walsh College Football

Bill Walsh College Football ‘95

College Football USA ’96

College Football USA ’97

PGA Tour Golf

PGA Tour Golf 2

PGA Tour Golf 3

PGA Tour Golf ’96

Of course, EA wasn’t the only company putting out sports games.A lot of other publishers released sports titles in the hopes of coming out with an even better product than Electronic Art’s offering and wrestling away some of their market dominance.At least that’s what they claimed.Since almost all of these games were cheaply produced knock-offs of the EA versions,it seems more likely that the companies that made them were really just hoping that some kid’s parents would get confused and accidentally buy the wrong football game.Well sorry, other sports games, if your entire legacy is ripping off a more successful franchise and making children sad on Christmas, then you can’t have a Seal of Approval.Therefore, we are eliminating the following games:

Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf

AWS Pro Moves Soccer

Brett Hull Hockey ’95

Cal Ripken Junior Baseball

Champions World Class Soccer

Chi Chi’s Pro Challenge

Coach K College Basketball

College Football’s National Championship

College Football’s National Championship II

David Robinson’s Supreme Court

Dick Vitale’s “Awesome, Baby!” College Basketball

Double Dribble The Playoff Edition

ESPN Baseball Tonight

ESPN National Hockey Night

ESPN Sunday Night NFL

Frank Thomas’ Big Hurt Baseball

Hardball

Hardball 3

Hardball ’94

Hardball ’95

Head-On Soccer

Jack Nicklaus Golf

Joe Montana II: Sports Talk Football

Joe Montana Sportstalk Football ’94

Mario Lemieux Hockey

Mike Ditka Power Football

MLBPA Sports Talk Baseball

NBA Action ’94

NBA Action ’95

NBA Action ’96

NBA All Star Challenge

NBA Showdown ’94

NCAA Final Four Basketball

NCAA Football

NFL Prime Time ’97

NFL Prime Time ’98

NFL Quarterback Club

NFL Quarterback Club ’96

NFL Sports Talk Football ’93 Starring Joe Montana

NFL Sports Talk Football ’94 Starring Joe Montana

NFL Sports Talk Football ’95 Starring Joe Montana

NHL All-Star Hockey ’95

Pat Riley Basketball

Pebble Beach Golf

Pele 2 World Tournament

Pelé!

Pete Sampras Tennis

Pro Quarterback Football

RBI Baseball 3

RBI Baseball 4

RBI Baseball ’93

RBI Baseball ’94

Roger Clemens’ MVP Baseball

Tom Lasorda Baseball

Troy Aikman NFL Football

Unnecessary Roughness ’95

Wayne Gretzky Hockey

World Championship Soccer

World Championship Soccer 2

World Cup USA ’94

World Series Baseball

World Series Baseball ’95

World Series Baseball ’96

World Series Baseball ’98

World Trophy Soccer

By the way, these are just the “simulation”-style sports games.The more arcade-style games, such as NBA Jam, will live to fight another day.

Also, as long as we’re talking sports, let’s thin out the ranks of the tennis games, shall we?IMG International Tour Tennis is our game of choice, based almost solely on the fact that it was the only one we played where we could hit the ball with any kind of consistency.Hey look, we like a challenge in our sports games as much as anyone, but Michael’s Chang’s Watch the Computed Controlled Guy Score a Bunch of Aces on You just doesn’t make for a very engrossing game.Anyway, the following largely unplayable games are now off the list:

Andre Agassi Tennis

ATP Tour Championship Tennis

David Crane’s Amazing Tennis

Davis Cup World Tour Tennis

Jennifer Capriatti Tennis

Wimbledon Championship Tennis

So this was a busy day. 105 games got eliminated.For those of you scoring at home, that means the total remaining games is now below 600.Next time, we’ll do a lightning round, knock off a bunch more games, and try to get things down close to 500.