Goodbye and Good Riddance to Bad Platformers

Once again, it’s time for our Wednesday ritual of knocking 10 games out of contention.This week, all of the games are run-of-the mill platformers that didn’t really offer much to set them apart from the crowd.That’s the real reason we’re eliminating them.But since that’s not a great read, we came up with these snappy one-liners that probably aren’t quite valid reasons for taking them out of contention.

As an added bonus, 8 of these games also appeared on the Super Nintendo, so it’s like revoking 18 Seals of Quality for the price of 10!

Aero the Acrobat – There’s something about watching Aero try to act cool by putting on sunglasses and doing the moonwalk that just screams “Focus groups came up with this character.”

Aero the Acrobat 2 -Wait, can’t bats fly?Why do I have to do all these damn jumping sections if I can fly?

Izzy’s Olympic Quest – Let’s face it, the original mascot for the ’96 Olympic games in Atlanta – a Union Army General with atorch in each hand – would have made for a far more interesting game.

Toy Story – Honestly, how do take a game starring a cowboy and an astronaut and fuck it up this badly?

Pagemaster – I don’t need all my protagonists to look like Rambo, but do you seriously expect me to play through this game as a blond version of Harry Potter with sparkly shoes?

Pagemaster

Marko – Despite my claims to the contrary over the years, this game has proven that it actually was possible for me to care even less about soccer than I already did.

Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to FoolIt’s about as good as you’d expect a game starring a snack food mascot would be.

Chester Cheetah: Wild Wild QuestThey actually made two Chester Cheetah games?What, as a joke?

Tinhead – Cheap attacks from off-screen AND an unintuitive control scheme?Woo-hoo! Is it my birthday already?

Pink Panther Goes to Hollywood Nobody expects much from a Pink Panther game, but even so, no game has any business sucking this hard.

So that’s it for this week. We’re taking a long holiday weekend to rest, relax, and try to catch up on a few of these games we’re supposed to be such experts on. See you Monday!

Sylvester & Tweety Cagey Capers

Stryker:I thought it was kind of an odd choice to have you play at Sylvester and attempt to track down and eat Tweety, since in the cartoon, he’s always failing and getting his ass kicked.I mean, who wants to play as the guy who always loses?That would be like playing as the Falcons in Madden.

But what I found to be even stranger was the way Granny was turned into an unstoppable force of destruction.Every level that she’s in, she becomes this constant menace, an unkillable enemy who ruthlessly pursues your destruction.Clock Tower’s Scissorman has nothing on Granny – shes like the Terminator armed with a broom.

Slyvester

Brad:My cat constantly tries to run away, claws the furniture, wakes me up in the middle of the night, eats the plants, and knocks everything off the table onto the floor.She’s still easier to control than Sylvester is in this damn game.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist

Brad:Even by beat-em up standards, this game is painfully repetitive.It’s not just the fact that you spend almost the entire game walking left to right and beating the shit out of anything that gets in your way – that’s every game in this genre. The real problem is that you spend the majority of the game fighting against the same two or three enemies, the stages go on FOREVER, and you end up using the same move in almost every situation.The best beat-em ups, like Streets of Rage or Golden Axe, make efforts to add variety any way that they can. TMNT takes almost the exact opposite approach.

TMNT

Stryker:Jump kick. Jump kick. Jump kick. Make sure you get that jump kick down cold, ’cause it’s the only thing you’re going to be doing for the duration of the game.Look, maybe it’s a bit hypocritical for me to be picking on any game for being a mindless, repetitive beat-em up, but Hyperstone Heist really gives in to the worst aspects of the genre.Like some redneck who eagerly draws attention to his lack of class, this game almost seems to takes pride in its shortcomings.

Radical Rex

Making a game is a fairly complicated process with several steps involved.First, somebody has an idea for a game.And then that guy’s boss approves it.Then a team of programmers sits down and makes it, and (hopefully) a team of testers plays it.After that, it gets shipped off to a publisher to be marketed and mass produced.From there, it’s loaded onto trucks, and sent to stores, where its put onto shelves and people buy it.

What I’ve just given you is, of course, a simplified version of this process, but it should give you some idea of the many steps involved in the creation of a game, and the number of different people who are involved along the way.

The reason I bring it up is because Radical Rex is a game about a skateboarding T-Rex and his battle for survival against poetry-speaking mammals.Yet at no point did any of the many people involved in its creation stop and think – “Wait, this is insane.”

Radical Rex000

Who knows?Maybe the executives had too much faith in the guy who came up with the idea.Maybe the programmers who made it were afraid to question their bosses.And maybe the people in charge of purchasing inventory at the various stores that sold it didn’t pay real close attention to what they were ordering.And then maybe the customers… well no, if sales numbers are to be believed, it was the customers  who finally came through and put a stop to this madness.But it never should have gotten that far.Radical Rex is more than just a mediocre game based around a terrible premise – it’s proof of a complete systematic failure within the game industry.

Eliminations in Brief IV

Happy Wednesday!

Batman Returns –Completely average in every imaginable way, and so uncreative in its design that we’re having a hard time finding the inspiration to come up with an original way to criticize it.

Shadow Dancer: The Secret of ShinobiThe game that taught us that a ninja’s most closely guarded secret is his love of shadow dancing.

Universal SoldierSince it’s about cloning, this is the one game where having a bunch of enemies that all look exactly alike actually works out in the game’s favor.Too bad nothing else does.

Alien³ Uncontrollable, incoherent, and a pale imitation of the vastly superior SNES version.

3 Ninjas Kick BackThe path of the true ninja apparently involves a lot more hanging out in caves and running away from boulders than I had originally thought.

3ninjas

Ayrton Senna’s Super Monaco GP II – Easily the best Genesis game ever endorsed by Ayrton Senna.We’re eliminating it anyway.

AerobizTell you what: if you can come up with a good reason for us to have two business games about the airlines on the list, we’ll let Aerobiz back in.

Funny World & Balloon Boy You ever wonder just how bad a game has to be to not have gotten a Sega Seal of Quality?Well, here you go.

Exodus Perhaps the strongest argument ever made in favor of creationism, as evolution would never have allowed for a sequel to Bible Adventures to exist.

Virtual Pinball At what point did “Be better than CrueBall” turn into an impossibly high standard?

Normy’s Beach Babe-o-Rama

Sometimes game designers don’t think their ideas all the way through.The plotline to Normy’s Beach Babe-o-Rama is pretty straightforward – beach babes get abducted, and it’s up to Normy to rescue them.Seems like a not-too-subtle way to include some T&A into a Genesis game.But here’s the problem – if the beach babes all got kidnapped, it means you barely see them until the end of the game.That’s a lot more time looking at Normy and a lot less time oogling girls in their swimsuits than anybody really wanted.

NORMY

Never to be seen again, because seriously, nobody is going to bother finishing this crummy game.

I know what the designers were thinking – the prospect of rescuing swimsuit-clad females would be enough to motivate all the testosterone-driven teenage boys who bought the game to play it all the way to its conclusion, even though the game itself wasn’t anything special.Nice try, but even back during the (mostly) pre-internet era in which Normy came out, there were much easier ways to see scantily clad women.We still had MTV, the USA network, and in the worst case scenario, TNN’s entire lineup consisted of nothing but Dukes of Hazzard reruns.Not to mention that this game came out only a few years after the creation of Baywatch.

Next time, if you want to get us to play all the way through your game, try making it more fun.And if that should prove too difficult, at least follow your original idea to its logical conclusion and make a game where you play as the beach babes as they attempt to rescue Normy.Or better yet, just make a fighting game where they mud-wrestle each other.