Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
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My Big Fat Greek Awards Show
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on January 06, 2003   |   Episode 27 (Show Archive)  

So you've read through IGN and GameSpot's Game of the Year awards, you watched the coverage of the Golden Globes, and you've grown tired of arrogant game critic's Top Ten lists . so what should you do? Well, I know it's probably the last thing you want to do, but how about read our own anti-awards show? It's a guide to some of the worst games of the year, lamest trends, stupidest costumes, and much, much more. We have 34 awards in all, including a Lifetime Achievement Award and the Defunct Games Man of the Year prize. But don't worry, it's not all quality products and pictures of over hyped games, oh no, there is something for just about everybody. It's not that we don't have pictures of pretty people; after all we have two pictures of porn star Ron Jeremy in this puppy. And we even talk about a couple of AAA games. But this awards show is a little different, it's nine pages of awards you won't see ANYWHERE else. So, click the link below, and start on with the first five categories!! Questionable Trend of the Year Video Game Nostalgia Early in the year the push was towards old games and remakes. Rygar, Dragon's Lair, Mortal Kombat, Shinobi, and even ToeJam & Earl all made their way into the new generation of consoles (all covered in our top ten list on the subject). But the problem is, as these games started to be released, only one really ended up living up to expectations. That game is Metroid, and frankly, it's hard to screw up Metroid. Next year we'll see even more remakes, including Panzer Dragoon and Ninja Gaiden, both of which certainly sound better than what we got this year. "The Magazine Cover from Hell" Award Ron Jeremy as Mario (Foul Magazine) street fighter Outside of John Holmes, Ron Jeremy is quite possibly the most popular male porn star ever. His extremely large belly, and, um, asset have made him a whole lot of money. But it's his turn as Mario that has us scratching our heads. Foul Magazine has been known for pulling some strange stunts, but seldom are their jokes clever. It only takes a porn star playing Super Mario to change my skeptical mind, though. If only every cover had this much thought. Lamest Hidden Character of the Year Vanilla Ice That's right kids, Ron "Vanilla Ice" Van Winkle is not just trying to rebuild his musical career, but he's making his way into video games . and we don't mean in a Celebrity Boxing video game. As lame as it sounds, Vanilla Ice appears as an extra character in MX Superfly for the PlayStation 2. This would have been worthwhile if Mr. Van Winkle had used this to explain why he's going by "Bi-Polar" now, but no, it's just another stupid cameo by another aging has-been. I can't wait until somebody taps into the power of Carrot Top. The "Is it a Gimmick or is it a Game?" Award Animal Crossing So, after you've accepted that Animal Crossing has no ending, you realize you are only getting part of the excitement. In fact, unless you own a GameBoy Advance, you probably aren't seeing all there is to see. Thanks to something Nintendo boldly calls "connectivity", gamers are able to use the GameBoy Advance to acquire new and different items in game, and can also use it to effect other elements of the game. But wait, that's not it. If you buy an accessory called an E-Card Reader, you can scan cards to collect items and even classic 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System games. If this sounds like a lot of trouble for one game, well, it is, and it can be expensive, too. Clocking it at almost $200, Animal Crossing may have you thinking twice. Game that Most Lives Up to its License Mary-Kate & Askley Olsen: Sweet 16 - Licensed to Drive Sometimes we don't expect much from our games, sometimes they are based on properties so lame that they are almost pointless to talk about them. So is the case with Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen's newest multi-platform game. Just knowing the game stars those two Full House graduates should be enough, but notice the amazing visuals that pop into your head when I say the full title: Sweet 16 - Licensed to Drive. Even without even playing the game, you know there will be a fair share of bad driving, a trip to the mall, and some of the most nauseating music your speakers have ever put forth. Don't believe me? Just look at the back of the box. Busiest Woman in the Video Game Industry Jenna Jameson Not only does Jenna Jameson voice Candy Suxxx in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, but she also makes the rounds on a skateboard in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. Video games are just another avenue in the prosperous career of Ms. Jameson. She's been just about everywhere, and done just about everything, and so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to see her break into gaming. If the early part of this century proves anything, it's that actors, musicians, athletes, writers, and even porn stars can be embraced by the loving arms of the video game industry. No matter how you look at it, video games are more about presentation than anything these days, so it certainly makes sense to this gamer why Hollywood would be knocking. I'm sure this will be revisited in the future. TV Show Most Likely to Be a Video Game in 2003 MTV's The Osbournes street fighter There is no family more in fear of being overexposed than the Osbournes. Led by aging rocker Ozzy, the Osbournes run against the traditional family values sitcom with their own MTV reality show. With dozens upon dozens of censored four letter words, talk about sex and drugs, and even the occasional rant about animals, the Osbournes have found a way to be both sympathetic and freak-show spectacles all at the same time. The daughter, Kelly, has spun this success off into a record deal, and there's just no denying that there is a huge marketing juggernaut at work here. But no video game? Somehow I have a feeling that will be remedied in 2003. Just one thing, don't make Ozzy bite heads off of bats, PLEASE. Worst Non-Sequel Sled Storm Back in the 1990s, Electronic Arts gave PlayStation owners one of the best racing games ever made. It was called Sled Storm, and it took the world by, well, storm. It featured levels you could freely roam, and best of all, four-player support. Fast forward a few years and we get a new game called Sled Storm, this time on the PlayStation 2. It's not really a sequel, as it doesn't play the same. It really is more of a SSX-rip off than anything. And unlike the original Sled Storm, this new PS2 version only offers two-players at the same time. In just about every way possible Electronic Arts dropped the ball with this new Sled Storm, so make sure you pick up the original, and just steer clear of any substitutes. Best Unintended Tribute Run D.M.C. Music fans all of the world were shocked to hear of the untimely passing of the godfather of the turntable, Jam Master Jay (Jason Mizell), last October. Murdered in the studio, Jam Master Jay was just one of the members of the influential 1980s rap band, Run D.M.C. While everybody was mourning his passing, however, many gamers were experiencing his music in not one, but two different video games. In Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, Run D.M.C. busts out "My Adidas", and then in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the pirate radio station, Wild Style, plays the unforgettable song "Rock Box". Both may have gone unnoticed without the sadness of Jay's passing, but they both underscore the importance of Run D.M.C.'s music. Worst Opening Cinema Movie Unreal Championship There's no question that Unreal Championship looks good, it is fast, hectic, and impressive in just about every way possible . well, all expect for one. The opening cinema is so bad you might wonder if you're playing a Sega CD, and the dialog is the most painful thing I've heard since the original Resident Evil. This intro looks so bad, I almost wish they would have had a three minute loading screen instead. It makes newbies question if the game is actually going to live up to their expectations or not. Of course, the game itself is a solid experience, but you'd think that they would spend more than a weekend on the opening cinemas. Doesn't give you much hope for an ending. Most Tedious Easter Egg of the Year Sonic Mega Collection (GameCube) If you're like most gamers, you buy a game, play it for weeks, maybe even months, and after eventually earn everything. However, the life of the video game reviewer means you have to do everything a lot faster. If I'm to review a game, I really should see all there is to see in the game; at least, that's the thinking behind it. But some companies try to sabotage the game player, they attempt to make it very difficult to access their hidden areas. So is the case with Sonic Mega Collection on the GameCube. To access the five hidden games, which include Genesis classics like Flicky, Sega really makes you work. The first step is to load up Sonic the Hedgehog, and then immediately exit it. Repeat about 25 times (taking a little over an hour) and eventually the game will be "locked". Do this in all games and you'll have access to every single game on the disc. Problem is, this tedious Easter egg takes almost six hours to complete, and is not worth the time. Perhaps Sega could have made them unlockable based on beating the Sonic games, or something. How it is now, though, makes it the lamest Easter egg of the year. Worst Internet Launch GameCube Network Connection Have you ever wondered what would happen if they made an online game, but nobody was invited? That's what happened to Nintendo's network adaptor, which may have been released, or may not have been . depending on who you talk to. In reality, the accessory was released, though is extremely limited supply. Many stores didn't even bother to stock the device, not expecting a huge demand. What's worse, only one game supports this product, Phantasy Star Online. And what appears to be little faith in the online component, Sega went as far as to advertise how much fun the four-player offline was RIGHT ON THE PACKAGE! Unlike Sony's network adaptor, Nintendo's device is split up into two different versions, a dial up and a broadband connection. As is to be expected, some stores stocked the dial up, but not the broadband, and gamers were unable to get online even if they wanted to. All this, and no future online games even being hinted at, adds up to one of the worst product launches since the Jaguar CD, or lest I say it, the Virtual Boy. Proof that Microsoft is starting to Understand the Console Industry Microsoft Buying Rare One of the staff writers, Ferry, once told me that he wouldn't know what to do if Rare ever went third party. You see, for years he only bought Nintendo systems because he knew the Rare games, his favorite, would always be there! Well, 2002 changed all that. Instead of being connected to Nintendo, Rare moved their allegiance a few miles to Microsoft. With a number of Xbox titles in the works, including a new Perfect Dark, Nintendo fans have yet another reason to buy Microsoft's super system. In any event, Microsoft's acquisition of Rare was the beginning of a meaner, stronger company. Proof that Microsoft still has a lot more to Learn about the Console Industry Sneakers Imagine, if you will, the board meeting when Microsoft decided to make one of their very first first-party games exclusive to Toys R Us. After all, Nintendo, Sega, not even Sony tried something that foolish. But that's exactly what Microsoft did, and with the mouse simulator, Sneakers. Just imagine if Mario or Sonic was exclusive through GameStop or Fred Meyers or something, it's unheard of. But that's what Microsoft did, and that's just one of the many examples of why Microsoft has not done its homework before launching the Xbox. ame Least Suited for the Xbox's Power Championship Manager 4 There's no denying that the Xbox is a powerful system, it can push more polygons than any other system, can run applications much faster, and even uses Dolby Digital 5.1 in real time. This super system can do just about everything, but there's one game that doesn't even bother to try to harness the power. Championship Manager 4 is, believe it or not, a text based Soccer (um, Football, for all those who live overseas) game. You manage the stats, and well, that's about it. Sound like fun? Well, if it is, then it's the same price as the Getaway or Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, so be prepared to pay a lot for it. Recently released in Europe, Championship Manager 4 is based on a popular computer series, but even that doesn't explain why this game found its way on to the Xbox. Biggest Argument Against Botox Injections Nick Conner (Run Like Hell) How can you tell that Run Like Hell, the absolutely awful survival horror game for the PlayStation 2, has polygonal characters? For one thing, their foreheads never move, they stay in one solid state. Distracting, perhaps, but even more so when you realize that this game is set considerably in the future, and Botox is still being used. That just can't be good. Tackiest Costume of the Year Dr. James Marcus (Resident Evil) Who is that mystery man in Resident Evil Zero? Perhaps a better question is, why does he wear such tacky clothing? I know this is a video game, but is it really necessary for him to wear nothing but a tattered robe, some jewelry, and a few feet of rope to keep it all together. I know that when you go crazy, the first thing that you lose is your fashion sense, but c'mon Capcom, at least give me a reason to look at him. I'm not asking for designer clothing, but let's not make him look like he just got out of the shower. The "Quote I Hope to NEVER Hear Again" Award "[Grand Theft Auto: Vice City] Rewards gamers for killing hookers and the police" When people talk about things they do not have an understanding of, they tend to sound silly, generally foolish. So is the case when the media, be it newscasters, politicians, or whomever, makes statements about Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. They say it promotes killing the police, and even encourages it. Having played through not only Vice City, but several of the other Grand Theft Auto games, I can honestly say I have never once been encouraged to kill a cop for no reason at all. Actually, quite the opposite, as I tend to run from the cops. And if I were to kill a policeman, all that would do is make more cops come and get me. Do that enough and the feds, and even the army, will come and get you. Of course, this would be common knowledge had any of these people actually PLAYED the game. But that would be asking too much. Lamest Pun of the Year Microsoft Freon We pick on the Xbox a lot, but sometimes Microsoft just puts their foot in their mouth. So was the case when the Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft was developing a TiVo-like Xbox that was codenamed: "Freon". Why is it called the "Freon" you ask? Well, that's because it's the "it's the coolest secret project at Microsoft". No kids, I did not make that up, that's what the article reported. These are the things that make game journalists cringe. Most Unnecessary Video Game Accessory of the Year Essential Reality's P5 Glove Debuting at last years E3, the P5 Glove is almost exactly like a next generation Power Glove. Problem is, that's not a good thing. The Power Glove was one of those novelty toys that would make its way onto the store shelves a dozen or so years ago or so, and while unique, was never anything revolutionary to the industry. Now a new company wants to do the same sort of thing, making it smaller, and a little easier to move. It's still completely unneeded, and doesn't improve any video game that I played with it . but where would this industry be without companies and their wacky accessories? No matter, the PC version of the P5 is out now, and console gamers will have their opportunity to use them sometime in 2003. Best Sequel to a Game Nobody Remembers Sub Rebellion Anybody remember the Irem shooter In the Hunt? Yeah, I didn't think so. It was actually a fun variation to their R-Type theme, however, instead of being set in space, In the Hunt was part underwater, and part over the water. Well, if 2002 taught us anything, it's that every franchise can have a second chance. Be it Maximo, Contra, or Rygar, this year offered something for just about every old school gamer. Perhaps that's why Sub Rebellion was such a surprise. Of course, being as this product is selling poorly, chances are it'll be another decade before we get the next installment. Worst Sequel to a Game Everybody Remembers Metroid Fusion Nope, that's not a typo. Metroid Fusion really is a crummy sequel. In fact, it's one of the worst sequels I have ever played. Oh sure, Rise 2: the Resurrection is a worse game, but it wasn't exactly a sequel to the best fighting game out there. The original three Metroid titles were some of the best examples of 2D gaming out there. But this new Metroid is a dud, a plain old crapfest. Instead of playing like the old games, Fusion gives gamers a linear experience filled with levels. It looks and feels like Metroid, but ends up playing a lot more like Contra. It's also embarrassingly short, I beat it the first time I sat down and played through it (in four hours). Considering it took me WEEKS to beat Super Metroid, there is just no excuse for Fusion's shortness. And adding salt to the wound, the far superior Metroid Prime was released on the same day, rendering Fusion all but worthless


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