Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
Commercial Break
The Knights of Bad Advertising
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on January 03, 2007   |   Episode 32 (Show Archive)  

Join us on our continuing mission to seek out and expose the worst video game advertising of all time. Over the past twenty years we've witnessed a lot of terrible advertising, and it's our job to point it out and let you know what we really think! Nobody is safe when you tune into another episode of Commercial Break, your best resource for the worst video game advertising you ever will see!
Here we are, the very first episode of Commercial Break in a brand new year. There is no better way to start the new year than a brand new episode of everybody's favorite show, the one that makes fun of terrible advertising. And guess what? We have some seriously bad advertising. Including this old commercial for NARC, the arcade smash that was ported to the NES for no good reason at all. At first glance this may look like a perfectly fine commercial, but upon closer inspection you will see that it is in fact very, very bad.

When your slogan is "No One Had the Guts ... Until Now" you sure as hell be ready to show that you have guts. Unfortunately Acclaim doesn't have any guts, when it comes to video game advertising they are little girls! You heard me; they are weak little girls afraid of their own shadow. Don't like that? Well, what are you going to do about it, Acclaim? You see, in the arcades the NARC logo was blood soaked, the entire middle part was red. Apparently that was just too controversial for Acclaim, because they changed the blood from red to ... yellow?? If that's not the kind of thing a weak, scared little company does then I don't know what is.

Perhaps my favorite part of this entire advertisement is the logo at the bottom that states: "Just Say No." It doesn't specify what you should just say no to, so I'm going to go ahead and assume that they are talking about this video game. Considering that they inaccurately suggest that the police are there to "punish the guilty" maybe it's for the best that nobody actually plays this game. Just say no, indeed!

Kick Off 3
Some consider Soccer (or Football, whatever you want to call it) to be something of a religion. People will miss work, ignore their loved ones and drop out of society every time their favorite team has a chance of going all the way in the World Cup. These people are clearly not from the United States, because it's hard to find anybody who enjoys watching people kick a ball around a field for 90 minutes. But just because as a nation we hate soccer that doesn't mean we can't make fun of the terrible advertising that surrounds it. Who better to make fun of this ridiculous sport than the people who can't stand it?

So this is Kick Off 3, the third installment in a series that I guarantee nobody in this country has even heard of. It promises "explosive" soccer action (complete with 0-0 ties), "magical passes" and some of the biggest names in the sport (Brazil, Germany, and Italy)! But not all of these reasons are very compelling. For example, Kick Off 3 says that it has "instant playability". Instant playability? As opposed to what, being forced to write an essay before the game actually allows you to play? Aren't all games pretty instantly playable after you've pushed the start button? We're talking about a game that is on the Super NES, Genesis and Jaguar, it's not like it has to worry about loading.

But the worst part of the this advertisement is the misleading catchphrase, "Kick Off 3 - A Whole New Ball Game." Um ... no. Unless this version of Kick Off allows you to play four teams at once, use your hands and allows weapon-based combat, this is the same old boring ball game you got from Kick Off 1 and 2. I don't care how much better you make the graphics or how many moves you add to the game, it's still a soccer game. If Kick Off 1 and 2 were actually baseball games then yes, maybe then Kick Off 3 could be a "whole new ball game," but don't try to tell me that this soccer game is something completely new and original just because it has "instant playability." You don't see Electronic Arts suggesting that Madden is original and a brand new experience. So let's lay off the hyperbole and keep things in perspective, it's still a soccer game that nobody in the U.S. is going to buy (or enjoy).

Bad Blood (PC)
The operative word in this game's title is "bad." Bad Blood may just be the best PC game ever made, a forgotten gem that everybody should play at least once in their life. But with an advertisement like this, it just makes me happy I wasn't playing no-name PC games back in the early 1990s. Even with its "brilliant"full 256 color graphics and "radioactive" arcade action. And don't even get me started on the "Role Playing Drama," whatever that means.

Bad Blood asks the question that is on everybody's mind: Will Halo 3 actually have an ending this time? Oh wait, no, that's not the question. Instead they wonder if you are mutant enough. Well, I have two eyes, ten fingers, ten toes and my skin hasn't started to turn green. I guess the answer would have to be no, I'm not mutant enough. But I know a bunch of turtles that might be up for the challenge. If being "mutant enough" means that I have to sport a bad ass mullet and look like I came from a Dog the Bounty Hunter convention, then maybe it's for the best that I haven't been sucking on radioactive samples.

But before we are too down on the horrible screenshots and silly artwork, maybe we should point out the celebrity cameo. You'll notice that Mad Max-style hero seems to have his hands full. He's battling a couple of idiots who didn't get the memo that Mohawks are out this season and Tim Curry's character from Legend. But wait; is that Sagat from Street Fighter I see on the right? Indeed it is, I would know that eye patch anywhere! I guess when you're demoted from the final boss to nothing more than a sub-boss you have to take extra work to pay the bills, but I'm not sure being in this Bad Blood advert was a smart idea. How about you Tiger Uppercut your way back to Ryu and Ken before people actually start to think you are a silly character.

Fatal Fury 2 Toys
I love it when video game commercials are short and simple. There's nothing worse than an unorganized advertisement that gives you a thousand reasons to buy it and can't get its thoughts together to make a coherent message. This commercial for the free Fatal Fury 2 action figures has a nice simple message that should get the point across. But it doesn't, and that's why we're featuring it in our line-up of bad advertisements.

The idea behind this commercial is simple, it lets you know that it's "Bigger" and "Meaner." But how can that be? The picture clearly states that the toys shown are the "actual size," which means that either the paper is too small or the real characters in Fatal Fury 2 are the size of an ant. There's nothing big or mean about a piece of plastic that is about the same size as your thumb. Even less mean is the description, a "Fatal Fury fighting buddy." How mean can you be when you are called a buddy? Try adding that word to the end of something evil and you'll see how it completely loses its meaning. No really, try it. "Here's my buddy, Adolph Hitler." "Yo, everybody, check out Charles Manson, he's my buddy." See, all of a sudden those lunatic murderers suddenly sounded like people you would want to drink a beer with.

Later in the advert Takara suggests that these action figures (er, I mean, fighting buddies) are "great for your room or locker." And then to hit the final nail in the coffin it actually says, "you'll have tons of fun showing him to friends." Really? A ton of fun?? Because all of your friends are going to be extremely jealous of your free inch-tall plastic piece of crap that barely looks like the character from the game. You might as well take your retainer to school and show everybody, because if you think this tiny "action figure" is going to make you cool, then perhaps you deserve the beatings you are going to endure for the rest of your school days. Here's an idea, take some drugs to school and show everybody you know ... that's the fastest way to make everybody think you're cool. No really, it is. You should try it out!


Mario, Mega Man, Lolo & More!

The Best Reviewed 16-Bit Games!


Snake Pass


Little Nightmare

comments powered by Disqus