Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
Commercial Break
The Real Housewives of Bad Advertising
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on January 17, 2007   |   Episode 33 (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!
Psychopad K.O. 10 in 1
In a world divided by savage fanboys Psychopad K.O. is here to bring us together. This advert claims to want to bring you together, just look at the slogan: "Don't play one, Play them ALL." Take that all of you Nintendo fans that will never buy anything by Sony or Sega. The Psychopad is here to spit in your face and let you know that it's all about buying all of the systems and not just one. This is the Psychopad K.O., the one piece of machinery out there that revels in the idea of spending close to a thousand dollars to own all three major consoles. They want you to buy the Saturn, Nintendo and Playstation [sic]. Wait, which Nintendo system? Certainly not the N64, this joystick doesn't include an analog stick.

Of course it's not like the guy in this advertisement is going to notice the missing analog stick, he's stoned out of his mind. Just look at those red eyes, this guy is so wasted that not even a full bottle of Visine is going to help him out. Need further proof, just look at the guy's tongue. This guy has clearly been munching on some cherry popsicles, how else do you describe the bright red tongue? Of course there could be a more innocent answer; it could just be that he has been sucking the blood out of a virgin he killed on the way home from work. After all, this is the Psychopad K.O.

This Psychopad advertisement isn't just sending the wrong message about drugs, it's also totally confusing. It says that it gives you "3 way play to handle multiple game systems," yet it also says that it is "10 in 1." So which is it? Is it 3 in 1 or 10 in 1? And why does the website address at the bottom of the page link to ""?? The Psychopad is a large joystick for game consoles ... not Sega's first portable! But then again, what do you expect from a company that doesn't even define what Nintendo system this piece of crap works on?

James Pond II - Codename: Robocod (Genesis)
Here's the rule of advertising: if you're going to make fun of a successful product, you sure as hell better make sure your product is just as good (if not better) than what you are making fun of. Obviously that is not a lesson that Electronic Arts and their game James Pond II - Codename: Robocod were familiar with. Here EA makes fun of Sonic the Hedgehog by saying that "Speed Isn't Everything," but they forget the mention that good game play and solid level designs are also important. Unfortunately there was only one game in this advertisement that had those two things, and it wasn't James Pond!

Making fun of Sonic the Hedgehog doesn't make a lot of sense, especially when your game is already a parody of something else. This is James Pond, a fish version of the popular 007 character. So why not parody a Bond movie or one of the actors that played Bond (trust me, it's easy to make fun of Timothy Dalton)? Heck, they could have gone after Robocop, since they are also making fun of that series in the name. But they decide to attack Sonic. I guess Super Mario was too busy to show up for this crummy advertisement.

What's funny about this advert is that James Pond claims to be able to do a lot of things, but none of it looks very interesting. He talks about driving, flying and stretching, yet the demonstrations make it look as totally lame. Do we really want Sonic floating around in a bathtub? And who cares if Sonic can "stretch up high"? Actually, is that something that fish are even able to do? And since we're injecting logic into this commercial, how is it possible that James Pond is able to walk around in the real world without there being any water? What good is flying and driving if you shrivel up and die when you don't have any H2O? If I were Sonic I would run too, because nobody likes to stand by and watch a fish die from lack of water. It's just sad and grotesque, much like this horrible advertisement.

Virtua Fighter PC
Sometimes a funny catchphrase is all you need to sell a game, but it's important to make sure that this phrase at least makes sense. This is the problem with Virtua Fighter PC, the disappointing port of Sega's arcade smash hit. In this ad we are told that "You fight like a girl" is no longer an insult; instead it is the "ultimate compliment." This would work if the commercial was advertising the Dead or Alive series, or really any other fighter with a bunch of female characters. But Virtua Fighter PC only has one woman combatant. And wouldn't you believe that the one woman in the cast is the person they displayed in this advert.

Unfortunately the problems with this ad don't stop there; we also get a completely ridiculous quote from the magazine, Computer Player. "... One of the best fighters for the PC," they claim. Well of course it is, that's because there weren't many brawlers on the personal computer. Why would you want to play a fighting game on a PC anyway? There is no universally accepted control and fighting games are no fun at all with a keyboard. And how exactly are you supposed to play with a second player?

Continuing this idiotic logic, Virtua Fighter PC also tells you that you will get a full eight dollars off of this game if you trade in one of your other PC CD-ROM arcade fighting games. How many of those are there? Street Fighter made an appearance, but I can't think of too many other "arcade" fighting games on the PC. Sure there was crap like Rise of the Robots, but that wasn't an arcade game. And seriously, you would have to pay me eight dollars just to play this piece of junk. I feel bad for Sega for even attempting to recreate this amazing arcade game on a system that couldn't support it.

Track Meet (Game Boy)
Hey, do you smell something? No seriously, what is that terrible odor? Oh, I see, somebody thought it would be a good idea to take their shoes off and put them in this advertisement. Well let me tell you, that is not a very good idea! Your dirty shoes and used socks are disgusting; all its doing is making me want to flip to another page so that I won't have to deal with the terrible stench. But then again, considering how bad this commercial (and game) is perhaps that horrible smell fits in perfectly.

So this is Track Meet, a simple name for a simple game. "Blow their socks off," it says. And how do they intend to hype you up for your race? Apparently they want to get you excited by explaining in vivid detail just what is going on. "You're in the blocks. The coliseum crowd is hushed. The starter gun cracks. You're off!" Um ... yeah, that's not very exciting. But wait, there's more. "You take the lead! You're maneuvering perfectly. You just might beat your smile-flashing opponent Jack Strop, and go on to product endorsement stardom." Uggh. Is this an advertisement for a video game or an excerpt from the world's lamest children's book?

But you know what is truly offensive about this commercial? It's not the narration or the smelly shoes. Nope, it's that blasted cover of Track Meet! Take a look at the character on the front cover, he may look like an athlete, but he's not. How do I know? Because his shoes are untied! There's just no way a real track meet athlete would be running a race (with hurdles even) with their shoes untied. I'm sorry Interplay, but you fail. Or maybe this untied shoes thing is actually a metaphor. Maybe this guy is telling us that he doesn't care about winning, just like we shouldn't care about this game. And you know what? I don't care about this game ... or this terrible advertisement. Goodness, I feel like I'm the one that lost the race!


Mario, Mega Man, Lolo & More!

The Best Reviewed 16-Bit Games!


Snake Pass


Little Nightmare

comments powered by Disqus