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A Brief History of Gaming
The Day Sega Made the Worst Game Ever
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on July 18, 2008   |   Episode 8 (Show Archive)  

   
devil may cry 4 art
He may have a big fist, but this adventure to High-Tech World was not original a Alex Kidd game!
As much as I love Sega, I'm not afraid to admit that they've made a fair amount of bone-headed moves. We're talking about a company that "surprised" the nation's retailers by launching their Saturn console six months early (and only to a select few stores). We're talking about a company that not only released the Sega CD, but also the Sega 32X. A company that can't seem to do something as easy as make Sonic the Hedgehog a compelling character. A company that seems determined to shoot themselves in the foot every step of the way. That's Sega in nutshell; a company can't seem to get their act together.

But as negative as I sound, I have always been a huge supporter of Sega. Even when they were clearly going in the wrong direction I supported them. I'm a proud owner of every console, portable and add-on accessory, even when it's something
Total Recall
I'll even forgive Sega for having the foolish idea that "Virtual Reality" was the next big thing!
as embarrassing as the Menacer and Activator. I am a man in love with Sega, even if I can't translate those feelings to words.

But there's one mistake that Sega made that I will never be able to forgive. For the last 19 years I have tried to suppress my feelings and forget about the day that Sega hurt me, but I can't do it. Even now that I'm in my thirties I can't forgive Sega for that truly awful day. I am of course referring to the day Sega made the worst game ever!

As much as I hate to admit it, I was a little late to the Sega Master System party. Though, to my credit
protesters
Would you rather the old creepy dude in the corner was talking about Nickelback?
the Master System party was more like three guys with folding chairs and a really creepy old dude in the corner talking about Styx. I got my Master System at the tail end of 1988, two years after it came out and one year before I begged my parents for a Genesis. I bring this up not because I want you to know my life story, but rather to put everything in context ... and prove that I must have been the stupidest kid around.

Total Recall
After Alex Kidd: High-Tech World I should have been ready for the disappointment that was Eternal Champions!
You see, I must have been stupid because before getting my Genesis I was exposed to a game called Alex Kidd: High-Tech World. Although it has an innocent enough name and a character that has been in other worthwhile games, this Alex Kidd outing proved to be the single worst video game experience of all time. Looking back at it now I'm not afraid to say that it is the worst video game of all time. And from this one experience I should have known not to trust Sega. I should have known not to get my hopes up about the Sega CD, Eternal Champions, the Saturn, Dreamcast, and everything else they've ever done. I should have known, because before I even had a chance to plug Altered Beast into my brand new Genesis I had already experienced the worst video game insult of all time.

It's important that you spend the time to really study the name of the game, that way you don't
protesters
Now this sounds like a fun game!
accidentally get the wrong impression. The game is called Alex Kidd: High-Tech World, which should not be confused with the more promising title - Alex Kidd in High-World. It's easy to make that mistake, after all most of the other games in the series have featured the word "in" (such as Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle and Alex Kidd in Shinobi World). But this is just High-Tech World. And there's a reason for this ... it's because you never actually go in to the High-Tech World.

But you wouldn't know that by looking at the box. To convince you to buy the single most broken
Total Recall
I doubt this Prince would have a problem getting to the High-Tech World!
video game of all time, Sega has to choose their words wisely and lie to you. This is how Sega begins the lengthy description on the back of the box: "Get ready to join the Kidd in his third great Sega adventure! Being the Crown Prince of Planet Aries is never easy. On top of being a galactic hero, you have to deal with parents, teachers and palace retainers! But you're a Kidd at heart, and you just have to go to the new High-Tech World video arcade to play the newest Sega games!"

I'll be honest with you, as a young boy reading that I was excited to check out this High-Tech World. I mean, who doesn't want to go to the High-Tech World and play all of
protesters
This is one game that naked Alex Trebek can get behind!
Sega's newest games? "Survive all the obstacles," the back of the box says, "and you'll play in the hottest arcade in the land." How could I refuse that? This sounds like the deal of the century.

Of course there's always a hitch. I quickly realized that in order to get to this High-Tech World I was going to need to find a bunch of map pieces and then get a passport. And on top of that I was going to have to survive some sort of ninja forest. Oh well, it all sounded like a fun challenge to me, so off I went searching the castle for these missing map pieces. I never did stop to think about why the "Crowned Prince" couldn't just catch a ride to the video arcade, but like I said, I was a stupid kid.

I should have known things were going to be bad when instead of simply picking up map pieces; Alex Kidd is forced to answer trivia questions. What is the capital of Japan? Where was the first Olympics held? How many grams are in a pound? Seriously, this game wants me to actually go to the encyclopedia and figure this stuff out? (Keep in mind that in 1989 there was no such thing as the "internet".)

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