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A Week of Truly Terrible Games
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on August 05, 2012   |   Episode 39 (Show Archive)  

   

On Wednesday, Defunct Games is taking part in Review A Bad Game Day, the first new holiday I can get behind. To show my support, all week long we're going to be reviewing some of the worst games ever made. All five of the retro games talked about this week scored a failing grade. Some are fundamentally broken, while others lowered the bar for the entire industry. This is a week of truly terrible games. You've been warned.

CONTEST: Can you guess what games I'm reviewing? Below you will find clues for to all five games I'm reviewing. Tweet me @DefunctGames with your guesses for a chance to win a download codes and other valuable prizes. The person that gets the most right before Friday wins!
Total Recall
[ System: NES | Pub: Acclaim | Release: 1990 | Score: F ]
Total Recall
This weekend, moviegoers around the country asked themselves the same question: Do we really need a remake of Total Recall? Judging by the early box office returns, the answer is a resounding "NO!" But when it comes to the Total Recall video game, I say remake away. No matter what they do or how little effort they put in, there's no way it could be worse than this Nintendo Entertainment System game.

Much like the movie it's based on, Total Recall is about how a man's life gets turned upside down after going on an experimental "vacation". Quaid was promised his trip to the Recall facility would be safe, but instead he finds himself being chased by thugs and suffering from a bad case of amnesia. And to make matters worse, he has this powerful urge to visit Mars. [READ MORE]

Race Drivin'
[ System: Genesis | Pub: Tengen | Release: 1993 | Score: F ]
Total Recall
Hard Drivin' is a perfect example of truth in advertising. Just like the title suggests, the driving mechanics were unbearably hard. It was full of hard edges, hard opponents and more than one hard stunt jump. The game was hard to the point of being a miserable experience. Now comes the sequel, which promises a package full of racing fun. Too bad the hard mechanics remain.

If you wanted to be generous, you might call Race Drivin' an ambitious experiment. This was Tengen's attempt to accurately recreate an arcade game that aspired to be something huge. Nothing like this had been attempted on the Sega Genesis, a system that was underpowered compared to the competition. This was a game trying to fit complex polygons onto a system that couldn't even crunch 3D scaling and rotating. [READ MORE]

Alex Kidd: High Tech World
[ System: Master System | Pub: Sega | Release: 1989 | Score: F ]
Total Recall
When I agreed to take part in Review A Bad Game Day, I knew exactly what bad game to tackle. There are many horrible titles out there, but only one of them is the worst of all time. Today's truly terrible review is actually worse than Myst, more mind-numbing than Duke Nukem Forever and, yes, even more ill-conceived than Mortal Kombat Advance. The worst game of all time is none other than Alex Kidd: High Tech World.

Contrary to popular belief, this was not originally an Alex Kidd game. Much like America's Super Mario Bros. 2, High Tech World didn't start out as a mascot game. Instead it is based on Anmitsu Hime, which in turn was based on a popular manga series of the same name. Understandably, Sega chose to localize the game and turn it into yet another one of Alex Kidd's wild adventures. But don't be fooled, because this adventure is not worth going on. [READ MORE]

Bible Adventures
[ System: NES | Pub: Wisdom Tree | Release: 1990 | Score: F ]
Total Recall
Considering its age, The Holy Bible is packed full of epic moments that would translate well to the video game screen. Wars are fought, there is smiting, a dude walked on water and just about everybody is tortured in one way or another. You would think that this could be turned into an incredible video game. But alas, Bible Adventures opts for three of the book's most boring sections. The end result is not only one of the worst games of all time, but also a product that is easily debunked.

Bible Adventures is split into three mini-games, each worse than the last. There's Noah's Ark, Baby Moses, and David & Goliath. Each of these modes is overflowing with terrible game play decisions, sluggish controls and debatable logic. Even worse, it's all cloaked under the idea that this is somehow inspirational or, lord forbid, educational. [READ MORE]

Hudson Hawk
[ System: NES | Pub: Sony Imagesoft | Release: 1992 | Score: F ]
Hudson Hawk
If I had a time machine, I wouldn't bother going back to see the dinosaurs roam or the Romans play. I'm not interested in stopping Hitler or meeting Jesus, I'll leave the heavy lifting for the next guy. With my time machine I would travel back to 1992 and sit in on the Hudson Hawk pitch meeting. Forget seeing Joe DiMaggio hit the ball or Mozart perform, I want to meet the guy who was able to convince Sony and Ocean that this video game was a good idea.

Sadly, I don't have a time machine, so I'm forced to take wild guesses that are probably way off base. But if I had to guess, I suspect the game was sold solely on the weight of big movie star Bruce Willis. This is an actor that was coming off of two popular Die Hard movies and everybody involved expected Hudson Hawk to be the next big thing. No matter how the game was pitched, it's clear that everybody involved was bamboozled. Not only is Hudson Hawk a stain on Bruce Willis' career, but this 8-bit NES game remains one of the worst movie adaptations of all time. [READ MORE]

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